A Taste of Greek Summer by Mandy Baggot @mandybaggot @EmblaBooks #romance #Greece #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Taste of Greek Summer by Mandy Baggot. It is so nice to travel vicariously and especially when it is to Greece!

My huge thanks to Embla Books for my e-copy of this book and to join the Blog Tour to share my review.

Next summer, on the Greek island of Corfu, sparks will fly as dreams come true…

Lydia Broom is living her second-best life. With her dreams of being a chef left in the dust she instead finds solace writing about the dishes she wished she created. When Lydia’s sent to Corfu on an assignment, she’s excited to see what culinary delights the island has to offer, but nothing seems to tickle her fancy – until she tastes the creations of local cook, Thanos Nicolaidis.

After one sizzling afternoon in the kitchen together, Lydia and Thanos both allow themselves to dream of the futures they desperately want. And as they grow closer, sharing secret ingredients and family recipes, Thanos begins to realise he has to show Lydia the parts of him he’s done so well to hide… 

MY REVIEW

What a wonderful summery romance read A Taste of Greek Summer was. This author knows how to tickle the tastebuds with sumptuous sounding food and with a nice helping of romance as well.

When Lydia is hoodwinked by her best friend and co-worker Caroline she doesn’t expect it to have such an impact on her life as it does. Once a brilliant chef and now a food critic and columnist, Lydia still loves food but has put her knives away. What on earth could have happened for her to turn her back on a wonderful career that made her so happy. Well, you will find out when you read this book!

Lydia is the quieter one out of her and Caroline. While Lydia savours and thinks about things, Caroline rushes in and demolishes. The two are real chalk and cheese characters and it would have been so easy for Lydia to disappear in Caroline’s wake, instead, the author balances the two characters and does so with a wonderful storyline and also with some fun.

Going to Greece to get content for articles for the magazine they work for is a great way6 for Lydia to relax and go with the flow. She has got rather stuck in a rut and the trip to Greece may well revive her writing, but it also revives something else.

Food is never far from the pages of this book, from simple mouthwatering local Greek dishes to extravagant and minuscule portions, there is a gastronomic theme throughout, and of course Caroline and her love of chips!

You may think that the wonderful scenery and gorgeous foods would make for a completely happy and fulfilling holiday. Well, that would be too simple and we know that life is never that way. So the author has written a rather interesting story of Lydia and it gives the explanations needed for her backing away from creating menus to just writing about them. It was a revelation that I didn’t expect, but one that felt right. Caroline also has a past that comes out as well.

So. a holiday wouldn’t be a holiday without a little romance. And what a wonderful romantic theme this was. Again wrapped around the love of food and done so well. Tempting, tantalising and tasty.

This book was a one-sitting read for me, I started it while sitting out in the garden on a sunny afternoon and finished later the same night. I needed to know the ins and outs, the mystery and also to find out how things would wrap up. This is definitely one for those who love to travel vicariously, love food, and like their romance. It is one I would definitely recommend.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour

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The Girl Beyond the Gate by Becca Day @EmblaBooks #thriller #mystery #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Girl Beyond the Gate by Becca Day. This is a tense mystery thriller that I really enjoyed.

My thanks to Embla Books who gave me the opportunity to read this title via NetGalley.

Welcome to Kensington Grove, the safest place to call home….

Jodie Madison can’t think of a better place for a fresh start than the exclusive, gated community of The Grove. But from the moment she passes through the wrought iron gates, she starts to suspect she’s made a mistake.

Despite her vow to keep apart from the other residents, Jodie can’t help but feel drawn to her unnerving neighbour Norah Williams and terminally ill daughter, Lacey. Jodie knows she should stay away, but something draws her in.

When a murder shocks The Grove, Jodie vows to do everything in her power to save Lacey from her mother. But as more secrets emerge from Norah’s shadowy past, Jodie is faced with the unthinkable – Norah’s not so different to herself, and neither woman is innocent.

The past won’t stay hidden forever. And The Grove will be an unforgiving witness.

MY REVIEW

What a brilliantly addictive book this was. A first for me reading anything by this author, I know it will not be the last!

This is a mystery thriller that had me hooked. The synopsis gives a great idea about Jodie Madison moving into a gated community, it is safe and this is something she wants. Quite what she is hiding from or who is unknown until later in the book. There are however tantalising little hints laid like breadcrumbs.

As for wanting to remain apart from everyone and not mixing, well that doesn’t go well. For one there is the formidable Heidi. She organises fundraisers, resident meetings and basically the social side of the community and she doesn’t really take no for an answer. She is polite, but she doesn’t ask for you to attend these things, more she expects you to.

Heidi manages to rope Jodie into interviewing her neighbours, Norah and daughter Lacey. What Jodie doesn’t expect is to form a friendship with Lacey. She also didn’t expect to think things about Norah, but she does!

This is one of those stories that definitely grips the reader. While the idea of a gated community sounds great, it also means that people seem to know what you are doing and as such, there is no real privacy. This kind of goes against what Jodie is looking for and also makes for a very intriguing story.

The full reasons for Jodies’ move do come out over the course of the story, glimpses into her past provide doubts about what she believes is going on with her neighbours. By the end of the story, I was a bit stunned, to say the least, I didn’t expect it to turn out the way it did. It is by the way a real twisted ending and I did not see it coming at all.

Fabulous story and one that is great for those that like a twisted mystery thriller, there is a psychological edge to it and I adored it. I would definitely recommend it.ย 

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Life’s A Catastrophe by Kirstie Pelling @EmblaBooks #NetGalley #romcom #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Life’s a Catastrophe by Kirstie Pelling. This was a humorous rom-com that I really enjoyed.

My huge thanks to Embla Books for my e-copy that I read via NetGalley.

What if thinking like your cat could solve your problems?

Aly Meadows is a self-proclaimed ‘catfluencer’ using her two beloved pets to earn thousands of likes on Instagram. But behind the lens, Aly is broke, facing eviction and living a life that’s a million miles away from the glamourous world of social media stardom.

Rick Harvard, the CEO of talent agency Glimmer, has the power to change her life, but only if Aly agrees to dive in at the deep end. Can Aly come out of her shell and channel the confidence of her insta-famous cats? And if so, will she finally find the love and laughter she deserves?

MY REVIEW

Life’s a Catastrophe is an entertaining and fun read, but does have a more serious side to it. Aly Meadows is an influencer, her fans are in awe of her cat Instagram site ‘Alycat’. Aly is a ‘catfluencer’ and uses her spare as a carer to build her influence and her followers. This has led to her being offered a real game-changer as she has been head-hunted.

While this is a fun and really entertaining read, there are also some serious sides to this story. A disjointed and not warm home life growing up and living in a flat full of boxes isn’t a situation anyone wants to be in. But for Aly though, it is all hers – for the time being!

It really loved the humour of this story and Aly is a bit of a clutz, a walking catastrophe really does sum her up. She manages to get herself into some random predicaments, and with not altogether negative effects. It does make for some chuckling moments throughout the story.

I am going to admit to being more of a dog person than a cat person, but the author has done such a wonderful job with the feline characteristics and traits with the cats. Also, some really interesting things that I never knew about the care of a hairless Sphynx cat.

\You don’t have to go far on any of the social media sites to find vids and posts of pets and this is what appealed to me about this book when I first saw it. I really liked the balance of fun and seriousness and there is of course a romantic element to this book.

It is a slow-burner of a romance, but one that has Aly in a bit of a quandary. But it definitely does add a steamy extra to this story.

It is an entertaining read and one that I really enjoyed, ideal for lovers of fun and humorous as well as rom-coms and of course everything cat. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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Finding Love in Positano by Lucy Coleman @LucyColemanauth @emblabooks #netgalley #romance #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Finding Love in Positano by Lucy Coleman. I am a fan of this author’s writing and her latest book (published yesterday) is another fabulous addition.

My thanks to the publisher, Embla for my e-copy of the book via NetGalley.

Marci James is in love with her job. She’s not had a holiday in five years, but now she’s escaping to the Italian coast after agreeing to pack up her godfather, Richard’s antiques shop.

When Marci arrives it’s apparent that the task is far more daunting than she imagined, and it isn’t long before Nico, her gorgeous local guide, offers to step up and lend a hand. As the two enjoy the Positano summer, and all that the Italian Riviera has to offer, Marci finally lets herself relax and the sparks between the pair soon begin to fly.

But Richard hasn’t just left his possessions behind, he left a secret, one that Marci unwittingly stumbles across it. Will it break her heart after the happiest summer of her entire life?

MY REVIEW

If you are looking for a literary escape to warmer climates then look no further than Finding Love in Positano. A gorgeous-sounding coastal town on the Italian coast.

Marci James goes there to help sort through her godfather’s collection of art, antiques and personal belongings while he is on his honeymoon. The marriage was unexpected and seemingly out of character, but as Marci is the closest family member to him, and she is also the only single person, well it seems to be the most obvious solution. She already works in the family antique business with her brother, her mum is a silent partner.

So off she sets, she has been to Italy before for holidays, so she sort of knows what to expect. What she didn’t bank of though was the scale of the task in front of her or Nico!

Once again the author has captured an amazing sounding place and transformed it on the pages of her latest book. The mix of family and how they work together is great, in the UK the family comes across as a bit more stand-offish, more reserved if you like. While the Italian family of Nico is loud, inclusive, extended and welcoming, and there are many of them. No wonder Marci feels a bit shell shocked when she first arrives.

Family is an important theme in this story, a sense of pride and doing what is best for everyone is something that a couple of the characters have to deal with. Should honour and commitment come before love? Discussing problems and working out alternatives is something that Marci seems more willing to do. But she also discovers some things from the past that only a select few people know. How they will react and what they will do is something that is tantalising for the reader. As is the romance side of the story.

The author always gets the romance balance right for me in her novels, not too steamy but gentle, wary and not always straightforward or predictable. This makes for a story that isn’t all about romance and comes across as more believable.

Another excellent read and one for those who like a holiday style romance, family secrets and an all-around gorgeous contemporary fiction story. It is one I would definitely recommend.ย 

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The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell @Caroline_writes @emblabooks #TheMidnightMan #NetGalley #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for a book I read at the end of August. The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell is a brilliantly woven crime thriller and I was delighted to get the opportunity to read it via NetGalley from the digital publisher Embla Books.

From number one bestselling author Caroline Mitchell, comes the first chilling Slayton thriller for fans of C. J. Tudor and Stephen King.

If you open your door to the Midnight Man, hide with a candle wherever you can. Try not to scream as he draws near, because one of you won’t be leaving here…

On Halloween night in Slayton, five girls go to Blackhall Manor to play the Midnight Game. They write their names on a piece of paper and prick their fingers to soak it in blood. At exactly midnight they knock on the door twenty-two times – they have invited the Midnight Man in.

It was supposed to be a game, but only four girls come home.

Detective Sarah Noble has just returned to the force, and no one knows more about Blackhall Manor than her. It’s a case that will take Sarah back to everything she’s been running from, and shake her to the core.

Will she be ready to meet the Midnight Man?

PURCHASE HERE – (Publication Day tomorrow 13th Oct 2021)

MY REVIEW

I own several books by this author, and this is the first time I have read one! I know, I know…

Her latest book The Midnight Man is a fabulously addictive crime, thriller and series suspense novel that has its roots based in the past. After a family is murdered an urban legend gradually starts to permeate from the abandoned and creepy Blackhall Manor. Fast forward 25 years and a group of teens decide to follow the rules to summon the Midnight Man. A game, nothing will really happen, but five girls arrive and only four return home again!

Well, this had a very series feeling to it pretty much all the way through. The opening for the story sets the tale that is to follow. I do like the way an old mystery or crime can give credence to a rumour. This sets the atmosphere for the story and with the inclusion of someone who has knowledge of the old manor it also adds secrets.

When the teen goes missing it starts to bring the past to the forefront of peoples minds. This gives the police investigation a nice twist. There is more to Det. Sarah Noble than first meets the eye. She has recently returned to the force and she herself bears an air of mystery.

This is a story that has mystery upon mystery. The author has started with one theme that centres around the Manor, it has then been morphed, twisted and tweaked. This gives the reader a chance to encounter several characters, a few other theories and this leads the reader to start drawing conclusions. I found myself convinced I had this one sussed out, and then I changed my mind, and yep changed it again! I love it when this happens.

As this is the first time I have read anything by this author I found a deeply twisted story that was creepy yes, but not too frightening. It is a mix of crime, thriller, mystery and suspense, it does have an element of police procedural. There is far more to this story than I have hinted at here, and I did find it hard to put down. It is one I would definitely recommend.ย 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caroline Mitchell

USA Today and Global #1 Bestselling Thriller Author.

Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time.
Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston trilogy is described as terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers.
Caroline also writes psychological thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim, has been described as ‘brilliantly gripping and deliciously creepy’. Her new DI Amy Winter series is published by Thomas & Mercer.

Sign up HERE to join her Reader’s club for access to news, updates and exclusive competitions and giveaways.ย 

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Rachel Ryan’s Resolutions by Laura Starkey @LauraStarkey @emblabooks #contemporaryfiction #publicationday #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Rachel Ryan’s Resolutions by Laura Starkey. This is the first digital publication from Embla Books.

I would also like to wish Laura a very Happy Publication Day xx

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In January, Rachel Ryan’s New Year’s Resolutions are fairly predictable. Exercise more, put money into savings before spaffing it all on clothes, remember ridiculous rule that potatoes don’t count towards your 5-a-day…

Before long, though, the year ahead of her is very much not going to plan. When the creative agency Rachel works for is taken over, one of the new suits in the office is very familiar. And very handsome. Surely it can’t be… Jack Harper. The man she has spent years trying to forget. Not only is Rachel now working with him, she has regular sightings of the gorgeous woman Jack cheated on her with – who happens to be plastered to the side of every London bus.

Thank goodness for Tom, who is always there to listen (and pour wine). But when work stirs up her most painful memories, her best friend makes a major announcement and Jack dials up the charm, Rachel starts to question everything.

As life throws her a world of crazy, will Rachel have to make some very different resolutions?

PURCHASE LINKSAmazon UKBook DepositoryKobo Waterstones

MY REVIEW…

Rachel Ryan works as a copywriter and lives with her best friend, Anna. Anna and Will are an item and have been a few years, Will shares a house with Tom. The four are great friends, and have regular drinks, nights out and are like family.

When there is a re-shuffle at work, Rachel is surprised when her ex from years ago arrives. He is one of the team members who is part of merging and creating new and exciting accounts. This is almost like a make or break time for Rachel.

The story is based on Rachel and her plan for her future. Like most, she does set her resolutions for the start of the new year. Like most, she also doesn’t necessarily get started on them, to she alters them.

This did feel like a light-hearted sort of a story. It did take me a while to get to understand Rachel, and actually, not all the characters n the book know much about her or her past, so it does kind of make sense. I did find as the author revealed more about Rachel, that she did start to come out of her shell. It really didn’t help with her ex coming back on the scene. I did find that the further I got into the story the more I grew to like her.

This is a story of hiding, of trying to be quiet and not seen. Happy within a small group of close and trusted friends where it’s safe. Unplanned events throw Rachel’s life into turmoil, she believes her actions are right but she seemed to be just treading water. It takes a bit of a blowout and for things to crash before she can see clearly once again.

This is a story that I really enjoyed, it got better the further I read and I found myself getting quite involved with how things were going to play out. This is one for those who like a more modern contemporary fiction story and it is one I would happily recommend.

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Rachel Ryan’s Resolutions by Laura Starkey @LauraStarkey @emblabooks #promo #RachelRyansResolutions #coverreveal #RachelRyansResolutions

I am delighted to take part in a cover reveal for the first new book due to being published by Embla Books. Rachel Ryan’s Resolutions by Laura Starkey looks wonderful and I am looking forward to reading my own copy very soon.

Before I share the cover, how about I share the Synopsis…

In January, Rachel Ryan’s New Year’s Resolutions are fairly predictable. Exercise more, put money into savings before spaffing it all on clothes, remember the ridiculous rule that potatoes don’t count towards your 5-a-day…

Before long, though, the year ahead of her is very much not going to plan. When the creative agency Rachel works for is taken over, one of the new suits in the office is very familiar. And very handsome. Surely it can’t be… Jack Harper. The man she has spent years trying to forget. Not only is Rachel now working with him, she has regular sightings of the gorgeous woman Jack cheated on her with – who happens to be plastered to the side of every London bus.

Thank goodness for Tom, who is always there to listen (and pour wine). But when work stirs up her most painful memories, her best friend makes a major announcement and Jack dials up the charm, Rachel starts to question everything.

As life throws her a world of crazy, will Rachel have to make some very different resolutions?

Perfect for fans of Beth O’Leary and Ruth Jones.

This book is due for publication on 16th September and is available to pre-order HERE

Now

Are

You

Ready?

Here’s the cover for…

Rachel Ryan’s Resolutions by Laura Starkey

Rachel Ryan's Resolutions by [Laura Starkey]

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Introducing Embla Books @emblabooks #EmblaBooksLaunch with @teapigs @ibeaniworld

I am delighted to introduce a new digital publisher today Embla Books. Embla Books, the first digital first imprint from Bonnier Books UK and today is their launch day.

They have partnered with Tea Pigs and ibeaniworld to help celebrate and I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to try some of their products.

I also have a discount code for you to use when ordering from Tea Pigs – their Lychee & Rose Tea is gorgeous and I quite happily munched through the gorgeous biscuits. CODE – BOOKLOVER20 will give 20% off your order. Follow on Twitter or visit the Website

Did you notice the Tea Pigs items were leant up against an iBeani cushion? This is a fabulous bean bag cushion from ibeaniworld and it is perfect for resting an iPad, phone or tablet on. Follow the on Twitter – Visit the Website

You can sign up to Embla Book newsletter HERE

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