Sweatpants at Tiffanies by Pernille Hughes

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Length: 262 pages

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

What they say:

Tiffanie Trent is not having a great week. Gavin, her boyfriend, has dumped her unceremoniously on their tenth anniversary, leaving her heartbroken and homeless.

Frank Black, the owner of Blackie’s boxing gym and where Tiff has been book-keeper for the last decade, has dropped dead. He’s not having a great week either.

And if that wasn’t enough, Mike ‘The Assassin’ Fellner, boxer of international fame and Tiff’s first love, is back in town and more gorgeous than ever. Tiff can’t seem to go anywhere without bumping into his biceps.

When she discovers Blackie has left her the gym, Tiff, with her saggy trackies and supermarket trainers, is certain she’ll fail. Can Tiff step up and roll with the punches, or will she be down and out at the first round?

The Review: There’s times when you read a blurb and it catches you by surprise and you go ‘geney mac I have to read that!’ And so it was with this, a book about Tiffanie, who is living with a guy who is probably one of the best literary examples of an a**hole that there is (!), dumping her. Tiffanie is shocked but doesn’t quite see what we’re seeing and is set on winning him back. Struggling on, we are hit with another shock, Blackie, the owner of the gym Tiffanie works at as a bookkeeper, dies. It is very wrong to think ‘oh well done’ to the way he dies, but as a writer, I’m afraid I did nod and think that (what is wrong with me?!)

I really enjoyed this book. ‘Laugh out loud’ was exactly how to describe it as there was indeed a number of moments where I actually spluttered! It deals with, as you would guess, a male dominated area where a number of men, in particular one who thinks he has designs on the gym, try to force Tiffanie out. I loved her ideas for the gym and the way not everyone was against her, there were a number of lovely characters that were brilliant in their support. The romance and heat was very well done and I read this in one sitting at the fire with a box of Pringles (just setting the scene!) and really enjoyed (both book and Pringles). Thanks so much to Bookouture and Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Cover reveal: Trouble Rides a Horse by Debra Holt

Today I’m very pleased to bring you the cover for ‘Trouble Rides a Horse’ by Debra Holt!

What they say:

 Erin McKenzie knew what she wanted. To write and publish her novel. First, she had to take an assignment from her editor…write an expose’ of an online dating service and its clients…RopeARancher.com. How hard could it be to find a lonely rancher tired of just talking to his cows all day?  That changes when she finds herself rescued by a tall, sexy, cowboy…a true man of few words. 

 

The rancher has no time for city females, much less those who end up on his doorstep claiming she had met him online and was there to see if they were ‘compatible.’  It wasn’t too hard to figure out his matchmaking sister had been the one to go online and find him a candidate for a wife.  He should send the redhead spitfire packing but something made him come up with another plan.  He would teach her a lesson first.  He would show her how hard it would be to be a real rancher’s wife and send her running away on the first day. 

 

Erin didn’t run.  Travis didn’t back down. They faced off in their own showdown of wills and undeniable attraction. But what would happen if Travis found out the truth of why she was really on his doorstep? What happens when Erin realizes that she doesn’t yearn for the big city lights any longer but unending vistas beside a cowboy who can’t abide liars? The story she was sent to write might not have a happy ending after all. 

And now for the cover. Just going to unwrap this …

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 thumbnail_DebraHolt-TroubleRidesaHorse-CRNewsfeedPeekOkay, got it!! (Oh that horse … )

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Please note that by clicking on the cover image you can ADD TO GOODREADS!

Meet Debra Holt 

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Born and raised in the Lone Star state of Texas, Debra grew up among horses, cowboys, wide open spaces, and real Texas Rangers. Pride in her state and ancestry knows no bounds and it is these heroes and heroines she loves to write about the most. She also draws upon a variety of life experiences including working with abused children, caring for baby animals at a major zoo, and planning high-end weddings (ah, romance!). 

 When she isn’t busy writing about tall Texans and feisty heroines, she can be found cheering on her Texas Tech Red Raiders, or heading off on another cruise adventure. She read her first romance…Janet Dailey’s Fiesta San Antonio, over thirty years ago and became hooked on the genre. Writing contemporary romances, is both her passion and dream come true, and she hopes her books will bring smiles…and sighs…to all who believe in happily-ever-after’s. 

Connect with Debra

Publisher: Burnett Young Books 

Website: www.debraholtbooks.com 

Goodreads 

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon Author page

 

Brought to you by Karan & Co author solutions

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#BlogTour #Review Upstairs, Downstairs by Olivia Hart @Aria_Fiction

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Hi everyone! Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Upstairs, Downstairs by Olivia Harte.

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

Available on NetGalley to request here

Buy links: Amazon: here

Kobo: here

iBooks: here

Google Play: here

What they say: Secrets on your doorstep don’t stay secret for long… A romantic comedy perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Holly Martin.

When Daniele Bracci – a musician at Rome’s Opera Theatre arrives at his new apartment, he is surprised by the warm welcome he receives from his neighbours. Giovanna however, is more preoccupied with introducing him to her daughter Anita. But what she doesn’t know is that for the last two years, Anita has been secretly seeing someone else. When Anita is introduced to the new tenant, she has the shock of her life – Daniele was Anita’s first love at high school. Can she come to terms with the terrible way things ended between them? Anita isn’t the only one with something to hide… and none of these secrets go unnoticed by Pina, the apartment gossip who writes everything down in her secret diary…

The Review: This was the story of a group of people who lived in a group of apartments in Rome and their day to day life. They range in age, but in general are of an older age, which I appreciated. The youngest inhabitants were Anita, a very fiery, free spirited twenty eight year old tour guide who zips about on a moped, and Daniel, a musician who arrives to houseshare. There are secrets surrounding both and I suppose to jump straight in there were times I liked both, and times I didn’t, finding some of their reactions incredibly over dramatic, although at times they were funny too. If I’m honest in this book I accepted that a lot of the characters were fiery and passionate and dramatic and read on without them alienating me from the story.

Aside from these outbursts, there was an easygoing tone, very much heightened by descriptions of a veg garden they all share and regularly convene in that was bursting with vivid colours and wholesomeness and was so tangible that I wanted to be there. The apartment complex was similar, so real to me that it was like I was stepping into the ochre building walking through the stone archway with the dragons on the roof. This continued to other settings and I appreciated all the beauty the book had to offer.

There was also the secrets each of the ‘villagers,’ in particular that of Giovanna, Anieta’s mother, who was so so lovely. In fact the lovely characters balanced out the ones that weren’t so easy to like and I found myself swooning and smiling all over the place. I liked the comedy, had mixed reactions to characters, and was taken by the settings. Thanks so much to the lovely Melanie at Aria, an imprint of Head of Zeus, and to Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

About the author (wait for this, extremely intriguing!)

Olivia Hart is a collective group of authors who met five years ago on a writing course and then could no longer do without each other’s company. They decided to write a novel that would bind them forever.

Alice Avella writes because she is always lost in Wonderland. Se is an employee at the city hall in Rome and has worked in the movie industry.

Fabrio Franceschini is a worker by necessity and a writer by passion. In his life he has read and written many things. After this adventure he doesn’t have any specific projects for the future, but he likes to look at the glass half full.

Guido Fare lives in Rome. He avoids contradictions in order to fully enjoy them.

Anna Froscali began to write when she stopped working. Fromt he thriller genre she went on to romance. She sees life in colours: the colours of the countries she has visited, the colours of the fabrics she likes to sew, and the colours of the book covers that crwod her bookshelves.

Tiziana Isoni was born in Rome, but half of her genes are from Sardinia. She became a bit French with Erasmus. She studied Sciences, but with her creative imagination, since childhood she has transformed her perceptions into little poems. She works full time in computer science, looking for the free time to write.

Luca Pallini has experienced skiing, canoeing, trekking, and Cuban drums … before discovering writing. He had never imagined waking up one dayw ith a published novel! He works in the computer science sector, and he is always looking for something to discover, learn and maybe create.

Maurizio Pompei a gentle soul and curmudgeon, who effortlessly went from Roman archeological sites, that he studies with investigative methods, to thrillers. He is a collector of miniature soldiers and builds dioramas. He wrote a book of poems and one of short stories.

Antonietta Sciammarella, having put belly dancing behind her, looks for new, unexplored goals. Afetr she breaks into a house of secret loves, they won’t be secret any more.

Follow (the excellent!) Aria:

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction 

 

Now. How about you follow the rest of the blog tour?

Upstairs, Downstairs The Blog Tour

 

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 

melissabaldwin

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

Goodreads

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

Twitter @mpbaldwinauthor

Pinterest

Amazon Author

 

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Pot Love by Sylvia Ashby

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Length: 302 pages

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

What they say: Ashley Burkе is your average next-door girl. She lives with her boyfriend, loves her work and secretly fancies her boss.

When Ashley loses it all through no fault of her own, well, apart from snogging her boss and getting caught by his fiancée, she needs to act fast to find a new job. A lucrative vacancy comes her way – a spot on a popular day-time TV – but there is a catch. It’s a cookery spot and Ashley can’t cook to save her life.

Can learning to cook burn your heart? 

The Review: Remember Treachery of Trains (read review here)? Well at the time I saw this, which is Sylvia Ashby’s first book, and I was mesmerised but the thought of pairing Ms. Ashby’s excellent turn of phrase with cookery, a subject that I am obsessed with, mainly because I can’t! The book opens with a recipe for scrambled eggs (I ADORE when people put recipes into fiction books!), and we meet Ashley Burke, who is nervous about beginning to cook it. You might think this is unrealistic but I can totally, totally identify with this. Even though I am a stay at home Mum, my husband is the cook in the family, and every day I stand before whatever I am about to attempt to cook with apprehension. The only things that even roughly work out are the things that you can’t feed your kids more than once a week, and require simply putting in the oven (they are fine with this!) Everything else? It ends up charred (never undercooked, I don’t want to give them food poisoning!), crispy, soggy or lumpy. Things congeal that shouldn’t, and the meals always just taste  a little bit wrong (my husband is diplomatic, but did once admit he didn’t know how I try so hard and yet my food always tastes a bit off). But I digress …

Ashley’s mantra is “I’m not giving up and ordering a takeaway” and she wants to have something presentable for her very by the book boyfriend Simon, who by now banks on her not being able to put anything forward as an alternative for take-out. There are some great references in here, from Aimee Winehouse to The Truman Show to Mission Impossible to Jamie Oliver, which made the sum of all parts, the book in its entirety feel like it was custom fit for me.

Ashley is a newsreader, which gives a nice edge to the book, as she reads about politics and the like, but when something hits the fan and she needs a new job she sees the perfect presenting job. Only trouble is, it’s presenting a TV cookery show. What ensues is a book that wouldn’t let me go, as we watch Ashley begin to learn about cooking from the spell binding Giacomo, a top chef who imparts a world of knowledge about food and his native Sardinia. The depth here was enthralling and I was reeled in to experience it all, the culture, the produce, the dishes. The change of location, as in The Treachery Of Trains, was perfection as it both educated me and made me wasn’t to go travelling to see Sardinia in all it’s beauty.

I loved the humour, the descriptions, the characters (in particular her mum, who was just so vivid), the gorgeous (gorgeous) romance, the pacing, all of it. This coupled with the fact that I’ve ‘met’ Sylvia Ashby on social media and she’s so lovely, mean I’m totally in- another author to follow.

Rating: 5/5

 

 

Novella review: Summer at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn

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Length: 80 pages

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

What they say: The perfect summer novella for all fans of Cathy Bramley and Scarlett Bailey.

When sisters Sam and Nessie left the city lights to take over The Star and Sixpence pub in Little Monkham, little did they realise they’d be taking on the villagers too… 
 
Thrown in at the deep end with a wedding to organise at the same time as launching their new hotel rooms, the last thing they need is Sam’s past catching up with them.
 
As the scandal strikes, the only question is will the villagers stick their necks out for two relative newcomers? Or will Franny, the terrifying postmistress, see them gone for good… 

The Review: I have to start by apologising for posting a Summer book so late in the year, I know it bugs a lot of people to see for example Christmas reviews in Summer, and said people are possibly shaking their head at the sheer gall of me posting a Summer review when the nights have turned cold, the clock is gone back, and the leaves on the trees, are not only donning their Autumn finery, but also starting to lose it, so sorry, but anyhoo, here we go.

You know when you see an ad for a sequel and you hear ‘Theyyy’rre back!’ and there’s much clapping and excitement? Well this is how I felt when I got back to Sam and Nessie, smack bang in the middle of renovations at the Star and Sixpence (read my reviews of Snowdrops at the Star and Sixpence here and Valentine’s Day at the star and sixpence here). As usual there’s a race against time to get their charming establishment ready for an occasion, this time a wedding, with everyone doing their best of pull together to get the job done. What I love about these books is that we were invited in as if we were a resident of Little Monkham with the level of detail of both people and events making me feel like I was right there. I suppose this naturally leads to the characters, who I always feel are nicely varied, and I warmed to them all over again, in particular Franny, who surprised everyone with some unexpected opinions and a lovely speech. A ‘baddy’ presented themselves also, brilliantly done, which gave us THE insight into Sam we’ve been waiting for. I’ve always loved Sam, and this helped me understand her even more, however it did shine more of a light on Nessie also, by contrasting Sam’s vibrancy with her negativity, which was a little too much sometimes, although not enough to take away from the beautiful romance that raised its head once again.

I really enjoyed this book. I settled into it so quickly, reading on with interest to watch the glorious romance, drama and fun unfold. I’d love to tell you I can’t wait for the Autumn installment, but actually I’ve read it so I’ll be bringing you that installment on Wednesday (hint: I can’t wait to write this review!!)

Rating: 4/5

 

The Colour of Water In July by Nora Carroll

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Length: 251 pages

What they say:

It’s been a long seventeen years since Jess last saw her grandmother or visited the family cottage set on an idyllic lake in Northern Michigan. For all that time, she’s been haunted by loss—of her innocence and her ability to trust and, most of all, of a profound summer romance that might have been something more. So when her grandmother leaves the house to her, Jess summons her courage and returns to a place full of memories—and secrets.

There, she stumbles upon old letters and photographs of a time not so much forgotten as buried. As she begins to unravel the hidden histories of her mother and her grandmother, she makes a startling discovery about a tragic death that prompted her family’s slow undoing. With every uneven and painful step into the past, Jess comes closer to a truth that could alter her own path—and open a door to a different future.

The Review: I’m ashamed to say that I kept bypassing this book on my Kindle. I think from the cover I thought that this would be a heavier read than it actually was, plus I’m not fully au fait with historical fiction, and so I took a step back. Once I actually got down to it, I read it in three nights (I could probably have read in one or two sittings had it not been a hectic few days), spending each day looking forward to when the night time came so I could pick up on where the story left off.

‘There must be a precise moment when wet cement turns dry, when it no longer accepts footprints or scratched-in declarations of love, an ordinary moment, unnoticed, just like any. But in that moment, the facts of life can change.’

This is how the story begins. We jump between two stories, that of Jess, who has arrived at her now deceased gran’s cottage, in a magnificent setting, overlooking the lake at Michegan, and her Gran. We were shown tragedies through Jess and Mamie’s eyes, with the stories overlapping and yet not, such was the way we were let in on secrets and heartbreaking revelations as the story went further back through the ages to secrets that impacted on Jess and her family. I loved that the Gran’s story was told from when she was older, and so we were looking back, as far or as near as we needed.

Jess recounted her idea of what happened years ago, a story of a Summer that would never be forgotten, either by Jess or her Gran, a Summer full of love and drama. I loved the innocence that we could find in places, that peaceful, lying about, lazy carry on. The descriptions in this book were so beautiful and vivid and I could picture every family setting, every romantic scene, and then every trauma and heartbreaking event that happened. And there were many of those.

This book was like a lesson in how to do dramatic twists, with surprises, shocks and gasp out loud moments as you uncovered the reasons true love was never allowed to fluorish. The secrets and lies broke your heart and made you want to read on, the romance took your breath away, the story never disappointed. The ending was excellent, and surprisingly for me I think I’d read it again(as a teen or a child I re-read books over and over again, not so far as an adult). Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5/5