Monday 20 December 2021

Mine at Midnight (Ladies of the Order #3) by Adele Clee (2021)

 


When Miss Eliza Dutton discovers her first case for the Order involves helping a lord who has a gambling habit, her instinct is to refuse. The fact her father lost his fortune and his life at a gaming hell is the reason she despises Lord Roxburgh. But Eliza is given an ultimatum: help the handsome rogue or find work elsewhere.

Lord Roxburgh has a reason for trying his luck at the tables, and it has nothing to do with winning money. But his life of dissipation is brought to a swift end when a guest is found murdered in his garden.

While working together to solve the crime, will Eliza discover there’s more to Lord Roxburgh than his sinful good looks? Can a lord who’s suffered the worst kind of tragedy abandon old habits and fall in love?

Find out in - Mine at Midnight - Ladies of the Order Book 3 ♥




I was looking forward to reading Roxburgh and Eliza's story. He is a charming rogue and the sparks flew between the pair when they first met in the previous book. The pair join forces to rescue Roxburgh's sister's reputation and to secure Eliza's escape from the clutches of the devious owner of a gambling den. There are many touching and sweet moments between Eliza and Roxburgh as they get to know one another during their midnight rendezvous. There is a good mix of mystery and romance and I appreciated that the ending was not unnecessarily dragged out. The epilogue left us with a hint of the next adventure in the series and with a heart-warming feeling that all will be well forevermore with Eliza and Adam. A lovely read.

This third book of the series is out now.

Sunday 12 December 2021

Lost Souls (Detective Gaby Darin #4) by Jenny O'Brien (2021)



A MISSING GIRL. A RACE AGAINST TIME.
Ten-year-old Elodie Fry vanishes overnight, along with a rucksack filled with her meagre belongings. Acting DI Gaby Darin and her team are fighting the clock to reunite Elodie with her distraught mother – but was Elodie kidnapped or did she run?

Later that day, a local undertaker uncovers a nasty surprise: the remains of an unidentified second adult among a late pensioner’s ashes. Torn between the two investigations, Gaby decides the gruesome discovery at the crematorium must wait – the team are desperate to find Elodie before they lose her trail.

But as she follows the evidence, Gaby realises the two cases have a sinister connection… and there’s a killer on the loose.

Can Gaby find the missing girl alive… or is she already too late?

Full of twists and turns, this gripping thriller will keep you hooked to the end. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, LJ Ross and D.S. Butler.
 
 


A fast-paced and clever whodunnit. There is more than one mystery for DC Gaby Darin to puzzle over but they very cleverly turn out to be connected. I was completely stumped as to how it would all unravel and I enjoyed the process of finding out.  I was intrigued as to how it would all turn out for the two youngsters but I was glad that someone was looking out for Elodie. 
The crematorium murder mystery really got my interest as it was such an unusual crime scene. 
I like the group of side characters in the series and I feel like I get to know them all a bit better with each book. There is a little bit of romance in Gaby's life but it's a nice slow burn romance that doesn't overshadow the mystery and suspense of the novel.

If you like a good mystery without gore and with a strong female protagonist then this is the series for you.


Thursday 9 December 2021

Hunter's Hope (Vampire Motorcycle Club Book 2) by Alyssa Day (2021)



Description

Hunter Evans risked his life again and again as a firefighter until the night he died saving a child...only to be reborn as a vampire. Now the man who lived his life as the quintessential “nice guy” must find a way to conquer the deadly urges that threaten to turn him feral. When his own actions put a beautiful woman in danger, he vows to protect her…even from himself.

Alice Darlington has a secret of her own: she sees ghosts. She thought she’d done a good job of keeping it under wraps—until now. A terrible threat from her past is hunting her down in order to use her power for dark purposes. Now she’s on the run and doesn't know who to trust or where to go.

When Hunter and Alice team up to battle the dangers coming at them from all sides, they’re forced to rely on each other. But Hunter doesn’t know how long he can keep the beast inside him away from the woman it craves…

The Vampire Motorcycle Club series is best enjoyed in order.
Reading Order:
Book #1 Bane's Choice
Book #2 Hunter's Hope


 


Hunter's Hope is action-packed and a lot of fun. I loved that Alice was a ghost whisperer. Ghosts add a layer of spookiness to a story that I love. Alice's ability to talk to animals was also a cute quirk and it made her character very appealing and likeable. Charlie, the minor demon, was a surprisingly cute addition to her menagerie.
Alice and Hunter have an insta-love/lust thing going on but, the story was so fast-paced that the speed of their relationship worked in the overall scheme of things.
Very little in this story has anything to do with a motorcycle club and I always find it a bit odd that this series is branded as a motorcycle club series.
Overall, it is a lighthearted and fun read that entertained me. I look forward to reading the next in the series.

Hunter's Hope is out now Amazon

#HuntersHope #NetGalley

Sunday 5 December 2021

Hot Desk by Zara Stoneley (2021)

 



Same desk, different days.

A post-it note is just the beginning…

A must read for fans of Beth O’Leary, Mhairi McFarlane and Sophie Kinsella!

Alice loves her job and wants to keep it – whatever the price. But then she’s told the company is switching to flexible working and hot desking…Alice’s desk might look a mess, but she knows exactly where everything is. Or she did. Until she found out she’s going to share it with the most annoying guy in the office.


Jamie can work from anywhere. He’s quite happy to sweep his work life into a box at the end of the working day. But can sharing a desk with Alice be as much fun as teasing her in person?
 
With no option but to try it and see, will their relationship turn into open warfare or will it ever progress beyond a post-it note?


 



This was a cute, escapist read. There were plenty of humorous scenes and one-liners that had me laughing out loud. The romance was a true slow burn and I wasn't expecting the obstacles that came in the way of Jamie and Alice relationship. They are poor communicators despite their daily messages to each other. It takes them so long to really open up and be honest with each other that it irritated me a bit.
I loved the romance via post-it notes. It was charming and heartwarming. Having four sisters myself I understood Alice's feelings about not wanting to share. I liked Jamie for understanding how Alice was feeling.
I enjoyed the narration. The characters came to life for me and it was very easy listening.


Wednesday 1 December 2021

The Hostage by John Ryder (2021)


 

“You get us what we want. Or your wife dies. And we will make it hurt.”

Jerome Prentice used to sleep soundly. He is the nice guy next door. He hosts barbecues in his backyard and helps out his neighbors whenever needed. He is a good person. One who always stays on the right side of the law.

But that all changes the night he is awoken by the sound of masked kidnappers entering his house. Holding him at gunpoint, they drag his beloved wife Alicia out of the house with a promise to kill her if he goes to the police, or fails to do what they ask.

The next day the kidnappers issue their demands. They want Jerome to betray Beck Holdings, the company he has loyally worked for since graduating college, and they give him an impossible task: steal $50 million from Beck Holdings, or Alicia will die. Painfully.

They think he’ll do anything to save his wife. And he will. But they don’t know they are messing with the wrong man. Because Jerome is a nice guy who’s not prepared to go down without a fight.

What’s more, he will hunt the people who’ve taken Alicia to the ends of the earth. And if they’ve hurt even one hair on her head, he will make them regret it…

This utterly page-turning, jaw-dropping thriller is perfect for fans of Lee Child, David Baldacci and Mark Dawson.



I listened to the audio production of this book and I am so glad I did. The tension and sense of danger for the characters were portrayed so well by the narrator. I found the book difficult to put down with plenty of twists and a lot of drama.
I liked that the main characters were ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances. They weren't larger than life heroes but they did what they had to in order to survive. I liked Alicia. She wasn't portrayed as a dumb damsel in distress waiting to be rescued. She was able to fight her corner when the occasion allowed for it.
This was an action-packed and exciting thriller. It made for great listening.


Monday 22 November 2021

Light at the End of the Tunnel by Linda Weaver Clarke


Amidst Trials, is there a Light at the end of the Tunnel?


All of us have challenges in our lives and we feel so alone. We sometimes wonder if we are the only ones who are experiencing difficulties. Have you ever felt that each trial you have endured was so difficult that you wondered where the “light at the end of the tunnel” was? Many times we try to solve our own problems and don’t bother talking to anyone or asking for help.


“No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.” ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf


This was Hannah’s attitude as she tried to search for the “light at the end of the tunnel.” How many times do we search for that light, wondering where it is and hoping that the trials in life will soon end? Is God watching over us? Is He there when we need some comfort? In our darkest moment, does Jesus Christ know how we feel? I believe He does.


Set in 1844, The Light at the End of the Tunnel is a historical romance. Book Reviewer and Author Gail Pallotta wrote: “This romance wrapped around my heart as it took me into the struggles of Hannah, such a brave woman. The characters come to life on the page as Thomas falls for Hannah. However, Hannah is caught up in her day-to-day trials, and with her independent streak, she only thinks of making a life for her and her daughter. Can Thomas get her attention and change her mind?” 

After coming to America and enduring several challenges and trials, Hannah realizes she can make something of her life by opening a hot chocolate shop. She soon finds that starting her own business isn’t as easy as she thought.


When Thomas finds out that Hannah's shop is struggling, he comes to the rescue with a clever plan. Will she agree to such an unconventional idea? Can he convince her to find room in her heart for one more person?


“I enjoyed this sweet historical romance very much.  This story shows the western spirit of adventure in a young widow who has faced many hardships to come to this point.  This is a Christian book and a very engaging and enjoyable read. You will enjoy this heartwarming story of a strong woman forging a new life.” Sunnie Reviews


To buy this book or eBook on Amazon, visit

https://www.amazon.com/Light-end-Tunnel-Women-Courage/dp/B09JJ97612


Linda Weaver Clarke’s Author Blog: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com 


Linda’s Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com 

Linda’s Cozy Mystery Blog: https://cozymysteryseries.wordpress.com 

Linda’s Historical Romance Blog: https://historicalromances.wordpress.com 

Saturday 20 November 2021

Aloha Alibi (Charlotte Gibson Mysteries Book 1) by Jasmine Webb

 



Most people flee to Hawaii for gorgeous weather, white-sand beaches, and cocktails at sunset. Charlotte Gibson, however, is fleeing for her life after a vengeful mobster leaves a severed finger on her doorstep as a warning. Message very much received.

That’s how Charlotte—Charlie to everyone except her mom— finds herself on Maui with six dollars to her name, living with a mother who can’t stop giving her advice on how to land herself a husband. But when a businessman is murdered and his company offers a reward to whoever finds the killer, Charlie sees an opportunity: with that kind of cash, she could afford her own place and start a new life here away from the people who want her dead. After all, how hard can hunting down a murderer be?

Teaming up with a couple of old ladies with more spunk than Betty White, Charlie is sure she’s on the right track to snag the reward money. However, the infuriating-but-smoldering-hot cop trying to keep her away from his case has other ideas. Throw in a day job at an ice cream shop, corrupt local politicians, and a best friend trying to act as the voice of reason, and Charlie has her work cut out for her.

Will she be able to find the killer, or is Charlie’s time in paradise going to go straight to hell in a handbasket?


                            


This had me laughing out loud. Just the right blend of humour, danger and badassery fun from the girls. There seemed to be something happening at every turn of the page. I loved that the women were not afraid to use any means necessary to defend themselves. The side characters were all great fun. The old ladies who helped investigate added to the humour and Charlie's mother was a total hoot.

I'm looking forward to following this series. Book 3 will be out at the end of November. This first in the series is currently FREE to download from Amazon for Kindle.

Get it Here

 

Tuesday 9 November 2021

Home for a Cowboy Christmas by Donna Grant (2021)


Description

The most wonderful time of the year has arrived for this cowboy in New York Times bestseller Donna Grant's newest novel, Home for a Cowboy Christmas.

Tis the season—for everyone except Emmy Garrett. She’s on the run after witnessing a crime. But when it becomes clear that trouble will continue following her, the US Marshal in charge takes her somewhere no one will think to look–Montana. Not only is Emmy in a new place for her protection, but now, she’s stuck with a handsome cowboy as her bodyguard…and she wants to do more than kiss him under the mistletoe.

Dwight Reynolds left behind his old career, but it’s still in his blood. When an old friend calls in a favor, Dwight opens his home to a woman on the run. He tries to keep his distance, but there’s something about Emmy he can’t resist. She stokes his passion and turns his cold nights into warm ones. When danger shows up looking for Emmy, Dwight risks everything to keep her safe.

“A captivating romance novel with a sexy cowboy making this perfect for anyone who loves a steamy romantic read.” - Fresh Fiction on My Favorite Cowboy



Despite the cutesy title, this is a seriously good romantic suspense and I found it difficult to put down. The romance is somewhat of a slow burn but I loved that as it made the story more realistic. The tension and suspense were concentrated more towards the end of the book where the inevitable showdown happens between Emmy and the people out to kill her. Emmy made a great heroine. She was scared throughout but incredibly brave and strong at the same time.
Dwight's dog was very cute and intelligent. I loved that he acted as a therapy dog for Emmy. 
This was a fast-paced story with a charming romance and a suspense-filled conclusion. 
A greatly entertaining read. 



Monday 8 November 2021

Kissing Under the Mistletoe by Suzanne Enoch; Amelia Grey; Anna Bennett (2021)

 


Description

From the Scottish highlands, to the bustle and tussle of London, to a hotel on the outskirts of town, three unforgettable authors bring the joy of Christmas romance in Kissing Under the Mistletoe.

Great Scot! by Suzanne Enoch
Miss Jane Bansil knows she will never have a fairy-tale moment. Well past the marriageable age, she’s taken a position as a companion and is now stuck in Scotland for Christmas, alone even in the middle of the boisterous MacTaggert family. But when Brennan Andrews, an architect and cousin to the MacTaggerts, arrives to draw up plans for a new family home, Jane must decide if she will take a chance at a happily-ever-after, or settle into her small, safe life for good.

Christmas at Dewberry Hollow by Amelia Grey
Miss Isabelle Reed has no plans to ever fall in love. She has a perfectly acceptable life with her mother at the Dewberry Hollow Inn, thank you very much. But when Gate, the Duke of Notsgrave’s grandson, appears at Dewberry Hollow searching for a carving on a tree, Isabelle cannot help but get involved. But Gate’s charm and their instant attraction makes Isabelle question if she’s willing to take her chance at love once again.

My Mistletoe Beau by Anna Bennett
Miss Eva Tiding is determined to cheer her widowed father with the perfect Christmas gift. Even if it means breaking into the home of the rakish Earl of Frostbough who swindled Papa out of his pocket watch. But when the earl, Jack Hardwick, catches her in the act, they strike a deal: she’ll pose as his fiancée in exchange for the watch. Falling in love is not part of the plan—but with a little Christmas magic, anything is possible…



Three charming short romances. Although I enjoyed all three stories my favourite is Anna Bennett's My Mistletoe Beau.
The fake fianceé is always a fun trope and it was executed remarkably well here. 
I liked that the stories were not overly Christmasy and they can be easily enjoyed at any time of the year.
For three delightful, short romantic stories with a Christmas feel Kissing Under the Mistletoe is the one to download this season.


#KissingUndertheMistletoe #NetGalley

Tuesday 2 November 2021

False Truth: A Joe Wilde Investigation #1 by C.D. Steele (2021)

 



The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth...

Private Investigator and former MI6 agent Joe Wilde is hired by Sally Devlin to investigate her son’s disappearance. Liam Devlin was a rising football star. His car was found abandoned at Lea Bridge in Hackney, a known suicide spot, six weeks prior.

With help from friend and retired MI6 Data Technician Mark Thompson, Joe uncovers a huge secret in Liam’s life. Putting the pieces together, he starts to suspect that this case is far more complex than he originally envisioned. Falling ever-deeper into his own investigations, Joe meets with the detective in charge of the case, D. I. Carl Whatmore, who does not take kindly to Joe getting involved.

As Joe and D. I. Whatmore go head-to-head in their own investigations, more lives are put in danger. But who will crack the case? Only time will tell...

C. D. Steele works as an Executive Officer in the Civil Service. He has a degree in Recreation Management and lives in Bangor, County Down. This is his first novel.



I had high hopes for False Truth, the first in a brand new series by a new talent from Northern Ireland. It certainly had an intriguing storyline with a PI who was willing to go to any lengths to discover the truth about the missing footballer. 

My favourite part of the book was the section where it took place in South America. The chase and fight scenes were so well described without slowing down the pace. These dramatic scenes were quite exciting with lots of suspense and tension. 

A couple of things that dimmed my enjoyment of the story was the very formal, robotic dialogue. 

Also, I didn't feel like I got to know Joe at all. There wasn't much back story or inner dialogue to show what he was thinking or feeling. 

I'd like to see more action and less of the confession dumping at the end just to bring it to a close. It's quite anticlimactic to have everything conveniently explained at the end. But, these are things that can be ironed out for Joe's next investigation. It will be interesting to see how this series progresses.


Wednesday 6 October 2021

When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting (2021) St. Martin's Griffin.

 


Description

Charming, hilarious, and emotional...When Sparks Fly is Helena Hunting at her very best!

Avery Spark is living her best life. Between her friends, her sisters, and Spark House, the event hotel her family owns, she doesn’t have much time for anything else, especially relationships. She’d rather hang out with her best friend and roommate, Declan McCormick, than deal with the dating scene. But everything changes when she is in a car accident and needs someone to care for her as she heals.

Declan avoids relationships, giving him a playboy reputation that he lives up to when he puts a one-night stand ahead of a promise he made to Avery. While he may not have been the one driving the car, he feels responsible for Avery’s injuries and is determined to make it up to her by stepping into the role of caretaker.

Little did they know that the more time they spend in compromising positions, the attraction they’ve been refusing to acknowledge becomes impossible to ignore. When they finally give in to the spark between them, neither is prepared for the consequences. Their love is fragile and all it will take is a blow from the past to shatter it all.



This is the first book in a long while that I have wanted to start reading again from the beginning after finishing it. It's a very charming and touching friends to lovers romance. The fact that both have had feelings for the other since college made this story quite sweet. 
A fun read, in equal measure lighthearted and serious. Both characters are emotionally damaged and it takes a lot of soul searching for the two of them to resolve their issues at the end. Their transition from friends to lovers was very entertaining. Declan was a real sweetheart during Avery's recovery and there were quite a few humorous scenes. Their friends added some light humour to the story as well. The scavenger hunts at the end of the book were really touching and charming. With a thoroughly heartwarming and feel-good happy ending, this book will leave you feeling all gooey. 🥰

Wednesday 29 September 2021

Mistletoe Christmas An Anthology by Eloisa James; Christi Caldwell; Janna MacGregor; Erica Ridley (2021)

 


Description

From four beloved writers—Eloisa James, Christi Caldwell, Janna MacGregor, and Erica Ridley—come four original stories that tell a hilarious tale of a Christmas house party that serves up love and scandal in equal measure!

The Duke of Greystoke’s Christmas Revelry is famous throughout the British Isles for its plays, dancing, magical grotto… not to mention scandals leading to the marriage licenses he hands out like confetti.

But not everyone welcomes a visit from Cupid.

Lady Cressida, the duke’s daughter, is too busy managing the entertainments—and besides, her own father has called her dowdy. Her cousin, Lady Isabelle Wilkshire, is directing Cinderella and has no interest in marriage. Lady Caroline Whitmore is already (unhappily) married; the fact that she and her estranged husband have to pretend to be together just makes her dread the party all the more.  But not as much as Miss Louisa Harcourt, whose mother bluntly tells her that this is her last chance to escape the horrors of being an old maid.

A house party so large that mothers lose track of their charges leads to a delightful, seductive quartet of stories that you will savor for the Season!



 Christmas anthologies do not get any better than this. Four of my favourite authors in one book!
The Regency house party is the perfect spot for all kinds of shenanigans and romance. At this house party, four couples find their way to a happily ever after but they have to navigate all kinds of obstacles by the way of misunderstandings, communication issues, and pushy mamas. 
All four novellas tie in well together with the house party as the backdrop. With likeable heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, this is a charming, feel-good collection and it entertained no end. 
 It's never too early for a bit of Christmas cheer and this anthology certainly lifted my spirits and put me in the Christmas mood. :-) 

Thursday 9 September 2021

The Therapist by B A Paris AUDIO BLOG TOUR

 

Today is my stop on #TheTherapist Audio Blog Tour. To listen to this audiobook sneak preview from the beginning, head over to @baparisauthor and follow the blog tour chain. Have you got your copy of #TheTherapist? Amazon @HQStories










 



Monday 16 August 2021

Spring Upon a Crime (A Seattle Wilderness Mystery Book 2) by M.L. Erdahl (2021)


Wilderness guide Crystal Rainey leads a group of college students to a private campground amidst the awe-inspiring Olympic Rain Forest. The excursion is ruined when the charming hostess Roxie is discovered standing over the land owner's body, murder weapon in hand. Enlisted to investigate the crime to absolve her friend, Crystal descends on the quiet city of Forks to find loggers, developers, and eco-protesters circling the property, intent on either exploiting or protecting the bastion of old-growth forest. The list of suspects is intimidating. Can Crystal find answers in a community determined to keep her in the dark?



This second book has truly cemented the series in my mind as one to definitely follow from here on out. It was a great listen. The mystery was well thought out and had me guessing from start to finish. There was a mix of humour and suspense along the way. I enjoyed all the awkward and very funny scenarios Crystal found herself in. It made the story so entertaining. I loved and laughed at the name of the kitten, E.L.F., and thought that it was genius! 
I liked the mystery. I thought it was very realistic in that a murder like that is something that could quite easily happen in real life where land sales and inheritances are at play. I also enjoyed the physical landscape where the book is set. It's quite different to where I live; a little coastal village in Ireland and so the setting really appealed to me.
I listened to the audiobook version. The narration was very good and it enhanced my enjoyment of the story.




Tuesday 10 August 2021

The Secrets of Thistle Cottage by Kerry Barrett (2021)






Description

The truth can be dangerous in the wrong hands…

1661, North Berwick, Scotland
One stormy night, healer Honor Seton and her daughter Alice are summoned to save the town lord's wife – but they're too late. A vengeful crusade against the Seton women leads to whispers of witchcraft all over town. Honor hopes her connections can protect them from unproven rumours and dangerous accusations – but is the truth finally catching up with them?

Present day, North Berwick, Scotland
After an explosive scandal lands her husband in prison, Tess Blyth flees Edinburgh to start afresh in Thistle Cottage. As she hides from the media’s unforgiving glare, Tess is intrigued by the shadowy stories of witchcraft surrounding the women who lived in the cottage centuries ago. But she quickly discovers modern-day witch hunts can be just as vicious: someone in town knows her secret – and they won’t let Tess forget it…

A hauntingly compelling timeslip novel from the author of The Girl in the Picture, perfect for fans of The Forgotten Village and The Witchfinder’s Sister.


This was a fast-moving story and a light read despite the heavy theme. The women in both timelines face prejudice, animosity and threats fuelled by mass hysteria and a mob mentality. The story shows how lies and gossip can have devastating and far-reaching consequences whether spread by word of mouth or on social media.
I enjoyed the witches storyline. Knowing what historically happened to women like them I couldn't shake the foreboding sense of doom facing Honor and her daughter. 
The present timeline had a similar feel but I didn't have the same fear for Tess and Jen as they had the privilege of having rights and the protection of law enforcement.
I felt that the ending was rushed a little bit with everything working out too neatly for all involved. However, this was a book I found difficult to put down. I loved the historical elements and the dual timelines.


#TheSecretsofThistleCottage #NetGalley.

HQ, HQ Digital
#HistoricalFiction

Available now! Amazon




Wednesday 4 August 2021

When a Duke Loves a Governess (Unlikely Duchesses #3) by Olivia Drake (2021)


A stunning new Regency from beloved author Olivia Drake, When a Duke Loves a Governess...!


Tessa James has worked and planned tirelessly to open her own millinery shop. All she needs now is a loan from the lord who sired and abandoned her. The only problem is, she doesn’t even know his name. What’s a woman to do to find him but enter the aristocratic world by becoming a governess?

Guy Whitby, the new Duke of Carlin, has returned to London after years abroad to discover that his young daughter Sophy has become a wild-child known for scaring away every governess who's crossed his doorstep. When Tessa James applies for the job, he hires her in desperation despite his misgivings that she’s too bold and beautiful–and that she might be fibbing about her qualifications.


Their blooming attraction leads them on a completely unexpected path to love that neither wants to deny. But when an old enemy threatens Guy's family, their forbidden romance goes up in flames. Can they still learn to love and trust each other as forces try to tear them apart?
 





Done well, there is something comforting about reading a book with a cliché historical romance trope. You know what to expect and so you can simply relax into a dreamy world for a few hours.
This story hit the mark with Tessa, a likeable and modern heroine who would rather open a shop than join the nobility. The story is fast-paced which kept me reading on. The villain of the piece was nicely plotted out and not obvious at all. I didn't have that figured out until it was revealed. 

There were a few eye-rolling moments for me. Tessa and Carlin decided after only a week that they would dispense with formalities and use first names with each other. Tessa got tipsy after one glass of wine and threw herself at the Duke. And one of the side characters was constantly referred to as a leprechaun!




Tuesday 27 July 2021

Maybe This Time (Whiskey and Weddings #2) by Nicole McLaughlin (2018)

                                                        

Jen Mackenzie has been knocked down more than a few times, but she always gets up and makes sure she has the last word. It’s the reason she now considers herself equal parts self-sufficient and free-spirit. But since losing her job and trying to help her mother beat cancer, real life―and her occasional careless choices―have begun to catch up with her. Her one saving grace: The Stag, a boutique distillery that has become Kansas City’s go-to wedding venue. The only catch: One of the owners, TJ Laughlin, happens to be the one man who somehow manages to make Jen feel inadequate.

TJ has secretly had a thing for Jen since high school. Now, as her new boss, it’s a daily struggle between revealing his feelings and wringing her beautiful neck. Only one thing is for certain: he can’t stand idly by and watch the woman he cares for struggle. She may be convinced that accepting TJ’s help is a weakness. But all he sees in Jen is beauty and strength, inside and out. As things finally heat up between them, can TJ find a way to convince Jen that love is about give and take―and having it all, together?



I'm late to this series even though this book has been on my shelf since it was published.
This is a sweet second chance romance where the two main protagonists finally manage to develop a romantic relationship after secretly being in love with each other since high school.
TJ is adorable and is the best thing about the book. Jen is a bit prickly and immature. And even though she has a kind heart but she is just not as likeable as TJ. Plus, I couldn't really understand why she hesitated so much with TJ who is much too good for her. There is plenty of drama, job and family issues for the couple to work through before they can finally get their happily ever after.
This is a sweet read and perfect for a relaxing, lazy day.






Friday 23 July 2021

Elle's A to Z of Love by Claire Huston (2021)

 

Elle's A to Z of Love: A feel-good, modern love story about friends, family and home


Haileybrook, a beautiful village in the peaceful Cotswolds countryside, is most people’s idea of heaven on earth.

Born and raised in this small slice of paradise, Elle Bea can’t wait to leave.

It should be easy, but every time she packs her bags for exotic adventures, old loves and loyalties pull her back.

Will Elle be forced to forget her dreams of far-flung places and epic romance, or can she grab one last chance to have it all?

An uplifting, romantic story about friends, family and the relationships that make a place a home.
 


A fantastic read. I just loved every minute of it. I could really relate to Elle's mismanagement of her love life but I was beginning to despair over her blindness over Adam and how close she came to completely wrecking everything with Zach. But sometimes you have to take a chance with the bad boys in order to appreciate the good when they come along. Zach was so adorable and sweet. I enjoyed their slow romance. It was quite old fashioned in a way as they spent most of it corresponding with one another.  I loved it though and it made the ending all the more rewarding and sweet.
The entire cast of characters were lots of fun. I liked how close-knit Elle's group of friends were and Toby was a firm favourite. 

My only criticism was Elle's mother who is stereotyped as a woman who didn't want children and is cold, absent and unfeeling. She doesn't have a big part in the story but she stood out for me as I have yet to see women like her portrayed as anything other than unlikeable.

This was such a beautifully told story; a feel-good romance sure to leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling.

Elle's A to Z of Love is out now