Tuesday 28 June 2022

Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley. St. Martin's Griffin (2022)


A reality star and a cupcake-baking football player pretend to be a couple in order to save his bakery in this sweet and sexy romance from Jamie Wesley, Fake It Till You Bake It.

Jada Townsend-Matthews is the most reviled woman in America after turning down a proposal on a reality dating show. When she comes home to lick her wounds, Jada finds herself working at San Diego's newest cupcake bakery, Sugar Blitz, alongside the uptight owner and professional football player Donovan Dell.

When a reporter mistakenly believes Jada and Donovan are an item, they realize they can use the misunderstanding to their advantage to help the struggling bakery and rehabilitate Jada's image. Faking a relationship should be simple, but sometimes love is the most unexpected ingredient.

Fake it Till You Bake It is a sweet confection of a novel, the perfect story to curl up with and enjoy with a cupcake on the side.

A feel-good romance guaranteed to pull you out of a reading slump and brighten up your day.
Sparks fly immediately between Donovon and Jada when they bicker about the cupcakes at Donovon's bakery Both of them are secretly smitten but dislike each other at the same time. This leads to a lot of adorably sweet scenes between them when Jada begins working at the bakery and they have to try and get along. I loved watching their friendship develop and it wasn't long before they couldn't deny the attraction between them. I loved that their romance was angst and drama free. They were open and honest with each other which meant that there wasn't the typical conflict arising from poor communication. Instead, the drama was generated by their united front against trolls on social media, family pressures and drumming up business for the bakery. I loved watching Donovon and Jada overcome their difficulties together and some of my favourite scenes are when they were trying to support each other but got caught up in the moment. Their baking together on TV was one such scene; cute, funny and romantic.
There are great side characters in this book from the book club members, and cupcake customers to Donovon's business partners. The scene is set for them to get their own stories and I definitely want to read them!

#FakeItTillYouBakeIt is out now 

Monday 20 June 2022

Defending Keirnan: Ghost #1 by P.J. Fiala


All Keirnan Vickers ever wanted was to be a teacher. Having realized that dream, she’s focusing on helping the local library with desperately needed repairs so she has a place to host her growing reading program. Just when her life is beginning to look like a storybook, an enemy of her father's threatens her very existence.

Single father Dane Copeland has known his share of heartaches. He put love on the back burner to finish his career as a special operative with the Army and raise his daughter. Fate intervenes when he meets Keirnan, who brings a new zest for life and the promise of a new start. But it all comes crashing down when she is kidnapped and local law enforcement is unable, or unwilling, to mount a rescue.

Partnering with Auggie Vickers, GHOST is born, and all of their lives are irreparably changed as the details behind Keirnan's abduction are revealed and time becomes their enemy.


An action-packed and suspense-filled romantic thriller. 
Romance is a prominent feature in the plot. Dane and Keirnan are perfect together but their relationship went too fast for me. They started to date almost immediately and then the story skipped a few weeks so that their relationship was more established on paper. This left me feeling as though I'd missed out on the scenes where you see them falling in love.
The mystery was well plotted and delivered with a tonne of drama and suspense. The kidnapping was intense, gritty, and nail-bitingly exciting. It was my favourite part of the book and it kept me listening right to the end all in one sitting.
The dual narrators were excellent and complemented each other well. The production moved seamlessly between the two narrators. 

Wednesday 15 June 2022

Cold Silence (Cold Just: Most Wanted #1) by Toni Anderson (2022)


Read the next edge-of-your-seat Romantic Thriller from New York Times bestselling author, Toni Anderson.

FBI Hostage Rescue Team member Shane Livingstone is frustrated when an injury sidelines him during an operation to catch a sadistic killer. A killer who auctions off vicious ways to torture his victims and screens the events for money on the dark web. When a teammate dies during the op, a devastated Shane vows to track down the monster responsible—but to do so he’ll need access to specialized skills he doesn’t possess.

A bloody game of cat and mouse…

As a white-hat hacker at Alex Parker’s security firm, Yael Brooks knows how to track predators through the darkest recesses of cyberspace. She can’t say no to Shane’s request…even though she fears her own secrets may put her at risk.

With a serial killer who makes it personal…

Shane and Yael must work together as a team if they hope to stop this psychopath. As they begin to grow closer, Shane demands Yael’s complete trust, but trust is the one thing Yael is reluctant to give. As the chase intensifies and more people die, it becomes obvious that the killer knows exactly who Yael is and plans to make both her and Shane pay the ultimate price for getting in his way.

The best romantic suspense book I've read this year. I lost sleep with this book! I stayed up all night to finish reading as I didn't want to put it down. Every page was filled with tension, drama and suspense. 
There was a nice slow-burn romance between Shane and Yael but the real essence of the book was the tense race against time to catch the serial killer. My heart definitely pounded and a sense of dread developed as Yael and Shane inched closer to discovering the killer's identity. I loved every minute of this thrilling read and I look forward to reading the next one.

Cold Silence is out now in all formats.

Sunday 12 June 2022

Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?: A Memoir by Seamas O'Reilly


Thank you to Hachette Audio, Little, Brown & Company and Netgalley for my review copy.


“In this joyous, wildly unconventional memoir, Séamas O'Reilly tells the story of losing his mother as a child and growing up with ten siblings in Northern Ireland during the final years of the Troubles as a raucous comedy, a grand caper that is absolutely bursting with life." ―PATRICK RADDEN KEEFE, NYT bestselling author of Say Nothing and Empire of Pain

Séamas O’Reilly’s mother died when he was five, leaving him, his ten (!) brothers and sisters, and their beloved father in their sprawling bungalow in rural Derry. It was the 1990s; the Troubles were a background rumble, but Séamas was more preoccupied with dinosaurs, Star Wars, and the actual location of heaven than the political climate.
An instant bestseller in Ireland, Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? is a book about a family of loud, argumentative, musical, sarcastic, grief-stricken siblings, shepherded into adulthood by a man whose foibles and reticence were matched only by his love for his children and his determination that they would flourish.

A humorous look back over a childhood filled with love and marred by loss. It's a gentle and moving read and the humour is abundant. There are so many one-liners laced with dark humour that people from the north are so good at. It brought back many of my own memories from my childhood and teenage years.
Everything about the time period is familiar to me as it's our collective recent history and yet in such a short space of time it has become a bygone era. Remembering the way it was back then just highlights how far Derry has moved on from the Troubles.
I listened to the audio version of this book and for the first time, I didn't need to speed up the narration on my app. I liked that the author spoke at a normal speed and in a familiar accent. It felt like he was there next to us in the pub regaling a story and having the craic. Listeners from outside Ireland or who are unfamiliar with the accent may need to tune themselves into it at a slower speed. Listening to a sample would be a good idea
I found the story very moving but not in a sad way although there are obviously sad memories touched upon. The love the author has for his father shines through and I thought it was really lovely that his father could listen to his son reading the memoir and hear him put into words what we often struggle to say out loud to those we love.
A brilliantly told memoir emotional and funny.

Wednesday 8 June 2022

The Only Exception (Love in the Comptons #2) by Claire Huston (2022)


Lucinda Green knows something is missing from her life. But what? Her catering business is enjoying modest success and she loves her cosy house, even if she does have to share it with her irritating ex-fiancé.

Whatever’s making her unsettled and edgy, Lucinda’s certain that a lack of romance isn’t the problem. How could it be when she doesn’t believe in true love?

But Lucinda’s beliefs are shaken by a series of electric encounters with Alex Fraser, a newly notorious actor who gradually proves himself to be infuriatingly funny and smart, as well as handsome.

Not that any of that matters. Because Lucinda doesn’t believe in all that ‘The One’ nonsense. That’s the rule.

But doesn’t every rule have an exception?

This uplifting grumpy-meets-sunshine romance is perfect for fans of Phillipa Ashley, Katie Fforde and Trisha Ashley.

Book Two in the Love in the Comptons series. These are standalone stories and can be read in any order.
1. Art and Soul (Becky and Charlie)
2. The Only Exception (Lucinda and Alex)

The only Exception is so lovely. It's exactly as advertised - sweet, heartwarming romantic comedy.
I loved Alex. I wanted to wrap him up and take him home. He may be a good looking actor but he's quite insecure and shy and it's adorably cute. He also obsesses over texts and how to reply which made him very relatable and likeable. 
My favourite part of the story was when Alex and Lucinda went to visit Lady Russell. There was a shift in their relationship here where they go from frosty acquaintances to allies and friends. It was really well done and it had me smiling.
All their interactions were laced with great banter and the promise of romance. It's one of those books where I wanted to read it slowly so I could savour the detail, romance and humour but at the same time, I couldn't wait to see Alex and Lucinda get together so the pages turned at record speed regardless. 
This is such a fun and uplifting, feel-good story and I hope there'll be more Love the Comptons to come.

The Only Exception is out now! Amazon

Monday 6 June 2022

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley (2022)


Welcome to No.12 rue des Amants

A beautiful old apartment block, far from the glittering lights of the Eiffel Tower and the bustling banks of the Seine.

Where nothing goes unseen, and everyone has a story to unlock.

The watchful concierge
The scorned lover
The prying journalist
The naïve student
The unwanted guest

There was a murder here last night.
A mystery lies behind the door of apartment th

Who holds the key?

Dark and creepy with a whole bunch of strange and unlikeable people. I liked Jess who has the unenviable task of living with these horrible people in order to find out what happened to her brother, Ben. 
This slow-burn story is twisty and complicated. It jumps back and forth between timelines and points of view of different characters.
 I listened to the audiobook and I loved the ensemble cast narration.  
I enjoyed The Paris Apartment but it's slightly darker and uglier than I would normally enjoy and I found myself needing to shake it off after I'd finished it.