Englishwoman in Manhattan by Jenny O’Brien book review

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Englishwoman in Manhattan written and self-published by Jenny O’Brien is available in ebook format NOW.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Englishwoman in Manhattan, the stand alone follow-up to Englishwoman in Paris.
Recently widowed Lady Cara Bachmeire has moved away from Paris and the world she once knew to New York in order to escape from the past, a past where she’s lost her husband, her career and nearly her life. She wasn’t expecting much and certainly not the peace and sanctuary of Gramercy Park. Gramercy Park, Manhattan’s best kept secret with its precious keys very much in the style of The Secret Garden.
Lawyer Matti Bianchi, second generation Italian/American is also in possession of a key to Gramercy Park. He’s also in possession of a musically gifted daughter who attends the prestigious academy for gifted musicians, the same academy Lady Cara has run away to when her career is taken away from her. But that’s not all Matti is. He’s also working for an asset stripping company and the next building on the list to be stripped just happens to be Lady Cara’s estranged step-mother’s Manor House in Berkshire.
Can Lady Cara find love for a second time and what about her career as one of the most talented concert pianists of her generation? And what about Matti? Is he just what he seems or…

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Lady Care Bachmeire is still grieving for her husband, it’s been two years since his untimely death.  She is also grieving for the life she had and the life she was promised.  The accident that took the life of her husbands has left Cara emotionally and physically scarred.  She is now working in New York as a music tutor in a private girl’s school.

Matti Bianchi is a single parent and lawyer in one of the most prestigious and cut-throat asset stripping firms in the city.  His teenage daughter has started teasing him about middle age spread and Matti starts jogging in Gramercy Park to appease his daughter.  Whilst back in his apartment that overlooks the park he spots a young woman with long auburn hair that he can’t help but be drawn to.  This young woman happens to be Cara and during a music performance at his daughter’s school he sees this mystery girl and makes the connection.

The school is running a trip to London with a select few of the girls and Evelyn, Matti’s daughter is invited.  As Matti has business in London he tags along with the school excursion. Cara and Matti are drawn together through mutual circumstances at first.  These moments give Matti time to get to know Cara but the pain from her past which is still evident is hard to conceal.

Cara is fighting with her emotions over Matti, is it too soon since her husband’s death to find and accept love again?  She is also fighting with her physical scars and what limitations it has left her with.  Can Cara place her belief in someone to help her with her scars both emotionally and physically?  Will Matti’s business involvement in London hinder his developing feelings for Cara?

This was a lovely story that was emotive with all the heart wrenching history from the characters still very evident.  It was also endearing, inspiring and romantic taking you on a journey of self-discovering, encouragement, lust and love.  Englishwoman in Manhattan is a standalone story in the ‘Englishwoman in’ series.  Characters from Englishwoman in Paris do crop up and to fully appreciate and enjoy the series I would encourage you to read both books in order.  You can find my review of an Englishwoman in Paris here.

To find out more about Jenny O’Brien please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.jennyobrienwriter.wordpress.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ScribblerJB

The Little Breton Bistro by Nina George book review/blogtour

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The Little Breton Bistro written by Nina George, publisher Abacus, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and audio download format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Marianne Messman, a housewife, wants to escape her loveless marriage and an uncaring and unfeeling husband of 35 years. Marianne and her husband (army sergeant major Lothar) take a trip to Paris, during which Marianne leaps off the Pont Neuf into the Seine, but she is saved from drowning by a homeless man. Angered by her behaviour, major Lothar takes a coach trip back home to Germany, expecting that a psychologist will escort Marianne home a few days later. However, Marianne comes across a hand-painted scene of the tiny port of Kerdruc in Brittany, and becomes fixated with the place. Marianne decides to make her way to Kerduc, and once there meets a host of colourful characters who all gravitate around the small restaurant of Ar Mor (The Sea). It is this cast of true Bretons who become Marianne’s new family. She finds love and passion with Yann, an artist who becomes her guide to the secrets of Brittany. Before long, Marianne’s husband is back to retrieve her and Marianne feels pulled towards her old life by way of duty and guilt. She leaves Kerduc and gets as far as Paris before she realises it’s now or never when it comes to building the life she really wants.

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I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Nina George’s new novel, The Little Breton Bistro.

A 5* read to me is a story that grabs my attention, I fall in love with the characters and settings, the story evokes emotions in me.  The Little Breton Bistro was all this to me and more.  I was totally swept away with Marianne’s story of her decision to end the drudgery that had become her life, married to a man that belittled her and she felt no love from him.  Marianne had been married for over 50 years to Lothar and she felt despair of her life and what it had become.  Marianne and Lothar are German born and reside in their native land, on a day trip to Paris Marianne slipped away from her husband and made her way to Pont Nerf with the intention to leap off the bridge into the River Seine.  Anger swells up in Marianne when she is saved by a stranger.  During her recovery in hospital she comes across a small painted tile.  The image depicted on the tile is of the small village of Kerduc, Brittany and the idyllic landscape with the beach and sea somehow speaking to Marianne she vows to visit this wonderful place to finalise her journey.

Marianne’s journey to Kerduc was eventful and charming in it’s own right but the finality that Marianne had sought wasn’t to be.  The inhabitants of the village immediately befriended Marianne offering her solace.  She learnt  from the locals and she was also able to teach them a fair few tricks of the trades of life she had learnt in her 60 years.

Each day in Kerduc became more tolerable for Marianne, she started to make friends and she felt belonged and she mattered to people, which she hadn’t felt in a very long time.  Will the love of her new life be enough for Marianne to give her strength and belief for the future?

This was such a delightful tale that is inspiring and hopeful.  I felt joyous for Marianne for what she had become but also for the lives she had enriched.  A wonderful, heart warming, almost magical tale of second chances.

I’d like to share a quote from the novel that deeply moved me:

Walking on, she felt as if something had jumped off her back, something that had dug it’s sharp claws into her skin.  It was fear.  Fear had jumped off, an ugly, red-eyed beast that was not scuttling through the undergrowth to look for someone else’s back to possess.

To find out more about Nina George and her work please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.nina-george.com/

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

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/NinaGeorge.Schriftstellerin

One Little Mistake by Emma Curtis book review

 

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One Little Mistake written by Emma Curtis, publisher Transworld Digital, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

YOU TRUSTED YOUR BEST FRIEND . . . YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE.

Vicky Seagrave is blessed: three beautiful children, a successful, doting husband, great friends and a job she loves. She should be perfectly happy.

When she makes a split-second decision that risks everything she holds dear, there’s only person she trusts enough to turn to.

But Vicky is about to learn that one mistake is all it takes; that if you’re careless with those you love, you don’t deserve to keep them . . .

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I was gripped from the first few pages of this psychological story.  I have to admit psychological thrillers are not my usual preferred genre but I was gently persuaded to give this story a go.  I love stories about people, personalities and relationships and the author, Emma Curtis, had packed this story full of all this and more.

Vicky Seagrave from the outside had it all; three beautiful children, a loving husband, great network of friends and a job she loves.  However, one fateful day she let’s her heart rule over her head and risks everything that matters to her.  This sudden lapse of judgement brings devastating results and Vicky’s life starts tumbling around her.  Like a line of dominoes one mistake, one lie leads to more; bringing heart ache, chaos, deceit, betrayal, confusion, manipulation, blackmail, danger, hurt and despair.

Vicky thought she could rely on her best friend, Amber, for her support during this traumatic time but unbeknown to Vicky, Amber had an ulterior motive.  Amber and Vicky have been best friends since they met at a pregnancy class six years ago.  They soon found a kinship with each other and have been inseparable since.  However, Amber had met Vicky before, a long time ago when they were young girls.  Vicky cannot recall this at all as it was only a brief encounter but to Amber it was a time she will never forget.

Emma Curtis cleverly tells this story from two different perspectives and times.  The mistake from here and now which cultivated a whole host of chaos to Vicky’s life.  And of a traumatic time of a young girl wanting the love she deserves but facing something much more sinister.  These two stories are compelling in their own right.  Very dark issues were revealed and are quite harrowing to read but the author, Emma Curtis, dealt with these matters quite sensitively.  There were scenes that I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading , they left me astonished and shocked.  I was gripped and captivated, my heart was pounding and the twists and turns shook my core.  A stunning psychological thriller that is thought provoking, engaging and dramatic.  A page turner that took me out of my comfort zone that left me compelled to find out what happens next.  5/5*

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

To find out more about Emma Curtis and her work please do visit the following page:

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

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan book review

 

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The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir written by Jennifer Ryan, publisher The Borough Press, is available from the 23rd February 2017 in ebook, hardcover, audio download and audio CD format.

To pre-order/buy link:

 

Product Details (as per amazon page)

The village of Chilbury in Kent is about to ring in some changes.
This is a delightful novel of wartime gumption and village spirit that will make your heart sing out.

Kent, 1940.

In the idyllic village of Chilbury change is afoot. Hearts are breaking as sons and husbands leave to fight, and when the Vicar decides to close the choir until the men return, all seems lost.

But coming together in song is just what the women of Chilbury need in these dark hours, and they are ready to sing. With a little fighting spirit and the arrival of a new musical resident, the charismatic Miss Primrose Trent, the choir is reborn.

Some see the choir as a chance to forget their troubles, others the chance to shine. Though for one villager, the choir is the perfect cover to destroy Chilbury’s new-found harmony.

Uplifting and profoundly moving, THE CHILBURY LADIES’ CHOIR explores how a village can endure the onslaught of war, how monumental history affects small lives and how survival is as much about friendship as it is about courage.

 

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I have just finished reading this delightful, uplifting, inspiring, heart warming novel and I’m flabbergasted that The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is Jennifer Ryan’s first novel.  The words written by Jennifer Ryan were so profound I could visualise the scenes and characters in my head played out on a big screen and I’m hoping one day we will get the chance to see this wonderful story on our TV screens.

This story is set in 1940 in a quiet, sleepy village in Kent that up-to-yet hasn’t seen much devastation with the war.  Most of the men in the village have joined up with the war help so the village is pretty much left with just the women to hold the fort.  The Vicar has declared that the choir is to close due to all the male voices currently indisposed.  The ladies of the choir are not pleased and feel lost without the choir.  The ladies between themselves and with the help of Prim, a music tutor who has just moved to the village, decide to keep the choir up and running.  The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is born and sets to keep spirits up during this unsettling time.  The joy of singing together in a choir brings the ladies of the village together and the worries of those missing loved ones are shared.  The choir becomes a formidable force and gain strength within themselves and their voices become clearer and sweeter.

Diary keeping was encouraged in these tough times to write down their thoughts, their daily routines and rituals, their hope for the future.  I loved how the author, Jennifer Ryan, split each chapter up with these journal entries from different characters in the story.  We see the story set out from different perspectives.  From women and girls of all ages seeing the war with different eyes.  One young woman in particular in the village was using the war and the choir to cover for the most immoral agreement between one of the village’s high ranked and obnoxious men and herself.  Greed was in the forefront between these two unscrupulous people.

Disaster was to strike shattering the very soul of the village but the ladies of the choir came together offering respite for themselves and also giving hope and encouragement to others.

This story was just so lovely.  It wasn’t all hearts and flowers though.  Jennifer Ryan opened our eyes to the world as it was in a very upsetting time.  Lives and livelihoods were lost but life had to go on and the women all over the country found an inner strength to keep everything going.  From the devastation of loss we could feel light and warmth with love finding its way through.  A truly, wonderful debut novel that I simply adored.  5/5*

To find out more about Jennifer Ryan please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.jenniferryanbooks.com/

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

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

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

You’ll Be Thinking of Me by DensieWebb book review

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You’ll Be Thinking of Me written by Densie Webb, publisher Soul Mate Publishing, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audio download format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

A chance encounter with a celebrity, an impromptu video, and a shiny new espresso machine. It all added up to a juicy tale for 24-year-old Rachael Allen to share with friends. But when her best friend posts the video online, bizarre threats, home break-ins, and deadly gifts from an obsessed fan follow close behind.  Mick Sullivan, the star in her video, offers to help and in the process, Rachael discovers that despite his reputation as a player of Olympian caliber, he’s down-to-earth—and emotionally damaged. He has secrets; some he’s shared only with his pseudo best friend. Others he’s shared with no one. But there’s one secret he’s hidden from himself, washed away by too many beers.  Despite wildly divergent life paths, their shared southern upbringing (and a passion for good music) creates a common thread that draws them together. As the threats escalate, and their relationship deepens, Rachael struggles to accept Mick’s past—and his present. And she is forced to confront her own obsessive love to ultimately decide if being with Mick Sullivan is worth the collateral damage.

YOU’LL BE THINKING OF ME is the story of Rachael’s serendipitous encounter with a celebrity, her brush with obsessive love, and the bittersweet gift left behind by the very person fixated on destroying her life.

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You’ll Be Thinking of Me is Densie Webb’s debut novel and after reading this dark, edgy romance I’m looking forward to more from Densie Webb; an author to look out for.

This is a dark, edgy romance detailing the full extent someone’s obsession will take them to which draws them onto a downhill cycle of self-destruction and anyone and anything that get’s in their way.

Rachael’s chance encounter with a celebrity brings her into danger.  The 24 year old was so excited and also dumbstruck to have met actor Michael Sullivan that the side effects are almost as unbelievable.  When Rachael first starts receiving threats she sorts of brushes them to the side but when tragedy strikes at her own door she can’t ignore them anymore.  Terrified and distraught she takes the evidence to the police but after receiving a muted response from them she goes to Michael Sullivan’s agency address and demands to see someone.  Michael casually walks in during this and offers to help Rachael and her family.  This offer of help unbeknown to Rachael and Michael brings them both in more danger.  However, this unexpected act of chivalry from Michael brings him and Rachael closer together and we get to hear about the ugly side of fame but also about Michael’s past.  Rachael is a sort of grounding influence on him.

Brenda, the young woman obsessed with Michael, is very deeply disturbed and has witnessed terrible things in her past.  We don’t get to see this side of Brenda until later on and it makes you feel a little sympathetic with her.  However, Brenda is so obsessed with Michael she can’t see anyway out of this road of destruction she’s led herself on.  Even with the help of a counselor Brenda refuses to open up about her feelings.  This road of destruction is very dark and deadly and you don’t really know what is going to happen next.

This was a page turning romance for me, I loved the heart warming elements of the story but the darker side kept me on edge and I literally couldn’t believe the extents to what a person with an unhealthy obsession would go to.  Fame and fortune isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, what you see in the glossy magazines and on the webpages is just a visual screen to what’s hiding underneath.  A great debut 5/5*

To find out more about Densie Webb please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.densiewebb.com/

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

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

 

Girl 99 by Andy Jones book review

 

girl-99

Girl 99 written by Andy Jones, publisher Lake Union Publishing, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audio download format.

To buy link:

 

Product Details (as per amazon page)

When Tom’s girlfriend walks out on him the day before Christmas, he feels humiliated but not necessarily heartbroken. Sadie wasn’t, after all, The One. If we’re being precise, she was number eighty-five.

And so, for reasons that are only mostly wrong, Tom embarks on a mission to bring his number of encounters up to a nice neat one hundred.

Over the course of his quest he sleeps with a colleague, a colleague of a friend, a friend of a friend, a friend of a friend’s wife, the estate agent selling his flat and several more besides.

Everything is going, if not well, then at least according to plan…and then Tom meets Verity. Whether she’s The One remains to be seen, but she’s certainly more than just another number.

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I was pleased to be involved in the blogtour yesterday with an extract from the book and you can read this post here.

This is my first introduction to Andy Jones work and I really enjoyed this romcom.  A modern day man’s bird’s eye view (get it!) of dating, life, relationships, families, love.  I loved the honesty in the author’s writing it was real and relatable.  Through all the fun elements of the story there were some very poignant moments that you could feel the vulnerability in Tom, the main character.

Tom has just recently split with his girlfriend Sadie and at the moment they both share the use of their mini car.  This however, was to prove disastrous.  Whilst Tom was out with his friend El the subject of his love life cropped up.  El set’s a goal with Tom, a bet with a £1000 wager to bed his 100th fair lady by a certain date.  El is terminally ill with Huntington’s disease, the disease is slowly taking over his body and mind which makes him talk very frankly.  The relationship Tom and El have is very endearing, one minute they can be having a right good laugh and a joke the next Tom will show his caring side with El.  It’s lovely but also very touching and sad.

Tom’s bet was on it’s way to the goal and at first Tom was quite complacent and enjoying himself.  However, he starts to see the challenge as a chore/obstacle and it starts messing with his life with almost disastrous results.  This change of thought seems to coincide with Tom’s developing friendship with Verity.  Verity is different to all the girls he’s met before and he feels kind of shy around her.

Tom’s relationship with his dad and sister was wonderful, heart warming and tragic to read.  These little interludes back with his family are very grounding for Tom.

This book Girl 99 was fun, heart warming, sexy, honest, it evoked real and raw emotions.  I really did enjoy the story and the humour softened the sadness and blended the atmosphere of the book harmoniously.  5/5*

To find out more about Andy Jones and his books please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.andyjonesauthor.com/

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

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

Let me introduce you to the newest blend from Jollybrew

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Jollybrew is a luxury and ethically sourced tea company based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.  The Team at Jollybrew do an excellent tea in the post service and with all UK orders there is free delivery with orders over £30 using code UKFREE30.  I first ordered and reviewed Jollybrew back in September 2016 my blogpost can be found here: Jolly Good Tea post: Jollybrew tea review and Q & A with the Team.  I’ve been adding to my Jollybrew collection regularly and when I heard that the team had blended a new brew I had to place an order.  Please let me introduce you to Lime Regis, a caffeine free herbal tea.

To buy link:

https://www.jollybrew.com/tea/lime-regis

Product Details and ingredients (as per Jollybrew page)

Where is this tea from:

Turkey, Egypt, Germany, China, Thailand and the USA.

Ingredients:

Apple pieces, Rosehip pieces, Hibiscus pieces, Lemon pieces, Lime pieces, Peppermint leaves, Lime leaves and Natural Flavours.

How To Make Me:

Put 1-2 generous teaspoons of loose leaf tea per cup of water in the teapot. Pour freshly boiled water over tea. Ideal brewing temperature – 100 degrees. Steep for about 5-10 minutes. Milk and sugar not recommended.

My thoughts on Lime Regis

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I’m enjoying my herbal tea even more and especially as it’s caffeine free it’s a drink you can enjoy any time of the day.  The first hit you get is the zesty aroma from the dried fruit and herbs, it’s quite uplifting.  Steeped for a good 5 minutes it develops into a lovely deep pink colour and you can taste the blend of fruits and leaves.  There is a wonderful zesty sparkle with this tea and it would be equally good served hot and chilled as an ice tea in warmer times.  The tea is only available in a sample pack at the moment but I’m hoping it will be housed in one of Jollybrew tins soon.

All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, the product owner may use elements of my review for quotes. 

To find out more about Jollybrew and their products do visit the following pages:

Website:  https://www.jollybrew.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jollybrew

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/jollybrew

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/jolly_brew/