Book Review: Love from A to Z by Linda Corbett

I’m excited to share my review for a debut romance, Love You From A to Z by Linda Corbett.

Book Review: Love from A to Z by Linda Corbett

Book cover for Love you from A to Z by Linda Corbett. White background with illustrated purple flowers, envelope and camera and gold heart shaped lock.
Love You from A to Z by Linda Corbett

Title: Love You From A to Z

Author: Linda Corbett

Publisher: One More Chapter

Genre: Romance

Release Date: 24th June 2022

Purchase Link –mybook.to/LoveYouFromAToZ

Blurb

Experience has told Jenna Oakhurst that Happy Ever After may happen in all the best stories, but Happy For Now is the best one ought to expect in real life. Yet lately even that isn’t quite enough, so when a strange set of circumstances leads her to discover a mysterious letter in an abandoned storage unit, she takes the chance to embark on a journey into the unknown…just like the heroines from the storybooks.

Reaching out to the letter’s author, Henry Somners, changes Jenna’s world irrevocably and she starts to realise that the magic she believed in as a child might not be such a fanciful notion after all…

My Thoughts

I’ve read novels where a letter is found and the protagonist searches for the sender, but this one has a unique twist. I never knew storage containers contents could be sold if they were effectively abandoned. The tense consequences of a purchase allowed this tender love story to happen.

Jenna was a protagonist I could relate to on many levels, from her desire to have financial security to her dealing with chronic pain and the adaptations she makes on a daily basis. It was refreshing for disability to be represented as part of everyday life rather than inspiration porn, which Jenna, like many disabled people, hate. This is how disabled representation should be and I really need the t-shirt she wears. You’ll have to read this book to find out why. She may think she’s happy settling for a stable life, but she isn’t boring. I enjoyed watching her embrace different things and the relationship between her and Henry grow.

The guinea pig rescue centre was wonderful to read, and I loved the characters portrayed. I used to have them as a child and they are adorable creatures. Jenna’s sister and partner Kat add much to the novel and I’d love to hear more of their story.

Would I recommend?

Yes. Love You From A to Z is a lovely tender romance with oodles of cuddly guinea pigs to love. With a fun premise, it is ideal for a lazy weekend or holiday read and ideal for fans of Jessica Redland. I look forward to reading more books from Linda Corbett in the future.

Author Biography

Photo of author Linda Corbett  holding a dark ginger guinea pig.
Linda Corbett

Linda Corbett lives in Surrey with her husband Andrew and three permanently hungry guinea pigs. As well as being an author, Linda is treasurer for Shine Surrey – a volunteer-led charity that supports individuals and families living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. For many years she also wrote a regular column for Link, a disability magazine, illustrating the humorous aspects of life with a complex disability and she is a passionate advocate of disability representation in fiction. When not writing, Linda can be found papercrafting, cross stitching, or cuddling guinea pigs. Love You From A-Z is her first published novel.

Social Media Links –

Twitter:                https://twitter.com/lcorbettauthor

Instagram:          @lindacorbettauthor

Facebook www.facebook.com/lindacorbettauthor

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.

Love

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Blogs on this tour: 
28th June Tizi's Book Review, From Under the Duvet, Jenny Lou's Book reviews
29th June
Jera's Jamboree, Krissy's Booked, Sj_bookshelf
30th June
@candygirl73reads, Library_of_lucyg, Meme_and_i_read
1st July
Being Anne, Bookish Jottings, B for bookreview
2nd July
Captured on Film, @biblio.jojo, Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
3rd July
Brewtiful fiction, Novel Kicks, The Comfy Chair
4th July
Stacey Hammond, Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, Kathrynbooksville
Other blogs on this tour

Book Review: Nothing Else by Louise Beech

Today, I’m thrilled to finally share my review for Nothing Else by Louise Beech. Until now, I’d only read one other of Louise Beech’s backlist, I am Dust but I fell in love with her writing so I had high expectations for this novel. Scroll down to see if it dazzled.

Book Review: Nothing Else by Louise Beech

Book cover Nothing Else by Louise Beech
2 face profiles on different sides of an open book of empty music sheets
Nothing Else by Louise Beech

Title: Nothing Else

Author: Louise Beech

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Fiction, suspense

Release Date: 23rd June 2022

Blurb

The multiple bestselling and award-winning author returns with an exquisitely moving novel about surviving devastating trauma and the unbreakable bond between sisters; a story of courage and love, and the power of music to transcend – and change – everything.

Heather Harris is a piano teacher and professional musician, whose quiet life revolves around music, whose memories centre on a single song that haunts her. A song she longs to perform again. A song she wrote as a child, to drown out the violence in their home. A song she played with her little sister, Harriet.

But Harriet is gone … she disappeared when their parents died, and Heather never saw her again.

When Heather is offered an opportunity to play piano on a cruise ship, she leaps at the chance. She’ll read her recently released childhood care records by day – searching for clues to her sister’s disappearance – and play piano by night … coming to terms with the truth about a past she’s done everything to forget.

My Thoughts

Oh my, this book pulled me in the first chapter and didn’t let me go until I finished the last page. Who needs sleep when the next chapter demands to be read? Unlike the ghost story I am Dust, this is an exquisite and emotional tale of family, the bond of sisters, music and secrets.

Heather is based in Hull which is my nearest city and there is something refreshing about reading somewhere you recognise in a book, it grounds you into the story even before you truly meet the characters. The underlying mystery of what happened to Harriet added tension throughout and I loved discovering the truth alongside Heather so I won’t delve to deeply into the plot her (you’ll have to read it for yourself) but the issues raised are handled with care and sensitivity without shying away from the emotional upset they bring.

I’ve never been on a cruise but it was easy to imagine walking beside Heather as she explored the ship and sit on a nearby table to listen to her play on the baby grand piano. I could feel the sway of the boat and hear the tunes. This strength of place and connection to Heather meant I couldn’t stop reading when I met the younger version and her sister Harriet. It was a joy to watch them learn to play the piano and their love for music, desire to play was contagious, I had to listen to the playlist. On the flip side, this connection meant my emotions took a hit when times hit hard times for the girls. This rollercoaster is a sign of a splendid read.  

Would I recommend?

Oh yes, it has been so hard not to shout about how much I loved this book until now. Louise Beech has a talent for bringing the music and the emotion it brings to life. It’s superb writing combined with the musicality, strong sense of place and soul makes it a novel to remember. It belongs on my forever shelf and is a clearly in the running for one of my favourite books this year.

I can’t wait to read more of Louise’s books and feel lucky my library has some of her back catalogue.

Author Biography

Photograph of Louise Beech
Louise Beech

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

Love

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Promo post: Mirror Man by Lars Keplar

On the last day of May I’m excited to share info on the newest novel by Lars Keplar, Mirror Man.

Lars Keplar is a duo of writers specialising in crime thrillers with the protagonist, Joona Lina.

Mirror Man by Lars Keplar

The Mirror Man by Lars Keplar

Title: The Mirror Man

Author: Lars Keplar

Publisher: Zaffre

Genre: Crime, thriller

Release Date: 23rd June 2022

Blurb

IF YOU SEE HIS REFLECTION IT’S ALREADY TOO LATE . . .


Seventeen-year-old Jenny is abducted in broad daylight and taken to a dilapidated, isolated house where she is chained and caged along with several other girls. Their captor is unpredictable, and as wily as he is cruel: he foils every one of their desperate attempts to escape . . . and once caught they rarely survive their punishment.

Five years later, Jenny is found dead in a public park, and the police are scrambling to find a lead among the scant evidence. But Detective Joona Linna realizes that this murder has an eerie connection to a death that was declared a suicide years before. And now when Mia, a seventeen-year-old orphan, goes missing, it becomes clear to Joona that they are dealing with a serial killer-and the murderous rampage has just begun.

As the police close in on the killer, Mia and her fellow captives are plunged into ever greater danger, and Joona finds himself in a seemingly impossible race against time to save their young lives.

Author Biography

Photo of the writing duo behind Lars Keplar
Lars Keplar

Lars Kepler is the pseudonym of critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril (b. 1966) and Alexander Ahndoril (b. 1967), authors of the No. 1 internationally bestselling Joona Linna series.

With seven instalments to date, the series has sold 15 million copies in 40 languages. The Ahndorils were both established writers before they adopted the pen name Lars Kepler, and have each published several acclaimed novels.

More information can be found in a past Q and A post The Minds behind Lars Keplar

Thank you Random Thing Tours for inviting me to this tour and giving me a sneaky look at this book

Love

Book Review: The Library by Bella Osborne

Last month, I was excited to discover my local library delivers books every four weeks to those who are stuck indoors. Ever since the pandemic, lockdown and inability to use my mobility scooter for long distances I’ve been unable to visit my library. How I’ve missed browsing the shelves, discovering new books, finding those that have slipped under the radar and rediscover old ones. The Library by Bella Osborne was in my first library stash and what a joy it was. Scroll down to see why.

Photo of a stack of books form the library including The Library by Bella Osborne, The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
Library stash -February

Book Review: The Library by Bella Osborne

The Library by Bella Osborne cover - a colourful stack of books
The Library by Bella Osborne

Title: The Library

Author: Bella Osborne

Publisher: Aria

Genre: Fiction, Women’s fiction

Release Date: 2nd Sept 2021

Purchase: Amazon

Blurb

Two lonely bookworms. An unexpected friendship. A library that needs their help

‘A touching story of a friendship between a troubled teenager, a yoga-practising farming woman in her seventies and a local library. A delight!’ – Sunday Times bestselling author Katie Fforde

Teenager Tom has always blended into the background of life. After a row with his dad and facing an unhappy future at the dog food factory, he escapes to the library.

Pensioner Maggie has been happily alone with her beloved novels for ten years – at least, that’s what she tells herself.

When they meet, they recognise something in each other that will change both their lives for ever.

Then the library comes under threat of closure, and they must join forces to prove that it’s not just about books – it’s the heart of their community.

They are determined to save it – because some things are worth fighting for.

My Thoughts

Some books are meant to be treasured and like the village library depicted in this story, this is one of them. The distinct voices of Tom and Maggie shine on the page as they both battle with not only loneliness but their resistance to connect with other people and change.

The attention to detail and the everyday observations made me feel like I was experiencing their lives alongside them. Tom is a shy teenager with dealing with exams, unrequited love and his father. While Maggie is a feisty pensioner with a strong sense of independence. The novel has funny moments such as when Tom discovers his preferred genre to read and hands on experience at Maggie’s farm but also poignant times when they both reveal their lives to each other cementing their deep friendship.

Maggie’s farm is a delightful escape from the world. If I could stay there in reality, I would especially for the cakes and food she served. Also with a stroppy ram called Colin, how could I not fall in love with this location?  

The community the library serves has a collection of memorable personalities adding to the novel’s warmth and acts as a reminder that most people are sociable beings and need that human connection to help them through bad times and celebrate the good.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a timely read and highlights the fact loneliness can strike all ages but you can find friendships in unlikely places and it can cross the generations. The Library is a warm, honest heart-felt novel sprinkled with humour and leaves you with a sense of hope, calm and a grin.

Author Biography

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel.

In 2016, her debut novel, ‘It Started At Sunset Cottage’, was shortlisted for the Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year and RNA Joan Hessayon New Writers Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She likes to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weaves these into her stories. Her novels are often serialised in four parts ahead of the full book publication.

Bella believes that writing your own story really is the best fun ever, closely followed by talking, eating chocolate, drinking fizz and planning holidays.

She lives in The Midlands, UK with her lovely husband and wonderful daughter, who thankfully, both accept her as she is (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).

Social Media

Website www.bellaosborne.com

Twitter@osborne_bella

Instagramhttp://www.instagram.com/bellaosborneauthor/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/BellaOsborneAuthor/

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: Out of the Blue by Nettie Anderson

It’s another blowy day outside but I’m thrilled to share my review for a debut novel Out of the Blue by Nettie Anderson. With it’s blue calming cover, it promised to be an ideal escape from the storms. Scroll down to see if it reached my expectations.

Book Review: Out of the Blue by Nettie Anderson

Book cover for Out of the Blue by  Nettie Anderson
Out of the Blue by Nettie Anderson

Title: Out of the Blue

Author: Nettie Anderson

Genre: Women’s fiction, Romance

Release Date: 11th Oct 2021

Purchase: Amazon UK

Blurb

Family, love and friendship is at the heart of this story

They say change is as good as a rest, but Daisy is hoping for both when she escapes to Barley Ford. Is it possible that some time in this tiny remote hamlet can help her get her life back on track?

Daisy is a moderately successful writer of fantasy fiction, but she is struggling to complete the final book of her Rose Water Chronicles trilogy. No amount of pressure from her agent and editor can take her mind off the resurfacing memories of her childhood, when her mother left her and her dad, with no apology and apparently no explanation.

Daisy is becoming increasingly anxious, putting at risk her health and her career. With encouragement from her dad and best friend, she agrees to take a break deep in the countryside, hopeful that the solitude and beautiful surroundings will bring her peace of mind and enable her to finally finish her story.

So much for solitude, however. And so much for writing! Progress is slow as the truth about her mother begins to unravel. At the same time, Daisy is drawn into the Barley Ford community, which happens to include a handsome farmer by the name of Tom Weaver.

Daisy slowly learns the truth about her past, and realises she needs to learn how to trust people, too. Is it possible that opening her heart to love will set her free?

My Thoughts

Out of the Blue is a tender and beautiful novel. I connected to Daisy and this novel in a number of ways. I love reading about characters who are authors to gain an insight into how their minds work and Daisy is a refreshing fantasy writer rather than a romance author like many books I’ve read. Fantasy is a genre I love and dabble in writing so enjoyed how she not only battles with writer’s block and anxiety but the stress of balancing fantasy life with reality.

The strength of this book is in the depth of observation that brings the scenery to life and allows the reader to access the calm and tranquillity of the village of Barley Ford. It’s a perfect place to escape. I live near the Yorkshire Wolds and the beauty is captured well. Barley Ford is an unique place, full of mystery and secrets with a twist I would never have imagined or doubt I’ll ever read again. Full of intriguing personalities, it holds warmth and sense of community which is needed in this genre.

This observational skill is also used in the description of personal emotions, immersing the reader into Daisy’s panic and upheaval as the past catches up with her and she struggles to balance the need to fulfil deadlines, her readers’ expectations,  while grounding herself into a new reality. Writing requires more of the author’s self than readers know and can be detrimental to real life.

The arrival of relatable Tom with problems of his own brings a welcome distraction and Ed has a backstory I need to know more of. It is clear this is part of a series and I can’t wait to see how it develops.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a delightful journey into the Yorkshire Wolds with relatable and intriguing characters. Barley Ford is a place that has captured my imagination and I long to visit again, so I can discover more of the secrets it holds. This is a series to follow.

Author Biography

Nettie love of making up stories began as a child. Nurtured by her mum, she suggested carrying a notebook with her to scribble down ideas.

At school her English teacher encouraged her fertile imagination but wrung his hands at her never understanding grammar!

In between the writing, she’s a passionate gardener, reader and enjoy crafting and getting out into the countryside walking. 

Her remote area of the Yorkshire wolds has inspired the backdrop to Barley Ford.

Now working on book 2 of the Barley Ford series, she’s exploring Edward’s story.

Social media:

Twitter: Nettie

Blog: https://nettieandersonstories.wordpress.com/

Instagram: Nettie Anderson

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: The Lost Chapter by Caroline Bishop

I’m excited to share my review for The Lost Chapter by Caroline Bishop. The tagline ‘It’s never too late to start writing a different story’ called to my inner writer and I jumped at the invitation for this blog tour -thanks Random Things Tours. Scroll down to see if it met my expectations.

Book Review: The Lost Chapter by Caroline Bishop

Book cover for The Lost Chapter by Caroline Bishop
The Lost Chapter by Caroline Bishop

Title: The Lost Chapter

Author: Caroline Bishop

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Genre: Women’s fiction

Release Date: 3rd February 2022

Blurb

1957,France.

 Florence and Lilli meet at finishing school in Lyon. Despite some differences, they forge a firm friendship that promises to last a lifetime. But a terrible betrayal prematurely tears them apart. Years later in England, Florence has become the woman her friend knew she could be – creative, bold, and independent. The exact opposite of Alice, a young woman troubled by a recent trauma, whom Florence is determined to help bring out of her shell. Just as Lilli once did for her. When Florence discovers that the novel she’s reading is written by Lilli and is based on their time at school, the two stories begin to unfold together. Past events illuminate the future, and it becomes clear that long-held secrets can’t stay buried forever

My Thoughts

As I said previously, the blurb and tagline caught my eye but it wasn’t long before Flo captured my heart and I had to keep reading to discover her past. This is a clever book that intersperses Flo,  Carla and Alice’s narratives with that of Lilli, in the form of the chapters of an autobiographical novel, The Way We Were. This in turn tells the tale of two friends of opposite personalities which gives the foundation of the overall story.

Flo is a feisty, down to earth octogenarian with a talent for art and prints. The scenes describing the process of printing were mediative and made me itch to have a go. The chemistry between her and younger Alice was a joy to read as she attempted to soothe her fears and when secrets from all characters were revealed it brought tears. Flo is a character everyone needs in their lives. The strained relationship between Carla and her daughter was authentic and emotive.

The 1957 timeline was also a delight to read for other reasons. The attention to detail brought the  time period and location to life with a pace of its own and worked perfectly against the other chapters. Unlike some dual timeline novels, I wasn’t drawn more to one; I was invested in both threads.

The Lost Chapter is a beautifully written emotional novel that left a warm glow when it ended with unexpected turns.

Would I recommend?

A huge yes, this could be a contender for one of my top books of the year. With beautiful prose, strong emotional connections, characters to hold dear and a mystery that makes you turn the page it is a must read.

It’s perfect for fans of last year’s Dear Grace by Clare Swatman.

Author Biography

Photo of Caroline Bishop
Caroline Bishop

Caroline Bishop began her journalism career at a small arts magazine in London, after a brief spell in educational publishing. She soon moved to work for a leading London theatre website, for which she reviewed shows and interviewed major acting and directing stars. Caroline turned freelance in 2012 and a year later moved to Switzerland, where her writing veered towards travel and she has contributed to publications including the Guardian, the Independent, the Telegraph and BBC Travel, writing mainly about Switzerland, and co-wrote the 2019 edition of the DK Eyewitness Guide to Switzerland. For two years Caroline was editor of TheLocal.ch, an English-language Swiss news site, and it was during this time that she became fascinated with aspects of Swiss history and culture, particularly the evolution of women’s rights

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

Love

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Book Review: The Gosling Girl by Jacqueline Roy

Welcome to my review for The Gosling Girl by Jacqueline Roy. The tagline intrigued me and I was keen to find out more so jumped at the chance when invited on this blog tour.

Book Review: The Gosling Girl by Jacqueline Roy

Book Cover The Gosling Girl by Jacqueline Roy
The Gosling Girl by Jacqueline Roy

Title: The Gosling Girl

Author: Jacqueline Roy

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Genre: Crime Fiction

Release Date: 20th Jan 2022

Blurb

Monster. Murderer. Child. Victim.

Michelle Cameron’s name is associated with the most abhorrent of crimes. A child who lured a younger child away from her parents and to her death, she is known as the black girl who murdered a little white girl; evil incarnate according to the media. As the book opens, she has done her time, and has been released as a young woman with a new identity to start her life again. When another shocking death occurs, Michelle is the first in the frame. Brought into the police station to answer questions around a suspicious death, it is only a matter of time until the press find out who she is now and where she lives and set about destroying her all over again. Natalie Tyler is the officer brought in to investigate the murder. A black detective constable, she has been ostracised from her family and often feels she is in the wrong job. But when she meets Michelle, she feels a complicated need to protect her, whatever she might have done. The Gosling Girl is a moving, powerful account of systemic, institutional and internalised racism, and of how the marginalised fight back. It delves into the psychological after-effects of a crime committed in childhood, exploring intersections between race and class as Michelle’s story is coopted and controlled by those around her. Jacqueline writes with a cool restraint and The Gosling Girl is a raw and powerful novel that will stay with the reader long after they have turned the last page.

My Thoughts

The premise of this novel drew me in but the character, Michelle kept me captivated. Naïve, institutionalised, and surprisingly likeable she is understandably conflicted with the knowledge that she’d killed a child, and battles with guilt but as the story progressed it was clear nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

At times, my heart tugged when she is filled with hope of a new start with a new name despite a conviction looming over her while other times, I dreaded turning the page because I wondered where it would lead. Getting to grips with living outside prison and dealing with people with their own agendas is not a smooth path.

Child murder by children is a difficult topic to tackle but it is done sensitively, and is helped by keeping the reader at a distance from the action and having Michelle as an unreliable narrator. There isn’t a graphic description of her crime which allowed for it not to overshadow the emotional aspects of the book. It gives a snapshot into the consequences of actions and highlights the trauma on all sides of the crime including the perpetrator. It investigates the effects of race and in some respects, money and class, on a case and how easy it is for facts to be manipulated to fit different narratives.

Tyler, a police detective has her own battles with prejudices on the force which is topical and relevant in recent events in the Met.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this novel is gripping, thought provoking, and is one that refuses to let you go once you’ve read the last page. It evokes many emotions including initial guilt for connecting and liking a convicted murderer. I’m sure when I watch events unfold on the news the voices of Michelle and Tyler will sneak their way into my thoughts and influence my own judgements; they will remind me no one ever knows the full story and there are many things at play in how events came about and how things are seen. It is ideal for book clubs and initiating discussions.

Author Biography

Author Jacqueline Roy
Jacqueline Roy

Jacqueline was born and raised in London. Her father was Jamaican and her mother was English and she comes from a family of writers. She hated the pressure to conform at school and left early, so she did her degrees as a mature student and moved to Manchester to take up a full-time teaching post at Manchester Metropolitan University. She lectured in English for many years, specialising in postcolonial literatures. She also taught creative writing at MMU’s Writing School. She is particularly interested in exploring racial identities and the ways in which those who are marginalised find strategies for fighting back. She is now a full-time writer and has produced fiction for adults and children.

Twitter: @Jacquel27815478

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

Love

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Book Review: High Blue Sky by Victoria Connelly

I usually adore Victoria Connelly’s novels and after reading the first one in this series, I was excited to read the next instalment, High Blue Sky. Thanks Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy to read so I could give my unbiased review.

Book Review: High Blue Sky by Victoria Connelly

Book Cover for High Blue Sky by Victoria Connelly
High Blue Sky by Victoria Connelly

Title: High Blue Sky (2nd book in the House in the Clouds series)

Author: Victoria Connelly

Genre: Women’s fiction, romance

Release Date: 5th October 2021

Purchase:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/High-Blue-House-Clouds-Book-ebook/dp/B096KDLB6X

US – https://www.amazon.com/High-Blue-House-Clouds-Book-ebook/dp/B096KDLB6X

Blurb

What would you sacrifice to be with the person you love?

Summer has arrived and it’s over a year since strangers Abigail and Edward bought Winfield Hall at auction and restored it together. Now, two new tenants are about to join them at their beautiful Georgian home.

Workaholic Harry Freeman has forgotten what it is to relax so when he meets healer, Aura Arden, and learns to meditate with her, he can’t believe how good he feels and he soon finds himself falling for her. But, with her bare feet and crystal beads, Aura’s not a big hit with Harry’s old-fashioned parents, and he finds himself torn between the people he loves most in the world.

It isn’t just Harry and Aura finding love. Summer has woven its spell over Edward and his brother Oscar, and both are making a play for Abi. But Abi isn’t happy at having to choose between these two very different men and, when Oscar’s behavior spirals out of control, she realizes that some decisions can have devastating consequences.

High Blue Sky is the second novel in the heart-warming trilogy from the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and The Book Lovers series.

My Thoughts

This was a return to the idyllic location of Winfield Hall in Sussex to catch up with the owners, Edward and Abi. While it continued to follow the slow burn will they/won’t they theme between this pair and revealing more about the relationships they have with their respective siblings, the main focus was the newest residents, Harry and Aura. Harry is a workaholic feeling the stress of overwork and the expected high standards of his family and Aura is the opposite with her free-thinking attitude and love of crystals. It wasn’t long before the adage of opposite attracts came true and the chemistry between the two bloomed.

Victoria Connelly is the queen of immersive sensory descriptions as I discovered in the Book Lovers Series, and she used this in the scenes with Aura and her crystals. I found myself breathing in time with the characters as Aura instructed Harry on meditation and her calming influence leapt off the page. I imagine the audiobook would be even better for this, and it rekindled my fascination with the crystals I have dotted about my room. Her shared interests with me made her an easy character to like and though she may have come across as dreamy and hippy like, her backstory provided an emotional read about new beginnings, and transformations.

The conclusion made my heart race and left me eager to read the next one. It is going to feel a long wait.

Would I recommend?

So far I haven’t read a novel by this author I have not loved and all of them belong on my forever shelf. This one did not disappoint. Though it could be read as a standalone, the reader would gain more by reading the first one, The House in the Clouds, beforehand. With delightful characters, exquisite storytelling and a stunning location, these books never fail to be a joy to read and pure escapism for sunny days or cuddling under the duvet with your favourite beverage.

Author Biography

Photo of Victoria Connelly
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

https://www.instagram.com/victoriaconnellyauthor/

Facebook: @victoriaconnellyauthor

https://www.facebook.com/victoriaconnellyauthor

Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy
https://www.twitter.com/victoriadarcy

Other blogs on this tour

Happy reading!

Love

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

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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

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