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.

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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:





Silent Night: A Christmas Story collection by Wendy Clarke book review

silent night

Silent Night is a Christmas short story collection written by Wendy Clarke, publisher Cobblestone Walk Publishing.  The book is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

‘Silent Night’ is a collection of thirteen Christmas stories by Wendy Clarke, a regular writer of fiction for national magazines.

All of these stories have previously been published in either ‘The People’s Friend’ or ‘Take a Break Fiction Feast’. If you like stories with emotional depth and a satisfying ending, then this collection is for you.

What Shirley Blair, Commissioning Fiction Editor for ‘The People’s Friend’, says about the author:

‘Wendy Clarke has become one of The People’s Friend’s most valued writers, offering our readers a range of themes and a level of emotional satisfaction that is rare in the short story format.’

winter reading nook clipart

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 is my second compilation of short stories I’ve read this month and I’m really starting to enjoy this form of book.  I find short stories are perfect ‘coffee table’ books, ideal for picking up during a tea break, lunch break or ‘me time’.  I’d much rather read an engaging short story than turn on daytime TV or the news.

Wendy Clarke’s Silent Night is a collection of festive short stories that she has previously had published in popular magazines.  I found I was fully immersed in each story, the characters grabbed me and the storylines evoked many emotions in me.  I felt nostalgia, poignancy, heartbreak, hope, inspiration, warmth … I was left feeling a sense of contentment and a little festive sparkle was starting to fizz inside of me.

This collection of short stories would be a wonderful gift for any book lover and would be an ideal stocking filler/after-dinner gift at Christmas.

Regular readers of my reviews will notice I like to put images on my blog reviews relating to the story, I couldn’t resist this wonderful, idyllic image of a winter reading nook that would be perfect for a Christmas Story Collection.

To learn more about Wendy Clarke and her work please visit the following pages:






The Woman Who Knew Everything by Debbie Viggiano book review

the woman who knew everything

The Woman Who Knew Everything written by Debbie Viggiano, publisher Gingersnap Books, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

Three friends. Three wishes. And a dollop of magic…

Shy Chrissie, well-meaning Dee and no-nonsense Amber have worked together at law firm Hood, Mann & Derek ever since leaving their respective colleges. Now in their late twenties, the women have a close-knit friendship with much more in common than just typing up letters and legal documents for their solicitor bosses. Firstly, they’ve all been living with their respective boyfriends for the last few years. Secondly, they feel a marriage proposal is well overdue.

When office siren Cougar Kate invites the three women to her birthday soirée – complete with visiting fortune teller – the girls know there is only one question they’ll be asking the mysterious Madam Rosa: Will their men be going down on one knee any time soon? But opting to see a clairvoyant like Madam Rosa, who claims to know everything, is a bit like opening Pandora’s box. Some revelations are a joy, whereas others are most definitely not. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for…

tarot card black n white

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 fun read and an ideal book to blow away the cobwebs of an autumnal day.

The author Debbie Viggiano, I’m sure, must have had such a fabulous time writing this novel as she has thrown in plenty of comedic scenes that literally had me chuckling out aloud.

Three best friends; Amber, Dee and Chrissie, all work for the same solicitors.  They’ve all been courting for a fair while and are hoping that their relationships will move to the next level with their respective partners proposing soon.  However, each girl hasn’t fully revealed the truth about their current love situation.  Their boyfriends of late haven’t been quite as committed as Amber, Dee and Chrissie would like and the girls are all starting to feel a little downtrodden.  When the trio are invited to a psychic party they leap at the chance so they can ask ‘Madam Rose’ the question of whether their boyfriends will soon be popping the question.  Madam Rosa reveals a little more than what the trio wanted.  They all go home on a mission to prove the psychic wrong leading to quite hilarious consequences.

The author took me on a lively little journey with the trio facing hurdles and more in their love life.  It was a fabulously funny, flirty romance.  I personally would have liked the author to expand a little more at the end of the story as I felt it ended a little abruptly but this did not spoil my overall enjoyment and it was a joy to read.

To learn more about Debbie Viggiano and her work please do visit the following pages:





Courting Chaos by Lynne Barron book review

courting chaos

Courting Chaos written and self-published by Lynne Barron is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

Opposites attract, orbits align and chaos ensues…

Born of scandal and raised in squalor, Miss Harry O’Connell has turned her back on her feckless, frivolous father and carved out a happy, if rather hectic, life for herself in the working-class neighborhood of Wellclose Square. Until an unwelcome visit from the Earl of Dunaway puts her on a collision course with a handsome fortune-hunter.

With three men standing between Phineas Griffith and the nearest title, he was perfectly content to live up to his reputation as a careless scoundrel. Two unfortunate accidents and an apoplectic fit later, the new Viscount Knighton finds himself saddled with a decimated estate, a mountain of debt and two sisters in need of launching into Society. There’s really nothing for it but to woo and wed an heiress post haste.

Phineas cannot afford the luxury of falling in love with a prickly, penniless woman. Harry hasn’t the time or inclination to dally with a charming rake when all her considerable talents are aimed at laying waste to all the Earl of Dunaway holds dear.

But some forces are greater than gravity, and some chances worth taking. Can these two star crossed-lovers find the wherewithal to risk it all for a happily-ever-after that defies all odds?

This story is a frolicsome romp with naughty bits sprinkled throughout, though nothing likely to make the average romance reader blush.

fancy hat from 1800's

Courting Chaos is book 2 in the Dunaway’s Daughters series.  I haven’t read Taming Beauty (book 1) so I treated Courting Chaos as a standalone novel and to be honest it read very well as a standalone but to fully appreciate this wonderful era of the early 1820’s and the whole courtship and culture I would recommend reading both books in the series.

Courting Chaos is my first introduction to the work of Lynne Barron.  I do love a good historical romance and Lynne Barron delivered a fabulous, addictive, seductive read that was also quite witty and humorous in places.  Lynne Barron cleverly incorporates words and sayings from the era making the prose very authentic, if you are not sure of a word the beauty of an ereader is that you can highlight that word and the inbuilt dictionary will explain and I made use of this feature a few times and was interested to learn about these new old words and phrases.

I loved Miss Harry O’Connell’s character she was so self-assured, streetwise, intelligent and had a great head for ingenuity and business.  So very unusual for a young lady in the 1800’s.  However, Harry hid a secret heartache and keeping herself busy was one of her coping mechanisms to conceal this.  Due to her upbringing she was also insistent on being self-reliant.  Harry however, didn’t have ‘Falling in Love with a Notorious Rake’ in her agenda.  This particular rake, Phineas Griffith (Viscount Knighton) was virtually penniless and in order to keep his family and property he was on the lookout for a bride, one that came with a wealthy dowry.  His plans were soon thwarted when he made eyes with Harry and all sense was forgotten and for the first time in Phineas life he was consumed by this young woman.  Harry’s beauty was a pleasure to behold but what was more wonderful about her to Phineas was her intelligence, ingenuity and enterprising ways.

I have to be honest Harry’s head of business did get me a little lost at first but I was so beguiled by her strength of character I quickly overlooked these tiny little niggles in the storyline and by the end of the novel I could appreciate the background and descriptions the author took us on at the start as they all fitted into place.

A raunchy regency romance that will take you on a chaotic journey of courtship with two players dancing around each other fighting with their emotions, beliefs and hopes for the future.

I’d like to share one of my favourite quotes from the book:

And his smile ought to be illegal, all smooth self-assurance with just a hint of mischief lurking at the corners.

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 learn more about Lynne Barron and her work please visit the following pages:




White Lies by Ellie Holmes book review

white lies

White Lies written and self-published by Ellie Holmes is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

Have you ever told a white lie?

Sam Davenport is a woman who lives her life by the rules. When her husband Neil breaks those rules too many times, Sam is left wondering not only if he is still the man for her but also if it’s time to break a few rules of her own.

Actions, however, have consequences as Sam soon discovers when what starts out as an innocent white lie threatens to send her world spiralling out of control.

White Lies is a warm, engaging read about love, deceit, betrayal and hope.

white peonie bouquet

I have just finished reading White Lies and needed to express my feelings about the story immediately as I was totally gripped by the storyline.

On a very wet winter’s night Sam, Neil and David’s lives were about to change forever.  A split second decision was made which culminated into destructive actions.  Actions which then soon turned into a domino effect of lies and deceit and the covering up of the truth just to save one’s reputation.

The aftermath of this night wasn’t easy to forget and Sam’s conscience was ever present.  Sam was also in a very vulnerable place at the moment as her marriage had suffered recently when her husband Neil’s affair had come to light.  Sam was struggling with her emotions and she felt she needed to make amends however, this was to open up a whole heap of trouble.

White Lies is a dramatic, suspenseful romance.  I was gripped with the storyline and with all the twists and turns I wasn’t sure were the author Ellie Holmes was going to take me next.  At one point I found the storyline quite chilling and I feared for Sam and her children.  There is a little darkness to the storyline but as the story progresses and you learn more about all the characters involved you start to feel empathy but it didn’t stop me feeling on edge towards the end of the novel.  However, amongst all the angst and drama the author has created a diversion and has interwoven a wonderful, poignant story of a woman coming to terms with her grief and finding happiness and hope from the least expected of places.

A story of deceit, a story of betrayal, a story of a love that may or may not survive the obsession of another.

To learn more about Ellie Holmes and her work please visit the following pages:




No Way Back by Kelly Florentia blogtour book review

no way back

No Way Back written by Kelly Florentia, publisher Urbane Publications, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

When two eligible and attractive men are vying for your heart, it should be the perfect dilemma…

Audrey Fox has been dumped by her unreliable fiancé Nick Byrne just days before the wedding. Heartbroken and confused, the last thing she expects when she jumps on a plane to convalesce in Cyprus is romance. But a chance meeting with handsome entrepreneur and father-of-one Daniel Taylor weaves her into a dating game she’s not sure she’s ready for. Audrey’s life is thrown into further turmoil when she discovers on her return to London that Nick has been involved in a serious motorcycle accident that’s left him in intensive care. Distraught yet determined to look to the future, Audrey must make a decision – follow her heart or listen to well-meaning advice from family and friends? Because sometimes, no matter what, it’s the people that we love who can hurt us the most…


I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Kelly Florentia’s latest novel, No Way Back.

I really enjoyed this novel by Kelly Florentia.  No Way Back is her second full length novel.  It follows the life of Audrey Fox who is heartbroken following the break-up of her relationship mere days before their wedding.  Audrey and Nick have been together for eight years and Audrey was so excited and ready for her forthcoming nuptials.  However, Nick has had a fairly unreliable past and calling off the wedding just proves to Audrey how unreliable he is.  Audrey flees the country and stays in Cyprus with her parents to recuperate and reflect on her future.

Audrey’s heart and mind is very unsettled and Cyprus is not proving much of a distraction especially when she literally falls in the lap of wealthy and handsome businessman Daniel Taylor.  Daniel turns out to be Audrey’s very own Prince Charming but is she ready to be swooned so soon?

Back home in London reality hits her hard after learning that her ex Nick is seriously ill in hospital following a motorcycle accident.  Audrey is faced with a dilemma on whether to visit Nick in hospital.  Her friends are set against her visiting Nick and unbeknown to Audrey they have their reasons for this and when this reason reveals a whole lot more anguish for Audrey she is confused and heartbroken even more.

The handsome businessman Daniel is also back in London and has set his sights on winning Audrey’s heart?

Daniel Taylor is a very complicated character and Audrey’s first impressions are way off the mark.  But the more Audrey lets Daniel into her life the more tangled her new relationship becomes as Daniel has many secrets and until he reveals all to Audrey she cannot clear her mind of her feelings for him.

Audrey has a lovely support group of friends and family which hold many keys to this story .  The sub-characters themselves experience many trials and tribulations in their own lives.  Some of these moments in her friends lives were quite emotive, dealing with serious issues and the author dealt with these concerns in a sensitive manner.

For the weeks and months following the cancellation of her wedding Audrey has experienced extreme highs and lows and her heart was in turmoil.  Should she go back to her ex Nick or have the charming Daniel capture her heart?

There were many twists in this tale I didn’t see coming, one minute I was hopeful and thought ‘yes, Audrey should choose him’ and then the author throws us in a completely different direction and you are left with a right quandary.

I was pleased to learn after reading this novel that Kelly Florentia will write a sequel to No Way Back.  There is so much potential for a sequel and I’m excited to see which way the author will take all the main and sub-characters.   No Way Back has many tears of despair, drama, intrigue, fun, frolics and warm tender moments.  Great story that has left me wanting more.

To learn more about Kelly Florentia and her books please visit the following links:





A Bed of Brambles by Sam Russell book review

a bed of brambles

A Bed of Brambles written and self-published by Sam Russell is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

This was never going to be a conventional love story. No bed of roses. Proud, passionate and wilful, Hettie and Alexander are alike in so many ways. That has to be a good thing, doesn’t it? Or it could be a disaster…both carry scars, and old wounds have a habit of causing new hurt.
Physical attraction draws them together. Hearts and minds can be thorny, less easy to satisfy. One thing is certain, together or apart their lives will move on. Alexander and Hettie’s clashes of spirit will only be part of the story.
Second chances. New beginnings. The opportunity to make things right. Or to make the same mistakes all over again. Unless fate takes the future out of your hands…

horse and shoe clipart

My Review

This was such an addictive read filled with passion, angst, heartache and uncertainty. I loved how the author had developed two characters both with a past they wished to hide, both passionate about their beliefs but also passionate about their loves. Hettie and Alexander had spent months apart whilst she was working overseas but now back home in the Cotswolds it wasn’t plain sailing for the young couple but their sexual chemistry drew them together like magnets.

Hettie needed to find work preferably working with horses as that’s all she’s ever known and loved. The chance to start her own livery business brings back so many dark memories and her life soon becomes in danger from this past she wishes she could scrape up and throw away like the manure in the stables. A gripping romance filled with passion, new beginnings, second chances and opening your heart and soul to let go of the demons inside you.

A Bed of Brambles is book two in the Draymere Hall series however, I hadn’t had the pleasure of reading  A Bed of Barley Straw (book one) so treated A Bed of Brambles as a standalone and I was soon transported into Hettie and Alexander’s world.  To fully appreciate the history surrounding the characters I would recommend reading both books in the series in chronological order.

To learn more about the author Sam Russell please visit the following links: