The Promise of Summer by Bella Osborne @AvonBooks #romance #contemporaryfiction #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Promise of Summer by Bella Osborne. This is the first book in a planned four part series and after reading this first book I am looking forward to reading the rest.

My thanks to Avon books who granted my request to review this book via NetGalley.

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This is the first part in a brand new four-part serial from Bella Osborne.

Ruby’s life is about to change for ever…

After years of dating losers, cheats and one guy who did something unrepeatable to her kettle, Ruby has all but given up on romance. But then a stranger sits next to her on a train to London and explains his plan to propose to the woman of his dreams. Maybe true love does exist after all?

When the man accidentally leaves the engagement ring behind, Ruby is determined to save the day. But she hasn’t counted on fellow passenger Curtis stepping in and insisting he should be the one to track the stranger down.

As summer closes in, the unlikely pair make a promise to reunite the ring with its owner. But can they find their own happy ever after along the way?

My Review…

I have read a few books by this author and I have always enjoyed them, her latest book is another fabulous addition. It is the first book in a four-book series.

Ruby hasn’t had much luck as far as relationships go, she is a believer in romance, finding the one and wants to be whisked off her feet, get married, have children and live happily as they do in romance novels.

A train journey makes Ruby felt that romance is truly alive and real, for some people that is. When a fellow passenger tells of his proposal to his girlfriend and then loses the ring she tries her best to think of ways to reunite the ring with its owner. Another passenger also has the same idea.

Curtis is the other helper. He is so different to Ruby and the contrasts between the characters are great. Ruby is impulsive, gets swept up in the moment while Curtis is staid, organised and plans, literally, he will plan everything.

This is such a wonderful story that doe shave quite a few different threads going on in it. Ruby and Curtis are the main characters and they are joined with a wonderful supporting cast of friends. The story starts as trying to return a ring but then gradually deepens. Friendships grow and it is the friendship that is the key for me to this story. Yes, there is a bit of a romantic thread, but friendship rules here.

This is a story that has coincidences, and through these connections are made. And I have to say there are a couple of heartbreaking moments that did cause me to well up a little. I read this book in one sitting so I was well and truly invested in the characters and what happened to them.

I did feel that this story stood out more and this is down to the differences between the characters. I thought the author really drew Curtis out and made him so interesting and the friendship that grows was important to the development.

I adored this one and enjoyed the feel-good vibes it left me with. A contemporary fiction that is heart-warming and it is one I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Hotel at Honeymoon Station by Tilly Tennant #NetGalley @Bookouture #20booksofsummer #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Hotel at Honeymoon Station by Tilly Tennant. This is the 2nd book in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

Run away to the Dorset countryside, to the sleepy village of Honeymoon, where rose-adorned thatched cottages soak up the sunlight and Emma is risking everything for a brave new start on life and love…

When Emma’s useless fiancé tells her a lie she cannot forgive, she decides enough is enough. She leaves him, quits her dead-end job and travels hundreds of miles away to the ancient village of Honeymoon in the Dorset countryside, to help her friend Tia turn the old train station into a boutique hotel.

Tia has told Emma that it will be a project, but when Emma arrives in Honeymoon and sees a weed-choked crumbling ruin, her vision of an idyllic life in Dorset begins to disintegrate. But when she meets twinkly-eyed builder Aiden in the village shop, and sparks fly between them, she can’t help but feel that the stars have for once aligned.

As work begins on the hotel, Emma and Aiden grow closer, and on sun-dappled evening walks, he tells her the secrets of the village. But there are some villagers who wish that Emma had never arrived in Honeymoon… And when Emma is involved in a terrible accident on site, and then discovers what Aiden has been keeping from her, it feels like the universe is telling her to leave Honeymoon for good. What if she was wrong to say goodbye to all that was safe and familiar? Will she ever be able to find her happy-ever-after in Honeymoon?

A completely gorgeous and romantic read about being brave and taking chances on love and life. Fans of Shari Low, Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will be enchanted by The Hotel at Honeymoon Station. 

My Review…

I have not read all of these authors books, but the ones I have read have been fabulous. The Hotel at Honeymoon Station is another wonderful and heartwarming read. Perfect for summer escapism.

The main two characters in this book are Emma and Tia. They kind of were friends at school but not really in the same social circles. They are definitely characters that are chalk and cheese. Emma, I discovered has had more to worry about as she has grown up than Tia. Whereas Tia is more energetic and outgoing, Emma is more reserved and staid. She will admit to being boring, with no imagination. So, given this, it is quite surprising for her to take on a project that means walking away from the monotony of her, life, her waste of space boyfriend and her family.

Even though it does appear out of character, she wants a new start. Something she can get excited about and with a friend in the form of Tia.

I love how the author brought these two characters together and not only embraced their differences but made them part of the story. While it is mainly more about Emma, Tia has a very large and important part to play. As do, the erm local builders! The author has once again played on differences with the buff, building, brothers Aiden and Blake, and to great effect as well I may add.

The story was entertaining as well as being a discovery about the characters themselves. Starting a new life when you are risking everything is going to be scary. Emotions, worries, stress, finances are all going to work the way to the surface at some point. What you do with them once they are there though, well you will have to read and discover yourself.

This is a wonderful story, gorgeous and with a mostly welcoming community. Finding their way in and around the area is another way of the author showing the differences, not only with Emma and Tia but also with Aiden and Blake.

This is a gorgeous story and one that I read over two sittings, although if I had started it earlier in the day I would have easily read it in one. This is a story that is about family and friends as well as finding the courage to stand up and take a chance. If you have read this authors books before then you know you are going to be in for a treat. This is one for fans of contemporary fiction with a heartfelt warmth to it and a good dash of romance. It is one I would definitely recommend. 

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Going Greek by Sue Roberts #NetGalley #bookouture #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Going Greek by Sue Roberts. I requested this book via NetGalley and it is due for publication next week (28th May2021)

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Sun, sea and a sizzling romance… the perfect holiday, right? Wrong.

After a work party gone disastrously wrong, Samantha suddenly finds herself jobless and jilted. So when her sister invites Sam to stay at her little whitewashed farmhouse on a Greek island, Sam leaps at the chance to escape. Before long, she’s trundling up the cobbled driveway, almost colliding with sexy neighbour Spyros.

It isn’t all sunshine and smiles though. For every afternoon spent lounging by the pool, cocktail in hand, there is a morning spent adjusting to life with boisterous six-year-old nieces. When Spyros invites Sam to explore the island with him she’s tempted, but with his carefree, live-for-the-moment attitude, he couldn’t be more different to Sam with her five-year plans and high-maintenance hair. One drink, as friends, couldn’t hurt though? Over glasses of fruity Greek wine and honey-sweet baklava, can he – and the other charming locals – help city girl Sam to appreciate the simple pleasures the Greek life has to offer?

Just as Sam is considering ditching her designer gear for good though, she runs in to an old flame from home, and suddenly her London life comes hurtling back. Can her smooth-talking ex convince Sam to return to the concrete jungle, or will the lessons she’s learned from her Greek escape persuade her to stay?

A fun, fabulous and completely laugh-out-loud summer read perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Jenny Colgan and Sophie Kinsella.

My Review…

I have read and enjoyed a few of this authors books, so when I saw her latest one out I immediately grabbed a copy. I mean the setting is Greece so straight away I am imagining the food and the setting.

Sam is a television presenter, she has worked hard to get where she is. She has a squeaky clean profile, with no skeletons. This is she has been so career-focused. It has been all she has thought about since she was a little girl. Until she is snapped kissing a man who turns out to be married! She was unaware and suddenly she is being trolled on social media and is in hiding. Escaping to her sister sheep farm in Greece gives her a chance to hide and reassess her life.

This is another enjoyable read from this author and once again she has given me a gorgeous setting to imagine myself in, surrounded by family and friends. Sam gets a shock when she bumps into an old flame and does have a rather nice on the eye neighbour. As she isn’t sure which way her life is going to go she stutters around not really getting anywhere.

I do like this author and I really enjoy her books, this one felt a little flat on the romance side. I mean there is some eye fluttering, the odd peck and the like but not the anticipation or the build-up to a steamy romance. In some ways, this was as if Sam was holding too dearly to her public image, or maybe once bitten twice shy as far as trusting men.

This was a relatively quick read and I did think it progressed a little too quickly. I would have liked a little bit more romancing, all the same, a very nice story and one I was glad to have read. I would definitely recommend this author and I would recommend this latest book.

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Italy Ever After by Leonie Mack @LeonieMAuthor @rararesources @Boldwoodbooks #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #contemporaryromance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Italy Ever After by Leonie Mack. I have read a couple of this authors books before and I have thoroughly enjoyed them. So it was very easy to jump on the Blog Tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. Huge thanks to Rachel for my spot on the Tour and for my e-copy of this fab book that I read via NetGalley.

Escape to the sun and head off to Italy, with the wonderfully warm and ever-so-page-turning Leonie Mack!

TV journalist Lou feels battered and bruised after her divorce from Phil, the father of her daughter Edie. Her confidence and sense of fun have steadily been drained away, and she isn’t sure who she is any more.

When the opportunity arises to accompany Edie on a music camp in Italy for a month in the summer, Lou jumps at the chance for new adventures, new horizons and new friends. The hazy warmth of the summer sun, shining brightly over the stunning Lake Garda, slowly brings Lou back to life. 

Nick Romano, Edie’s music teacher, loves being home in Italy, but coaching his students for their concert in Milan, is bringing back difficult memories. His blossoming friendship with Lou is the perfect distraction, although a summer fling would be easier to conduct without the scrutiny of his mother Greta, not to mention the interference of his extended Italian family.

As the summer passes, full of sunshine and breath-taking scenery, gelato and delicious feasts, Lou and Nick get ever closer. But as the time for farewell creeps up on them, will they be able to say goodbye and leave their memories behind in the Italian sun, or can a summer romance last a lifetime?

Leonie Mack is back with a sizzling, sun-baked love story, perfect for all fans of Mandy Baggot, Jo Thomas and Carole Matthews.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

My Review…

The synopsis does an absolutely fabulous job of letting you know what this book is about. Two adults, one a mother, the other a teacher, an ex-husband and a daughter. In some ways, it is the story of how the dynamics of a relationship can change over the course of time, it is also something much more special than that as well.

Lou and daughter Edie are in for a fabulous time in Italy. Lou is a parent helper for the group led by Nick, conductor for the orchestra and choir. It soon becomes apparent that there is more to Nick’s musical abilities that Lou realises. But, she is ordinary in comparison to him, untalented beside her daughter and ex-husband.

During the course of the story, I began to realise how low Lou is when it comes to her perception of herself. She compares herself to those around her and finds herself coming up short. Nick has talent to spare but keeps it hidden, instead, he focuses his energies and his love for music on the children he teaches.

To a certain extent, the story is about the adults finding themselves, or maybe finding confidence in themselves. The author definitely knows how to write chemistry between the characters, this is woven brilliantly into their stories and of those close to them.

As well as the chemistry, the music, the fun, the food there are also some gorgeous description and not just of Nick! The scenery of lakes, mountains and general area is wonderful. There is a mention in the authors note about how she achieved the descriptions during the lockdown, well worth reading by the way.

A wonderful story that is a romance but is also about finding comfort in one’s own skin, making up your mind to stop doubting and to take a risk or two. A gorgeous story that I read over a couple of sitting while sitting outside in the sun. It is one for fans of contemporary fiction and romance and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Leonie Mack is a debut novelist whose first book My Christmas Number One was published by Boldwood in September 2020. Having lived in London for many years her home is now in Germany with her husband and three children. Leonie loves train travel, medieval towns, hiking and happy endings!

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Check out the other stops on the tour…

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Under the Italian Sun by Sue Moorcroft #NetGalley @AvonBooksUK #contemporaryfcition #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Under the Italian Sun by Sue Moorcroft. I do love tis authors books even though I have not read all of them. When I received an email from Avon inviting me to request her latest book via NetGalley it was an easy decision.

This book is due for publication in a few days time (13th May 2021)

The #1 bestseller is back with an uplifting, escapist read that will brighten the gloomiest day!

A sun-baked terrace. The rustle of vines. And the clink of wine glasses as the first cork of the evening is popped…

Welcome to Italy. A place that holds the answer to Zia-Lucia Costa Chalmers’ many questions. Not least, how she ended up with such a mouthful of a name.

When revelations close to home turn Zia’s world upside down,she realises the time has come to search out the Italian family she’s never known.

But as she looks for answers, she can’t help but notice Piero, the vineyard owner next door – a distraction who may prove difficult to ignore…

This summer, join Zia as she sets out to uncover her past. But can she find the future she’s always dreamed of along the way?

The perfect summer read for fans of Katie Fforde and Carole Matthews.

Pre-order link – AMAZON UK

My Review…

I adore this author and her ability to completely hook me in her novels.

Zia is looking for answers about who she is. She has never met her father and it is only through some old letters that she begins to piece together the puzzle of her past. This leads Zia from Brighton to Italy, the Umbria region of mountains and wine. Zia and her friend Ursula make the journey and discover a lot more about Zia’s past. Deciding that she wants to lengthen her holiday, Ursula heads back to the UK again.

The author has done such a wonderful job once again with her breathtaking descriptions and also for the other details involved in winemaking and property. A story about families that not only spans generations but has the potential to cause hurt. Secrets are part of families, but wanting to know the truth can be a good or a bad thing.

Weaving family, secrets, wine and property deals into a story with a stunning backdrop and then including so many other things in this story is just amazing. It makes for an exciting reading especially when an ex-boyfriend is thrown into the mixing pot and then the potential new boyfriend. This is a book that seems to have everything and quite a few other things as well.

This is a mix of contemporary fiction and romance, and the author really does know how to write romance scenes. Whether it is a flirtatious glance or something a little more raunchy she gets the balance right without being over the top with descriptions. You will know what I mean when you come across Piero!

If you are a fan of modern romance novels then this author is surely already on your radar and you have probably read several of her books already. One I happily read over the course of an afternoon and evening and would definitely recommend. 

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Opposites Attract by Camilla Isley #romcom #funread #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Opposites Attract by Camilla Isley. I had seen this book and the reviews during a blog tour and decided that it was one I would enjoy. I enjoyed it so much I read it in one sitting back in February. Yeah! I am still trying to catch up with posting my reviews of my purchased books.

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First law of magnetism: opposite poles attract.

Single mom Vivian has been burned by love once before, and her job as a divorce lawyer has presented enough evidence to convince her there are no good men left in New York City.

The worst offender is her new neighbor: Dr. Lucas Keller, a couple’s therapist whose piercing blue eyes and flawless dark hair are just as annoying as his bad temper.

But when Luke starts poaching Vivian’s clients by saving their marriages, she makes it her mission to force him out of the building to save her practice. But it’s Luke who gives her the perfect opportunity when he proposes an unexpected bet.

With their offices at stake, Vivian and Luke play the field of love in a fierce battle of wits that quickly turns hot and personal, especially when Vivian’s daughter gets involved. Now, taking down Luke has become more than business for Vivian. It’s become a pleasure—and soon, Vivian and Luke will realize how pointless it is to fight the laws of attraction.

My Review…

If you are looking for a rom-com that provides a wonderful escapism read then this is one that should be on your list.

Lucas and Vivienne don’t exactly hit it off on their first encounter. She barges past him to get on the subway and he ends up missing out on the office he had his eye on. As if his day hadn’t got off to the ideal start, it then seems to get worse.

Having offices next door to each other doesn’t make for the calmest and relaxing work area. But as the title suggests, opposites attract, but do they really. It seems that every time these two meet there is a barb. They do bury the hatchet in the form of a bet, the winner gets the corner office, the other leaves the building.

Now while there is some animosity between the two, they are adults and a third party almost forces them to be civil to each other. There are some serious moments and this adds more of a depth to the story. Overcoming problems of past and present is something that the author has weaved into her story.

I really enjoyed this tale and devoured it easily in one evening. Quite a quick read but one that did have me sniggering as well as giving me a lovely heart-warming feel. One for those looking for a bit of light-hearted, fun, escapism in their reading and one for the rom-com fans.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Summer Serendipity at the Twist and Turn Bakery by Helen J Rolfe @HJRolfe #PublicationDay #contemporaryromance #bookreview

When Helen Rolfe messaged me to ask if I would would like to read her latest Heritage Cove book, Summer Serendipity at the Twist and Turn Bakery, it was a no brainer. Absolutely! Delighted to! It’s Heritage Cove and of course it is one of Helen’s books!

So, I am delighted to share my review today and would like to wish Helen a very Happy Publication Day 🙂

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It’s summer in Heritage Cove, the picturesque village by the sea. Join some of your favourite characters and welcome new faces in this uplifting, romantic read brimming with character, community and friendship…

The Heritage Bakery is finally getting the makeover it deserves, with sisters Jade and Celeste modernising the place and putting their own stamp on it while retaining all the charm of days gone by. But Jade has far more planned than a brand-new kitchen and fancy cake designs. She’s ready for an even bigger change in her life. It’s almost time to take the next step and she knows just what to do to make that happen.

Etna owns the village tea rooms and when she hears that local man Harvey is looking for a labourer to help him renovate the bakery after being let down at the last minute, she suggests to her nephew Linc that it may just be the change he needs to get his head straight. Linc arrives in the Cove willing to give it a go and he works hard, but what he hadn’t envisaged was anything bordering on a romance – not with his track record or what he’s involved in right now.

When a tall, dark, handsome stranger appears in the village and turns Jade’s world upside down, will it be enough to make her abandon her plan before she even sets the wheels in motion? And has Linc missed his chance to tell her how he really feels?

It’s almost time for the wedding of the year for one of the village favourites and the annual Wedding Dress Ball. But when the sun begins to set, will anyone else be lucky in love?

This summer read is Book 3 in a series of standalone novels set in Heritage Cove, the little village by the sea…

A wonderful romantic treat, perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan and Ali McNamara
.

Purchase Link – AMAZON UK

My Review…

What a treat it was to come back to Heritage Cove and catch up with all the locals once again. It is such a fabulous community and the author really captures the sense of belonging and offers such a warm welcome.

This is the 3rd book in the series and I have read them all and loved them. You could read each one as a stand-alone, as they do work well but in my opinion, you would be missing out on some fabulous stories about the unique residents and the bonds they have.

This store starts, as the title suggests, at the bakery run by my sisters Jade and Celeste. The story focuses on Jade and the intro doesn’t leave her in the best of moods. Hoping for a lie-in, she is rudely disturbed by a lot of noise. The refurb has started earlier in the day than she had arranged. Armed with a hangover she confronts the rude intruder.

Well, I have to say I would have been very much the same as Jade, I am not a morning person but I may make an exception if I was met by the gorgeous Linc! He is the nephew of Etna, the owner of the Tea shop. He is just odd-jobbing trying to work out if or where he is going to settle.

One thing you learn is how welcoming the Cove is, especially when there is a family link (or Linc!!!) Plans for the refurb of the bakery, alterations to the Waffle Shack, other odd jobs and offers of various kinds have been woven into this gorgeous story.

The author has once again created such a wonderful story but one where there is a secret or two that is lurking waiting to be told. These secrets mixed in with the goings-on in the cove, a wedding, the odd night at the pub with the regulars and of course the scrumptious mentions of food give the reader a whole lot to enjoy.

A gorgeous, family and community centred story that was an absolute joy to read. It had me grinning like a loon several times. A heartwarming and wonderful story that fans of this author will adore. One for readers of contemporary fiction and romance, and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Helen J Rolfe writes romantic fiction and contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community.

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Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries where she thinks her readers might like to escape to.

Helen J Rolfe also writes for Orion Books under the name Helen Rolfe.

Born and raised in the UK, Helen graduated from University with a business degree and began working in I.T. This job took her over to Australia and it was there that she finally turned to what she loved and studied writing and journalism. She spent a while freelancing for women’s health and fitness magazines, volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases, and eventually began writing fiction in 2011. And now, she thinks she may just have found her dream job.

Helen currently lives in Hertfordshire, UK, with her husband and their children.

Helen loves to hear from readers so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. She can be found at – Website Facebook Twitter Instagram

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove by Kim Nash #contemporaryfiction #onefrommy TBR #bookreview

I am a big fan of Kim Nash and her gorgeous books. Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove is her latest book. If you have read any of her previous books then you know you are in for a treat.

When thirty-four-year-old Nellie Wagstaff loses her job and discovers her fiancé is a cheating scumbag in a single day, she feels like the world has come crashing down. And that’s before the solicitor’s letter, along with a request to visit a place she hasn’t thought about for a very long time.

Heartbroken, Nellie escapes to the beautiful seaside town of Muddleford in Dorset, where she discovers she’s inherited more than she ever bargained for. Nellie never knew why her mother stopped talking to her sister, but now childhood memories of Muddleford come flooding back: long hot summers, the sea glistening beyond the sandy cove… and a stolen kiss with a boy called Jack.

Jack, now a devilishly handsome vet, has the local pet owners swooning over him, and as Nellie and he become close once more, and she gets used to gossiping with the locals and sipping wine at her beach hut with sand between her toes, she’s sure she can feel sparks flying once more. But just as she thinks she might be able to open her heart again, her newest frenemy, the glamourous Natalia, tells her a secret about Jack that changes everything.

Nellie will never know why her mother and aunt parted ways. She’ll sell the house, forget about Jack, and get back to real life. Because there’s nothing for her in Muddleford… is there?

My Review…

Every time I read a book by this author I find myself welling up at some point in the story. Her latest book Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove is another that had the odd tear once again escaping!

What a week Nellie has had. She loses her job and her fiance then she gets a call that her Aunt Lil has passed away. It is mentioned a couple of times that the timing is serendipitous, I love this word by the way, as Aunt Lil has left Nellie her estate.

Nellie hasn’t seen Aunt Lil since her mother dragged them say after a bitter row one summer holiday. Nellie never knew what the argument was about and was never allowed to contact Lil again. Everyone should have an Aunt Lil in their lives, she is someone who has had past troubles but had worked her way through them, living life to the full. What a shame Nellie and Lil didn’t meet as adults.

Along with Nell, there are some other quite important characters who have quite an impact on this story for various reasons, I will however let you discover them when you read the book! They add extra dynamics to the story and take in routes that allow the author to explore various routes.

I have recently read a Blog Post that the author wrote about where the idea for Muddleford Cove came from. It was from a similarly named beach where the author used to holiday and the memories definitely help to create such a wonderful sounding area of Dorset. The author then adds her characters and creates such a fabulous community.

Memories of Lil are shared and she sounds like a real hoot and a character who the author has portrayed so well as a well respected and also well-loved lady. A chance for Nellie to take stock of her life, assess her choices and catch up with old friends and all the while surrounded by the warmth of the community and the memory of Lil.

This is such a wonderful book that I devoured, I do wish I didn’t read so quick! I loved the sense of community, the feeling of belonging and the chance of a new future. Another wonderful read by a fabulous author who knows how to nail the emotional aspects of her stories. One for those who love heartwarming stories that will have you sniggering or swallowing the lump in your throat. One I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage by Samantha Tonge @SamTongeWriter @Aria_Fiction @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #romance #PublicationDay #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage by Samantha Tonge. This is a fabulous read and perfect now that we have more sunny days and the weather is warming up.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for arranging my e-copy of this gorgeous book. I would also like to wish Sam a very Happy Publication Day 🙂

Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage

A new start can come from the most unexpected places…

It’s been years since Lizzie Lockhart spoke to her parents. But she was safe in the knowledge she knew everything about them. Once upon a time, they were as close as could be. Until they weren’t.

After receiving the earth-shattering news of their passing, Lizzie decides it’s time to unearth some family secrets and find out just who her parents really were… starting with Streamside Cottage. A cottage Lizzie never knew existed, in a place she’s never heard of: the beautiful English village of Leafton.

Leaving behind London, and the tattoo parlour she called home, Lizzie finds herself moving to the countryside. Faced with a tight-lipped community, who have secrets of their own, Lizzie is at a loss for what to do, until her rather handsome neighbour, Ben, steps in to help.

As Lizzie finally begins to piece together the puzzle of her family history she realises she has to confront the truth of the past in order to face her future.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK or US Kobo

My Review…

Oh my goodness what a fabulous read Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage was. Lizzie discovers her parents owned a cottage when their will is read. The cottage is left to her Aunt Fiona, Lizzie knows nothing about the house.

The village of Leafton has that wonderful community feel and Lizzie feels at home after living in the buzz of London. She had led quite a sheltered childhood as her parents were overly protective, and I mean really over the top protective. Leaving home to go to Uni was an ey opener and this led to her starting to stand on her own two feet causing a rift between daughter and parents. Staying in the secretive property will give Lizzie a chance to find out more about her past and parents. But are the locals of the village willing to share their secrets?

This is such a wonderful read that I absolutely adored from the first few paragraphs. It is told in a now and past format, the way the past is told works well with the Now part of the story. It is told in gradual back steps through the years and links in with Lizzie’s discoveries. There are more secrets to be unearthed than the obvious and these cause more than a few emotional discoveries and admissions for some of the characters.

I really liked how the author used a tattooist as the main protagonist. Even though tattoos are more accepted there is still a stigma attached. It would have been easy to give Lizzie a harder time as she does have artwork adorning her skin, but the author went down a more acceptable route and I liked how it was woven into the story with explanations. I am slightly biased about tattoos as I do have three of my own.

The sense of things being secretive and hidden was wonderful, at times with the sense that there was something much deeper to come. Weaving the locals and their stories into the story of Lizzie was a really good way of adding intrigue. While the locals are supportive there is a feeling that there is more that needs to be told.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, it is one of family and accepting the past, of heartbreaking discoveries. While it is a rom-com and it has a nice romantic thread, this feels more serious as there are some more serious issues that are dealt with. It is one for those who like a romance with a touch more suspense to it and it is one I would definitely recommend. 

About the Author…

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and studied German and French at university. She has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris, and has travelled widely.
She has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

In 2014 her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction Best Ebook Award.
In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.
In 2019 she was shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Award.
In 2020 she won the RNA’s Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award with her novel Knowing You, from publisher Canelo.

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Chasing the Italian Dream by Jo Thomas #contemporaryfiction @TransworldBooks @NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share a review today for Chasing the Italian Dream by the fabulous Jo Thomas. I am a big fan of this author and her fabulous stories that transport me across countries. My huge thanks to Transworld Books for granting my request to read and review this publication via NetGalley.

A summer escape she’ll never forget . . .

Lucia has worked hard as a lawyer in Wales, aiming for a big promotion she hopes will shortly come her way. Finally taking a well-earned break at her grandparents’ house in southern Italy, the sunshine, lemon trees and her nonna’s mouth-watering cooking make her instantly feel at home.

But she’s shocked to learn that her grandfather is retiring from the beloved family pizzeria and will need to sell. Lucia can’t bear the thought of the place changing hands – especially when she discovers her not-quite-ex-husband Giacomo wants to take it over!

Then bad news from home forces Lucia to re-evaluate what she wants from life. Is this her chance to carry on the family tradition and finally follow her dreams?

My Review…

When overworked Lucia goes back to her old home in Italy for her annual 2 week holiday her grandparents have a bit of a surprise waiting for her. They are planning on giving up the family pizza restaurant that has been in the family for years. It would have been passed onto a son, but he died several years ago. The only other option is to leave it to Giacomo, Lucia’s ex-husband.

Once again this author has transp[sorted me into a glorious setting with amazing food and fabulous characters. The author has such an amazing feel for what she writes and an obvious love as it really does come across in her work. Chasing the Italian Dream is such an addictive read and there are some deeper issues that are delved into. Bucking the trend of the traditions, confronting truths, wobbling stereotypes and nudging preconceived ideas about how things should be are gently and wind brilliantly woven into this story.

The story is not just about Lucia, it is about many more people than that. There is obviously the Grandparents and Giacomo but there are several more that really do help build up the story. They add an interesting balance as well as some entertainment. I could almost smell the food and I definitely wanted to taste everything the author described, well maybe not quite everything!

From amazing food descriptions to little nuggets of information about pizzas, the making of them and various ingredients to a wonderful system of support, this book really does have all you want and then some. It is such a delight to settle down with and feel the warmth of not just the writing but also the heat of the ovens as I read this on a very cold and wet January afternoon.

This is a book that will be a hit with regular readers of this author and also those who really enjoy contemporary fiction and romance. So easy to sit and devour over the course of an afternoon and one I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx