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Blog Tour #Bookreview Stuck With You by Anna Premoli @ariafiction

Today I’m so happy to be part of The Stuck with You blog tour!

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Length: 356 pages

As always the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link

Buy links 

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Anna’s previous books, LOVE TO HATE YOU, YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY and UNTIL LOVE DO US PART are out now! Buy them here  

What they say: A smart, romantic comedy about how finding The One doesn’t always have to be love at first sight…  

Lavinia Ferrari is in her fifth year at Bocconi University where she studies Economics when she is introduced to a new project that will guarantee her extra credits. She’s intrigued… but it means the class must team up with students from the Computer Engineering course. Lavinia has absolutely no interest in the project, and to top things off, she’s paired with Seb Marconi who is less than enthusiastic. 

When the work begins, her friends seem to be making great progress with their partners, but Lavinia isn’t having the same luck… Seb is making it quite clear that he’s not interested in the project, or Lavinia, fuelling her frustration. 

She has no choice – they’re stuck in this, and besides, she won’t receive her extra credits unless they work together. Lavinia must come up with a way to convince the guy who drives her crazy to put the work in… but how? 

From the author of LOVE TO HATE YOU, YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY and UNTIL LOVE DO US PART. 

The Review: I have to start by making you scroll back up to look at that gorgeous cover.  I knew from the second I saw both the cover and the blurb that I was going to enjoy this.

Lavinia Ferrari is a yes woman. She’s out to please, to keep the peace, in particular in relation to her parents, two ambitious individuals who are taking the fact that her sister has decided not to take it any more out on her. I have to say I loved her family, who were about as pushy as pushy could be, but in a definite ‘not taking no for an answer’ way. As a result Lavina, our protagonist, is thrown into Economics, which she navigates with her two friends, Giada and Alessandra.

I suppose this is the part I should really talk about Lavinia. It took me some time to warm to her, as I found her to be a tad ‘me’ inclined, and constantly reminding us just how much she was always out to please others. I find when you’re constantly told how great a character is, how selfless etc, you start to find yourself edging in another direction. I also found her to be a tad over dramatic on many things, but that could most definitely be me. Saying that I found she grew on me as the book went on, possibly thanks to the amazing Seb, the partner she’s paired with for a project that is regularly sold as being more of a social experiment than a business endevour.

Being married to a computer scientist, and, to be honest being a bit of a nerd myself, I enjoyed their interactions, given that Seb has issues with everyday social norms, and I loved his quotes and tee-short slogans (I’d worked a fair few of them out too!). I adored his family when we met them and smiled and nodded along on many occasions at their excitement at Lavinia’s appearance. For me the second half of the book was where it came into its own and I suddenly warmed to and really enjoyed Lavinia, as warm (or icy in some cases!), witty banter was exchanged between the two (in particular their text messaging was excellent!)

The romance in the book, the heat, was perfection and I read the whole thing in one night which says it all really! It’s not a fast paced book, and is dialogue heavy, but then that’s generally what I go for. All in all a very enjoyable read. Thanks so much to Aria for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

 

Author bio 

 Anna Premoli(1)

Anna Premoli is a bestselling author in Italy. She began writing to relieve stress while working as a financial consultant for a private bank. Her previous novel, Love to Hate You won the Bancarella prize in 2013. 

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From Manhattan with love 3: Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

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Length: 352 pages

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

What they say:

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. Even if she is spending it alone housesitting a spectacular Fifth Avenue apartment. What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous–and mysterious–owner.

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?
The review: At the end of the last book I read by Sarah Morgan I have to admit I was a little bit worried. I was afraid I was getting too old, or perhaps too cynical or something for Sarah Morgan’s gorgeous books, and by that reasoning all of chick lit (I know, drama queen!). This made me hold off on reading this for some time, which was a pity! I am thrilled to say this book brought me back to the magic and sparkle that have always surrounded me as I swallowed her work, book by book (maybe I was coming down with something last time?!)

Anyhoo the book begins with a lovely foreword by Ms. Morgan, that readied me for the off and made me smile and get comfy. Miracle on 5th Avenue follows the same format as before (if it ain’t broke, etc, etc!), with ingenious quotes from each of the characters starting us out. I remembered the characters straight away and listened as Paige and Eva discussed a Christmas proposal as part of their business Urban Genie. Their business and everything surrounding the business was so interesting and I loved their dedication and excitement (it was more professional than I remembered last time too). What was even better, though, was the comedy and the great atmosphere that came when the friends were together, with Eva, Paige and Frankie constantly making me smile.

Eva was working on decorating a writer’s (yes!) apartment for Christmas while he was away. The only thing is, he’s not away, he’s hiding out from his family, who are worried about him, as he struggles with writer’s block for a book that he hasn’t begun which is due imminently. I loved everything about Lucas’ story. I loved that he was a horror writer, which gave an unexpected layer of darkness that fit well into a warm, sparkling book such as this. I could picture him straight away, and warmed quickly to his indifferent, sometimes seemingly cold (I knew that wasn’t really him!) interior, that spilled out when he just wanted to get writing (we’ve all been there!) Their meeting was perfection although I did wonder how it was going to spin out into the length of a book. Enter a storm and a number of issues that meant that everything had to happen as I hoped it would (most entrancing romance and hottest chemistry I’ve read in some time) !

So to recap: Excellent characters, realistic scenarios that forced events to unfold (yes they could happen!), Lucas’ dark writing and romantic past, Ms. Morgan’s trademark descriptions that invoked both magic and wonder, comedy that was bang on the mark, gorgeous romance and sizzling, phenomenal chemistry made for one unputdownable, satisfying book.

Thanks (a million!) to Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review. By the way I read this in one night and it was in February, sitting by the fire as it was frosty outside. Apologies for not posting before now-it may be a Christmas read but Christmas doesn’t take over the full book, most is within Lucas’ apartment. Saying that I’d definitely read as a Christmas one as I can, just because, you know, it’s Sarah Morgan! Also can totally be read as a standalone. And sorry for the gushing but this book was like coming home for me.
Rating:5/5

A Beginner’s Guide to Saying I do by Jennifer Joyce

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Length: 273 pages

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

What they say: Three women. Three weddings. But who will say I do – and who will say I don’t?

Ruth can’t quite believe she’s managed to snag The One but when he proposes, she can finally accept that she’s found her happily ever after. But when Ruth finds herself booking her dream church for just six weeks away, she starts to panic. You can’t plan a whole wedding at such short notice. Can you?

Trina has only just walked down the aisle, but she’s already starting to question whether they can make their marriage work. Will they survive the honeymoon period, or have they just made a very big – and very expensive – mistake?

Erin has somehow found herself agreeing to be a bridesmaid for the tackiest wedding known to man. With drunk hens, ridiculous outfits and a terrifying wedding planner, just what has Erin signed up for?

The review: I have to start by saying my notes on this have disappeared on this and I’m beyond gutted because this was my type of book and I wanted to convince those of you who like rom coms that are witty and cool that this was your type of book too!

We’re back with Ruth, who we met in A Beginner’s Guide To Salad (see review below) and boy was I happy to get back to her and her clan! The range of characters are brilliant, and I found myself empathizing with them, although if I’m honest the one I warmed to the least was Erin, I like characters that are sarcastic and witty, but found her mostly just negative, sure the bride and wedding plans were, em difficult, and not to her taste, but she just didn’t stop giving out! Saying that it took away from nothing for me. As for the other characters, Ruth was lovely as ever, and I felt so bad for Trina. Actually Trina stayed with me for some time after, I was gutted for her in nearly every way, not least because at the start of the book I think I assumed she wasn’t a nice person just because of her family and then I got to know her. The chapters alternate between characters and they flew by so quickly. Ms. Joyce is excellent at both comedy and music and with the two of them combined and totally up my street I was happy out. This is a short review but hopefully it’s enough! Rom com perfection! Go get!

Now. Please check out my past reviews: A Beginners Guide to Salad here and The Wedding Date here

Rating: 5/5

If You Could See Me Now by Keris Stainton

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Length: 223 pages

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

What they say: Izzy Harris should have it all – but her boyfriend has been ignoring her for months, she’s been overlooked for a promotion, and the owner of her local coffee shop pervs on her every time she has a craving for a salted caramel muffin.

Then an unexpected turn of events gives her the boost she needed.

Suddenly Izzy has the confidence to do all the things she’s never dared: dump her oblivious boyfriend, turn the tables on catcallers, and put herself forward for a big pitch at work. Having to work closely with gorgeous colleague Alex is just an added perk…

But then her best friend has her heart broken, the pitch is way more complicated than expected, and Alex is keeping secrets. Does Izzy have what it takes to help her friend, save her career and get the guy?

A funny, feel-good read about finding yourself – and love – when you least expect it, for fans of The List, Just Haven’t Met You Yet, and Hot Mess.

They review: Don’t you hate when, after you’ve read and ADORED a book, you think ‘I wonder if (said author) has any other books out, and they’ve tons that you could have read and devoured before this? This is what happened after I read this book, thanked my lucky stars that I had, and signed up to Keris Stainton’s newsletter for more news of upcoming releases. I think you’ve guessed by now how much I ADORED this book (people who don’t like gushy reviews, hide … NOW!)!

The book starts with Izzy Harris finding out that the biggest and oldest client of their firm is shopping around and so the people of her company need to up their game and pitch to keep them sweet. Izzy has been told she’s always just on the periphery, never quite seen, and so she needs to prove to everyone that she’s capable and not just a background player.

Izzy is possibly one of my favourite characters in some time. It’s very difficult to still adore a character who has or feels they have, been let fade but Ms. Stainton has given us a lead character who is so lovely, with none of the ‘poor me’ or other people constantly talking about how perfect she is, when she isn’t (a regular thing in so many books!) Actually the characterisation in this book is spot on, in particular her best friend Tash was the perfect mix of bright, viviacious, loud and human, and made me laugh (out loud -me, the prude!) and Alex was excellent too. This leads me to another huge pull of the book, that Izzy had people to lean on. In a lot of books authors feel they need to alienate every last person to give the lead a properly rough ride, but there was enough drama (oh the drama!) to keep it all moving very well.

Actually (sorry, I knew this review would be all over the place!), the comedy was excellent too, there’s very few books that do really keep their promise of being ‘laugh out loud,’ but in particular, the bit of the book that I can’t speak of because it isn’t in the blurb, but which makes it so different  and is, really its USP (hence the reason it should have been in the blurb in my humble opinion!) In this part, Izzy does something that EVERYONE would love to do to get back at her boyfriend, and it was so funny, that I snorted!

Even though its predominantly a comedy, there are some amazing touches, and the author is great at looking at Izzy’s journey and how she feels about her life before, and now in this situation, and plants her feet firmly at a crossroads, and there were some beautiful moments.The thing that happens, is also done amazingly (I’m so sorry about this, I just don’t want to do spoilers!)

This is a book about someone who wonders how and why everyone else seems to be better than she, a book that looks at how people can get into a rut, and inspires said people to do something about it. For people who aren’t fan of rom coms, they may reconsider their stance, for people who are, well, they’ll be excited and happy to have found this, a book that will make them smile, laugh and make them nod along. A sparkling triumph! Thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for this perfect treat, I mean book, in return for an honest review.

Rating: most defintely 5/5, and definitely in my end of year ‘best of’s.’

Seasons of Summer Novella Series by Melissa Baldwin

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Please note that the cover image leads to a universal buy link for the box set

I have to start this by telling you that the second I saw the offer of promoting this I realised I’d read the first of this series after letting down Melissa Baldwin by not promoting the release of the final of this series. I was a bit all over the place at the time and I let it pass me by before I realised I’d missed the deadline. So I mailed  and apologised, without a very good excuse or even an excellent apology, as I still wasn’t myself, and everyone involved was so incredibly lovely that I downloaded the first book of the series and it was honestly just what I needed (I cannot tell you how much I mean this, I’d been reading a lot of thrillers, and while they’re great, when you’re tired and down, they can keep you a bit submerged, if you know what I mean). I’ll get the review up for you in the next few days but I’m pretty sure I had it as a 4 or 4.5/5, I definitely remember smile out loud moments and hints of magic that had me nodding along but anyway, back to the task in hand, which is letting you know that this whole set is Melissa Baldwin has bundled her Seasons Of Summer Novellas into a box set, which is available now and when I saw this I pre-ordered it myself and will get to the remaining three in the next while ( I love box sets as I’ve an awful habit of reading a novella and waiting for ages to get to the next one!). Each novella sells for $.99, but you can get all four books in the box set for only $2.99. Happy out!:)

 

About the Seasons of Summer Novella Series Box Set 

After a devastating breakup, Summer Peters knows she needs something to distract her. Become a fly on the wall for a year and discover how Summer handles new experiences and challenges that each season throws at her. Will these ups and downs lead to the life of her dreams? 

Fall Into Magic – Book One  

After a devastating breakup in the middle of her summer vacation, Summer Peters knows she needs something to distract her. What better than the arrival of fall, Halloween, and a new client? 

Winter Can Wait – Book Two 

Following a fabulous fall, Summer is not looking forward to the frigid winter. Much to her dismay, she knows this winter is a time for many changes in her life, including moving on from the heartache of the past. 

To Spring with Love – Book Three 

Summer is thrilled to be done with the frigid winter. Spring is in the air, and she’s ready for a fresh new start. Her career is thriving, she’s searching for a new place to live, and she’s finally ready to take her relationship with Alexander Williams to the next level. 

Return to Summer – Book Four 

Summertime has arrived and things aren’t only heating up outside for Summer. After a rocky spring, Summer thinks she’s finally moved on from the heartache of last year. She’s found a new place to live, her company has new clients, and her relationship with Alexander Williams is going strong, despite the desperate attempts by others to sabotage it. 

Where to find the Seasons of Summer Novella Series Box Set 

Goodreads

Universal Buy Link

 

Meet Melissa 

Melissa Baldwin is an avid runner, planner obsessed, and has always had a love for writing. She is a wife, mother, and avid journal keeper who took her creativity to the next level by fulfilling her dream with her debut novel, An Event to Remember…or Forget. Melissa writes about charming, ambitious, and real women and is now a published author of ten Romantic Comedy novels and novellas. 

 

When she isn’t deep in the writing zone, this multi-tasking master organizer is busy spending time with her family, chauffeuring her daughter, traveling, running, indulging in fitness, and taking a Disney Cruise every now and then. 

 

Connect with Melissa 

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Website: http://www.authormelissabaldwin.com/ 

Goodreads

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

Twitter @mpbaldwinauthor

Pinterest

Amazon Author

 

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The Chocolate Lovers’ Christmas by Carole Matthews

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Length: 496 pages

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

What they say:

Christmas is just around the corner but the women of The Chocolate Lovers’ Club have more to worry about than present shopping . . .

Lucy loves running Chocolate Heaven but she hasn’t spent time with her boyfriend, Aiden, in weeks. And then her ex-fiance turns up and things become even more complicated.

Nadia hasn’t let herself get close to a man in a long time, yet she can’t help feeling drawn to Jacob. Will he be her last chance for a happy ending?

Chantal and her husband, Ted, are besotted with their baby daughter Lana – but she’s not sure that’s enough to base a marriage on.

Autumn is dealing with a tragedy that has hit too close to home. But when she doesn’t get the support she needs from her fiance, will she look elsewhere for comfort?

Can friendship overcome all in . . . The Chocolate Lovers’ Christmas.

The review: Well, I’m not sure that this IS a review, given that I unfortunately called it a day at 36%, after two years and numerous attempts to read, but I need to let you know why I didn’t finish, so here it goes.

I requested this book on the back of numerous rave reviews, all four and five stars, from various bloggers out there. We all know that Carole Matthews and Sarah Morgan took their roles as queens of Christmas some time ago, and I’d read ‘Calling Mrs Christmas,’ and  ‘With Love at Christmas’ and I think one other and had always fallen in love with them and eaten them up over the holiday period. I found her descriptions magical and wonderous and everything a Christmas read should be.

I’m not sure whether it’s been since I’ve started blogging, and so have upped my range of books, but I found myself drifting away from the story, of Lucy, manager of ‘Chocolate Heaven, her friends, Autumn, Chantal and Nadia, and her boyfriend, Aidan.  I didn’t really connect with any of them, finding them a little immature and a bit selfish. What drove this home was that anytime anyone was ANYWAY nice to anyone else, there were cries of how lovely they were, how selfless etc, and as it happened a few times it began to grate a little.

From the start there was comedy, only because I wasn’t sure I liked the characters, I’m afraid it didn’t really connect. Interspersed with everything going wrong for Lucy, with some really funny moments that I honestly would have liked if I wasn’t finding it hard to connect with her, were some more serious issues, the story of Autumn’s past, which for the first time made me realise what people meant when they said some issues didn’t fit in with the chick lit genre and felt out of place. Jumping from fun and hilarity to this, with the drama dial suddenly upped out of nowhere just felt muddled and I found myself shrugging a little. Add to this their solution to everything was chocolate, and yes I know this is The Chocolate Lovers’ series, and so it’s a given, but it was mentioned so much the word itself lost all meaning.

The descriptions of setting, as they headed towards Christmas, as ever, were stunning, beautiful, magnificent, making you want to transport yourself to that time of year. And so I trundled on. I stopped and started this book so many times. I’ve only ever given up on three books in my life, and I couldn’t fathom that this would be number four. I know that there are a world of people out there that adore this book, and I’ve no doubt there will be so many people who will love it, and it will be a great Christmas read for them, unfortunately not for me. Thanks to Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review, and apologies it didn’t work out.

No rating as I didn’t finish.

The Christmas Surprise by Samantha March @BySamanthaMarch

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Length: 77 pages

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

What they say: Juliette Mabry is a happily married stay-at-home wife and mother…until there appears to be trouble brewing in her nearly ten-year marriage. Juliette takes it upon herself to find out if her husband is up to no good, but does she want to know the truth? Everything is revealed on Christmas, and Juliette is in for her biggest Christmas surprise.

The review: First off I have to mention that the author of this book is none other than Samantha March, who runs blog tours on Chick Lit Plus. I have always followed Ms. March on both Facebook and her blog and love how her posts are so bright, inspirational and motivational. There was also the fact that I knew she had written a great deal of books (see them here) and so, when I saw this for free last year (£0.99 now), well, you know, you’re always curious, aren’t you? So I guess I’m starting off my Christmas books here. I know it’s early, but I think it’s going to be another year where there’s going to be a lot of excellent titles out here (last year I steered very clear but the year before I read a fair few, see wrap up here) so off we go!

This story starts with a lady in a toilet stall, listening to the rumour mill starting up about someone’s partner having an affair and I was intrigued straight away. The scene was reminiscent of Desparate Housewives, and indeed this programme was mentioned, with our protagonist wondering if they could be talking about her best friend, who had once been caught sleeping with her gardener. And this was the essence of the story, which had me so early on, and kept me through every twist and turn with its ‘who can you trust?’ tale of betrayal and deceipt. It featured lavish lifestyles, yoga and Botox, but with more likeable characters than I’d have expected from a book set in this backdrop. The descriptions were beautiful and grabbed you and put you right there, the suspence got you and I read it in an evening. The only issue I had was that I felt it could have been just a little braver, but saying this I enjoyed the ending. Add to this that it was a free Christmas read which made it that little bit more satisfying! This is a book that will definitely send me back to Ms. March’s back catalogue.

Rating: 4.5/5