#minireview Rock paper Scissors by Alexia Mason


What they say: The brand-new addictive thriller that fans of Karen M. McManus and Holly Jackson will be DYING to read. 
 
The ROCK she fell from . . . 
The PAPER she clutched . . .
The KILLERS she thought were friends . . .
 
When five Dublin teenagers arrive at a rural coastal college to cram for their final exams, their most pressing concern is the prospect of a month with no partying. Little do they know that one of them will never make it back home . . .
 
A page-turning and gripping thriller with a shocking twist, Rock Paper Killers is perfect for fans of RiverdaleOne of Us is Lying and We Were Liars.

The Review: This was a book I’d seen people get excited for over and over so I purposely took it this morning when I couldn’t sleep post new years celebrations but couldn’t get up to write either due to the fear of waking our poor dog who was up way too late last night!!

It is the story of a group of teenagers who go to the Gaeltacht, a kind of summer Irish college where people have to speak Irish the whole time to help them improve the language. We followed these teens with their demons and worries as they navigated the drama that being on your own in a converted asylum with your phone away brings!!

Even given that, this was a somewhat light read more about building tension and making you wonder what would happen. Extremely enjoyable. Thanks to Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating:4/5

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A Magical Christmas on the Isle of Skye by Jodie Homer @umbrellacafe

What they say: It takes a village to fall in love.

Set in Scotland, on the Isle of Skye, we meet Harry and Emilia, who have always been best friends, well, until they complicated everything by sleeping together.
Drunk and alone on New Year’s Eve, Emilia phones up the TV’s psychic and spills out all of her sorrows.
When her friends propose to stay in a cabin in the middle of nowhere for Christmas, Emilia jumps at the chance, but the atmosphere quickly dampens when Harry announces his girlfriend will be joining them. What will happen to Harry and Emilia’s relationship when they discover the island is full of old myths and a time loop they just can’t escape from?

The Review: Given that I’m starting to see people signing off all Christmas reads now I thought it was the perfect time to review one of my favourite favourite books this year.

The Review: When I heard Jodi Homer had another book coming out I was so excited! The first book, which was set at the wonderful umbrella café, was so beautiful and unique and had me gobbling it up. So when I heard that not only has she done a Christmas book but that there was also something a little bit magical about it I jumped straight in there!

This, as the blurb says, is the story of Amelia and Harry who are best friends. As with most relationships there is a point when there is a question of whether there could be something more and this is where we are as we hit the awkwardness of Harry bringing his new somewhat entitled girlfriend to a group Christmas stay-over and everything being turned on it’s head but with an added road block- the same day is now repeating itself over and over!

This book had it all- set on the stunning Isle of Skye, the Christmassy vibes were wonderful, the group of friends vibrant enough to pull you in with them, and of course the will they, won’t they and where will it stop! vibes!

Cheeky and cheery, warm, fun, lovely and fantastically magical (I mean, come on, actual magic in a Christmas book?! How perfect is that?!) with the perfect rom com moments- this is one that is now being considered as one of my best Christmas reads ever!! Totally recommended to finish up your Christmas/New Year hols!!

Rating 5/5

New Beginnings at the Old Bakehouse by Christie Barlow @ChristieBarlow


Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what 

‘A letter, a goodbye, and a baby girl whose name will begin with “L”…’

When Heartcross’ resident clairvoyant tells Molly McKendrick to expect a whole lot of scandal and upset to blow in with the approaching winter storm, Molly doesn’t know what to think.

With a baby on the way any week now, and Christmas not far off, the last thing Molly needs is drama, but when she crosses paths with Bree, a sixteen-year-old homeless girl, and takes her in from the cold, secrets from the past flood the present and Molly, her partner Cam, and their son George, are soon experiencing a holiday season filled with unexpected festive surprises…

The Review: I hadn’t read a Christie Barlow book in ages and was craving a really nice- just- like- watching- a- Hallmark- movie type book. And that was when I came across this!

I love Christie Barlow and I heart Love Heart Lane! I had read only the first book of this series but didn’t feel I’d needed to read the others although they’re books I’ll most definitely be getting back to!

Here we follow Molly McKendrick, who is busy all the time working in a bakery and helping for a charity. Molly was so lovely and always out to make things right and I egged her on as she began to think about helping Bree, a sixteen year old with no home. There were mysteries surrounding Bree, and at times I crossed fingers that I could trust her and that she didn’t have ulterior motives! I also wondered about Cam which kept me on my toes and turning the page.

All in all a book that has you following along, waiting for the next surprise and praying you’ve got it right. With snow storms and bakery settings, it has it all as a Winter read and is beyond recommended! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating:5:5

The Gingerbread Cafe by Anita Faulkner @anita_faulkner_


What they say: CAN GRETEL FIND THE RECIPE FOR THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS?

The Gingerbread Café is always full of Christmas magic. Come rain or shine (or even a July heatwave), there’s always a hot chocolate bursting with cinnamon and marshmallows waiting for you. For introverted Gretel, it’s been the perfect escape from ‘real life’. The owner, Nell, is Gretel’s last link to her late mum, and hiding out at the café feels so much safer than making new friends.

So when Nell suddenly passes, Gretel is left heartbroken. Then she discovers that Nell has left the café to her – but there’s a catch. Gretel has to share the running of The Gingerbread Café with the least festive person ever: Nell’s nephew, Lukas. Head chef at the local fancy restaurant, Lukas makes it clear he has no time for the café, Gretel or even Christmas itself, and Gretel’s too busy struggling to save her burnt batches of gingerbread to work out why.

Gretel is determined to keep Christmas alive and make the café a success before Lukas hands the keys over to the scrooge-like developers. But she can’t do it alone; besides an over friendly ferret and a waitress with a secret, the only person she has now is Lukas. Will it take a Christmas miracle to get the pair to finally see eye to eye, or could the ice already be melting?

Packed full of sugar and spice, The Gingerbread Café will tick all the wishes off your Christmas list this festive period. Perfect for fans of Heidi Swain, Jo Thomas and Bella Osborne.

The Review: Well it’s getting really close to Christmas now and I suppose before now might have been the better time to start introducing you to some of my favourite Christmas reads this year but here we are!

Anyhoo. This is the story of Gretel. Gretel has lost someone who has always been there for her, Nell, a warm character who ran a cafe where it was eternally Christmas. If there was ever a premise to grab me straight away it was this! Add to this a relative of Nell’s who was the absolute anti Christmas character- a grinch if you will, but also not bad looking, and I was hooked! This book had it all, not least because Greta was attempting to run said cafe with my kind of baking skills;)

Great characters, a brilliant setting, some serious fireworks for me in terms of chemistry- this was totally one of my fave reads this year- talk about feel good loveliness-as lovely as Ms Faulkner herself, who is something of a queen in bookland (check out A Colourful Country Escape for a stunner of a book set in a stately manor home)! Thanks so much to Netgalley for this gem in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

#Bookreview Friendships Begin in Tenerife by Ian Wilfred @Ianwilfred39

What they say: ELENA was leaving Lanzarote and heading to Tenerife after having been promoted to her dream job. Her life was complete, or so she thought.

VERONICA knew her life had to change after losing her husband of 50 years. She needed to carve out a new life for herself, and with a little help from her grandson Mikey, their lives were about to change forever.

FAYNA was off to visit her daughter Elena in Tenerife, the island she should have never left all those years ago.

KARINA was happy with her life, but would she be able to cope with a wonderful opportunity which comes her way? 

CARLOS and SALVA are brothers who differ in many ways. However, there is something they both want, but will either succeed in getting it?

Friendships Begin in Tenerife containing secrets, romance and new beginnings, but above all it’s all about friendships

The Review: This was a book I clung to when I was absolutely so tired and feeling quite blue. I chose it not only because of the lovely author, who is so good to everyone on social media, but also because who could ignore a cover and blurb about friendships in Tenerife? Doesn’t it just scream ‘feel good?’

In this book we meet a lot of characters ready for a change. All stood out for me in different ways, but if I’m honest a storyline where a family didn’t want a character to leave because they wanted her house set me off so much and I was willing her over to Tenerife! The book was like that all round- characters I was cheering on and hoping against hope for, drama I sat up for, and loveliness that put me at ease every time I picked up my Kindle.

All in all a book I honestly can’t recommend enough- innocent, feel good, warm and so so enjoyable!

Rating:5:5

Twenty One Nights In Paris by Leonie Mack @LeonieMAuthor @Boldwoodbooks #minireview

What they say:

Irena and Sacha come from two very different worlds. 

An heiress to a fortune, Ren’s home-from-home is the Ritz, while the handsome and brooding Sacha has grown up in Paris’s less salubrious suburbs.  So when an accident brings them together, romance seems an unlikely outcome.

When Ren’s society engagement reaches a very public end, Irena’s over-protective grandmother wants her home in London.  Ren needs an excuse to stay in Paris, and so after some persuasion, Sacha agrees to pose as her new boyfriend. But only for the twenty-one days Ren’s grandmother has allowed her to nurse her broken heart before heading home to face the music.

Over the course of three weeks, Ren realises the world outside her exclusive bubble is more beautiful than she could have imagined.  While Sacha reluctantly begins to see the goodness of the woman behind the wealth. When their time is up, will Ren want to return to her gilded cage, and will Sacha be able to let go of the woman he’s been ‘pretending’ to fall in love with…

Let Leonie Mack whisk you off the City of Lights for a tale of love against the odds, and of following your dreams.  Perfect for fans of Mandy Baggot, Jo Thomas and Sarah Morgan.

The Review:

I know, I know- it hasn’t been long since my last gush about the beautiful storytelling of Leonie Mack, but, well you’re getting it anyway!! Sighs dreamily – I loved this book so much!

Here we meet Ren, who is a part of a world that is very far away from most people’s-that of a socialite heiress. I was straight into the lavish lifestyle which was perfect as when you meet Sacha, a man that I couldn’t tear my eyes away from (if you know what I mean!), you soon see the polar differences in the simple and pure versus the extravagant and sometimes slightly vacuous.

The premise of this book was perfect- who doesn’t like a fake relationship? Add to this the time limit on their coupling, the beauty of the landscape – Paris from every angle- and of course the perfection of their feelings for each other … let’s just say you have to get onto this, another Leonie Mack stunner!

Thanks so much to the publisher and netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.
Rating: 5/5

Far Across The Ocean by Suzie Hull @SuzieHull1 #BookReview @books_dash

What they say: The answers to her past and present lie far across the ocean…

December 1913. Clara Thornton won’t allow being jilted at the altar to squash her spirit. Against the wishes of her aunt and uncle, Clara decides to travel to Madagascar to learn more about the tragic shipwreck that took the lives of her missionary family, and marked her forever.

Clara is escorted abroad by Xavier Mourain, a handsome young merchant who works with her uncle. The two of them start off on the wrong foot, but Clara can’t help but be drawn to the mysterious Frenchman who helps her unravel the mystery that has always haunted her. But as their love blossoms, war begins. And the world will never be the same again.

For Clara, all the answers seem to lie far across the ocean. But some of them might be closer than she thinks…

The Review: You will know by now how much I absolutely adored In This Foreign Land by Suzie Hull. The vividness and brightness of the setting, the richness of it all, how much I believed in the characters and wanted all to be okay … and so I jumped for this, not least because Ms. Hull is one of the nicest most supportive people out there in bookland!

The opener was a stunner and I was absolutely floored as I read of a selfless act, long, long ago, that resulted in an amazing man moving swiftly to help others without a thought for his own safety. After this tragedy it was the most fab surprise (bear with me here!) to see a character from a historical fiction book jilted at the author (wait!) and not let it get to her one little bit (see, I’m not so mean!). From page one I was one hundred percent invested and ready to support Clara as she decided to take things into her own hands and go travelling despite being told she couldn’t.

This was some book. From tragedy to hope to horrors of war and starvation that actually made me wonder could I continue-this is a book with death, despair but so much hope and warmth that had me sobbing but smiling and hoping against hope that all would end well for the lovely Clara and Xavier. So recommended I can’t even! Thanks so much to Netgalley and the publisher for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5 out of 5

#Publicationday #BookReview Murder in Tuscany by T A Williams @TAWilliamsBooks

What they say: A brand new cozy crime series set in gorgeous Tuscany…It’s murder in paradise!
A remote retreat…

Nestled high in the Tuscan hills lies Villa Volpone, home to renowned crime writer Jonah Moore and his creative writing course. It’s also the last place retired DCI Dan Armstrong expected to spend his retirement! Dan’s no writer, but maybe this break will help him to think about the next chapter in his own life story?

A gruesome murder…

But only days into the course, Jonah Moore is found stabbed to death with his award-winning silver dagger! And Dan finds himself pulled out of retirement with a killer to catch.

Eleven possible suspects.

The other guests all seem shocked by Jonah’s death, but Dan knows that one of them must be lying. And as he and Italian Commissario Virgilio Pisano begin to investigate it quickly becomes clear that everyone at Villa Volpone has secrets to hide…

But can Dan discover who the murderer is before they strike again?

A gripping new murder mystery series by bestselling author T.A. Williams, perfect for fans of Lee Strauss and Beth Byers.

The Review: There are a few new pairings at the moment in the book world, and the one of T A Williams, someone who writes beautiful and warm chick lit set in stunning locations, was always going to be a match for this, a cozy murder mystery. We meet retired DCI Dan Armstrong as he arrives at a writing retreat in the beauty of Tuscany. He’s been sent on it as a retirement present/ prank by his force and isn’t quite sure he should be there. I warmed to Dan straight away, and was intrigued by the repertoire of characters. First I wondered who was going to ‘get it’ (be murdered), and then I wondered about each of the characters, my decisions jumping as we went. I was truly there and when the reveal came was very much surprised and then thrilled to get an ending that was very tv like (I used to live for Inspector Wexford, Morse, Midsomer Murders etc and the ending here very much reminded me of it, totally cinematic!)

I’ll admit I was so taken with this book I would easily have read in one go (but you know, kids, work etc etc;)) and will very much be following the new TA Williams direction and I have one or two people I will be buying it for come Christmas time and may consider it should I find it on audio for Mum to listen to!

Very much recommended. Sooo recommended in fact! Thanks to Netgalley and Boldwood books for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

We’ll always have Venice by Leonie Mack @LeonieMAuthor

What they say: ‘I love her beautiful settings and brooding heroes!’ Sarah Bennett
Who can resist the romance of Venice…

When Norah arrives in Venice for a ten-week internship she is surprised to discover that her guide for her work trips around the lagoon is the undeniably gorgeous and kind Gianluca. She can’t help thinking he might be too good to be true, with his endless fascinating local stories, and his infectious laugh.
Norah is still bitter after an accident left her with a serious injury and also meant the end of her long-term relationship. And besides, she’s serious about her career and that means leaving Venice at the end of the summer.
Gianluca has had a summer fling before that led to heartache for him and he won’t do it again. He enjoys the long hours out on the lagoon with Norah, but after a storm strands them on a picture-perfect island for a night, they agree they should just be good friends for the summer. 
But life doesn’t always go to plan, and when it’s time for Norah to go, they have to decide whether what they have between them is really just a friendship, and not something more… 
Leonie Mack is back with another fabulously romantic escape, perfect for all fans of Mandy Baggot, Jo Thomas and Carole Matthews.
What readers are saying about Leonie Mack:
‘I read a lot of romance books and I have to say this book is one of the best in terms of chemistry. Readers – we’re talking red hot!’

‘A hot and sizzling read!’

‘An uplifting, intelligent novel with a lot of substance and of course, plenty of romance’

‘I can’t stop thinking about this book!’

‘Beautifully written, this is a great take on the opposites attract theme.’
‘A delight to read with lots of fun, romance and funny bits along the way.’

The Review: I was asked the other day when authors came to mind that I would always click ‘request’ or ‘buy’ on, who came to mind first and, splat bang in the middle of my list (come on, who has just one author?!), was the amazing Leonie Mack, an author that I usually save for those moments-you know the ones-you have a cuppa and some cookies and a roaring fire, or you’re in work and have a bit of peace at lunch-time. I mean, she’s perfectly placed- fall in love with settings, relatable lead characters and fantastic love interests …

But, as they say, I digress! Norah is a marine biologist who is on a trip as part of an internship. I was grabbed immediately by her career and loved the fact that it was the accompaniment to a place as beautiful as Venice. Norah and Gianluca were perfect for each other in that they both had a reason to doubt love was any way on the cards. I’ve always found the more you can give people a reason not to be together, the better the read (yes, I am that mean!!) The views, the settings, the storms and drama, the romance is nothing short of exquisite and I savoured every single word. Beautiful, beautiful book and so beyond recommended!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

The Love Arrangement by Ruby Basu

What they say: Love was never supposed to be part of the deal…
Independent and free-spirted Annika has no plans to settle down anytime soon… if only her parents felt the same way. But when her father unexpectedly falls ill, she’ll do anything to make things better. Even if it means suddenly blurting out she has a boyfriend.
The only issue is, he doesn’t exist.
Then, by chance, she bumps into handsome entrepreneur Rav, and she can’t believe her luck. He’s single, sworn off relationships and looking for a date to attend work events with. He’s the perfect solution to her troubles. Or is he?
Because there’s just one slight catch – he also happens to be her childhood nemesis.
It was only ever supposed to be a simple, temporary arrangement. Nothing more. Certainly love was never part of the terms and conditions. But Annika’s about to discover that some deals are made to be broken…

The Review:

Thanks so much to the publisher and Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

On to another I jumped for the second I saw it-The Love Arrangement by Ruby bass. This is the story of Annika, who is under a huge amount of pressure to convince her dad that she has found her partner for life. I was pulled straight in with Annika’s decision of where to search as she tried to figure out should she fill potential suitors in on the fact that she only wanted them for a fake relationship.

The love Arrangement was vivid and vibrant and fun, with a cast that was very well done, so much so, in fact, that I fell for her fake partner too, and was gunning for him throughout the book! The settings were brilliant, the comedy nicely done but there was a standout moment for me and that was a beautifully cinematic wedding they attended, which blew me away-I could see it! My only issue at all was that Annika reminded herself way too often of why this couldn’t work-I kept begging her to just see what was right before her! The other thing, really weirdly was that even by the end of the book I had no idea what Annika actually worked at! But that I think is showing my age, perhaps? Either way, really really enjoyable and so recommended!

Rating: 5/5