Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Redeeming the Rogue Knight by Elisabeth Hobbes #Review @ElisabethHobbes





The spy who sought refuge... 


When injured spy Sir Roger Danby comes asking for shelter at her inn, Lucy Carew is wary. He may be strikingly handsome, but the disgraced single mother has learned the hard way with men like him. Against her better judgment, she gives him refuge.

Sir Roger has never been at the mercy of a woman before, and he's never met one as mysterious and bewitching as Lucy. He hasn't come looking for redemption, but Lucy is a woman who could reach in and touch his closely guarded heart... 


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After reading The Blacksmith's Wife it's safe to say I was intrigued by Roger's character and I couldn't wait to see how his story would turn out. Now I know that it is the second book in The Danby Brothers series but I still think it works well as a standalone. However I think it is worth reading the series from the start just so you get to read Joanna and Hal's story.

I really enjoyed both books for different reasons but in this story I loved the feisty interactions between Lucy and Roger. Their first meeting is pretty memorable and from then on it is so entertaining when they clash and you get the resulting sparks flying. Roger has definitely met his match in Lucy and it was lovely to see his character develop. When he isn't being bad tempered he has such a playful and flirty personality which was so much fun to see. It was so easy to completely become engrossed in this story. Lucy is the perfect person to stand up to Roger she hasn't had an easy life but tries her best and her strength is a wonderful attribute. Their chemistry sparked whenever they were near each other which made the story even more lively and engaging.

With an added bit of danger to keep the characters on their toes the pacing of the story is great and I had finished this book in no time at all. I had got that attached to the characters that I didn't want to say goodbye to them.

Fiery interactions, witty writing and two wonderful characters makes this book so very entertaining!


With thanks to Elisabeth Hobbes for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.


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My books are available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk as well as from Harlequin and Mills & Boon and other online retailers.

You can find me hanging around The Unlaced Book Club on Facebook along with other Harlequin Historical authors.  Come join us for history, romance and chat with no buy ads.

I grew up in York where I spent most of my teenage years wandering around the city looking for a handsome Roman or Viking to sweep me off my feet. Sadly it never happened but I developed a love of the past and went on to read History and Art History at university before venturing into the world of teaching.

These days I hold down jobs as a teacher and mum and have strong views on SPaG and the National Curriculum.

I live in Cheshire with my husband, two young children and two cats with ridiculous names because the car broke down here in 1999 and I never left.

I love historical fiction and have a fondness for dark haired, bearded heroes. When I’m not writing, I spend a lot of my spare time reading and have become something of a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book!

I’m fond of ginger mojitos and Thai hot and sour soup, though not at the same time.

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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The Big Dreams Beach Hotel by Lilly Bartlett #BlogTour #Review @MicheleGormanUK @HarperImpulse


I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Big Dreams Beach Hotel by Lilly Bartlett. Today I will be sharing my review but first of all let's take a look at the description for the book...




Wriggle your toes in the sand and feel the warm breeze on your face when you check into the hotel that’s full of dreams…

Three years after ditching her career in New York City, Rosie never thought she’d still be managing the quaint faded Victorian hotel in her seaside hometown.

What’s worse, the hotel’s new owners are turning it into a copy of their Florida properties. Flamingos and all. Cultures are clashing and the hotel’s residents stand in the way of the developers’ plans. The hotel is both their home and their family.

That’s going to make Rory’s job difficult when he arrives to enforce the changes. And Rosie isn’t exactly on his side, even though it’s the chance to finally restart her career. Rory might be charming, but he’s still there to evict her friends.

How can she follow her dreams if it means ending everyone else’s?

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One of the best things about this book is the brilliant variety of characters who by the end pretty much felt like friends to me. They really are all wonderful in their own fun and quirky ways. Just like one big family all looking out for each other and they all had their dreams that they were trying to make a reality.

Rosie has tried to go out and fulfill her dreams unfortunately it didn't really work out for her. So she decided to come home and start again but she is still living and working in Scarborough three years later. I really enjoyed how Lilly Bartlett slowly gave us the details regarding how Rosie's life in New York went wrong. It worked well giving us the alternating timeline alongside the present situation at the hotel. I liked how determined Rosie is and her clashes with Rory were fun to see play out. Rory is a great character and I had to feel sorry for him as he tries to keep everyone happy but still continue do his job as Transitions Manager. 

The two brothers who buy the hotel are very flamboyant and I couldn't help but smile at some of the ideas they think will work and then try to implement at the hotel. The havoc that is caused by the takeover is both unwelcome and is over the top. I really felt for the characters as they tried to navigate their way through the changes especially Rosie and Rory who are stuck right in the middle. 

It really is a heartwarming story that is wonderfully exuberant and has some lovely feel good vibes that are perfect to get us through our rather rainy summer.

The Big Dreams Beach Hotel has delightful friendships, witty writing and a sweet romance that is guaranteed to entertain.

With thanks to Michele Gorman and Harper Impulse for the invite to join the tour and for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.




Lilly Bartlett’s cosy romcoms are full of warmth, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.


Lilly is the pen-name of Sunday Times and USA Today best-selling author, Michele Gorman, who writes best friend-girl power comedies under her own name.


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Sunday, 20 August 2017

Elephant and Pinky Moon by Lilac Mills @LilacMills #Review #WeekendBlitz @NeverlandBT


Thank you for joining me today on the weekend blitz for Elephant and Pinky Moon by Lilac Mills. I'm delighted to be sharing my review but first of all let's take a look at the description for the book...





Twenty-eight-year-old Nina lives a quiet, unassuming life, happy (ish) with her job, maybe not quite as happy with her non-existent love-life (but who has everything) and content to trundle along with her nice, predictable daily routine.

That is, until her octogenarian grandmother talks Nina into accompanying her on holiday.

Nina envisages sedate walks along the promenade, afternoon naps by the pool, and bingo in the evening. What she actually gets is too much vodka, adult games of "pin the tail on the donkey" and dancing on a bar whilst flaunting her knickers - and that's just her gran!

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The start of the story was perfect it really shows the characters personalities and it's safe to say that Nina is railroaded by her mother and grandmother Flossie into joining the latter on holiday. They were certainly a force to be reckoned with especially her grandmother and I did feel a little sorry for Nina at the way she was manoeuvred into accompanying her grandmother. However it's also a shame that she is a little on the uptight side so I was really hoping that some of Flossie's exuberance would rub off on Nina. One of the best things about this book was Flossie she really does help to make this story come alive. She is a complete live wire from discussing pants to playing a very different version of pin the tail on the donkey! Flossie and Nina are polar opposites but it just makes the story work so well.

It's safe to say I was intrigued by the title of the book and I was wondering how and if it would be explained. It's a fun and very different title so I loved the part where it all became clear.


It really is so much fun to read and I found myself smiling, giggling and cringing my way through this story which was a definite plus for me. With wonderful excursions that I wished I could go on too and some interesting and engaging characters. Making it ideal reading if you are already on holiday or even if you are dreaming of a holiday abroad it will definitely put you in a summery mood.

With witty writing that had me giggling along especially at the inappropriate bits and it definitely put me in a fabulous mood. Then factor in a gorgeous romance that just made this story all the more perfect. Before I knew it I was nearing the end and it was such a shame as I was having so much fun.

Elephant and Pinky Moon makes you want to step out of your comfort zone and embrace life!

With thanks to Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.


Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework. She apologises to her employer and her loved ones, but the house will simply have to deal with it!

She calls Worcester home, though she would prefer to call somewhere hot and sunny home, somewhere with a beach and cocktails and endless opportunities for snoozing in the sun…

When she isn’t hunched over a computer or dreaming about foreign shores, she enjoys creating strange, inedible dishes in the kitchen, accusing her daughter of stealing (she meant to say “borrowing”) her clothes, and fighting with her husband over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.

Website: www.lilacmills.com


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2 signed paperbacks:

- Elephant and Pinky Moon
- Under the Cherry Tree


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Buried Secrets by T.J. Brearton @BreartonTJ #BlogBlitz #Review @bookouture



I'm delighted to be taking part in the blog blitz for Buried Secrets by T.J. Brearton. I really enjoyed this tense and unpredictable story but before you read my review let's take a look at the description for the book...





What if your dream home became your worst nightmare?

Newlyweds Brett and Emily Larson have just moved into a new home deep in the countryside, and are overjoyed when Emily finds out she’s pregnant.

Then they discover human bones in their garden.

As the police start to investigate, three things become clear:

The bones are recent.
They are not here by accident.
They are a message.

When the police put three photographs of known criminals on the Larsons’ kitchen table, the couple realize the danger may be closer to home than they think.

As the situation escalates, can Brett and Emily keep one step ahead to protect themselves – and their unborn child?

Fast-paced, compelling and full of twists, this heart-pounding thriller will keep you turning the pages until the very end. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Robert Dugoni and Linwood Barclay.

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It was so easy to be pulled into the story mainly because of how normal everything begins. After a few seemingly ordinary pages the story suddenly switches gears and becomes something else entirely which makes for a compelling story. The interesting thing for me was the fact that there were two stories running side by side and each one had me intrigued. You have Brett and Emily making the horrifying discovery of the bones on their property. Then you switch to Russo who has found himself in trouble with the police. I couldn't wait to see each story play out and to find out if they were going to converge. I thought that both plot strands developed well even though to start with it goes at a steady pace you can feel the tension building as more details are revealed. I was so curious as to what was happening it was a great way to get a feel for both the characters and the situation this way too.

The characters are intriguing and even though at times I wanted to shout out don't do that or do this instead. I was completely focused on these characters and how their lives were spiralling out of control. If I had to pick a favourite character I'm not really sure I could however Russo maybe edges it slightly. It's mainly because he has flaws which always makes for an engaging character but there is also something about him that made me sit up and pay attention. Although I did love Brett's curious nature along with both his and Emily's desire to start a family.

I really enjoyed the build up to before the action starts as this definitely increased the stress levels for the characters and for me reading it. The twists and turns are brilliantly done and also well placed to give the reader that perfect moment for when things become clear. 

Intriguing, twisty and oh so good!

Five stars from me!

With thanks to Bookouture & Netgalley for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.




T.J. Brearton is the author of eight published novels of crime fiction, including detective thrillers, police procedurals, psychological suspense, and one paranormal crime story. His eBooks have been best-sellers on the Amazon kindle fiction Top 100 list. He lives in the Adirondacks with his wife and three children where he writes full time.


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Friday, 18 August 2017

Autumn at The Cosy Cottage Cafe by Rachel Griffiths @authorRG



Motherhood has been one of the great blessings of Dawn Dix-Beaumont’s life but with her children’s growing independence, it’s finally time for Dawn to return to teaching. However, Mother Nature has other ideas…

Rick Beaumont loves his family but he’s busier than ever. With his high-flying career, two children and a third on the way, there’s a lot to juggle.

Battling expectations, disappointments and a few surprises along the way, Dawn and Rick find their commitment to each other tested to the limit. The next steps they take will be the most important of their lives.

So when the pressure mounts and an important decision has to be made, will Dawn and Rick’s marriage become stronger than ever, or will it be time to move in different directions?

This is the second of four short stories in The Cosy Cottage Café series.


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Amazon UK


Now available:
Summer at The Cosy Cottage Café
Autumn at The Cosy Cottage Café

Coming soon:
Winter at The Cosy Cottage Café
Spring at The Cosy Cottage Café



I guess anyone who reads my blog knows that I like to read a few different genres from thrillers through to romance. However I do love to find a book that gives me a warm and cosy feeling that also leaves me smiling. Most of the books I read do this but some do it better than others. It was easy to put the first book in the series Summer at The Cosy Cottage Café well into this category. With this in mind I did wonder if the second book would leave me feeling the same, well let's find out...

Even though Autumn at The Cosy Cottage Café is the second book in The Cosy Cottage Café series it's still easily classed as a standalone. However I would recommend reading the first book as you get to meet Allie and Chris and read their wonderful story.

I loved that this story focused on a family and every day life because of this it felt very real. I found myself nodding along at certain parts agreeing with Dawn and particular situations. It was very easy to feel a connection to Dawn whether it's because she is a mother or it could be that she is a genuinely likeable character who is trying to do her best. The relationship between Dawn and Rick felt realistic after all no marriage is perfect so it was nice to see the down to earth way they are portrayed. They really are a perfect match but can they get themselves through this rough patch?

Even though it's a short story it was very easy to connect with the story and the characters. It was lovely to catch up with Allie, Chris and The Cosy Cottage Café and of course to revisit Heatherlea. I loved the little subplot with Wallace and I couldn't help but laugh even when there were times I shouldn't have. The scene in the café with Allie was pretty funny though!

Autumn at The Cosy Cottage Café brought a smile to my face and a few giggles too. It's a quick read so very easy to read in an evening which is exactly what I did. After grabbing a cup of tea and maybe a little bit of chocolate (okay a full bar of chocolate) I settled down feeling completely relaxed and caught up in the story. I enjoyed catching up with this group of friends and I'm definitely intrigued about what will happen next.

A sweet and enjoyable story that is guaranteed to leave you with a smile.

With thanks to Rachel Griffiths for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.


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Dead To Me by Stephen Edger @StephenEdger #BlogTour #Review @bookouture


I am delighted to be one of the stops today on the tour for Dead To Me by Stephen Edger. If you get chance why not visit the lovely Emma over at https://damppebbles.com/ for her stop too.

You can catch my review today but first of all let's take a look at the description for the book...




How do you catch a killer who knows your every move?

The woman lay flat on the table, her face to one side, her wrists bound with thick tape. Deep scratches marked the wood beneath her fingers, now resting cold and still...

When a woman’s body is found in an abandoned bar near the Southampton docks, Detective Kate Matthews is called in to lead the investigation. She must solve this case to prove she is coping with the death of a close colleague.

Kate knows a pile of ripped up newspaper cuttings discovered at the victim’s house must be a piece of the puzzle, but her team keep hitting dead-ends... Until she finds a disturbing clue that convinces her of three things: The murder is linked to the body of a man found hanging in a warehouse, she is on the hunt for a calculated serial killer, and the killer is watching her every move.

Kate realises there will be another victim soon, and that her own life is in grave danger, but no one else believes her theory. Can she find and stop the most twisted killer of her career, before another life is lost?

An absolutely NAIL-BITING thriller that will keep you guessing to the very last page. Perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni, James Patterson and MJ Arlidge.

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I think that it's safe to say that this book will have you turning the pages until you reach the end of this tension filled story. There was a creepy vibe at times making me wonder if I should go and make sure the doors are locked. The fact that the killer is spying on Kate ramped up the tension even more. A grisly and sadistic killer is on the rampage and I did cringe at a few things wondering if my sensitive stomach could handle it. This just added to the atmosphere of the story and made it even more paramount that Kate capture the killer.

To start with I wasn't sure which direction the story would go in with regards to Kate's character I liked that she had flaws and this gave her a more life like feel. I think that the balance between Kate's personal life and the investigation side was done well. Neither overpowered the other and it actually helped to see that her life wasn't perfect. Kate's family life is pretty complicated but I enjoyed the way it was explored and the way her character developed because of it. I think at times I maybe had to shake my head at some of the things Kate did. However who knows what anyone of us would do in those same situations. I have to admit that I have a soft spot for detectives who maybe bend the rules slightly it definitely makes things all the more interesting.

The investigation into the murders was written well and I love a good mystery so trying to put the clues together was quite fun. Although to be honest I would never make a good detective but it's always worth a try playing the guessing game over who is behind everything.
The overall pacing was pretty good, managing to keep me interested in the story and also connected to the characters. I have to say that there are some good supporting characters in this story too such as Laura who was great as Kate's colleague. She always tried to be helpful and offer some much needed support. I hope that some of these characters will play a role in the next book and I can't wait to get to know these characters even better.

Grisly and tension filled!


With thanks to Bookouture & Netgalley for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.





Stephen Edger is a British crime writer, who has been writing since 2010. In that time he has written and published eleven novels, and five short stories. He writes mysteries and thrillers focused on crime.
Stephen was born in the north-east of England, grew up in London, but has lived in Southampton since attending university in the year 2000. Stephen works in the financial industry, and uses his insider knowledge to create the plots of his books. He also has a law degree, which gives him a good understanding of the inner workings of the UK justice system.

Stephen is married, and has two children, and two dogs. He is passionate about reading and writing, and cites Simon Kernick and John Grisham as major influences on his writing style.

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Ethan's Daughter by Rachel Brimble @RachelBrimble #BlogTour #Review @BrookCottagebks #Giveaway #Extract


Thank you for joining me today on the blog tour for Ethan's Daughter by Rachel Brimble. I shared my review for this heart warming story previously on my blog but I'm delighted to be sharing my review again for the tour. There is also a fab giveaway and extract to read but first of all let's take a look at the description for the book...




Series: Templeton Cove Stories # 7 (can be read as a standalone)
Genre: Romantic suspense
Release Date: August 1st 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Superromance

There's safety in solitude…isn't there?

Single dad and best-selling thriller writer Ethan James has no problem being Templeton Cove's most famous recluse…until a surprise visit from the past plunges him into a real-life crime drama just as feisty nurse Leah Dixon barges her way into his world.

Ethan's first priority is to protect his daughter. His second priority is to keep Leah out of this dark web—and that means out of his bed. Except Leah isn't going anywhere; she's afraid little Daisy is in danger. Ethan couldn't live with himself if anything happened to Leah…but pushing her away may be even harder..


I am delighted to be re-sharing my review for Ethan's Daughter by Rachel Brimble. So what did I think...

I have read a couple of Rachel Brimble's books in the past including Saved By the Firefighter which is book 6 in the Templeton Cove Stories. So I was eager to continue the series but what did I think of book 7...

I loved that Ethan is such a loving and protective father, Rachel Brimble has managed to create a wonderful and caring man but with a few flaws too. It's lovely to see the relationship with his daughter Daisy. Daisy is such a cutie and all the way through the story you could really feel Ethan's sense of responsibility at trying to protect her. Whether that be from actual threat and physical harm but also from letting anyone get close to his daughter after she was abandoned by her mother.

Both Leah and Ethan are strong characters and also pretty stubborn too which I guess made for lively interactions. Leah is feisty and her determination to help was so endearing even if that meant clashing with Ethan. Her occupation as a nurse definitely made her keen to step in and help. Then there is the added complication of attraction, but will anything happen?

It is a romance story at it's heart but with the added bit of danger thrown in to keep the story entertaining. The story moves pretty quickly and because of this it's so easy to become invested in the characters situation. A sweet and heartwarming read that is perfect to curl up with and relax. It's easy to get caught up in the story and forget all about your day.

Sweet but with feisty characters and a dash of danger!

With thanks to Rachel Brimble for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

EXTRACT

On the other side of the front door, the kitchen/dining room stretched from the front to the back of the house. Even though it was in semi-darkness, Leah could see straight through to some French doors at the back, the only illumination coming from the overhead light of the stove as it glinted on steel toward the center of the room.

Snapping her gaze to Daisy, Leah’s opinions on personal tastes flew to the wayside. The little girl’s eyes were wide as she chewed her bottom lip. Leah frowned. “Are you all right, sweetheart? Do you want me to knock?”

Daisy nodded and raised her arms toward Leah as though asking to be picked up. “Yes, please. Daddy might be mad.”

“Oh, Daddy won’t be mad.” Leah bent down and picked her up, hitching her onto her hip as Daisy’s arms wound around her shoulders. “If Daddy’s mad, I’ll show him how to calm himself down real quick. Don’t you worry about that.” Leah lifted the brass knocker and let it fall a little harder than necessary.

No answer.

Narrowing her eyes, she knocked again.

She was readying to knock a third time when the door swung open.

“I told you to get the hell out of here and not come back.” The man’s dark hair sprouted from every angle, his raging eyes bulging and his right hand swathed in a blue and white¬¬––and bloodied––dishtowel. His gaze held Leah’s for a split-second before he snapped his attention to Daisy. “My God, Daisy. What are you…” He cupped Daisy under her armpits, wincing slightly as he pulled her from Leah’s arms to hold her close. He pressed a lingering kiss to her temple, his raging eyes hidden behind his closed lids.

Leah stared, completely stunned by this flannel-shirted, blue jeaned, incredibly good-looking man…despite the bulging eyes. She coughed in a bid to find her voice. “Mr. James?” She planted her hands on her hips. “You’re Daisy’s father, I presume?”

He opened his eyes and Leah stepped back.

Apparently when his eyes had softened and were filled with regret rather than rage, they looked good.

Really good.

She stilled. Oh, good Lord. Be damned if those weren’t the eyes of Templeton’s reclusive novelist, Ethan James.




ABOUT RACHEL BRIMBLE


Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had seven books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and an eight coming in Feb 2018. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.

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