Summer’s Lease by Carrie Elks book review

summers lease

Summer’s Lease written by Carrie Elks, publisher Piatkus, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

A free summer holiday in a beautiful villa in Lake Como. The catch? Sharing a house with her worst enemy . . .

Cesca Shakespeare has hit rock bottom. After one prize-winning play that ended in disaster, writer’s block turned up, moved in and got a Netflix subscription. Six years later, she’s just lost her crappy job and is about to lose her flat. Worse still, her sisters have no idea how far she’s fallen. So when her fairy Godfather offers her a free summer holiday in a beautiful Italian villa, she grudgingly agrees to try writing a new play. That’s before she finds out the house belongs to her arch-nemesis, Sam Carlton.

Having just hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons – again – Hollywood heart-throb Sam Carlton needs a place to hide out. Where better than his family’s gorgeous empty villa on Lake Como? Except when he arrives, it isn’t as empty as he’d hoped.

One thing’s for sure – this is going to be a red-hot, scorching summer . . .

theatre curtains

Summer’s Lease is book one in a new series titled The Shakespeare Sisters by Carrie Elks.  This is my first introduction to the work of Carrie Elks and I was in for a treat!

Cesca Shakespeare had spent six years in despair getting over the unexpected end of her play which was due to be played in the West End.  A flop before the curtains were even drawn all because the leading man, Sam Carlton, upped and left without another word.  Cesca had been unable to write another word without it making sense so she hopped from one dead end job to another to try and make ends meet.  When  the opportunity of a summer job arose house sitting in Italy she felt like it was her saviour.

The villa in Italy was beautiful beyond words and Cesca was soon feeling relaxed and was allowing her mind to refresh.  However, her stress levels were soon to rise when an unexpected visitor turned up at the villa.  The visitor was none other than the son of the owners of the villa, Sam Carlton.  The same Sam Carlton that vanished from her play.  The same Sam Carlton that was now a Hollywood heartthrob with millions of adoring fans following his success in the hottest chick flick trilogy to hit the screens.

As you can imagine Cesca was none too pleased to see Sam.  Tempers flared and after much warring of words Cesca and Sam agreed on a temporary truce.

Staying at the villa had re-invigorated Cesca’s will to write and she soon got started on drafting a new screenplay.

Sam Carlton had fled to his family’s Italian villa escaping a storm in the media that had just brewed inciting much gossip about the actor’s personal life.  When Sam arrived at the villa he couldn’t remember this young woman that was now shooting so much verbal towards him.  When he eventually remembered the time six years ago when he fled from London he recalls the hurt he felt so deeply which he received from someone he thought loved and cared for him.  Sam has spent the last six years avoiding as much as possible this time in his life where everything he knew and thought about himself changed.

However, Sam sees something in Cesca; he sees the love that she had back then in the play that she wrote.  He sees how proud she was and as an eighteen year old girl it had mean’t the world to her and his unfortunate actions destroyed it.

Can the pair learn to live in harmony in the same villa whilst Cesca continues with her new job and Sam avoids any media intrusion?  Can Cesca have the courage and determination to write again?  Can Sam stop the demons from his past troubling his future?

This was such a beautiful story set amongst a stunning Italian lakeside villa.  It’s difficult to remain mad or upset with anyone when you wake up everyday surrounded by a dazzling landscape.  The ending was picture perfect, I felt like I’d just sat through the most sublime chick flick movie.  A sexy, addictive romance worthy of big screen triumphs.  I can’t wait to read more from Carrie Elks and The Shakespeare Sisters.

To find out more about Carrie Elks and her work please visit the following pages:

Website:  https://carrieelks.com/

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

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

 

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Penhaligon’s Attic by Terri Nixon book review

penhalligans-attic

Penhaligon’s Attic written by Terri Nixon, publisher Piatkus, is available in ebook and paperback format from 1st December 2016.

To pre-order/buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Penhaligons-Attic-Penhaligon-Terri-Nixon/dp/0349412650/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1480362559&sr=1-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

1910. Anna Garvey arrives in Caernoweth, Cornwall with her daughter and a secret. Having come from Ireland to take up an inheritance of the local pub, she and her eighteen year-old daughter Mairead are initially viewed with suspicion by the close-knit community.

Anna soon becomes acquainted with Freya Penhaligon, a vulnerable girl struggling to keep her family business afloat in the wake of her grandmother’s death, and starts to gain the trust of the locals. As their friendship deepens, and Freya is brought out of her shell by the clever and lively Mairead, even Freya’s protective father Matthew begins to thaw.

But when a part of Anna’s past she’d long tried to escape turns up in the town, she is forced to confront the life she left behind – for her sake and her daughter’s too . . .

vintage-shells

This was a wonderful family saga set in Cornwall in the early 1900’s.

Anna and her teenage daughter, Mairead, escape a secret that they hope has been left hidden in Ireland. They take the long, cold journey across the sea and counties to relocate in the small, rugged coastline village in Cornwall. Anna has a long-lost family business back in the village and hopes to be able to move easily back into it without upsetting the current residents.

The village is quite a close-knit community, especially with the fishermen. One of the fishermen is Matthew Penhaligon. Matthew had it all: a beautiful wife, doting daughter, a job he loved working out on the sea. But he had another love 8 years ago which nearly cost him everything he had.

Can this close knit community trust the new outsiders? Will Anna and her daughter Mairead be able to keep their dark secrets hidden? Can Matthew keep his demons in the past?

The village has seen many changes over the years and business owners (including Matthew’s parents own, Penhaligon’s Attic a wonderful bookshop) are facing hard times. With the changes in industry and economy can the bookshop survive in this unknown future?

A lovely story of grief, hardship, community spirit, dark secrets, love and hope set in a wonderful idyllic location.

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.

About the Authorterri-nixon

Terri was born in Plymouth in 1965. At the age of 9 she moved with her family to Cornwall, to a small village on the edge of Bodmin Moor, where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one’s ever offered to pay her for doing those.

Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press. As a Hybrid author, her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus Entice (a digital-first imprint of Little, Brown,) and short-listed in the “Best Historical Read” category at the Festival of Romance 2013. The sequel, A Rose in Flanders Fields, was published by Carina UK (a digital-first imprint of HarperCollins) and was short-listed in the same category in 2014.

Terri’s self-published Mythic Fiction series set in Cornwall, The Lynher Mill Chronicles, has now been launched. Books one and two are available in print and e-book, and the third book in the series is due for release in June 2015.
Terri now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.

Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She is represented by the Kate Nash Literary Agency.

To find out more about Terri please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.terrinixon.com/

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

The House in Quill Court by Charlotte Betts blogtour book review

the house in quill court book cover

The House in Quill Court written by Charlotte Betts, publisher Piatkus, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audio download format.

To buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Quill-Court-Charlotte-Betts/dp/0349404534/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1472069422&sr=8-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

1813. Venetia Lovell lives by the sea in Kent with her pretty, frivolous mother and idle younger brother. Venetia’s father, Theo, is an interior decorator to the rich and frequently travels away from home, leaving his sensible and artistic daughter to look after the family. Venetia designs paper hangings and she and her father often daydream about having an imaginary shop where they would display the highest quality furniture, fabrics and art to his clients.

When a handsome but antagonistic stranger, Jack Chamberlaine, arrives at the Lovell’s cottage just before Christmas bringing terrible news, Venetia’s world is turned upside-down and the family have no option but to move to London, to the House in Quill Court and begin a new life. Here, Venetia’s courage and creativity are tested to breaking point, and she discovers a love far greater than she could have ever imagined . . .

regency draper

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour promoting and celebrating Charlotte Betts’ latest historical romance.  I’d like to thank the publishers for an arc in return for a review.

This was a gripping, heart stopping, Regency Romance that has left my mind thinking about an era when the underworld was more powerful than the law.

Regency London was a time where two worlds collided; the rich, upper class citizens enjoying a flamboyant lifestyle in their extravagantly dressed town houses and mere streets away orphaned and homeless children slept in darkened corners and filched food from whatever sources they could find.  An underworld of strong, arrogant, greedy men ruled the streets threatening businesses and individuals for shares of their profits.  Only the strongest could survive.

I was impressed and motivated by Venetia’s character.  A young woman grieving for her father and of the peaceful life off the coast of Kent.  Venetia and her family were forced to move to London and start again.  Venetia’s courage, determination and creativeness was so rare of a woman back in 1813.  I was taken in by her strength and determination and was willing the pages to bring joy to Venetia and her family.

The story is filled with many uplifting moments but sadly casualties and death were commonplace in Regency London.  It was a dark, dangerous era and it made the story all the more gripping.

A gripping story filled with a strong determination of believing in law and judgement and believing in yourself.  A story also filled with new hope and beginnings after grief and a beautiful tale of love to conquer all. Charlotte Betts has managed to write a story very fitting to the era with raw, honest scenes but also with wonderful interludes of a love that was strong enough to overcome many obstacles.  5/5*

To find out more about Charlotte Betts and her books please visit the following pages:

http://www.charlottebetts.com/

http://www.twitter.com/CharlotteBetts1

http://www.facebook.com/CharlotteBettsAuthor

Please do hop on over to the stops on the blogtour …

the house in quill court poster

 

If I Only Had a Duke by Lenora Bell blogtour book review

IF I ONLY HAD A DUKE COVER

If I Only Had a Duke (The Disgraceful Dukes book 2) written by Lenora Bell, publisher Piatkus is available in ebook and paperback format from 30th August 2016.

To pre-order/buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-Duke-Disgraceful-Dukes-Book-ebook/dp/B01FE6V620/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1471851855&sr=1-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

After three failed seasons and a disastrous jilting, Lady Dorothea Beaumont has had more than enough of her family’s scheming. She won’t domesticate a duke, entangle an earl or vie for a viscount. She will quietly exit to her aunt’s Irish estate for a life of blissful freedom. Until an arrogant, sinfully handsome duke singles her out for a waltz, making Thea the most popular belle of the season.
Well, the duke ruined her plans and now he’ll just have to fix them.
Dalton, Duke of Osborne, is far too heartless for debutantes or marriage – he uses dalliances to distract from his real purpose: finding the man who destroyed his family. When his search leads to Ireland, the last thing he needs is the determined, achingly innocent Thea, who arrives in the dead of night demanding he escort her to her aunt. His foolish agreement may prove his undoing. The road to the Emerald Isle is fraught with unforeseen dangers, but the greatest peril of all might just be discovering that he has a heart . . . and he’s losing it to Thea.

regency man with quill

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour promoting and celebrating the second novel written by Lenora Bell.  I adored Lenora’s debut novel ‘How the Duke Was Won’ and was so excited to hear of another story in The Disgraceful Dukes series.  I’d like to thank the publishers for an arc in return for a review.

It was so enchanting to travel back in time to Regency England and Ireland.  This second Regency Romance by Lenora Bell was as good as her first.  I was captivated straight away with the characters.  The young Lady Dorothea (Thea) is a young woman loving her new found independence and vows to not be dictated by her family anymore.  I loved this fierce self-determination from Thea, especially in a time were women were designed to act ladylike and responsible and marry into a parent approved family.  Thea was learning new strengths and feelings every day.  The devilishly handsome and rather arrogant Duke of Osborne (Dalton) is a cheeky fellow you can’t help but fall in love with.  Dalton holds a deep dark secret which he has held for many years in hope for retribution for a terrible act in his childhood that has traumatised him ever since.  This secret he holds I believe has left him a little vulnerable especially to matters of the heart.  The sparring between the couple was brilliant especially in the letter writing, arguments took so much longer to resolve when it was undertaken via a letter in the regency era but this also felt more romantic as the story flowed along.  The letters to me held a huge significance in the story.  The attraction between Thea and Dalton is quite magnetic and the Duke’s desires for Thea are very difficult to keep restrained.

Can the lady’s innocence, beauty and intelligence be enough to break the wall that the Duke has built to protect his broken heart?

This was a ravishing regency romance that brought rhythm and heat to your heart but it held a purity that is overwhelmingly beautiful.  There is a scene towards the end of the novel that was just so tender and beautiful it was impossible to not shed a tear.  A dark and dangerous past and present colliding with beauty to give hope for the future.  5/5*

Please hop on over to the over stops on the blogtour celebrating this great read …

If I Only had a Duke blogtour banner

About the Author

Lenora Bell grew up in a tiny town in Alaska with no streetlights, no movie theater, but a very well-endowed library.

A graduate of Portland State University’s MFA in Creative Writing program, she has lived and taught English on five continents. Lenora currently shares a cabin in Switzerland with her husband and two naughty tiger-striped kitties.

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

Home

http://www.twitter.com/lenora_bell

Guest post: Q & A with author Lenora Bell + giveaway

Lenora Bell collage

It’s a few weeks now since the paperback publication of Lenora Bell’s debut book, How the Duke was Won.  I adored this enticing romance and can’t wait for Lenora’s next book.  I am so pleased to welcome Lenora Bell onto my page.  Welcome to my blog Lenora …

Have you always wanted to be a writer, and what made you decide to do Historical Romance?

Hi Adele, thanks for hosting me! I’ve always wanted to be a writer but I took a few detours along the way. Now I’m finally fulfilling my dreams and it’s so rewarding and amazing. I would say if you have a dream that you are passionate about … go for it!  Don’t let fear or self-doubt hold you back.
I write historical romance for two reasons: Jane Austen and Eloisa James.  Jane Austen sparked my love for historical fiction and Eloisa James was my inspiration for becoming a romance novelist.

 

I adored How the Duke was Won … if it went to the big screen who would you like to see portray the Duke?
I’m so glad you enjoyed the first book in the Disgraceful Dukes series! Ooh I love this question. I guess I’d have to choose Michiel Huisman. He’s a Dutch actor known for his roles in Game of Thrones and Orphan Black. He’s tall, dark, and handsome and just smolders on screen with this masculine, yet sensitive, energy (shhh…don’t tell my husband how many hours I’ve spent googling Michiel. It was all for book inspiration).
 
So I picture James looking kind of like this:
Michiel-Huisman-2
But wearing this:
Colin-Firth-as-Darcy-mr-darcy USE THIS ONE
Have you been inspired from your recent travels?
 
I love traveling and have lived and worked in Asia, Australia, Europe and South America. My travels definitely inspire my writing. Some of my favorite adventures include volunteering at a special needs orphanage in China, visiting Machu Picchu on a stunningly clear day, and exploring a castle in Switzerland that has graffiti from Lord Byron etched on a stone wall! While I was in Peru I visited a chocolate history museum as research for How the Duke Was Won. Recently I traveled to London and had a blast visiting museums, pubs, and historical sights.
How has your life changed since having your first book published?
I got to meet Eloisa James! And Sarah MacLean! And Lorraine Heath! And Julia Quinn! And…can you tell Im a breathless fangirl? Seriously, the big change is writing on a deadline. When you know theres an editor waiting for your book to be finished there’s a lot more pressure. But I need deadlines in order to produce anything. So bring it on.
What work do you have in progress?
 
Thanks for asking.  The second book in the Disgraceful Dukes series, If I Only Had a Duke comes out in a few months from Avon and Piatkus. There’s already a UK cover which I adore (see top right in the banner above). Right now I’m hard at work on the third book in the series which features Alice & Nick who you met in How the Duke Was Won.
So which books are you eagerly waiting for?
I can’t wait to read Eloisa James’ new Essex Sisters novella, A Gentleman Never Tells; Sarah MacLean’s A Scot in the Dark and Tessa Dare’s Do You Want to Start a Scandal!
GIVEAWAY
Lenora has kindly offered a Digital eBook download of How the Duke Was Won from amazon … to enter the giveaway just comment on this post by stating which is your favourite historical romance read.
 
To connect with Lenora Bell please visit the following links:
 

 

The Aftermath by R.J. Prescott book review and blogtour

 

The Aftermath hi-res jacket

The Aftermath by R. J. Prescott, publisher Piatkus, is available in ebook format NOW and paperback format from THURSDAY 2nd June 2016.

To buy/pre-order link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Aftermath-Hurricane-2-R-Prescott/dp/0349411328/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1464257919&sr=1-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose. But what happens when you have everything you ever wanted? You fight to keep it.

Cormac “the Hurricane” O’Connell’s star is on the rise. Billed as the most promising young boxer of his generation, his new career is taking him to places he never dreamed. But O’Connell only needs one thing in life: his wife. In her final year of college, Em cannot follow him around the world but together they make it work.

Just when everything they ever wanted is on the horizon, the past resurfaces to haunt them and O’Connell realises that justice might not be a part of his happy ever after.

He couldn’t protect Em once before, but in the aftermath of the hurricane, he will make sure that never happens again.

*The paperback edition contains exclusive brand new bonus content*

The Aftermath banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour promoting The Aftermath and would like to thank the publishers for an arc in return for an honest review.

Oh where do I start with this review? … The Aftermath was all I was expecting and more.  After reading The Hurricane back in March I was ‘hooked’ into the lives of Em and Cormac.  We left Em and Cormac in The Hurricane recovering from the terrible, traumatic  ordeal Em endured under the hands of her stepfather.  The Aftermath follows on were we see Em having to take the stand in court against her stepfather, having to rake over all her past nightmares and the most recent one.  Whilst the court case is on we are also seeing Cormac O’Connell (aka The Hurricane) train for the biggest fight of his life in his career.

Cormac is fighting with his mind coping with his worry over Em and the court case.  He wants justice for her and it’s taking all his strength and willpower not to act upon his anger against her stepfather.  I loved the advice that Father Pat gave Cormac and one of my favourite quotes from the book is from him …

“would you give up your vengeance for a lifetime with her?”

We follow Em’s journey in court and how it unfolds and on the flipside we follow Cormac on the brink of the fight of his career.

Can the young couple cope with all the emotional and physical strain and stresses life is putting on them?

This story was so intense and dramatic.  I was gripped and eager to find out the outcome.  Amongst all this drama we were treated to some wonderful tantalising, breathtaking scenes and some beautiful moments of pure love and heart ache.

A brilliant, irresistible two book series that I devoured.  I hope R.J. Prescott will write more stories from the wonderful array of sub characters we’ve grown to love in The Hurricane and The Aftermath.  5/5*

To find out more about R.J. Prescott and her books please visit the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/rjprescottauthor/

How the Duke Was Won (The Disgraceful Dukes Book 1) by Lenora Bell book review

Jacket How the Duke...

How the Duke was Won by Lenora Bell, publisher Piatkus, is available NOW in ebook format and is due to be published in paperback this Thursday 26th May 2016.

To pre-order/buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Duke-Was-Disgraceful-Dukes/dp/034941372X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1464016664&sr=1-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

James, the scandalously uncivilized Duke of Harland, requires a bride with a spotless reputation for a strictly business arrangement. Lust is prohibited and love is out of the question.

Four ladies. Three days. What could go wrong?

She is not like the others . . .

Charlene Beckett, the unacknowledged daughter of an earl and a courtesan, has just been offered a life-altering fortune to pose as her half-sister, Lady Dorothea, and win the duke’s proposal. All she must do is:

* Be the perfect English rose (Ha!)
* Breathe, smile, and curtsy in impossibly tight gowns (blast Lady Dorothea’s sylph-like figure)
* Charm and seduce a wild duke (without appearing to try)
* Keep said duke far, far from her heart (no matter how tempting)

When secrets are revealed and passion overwhelms, James must decide if the last lady he should want is really everything he needs. And Charlene must decide if the promise of a new life is worth risking everything . . . including her heart.

How the Duke was Won blog tour banner

I am pleased to be part of the blogtour promoting Lenora Bell’s debut historical romance.  I’d like to thank the publishers for an arc in return for an honest review.

This was an enticing, addictive tale of a swoon-worthy Duke with four delectable debutantes vying for his hand.

I soon became addicted to this tale of an uncivilised Duke searching for a bride.  It was sort of like an 1800’s take of a reality TV dating show.  It was filled with the most dashing but definitely unconvential Duke fighting with the idea of society, with it’s need to find him a respectable bride to help tone down his reputation.  James, the Duke, didn’t want to fall in love with his bride, he wanted a business affair.  He would invite four carefully selected lovely ladies to his house and at the end of the four days he was to choose his bride.

One of the chosen debutantes was unfortunately away travelling however, her mother had a cunning plan.  Lady Dorothea had a secret half-sister, Charlene Beckett, who held a strong resemblance to her.  Charlene Beckett was living in far different settings to her half-sister, she lived in a bawdy house in Covent Garden with her mother, sister and the ladies who entertained the gentlemen.  Charlene was repulsed with this life of a courtesan and was keen to do anything to avoid being trapped in a life that held a loveless future.  When the countess offered Charlene a proposal to take the place of Lady Dorothea, for the four days invitation at the Dukes, with the chance to gain enough cash to escape the bawdy house and the life it beckoned for her she felt she had no choice but to accept.

We follow Charlene’s duplicitous journey playing the part of a Lady trying to win the hand of the Duke.

Lenora Bell transported me back in time with ladies in waiting, ballrooms, horse carriages, dashing Dukes.  It was such a tantalising, fun story.  A rags to riches tale, battle of the down n outs against the upper class.  I loved Charlene’s character, with her upbringing it could have so easy have been for her to follow in the footsteps of her peers but she was strong willed and had visions of a better life.  She adored family and wanted so much more for her loved ones and also for girls less fortunate.

A brilliant debut in historical romance.  A sexy, warm, regency romance that I can’t wait to read the next instalment in The Disgraceful Dukes series).  5/5*

regency silhouette couple

To find out more about Lenora Bell and her books please visit the following links:

Home

https://twitter.com/lenora_bell

https://www.facebook.com/lenora.bell.90/?ref=hl