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?

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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):  http://www.millyjohnson.co.uk/

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

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

To Rome, With Love by TA Williams book review/blogtour

to-rome-with-love

To Rome, With Love written by TA Williams, publisher HQ Digital, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

A summer of second chances…

Just a week before her big day, Sarah returns home to find a note from her husband-to-be – the wedding’s off! So when her boss decides to send her on an epic cycling trip, from Venice to Rome, it seems like the perfect distraction…

Although she never expected the distraction to come in the form of her oh-so-handsome, but slightly serious, cycling companion, Miles. And with still 600 miles of beautiful scenery, mouthwatering food and delicious wine yet to cover, anything could happen!

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I’m so pleased to be involved with the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of T A Williams latest novel, To Rome, With Love.

This was a really lovely story by T A Williams.  The author not only gave us a wonderful romantic tale with a journey of emotional enlightenment but we were also treated to an epic cycle ride through Italy.

Sarah works for one of the top tourist companies in the country, she was due to get married very soon but her no-good fiancé decides to unceremoniously call off the wedding the week before.  Sarah is devastated, as you can imagine, but life must go on and she has to step in and help host a charity bike ride through Italy.  Sarah is a keen cyclist and with her job she has organised many events in the past so has no worries about this task.  She is hoping the fortnight away from home and her broken heart she can reassess her future and make waves into healing some of the cracks in her personal life.

Sarah is joined on the trip by many other colleagues from the world of travel including Miles and Paul, sons of the owner of the travel company she works for.  Sarah starts to build up a rapport with the gents but is wary of her actions in front of them as they are due to take over the running of the business soon and she wants to make a good impression and keep things on a professional level.  However, the more she gets to know the older of the brothers, Miles, the more she is drawn to him.  Miles is definitely the brains behind the business but holds a grudge against his brother and secretly has his own personal heartache.  Will this journey surrounded by wonderful countryside with epic views and glorious food to tantalise your taste buds go some way to heal the hearts of two lost people?

I loved the mix of characters that went along on this charity cycle ride.  I particularly liked Glynis’ story, a character that was initially misinterpreted but at the end you felt so much respect for this lady.  I felt like the author, TA Williams, had done his research for this novel as there was so much detailed information about the scenic and historic sites along the journey.  I also could feel that TA Williams enjoyed telling us this story and sharing his love for the country, it’s food, culture and history and also his love of cycling.  I personally felt like the story ended abit abruptly and I wanted an epilogue but maybe I’m fussy and don’t like to say goodbye to the characters so soon.  A lovely romance that takes you on a picturesque, life changing journey.

To find out more about T A Williams please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.tawilliamsbooks.com/

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

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

Girl 99 by Andy Jones book review

 

girl-99

Girl 99 written by Andy Jones, publisher Lake Union Publishing, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audio download format.

To buy link:

 

Product Details (as per amazon page)

When Tom’s girlfriend walks out on him the day before Christmas, he feels humiliated but not necessarily heartbroken. Sadie wasn’t, after all, The One. If we’re being precise, she was number eighty-five.

And so, for reasons that are only mostly wrong, Tom embarks on a mission to bring his number of encounters up to a nice neat one hundred.

Over the course of his quest he sleeps with a colleague, a colleague of a friend, a friend of a friend, a friend of a friend’s wife, the estate agent selling his flat and several more besides.

Everything is going, if not well, then at least according to plan…and then Tom meets Verity. Whether she’s The One remains to be seen, but she’s certainly more than just another number.

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I was pleased to be involved in the blogtour yesterday with an extract from the book and you can read this post here.

This is my first introduction to Andy Jones work and I really enjoyed this romcom.  A modern day man’s bird’s eye view (get it!) of dating, life, relationships, families, love.  I loved the honesty in the author’s writing it was real and relatable.  Through all the fun elements of the story there were some very poignant moments that you could feel the vulnerability in Tom, the main character.

Tom has just recently split with his girlfriend Sadie and at the moment they both share the use of their mini car.  This however, was to prove disastrous.  Whilst Tom was out with his friend El the subject of his love life cropped up.  El set’s a goal with Tom, a bet with a £1000 wager to bed his 100th fair lady by a certain date.  El is terminally ill with Huntington’s disease, the disease is slowly taking over his body and mind which makes him talk very frankly.  The relationship Tom and El have is very endearing, one minute they can be having a right good laugh and a joke the next Tom will show his caring side with El.  It’s lovely but also very touching and sad.

Tom’s bet was on it’s way to the goal and at first Tom was quite complacent and enjoying himself.  However, he starts to see the challenge as a chore/obstacle and it starts messing with his life with almost disastrous results.  This change of thought seems to coincide with Tom’s developing friendship with Verity.  Verity is different to all the girls he’s met before and he feels kind of shy around her.

Tom’s relationship with his dad and sister was wonderful, heart warming and tragic to read.  These little interludes back with his family are very grounding for Tom.

This book Girl 99 was fun, heart warming, sexy, honest, it evoked real and raw emotions.  I really did enjoy the story and the humour softened the sadness and blended the atmosphere of the book harmoniously.  5/5*

To find out more about Andy Jones and his books please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.andyjonesauthor.com/

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

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

Girl 99 by Andy Jones blogtour and book extract

 

girl-99

Girl 99 written by Andy Jones, publisher Lake Union Publishing, is available in ebook, paperback and audio download format from 14th February 2017.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

When Tom’s girlfriend walks out on him the day before Christmas, he feels humiliated but not necessarily heartbroken. Sadie wasn’t, after all, The One. If we’re being precise, she was number eighty-five.

And so, for reasons that are only mostly wrong, Tom embarks on a mission to bring his number of encounters up to a nice neat one hundred.

Over the course of his quest he sleeps with a colleague, a colleague of a friend, a friend of a friend, a friend of a friend’s wife, the estate agent selling his flat and several more besides.

Everything is going, if not well, then at least according to plan…and then Tom meets Verity. Whether she’s The One remains to be seen, but she’s certainly more than just another number.

Revised edition: This edition of Girl 99 includes editorial revisions.

girl-99-blogtour-poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour promoting and celebrating the launch of the revised edition of Andy Jones novel Girl 99.  Andy Jones has kindly allowed me to share an extract from his novel.  All the hosts on the tour will be sharing a different extract.  My extract is titled ‘The Bet’. This extract sets up Tom’s whole ill-fated mission – his friend in this scene, El, is suffering from Huntington’s disease, which goes some way to explaining Tom’s rather eccentric behaviour.

Eighty-five,’ El says, using his fork to trace the digits into his oyster sauce. ‘That’s almost a hundred.’

Did Phil cook Christmas dinner?’ I ask, sensing where this is going and not liking the look of the neighbourhood.

El shrugs, points his fork at me. ‘You should go for your century.’

Turkey and all the trimmings?’

Say you’re playing snooker or cricket,’ El continues. ‘And you rack up a score of eighty-five. You don’t quit. You get your head down and get on with it.’

Fine,’ I say. ‘I’ll do it. I’ll put an ad in the paper.’

Don’t be facetious; I’m only trying to help.’

I take a long sip of my Tsingtao.

Do you know how many people I’ve slept with?’ El asks.

I sip more beer and shrug.

Guess.’

I don’t know. Ten? Twenty?’

Guess again.’

A hundred,’ I say.

Do I look like a slut?’

I give El the finger.

He holds up four in return. ‘Three men and’ – he shudders – ‘one woman.’

I think that’s sweet,’ I say.

It’s pathetic. So, if not for yourself, do it for me. Think of it as having my share.’

Christ, El, you’re like a . . . like a dog with a bone.’

Very apt.’

And this is how it goes for the next thirty-several minutes. I try, numerous times, to change topic, but El’s train of thought is locomotive and will not be derailed.

What have you got to lose?’ El continues. ‘You might even meet someone nice.’

Done that, didn’t like it.’

Think about all the nuns, priests and ugly people that don’t sleep with anyone at all.’

And your point is?’

The point is,’ says El, ‘we need your hundred to maintain the global average.’

I can’t wait to share my review of this novel in the next couple of days.

To find out more about Andy Jones and his work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.andyjonesauthor.com/

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

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

 

 

Just Friends (2 book series) by Camilla Isley book review

friend-zone

 

Let’s Be Just Friends (book 1) and Friend Zone (book 2) written and self-published by Camilla Isley are available now in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link (two book deal):

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Let’s Be Just Friends

What if the man you’ve always loved isn’t the right one for you?
Rose Atwood has been in love with her best friend for years, and she’s tired of keeping her feelings under wraps for fear of getting hurt. Being Tyler’s best friend is becoming more difficult with every passing year and every new woman in his life–especially Georgiana Smithson, a snotty, beautiful girl who’s in Law School with them.
When Rose, dumped by her long-term boyfriend, moves temporarily into Tyler’s apartment, tension spikes. Georgiana wants Rose out of the house. Rose wants Georgiana out of Tyler’s life. And Tyler… well, he doesn’t really know what he wants.
As an unexpected argument brings Rose and Tyler closer than they’ve ever been, they must decide if there’s more to their relationship than being just friends. And they must do it quickly, as Georgiana is determined to do everything in her power to keep Tyler and Rose apart. After all, all is fair in love and war.
Will Rose make a leap of faith and trust Tyler with her heart?
Will Tyler make the right choice, or will he be too late?

Let’s Be Just Friends is a fast paced, captivating college romance that will keep you glued to the pages with humor, heartbreak, and romance. It’s a story about friendship, love, and the choices we make.
Tyler and Rose are two best friends, who end up tangled in a college love triangle when they become friends with benefits. Enjoy this light new adult read.

Friend Zone

Alice Brown fell in love with Jack the day she moved into her freshman dorm. Problem is, she’s been stuck in the friend zone ever since. After another meaningless breakup, she’s ready to confess her feelings to Jack.
Jack Sullivan has mistaken friendship for love once before and has vowed never to do it again. A varsity sports player, he’s determined to enjoy college with no strings attached.
Peter Wells is Jack’s best wingman. He enjoys his popularity as team captain and when he meets Alice, he’s ready to steal her heart.
When Jack sees Alice and Peter together, jealousy hits him hard. But will he break his vow to never date a friend?

Meet new characters and catch up with old ones in the second book in the Just Friends series.

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I really enjoyed this mini series by Camilla Isley.  The books are based on the complicated lives and loves of friends set in an American college.  Can friends ever develop more than just platonic feelings?  Is love worth the risk of friendship?

The books can be read as standalones but to fully appreciate the characters and story I’d advise you to read both stories in numerical order and once you’ve read book one you are going to want to read book two …

Let’s Just Be Friends – Tyler loves Rose and Rose loves Tyler but they both haven’t admitted their true feelings to each other.  There is also the added complication that Tyler has a girlfriend, Georgiana.  Tyler and Rose have been best friends in like forever and when Rose finds herself temporary homeless she moves in with Tyler.  Their best friends relationship was working well until Tyler and Georgiana got together.  Georgiana is jealous of this BFF relationship between Tyler and Rose and she feels there is more to this platonic relationship.

When an unexpected change in this friendship heats up Tyler becomes very confused. Georgiana schemes a plan to embarrass Rose but it backfires when Ethan, Georgiana’s brother falls for Rose.  Georgiana’s scheming continues and she does all her best to keep Tyler and Rose apart forever.  Can Rose open her heart and let others in?  Can Tyler commit to a relationship?

I loved this love story it was fresh, fun and flirty.  A YA romance that was quite addictive and I couldn’t wait to read more of this sizzling chemistry between friends.  I loved how the author, Camilla Isley, broke up each chapter with different character perspectives. The angst between the BFFS was truly felt with their constant battle of emotions, it was very poignant but also electric at times.

Friend Zone – sees us continuing on from the story from Let’s Just Be Friends with a startling discovery.  We are then transported back to 7 months previously when we are introduced to new friends struggling with their feelings for each other.  This story focuses on Alice and Jack.  Alice and Jack are studying the same course in college and as soon as Alice met Jack she felt strong feelings for him.  However, Alice didn’t reveal her true feelings to Jack for a long time but after making a pass at him and being rebuked by him she is embarrassed and angry with herself.  She vows to make him jealous and starts dating his ‘wingman’ and super popular captain of the basketball team Peter.  Peter is a player but when he meets Alice he sees more in her than his previous one night stands and a serious relationship develops between Alice and Peter.  This brings outrage to Jack and his jealousy spirals out of control.  Once again we are treated to chapters from different character perspectives with the young adults battling their confused emotions with each other.  Has Jack left it too late?

Another great fun love story from Camilla Isley that concludes the story in Let’s Just Be Friends and introduces us to more friends with heart breaking turmoil. 

This mini series would make a great read for Valentine’s Day shared with your favourite drink and sweet treat 🙂

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

Website:  http://www.camillaisley.com/

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

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

The Corner Shop of Whispers by Debbie Viggiano book review

the-corner-shop-of-whispers

The Corner Shop of Whispers written by Debbie Viggiano, publisher Gingersnaps Books, is available now in paperback format and is available from 14th February 2017 in ebook format.  The ebook will also be included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Romantic Florrie, scatty Daisy and snobby Alison are neighbours, living their married lives in the tiny English village of Lower Amblegate where everyone knows everybody. Together the three friends share laughter, tears, and things they wouldn’t want anybody else knowing. But unbeknownst to them, a scandal is brewing.

As rumours circulate, the gossips go into overdrive, rocking marriages and revealing the women have much more in common than just neighbourly bonds…

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This was such a fabulous read and my first experience of a Debbie Viggiano story and I will definitely look out for more books by this author.

The story is set in an affluent suburban cul-de-sac in a fictional village called Lower Amblegate.  The three friends and neighbours Florrie, Daisy and Alison are quite different in personality but they work well together as a team and would do anything for each other.

Florrie is the main character in this story.  She’s a young woman happily married to her husband Markus for 5 years.  Florrie and Markus have some exciting news, after a five year struggle to start a family Florrie is finally pregnant.  However, all is not quite what it seems with this news.

Alison is the neighbour that likes to be ‘in’ with the yummy mummy crowd and the School PTA and when she hears of local actor arranging a Ball at her mansion Alison is eager to help organise and become BFF’s with the local celeb.

Daisy is the most easy going of the trio but as a busy mum and wife to local primary school headteacher she doesn’t have the time to stress over the little things.

With the preparations of the Ball (local event of the year) under way and an unexpected painting commission for Florrie from the local celeb things are looking up for the residents of Lower Amblegate.

However, rumours are rife of adultery amongst the villagers, some very high profile ones at that, tittle tattle starts especially within the walls of the corner shop.

This story was scandalous but oh so very addictive.  Who doesn’t love a bit of juicy gossip!?  Lots of raucous moments that the author Debbie Viggiano treated us to.  A great story that takes you on many highs with its fun side but it had a darker edge to it that had you gripping the pages to find out what happens next.  A brilliant romcom I thoroughly enjoyed.  5/5*

 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 find out more about Debbie Viggiano and her books please do visit the following pages:

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

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

The Serial Dater’s Shopping List by Morgen Bailey book review

 

the-serial-daters-shopping-list

The Serial Dater’s Shopping List written and self-published by Morgen Bailey is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  It is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

 

Product Details (as per amazon page)

31 dates in 31 days – what could possibly go wrong?

Isobel MacFarlane is a recently-turned-40 journalist who usually writes a technology column for a newspaper based in Northampton, England, but her somewhat-intimidating boss, William, has set her the task of meeting 31 men, via a local internet dating site, all within a month.

Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend and ‘Health & Beauty’ colleague Donna, she knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts, and starts ticking them off as she meets Mr Could Be Right Except For, Mr Not Bad, Mr Oh My Goodness and Mr Oh So Very Wrong.

Follow the ups (there are a few) and downs (there are many) of the dating process and intertwined with her experiences, get to know her colleague and family, including her niece Lola who, apart from being an amazing storyteller, can eat ambidextrously whilst wearing a Princess glove puppet on her right hand, and Baby, William’s non-too-healthy African Grey parrot.

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I loved the premise of this story … 31 dates in 31 days what could go wrong?!  Izzy works for the local newspaper as a Technology Reviewer however, her latest assignment is completely out of her comfort zone.  She’s to register on the local dating agency and go on 31 different dates in 31 days and do a daily feedback article for the paper.  For single woman Izzy she is looking forward to this new challenge, to be paid to go out and have an expense budget too all sounds very exciting.

However, after some dates proving disastrous the end of the month can’t come quick enough for Izzy.  At the beginning of the month Izzy compiled her own ‘shopping list’ of what her ideal date would be like.  After each date though she referred back to her ‘shopping list’ and changes and additions were needed.

The author, Morgen Bailey, must have had such fun writing this novel.  It was witty and charming and very entertaining.  I loved the ‘shopping list’ and very often in life we need reminding not to judge a ‘book by the cover’ and sometimes ‘the one’ has been right in front of your face all the time, we just need to open our eyes and view things in a different light.  A great fun-filled romantic comedy 4/5*

To find out more about Morgen Bailey and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.morgenbailey.wordpress.com

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

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.