Choclit UK/Ruby Fiction Publisher

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

Posted on

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 @

Posted on

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

Posted on Updated on

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 😉

Happy Jennifer Aniston GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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 | Daniel’s Daughter (Cornish Tales #6) by Victoria Cornwall #DanielsDaughter #CornishTales @VickieCornwall @ChocLituk

Posted on

Hello Sunshines, I hope you are all safe and well. I am super excited to be sharing my review of this gorgeous book; Daniel’s Daughter, which is the sixth book in the wonderful Cornish Tales Series by Victoria Cornwall. As always grab that cuppa, and a box of Jaffa cakes and enjoy!

Sometimes the truth is not easy to say and even harder to hear …

Cornwall, 1895.

Grace Kellow is a young woman with a strong sense of who she is and where she comes from. As the daughter of a well-respected Cornish dairy owner Daniel Kellow, her existence in the village of Trehale is comfortable and peaceful.

But then handsome Talek Danning comes striding over Hel Tor, and soon after his arrival Grace is hit with a revelation that leaves her questioning her identity and her place in the Trehale community.

In her hour of need, Talek and his sister Amelia offer Grace sanctuary – but wherever Grace runs, her secret will follow …

The queen of the Cornish love story has done it again! Victoria Cornwall has once again brought us all another beautifully heart-warming, surprising, atmospheric and vividly enchanting story full of secrets, lies and love.

Daniel’s daughter is the sixth book in the Cornwall Tales series, each one can be so easily read as a stand-alone. I haven’t read the book which is connected to this, but that didn’t make any difference as this is an amazing story in his own right. But saying that I was so intrigued by the characters and what happened in this that I have downloaded The Captains Daughter which is waiting patiently on my kindle.

Grace Kellow has spent her life knowing that her adoring parents love her dearly, she has had a happy and fulfilled childhood and grown into a beauty with a smart mind and vivid imagination. Being the daughter of the hugely respected and charismatic Daniel Kellow, owner of the local dairy, she has always known her place in the community, she has always felt privileged with that knowledge. Even though she wishes she could do more to earn the respect of the community instead of having it just because of who she is. Her life in her little village of Trehale is happy, comfortable and excepted.

But then after a mistake on her part in the beginning, which is highly amusing and honestly it could happen to anyone who has imagination or who reads a lot. Grace meets handsome, smouldering, brooding, kind, caring and sexy-as-hell; Talek Danning…oh, be still my beating heart!!! Unfortunately, as much as Grace may think him as handsome as he really is, she also on first sight blames him of a terrible crime, but hey he isn’t one to hold too much of a grudge. Not long after meeting Talek, Grace’s life is changed completely, she is devastated and confused when she learns a terrible secret….but what is it? Well, I am not going to tell you that! Grace is such a state of shock that she flees, wanting to make a new life for herself in London.

Once again our gorgeous….sigh!!! Hero; Talek comes striding into the scene to help the damsel in distress, oh yes I can just imagine him riding in a stallion wearing armour….Hmmm!!!

Anyway…enough of my daydreaming about knights in shining armour, with Talek’s help Grace becomes the bookkeeper at Bothik Mine, and she was so good at her job she earned the trust of many in the company, yet again something isn’t quite right and no matter where Grace goes that secret keeps following her. Can she ever regain the peace she so direly wants, or find the happiness that she once had before her life fell apart?

I absolutely loved the sweeping and vivid descriptions of Cornwall, something which Victoria does to perfection! I thoroughly enjoyed this, I loved the steady pacing of the story, the characters are fabulous, you instantly like Grace and you are cheering her on throughout, you laugh and cry with her. The plot is wonderful and full of hope, charm which fills you with happiness and sunshine – which is what we all need right?

This was an Arc copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Liz. Xx

Daniel’s Daughter is available now and can be found at Amazon.

#Review | You’ve Got My Number by Angela Barton #YouveGotMyNumber @angebarton @ChocLituk

Posted on Updated on

Hello Sunshines, on this grey and blustery day! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this wonderful book; You’ve Got My Number by Angela Barton. So grab your cuppa, and a snack, sit back and enjoy!

Three isn’t always a magic number … 

There are three reasons Tess Fenton should be happy. One, her job at the Blue Olive deli is dull, but at least she gets to work with her best friend. Two, she lives in a cosy cottage in the pretty village of Halston. Three, she’s in love with her boyfriend, Blake.

Isn’t she?

Because, despite their history, Blake continues to be the puzzle piece in Tess’s life that doesn’t quite fit. And when she meets intriguing local artist Daniel Cavanagh, it soon becomes apparent that, for Tess, love isn’t as easy as one, two, three …

I loved this book!! This is perfect for curling up with through those cold blustery nights, I am relatively new to Angela Burton, having only recently discovered her work, but from that first book last year, I was completely hooked with her writing. So when I got the opportunity to review Angela’s latest offering, I snapped it up and I am so pleased that I did as this is wonderfully warm and feel-good romance, that will leave you wearing a huge smile.

Really, don’t we all love books that can make you laugh and smile? I, know that I do and this is one of those.

If ever there was a couple that was meant to be together! Tess and Daniel are just perfect for each other, yet due to other factors in their lives, they can’t just jump into a new relationship. Tess is in a relationship with the awful Blake- honestly, this guy could curdle milk, sorry but I really didn’t like him from the start, yet his presence and manipulative behaviour is integral to how the story unfolds, so I suppose I can allow him that. Tess knows that their relationship has come to a halt, she isn’t in love with him and as she likes o say, they are like jigsaw pieces that have been re-moulded to fit even though they don’t. I do love that analogy!

When she literally bumps into charming, handsome and a little guarded; Daniel with his two gorgeous little spaniels, she just knows that this guy is special, she can’t deny that there is a mutual attraction there, sparks fly. But Daniel has his own darkness he must first face before he can commit to his own happily ever after.

But Blake – who is a cretin – sees the changes in the wind, he doesn’t want to lose her, even though he knows deep down that they have gone the course, he comes up with a plan to keep her by his side, and it is here and his dastardly plan that really boiled my blood, Tess is a good person, so she does the decent thing and stands by him.

I love this! It is such an easy to read, cute and magical story all about new beginnings, falling in love and second chances, both Tess and Daniel must navigate their way through the rocky waters they have each found themselves in, I felt that both of them needed a second chance in life; Tess with just getting herself out there and start to live again while trying to find her ‘jigsaw piece’ because the ‘piece’ she has now doesn’t fit in her jigsaw and Daniel needs a second chance after running away from an incident which happened many years ago and one which he still feels guilt over. I have to say that I do love a ‘new beginnings’/second chance story, I don’t read this trope half as much as I should do and judging by this beauty I think I am missing out on something.

I have to mention the cover, which is so eye-catching and matches the story within so perfectly. I know you should never judge a book by its cover, and you most certainly never pick up a book just because of the pretty picture, but I have to admit that in this case, I saw Angela’s name emblazed across it, add in a handsome dark haired chap plus two dogs and well you have me hook-line and sinker…I really am that easy to please 😉 and Choc Lit really do have some of the most eye catching and fitting covers for their books.

Over all this is a gorgeous, feel-good, warm, charming and relatable story which a cast of fabulous character who you will love and hate in equal measure – really, there was one which I totally hated, one of those characters where you want to boo and hiss them whenever they are in a scene – which shows just how great Angela’s writing is, to create such wonderful characters that make you feel such a wealth of emotion.

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Liz. xx

#Review | It Started with a Giggle (Schubert #3) by Kirsty Ferry #ItStartedWithAGiggle #SchubertSeries @kirsty_ferry @Choclituk

Posted on Updated on

Hello Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this fabulous book; It Started With A Giggle by Kirsty Ferry, be warned I may giggle 😉 and babble especially where the hero is concerned…green eyes, sigh! So grab that cuppa and cake…you will need cake and enjoy!

Sometimes the best things start in the strangest ways …. with a giggle!

On a night out in Edinburgh, single mum Liza-Belle Graham finds herself revealing her hopes and dreams to a green-eyed stranger. Liza always wanted to run an “arty-crafty-booky” business, and she’s seen the perfect empty shop to make her dreams a reality. No harm in telling the stranger. It’s not like she’ll see him again …

But Scott McCreadie is no mystery man – he’s an interior designer looking for new premises. And who does Liza bump into when she arranges a viewing? None other than Scott trying to steal her perfect shop!

Is Liza’s arty-crafty-booky dream in jeopardy, or is a new dream about to begin?

As soon as I read the title, I knew that I needed to read this book, it spoke to me and once the story opened up and we find that the lovely Liza the leading lady of the story is a giggler which is what our wonderful hero; Scott likes about her. It was fate! You, see I am a notorious giggler, I giggle over books, films, people. I giggle when I shouldn’t (Giggling through funerals is a serious faux pas) I giggle in awkward moments …I’ve even giggled through a job interview because I was so nervous, let us just say I didn’t get that job. So I knew that had to get my hands on this one and that I would love this book for that alone.

I have read quite a few of Kirsty Ferry’s books now, and have loved each one I adore her creative writing style it’s so fresh and different, her words just leap off the page and drag you back into the book with them, so how on earth I missed The Shubert series is a mystery; seriously, I must walk around with my eyes closed….hmmm, no wonder I am constantly falling over 😉

I loved this book it is such a feel-good vibe to it, that really kept me engaged throughout, and yet at the same time, because I hadn’t read the previous book in the series, I felt that like I had missed out on something crucial, especially where Scott’s sister came in. But that is nothing what’s- so-ever to do with the writing or the story, that has everything to do with me jumping into a series halfway through – but you see when a Kirsty Ferry book comes along I just have to grab it with both hands, I can’t help myself I just have this overpowering need to read her books.

As you may have guessed this is book three in the Schubert story – btw, Shubert is a cat that is spookily very human-like – as I said I hadn’t read the previous two, something which will be rectified as soon as possible, but I do think for those of you like myself who haven’t read this series, then I do think it preferable that you read them in order – that is just my humble opinion, which is why your here, right? They maybe have been written as stand-alone’s, you can always grab a copy and see for yourself.

Anyway, enough of my waffling…I will be doing enough of that in a minute when it gets to introduce you to my gorgeous green-eyed scot (That sounds a little processive, wait till you meet him you will soon see why I keep calling him mine)

When single mother; Liza, goes on a rare night out with colleagues she finds herself a wee bit tipsy and suddenly confesses all her hopes and dreams about wanting to open her own arty-craft-bookish shop and she even goes as far to tell this handsome stranger with the startling green eyes exactly where the empty shop she has seen is. She only realises her faux pas when the handsome stranger turns up and has ideas for said shop for his own interior design company

An agreement is made and they end up sharing the shop, yes ensue fireworks and constant irritation between them, I do love a bit of tension between two opinionated people whom you know are meant to be together. Liza thinks him sarcastic, arrogant, way too smarmy for his own good and unfortunately has become best buddies with her daughter; Isa, who thinks that this luscious creature in leather is the bee’s knees. I won’t argue with her there! So along with Scott’s eccentric sister; Nessa, a way too intelligent cat and Isa we have the makings of a rather eclectic matchmaking trio.

How much do I love Scott? Ah, let me count the ways…in fact, I would probably run out of writing space if I tried, he is a god!! It is like Kirsty Ferry has jumped into my mind and pulled out my dream man, which is a little unsettling…

Scottish. Check!

Green Eyes. Check!

Biker. Check!

The wearer of too-tight t-shirts. Double Check!

A smooth talker with a good heart. Check!

Yup, this guy is perfect, I can’t really say more than that, I may as well just sit here and stare off longingly into the distance as I daydream about this leather-clad, green-eyed Scottish rogue…..#DoubleSigh!

Now we have all the players, let the drama begin, and believe me there are some dramas a rivalry that can only end in romance, a secret, a surprise twist and a riveting finale…..really what more would you want from a Kirsty Ferry book?

I love that there is a feeling of something else lurking beneath the cute little story, like all of Kirsty’s books I have read this has that enchanting almost magical touch to it, it’s so subtle but it makes you think there could be more than meets the eye and this is what Kirsty does so perfectly she draws the reader into her world and wraps you up with her silken words right until the last page and I love it!

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Liz. xx

#Review | Hanukkah At The Great Greenwich Ice Creamery by Sharon Ibbotson #HanukkaAtTheGreatGreenwhichIceCreamery @seibbotson @ChocLituk

Posted on

Hello, my festive little sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this utterly charming book; Hanukka At The Great Greenwhich Ice Creamery by Sharon Ibbotson. This book is really too cute for words, I can’t wait to share it with you. So, grab your cuppa and preferably some Ice Cream and enjoy!

Hanukkah days, Christmas nights and strawberry ice cream …

Cohen Ford is a man who could do with a little bit of sweetening up. It’s no surprise that when he walks into The Great Greenwich Ice Creamery on a typically gloomy London day before Christmas, he insists on a black coffee rather than his childhood favourite – strawberry ice cream.

But then he meets River de Luca, the woman behind the flavours. After their first encounter, Cohen begins visiting the ice creamery every Tuesday, gradually learning more about the intriguing River. Could her influence encourage cynical Cohen to become the man who embraces Christmas, Hanukkah and even strawberry ice cream?

This is a charming seasonal love story, with a really unique romance, between a grouchy Jewish New Yorker, trying his hardest to avoid Hanukkah with family and a deaf woman who creates ice cream flavours. This is the first Hanukkah set romance I have read – in fact, delete that, this is the first Hanukkah romance I have seen and I thoroughly enjoyed it, there definitely needs to be more stories like this in the world, I applaud Choc Lit and Sharon Ibbotson for giving this enchanting stories wings.

After a particularly nasty divorce, New Yorker; Cohen Ford takes a trip to London where he is tasked by his mother to deliver a gift to an old family friend. He isn’t looking forward to walking into the Ice Creamery as he fears childhood memories to re-awaken. He isn’t in any mood for ice cream, much preferring black coffee, but feels that he should do one thing for his mother after all their relationship is already fractured enough to put more strain on it by him disobeying.

But that all changes, his selfish and slightly withdrawn nature soon disappear when he meets the daughter of his mothers best friend; River De Luca, the captivating deaf woman who creates the most alluring ice creams. His attraction to her is instant, the moment he sets his eyes on her, he is struck by cupids arrow but fate and her mother seems to be against their relationship and he is soon warned off her, but does he take heed? Not on your nelly! I love the whole process of Cohen getting to know River, even though she is deaf and doesn’t speak, except in sign. The little ways she teaches him to communicate with her is so lovely, theirs is an extremely sweet budding romance, I love how he learns more about himself and how to move past his fracture relationship with his mother just by being with River.

Cohen doesn’t have the best relationship with his mother, in fac,t I don’t he really ever has had a great relationship with anyone, he has been known to be incredibly selfish and lost in his own world of pity, self destruct and obviously work. I do think that growing up in a turbulent household with parents who constantly screamed at one and other, then for his father to just up and leave has had a huge impact on Cohen and has moulded him into the man he is, some of it good and some bad. He is a man who has allowed his past and seeing his parents volatile relationship dictate how he leads his own life, which unfortunately did entail in his going down the; ‘oh, pity me’ and selfish path.

This is written entirely through Cohen’s point of view, which I thought was a refreshing change, true that does mean we don’t get a real insight into River’s thoughts except, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have an insight into her. I love how she says so much with not a single word, with her little touches, her patience in teaching him sign and their little written messages, I love how without a single word she seems to sense what is going on and what he needs, even if that is a tub of ice cream.

I really liked this! I love how Cohen goes from a melancholic grump who is a little immature, to a sensitive and loving man who has thrown himself into rebuilding his if, his relationship with his mother and learning about River, I really, really liked that turnaround with him.

The is the perfect seasonal cosy and feel-good story, it’s beautifully written and full of festive cheer – plus some delicious ice cream, honestly I am in pure heaven!

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Liz! xx

#Review | Izzy’s Christmas Star by Berni Stevens #IzzysChristmasStar by Berni Stevens @Berni_Stevens1 @ChocLituk

Posted on Updated on

Hello my festive Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this gorgeous and hugely enjoyable Christmas story; Izzy’s Christmas Star by Berni Stevens. Be warned that is a fair amount of babble so I’d grab your hot chocolate and a snack. Enjoy!

You don’t only find stars on top of the Christmas tree …

Student and Zumba instructor Izzy Grant leads a pretty normal life, but in the run-up to Christmas an unusual encounter with a friendly Santa paves the way for the most wonderful and star-studded Christmas she’s ever experienced.

Because at almost exactly the same time, Izzy also meets Seth Roberts – as in the Seth Roberts, bona fide rock star and lead singer of Scarlet Gryphon. As their connection grows, Izzy’s Christmas countdown becomes a glittering whirlwind of after-show parties and classy restaurants – and does she have her mystery Santa to thank?

I love this!!! I have a real soft spot for ‘Girl-next-door-meets-sexy-rock-star’ romances, I have been reading this kind of Chick-Lit for as long as I can remember and I really adore this one. I love the story, I really, really adore the characters and I love the feel of magic that floats around you like a sparkly mist as you read. It is a charming, fun, delightfully heartwarming and a real joy to read, it makes you smile with every page. This is everything I want from a Christmas story, I want romance, I want complex and charming rock stars, I want heart-warming, I want an everyday relatable heroine, I want Christmas fun, I want glittery feel-good stories that have an essence of Christmas magic and this has it all.

Easily my favourite Christmas book this year, in fact, this is easily a firm contender for best Christmas book I’ve read – believe me I have read a fair few. I honestly cannot say enough great things about this, it is perfect to curl up with on these cold nights and lose yourself in for a few hours – only problem them once you have devoured it in one, as I did, you will be heartbroken it has finished, I desperately wanted more, I would love to see more of the Scarlet Gryphon gang.

Izzy Grant; Zumba instructor and English Lit student, she really is the girl next door, she is sweet and loyal, a young woman who many could see themselves in and a woman who you would love to be friends with, she is just an everyday stressed out young woman trying to juggle life. As Christmas draws closer and closer she starts to see more and more Santa’s on the high street, more seems to appear every day but it is an odd encounter with one silvery eyed Santa in particular that more or less changes the course of her Christmas with his cryptic and spookily correct assessments and comments.

She meets a sexy as hell, if a bit lonely looking guy in a coffee shop, a chance meeting that changes everything and turns her once everyday life around, as this chap isn’t just your regular coffee shop dweller, he is internationally acclaimed, rock star and lead singer of Scarlet Gryphon, the biggest rock band around; Seth Roberts – a fact that Izzy doesn’t realise, she just is overawed by the fact that this handsome man has a nice smile, beautiful twinkly eyes and unfortunately witnessed her spilling her dinner down her front – it’s ok Izzy, we have all been there – she never thought she would see him again.

Seth is instantly fascinated by the slightly clumsy, and very beautiful read head, she is a breath of fresh air for him, she becomes a balm for his damaged and already well-trodden on heart and soul. Seth, unfortunately, has become cynical and jaded, he loves his job, he is passionate about the band, about the music and about sharing his music with the world with tours, but he hates the darker side of being in the public life, such as every woman he comes across all faun on him either wanting something from him or wanting to enhance their own status by being with him. He has just left one deadly relationship and has no thoughts about becoming entangled with another camera lens obsessive starlet. Which is why he is so attracted to Izzy, she is so different to anyone within his sphere. He loves that she doesn’t want anything from him – in fact, he finds that fact she had never heard of him or his band very refreshing. She doesn’t play games she is just herself, she has a wary if feisty innocence about her that speaks to far more then words ever could.

I really, really have fallen head over heels for Seth, he isn’t just a crooning rock star who looks great in and out of his shirt 😉 and has the most amazing blue eyes, he is a proper gentleman too, he real charisma plus he has actual manners, he is passionate but wary, he has a bit of a lone wolf aura about him which I found as sexy as hell…I just love this guy!

They both meet this mysterious all-knowing and seeing; Santa, who seems to know far more than he should and helps guide them with his cryptic clues. I love the addition of Santa practically playing at matchmaker for our couple, it adds to the whole magic of the story and compliments the blossoming love story between Seth and Izzy.

Overall, I think I have already professed my love of this book enough, but hey this is my review and I’m going to do it again, I do love this book! It is such a pleasurable, delightful and charming little story that really if you love Christmas, if you love rock stars and if you love romance then this should be on your Christmas List – or miss out the letter for Santa and buy it yourself!

Now, I just need to find my own Christmas rock-star 😉

This was a Complimentary copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Liz. Xx

Izzy’s Christmas Star is available now and can be purchased from Amazon.

#Review | Christmas in Little Penhaven (Little Penhaven #1.5) by Angela Britnell #ChristmasInLittlePenhaven @AngelaBritnell @ChocLituk

Posted on Updated on

Hello, sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the super lovely; Christmas in Little Penhaven by Angela Britnell, so grab a cuppa, a mince pie and enjoy.

Have yourself a little Cornish Christmas …

Wannabe author Jane Solomon is expecting an uneventful Christmas in her Cornish village of Little Penhaven.

But then super fit American gym owner Hal Muir comes to town, and suddenly the holiday season looks set to be far more interesting. Hal is keen on embracing every British tradition on offer, from mince pies to Christmas pub quizzes – and perhaps some festive romance too …

Is there anything better than a Choc Lit Christmas story? No, I can’t think of anything better or more festive either. Reading a Choc Lit book is like opening a box of your favourite chocolates – Strawberry Quality Street for me, just for future reference 😉 these delicious books make you feel all warm and full of seasonal joy, and this is no different.

This is actually the first I have read by Angela Brittnell, it certainly will not be the last. I love her cheery and sparkling writing, the story flows around you like a glittery mist, it captivates and wraps you up with Christmas cheer. the characters are so beautifully drawn, they aren’t the stereotypical happy-go-lucky twenty-somethings, they are real people who have problems, sadness and heart-aches in their lives, these are two people with past’s and who are unable to as yet see the happiness in the future and this is what we need, not everyone lives a fairy-tale but everyone has the chance for some Christmas cheer and that is what I am getting from this book.

This is apart of the ‘Little Penhaven’ series, which I actually didn’t know until after reading, not as though it mattered as this read to me as a stand-alone, after reading this one and meeting the resident Little Penhaven, I will definitely be visiting this adorable little village again.

This is a really charming little story, which is full of heart-warming festive cheer, meaningful and deserving romance, gorgeous Christmas traditions and a beautiful moral to the story of allowing yourself to move forward and let go of the past to find happiness, something we should all think about especially at this time of year when there are so many stresses.

After a tragedy that changes turns his life upside down, gym owner Hal Muir hives up the career he has spent is live forging out, and decides to leave sunny America behind and spend some time away from the memories that hare stalking him go to good old Blighty for Christmas, where he fully intends on tasting some British Christmas cheer, hopefully working on the mythical book he is said to be writing – but that is all a lie, he is essentially running away he wants to forget all about what happened to send him across the pond to stay with a cousin he hardly knew.

Honestly, I shattered just thinking about it – I may need to open the Quality Street tin!

Once reaching the little village of; Little Penhaven he meets selfless budding writer; Jane Solomon, who shows him that there can be happy if he is willing to move past his own demons. Jane is a wonderful woman, I could relate to her so much, stuck in a bit of a dead-end job, not a huge fan of Christmas, selflessly putting her life and everything she wants on hold while caring for her mother and trying to fulfil her dream to be a writer – honestly, did I just describe myself there? She really likes Hal, there is something very endearing and slightly otherworldly about him, she wants to help him find peace, but there is a sadness hidden behind his handsome eyes.

This is a really sweet and endearing story, there is a painful human aspect to it which runs hand in hand with all the Christmas spirit, which I really like. This is the perfect afternoon reading for anyone who likes to while away a few hours in the presence of fest joy.

This was an Arc copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Liz. xx

Christmas in Little Penhaven is available now and I definitely recommend grabbing a copy.

#Review | Bluebell’s Christmas Magic by Marie Laval #BluebellsChristmasMagic @Choclituk @MarieLaval1

Posted on

Hello sunshines, I am so excited to be sharing my review of this magical book; Bluebell’s Christmas Magic by the very lovely Marie Laval, this book is soooo good, I am not ashamed to admit that I have waffled a fair amount, so grab your cup of hot chocolate, dive into that opened Quality Street tin and enjoy.

A flick of a feather duster and a sprinkle of Christmas magic …

Cassie Bell is used to mess. Her cleaning business, Bluebell Cleaning, is well known in the Cumbrian village of Red Moss. However, now it’s almost Christmas and Cassie has a slightly messier situation to deal with than she’s used to.

She’s been hired to help Stefan Lambert, an injured army helicopter pilot who’s staying at the local Belthorn Manor whilst he recovers. Stefan resents Cassie’s interference and is definitely not looking for Christmas cheer. But Cassie prides herself on sparkling surfaces – so, can she bring some festive sparkle to Stefan’s life too?

Perfect! That’s it, that is all I can say about this book, it really is perfect. I supposed I really should make an effort and actually write more to this review then just one word, but really when you have a book that is perfection, what more is there to say? I suppose I could lament about the beauty of the words and the originality and charming story and absolutely gorgeous hero and fabulous heroine, but once I start talking about this book, I may not be able to stop myself.

Oh, Stefan! My Gawd, how much do I love this man? I don’t think I can fully say how much I love this man… I need a gif!

He'S So Pretty I Want To Cry GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

He is THE perfect hero – in my eyes – handsome, brooding, protective, growling, glorious eyes …and other parts of his anatomy 😉 *clears throat, and thinks of something else* Anyone who knows me and who reads my reviews, will probably have an idea about Stefan and why I love him so much, I do love a tortured, fragile soul, a proud man who has been through his own hell and now a bit of a grouch as he tries to lock himself away instead of moving forward – plus he owns a uniform and he has the most seductive French accent – yep it’s true I am that shallow 😉

What I love about this and like all of Ms Laval’s stories, is that there is so much more hidden within the story then what first appears, there is more going on within this magical tale than just a gorgeous festive love story, there is a mystery or two that you become completely drawn into plus the touch of a little supernatural that weaves itself so beautifully through the background of the story. This is what Ms Laval does better than any other author, the way she so effortlessly entwines romance, mystery with the mistiness of magic is always so perfect.

Set in the Lake District, Cassie Bell is a busy little bee not only does she own the local Bluebell Cleaning business but with living with her grandfather she is practically his carer and she does worry about his lapses in memory. Bluebell Cleaning has been hired by the owner of the local Manor; Belthorn House to clean the house and look after it’s new guest and friend of the owner Charles. Stefan Lambert, French Army Helicopter pilot is there to recover from the accident that has left him injured and scarred, not just physically but he is wounded psychologically too as he suffers from nightmares about what happens to him.

Stefan wants nothing more than to be left alone to try and forget what had happened to him, hide himself away from the worlds and pitying eyes, he thinks that a desolate manor in the middle of the Lake’s would be perfect, a house that rather reflects his dire and brooding mood, only he doesn’t count on the chirpy, talkative, energetic dungaree wearing cleaner who refuses to let him wallow, she is insistent that he does exactly what he doesn’t want to and that is to start living instead of sinking into the gloom and darkness of his own mind.

I love their first meeting, her thinking him an intruder and she brandishes a feather duster at this huge, growling bear of a man who wants nothing more than to take his pain relief and be left in peace. The banter between them is brilliant, fun, witty, real, it’s laced with happiness and sadness, their different personalities just bounce off each other, Cassie and Stefan are proof that opposites do attract. I love her energy, the way she can never sit still for more than five minutes, the constant chatter even when she has nothing to say, she reminds me of myself…now I just need to find myself a brooding Frenchman who rather resembles Heathcliffe.

I do love Marie Laval’s work, she is easily one of my favourite authors as soon as I know that there is a new book of hers out there in the world, I need to read it, she is an unbelievably gifted storyteller who never disappoints, this one may be my favourite yet….but, I do say that with every one of her books 🙂

Overall, this is one of the best books I’ve read all year, it’s easily one of my favourite Christmas books, there isn’t a single thing I don’t like about this. The story is so wonderfully intriguing and enchanting, two lead character’s who will make your heart melt, plus an excellent varied support cast, it’s as the title proclaims; magical and I cannot recommend this beautiful book enough.

I will finish as I started; it’s perfect!

This was an Arc copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank, you Liz. Xx

Bluebell’s Christmas Magic is avaliable now.