Wednesday 29 May 2024

With Wine Comes Wisdom (With Wine Series Book 1) by J.E. Johnson


                     What if running out of gas changed your life forever? 
Alex Kennedy — just a realtor trying to move on from her tortured past while hoping to find her purpose in life. When she runs out of gas in a neighborhood she thinks is worth saving, suddenly nothing will ever be the same.

Roman King— Tall, dark, handsome and successful. He’s every woman’s fantasy but he only has one woman on his mind—Alex. His pull to her is so strong and overwhelming he can’t help his desperate desire to protect her from everyone and everything—especially herself.

With Wine Comes Wisdom… Can two people overcome the shadows of the past to hold onto the love of their dreams? Or will old nightmares tear them apart…Intrigue, danger, new friendships, a love that could only exist between soulmates and wine, lots of wine.

559 pages, Kindle Edition

Published May 14, 2024


From the opening chapter, I knew I would enjoy this book. 
So, I took my time to savour every minute, after all, you don't guzzle a fine wine. 

My first impressions of Alex were of a woman who has it all, a very successful career, a feisty, confident attitude, hard-drinking but with nice friends and the added advantage of a barman in the know and quick to serve up her usual order without any to-do. It soon becomes apparent that Alex also has a kind heart. When she runs out of gas in a run-down neighbourhood, her first instinct is to admire the beauty of the old architecture, befriend one of the residents, and lament that the people there are selling up to a developer. She decides to help however she can even if it only means helping the residents get a fair price for their properties. She wasn't expecting her new crush to be involved in tearing down the neighbourhood.

Alex has a complicated and colourful family background whereas Roman's is quieter and supportive. Roman falls head over heels for Alex at first sight. But, it becomes apparent that Alex has walls up around her and it won't be easy to navigate a romance with her. He has patience in abundance. I love how determined he is that things will work out between them. I love the slow-burn development of their relationship. It is lovely and sweet to read. The sexual tension between the characters is scorching hot and I could feel every ounce of their attraction and frustration. 

Much of the novel is taken up with Alex and Roman spending time together and getting to know each other.  
But there is also intrigue and a sense of danger permeating through the story as Roman's company is mixed up in dodgy real estate deals that will take some manoeuvring to get free from. 
Events escalate unexpectedly and a twist at the end had me reeling. 

With an unresolved storyline, I feel bereft at leaving these characters hanging until the sequel is released. All fingers and toes are crossed it won't be too long.



Monday 27 May 2024

Miss Isobel and the Prince (The Triplet Orphans #2) by Catherine Tinley (2024) BLOG TOUR





Miss Isobel and the Prince

What happens when a sensible Cinderella meets a European prince? Find out in this sparkling romantic Regency story!

A royal distraction...

...for the debutante!

Given her meagre dowry and lack of known parents, Isobel Lennox must use her only London season to make a sensible match. So why, oh why is she dazzled by the dashing, handsome Prince Claudio? She's not highborn enough to be his bride--and he's certainly not ready to marry. But one mesmerizing kiss later, neither can stay away from each other!

From Harlequin Historical: Your romantic escape to the past.

Purchase Link - https://mybook.to/IsobelPrince


Miss Isobel and the Prince is a very humorous, enemies-to-lovers historical romance.

Unfortunately, they judged each other on first impressions at their first meeting. The prince mistook Isobel for a serving maid and drunkenly asked for a kiss. This did not go down well with Isobel who wasted no time reprimanding him sparking the beginning of their love-hate relationship. 

I loved all the drama surrounding the triplet's debut and Claudio's reaction when he saw them. 
Their various verbal spats at each social function after that were entertaining to read however, I got a little bit impatient with Isobela as I wanted her to let bygones be bygones and get to know the prince who was obviously smitten. 

It would take a lot for the pair to become friends when not even the queen could convince Isobel to dance with him.

Isobel's character shone through when she put aside her misgivings about Claudio and came to his rescue when there was a plot to trap him into marriage. I really loved this scene especially as it saw the downfall of a couple of scheming ladies and it marked the beginning of Claudio and Isobel's friendship and flirtation.

Things ended in nicely rounded way after a series of very dramatic events involving jealousy and a duel. I was expecting an emotional bedside illness scene with Claudio declaring his feelings but he didn't get an opportunity as his attempts to make amends were declined. Their inability to communicate properly caused unnecessary angst and delayed their happy ending. I could feel the relief of every side character when their betrothal was finally announced. The happy ending was worth the rocky road it took to get there.

Miss Isobel and the Prince is the second in the series but is a complete standalone novel. I am looking forward to reading Anna's story next and continuing with the mystery surrounding their father's identity and why their mother went into hiding with them as babies.

Author Bio 



Catherine Tinley is a multi award-winning writer of witty, heartwarming Regency Romance. Her first novel, Waltzing with the Earl, won the Rita(R) Award for Best Historical Romance 2018, and she has since won the 2021 RoNA award, the 2021 HOLT medallion, and the 2022 RoNA award for Best Historical Romance. She lives in Ireland with her family and can be reached at www.CatherineTinley.com and on social media at https://linktr.ee/CTinley

Social Media Links – https://linktr.ee/CTinley

Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of Miss Isobel and the Prince (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 dispatch or delivery of the prize.





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Tuesday 21 May 2024

A New Dawn at Owl's Lodge by Jessica Redmond (Boldwood Books 2024)


The BRAND NEW uplifting romantic read from MILLION-COPY BESTSELLER Jessica Redland for 2024



Could one chance meeting change your life forever?

Zara is at a crossroads in life. While she adores her job as a producer's assistant working on hit TV shows, travelling around the country means she doesn't truly feel that she has a home. With a fractured relationship with her family and unrequited love weighing heavily on her heart, she is torn about what her next step in life should be...

Snowy is hiding from the world. He's devoted his life to home schooling his young son and caring for sick owls at his home, Owl's Lodge, deep in the Yorkshire Wolds countryside. While he's passionate about both, it's a lonely existence and he's starting to question his decisions. But how do you step back into a world you've pushed away for years...?

When Zara brings an injured owl to Owl's Lodge, its frosty, reclusive owner is far from welcoming. Despite hostilities, there's a connection that neither could ever have prepared themselves for. As they discover a shared passion, a new friendship blossoms, but both Zara and Snowy are used to shutting people out.

Can they both find the courage to open up and the strength to move on from their pasts? And what could this mean for their future happiness?

Escape to the world of Bumblebee Barn and Hedgehog Hollow with MILLION-COPY BESTSELLER Jessica Redland for this brand new feel-good romance of family, friendship and hope.



A New Dawn at Owl's Lodge is a heartwarming story of love, loss, friendship, second chances and redemption. There are plenty of lighthearted and romantic moments to offset the themes of grief, and alcoholism that this story touches upon.

Zara and Snowy meet at just the right time in their lives. Zara is at a crossroads in her life. She is ready to move away from her family and start a new life. At Bumblebee Barn and Hedgehog Hollow she feels calm and can breathe away from the city and her unhappy relationships with her brother and mother. Snowy has been grieving the loss of his wife but is at the stage where it is right for him to accept the past and move on however reluctant he may be to take that step. They support each other and grow closer to the delight of Harrison, Snowy's son, who's also taken a shine to Zara. 

Both characters had an interesting background in gymnastics with Snowy being a former Olympian. This was something different and exciting. I loved how they both reignited their love of gymnastics and had great fun especially as Harrison showed early interest in it and competition.

I disliked Zara's brother but I loathed her mother and how she had treated Zara all her life. I would have been quite happy for her to close the door on them and not look back. After all Snowy has a lovely family and she fits perfectly in it. However Zara is a nice person and with some help from Snowy there is an opportunity for conflict resolution and second chances.

This was a lovely, sweet romance. I liked the slow burn feel to it as it was sensitive to the needs of Snowy who was entering into his first romantic relationship since the death of his wife. I also liked that Zara got to resolve her unrequited feelings for someone else and realised quickly where cupid's arrow was really pointing.

I loved all the owl references especially the guide at the end of the book. It's something I could reference back to if the children need to do project work on owls.

A New Dawn at Owl's Lodge is out now Amazon


Thursday 16 May 2024

The Hot Henry Effect by Lucy Chalice (2024)

 


A brand new spicy romcom for fans of Ali Hazelwood and Tessa Bailey!

When a mishap with a pain au chocolat ruins the most important presentation of Dr Clara Clancy’s career, the last person she expects to come to her rescue is the impossibly good-looking and all-round super-nice guy from her university days, Dr Henry Fraser.​

Back during their time together at Oxford, Clara was seemingly the only person immune to The Hot Henry Effect – a genuine scientific phenomenon whereby those around Henry fall instantly and helplessly in love with him, the outcomes of which he has remained entirely oblivious to.​

Now, reunited and back working together, it’s not long before they slip back into their easy friendship. But both Henry and Clara are keeping secrets – if they can’t be honest with themselves, what hope is there of them being honest with each other? And will Clara really be able to resist the Hot Henry Effect for long?​

Tropes

  • Workplace
  • Second chance
  • He falls first
  • Spicy 🌶️🌶️🌶️

Pub Date May 16 2024 
HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter 


The Hot Henry Effect is the debut novel from Lucy Chalice. It's a slow burn workplace romance with a lot of humour and and adorable couple.

Clara and Henry are the kind of people you want to lock in a small space together until they get their stuff together. They missed their chance first time around when they were at university because Clara had put Henry firmly in the friend zone despite really liking him. And now seven years later she is repeating history.
There were a few times where I wanted to give Clara a little shake and a good talking to as she was so entrenched in her own insecurities that she wilfully ignored all the blatant signs that Henry was in love with her. I felt quite sorry for him as he was so perfect and cute.

I loved all the silly banter and humour and good fun they had. Their chemistry sparked off the page right from the outset and I was itching for the pair to finally say how they truly felt. Of course, even when the truth of the matter was revealed it wasn't an instant HEA as Clara needed even more convincing. This is where I felt most sorry for Henry because he had expressed himself so endearingly I was sure that Clara would see sense. Thankfully, it wasn't long before they had worked things out after Clara made a fun gesture to win him back, However, I felt that she could have done something that involved more effort to make up for all the misery she put him through.

I liked all the side characters and I enjoyed the subplot involving one of Clara's co-workers being creepy and inappropriate as it provided opportunities for Clara and Henry to collaborate to keep her safe from unwanted attention and have a lot of fun doing so.

The Hot Henry Effect is a delightfully entertaining read and I look forward to reading the author's next book in November.

The Hot Henry Effect is out now Amazon

Tuesday 14 May 2024

The Cornish Curse: The Edge of the World Detective Agency Book 1 by Jo Silva


Description

Donna Nightshade’s first rule of composting: shred. Things rot quicker that way – cabbages, flowers, dead bodies…

When Donna branches out from floristry to private investigation and opens The Edge of the World Detective Agency, the last thing she expects is to have a murder fall into her lap almost immediately. Now, normally she wouldn’t be one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but there’s one significant problem with the case – all the evidence points to Donna as the murderer!

Donna may have hated the man, but she’s not the only one who had the means and motive, so she dons her deerstalker. Staying two steps ahead of the police – specifically her ex, Detective Sergeant Joe Enys – won’t be easy, but with pirate blood in her veins nothing can stop ‘deadly’ Donna from claiming her bounty and making the real culprit walk the plank!

                                                       🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Cornish Curse is a light and funny who dunnit with a rather quirky cast of characters. I was compelled to buy the audio version as I knew that the dramatised narration would do the characters better justice than my inner reading voice.

To enjoy this series you should start with this book as it outlines the history of Donna's family, pertinent family members and what makes them special compared to the ordinary people in their town.

In this first instalment, Donna goes around in circles trying to find the identity of a killer when all the evidence points to her. The local detective tries to give her the benefit of the doubt but time is running out.

Chaos, twists and turns, blackmail and subterfuge abound and it's very humourous and witty in its unfolding. I couldn't put the book down and listened to it at every available opportunity. The narration was excellent and I'll continue with the series in audio.

The first three books in this series are available now. Amazon



Monday 13 May 2024

Cold Fury (Cold Justice: Most Wanted #4) by Toni Anderson


Seven years ago, Hope Harper was a star defense attorney with a great life and a beautiful family—until she got the wrong defendant released, and he turned around and viciously slaughtered her husband and child. Since then, the only thing Hope cares about is locking bad guys behind bars where they can’t hurt anyone else. When the killer escapes from a maximum security prison during a winter storm, Hope refuses to run and hide.

The FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team is called in to protect the handful of public figures the notorious serial killer threatened. Operator Aaron Nash draws the short straw—he’ll be heading up Assistant District Attorney Hope Harper’s close protection detail.

Much to Aaron’s frustration, the cool blonde refuses to go into protective custody. As the hours and days wear on, Aaron and Hope manage a fragile truce. He begins to understand and admire the tenacious prosecutor, and the two of them begin to work together.

As the escaped serial killer’s rampage spins on, Hope knows it’s just a matter of time until he comes for her. Except something’s changed. For the first time since losing her family, she has something to live for. But is history doomed to repeat itself?

All the books can be read as standalone novels. For fans of Laura Griffin, Karen Rose, Sandra Brown, and Nora Roberts.

🌟🌟🌟🌟 🌟

Cold Fury is a tense romantic thriller with a serial killer who is the stuff of nightmares. 

In the opening scene the reader is confronted with the emotional turmoil surrounding the murder of Hope Harper's husband and their little girl, Hope's anguish at finding them and her desperate attempts to keep them alive long enough for the emergency services to take over.

Fast forward to seven years later and Hope is working as a prosecutor. She doesn't form personal attachments preferring to keep her own company and everyone else at arm's length. However, her grief and anger at the person for killing her family hasn't waned and when the killer's sights are set on her after his escape she welcomes the chance to settle a score.  Her protection detail has their work cut out for them as Hope isn't popular but she is determined to see justice done. Sparks fly between her and Aaron and their eventual romance is a welcome source of light relief to all the drama.

This is a thrilling read and difficult to put down. The killer starts picking off easy targets with the lead-up to Hope being the ultimate prize and the tension and suspense ratchets up a notch every time as everyone waits for the killer to make his move on Hope. However, he isn't the only one with an agenda and this complicates matters when events take a sinister turn and Hope has to rely on the few fighting survival techniques that Aaron and the team taught her.

Cold Fury is one wild and exciting read. It goes from heart-wrenching to heart-thumping fear in quick succession and only with the final acts does everything settle down and Hope and Aaron can make plans for a well-deserved future together.


Cold Fury Publishes today! Amazon 

Friday 10 May 2024

Army Girls: Behind The Guns by Fenella J. Miller BLOG TOUR



                                                                              September 1942

Having done her duty as an ATS girl, Lance Corporal Ruth Cox is moving on to new challenges and has signed up to work as a gunner girl, helping to keep the skies clear of enemy planes and safe for our brave boys in blue.

But on the way to her new barracks, Ruth meets handsome Sargeant Sam Johnson. Ruth isn’t looking for romance, and she knows she has a dangerous job ahead, but there is a connection between her and Sam that she can’t deny.

Sam has never met anyone quite like Ruth before and he hopes their relationship will continue to grow, but with the war still raging, the time they have together is fleeting. It isn’t long before they are sent to different parts of the country to do their duty and risk their lives.

Will they find their way back to each other, or will war destroy their hope of happiness?

Purchase Link - https://mybook.to/ArmyGirlsBehindtheGuns



Behind the Guns is the third book in the Army Girls series and can be read as a standalone.
This instalment centres around Ruth and her career choice as a gunner. She meets Sam en route to her new training grounds and sparks fly immediately. Their meeting is fraught with drama which brings them closer together quite quickly. With a war going on they waste no time in declaring their feelings and desire to get to know one another better. The time-period is a good showcase for an old-fashioned romance where love blooms with the anticipation of and the exchange of letters and notes. With Sam and Ruth you really get a sense of the longing they felt and the wish to be stationed near each other so that they would have opportunities to meet. There is never a dull moment when the pair are together as they attract trouble and drama at every turn. I couldn't wait to see how things would turn out for them especially after Sam's family troubles come to light. I was surprised at the abrupt ending as I would have loved to see more of this family drama and learn how Sam and Ruth fared with their change in circumstances. But I loved every minute of this warm and dramatic story.

Author Bio –

Fenella J Miller was born in the Isle of Man. Her father was a Yorkshire man and her mother the daughter of a Rajah. She has worked as a nanny, cleaner, field worker, hotelier, chef, secondary and primary teacher and is now a full time writer.

She has over fifty Regency romantic adventures published plus four Jane Austen variations, four Victorian sagas and fourteen WW2 family sagas. Fenella J Miller now writes for Boldwood. She is a widow and lives in a small village in Essex with her British Shorthair cat. She has a son, daughter in law, and a grandson very much part of her life as well as a daughter, granddaughter and grandson living in the US from whom she is estranged.



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