Thursday 28 January 2021

A Favor for a Favor by Nat Chelloni (2020)


"Forget favors given; remember those received." - John Wooden

A time for love can't be more deadly...

Julia Leonardi thought she put her past behind her. The widow of a mobster, all she wants is to steer clear of the criminal elements. Then she meets Domenico Bonacci...

Dom is handsome, charming, and intense. The world knows him as a prominent businessman, but Julia sees him as everything she fought to escape.

Once the scion of a powerful Mafia family Dom left the world of organized crime after his father's death. And he swore he would never go back.

No matter how hard she tries, Julia can't seem to ignore the powerful spark of attraction between them and her growing feelings for him. But when Dom's shady past catches up with him, the two forbidden lovers find themselves trapped in a deadly game.

Will Dom renege on his vow and lose the woman he loves, or he will manage to break free of his past for once and for all?

I liked this book but it took me longer to read it than it should have. Even though there is plenty of drama, suspense and romance in the book it didn't hold my attention all the way through. I got confused with all the names. There are only a few leading characters but there were so many names mentioned I couldn't keep track of who did what, when and why.
The attraction between Julia and Dom was obvious but I didn't get a sense of the love developing between them. It happened very quick.
I thought the poignant scenes at the beginning of the book were well written and a good indicator of the dark and dangerous world these characters inhabit. 

A Favor for a Favor is the debut novel by Nat Chelloni and is out now.

Sunday 17 January 2021

Soothsayer by Kathryn Amurra (2020)


Paperback212 pages
Published May 10th 2020 by Independently Published

Aurelia has always valued love and happiness over titles and power. Though her kind-hearted father has allowed her to turn away suitor after suitor in pursuit of a love she cannot yet define, when he dies her choices die with him. Knowing that marrying the elderly governor of a neighboring province can secure her mentally challenged brother's safety, she gives up on her dream of finding love in return for his protection.Cassius is the ill-fated captain of the governor's guard tasked with escorting the Lady Aurelia and her unpleasant aunt to the governor's estate. Since the soothsayer Tullia foretold an early death for him, Cassius wants nothing more than to keep his hands busy with labor and his heart free from any connections to the world he believes he will be leaving soon. As they work through a series of misfortunes on the road to the governor's province, the words of the soothsayer start to make sense, and together they find the courage to allow their true destiny to unfold. 

I enjoyed this book but I didn't absolutely love it. The story held my attention as it was interesting and sweet but for a story set in ancient Rome, I was expecting it to be a lot more exciting and dramatic. I felt that the story could have reflected the time period better and I was disappointed in the lack of historical detail.

That being said, the love story between Cassius and Aurelia is sweet. I enjoyed the banter between them especially in the scenes along the road on Aurelia's journey to her new home. These were the most dramatic scenes of the story and my favourite part of the book.

Their burgeoning romance suffers a few obstacles but they are resolved without much to do by the end.

The story is a gentle romance and would suit younger adults.

Soothsayer is available now Amazon

Friday 8 January 2021

Art and Soul by Claire Huston (2020)

There’s no problem Becky Watson can’t fix. Except for her own love life…

Struggling single mother Becky Watson longs to revive her career as a life-fixer, working miracles to solve her clients’ problems, no matter how big or small. Since the birth of her two-year-old son, she has been stuck preventing wedding fiascos for the richest and rudest residents of the Comptons, a charming, leafy area of southern England known for its artistic heritage.

So when semi-reclusive local artist Charlie Handren reluctantly hires Becky to fix his six-year creative slump, she’s delighted to set him up with a come-back exhibition and Rachel Stone, the woman of his dreams.

Though they get off to a rocky start, Becky and Charlie soon become close. But as the beautiful Rachel becomes Charlie’s muse, Becky is forced to wonder: will giving Charlie everything he wants mean giving up her own happily ever after?

A heart-warming romance about second chances perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Phillipa Ashley and Cathy Kelly.

I thoroughly enjoyed this heartwarming and humorous romance. I laughed at Charlie and Becky's bickering and I loved watching them become friends. I couldn't wait for them to figure out their feelings for one another. There were lots of laugh-out-loud moments and the touching, romantic scenes at the end, really pulled on my heartstrings. It was a lovely read and I can't wait for more from this author.

ART AND SOUL is out now and currently 99p for Kindle or free with KU. 

Friday 1 January 2021

The Switch by Beth O'Leary (2020) Narrated by Alison Steadman, Daisy Edgar-Jones (2020)


Leena is too young to feel stuck.
Eileen is too old to start over.
Maybe it's time for The Switch...

Ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother Eileen's house for some overdue rest. Newly single and about to turn eighty, Eileen would like a second chance at love. But her tiny Yorkshire village doesn't offer many eligible gentlemen... So Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love, and L Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire.

But with a rabble of unruly OAPs to contend with, as well as the annoyingly perfect - and distractingly handsome - local schoolteacher, Leena learns that switching lives isn't straightforward. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, and with the online dating scene. But is her perfect match nearer to home than she first thought?


This was one of my favourite books of 2020.
It had me continually laughing out loud and then teary-eyed in the more poignant scenes.
I adored Eileen. She was feisty and full of life. I wasn't too sure about reading about the sexcapades of a 79-year-old but that aspect of the storyline was handled very lightly. I loved her interactions with her neighbour on the dating website. I found that completely hilarious. 
I felt for Leena as she struggled with the death of her sister and the deterioration of her relationship with her mother. Stepping into her grandmother's shoes as she completed the tasks Eileen normally would have done was a real treat to watch. The dog walking episode calls to mind as being particularly comical.
As the story developed and relationships were formed and restored I was left with a warm glow and a smile on my face.

For a heartwarming, feel-good way to begin the new year, I couldn't recommend a nicer way than picking up The Switch.

The Switch is available in all formats but I listened to the audiobook and it was performed brilliantly by the narrators.