Book Review: The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker

Today I am excited to share another festive book review, The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker. The blurb grabbed my attention because I am a great fan of the festive film, The Holiday starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet where they swapped houses for the Christmas period (Iris’ cottage is the ideal writer’s home) and I always wanted to know more about Australian traditions at Christmas; something I have never come across in UK fiction.

Read on to find out more.

Trailer for The Holiday

Book Review: The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker

The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker

Title: The Christmas Swap

Author: Sandy Barber

Publisher: One More Chapter, HarperCollins UK

Genre: Romance, festive

Release date: 16th October 2020

Blurb:

Christmas is coming and best friends ChloeJules, and Lucy are needing change… so swapping homes for the holidays could be the perfect present for all of them!

Australian Chloe spends her Christmas in a sleepy village in Oxfordshire, England. She is totally star-struck when she discovers who lives across the road.

Lucy, who has jetted off to snowy Colorado for her dream-come-true white Christmas, is taken into the fold of Jules’s loud and brash family, discovering more about herself in a few short days than she has in years.

And Jules leaves the cold climes of Colorado to spend her Christmas on a beach with Chloe’s friends in Melbourne, finding that time away is just what she needed.

The only thing better than one Christmas romance is three, and this wonderful festive novel is perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Holly Martin and Karen Swan.

Purchase Links

Amazon

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-christmas-swap

https://books.apple.com/gb/book/the-christmas-swap/id1522992097

https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-christmas-swap,sandy-barker-9780008390044

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-christmas-swap/sandy-barker/9780008390044

My Thoughts

The first chapter is a Beachesesque introduction to three young girls from different places in the world, forming a friendship that will span a lifetime and shape who they are. Strong female friendships in novels are a joy to read, and this was no exception. From the start, I was connected to them, making me turn the page.

The idea of the swap was sown when Australian Chloe’s parents abandon her over Christmas and she reveals her longing for traditional family celebrations as seen in the movies. I loved the premise of experiencing three distinctly different Christmases, especially the one in Australia. I always struggled to comprehend the notion Christmas day was in the middle of summer and celebrated without a turkey and all the trimmings. My sister lives there, and reading this novel made me feel closer to her.

These friends experience snapshots of each other’s lives and it highlights even the best friends do not share everything and there are aspects of your life you keep to yourself. There is a character for every reader to connect with and love, and I enjoyed watching them grapple the different traditions, slot into the different ways of living, and discover the closest friendships have boundaries. With stunning locations, festive atmosphere, chemistry between love interests and swoonsome embraces, it was a tonic for grey, drizzly Autumn days and perfect escapism.

Would I recommend?

Yes! This is my first experience of this author, but I loved her style. This book is an entertaining, refreshing read, and with three Christmas stories in one, how could I not love it? It is on for my forever shelf for a reread in the future.

Author Biography

Sandy Barker

Sandy Barker is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list. She loves exploring new places, outdoor adventures, and eating and drinking like a local when she travels, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, film buff, wine lover and coffee snob.

Social Media Links –

https://twitter.com/sandybarker

https://www.facebook.com/sandybarkerauthor

https://www.instagram.com/sandybarkerauthor

https://sandybarker.com/

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources and One More Chapter for my advanced copy so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

If you would like to find out more about this book and Sandy Barker, why not visit other blogs on this tour.

Have you had your own Christmas swap and experienced a different festive day? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

Book Review: To Catch the Witch by Sharon Booth

October is here, making it the perfect time to celebrate Halloween and have a witch and ghost takeover.

My first witchy book review is To Catch a Witch by one of my favourite Yorkshire author’s Sharon Booth, who we met last year. You can find her interview here. It is the last novel in the Castle Clair trilogy. Read on to discover more.

Book Review: To Catch the Witch by Sharon Booth

To Catch a Witch by Sharon Booth

Title: To Catch a Witch

Author: Sharon Booth

Publisher: Green Ginger Publishing

Genre: Romance, uplifting fiction, witchlit

Release Date: 28th April 2020

Links

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sharonbooth.writer

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sharon_Booth1

Instagram: www.instagram.com/sharonboothwriter

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sharon-Booth/e/B00PP5S1X8

Website: www.sharonboothwriter.com

Blurb

Return to Castle Clair for the final chapter of the St Clair story.

It’s three hundred and fifty years since the famous witch’s leap happened in the North Yorkshire town. Riverside Walk is swarming with eager tourists, wanting to pay tribute to the legendary Blaise St Clair. It’s also Christmas Eve, and the family has gathered to celebrate an eventful year, and to look forward to even better times ahead.

But a shock event changes everything, bringing a whole lot of trouble to the door of Castle Lodge.

For something big is happening in Castle Clair. Strangers are arriving, a prophecy is unfolding, a mystery is deepening, a reckoning is coming … and someone’s getting rather too fond of Mrs Greenwood’s baking.

The past is colliding with the present, and the future is in jeopardy. No wonder the High Council of Witches is a bit miffed.

Will the St Clairs have enough strength, courage ~ and chocolate fudge cake ~ to see them through?

Or is this the end of the world as they know it?

My Thoughts

I was mesmerised by the other two novels based in Castle Clair which tell the stories of Sky and Star St Clair and pre-ordered this one, eager for its release but delayed reading it until now. Why? I did not want the series and the magic to end. Mistake. Big mistake, I could have reread the entire series by now. What was not a mistake was the timing. Celeste’s story begins on Christmas Eve, the 350th anniversary of Blaise St Clair’s death at Witches Leap, making it an ideal book for October with the preparations of both Halloween and Christmas. Witches and Christmas, my favourite things make it a winning combination.

Sharon Booth’s wonderful storytelling invoked the Christmas spirit and drew me into the St Clair’s world. The opening chapters are upbeat, quirky, and full of laughter as well as trepidation of what is to come. The many references to Dr Who to describe the situation made me smile and added to the festive atmosphere. Like the Muppet’s Christmas Carol, Dr Who specials make Christmas.

Celeste fast became my favourite witch with her innocent, romantic view of love, believing she will meet the one. Her gentle and kind nature makes her the ideal match for Blaise, the 17th century witch. I enjoyed watching him grapple with the steep learning curve of fitting in to the 21st century, including the changing roles of women and zippers. That scene is one I cannot get out of my head.

Would I recommend?

To Catch A Witch is witchy escapism wrapped up in an uplifting romance that also revisits the other St Clair sisters. With many twists and turns, it was a joy to read and is firmly one of my forever shelf with the rest of the series. This has become my favourite, but it would be wrong to read it again without the others. I can feel a Halloween tradition brewing.

Author Biography

Sharon Booth

Sharon Booth is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes uplifting women’s fiction — “love, laughter, and happy ever after”. Although a happy ending for her main characters is guaranteed, she makes them work for it!

Sharon grew up in the East Yorkshire town of Hessle, where her enduring love for all things Yorkshire was born. She now lives in Kingston-upon-Hull with her husband and their much-loved German Shepherd dog.

Since giving up her admin job at a medical practice, she spends a lot of time assuring her family of five children, assorted in-laws and hordes of grandchildren – not to mention a sceptical mother and a contrary hairdresser – that writing full-time IS a “proper” job and she HASN’T taken early retirement.

She has a love/hate relationship with chocolate, adores Doctor Who and Cary Grant movies, and admits to being shamefully prone to all-consuming crushes on fictional heroes.

You can sign up to Sharon’s newsletter at smarturl.it/sharonsnewsletter

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

Book Cover Reveal: One Kiss Before Christmas by Emma Jackson

Autumn has arrived and so have the festive books. I am delighted to share with you the cover for a novel, I am looking forward to reading, One Kiss Before Christmas by Emma Jackson.

Book Cover Reveal: One Kiss Before Christmas by Emma Jackson

One Kiss Before Christmas by Emma Jackson

Title: One Kiss Before Christmas

Author: Emma Jackson

Publisher: Orion Dash

Genre: Festive romanace

Release date: 2nd November 2020

Pre-order Link – http://bit.ly/OneKissBeforeXmas

Blurb

A gorgeously romantic festive read from the author of A Mistletoe Miracle, guaranteed to warm your heart this Christmas!


Could it be the start of her happy ever after?


Ashleigh could use a little Christmas magic. She’s still living in Brighton with her Nan — who could give the Grinch lessons in how to be miserable — her acting career has been reduced to playing one of Santa’s elves, and not even the prospect of a friend’s winter wedding can cheer her up…

That is until Olivier, the gorgeous French chef, reappears in her life. Or more accurately, next door.

When they were teenagers, Olivier would spend every other Christmas with his mother, who just happens to be Ash’s neighbour and owner of the best chocolate shop in England.


If anyone can bring a little sparkle back to Ash’s life, it’s Olivier. All she needs is one kiss before Christmas…

Feel-good and festive, this is the perfect romance to curl up with this winter!

Author Biography

Emma Jackson

Author of the Best Selling A MISTLETOE MIRACLE and contender for the Joan Hessayon Award 2020, Emma has been a devoted bookworm and secret-story-scribbler since she was 6 years old. When she’s not running around after her two daughters and trying to complete her current work-in-progress, Emma loves to read, bake, catch up on binge-watching TV programmes with her partner and plan lots of craft projects that will inevitably end up unfinished. Her latest romantic comedy, SUMMER IN THE CITY, was released in June 2020.

Emma also writes historical and fantasy fiction as Emma S Jackson. THE DEVIL’S BRIDE was published by DarkStroke in February 2020.

You can find out news about Emma via her website, by signing up to her newsletter at www.esjackson.co.uk or on:
Twitter: @ESJackson1

Instagram: @emma_s_jackson

Facebook @EmmaJacksonAuthor

I am excited to be on the blog tour for this festive treat, so pop by on 9th November for my review. Emma’s paranormal romance novel, The Devil’s Bride has a Gothic feel and is ideal for the darker evenings and the run up for Halloween. My review can be seen here.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Book Review: The Last Charm by Ella Allbright

Book Review:Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

I discovered Jessica Redland books last year and I was excited when I heard her new release would be about hedgehogs, a creature I adore. The blurb grabbed me and I could not resist the book cover. As soon as I was invited to the tour I grabbed the opportunity, thrilled I would be able to read the book sooner- thank you Rachel Random Resources. Times like this I love being a book blogger.

 

Book Review: Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

 

Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow Cover

Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

Title: Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow

Author: Jessica Redland

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Release Date: 2nd July

 

Blurb:

Can love really be found when you stop looking for it…?

As Samantha Wishaw watches the love of her life marry another woman, she’s ready to give up hope of finding her happy ever after.

But when a chance encounter leads Sam to find friendship in Thomas – a lonely, grumpy elderly widower living at derelict Hedgehog Hollow – her life is about to change forever.

Glad to have a distraction from family feuds and match-making, Sam vows to fulfill Thomas and his wife, Gwendoline’s, dreams of restoring Hedgehog Hollow to its former glory, and to open a hedgehog rescue centre.

Throwing herself into the task at hand, little does Sam realise that the keys to love and happiness may also be found at Hedgehog Hollow, when she least expects it…

Escape to Hedgehog Hollow this summer with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for the perfect uplifting, feel-good read.

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

 

My Thoughts

My excitement for this books release was more than justified; I lost count on how many times I cried while reading it but do not runaway with the idea that it is a sad book; yes, it has its emotional scenes but it is overwhelmingly warm, funny and uplifting. The characters sneak into your heart especially Thomas Mickleby (I love his name) and Sammie. It is this deep connection that allowed me to experience their feelings, hence the sobs. Tissues are required.

The principal character, Sammie, is lovely and someone I would love to have as a friend even if she is underappreciated by many around her.  I related to Sammie within the first few pages and the more her life was revealed, the more I cared. Many of Sammie’s experiences with toxic relationships hit a nerve and they were dealt with in a sensitive, loving way. It highlights how family members influence our lives for the better and worse and in turn help form our personalities. The depth of characterisation drew me into the story before I met the hedgehogs, and there are many references to them. Hedgehogs are one of my favourite animals, and reading about them made me reminisce about the hoglets we cared for over a harsh Yorkshire winter. It was a special experience, but very pongy at times. The hedgehog storyline has been well researched and a lot of information is dripped into the story so anyone who reads this will come away learning something about these delightful creatures and their plight for survival.

The setting for Hedgehog Hollow is stunning.  I currently live in the Wolds, and the descriptions in this novel capture the essence of the landscape perfectly. I longed to be there and sit with Sammie and Thomas to experience the meadow in its full bloom.

The relationships Sammie forms with the people she meets have a magical quality about them, especially between her and Thomas.  I enjoyed watching them grow and evolve into a family-like bond. This is a story about friendship, hope,  and learning to believe in your ability to shine.

Would I recommend?

Yes, I have read a couple of her previous novels and love her warm style, but this one is special. A paperback will purchased for my forever shelf for future rereads. It is emotional, uplifting and full of spiky lovable creatures to warm the heart further. I did not want the story to end, so I am grateful it is the beginning of a series. Just make sure you have hankies nearby.

 

Author Biography

 

Finding Love - Author

Jessica Redland

 

Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

Social Media Links:

 

Instagram –https://www.instagram.com/JessicaRedlandWriter/

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/JessicaRedland

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JessicaRedlandWriter/

Own website – https://www.jessicaredland.com/

Blog – https://jessicaredlandwriter.wordpress.com/

Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jessica-redland

Mailing list sign up – http://bit.ly/JessicaRedlandNewsletter

 

Thanks again Rachel for inviting me to this tour and an advanced copy of this delightful book to review and give my honest opinion.

Happy reading and stay safe,

Love

 

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Book Review: Coming Home to Heritage Cove by Helen J Rolfe

It is the weekend and I am happy to share my review for Coming Home to Heritage Cove by Helen J Rolfe as part of her blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources.

Book Review: Coming Home to Heritage Cove by Helen J Rolfe

 

COMING HOME TO HERITAGE COVE_FRONT_RGB150dpi

Coming Home to Heritage Cove by Helen J Rolfe

Title: Coming Home to Heritage Cove

Author: Helen J Rolfe

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Independent

Release date: 9th June 2020

Blurb

Welcome to Heritage Cove, the little village by the sea brimming with character, community and friendship, and the perfect place to fall in love this summer…

Melissa rushes back to Heritage Cove when Barney, the man who’s been like a father figure to her since she was a little girl, ends up in hospital. After an absence of five years, her return isn’t going to be easy, especially when she bumps into Harvey, the love of her life and the man she’s never been able to forget.

For reasons he couldn’t explain at the time, Harvey changed his mind about going with Melissa to start afresh as they’d planned, and life moved on for the both of them. But with Melissa back in the village and determined to stick around to help Barney, they can’t avoid each other forever. Melissa knows she let so many people down by staying away for so long, but she and Harvey blame each other for what happened and neither of them is willing to admit to being in the wrong.

When Barney insists on cancelling the Wedding Dress Ball, the charity fundraiser he holds every year in the stunning barn on his property, Melissa and Harvey realise they’re going to have to pull together. Otherwise the man they once knew might be gone forever. And when they unearth a secret Barney has never shared with anyone, they go in search of answers to not only ensure the ball runs this summer, but to bring back the Barney they know and love.

Back in the cove after all this time, Melissa gets to see the life she left behind and it’s time to deal with what it was that drove her away in the first place.

Beneath the summer sunshine in Heritage Cove, the sea sparkles, the heat rises and new love, reconciliations and the answers to an old love story could bring changes for everyone.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B086YYZF27

US – https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Home-Heritage-Cove-delightfully-ebook/dp/B086YYZF27

My Thoughts

We have had a few soggy days here in Yorkshire which provided the perfect opportunity to curl up with Helen J.Rolfe’s new book, Coming Home to Heritage Cove for some much needed escapism and sunshine as promised by its vibrant cover.

This is a novel about second chances for Melissa and Barney. Melissa returns to the lovely scenic Heritage Cove after spending time in London building up her career and is on the verge of starting a new chapter of her life with her boyfriend, Jay. An email saying Barney is in hospital throws all her plans in the air.

I loved the close relationship between Melissa, Harvey and Barney and for me this was the thread I enjoyed most. Barney stepped in as a surrogate father when they needed him and now they are returning the help. The relationship is a testament to the idea people do not have to be related to form a family. The antics of Melissa and Harvey’s childhood in his barn made me smile, and their backstories tugged at the heart. The time spent away gives Melissa a new perspective on the village and people she was avoiding as she struggled with grief and a desire to spread her wings. All topics covered were dealt with sensitively.

The star of the novel was Barney with his crotchety ways now he is infirm and reliant on others. He reminded me of my own grandparent which drew me into the story as did the mystery of the origins of the ball he held every year until his fall. I think I am in the minority in the appreciation of the Wedding Dress Ball;  the concept of re-wearing your wedding dress felt odd to me which made it hard to visualise but I am assured they are successful fundraisers and it did not distract from the essence of the story.

Would I recommend?

It is an uplifting, warm and emotional romance set in a delightful coastal village. The descriptions make you feel you are there, making it a good book to escape into.

Author Biography

Author Photograph Helen Rolfe (4)

Helen J Rolfe

Helen J Rolfe writes romantic fiction and contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries where she thinks her readers might like to escape to.

Helen J Rolfe also writes for Orion Books under the name Helen Rolfe.

Born and raised in the UK, Helen graduated from University with a business degree and began working in I.T. This job took her over to Australia and it was there that she finally turned to what she loved and studied writing and journalism. She spent a while freelancing for women’s health and fitness magazines, volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases, and eventually began writing fiction in 2011. And now, she thinks she may just have found her dream job.

Helen currently lives in Hertfordshire, UK, with her husband and their children.

Social Media Links –

Helen loves to hear from readers so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. She can be found at:

www.helenjrolfe.com
https://www.facebook.com/helenjrolfewriter
https://twitter.com/hjrolfe
www.instagram.com/helen_j_rolfe/

Thank you Rachel for inviting me to the tour and copy of the delightful novel for me to give my honest review.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: Scenes from a Country Bookshop by Victoria Connelly

This is my final day on this tour for the Book Lovers series. I am pleased to share my review for the forth book in the Book Lovers Series by Victoria Connelly, Scenes from a Country Bookshop. If you have read my previous reviews for the first three books, The Book Lovers and Rules for a Successful Book Club  and Natural Born Readers you will know I binge read these in a few days. This one was no different. Scroll down to find out more.

Book Review: Scenes from a Country Bookshop by Victoria Connelly

Scenes from a Country Bookshop - Victoria Connelly

Scenes from a Country Bookshop by Victoria Connelly

Title: Scenes from a Country Bookshop

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Release Date: 6th Nov 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

BLURB

Love can sometimes be really complicated…

Josh Nightingale has always been married to his books. Happy to run his bookshop in the small town of Castle Clare, he’s never really had time for romance and truly believes that he’s never going to fall in love. But, when April Channing opens a new shop opposite his, everything changes.

Sweet and attentive one moment, abrupt and aloof the next, Josh really can’t understand April at all. What exactly is going on? Josh is pretty sure that the answer can’t be found in a book.

Join the Nightingale family once again for this deliciously heartwarming novel, the forth in The Book Lovers series, by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and A Weekend with Mr Darcy.

My Thoughts

This novel is all about colour. Josh lives his life in books  as his home testifies this with his boring beige walls. He is happy living in a fantasy world which is a trait I can understand. April is the opposite and is a colour magpie, like myself. I related to her appreciation of colour and bohemian ways. This is an aspect I love about this series, I relate to many of the characters which adds an extra layer of enjoyment and involvement in the story. It makes you turn the page. The new characters introduced in this book are adorable and I would love to meet them in real life.  It is difficult to say more about the novel without giving away any spoilers but I enjoyed the twists and unexpected events. 

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is a lovely addition to the Book Lovers series. Overall, this series highlights an author with deep characterisation and observational skills making her novels a delight to read and love. The words bring the Nightgale family and Castle Clare alive giving the reader a chance to escape and enjoy. My TBR list has grown with the recommendations of the fictional book club and they have encouraged me to explore different music and appreciate things a little bit more.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

 

Thank you for Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: Natural Born Readers by Victoria Connelly

I am pleased to share my review for the third book in the Book Lovers Series by Victoria Connelly, Natural Born Readers. If you have read my previous reviews for the first two books, The Book Lovers and Rules for a Successful Book Club, you will know I binge read these in a few days. This one was no different. Scroll down to find out more.

Book Review: Natural Born Readers by Victoria Connelly

Natural Born Readers - Victoria Connelly

Natural Born Readers by Victoria Connelly

 

Title: Natural Born Readers

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Release Date: 26th Sept 2017

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

BLURB

Can the past always be forgiven?

Ben Stratton and Bryony Nightingale. Everybody thought they’d be together forever. But, when Ben leaves the small market town of Castle Clare to travel the world, Bryony is heartbroken, seeing his departure as the ultimate betrayal.

Throwing herself into her work running the much-loved children’s bookshop, Bryony determines to forget Ben and to start dating again. But Ben doesn’t make it easy for her, sending her postcards filled with his love and posting her foreign editions of all the great romantic novels from the countries he’s travelling through.

Then, after six long years, the unexpected happens and Ben returns, determined to win Bryony back. But will she forgive him and does he have the courage to tell her the truth about why he left her?

Natural Born Readers is the third book in the warm-hearted Book Lovers series by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and A Weekend with Mr Darcy.

MY THOUGHTS

There are five Nightingale siblings and this book focuses on Bryony. Of all of them, she is the character  I relate to most from her love and philosophy about colour to her delightful children’s book shop. If I ever fulfilled my dream it would be this. There were times, I thought Victoria Connelly had borrowed my fantasy place and written it into her novel. The descriptions of setting are immersive making it a wonderful place to escape to.

Whereas The Book Lovers largely focuses on the passion of books, and second novel is dedicated to music,  the passion in Natural Born Readers is between the characters. The adoration of books is still threaded throughout as it delves into whether the childhood sweethearts, Bryony and Ben can become lovers as adults. The joy of gardening encouraged me into the garden and luckily the tantalising descriptions of baked products are few, otherwise I would have needed a new wardrobe in a bigger size.

WOULD I RECOMMEND?

Yes! Like the other book in the series, this is a gentle, compelling romance which is an ideal escape during lockdown. The warmth of the Nightingale family shines on every page making it is a beautiful read.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

 

Thank you for Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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Book Review: Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly

Today the sun is shining and I am thrilled to bring you the second book in the Book Lovers Series,  Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly. My review for the beautiful first book The Book Lovers can be found here.

Book Review: Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly

Rules for a Successful Book Club - Victoria Connelly

Rules for a Successful Book Club by Victoria Connelly

Title:Rules for a Successful Book Club

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Release Date: 14th Feb 2016

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

Blurb

Everyone deserves a second chance at love, don’t they?

Polly Nightingale never meant to fall in love again especially not with a biker thirteen years her junior. But then Jago Solomon enters her life with a guitar strapped to his back, and Polly and her six-year-old son, Archie, know that they’ve never been happier.

But what happened three years ago when Polly’s husband, Sean, went missing? And what will it mean for Polly and Jago if her past ever catches up with them?

Join the Nightingale family once again for the second in The Book Lovers series by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls.

My Thoughts

I was eager to start this book after reading the Book Lovers, and I was not disappointed. All the favourites from book one including Sam and Callie return to provide another few beautiful and calm hours in Castle Clare. Polly Nightingale and her son, Archie is the main focus as the cope with the turmoil of her missing husband. The love of books still shone through to my delight but so does the the evocative sounds of music. The author has an ability to describe the senses that make them tingle. The scenes of Jago teaching Archie the guitar are moving, realistic and shows the depth and talent of writer to get into the character completely.

Would I recommend?

Yes! Like the first book in the series, this is the ideal escapism for these turbulent times. It is calm, gentle romance and a delight to read.

Author Biography

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

Victoria Connelly

Thank you for Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing me with a copy so I could give my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

Book Review: The Book Lovers by Victoria Connelly

Happy Easter to you all. This will be an unusual on for many and on days like today, it is always good to know books are consistent companions for you to escape into.  I am pleased to share with you one of my favourite books of this year,  The Book Lovers by Victoria Connelly.

Book Review: The Book Lovers by Victoria Connelly

The Book Lovers - Victoria Connelly

The Book Lovers by Victoria Connelly

Title: The Book Lovers

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Notting Hill Press 

Release Date: 27 Aug. 2015

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Purchase: Amazon

Blurb

Author Callie Logan never expected to swap her life in London for one in rural Suffolk but, after the breakdown of her marriage, she decides that a fresh start is just what she needs. Finding Owl Cottage in the tiny village of Newton St Clare, Callie determines to give up on love and throw herself into her work. But fate seems to have other ideas and she soon has two very different men vying for her attention.

First there’s Leo who likes to live on the wild side which usually means taking his dates foraging in the local woods for their supper. Then there’s Sam Nightingale, owner of Nightingale’s bookshop. Sam, recovering from a divorce, has also vowed to embrace the single life. That is, until he meets Callie.

But is Callie willing to risk her heart again and, if she is, will she make the right choice?

The Book Lovers is the first in an exciting new series by the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and A Weekend with Mr Darcy.

My Thoughts

This book is simply wonderful and the perfect escapism for 2020. As you may know, I love books about books and book shops. This one excels itself in the passion for the written word and the physical book.

I was in heaven as I wandered the Nightgale bookshops in Castle Clare. Each one is run by a different member of the Nightgale family; all shops are unique and specialise in a different form of books. The Book Lovers focuses on the rambling second hand shop belonging to Sam Nightgale. The descriptions and small details made me believe I was there. The enthusiasm the characters had for the books they held, sniffed and adored called to me.  The author understands the mind of a book worm well. The settings alone would have kept me reading but the characters had depth, warmth and back stories that kept me captivated. I binge read the whole series in less than a week. 

Callie is an author, recovering from a painful divorce and as a novice writer, I connected with her instantly as she struggled with writer’s block, deadlines and life. The chemistry between her and Sam Nightgale grows as they bond over their love of books . The conversations between the two characters is an ode to literature and I could not help hear the voice over from the Marks and Spencer’s ads declaring in a sultry voice “This is not just a best seller, it’s a Nightingale bestseller” as they delighted over the shop’s stock.

There is a plethora of delightful, memorable characters in the town and the introduction of the extended Nightgale family prepares you for the other books in the series.  

Would I recommend?

Yes! This warm, delightful and comforting novel is pure escapism for a bibliophile.  I did not want to leave. I fell in love with Castle Clare, the shops and Sam Nightgale for his passion for books. I loved the writing and immersive story line so much, I bought the audio version to calm me on sleepless nights. This will be on my forever shelf for me to return to over and over. 

Author Biography:

 

Victoria Connelly Author Photo

Victoria Connelly

Victoria Connelly is the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and The Book Lovers series.

With over one million sales, her books have been translated into a dozen languages. The first, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in Germany. Victoria flew to Berlin to see it being made and even played a cameo role in it.

A Weekend with Mr Darcy, the first in her popular Austen Addicts series about fans of Jane Austen has sold over 100,000 copies. She is also the author of several romantic comedies including The Runaway Actress which was nominated for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Best Romantic Comedy of the Year.

Victoria was brought up in Norfolk, England before moving to Yorkshire where she got married in a medieval castle. After 11 years in London, she moved to rural Suffolk where she lives in a Georgian cottage with her artist husband, a Springer spaniel and her ex-battery hens.

She’s written about her experience of country life in three volumes of autobiography: Escape to Mulberry Cottage, A Year at Mulberry Cottage and Summer at Mulberry Cottage.

You can get a heart-warming novella, A Dog Called Hope, when you sign up for her newsletter at: victoriaconnelly.com

You can find her on Twitter @VictoriaDarcy and at facebook.com/victoriaconnelly

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources  for inviting me to this tour, a copy of the book to give my honest opinion  and introducing me to this wonderful series. 

Follow me or pop in later this week for my reviews for the rest of the series. 

Happy Easter and stay safe at home to read!

Love

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