Book Review: The House in the Clouds by Victoria Connelly

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

Book Review: The House in the Clouds by Victoria Connelly

The House in the Clouds by Victoria Connelly

Title: The House in the Clouds

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Cuthland Press

Genre: Women’s fiction

Release date: 8th June 2021

Blurb

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

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

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

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

Purchase Links

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

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

My Thoughts

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

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

Would I recommend?

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

Author Biography

Author Victoria Connelly

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

 Social Media Links

www.victoriaconnelly.com

Instagram: @victoriaconnellyauthor

Facebook: @victoriaconnellyauthor

Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy

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

Love

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Other blogs on this tour

Book Review: The Borrow A Bookshop Holiday by Kiley Dunbar

If you ask 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 reading 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 caring family were 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 because there was so much to explore. 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 so once I get a paperback version, it will love on my forever shelf. 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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Book Review: The Last Charm by Ella Allbright

Book Review: The Secret Letters by Taryn Leigh

Today I am pleased to share my review for Taryn Leigh’s new release The Secret Letters, a romantic suspense novel set in the beautiful setting of South Africa.

 

Book Review: The Secret Letters by Taryn Leigh

 

The Secret Letters Cover

The Secret Letters by Taryn Leigh

Title: The Secret Letters

Author: Taryn Leigh

Publisher: Kingsley Publishers

Release date: 9th August 2020

Genre: Women’s fiction, suspense romance

 

Blurb:

RACHEL, saved from an attack twelve years before by a faceless stranger, never got to thank him, never knew his name.

Despite the devastation she chose to rise above it to help others from their pain by becoming a psychologist…. Her only issue now is that she’s an expert at fixing everyone else’s problems, and blind to her own.

After a long relationship with her boyfriend WILL starts to go south, she turns to her best friend AMELIA for guidance.

Suddenly her world is turned upside down when tragedy strikes and she’s left with no one to comfort her but Will’s rude older brother RUARI.

Paralyzed by fear, she struggles to take grip of her life, until the day when anonymous letters begin to appear from the stranger who saved her twelve years before.

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Letters-Taryn-Leigh-ebook/dp/B089GM73RS

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Letters-Taryn-Leigh-ebook/dp/B089GM73RS

My Thoughts

This is the second novel I have read from Taryn Leigh. The first one, Perfect Imperfections, stayed with me long after I finished it and I can not look at a toy giraffe without thinking about the principal character, Sarah. This shows the impact it had. When the opportunity arose for a place on this blog tour run by Rachel’s Random Resources, I grabbed it and I was not disappointed.

This romantic suspense novel is unusual and took me on an emotional roller coaster with dark moments, followed by lighter, joyous scenes before being hurtled back into despair. It gripped me from the first chapter when Rachel was introduced to the last page as it follows her recovery from traumatic events and the romantic possibilities threaded throughout.  It covers some harrowing topics with haunting realism including assault and mental health issues, but Taryn Leigh approaches them sensitively. I felt Rachel’s pain as she dealt with several events life sends her way and her dependency on the mysterious letters to gain strength and move forward.  I guessed where some of the story was going, but this did not distract from my enjoyment or desire to know more.

Mr Lemon provides welcome relief with a tale of his own and he was a delightful, memorable character.

The settings described in the novel are stunning including the jacaranda trees in Pretoria, South Africa portrayed on the book cover. The tea garden was calming and somewhere I would love to experience in reality. The inclusion of a visit to Nelson Mandela’s house was enlightening and the quote of his speech resonated with me during these uneasy times. I have all the places in this book to my dream globetrotting itinerary.

Would I recommend?

Yes. It is an emotional, beautiful read and like her debut novel will stay with me.

Author Biography

Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh

 

Taryn Leigh is a South African Author, who spent her childhood with her nose buried in books. Her love for reading transpired into her ambition to become an Author.

Taryn Leigh’s first book, Perfect Imperfections, is available in Paperback, eBook and AudioBook. She lives in Pretoria with her husband and son.

Social Media Links –

Website: www.tarynleighauthor.com

Instagram: @tarynleighbooks

Twitter: @tarynleighbook

Facebook: Taryn Leigh Author

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the tour and the advanced copy so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

If you want to know more about this book, why not visit others on the tour.

Happy reading and stay safe.

Love

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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: The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly

Earlier this year I read the Book Lover series and the first one, The Book Lovers became one of my favourites on my forever shelf. When Rachel’s Random Resources invited me to this tour, I quickly agreed because I knew I would be in for a treat.  Scroll down to see if it matched my high expectations.

Book Review: The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly

The_Beauty_Of_Broken_Things-Victoria_Connelly review cover

The Beauty of Broken Things by Victoria Connelly

Title: The Beauty of Broken Things

Author: Victoria Connelly

Publisher: Amazon Publishing UK

Release date: 9th June 2020

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Blurb:

United by tragedy, can two broken souls make each other whole?

After the tragic loss of his wife, Helen, Luke Hansard is desperate to keep her memory alive. In an effort to stay close to her, he reaches out to an online friend Helen often mentioned: a reclusive photographer with a curious interest in beautiful but broken objects. But first he must find her—and she doesn’t want to be found.

Orla Kendrick lives alone in the ruins of a remote Suffolk castle, hiding from the haunting past that has left her physically and emotionally scarred. In her fortress, she can keep a safe distance from prying eyes, surrounded by her broken treasures and insulated from the world outside.

When Luke tracks Orla down, he is determined to help her in the way Helen wanted to: by encouraging her out of her isolation and back into the world. But Orla has never seen her refuge as a prison and, when painful secrets and dangerous threats begin to resurface, Luke’s good deed is turned on its head.

As they work through their grief for Helen in very different ways, will these two broken souls be able to heal?

Purchase Links

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B

US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B

Aus: https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B07YKW2D3B

My Thoughts

The tone of this book was different to the Book Lovers series, but I loved it and it showcased Victoria Connelly’s ability to write a more emotive, slightly darker novel delving deeper into the subject of grief and adapting to a different life after tragedy.

One thing this has in common with the series is her knack of bringing ideas, objects and hobbies alive with the descriptions inciting all the reader’s senses. In the Book Lover’s series it was reading, music and colour. The reader experiences the joy and pleasure along with the protagonist, and in this instance; it is photography and gardening. The beautiful prose allowed me to capture Helen and Orla’s passion for photography and the smell of the garden and allotment. I became immersed in the plot immediately with the opening scenes with Helen. She may only have been in the opening chapter but the essence of her is the thread binding the two central characters and I would love to know more about her and experience life in her eyes for a while. Her viewpoint was uplifting.

Luke’s grief and bewilderment leapt off the page as he makes the decision to find his wife’s elusive friend. The setting of his destination is stunning and has given me another place to visit on my Bucket list. Along with Orla’s fear of the outside world it gave an insight into mental health after trauma and life-changing experiences. It handles the raw pain of grief in a sensitive manner. I loved watching the blossoming friendship between Orla and Luke and the emotional journey they go through to heal.

All characters have depth, including those with smaller roles like Bill and his friends. The community spirit made me long to live in the village with him and his wife. It is the small details like her knitting that add to the depth of characters bringing them alive.

This novel is about true love, friendship, courage and learning to live your life appreciating every snapshot small and large.

Would I recommend?

Yes. It is set in a beautiful location and there are many memorable characters to cherish including One Eye, the dog who I would love to own.  It is an emotional read which left me feeling warm, upbeat and full of hope and also longing for more. I can’t wait for her next release.

Author Biography

Victoria Connelly Author Photo (1)

Victoria Connelly

Victoria Connelly studied English Literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the million-selling author of two bestselling series, 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 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.

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

Website: www.victoriaconnelly.com

Instagram: @victoriaconnellyauthor

Facebook: @victoriaconnellyauthor

Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and the advanced copy so I could give my honest and unbiased 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: Cornish Connection by Amanda James

June is here. The sun is shining and the temperature is sizzling making it feel like a typical summer’s day. As holidays are off this year, it is the ideal time to jump into The Cornish Connection by Amanda James to visit a place special to my heart, Padstow.

Book Review: Cornish Connection by Amanda James

Cornish Connection

The Cornish Connection by Amanda James

Title: Cornish Connection

Author: Amanda James

Purchase: Amazon

Blurb:

Where extraordinary things happen…you’ll find Nancy CornishNancy and Charlie Cornish are happily married and live in Padstow, Cornwall. Nancy works in The Whistling Kettle Cafe and Charlie is a DS in the Truro police. Charlie’s a down to earth Cornishman, while Nancy, seemingly an ordinary member of her community, has an extraordinary gift. She is able to make psychic connections with those who have passed, and objects belonging to those still living.Charlie mostly tries to ignore that aspect of his wife’s personality, he can’t abide all that ‘mumbo jumbo’ as he calls it. Then, out of the blue, Nancy leaves her job and decides her mission in life is to use her gift to help others. This is not what Charlie signed up for, and he lets Nancy know about his feelings in no uncertain terms. That is, until he realises she might be a very useful detective…Helping Charlie find a missing teenager boosts Nancy’s confidence, and makes her determined to continue her work. People come to see her because they want her to find a long-lost friend or relative, an object that is dear to them, or a pet who’s gone missing. Helping people find happiness is Nancy’s main aim. Charlie, however, wants her to help him solve crimes.Will the couple find some common ground? Or will their connection be broken?The Cornish Connection – a beautifully told, thought-provoking and uplifting story. The perfect feel-good summer read!Perfect for fans of Emma Burstall, Fern Britton and Heidi Swain

My Thoughts

I knew by reading the blurb I would like this book but I was not prepared for its refreshing take on psychic investigations. The novel has a warm quality throughout and I connected to the character, Nancy immediately. I loved how her psychic ability is seen as something ordinary and it is those that disbelieve in her abilities who are the outsiders.

Part mystery/paranormal and part cosy village fiction, it is a novel with a difference and introduces a collection of characters to fall in love with. They all have their own stories which Nancy becomes involved with as she investigates their lives. Several themes are touched but it is an exploration of friendships, love and acceptance for the unusual. A thread I enjoyed and I look forward to seeing how it develops is how ghosts, psychic ability and a change in career can alter the dynamics of a marriage. How much of is it is related to the supernatural and how much is the growth of confidence Nancy is feeling? We will find out I’m sure.

It also made me fancy cake which to me is always a good sign of a good book.

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The story left me upbeat and in need of more, so I am glad it is the beginning of a series and I can read more of Nancy’s investigations in the future.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a perfect holiday at home read or ideal to snuggle under the duvet when you need some Cornish sunshine. I am happy to add it to my forever bookshelf for a comfortable reread.

Author Biography

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Amanda James

Amanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.

Amanda has written many short stories and has thirteen novels currently published. Her time travelling debut – A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.

Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the wild and beautiful coastline near her home. She has many suspense/mystery novels set there. Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel, Behind the Lie, Another Mother, Deep Water, The Cornish Retribution, The Feud and Dark Deception. Amanda has two women’s fiction books. The Calico Cat, a family drama/coming-of-age, and The Cornish Connection, cosy crime with a psychic twist.

Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Twitter – @amandajames61

Facebook mandy.james.33

I am so pleased I was given a copy of this book to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion. It was a lovely treat.

I hope you are well and staying safe. Happy reading!

Love

Book Review: Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

Book Review: Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

 

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Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

 

Title: Summer in Provence

Author: Lucy Coleman

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Release date: 2nd April 2020

Blurb:

Is a change as good as a rest?

When married couple Fern and Aiden have a windfall, their reactions could not be more different. While Fern is content to pay off their mortgage and build a nest egg before starting a family, her husband is set on travelling the world.

Fern’s not much of a back-packer so, before she knows it, the idea of a ‘marriage gap year’ takes shape. And, as Aiden heads off to the wilds of Australia, Fern chooses the more restful Provence for her year out.

Set amidst the glorious French scenery, Château de Vernon offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of normal life, and Fern agrees to help out in return for painting lessons from the owner – renowned, but rather troubled, painter Nico.

As their year unfolds in very different ways, will the time apart transform their marriage, or will it drive Fern and Aiden even further apart…

Let Lucy Coleman whisk you off on a heart-warming, sun-drenched and magical French adventure.


Purchase Link

Amazon: https://smarturl.it/SummerInProvence

My Thoughts

I started reading this the day the UK was put on lock-down, I have never been so relieved to pick up a romance novel to escape into. It did the job perfectly.  The words transported me to Provence, France. My knowledge of the area was limited but the stunning location is now firmly on my wish list places to go.  I related to Fern and her situation so felt her pain and bewilderment at finding herself on a sabbatical to learn to paint. I was eager to continue reading until the end as the tension between the characters grew.   

Would I recommend?

Yes, I have read several Lucy Coleman books  and she does not disappoint with her descriptive pose which transport you to different locations. The characters are realistic and memorable  They are ideal reads in these unprecedented times.

Author Biography

Linn 2

 

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels – including Summer on the Italian Lakes, Snowflakes over Holly Cove, The French Adventure and A Cottage in the Country. She is represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture, working in the garden, or practising Tai Chi.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she is an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the SoA and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.


Social Media Links
 

Website: http://lucycolemanromance.com/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanauth

 

Giveaway to Win a signed paperback of ‘A Springtime to Remember’ and a Boldwood Tote bag (Open INT)*

Provence Prize

For chance to win, click here.

Thank you Rachel Random Resources and Boldwood Books for an advanced copy so I could give my honest opinion.

Where are you escaping to in these uncertain times?

Take care, stay safe and happy reading !

Summer in Provence Full Tour Banner - Copy



*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

My Thoughts

I started reading this the day the UK was put on lockdown, I have never been so relieved to pick up a romance novel to escape into and it did the job perfectly. When I read the words I was transported to France. The setting was beutiful making ne want to experience it in reality. A group of people working together a community. Bring hope people do make a difference, a retreat from reality. 
I related to hurt and bewildered paints under the watchful eye. Tension between increases
A concept I was drawn to and a memorable time I recomnend a read.

Would I recommend?

Yes, I have read several Lucy coleman books now and she does not disapppont with her descriptive pose which transport you to different locations, realistic and memorable characters and increased tension between the main characters. These are ideal to read when most people are indoors or facing unprecedented experiences.

Thank you Rachel and for an advanced copy so I could give my honest opinion.

Where are you escaping to in these uncertain times?

Take care, stay safe and happy reading !

Love

Book Review: Eve’s Christmas by Julie Butterfield

Several Advent calendar windows have been opened and I have already eaten the chocolate oranges I had put away for Christmas day. I haven’t written my Christmas cards and I am not organised for the big day which fits nicely with today’s book, Eve’s Christmas by Julie Butterfield. Scroll down to see my review for a novel about searching for the perfect Christmas.

Book Review: Eve’s Christmas by Julie Butterfield

ECFront

Eve’s Christmas

Blurb

Working for a department store where Christmas arrives in August, Eve prefers her own festivities to be low key with nothing more complicated than an oven ready turkey and frozen peas while she spends the day in her pyjamas. Unfortunately, this year her husband has invited his best friend to visit, the glamorous and sophisticated Abby, and Eve reluctantly decides that she needs to inject a little sparkle into their laid back and slightly shabby Christmas. So the celebrations are upgraded to include champagne and canapes along with homemade gravy and organic turkey and plans are made for a Christmas that looks as though it has emerged from the pages of a glossy magazine.

But even the best laid plans can go wrong and as Eve struggles with her mini Yorkshire puddings and an interfering cat, she is suddenly faced with an unexpected guest and an explosive secret that threatens to put her vision of a perfect Christmas in jeopardy.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eves-Christmas-delightful-following-perfection-ebook/dp/B07ZMHMFBR

US – https://www.amazon.com/Eves-Christmas-delightful-following-perfection-ebook/dp/B07ZMHMFBR

My Thoughts

Eve is determined to have a perfect Christmas when her husband’s best friend announces she is coming for twelve days. Project Christmas begins with detailed planners,umpteen magazines promising the method to achieve the ideal one. From experience, I know it is easy to get swept up with the tips, ideas and dreams leading to exhaustion and disappointment when attempts at cooking resemble something from the disaster photos on Great British Bake Off Extra Slice rather than the winning showpiece. I could relate to Eve’s ambition and she does not hold back. Retail therapy is taken to its limits which made me gulp and her passion can only be admired as she creates complex recipes designed to impress. Her enthusiasm for the preparation was exhausting to read, never mind do and I was relieved to have a more relaxed approach nowadays. It highlights the juggle between family life, work, chores and relationships in the festive period. Once I met Abby, I wanted to shake Eve to get a grip and yell at her husband to open his eyes about the truth of his best friend. It is an enjoyable and entertaining read as well as a reminder to enjoy the time of year with people you love rather than chasing the illusion.

Author Biography

Julie Butterfield belongs to the rather large group of ‘always wanted to write’ authors who finally found the time to sit down and put pen to paper – or rather fingers to keyboard.
She wrote her first book purely for pleasure and was very surprised to discover that so many people enjoyed the story and wanted more, so she decided to carry on writing.
It has to be pointed out that her first novel, ‘Did I Mention I Won The Lottery’ is a complete work of fiction and she did not, in fact, receive millions in her bank account and forget to mention it to her husband – even though he still asks her every day if she has anything to tell him!

Social Media Links

@juliebeewriter

www.Juliebutterfield.co.uk

Giveaway to Win a Paperback copy of Eve’s Christmas (UK Only)

Click here to enter this giveaway

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this book blitz and allowing me to read an advanced copy to give an honest and unbiased review.

Love

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.