ARC Reviews

#Review | Escape To The Art Cafe (The Art Cafe #3) by Sue McDonagh #EscapeToTheArtCafe @SueMcDonaghLit @ChocLituk

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Hello, Sunshines! Thank you for stopping by, today I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the gorgeous; Escape To The Art Cafe by Sue McDonagh. I hope you all love it as much as I do!

Heartbreak and cake at the Art Café …

It was meant to be the perfect romantic holiday. But then Flora Bexton’s boyfriend does the unthinkable, and she responds in the only logical way: she steals his motorbike and escapes for a holiday by herself on the Welsh coast.

Far from the lonely trip she imagined, Flora soon finds comfort at the friendly local Art Café where the legendary hot chocolate and cake help to ease her troubled mind. And when Aussie-Welsh lifeguard Jake Foley steps in just when Flora needs help the most, she realises that her ‘holiday’ feels more like home with every passing day …

This is the third book in the Art Café series, but it can so easily be read as a stand-alone believe me I know this is true as this is the first of the series I have read myself – in fact, this is the first of the author’s books I have read and I was instantly enchanted by Sue McDonagh’s relatable, witty and sparkling writing, and I can’t wait to read from her.

There is so much covered in this book, we have hairdressing biker chicks, Aussie-Welsh surfing lifeguards…aw, Jake – I will get to him later 😉 drama, family, heartache, friendship and hot chocolate…plus, did I mention Thor-like Jake? Honestly, all this man needs is a hammer and a cape and he would be thunderous Thor…deep sigh!! 

Oh, he is fabulous, I don’t usually go all gooey-eyed at blonde’s as I have always prefered dark-haired heroes, but Jake…well, what can I say? Cheeky, handsome, witty, secretive, handsome…did I just say that? Well, he is, plus there is very little left to the imagination when he is wearing that wetsuit….my mind went into the completely wrong direction in those scenes. 

I was instantly taken with this, the back blurb caught my imagination I wanted to know what Flora was running from, I wanted to get know Jake and the residents of those who frequent the Art Café and I wasn’t disappointed, I love the way the author grasped your attention from the first page, you are instantly intrigued as to why Flora is stuck on a bodyboard in the middle of the Welsh sea, then we get little hints of something that occurred to her and I love how we get to Flora’s story. The same has to be said about Jake, who has returned from Australia the whole tale about his return is one that keeps the reader guessing.

This is one of the easiest and relaxing books to read, literally sit back grab a cuppa and enjoy let your mind and imagination wander into the lives of Flora and Jake. They are two hugely fascinating and complex individuals, two people who have a past, there are secrets which do become unravels as the story plods along and I thoroughly enjoyed finding out all the little hidden secrets.

To be perfectly honest I at first wouldn’t have put Jake and Flora together as a couple, they seemed far too different there is an atmosphere between them but once you get to know them as people you understand that sharpish behaviour. I loved the inclusion of the biking community which is one that is so misunderstood – I don’t the likes of the tv show; Son’s of Anarchy does genuine and responsible bikers much good, I know that they can be amazing and good people so it was nice to see that side put in the spotlight.

There is so much to like about this book, the pacing is perfect you get to know everything at the right time in the story, the opening and the first introduction to Flora and Jake is another great part of the story, you instantly are intrigued and want to know more.

This is such a great summery book, it makes you smile from beginning to end, there is lots of fun, humour, drama, and a fabulous cast of character’s, I cannot recommend it enough!

This was an Arc copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Liz and Choc Lit! x

#Review | Little Village of Second Chances by Gina Hollands #LittleVillageOfSecondChances @ginaholls @ChocLitUK @

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Hello, Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of; Little Village of Second Chances by Gina Hollands. I am super excited to be sharing this gorgeous book with you all, I love it and I hope you all fall in love with it too!

Surely everyone deserves a second chance?

Ex-fireman and edible flower farmer Shay McGillen has plenty of reasons not to give Sarah Pickering even one chance when she turns up in his small Yorkshire village. After all, she is only there to try and convince him and his fellow villagers to sell up so her company can build a bypass. If Sarah thinks she can make Shay give up his farmhouse and his business, she has another thing coming!

But when an unexpected blizzard leaves Sarah stranded in Shay’s home, he soon realises that they are far more alike than he could have ever imagined – and perhaps both of them deserve a second chance …

This is the perfect escapist, light-hearted and feel-good summer read, from the first page I was hooked and I devoured this in one weekend, but this isn’t your stereotypical village love story there are some serious issues that are highlighted within the plot and around certain character’s which gives it a certain edge that other little village stories don’t have.

I loved the sound of this the moment I saw it, it is set in a small Yorkshire may have helped turn my head, but to be honest, I was hooked with the back blurb and intrigued by the hero – I mean, a fireman turned edible flower farmer, what a unique and intriguing man, a man who had so much sadness about him which made me want to give the huge Irishman a cuddle. Our gloomy Shay has been through the most awful experiences, he has seen too much and those dark shadows have settled on his soul and his heart. He left his home, the country he was born and lived, gave up the job he was brilliant at and moved to a tiny little Yorkshire village to become a farmer.

But what reason made him do that?

I’m not going to divulge that, but, I can say one thing that when all is revealed you will be a blubbering teary mess.

Shay and Sarah have been through the mill, they both need space and time to move past their own heartaches, and if they had met under different circumstances their journey to happily ever after may not have been as winding. Sarah just wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of York, she wants to get on with the job at hand and try to move past the hard memories. She thinks that once she gets to the village she will do the job at changing the minds of the villagers to sell up – what she doesn’t count on is that these are proud and stubborn Yorkshire folk who once dig in very rarely change their minds, plus on the first day of meeting some of the residents and breathing in the warming embrace of village life she soon falls in love with Weatherton and a certain gruff, growling, scowling rugged Irishman – aww, Shay!!! …Deep sigh!!!

I have to say that this has the best opening I have read for ages, that first page had me in fits of laughter, it was a brilliant introduction to both Shay and Sarah a misunderstanding that will stay with them.

I loved the villagers, they are a fabulous group of people; funny, serious, passionate, a little eccentric (but then, who doesn’t walk around with teabag’s in their pocket’s or tv remotes in their handbags? 😉 ) kind and caring – I can totally relate to this village and its residents.

I loved every part of this; Sarah and Shay are the perfect ‘enemies to lovers’ couple, they don’t start off on the right foot and thing do seem to go downhill every so often once certain things are revealed but neither of them can deny that there is a sparkle, underlying chemistry that hovers between them like swirling mist.

The Little Village of Second Chances is like a box of chocolates, I know that has probably been said a million times before, but with this book, it is the absolute truth. Just imagine it; opening the lid of your favourite chocolate brand box removing the foil and seeing the selection of delicious beautiful chocolates sitting there staring at you and that is what this book is all about, you open the beautiful cover and are greeted with the most charming, lovable, witty character’s which all live in the most idyllic little village. I would absolutely love to run off to charming Weatherton, which is so full of life and drama, community spirit and the perfect place to forget the outside world and settle into a whole new life.

This was an Arc copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, Thank you Liz and Choc Lit. x

#Review | The Rebel Heiress And The Knight by Melissa Oliver #TheRebelHeiressAndTheknight #BookGiveaway @melissaoauthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the massive pleasure to be sharing my review of this amazing book with you all today; the Rebel Heiress and the Knight by Melissa Oliver, plus I have an exclusive two-book giveaway which I hope everyone will enter and share. For all of you medieval romance lovers out there, I know you will love this one as much as I do.

The Rebel Heiress and the Knight by Melissa Oliver

Genre: Historical, Medieval Romance / Publisher: Mills and Boon, Harlequin / Release: 1st July 2020

She must marry the knight

By order of the king!

Widow Eleanor of Tallany Castle knows her people are broken by the taxes demanded by King John. So when she’s ordered to marry Hugh de Villiers, a knight loyal to the king, she’s furious—even if he is handsome!

As gallant Hugh begins to heal the scars of Eleanor’s abusive first marriage, she’s even more determined to keep her secret: she is the outlaw the king wants to send to the gallows!

Goodreads / Amazon 

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I have been so excited about this book, from the moment I saw the beautiful cover I knew that this was a book which I not only need to read but one which I would love and happily re-read for many years to come. Yes, I did get all that from the cover, which just goes to show that the old adage of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ isn’t always correct!

This is one of my whole time favourite tropes; Enemies to Lovers, and easily right up there with the best, if you love the greatness of Elisabeth Hobbes and Nicole Locke, then this is the book you absolutely need to read. Eleanor and Hugh are an amazing couple, there is a lot of animosity between them in the beginning, especially from Eleanor, but once you get to know her and her past you totally understand her feelings toward the other sex, especially when she is forced to marry them – no matter how disarmingly charming and charismatic he may be. Our Eleanor has been through the mill with her previous marriage, she has suffered and had her own trauma’s but when she was widowed she had the freedom to actually be able to live and be happy.

Eleanor is a proud, feisty, caring and loyal woman who sees what is happening within the country and she doesn’t like it, she has this pretty ruthless side that will do all in her power to help – even if the one she has sided with isn’t that of the King…and her new husband!

So when a whole troop of the King’s fiercest Knights, led by the bravest, hardest of them all, turn up with a missive that will change her life, she is not happy, but she is stubborn and resilient enough to give as good as she gets. She has a viperous intelligent tongue and she is not afraid to use it when necessary, even if it does get her in trouble at times for talking before thinking and for judging harshly before knowing a person, but there

Hugh would rather be with a sword in hand, with his men fighting a bloody and dangerous battle, than having to sweet talk a fire breathing woman to open the gates so he can deliver a message from his King. What he didn’t expect was to be forced to marry the very woman who looks at him as though he were the very devil, a woman he soon learns has far more secrets then he could expect. But no matter the circumstances of their union, or who she is and where her alliances lay he can’ help but feel the stirrings of lust, want and

How much do I love Hugh?

Oh, boy it feels as though this gallant, proud, stubborn, passionate, funny, clever and sexy as hell, green-eyed man, was written for me. For those who follow the blog will know that I go crazy for a green-eyed hero, and this gorgeous heartthrob and pin me with that emerald gaze then throw me over his huge shoulders anytime he wants…Gawd, he is fabulous, heroic, brave, strong, determined, handsome, gruff, brooding, sensual and yet he has a slight vulnerability in the fact he doesn’t trust women too much yet oddly enough for the times he does respect them…he really is wonderful…sigh, those green, green eyes!! Definitely an appropriate time for a #DoubleSwoon

This book is exquisite, there really is no other words for it. The story is a good old fashioned enemies to lovers with an edge, the story is original, the characters are brilliantly created with real depth which makes them memorable and hugely likeable. I love the attention to detail, even though this is very much character-driven each scene really showcases the era. I love Eleanor and Hugh, they really are the shining stars, their battle of wills, their wit and humour, their banter and their falling into passionate love is addictive and engaging.

This is one of the finest debuts I have read! Melissa Oliver is a rare jewel, her writing is a breath of fresh air she is a gift to the historical romance genre, I can guarantee that we are going to be witness to some great things from this wonderful lady.

The story takes the reader on a heart-stopping, passionate, exciting and at times mysterious journey, the writing is flawless; I cannot say one single negative thing about this; everything from the cover to the beautiful and mesmerizing words within is perfection.

Overall, a brilliant debut from an author who I know will have a long shining career!

This was an Arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Melissa. X

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About the Author

Growing up in Richmond-upon- Thames, Melissa Oliver used to walk past the Harlequin Mills and Boon offices as a teen and wistfully sigh that one day her dream of writing for them would come true. Amazingly, it finally has and now she can bring all those stories onto the pages of her books. Melissa lives in south-west London with her gorgeous husband and equally gorgeous daughters, who share her passion for castles, palaces and all things historical.

You can keep up to date with Melissa on Twitter @melissaoauthor and Facebook @melissaoliverauthor

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Giveaway

So you have read all about this amazing book, how would you like to win a copy for yourself?

We have two copies of The Rebel Heiress and the Knight up for grab’s, to be in for a chance to winning just answer the question below.

Who is your favourite Knight?

(This can be from Film, TV, Book or even real life, it’s entirely down to you)

You have four ways to enter; either comment below, on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You are more than welcome to comment on all which would be four entries and don’t forget to share the social media posts which would count as extra entries.

Terms and Conditions.

  1. Open Internationally.
  2. Only comments on the specified posts will be counted.
  3. Giveaway closes 28th June 2020, 10pm GMT.
  4. You must be 18 years, or older to enter.
  5. Two winners will be drawn, one book each, winner’s will have 48 hours to claim the prize or a new winner will be chosen.

#Review | The Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride by Virginia Heath #TheScoundrelsBarteredBride @VirginiaHeath_ @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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Hello Sunshines! I am super excited to be sharing my review of; The Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride by Virginia Heath. This book is so good, the hero; Owen….well is really something indeed 😉 I can’t wait for you all to meet him, I do hope you will all love it as much as I do!

The Scoundrel’s Bartered Bride by Virginia Heath

Genre: Historical Romance / Publisher: Mills and Boon, Harlequin / Format: Ebook, Paperback / Release Date: 16th June 2020

Marriage…

To the highest bidder

Lady Lydia Barton cannot seem to avoid Owen Wolfe since he’s returned after being wrongly transported for stealing her family’s jewels! But Lydia has more pressing problems, like her impending arranged marriage. Until Owen makes her father a counteroffer for her hand. Is Owen purely after her society connections, or dare Lydia hope that the charming stable boy she once loved is still within her ruthless, wealthy new husband?

Goodreads / Amazon

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Praise for Virginia Heath

“Virginia Heath’s writing is as warm, witty, and insightful as ever…one of the best authors of historical romance around.” —All About Romance on The Determined Lord Hadleigh

“I loved every minute of this story along with the wonderful witty moments that I have come to love from Virginia Heath’s writing.” —Rae Reads on The Determined Lord Hadleigh

“Just when I thought that Virginia Heath had reached her pinnacle with sexy and swoon-worthy heroes she pulls a stunner… I have said it before, but I am going to say it again; that Ms Heath really does have a gift with writing.” — Chicks, Rogues and Scandals on The Disgraceful Lord Gray

“Virginia Heath’s books get better and better. She is an automatic buy for me. If you haven’t read her books, I highly recommend them.”— Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog on The Uncompromising Lord Flint

***

When I heard that the next book by Virginia Heath was going to be a mix of two favourite tropes; Marriage of Convenience and Enemies to Lovers (which just happens to be my favourite romance trope – I think everyone knows that by now) I knew instantly that we would be in for a whopping great book. And as always Virginia has gone and knocked ball of greatness out of the game and moved the goalposts of how historical romances books are written, the same goal posts which all historical romance authors aim for.

Honestly, is there no end to this amazing woman’s ability to entertain us, loyal readers?

This is a fabulous addition to her rapidly expanding writing CV! I believe this is her fifteenth book (I could be wrong if I am then do let me know) in what; four/five years? That is impressive, and as ever I am in complete awe of her…I think I best actually say something about the book, instead of embarrassing us all with the constant fangirling waffle!

Wolfe by name wolf by nature, isn’t that how it’s supposed to go? I don’t think lovely Owen is quite a wolf, true he maybe roguish scoundrel and underneath is twinkling charm and this endearing boyishness I did think there was a ruthless, hardened and steal quality about him, but he isn’t a wolf. Which I did found a tad disappointing I wanted him to be a rougher – especially regarding what he had been through, but hey, that’s just me, I’m a bit weird.

Apart from that, he is an amazing hero, I have always loved a self-made man, a man who has really fought and worked his arse off to get to where he is; and that is Owen! Virginia has done the most amazing job at creating a genuinely lovable rogue, a down on his luck lad who became the master of his realm. A man who every woman with a pulse will instantly fall in love with just doesn’t think of taking him from me…..I have my handbag at the ready for a duel 😉

He started his life in a decent job as a stable hand, then for things to take a wrong turn and suddenly he had nothing, and now he is the owner of a Gaming Hell, he has aspirations, his has vision, he is a proud, stubborn, complex and intelligent man. Yet despite having his world turned topsy-turvy, he has succeeded, and beneath that money magnet lies the heart of a kind, caring and compassionate man – a man who can’t for the life of him see the woman whom he loved all those years ago being sold off to a viper.

After being wrongfully accused and eventually transported for stealing, he has spent many years trying to regain his place in the world and he has worked hard, bloody hard to amass the fortune he has in his bank account and now the not so bad boy is back – much to the unease of the woman he loved all those years ago, a woman who he will never forgive, and yet he can’t seem to get said woman out of his mind.

Lydia is on the threshold of a marriage, she is going to be sold out to the highest bidder as her family are in dire straights, their huge wealth has gone and now her father needs to fill the family coffers and the only way to do that is to sell off his daughter even if that means selling her to the vile, evil and most likely murderous Lord Kelvedon. That is until the rakish, super gambler; Owen Wolfe steps in and literally wins her hand. Now they are together, they not only must face life as man and wife when they detest each other but they soon find themselves on a hunt to clear Owen name, because if he didn’t steal those dratted jewels, then who did?

I love, love, love that period when they are married, they still don’t completely trust or like each other and yet, there is a passion brewing, the air is tingling with pent up frustration, anger, lust, and confusion. I have always loved a good-natured battle between the couple and add in Virginia’s solid and brilliant wit you have fun and fireworks, but there are also some real emotional and heart-warming moments, it was in those instances where I warmed a little more to Lydia, as before that I wasn’t sure about her, but she soon won me over.

This is a wonderful escapist read, it takes the reader on a journey of discovery to find that all-elusive happily ever after. It has everything we loyal readers have come to love about Virginia heath’s writing; a perfect fiery romance full or real wit and raw passion, two intriguing characters who pull the reader into their lives and it is a real joy getting to know them and watch them grow and change from two warring individuals to an unbreakable couple. But don’t think this is all about the romance, I love that there is an intriguing mystery that hovers around in the background giving this a bit of a different feel to other romances. Again another aspect I love about the historical genre, I love a good mystery entwined with the romance.

This was an Arc via the author which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Virginia. x

***

About the Author

When lifelong insomniac Virginia Heath was a little girl, she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. She did this every night for over forty years until one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Now, to her absolute delight and utter astonishment, her slightly racy Regency Romcoms are published in many languages all across the globe. Amongst them are her critically acclaimed Wild Warriners and King’s Elite series for Harlequin Historical.

Unashamedly addicted to happily ever afters and terminally cheerful, Virginia cannot wait to launch NEVER FALL FOR YOUR FIANCEE, the first book in her upcoming Merriwell Sisters trilogy with St Martin’s Press loose into the world.
When she isn’t furiously writing romance fuelled on far too much English tea, she likes to travel to far off places, shop for things she doesn’t need and drag her devoted Labrador Trevor on long walks around her native London. And in case you were wondering, two Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations and eighteen books later, it still takes Virginia forever to fall asleep.

You can find her procrastinating online on her busy Facebook page and at www.virginiaheathromance.com

#Review | The Earl With The Secret Past by Janice Preston #TheEarlWithTheSecretPast @JaniceGPreston @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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Hello Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the fabulous; The Earl With The Secret Past by Janice Preston. This is a wonderful book and there is a review somewhere hidden within the waffle, I hope you will love it as much as I do!

The Earl with the Secret Past by Janice Preston

Genre: Historical Romance / Publisher: Mills and Boon, Harlequin Books / Format: Ebook, Paperback / Release Date: 16th June 2020

An unexpected inheritance

An explosive reunion

Hardworking architect Adam Monroe’s world is shaken when he inherits an earldom! Thrust into the ton, he bumps into widow Kitty Fenton—his lost love. Years before, he refused to elope with Kitty to save her from ruin, and was heartbroken when she married soon after he left. Perhaps fate has given him a chance to discover the truth—after all, beneath the hurt, the sparks of attraction are as strong as ever…

Goodreads / Amazon

***

Have you seen this cover??

Before I start waffling, I got to mention that cover, again! Isn’t is absolutely flaming gorgeous? Ah, that cover model, he’s not how I saw Adam in my head while reading, but still…..#DoudleSigh!

***

Praise for Janice Preston

“…a fantastic storyteller with a terrific ability for bringing the past to vivid and colourful life.”

“Janice Preston has a wonderful warm writing style.”

“Janice Preston is one of the most unique voices in Historical Romance!”

‘The writing flows as elegantly as the Regency characters themselves.’

‘Janice has a real knack of drawing you in and keeping you there.’

‘I can’t wait to read more from Janice Preston!’

‘The dialogue positively sparkles.’

‘Janice Preston has the knack of effective characterisation and I think her name will be seen a lot in future.’

***

The latest from the brilliance that is; Janice Preston is one of her best yet – in my humble opinion! I do realise I say that an awful lot, but I’m not ashamed to fangirl over a favourite author, especially when she writes such beautiful words and this one is so full of beautiful words I may have to weep with pure joy. This is proper escapism, Adam and Kitty whisk you away, make you fall in love and leave you feel all warm and sighing with content at the wonderful and worthy ending.

What I particularly love about this is that Kitty and Adam are not a young buck and debutante pairing, both are in their thirties and having a bit of experience and a past each they have a second chance at happiness. That is so refreshing especially as we see so few older lead characters in historical romance and I think it is important for to have love stories where the characters have said goodbye to the schoolroom many moons ago. As much as I love and will read any historical romance, as I get older I am more and more drawn to books where the main characters are more my own age, I can’t explain it but it does make reading the book and following the characters that little more enjoyable. There are little things or something Kitty would say and I was like; yes!

Hmmm?! I may have waffled a little there…

Fifteen years previously Kitty and Adam meet fall in love only for Adam to break her heart and left, she doesn’t understand his treatment of her, he thought himself unworthy of her, being an architect’s apprentice Adam didn’t think that someone as lovely and high ranking as Kitty should be tethered to ‘trade’ so he leaves her with nothing but a few hurtful words and more heartbreak then he could ever imagine. All Kitty wanted was Adam, simple as that! She wanted him to rescue her from the future which had already been planned out for her.

Fast forward fifteen years and both of them are about the have their lives turned upside down.

Adam discovers he isn’t who he thought he was and worst those around him have lied to him all his life, he isn’t just an architect he is actually the long lost Earl of Kelridge and he is about to take his place in the circus that is society, thank goodness for his friend; Robert Fenton, who just happens to be the stepson of none other than the woman he walked away from all those years ago, a woman who he never forgot and a woman who has always loved. But is the feeling mutual?

Kitty is an interesting and very relatable character, she is hurt, confused and angry by being so callously put down by Adam. Personally, I don’t she cared that he was just an apprentice architect she loved him for the young man she saw and got to know all those years ago and that deeply ingrained love for him is still there beneath all the years of barricading that part of the heart and focusing her love and life on her husband, stepchildren and her writing. Yes, our Kitty is a writer, how brilliant is that? So to hear of the revelation that her childhood love is, in fact, the new Earl of Kelridge is news that starts a whirlwind of emotions and complex thoughts running through he head. You really feel for her!

But the question is; can these two star crossed lovers traverse the churning sea of old and present emotions to give their fledgeling romance ago?

Oh, Adam!!! How much do I love this man? Gorgeous, brooding, intelligent, passionate, a proper hero plus he’s Scottish – oooh, I do love a thick Scottish brogue and with how perfectly Adam’s character is written you can ‘hear’ him purring and growling while reading. But don’t just think that it’s the accent which is the only reason why I love this man and that I have an overactive imagination which pictured him in kilts far too many times – Outlander has a lot to answer for, for where my imagination goes 😉

You know, I had to do it…;-)

But our Adam is easily one of my favourite heroes, he is a proud, hardworking., loyal, compassionate, sexy as hell man who once he finds out the truth of who he really is at first is a like a fish out of water. My heart goes out to him, there are moment’s when I wanted to leap into the book and give him a huge cuddle when he seems so lonely and little confused at his new life. He is stuck on the outside looking in, he feels once he has the title that he doesn’t belong anywhere, he isn’t an aristocrat and he no longer belongs with the working class, but don’t think that stop’s him from speaking his mind and doing things his own way when he is able.

I thoroughly enjoyed this, the story is fresh, original, entertaining, thrilling, engaging and a little different in feel to all of Janice’s previous books. I loved the fast-paced journey that we as readers are taken on with the characters throughout the book, there is a feeling of adventure and surprises along the way that are so intricately woven into the fabric of the plot. As much as I loved the Beauchamp’s it was great to become invested in another selection of characters, some whom I would love to see have their own stories some time in the future.

Overall, a wonderful second chance love story which centres around two very different main characters, both of who are a little older than the stereotypical late teens/the early twenties which we see so much of. Plus Kitty and Adam are genuinely very likeable, you are rooting for them to finally have they’re happily ever after that they both deserve.

Very highly recommended for all who love an original historical romance!

This was an Arc copy from the author, which I voluntarily reviewed. Thank you, Janice! x

***

About the Author

I grew up in Wembley, North London, with a love of reading, writing stories and animals. After leaving school at eighteen, I moved to Devon and any thoughts of writing became lost in the hectic rush of life as a farmer’s wife, with two children and many animals to care for. When my children left home for university, I discovered a love of history and of the Regency period in particular and began to write seriously for the first time since my teens.

Real life then got in the way and I didn’t write again until 2009. I joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association in 2012 and my first Regency romance was accepted for publication by Harlequin Mills & Boon in late 2013.

I now live in the West Midlands with my second husband and two cats and I continue to write Regency romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon.

You can find more about Janice and her books over at her website https://janicepreston.co.uk/

#BlogTour | The Woman In the Painting by Kerry Postle #TheWomanInThePainting #Review @kerry_postle @HQDigitalUK

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; The Woman in the Painting by Kerry Postle. I can’t wait to share my review with you all, I hope you love it as much as I did.

The Woman In The Painting by Kerry Postle

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: HQ Digital

Format: ebook/paperback

Release Date: 23rd July 2020

‘She’s beautiful,’ I told him. ‘Hair like skeins of silk; deep, brown eyes that sparkle in the light like jewels; beautiful lips, deep pink, and as juicy as ripe fruit.’

Ideas rippled in the pools of his eyes. ‘I must paint her,’ he said

1508. In Rome, artists are everywhere and feted as gods. But the most celebrated amongst them, a man who can paint beauty itself, is Raphael. When he touches brush to canvas, his subjects burst to life; he takes base metal and turns it to glistening gold.

When Raphael meets Margarita Luti, a baker’s daughter, he is beguiled and inspired in equal measure. As his muse, her face becomes that of a thousand Madonnas, but it is his portraits of her which reveal his full talents – and which will become his downfall.

For Raphael is wanted for greater things than a mere baker’s daughter. He is soon promised to the niece of a cardinal, a man upon whose connections and commissions the artist’s future relies. Without his good will, Raphael will be ruined.

Raphael must make a choice between his love for Margarita and his future as an artist – a choice that will have devastating consequences.

Inspired by a heartbreaking true story, this stunning and evocative novel is perfect for fans of Debbie Rix, Kate Furnivall and Dinah Jefferies.

***

After reading the previous by Kerry Postle, I was really looking forward to reading this one and I can happily say, I was not disappointed. It was a little slow-paced for my liking, there are long-winded chapters that did carry on a little too much, which I think could have been shorter and still told the overall story, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Set in 1508; the Italian Renaissance is in full swing, artists are revered and loved by all this tells the story of maybe not as a well-known artist, but one of the very best; Raphael, a man whom people think has been touched by God himself for the beauty he creates on the canvas. When Raphael meets alluring and utterly beautiful Margarita, the daughter of a baker he is enthralled and transfixed by her, she becomes his muse and also his downfall. He may love her dearly but a mere bakers daughter isn’t good enough for the likes of the great Raphael as he is promised to another, a woman he doesn’t want but a woman who has the connections that any artist needs in this era to be able to further his career.

But will he give up the woman he loves his human heart or will his artist’s one win and he does as expected of him?

I learned so much about Italian art from this, I have read a few other stories that feature Italian artist’s from the Renaissance, so I had heard of the artist mentioned in this book. I loved this is inspired by the true love story of Raphael and Margarita, their story was one of love, passion and heartbreak. It is obvious from reading this, that this story and the history is a real love of Kerry’s, her passion for those Renaissance artists shines through, the research and attention to detail are fabulous it’s clear and vivid. But more than that, after reading this it does leave you intrigued by the artwork mentioned.

I was intrigued by the sound of this as soon as I read the back blurb, I am fascinated with this era there is something about Italian history that really pulls you in and captures the attention. This is a beautifully poignant and compelling book that will leave the reader feeling all the love of any Renaissance artist.

This was an arc copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour.

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About the Author

Kerry loves art, history and literature.

In her debut novel, ‘The Artist’s Muse’, she explores the artist Egon Schiele’s relationship with his model Wally Neuzil and shows that it isn’t only Schiele’s paintings of Wally that shimmer and shock.

Kerry’s second novel, ‘A Forbidden Love’, is set during the Spanish Civil War and tells a rousing and ultimately uplifting story: that when war has taken everything away from us we are still left with our humanity.

With the author’s third novel, ‘The Woman in the Painting’, she returns to the world of art. Set in Rome at the start of the 16th century the author shares with us the heartbreaking story behind the artist Raphael’s portrait of his lover, Margarita Luti. Known as ‘The Baker’s Daughter’, this portrait hides a secret…

For more about Kerry Postle visit; http://frockfriday.co.uk/

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Blog Tour Schedule

#Review | Daisy’s Summer Mission by Hannah Pearl #DaisysSummerMission @HannahPearl_1 @RubyFiction @ChocLituk

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Hello, Sunshines, I hope you are all well? I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this gorgeous book with you all; Daisy’s Summer Mission by Hannah Pearl. So grab that cuppa, take a seat and enjoy!

Daisy’s Summer Mission by Hannah Pearl

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance

Publisher: Ruby Fiction/ Choc Lit

Format: ebook

Daisy’s job as a gift shop owner may involve selling chocolate truffles and lacy knickers but, this summer, she finds herself turning her hand to a slightly different profession …

Daisy’s boyfriend, Eli, works for a secret government agency and, try as she might, Daisy can’t seem to help getting caught in the middle of his missions, which take her on a thrilling ride from the streets of Paris to a remote health retreat where carbs are banned!

But when she finds that Eli might be in danger, Daisy has to stop playing at being a spy and become the real thing. Teaming up with her pensioner customer, Mr King, Daisy embarks on her most important summer mission yet. Can she save the day?

Sequel to Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop

***

How excited was I, when I heard that Daisy and Eli were back for another adventure??

I think the gif below gives a fair picture 😉

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For those who haven’t met Daisy and Eli, we first met them in the previous book; Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop where our intrepid duo finds themselves on a road trip to find Daisy’s brother and well without giving too much of that story away, but along the way they fall in love. But even though this is a sequel it can be read very easily as a stand-alone, you don’t need to have read ‘Christmas Gift Shop’ to enjoy this. My personal opinion though would be to read them in order as I think you get a firmer grasp on their relationship and how they went from bickering teenagers to the adorable couple they are in this.

So, now they are back again and this time they are a happy couple, even feeling a little Claustrophic due to all the friends and family that keep popping up basking in their newly found love. But, things never run smoothly for these two love birds one minute we are sunning it up on holiday while staring (or should that be; ogling) on gorgeous Eli’s firm bottom 😉 and the next we are being whisked off on an exciting, unpredictable and hilarious adventure which sees Daisy becoming a spy, teaming up with a pensioner who is also one of her customers from the shop, and as you can imagine that ensures lots of laughs – all to save Eli…phew, I’m tired with just thinking about it all, I need a snack!

What really struck me most about this book was the beautiful and perfectly written relationship between the two friends; Lily and Daisy. Their friendship is so believable, I can guarantee every woman either now or at some time in their life will have had a friendship like their or you will find a friend like Daisy or Lily. I know I have! This is what makes Hannah Pearls writing so addictive and enjoyable, honestly, I could read her books over and over and never get bored.

I loved this book! At times the plot was a little kooky, but it’s brilliantly funny with surprising twists and turns. The characters are just as amusing and lovable as they were from the previous, each one brought something to the story and I love how everything and everyone was connected in some way.

Its got such a feel-good buzz about it, who cares it is not the most believable of plots, its fun, charming and full of summer warmth and joy, its the perfect escapism from the chaos of the real world, this book just makes you feel happy it makes you laugh and fall in love and this is what I love about Hannah’s writing she has this rare skill of really drawing on that sunshine and happiness what people most want and putting it on the page in a wonderful feel-good story.

Overall a great little story that is centred on love and friendship, highly recommend for those who love a lighter, entertaining romance with a little bit of a twist. Perfect for whiling away a few hours sitting int he garden as the world moves around you.

This was an arc via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Liz and Choc Lit/Ruby Fiction.

***

About the Author

Hannah Pearl was born in East London. She is married with two children and now lives in Cambridge.

She has previously worked as a Criminology researcher at a university in Leicester, as a Development Worker with various charities and even pulled a few pints in her time.

In 2015 she was struck down by Labyrinthitis, which left her feeling dizzy and virtually housebound. She has since been diagnosed with ME. Reading has allowed Hannah to escape from the reality of feeling ill. She read upwards of three hundred books during the first year of her illness. When her burgeoning e-reader addiction grew to be too expensive, she decided to have a go at writing. In 2017 she won Simon and Schuster’s Books and the City #heatseeker short story competition, in partnership with Heat magazine, for her short story The Last Good Day.

Hannah is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association.

***

Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop (Book One)

Struggling to find the perfect Christmas gift? Step into Romantic Daze …

Daisy Kirk is a sucker for a love story, which is why she opened up her gift shop – because there’s nothing that makes Daisy happier than when she’s helped a customer achieve their own ‘happily ever after’ by finding the perfect Christmas gift for their loved one. And she absolutely does not just sell ‘soppy presents and frilly pants’ as her brother’s infuriating best friend, Eli, is so fond of suggesting.

The sad fact is that whilst Daisy is helping others with their love lives, hers is non-existent. But when unusual circumstances take Daisy and Eli on a road trip from London to rural Wales, will she finally get the happily ever after to her own Christmas love story?

#Review | A Royal Kiss And Tell (A Royal Wedding Series #2) by Julia London #ARoyalKissandTell #ARoyalWedding @JuliaFLondon @harlequinbooks @MillsandBoon

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Hello, Sunshines, I hope you are all safe and well?! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of; Royal Kiss And Tell by Julia London. As always take a seat, grab and a cuppa and enjoy.

Royal Kiss And Tell by Julia London

Series: A Royal Wedding #2

Publisher: Harlequin/Mills and Boon

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: Ebook/Paperback

Release Date: 19 May 2020

Every prince has his secrets. And she’s determined to unravel his…

Every dashing young man in London’s ton is vying for Lady Caroline Hawke’s hand—except one. Handsome, delectable roué Prince Leopold of Alucia can’t quite remember who Caroline is, and the insult is not to be tolerated. So, Caroline does what any clever, resourceful lady of means would do to make sure a prince remembers her: sees that amusingly risqué morsels about Leo’s reputation are printed in a ladies’ gossip gazette…all the while secretly setting her cap for the rakish royal.

Someone has been painting Leo as a blackguard, but who? Socially, it could ruin him. More important, it jeopardizes his investigation into a contemptible scheme that reaches the highest levels of government in London. Now, Leo needs Lady Caroline’s help to regain access to society. But this charming prince is about to discover that enlisting the deceptively sweet and sexy Lady Caroline might just cost him his heart, his soul and both their reputations…

I have been a huge fan of Julia London’s books for many years now, I have always loved her witty, clever and passionately romantic writing, her historical’s are in a league of their own – especially those Highlander…phew, those are scorching!! But, I do have to admit that the first book in this series wasn’t the huge boom I had expected it to be, which I do hate saying.

You know me, I hate saying anything negative. But that wouldn’t stop me from continuing with this series after all this is the great Julia London we are talking about, and I am pleased to say that this is soooo darn good!

Don’t you just love a proper rogue, a scandalous, cavorting and debauched; rake? Off course you do, and with gorgeous, sexy, exciting, mysterious, scandalous and aloof; Prince Leopold of Alucia …sigh!! We have got one hell of a swoon-some hero!

Lady Caroline Hawke is the shining star of society, she is lusted over by every man except the man she would like to lust over; he doesn’t seem to like her at all which makes him hugely fascinating to her but also infuriates her, for our Caroline is exceedingly vain, it’s not actually her fault it’s just how she has been treated that has made her that way. But she cannot abide the fact that the such a man can’t even remember who she is, so she thinks up a way to make sure she is well and truly imprinted on to his mind and suddenly scandalous stories about him start appearing in a ladies gossip rag. Which is the last thing that our hero needs at the moment as he has bigger fish to fry, one that could very well cost lives? Leo needs help so what does a prince with a blackened reputation do? Go straight to the source of all of his problems – even though at the time he doesn’t realise it.

This is the second book in the hilarious romantic comedy series; A Royal Wedding by Julia London, this is marked as a stand-alone which it could very easily be read as such, but my personal opinion is that you should read the previous book first. Even though with all of Julia’s books each story is very central to the two lead characters I do think to really grasp the entirety of the series then you should read the first book – just a suggestion. I personally think that this one is far better than the first book, there is far more wit and well I can’t put my finger on it but this one has that Julia London magical feel which we all know and love back which I don’t think the first book in the series had. This is full of belly laughs, I was happily giggling away at Leo and Caro’s shenanigans, what a marvellous could they are even though they both have huge flaws.

I will admit that as much as I loved the sexy banter, chemistry and blossoming romance between Caroline and Leopold, it did take a while for me to see past her vanity. I was in two frames of minds about her, she is beautiful there is no questioning that and she knows it, but she has this marvellous catty wit and brilliant mind hidden beneath the mask she wears, at times I found her to be quite the enigma; rather aloof and then thoroughly passionate. But deep down past all that bravado she just wants a good man to actually see the true her; the brainy owl and not just the beautiful swan. But, the more you get to know her, and see her with Leo; how she shines, I did start to warm to her and ended up really liking her.

Another winner for Julia London, it captivates and entertains; its full of danger, passion and intrigue. Highly recommend, I can’t wait to see what comes next in this series.

This was an arc copy via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed. Thank you, Julia and Nitty.

#Review | The Mysterious Miss Fairchild by Sarah Mallory #TheMysteriousMissFairchild @SarahMRomance @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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Hello Sunshines, I hope you are all safe and well?! I am super excited to be sharing my review of this amazing book; The Mysterious Miss Fairchild by Sarah Mallory, as always grab that cuppa and enjoy!

An accomplished beauty…

But a most unsuitable match!

Natalya Fairchild can’t help but be drawn to Tristan Quintrell, Lord Dalmorren, with his effortless charisma, even if he’s not her intended bridegroom. Tristan is an eligible society catch…whereas Natalya’s unknown heritage could label her ruined! As he helps Natalya investigate her mysterious past, she starts to hope the truth of her conception won’t destroy her prospects…of a life with Tristan!

My, Oh my, Oh my!!! Well, this is just fabulous! I have read quite a few of Sarah Mallory’s books – and loved each one – but this one is easily the very best yet! Full of intrigue, romance, secrets, whispers of scandal, a superb plot and fantastic characters. There is nothing I didn’t love about this, everything from the brilliant plot with the addition of a great mystery to the utterly gorgeous and striking cover – I mean, look at it, isn’t it beautiful? (Yes, I know I may be a little biased seeing as I do have a penchant for dark purple)

Is it possible for me to read a Sarah Mallory book and not fall head over heels for the hero?

The answer to that is a huge; No!

Ah, Tristen….deep swooning sigh, followed by a dreamy look into the distance…..I really was doomed from the first page, talk about being a charmer 😉

Phew, this man has got the gift of the gab for sure, yet he isn’t boorish or arrogant he is a smooth talker, a man who knows exactly what he is doing, he is cool and controlled in any situation, he knows the game and he knows how to play his hand; he is smooth and effortlessly suave – well, he is until a certain dark-haired pocket rocket challenges and rebukes him – if I didn’t like Natalya so much, I would probably hate her – Poor Tristen, he really didn’t stand a chance!

The story opens with our gorgeous Tristen Quintrell; Lord Dalmorren and his hot-headed nephew who has turned up declaring his love for the mysterious Natalya Fairchild, a young woman with no past and who young Freddie has decided he wants to marry. Oh, dear! Tristen takes it upon himself to go to Bath and meet the young woman who has stolen his nephew’s little heart and whom Tristen believe may only want Freddie because of who he is. By the way, I thought Freddie was a hoot, a typical young buck, a proper rake, I loved him!

Natayla has no past, no memories, no knowledge of who she is at all and in certain respect especially with living in the Regency era, she may not have a very solid future, depending on whom she is. She has been raised by her aunt and uncle – well I say raised, what I actually mean is they have kept her hidden away, never to associate with anyone they deem unworthy, never to have fun flirtations with young bucks. She has never had a season and is hardly ever allowed to balls, yet they push her to be accepted within society, they have regimented every aspect of her life with lessons in every subject known to man. All she wants is to know who her parents were and to be able to have a little fun.

Natalya wants a little freedom, but more than that she wants to know who she is. Her aunt and uncle have promised to tell her everything when she turns twenty-one until then she must bide her time, at least for a few more weeks until all will be revealed to her.

I sympathise for Natalya, she is pent up ball of frustration, all she has ever wanted in life is to know who she is. Which is completely understandable! There is a lot of anger and confusion bubbling within her especially aimed at her guardians for how they keep her tucked away, how they demand so much of her but give very little in answer to her questions in return. She is also anxious about what the truth will be, what her future holds and what her parentage actually is; what if she is a result of a scandalous match? Or born on the wrong side of the blanket?

To say that Tristen is curious about Natalya is an understatement, he goes to Bath to see what it is about this mysterious young woman that has captivated Freddie so much. Then he sets eyes on her and true he doesn’t think she is all that different from all the other young debutantes out there, but there is a pull towards her, it’s like there is an invisible line pulling him towards her. It’s when they start talking when he sees past the colder exterior that she puts in place for her aunt and uncles sake, that he sees what a brilliant, passionate, intelligent and enchanting young woman she is. Then before he knows it, he is no longer trying to spend time with her for Freddie, but that his is charmed, his blood bubbles with want whenever she is near.

There is a real connection between Natalya and Tristen, they click even though they do squabble a fair bit and he does assume certain things about her that he really shouldn’t, but there is an undeniable sparkle between them, the moments when they are dancing together, the air crackles between them. I love the banter between them, this is what Sarah Mallory is a master at; witty, sexy and at times hostile banter between the hero and heroine.

I have to mention that ending, my goodness, what a surprising twist that was. I didn’t expect the ‘mystery’ to be what it was, I was thinking something else completely and then; boom Sarah throws a spanner into the works and pulls out this golden egg of an ending. It’s perfect for them both, especially Natalya, she really deserved happiness and goodness after being as cloistered as she was and it really showed Tristen at his most romantic, his most heroic and his most seductive…did I mention how much I adore this guy?

The Mysterious Miss Fairchild is in no other words, but charming! It’s an elegantly written mystery romance, it’s full of joy and fun, with a great twist at the end. This is one of those books that just makes you smile, this is a Sarah Mallory at her very best and yet again she shows just how a perfect Historical Romance is written.

I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this book!

This was an Arc via the author, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Sarah. xx

#Review | Her Mother’s Secret by Jan Baynham #HerMothersSecret @JanBaynham @RubyFiction

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Hello Sunshines, I hope you are all safe and well?! Today I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this charming book; Her Mother’s Secret by Jan Baynham. As always sit back, grab that cuppa and enjoy.

It’s 1969 and free-spirited artist Elin Morgan has left Wales for a sun-drenched Greek island. As she makes new friends and enjoys the laidback lifestyle, she writes all about it in her diary. But Elin’s carefree summer of love doesn’t last long, and her island experience ultimately leaves her with a shocking secret …

Twenty-two years later, Elin’s daughter Alexandra has inherited the diary and is reeling from its revelations. The discovery compels Alexandra to make her own journey to the same island, following in her mother’s footsteps. Once there, she sets about uncovering what really happened to Elin in that summer of ’69

What a wonderful debut!! I can guarantee from reading this emotional, heart-wrenching and feel-good book, that Jan Baynham will have a long career in writing and I cannot wait to see what other beauties Jan is going to gift to us all.

The story is split in two different era’s and two different but connected women; the story opens in 1991 with Alexandra who after losing her beloved mother; Elin she is trying to come to terms with her life without the woman who meant so much to her, she feels like a cuckoo in the nest at home. She is trying to keep peace and to grieve for her mother, there is nothing but arguments between her and her father so she moves to her grandmothers, which is when she found old diary of her mothers.

She soon learns some surprising and shocking truths as she starts to get to know the mother she thought she knew, who turned out have many secrets; such as Alexandra, being an artist herself never knew her mother had gone to art college and spent time in Greece, it is while discovering who her mother was – and as in the process who she is too – Alexandra decides to go to Greece to learn more. Elin’s story is told via the diary, we are transported to 1969 Greece as her story is told and this is where her secrets and all the emotion that will be wrapped up in what is about to be revealed really hits the reader.

I love the descriptions of Greece, it’s clear and vivid, the writing instantly transport s the reader from their armchair to that beautiful island. The small details really make each scene stand out, the way landscapes look an in certain light, the clearness of the sea, the food, the people, the houses. Everything is there to whisk you away, and I thoroughly loved experience 1969 Greece from the comfort of my home.

This story really captured me, I can’t put my finger on why I was so drawn to it, maybe because it was so far away from what I usually read? Who knows, but from reading the back blurb I was hooked. I wanted to learn Elin’s secret and I wanted to know how whatever happened to her effects her daughter; Alexandra twenty-two years later. You just know that whatever occurred in Greece and to Elin isn’t going to be happy and there is going to further sadness, but I loved the way the real connection between mother and daughter, they both have a real passion for art and for life, it is as clear as a bell that they had a strong relationship.

I really liked how this is written, I do love a split timeline, and this is done really well it keeps the reader engaged with each of the characters in the two time zones and there is no confusion over who is who and where they fit into each of these two moment’s lives as all is revealed slowly throughout the book.

I have to mention the opening; my oh my that is a real doozy! It was a real surprise to start a book with such a tasty morsel of intrigue, as a reader, I was like a fish on a line eager to know what is going on and how that prologue relates to the story – well I am not going to tell you but all is revealed and it is so wonderfully done!

Overall, a perfect escapist book, it’s warm, charming, poignant and engaging, a thoroughly enjoyable read.

This was an Arc from the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Liz, at Choc Lit. xx