Release Blitz-Catch A Falling Star by Geralyn Corcillo

Today I’m thrilled to be part of the Release Blitz for catch A Falling Star by Geralyn Corcillo (Read my reviews of her 4 in the Morning Short Stories anthology here or an anthology of short stories, ‘Love in an Elevator’ which contains her story ‘Upstairs, Downstairs … and the Lift in Between’ here).

 

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What they say: When TV star Wendy Hunter is about to have her most closely guarded secret viciously exposed by the paparazzi, she desperately tosses out a juicy bone to distract them: she announces her engagement to southern high school football coach Colin Scott. One problem. She’s not really engaged to him. In fact, she barely knows him. Um … barely. But will one unforgettable night last year be enough to get him to go along with her charade? 

 Wendy goes to Louisiana to see him and discovers that Colin is not sothrilled to be suddenly “engaged” to her. He’s got some secrets of his own that his famous “fiancée” is putting in serious jeopardy. Still, he agrees to her fake engagement … as long as she agrees to play by his rules: Wendy has to stay in town for three weeks to play the part of Colin’s one true love, all without wrecking his life. 

 Let the games begin. But when their time together is up, will either of them be able to–or want to–go back to the way things were? 

 **This novel reads as a stand alone story within the In Love in the Limelight universe, where the stars and paths of different characters might cross, and where the paparazzi is always ready to sink in its glittery talons. 

About the author:

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When she was a kid growing up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo dreamed of one day becoming the superhero Dyna Girl. So, she did her best and grew up to constantly pick up litter and rescue animals. At home, she loves watching black & white movies, British mysteries, and the NY Giants. Corcillo lives in a drafty old house in Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite. 

 Geralyn’s website: geralyncorcillo.com

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Lost by Elle Field

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Length: 262 pages

Note: The image leads to a universal amazon buy link for the book

What they say: “I’m starting to realise that age is just a number, but Tabitha pointed out I’m only saying that because I’m twenty-five, engaged, and have my life together. (Touch wood things stay that way.)”

Arielle is back! OK, she’s not on her way to becoming the next Coco Chanel, her childhood dream, but she is one way step closer to running her very own shop with her business partner, Felicity.

She’s also planning her perfect romantic wedding to fiancé, Piers, and Arielle is starting to believe that she’s finally found her place in the world… Of course life is never that straightforward.

With a new-found foe interfering with her shop decisions, not to mention haughty wedding planners and loved ones facing personal struggles, will Arielle figure out what’s important before all is lost?

Lost is the second book in the delightful Arielle Lockley chick lit series, following on from the #1 best seller Kept, which was long listed in the Best Romantic Comedy category, SpaSpa Book Awards 2013. Shopaholic and Lindsey Kelk fans will love the next book in this funny coming of age series.

 

The Review: When I saw the opportunity to review one of Elle Field’s books I ran for it. I’ve seen and encountered Elle Field a number of times on Twitter and have huge admiration for both her work ethic and writing advice. This, coupled with all the gushing about her books, and the fact that I have B-side sitting on my Kindle, pushed me forward. This is book 2 of the Arielle Lockley series. I read it as a standalone and it worked well as such.

We begin this book with a prologue from Obelix, who turns out to be our lead, Arielle Lockley’s best friend. Our insight into him is that he is a nice, easy-going, slightly awkward vet, who hasn’t had any luck in the girl department and also who is gearing up for his best friend’s wedding, hoping not to let her down.We then move over to Arielle, going back in time by four months, when she is looking for the perfect premises for her new business, a boutique. We get insights into her business partner and friend, an elderly lady named Felicity and I was pulled along with Arielle, as she tried to deal with the many interruptions, events and crises thrown at her. And there were quite a few. I really enjoyed said crises, thrown in when you least expected them. I really warmed to Arielle, although she was perhaps a little over dramatic in places, as were many of the characters. There were some nice hints thrown in as to what might happen in the next book of the series and we were left on a great cliffhanger. All in all a really enjoyable book and, given the ending I will most definitely continue to follow the series (Found is out now).

Thanks to Samantha March from Chick Lit Plus for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

About the author:

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Elle Field writes coming of age chick lit books, and is the author of the Arielle Lockley series and Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not. She grew up in a small town in England, then moved to Scotland to study International Relations and Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews.

Elle now lives in London with her boyfriend and their cat. She’s a massive fan of sunshine, giraffes, The Killers, Audrey Hepburn movies, playing Scrabble, musicals and tea. Oh, and reading, of course!

Find out more about Elle by reading her blog  or by following her on Twitter: @ellefie

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A Summer Romance (The Little Perran Romances Book 3) by Lynda Renham

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Note: As always, the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

Length: 150 pages

What they say: A Summer Romance is the sequel to A Village Romance and is the third book in the Little Perran series by Lynda Renham writing as Amy Perfect.

Milly settles into her new job but does her boss, Ashley Wilmot-Fox, have secrets that he is hiding in Briar Lodge? Will he be able to help Milly fight the ghosts from her past? Will Billy’s blundering romance last, and will Rafe’s secret affair be exposed? As the villagers prepare for their summer fete they have no idea what will be revealed on that day.

 The Review: Some time ago I reviewed A Village Romance by Lynda Renham (see review here), part of The Little Perran Series. I actually read the next installment, this one, A Summer Romance, straight away, but things got in the way and so I never got to review. Now, while it wasn’t quite for me, I did enjoy. It begins with a nice little run down on what had happened the last time we encountered the people of Little Perran. I thought this was a nice touch- I always enjoy a nice lead in, to get you back into the spirit of the book, even though I’d just read A Village Romance. We were back to Milly, working away at her pottery, and reminded that there were secrets, and I looked forward to all being revealed.

I have to admit, the place we went to next reminded me that I hadn’t been a fan of a lot of the characters in A Village Romance, with a lot of backward notions on women being ‘made’ to do things that made me roll my eyes.

There was a lot of swoony type romance, and more canoodling, which will definitely appeal to many, however we were also hit with some slang and cursing that took away from the whole homely aspect at times. That being said there was some lovely scenes with the preparations underway for the village fete, and I liked some of the comedy we encountered. There were also characters I did enjoy and the book flew by in a dash.

I’ll be honest, while I think this book will go down very well with romance lovers, it wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, but I did find it enjoyable. Thanks to the author for the book in return for an honest review.

Check out my previous interview with Lynda Renham and some reviews, including ‘Rory’s Proposal’ a romantic comedy I really warmed to, and  Perfect Weddings which I also enjoyed!

Rating 3.5/5

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Would Like To Meet by Polly James

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Length: 400 pages

Note: Cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link

What they say:

A hilarious, heart-warming read perfect for fans of Shirley Valentine and You’ve Got Mail.

Could the worst thing that’s ever happened to Hannah Pinkman also turn out to be one of the best?

She and her husband Dan have reached the end of the line. Bored with the same gripes, the same old arguments – in fact, bored with everything – they split up after a trivial row turns into something much more serious.

Now Hannah has to make a new life for herself, but that’s not easy. She’s been so busy being a wife and mum that she’s let all her other interests slip away, along with her friends. And when Hannah is persuaded to join a dating site, her ‘best match’ is the very last person she expects it to be . . .

A clever, funny and poignant novel about life after a long relationship, the importance of friendship, and rediscovering your identity.

The Review: To start with, what a cover. I saw this and somehow knew that there was such a little chance of it being anything but enjoyable, and I wasn’t let down.  So we begin with a prologue that tells us of the beginnings of Hannah and Dan and we smile at how in love they are. Fast forward twenty seven years and now we are beginning to see the end, when a simple few comments quickly turn into some home truths that get out of control. I loved Ms James’ style, it reminded me of Fiona Gibson or Aimee Horton, more dialogue and funny goings on with a nice mix of realistic descriptions that put you at the scene of the crime each time. There were a few things to be sorted as you read, in the back of your mind you had an idea of what was going on, and sneaking suspicions of other happenings. The characters were great, I loved how human Hannah was, how strong her aunt Pearl was, and I loved the ‘baddy’ of the story-again so human that you couldn’t figure out what to feel about here. Joel was great, as was Dan, and I loved the insights into how both parties of the break-up felt.

My only issue with this book was, I suppose, a big enough one. When the pacing dipped I found myself having to push myself to keep going, just a little bit. The out of the ordinary events, the mix-ups, and all that involved much excitement, were so brilliantly done that the book couldn’t help but drop for me when Hannah was nostalgic or trying to figure out how to be alone, brought to the forefront by the length of the book, which could have been quite a bit shorter. That being said I still enjoyed it so much it wouldn’t hamper my excitement at finding another gem of an author to follow- I have to admit after this Ms. James’ name will be on my firmly ‘to look out for’ list (yes, I have one of those) and I’ve already bought ‘Diary of An Unsmug Married.’ Thanks to Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5/5

The Two Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman

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Note: click on the cover image to get to a universal buy link for Amazon

Length: 304 pages

What they say: Brooklyn, 1947: In the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born, minutes apart. The mothers are sisters by marriage: dutiful, quiet Rose, who wants nothing more than to please her difficult husband; and warm, generous Helen, the exhausted mother of four rambunctious boys who seem to need her less and less each day. Raising their families side by side, supporting one another, Rose and Helen share an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic winter night.

When the storm passes, life seems to return to normal; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and the once deep friendship between the two women begins to unravel. No one knows why, and no one can stop it. One misguided choice; one moment of tragedy. Heartbreak wars with happiness and almost, but not quite, wins. Moving and evocative, Lynda Cohen Loigman’s debut novel The Two-Family House is a heart-wrenching, gripping multigenerational story, woven around the deepest of secrets.

 

The Review: I have to admit I loved this book and recommended all around me. The story begins with a prologue, a dark introduction that drew me in instantly. As you can see, set in the 1940’s, we meet two families, led by two very different sets of parents- one seemingly over positive, the other more subdued, more cautious about enjoying life. Chirpy Abe and Helen have all boys, Mort and Helen all girls, and we get the idea that there’s one of each couple that want what they don’t have, be it a daughter or son.

The two brothers run a cardboard manufacturing company in Brooklyn and I loved hearing of their daily grind, with Mort despairing of his brother Abe’s positivity. There are alternating voices with such simple language and occurrences that reel you in. You know as you read that nothing is as it seems and yet I was still surprised as the story unfolded.

The babies are born and everything changes and I loved the gradual shift in dynamic in the house, the surprises in the characters you could connect with and those who shocked you and I was excited as I read as to the outcome of this simple yet complex story.

All in all simple everyday occurrences that stayed with you and characters that I adored mixed with heartbreaking, live changing events that tested the fabric these people were made from. There was festering bitterness in the book and a secret in the back of your mind that you just HAD to figure out.

The characters that I loved stuck with me after I’d finished, as did the lesson on what it is to be a truly good person and there were some great people here, some you knew starting out, others that surprised you. A special mention to their older, all seeing, most perfect at being not perfect, Judith. I adored her. I’m not sure that this review will do this book justice but very much highly recommended. My only regret is the price, which I have to mention, is quite high at over nine pound and so it may be one to put on the wish list. Thanks to Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Love in an Elevator ( A romantic comedy anthology) Aven Ellis and many more …

 

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Note: clicking on the image leads to a universal buy link

Length: 359 pages

What they say: Laugh, swoon, and escape with this romantic comedy anthology!

Will an elevator ride change her life? In HOLD THE LIFT by Aven Ellis, Sierra Crawford ends up meeting sexy British hockey player Jude Parker after their elevator sticks. Sierra finds herself getting to know Jude—and she likes what she sees. But he wouldn’t be interested in a food-obsessed assistant editor right? Sierra knows she’s quirky—her fondness of Magic 8 Balls is proof of that—so there’s no way he could look her way. Or can he?

In DOWN, THEN UP by Beth Labonte, Lauren Oswald never expected to see her college love, Jamie, again. Not after the way things ended. She certainly doesn’t expect to see him ten years later at a bachelorette party in Vegas, waiting inside a hotel elevator. Slightly older. Different haircut. No wedding ring. Same eyes. As the pair embark on a late night errand, Lauren is flooded with memories of how Jamie became the one that got away—and she realizes that this one night could be their last chance to make things right.

In GOING UP? by Whitney Dineen, Fiona Kitchen had a dream when she moved to New York and it wasn’t taking a job as an elevator operator in a posh, West Side, apartment building. She also didn’t expect to meet a hot handyman, a Columbian drug lord and a notorious mob boss and then fall for one of them in a big way. Life in the Big Apple isn’t quite turning out the way she planned, but who said that was a bad thing?

In Becky Monson’s TAKING A CHANCE, Liza Parker has a fear of heights, crowds and small spaces. So what’s a girl like her doing on a crowded elevator going to the top of the Empire State Building? Freaking out, that’s what she’s doing. Enter Jay Sanders, a tourist who thinks he might be able to help Liza face her fears, but she has to be willing to spend the day with a complete stranger. Maybe taking a chance on Jay is just what Liza needs.

In HAPPY TO BE STUCK WITH YOU by Rich Amooi, Becca has had an office crush on Daniel—Mr. Delicious—for over a year. Getting stuck in an elevator with him was the last thing she expected. If only she can control her claustrophobia. To make matters worse, they’re also stuck with an eighty-year-old man who has a weak bladder, and a penchant for playing cupid. But life is unpredictable. Sometimes, getting stuck is the best thing that can happen.

Computer genius Maisy Potter crosses an ocean to take her dream vacation at an English country estate … where the winsome Mark Prebys works below stairs. With him, Maisy discovers a carefree happiness she’s never known. But will the troubles dogging her from back home, a secret or two whispered behind the parlour curtains, and misunderstandings to beat the band extinguish the magic they think they’ve found in each other? And if not, what happens when Maisy’s enchanting holiday ends? Find out in UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS … AND THE LIFT IN BETWEEN by Geralyn Corcillo.

In THE ONLY WAY IS UP by Lindy Dale, Meet Bailey Burns: hottest thing on the literary circuit. And the most reluctant. After fainting in a lift and regaining consciousness to find herself kissing a stranger, Bailey thinks her week can’t get much worse. But it can. Much worse. Bailey is about to be proposed to by a crazed fan wearing a vampire costume. She’s about to discover she’s in relationship with the guy she kissed. Not only that, but said guy happens to be her new PR manager. Oh dear!

In OUT OF ORDER, by Dee Ernst, Grace has sworn off good-looking men. As soon as she starts dating one of them, she transforms from a mature, confident woman to a needy teen-aged girl. So when she meets Seth, the best-looking man she’s ever seen, she makes the right choice — forget all about him. But a neurotic golden retriever and a broken elevator keep bringing them together. Is the world working against her… or maybe the gods are finally smiling?

The review: I have books from all of the authors contributing on my kindle bar two (am now looking those two up!) and as you know I live for chick lit and so I lunged for this one. There’s eight stories/ novellas (as I see them described) all based around the title ‘Love in an elevator’ and I loved the fact that they all didn’t just descend to conversations in an elevator (known as lifts over here-Love in a Lift wouldn’t quite have the same ring now, would it?!). Actually, on the novella thing, a lot of people have commented on how great the length of these were but I’m in two minds. They consisted of a few chapters each, and for some reason I needed a breather in between each novella, even though I really enjoyed each and every one. I could only attribute this to the fact that my way of reading short stories is simply that of a runaway train, because they’re so short this is doable. With these it was like reading an extremely short book so I’d put it down. That being said I never put them down mid story, and flew through each one.

In terms of content there were a number of similarities that linked the stories. First, the male characters were all so likeable (special mention for George in Rich Amool’s story;)) They were warm and caring and funny and gorgeous and each one was unique and yet plausible. To add to this the romance was well done in each and every story, with some truly lovely moments (and some quite hot ones, though none which were ott, which is unusual for me)!

The comedy also (shockingly, this never happens) was for me in every story. Not so much laugh out loud as smiling and nodding along which is always good. There were stories with back stories connected, there were twists, and there was a story by Geralyn Corcillo that was told more in the manner of a Jane Austen classic, which to start with took me a little bit to get into, as it’s like a different language to me (to my shame I haven’t read many classics since my teenage years), then by the end of it I was taking down the book it’s preceding’s name to read when it comes out later in the year.

I adored the backstory to Lindy Dale’s lead character’s writing journey, smiled so much over Dee Ernst’s tale of guy meets girl via the dog she’s minding, but I think the two that stole my heart were Beth Labonte’s story of a closet geek’s (I loved the references, the humour AND the romance!) chance meeting with the one that got away and Becky Monson’s lovely tale of someone who’s trying to face her fears as a result of a promise she’s made.


All in all a great collection. Thanks to the author Geralyn Corcillo for this book in return for an honest review.


Rating 4/5

#ComedyBookWeek Maid for Love by Victoria Van Tiem

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As part of comedy book week, hosted by the brilliant Ana Spoke, I decided to review Maid For Love by Victoria Van Tiem.

 

 

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What they say: Jax, twenty-three-year-old girl-with-a-plan, lacks real world know-how and struggles to keep her recently launched cleaning business afloat in a rocky economy. But when life gives you lemons, Jax makes Lemon Aide–her DIY chic cleaning product. It’s either that or admit she’s blown through Dad’s investment and call it a day. Certain he’d take over, proving her can-do is a can’t-manage, and under mounting pressure to financially support her recently divorced mom, there’s really only one responsible thing to do.

Lie.

It’s either go big or go home, and since she can’t go home–her landlady’s stalking her for back rent–its go big. It doesn’t get any bigger than moving into her vacationing client’s penthouse and throwing a tenant party to attract new business. As an added bonus, Grier, the great looking high-rise handy man, believing she’s taking on her client’s lease temporarily, is all too happy to help. What are a few more lies where the heart’s concerned? Unless she isn’t the only one lying.

The review: I had reviewed I Need A Hero before (see review here) and so I was very willing to go back for more! Now as you can see on the cover we’re told this is ‘a silly little rom-com with a fun big twist’ and that was exactly what this was.We began with a quote and this was followed in each chapter and I have to admit, I’m a sucker for appropriate, lovely, inspirational or just fun quotes, and so I was happy out.There was the added bonus that the story was told by two people, Jax and Grier, which I love.

Jax was working as a cleaner while trying to launch her Lemon Aide cleaning product with the help of her friend and associate Avery. I warmed to Avery straight off but I have to admit I found Jax so unprofessional from the off that this aspect of the story just never sat right-I couldn’t put someone so disorganized and scatty as someone who was hoping to make it big. It was very unfortunate as Jax and Grier were my only big concerns with the book but when your two concerns are the two leads  you can have a bit of trouble. That being said the romance between them was lovely, there were also some ‘hotter’ scenes that will tick the box for some of you! The comedy, however, which is what we’re here to talk about really, and that was very well done-I pre-empted some gags and was satisfied when they turned up on cue and chuckled at others. There were a lot of near misses and mix ups and as a result I eagerly awaited what was going to happen. I will throw in a caveat-as it says it can be a bit silly, people who like their rom coms fully realistic and for everything to slot into place might have a slight problem with this book- there were times you felt that there were a few too many roadblocks  and so it wouldn’t suit all, it was kooky and absurd and crazy but it did the job and was very enjoyable.

Rating 3.5/5

Note: The cover image leads to a universal amazon buy link, while the comedy book week image leads you to the comedy book week website.