The Map of Us by Jules Preston book review

the map of us

The Map of Us written by Jules Preston, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2jKDQSI

Product Details (as per amazon page)

 Violet North is wonderfully inconvenient. Abandoned by her family and lost in an imagined world of moors and adventure, her life changes in the space of just 37 words exchanged with a stranger at her front door.
Decades later, Daniel Bearing has inherited his father’s multi-million pound business, and is utterly lost. He has no idea who he is or where his life is headed.
When Violet’s granddaughter’s marriage falls apart, Tilly, always adept with numbers, compiles a detailed statistical report to pinpoint why. But the Compatibility Index Tilly creates has unforeseen consequences for everyone in her world.
Tilly and Daniel share a secret too. 10.37am, April 22nd.
Soon, a complex web of secrets and lies is exposed and an adventure begins with a blue typewriter…

sand sculpture clipart

The Map of Us is the debut novel by Jules Preston.  The storyline is quite a clever mix of family drama, grief, betrayal, bullying, diversity, courage and love.

The author’s writing style is full of wit and wisdom and had a multitude of short chapters.  At times, for me, I did find the storyline a little repetitive but by the end of the story all these character idiosyncrasies with their quirks and insecurities all made complete sense.  Now and again the author would throw a little line and it would completely melt my heart and would leave me feeling joyous.

Violet North was a very ill child and her parents treated her badly, once she reached adulthood they abandoned her and left her to her own devices.  This unbeknown to her family was the best thing that could have happened to her.  To while away her time Violet decided to write herself a companion and she wanted this companion to travel on the paths and roads, hills and mountains that she couldn’t.  Violet’s imagination was just wonderful and for a while this was all she needed in her life.

Matilda (Tilly) North is the youngest of three grandchildren to Violet North.  Tilly is a statistician and when her marriage broke down she decided to analysis it’s downfall with pages and pages of research and compatibility equations.  Tilly loved the simplicity of numbers, her brother Jack loved colour and her sister loved handbags.  Their father, who I adored, loved sand and sculpting amazing shapes and creations out of the sand.

These little quirks that each member of the family held was their own way of dealing with life and they were accepted for all that they were, as a family unit they blended perfectly.

A very fresh, imaginative approach to a love story.  A love story that has spanned decades and has weathered time.  I look forward to more from this promising new author Jules Preston.

About the Author

Jules Preston was born in London, and has had lots of jobs. Some good. Some bad. The best was cutting up national newspapers with a huge pair of scissors. He now lives in Devon, surrounded by piles of paper held together with bulldog clips. One day they might get turned into books too. Hopefully.

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jules_preston_

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

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Sweet Home Summer by Michelle Vernal blogtour book review

Sweet_Home_Summer_01_New

Sweet Home Summer written by Michelle Vernal, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/bKXcTQ

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Sometimes, home really is where the heart is…
Leaving behind her hi-flying career in London, Isla Brookes has had enough. Burnt out and tired of an unfulfilling profession and lousy boyfriends, it’s time for her to go home.
Arriving back in cosy Bibury to stay with her grandmother, Bridget, everything is charmingly familiar. Even her childhood sweetheart, Ben, is as handsome as she remembered…
And when she discovers a stack of long-forgotten Valentine’s Day cards, Isla, with the help of Ben, begins to realise exactly what is most important in life.

Sweet Home Summer Full 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 Michelle Vernal’s latest novel: Sweet Home Summer.

This was a lovely family saga, a story of two halves and told in two voices; gran Bridget’s coming of age and falling in love story set in 1957 and forward to the present day grandaughter Isla moving back home after 10 years in London following her burn-out professionally and personally.

After 10 years in London Isla Brookes was ready for a change, exhausted from work and her love life strains a new work-life balance was needed and Isla felt like the place to reflect on her future was back home in New Zealand.  Moving back in with her beloved gran Isla was ready to start again looking for a certain something to inspire her.  However, when she left home years ago she broke not only her own heart but another.  Seeing Ben again after so long has ignited a slow burning for her old flame but the timing is not right now as Ben has moved on.  Inspiration comes from an unlikely location but Isla feels a pull and feels totally reinvigorated with this new dream that is building inside her.

Living with her gran has given Isla some wonderful moments of nostalgia and when she unearths a secret her gran has kept hidden for so long Bridget soon starts reminiscing about the past.  A past that held a beautiful, touching blossoming love that was sadly thwarted by prejudices and tragedy.  Once Bridget starts unravelling her past she vows to make things right and sets a plan in action with the help of her granddaughter and her new friends.

I loved Isla’s relationship with her gran they were quite similar in personality and their love of baking I felt opened up the emotions from both gran and granddaughter.  Isla’s mother and father were a great pairing, her mum was so vivacious and young spirited, I loved the sound of the new keep-fit class NLNL.  Isla’s dad loved his hobbies and liked to spread this love to all around him.  The author, Michelle Vernal, has woven some humorous scenes in the storyline bringing much charm and character.  I also loved the sense of community spirit involvement helping out one of their own and also to a local cause that was an essential place to all in the village.  The secrets that started unravelling brought many mixed emotions and gave all those concerned reflection to what was important in the whole scheme of life.

A charming time-slip story filled with nostalgia, love, tragedy, inspiration and warmth.

To learn more about Michelle Vernal please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.michellevernalbooks.com/

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

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

Christmas Promises at the Little Wedding Shop by Jane Linfoot book review

christmas promise at the little wedding shop

Christmas Promises at the Little Wedding Shop written by Jane Linfoot, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2z1DLRs

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Christmas arrives at Brides by the Sea, Cornwall’s enchanting and most adorable little wedding shop.

There’s nothing more magical than a winter wonderland wedding, and the girls are determined to make this festive season their most romantic yet.

The champagne is on ice while the mistletoe is hanging from every nook, and the exquisite lace and pearl-encrusted dresses, glistening like the frosted shop windows, are waiting to be chosen.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and romance is most definitely in the crisp winter air- with promises, proposals and Christmas kisses aplenty…

What will the season bring, in this enchanting fourth book of ‘The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea’ series?

snowman clipart 1

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.

Christmas Promises at the Little Wedding Shop is the fourth book in The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea series.  Each book can be enjoyed as a standalone but to fully appreciate the back history I would whole heartedly recommend reading all books in the series.  The books in the series are:

  • The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea
  • Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop
  • Summer at the Little Wedding Shop
  • Christmas Promises at the Little Wedding Shop

I have been totally captivated and swept away by this contemporary romcom series by author Jane Linfoot.  The setting of a book series around a wedding shop located on the Cornish coast with it’s rugged and stunning vista ever changing with the seasons is so idyllic.  Readers are treated each time they open up any of the books in this series to a cast of warm hearted characters with female leads you want to be best friends with and I’m sure as each book is published the male leads get more adorable.

This story focuses on Holly who is returning to her hometown for the festive period to take photos for her friend’s wedding, which so happens to be taking place on the very beach besides the wedding shop.  Since fleeing from her surprise proposal almost a year ago Holly has been determined to avoid Christmas at all costs to help her get over her break-up from Luc.  However, as she promised to help at her friend’s wedding she has no choice and feels that she can just about manage with one wedding at Christmas.  However, St Aidan and The Wedding Shop are gearing up for a festive period filled with fun, love and lots of weddings.  The Wedding Shop’s regular photographer Jules has unfortunately had to pull out of taking the photos for the forthcoming Christmas weddings.  Emergency reinforcements are needed and the Wedding Shop team look to Holly to help out.  Holly’s self-esteem since the break-up is very low however, she has the help of local beer and wine merchant Rory on hand to help.  Rory also so happens to be her nemesis.  They connected when they were at school, very often Rory would tease Holly but secretly she enjoyed his companionship.

Both Holly and Rory have suffered heartache as a child.  However, Rory was very clever to hide his true emotions and he came across as the village rebel.  When you first read about Rory you can’t help but fall for his cheeky charm but when you see his true persona emerge there is a little vulnerability about him.  The introduction of two of the cutest characters, Gracie and Teddie, also help bring out more layers in Rory’s characters.  There are definitely some gorgeous ahhh moments.

Can two people with a shared mutual affinity of a loss still so sorely felt help each other to find the strength in themselves to tackle their fears?

Another beautiful, charming romance from Jane Linfoot.

To learn more about Jane Linfoot and her work please do visit the following pages:

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

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

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JaneLinfoot2

 

The Traveller’s Daughter by Michelle Vernal book review

the travellers daughter

The Traveller’s Daughter written by Michelle Vernal, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2el7paJ

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Her mother’s secret…

For fifty years Rosa kept the secrets of her past hidden from her beloved daughter, Kitty. The hurt and pain, the guilt over what she’d done, was something she could never face. But now the time has come to share the truth of Kitty’s heritage…

Her daughter’s discovery…

Kitty never knew anything about her mother’s early life. But after her death, the discovery of Rosa’s journal opens Kitty’s eyes to a whole new world-a family she’s never known and a love she’s never dreamed of…

The fate of a family…

Now Kitty must travel to her mother’s homeland, but after fifty years, can the sins of the past be forgiven? Or will history repeat itself? With a decades-old family feud threatening her future, can Kitty put right what once went so wrong?

Join Kitty as she follows in her mother’s footsteps from the South of France to Ireland, discovering who she is along the way in this beautiful tale of forbidden love and fancy cupcakes!

french macarons

This was a stunning emotive journey of discovering your heritage, a heritage that has been kept hidden from you since you were born 31 years ago.  A journey that opens up old wounds from a past that has never been forgotten, a journey that evokes so many emotions from newly felt wounds.  A journey of self-discovery.  A journey that starts healing the hurt and feuds from a past that almost felt lifetimes ago.  A beautiful love story in two parts spanning generations.  Michelle Vernal has written an intoxicating story filled with wonderful Irish dialect, charm and traditions surrounding the folklore and heritage of the travellers of Ireland.  I do love it when an author expresses her characters using a regional accent it brings the personas to life and you can feel their emotions more.

This story of a time slip romance and family saga is set in the current day with Kitty grieving for her recently deceased mother.  She is contacted by a stranger, a man that knew her mother who wishes for Kitty to travel to the south of France to retrace her mother’s steps in a pivotal moment in the man’s career and also one that was momentous for her mother.  A jpeg of a photo of her mother is attached with this message and Kitty is literally spellbound by the image of her mother as a young woman and the look of utter adoration at the young man aside of her.  As Kitty knew nothing of her mother’s past from before she married Kitty’s father she is intrigued to learn more.  She sets off on an unknown adventure to the south of France hoping to learn more of her mother’s upbringing and young adult life.

I adored this story from the present day of Kitty being flown to France and to the story of Rosa her mother growing up as a traveller in Ireland and falling in love with a young man from a family that held a longstanding feud with her own.  Hearing about the lifestyle of the travellers was fascinating and felt a little idealistic with their simple attitudes to life and moving along when the time felt right.  Life was ultimately very hard for the travellers but was faced with a strength and love to survive.

An evocative, emotive romance that I didn’t want to end.  This was my first introduction to the work of Michelle Vernal and I can’t wait to read more of her stories.

To find out more about Michelle Vernal please visit the following links:

Website:  http://www.michellevernalbooks.com/

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

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

The Big Dreams Beach Hotel by Lilly Bartlett blogtour/book review

Big Dreams Beach Hotel eBook UK

The Big Dreams Beach Hotel written by Lilly Bartlett, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2v9hvGH

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Three years after ditching her career in New York City, Rosie never thought she’d still be managing the quaint faded Victorian hotel in her seaside hometown.

What’s worse, the hotel’s new owners are turning it into a copy of their Florida properties. Flamingos and all. Cultures are clashing and the hotel’s residents stand in the way of the developers’ plans. The hotel is both their home and their family.

That’s going to make Rory’s job difficult when he arrives to enforce the changes. And Rosie isn’t exactly on his side, even though it’s the chance to finally restart her career. Rory might be charming, but he’s still there to evict her friends.

How can she follow her dreams if it means ending everyone else’s?

Big Dreams Blog Tour (1)

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour promoting and celebrating the launch of Lilly Bartlett’s new novel:  The Big Dreams Beach Hotel.

My review

This was a wonderfully, witty, warm romcom from Lilly Bartlett.  This story is a standalone novel so is a fabulous opportunity to try out a new author without the worry of not reading the first in a series.  Once again Lilly Bartlett has created a story full of fun, quirky and quintessential characters with scatterings of great humour the story easily captures your heart and imagination.

The story revolves around Rosie who has a dream of running her own hotel, preferably at a beach resort.  Her hospitality training has taken her far and wide and one of her first assignments was working at a hotel in New York.  New York is the city of possibilities and a chance encounter with an American called Chuck looking for help to organise his work’s party leads to possibilities of love and Rosie is soon besotted and charmed by this native.

Three years have passed since New York and Rosie is back in her hometown of Scarborough, East Yorkshire working in a local hotel.  A hotel that is currently full of northern charm and old fashioned values and has a real community spirit.  However, another American, in fact two brothers, shake up Rosie’s life and dream again.  The Americans have put a bid in to purchase the hotel and completely revamp it … without even seeing it or leaving their comfy chairs!  Crazy!

With the help of a Transition Manager called Rory, that is rather easy on the eye, Rosie comes up against many wild and hair brained ideas from the new owners.

Can the American’s quirky flamboyancy fit in with this quintessential English seaside resort hotel?

Can Rosie fulfil her dreams in life and love?

A fabulously fun read for the summer and beyond.

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

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

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

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

 

 

Cover Reveal – The Big Dreams Beach Hotel by Lilly Bartlett

I am so pleased to be able to reveal the cover of Lilly Bartlett’s new romcom which is due out in ebook on 18th August 2017.  The cover is so bright, cheerful and full of the warmth that we all hope summer will bring …

Big Dreams Beach Hotel eBook UK

To pre-order/buy link:  http://amzn.to/2utBfiZ

Product Details (as per amazon page)

This is a brand new standalone novel from the author of the Carlton Square series with a whole new cast of characters to fall in love with!

Wriggle your toes in the sand and feel the warm breeze on your face when you check into the hotel that’s full of dreams…

Three years after ditching her career in New York City, Rosie never thought she’d still be managing the quaint faded Victorian hotel in her seaside hometown.

What’s worse, the hotel’s new owners are turning it into a copy of their Florida properties. Flamingos and all. Cultures are clashing and the hotel’s residents stand in the way of the developers’ plans. The hotel is both their home and their family.

That’s going to make Rory’s job difficult when he arrives to enforce the changes. And Rosie isn’t exactly on his side, even though it’s the chance to finally restart her career. Rory might be charming, but he’s still there to evict her friends.

How can she follow her dreams if it means ending everyone else’s?

bunting

To connect with Lilly Bartlett/Michele Gorman please visit the following pages:

Website:  www.michelegorman.co.uk
Blog: http://michelegormanwriter.blogspot.com
Instagram: @michelegormanuk
Twitter: @MicheleGormanUK
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MicheleGormanBooks

 

Meet Me at the Lighthouse by Mary Jayne Baker book review

meet me at the lighthouse

Meet Me at the Lighthouse written by Mary Jayne Baker, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

’The day I turned 28, I bought a lighthouse and met the love of my life’

Bobbie Hannigan’s life in a cottage by the sea with her dog and her twin sister is perfectly fine … until she decides the logical thing is to buy a lighthouse and open a music venue with Ross Mason, the first boy she ever kissed.

Bobbie tries to be professional with Ross, but the happily-ever-after they’re working toward is too good to resist. That is until someone from his past crawls back to cause trouble. Can Bobbie look past the secrets Ross has been keeping from her? Or will the boy, the lighthouse, and the dream all slip away?

lighthouse and beam of light

When you fall in love with a story in a book it seems to make your whole world glow that little bit brighter and this is just how I feel about this story by Mary Jayne Baker.

Set in a little village on the Yorkshire coast a story to make your heart swell with love and pride for a couple that not only let love into their hearts but they gave up their spare time, cash and much more to turn a derelict building into an inspirational place to nurture music for all in the local community.

Bobbie Hannigan and her twin sister have lived in the small coastal village all their life.  During a night out when Bobbie catches the eye of the singer from the band playing at the local pub and then realising he is non other than Ross Mason, the first boy she ever kissed back in school.  Ten years gone and Ross has matured very nicely and reminiscing over the past the pair decide to buy a lighthouse and bring it back to it’s former glory and more turning it into a place of creativity encouraging new music talent; a dream that Ross has held for a while.

We follow the couple on their journey jumping through hoops with the restoration project.  We also follow Bobbie and Ross’ personal journey of moving on from traumas and broken hearts in the past.

The lighthouse proves to be a beacon of light of love, hope and inspiration.

A wonderful story filled with Yorkshire charm, wit and warmth.  Characters to fall in love with and to champion.  A story that is deliciously sexy and so romantic.  A story you want to shine brightly for a long time 5/5*

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

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

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

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