Book Review: Christmas at the Borrow a Bookshop by Kiley Dunbar

It’s never to early for festive reads and I’m excited to be on the blog tour for Kiley Dunbar’s Christmas at the Borrow a Bookshop. This is a follow on from one of my favourite romances, The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday – review is here – so I couldn’t wait to revisit the idyllic village of Clove Lore.

Book cover for Christmas at the Borrow the Bookshop.  A traditional bookshop in the snow with a Christmas wreath on the door and decorated with lights. A woman in a bobbly hate and jumper walking towards it. Christmas trees are in the foreground
Christmas at the Borrow the Bookshop by Kiley Dunbar

Title: Christmas at the Borrow a Bookshop

Author: Kiley Dunbar

Publisher: Hera

Genre: festive romance

Release Date: 1st September 2022

Purchase Links

AMZ: https://amzn.to/39v0coN

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3QpSgpj

Apple: https://apple.co/3Oewbs0

Hive: https://bit.ly/3HI1olz

Blurb

‘Tis the season for finding love… and the perfect book

With just two weeks until Christmas, everything in Clove Lore should be perfect. But the latest holidaymaker to the Borrow a Bookshop is feeling far from festive…

Icelandic ex-bookseller Magnús Sturluson might be surrounded by love stories in the Bookshop, but he’s nursing a sadness that not even fiction can fix.

When Alexandra Robinson finds herself stranded in Clove Lore, she finds a safe place to hide from heartbreak. After all, all that’s waiting for her at home is a cheater boyfriend and the memories of her parents. As Alex finds herself embraced by the quirky village community, she finds her tough exterior thawing – and as she grows closer to Magnús, she finds an equally soft heart under his gruff shell.

It seems that Clove Lore is working its magic once again – until a great flood on Christmas Eve brings devastation in its wake. It’s up to Magnús and Alex to batten down the hatches and help bring the village back together again, while also introducing the locals to the Icelandic tradition of the jólabókaflóð – Yule book flood – where families and friends gather on Christmas Eve to exchange books and read together.

But can Magnús and Alex truly rescue the ruins of the village, and salvage their Christmas spirit? Or is there another complication lurking even closer than they thought?

My Thoughts

Kiley Dunbar is an author I know I can turn to for a comfort read with quirky characters to love and a location I can immerse myself in. This book was no exception. Clove Lore and the bookshop welcomed me back like a hug and it was a joy to catch up with old favourite characters like Minty, Jude and Eliot, and of course, Aldous the dog.

The bookshop and its café is a perfect location for a Christmas story as it oozes cosiness and warmth especially when the characters sink into chairs in front of the fire surrounded by books. With the village decorated with Christmas decorations it made me feel festive even in September.

Magnus and Alex provided a fresh story and when their pasts were revealed, I was cheering them both on hoping they would both get the happy ending they deserved. Unlike many romances, Magnus and Alex get on so it was lovely to see the friendship flourish but then it meant the heartache cuts deeper when trials come their way.

The flood highlighted the devasting wide ranging effects disasters like this have but also showed the strength communities and people have when pushed to the brink.

Would I recommend?

Yes, with bookshops, the Christmas tradition of jólabókaflóð, a strong community and romance in the air, it’s an ideal match for a heart-warming festive read. It deserves to be read while huddled under your duvet with a hot chocolate or favourite drink.

It can be read as a standalone, but like all novels set in a village location, reading the first novel will give added depth to the reading experience as you have a connection with the secondary characters too.

Author Biography

Black and White of Kiley Dunbar. White woman, dark long hair and glasses
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

https://twitter.com/kileydunbar

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.

Love

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Book review: The Little Theatre of Halfpenny Lane by Clodagh Murphy

Today’s review is for an Irish romance called The Little Theatre of Halfpenny Lane by Clodagh Murphy. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book set in Ireland but there is always something special about the location so I couldn’t wait to visit this novel.

The Little Theatre of Halfpenny Lane by Clodagh Murphy

Book cover of The Little Theatre of Halfpenny Lane by Clodagh Murphy.
Predominantly orange cover, 3 women walk on the road on an old fashioned street with bunting looped across shops.
The Little Theatre of Halfpenny Lane by Clodagh Murphy

Title: The Little Theatre of Halfpenny Lane

Author: Clodagh Murphy

Publisher: Balally Books

Genre: Romance

Release Date: 11th August 2022

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Theatre-Halfpenny-Lane-heartwarming-ebook/dp/B0B4KNC9QX

US – https://www.amazon.com/Little-Theatre-Halfpenny-Lane-heartwarming-ebook/dp/B0B4KNC9QX

Blurb

Aoife and her sisters know exactly what to do when they inherit their Great-aunt Detta’s theatre on Halfpenny Lane:

  • Restore the dilapidated building to its former glory.
  • Perform together on its stage to packed houses and rapturous applause.
  • Live happily ever after.

But they didn’t count on Detta leaving a share in the theatre to her godson, Jonathan. Now they’ll have to persuade him to buy into their vision of stardust and magic – or find the money to buy him out.

As they fight to save the theatre, Aoife also battles her growing feelings for Jonathan. Because she can’t let herself fall for the man who’s about to bring the curtain down on their dreams.

My Thoughts

I love going to the theatre, especially those with a history and original features, so I was invested along with the sisters to save this theatre on the delightful Halfpenny Lane. Despite its decrepit state, the detail and atmosphere of the building brought the story to life. The theatre on Halfpenny Lane had a character of its own.

Told in Aoife viewpoint, the close relationship between the sisters, despite their differences in personality, was evident from the start. Their loyalty and love of performing reminded me of the March sisters in Little Women and I was eager for the impossible dream of saving the theatre to become possible for all
of them but especially Aoife. As the elder daughter, her sense of responsibility had meant she put her ambitions on hold for the sake of others. She deserved a break.

The romantic thread with Jonathon worked well. From the start, the reader knows there is something more to Jonathan’s determination to sell his share than the other characters believe, and it was fun to follow the clues and discover why.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this an entertaining read about family, determination and following your dreams and your heart. With many other places on Halfpenny Lane, I’d be interested in reading more.

Author Biography

Photo of Clodagh Murphy with black background.
White woman with long light brown hair, smiling. Crucifix earring
Clodagh Murphy

Clodagh Murphy lives in Dublin, Ireland. She has worked as a bar waitress, cleaner, secretary, editorial assistant, mystery shopper and movie extra. But she always dreamed of being an author, and after more jobs than she cares to (or can) remember, she now writes full-time. For more information about her books or to sign up to her newsletter, visit her website at http://clodaghmurphy.com/.

Social Media Links

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClodaghMMurphy

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

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/clodagh-murphy

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/clodagh

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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18th August
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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: 
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29th June
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30th June
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2nd July
Captured on Film, @biblio.jojo, Chicks, Rogues and Scandals
3rd July
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4th July
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Book Review: The Little Bookshop by the Sea by Eliza J. Scott

Today I’m excited to share my review The Bookshop by the Sea by Eliza J. Scott. Set in North Yorkshire, one of my favourite places, I was eager to visit the Happy Hartes bookshop and discover the residents. Scroll down to see if this book met my high expectations.

Book Review: The Little Bookshop by the Sea by Eliza J. Scott

The Bookshop by the Sea by Eliza J. Scott
The Little Bookshop by the Sea by Eliza J. Scott

Title: The Little Bookshop by the Sea

Author: Eliza J. Scott

Genre: Romance

Release Date: 3rd May 2022

Purchase Links

UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09YMMBQCY US:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09YMMBQCY

Blurb

Welcome to the Happy Hartes Bookshop in Micklewick Bay on the beautiful North Yorkshire Coast!

The Happy Hartes Bookshop has been a part of bookworm Florrie Appleton’s life as far back as she can remember. From the evocative smell of the books, to working alongside her beloved Mr H and his black Labrador, Gerty, there’s no wonder she calls it her happy place.

Living in a town she loves, with her family and group of close-knit friends nearby, life is sweet. Until one dreadful Monday morning, when everything is turned upside down and things are changed forever.

Devastated, Florrie finds herself thrown into an unexpected situation with handsome stranger, Ed Harte, owner of a pair of twinkly navy-blue eyes and a smile that has the knack of making mischief with her insides.

Despite being fresh out of a relationship, Florrie quickly finds herself falling for him, but she’s torn, reluctant to give her heart to someone who seems intent on not sticking around.

While her heart’s doing battle with her head, Florrie soon finds herself privy to a secret with Ed involving a heart-wrenching twist they could never have imagined.

Will love find a way to bring them together, or are they destined to go their separate ways?

My Thoughts

I’m a sucker for novels set in bookshops and add in the location of Yorkshire and romance I’m in heaven. This was no exception, the Happy Harte bookshop was somewhere I wished was real so I could visit. With the descriptions that evoke feelings of belonging, this novel has a strong and distinct sense of place and I kept looking for clues to see if I could recognise the inspirational location behind Micklewick Bay.

 Florrie is a relatable protagonist and I adored her relationship with Mr H. The love he had for Florrie and his grandson Ed, shone throughout the book and for his sake I flicked over the page to see if he had his happy ever after ending he dreamt of for Florrie.

Florrie has a large circle of friends and along with the warm community it is easy to see this as the beginning of a delightful series.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is an enjoyable romance set in the delightful town of Micklewick Bay. The Harte bookshop is a special place that has in my heart. This is an ideal book fro fans of Jenny Colgan.

Author Biography

Eliza lives in the North Yorkshire countryside with her family. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her kindle or working in her garden, fighting a losing battle against the weeds.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heartwarming romance stories with relatable female characters. Her books will always have a happy ending.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @ElizaJScott1

Instagram: @elizajscott

Facebook: @elizajscottauthor

Website: www.elizajscott.com/

BookBub: www.bookbub.com/authors/elizaj-scott

Amazon author page UK: amazon.co.uk/~/e/B07DMQWPMH

Amazon author page US: amazon.com/~/e/B07DMQWPMH

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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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: Before We Grow Old by Clare Swatman

I’m excited to share my review for Clare Swatman’s new novel, Before We Grow Old. I adored her previous book Dear Grace so I couldn’t wait to get started with this.

Book Review: Before We Grow Old by Clare Swatman

Book cover: Before We Grow Old by Clare Swatman
Before We Grow Old by Clare Swatman

Title: Before We Are Old

Author: Clare Swatman

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Genre: Woman’s fiction

Release Date: 19th Jan 2022

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/2Y7Z8l7

Blurb

When seven-year-old Fran first met Will they knew instantly that they were made for each other. For eleven years they were inseparable, but then, at the age of eighteen, Will just upped and disappeared.

Twenty-five years later Will is back.

Is fate trying to give them a second chance?

Still nursing the heart break from all those years ago, Fran is reluctant to give Will the time of day. The price Will must pay is to tell the truth – the truth about why he left, the truth about why he’s back…

And Fran has her own secrets to hide. The time has come to decide what Fran and Will really want from life – before it’s too late.

My Thoughts

This is a love story with believable characters that grabbed me from the start. Fran and her son Kieran have a settled life which changes with the arrival of her childhood sweetheart Will. The themes of first love and second chance love are covered and I enjoyed reading the chemistry between Will and Fran in the past and the present. With the rediscovery of a list they made when younger listing all they wanted to do before they grow old, there are moments of joy, sadness and reflection. Both characters have secrets that could change their path forever.

It is a highly emotional read told with compassion and sensitivity. Fran as a narrator , allowed me to see her growth, her turmoil but also the depth of her love for Will.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it has a different feel to Dear Grace with the focus on a younger generation but is a delightful, and heart-breaking romantic novel to rival the classic  The Love Story. It’s one that requires a box of tissues and a duvet day to indulge in one day.

Author Biography

Clare Swatman
Clare Swatman

Clare Swatman is the author of three women’s fiction novels, published by Macmillan, which have been translated into over 20 languages. She has been a journalist for over twenty years, writing for Bella and Woman & Home amongst many other magazines. She lives in Hertfordshire.

Social Media Links  

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

Twitter https://www.twitter.com/clareswatman

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

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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Book Review: Flora’s Travelling Christmas Shop by Rebecca Raisin

Book Review: Flora’s Travelling Christmas Shop by Rebecca Raisin

Book cover for Flora's Travelling Christmas by Rebecca Raisiner
Flora’s Travelling Christmas by Rebecca Raisin

Title: Flora’s Travelling Christmas Shop

Author: Rebecca Raisin

Publisher: HQ Digital

Genre: Festive Romance

Release Date: 28th Oct 2021

Purchase Links

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3gtWYSS

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3ycZ6UM

Amazon AUS: https://amzn.to/3sHpYLx

Blurb

‘Tis the season for mulled wine, mince pies, and magic under the mistletoe…

Flora loves Christmas more than anything else in the world, so she’s gutted when her Scrooge-alike boss fires her from Deck the Halls Christmas emporium. But now she finally has a chance to follow her dreams – and what better place to start than the home of Christmas?

Before she can say ‘sleigh bells’, Flora’s on her way to Lapland in a campervan-cum-Christmas-shop. She can’t wait to spend her days drinking hot chocolate and taking reindeer-drawn carriage rides, but something Flora didn’t expect was meeting Connor, a Norse god of a man who makes her heart flutter and snowflakes swirl in her stomach. There’s just one problem: Connor hates Christmas.

Can Flora convince Connor of the joys of Christmas – and will she find a festive romance along the way?

My Thoughts

Straight talking Flora loves Christmas and excels at spreading the Christmas spirit so is the ideal person to work in a Christmas shop. As a Christmasphile myself, I connected to her immediately and adored the descriptions of Deck the Halls. It reminded me of my favourite shop, Käthe Wohlfahrt in York where I’d love to work. I understood her motivation to own a Christmas shop and travel to Lapland, another one of my dream places to visit. She is zany and over the top in many ways but has a heart of gold which gives the novel warmth and cosiness you need for a Christmas read. Connor was a great character and the vision of him in an elf suit made me chuckle and the idea of van life was intriguing and made this novel different to others.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is an enjoyable escape to Lapland for some festive romance and fun with a Christmas loving heroine. You can’t help but feel in the Christmas spirit when reading and it makes you want to put your tree up already.

Author Biography

Photo of author Rebecca Raisin
Rebecca Raisin

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been widely published in short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines. And now she is focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true love.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaRaisinAuthor

www.twitter.com/jaxandwillsmum

https://www.instagram.com/rebeccaraisinwrites/

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: Under the Mistletoe by Sue Moorcroft

I know we haven’t had Halloween yet but it is never too early to read a festive book and I’m excited to share my review for Under the Mistletoe by Sue Moorcroft. To my shame, I had never read a Sue Moorcroft book before but I’d heard great things about them so how could I resist when I was offered a place on this blog tour. Scroll down to see whether this novel reached my high expectations.

Book Review: Under the Mistletoe by Sue Moorcroft

Under the Mistletoe by Sue Moorcroft

Title: Under the Mistletoe

Author: Sue Moorcroft

Publisher:

Genre: Romance, Christmas

Release Date:

Purchase Links

Bookshop.org:

https://uk.bookshop.org/books/under-the-mistletoe-9780008393052/9780008393052

Amazon UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Under-Mistletoe-Sue-Moorcroft-ebook/dp/B0918SXFN2/

WH Smith:

https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/sue-moorcroft-untitled-xmas-book-9/sue-moorcroft/paperback/9780008393052.html

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/under-the-mistletoe-59

Apple Books:

https://books.apple.com/gb/book/under-the-mistletoe/id1567181050

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Under-the-Mistletoe-Audiobook/B09D8KPLRR.

Blurb

Christmas. A time for family, friends – and rekindling old flames…

When Laurel returns to the village of Middledip, she’s looking for a quiet life. Adjusting to her recent divorce, she’s ready to spend some time getting back on her feet amidst the glorious snow-dusted countryside.

Yet, life in Middledip is far from straightforward. Coming to the aid of her sister, Rea, as she navigates her own troubles, Laurel barely has a moment to think about where her own life is going.

However, time stands still when she sees her old flame, Grady Cassidy – and it’s soon as if they’ve never been apart. But through her happiness, Laurel remembers why she left the village all those years ago, as she recalls a dark night and Grady’s once-wayward brother, Mac…

Can Laurel learn to forgive and forget? Or will her chances of Christmas under the mistletoe with Grady remain a dream?

An enchanting, festive read, perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan and Carole Matthews.

My Thoughts

This is my first visit to Middledip, and I loved it as a setting. It epitomised everything a reader wants in a festive tale – a good sense of community, a great and memorable cast of characters and the village was delightful to visualise especially coated in snow and Christmas decorations. It provided the ideal backdrop for this story. Laurel was an easy character to relate to as she comes back to help her sister who has agoraphobia. This isn’t the only heavy topic covered. It also dealt with sexual assault and bullying. All of these were dealt with sensitively and with compassion. It is the consequences of the sexual assault that is focussed on throughout and how it not only affected the person involved but those around them despite years past. This may be triggering for some and I did find it harder to relax into this book as much as I usually do with festive novels for this reason but I adored Sue Moorcroft’s style, depth of character and warmth so I will be reading some more of her work especially the festive ones. Art and craft played an important role in the novel and the descriptions of Laurel working alongside the villagers and Grady, her love interest, were magical and made me want to join in and be part of the action. Her paintings were exquisite and easy to envisage and if I could have the dancing woman on my wall I would. The theme and motivation behind it resonated with me so much. The relationship and chemistry between Grady and Laurel felt authentic and I was routing for both of them to overcome all the obstacles in their way. It was a delight to meet them and be part of their journey.

Would I recommend?

Yes, Sue Moorcroft has a warm and thoughtful style that is ideal for festive romantic novels. The village atmosphere and cosy community is a joy to visit, and the art described creeps into your soul. Laurel and Grady have a special place in my heart.

Author Biography

Photo of Sue Moorcroft author
Author Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author and has reached the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle UK as well as top 100 in the US. She’s won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary. Sue’s emotionally compelling, feel-good novels are currently released by publishing giant HarperCollins in the UK, US and Canada and by other publishers around the world. She’s also well known for short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses.


Born in Germany into an army family, Sue spent much of her childhood in Cyprus and Malta but settled in Northamptonshire, England aged ten. She loves reading, Formula 1, travel, time spent with friends, dance exercise and yoga.

Social Media Links –
Website
 www.suemoorcroft.com

Blog http://suemoorcroft.wordpress.com

Facebook profile 

Facebook author page  https://www.facebook.com/SueMoorcroftAuthor

Twitter  @suemoorcroft

Instagram  @SueMoorcroftAuthor

LinkedIn

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.

Happy reading and stay safe!

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: Annie’s Autumn Escape by Debbie Viggiano

Hello October! Autumn is here with winds, rain and falling leaves so what better time to share my review for Annie’s Autumn Escape by Debbie Viggiano.

Book Review: Annie’s Autumn Escape by Debbie Viggiano

Annie’s Autumn Escape by Debbie Viggiano

Title: Annie’s Autumn Escape

Author: Debbie Viggiano

Publisher: Unicorn Publishing Ltd

Genre: Woman’s fiction, Romance

Release Date: 1st October 2021

Blurb

Annie’s big birthday is looming.  Sixty!  She feels half that age, even if the mirror tells her otherwise.  Hubby Keith promises her a birthday to remember, and doesn’t let her down, but packing his suitcase to shack up with a forty-something isn’t quite the memory Annie wants to make.  Suddenly she’s single and – as an empty nester – very, very alone.  The Bucket List she and Keith had promised to work their way through is but a dream, until besties Bella and Caz rally around Annie and whisk her away for a trip that will be remembered for ever. Dubai. But it’s not all skyscrapers, bling, sand dunes and sheiks. As the sun sinks over the horizon of Jumeirah Beach… might there also be love?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Annies-Autumn-Escape-laugh-out-loud-romantic-ebook/dp/B09BNWKKP3/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Annies-Autumn-Escape-laugh-out-loud-romantic-ebook/dp/B09BNWKKP3/

My Thoughts

Eat your heart out Shirley Valentine. There is a new holiday romance to love and remember. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading this, but the opening chapter’s clever observations of a long marriage tugged me into Annie’s life. It was great to see an older protagonist and though I’m only in my forties her menopausal rage, hot flushes and general clumsiness was highly relatable and provided many Brigit Jones-esque laughs, chuckles and drama in this story of self-discovery and escapism after a marriage breakdown.

Dubai must be the go to location at the moment as it’s the third book I’ve read this year using this setting, but I had not seen it presented in this light with the bling, touristy spots and over the top destinations. I wanted to go there to experience the luxury, the camels and the sunsets like the trio of friends and, of course, the potential love interest Mr Butler.

All the characters were well developed and relatable with realistic dialogue and banter. The trio of friends highlighted the need for friendships outside a marriage for support in times of need and when complications are thrown your way. The dementia storyline was tackled with care and showed the surreal nature of the disease and the chuckles it can provide alongside the heartache.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this novel is a great start to this autumnal season. It’s an enjoyable romp with a swoonsome hero, a stunning and blingy location, and full of humour adding to the chemistry in this second chance romance. Grab a copy when you need to escape these cooler and darker evenings.

Author Biography

Photo of author Debbie Viggiano
Debbie Viggiano

Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued pooch from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her adult children return home bringing her much joy… apart from when they want to raid the fridge or eat her secret stash of chocolate.
Tweet @DebbieViggiano or follow her on Facebook!

Social Media Links

TWITTER:   @DebbieViggiano

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/debbie.viggiano.5/

INSTAGRAM: debbieviggiano

WEBSITE: www.debbieviggiano.co.uk

Other blogs on this tour

Dystonia Around the World readathon update:

The challenge is over with the end of Dystonia Awareness Month but 14 books were read and one I had to give up on. I wanted to read more but it seems dystonia has robbed me of my ability to read a book at least a day. You can support Dystonia UK and view my challenge here. Thank you all who supported me and shared/retweeted posts all month. Dystonia awareness makes a huge difference to fundraising, diagnosis and research.

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

signature of Katie