Book Review

The First Time I Saw You – Emma Cooper

August was dedicated to getting ahead on my blog tour reading when I suddenly realised just how many books I had committed to reviewing in September, so there is no book jar update this month. I did however find myself with a gap in my reading schedule at a point when I was away from home and without access to the jar. Well, this just seemed like the perfect opportunity to dive in to the latest book by Emma Cooper (to be honest, I had been waiting for an excuse to bump this one to the top of my reading list since the day it released. Her debut, The Songs of Us made my top ten reads of 2018, so I had very high hopes for this one. Read on to find out if it lived up to my expectations.

BLURB:

From the author of The Songs of Us. Fans of Jojo Moyes and Lucy Dillon will love The First Time I Saw You by Emma Cooper.

Six-foot-two Irish man who answers to the name Samuel McLaughlin. 
Has weak shins and enjoys show tunes. 
If found, please return to Sophie Williams.

Before Sophie met Samuel she saw the world in grey. 
Before Samuel met Sophie, he never believed in love at first sight.

When they first meet, something tells them they are meant to be. 
But fate has other ideas.

Now they have lost each other and can’t see a way back. 
But they’ve already changed each other’s lives in more ways 
than they could have predicted…

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REVIEW:

So, did Emma’s second book live up to her first? Of course it did! I never doubted it. Once again she has created a cast of characters that are so real and relatable that you just take them straight into your heart. After bawling my eyes out while reading The Songs of Us, I was expecting something of a bumpy ride, and sure enough after reading for just a short while, I felt the first crack in my heart. After fetching the biggest box of tissues I could find, I settled down to continue reading.

Although most of us don’t have the same devastating history as Sophie, I am sure every woman reading this will be able to relate to the way she views her clothes and make up as an armour to protect her from the world. Her pain at what she had been through was almost palpable at times and made me want to just sweep her up in a big hug. Samuel’s family life comes as a massive contrast to Sophie’s and it was impossible not to fall in love with the chaotic McLaughlin family. I think that is a family that anyone would want to be a part of.

The First Time I Saw You is filled with beautiful moments and periods of absolute devastation in equal measure. I ricocheted between laughing out loud and fighting to hold back tears throughout. The little nod to The Songs of Us was just perfect and brought a lump to my throat. Throughout the book, I was put in mind of the film, Serendipity, which is one of my favourites – if you enjoyed that, you will love this book.

Just a warning to the unsuspecting reader – you might think that by the time you get to the epilogue you are home and dry. You are not! Keep those tissues close by until the very last page.

You can find out more about this book and about Emma over on Goodreads.

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Book Review

The Worth of a Penny – Jess B Moore

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Worth of a Penny by Jess B Moore. Many thanks to Jess, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the tour and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

Sweetheart Penelope Davies is what her daddy calls gullible, right after he told her she was stupid and worthless. With her cheek red from being slapped by him, and her heart trampled by a worthless boyfriend, she packs up and follows her half-brother to Fox River, North Carolina, in need of a fresh start.

Dominic MacKenna is the youngest of five brothers, the friendly one with a killer smile and easy laugh. His brothers are all grown up, and one by one they’re flying the nest, leaving him out of sorts and unsure of his place. Who is he if not the youngest MacKenna?

Penny falls in with the MacKenna brothers, welcomed in as family, and offered the kind of love and support she never knew existed. With a new job and a lot of determination, she is finding out what she’s capable of. The last thing she needs now is to fall in love with the most notorious flirt in town.  

Dominic falls for the sweet strong girl with a penchant for random facts and quirky homemade dresses. All he wants is to show Penny how wonderful she is, how smart and funny, and how desired and loved—even if he has to do it as her friend.

the worth of a penny Cover

PURCHASE LINK

REVIEW:

When I saw that the front cover of this book referred to it as “A Sweet Romance,” I will confess that I wasn’t to sure what to expect. Although I often wander into the romcom Chicklit genre, out and out romance isn’t something that I would normally pick up. However, something about the blurb for this one caught my attention, and I am so glad that it did.

Although this is most definitely a sweet romance, this is not in a saccharine, sickly way, it is more that the strong family bonds, and the welcoming nature of the MacKenna brothers puts you in mind of simpler times when family and community were what mattered. As I was reading, I kept coming back to the thought that this book made me feel safe, like I was enveloped in a huge fluffy blanket with a mug of hot chocolate in my hand. It was a beautiful, gentle escape from the real world. That’s not to say that the characters just sailed through life. They certainly had their fair share of upsetting experiences to contend with, but through them all I just knew that they would help each other through.

This is the third book set in the Fox River community, but it can easily be read as a standalone – I haven’t read the previous books and I certainly didn’t feel as though I was missing out on any character back story. That said, I would love to get to know the characters better so I’ll be heading off now to check out the other books.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJess B Moore is a writer of love stories. When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her talented and stubborn children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.

Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family. She takes too many pictures of her cats, thinking the Internet loves them as much as she does. She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.

Her novels combine her interests in family, music, and small towns into thoughtful tales of growing up and falling in love.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

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Don’t forget to have a look at the other blogs taking part in the tour.

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Extracts

Just Rose – L.T. Marshall

The wonderful L.T. Marshall has kindly let me share an extract from her book for my stop of the Just Rose blog tour today. Thank you so much Leanne for inviting my to get involved.

BLURB:

The unexpected death of Rose’s beloved aunt ends up being a driving force in her uneventful life. She gives up her lonely, unfulfilled big city existence for the country home and life from cherished childhood memories.

But can it live up to them?

All she wants is to find her place in the world; the happiness and independence she has been searching for. With her little dog Muffin by her side and a much-needed new friend, it does seem possible – until an encounter with the handsome local Laird of the Munro Estate sends her spiraling from young professional woman to hormonal bundle of goo.

Their chemistry is undeniable, but with him not seemingly on the market, this might not be the place for her after all.

Thrust into the world of country living, will Rose ever find true love?

In this roller coaster of emotions and a whole lot of country charm, one thing is for sure: Rose is certainly not going to be bored anymore!

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EXTRACT:

‘You sound like Rob. He lived in Glasgow for a couple of years when he went to uni to study business, he said he couldn’t wait to come home and just get back to home life, the town, and the manor.’

It hit Rose then, that one tiny word at the end of a sentence. Manor. This was Abigail Munro. She was the Laird’s sister!

Running through the scene earlier in her head and piecing the fragments together in a split second, she felt her stomach lurching as it clicked into place. That familiar smile. That black hair, and although the eyes were not grey, she had his eyes. That same cheeky look when he smiled. The hint of dimples when she smiled. Just like his. That flawless skin and attractive bone structure. The easy confidence and the upper-class dialect which wasn’t common around here.

Surely, he couldn’t be? Could he?

He’d been leaving the Munro estate, and he did say, ‘Most people know I have a bad view of the road.’ Or something along those lines. Rose felt the colour drain from her face as it sunk in that her first encounter of the day with the asshole, had not been just any asshole, but this lovely girl’s brother and the Laird of her new home town. The Laird, who had invited her to his ball!

‘Are you okay?’ The look of concern on Abby’s face only struck it home, so alarmingly like his.

Damn!

Even the same question as he’d yanked open her car door. They were so alike it was traumatising; Rose feigned a smile and then let her head drop into her palms, groaning aloud. She felt like a moron, prize ‘A’ idiot, and this sudden dawning of events had her reeling with regret. She felt Abby’s hand touch her arm, concerned her new friend was having some sort of mental breakdown.

‘I met him,’ she mumbled, covering her face, and trying to rub away the realisation. The urge to pour her own hot chocolate over her head swiftly coming over her.

‘Rob?’ She could almost hear the surprise in Abby’s tone.

‘Yes. He almost killed me with his car this morning and then …’’

If that has caught your attention, you can purchase a copy of the book here.

Coming soon!June 2017 Release! (1)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author Leanne Marshall, better known as L.T.Marshall, is an aspiring romance writer from the UK who is fast scaling the charts as an Author. She has a passion for telling stories filled with dramatic twists and turns, deep emotional issues and gripping characters.

An advocate against all forms of abuse.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

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GIVEAWAY:

Coming soon!June 2017 Release! (5)

Win one of 5 eBooks of the standalone Romance Just Rose by entering the giveaway using the link below.

Just Rose is a cosy romance set in the highlands of Scotland with undertones of mental health awareness and well worth a read. Five chances to get the book so don’t delay and click away.

ENTER HERE!

Don’t forget to pay a visit to everyone else who is taking part in this fab tour.

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Book Review

Christmas Miracles At The Little Log Cabin – Helen J Rolfe

I have another festive treat for you today with Christmas Miracles At The Little Log Cabin by Helen J Rolfe.

BLURB:

Do you believe in Christmas Miracles?

Holly is looking for a change and even though not everyone agrees with her career choices, she’s determined there’s more to this life than the long hours she works as an editor in New York City. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Mitch, a recluse who’s hiding more than she realises.

Mitch does all he can to avoid human contact, spending his days in the little log cabin out in the woods behind Inglenook Falls where he owns a Christmas tree farm, so when Holly falls into his life, he’s not sure how to react. All he knows is that something needs to change if he ever wants to get his life back on track.

Along with friends Cleo and Darcy, Holly is determined to bring joy back to Mitch’s life, but will he appreciate their interference? And when a business proposition throws everything up in the air, will it do more harm than good and ruin lives forever?

Both Holly and Mitch must learn that on the surface people aren’t always what they seem…but if you dig a little deeper, they can take you by surprise.

Curl up this Christmas for plenty of snowflakes, roaring log fires, a marriage proposal, unlikely friendships and second chances as we return to the much-loved characters in the New York Ever After series.

Christmas miracles for amazon and websites etc

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

REVIEW:

Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin has the feel of one of those made for TV movies that pop up at Christmas every year – you know, the ones where you figure out how it is all going to end from about five minutes in, but you don’t care because they give you that warm Christmas glow, and you just can’t resist settling down for the duration and enjoying the ride. It is full of snow, festive cheer and goodwill, and redemption stories – everything you need in a heart-warming Christmas story.

This book is the fourth in the New York Ever After series, but it honestly doesn’t matter if you haven’t read the others. I haven’t, and it certainly didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story. There is enough background information for you to form an attachment to the characters, without it turning into a total rehashing of the first three books and an information overload. There was just enough that everything made sense, but that I was also left wanting to read the first three books to uncover the full stories of the characters.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author Photograph Helen Rolfe (4)

Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

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Many thanks to Helen and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to talk part in the blog tour for this book, and for providing me with my copy of the book. Please have a look at the other blogs taking part. Us bloggers love it when someone stops by to say hi!

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Book Review

A Little Christmas Charm – Kathryn Freeman

With the festive period fast approaching, I have another Christmas book for everyone to enjoy today, A Little Christmas Charm by Kathryn Freeman.

BLURB:

Would you swap sea and sunshine for tinsel and turkey?

Gabby Sanderson is used to being let down – even at Christmas. Which is why she’s happy to skip the festive season completely in favour of a plane ticket and sunnier climes.

But this Christmas could be different, because this time she might not be spending it alone. Can Owen Cooper charm Gabby into loving Christmas in the same way he’s charmed his way into her life, or is he just another person who’ll end up disappointing her?

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PURCHASE LINK:

Amazon UK

REVIEW:

Really, the title of this book tells you everything that you need to know about it. It is a charming Christmas tale filled with everything you could want from a festive novel. It is a wonderfully warm book, and is the perfect read to give you that cosy Christmas glow.

I found that every one of the characters touched my heart, each for very different reasons. Owen is truly irresistible, and I found that elements of Gabby’s trust issues really resonated with me. I loved getting to know each of the characters and found that I was really rooting for each of them to get the Christmas that they deserved.

I have read a lot of Christmas novels over the year, but A Little Christmas Charm is without a doubt one of my favourites. It left me with a warm feeling, and a reminder of what Christmas is really all about.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

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GIVEAWAY:

Win a paperback copy of A Little Christmas Faith by Kathryn Freeman (Open Internationally)

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494161/?

Many thanks to Kathryn, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this tour and for providing me with a copy of the book. Why not stay in the festive spirit and head over to the other blogs taking part in the tour.

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Blog

A Stain On The Soul – Cover Reveal

Following on from my review of Three Bloody Pieces by Elizabeth Davies the other day, I am so excited to be able to reveal to you today the book cover for the sequel, A Stain On The Soul. As always, before you get to see the cover, here comes the blurb.

BLURB:

Resigned to another lifetime of being a witch’s familiar, Caitlyn has found a degree of peace in her role as the Duke of Normandy’s protector and spy.

But that peace is shattered when she returns to her native land only to come face-to-face with her past, and fall in love with a man who she desperately hopes will become her future.

If, like me, you enjoyed the first book and can’t wait to read the second, you can pre-order it here.

Now, is everyone ready to cast their eyes over the cover? Here goes…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Elizabeth Davies is a paranormal author, whose books have a romantic flavour with more than a hint of suspense. And death. There’s usually death…

SOCIAL MEDIA:

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Book Review

The Oddest Little Cornish Tea Shop – Beth Good

Last but by no means least…

Oddest Little_TEA SHOP

BLURB:

It’s a big day for Charlie Bell – the grand reopening of her Aunt Pansy’s long-closed tea rooms in Tremevissey, a quaint Cornish seaside resort. But not everyone is happy for Charlie. The locals say the tea rooms are cursed. For Pansy was cruelly jilted by her lover, and walked out into the ocean, never to return.

Charlie dismisses the ‘curse’ as superstitious nonsense, but by the end of the first day, her world is in tatters, and she’s not even sure the tea rooms can open again.

Then in walks a rugged, taciturn man with a sexy smile and everything he owns on his back, looking for a summer job . . .

Is Gideon Petherick an angel in disguise? Or is history about to repeat itself?

REVIEW:

I know I shouldn’t have favourites, but I definitely feel as though I have saved the best ’til last here. I mean, who doesn’t love a Cornish cream tea in a traditional tea shop overlooking the sea. You can’t go wrong really, can you?

I truly adored the inhabitants of Tremevissey with their talk of curses and long held secrets, not to mention the inappropriate volume that one local in particular liked to speak in (you’ll know what I mean when you get there).

The mysterious stranger in the form of Gideon Petherick was just perfect, with his secretive nature regarding his relationship to Aunt Pansy and hints that there was more to her tragic tale than met the eye.

Now, if I could just combine these tea rooms with The Devil’s Bookshop, I would be in utter heaven. Excuse me now while I head off in search of a scone and my next book!