Thursday, 22 October 2015

Christmas Ever After by Sarah Morgan



Skylar Tempest has never understood Alec Hunter’s appeal. So what if he’s a world-renowned historian? He’s also cynical, aloof and determined to think the worst of her. So when a twist of fate finds her spending the lead-up to Christmas with Alec and his family, she’s not expecting the season to be either merry or bright.
Alec has learned the hard way not to trust beautiful women—and Skylar is the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. But as he watches her throw herself into his family’s festive chaos, Alec realises there is far more to this blonde bombshell than meets the eye.
With Christmas around the corner, Alec and Skylar return to Puffin Island, a tentative bond forged between them. Neither intends to fall in love but as the nights become darker, and the fire between them grows hotter, could this be the chance for Alec and Skylar to find their own happy ending?




The book has a lovely cover with a scene of London at Christmas and covered in glitter and sparkly starts. This is the third book in Sarah Morgan's Puffin Island Trilogy, however you don't have to have read the first two as it can be read as a stand alone book without detracting from the story.
The main Character in the book is Skylar Tempest and with a name like that she just has to be gorgeous and American. Why she is with the obnoxious Richard is beyond my understanding as I don't think she even likes him. Richard fits in with her parents idea of a perfect match but as her parents seem to be obnoxious too I can see why they like him.
Skylar is an artist and jewellery designer and at her first showing of her work Richard shows himself for the prat that he is and Skylar needs help.
Enter Alec a friend of her friends in Puffin Island but no friend of hers. They definitely don't like each other but I think they protest too much and as Alec becomes her knight in shinning armour can they resist each other?
Skylar is torn between having a lovely Christmas with her friends and pleasing her parents and having a regimented Christmas with them and their business associates. I think that would be a no brainer but Skylar loves her parents and has always tried to please them.
I enjoyed the comradery of Skylar and her friends on Puffin Island. Although the island was a bit remote the author's descriptions made it sound like a magical place to stay as it seemed to have changed the lives of the people who came to live there and their stories are probably told in the first two books.
Once I got involved with the story I enjoyed it. It was romantic but predictable and not many threads to it apart from the will they/won't they love story.
If you like the usual Mills and Boon type stories then you'll enjoy this one.

 In paperback or kindle download here and in all bookshops.

Thank you to the publisher for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.













Monday, 19 October 2015

Little Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt

                                                                              
When Estelle’s baby daughter is taken from her cot, she doesn’t report her missing. Days later, Estelle is found in a wrecked car, with a wound to her head and no memory. Estelle knows she holds the key to what happened that night- but what she doesn't know is whether she is responsible....




This was quite a page turner. I thought I had guessed who had taken baby Mia but I was wrong until just before we found out.
I have no idea why Jack married Estelle,they were so unsuited and there didn't seem to be any love between them. When Mia was born she was a colicky baby who cried from morning until night and Jack was the only one who had patience with her. It was obvious to the reader that Estelle had post natal depression but Jack just didn't see it. Instead of helping her he returns to work, dumps mother and baby in an apartment miles away from where they live as he is supposedly having money troubles. 
The apartment is in a large house Jack is renovating for re sale to make some money so it's never really a home. It is indeed the worse place for a new mum and a colicky baby with all that noise and builders coming and going. To top it all Jack is away from home for weeks at a time, a recipe for disaster. 
Then disaster strikes.
Estelle is found in a wrecked car with a blow to her head, no memory and no baby. She enters a psychiatric hospital where  Dr Ari tries to get her to remember what happened to Mia. As he enables her to piece her memory together Jack is no where to be seen as he has decided that Estelle had something to do with Mia's disappearance. Dr Ari seemed to be the only one on her side and it was through her sessions with him that the book picks up pace and we find out what really happened.
One thing that struck me was the lack of friends and family around. Not only was Estelle isolated in the apartment in a strange town with a crying baby she also had no one to speak to even by phone.
Towards the end this story is so sad and I worried that Mia would never be found.
I was mad at Jack all through the book, he was a terrible husband.
I couldn't put it down and I enjoyed the ending.
Little Girl Gone is out in paperback and kindle download which is 99p here

Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for a download of this book in return for a truthful review.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Honour and Obey by Carol Hedges



When a young woman's body is discovered lying in an alleyway off Carnaby Street, Detectives Stride and Cully do not realise that her brutal murder is only the beginning of a killing spree that will terrify the whole of London and leave them both baffled. It will take all their skill and deductive powers to track down the serial killer, and their investigation will lead them into new and frightening territory. Meanwhile, Hyacinth Clout, a young woman of some beauty but few prospects, decides to end the servitude of her life looking after her dictatorial sister by seeking love instead. She is not alone: love is in the air for several young women in 1861 London, but will their search lead to romance or ruin? Honour & Obey is the long awaited sequel to the much acclaimed Diamonds & Dust, once again featuring Detective Inspector Leo Stride and his assistant Detective Sergeant Jack Cully of the recently formed Detective Division of the Metropolitan Police.




I love the way this book is written. A narrator sets the scenes between the dialogue and this gives the story a real eerie feel to it. We are onlookers, seeing and hearing things we maybe shouldn't.
Young girls are being brutally murdered in Victorian London.  The murdered girls are poor yet respectable seamstresses and not the prostitutes that the police expected. As Inspector Stride and Sergeant Cully investigate they are once again hampered by the press and by copycat killers but only they know exactly how the murderer disposes of his victims.

The author takes us on a ride through Victorian London, the sights, the smells which I'm glad not to have experienced. We are then immersed in the whole atmosphere by way of her words.
Poor women worked their fingers to the bone and their bodies to exhaustion,sewing for the rich pampered ladies. These rich ladies didn't have such a great life either,pampering to older sisters, fathers and mothers with no real lives of their own.

 Another part of Carol's writing which I love is the names she gives her characters. It seems if your not very nice you have a name like, Morbid Crevice or Lobelia Clout and if you are nice you have a name like Emily or Hyacinth. There are many more strange names but I'd like you to find them yourself. I am in no doubt that these were all actual Victorian names as I know the author does her research well.  I will say that I love the little Mullygrub children and I now think all children should be called Mullygrubs,what a great name.
I loved Hyacinth and was willing her to stand up to certain people throughout the book. Lovely Emily and the hard life she had. I disliked the  usual horrible pious people like Lobelia and Rev Bittersplit, he made my skin crawl.
The more into this book I read the more I liked it and especially enjoyed the ending where the reader is the only one privy to what happened.

I enjoyed the first book in this series which was Diamonds and Dust. Although the same policeman are involved both books can be read on their own.
The third book of the series is Death and Dominion and will be published on 13th October.
 These books would make a great drama series on television.

Honour and Obey can be found here.



Thursday, 8 October 2015

Christmas at Cranberry Cottage by Talli Roland



Home is where the heart is . . .

With a whirlwind lifestyle travelling the world, the one thing Jess Millward relies on is Christmas with her gran in cosy Cranberry Cottage. When her grandmother reveals the house is directly in the path of a new high-speed railway, Jess is determined to fight.

Can Jess save the cottage from demolition, or will she have no home to come to this Christmas?





 Cranberry Cottage is where everyone given the chance would spend their Christmas. Tess wants to do that too but according to her gran it will probably be her last. Tess is a photographer, a job which takes her here there and everywhere and because of that she has not spent as much time with the gran who brought her up as she should. As she fights to save Cranberry Cottage from demolition is she doing it to make up for her absences or because she think her gran is getting bad advice. Enter Tom who is the one persuading her gran to sell the cottage but could he also be a future love interest?

I can't say anymore because this is a short story, but Talli has managed to cram a lot of information into it. I now want to know more about Tess and Tom and the village where they live. I'm left wondering if this is an introduction to these characters for a future novel, after all it would be a shame to give us a taster and then leave it like that.
A lovely Christmas short story, short enough to read between wrapping gifts and drinking wine and eating chocolate.

Christmas at Cranberry Cottage can be downloaded here for kindle






Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Trouble With Words by Suzie Tullet


Promises are easy to make but hard to keep.

Having long made a promise to her husband, young widow Annabel has no intentions of breaking it. What she does plan to do, though, is have a baby. Not the easiest of tasks for a woman with a deceased other half, and having explored all her options, her only choice is to take the unconventional route. Setting out to find her own donor, Annabel meets Dan. Single, fun-loving and definitely not looking for commitment, this unruly blonde, blue-eyed man seems perfect for the job.

Dan wants nothing more than to find his dream woman. But with a mother intent on sabotaging his every relationship, he can't help but think he's destined to remain single. Of course, he knows his mother doesn't really want him all for herself, why else would she keep insisting he meet Maeve? Why else would she insist Dan promise to find himself a wife before she meets her maker?

Forced to negotiate matters of love, life and death, Annabel and Dan seem the answer to each other's prayers. But will they really be able to keep the promises they made? And is having a baby really the answer?


I am delighted to be the next stop on the blog tour for The Trouble with Words by Suzie Tullet.

Annabel wants a baby,which is what her and her husband planned to do before he died but now Annabel wants to find a donor and do it by herself. Like any non sensible person she grabs the first decent man she sees in the pub and asks him to oblige. Luckily it turns out that Dan is a decent man.

No one else thinks this is a good idea as Annabel is still in love with her husband but can Dan change that?
I enjoyed this story, it was very bittersweet. It was the story of a widow moving on from the death of her husband. Annabel still went to her husband's grave to tell him what was happening in her life, but it's lonely when you get no answer back.
I didn't think Annabel was doing the right thing in looking for a sperm donor as it meant she was giving up on finding love again.

I think Dan was lonely too, he still lived with his mother never finding the right woman who lived up to her expectations. She was desperate to get him together with her old friend's daughter and no one else would do.
I didn't like Dan's mother at all through most of the story I thought she interfered with her son's love life too much and I couldn't understand why he didn't get his own place to live. I liked her more towards the end of the book when she seemed to soften.
There are many funny moments with Annabel and her sister and her friend and some parts are really sad when she speaks to her deceased husband.
The question seems to be,when can you move on? When can you start to want the things that make you happy? And can you do it without the person who you thought was the love of your life?
This book makes you ask all these questions and more.

You can find it here for kindle.

I was provided with a download of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Make a Christmas Wish by Julia Williams


Last Christmas, when Livvy was knocked down in the supermarket car park she certainly wasn’t ready to actually be dead! For months now she’s floated on the edge of the afterlife, generally making a nuisance of herself.
And she’s not ready to go just yet! She’s furious about the new woman in her husband’s life and she’s worried about her beloved son who doesn’t seem to be adjusting to life without her at all.
This Christmas, Livvy is given one last magical chance to make everything right. Will she take it and give her family the perfect Christmas?





 It doesn't matter whether you believe in the afterlife or spirits just put your beliefs to one side and delve into this fantasy.
Livvy has just discovered that her husband is having an affair, she texts a horrible message to him and the next thing is she is dead, knocked down by a car. She has a spirit guide, Malachi who apppears in the shape of a cat and tells her she has time to right wrongs that were in her life. The only problem is that Livvy does not want to do that because she has done nothing wrong and the only thing that Livvy wants is revenge on her cheating husband and Emily, his girlfriend.

Livvy and Adam have a teenage son, Joe, who has Asperger's syndrome and he is who Livvy misses most. How will he be able to cope without his mum fighting his corner? All his life she has fought for him to be treated like any other child. She has felt she battled alone without any help from her husand and so what if she needed a few drinks to get her through the day, it's not her fault.
Malachi can manipulate time and he shows her past Christmasses and eventually future ones with and without her in them.
There are some fun parts of the book when Livvy meets other spirits in the bar where they drink and more fun parts where she starts trying to get noticed by her family.
I could tell you the whole story here I enjoyed it so much but I will hold back.
I surprized myself with being in tears at the last few chapters of the book and I thought about it for a while afterwards.
Joe is such a lovely boy and the thought of him being without his mother just about broke me.
There is a message in this story, maybe a slightly different one for everyone but something for us all to think about.

This is the first book I've read by the author Julia Williams but it won't be my laugh.
In conclusion it was a seasonal, fun book which brought me to tears. Hope you enjoy it too.
At only 99p for Kindle it's cheaper than a cup of coffee Amazon for kindle
Paperback will be released on Nov 5th 



The Sea Between Us by Emylia Hall


In a remote Cornish cove, on one of the last days of summer, Robyn Swinton is drowning. She is saved - just - by local boy Jago Winters, and it is a moment that will change both of them forever.
Over the next seven years, Robyn and Jago's paths lead them in different directions, to city streets and foreign shores. Will the bond forged that day Jago dragged Robyn in from the sea be strong enough to bring them back to one another, or has life already pulled them too far apart?





Robyn and  her parents move to a remote part of Cornwall, not the best place for a teenager but Robyn finds Rockabilly cove and passes her time learning to surf. Jago who has lived there all his life saves her from drowning and they become friends.
The friendship is very delicate and it could be something more but neither one of them can tell the other their true feelings in case they are not reciprocated so their paths eventually take different turnings.

This is a beautifully written book with lovely words. The descriptions of the Cornish coast and the sea and sky is almost poetic. I enjoyed reading it but I thought the first part of the book was a bit slow and wanted a bit less describing and more of the storyline.
The will she/he, won't she/he did go on for a bit but it came across as a very tender and delicate relationship.

Elliot, the rock singer rolled onto the scene turning Robyn's heart away from Cornwall and although Elliot meant well, his lifestyle was never going to fit in with Robyn's love of the sea and surfing.
I liked the characters including Jago's dad who hadn't recovered from loosing his wife and Robyn's parents who I thought were a bit stuffy at first until I warmed to them.
The second half of the book was great and I loved the ending it's well worth a read.
Thanks to the publisher and Bookbridgr for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Sea Between Us can be found on Amazon   here  I have linked to the paperback as it's cheaper than the kindle download which at £7.49 I think is a bit expensive.
The Book Depository have free delivery worldwide here



Thursday, 1 October 2015

Release day for The Trouble With Words by Suzie Tullet.

Today is release day for The new novel by Suzie Tullet.  The Trouble with Words. I am part of the blog tour and will be posting my review on 7 th Oct so not long to wait.  Here is a taster of what the book is about. A good book to read before the Christmas ones hit the shelves.


Promises – easy to make, hard to keep.





Having long made a promise to her husband, young widow Annabel has no intentions of breaking it. What she does plan to do, though, is have a baby. Not the easiest of tasks for a woman with a deceased other half, and having explored all her options, her only choice is to take the unconventional route. Setting out to find her own donor, Annabel meets Dan. Single, fun-loving and definitely not looking for commitment, this unruly blonde, blue-eyed man seems perfect for the job.

Dan wants nothing more than to find his dream woman. But with a mother intent on sabotaging his every relationship, he can't help but think he's destined to remain single. Of course, he knows his mother doesn't really want him all for herself, why else would she keep insisting he meet Maeve? Why else would she insist Dan promise to find himself a wife before she meets her maker?

Forced to negotiate matters of love, life and death, Annabel and Dan seem the answer to each other's prayers. But will they really be able to keep the promises they made? And is having a baby really the solution?

 

The Trouble with Words by Suzie Tullett is available on Amazon:

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Trouble-Words-Suzie-Tullett-ebook/dp/B0153VEIFI/

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Trouble-Words-Suzie-Tullett-ebook/dp/B0153VEIFI/

Amazon EU: http://www.amazon.de/Trouble-Words-Suzie-Tullett-ebook/dp/B0153VEIFI/

 



Suzie Tullett is an author of contemporary humorous fiction and romantic comedy. As well as The Trouble with Words, her novels include Going Underground and Little White Lies and Butterflies, which was short-listed for The Guardian's 2013 Not the Booker Prize. She has a Masters Degree in Television & Radio Scriptwriting and worked as a scriptwriter before becoming a full-time novelist. And when she's not tapping away on the computer creating her own literary masterpiece, she usually has her head in someone else's.


 

More about the author:

Website: http://suzietullett.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/suzietullett

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzie-Tullett-Author/221204154583599?fref=ts