Miss Adventure by Geralyn Corcillo #ChickLitMay (book 1 of Love in the Limelight Series)

missadventure

Length: 349 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

The award-winning Miss Adventure is the first romantic comedy in the In Love in the Limelight series, where all the books are stand-alone reads, each with its own heroine and hero. It’s the Limelight of zany Los Angeles, where the different stories criss cross, and where the paparazzi just might sink in its glittery talons at the most inopportune and down-to-earth moments.

Miss Adventure: After she survives a freak fast food accident, skittish city girl Lisa Flyte becomes a national joke in the tabloids. Really?! So she decides it’s high time she get herself a backbone and stop letting life plow right over her. But how is she supposed to get tough after a lifetime of watching from the couch? Jack Hawkins, that’s how. The adrenaline junkie from her MBA class needs someone to test his new line of idiot-proof beginner gear, and clueless urbanite Lisa might just be perfect. They strike a deal. The two of them survive (barely!) their bumbling adventures in the wild. But will they survive each other?

All Reader Reviews appreciated! Miss Adventure has been previously published as She Likes It Tough and She Likes It Rough by GVR Corcillo.

The Review: You all have to know how much I totally heart both the books and personality of this author, whose work is always incredibly beautiful and yet full of energy, twists and over the top comedy (see previous posts on Geralyn here ), and so I am gutted I never got to this before, a book about Lisa Flyte, possibly one of my most stand-outish, brilliantly done characters ever.

Lisa, on waking up as a millionaire from a coma after a drive thru nearly crushed her car (which the media had a field day with), decides things have to change- she’s been afraid of life for too long and wants to woman up. And how better to help her than Jack Hawkins, an adrenaline junkie who scales mountains and scuba dives in his sleep. I loved the way the two of them met, and loved Jack’s indifferent attitude to everything and bemusement at her and her constant references to film, which at times were so spot on I almost jumped about! When he asks Lisa to help test adventure gear for beginners and we get in depth look at various equipment and techniques, I literally hung on every-single-word. The comedy was top notch, as were the smile out loud moments and wonderful, wonderful romance, that wasn’t always obvious but that made you suddenly put a hand to your heart and inhale. A special moment for her awful family who were like something out of a Roald Dahl novel! All in all just such a special book and again, one that is ridiculously highly recommended!

Rating: 5/5

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About the author: First and foremost, screenwriter and award-winning romantic comedy author Geralyn Corcillo loves reader reviews! In other news…When she was a kid 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 old movies, British mysteries and the New York Giants. She lives in a rickety old house in Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who’s even cooler than Kip Dynamite. Visit Geralyn at geralyncorcillo.com and even leave her a note – she loves to connect with readers!

Geralyn’s website: geralyncorcillo.com

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Dreaming of St Tropez by T A Williams #chicklitmay

dreaming

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: The perfect summer escape on the French Riviera. Sun, sea and secrets…

After a disagreement with a billionaire, architect Jess Milton is ‘let go’ from her job. However fortune intervenes – an elderly client asks Jess to dog-sit overweight, but loveable dog Brutus in St. Tropez.

Fed up with the mega-rich, Jess is reluctant to visit the playground of billionaires, but an all-expenses-paid trip and the promise of sunshine seals the deal.

Little does Jess know how much time she’ll be spending with the family living in St. Tropez. The sullen, but very good-looking David and his millionaire father are both welcoming but guarded, haunted by their pasts…

Can Jess bring some sunshine back into their lives – and, just maybe, find love in the process?

A heart-warming, funny and emotional journey for fans of Holly Martin, Tilly Tennant and Jenny Oliver.

The Review: I had a number of TA Williams’ books on my Kindle when I saw people raving about this and the guilt I felt was immense having sen how lovely the author is on social media in terms of sharing content, being supportive to other authors etc (we’re in the same chick lit group). As a result I went straight to Amazon to grab this, a gorgeous read set on the French Reviera (note: phew to my loving it as I’d never read his books before!!).

So this is the story of Jess, who we meet showing around a sexist brute who is a Russian aristocrat. Jess turns kick-ass on him and next thing we know, she’s without a job. I easily settled into the book and was thrilled when her and her friend Hope began to discuss how great it would be to get away somewhere like-say-St. Tropez. Instead they’re dog walking (in all fairness, not something I’d mind, and they don’t either, but, you know, I’ve gotta set the scene and all;)) and trying to figure out what to do. Enter Brutus, a lovable labrador (who supplies many moments of easy going comedy throughout the book) and his owner, who needs someone to help mind the dog. And guess where they need to go? You’ve guessed it! They’re heading to the sun soaked, picturesque St. Tropez!! (Yes,  there are moments such as this that are idyllic and make you cock your head to one side, but it really didn’t matter. )

With drama thrown in left right and centre, a who will she end up with that’s done very well, a moody, sullen, millionaire that has plenty of issues to deal with, and oh, yes, special mention for the bodyguard of the piece, I found this book to be beautiful, mesmirising actually in terms of its settings, and yet with an unputdownable quality to it that made me sure I’m going to start moving through T A Williams’ back catalogue quick smart. The perfect summer read that puts you in the most lovely holiday mood.

Rating: 5/5

Watching You by Lynda Renham #chicklitmay

watching

Length: 328 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: Ewan Galbreith is out of prison. Libby Owen is scared. Fifteen years earlier she saw Ewan murder her aunt and uncle with their own shotgun, and now he’s coming for her.

The Review: I took advantage of Lynda Renham being a predominantly chick lit writer (read content from this blog on her here ) to get this, ‘Watching You’ into the mix (I know, genius right?!). The blurb is short, which actually here I like as what more do you need to get you invested?! And it’s so easy to invest time into this, a book that starts with a bang and continues its momentum as we meet Libby Owen, who has changed her name and is living in fear of her life after she was threatened by a man she helped put in prison for the murder of he aunt and uncle. The book is basically us following Libby as she gets more and more paranoid about Galbreith coming to pay her back, while you’re wondering if it is actually him. You are thrust back in time to see what happened to lead to the murders and shown the village, where many people actually had a reason to go after Libby’s uncle.

In modern day we also meet the man himself, Ewan, and a sergeant Fran Marshell and Inspector Mike Magregor, who have been following the case from the start.

I really enjoyed this book, even though it was a bit grubby at times, with sexual content and harsh language, but I suppose that’s par for the course in a story set in an opressed little village where the man of the manor uses people like pawns and smushes them to keep things going the way he wants. In terms of the modern day story I enjoyed trying to figure out if I was wrong in a very early assumption I made. I wasn’t, I’ll admit I guessed very early on part of the twist, although I had a few different thoughts on how it was going to happen, which is the fun of it really, isn’t it? I vaguely thought one of the additional components to the twist might happen, but fought against it and yes, I raised my eyebrows when it happened. To be honest, there’s times where the term ‘suspension of disbelief’ comes to mind, and I think die hard thriller readers mightn’t be choice targets for this book, but saying that I think others will enjoy it and I appreciated what the author was doing and didn’t at any point want to put it down.

Rating: 4/5

Author Q&A Laura Heffernan from The Reality Star Series

So today it’s great to have Laura Heffernan here, author of The Reality Star Series. First, though, the books!

Buy the series on Amazon

About America’s Next Reality Star (book 1)

SEEKING THE SMART ONE

Twenty-four-year-old Jen Reid had her life in good shape: an okay job, a tiny-cute Seattle apartment, and a great boyfriend almost ready to get serious. In a flash it all came apart. Single, unemployed, and holding an eviction notice, who has time to remember trying out for a reality show? Then the call comes, and Jen sees her chance to start over—by spending her summer on national TV.

Luckily The Fishbowl is all about puzzles and games, the kind of thing Jen would love even if she wasn’t desperate. The cast checks all the boxes: cheerful, quirky Birdie speaks in hashtags; vicious Ariana knows just how to pout for the cameras; and corn-fed “J-dawg” plays the cartoon villain of the house. Then there’s Justin, the green-eyed law student who always seems a breath away from kissing her. Is their attraction real, or a trick to get him closer to the $250,000 grand prize? Romance or showmance, suddenly Jen has a lot more to lose than a summer . . .

About Sweet Reality (book 2)

SUGAR, SEA SALT, AND SHOW BIZ
 
Jen Reid’s life after walking off a reality show has been great–she’s gone from being a broke twenty-four-year-old Seattleite with no love life and no job to the twenty-five-year-old who got the guy, moved to Miami, and is starting a bakery with her best friend. She thinks her showmance love might be about to propose. And with mouthwatering goodies based on everyone’s favorite shows, her business, Sweet Reality, is destined for success.

That is, until a killer competitor opens right across the street. If she’s going to save Sweet Reality, Jen has to come up with a secret ingredient–like the recipe that won Totally 80s Bake-Off. Jen can get it–if she steps back into the spotlight. Soon she and her boyfriend are out to sea on a cruise ship full of reality stars, including her nemesis, Ariana; her lying, cheating ex; and some wicked producers looking to bring the drama. Separate cabins, “surprises” from her past, and scenarios tailor-made to spark fights are just the beginning. But with her self-respect, her business, and her future on the line, the fallout from this made-for-TV plotline will be all too real . . .

 

About Reality Wedding

SAY ‘I DO’—OR ELSE
 
When Jen Reid escaped a reality TV cruise with her relationship intact—if not her hair—she swore she was done with the cameras for good. Sure, she and Justin met, had their first kiss, and got engaged with tape rolling, but manufactured drama and ruthless producers have shaken them up more times than she can count. With Jen’s reality-themed bakery just getting started and her brand-new lawyer fiancé in a pile of debt, they’re a long way from glitz and glamour, and that’s fine by Jen. Until the Network calls and tells her that unless she says “I do” to a wedding special, Justin will be out of a job.

Now Jen has two weeks to plan an all-expenses-paid “dream wedding”—and dodge the tricks and traps of a showrunner happy to mess up her future in the name of ratings. Luckily for Jen, she’s got plenty of experience with cake and popcorn. But when real-life drama and reality TV twists collide, the cliffhangers may just follow her right down the aisle . . .

Laura, welcome to the blog. Can you tell us a little bit about your books? Who do you think they would suit?

The Reality Star series follows Jen, a millennial who tries out for a reality show to help pay medical bills from an accident. She’s looking to win the cash prize, but is surprised when she finds herself falling for co-competitor Justin. The books should appeal to fans of Sophie Kinsella or Leah Marie Brown. And the reality show is the backdrop, so even people who don’t watch a lot of reality TV can still enjoy them.


Where did the idea for the books come from?

My best friend went on a reality show a few years ago, one that is fairly similar to the show Jen stars in on the show. It was fun to see all the background information and all the ins and outs of reality TV. My friend’s experience got me thinking about what kind of show I’d want to be on myself, and The Fishbowl was born.

Have you always wanted to write chick lit?

I’ve always wanted to write. Over the years, I’ve tried various genres based on what I was primarily reading at the time. But chick lit has always been my first love. It’s what I always go back to, and it’s the only type of book I’ve ever been interested in enough to finish one (or several).

Can you tell us what you’re up to next?

I’m currently in the middle of writing my next series, Gamer Girls. It follows three college roommates who love board games, each with their own book. In the first one, Gwen is determined to win the American Board Game Championship–and equally determined not to get played by last year’s champion, Cody. 

Lastly, If you had to  pick three favourite books what would you pick (they  don’t have to be chick lit by the by!!!)?

This question is so hard! The Shopaholic books will probably always be among my all-time favorites. The series has had some ups and downs, but those first three books were my introduction to chick lit. I go back and read them all the time. I also adore the Harry Potter series, which I like to count as one book. 🙂 And I will forever adore The Awakening by Kate Chopin. 

Thanks so much for coming over, Laura!

About the author

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Q&A Anne John-Ligali, author of The Friendships Online short story Series #ChickLitMay

 

Purchase The Big Event from  Amazon UK

Purchase The Weekend Spa Break from Amazon UK

Today I’m thrilled to have the lovely Anne John-Ligali, author of The Friendships Online short story Series (see review of The Big Event here and The Weekend Spa Break here)

First off congrats on a really enjoyable series, perfect for chilling out and unwinding!

Can you tell us a little bit about the series?

My short story series is about friendships, human behaviour, social media, and how social media plays a big part in our daily lives whether you are into it or not. I thought about how I was going to present this idea so I pinched a little bit from my own life and created a group of friends. These bunch of friends have known each other virtually for a good number of years. Then for one night they finally get to meet up in the real world at this huge glamorous Christmas party called The Big Event at The Dorchester Hotel.

You’ve a nice range of characters there, can I ask which came first, the characters or their actions?

Definitely their actions came first. I enjoyed having each character act out their flaw, or quirk, and to have these flaws contradict what Constance had read about them online. I thought hard about what I wanted each character to say or to represent, which is why their flaws differ. Karmel fails to embrace growing old, Jagger boasts about how great he is at dancing, Henry wants to appear that he’s over his drinking problem, Stan constantly seeks validation in any way possible and overshares on line, Constance is far too assuming and Estelle is trying to cope with a child that has additional needs.

Have you always wanted to write chick lit?

There was a time I used to write songs. I come from a musical background and began playing piano by ear at the age of five. When I got older, I played on and off and took up songwriting. I seriously thought I was going to nail it with my music back then, but later realised it’s a near-impossible industry to crack even as a songwriter. I had put fiction on the back burner to focus on music and invested a lot of time and money. But after a good seven or eight years later, with a tons of demos on CD’s gathering dust, I decided to shift my goal posts and began writing stories. When I first started writing stories I was a bit of a butterfly, I would try everything, even poetry, although I wasn’t good at it. But my love for chick lit came much later after reading one of Sophie Kinsella’s books that had me laughing all the way to the end. I realised it was a lovely genre and I kept on reading and discovered new authors along. Eventually I found myself wanting to write it too.

I’m so interested in your mix of future projects in your bio, can you tell us about them?

Yes, I have a full-length novel that I have been working on and off. Got the idea in 2014 and have had small parts of it workshopped in writing groups. There’s still a

bit to go but it’s more than half way there. Also, my seven year old daughter loves reading and writing. We’ve done lots of brainstorming on projects and she’s come up with lovely titles and ideas for children’s stories. Whenever she gets an idea, I quickly get out my Dictaphone and leave it to run. (for ages) lol.

That’s brilliant! By the way I’ve been over to Books and Authors UK and adore the mix of books you review there, can you tell us a little bit about it?

Like most bloggers it started with my love for books and wanting to share what I had read with readers. I started my blog in 2013 and back then it has always been a platform to support a good mix of indie and traditional authors. When I started blogging, I noticed most blogs back then only supported traditionally published authors. So I thought by adding this edge to my blog (which was definitely an edge back then) would make it different from the others. But now, with the rise of indie authors, you’d find most bloggers are keen to support self-published books, which is a great thing. There are so many good indie books out there. The mix of books on my blog range from children’s to non-fiction, true crime, time slips and urban thrillers. And of course, romantic comedy.

Lastly, If you had to pick three favourite books what would you pick (they don’t have to be chick lit by the way!!!)?

I would love to pick The Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson for its drama, twists, turns and compelling characters. The Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey; I adore time slip and reading about Paris during the Belle Epoque era was not only stunning, but her writing took to there. My third book would be The Other Us by Fiona Harper, another time slip but with a modern twist. A very cleverly written book that answers that universal question, ‘what if?’ (Ooh, I wish I could pick a fourth.)

Definitely going to go look out ‘The Other Us,’ sounds brilliant! Thanks so much for coming over, Anne, I look forward to reading more from you in the future 🙂

Thank you so much Bernadette for having me, and for supporting me on blog tours. Much appreciated!

(Beyond a pleasure, Anne!)

About the author

thumbnail_Meet Anne

Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews. She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.

Anne has always loved stories and read many books as a child, including the entire Sweet Valley High and Caitlyn series. Her interest in writing fiction came years later, when she began writing for pleasure in 2007.

Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

Author blog: http://annejohnligali.com/

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The Cottage at Hope Cove by Hannah Ellis #chicklitmay #bookreview

thecottageathope

Length: 337 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

Lizzie Beaumont has it all: a great career, a wealthy fiancé, and the wedding of her dreams just months away. But when her fiancé puts work before her again, she sets off for a week in the picturesque town of Hope Cove. She’s hoping for time away from the chaos to find herself.

Instead, she finds Max.

When the gorgeous guy next door asks her for decorating help, Lizzie finds herself all too eager to please. The week she expected to drag suddenly flies by, and before she knows it, she has to return to her other life. The life with the impending marriage and the fiancé she loves.

Or does she?

One week with Max has left her questioning her life choices. Is her fiancé the man of her dreams, or just the man who asked? Now Lizzie must decide what her life will be. Will she go for the safe and predictable route, or take a chance on a man she hardly knows? No matter what she does, someone’s heart is going to break. She just doesn’t want it to be hers.

Review: And now, as they say, for something, well not completely different, but still! We start off seeing Elizabeth Beaumont and her boyfriend Max discussing their wedding in passing as they try to find time to spend with each other in the midst of busy careers. I loved seeing Eliazabeth’s work in a magazine and could understand her passion for a job. They’re supposed to finally take a holiday together but then, again, work stops Max but he convinces her to head off on her own to the lovely Hope Cove. And it was lovely:

“The village streets were narrow and dotted with bright white cottages with neatly thatched roofs. When she reached the bay she stopped the car and gazed out. A full moon hung over the water, and the sea sparkled beautifully in its reflected glow.”

I fell in love with Hope Cove in the same way I’d enjoyed hearing of her time at the magazine, and gobbled up the fantastic setting. And then we met Max. I have to admit I wasn’t so sure about him at the start but then, on saying that it’s been some time since my stomach has leapt around solely from the mesmerizing romance in a book. I was so torn. Both of them were due to marry and yet the pull of the chemistry and connection between the two of them was so strong that I still wanted them to get together.

I loved Elizabeth becoming Lizzie and that the book didn’t always succumb to cliches and that everything was so realistic in terms of what life had in store for them and how they had to get back to ‘real life’. There were twists that were unexpected, and mix-ups and misunderstandings that were welcome and realistic. I’ll admit when we went along to Hope Cove I was afraid we’d be trading comedy for beauty, but there were still sudden out of the blue smiles, albeit more understated than Ms. Ellis’ previous books. I hearted this book so much, every single second of it and read it in one night with my eyes searching out the next words while still relishing those before. I have always been a fan of the author’s before now and know her online, but this book has moved me into Superfan mode. One of my top books this year! Cannot recommend enough.

Rating: 5/5

Note: Read previous reviews of this author’s books here

 

Ottercombe Bay Part 1 Where There’s a Will by Bella Osborne

ottercombe bay

Length: 100 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

Escape to the Devon coast, with Part One of a brand-new four-part serial from the author of Willow Cottage.

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

The Review: I have to admit I’m a bit gutted I didn’t click with this, a series that I had heard a lot of people gush over. It’s the story of Daisy Wickens, a girl who’s a bit adrift until she’s left a building by her uncle and told she has to stay in the lovely Ottercombe bay for a year. I have to admit from the start I didn’t get on with Daisy. She was the type of person who is non stop negative with mean looks, rolls of her eyes and general boredom with everything.  I can deal with negative characters when they have a personality that still grabs you, and I love sarcastic interesting negative characters too, but with Daisy I honestly believe it was just simply that she was not a nice person! I’m all for character growth, and maybe Daisy does redeem herself later in the series, but I could get nothing from her.

The thing was, then a random smile or burst of excitement would be thrown in that confused me, it would be out of place and out of character and would disappear in the burst it came from leaving us with Daisy complaining again. I don’t know if it was editing issues or just Daisy’s positivity not quite appearing as it should, but either way, I was disheartened and quite gutted. I also had an issue with the drip feeding of information that didn’t need to be drip fed. I know dumping of information is a no-no, but saying that I honestly think sending someone around in circles on purpose is unnecessary.

The building left to Daisy was beautiful and unusual and I had great hopes for it and the fabulous settings and nice little mysteries that I would have been interested to have found out about. I loved some of the locals, and actually if Tamsyn had been the lead character I think this book would have been a high review.

I checked out the other books to see if they were based more on other characters, in which case I would have read, but the blurbs were all the same and so I think it’s probably a series I’ll give a miss. Saying that I have other Bella Osborne books on my Kindle and might give them a go, given that Daisy was my problem (I know I’m laboring the point and I’m sorry)

Rating: Unfortunately 3/5