#Blogtour | My Great Ex-Scape by Portia MacIntosh #Excerpt #BoldwoodBlogger @portiamacintosh @BoldWoodBooks
Hello Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; My Great Ex-Scape by Portia MacIntosh. Not only will I be telling you all about this wonderful book, but I also have an exclusive excerpt which I know you will love. So settle in, grab a cuppa and enjoy.
My Great Ex-Scape by Portia MacIntosh
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Genre: Women’s fiction
What if your future was somewhere in your past?
Rosie Jones has been dumped by every boyfriend she’s ever had – most recently by Dinosaur Dave, live on TV, during the ‘phone-a-friend’ segment of a quiz show. After the footage goes viral Rosie receives a bunch of flowers with a message:
I love you, I should have never let you go, I want you back x
But who sent them?
At a loose end and with £50,000 prize money in her back pocket, Rosie decides to take a trip down memory lane, visiting each of her ex-boyfriends to see not just if they are the one who sent the flowers but if they are the one.
Her journey takes her back to the house she grew up in and on a transatlantic cruise to New York, but can Rosie figure out which ex-boyfriend is the love of her life, or should the past stay in the past?
A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from bestseller, Portia MacIntosh. Perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Sophie Ranald and Zara Stoneley.
What readers are saying about My Great Ex-Scape
‘A hilarious, roaringly fun, feel good, sexy read. I LOVED it!’ Holly Martin
‘A feel good, funny and well written book. I read it in 2 days and enjoyed every second!’ A.L. Michael
‘From beginning to a delightfully surprising end, I loved it!!!’
‘This book is a definite must-read! Brilliant 5+ stars.’
‘Well Portia has done it again. Another absolutely wonderful read which has gripped me from the very beginning.’
‘I am a huge fan of Portia, every new book makes me have a new favourite. She is an extremely talented author who has the ability to create such magical and fantastic reads.’
It is definitely a must read and as always I wish I could give Portia more than five stars for this gorgeous read.’
‘Five stars really does not do this wonderful read justice.’
‘The perfect holiday read’
‘I said, how would you like £50,000?’ Mike King, the host, asks again.
‘I’d love £50,000,’ I admit, my voice wobbling almost as much as I am on this tall chair.
If I’d known I was going to be chosen to take part today, I probably would have turned the opportunity down, even with the knowledge that I could win some serious money. I don’t think I would’ve thought I had it in me to get this far…
I’m somehow too hot and too cold. I want to say the studio lights are hot, but there’s cool air con to offset the warmth. I am sitting opposite the host in the centre of a brightly lit circle, in an otherwise dimly lit room. I can’t see the audience – I can’t even see the camera, not really. I only know they’re there now because of the little red LED lights I keep spotting. Even without them, I don’t think I’d be able to forget I was on TV. On live TV, no less.
‘This is your final question,’ Mike explains. ‘Who said blondes were dumb, huh?’
I smile politely. I have had to contend with the dumb blonde thing my entire life. First, when I was younger, when I had naturally blonde hair, and then more recently from all the highlights, because for some reason my hair gets darker as I get older.
‘Your only remaining lifeline is to make a call from your speed dial numbers,’ Mike reminds me.
When we started, I was allowed to select three numbers from my phone in the event of choosing the ‘make a call’ option. Without many friends or people who I even believed would answer, I chose my dad, Tim, Sam, and David. I don’t suppose any of them would know all that much about anything based in pop culture, but I think I have that covered myself. Anything on the life and works of Alan Titchmarsh, unscrupulous news practices, or bones, and one of them might be some use to me. I doubt my boss would appreciate me calling her on her husband’s birthday, so here’s hoping for the Chelsea Flower Show or cavemen. At least if it’s the latter, David’s lecture will be over and he’ll be able to take the call. My dad probably won’t even hear his phone ring.
‘Ready for it?’ Mike asks.
I nod unconvincingly.
‘OK, here we go… Which dinosaur had fifteen horns?’
An impossibly big grin stretches all the way across my face. This has to be a joke. I might be optimistic, but I am under no illusions – I am not a lucky person. I don’t get picked for TV shows, I don’t have many people to call for help, and I definitely don’t get questions that are going to be easy… and yet here we are.
‘You know this one?’ the host asks in disbelief.
I know I might be blonde, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know anything about dinosaurs. I mean, I don’t know anything about dinosaurs, but what gives him the right, huh?
‘I know a man who does,’ I say as my grin inches even wider. ‘I’d like to call my boyfriend please.’
‘Your boyfriend knows a lot about dinosaurs?’
I nod, only semi-smugly.
‘I’m sorry to hear that,’ the host jokes. ‘What’s your boyfriend’s name? What does he do?’
‘His name is David and he’s a lecturer.’
‘What does he teach, dinosaurs?’
‘Palaeobiology,’ I reply.
‘Is that dinosaurs?’
The audience laugh wildly. Mike is a sort of cheeky-chappy host. A thirty-something former musician who has somehow made it as a TV presenter. I suppose it’s his charm – the audience clearly love him.
‘OK, let’s get Dinosaur Dave on the phone,’ Mike says.
I wince as he says ‘Dave’ – David hates being called Dave.
‘So all you have to do is, when Dinosaur Dave answers, just tell him you have one big question to ask him. If he gets it right, you’ll be £50k richer!’
‘Sounds good,’ I say.
About the Author
Portia MacIntosh is a bestselling romantic comedy author of 12 novels, including It’s Not You, It’s Them and The Accidental Honeymoon. Previously a music journalist, Portia writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real-life experiences. T
o keep up to date with Portia’s news and books, why not sign up to her newsletter – HERE
Blog Tour Schedule
#BlogTour | Josephine: Singer Soldier Dancer Spy by Eilidh McGinness #JosephineSingerSoldierDancerSpy #Feature #HFVBTBlogTours @eilidhmcginness @hfvbt
Hello Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this brilliant blog tour, for Josephine: Singer Soldier Dancer Spy by Eilidh McGinness. Not only will I be telling you all about this wonderful book, but there is a chance for you all to win a copy too, as always sit back grab that cuppa and enjoy.
Josephine: Singer Soldier Dancer Spy by Eilidh McGinness
Publication Date: December 1, 2019
Format: eBook & Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction
Josephine Baker is born into poverty in racially segregated America. Desperate to escape she flees to France where she embraces the hedonistic lifestyle on offer for those who dare, in the Paris of the Roaring Twenties.
Hitler’s rise to power in Germany forces her to face her true self. Determined to protect the Liberty Equality and Fraternity she has found in France, she becomes an ‘honorable correspondent’ for the French Secret Service. So, beginning a journey which will take her from the Red Cross Shelters in Paris to the cruel deserts of North Africa. She will find love and enduring friendship but she must also face dangers which will threaten not only her life but all she holds dear…..Can she find the courage to fight for what she believes in….no matter what the cost?
About the Author
Eilidh was born and brought up in the Highlands of Scotland. She studied law at Aberdeen University. She practiced as a lawyer for twelve years, latterly specializing in criminal defense. Eilidh then moved to South West France with her then husband and four children. She established an independent estate agency business which she ran for twelve years before concentrating on writing- a long held dream. Eilidh has always been fascinated by history and ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, December 30
Review at Books and Zebras
Thursday, January 2
Review at Liberty’s Literary Loves
Friday, January 3
Feature at Comet Readings
Monday, January 6
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books
Tuesday, January 7
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Wednesday, January 8
Review at Reader then Blogger
Thursday, January 9
Feature at Just One More Chapter
Saturday, January 11
Review at Reading is My Remedy
Monday, January 13
Feature at I’m All About Books
Tuesday, January 14
Feature at BookNook 2020
Wednesday, January 15
Review at Passages to the Past
Thursday, January 16
Interview at Passages to the Past
Friday, January 17
Feature at View from the Birdhouse
Saturday, January 18
Feature at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals
Sunday, January 19
Review at YA, It’s Lit
Monday, January 20
Review at Nursebookie
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback copy of Josephine: Singer Soldier Dancer Spy! To enter, please use the Gleam form here – Josephine
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on January 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.
#Review | The Captain And The Squire (Captivating Captains Series ) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead #TheCaptainandtheSquire #CaptivatingCaptains @e_harkstead @MadameGilflurt @PridePublishing
Hello my wonderful Sunshines, on this grey and blustery day! I am soooo excited to be sharing my review of the next Captivating Captains novel….squeals!!! Not only will I be boring you silly with my babble which after reading the review back does seem to focus a lot of bottoms, but I also have an exclusive excerpt for you all to devour, so settle in grab that cuppa and cake, and enjoy!!
A sexy city boy and a country squire will set the countryside alight!
Tarquin Bough is a tweedy squire with an ambitious fiancée who controls his every move. He’s also the owner of the finest collection of saucy artefacts in the world. From Christine Keeler’s eyelash to the Virgin Queen’s dildo, they’re all safe in Tarquin’s care.
Christopher Hardacre is a city-slicker with the tightest jodhpurs and the most smackable bottom in London. He’s given up the rat-race for a country life as captain of the village rowing team. The only trouble is, he’s lost his money to a ruthless scam and Bough Bottoms is his last hope of a home.
But Chris hasn’t reckoned on his late uncle’s will. The house comes with a sitting porcine tenant and if Chris can’t look after his newly-acquired pet pig, he’ll lose his inheritance and his last chance at happiness.
When Tarquin sees Chris it’s lust at first sight, but dare he be honest about his feelings in a village where being gay is bound to be a hot topic? As soon as Chris and Tarquin get together, it’s the hottest summer this little corner of England has ever known.
With a scheming local hotshot out to turn the beloved pig into sausages, can the captain and the squire save everybody’s bacon?
Tarquin yawned and stretched in his deckchair. Although most of the blossom had gone from the orchard, blown away by the storms in late spring, it was still a beautiful place to sit in the evening. He took a mouthful of brandy and scratched the head of the pig who was snuffling at the grass beside his chair.
“Now look here, Oracle!” Tarquin held up the length of carved wood that he had been nursing on his lap. “The craftsmanship is second to none.”
The Oracle seemed to be listening, even if she was still busy hunting for truffles. But over the contented snorts of the pig, Tarquin heard the music from next door rise in volume and yet another car revved in the private lane outside his house.
His new neighbor had arrived.
The car doors slammed and the sound of braying laughter carried on the breeze as yet more visitors arrived to greet—who? Who was it who was moving into the Hardacre house anyway? Who was it who’d had removal vans and tradespeople coming and going for weeks to the empty house? Who was responsible for the smell of fresh paint and the sound of hammering and drilling from that tottering, crumbling pile where the late Beardsley Hardacre had lived for his one hundred and three years? Who had landscaped that wild garden?
Who was it who had arrived by nightfall not quite twenty-four hours earlier and was apparently already throwing a party?
And why had this interloper made no effort to claim the Oracle of Delphi?
“Your new mummy and daddy have arrived, my friend,” Tarquin told the pig, his voice soft. But as another toot and another bray of laughter reached him in his formerly tranquil orchard, he rose from the chair, fire in his tone as he declared, “And I’m going to have words!”
Tarquin ran across the orchard and, his brandy in one hand and the carved wooden length in the other, took the fence in a single bound like a steeplechaser.
The evening air was torn by that most dreadful of sounds—the cry of ripped corduroy trousers.
Now in the Hardacre garden, Tarquin cast a glance back at the fence, where a ragged square of golden-colored corduroy waved back at him like a tiny flag. It must’ve caught on a nail, but instead of going home to change, Tarquin was too inflamed with rage to turn back, and instead plunged on through the garden.
And what an improvement it is!
What had once been a tangle of brambles amid a sea of grass that would have hidden an army was now a manicured lawn so flat that it could have been a golf course. Bright bursts of color sprang from well-tended borders and for the first time in years Tarquin could actually see the banks of the river that ran along the bottom of their neighboring gardens. How strange it was to think that such a beautiful view had been hidden all these years, but the cantankerous old gentleman who had lived here far longer than Tarquin had even been alive’d had little time for gardening. He had been too busy with wine, women and song for that.
And whoever was now in his house seemed to be of similar appetites, Tarquin realized, as he rounded the corner and froze on the edge of the patio.
Everyone appeared to be in swimwear, or something resembling it. Tall, elegant women wearing sarongs and high heels with their jewelry chatted with handsome young men in shorts and little more, each of them holding a fizzing glass of champagne, each of them exuding money and confidence and…the city.
A huge hot tub that bubbled on the patio contained yet more of the incomers, tan and braying and so bloody loud and one of them, he knew, must be the new master of Hardacre Grange.
It had to be the man whose braying laughter was louder than anyone else’s. The man who seemed to be holding court in that absurdly overstated hot tub.
The only one wearing sunglasses on an evening that required no such thing.
Tarquin strode straight up to the hot tub and bellowed, “Which of you ruddy coves is in charge here?”
The chatter fell silent but the thump of the music, of course, did not. The man in sunglasses took a leisurely sip from his glass of champagne and said, “That would be me, squire. Why don’t you grab a glass and hop on in?”
Tarquin shook with fury, the brandy slopping up against the brim of his glass. “Hop in? Hop bloody in? The bally cheek of it—I don’t bathe in public with strangers!”
“Oh, you’ve brought your own booze, I like it!” He lowered his sunglasses just a little and peered closely at Tarquin’s other hand. “And you appear to have also brought a large wooden penis. Is that a traditional welcome in Bough Bottoms? Hello, old man, here’s a penis from all of us on the parish council!”
The partygoers guffawed that braying laugh, every eye now focused on Tarquin’s hand.
“Penis?” Tarquin thundered. Then he recalled the antique object in his hand. “This? This is a Tudor dildo! It belonged to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I herself!” Tarquin wagged it under the nose of the man in sunglasses, because surely the man couldn’t see properly wearing Ray-Bans in the dusk.
Although Tarquin could see his new neighbor very well, smarmily grinning at Tarquin from under his arrogant flop of blond hair. Tarquin wasn’t going to admit it, but the fellow was in exquisite form, with swimmer’s shoulders and toned arms that Tarquin would have happily spent hours squeezing like a shopper deciding on a grapefruit. And that angular jaw was worthy of a statue, finished off with a square chin that Tarquin would never tire of nibbling on.
Not that he would. Tarquin threw a furious glance at the woman chortling at his new neighbor’s side.
Married. Has to be. Bugger it.
Or sadly not.
“A Tudor dil— oh, just a minute!” The man pushed his sunglasses up into his hair, his welcoming smile evaporating. “You’re Bough! You’re the man who did Great-Uncle Beardsley out of Prince Albert’s ceremonial Prince Albert!”
“No, I bloody didn’t! It’s mine!” Tarquin stamped his foot. Oh, my dander’s most definitely getting up! “And besides which, you could at least extend the courtesy of pronouncing my surname properly. It’s Boff, to rhyme with cough, not Bow as in bough as in part of a tree! It’s bloody Anglo-Saxon and if my ancestors weren’t conquered by the Normans, I won’t be conquered by a bloody blow-in Yuppie like you, accusing me of theft, who’s got a bath on his patio like a peasant!”
A collective intake of breath sounded around the patio. And where had the patio come from anyway? The last time Tarquin had glimpsed the back of the neighboring house before the brambles had claimed it, this had been a mud pit.
But the man who now rose from the water of the hot tub was certainly not an eyesore.
Bloody hell, he’s no old Uncle Beardsley.
“Uncle Bea said you were a Bow,” he said in a plummy sneer. Then he grinned and held out his hand, as though Tarquin weren’t juggling a glass of French brandy and Queen Elizabeth’s favorite dildo. “Christopher Hardacre. You can only be my new next-door neighbor. You’re exactly like Bea said you were in his letters. I feel like I already know you!”
Tarquin shoved the dildo into his pocket, its curved end poking out like a rhino horn. He held out his hand. “Your Uncle Beardsley was a dreadful old git—never got on with him, and he always pronounced my name wrong just to rile me. I’m Tarquin Bough, as in cough, and that’s the end of it. Christopher Hardacre, eh? My new neighbor!”
As Tarquin shook Christopher’s square hand, his gaze wandered down the planes of Christopher’s dripping chest, down to his muscular stomach and those wet shorts that clung to his every contour.
My other dander’s up now, blast it.
**Excerpt provided via the publisher’s website**
I love, love, love, love this book!! Can I put anymore ‘loves’ in that first sentence? I know, I know, I say the same every single time I read a Captivating Captain book, but I can’t help myself this series is just…..well, I am unable to say, as I think I have used every word that has been listed under amazing in the thesaurus…hmmm, went slightly off subject.
Anyway, Just when I think that this series has peaked and it can’t possibly get any better, and I have found my new love and favourite, then boom! The ladies-only go and pull out another winner and turn me into a melting, withering and babbling wreck, yet again, but this is too damn good!! It is in times like this when I need my heart-eye emoji’s to say what I can’t seem to put in words. Honestly, I don’t think that I have the adequate vocabulary to really do this amazing book the justice it deserves, but I’ll give it a darn good shot.
There are so many things that I want to say about this, and yet I don’t want to give away too much – I would rather hint and intrigue then give spoilers. But like all of the Captivating Captains series, this has everything that I look for in a good romance, it has the perfect mix of enigmatic character’s, sizzling chemistry, lots of fun and laughter, love to hate villains, a wonderfully original plot, plus the sharp, clever and very English wit which we have all come to know and love about this series.
When his elderly neighbour dies, Tarquin Bough – alias the very naughty ever so slightly kinky Squire – meets the new Hardacre to grace their little village of Bough Bottoms, Tarquin is all set to hate his new neighbour as there had been a small neighbourly war going on between the Hardacre’s and the Bough’s, but when our Squire meets sexy, confident and constantly unbuttoned Christopher Hardacre sparks fly and trousers rip (literally). For Tarquin it is an instant attraction, he feels proper raging lust for the first time, yet with his fiancée Petunia back at Bough Towers and who insists on wearing the trousers for him, his secret lust and desperate yearning to really get to know their new neighbour may not be as easy to accomplish as he hopes.
Oh, goodness me, that first meeting between Chris and Tarquin is hilarious, I was up most of the night giggling away with that first chapter which is full ripped trousers, lot of bottom showing, super tight swimwear; which leaves very little to the imagination and a squire brandishing an Elizabethan dildo; that alone ensures for some very tongue in cheek, hilarious and very, very cheeky banter between our boys, something which carries on throughout. These two are the best, I love their instant attraction, the trust they place on one and other, I love their chemistry it doesn’t just sizzle it steams up the windows with a mere peacocking, cheeky glance… I will never look at a simple barn or a shower cubicle in the same way again….phew!
City boy and newly named Captain of the rowing team; Christopher has moved to Bough Bottoms with the hope of making a whole new life for himself, a slower life, unfortunately, our golden-haired, fine bottomed Christopher has been through t’mill, after being caught in the snare of terrible con he is now broke, Bough Bottoms is his saving grace, Well it would be if it wasn’t for a certain clause in his late uncle’s will, basically, there is a pig and said pig has Christopher’s fate and future happiness in her trotter, because if Christopher and the cute as a button Oracle of Delphi don’t get along then its goodbye Christopher.
The Oracle of Delphi, what a brilliant addition to the story, I love that a pig is such an important part of the plot, there are some very funny and very touching moments where the Oracle is concerned, especially with Christopher. But, it’s not all sweetness and sexy jodhpur clad bottoms, there is a dastardly villain in the village, one with a plan and whom wants to serve our Oracle with apple sauce….the absolute cheek!!
There is a slight different feel to this one that the previous ‘Captivating Captains’ didn’t have, nothing bad just a little different, it’s a lot more saucier then the other’s that’s for sure. I love how it’s written predominately through Tarquin’s point of view, I really liked the way that Tarquin’s personal story is written how he knows he is gay yet for his own reasons won’t actually come out and say it openly, he doesn’t want scandal or to be the only gay squire in Bough Bottoms, I think he just lacks the confidence to actually be himself, and this is what Christopher does so perfectly, he shows Tarquin how happy he can be if he just allowed the saucy Squire to come out and once he does, there is no locking him away again.
The Captain and the Squire is an excellent, gloriously funny and sexy romance, the tongue-in-cheek humour, great banter and brilliant interaction between all the characters is perfect. The writing is as you’d expect from Catherine and Eleanor strong, witty, immensely clever and entertaining. Even the villains are brilliantly written – there is one that in particular, which I just loved hating – this character definitely mad me want to ‘boo’ and ‘hiss’ every time they were in a scene – which makes it all sound very pantomime-ish, but this is far, far better than sitting through another version of Aladdin for a start there are far more cheeky winks, pig wooing and well-shaped thighs and bottoms (Its official, I have a perversion for fine rear ends, someone help me)
I don’t think I have to say how much I loved this book, do I? Because I did, I thought that I was ruined with Guy the Pilot in The Captain and the Best Man and of course my beloved Captain Thorne from The Captain and the Cavalry Trooper, but this has galloped in right to the top.
If you love a jolly good ride through the country with two scandalously seductive gent’s then you need to read it!
This was an Arc copy via the authors, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Catherine and Eleanor. Xx
The Captain and the Squire is available from today, do go and grab yourself a copy, it’s definitely worth it!
#Blogtour | The Place We Call Home Faith Hogan #ThePlaceWecallHome #Review #Excerpt @gerhogan @aria_fiction
Hello, Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be ttoday’sstop on the brilliant blog tour for the beautiful; The Place We Call Home by Faith Hogan. Not only will I be sharing my review, but I also have an exclusive excerpt for you all, so sit back grab your cuppa and enjoy.
Welcome to Ballycove, the home of Corrigan Mills…
Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Irish countryside the famed mills have created the finest wool in all of Ireland. Run by the seemingly perfect Corrigan family, but every family has its secrets, and how the mills came to be the Corrigan’s is one of them…
Miranda and her husband were never meant to own the mills, until one fateful day catapults them into a life they never thought they’d lead.
Ada has forever lived her life in her sister’s shadow. Wanting only to please her mother and take her place as the new leader of the mill, Ada might just have to take a look at what her heart really wants.
Callie has a flourishing international career as a top designer and a man who loves her dearly, she appears to have it all. When a secret is revealed and she’s unceremoniously turfed out of the design world, Callie might just get what’s she’s been yearning for. The chance to go home.
Simon has always wanted more. More money, more fame, more notoriety. The problem child. Simon has made more enemies than friends over the years, and when one of his latest schemes falls foul he’ll have to return to the people who always believe in him.
Ballycove isn’t just a town in the Irish countryside. It isn’t just the base of the famous mills. It’s a place to call home.
Best-selling author, Faith Hogan returns with a family tale of love, loss, secrets and finding yourself.
Amazon / Kobo / Google Play / iBooks
Even now, when Miranda looked upon the stained silt of the riverbank, she could see the tints that dominated woollen blankets that sat everywhere from the White House to Downing Street. Ada, for all her acuity in the accounts department, lacked that vision. It was a passion and Miranda wished it fervently for her daughter, because she believed it brought with it an unbridled joy that Ada so badly needed to make her into the woman Miranda hoped one day she might become.
Callie had it. Combined with her raw talent, it was what had made her youngest daughter into the worldwide success she had become. Miranda worried about Callie, probably more than she should, but she knew that Callie’s life in London was not as simple or as rosy as it looked. She worked hard, too hard in Miranda’s opinion, and that left far too little time for anything else. Of course, her youngest daughter had managed to net all of the trappings of a successful life, but like her mother, material things counted for little to Callie who was as happy raking out the garden as she was standing on the red carpet of some glitzy event.
Miranda sighed; time seemed to collide on her more often these days with the past almost as clear as anything in the present. Callie Corrigan was born on a sunny day that seemed to herald the arrival of spring although it was late autumn. Miranda smiled, remembering Paddy had been busy in the mills that day, trying to shore up the old machines that were already running on prayer as much as engine power. It was an exercise in sentimentality as much as prudence. Miranda knew they could purchase new looms and weaving machines. They could fill their factory floor with computerised gadgets that would save them money in terms of wages and probably other overhead costs.
But the truth was, Miranda liked things as they were and she knew that Paddy loved them too. She appreciated the crashing of the loom, the smell of the yarn, the greetings from people like Tom Walsh, whose father and grandfather had all carried out the same job before him. She loved the gleam of the metal. When she ran her hand along the nameplates, she adored the feeling that, in some way, she was connecting with the generations who had passed before her and managed to keep the mills running while the world around it too often lost its way.
No, she would not be letting go of the old for something sleek and humourless. Even though Tom would frown when Big Betty stumbled, he would shake his head and mutter, but his smile of kindliness was priceless as he’d nudge the old machine into productivity once more.
Her husband, Paddy, had been neither a mechanic nor an engineer, but he was a man with a good brain and an interest in tinkering with things until he got them right. He worked away on many a black night and hummed quietly while he set about maintaining all the machines in the mills. She loved to watch him, as his big hands caressed the machines as much with tenderness as with strength. In the end, he crafted a series of replacement cogs, bobbins and timers and they had over the years, in their way, helped Miranda and made her forget that she was carrying the weight of so many futures in her hands.
Unfortunately, their son Simon was nothing like his father. Simon had grown up with that innate ability to seem as if he was pleasing everyone while setting out only to please himself. If Miranda worried about any of her children, it was Simon who had caused her the most sleepless nights over the years. She feared that Simon would never grow into the man she’d always hoped he’d be. Instead, it seemed he was doomed to crave a lifestyle that his modest income would never match in the way he hoped. He was destined never quite to meet the mark.
Set in Ballycove, Western Ireland, The Place We Call Home is a beautifully written, realistic and deeply emotional family saga which spans the generations with its a perfectly interweaving plot which delves into the past and connects it with the present. I love how Faith Hogan delves deep into the Irish way of life in Ballycove, it adds to the story and the characters, which I thinks makes everything feel very real and authentic.
The setting is absolutely perfect, each scene is vivid and adds a marvellous echoing atmosphere to the story, the setting itself is like an extension of the story like an extra character, always there in the back ground and adds so much to every scene.
I really won’t say too much about the story as a whole as it is complex and each characters own story is so interwoven though out that I wouldn’t which to give anything away. But this whole story revolves around the Corrigan and Blair family, who have been mill owners for generations, there are huge secrets and lies, there is heart-ache and love. The centre of the community is the mill which isn’t just apart of the family, it’s not a vessel of mystery, but it is peoples lives, roofs over heads and food on the table. I love how the mill is cemented into the book, how realistically it’s importance to the community is written.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the family, and discovering the secrets that have been so cleverly hidden and then revealed throughout the book, Faith Hogan never fails to grasp the readers attention and their heart with her perfectly written stories, the way she can take every human emotion and the tangled relationship which are within every family is a master class of writing. The wring is strong, intelligent and thought provoking, you are drawn into the world she has created for her characters, you follow each of them as though you were walking right beside them.
Each character is brilliantly written, true they are not all likable, but as this is glimpse of real life is would be odd if everyone was sweetness and nice, as we all know the world isn’t full of good people and this is again where Faith’s talent at writing every nuance of human life comes into it’s own.
This is a wonderful poignant story witha family at it’s heart, full of love and lies. I will admit that it did start of a little slow for my liking but it soon picks up and I soon easily fell into it’s gentle and at times a soothing pace. If you love your family saga’s then this is the book for you, definitely highly reccomended.
This was an arc via the publisher and Netgalley, which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour.
About the Author
Geraldine Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honors Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree in Training and Management from University College, Galway. She is an Irish award-winning and bestselling author of four contemporary fiction novels under the pen name Faith Hogan.
Silent Night is her first crime novel, her second is due out in December 2019.
She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!
You can find out more about Geraldine here:
Blog Tour Schedule
#GuestPost and #Review | Her Dark Knight’s Redemption (Lovers and Legends #8) by Nicole Locke #HerDarkKnightsRedemption #LoversandLegends #Giveaway @NicoleLockeNews @MillsandBoons @HarlequinBooks
Hello Sunshines! Have I got an amazing, epic post for you all today, not only am I sharing my review of the brilliant Her Dark Knight’s Redemption (be prepared for waffle), but I also have an exclusive guest post by Nicole where she will be introducing us all to that brutishly handsome Knight himself, not only that but I have teamed up with Nicole to bring you the most amazing giveaway – really it’s a doozy and not to be missed! Honestly, I’m sure it’s not healthy to be this excited…So settle back, grab that cuppa and enjoy!
‘This man was shadow and night…
He was Darkness.’
Homeless Aliette is saved from punishment for stealing by a mysterious knight. This stranger informs her that to stay alive she must claim his child as her own. She should fear the knight’s power, and yet it’s clear there’s more good to this man than he’s prepared to show. Can she break down the barriers of the tortured knight she calls Darkness…?
Oh, my! Oh, my! Oh, my! Nicole Locke, you have out completely outdone yourself!! You have well and truly cemented yourself as the best Medieval Romance Author!! This is – well, I honestly don’t have the words to fully describe the wealth of emotion that is swimming through me at the moment. There are words that I could brandish about to describe just how extraordinarily good this book is; such as amazing, flawless, stunning, inspiring, beautiful, dark, delicious, deadly, gorgeous, sexy – Hmmm, I may have just described the delectable hero there! – but honestly, this is just too damn good, that my little brain can’t handle it. I am a wreck, I am a simmering cauldron of emotion!
I love how different this is from the other books in the series, it is far darker then what I have read before from Nicole, and the sexual chemistry between Aliette and Reynold is like sparks shooting from a blazing fire, it’s sizzlingly hot, there may not be a lot of bedroom action but the attraction between our couple is instant, the air crackles like thunder and lightening around them as they both are consumed with lust for the other. Every scene is full of heated glances and a tingling tension that even the reader can feel running down their backs and then there is this beautiful sweetness between them, times where he is human his love of reading and teaching her to read made me not only swoon but fall in love with him that little bit more.
Reynold – those who have been following this series may remember him from ‘The Knights Scarred Maiden’ and if you’re like me then you would have been avidly awaiting his story and oh my!! I cannot begin to express how much I adore this dangerously dark and deadly man, you know me I do love a bad boy especially one who not only needs to learn to love and trust but needs love to unfreeze his frozen heart…Sigh! Honestly, this lone wolf is a menace, how am I ever to look at another hero again? I am ruined, who wants a clean-shaven goody-two-shoes when there is a dark knight with a nice backside lurking in the shadows?
Hmmm, it seems my waffling and lurid thoughts have well and truly taken over this review, I have just realised that I haven’t actually said anything about the book…stop perving on Reynold and get on with the review!!!
Reynold is wealthy, powerful, manipulative, dangerous with a hunger for vengeance and blood, in some way another he has been playing deadly games with his enemies for as long as he can remember, a game that continues and one that he is determined to win whatever the costs – that is until a little surprise lands in his lap, in the form of a scrawny little girl by the name of Grace who the strange women who arrive with her claims is his, being the super cynical and menacing creature that he is, he has to stop himself from killing the old woman on the spot as he doesn’t trust or believe a word she says. But he soon learns the truth, and little Grace finds herself in the care of her broodingly handsome predator of a father. In the care of a man who has a hardened fragile heart and too many secrets and shadows.
Now he has Grace in his care, what is he going to do with her? His lifestyle of devilment and games isn’t the place for a baby, plus he knows that the moment anyone of his enemies finds out about her, she will be in huge danger – something that our cunning plotter will not hear of – especially if his family learn how quickly she has become his Achilles heel.
Oh, I have to mention that scene when Aliette meets him and he is holding Grace close to his well-formed chest…sigh that could melt any heart!
Our heroine Aliette is currently homeless, she is a really good young woman, she is resilient and a survivor. She has taken under her wing an elderly couple who have found themselves in difficulty and a young thief; Gabriel, the four of them have become a little family. Being abandoned by her birth family many years ago, Aliette knows more than most the importance of sticking together to survive. It is because of young Gabriel that puts Aliette into the sphere of our brutally gorgeous mastermind, she is taken from the street and thrust into the calculating gaze of Reynold. She is the answer to his problem of what to do with Grace, and he will damn well make sure that Aliette complies with his scheme.
Aliette can’t trust the seething cauldron of danger that is standing looking at her as though she were a piece of meat, she is unnerved by him and incredibly attune to her primal womanly feelings for him, she is instantly attracted to him but not enough to tell him who she is or anything about herself of her life, and especially not about her little family who depends on her. No matter how much she demands he release her he refuses instead offers her a pretty odd position in his household.
I won’t say too much, but throughout the book, we are kept on this constant dizzying will they open up to each other or won’t they, it is mesmerising and ….well too damn good!
As it says in the authors note, this is a turning in direction to the Lovers and Legends series, and I am really loving where this is going, and cannot wait for more especially mesmerizing mercenary Knight; Louvre, now he is a man that I really can’t wait to get to know – you know me I have a one-track mind and you all know that I was drawn to the rougher and rugged heroes, which explains why I was so taken with Reynold. But Louve, I feel will be different, he has that ferocious and dangerous side, But I think there is something else simmering beneath the surface.
I love the really dark and brooding feel of this book, like the hero it has a really different feel to it then the other’s in the series, it is a lot edgier then Nicole’s other work and I utterly love the new direction her writing and this series is going in. Anyone who knows me knows that more Gothic feel romances are my Achilles heel I love the brooding and the dangerous feeling that you really can only get from a well written Gothic, historical romance and this is easily the finest I have read. From that first chapter when we meet the darkness himself you know you are going to be in for a real deadly threat. Every page is like walking along a spiders web to get to the finale, to your Knight but along the way you are unsure if at any moment you are going to either fall to your doom or be captured by the spider in search of her dinner.
This will probably sound a wee bit odd, but at times I was so wrapped up in the story that I forgot I was reading a romance. Usually, you know that the characters are going to have their happily ever after, and all will be well once they have got past their own issues, but here the question of whether or not they would actually allow the other in was constant, it kept me glued. I was completely taken in with them, I loved getting to know Aliette and Reynold as individuals and as a couple, they are fabulous!
I think you may be able to guess how much I loved this book, I could keep whittling on and on about how amazing, seductive, tantalizing this book is, but I really don’t want to sound like a broken record, I’ll just finish with – Read This Book!!!
This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Nicole, massive apologies for how late this review is.
Her Dark Knight’s Redemption is available now, do go and grab a copy!
Exclusive Guest Post
Top Ten Things About Reynold of Warstone by Nicole Locke
- He’s hot, and the writer who wrote about him couldn’t put it in the story often enough for her liking.
- He’s actually in three of the Lovers and Legends series, and she’s writing about him in her current novel as well…just to prove her point she thinks he’s hot.
- He’s a villain in pretty much all the stories whether the reader knows it or not. The entire series of #LoversandLegends has been a game to him. However, in Her Dark Knight, he gets to be a lover and a legend (lol).
- Reynold knows torture. Not only can he dish it out, but he’s got this really evil mother who likes her sons to prove their loyalty to her by holding their left hand over an open flame. This scar in his hand is why the heroine, Helissent, in The Knight’s Scarred Maiden thought she could talk some sense into him to not be so villainy (he’s scarred, she’s scarred…they could share). Of course, he wouldn’t bond with some gentle baker who lusted after his enemy, but can’t blame a woman for trying.
- He’s got three brothers. He’s glad one of them was killed (saved him the mess and made him wealthier). He’s making plans to kill the other two. After all, it’s them again him…and he’s far too arrogant to think anyone else deserves to live more than him.
- He speaks several languages and loves to read anything he can get his hands on. If he can’t find something, he has books commissioned for him. His favourite book is Tales of Odysseus. If asked, he’ll tell you he likes the adventures, but in truth, the part that intrigues him is Odysseus’ need to return to Penelope and Penelope’s devotion to Odysseus. His parents would kill each other if given the chance, but something of this tale makes him long for something other than the games he plays.
- He waits in shadows and darkness. It’s all part of his game so he can observe his next prey without being observed. It often surprises and unnerves people, but the writer thinks the habit is part of his charm.
- He’s really rich. He’s inherited a ton, stolen even more and he’s stashed the money all over England and France. Some of his cache is in Mei Solis, the home of Nicholas and Matilda from Reclaimed by the Knight. He spreads his coins around so that he’s never without in case his brothers’ back him in a corner.
- There truly was only ever going to be one heroine for a man like him: Aliette. She’s uneducated (but loves stories). Doesn’t have a family (so she’s adopted people..a little tidbit she keeps as a secret). Doesn’t have coin or food or truly any proper clothing. In fact, she lives on the streets. And one thing she cannot stand is waiting. Who has time for dilly dallying or games?
- So when Reynold captures Aliette and blackmails her to play his game? He doesn’t stand a chance of winning. Good thing he’s so cute.
About the Author
Nicole discovered her first romance novel in a closet, where her grandmother, the godmother in the romance black market, was hiding hundreds. Knowing her grandmother wouldn’t approve, Nicole hid in the closet to read them. It was only a matter of time before she was found out and given an offer she couldn’t refuse: enjoy them, but out in the living room please. Oh, and if she could go to the store and get a few more…. A few more? Nicole got two jobs.
Inexplicably, Nicole stopped reading romances (she blames her handsome university English professor, who she was trying and failing to impress). So she didn’t discover them again until, at work, where another black market book swap occurred. Instead of swapping for another forgettable book, Nicole chose a romance (which she still reads).
Needless to say, she didn’t return to work (good thing it was after 5:00 pm) and she didn’t immediately return home either. At that moment, she insists Etta James was singing “At Last”. It was only natural she’d start writing romances as well.
Currently, she lives in Seattle with her two completely opposite children, who if not for their birth certificates and their red hair, she’d argue they weren’t related, and her husband, who if not for his red hair, would have returned them.
I have the most amazing Giveaway for your all, Nicole has so generously donated a print copy of Her Dark Knights Redemption and a pair of Odyssey Book Earrings – which, I have a pair of these earrings and they are absolutely gorgeous – for one lucky winner!
How to Enter?
To be in for a chance of winning this amazing prize, then just tell me who your favourite Badboy/Lovable Rogue is (This can be from a book, tv or film) Mine is below, to some, it isn’t a surprise, as always pictures and gifs are welcome!
The giveaway is not only open here, but across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook too, same rules apply; just like the giveaway post and comment with your answer. (Each post you comment on is a separate entry, eg; If you comment here and on all the social media posts then that is four entries) Sharing is also hugely appreciated, but not mandatory.
Finally, Good Luck my Sunshines!
*T&C’s – Closing date is Wednesday 15th January at 9pm GMT, the winner will be chosen at random and will be announced shortly after, the winner will be contacted directly by myself whether that be by email or DM via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. This Giveaway belongs to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals and it is not sponsored or endorsed. Giveaway Open Internationally.
#BookBlast | The King’s Greatest Enemy Series by Anna Belfrage #TheKingsGreatestEnemy #HFVBTBlogtours @abelfrageauthor @hfvbt
Hello Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be kicking off this amazing book blast for a brilliant series; The King’s Greatest Enemy by Anna Belfrage. So sit back and let me tell you all about these books (which really do have the most gorgeous covers)
The King’s Greatest Enemy Series by Anna Belfrage
A weak king, a rebellious baron. A kingdom on the brink of civil war, an adulterous wife and an ambitious royal favourite. A blackmailed bride and an honourable knight, torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his wife and his future king. Welcome to the world of Adam de Guirande!
Book I : In the Shadow of the Storm
Adam de Guirande owes his lord, Roger Mortimer, much more than loyalty. He owes Lord Roger for his life and all his worldly goods, he owes him for his beautiful wife – even if Kit is not quite the woman Lord Roger thinks she is. So when Lord Roger rises in rebellion against the king, Adam has no choice but to ride with him – no matter what the ultimate cost may be.
England in 1321 is a confusing place. Edward II has been forced by his barons to exile his favourite, Hugh Despenser. The barons, led by the powerful Thomas of Lancaster, Roger Mortimer and Humphrey de Bohun, have reasons to believe they have finally tamed the king. But Edward is not about to take things lying down…
Adam fears his lord has over-reached, but Adam has other matters to concern him, first and foremost his new wife, Katherine de Monmouth. His bride comes surrounded by rumours concerning her and Lord Roger, and he hates it when his brother snickers and whispers of used goods.
Kit has the misfortune of being a perfect double of Katherine de Monmouth – which is why she finds herself coerced into wedding a man under a false name.
Domestic matters become irrelevant when the king sets out to punish his rebellious barons. The Welsh Marches explode into war, and soon Lord Roger and his men are fighting for their very lives. When hope splutters and dies, when death seems inevitable, it falls to Kit to save her man – if she can.
In the Shadow of the Storm is the first in Anna Belfrage’s new series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his king, and his wife.
Book II: Days of Sun and Glory
Adam de Guirande has barely survived the aftermath of Roger Mortimer’s rebellion in 1321. When Mortimer manages to escape the Tower and flee to France, anyone who has ever served Mortimer becomes a potential traitor – at least in the eyes of King Edward II and his royal chancellor, Hugh Despenser. Adam must conduct a careful balancing act to keep himself and his family alive. Fortunately, he has two formidable allies: Queen Isabella and his wife, Kit.
England late in 1323 is a place afflicted by fear. Now that the king’s greatest traitor, Roger Mortimer, has managed to evade royal justice, the king and his beloved Despenser see dissidents and rebels everywhere – among Mortimer’s former men, but also in the queen, Isabella of France.
Yet again, Kit and Adam are forced to take part in a complicated game of intrigue and politics. Yet again, they risk their lives – and that of those they hold dear – as Edward II and Mortimer face off. Once again, England is plunged into war – and this time it will not end until either Despenser or Mortimer is dead.
Days of Sun and Glory is the second in Anna Belfrage’s series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his king, and his wife.
Book III: Under the Approaching Dark
Adam de Guirande has cause to believe the turbulent times are behind him: Hugh Despenser is dead and Edward II is forced to abdicate in favour of his young son. It is time to look forward, to a bright new world in which the young king, guided by his council, heals his kingdom and restores its greatness. But the turmoil is far from over.
England in the early months of 1327 is a country in need of stability, and many turn with hope towards the new young king, Edward III. But Edward is too young to rule, so instead it is his mother, Queen Isabella, and her lover, Roger Mortimer, who do the actual governing, much to the dislike of barons such as Henry of Lancaster.
When it is announced that Edward II has died in September of 1327, what has so far been a grumble grows into voluble protests against Mortimer. Yet again, the spectre of rebellion haunts the land, and things are further complicated by the reappearance of one of Adam’s personal enemies. Soon enough, he and his beloved wife Kit are fighting for their survival – even more so when Adam is given a task that puts them both in the gravest of dangers.
Under the Approaching Dark is the third in Anna Belfrage’s series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his king, and his wife.
Book IV: The Cold Light of Dawn
After Henry of Lancaster’s rebellion has been crushed early in 1329, a restless peace settles over England. However, the young Edward III is no longer content with being his regents’ puppet, no matter that neither Queen Isabella nor Roger Mortimer show any inclination to give up their power. Caught in between is Adam de Guirande, torn between his loyalty to the young king and that to his former lord, Roger Mortimer.
Edward III is growing up fast. No longer a boy to be manipulated, he resents the power of his mother, Queen Isabella, and Mortimer. His regents show little inclination of handing over their power to him, the rightful king, and Edward suspects they never will unless he forces their hand.
Adam de Guirande is first and foremost Edward’s man, and he too is of the opinion that the young king is capable of ruling on his own. But for Adam siding with his king causes heartache, as he still loves Roger Mortimer, the man who shaped him into who he is.
Inevitably, Edward and his regents march towards a final confrontation. And there is nothing Adam can do but pray and hope that somehow things will work out. Unfortunately, prayers don’t always help.
Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with three absorbing interests: history and writing.
Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England. (Medieval knight was also high on Anna’s list of potential professions. Yet another disappointment…)
With Jason and Helle, Anna has stepped out of her historical comfort zone and has loved doing so.
Book Blast Schedule
Saturday, January 11
Passages to the Past
Sunday, January 12
Robin Loves Reading
Tuesday, January 14
Wednesday, January 15
Donna’s Book Blog
Thursday, January 16
Books In Their Natural Habitat
Friday, January 17
Let Them Read Books
Saturday, January 18
Sunday, January 19
The Book Junkie Reads
Tuesday, January 21
Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, January 22
Thursday, January 23
100 Pages a Day
Friday, January 24
The Lit Bitch
#BlogTour | A Year of Chasing Love by Rosie Chambers #AYearOfChasingLove #Review @RosieCBooks @HQDigital
Hello Sunshines – and Happy New Year!! My first blog tour of 2020 and it’s a real charming one; The Year Of Chasing Love by Rosie Chambers. So, sit back grab that cuppa – or health drink – and enjoy!
One moment can change a lifetime…
The last thing top divorce lawyer Olivia Hamilton ever expected was to be served her own divorce papers! To escape her marriage troubles, she agrees to go on a year-long trip to find the ultimate guide to love.
Travelling the world, surrounded by stories of love and happiness, it’s not long before her thoughts turn to Nathan, her soon-to-be ex-husband, and she starts to take note of her own lessons in love…
But with Nathan over a thousand miles away, will it be too late?
Perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Philippa Ashley and Caroline Roberts.
The year of Chasing Love is the debut novel by Rosie Chambers, and I definitely see great things in her future, and I am looking forward to seeing what comes next from this new author. This is a sweet, little contemporary story, one that will leave you smiling and feeling in a sunnier mood.
The story opens when top divorce lawyer; Olivia is presented with her own divorce papers. Not just shock and horror for her, but she also sees this as bad for her career.
After years of putting her career first, of building up her steely reputation she has unfortunately neglected to look after her home life, she has neglected her husband. Nathen has been patiently waiting and wanting them to move forward with their married life and now she is at the top of her game, Nathen decides enough is enough and files for divorce. Olivia is shocked, obviously, she isn’t naïve enough to think that everything was hunky-dory but she thought that she and Nathen were rubbing along happily enough and so for him to want to tear up their marriage is a real blow for her. She wants nothing more than to stick her head in the sand and delve further and further into her work but the fates are all against her as her boss forces her to take a long-overdue sabbatical hoping that it will make her take the breath she needs to actually take stock and put some perspective in her life before it’s too late.
Now she is left with a year with no work, no husband and she is fast sinking into despair that is until brilliant best friend Rachel turns up and offers her the chance to turn her life – or the year – around, by travelling around the world as she research’s the ultimate guide to love, she travels around Malta, Hawaii, Copenhagen and Singapore and finally landing in the city of love the most romantic place on earth; Paris, but will her travels be her saving grace? Swill Olivia finally be able to allow herself to be happy and will she find the love and the life she is secretly searching for?
I really enjoyed this, I did think at first it started off a little on the slow side for my liking, but it soon picks up the pace, A year of Chasing Love is such a relatable story, it’s one that is so relevant for today where there are so many women in top positions they do unfortunately have to pick between career and family, and when the career path is chosen family and those we love are unfortunately pushed aside. It’s a simple story which has a lot of heart, it’s a delightful and heartwarming story, the characters are wonderfully portrayed Olivia especially is very relatable even though at first I did find it difficult to warm to her but she soon won me over.
Overall, this is a charming little story about finding happiness and love and allowing yourself to let go a little if you love your easy-peasy, none taxing feel-good stories then this is the book for you.
This was an arc copy via the publisher and Netgalley, which I voluntarily and honestly reviewed as apart of this blog tour.
Blog Tour Schedule