I am delighted to share my review today for Merrily Ever After by Cathy Bramley. This is a title I saw on NetGalley and decided to request for review. What a wonderful story this was and my thanks to Orion Books for accepting my request to read this.
Two strangers. One big secret. And a Christmas to remember . . .
Merry has always wanted a family to spend Christmas with, and this year her dream comes true as she says ‘I do’ to father-of-two Cole. But as she juggles her rapidly-growing business, wedding planning and the two new children in her life, her dream begins to unravel.
Emily is desperately waiting for the New Year to begin, so she can finally have a fresh start. She has always put her family first, leaving little time for happiness and love. When her beloved father Ray moves into a residential home, she discovers a photograph in his belongings that has the potential to change everything.
As past secrets come to light, will this be a magical Christmas for Emily and Merry to remember?
This was such a gorgeous story to read and it is based around two women. They live in the same town but don’t actually know each other. One runs a candle shop the other works as a school secretary.
Merry has a wonderful-sounding shop that sells candles, the name of the shop is Merry and Bright and it sounds amazing. It is the run-up to Christmas so it is a naturally busy time, she also has a wedding to get ready for.
Emily has settled for a secretary job as it fits better with her father. He has dementia and is becoming more confused, Emily looks after him but has to contemplate a change for him into a care home.
A chance meeting between the two women happens while Emily and her Mum are out shopping, when they bump into each other again they recognise each other. However, Emily knows something about Merry now and isn’t sure how to broach the subject.
If you are after a book that will tug on the heartstrings then this is one that should be on your list to read. Yes, it is a festive-themed book as it does include Christmas markets, a wedding and the obvious festive season. This is simply a time of the year, the story that hides underneath the glitter and baubles is one that is simply gorgeous.
Both women are facing changes ahead for different reasons, and the sense of family is strong in each woman. I have to be so careful about what I say as there are so many wonderful moments within this story, there are several layers that are gradually unwrapped and believe me when I say you may need a tissue or more.
This is a story of discovery and of acceptance. Looking towards the future and allowing changes to happen as well as settling some secrets of the past. I do hope I have intrigued you with this title and you pick it up to read because it is fabulous. One for fans of contemporary fiction, festive fiction, and families and it is one I would definitely recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cathy Bramley is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Ivy Lane, Appleby Farm, Wickham Hall, Conditional Love and The Plumberry School of Comfort Food. She lives in a Nottinghamshire village with her family and a dog.
Her recent career as a full-time writer of light-hearted, romantic fiction has come as somewhat of a lovely surprise after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. However, she has been always an avid reader, never without a book on the go and now thinks she may have found her dream job!
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx
I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the tour today and to share my review today for Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal. This was a fabulous read that took me into the life of Aashi, her family and her friends. A chick-lit with an Indian twist!
My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloos Book Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book via NetGalley from the publisher Spellbound Books.
It all s̶t̶a̶r̶t̶e̶d̶ ended with that box… The year 2000 and Aashi’s life was all set. New Millennium, exciting beginnings, new life. Or so she thought. Like in the Bollywood films, Ravi would woo her, charm her family and they’d get married and live happily ever after.
But then Aashi found the empty condom box…
Putting her ex-fiancé and her innocence behind her, Aashi embarks upon an enlightening journey, to another country, where vibrant memories are created, and unforgettable friendships forged.
Old images erased, new beginnings to explore.
And how can she forget the handsome stranger she meets? A stranger who’s hiding something… Coming Summer 2023, book 2 in The Rishtay Series
This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I need to read more. I loved the journey I was taken on with the story of Aashi, her brothers Bali and Sunny, also her best friend Kiran.
After discovering her fiance isn’t quite the man she thought he was, Aashi makes the decision to break up the relationship. Aware of the possible embarrassment and shame that she may bring on her family worries her. It is so good that she has an understanding family and her best friend.
Deciding to use the honeymoon holiday rather than cancel it, Aashi and her brothers and Kiran make the journey to India. A trip that brought surprises and new experiences as well as new contacts.
This is such a wonderful story and it was interesting to see the author had put a list of the Punjab terms for the different family members. I have to say that as I got to know each of the family members and also others in the cast it soon became easy to understand them. This list of terms also includes that they may refer to non-related people as well.
This was a fabulous story and one that was full of so many things I know nothing much about. Understanding the family and the traditions as well as how things are gradually changing was great, also the food. mmmm… it sounds amazing. The one thing that I really appreciated knowing was the way the characters reacted when they arrived in India. The distinct smell and the colour overload were something that I had not even considered.
While this is a story about family and friends, it is also one about working out what makes the characters tick. There is a wonderful romantic tension, and nothing is straightforward. I do like the referrals back to tradition and how the rest of their families would feel. Even though each character has a choice, they are always resp[ectful of their families and how things will appear. Family is the core of the story in some ways and it was great to discover this.
As the story gradually progressed from home to India and then back home again I was taken on a whirlwind of a tour. Had some giggles and laughs as well as feeling for some of the characters. Aashi especially. It seems that Aashi transformed when she was allowed to be herself, and this was a subtle but amazing thing to watch.
How things worked out at the end was so appropriate and I felt it kept within the traits of the characters and it just felt really right.
I cannot wait to read the next book in this series, as this one was the first. A story that I think fans of romance and contemporary fiction are going to love. I know I did and I would definitely recommend it.
The only problem with this book that I had, is that I have to wait until next year before I can read the second in the series!!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but of Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her. From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally encouraged her to continue writing. As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes. A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing! Ritu also writes a blog, www.butismileanyway.com, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded first place in the Best Overall Blog Category at the 2017 Annual Bloggers Bash Awards and Best Book Blog in 2019. Ritu is happily married and living in Kent, with her Hubby Dearest, and two children, not forgetting the fur baby Sonu Singh.
Today I have something a little different for you. I have a wonderful Q&A with Cali Bird, the author of Tales of the Countess. This is one for chicklit fans and here is what it is all about…
How can a woman so capable at work be so useless at getting a man?
Kennington, London, 1998
The Countess of Kennington awakes one morning after a heavy night and realises it all has to stop.
She has to stop drinking her problems away. She has to stop acting irresponsibly. And she has to stop obsessing over the MSL: the Man She Loves.
But things are often easier said than done, and when she discovers the MSL is attending a conference where she is presenting, she cannot hold back her burgeoning hopes.
In a Sex In the City meets Toy Story scenario, the Countess lives in an unusual household where her chief confidantes, known as the accessories, are a collection of beloved handbags, a beautiful sheepskin coat and her teddy bear who provide her with support and advice.
As the conference gets underway, the Countess tries hard to focus on work, but encouraged by the accessories, she cannot resist the draw of the MSL.
The bags might talk but this is no kids book…
Tales of the Countess is a highly original chicklit novel by British author Cali Bird, about the need to find happiness in yourself before you get your man.
Buy it now for the perfect piece of romantic escapism.
Now for the Questions & Answers…
Hi Cali. Tell us about Tales of the Countess.What’s the book about?
The book is about the need to be happy in yourself and then you get your man. The main character, known only as the Countess is a modern woman, living in London, who is very capable in her work but useless on the relationship front. She drinks and parties too much and is faced with a situation where she really needs to sort herself out.
Is there any man in particular that the Countess has fallen for?
Yes. It is someone that she used to work with in New York. There had been a few sparks between them but he always insisted on remaining friends because of their work relationship. The book opens with her having left that job and returning home to London. She tries to get over him but then runs into him again through her work. She discovers they will both be going to the same conference which makes it much harder to put him out of her mind.
I’ve heard that some of the characters are handbags that talk. Is this true?
Yes. They are inspired by a collection of handbags that I already owned. I loved the film, Toy Story¸ where the toys are their own community and do their own thing while their owner, Andy, isn’t around.
I imagined the same thing happening with my handbags when I was out at work. When I bought a new one, and it became my new favourite, I always wondered what the others made of this and whether they were jealous.
Unlike Toy Story, the bags interact with the Countess. They try and advise her on her love life. When she gets upset because something has gone wrong, which seems to happen a lot, they support her through her emotions.
How did you decide what characters to give them?
That happened quite naturally as I started writing. One of them is very bitchy, while another is a girly-girl true romantic. The Countess’s teddy bear also features. I’ve always thought that teddy bears are very wise and her bear is no different. He works with the bags to try and support her. Later in the story she buys a beautiful sheepskin coat which has more of a tough-love personality and tells her a few home truths which initially, she doesn’t like.
Was it easier to write for them than the people in the book?
Yes. I always found that the conversations between the bags, including their squabbles, flowed easily.
With the people characters it was important to make sure that they were realistic and carried the story forward in a way which works for the reader.
Do you have a favourite bag?
Tough question! The bags in the book vary between something you’d take clubbing, a formal handbag and some beautiful fake fur casual bags. The formal bag is called the Queen Mum bag. I bought it in the late 90s at the end of the January sales. It has a cream tortoiseshell patent print and I used it for work. Wherever I went with it, it was men, not women, who commented on how much they liked it. It must have reminded them of their grannies or something! I used it for years and eventually the clasp broke. I sought out a specialist handbag repair shop but they couldn’t fix it without changing the look of the bag, which was a heart-breaking moment.
Recently I bought a bag by Aspinall which is very similar to it. I call it the Queen Mum Redux and I am often found stroking it and referring to it as “my precious”.
The book is set in the late 1990s. Is that when you started writing it?
I started writing it in 2000. I’d had the idea for a few months. For a laugh, I used to call myself Countess Cali of Kennington. In 1999 I started writing and as I worked through some creativity exercises, I realised that there would mileage in a fictional version of the countess and her handbags.
It originally began as a short story but kept growing. I worked on it for a few years but then run out of steam as my own life had moved on and I was no longer single. I parked it for nine years and it sat in the proverbial drawer. During those years I learned a lot about story structure and other novel writing techniques, and worked on other projects. Three years ago, I decided to return to Tales of the Countess and this time was determined to get the story fit for publication. Twenty years after I began writing about her, the Countess is finally out in the world.
How does the book mirror your life?
I was single when I started writing it, and suffering one of many heartbreaks. Another liaison with someone I liked didn’t go the way I would have wished. Initially I was attracted to writing the story because, unlike real life, I could choose the ending!
Once I got into writing it though, the story took on a life of its own. As I revised it, the elements in the initial draft which had been based on real events dropped away. Over time it developed its own truth.
I guess I’m similar to the Countess in that at the time I was doing the same kind of work. She’s much more capable than me though. I’ve been too busy playing around with creative stuff!
Thanks very much Cali. It sounds like a fun read.
Thank you. That’s the feedback I’m getting from people who have read it. It seems to be the perfect piece of escapism for the current times.
Cali is in her mid-fifties and lives in Bedfordshire. She was single until she was nearly forty and used to be the archetypal career girl, living in Central London and working in investment banking. One day, she had an epiphany, realised that she needed to honour her creative side and started writing. Since then, she had various side projects including running a life-coaching business, giving self-development talks and blogging about creativity at www.gentlecreative.com. She has practised Buddhism for over thirty years and is a self-confessed tree-hugger.
Cali has known her husband, Graham, since they were at school together. Although they once had a smooch when they were nineteen, they didn’t get back in contact for many years. Within a month of their first date, they realised they had found someone special in each other, but it was another few years before they were married at the tender age of forty-six. It’s never too late to find love!
I am delighted to share my review today for The Wedding Favour by Lily Bartlett. It is a really good book for summer escapism reading.
So, what is it all about then…
When Nelly Roberts is left in the lurch with not just a wedding but also a bridal magazine feature on the line, she has no choice but to substitute one groom for another. The fates align when she’s introduced to the gorgeous Rafael. He’s looking for a way to stay in the UK where he’s built the life he loves.
So they make a pact: act the perfect couple for as long as it takes for Nelly to get her wedding and Rafael to get his visa. The catch? Absolutely nobody can know the truth.
From the charming streets of London to beautiful Cornwall, The Wedding Favour is a fun, feel-good romantic comedy perfect for fans of The Wedding Date and Four Weddings and a Funeral!
Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)
The Wedding Favour was a very enjoyable read as Nellie and Rafael arrange a wedding. The thing is Nellie was due to marry Matt but he got cold feet and “needed space”. For most people it would simply be a case of cancelling everything, but the wedding is part of a magazine shoot and Nellie will not be able to afford to pay back what she has spent already.
So where does Rafael fit into the picture? Well he has been working in the UK but his Visa is about to run out. Nellie has a brainwave that if she and Raphael got married she would fulfil her contract and he could remain in this country.
This was a book that I read over an afternoon, it has a laid back style to it and if you are after a light read then this would fill that gap very nicely indeed. I liked the relationship between Rafael and Nellie, starting as friends but there seems to be a spark.
I did like the will they/ won’t they sort of scenario, especially when Matt makes an appearance back on the scene. He realises he has made a mistake, but will it be enough to convince Nellie to change her plans once again.
There are some nice moments in this book and i have to say that the author nailed the romance from Rafael, a gent who definitely has a way with words and who has a cheeky style to him. The thing with a relationship that is based on a lie is when that relationship then starts to become something more, but is it real or are they still playing the part!
Ideal for readers who like rom-coms and chick lit style reads and one I would recommend.
Lilly Bartlett’s cosy comedies are full of laugh out loud moments, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.
Lilly is the pen-name of Sunday Times and USA Today best-selling author, Michele Gorman, who writes best friend-girl power comedies under her own name.
I am delighted to share my review for The Gift of Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May. I love this series and I was delighted to get s spot on the Blog Tour, huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot and also for arranging a copy of this fabulous book.
Let me show you what it is all about…
From the author of the #1 BESTSELLING The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay
All of our favourite characters from Cockleberry Bay are back in this final, heart warming story in the series. Including Hot, Rosa Smith’s adorable dachshund and his new-born puppies.
Now successfully running the Cockleberry Café and wishing to start a family herself, Rosa feels the time is right to let her inherited Corner Shop go. However, her benefactor left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.
Rosa is torn. How can she make such a huge decision? And will it be the right one? Once the news gets out and goes public, untrustworthy newcomers appear in the Bay . . . their motives uncertain. With the revelation of more secrets from Rosa’s family heritage, a new journey of unpredictable and life-changing events begins to unfold.
The Gift of Cockleberry Bay concludes this phenomenally successful series in typically brisk and bolshy style and will delight the many thousands of Rosa’s fans
It was so good to journey back to Cockleberry Bay and catch up with the old faces from previous books in this series. The Gift of Cockleberry Bay is the third and final book in the series which I am absolutely gutted about, I hadn’t realised this was a trilogy.. The author does fill in some details from past books, but you really do want to read them all.
The main character is Rosa, she owns the local pet shop and also works in the cafe and the story opens with a sudden storm, a rescue and the arrival of puppies.
Cockleberry Bay also has some new arrivals and of those not all make a very good first impression. They do add a dash of colour as well as intrigue to the story. There is also various revelations and one involves a surprise from the past.
I adore this series and this latest book is one that I was eager to read. The author has pulled together a story that does have some mystery and drama and poor Rosa does have a right old time of things. She juggles so much and is pulled from pillar to post as she deals with one thing only to find herself getting her head around another.
By the end of the book I was sad to be saying goodbye to the residents of Cockleberry Bay and it did have a feeling of finality to it. I will miss the characters, but things in the story have come full circle in some ways. The shop Rosa was gifted has done its job and helped her overcome various things, it has helped to ground her and now it is time for Rosa to pay it forward.
This is such a fabulous series and this final book was a wonderful read. It is a story and series that has friendship, second chances, drama, mystery, family, secrets and truth. A book and series I would definitely recommend.
Nicola May lives in the UK, five miles from the Queen’s castle in Windsor, with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon and devouring cream teas.
Her bestselling The Corner Shop in Cockleberry, the 1st book in the Cockleberry Bay series, went to #1 on Amazon and stayed there for an unprecedented 6 weeks.
She classes her novels as ‘chicklit with a kick,’ writing about love, life and friendships in a real, not fluffy kind of way. She likes burgers, mince pies, clocks, birds, bubble baths and facials – but is not so keen on aubergines.
Win a signed copy of The Gift of Cockleberry Bay (Open INT)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
I am delighted to be sharing the book love for “Her Secret” by Kelly Florentia with a Guest Post by the author as part of the blog tour with Urbane Books and Kelly at Love Book Group Tours. Her Secret is a Women’s fiction, contemporary fiction, adult romance, chick-lit and available in paperback and eBook format from Amazon UK
“A brilliantly-woven tale of love, friendship, heartbreak and hope – I couldn’t put it down.” Jill Finlay Fiction Editor of The Weekly News
“a must-read for anyone who loves intelligent, grown-up romance” – Louise Douglas, bestselling author of The Secrets Between Us
Following the events of No Way Back, Her Secret sees our heroine, Audrey Fox, now married to Daniel. But Daniel’s grown daughter Connie is still causing trouble in paradise and it is not long before Audrey is neck deep in secrets and lies, and once more searching for true love and happiness. Her Secret is the brilliant third novel of up-and-coming chick-lit author Kelly Florentia. Perfect for fans of Fiona Gibson, Marian Keyes, Sheila O’Flanagan and Lisa Jewell it is a wonderful contemporary adult romance.
• The idea behind Her Secret, the sequel to the bestselling No Way Back, is to highlight a positive, independent woman’s lifestyle choice, showcasing that single women in their 40s and 50s are eligible, sexy, and fun – connects directly to large ‘chick-lit’ readership • ‘A truly-talented storyteller who had me hooked from the very first page. – Jill Finlay, Weekly News
Her Secret by Kelly Florentia : Character Spotlight
Who is your protagonist?
The inspiration for your protagonist
Someone recently asked me why I chose such an old-fashioned name for my central character, but when I explained that I named her after Audrey Hepburn I got the thumbs up – everyone loves Audrey Hepburn, right? Before building a character profile, I usually get an image of my protagonist in my head and then give her a name. For me, the name is important and it has to fit. Perhaps the name Audrey is unfashionable but it’s also a classic name, so I hope it’ll be quite memorable.
The creation of your protagonist
Audrey’s character is based on 40-something women who aren’t wives or mothers. Although Audrey is married in Her Secret, she begins her journey as a single woman in the first book in the series, No Way Back. We all have different needs, roles, and aspirations in life. What is right for one person may not be right for another. I wanted to showcase the 40-something woman in a modern light, in a 40 is the new 30 kind of way, in a nonconformist way, and I hope I’ve achieved this in creating Audrey Fox.
About your protagonist’s character
I wanted my heroine to be relatable and ordinary. Audrey is a 42-year-old woman; she makes mistakes, puts on weight easily, says the wrong thing frequently, and puts her foot in it often. Audrey is loveable and witty, caring and loyal, but she isn’t a pushover. She’s very understanding and generous as a rule, but can be a bit feisty at times. She has a passion for designer shoes and is a bit of a tidy-freak – can’t stand seeing things out of place, and has a bit of a thing for germs, too!
Do they have any similarities to someone ‘real’? If so, tell us more!
Sadly, no. Audrey Fox is a figment of my imagination. However, she does have some of the characteristics and attributes of some of my friends. She’s the kind of person I think most people would like to have as a best friend – loyal, funny, smart, caring and fun.
What do you like most of your protagonist?
Her sense of humour and her loyalty. There’s never a dull moment when Audrey Fox is around.
What do you dislike about your protagonist?
Audrey does have a tendency to put her foot in it – she’s a bit impulsive and ends up in awkward situations and then, sadly, has to suffer the consequences.
Would you and your protagonist be friends in ‘real’ life?
Absolutely. We would be the best of friends. In fact, when I typed The End I was heartbroken because I knew that I’d miss her.
I’m in the early stages of book 4 – so watch this space!
About the Author:
Kelly Florentia was born and bred in north London, where she continues to live with her husband Joe. Her debut novel THE MAGIC TOUCH was published in March 2016. TO TELL A TALE OR TWO… is a collection of her short tales. Kelly has a keen interest in health and fitness and has written many articles on the subject. SMOOTH OPERATOR (published in January 2017) is a collection of twenty of her favourite smoothie recipes. No Way Back was published by Urbane in Sept 2017.
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Many thanks for reading my post, share the book love with a like or share 🙂 xx
I am delighted to be bringing you my thoughts on “Runaway Bride” by Mary Jayne Baker. Published on 16th February by Harper Impulse, this is available in eBook format from Amazon UK. BUY HERE. My thanks to Harper Impulse and NetGalley for my copy of this book.
A heart-warming novel about love and new beginnings, this is the perfect book for spring!
Here comes the bride… but how long can she hide?
When Kitty Clayton flees her wedding with no money, no bank card and no phone, her life seems worryingly futureless. All she knows is, she’d rather sleep on the streets than go back home to cheating Ethan.
After picking her up hitch-hiking, widowed children’s author Jack Duffy takes Kitty under his wing, looking out for her until she gets back on her feet. And it’s not long before the two grow close…
But with Jack struggling to recover from the guilt he feels over his wife’s death and Kitty refusing to face up to the problems she’s running away from at home, will the two ever manage to share a happily ever after?
I tend to read a lot of crime, mystery and darker stories, but every now and again I love to read a good feel good, lighter and much more heart warming story. The Runaway Bride is one of those stories. It was the perfect book for relaxing with as I followed the story of Kittie, married only 3 hours, running away from her own wedding reception. Bedraggled, broke, distraught and sat on the side of the road is where Jack finds her. A kind-hearted soul who cannot leave her there. As the story begins to unfold the story of Kittie’s wedding and life is revealed as well as the tragedy that befell Jack.
I really enjoyed this story, it is an enveloping read that leaves you feeling all warm and aaahhhhh! It has some really good back stories that explore the lives of our two main characters, this is gradually teased out as the characters find a way to tell each other their tale. They have both suffered in one form or another and it is their sharing of their lives that help them move forward. There are some surprising and unexpected turns that I didn’t expect or even see coming, they have darker underlying issues that made this intriguing.
This is my first time reading one Mary’s books and I can honestly say it will not be my last. A well paced, well written book with surprises and twists that kept me engaged from start to finish.
This is the perfect book to read for a lazy afternoon and one that I would happily recommend to readers who are after a good chick lit fiction book that will engross them.
About the Author:
Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country… and she’s still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature in 2003, she dallied with living in cities including London, but eventually came back to her beloved Dales with her own romantic hero in tow.
She lives with him in a little house with four little cats and a little rabbit, writing stories about girls with flaws and the men who love them. You can usually find her there with either a pen, some knitting needles or a glass of wine in hand. She goes to work every day as a graphic designer for a magazine publisher, but secretly dreams of being a lighthouse keeper.
I have a novella by Helen Rolfe to share with you today. “Valentine’s Day at The Cafe at the End of the Pier” is the first in a series of up coming stories published by Orion Books. It is available to purchase in eBook format. Click HERE for Amazon UK link. At the time of writing this book is currently #free
Searching for love? You’ll find it at The Café at the End of the Pier…
When Jo’s beloved grandparents ask for her help in running their little café at the end of the pier in Salthaven-on-Sea she jumps at the chance.
The café is a hub for many people: the single dad who brings his little boy in on a Saturday morning; the lady who sits alone and stares out to sea; the woman who pops in after her morning run.
Jo soon realises that each of her customers is looking for love – and she knows just the way to find it for them. She goes about setting each of them up on blind dates – each date is held in the café, with a special menu she has designed for the occasion.
But Jo has never found love herself. She always held her grandparents’ marriage up as her ideal and she hasn’t found anything close to that. But could it be that love is right under her nose…?
Jo is given the chance to leave her job and relocate to help out in a cafe run by her grandparents, Molly and Arthur. With Valentine’s Day looming on the horizon Jo learns the story of her Grandparents’ engagement.
This novella is the “perfect lunch time read”. It is a beautifully told little story, it has charm and warms the heart in a lovely way. For being a novella it made an impact, enough for me to pre-order the next two books in this series.
A definite recommended read from me, it’s perfectly charming and totally yummy. I have the next two books in the series on pre-order and I am looking forward to see what happens next.
About the Author:
Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.
Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.
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 studied writing and journalism and began writing for women’s health and fitness magazines. She also volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases. Helen began writing fiction in 2011 and hasn’t missed the I.T. world one little bit, although the I.T. skills have come in handy of course, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a website.
After fourteen years of living in Australia, Helen returned to the UK and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their children.
“The Mercury Travel Club” by Helen Bridgett. Is available in paperback and eBook format. Published by Red Door Publishing.
He took her to dinner: that was annoying
He slept with her: that was hurtful
He bought new underwear to impress her: quite frankly astounding
He left me to bloody wash his FILTHY WHORING PANTS: INFURIATING!
After twenty-four years and eleven months of marriage, Angie Shepherd is divorced, dejected and facing a future of cardigans and cats. Best friend Patty is having none of it, and launches Angie into a variety of crazy schemes in search of her lost mojo.
But it s just not enough; what she really dreams of is beating her ex and becoming Entrepreneur of the Year. Channelling her inner Richard Branson, Angie invests her divorce settlement into The Mercury Travel Club, a travel agency with a twist. But as the club gets going, things don’t go according to plan, and in this digital age, a little chaos brings the recognition Angie’s been looking for.
Witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, this feel-good novel shows that it’s never too late for a second chance.
Angela is coming up for her 53rd birthday, she is divorced, in a starter home and feeling a little sorry for herself. Her marriage ended after 24 years and 11 months, not even long enough to get her silver wedding anniversary. Her 23-year-old daughter Zoe, wants her mum to move on, just as Zoe’s dad has. Patty has been a friend to Angela for over 30 years and is of the same opinion as Zoe, but her ideas are not the same as Zoe’s. During one night out, the girls are trending on you tube, much to Zoe’s disgust!
Essentially this is a story of a 50 something trying to find out who she is, and also so much more than that. As Angela takes steps to moving on she starts to change, initially outwardly, it is far easier to change clothes, hair and make up. After a while she starts to change on the inside, she decides she is going to be priority and starts to gain the confidence to put herself first. What started as a little idea, has turned into a success. Her little idea of a travel club is now reality, as is all the hard work of organising, attending talks, group visits and the whole shebang that goes with it.
This is a great book, it is light-hearted and heart-warming. I am not a big reader of this style of book, but as I read this I had a smile on my face, and several times sniggered at the antics. It has a great deal of well written little stories within the main story, sort of anecdotes of things that happen in the characters lives. The characters are wonderful, diverse and well described. The plot of the story I really enjoyed. As I mentioned, a 50 something woman finding herself, or should I say finding herself in situations that she would never have considered herself in as a wife. It is a warm, cosy, snuggly read, with some wonderful characters and really well written.
I would recommend this book to readers of chic lit, who like a good light-hearted, heart warming, humorous read with some memorable characters. I will be looking out for more books in this series.
I would like to say a big thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for bringing this book to my attention and allowing me a spot on the tour. My thoughts here are my own and are unbiased. I would also like to wish Helen all the best with this book and future books.
About the Author:
Helen Bridgett was born in North-East England and now lives in Manchester having stopped off at a few places in between. Having failed miserably with every New Year’s resolution that involved giving up food or drink, one year, she set herself a completely different goal – to write a novel and give it as a Christmas present. The Mercury Travel Club was born and the characters took on a life of their own. Outside of writing, Helen loves hiking and wine – not usually at the same time.Helen is currently developing the next novels in The Mercury Travel Club series
I am very pleased to be on the blog blitz for this book.
“Little White Lies & Butterflies” by Suzie Tullett.
This is not a genre I tend to read very often, it is a chick lit style romance, and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a light-hearted read and I do admit to guessing some of the scenarios, but I still did really enjoy it.
It is set on a Greek Island, with the main character Lydia, she is fed up with not finding her Mr. Perfect so she has decided to take herself off on holiday, alone. Things are not smooth sailing for her and after a series of unfortunate, or fortunate events, depending on your outlook, she forms a friendship with Sam. She seems to fit in well with the locals, but one little white lie soon escalates. Rather than tell the truth, she tries to save face. Help arrives from a surprising quater, to dig her out of trouble and also giving her much more to think about. Things are not all she thought they were, and people are so much more than she thinks they are.
As I said this is not my normal genre, but I found it made a really great change to the norm. I found the characters very well-developed, Lydia especially. She has been well described to the point that I found her very annoying in how judgemental and assuming she was at times, as well as wanting to tell her “to get over herself” with her annoying attitude at life and people around her. Various different events cropping up through the story added several dimensions to her character, giving different view points and perspectives of her, again this I really liked. The setting of the story certainly was described very well, I have never been to Greece, but the way the author described the area jumped out at me. I had no problem visualising her scene.
Overall a very enjoyable read, that would, I think, appeal to readers of Chick/Lit and Romance genres. I would like to take the opportunity to thank Sarah Hardy, Bombshell Publishers and Suzie Tullett for giving me the opportunity to read Little White Lies & Butterflies. My views expressed are my own, they are honest and unbiased.
Lydia knows first-hand that ‘having it all’ isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. As far as she’s concerned, when it comes to job versus family, it’s a case of one or the other. And whilst most women her age have spent years climbing the corporate ladder, she’s made a career out of bagging her perfect man. Now nearly thirty and still single, Lydia wonders if she’d made the right choice.
Realising the time has come to take stock, she goes against her family’s wishes and goes travelling in the hope of finding a new direction. At least that’s the plan.
So when Sam comes along, she decides to tell a little white lie, re-inventing herself as a professional chef – not exactly the best new identity for a woman who can’t cook. But the truth can’t stay hidden for long and when her family show up unexpectedly things go from bad to worse…
Can Lydia find love? Will she ever learn to cook?
Little White Lies and Butterflies is a heart-warming comedy about finding your place in the world.
About the Author:
Suzie Tullett is an author of contemporary humorous fiction and romantic comedy. She has a Masters Degree in Television & Radio Scriptwriting and worked as a scriptwriter before becoming a full-time novelist. Her motto is to ‘live, laugh, love’ and when she’s not busy creating her own literary masterpieces, she usually has her head in someone else’s.
Suzie lives in a tiny hamlet in the middle of the French countryside, along with her husband and two Greek rescue dogs.
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