Izzy As Is by Tracie Banister book review

izzy as is book cover

Izzy As Is written and self-published by Tracie Banister is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/xFAZrj

Product Details (as per amazon page)

The party is over for bikini model Izzy Alvarez. For six years she’s made a good living by flaunting her God-given assets on runways and in front of cameras, but now as she approaches the big 3-0, the bodacious Latina is shocked to learn she’s aged out of the profession that’s kept her in mojitos, mani/pedis, and designer thongs. What’s a girl with a taste for the finer things in life and no marketable skills to do?

Getting a regular job is too boring to even consider, so Izzy decides to follow in the footsteps of her newly-engaged frenemy and become a trophy wife. Although she’s desperate and too broke to get a chipped nail fixed, Izzy still has standards for her future husband, which means no uggos, no vertically-challenged guys, and no geezers who need to pop a blue pill to perform in the bedroom. Enlisting the aid of her computer whiz nephew and her closest pals, Izzy goes on the prowl for a rich, marriage-minded man, encountering likely candidates in a lot of unlikely places.

The high life she’s dreamed of may be within reach when Izzy meets a charming, successful man who’s not only hotter than a steamy summer night in Miami, but ready to settle down. Now all Izzy has to do is make sure her loud, crazy Cuban family doesn’t scare off el hombre perfecto—oh, yeah, and squelch those pesky, romantic feelings she keeps having for the sweet, cash-strapped guy she’s known forever.

Will Izzy’s hunger for money win out, or will her fiery heart demand to be heard?

flamingo clipart

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.

This is a fabulous romcom and perfect material to cheer up a cold winter’s day.  With the setting in colourful Miami and with a vivacious character like Izadora Alvarez you can’t help but smile.  We first met Izzy as a sub-character from In Need of Therapy.  I haven’t had the pleasure of reading this novel so I didn’t have any back history regarding her character however, this did not impair me at all as the author clearly described the setting of the story and the character so well and I soon slotted into the Cuban mayhem that befits Izzy.

The bright, beautiful, sexy Izzy has been blessed by her looks and curvaceous body.  For so long these attributes have earned her a good living modelling but now Izzy is approaching 30 modelling agencies are not insensitive with Izzy’s fast approaching birthday.  With decent jobs being given to the younger models Izzy now needs to find new work fast to keep her in the lifestyle she is accustomed to.  Izzy feels that the only option she has is to find herself a rich husband pronto!

Armed with her new quest Izzy starts her search for Mr Right.  With some rather interesting applicants along the way can Izzy find the one that has it all?

I loved Izzy’s character.  This Latino lovely was so vivacious, outspoken, sometimes a little unorthodox but she had a heart of gold.  She was eternally loyal to her family and friends.  Her Cuban family were such a myriad of characters and fun to read about.  They were quite overwhelming but lovable all the same.  Initially, Izzy feels that all she has to offer is her looks but the more she learns about herself when she has to step up to the mark helping her loved ones she soon realises that she is more than a pretty face.

A fun, fabulous, frolicking read that had such a lovely romance intertwined within the storyline.  I hope to hear more from this crazy Cuban family from Miami.

To learn more about the author Tracie Banister please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://traciebanister.blogspot.co.uk/

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

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/tracie.banister

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Winter at The Cosy Cottage Café by Rachel Griffiths book review

winter at the cosy cottage cafe

Winter at The Cosy Cottage Café written and self-published by Rachel Griffiths is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2A4EHZ3

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Camilla Dix is fiercely independent. Growing up, she had to be strong for her mother and younger sister after her father left them for a new life in Benidorm. Camilla has kept her heart firmly closed to love, and never allows her relationships with men to develop into anything serious.

Tom Stone moved to Heatherlea for a fresh start. He’s been hurt in the past and has no intention of making himself vulnerable again. The only company he wants at night is that of his rescue British Bulldog Hairy Pawter.

However, when Camilla and Tom meet, they can’t deny their mutual attraction, and something deeper soon develops between them.

As snows falls over Heatherlea, mulled wine flows and festive carols fill the air, but can Camilla and Tom put their fears aside and trust each other enough to let love in?

bulldog in the snow

 

This was such a treat to return to one of my favourite cafes (shame it’s fictional)!  Rachel Griffiths has created an idyllic setting for her new book series and Winter at The Cosy Cottage Café is our third outing to the café.  Each book can be read as a standalone but to fully immerse yourself in this picturesque landscape and the characters that the author has created I would fully recommend reading all the books in the series in chronological order.  The books now available are:

  • Summer at The Cosy Cottage Cafe
  • Autumn at The Cosy Cottage Cafe
  • Winter at The Cosy Cottage Cafe

and coming soon …

  • Spring at The Cosy Cottage Café

I instantly felt like I was re-visiting my very own book family as Rachel Griffiths has created a lovely myriad of characters for this series.  Characters written with warmth and humour and all set around The Cosy Cottage Café in the fictional country village of Heatherlea.

This story focuses on Camilla, the older sister of Dawn and the glamorous career woman from the friendship group that live in the village and congregate at the café.  Due to heartbreak in the past Camilla is wary of committing to a relationship but when a new vet turns up in the village Camilla is instantly attracted but is confused with her growing feelings.

Vet Tom has recently moved to the village following his own heartbreak, with the unique help of his trusted dog HP he is trying to settle into a new community.

With the festive season in full flow the storyline weaves around Christmas markets with festive foodie treats and handmade toys.  Family and relationship unrest but with a close friendship circle any unsettling is minimised by the love of the community within.

This was such a fun, festive read and the author has given us so many comical moments in this story.  A story of letting go of the past and opening your heart to new beginnings.  Cosy, comforting, full of laughter and festive sparkle.

To learn more about Rachel Griffiths and her work please do visit the following pages:

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

 

 

 

Christmas in Whitehorse Bay by Emily Anne Brandon book review

christmas in whitehorse bay

Christmas in Whitehorse Bay written and self-published by Emily Anne Brandon is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2AnzFWt

Product Details (as per amazon page)

It’s happening! Angus and Ruth, Whitehorse Bay’s favourite young-at-heart couple, are tying the knot.

Lexy loves father-figure Angus and village gossip Ruth to pieces and she’s thrilled to be chief organiser of the festive extravaganza. Not that it’s an elaborate affair, but she’s got a few top-secret plans to put into practice.

Until the snow starts.

Being on the Scottish coast, snow doesn’t ordinarily last longer than a day or two. However, the flurries don’t seem to be letting up, and the village is thrown into turmoil as everyone realises there’s no way in and no way out. Lexy is stressed, the villagers are on edge, and what is up with the hush-hush tones and sneaky looks between Lexy’s fiancé and her best friend?

The wedding has been the talk of the town for months and Lexy is desperate for the big day to go ahead as planned. If everyone pitches in, perhaps all will not be lost. Plus, people get ordained online all the time, don’t they?

christmas tree in snow

I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon cosied up inside with a hot drink, scented candle burning and a festive treat of a novella by Emily Anne Brandon.  It was the perfect read for a cold winter’s day and it left me chuckling, smiling and warmed my heart.

Christmas in Whitehorse Bay is our second visit to the Scottish coastal village.  I would highly recommend reading Love on the Rocks:  Summer in Whitehorse Bay prior to this novella as you will then fully appreciate the history surrounding the characters and will enjoy the full Whitehorse Bay experience.

I instantly felt reacquainted with Lexy, Jamie, Poppy, Graeme, Angus and Ruth and it was great to learn about new residents in the bay.

The story starts off with Lexy in full wedding planner mode organising Angus and Ruth’s forthcoming Christmas wedding.  Lexy is very vibrant and is buzzing with wonderful and quite frankly extravagant ideas for the couple.  But as the months fly by and December approaches the Scottish winter weather starts to become a threat for this wedding planner extraordinaire.  Excited and super organised Lexy becomes paranoid and starts to panic about her preparations.

Will the wedding take place?  Will Lexy’s carefully thought out plans come to fruition?  Why are Lexy’s two most important people in her life acting strange?

A fabulous, fun filled festive treat of a read.  Once again Emily Anne Brandon held me captive to the storyline with her great dialect including wonderful wit and humour … I could feel the characters coming to life.  I’m hoping for more from the residents of Whitehorse Bay.

To learn more about Emily Anne Brandon and her work please visit the following pages:

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

 

 

Away for Christmas by Jan Ruth book review

away for christmas

Away for Christmas, written and self-published by Jan Ruth, is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  myBook.to/Away4Xmas

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Jonathan Jones has written a novel. Losing his job a few days before Christmas means the pressure is on for his book to become a bestseller, but when his partner drops her own bombshell, the festive holiday looks set to be a disaster.
When he’s bequeathed a failing bookshop in their seaside town, it seems that some of his prayers have been answered, but his publishing company turn out to be not what they seem, and when his ex-wife suddenly declares her romantic intent, another Christmas looks set to be complicated.
Is everything lost, or can the true meaning of words, a dog called Frodo, and the sheer magic of Christmas be enough to save Jonathan’s book, and his skin?

rocking horse

Away for Christmas is a 107 page novella by author Jan Ruth.  Jan Ruth is a contemporary women’s fiction writer and sets her stories in the countryside, specifically her beloved Welsh countryside.  I really enjoyed Away for Christmas, so much that I didn’t want it to end, this was mainly because the storyline is set around a bookshop, which is every book lover’s dream to own and run their own bookshop.This festive story tackles real life issues which made the storyline and characters more easily recognisable.

Jonathan Jones was a despondent accountant in a lovely coastal town in Wales.  For the last year or two his mind has been more focused on words rather than numbers as he is an aspiring author.  With his first book written he was now part way through his second novel and was obsessed with getting his characters and ideas in his head noted down.  After a particular bad day at work he makes a radical decision about his career.  With a failed marriage under his belt he’s hoping his relationship with Charlotte will not go the same way as his writing obsession does have the habit of taking over his life.

We follow Jonathon’s journey fulfilling his dreams of seeing his own books in print in a bookshop.  His steps to become a published author hit many wrong turns and you are left wondering whether Jonathon will realise his dreams.  We also follow his relationship woes and over the months and years pursuing his writing career he is given time to ponder his future.

Jan Ruth transported me to the ruggedness of Wales with it’s natural beauty.  I fell in love with the rundown bookshop and could picture it in my head and also images were swimming around my head of my very own imaginary book shop.  The text flowed very well and I was sad to see the story come to an end.

A festive story that will entertain and inspire you.

To learn more about Jan Ruth please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://janruth.com/

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

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

The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale by Rebecca Stonehill book review

the secret life of alfred nightingale

The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale written and published by Rebecca Stonehill is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2zFC5xi

Product Details (as per amazon page)

A compelling page turner of a buried past resurfacing, set against a backdrop of the 1960’s youth culture and war torn Crete.

1967. Handsome but troubled, Jim is almost 18 and he lives and breathes girls, trad jazz, Eel Pie Island and his best friend, Charles. One night, he hears rumours of a community of young people living in caves in Matala, Crete. Determined to escape his odious, bully of a father and repressed mother, Jim hitchhikes through Europe down to Matala. At first, it’s the paradise he dreamt it would be. But as things start to go wrong and his very notion of self unravels, the last thing Jim expects is for this journey of hundreds of miles to set in motion a passage of healing which will lead him back to the person he hates most in the world: his father.

Taking in the counter-culture of the 1960’s, the clash of relationships between the WW2 generation and their children, the baby boomers, this is a novel about secrets from the past finally surfacing, the healing of trauma and the power of forgiveness.

A captivating story that will mesmerise fans of Lucinda Riley, Dinah Jefferies and Tracy Rees.

caves of Matala

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.

This was such a profoundly moving novel that evoked many emotions in me.  A story cleverly told in two different time frames from two generations of one family going through a pivotal time in their own lives which would leave a lasting impression forever.

The author, Rebecca Stonehill, swept me away to a time in 1967, to a place of free spirit, young love and a time of self-discovery.  This particular part of the story was quite fascinating.  An adventure for the youngsters who quite bravely took this journey.  The caves of Matala with their steeped history intrigued me and with the backdrop of the beach and sea I can understand the draw especially with the Mediterranean temperatures.  For young Jim though, who was hellbent on escaping the stifling relationships at home, it wasn’t the idyllic retreat he expected.  As the days drew on he felt like something was missing, he was hurting inside with unresolved angst from home and the young love he craved wasn’t like he’d dreamed.

I was then transported back to a beautiful coastal area of Crete to 1940 when British forces were posted to defend Suda Bay and the British ships.  This beautiful area was soon to become tarnished and the locals and military personnel were fearing for their lives due to the onset of WWII.  Rebecca Stonehill took me to this terrifying time when the man you eat, sleep, work with becomes your closest friend in the world.  He’s your brother in arms that you will trust with your life and share your innermost thoughts with.  We see a different side to a character that our first impressions of are so far from the truth.

The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale is a historical timeslip novel about friendship, about self-discovery, about grief, about young love and much, much more.  Beautifully poignant, emotive and informative.

To learn more about Rebecca Stonehill and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://rebeccastonehill.com/

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

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

Zenka by Alison Brodie book review

Zenka_Final

Zenka written and self-published by Alison Brodie is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2AlpBe1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Devious, ruthless, and loyal.

Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?

Maid-Marigold

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.

Zenka is Alison Brodie’s 6th published book; I’ve had the pleasure to read three of these books and each one has been a joy to read.  Alison Brodie has a great writing style taking you on a journey with the characters using dialect to help you be fully immersed in their personalities and traits.  Adding in wonderful wit and humour you leave Alison Brodie’s novels with a sense of satisfaction that it was an entertaining and enjoyable read.
Zenka is a dark, romantic comedy about Jack Murray, a London gangster, who saved a couple of Romanian girls from a fate filled with slavery and fear.  One of these girls is Zenka.  Zenka is bright, vivacious, intelligent and beautiful.  Since being saved by Jack she vows to be his guardian angel and soon picks up the unorthodox gangster ways with a fabulous twist of feminine ways.
When Jack learns he may be the father of a young man he swears to go on the straight and narrow, secretly flinging expensive gifts and money to his long lost son’s way. But finding out his son is shy and downtrodden Jack feels he needs to help build his confidence and there is no better person for the job than Zenka.  Zenka sprinkles some of her own magic Nicholas’ way and sets in motion a chain of events that will change the future for many.  However, neither Jack, Zenka or Nicholas have figured that love may be on the agenda.
A crazy fun-filled dark romantic comedy that you just don’t know what’s going to happen next. Jack Murray reminded me in a way of a ‘Robin Hood’ type character; in his own unorthodox way he was helping out those in need.  I loved Zenka’s dialect and her letters back home that were very honest and quite funny with her parting shot each time.  Zenka was such a brilliant, quirky character and I could imagine the author had so much fun creating her.  4.5/5*
To learn more about Alison Brodie please visit the following pages:

 

Englishwoman at Christmas by Jenny O’Brien book review

englishwoman at christmas

Englishwoman at Christmas written and self-published by Jenny O’Brien is available NOW in paperback format and the ebook version will be available on 31st October 2017.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2yS6L0A

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Englishwoman at Christmas, a standalone romance and last in this current series.
Holly Branch has it all. She’s rich, famous and beautiful but, after a disastrous early marriage, she’s also deeply distrustful of men, all men…
Lord Oliver Ivy has it all. He’s rich, titled and handsome. He’s also a world renowned plastic surgeon, or he was… Now he’s an emotional wreck seeking solace in the bottom of a whiskey bottle.
When fate decides to play a trick on these two strangers, by dumping them in Cornwall in the middle of a snow-storm, fate gets a shock…

Note from author. When my twins asked to have a book dedicated to them, of course it was going to be jam-packed with twins…

country cottage in the snow

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.

I’ve really enjoyed the Englishwoman in series by Jenny O’Brien and Englishwoman at Christmas is sadly the last in this series.  I’m hoping the author Jenny O’Brien may revisit this series later on as a romantic novel written around the lives and loves of modern day aristocracy has captured my imagination and I haven’t read many contemporary stories that have touched on this subject, I’ve certainly read plenty of historical romances but aristocratic life now is very different.  At the end of the day whatever background we are from we appreciate companionship and love.

The Englishwoman in series includes the following novels:

  • Englishwoman in Paris
  • Englishwoman in Manhattan
  • Englishwoman in Scotland
  • Englishwoman at Christmas

Each novel can be read as a standalone but you will find characters from previous novels from this series and from the Irish Romance series will crop up in other stories.  To fully appreciate the full enjoyment of this series I would recommend reading them all.

This story focuses on Holly Branch who has just been bequeathed a country cottage in Cornwall from her late mother’s inheritance.  Holly is a hard working interior designer in the city of London and is happy that her work is her main priority in life.  Her heart has been shattered in the past and she is still struggling with her self-esteem.  It’s Christmas Eve, she’s finished work for the holiday period and after being handed the keys for her inheritance she wants to do nothing more than escape to Cornwall.

Lord Oliver Ivy is a world renowned plastic surgeon, with such talented skills in the field he is sought to perform very risky procedures.  Oliver is currently off work with a stress-related illness.  He’s struggling to cope with his emotions due to an incident that has left him emotionally and physically scarred.  Oliver has just wished his driver a Happy Christmas and now he’s left to enjoy the holiday season on his own.  But when he by chance meets with Holly Branch who mistakes him for her taxi driver he decides as he has nothing better to do to play along with Holly and drive her to Cornwall.

The weather is playing havoc with their journey as the country is blanketed in snow and when they eventually arrive at the cottage Oliver realises he cannot make the return journey home straight away.  Fate has brought these two workaholic people together.  Within the confines of the cottage Holly and Oliver have no alternative but to learn to live alongside each other.  A mutual attraction is felt between them but with Holly’s previous heartache and Oliver’s current emotional state tension and confusion is muddled along with a growing chemistry.

This was such another lovely romance from Jenny O’Brien.  I love how Jenny O’Brien incorporates sensitive issues amongst her storyline and scenes take us to medical procedures giving us drama and a myriad of emotions.  A lovely festive romance to enjoy as the season brings in the colder weather.

To learn more about Jenny O’Brien and her novels please visit the following pages:

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

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

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