Book Review: The Borrow A Bookshop Holiday by Kiley Dunbar

If you asked a roomful of book lovers what their dream would be, the majority would admit to longing for a bookshop of their own. The blurb for The Borrow A Bookshop Holiday by Kiley Dunbar, promised to ignite this dream and I couldn’t wait to read.

Book Review: The Borrow A Bookshop Holiday by Kiley Dunbar

Book Cover for The Borrow A Bookshop Holiday by Kiley Dunbar

Title: The Borrow A Bookshop Holiday

Author: Kiley Dunbar

Publisher: Hera

Genre: Women’s fiction, romantic

Release date: 5th May 2021

Blurb

The Fully Booked Bookshop Café invites literature lovers to run their very own bookshop … for a fortnight.

Spend your days talking books with customers in your own charming bookshop and serving up delicious cream teas in the cosy café.

Bookworms, what are you waiting for? Your holiday is going to be LIT(erary).

Apply to: The Fully Booked Bookshop, Down-a-long, Clove Lore, Devon.

Jude Crawley should be on top of the world. She’s just graduated as a mature student, so can finally go public about her relationship with Philosophy professor, Mack.

Until she sees Mack kissing another girl, and her dreams crumble. And worse, their dream holiday – running a tiny bookshop in the harbour village of Clove Lore for two weeks – is non-refundable.

Throwing caution to the winds, Jude heads down to Devon, eager to immerse herself in literature and heal her broken heart.

But there’s one problem – six foot tall, brooding (but gorgeous) Elliot, who’s also reserved the bookshop holiday for two weeks…

As Jude and Elliot put their differences aside to run the bookshop, it seems that Jude might be falling in love with more than just words. Until she discovers what Elliot is running from – and why he’s hiding out in Clove Lore.

Can Jude find her own happy ending in a tiny, tumbledown bookshop? Or is she about to find out that her bookish holiday might have an unexpected twist in the tale…

Purchase Links

AMZ: https://amzn.to/30a8F8w

Kobo: http://bit.ly/308giMP

Apple: http://apple.co/3q8A4Ch

My Thoughts

I read this novel on May’s bank holiday Monday when the windows were rattling in the wind and rain. It was just what I needed and provided a much-needed escape to a delightful Devonshire village. It gave me everything I wished for when I read the blurb and more. 

Jude put her life on hold in her teens to care for her gran, so when the opportunity to have her life back arises, she flounders until the chance to run a bookshop for two weeks. The beginning chapters focused on her life pre-bookshop and offered a good insight into the life of a young carer and the impact it has on their lives. It was refreshing to read a book that highlights this as well as dyscalculia, a form of number dyslexia. Her family was caring and a delight to meet. The pace of the book picked up when she arrived at the bookshop and met Elliot, who is not your average bookseller. The chemistry between the two was a joy to read, as were the interactions with the other characters. Aldous, the dog was a wonderful addition to the bookshop.

The characters brought to life by Kiley Dunbar’s words, were quirky, had depth and unique qualities about them, making them very memorable. The location, based on Clovelly, was perfect and I could visualise the cobbled steep hill and the nooks and crannies of the bookshop. I did not want to leave. It had everything I needed including a bakery. Elliot was a hero of my dreams, with his tattoos, book nerd tendencies. His secret was well written and though I guessed some of it, it did not detract from the read. The only issue I have is there is no such place called Fully Booked Bookshop. I did not want this book to end and reality to loom over me again.

Like many books that involve a bakery or café, this book made me fancy scones with jam and cream, so be prepared if you can. An afternoon tea would complement this novel perfectly.

Afternoon tea with scones

Would I recommend?

This is a wonderful book and one I know will revisit again and again. It has become one of my favourite books in this genre for the plot, setting and style, not only for this year but ever. It’s quirky, has unique characterisations, an idyllic location and a hero like no other to swoon over. Forget Mr Darcy (even Colin Firth’s adaptation) tattooed book loving Elliot is my ideal book man. I will look into Kiley Dunbar’s other novels because I loved her writing style.

Author Biography

Author Kiley Dunbar

Kiley Dunbar writes heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places.

Kiley also works as a senior lecturer, teaching creative writing at the Manchester Writing School. One Winter’s Night is shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel Award 2021.

Social Media Links –


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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kileydunbar

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

Other blogs on this tour

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for the advanced copy to read so I could give my honest opinion.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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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

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Book Review: Witches of Barcelona by Caedis Knight

The writers who call themselves Caedis Knight are back with the next instalment in the Blood Web Chronicles, Witches of Barcelona. I had high expectations for this book because I adored the previous two books and longed to see how Saskia dealt with witches. My previous review for Vampires of Moscow can be found here. Scroll down to see if it reached my expectations.

I was also intrigued by their awesome trailer: https://youtu.be/yyWSZvHTlNU

Book Review: Witches of Barcelona by Caedis Knight

Witches of Barcelona by Caedis Knight book cover

Title: Witches of Barcelona

Author: Caedis Knight

Publisher:

Genre: urban fantasy, adult fiction

Release date: 31st March 2021


Purchase details:
Universal purchase ebook link:  mybook.to/WitchesOfBarcelona

Blurb

Saskia de la Cruz is a Verity Witch and investigative reporter for The Blood Web Chronicle, the biggest news outlet on the paranormal Blood Web.

After escaping murderous Vampires in snowy Moscow, Saskia can’t imagine a more difficult or more dangerous mission. That is until her editor sends her to Barcelona to investigate a high profile disappearance at the Mage Association, which just happens to be run by her evil mother Solina.

Saskia’s plan is to spend as little time in Barcelona as possible, until she meets three junior members of the MA who know more than they let on – including information on Saskia’s missing sister, Mikayla. Among her new leads is Catalan bruixa Luisa, who has a hold over Saskia stronger than any magic.

It doesn’t take long until Saskia finds herself under the glittering spell of MA high society, where morals are few and magic is law. Can Saskia escape the clutches of a world that’s always been dangerous for her, before it turns deadly?

With vibrant characters, page-turning suspense and steamy romance, this second book in the Blood Web Chronicles series has been dubbed by early readers as ‘devilishly addictive’ and ‘a dark, magical world of power and passion.’ Co-authored by two established fantasy authors Jacqueline Silvester and N.J Simmonds, the second book in the Blood Web Chronicles series is perfect for fans of Crescent City, True Blood, The Elite, and The Craft.

My Thoughts

From Russia and vampiric ballet dancers to sunny Barcelona, Caedis Knight knows how to immerse the reader into a location by painting the stunning scenery, architecture and atmosphere of a place with their words. I’ve added Barcelona to the places I want to visit and can imagine going on a global Caedis Knight inspired holiday visiting all the places Saskia visits by the end of this series. 

Still searching for sister, Saskia goes home to her mother who is acting as First Witch of the Mage. The prologue highlights the murky world Saskia is entering and immediately I knew this book would not let me down. It shows a more vulnerable side of Saskia as she is introduced to different types of witches who are more powerful than herself, makes new friends and meets a new love while she battles with the trauma of the past and her mother. It is full of magic and imaginative imagery – the descriptions of the enchanted food and the witches’ ballgowns are stunning and would translate well to film. As would the scenes with Luisa. While not for readers under the age of 18, they are the most romantic and sensual scenes I’ve read and are in keeping with the character and plot. Like their other books, there is nothing gratuitous about the sex scenes, unlike some novels. With many unpredictable twists and turns as Saskia investigates the crimes, this multilayered novel is a thrill to read.

Would I recommend?

Hell yes! This is a strong book in the genre and my favourite so far in this series. With highly visual and imaginative imagery, a thrilling plot and sensuous sex scenes, it is one to read if you love powerful female characters, travel, spectacular magic and a rollercoaster ride of a read. Like the others, they belong on my forever shelf and can’t wait to find out what happens next

Author Biography

Photo of Author duo Caedis Knight

Caedis Knight is the pen name of two established fantasy authors, Jacqueline Silvester and N J Simmonds. Silvester began her career in screenwriting and lived all over the world before going on to pen her highly successful YA series Wunderkids. Spanish Londoner Simmonds’ background was originally in marketing before writing her fantasy series The Indigo Chronicles, along with various Manga stories and writing collaborations. Together they created Blood Web Chronicles – their first paranormal romance series set in Europe. Great friends and avid travelers, you can find them whizzing between one another’s homes in Germany and the Netherlands, or having Zoom calls to excitedly plot Saskia’s next humorous sexy adventure.

Social media:

Website: caedisknight.com
Twitter: @CaedisKnight
FB: facebook.com/AuthorCaedisKnight
IG: instagram.com/caedis_knight

Have you read any books by Caedis Knight? What do you think?Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

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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

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Book Review: All You Need is Love by Jessica Redland

I’m happy to share my review for All You Need is Love by Jessica Redland which combines my favourite things bears and the sea. Scroll down to see what I thought of this romantic novel set in an unique place a shop specialising in bears.

Book Review: All You Need is Love by Jessica Redland

All You Need is Love by Jessica Redland

Title: All You Need is Love previously published as Bear with Me

Author: Jessica Redland

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Genre: Romance, Women’s fiction

Release date: 11th March 2021

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

Blurb

When you’ve loved and lost, how do you find the strength to let love in again?


Jemma thinks she’s found the love of her life. Scott is everything she ever dreamed of and she can’t wait to begin the next stage of their life together. But just as she is heading for her happy ever after, a shock revelation shatters Jemma’s life as she knows it. Left to pick up the pieces, Jemma’s friends and family rally round to help her find the courage to move on.

Sam think he has his future all worked out. A thriving career, lovely home and an amazing fiancée. But when tragedy strikes, he finds himself alone, far from everyone he cares about. Did he do the right thing by running away and trying to rebuild the tatters of his life alone?

This is the story of Jemma and Sam. Two lost souls, desperately trying to find closure and happiness. When a chance meeting brings them together a friendship is formed, but the guards are up. 

Will it finally be their turn for a happy ever after? Or will the secrets from their pasts prevent them from moving on?

Escape to Whitsborough Bay for an emotional, uplifting story of love and friendship from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland. 

This book was previously published as Bear With Me.

My Thoughts

As you know I have read and reviewed several books by Jessica Redland but this is my favourite one yet. Not only does it have Jessica Redland’s classic warmth and depth, it has bears. Lots of bears and as a fellow actophile I enjoyed Jemma’s enthusiasm for them and longed to spend time with the hugs in the museum and shop. Besides books, they are one of my favourite things. Before dystonia hit, I used to make miniature bears and began selling them with dreams of becoming a famous bear maker like Julie, so this story was always going to have an extra special place in my heart. The Bear Pad is the ideal setting for a love story.

This novel deals with heart-breaking subjects of death, relationship breakups and the life-changing illness, Parkinson’s disease in a sensitive manner. As a spoonie, it was refreshing to read about chronic illness in a way that is part of the grander plot and seen as part of life rather than inspiration porn. The more we see disability in books like these, the better because it raises awareness and normalises things. It also helps readers see the character’s daily challenges behind the ‘I’m fine’ facade many spoonie present to the world.

Jemma is someone I could spend hours talking to about bears and life. She is honest, friendly and well-rounded. Like all Jessica Redland’s books, I slipped into a friendship group where I felt I belonged. There was chemistry and warmth between Sam and Jemma who both want a relationship, but the obstacles mean the risk is high.

Would I recommend?

Definitely. It is one for my forever shelf, and when I get a physical copy, it will be well thumbed with rereads. This emotional romance deals with grief and heartbreak surrounded by bears and is a joy to read. It provided a wonderful relief from lockdown’s loneliness, is highly visual with plenty going on to keep you turning the page. It would make a great film. So, grab your favourite bear to cuddle, a cup of tea and escape to the coast. Just keep your tissues handy.

Author Biography

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:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaRedland

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

Newsletter Sign Up Link: http://bit.ly/JessicaRedlandNewsletterBookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jessica-redland

If you want to know more about this book why not visit other blogs on this tour.

Other blogs on this tour

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources and Boldwood books for an advanced copy of this book so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Happy reading and take care!

Love

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Publication day: Photographed in the Writer’s Room by Michelle L.E Price

It’s Valentine’s Day, the day to celebrate love and their is a new romance book to enjoy with the release of Photographed in the Writer’s Room by Michelle L.E Price.

Photographed in the Writer’s Room by Michelle L.E Price Book Cover

Title: Photographed in the Writer’s Room

Author: Michelle L.E Price

Genre: Romance

Release day: 14th February 2021

Blurb

Former TV star Brandi Tyler’s big screen debut crashed and burned amid rumors of an affair with her married co-star… Now, she wants nothing more than to quietly slink away from Hollywood. When she’s offered an opportunity to get out of town and work on a project involving the photographer that launched her career, it seems like the perfect escape! Unfortunately for Brandi, her famous face makes hiding out even a huge city like Houston a little tricky.

When the celebrated photographer’s son offers to let her use his home for privacy, it seems like everything is falling into place. Little does she know that Michael Ames a gorgeous best selling author, and he comes with the package! As Brandi makes her way through old photographs and new scandals, Michael struggles with his next project, and they both fight the growing attraction between them.

Maybe a posse of new girlfriends, some Texas-sized boozy brunches, and a little private time in the writer’s room will help this leading lady find her path back onscreen. And, if she can just picture it, maybe this time she’ll even find love?

Purchase Links

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08T6HGFG6

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08T6HGFG6

These books are now available on Amazon

Author Biography

Born in Montreal but raised in New England, author Michelle L. E. Price has been writing as long as anyone can remember. An avid reader who was on the verge of losing her mind as a mom to two small children, Michelle began writing her first book, Hidden in the Writer’s Room, as an escape… at least her characters would do exactly what she told them to do and she could always count on a happily ever after ending. She also enjoys wine, re-watching 90’s sitcoms and occasionally running, but heavily relies on writing to stay sane. Michelle is a firm believer that laughter and love are the best parts of life.

Social Media Links

Twitter: @MichelleLEPrice

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

Hope you all have a happy Valentine’s day if you are celebrating and happy reading!

Love

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Book Review: New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

The hedgehogs are back! After falling in love with the hedgehogs and setting in Finding Love in Hedgehog Hollow I was looking forward to reading the next instalment. Scroll down to read my review on New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

Book Review: New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

Title: New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow

Author: Jessica Redland

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Blurb:

Brand new from the top 10 bestselling author of New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms and Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow.

With new arrivals comes new responsibilities…
The sun is shining, wild flowers are blooming and Hedgehog Hollow is officially open for business.

For Samantha, the proud owner of this beautiful rescue centre, life has never been busier. But with an influx of new hogs and hoglets to take care of, not to mention a full-time job and ongoing family issues, can she accept the possibility that she has taken on more than she can handle?

Fortunately, she has the love of her life, Josh, by her side for support and encouragement. But Josh has his own family troubles to deal with. And soon he must decide if he’s ready to do the one thing he swore he’d never do – forgive his father.

For both Samantha and Josh it’s a season of change and for figuring out whether the past can ever truly be forgotten.

Escape back to wonderful Hedgehog Hollow with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for the perfect uplifting read full of love, hope and forgiveness.

Purchase Link – https://buff.ly/3qVlHD2

My Thoughts

I fell in love with the first book in series and this one welcomed me back into the warmth of Hedgehog Hollow like a much-needed hug. I am local to the Wolds and Jessica Redland captures the beauty of the setting in her writing, and as someone shielding the descriptions gave me a view of the outside and an escape. Thomas’ meadow is vivid and somewhere I wish I could spend time there myself.

 The novel begins with a giggle when the rescue centre opens and I was immersed back into the lives of Sammie and Josh. It catches up with them a few weeks after the end of the previous book and covers the consequences of the Grimes brothers’ actions, family rifts, mental health as well as discovering more about Josh and his background. All topics are covered sensitively with some unexpected turns when family secrets are revealed. The hedgehogs are adorable and I have learnt so much about them by reading these novels, which is great for awareness.

The handy recap provided means it can be read as a standalone novel, but personally I think you gain so much more by reading the first book beforehand.

Would I recommend?

Jessica Redland’s books offer an escape from the humdrum of life and lockdown, and this one is no exception. The characters fast become friends, making you want to continue reading and revisit them in the future. The stunning settings, memorable characters and adorable hedgehogs make this is a book to snuggle down with under the duvet and enjoy. I can’t wait to read the next in the series and discover more about Fizz, who I connected to straight away.

Author Biography

Jessica Redland

Jessica Redland is the bestselling author of ten 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/

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

If you want to read more about this book and Jessica Redland why not pop along to the other blogs on the tour.

Other blogs on the tour

Thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources and Boldwood books for the advanced copy so I could review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Keep warm, stay safe and happy reading!

Love

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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!