The Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Milly Johnson book review

the perflectly imperfect woman

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman written by Milly Johnson, publisher Simon & Schuster UK is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and audiobook format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change.

Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks.

But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.

strawberry cheesecake clipart

This latest novel by Milly Johnson was perfectly perfect!

Once again Yorkshire lass Milly Johnson has injected her warmth, humour and charm into the words spelled out across the pages.  Whether you are a fellow Yorkshire lass or lover of a story that injects so much of the cultural charm of the locality in a story you can fully appreciate the author’s love of her county.  Recognising locations brings a feeling of home and also helps the story come to life.

Marnie Salt has always felt different all her life, from an early age the feeling of her love not being reciprocated has stayed with her from childhood to her adult life, with a string of failed relationships behind her.  When the office heartthrob pays her some attention she feels her luck in love is about to change.

Marnie loves baking, especially cheesecakes from memories she shared as a child with a dear old lady. When Marnie gets chatting to a fellow cheesecake fan on a website forum she builds up a budding friendship with Lillian.  Little does she realise that this new friendship is the start of something new to happen in her life.

Milly Johnson has filled this heartwarming tale with a touch of mystery with hints of myths and legends from centuries ago that left a curse on a small village in the Yorkshire Dales.  I could feel the sparkles of magic amongst the delightful charm of the storyline.  The characters were easily recognisable and written with such warmth and you soon wanted to champion Marnie and all that was dealt her way.  The storyline had many twists and turns and was very poignant and emotive at times but there was a wonderful warm undercurrent of inspiration, fun, love and community spirit.  I was romantised by the charm of this quaint Yorkshire village and I fell in love with The Perfectly Imperfect Woman.

To learn more about the author Milly Johnson please visit the following pages:





The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson book review

queen of wishful thinking

The Queen of Wishful Thinking written by Milly Johnson, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available NOW in ebook and hardcover format.  The book will be available in paperback format from the 4th May 2017.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon link)

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his  wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.

As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

rainbow umbrella

Milly Johnson has a knack of creating characters you instantly warm to and want to champion. This is how I felt about Lewis and Bonnie, the two main characters in The Queen of Wishful Thinking. Lewis Harley and Bonnie Brookland haven’t had an easy life; what with Lewis’ sudden heart attack two years ago which made him take stock of his job in London and Bonnie’s grief for the losses she has incurred in the past and also the despair of living in a loveless marriage. Bonnie was in desperate need of a new job and approached Lewis, the owner of the new antique shop, Pot of Gold, for a possible vacancy. Fate has played a big part in putting these two people together, like two pieces of a missing jigsaw. The Pot of Gold was such a warm, friendly antique shop and working in the shop was giving Bonnie a new hope for the future and she was feeling the strength to make big decisions about her personal life.

Lewis’ own personal life takes a dramatic turn and the shop with Bonnie and her quirky friends turn Pot of Gold into a lifesaving haven for many that set foot in it’s door.

Bonnie’s husband is not happy with the changes she makes and he takes up drastic action himself which leads to a series of secrets and revelations being unearthed that could rock Bonnie’s future.

Emotions are running high for both Lewis and Bonnie and the future is looking very unsettled.

This was such a wonderful heartfelt story. The characters were written with such warmth and personality. I particularly liked the array of eccentric sub-characters. As always Milly sets her stories in her beloved Yorkshire, with it’s wonderful backdrop of moorlands and little villages. I particularly love this about Milly’s novels the location and dialect of the characters are very relatable and charming and you can hear the characters come to life in your head. I was surprised but thrilled with the twists and turns in this tale which left me turning the pages to find out what happens next. A gorgeous story that had me hooked from start to finish.

To find out more about Milly Johnson and her books please do visit the following pages:

Website (which I recommend signing up for Milly’s newsletter as she offers many competitions and informative news):



Books that made me go wow in 2016


I’ve had a great year of book reading and would like to share a few books that I’ve read this year that to me gave me the ‘wow’ factor.  A few of the books I have chosen stretched my reading and took me out of my comfort zone but I was so pleased that I trusted in the publishers and authors to open my eyes to new words.

I would like to say a big thank you to all the publishers and authors who kindly sent their books for me to voluntarily review.  I’ve also purchased a fair few books this year there have been so many great new releases that I’ve been excited to add to my TBR pile.  One of these days I will get to the bottom of this pile, or maybe not!?  I’d also like to add my thanks to the great book blogging community.  It is a wonderful arena of likeminded people sharing the love of books and reading and the support is amazing, thank you all 🙂

the ballroom
The Ballroom by Anna Hope

“This was a truly beautiful love story, a unique one, one that I’ll never forget. I was totally heartbroken at the end and couldn’t control my emotions. A stunning, poignant story that left me shattered with emotions. I’m expecting The Ballroom to be a huge success for Anna Hope, this story is just beautiful.”


Dear Dad by Giselle Greendear dad

“This was a beautiful story, well written dealing with some difficult subjects. Although the storyline was very raw and emotive at times the underlining current was heartwarming, inspiring and full of hope.”

the curious charms of arthur pepper

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

“This was such a remarkable story and has been one of my favourite reads so far this year. I believe it would make a great movie and would love to see the actor Bill Nighy play the character of Arthur.  A wonderful, charming, quirky, life affirming story.”


Valentina by SE Lynesvalentina

“The story takes lots of twists and turns that keep you gripped and guessing to the very end. To read a book in a genre I don’t normally read and to be gripped by the complexities of the characters and storyline is the sign of a great author. A very promising start to a debut author’s career. I’m so pleased I stepped out of my comfort zone.”

sunshine over wildflower cottage

Sunshine over Wildflower Cottage by Milly Johnson

This was such a wonderful feel good story about love, loss, friendships, new beginnings with a touch of magic and mystery. From the first sight of the sunny, gorgeous illustrations on the cover of this novel you can expect an equally delightful read. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Milly’s previous books and this book was just as good, if not better, than her others.”

valley of the dolls

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

“Just as the young stars were drawn to drink and drugs I felt myself as a reader ‘drugged’ by the words on the pages. I couldn’t get enough. I was eager to know what happened next. On the one hand Valley of the Dolls was shocking, tragic and heart breaking BUT on the other it was also glamorous, sexy and very indulgent!”

devastation road

Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt

“This was a very poignant, engaging read that throws no punches and shows the raw side of people trying to survive a war that has shaken the world to it’s core. Jason Hewitt manages to open your eyes and feel the hidden sights and sounds in a landscape torn apart. Such a horrific time for all but humanity remained and the tender, heartrending moments felt more intense. This is a story that I won’t forget in a long time.”

late summer in the vineyard

Late Summer in the Vineyard by Jo Thomas

“This story was so beautiful and warm hearted however, there were some quite poignant, tender moments that took over my emotions. The author was so detailed with her descriptions of the setting, the vineyards, the food I was enthralled throughout. With chemistry sizzling between several characters the story was given even more charming moments. When I finished this gorgeous novel I wanted to go back to the beginning and read it all over again. A warm and welcoming read with enough depth and sparkle to leave you hungry and thirsty for more.”


Somebody Else’s Boy by Jo Bartlett

“Jo Bartlett has written a wonderful tale set around an idyllic coastal bay in the south of England with characters that are easily relatable and you find yourself loving as each page is read. I instantly fell for little Toby. This story subtly deals with grief, loss, betrayal, abuse, new beginnings all with such a warmth that you get enveloped in the emotions the characters are feeling but you don’t feel depressed … a story with hope and strength emanating from new beginnings mixed with a big dose of love.”

Moondance by Diane Chandlermoondance

“I’ve never read a story based around IVF before and initially you would imagine it to be quite depressing but Moondance was an altogether different story. Diane Chandler has created a masterpiece in wrapping a highly sensitive, emotive storyline with scenes of warmth and humour. This raw, honest story will tug at your heart and will never leave your mind.”


The Shogun’s Queen by Lesley Downer

“This was such an epic story that sent my emotions soaring high and dramatically cascading low. I was enchanted by the author Lesley Downer’s beautiful words describing a colourful world. I felt instantly transported to a land far, far away to a time where legends and rituals were significant and paramount. To a time were the unknown were feared. A time when sacrifices had to be made for the sake of the countries survival.”


Cedarwood Lodge series by Rebecca Raisin

Cedarwood Lodge has been such a treat. I’m now feeling quite hungover with book love for the friends I’ve grown to love at Cedarwood Lodge. I do hope Rebecca Raisin will revisit Cedarwood Lodge in the future. I could happily read the whole series back to back again!”


I’d like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Healthy, Prosperous New Year … keep the books flowing 🙂

Sunshine over Wildflower Cottage by Milly Johnson book review

sunshine over wildflower cottage

Sunshine over Wildflower Cottage written by Milly Johnson, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available from THURSDAY 16th June 2016.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

New beginnings, old secrets, and a place to call home: the heartwarming new novel from top five bestseller Milly Johnson
Viv arrives at Wildflower Cottage, a tumbledown animal sanctuary, for the summer. Her job is to help with the admin, but the truth is she is here for something much closer to her heart…
Geraldine runs the Wildflower Cottage sanctuary. She escaped from her past to find happiness here, but now her place of refuge is about to come under threat. Can she keep her history at bay and her future safe?
Back home, Viv’s mother Stel thinks she might have found a man who will treat her right for once. Ian is kind, considerate, and clearly head over heels for her. That’s what she has wanted all along, isn’t it…?
Escape to Wildflower Cottage this summer for love, laughter and friendship…
blue love in a mist flowers
I’d like to thank the author, Milly Johnson, and her lovely team at #BATC Simon & Schuster UK for an arc in return for an honest review.
This was such a wonderful feel good story about love, loss, friendships, new beginnings with a touch of magic and mystery. From the first sight of the sunny, gorgeous illustrations on the cover of this novel you can expect an equally delightful read.  I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Milly’s previous books and this book was just as good, if not better, than her others.
The story is set around the idyllic Wildflower Cottage which is nestled in a valley in the Yorkshire Moors surrounded by the beautiful, delicate blue love-in-a-mist flowers.  The cottage is the heart and soul of the animal sanctuary owned by Heath Merlo, a local vet and helpfully run by Geraldine.  When Geraldine’s advert for admin help is answered by Viv, a young woman looking for part-time work to help subsidise her love and expertise for creating replicate and new scents, Geraldine couldn’t be happier as the girls hit it off as soon as Viv arrives at the cottage.
Viv has ulterior motives for taking on the small job at the sanctuary and is very secretive of her past with her new employees.  For starters Viv hasn’t worked with animals before and is a little afraid of the feathered kind.  So to work in a sanctuary that specialises in helping birds of prey her ulterior motives are definitely what’s keeping Viv motivated.  However, the more Viv learns about the animals and people at the sanctuary the more she starts to fall in love with them and the area.  She starts to doubt her initial reasons for taking the job on but she has gone so far in her mission and cannot give up now but she worries that what she may find out could harm the sanctuary.
The other side of the story we join Viv’s mum, Stel with her fellow members of the Old Spice Girls, a group of more mature ladies who meet up every Sunday for a good chat, cuppa and very often cake.  Stel has suffered greatly with her choice of men folk in the past so when she meets Ian, one of the gardeners at the hospice she works at, Stel is hoping she has found a good ‘un.  However, Stel soon starts to realise there is more to Ian behind his kind, helpful surface.  All the other ladies in the Old Spice Girls have their own battles to fight which are all interwoven nicely within the storyline.  I particularly liked Great Granny Iris, her strength and attitude facing her particular situation was brilliant, Go Granny Iris!
I loved the setting for this novel.  The fictional village of Ironmist sounded almost ethereal and magical and I quite like this mystery within a novel, it sets your mind wondering whether magic really does exist in certain places.  All the animals in the sanctuary have their own names and such wonderful characters that I’m sure Milly could write a book based just on them, maybe a children’s book?
The storyline held so many twists and turns and I was enthralled with what was going to happen next.  When it takes a particularly darker turn it was wonderful to see the camaraderie in the old and new friends and I loved this.  This story was so magical and heartwarming with it’s array of cute and curious animals and characters you learn to love and trust and want to be part of their circle.  Another gorgeous read from Milly that I’m hoping there will be a sequel as I’d love more from Wildflower Cottage … 5/5*
About Milly Johnson (from amazon author page)

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As well as being an author of 12 published novels, 2 short story books and 2 novellas, she is also a copywriter for the greetings card industry, a joke-writer, a columnist, after dinner speaker, poet, BBC newspaper reviewer, and a sometimes BBC radio presenter.

She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016 and the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015.

She writes about love, life, friendships and that little bit of the magic that sometimes crops up in real life. She likes owls, hawks, eagles, vultures and meringues but hates marzipan. She is very short.

Milly is very generous with her readers and fans and has a calendar lined up with signings for her new book, if you have the opportunity to attend a signing please do as Milly is as lovely as her books.
book signing tour Milly Johnson
To find out more about Milly Johnson and her books please visit the following links:

2nd year Blogiversary and Giveaway

book celebration clipart

How time flies when you’re having fun.  Today marks my 2nd anniversary blogging and sharing my love of reading, cooking, crafting and bargain hunting!

I’ve had a great year reading and reviewing some fabulous books, I read 96 books from 22nd May 2015 to 22nd May 2016.  It’s difficult to point out which books are my favourite from the last year but I’d like to point out a few that I particularly enjoyed:

  • The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick: This was such a remarkable story, a wonderful, charming, life affirming story.  I believe it would make a great movie and I’d love to see Bill Nighy play the character of Arthur.
  • The Ballroom by Anna Hope:  This was a truly beautiful love story, a unique one, one that I’ll never forget.  I was totally heartbroken at the end and couldn’t control my emotions.  A stunning, poignant story that left me shattered with emotions.
  • Ideal Girl by Jenny O’Brien: I absolutely adored this story.  It was fun, flirty, romantic, tragic, emotionally heartbreaking at times but also very heartwarming.  There is a point in the story that left my heart beating fast and I was gripped to find out the outcome from this turn in the tale.
  • The Little Shop of Happy Ever After by Jenny Colgan:  I felt like I was living out my own dreamworld with this story. A gorgeous book I could devour again and again.
  • Dear Dad by Giselle Green:  This was a beautiful story, well written dealing with some difficult subjects.  Although the storyline was very raw and emotive at times the underlining current was heartwarming, inspiring and full of hope.

I’d like to thank both Lynda Renham and Milly Johnson for the kind donations of their books for my giveaway.

Please check out Lynda Renham’s latest book Perfect Weddings, amazon link here.  Perfect Weddings is a very funny book filled with great laugh out loud moments with a wonderful tale of love.  Milly Johnson’s latest is an ebook exclusive book with all proceeds to charity, amazon link here.  The Barn on Half Moon Hill is a lovely, inspiring short story filled with warmth and humour.  Milly also has a new full length novel due out in June titled Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage, to pre-order link here

To celebrate my blogiversary I’m running a few giveaways with a chance to win a Reading Log and bookmark; a Recipe Journal and bookmark; a signed copy of It’s Raining Men by Milly Johnson; a signed copy of The Dog’s Bollocks by Lynda Renham; .  To enter please click on the rafflecopter links below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Barn on Half Moon Hill by Milly Johnson book review

the barn on half moon hill

The Barn on Half Moon Hill is an ebook exclusive book by Milly Johnson, publisher Simon & Schuster UK and was published on 19th May 2016.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Cariad Williams has been writing to Franco Mezzaluna since they were kids. But he has never written back. And now he has become a famous film star. What’s more, he is due to visit Winterworld, the Christmas theme park where Cariad works. The only problem is that she has boasted to her friends that he is her boyfriend and now everyone will find out about her lie…
An exclusive short story from Milly Johnson to raise funds for the Care for Claire charity.

butterfly scroll

Milly Johnson has kindly donated all the proceeds from this ebook to the Care for Claire charity.  Claire Throssell, a local Yorkshire mum, had sadly lost everything in such a terrible and traumatic way.  Locals, including Milly Johnson, have been helping Claire to rebuild her life and to try and help bring a smile back in her life.  Through her grief Claire has found the strength to set up a charity in her son’s memory:  Heads Together for Barnsley aims to help other families and children who are suffering.  As soon as I knew Milly Johnson was writing this ebook I had to pre-order the novella, the price of the novella is a ‘throw away figure’, cheaper than a posh coffee and I urge anyone with a kindle or kindle app to download the novel because the feelings I felt reading this story were worth far more than the cost of the book …

We start the story hearing about young Cariad Williams, an 8 year old girl from Wales, writing to Franco Mezzaluna.  We follow these notes of friendship through the years Cariad spilling her heart out to Franco.  The letters go on for many years and now Franco is a famous movie star and Cariad continued intermittently writing to him but Franco has never written back.  Cariad is under the impression that he never received the letters but when she hears he is due to visit Winterworld, the Christmas theme park where she works, she feels her life is about to come tumbling down around her.

Although Cariad wrote many letters to Franco she did miss out one important secret in her life which had a crucial impact on her future.  Franco also has been hiding a secret.  Will Cariad pluck up courage to meet her famous penpal?  Will the secrets they both hold materialise and give a vision to a new life?

I devoured this 84 page novella in one sitting and adored it.  This story was just so lovely, inspiring, filled with hope, warmth and humour. I wanted more from Cariad and Franco and hoping, with finger’s crossed, that Milly will bring these characters back. 5/5*

At the end of the novella there is a taster of Milly’s upcoming novel, Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage, which is due out in June.

To find out more about Milly Johnson please visit the following links:



Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe by Milly Johnson

afternoon tea at the sunflower cafe

Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Café is available NOW in ebook format and paperback from all good book retailers.

To buy links (amazon uk):

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Connie Diamond has always been her husband Jimmy’s best girl or so she thought. But then she discovers that he s been playing away for the past twenty-four years, and that the chocolates she believed he bought her as a sign of his love were just a cover-up, and she is determined to get revenge.

Along with Della Frostick, Jimmy’s right-hand woman at his cleaning firm, Diamond Shine, Connie decides to destroy Jimmy’s life from the inside. Together they will set up a rival business called Lady Muck, and along with the cleaning ladies who meet at the Sunflower Café, they’ll make him wish he had never so much as looked at another woman.

Then Connie meets the charming Brandon Locke, a master chocolatier, whose kind chocolate-brown eyes start to melt her soul. Can the ladies of the Sunflower Café help Connie scrub away the hurt? And can Brandon cure her affliction and make her smile again…?

sunflowersAbout a year ago Milly asked on social media for some readers to become part of a Team Milly, Milly had hundreds of eager readers apply and decided the fairest way to pick her ‘Team’ was to draw names out of a hat.  I feel very lucky and privileged to be a member of Team Milly.  Milly and her publishers, Simon & Schuster UK very kindly supplied her Team with an arc of this novel in return for an honest review.

I have adored all Milly’s previous books and novellas and was honoured to be given an arc of this new novel.  Milly always writes with such honesty and I appreciate this style of writing.  Milly is a Yorkshire lass and her northern charm flows through her words on the pages of her books.

Connie and Della are both in love with the same man, Jimmy Diamond.  One of them is his wife – Connie and Della is his ‘right hand man’ Office Manager.  Jimmy calls them both ‘his best girl’.  However, someone else has caught Jimmy’s eye and he is soon swept away with emotions of lust.  Connie and Della discover that Jimmy is planning to leave his wife of 24 years and marry his new ‘best girl’.  Connie and Della declare an alliance and set about to destroy Jimmy’s life.  What follows is a fun filled story of female camaraderie helping each other achieve what some would think would be impossible.

Milly has created some fabulous characters in this story.  I adored Connie, Della and Cheryl in particular and would love to read a follow-up novella of the progress of these characters (please Milly).  Astrid was a hoot and a legend!  She made me smile quite a few times and came out with some memorable one-liners!  I loved how the novel was broken down into lots of short chapters and each chapter focused mainly on one character and her part in the storyline.  I’d love to be a ‘fly on the wall’ when the girls have their regular meets at the Sunflower Café, I bet they had some interesting tales to tell.  I think a good testimony to a story is when the author has created characters you fall in love with and they have become like a friend to you. The book is fairly long at just over 500 pages but is well worth it as it’s a funny, colourful, heartwarming read that leaves you wanting to find out what happens next to the characters you’ve read about and fallen in love with.

At the end of the book Milly described her perfect afternoon tea which left me salivating for cake!  Omgee, the mini strawberry cheesecakes sound amazing, I definitely want to try these some time.

A brilliant, sunshiney 5/5* read.

Milly is very generous to her readers and always organises great book launches.  I was lucky to share afternoon tea with her and some of her fellow Team Milly members recently.  Also, this Monday 15th June, Milly held a spectacular launch in Yorkshire with an author talk, buffet and raffle with proceeds going to Yorkshire Cat Rescue, The Well and Care for Claire.

A few photos from the Team Milly launch event I’d like to share with you.

flowers n cakes at tea team milly tea

To find out more about Milly Johnson and her books please visit the following links: