Book Review: Matchmaking at Port Willow by Kiley Dunbar

Today I’m excited to share my review for Matchmaking at Port Willow by Kiley Dunbar. I feel head over heels in love with The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday so jumped at the opportunity to get a sneaky read of this one. Scroll down to see if it met my expectations.

Book Review: Matchmaking at Port Willow by Kiley Dunbar

Matchmaking at Port Willow by Kiley Dunbar

Title: Matchmaking at Port Willow (Port Willow Bay book 2)

Author: Kiley Dunbar

Publisher: Hera

Genre: Romance, women’s fiction

Release Date: 16th Sept 2021

Purchase links

AMZ: https://amzn.to/3yjUyMO

Kobo: https://bit.ly/36678DF

Apple: https://apple.co/36aBHI5

Blurb

Beatrice Halliday has been working hard at the Princess and The Pea Inn, loved up with landlord Atholl and enjoying planning events for the locals. But at Christmas there’s a kick – as she realises she’s expecting.

Despite being fearful of the future, Beatrice is graced with a distraction: the prospects of helping a romance flourish when a married couple spend their first child-free holiday at the Inn – and it becomes clear they need some help rediscovering each other. In true Beatrice fashion, she cant help meddling.

Featuring the story of a first love, a new family, a marriage in crisis, and an octogenarian love affair, you’ll fall head over heels for this heart-warming rom-com.

My Thoughts

This is the second in the Port Willow Bay series and though it can be read as a standalone as I did, I believe you would gain a greater experience with reading the first one, Summer at Highland Coral Beach and knowing the backstory of Beatrice and Atholl.

The primary focus of this book is the continuation of the love between Beatrice and Atholl, Beatrice’s matchmaking and Nina who, after losing everything in one swoop, is sent to Scotland to prove herself to her boss. The contrast between the hustle of New York and the cosiness of the Highlands worked well and drew me into the story. I fell in love with Atholl so have moved up his story in my TBR; he knows just what to say in a time of crisis and supportive. Their story is emotional and uplifting.

With a large cast of characters, superb descriptions, especially why Burns’ night is celebrated, the Kiley Dunbar magic brought the village and Inn to life, so rather than being a spectator I felt like a friend popping by to catch up with the news. The culture of Scotland shines through this lyrical ode to the Highlands and traditional crafts. Port Willow Bay is somewhere I long to go in reality for the hospitality, crafts but most of all a stay in the Princess and the Pea room. This room is an inspiration and created a vivid image of luxury and romance.

Would I recommend?

Yes. Full of warmth, a spectacular location and a festive feel this novel is one to curl up under the duvet with and indulge in a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows – deal for this time of year when nights are drawing in.

Author Biography

Photo of Kiley Dunbar
Kiley Dunbar

Kiley Dunbar writes heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places, with One Winter’s Night being shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel Award 2021.

Kiley’s five novels include: The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday (May 2021), One Winter’s Night (September 2020), Summer at the Highland Coral Beach (2020), Christmas at Frozen Falls (2019) and One Summer’s Night (2019).

Social Media Links


Website and newsletter: http://www.kileydunbar.co.uk/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI8wM4Fmkbyg4S_XGSnfUCA

Twitter https://twitter.com/kileydunbar

‘Kiley Dunbar Author Book Page’ on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KileyDunbarAuthor/

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Dystonia Around the World readathon update: 8 books read so far – need to read so many more and update my page. You can support Dystonia UK and my challenge here. If you do look, a huge thank you. Dystonia awareness makes a huge difference to fundraising, diagnosis and research.

Love

signature of Katie
16-Sep 	Book Escapes with BabsW67 	Bookescapes.home.blog 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	16-Sep 	Library_of_lucyg 	www.Instagram.com/library_of_lucyg 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	16-Sep 	Being Anne 	www.beinganne.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	17-Sep 	BreakfastAtShelbys 	http://breakfastatshelbys.co.uk/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	17-Sep 	Bookmadjo - Mad About Books 	bookmadjo.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	17-Sep 	Instagram.com/Kirsty_Reviews_Books 	kirstyreviewsbooks.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	18-Sep 	Books, Life and Everything 	bookslifeandeverything.blogspot.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	18-Sep 	@theweebookworm 	https://www.instagram.com/theweebookworm/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	18-Sep 	Kelly T’s Space 	https://kellytsspace.wordpress.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	19-Sep 	Books and Bindings 	http://booksandbindings.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	19-Sep 	Splashes Into Books 	http://splashesintobooks.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	19-Sep 	From Under the Duvet 	https://fromundertheduvet.co.uk/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	20-Sep 	Captivated Reading 	http://www.captivatedreading.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	20-Sep 	Eatwell2015 	https://eatwell2015.wordpress.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	20-Sep 	Ginger Book Geek 	https://gingerbookgeek.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	21-Sep 	htdk2002.reads 	https://htdk2002blog.wordpress.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	21-Sep 	BetweenTheLines 	http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	21-Sep 	This Hannah Reads 	Www.thishannahreads.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	22-Sep 	Bobs and books 	https://bobsandbooks.wixsite.com/bobsandbooks 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	22-Sep 	mrsljgibbs 	https://www.instagram.com/mrsljgibbs/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	22-Sep 	Jav Bond Blog Tours 	https://javbondblogtours.blogspot.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	23-Sep 	Love the Smell of a Book 	www.lovethesmellofabook.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	23-Sep 	Ceri's Little Blog 	https://cerislittleblog.home.blog/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	23-Sep 	Bookish Jottings 	bookishjottings.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	24-Sep 	Wrong side of forty 	https://wrongsideoffortyuk.wordpress.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	24-Sep 	Tizi’s Book Review 	http://tizisbookreviewmusic.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	24-Sep 	Berit Talks Books 	https://berittalksbooks.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	25-Sep 	A Little Book Problem 	www.alittlebookproblem.co.uk 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	25-Sep 	Little Miss Book Lover 87 	https://littlemissbooklover87.wordpress.com/blog-posts/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	25-Sep 	Victoria Wilks Writes 	https://victoriawilkswrites.wordpress.com/
Other blogs on this tour

Book Review: The Beach Reads Book Club by Kathryn Freeman

Finally, I’m able to share the review for The Beach Read Club by Kathryn Freeman I was supposed to post a couple of weeks ago before a Kindle hiccup and life took over. With a bright, cheery cover it promised what the title suggests – a book suitable for reading on a sun lounger by the pool or on the beach. Scroll down to see if it lived up to its expectations.

Book Review: The Beach Reads Book Club by Kathryn Freeman

The Beach Reads Book Club by Kathryn Freeman

Title: The Beach Reads Book Club

Author: Kathryn Freeman

Publisher: One More Chapter

Genre: RomCom

Release Date: 30th June 2021

Purchase Links:

UK AMAZON https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0931Y5W12 US AMAZON https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0931Y5W12

BLURB

Welcome to the Beach Reads Book Club…where love is just a page away…

When Lottie Watt is unceremoniously booted out of her uptight book club for not following the rules, she decides to throw the rulebook out the window and start her own club – one where conversation, gin and cake take precedent over actually having read the book!

The Beach Reads Book Club soon finds a home for its meetings at Books by the Bay, a charming bookshop and café owned by gorgeous, brooding Matthew Steele, and as the book club picks heat up, so too does the attraction between Matt and Lottie.

If there’s anything Lottie has learned from the romances she’s been reading, it’s that the greatest loves are the ones hardest earned.

A love letter to chicklit, romance, romcoms, whatever you want to call them!

My Thoughts

I loved the premise of this novel, which focused on the friendships formed in a break away book group, where instead of the highbrow literature of the primary group, books read for fun are up for discussion. Lottie, the protagonist, was a relatable, friendly and as a book lover, I found an instant connection with her, especially because like me she owned a lovable and sometimes destructive dog.

The chemistry between her and the bookshop owner, Matthew, sizzled from the start and it was a joy to see the spark grow and progress through the upcoming chapters. Each chapter covered the particular book the group was reading, so not only did I enjoy this story, my TBR pile has grown too.

It is the type of book club I would love to join and the characters are the people I would love to spend time with, so this novel was like being surrounded by friends and gave the warm hug of friendship as I read it.

Would I recommend?

Yes, yes, yes! If you are a lover of romcoms and uplifting summer reads this is one to pack in your suitcase for your holidays or to read while soaking up the British weather in the garden or duvet, depending on whether the sun is shining or it’s chucking it down outside. Full of chuckles, romantic chemistry and feel good friendships this is one for my forever shelf so I can return to it again and again. It’s best read with gin or tea and cake, depending on the time of day.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Kathryn Freeman

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 sexy hero. 

With 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 Links

Website:  http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite to the blog tour which introduced me to this book. It was just what I needed to read.

Love

signature of Katie

Book Review: A Gingerbread House by Catriona McPherson

Book Review: A Gingerbread House by Catriona McPherson

A Gingerbread House by Catriona McPherson

Title: A Gingerbread House

Author: Catriona McPherson

Publisher: Severn House

Genre: Psychological thriller

Release Date: 1st July 2021

Purchase Links

US Amazon link https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0727850016

UK Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Gingerbread-House-Catriona-McPherson/dp/0727850016/

Severn House: http://severnhouse.com/book/A+Gingerbread+House/9193

Blurb

An invitation you can’t refuse. You should . . .

When shy, lonely Ivy meets a woman who claims to be her long-lost sister, she knows it’s too good to be true. She decides to trust Kate anyway. She wants a family. She wants someone to love.

She’s making a mistake.

Ivy enters Kate’s fairytale cottage, deep in the heart of Scotland . . . and she doesn’t come out.

She’s the first to go missing.

She won’t be the last.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, Tash’s journey is just beginning . . .

My Thoughts

This novel is split into two distinct threads; one following Tash who discovers a disturbing family secret and the other is the disappearance of three women. Tash’s story has a gangster-type feel as she conspires to expose her findings but in her own way while the other women’s tales are disturbing, eerie and give the story a darker fairytale-like quality which made me keep turning the pages until the end. The characters were distinct from each other but were all inflicted with the feeling of something missing in their lives allowing them to be manipulated in meticulous ways.  I wasn’t sure how the threads would collide but when they did the midway, the story picked up speed towards the thrilling and satisfactory conclusion.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a new author for me but I enjoyed the story they weaved to produce this unique, thrilling psychological thriller set in a Scottish landscape. I’m excited to add Catriona McPherson back catalogue.

Author Biography

Catriona McPherson

Born in West Lothian and educated at Edinburgh University, Catriona McPherson has been a full-time fiction writer since 2001. She is the multi-award-winning author of the Dandy Gilver historical mysteries, the Last Ditch mysteries and a number of standalone psychological thrillers. She lives in northern California.

Social Media Links –

http://catrionamcpherson.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Catriona-McPherson/171725286218342

https://twitter.com/CatrionaMcP

Other blogs on the tour

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Love

signature of Katie

Book Promo: Dark Water Sacrifice by

I’m excited to share the details for a book that is sitting on my TBR waiting for me to read, Dark Water Sacrifice by Zach Lamb.

Dark Water Sacrifice by Zach Lamb

Title: Dark Water Sacrifice

Author: Zach Lamb

Publisher: DarkStroke

Genre: Horror

Release Date: 17th May 2021

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Water-Sacrifice-Zach-Lamb-ebook/dp/B08Z8P3173

US – https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Water-Sacrifice-Zach-Lamb-ebook/dp/B08Z8P3173

Blurb

A parent’s guilt. Desperate choices. The ultimate cost.

The dark water has always called to the Blackwell family.

Devastated by the loss of his daughter, Adam Blackwell flees his hometown of Scarsville, Georgia. 

Something lurks beneath the churning black waters, and its patience is running out.  

Two years later, his father is dead and has left him everything, including the lake where Adam’s daughter drowned. Now, Adam must return to the last place he ever wanted to go and settle the affairs of the man he blames for everything. 

The time has come for the next sacrifice, and it will stop at nothing.

Adam believes it will be a short trip to get the house ready for sale. But the closer he gets to the lake, the more memories return from the worst day of his life.

Living in the past is dangerous, but there is nowhere to hide when the past comes back for you.

Staying in the family home, Adam hears small footsteps in the dark. Soon after, he hears the voice of his daughter. She wants him to join her in the depths of the black lake.

When the waters rise, Adam must decide whether he will begin the slow process of healing and somehow find peace between the world of the living and the dead—or become the next Dark Water Sacrifice… 

Author Biography

Author Zach Lamb

Zach Lamb is a fictionist who creates thriller, horror and dark fiction stories. He is the author of The Suicide Killer and Dark Water Sacrifice. Zach has an MFA in creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University. He lives with his wife and kids in the non-fictional town of Ellerslie, Georgia, named after the fictional character Captain Ellerslie from the Waverley Novels.

Social Media Links –

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Zach_LambAuthor

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Zach-Lamb-Author-102039438275213

For reviews and more information on Dark Water Sacrifice why not visit the other blogs on this tour.

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour, I am looking forward to reading this as soon as I can.

Love

signature of Katie

Book Review: Midsummer Magic at Miss Moonshine’s Emporium

Yesterday was Solstice and what better time to release a book titled Midsummer Magic at Miss Moonshine’s Emporium by the Authors on the Edge. This is an anthology of stories based around a magical shop and equally magical proprietor, Miss Moonshine. Scroll down to see if it was as enchanting as it promised.

Book Cover Midsummer Magic at Miss Moonshine’s Emporium

Title: Midsummer Magic at Miss Moonshine’s Emporium

Authors: Mary Jayne Baker, Sophie Claire, Jacqui Cooper, Helena Fairfax, Kate Field, Melinda Hammond, Marie Laval, Helen Pollard and Angela Wren

Publisher: Authors on the Edge

Genre: Romance, Short Stories

Release date: 21st September 2021

Blurb:

Are you ready to meet Miss Moonshine? Life may never be the same again…

It’s summer in Haven Bridge and Miss Moonshine is getting ready for a busy season. From the window of her Wonderful Emporium, at the heart of the pretty Yorkshire town, she watches and waits, weaving plans to bring happiness to all who step through her door. For Miss Moonshine is no ordinary shopkeeper. She may not have what you want, but she will always have what you need…

Nine romantic novelists from Yorkshire and Lancashire, including best-selling and award-winning authors, have joined together to create this anthology of uplifting stories guaranteed to warm your heart. This magical collection of contemporary romances will make you laugh, cry and wish for a Miss Moonshine in your own life.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Midsummer-Magic-Miss-Moonshines-Emporium-ebook/dp/B094W5FVWF/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Midsummer-Magic-Miss-Moonshines-Emporium-ebook/dp/B094W5FVWF/

My Thoughts

This is the first time I have ventured to Haven Bridge, but what a joy it was. I love the idea of a collection of short stories based on a magical shop and eccentric lady who is hard to pin down. This book showcases the talents of several romance authors, and I now need to investigate each one’s back catalogue some more.

Miss Moonshine is a delightful character that a reader could never bore of with her indiscriminate age, eccentric fashion sense I admire and unique personality. She made me chuckle. It was interesting to see how each author would tackle her without losing the consistency, which they never do. From car mechanics to time travel, this book kept me entertained for hours and I found it impossible to just read one story. The Emporium has a personality of its own, like all magical shops should, and I would love to walk under the roses to explore it myself and see where it takes me.

This is the third collection of Miss Moonshine books, so I will be looking at the others too.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is a delightful collection of magical stories set in a delightful Yorkshire village. Short stories are great to fit in between novels or when you your to-do list means you can’t commit to one but be warned these stories are addictive and will lead you to read another then another. It delivered several happy ever afters and characters I will never forget.

Map of Haven Bridge

Author Biography

The nine Miss Moonshine authors – Mary Jayne Baker, Sophie Claire, Jacqui Cooper, Helena Fairfax, Kate Field, Melinda Hammond, Marie Laval, Helen Pollard and Angela Wren – meet up regularly in the little mill town of Hebden Bridge, on the border between the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire – hence their group name, Authors on the Edge. This picturesque town, home to many writers, artists and musicians, was the inspiration for their magical character Miss Moonshine, and their uplifting series of anthologies featuring romance and happy endings.

Other blogs on the tour

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and the advanced copy to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Love

signature of Katie

Book Review: The Summer Island Festival by Rachel Burton

Summer has arrived in Yorkshire and I’m excited to share my review for a summery read, The Summer Island Festival by Rachel Burton. I have read a few books by this author and was attracted by the promise of

Book review: The Summer Island Festival by Rachel Burton

The Summer Island Festival by Rachel Burton

Title: The Summer Island Festival

Author: Rachel Burton

Publisher: Aria

Genre: romance

Release date: 4th March 2021

Blurb

When Willow walks out on her own wedding, there’s only one place she can go…

Growing up in the island village of Seaview, Willow always dreamed of a bigger life. Then her childhood sweetheart Luc betrayed her and she ran, resolving never to look back. Now, twelve years on, her glamorous London life is a mess and the island is her only option.

But she’s not the only one back for the summer. Luc is now a world-famous heartthrob musician, and he’s finally come home to headline the Isle of Wight’s annual music festival.

As Willow untangles her messy past, she stumbles on a secret that could destroy her family, the island’s fragile community – and her second chance at love…

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Island-Festival-Burton/dp/1800246064

US – https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Island-Festival-Burton/dp/1800246064

My Thoughts

There is nothing like a runaway bride to draw me into a story because it leads to many questions which  I need to know the answer to. Once I connected to Willow, I was hooked. I needed to know her story. It was the same with Luc and Cathy. There were many secrets and threads in this summery nostalgic read which kept me turning the page.

The characters all have intriguing backstories to explain their actions but it was Cathy’s past which captivated me most and it was cleverly blended in with Willow’s and Luc’s present. This novel may appear to be a light, romantic read but it has a deeper thread of how people change themselves to fit in, the effects of childhood on adult decisions and mental health issues.

The Isle of Wight seaside location was perfect, as was Cathy’s mandolin workshop. My father-in-law is a luthier and has made mandolins. Rachel Burton captured the unique smell of the workshop with its varnish, stains and woodchips and the magic of this instrument. I was there, and it made me homesick. It was a complete contrast to the darker side of the music industry described in Cathy’s story.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it has all the elements you need for a summer read whether you’re on a sun lounger on a sunny day or curled up watching the rain on a soggy one. It’s pure escapism with the seaside location, the characters to love bundled up with folk music and secrets. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

Author Biography

Rachel Burton

Rachel Burton has been making up stories for as long as she can remember and always dreamed of being a writer until life somehow got in the way. After reading for a degree in Classics and another in English Literature she accidentally fell into a career in law, but eventually managed to write her first book on her lunch breaks.

She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and their three cats. She loves yoga, ice hockey, tea, The Beatles, dresses with pockets and very tall romantic heroes.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @RachelBWriter or follow her blog at rachelburtonwrites.com. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….

Social Media Links

Twitter: @rachelbwriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rachelburton74/

Website: rachelburtonwrites.com

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and the advanced copy to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Love

signature of Katie
Other blogs on this tour

Book Review: The House in the Clouds by Victoria Connelly

Today I’m excited to share my review for the first in a new series by Victoria Connelly, The House in the Clouds. I first became aware of this author during a blog tour last year, for the delicious The Book Lovers series and I fell in love with her world building. This title and blurb offered a beautiful and whimsical read. Scroll down to see if this novel matches my high expectations.

Book Review: The House in the Clouds by Victoria Connelly

The House in the Clouds by Victoria Connelly

Title: The House in the Clouds

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Cuthland Press

Genre: Women’s fiction

Release date: 8th June 2021

Blurb

Artist Abigail Carey has always dreamed of a life in the country and, when Winfield Hall comes up at auction, she’s desperate to make the place her home. The only trouble is that businessman, Edward Townsend, has exactly the same idea.

With its position high on the Sussex Downs, Winfield is a stunning house, but it hasn’t been a home for a long time and there’s a lot of work to do to restore it to its former glory. It’s going to take a lot of time and money, so Edward and Abi decide to take a risk and share the house, each living in their own wing.

But can these two strangers agree on a vision that suits them both? And will free-spirited Abi ever get the rather reserved Edward to reveal the secret he’s been hiding for so long?

The House in the Clouds is the first novel in a brand new trilogy from the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and The Book Lovers series.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0947KVVNS

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0947KVVNS

My Thoughts

What a lovely welcome to Winfield House; it was a beautiful pleasure to read and a strong start to this new series. Victoria Connelly has a talent for painting locations, characters and scenes with her words and brings them to life as showcased in this novel. She uses all the senses in her descriptions, making reading her work a very holistic experience. I could taste the food, breathe in the refreshing air of the Sussex Downs and visualise the stunning house through Abigail’s eyes, making me fall in love with it, too. As an artist and designer akin to Emma Bridgewater, Abigail’s point of view is amass of texture, light and hue. Her bohemian relaxed nature is a contrast to Edward’s view of the world where his emotions are held close, but when snippets of his true nature slip through, the chemistry between the two main characters is a joy to read.

The plot is emotional, heart-warming, and it deals with mental health issues sensitively. I wasn’t sure how sharing a house with strangers would work but it does and Winfield Hall provides a stunning location that grows in the imagination. The walled garden is somewhere I would love to own myself.  I kept reading to discover the reasons behind both the character’s actions and the revealing of secrets but also for the enjoyment of the prose, setting and company. I was disappointed to reach the end because I needed to know more. With several threads left open and the introduction of side characters who I need to get to know better such as Abigail’s sister, Ellen, I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Would I recommend?

Yes! It’s beautiful and is a wonderful escape from the hassles of life. Like the The Book Lovers series, this novel will be on my forever shelf so I can return to Winfield Hall again for companionship and contentment. It’s perfect for a sunny day lying in the garden or cuddled up under the duvet when the seasons change.

Author Biography

Author Victoria Connelly

Victoria Connelly lives in a 500-year old thatched cottage in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the million-selling author of two bestselling series, The Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in Germany. Victoria loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden either with a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

 Social Media Links

www.victoriaconnelly.com

Instagram: @victoriaconnellyauthor

Facebook: @victoriaconnellyauthor

Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and the advanced copy to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Love

signature of Katie
Other blogs on this tour

Book Extract: Raven Fire by Emma Miles

Today, I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for Raven Fire by Emma Miles and share an extract of this fantasy novel with you. This is the 4th book and final instalment in the Fire Walker series.

Book Cover Raven Fire by Emma Miles

Title: Raven Fire

Author: Emma Miles

Release date: 1st May 2021 Kindle edition and paperback 11th May

Genre: Fantasy

Purchase Links

US – https://www.amazon.com/Raven-Fire-Fire-Walker-Book-4-ebook/dp/B091TYD38X/

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Raven-Fire-Fire-Walker-Book-4-ebook/dp/B091TYD38X/

Blurb

Is prophecy real; can Arridia and Joss defeat a god?

Evil never sleeps, and neither can the fire spirits who have guarded Kesta and her family so faithfully for more than fourteen years. United in a desire for peace, the four lands beneath the sky have enjoyed relative stability, but under the surface stirs unrest. Greed, ambition, disquiet, rebellion; and the ever-present threat of Geladan’s crazed god discovering she has been fooled.

Quiet Arridia is a Raven Scout, dedicated to the principles and hopes of her parents. When an opportunity presents itself to come home, she grasps it, longing to settle and find the love she has patiently waited for.

 Fun-loving Joss is drawn to the court of Elden with all its colour, noise, and intrigue; but has he taken on more than a young man can survive?

Raven Fire is the final part of the breath-taking Fire-Walker saga.

If you could, would you dare to change the world?

Book Extract: Raven Fire by Emma Miles

This extract is taken from chapter four, where we follow young Joss – son of Fire-Walker’s protagonist, Kesta – as he navigates the dangerous court of the King of Elden. With him is his faithful adopted brother and bodyguard, Alikan.

Joss swallowed back his ale and smoothed down the front of his dark-blue jacket. His training kicked in as he surveyed the room before stepping further in. King Bractius sat at the high table, laughing loudly with the Jarl of Southport. Bractius was drinking from a large, ornate tankard carved from the bone of an enormous animal and traced in gold. Joss startled, his eyes narrowing. Had the king forgotten it had been a long-ago gift from the murderous delegation from Geladan? Bractius’s astute brown eyes travelled around the hall even as he joked with his subordinate. He’d allowed his sandy beard to grow long, plaited and held by silver beads. Queen Ayline was standing apart, Eleanor at her side. The young princess was wearing an elegant gown that hugged her slender figure, and Joss raised an eyebrow.

Alikan nudged his arm hard, and Joss only just avoided splashing ale over his expensive clothes.

‘Hey!’

‘Keep your eyes in your head.’ Alikan scowled.

Joss grinned. The king’s hall was an array of very tempting young woman, but Elden wasn’t the Fulmers, as his parents were fond of reminding him. There was a sudden buzz in the conversation, and many turned toward the main doors. A man strode in with a retinue of Borrowmen warriors on his heels. Bard of the Borrows and captain of the Undine, Temerran’s striking red hair seemed untouched by grey despite the years he’d accumulated. His green eyes sparkled with mischief as he bowed to both men and women on his way to present himself to the king. Temerran’s first mate, Nolv, was a more sombre figure, in practical loose clothing of salt-splashed grey.

‘Your majesties.’ Temerran gave a low and flamboyant bow. The man never forgot to include the queen, and despite her dislike of the Borrowman, Ayline flushed and smiled.

‘Temerran.’ The king gave the Bard the courtesy of standing but didn’t move to greet him. ‘How good of you to come.’

‘It honoured me to be invited,’ Temerran replied.

Movement caught Joss’s eye, and he turned to see his parents slipping in quietly through a side door. As ever, his father wore perfectly tailored black, but his mother had chosen a bright red, and unlike the women of Elden she allowed her long dark hair to fall loosely around her shoulders. Despite their discreet entrance, they stood out like hawks in a flock of doves.

Doroquael gave a sudden squeal and flew out of the torch in which he’d been hiding. Joss’s hand twitched, readying to draw power, before he realised the fire-spirit was excited, not alarmed. Alikan took a step forward, putting himself between Joss and the room.

‘It’s okay, Ali.’ Joss’s heart beat just a little faster as he squeezed through the crowd, hurrying toward the main doors through which Doroquael had vanished.

One of the king’s stewards loudly announced, ‘The Icante of the Fulmers.’

The Icante stepped in, wearing a pale cream dress with a sky-blue cloak wrapped around her shoulders. Unlike her daughter, the ruler of the Fulmer Islands had her steel-grey hair coiled artfully about her head. The warrior Gilfy flanked her, along with the Fire-Walker, Eidwyn. Her new apprentice, Vivess, and the formidable scout, Heara, followed behind. Despite being in her sixties, Heara moved with energy, her bare arms still tight with muscle. As far as he could see, Heara was the only one who’d dared bring weapons into the king’s hall; her two long knives tucked into her belt.

Joss appraised his grandmother’s new apprentice before moving forward again to meet them. Vivess had lighter hair than most of those in the Fulmers, a dark chestnut, almost red where it caught the light. She was about Joss’s age and had one grey eye, one green.

‘Grandma.’

‘Joss.’ Dia’s serious expression melted into a joyful smile and she halted to hug him. ‘Are you well?’

‘I am.’ Joss waved a hand at Doroquael. ‘Calm down!’

The fire-spirit ceased his noisy buzzing and made himself small, coming back to Joss’s shoulder.

‘Did Grandpa not come?’

Dia’s smile faded, and anxiety squeezed Joss’s heart. ‘Your grandfather was a little unwell. Joss, I’ll catch up with you as soon as I can, but it would be rude of me not to go straight to the king.’

‘Oh, of course.’ Joss’s face warmed, and he glanced around, realising many eyes were directed his way. ‘I’ll find you in a moment.’

Dia Icante smiled, then turned to continue to the high table. Heara gave Joss a huge grin and a thump on the arm as she passed. Alikan ducked in time to miss the scout’s hand as she tried to clip him around the head.

Despite his laughter, Joss felt uneasy. His grandmother had seemed worried.

Author Biography

Author Emma Miles

I often get asked when I knew I was a writer; the answer is always. A writer is what I am, it’s in my soul. There have been times in my life when I couldn’t write, and times when my writing has been the only thing that kept me going. I think I always longed for something deeper from life, something more meaningful, and I found it in my imagination and in the music of words.
It was poetry which first caught my attention, and whilst my younger cousins called for ghost stories it was animals I first wrote of. I think I gravitated toward fantasy because of the freedom it gives, I could create my own worlds and decide my own rules. My Wind’s Children trilogy was born from an image that came to me whilst daydreaming, of a young man sitting alone below a bridge. I didn’t know who he was; it turns out neither did he, but we found out together.
I’m now working on my eleventh book and love writing more than ever, it’s an addiction, an obsession, but one I now share with my wonderful writing family. My beta readers, my editor, and you, my readers, having you with me on my journey means the world to me.
I write as much as I can around work, but I also try to squeeze in a ridiculous amount of hobbies! I’m a wildlife photographer and do a little archery. I paint, sculpt with clay, withies and driftwood, preferring to be outdoors if I can. I still have a love for the theatre, having started out in life studying backstage crafts, and a great love for language. I speak a little French, Romanian and Italian, ma non molto bene!

Thanks for reading this. If you read any of my books and love them, please come say hello and tell me, you’d be surprised at how much that means to an author.
Take care of yourself.
Em x

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/EmmaMilesShadow
https://mobile.twitter.com/EmmaMilesShadow

Other blogs on the tour.

If you would like to find out more about these books and author, why not visit other blogs on this tour especially Mai Musings who has reviews for all the books in the series.

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour. This series is firmly on my TBR pile and will review once I have caught up.

Happy reading!

Love

signature of Katie

Cover Reveal: The Secret Notebook by Julia Wild

I’m so excited to be involved in a cover reveal for The Secret Notebook by Julia Wilde.

So first here is the blurb to tempt you.

Blurb:

When Izzie Dean’s beloved nan, Molly Blackshaw, passes away, Izzie returns to the Blackpool bungalow where she grew up, to say goodbye once and for all. When Izzie’s homecoming reunites her with her first love, Justin Swift, every emotion that Izzie has repressed since the day he broke her heart comes rushing to the surface. But then an unexpected discovery changes everything.

Between the pages of the battered secret diary Molly kept during WWII, Izzie discovers a story of love, heartbreak, and the incomparable hardship of life in a world at war. Reading her grandmother’s words soon puts her own story into perspective, and suddenly Izzie realises that the only thing holding her back from happiness, might be herself. Now she just has to convince Justin that they deserve a second chance at forever…

Pre-Order Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08RS6JBRJ/

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08RS6JBRJ/

Publisher: One More Chapter

Genre: Romance, woman’s fiction

Publication Date: 8th July

So are you ready? Here is the cover for The Secret Notebook by Julia Wild.

The Secret Notebook by Julia Wild Book Cover

It looks beautiful, intriguing and I’m adding it to my TBR list.

Author Biography

Julia Wild

Lancashire born, I moved to Bedfordshire in the late seventies, married and started a family. I’m a past Hon Sec of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, have been a member since 1993 when I joined their New Writers’ Scheme as a probationer. That came about after winning a week’s historical writing course on the strength of the first chapter of my third Poldark-era romance. The tutor on the last day loved the story and handed me details of the Romantic Novelists’ Association – she said I absolutely must join as they would be able to help me towards publication.

Some four years later my first published book, Dark Canvas, won the RNA’s New Writer’s Award in 1997, the sixth, Illusions, won the RNA’s Romance Prize in 2003.

After working in the local library service for 18 years, during library cut-backs I took the leap to become self-employed as a writer and worked on releasing my backlist as eBooks for Kindle.

Most recently, I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing Charlotte Ledger when she pulled me from the writing wilderness and have now signed a three-book deal with One More Chapter.

Social Media Links –                       www.facebook.com/authorjuliawild

Twitter:                                                @juliawildauthor

Instagram:                                          juliawildauthor

Website:                                             www.juliawildauthor.co.uk

The Secret Notebook will be released on 8th July 2021, why not check out the blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources around that date.

Happy reading!

Love

signature of Katie

Book Review: Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point by Sarah Bennett

The weather in Yorkshire has been glorious the last few days, giving it a holiday feel on the run up to this Easter weekend. The sunny days suited a summer read so I’m pleased to share my review for Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point by Sarah Bennett. This is the first novel I have read from this author but it won’t be the last. Scroll down to see why.

Book Review: Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point by Sarah Bennett

Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point by Sarah Bennett

Title: Summer Kisses at Mermaids Point

Author: Sarah Bennett

Publisher: Boldwood books

Release date: 25th March 2021

Genre: Romance

‘Delightfully romantic and touching.’ Phillipa Ashley

Laurie Morgan runs a café in the small seaside community of Mermaids Point, named after the beauties rumoured to live in the waters a few miles off the top of the point. When a hazy image is posted online of what appears to be a mermaid, the café and the village are soon full to bursting with curious sightseers. 

The most eye-catching of the new arrivals is handsome author, Jake Smith, who has rented a cottage for the summer while he works on his new book. Or so he says. In fact, he is a journalist, burned out and disillusioned with life, whose editor has sent him on a crack-pot hunt for mermaids…

Jake quickly finds himself drawn to village life, and to the gorgeous woman who runs the local café. But he soon suspects there’s trouble lurking beneath the idyllic façade, and when it looks like Laurie’s family might be involved, Jake faces a difficult choice. Pursue the truth, or protect the woman he’s beginning to fall in love with…

Warm, escapist, feel-good and altogether brilliant story-telling from bestselling author Sarah Bennett. Perfect for all fans of Trisha Ashley and Milly Johnson.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/2Lokynf

My Thoughts

This is a beautifully written romantic novel that takes you to Mermaids Point, a small coastal town that is suffering from the lack of tourists visiting. It is a stunning location. The detailed descriptions capture the atmosphere of the town perfectly and drew me into the story. I fell in love with the setting and all the characters especially Laurie and her family. Jake was rather swoonsome too. The mention of cake and other tantalising food made my tastebuds zing, and I felt homesick for the family Sunday dinners from my childhood. 

With a relative simple plot about an investigative reporter searching for mermaid, it shows you don’t need complex story to give you hours of pleasure and pure escapism, just wonderful imagery, well written prose and delightful characters blended with romantic chemistry.

Would I recommend?

Yes. It is an uplifting, and emotional novel which is full of warmth. It was like going on holiday while curled up under the duvet. I didn’t want to leave Mermaid Point behind and am happy to see another is on the way in October.

Author Biography

Sarah Bennett

Sarah Bennett is the bestselling author of several romantic fiction trilogies including those set in Butterfly Cove and Lavender Bay. Born and raised in a military family she is happily married to her own Officer and when not reading or writing enjoys sailing the high seas. The first book in her new Mermaids Point trilogy for Boldwood will be published in Spring 2021.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SarahBennettAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sarahlou_writes

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahlbennettauthor/

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sarah-bennett-b4a48ebb-a5c3-4c39-b59a-09aa91dc7cfa

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources and Boldwood Books for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Hope you all have a lovely Easter. Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

signature of Katie