The Mother of all Christmases by Milly Johnson book review


the mother of all christmases

The Mother of all Christmases written by Milly Johnson, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audiobook format.

The book is available from all good book retailers including Waterstones, WHSmith, Foyles and amazon.  The book can also be found at certain supermarkets.

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Product Details

Eve Glace – co-owner of the theme park Winterworld – is having a baby and her due date is a perfectly timed 25th December. And she’s decided that she and her husband Jacques should renew their wedding vows with all the pomp that was missing the first time. But growing problems at Winterworld keep distracting them …

Annie Pandoro and her husband Joe own a small Christmas cracker factory, and are well set up and happy together despite life never blessing them with a much-wanted child. But when Annie finds that the changes happening to her body aren’t typical of the menopause but pregnancy, her joy is uncontainable.

Palma Collins has agreed to act as a surrogate, hoping the money will get her out of the gutter in which she finds herself. But when the couple she is helping split up, is she going to be left carrying a baby she never intended to keep?

Annie, Palma and Eve all meet at the ‘Christmas Pudding Club’, a new directive started by a forward-thinking young doctor to help mums-to-be mingle and share their pregnancy journeys. Will this group help each other to find love, contentment and peace as Christmas approaches?

christmas cracker clipart

Wow!  What a whirlwind of emotions that the author Milly Johnson has taken her readers on in her latest romcom: The Mother of all Christmases.  I was roaring with laughter one minute and the next my heart felt physically crushed.  The author has sensitively written a story that contains life in all it’s glory including all the low points.  Although there is sadness within the storyline it has been beautifully written and there is an overwhelming heart-warming theme running through the story.

Once again author Milly Johnson has written a story with characters from the heart.  You can recognise and relate to them and a few of your favourite characters from previous novels crop up in this book making it the more wonderful to hear from them again.  Although you can read The Mother of all Christmases as a standalone I would highly recommend reading A Winter Flame prior to this novel so you can fully appreciate the back history surrounding a few of the characters.  I would also recommend reading the novella The Barn on Half Moon Hill for an extended story that relates to a few of the characters.

The Mother of all Christmases is about three women, from very different backgrounds, facing a new challenge in their lives.  One that would have them all coming together and sharing their new journey.  There is Annie who co-owns the Cracker Factory with her Italian husband Joe.  Eve co-owns Winterworld with her husband Jacques.  Palma is a young woman that has felt lost for a long time and finds herself in a situation which she believes is her way out of a disastrous rut she has found herself in.  These three women were to form a bond that would become strong and help them through challenges that came their way.

An extremely heart-warming story that took you into the lives of Annie, Eve and Palma smiling and laughing with them and then holding their hands when they needed strength.  Beautiful and poignant and filled with the most endearing Yorkshire charm.  Milly Johnson, The Mother of all Christmases is a cracker of a read!

About the Author (as shown on amazon page)

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As well as being an author of 15 published novels, 2 short story books and 2 novellas, she is also a copywriter for the greetings card industry, a joke-writer, a columnist, after dinner speaker, poet, BBC newspaper reviewer, and a sometimes BBC radio presenter.

She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016 and the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015.

She writes about love, life, friendships and that little bit of the magic that sometimes crops up in real life. She likes owls, cats, meringues, handbags and literary gifts – but hates marzipan. She is very short.

Website:  (Milly has a monthly newsletter with exclusive news, offers and competitions and is well worth signing up to, please look on the website for more details).




Christmas at the Little Cornish Gift Shop by Rachel Griffiths book review


Christmas at the little cornish gift shop

Christmas at the Little Cornish Gift Shop written and self-published by Rachel Griffiths is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

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Following a series of disastrous dates and losing her job as a room attendant at a top London hotel, Ruby Penrose heads home to Cornwall. Her dreams of making it as a screenwriter failed and she has no idea what to do next.
Reality TV star Jake Woodhouse was delighted to find a small, isolated Cornish cottage to rent for the holidays. He aims to spend his days there in peace and quiet, licking his wounds – his only company his faithful, but stubborn, British bulldog, Sherlock Bones.
But as Ruby and Jake are drawn together by the magic of the festive season and the Little Cornish Gift Shop, they both begin to realise that sometimes it is possible to learn to trust again, and that friendship can be the most valuable Christmas gift of all.

This is the first of three short stories in The Little Cornish Gift Shop series.

Look out for Spring at The Little Cornish Gift Shop coming in 2019.

christmas tree clipartI voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

What do you do when your reality becomes the prime TV viewing for millions and your personal life is scrupulously dissected by the media?  You pack your bags and find solace at a remote cottage on the Cornish coast.  Luckily for Jake Woodhouse the wifi signal is rubbish in the Cornish village and the local residents don’t watch much TV so with his hairy disguise he can take time out from the crazy world he was thrown into and learn to relax and take stock of his life.

When Ruby Penrose was younger she dreamed of becoming a writer so when she finished her education she left her home in Cornwall to move to London hoping the bright lights of the city will help her in her quest.  A few years later with no luck in her writing and losing her job in a hotel Ruby is on her way back to Cornwall.  Her nanna owns and runs the Little Cornish Gift Shop and is also the landlady of the cottage that Jake has temporarily moved in to.

Jake and his bulldog, Sherlock Bones, are soon feeling more relaxed but when Jake bumps into Ruby and finds out she lived in London it soon sets his awareness on alert again of how close he is to being found out.

Rachel Griffiths has created a lovely start to a new series, which I know is going to be another winner for the author.  It has a gorgeous feel-good theme running through it and you can sense the story is written from the heart.  With the additional cast of two furry friends, a British bulldog called Sherlock Bones and a rescued greyhound called Amber, bringing fun, charm and companionship to Jake and Ruby.  Friendship soon develops and life for these two lost souls from the city soon starts to look rosy.  But how long can Jake keep his other life secret?  I’m looking forward to the next instalments in The Little Cornish Gift Shop series.

About the Author

Rachel Griffiths is an author, wife, mother, Earl Grey tea drinker, gin enthusiast, dog walker and fan of the afternoon nap. She loves to read, write and spend time with her family. Over the years, she has had a variety of jobs including stacking supermarket shelves, polishing soaps in a health and beauty shop and teaching pupils how to read and write. After almost twenty years in the classroom, she is lucky enough to be living her dream as a full-time writer.



Isabella by Cristina Hodgson book review


Isabella Cristina Hodgson

Isabella written and self-published by Cristina Hodgson is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

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Who is Isabella Gravachi, and what’s the mystery behind the trail of heartbreak left in her wake?

Having lost her mother as a child, Chantelle is desperate to trace this side of her family and confront the ghosts of her mother’s past. So when a surprise invitation arrives, promising to take her to the place that holds the secrets to both Isabella’s past and Chantelle’s future, she doesn’t hesitate.

But unravelling this Sicilian mystery that’s been locked away for centuries, under the guard of looming Mount Etna, will test Chantelle in ways she never imagined.

As new love challenges old, and bonds are formed and broken, will Chantelle’s quest for the truth destroy everyone she loves or will it bring her peace at last?

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Isabella is the third and final instalment in the Chantelle Rose series and what a treat of a series that author Cristina Hodgson has delivered to us.

We’ve discovered in books one and two (A Little of Chantelle Rose book review here)  and (Valentina book review here) that Chantelle is a very likeable character, she’s a little crazy and madcap and very honest in her actions but this is why as a reader we’ve fallen for this wonderful character.  With this third instalment we learn more about the history surrounding Chantelle’s mother, Isabella.  Isabella’s story felt almost magical and mysterious and it was like reading two stories in one as we travel back and forth in time learning about Isabella and to the present time with Chantelle who is now a mother of a toddler.

Chantelle has been invited to Italy to the wedding of a long-lost cousin.  Chantelle is keen to discover her Italian heritage and is eager to make the trip.  A trip with her very own entourage of toddler, a Hollywood starlet and her best friend which creates much mayhem in the Italian sunshine.

I wholeheartedly recommend this fabulous trilogy by Cristina Hodgson, it’s fantastically funny, glamorous, sexy, filled with mystery, drama and has hints of magic.  It’s a glorious series that will thoroughly entertain you.

About the Author

Cristina Hodgson, mother of two, born in Wimbledon, London, currently lives in southern Spain. Cristina had a long career in sport, reaching national and international level and still actively participates in Triathlon races and enjoys outdoor activities. In her spare time she also enjoys reading and writing. She won a sports scholarship to Boston College. After a period in Boston, she returned to the UK and graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Sports Science.
A Little of Chantelle Rose is her debut novel. Amazingly, it has nothing to do with running!


The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan book review


the christmas sisters

The Christmas Sisters written by Sarah Morgan, publisher HQ, is available NOW in ebook, paperback, hardcover, audiobook and audio CD format.  The ebook is currently available to download for kindle at a special price of 99p so a perfect time to fill your kindle up with a festive read.

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Join Sarah Morgan this Christmas and treat yourself to this feel-good festive read about mothers and daughters, romance and drama, and Christmastime in Scotland!
It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree, but who’s around it that matters most.
All Suzanne McBride wants for Christmas is her three daughters happy and at home. But when sisters Posy, Hannah and Beth return to their family home in the Scottish Highlands, old tensions and buried secrets start bubbling to the surface.
Suzanne is determined to create the perfect family Christmas, but the McBrides must all face the past and address some home truths before they can celebrate together . . .
This Christmas indulge in some me-time and enjoy this uplifting and heart-warming story from international bestseller Sarah Morgan. Full of romance, laughter and sisterly drama, The Christmas Sisters is the perfect book to curl up with this festive season.

tartan trees clipartI voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I don’t know how Sarah Morgan does it but each book I pick up from her is as good, if not, better than the previous.  Sarah Morgan has a huge provenance of writing outstanding bestselling stories and once again she has succeeded.

The Christmas Sisters was a perfect read.  It whisked me away to a disfunctional family that had suffered the most tragic of events at a very young age.  The three sisters lives from that moment were to change forever but the memories of that terrifying night will stay with them.  Twenty-five years on since the untimely death of their parents sisters Hannah, Beth and Posy were due to be reunited at their adoptive parents home in Scotland.  With emotions running high at this anniversary time the sisters and Suzanne, their adoptive mom, were still experiencing the horrors from that fateful night.  A night which was to play heavy on the minds of them all.  Hannah the eldest struggled with emotional relationships and of accepting love.  Beth was a constant worrier and Posy, who was so young at the time of the tragedy, could only remember the overwhelming supply of being loved but Posy now wanted to spread her wings.

Life had moved on for the sisters with Hannah and Beth living in the states.  The two eldest sisters were experiencing a crisis of their own leading to a rash change in their usual character bringing all sorts of confusion and chaos.  Suzanne, the girls’ adoptive mum, has spent the last twenty-five years consciously making life perfect for the girls but the trauma of this fateful night has always been prominent in her mind.

I was drawn to this novel initially due to the author’s acclaimed pedigree, then to the stunning festive scene on the cover of the novel depicting a beautiful property surrounded by snow.

Sarah Morgan has cleverly woven a delightful romcom delving into the lives of four women who had a shared experience of a tragedy.  Although the sadness from this event was so heart-breaking the sisters grew up in a beautiful Scottish village surrounded by love.  The story deals with tragedy and loss, new beginnings and new friendships.  It’s a story filled with a wonderful feel-good factor and is very uplifting.  Sarah Morgan’s words invite you into another world, full of relatable people, their lives will touch your heart and you commit yourself 100% to the whole reading experience the author takes you on.  Festive reading at it’s best.

About the Author

Sarah Morgan is a Sunday Times and USA Today bestselling author of romance and women’s fiction. She has sold over 16 million copies of her books and is a 3-time winner of the prestigious RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America. Her books have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist.

Sarah lives near London with her family and when she isn’t writing or sprawled on the sofa reading, she likes to spend time outdoors walking or riding her mountain bike. She still can’t believe she is lucky enough to be paid for doing a job where she makes things up.







A Very Lucky Christmas by Lilac Mills author guest post


A Very Lucky Christmas Cover

A Very Lucky Christmas written by Lilac Mills, publisher Canelo, is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is currently at a fabulous price of 99p.

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Things can’t get worse for Daisy Jones… can they?
Christmas is meant to be the happiest time of year so why is absolutely everything going wrong for Daisy? Reeling from a bad breakup, moving back in with her parents and hounded by trouble at work she really shouldn’t be surprised when things go from bad to worse..and she ends up in A&E!

Her great-grandmother persuaded her to plant a silver sixpence in the Christmas pud for luck but choking on the coin isn’t the ‘change’ she’d wished for. Yet when dashing Dr Noah Hartley saves the day things finally start to look up. With Christmas Day just around the corner Daisy’s determined to make her own luck…and hopefully bag herself a dishy doc in the process!

A heart-warming Christmas romance perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Debbie Johnson and Daisy James

festive holly borderI am delighted to share a lovely festive post from the author Lilac Mills.

For me, Christmas usually begins on the last Thursday in November. This is normally the day the Victorian Christmas Fayre, which is held in the beautiful city of Worcester, kicks off.

The stalls are set up during the day on Thursday ready for the evening, and as soon as the daylight fades from the sky, Christmas comes to town for the next three days and nights. The fayre lasts until the Sunday, but the best day to visit is on Friday because it’s not quite as busy as Saturday, when coachload after coachload of people descend on the city from as far away as West Wales and Liverpool. Sunday is slightly quieter, but there is a chance many stallholders will have sold out of their most popular items!

Let me tell you a little about Worcester first, before I share the delights of the fayre with you. It’s a smallish city, famed for its magnificent cathedral and wonderful porcelain. It sits on the banks of the River Severn, surrounded by chocolate-box-pretty villages and with the knobbled spine of the Malvern Hills in the distance.

It’s lovely to visit at any time of the year but at Christmas it really comes alive!

The fayre proper is centred around the oldest street, Friar Street, with its medieval buildings and cobbled road. The fayre stretches from one end to the other, with the streets leading off it also taking part, and the last couple of years have seen the stalls expand into the adjacent High Street and beyond.

I always start my exploration of the fayre at its most magical point – the place where the old-fashioned merry-go-round sits. I don’t care how old I get, I still want to ride on one of those brightly coloured horses, but the problem is, which one? They are all gorgeous, and the child in me sits up and starts clapping excitedly when the music cranks up and the horses turn majestically, slowly at first then faster and faster until the squeals of the children almost drown out the hurdy-gurdy music.

The rest of the fair is just as much fun, with its helter-skelter and big wheel, both of them old-fashioned-looking, as if they could have been designed a couple of centuries ago. For the more intrepid, there are other rides, usually the kind that swing you upside down repeatedly, until you beg to get off. And of course, there are the dodgems and the typical fair-ground stalls (I never do win anything – ever!).

But the fair is only a small part of the fayre. The majority of is a tribute to all things Christmas. Most of the stalls sell handmade crafts and simply gorgeous items that you’d have trouble finding anywhere else. My advice would be, if you’re planning on coming to the fayre, don’t buy any Christmas presents until you’ve arrived, because you’re guaranteed to find something you’ve simply got to have. Of course, the problem is you’ll want to keep it for yourself and not gift it to your nearest and dearest! Carved wooden bowls and spoons on one stall, blown glass ornaments on another, intricately-wrought silver jewellery on a third… the list goes on. And each stall is displayed in all its Christmas glory with the stallholders decked out in Victorian costume.

Oh, and I’ve got to tell you about the food stalls! These can be roughly split into two kinds – ones where you can buy food or drink to eat on the hoof, like roasted chestnuts, hot chocolate with Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur in it (oh, so scrummy), pulled pork rolls with apple sauce and stuffing, flavoured cider, Christmas-themed cocktails, mince pies, savoury pies, minted lamb burgers, hog roast, home-made fudge, and so much more. And I mustn’t forget to mention the mulled wine, too (my favourite!). Then there are the stalls selling cheeses, jams, chutney, specialist vinegars, Christmas cakes, Christmas puddings, shortbread, ales with odd names like Stinking Bishop, olives, baklava…

This year, I counted over 150 stalls, and that’s without the gorgeous artisan shops and the vast array of restaurants and cafes which the city boasts. The whole place is alive with mouth-watering smells, glittering lights, Christmas carols, the Salvation Army brass band, street magicians, stilt-walkers, jugglers, and overlaying it all are the beautiful bells of Worcester Cathedral reminding us of what Christmas is really about.

I’m already looking forward to next year’s fayre!

I love the sound of Worcester Victorian Christmas Fayre, hope you managed to treat yourself to some lovely festive goodies.

About the Author

Lilac Mills writes feel-good romantic women’s fiction, and is the author of Love in the City by the Sea, A Very Lucky Christmas, Summer on the Turquoise Coast, and Sunshine at Cherry Tree Farm. Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework! Home for Lilac is Worcester, England.


By Virtue Fall by Carrie Elks book review


by virtue falls

By Virtue Fall written by Carrie Elks, publisher Piatkus, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

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Love blooms when you least expect it . . .
Juliet Shakespeare is done with love. With a growing floristry business and an adorable daughter to raise, life after separating from her husband is complicated enough.
But when handsome single father, Ryan Sutherland, arrives in town, everything changes. As much as she tries to distract herself, Juliet can’t help but be drawn to the easy-going Romeo next door and the way he makes her feel.
Photographer Ryan is only back in his hometown for a few months so there’s no point falling for someone he’ll just have to say goodbye to. But he didn’t account for Juliet – the intriguing and beautiful, red-haired woman next door. And in her, he might just have found everything he ever wanted . . .



I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

By Virtue Fall is the fourth and final instalment in the Shakespeare Sisters series.  Each story can be read as a standalone but I wholeheartedly recommend reading all the books in the series in order as characters from each novel do crop up in future stories and to be honest it’s an adorable, addictive series.  Each Shakespeare sister; Lucy, Juliet, Cesca and Kitty have their own personality traits and also have their own story to tell.  After reading each one I say to myself that I loved so and so’s story the most, or I thought that the author Carrie Elks couldn’t have written a better story than the first but then along comes another sister’s story and you fall in love all over again with each individual sister and their respective tale.

The books in the series in order are:

  • Summer’s Lease REVIEW
  • A Winter’s Tale REVIEW
  • Absent in the Spring REVIEW
  • By Virtue Fall

Each book takes you to a gorgeous location and with Juliet, we travel to the states to Maryland.  Juliet is in the middle of a messy divorce from her husband Thomas.  The best thing to come out of their marriage is their six year old daughter Poppy.  Now coping as a single mother Juliet is working hard with her floristry business.  Juliet’s other love in her life is flowers and she especially loves the meaning surrounding flowers and matching them to certain situations.

When Juliet first encounters Ryan Sutherland it’s under rather strained circumstances but a mutual appreciation of the highs and lows of parenthood breaks the ice and a friendship soon blossoms.

Ryan Sutherland is also a single parent and originated from the area but left under a dark cloud.  However, he decides to make a temporary home back in Maryland with his son Charlie till his new job starts in New York.  There is a lot of tension still bubbling between Ryan and his father and it soon becomes evident that the saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ has not worked.  Ryan holds a strong, charismatic bravado but there is a vulnerability behind his eyes.  With Ryan just in the area on a short term basis he doesn’t expect to meet with a kindred spirit in Juliet.  A beautiful young woman whose life is currently in turmoil and at times she appears a little fragile.

Is the timing wrong for romance to blossom between Juliet and Ryan?  Will her ex Thomas, who precariously holds a string controlling Juliet’s life, put a thorn in any future happiness for Juliet?

With complications in life and love comes a beautiful blossoming romance that is intoxicating and gorgeous.

I’ve completely loved the Shakespeare Sisters series by Carrie Elks; I’ve felt like I’ve known Lucy, Juliet, Cesca and Kitty; I’ve cried with them, laughed with them and have cheered them all on.  A set of beautiful, sexy and adorable stories.

About the Author

Carrie Elks writes contemporary romance with a sizzling edge. Her first book, Fix You, has been translated into eight languages and made a surprise appearance on Big Brother in Brazil. Luckily for her, it wasn’t voted out. Carrie lives with her husband, two lovely children and a larger-than-life black pug called Plato. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found baking, drinking an occasional (!) glass of wine, or chatting on social media.




Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin by Helen J Rolfe blogtour book review


Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin

Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin written and self-published by Helen J Rolfe is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

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Do you believe in Christmas Miracles?
Holly is looking for a change and even though not everyone agrees with her career choices, she’s determined there’s more to this life than the long hours she works as an editor in New York City. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Mitch, a recluse who’s hiding more than she realises.
Mitch does all he can to avoid human contact, spending his days in the little log cabin out in the woods behind Inglenook Falls where he owns a Christmas tree farm, so when Holly falls into his life, he’s not sure how to react. All he knows is that something needs to change if he ever wants to get his life back on track.
Along with friends Cleo and Darcy, Holly is determined to bring joy back to Mitch’s life, but will he appreciate their interference? And when a business proposition throws everything up in the air, will it do more harm than good and ruin lives forever?
Both Holly and Mitch must learn that on the surface people aren’t always what they seem…but if you dig a little deeper, they can take you by surprise.
Curl up this Christmas for plenty of snowflakes, roaring log fires, a marriage proposal, unlikely friendships and second chances as we return to the much-loved characters in the New York Ever After series.

Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin Full Tour Banner

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Helen J Rolfe’s latest novel:  Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin.

Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin is book 4 in the New York Ever After series.  However, this is my first introduction to the works of Helen J Rolfe so I read this novel with fresh open eyes.  The book is very easily read as a standalone story however, I completely fell in love with the author’s writing so I’m now very keen to catch up with her back catalogue of stories.  Helen J Rolfe has created a gorgeous setting for this novel; a small town just a short train journey away from the hustle bustle and bright lights of Manhattan.  Inglenook Falls sounded so idyllic with it’s country setting, the small community with it’s independent shops and cafes.  As soon as I read about the little log cabin in the woods filled with Christmas trees I felt all kinds of cosy feels and could picture the scene in my head.  Not only was I overawed with the location I was also taken by the characters especially a grumpy, unkempt man who lived like a recluse in the log cabin.

Holly has just finished working her stressful position in the city which demanded many hours from her.  She’s decided to go freelancing with her editorial and photographical work and is looking forward to this fresh new start.  One of her first assignments is to cover the opening of a new hotel in Inglenook Falls.  With a bit of free time to herself Holly decides to wander around Inglenook Falls and literally stumbles across the log cabin in the woods.

Mitch Baldwin has been hiding away in the cabin a good few years, his life has been in turmoil and he’s struggled emotionally with what life has thrown at him.  Now he has a stranger on his land he has to face his fears and make a social interaction.  This unexpected meeting between Holly and Mitch opens up new possibilities and insights for the pair of them.  Life from hereon for Mitch will bring a light to a dark tunnel he’s found himself in.

This story was just so gorgeous I found myself charmed by it all.  My emotions got the better of me a time or two as I was so wrapped up in the character’s lives.  I was sad for the story to end and now want to read the book all over again to relive all the cosy festive feels.  Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin was just perfect and it’s left me wanting more from Helen J Rolfe.

A picture perfect winter warmer of a read!

About the Author

Author Photograph Helen Rolfe (4)Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.
Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

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The Other Miss Bates by Allie Cresswell blogtour book review


The Other Miss Bates

The Other Miss Bates written and self-published by Allie Cresswell is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

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Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for.
While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Jane is kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.
When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.

The Other Miss Bates Full Tour Banner

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the second instalment in the Highbury Trilogy, inspired by Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’: The Other Miss Bates.  I was first introduced to the work of Allie Cresswell in September when I read and reviewed the first instalment in this trilogy.  You can find my review for Mrs Bates of Highbury here.

Once again I was completely entranced by this delightful instalment in the Highbury Trilogy.  As mentioned in my review of book one I haven’t read Emma by Jane Austen but I’ve grown an appreciation of historical romances and I believe the author Allie Cresswell has written a stunning series of stories that befits the style of writing by Jane Austen and I’m sure Jane Austen would have been as equally delighted.

The Other Miss Bates follows on were we left off and we see Jane and her mother travel to Brighton in readiness for Jane to start her occupation working for a Mrs Sealy.  Brighton was to bring new adventures for Jane.  Adventures that would broaden her outlook on life, adventure that would re-light a flame in her heart that had been lit the previous year, adventures that would have her then question her heart’s desire.  The adventures in Brighton would bring danger and tragedy and life would now follow a different course.

A story filled with chivalry, an unassuming hero, a villain you want to banish, the glamorous and sometimes scandalous society circus, grief and tragedy but most of all new friendships and alliances.  My heart broke with the tragic loss of a blossoming love.  Allie Cresswell has included a wealth of characters and storyline to captivate you.

Another absolutely beautiful story that evoked many emotions in me.  I’m eager to read the third and final instalment.

About the Author

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.
The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series

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The Magical Christmas Do Over by Linda West ’12 Days of Christmas Bonanza’


The Magical Christmas Bestcovermagic

The Magical Christmas Do Over written by Linda West, publisher Morningmayan Publishing, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

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Thrown together by fate, three women get a second chance to go back in time and change their lives forever. They say once in a blue moon you get the chance of a lifetime, and this was that blue moon.

Three friends. Second chances. One miraculous Christmas.

The Magical Christmas Do Over Full Tour Banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the ’12 Days of Christmas Bonanza’ celebrating and promoting the launch of Linda West’s latest novel: The Magical Christmas Do Over.  I was drawn to this book by the beautiful cover with it’s gorgeous snowy cottage and furry friend and along with the synopsis I’ve purchased a copy and can’t wait to read it tucked up in my reading room with my own reading buddy (aka cat).  Today I have a lovely snippet from author Linda West.

7. Snow Angels

I grew up in Buffalo – its snows all the time. We don’t hate the cold; we get creative in the snow. One of the things we loved to do when there was a fresh snow was just plop down in our parkas and make snow angels in the new fallen snow. It was light and fluffy and soft and after you waved your hands and legs laughing all the while, in the end you had these wonderful ethereal snow angels that would only last so long before disappearing. Like a snow flower of delight.

About the Author

Linda West is the best selling author of the adorable and enchanting “Christmas Kisses and Cookies.” It is a delightful series of holiday romances based around the town of Kissing Bridge and the magical Landers sisters who are the reigning blue ribbon cookie queens thanks to their mothers’ ‘special’ recipe book.
Linda was the owner of Mayberry – a celebrity-filled restaurant in Malibu where many of her recipes enchanted the regulars such as Tom Hanks and Anthony Hopkins to name a few. Her recipes are sprinkled throughout her fiction books much to the delight of her fans.
Her newest venture is in the cozy mystery and humor genre. With – Death by Crockpot – the first in her newest series -Linda takes her favorite known characters from Kissing Bridge and throws them into some side-splitting funny adventures.

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A Village Affair by Julie Houston book review


a village affair

A Village Affair written by Julie Houston, publisher Aria, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

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Cassie Beresford has recently landed her dream job as deputy head at her local, idyllic village primary school, Little Acorns. So, the last thing she needs is her husband of twenty years being ‘outed’ at a village charity auction – he has been having an affair with one of her closest friends. As if that weren’t enough to cope with, Cassie suddenly finds herself catapulted into the head teacher position, and at the forefront of a fight to ward off developers determined to concrete over the beautiful landscape. But through it all, the irresistible joy of her pupils, the reality of keeping her teenage children on the straight and narrow, her irrepressible family and friends, and the possibility of new love, mean what could have been the worst year ever, actually might be the best yet…

field of wild flowers

I was recently on the blogtour for this fabulous, fun read and you can catch up with my post here  to read an extract from the novel.  I’m now delighted to share my review.

I thoroughly enjoyed this rom-com from author Julie Houston.  Julie Houston has a wonderful warm, witty way with words and I laughed out loud to many of the great scenes in this novel.  A story full of characters with zest, spirit, warm-hearted, fun and very relatable.

From the first chapter that reveals a secret that explodes through many people’s lives you are left with a melodrama and are hooked with wanting to know what happens next.  The author gives you insights into a life before, Cassie’s own mothers life specifically, to when Paula was having her own dramas of the heart.

Cassie is now having to deal with the repercussions of this secret and all on top of her starting her new job as Deputy Head at the local primary school.  However, another announcement was to startle Cassie and her life from hereon was going to be a chaotic juggling act.  An act that would have her go on an emotional journey.

I loved this story from Julie Houston.  It was fun, entertaining, feisty and had a lovely community spirit woven within the pages.  A story of accepting life’s hurdles but embracing new beginnings.

A Village Affair is Julie Houston’s fourth full-length novel.  Julie Houston has also written a festive novella, you can find my review here.

About the Author

Julie Houston is the author of The One Saving Grace, Goodness, Grace and Me and Looking for Lucy, a Kindle top 100 general bestseller and a Kindle Number1 bestseller. She is married, with the two teenage children and a made cockerpoo and, like her heroine, lives in a West Yorkshire village. She is also a teacher and a magistrate.

Social Media links:
Twitter handle: @juliehouston2
Facebook: @JulieHoustonauthor