Breaking all the Rules by Rachael Richey book review

breaking all the rules

Breaking all the Rules written by Rachael Richey, publisher The Wild Rose Press, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Kate is getting married in a month. Richard, her fiancé, is a lawyer: rich, successful, and very good-looking. She’s definitely in love with him. No doubt about that.

So when Sam, a good friend and her high school crush, returns after eight years of traveling, she doesn’t care. After all, he never actually asked her out, and then he went traveling without her, contrary to their plans. She only agrees to go to dinner with him in order to hear all his news, so why doesn’t she tell him she’s getting married? And is he still bothered by the tragedy eight years ago?

Sometimes life just gets too complicated, and Kate finds she keeps having Very Bad Ideas, which lead to even more complications. Just three days before her wedding, she finds herself in a situation that demands the biggest decision of her life.

Dartmoor

Breaking all the Rules is the new standalone romcom from Rachael Richey.  I adored Rachael’s previous books and was a little worried with this new novel and that I’d be missing my favourite characters Gideon and Abi from Rachael’s The NightHawk series.  However, I needed no fear as I soon fell in love with the characters from this story, especially Sam and was captivated by the storyline.

The story is set in Devon and Kate is 3 weeks away from her wedding to lawyer Richard.  Kate and Richard have been dating 3 years and Kate was so happy when Richard proposed.  However, when Kate bumps into Sam Somerville her life is about to get a whole lot more complicated.  Sam was a good friend of Kate’s at school, secretly she had a massive crush on him.  However, tragedy struck and Sam escaped the country and went travelling.  It was led to believe that the reason Sam fled was due to his broken heart however, eight years on and he is back in the village wanting to catch up with Kate.  Tragic events in the past are brought to the surface which go some way to explain certain directions that were made one fateful night.

Kate is gobsmacked to see Sam and her heart soon starts fluttering and she is left with feelings of nostalgia.  Kate agrees to go for a catch up with him, as friends.  After this catch up Kate is left pondering whether she actually still loves her fiancé Richard.

We follow Kate on her contemplative three week journey leading up to her wedding.  Will her confused mind be clearer on the wedding day?

I loved this romcom.  It was full of fun with some wonderful wit and humour in the storyline.  There was a poignant side to the story full of miscommunicated feelings and it left you with thoughts of “what if.”  Funny, heartwarming and very readable.  A perfect read for fans of Lindsey Kelk, Carmen Reid, Helen Fielding and Sophie Kinsella.

To find out more about Rachael Richey please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.rachaelricheybooks.weebly.com/

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

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

Dreaming of Venice by T.A. Williams blogtour and book review

dreaming of venice

Dreaming of Venice written by T.A. Williams, publisher Canelo, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Find love, friendship and prosecco – in the magical city of Venice

Life is tough for Penny. A dead end job in a London café, a boyfriend in Australia (what could go wrong?) and an art career going nowhere. But then Penny is approached with an extraordinary proposition.

It isn’t going to be easy but, if she can pull it off, she will turn her life around and at long last see the fulfilment of her dream – to visit Venice. And, just maybe, find true happiness with the handsome man of her dreams.

But can dreams come true?

dreaming of venice blogtour poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the release of T.A. Williams latest novel, Dreaming of Venice.

I absolutely loved this story it has literally left me dreaming of Venice; browsing through galleries, visiting historical sites and finding pirates!

The story starts off with quite a dramatic event in Penny’s life.  This drama pushes Penny into the spotlight.  As a struggling artist after graduating with an MA in Art and History Penny takes up employment in a café to make ends meet.  This sudden stardom brings a mysterious stranger to the café where Penny works offering her a job filled with secrets and intrigue.  As money is sparse and Penny’s dreams of making it in the art world are never far from her thoughts she is eager to find out more of this proposition.

Will this unusual proposition bring Penny closer to her dreams?

This story had it all for me.  I instantly was charmed by the characters, I could emphasise with Penny, her dreams of doing what she loved still evident and she was determined to work to help reach her goal.  There were some quirky characters in the café and I adored Jimmy he was fun, frivolous, cheeky but had a heart of gold.  I was swept away with the storyline and at the end of each chapter I was eager to continue and find out what happens next.  I was romanticised with the love of culture of Venice and this gorgeous story.

As always T.A. Williams takes us on a scenic journey and you can appreciate the research he has made for this story as you feel the love for the detailing spelled out on the pages.  I believe this is one of Trevor’s best stories 5/5*

To find out more about T.A. Williams and his books please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://tawilliamsbooks.com/

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

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

Venice at night

Image courtesy of Lonely Planet

The Duke’s Unexpected Bride by Lara Temple book review

the duke's unexpected bride

The Duke’s Unexpected Bride written by Lara Temple, publisher Mills & Boon Historical is available NOW in ebook and in paperback format from 4th May 2017.

To buy link:

https://www.millsandboon.co.uk/p52715/the-dukes-unexpected-bride.htm

If you buy direct from Mills & Boon you will have access to many benefits, including:

  • Receive new books first
  • Exclusive discounts
  • Book bundle deals
  • Author interviews and book release information

The book is also available from amazon, iBooks, WHSmith and Waterstones.

Product Details (as per Mills & Boon page)

From country miss…to London duchess!

Sophie Trevelyan has been enjoying her visit to London, even if her closest companion is an overweight pug! Then she encounters the dashing Duke of Harcourt, who intrigues her more than is strictly proper…

Max knows he must marry. He’s looking for the opposite of his high-spirited fiancée, who died some years ago, so he tries to keep his distance from bubbly Sophie. But when her life is endangered, Max feels compelled to rescue her…with a very unexpected proposal!

pug

This was my first introduction to the words of Lara Temple and it was such a treat.  A ravishing Regency romp with wonderful charm, characters, gripping dramatic storyline, a history that was tied to 3 men that left each one damaged, a sensual desirable coupling with so much chemistry they can’t help but be drawn to each other and not forgetting a podgy, stubborn little dog called Marmaduke.

Sophie Trevelyan was staying at her Aunt’s house in London.  Her country ways from her home in Devon wasn’t enough to prepare her for society in London but Sophie held a compassion in her heart and her openness with people soon charmed them.  Sophie’s first hurdle though was to try and gain trust in her Aunt’s favourite pet, a podgy little pug that was stubborn and lazy called Marmaduke.

I loved how the author, Lara Temple, fitted this wonderful furry friend in this story.  Marmaduke’s personality in a way reflected in Max’s (Duke of Harcourt).

When Sophie met Max she was astonished with him and was left almost speechless with his supreme statuesque handsome features.  One of my favourite quotes by Lara was about Max with Sophie stating he was

so unfairly male

A friendship of sorts blossomed between the pair but Sophie was so different to the ladies that were paraded in front of him with the hope of becoming his Duchess.

The storyline held a darkness within it and a stunning seductress had three men at her beck and call but her greed was to be her downfall.  Years later these men were still beholden to this temptress and walls were built around their heart and soul.  It had to be a special woman to break down the wall that Max had built around himself.  However, Sophie’s life became in peril bringing a whole new twist to the darkness that has surrounded these three men.

A very delectable romance that oozed chemistry with class 5/5*

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

Website:  http://www.laratemple.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/laratemple1

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

Falling for the Rebel Princess by Ellie Darkins book review

falling for the rebel princess

Falling for the Rebel Princess written by Ellie Darkins, publisher Mills & Boon Cherish (Harlequin) is available in ebook format from 1st May 2017 and paperback format from 9th May 2017.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

From princess to rock-star royalty!

Self-proclaimed “black sheep” Princess Charlie of Afland has worked long and hard to be taken seriously in the music industry, managing to keep her royal obligations, and her secret heartbreak, under the radar. Until one night in Vegas changes everything…

Rock star Joe Kavanagh gets more from his Vegas gig than he’d bargained for…a princess bride and a PR story to die for! As the initial attraction, which led them down the aisle, turns into something deeper, keeping their marriage strictly business proves increasingly difficult…

rockstar silhouette

I loved this romantic novel by Ellie Darkins it was full of fun and frolics, gorgeous heartwarming moments and the chemistry between the main characters was sizzling off the pages.

Since she was born Charlie (aka Princess Caroline Mary Beatrice of Afland) has been portrayed as the Poster Princess.  Charlie was fed up of the constraints of Royal life and wanted to make her own way in the world.  After leaving the island of Afland nearly 10 years ago Charlie headed for London to work in the music industry.  She loved her job finding new music talent and her latest assignment was to travel to Vegas to try and persuade an up and coming rock group to sign to their label.  Charlie got more than she bargained for on her business trip to Vegas; she came back with a husband, rock star Joe Kavanagh.

Once the unlikely couple had woken from their eventful night in Vegas they started to recall the monumental incident that had occurred.  What sounded like fun at the time has turned into a big commitment in the morning.  Can Charlie, the princess and rock star Joe turn this mistake into a positive?

The PR wagons have been rolling overnight and the Press are loving this collaboration.  Can the couple pull of this masquerade and make the love story look real?

We follow Charlie and Joe coming to terms with this unexpected marriage.  Both Charlie and Joe have heartache in their past to overcome.  Maybe this unlikely union is just what they need?

A gorgeous story.  The sizzling chemistry between Charlie and Joe was so evident and you were left with thoughts of ‘will they won’t they’ give in to their desires for each other?  Another great read from romantic novelist Ellie Darkins.  5/5*

To find out more about Ellie Darkins and her books please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.elliedarkins.com/

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

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

Darjeeling Tea Taste Test

darjeeling tea pickers

Following the success of my Earl Grey Taste Test last month I and a fellow instagram tea drinker decided to conduct a Darjeeling Taste Test.

I have a great informative Tea book, titled The Tea Book by Linda Gaylard, the following is an extract regarding Darjeeling tea.

The Darjeeling region of India may cover only 181sq km (70 sq miles), but it produced one of the most famous teas in the world.  Cool temperatures and high altitudes produce leaves with aromatic flavours that are highly acclaimed.

Located in the state of West Bengal in north India.  Darjeeling sits at the edge of the Himalayas.  A well-established tea-growing region, some of its 87 tea estates date back to the mid-1800s.  Darjeeling produces only 1.13 per cent of India’s total output of tea, but it is of such high quality that it is protected by Geographical Indication.

Var. sinensis is grown here along with some var. assamica hybrids.  The high elevation, q1,000-2,100m (3,280-6,890ft) influences the flavour of the finished tea.  The leaves grow very slowly because they are constantly shrouded in cool mist. During the growing season, the plants respond well to warm days and cool evenings. These conditions help to create intense flavour in the leaves.

Tea is harvested three times a year with a dormant period between each picking seach.  Each ‘flush’, or surge of bud growth on the tea plant, has a distinct flavour character.  First flush if the most piquant, second flush has a complex profile, while autumnal flush has deeper maltier flavours.

This test had 11 very good quality looseleaf tea contenders from 6 different UK tea merchants consisting of:

I wanted to do a blind taste test so I numbered cups with a corresponding tea infuser/teapot against the numbered list of teas.  I used just less than a teaspoon of tea for each cup and used 200ml of boiling water and steeped for 2 minutes.

This resulted in eleven cups of varying colours of amber liquid.

darjeeling ready cups

Sipping each one I took notes on colour, taste and aroma and must admit it was quite a task.  All the teas were very drinkable but there were three that stood out for me.

darjeeling star

The runners up were Darjeeling from Canton Tea Co; a 1st Flush Makaibari Darjeeling from The Tea Experience UK and my favourite today was an Autumnal Flush Darjeeling from Northern Tea Merchants.  The Autumnal Flush from Northern Tea had a lovely aroma with a full flavoured Darjeeling taste, the colour of the brew was a golden amber and it was just lovely and mellow to drink.  I would happily drink all of the eleven teas I tried and would like to thank the tea merchants for bringing this tea to the UK for us all to enjoy.

A Warriner to Protect Her by Virginia Heath book review

a warriner to protect her

A Warriner to Protect Her written by Virginia Heath, publisher Mills & Boon Historical, is available soon in ebook and paperback format.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

An heiress in distress and an earl in disgrace…
When heiress Violet Dunston escapes from an abduction, she finds an unlikely protector in Jack Warriner — a member of one of England’s most infamous families. Ensconced with mysterious Jack behind his manor’s walls, soon escape is the last thing on Letty’s mind!
Jack may be an earl, but his father’s exploits have left him with nothing to offer except a tarnished name. He’s turned his back on the ton
, but with Letty tempting him day and night, he finds himself contemplating the unthinkable–a society marriage!

regency couple silhouette

A Warriner to Protect Her is the first book in a new series by Virginia Heath.  The series is called The Wild Warriners and is set around four brothers Jack, Jamie, Joe and Jacob.  The Warriner boys live on a remote farm in Nottinghamshire and life on a farm was tough in 1813.  They are trying to rebuild the reputation of the family that has been sullied with gambling, drinking, cheating and tragedy.

The story begins with a terrifying ordeal for young heiress Violet Dunston.  She finds herself drugged and bound in a carriage heading for Gretna Green and her fate from thereon is fraught with danger.  Violet sadly lost her parents a few years ago, she has been left a huge inheritance which is due to be released on her 21st birthday, just over a month away.  She has become quite the catch in society with this inheritance looming.  Violet manages to escape from the carriage and runs scared for her life.  She stumbles across a lone horseman, Jack Warriner.  Jack can see the fear in Violet’s eyes and can also see that she is badly hurt.  Without any further hesitation he picks her up and caries her back to his farmhouse.

Jack’s brothers are shocked by this unexpected visitor but soon rally round caring for the forlorn young woman.  Jack can sense fear still in the young woman and realises whoever she is afraid of could be closeby searching for her.  He vows to protect her.  Can Jack protect Violet from her kidnappers and keep her safe till she can collect her rightful inheritance?

I loved this story.  It was deliciously moreish!  The Warriner brothers had grown up under a cloud and were doing all they could to break free from this tarnish in their family history.  The boys had grown up into strong handsome men and reminded me a little of The Musketeers, the bond they shared was unbreakable.  A young beautiful woman suddenly in their household brought new challenges to Jack.  He was struggling with his desire but his responsibility for the young woman was at the forefront of his mind.

A gorgeous Regency romance with swoon worthy male characters, all four brother would set your heart a flutter.  A daring, dramatic historical romance that is deliciously moreish 5/5*

To find out more about Virginia Heath please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.virginiaheathromance.com/

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

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

Duplicity by Lisa J Hobman book review

 

duplicity

Duplicity written and self-published by Lisa J Hobman is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Fin Hunter has spent his life striving for his father’s elusive love and approval by following a life path set out for him and not of his own choosing. However, when he is yet again blamed for something out of his control, he snaps. Deciding to stand on his own two feet, he chooses to follow his true passion – music. But will he find real happiness?

Star Mendoza is living her dream in Edinburgh, a place she discovered in British novels while growing up in a small USA town. Now working in a city coffee shop, the tattooed, pink-haired young woman fantasises about the handsome businessman she serves daily. He’s totally out of her league but a girl can dream. Suddenly he stops calling in only to show up again in the most unlikely of places. Could her fantasy now become a reality? Or is the attraction of opposites doomed to fail?

edinburgh castle

I adored this story from Lisa J Hobman, her ninth contemporary romance novel.  Lisa’s words have a way of drawing you into the location of the storyline and the characters, I felt that I was there living the hopes and dreams and riding the waves of the emotions with the characters.  I also feel that Lisa is a great advocate for Scotland and its raw, natural beauty.  This particular story takes us to Edinburgh where we follow two particular people very different from each other who find a magnetic pull between them that keeps drawing them together.

Fin Hunter is a shy man who from a young age has tried to gain his parent’s love and attention and to please them.  Fin’s parents have had a great deal of guidance shall we say in his life, they persuaded him to take up law and work for the family firm and lined up a very suitable young lady for a wife for him.  The story starts when Fin is due to marry this suitable young lady.  Fin was petrified his life was running out of control, he was confused to how he truly felt about Elise, his bride to be.  When events don’t go to plan Fin starts to realise that maybe this is the jolt he needed to step back from his parents stronghold and stand on his own two feet and learn to experience life’s greatest adventure of finding true love.  With his professional and personal life in turmoil Fin finds solace with his friends at the local club, which so happens to be karaoke night.  Fin has always loved music, especially rock, through the bravado of alcohol Fin takes to the stage and literally rocks the place.  This shy, unassuming man turns into a rock god with a voice oozing sex appeal.  The audience love him and he catches the eye of a certain pink haired young woman.

Star Mendoza moved from America to live her dream of working and living in the city she read about in her favourite novels, Edinburgh.  Star is a very likeable young woman who loves to be individual with her style, which at present she is rocking a striking pink and blonde hair do.  Star loves working in the coffee shop especially when a shy, suited young man pops in for his daily caffeine fix.  Star is disappointed when she learns something about this young man and when he disappears for a while she is left forlorn.  However, seeing him at the club in a totally different light mesmerises her.  Like polar opposites the pair are attracted to each other.  However, Fin has a lot of personal heartache to deal with and is so confused with which way to turn and who to trust anymore.

Can this unlikely pair help each other overcome obstacles and help them learn to trust and find the true meaning of love?

This story was gloriously addictive.  I fell for Fin, the pressure he was under, his whole life was just so tragic, a childhood and now adulthood of lost opportunities.  When his double persona was unleashed it was exciting and quite captivating to watch him unfurl.  The chemistry between Fin and Star was felt in abundance and my heart broke for each hurdle they had to face.  A stunning, emotive story 5/5*

To find out more about Lisa J Hobman please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.lisajhobman.com/

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

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