ChocLit UK

#Review | The House That Alice Built by Chris Penhall #TheHouseThatAliceBuilt @ChrisPenhall @RubyFiction @ChocLituk

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Hello, my lovely readers! Today I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the heart-warming; The House That Alice Built, which is the debut novel by Chris Penhall, so grab a cuppa and enjoy.

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Home is where the heart is …

Alice Dorothy Matthews is sensible. Whilst her best friend Kathy is living it up in Portugal and her insufferable ex Adam is travelling the world, Alice is working hard to pay for the beloved London house she has put her heart and soul into renovating.

But then a postcard from Buenos Aires turns Alice’s life upside down. One very unsensible decision later and she is in Cascais, Portugal, and so begins her lesson in ‘going with the flow’; a lesson that sees her cat-sitting, paddle boarding, dancing on top of bars and rediscovering her artistic talents.

But perhaps the most important part of the lesson for Alice is that you don’t always need a house to be at home

Chicks Rogues and Scandals Review

What a wonderful debut from an author who I am sure is going to have a long and fruitful career full of more glorious words, which I am looking forward to reading more of. This is a very real and uplifting story about a sensible but very relatable woman, this is one of those books that no matter who you are or where you are in your life, you will feel a real kinship to it, Alice could be you, a friend or a family member her story is one that is pretty normal and that anyone could find themselves in her shoes. The thing I really took away from this book was that no matter what we do in life, make some time to just have fun and see where it leads you, that is such a great message.

Alice is the girl next door, she is the sensible one, she is the work-a-holic who has finally settled down, she doesn’t take chances she just goes about her day to day London life. Her best friend Kathy, who currently is living life in splendid colour over in Portugal has been pestering Alice to go over and have some fun, but Alice I would say she has found herself stuck in her ways, she has out all of her energy in this beautiful home her and her dim-wit of a boyfriend bought for themselves. On the outside Alive has everything, good job, handsome boyfriend a beautiful home, what more could a woman want?

Well, as we all know you can never judge a book by its cover and there is always far more going on inside the pages of a persons life, Alice’s life is anything but perfect, her job may not be all that jazz, her boyfriend is actually an ex-boyfriend who has buggered off on jolly holiday around the world – but at least she has her house.

It wouldn’t be a story without a bit of an upheaval would it, and Alice certainly has one hell of a shock in store for her that turns her life upside down, so she does what her friend has been urging her to do, she goes to Portugal and it is while there we see the real Alice emerge from this tightly wrapped up prim and proper woman, this Alice is fun, adventurous and brave.

What I really loved about this is that from those first few pages I got an instant impression of the characters, Alice is a sweetheart, I really related to her, I so wanted her to be happy, you get a sense that beneath that sensible exterior there is another woman waiting to break free – which we see burst forth once she reaches Portugal. Her friend Kathy is a hoot, she came across as a bit dippy-hippy, but this woman has a really good heart and Adam, well from the first few pages I instantly disliked him, he came across as an ignorant, pompous and way too self-centred little boy than a man for my liking – which foes to show the quality of Chris Penhall’s excellent writing, she can make you fall in love as well as leave you reeling all within a few pages, it is a piece of brilliant writing.

Overall this is a heart-warming story all about finding the courage to face adversity, about finding your own peace and pulling yourself back together in order to move forward, if that means running away to be able to go forward then so be it. The whole story is fresh and fun, the plot is a simple one but what takes this from the ordinary to the excellent is the warmth in Alice’s character the beauty of the setting and the overpowering feeling of just being able to enjoy yourself. I really loved this, I liked the journey we are taken on as Alice finds her feet.

This is a great weekend/holiday book and one I definitely recommend having a read.

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

The House That Alice Built is available now.

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#Review | A Paris Fairy Tale by Marie Laval #AParisFairyTale #Romance @MarieLaval1 @ChocLituk

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Hello my lovely readers! Today I have the massive pleasure to be sharing my review of the gorgeous; A Paris Fairy Tale by Marie Laval, this book is just as enchanting as the title and the cover suggest, and I can’t wait for you all to fall in love with it as much as I have, so grab a cuppa, sit back and let me transport you to beautiful France.

A wonderful new book from the author of the best selling novel, Little Pink Taxi

Is Paris the city of happily ever afters?

Workaholic art historian Aurora Black doesn’t have time for fairy tales or Prince Charmings, even in the most romantic city in the world. She has recently been hired by a Parisian auction house for a job that could make or break her career. Unfortunately, daredevil journalist Cédric Castel seems intent on disrupting Aurora’s routine. 

As Aurora and Cédric embark on a journey across France, they get more than they bargained for as they find themselves battling rogue antiques dealers and personal demons, not to mention a growing attraction to each other. 

But with the help of a fairy godmother or two, could they both find their happily ever afters?

OMG! This book, I am absolute love with it! There are not enough words to really do justice to how wonderful this book is. With a will they won’t they romance, mystery, adventure, twists and turns, plus add in some beautiful French scenery and you have a perfect story. This is proper fairy tale, but with a stonking great twist. with a young woman with self confidence issues wanting to believe that there are prince charming’s in the world, yet she is a realist and is far to old to believe in white knights on trusty steeds. But what about rough around the edges, leather clad Frenchmen, who come rolling in on a motorbike? 😉

Aurora Black (Is that the most gorgeous name, or what?) is a workaholic art historian/palaeographer, she has worked hard to get to the position she is in but she strives to step out of the shadow of the shining light of her illustrious grandfather and be recognised as being good at her job in her right, not just because she is related to the great Palaeographer; Augustus Black , always putting her career first before anything else, especially love. She has gained a nickname of ‘Black Ice’ for her frosty and no-nonsense persona, and because she won’t let anyone close enough to melt the ice that surrounds her heart, she thinks that because she believes she isn’t very pretty (Come on what woman doesn’t think the same?) and her limp, what man would be interested in her? – Oh, Aurora how wrong you are!

When she is offered the job to authenticate one of the rarest medieval documents around, Aurora jumps at the chance to show that she can do the job. She definitely has not gone to France to have a sordid affair with a handsome Frenchman, no matter what her grandmothers nurse says. She is there in a professional capacity only, she is far too bust with her work. No matter that Paris is the city of love and romance, she has lost all self confidence in not just herself but in her image too, my heart break for her at times, she genuinely does think that she is grotesque just because of the scars she carries from a car accident. She has sunk into the deep dark shell and hides who true beauty from the world behind her glacial façade, but she doesn’t expect one man to see past that, a prince charming perhaps?

I think every woman will see themselves in Aurora, she is one of those characters that so many people can relate to in some way, I know I do, there are so many little things about her, that just got me think; OMG, that is so me!! I love how she is in her thirties instead of being a young whipper-snapper, its so refreshing to finally have a heroine who isn’t perfect, who has her own flaws who has her own body hang ups that she so desperately wats to hide, she is the real woman’s heroine. Thank you Maire for bringing such a wonderful lady to the world!

Adventurer and journalist; Cedric Castel – Oh goodness me, do I love this guy or what? He is in Paris to finally uncover and catch the people behind a huge story he has been working on, I won’t give too much away is a huge part of the plot and I am not going to spoil the beautiful story for you all, but I will say that it involves a nasty as hell Russian art collector and the project Aurora has been asked to work on, plus a few other aspects that are all connected – but that’s it my lips are sealed!!

I love that Cedric – even though he has his own issues, he has darkness surrounding him too, he instantly sees Aurora, he may not instantly like her as he is suspicious of her involvement in the story he is covering but his is fascinated by her. As well as being ridiculously handsome, I mean swoon-worthy gorgeous; those amber eyes can make any woman with breathe in her body to melt like ice cream on a hot day, but I loved his real cheeky, lovable rogue persona, he is fun, enigmatic and brooding as well as serious and there is a real romantics soul hidden away. I just adore this man, I need this leather clad, biker in my life – sigh!

Cedric who believes Aurora is in on the nasty scheme begins to shadow her, which doesn’t go well with her as they didn’t exactly meet on the best terms, he can’t read her and judge her character like he can others as she is so closed off and she finds his far too irritating, yet neither of them can deny that there is an attraction there, there is buzz between them. So between them as well as the mystery that they are both embroiled in they both must learnt o over come each of their own personal issues that run deep, that keeps them both from moving forward and to learn to trust and love.

It’s no secret, that I am a huge fan of Marie Laval’s work, she has a unique and magical writing voice, that is definitely one of a kind as there are very few authors that can match her flawless writing. This is a fast paced, engaging and mesmerising story with a delightful romance, the characters are beautifully developed and are completely relatable, they have a lovely chemistry, you can feel their attraction each other sizzle of the page. The plot is highly original, suspenseful, the settings and scenery is just stunning and its all wrapped up with a charming fairy tale-esque bow, I love it!

This was an Arc via the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you Liz. x

You can grab a copy of A Paris Fairy Tale now at Amazon, and do go and get yours now!

#Review | A Game of Desire by Sharon Ibbotson #AGameOfDesire @seibbotson @ChocLituk

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Hello my lovely readers, Today I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the stunning; A Game Of Desire by Sharon Ibbotson, I am very excited to tell you about this book, so as ever take a seat, grab a cuppa and enjoy.

The Queen of Diamonds never loses …

Felicity Fox is a rarity for a woman living in the early 1800s. Not only does she frequent the ‘gambling hells’ where most ladies would not dare to tread, she can also beat any man at his own game. It’s no wonder she’s gained notoriety as the ‘Queen of Diamonds’.

Edward, Earl of Addington, despises gambling and is not exactly enamoured of Felicity Fox either, especially after she tried to swindle his family. Except now the Earl requires assistance from the Queen of Diamonds – and there’s everything to play for. But with Edward will Felicity find she’s involved in a more dangerous game than she’s ever played before?

Ouh la, la! This book is a real gem, first full disclosure that I was drawn to this book the moment I saw the cover, yes I know we shouldn’t judge by covers alone – but, come on look at it, isn’t t gorgeous? Then when I read the blurb, I thought “wow, this is going to be one hell of a great historical” and I am so pleased that my first impression was right on the money, as this is a stunning historical.

This is a brilliant book that has an amazing heroine in the form of Felicity, she isn’t your stereotypical heroine, she isn’t an aristocrat as such, she is a just a regular woman who after a bit of a lousy childhood and after falling on hard times she has picked herself up and made something of herself, and that something just happens to be the best damn gambler there is. With the brains, the looks and the skill of the cards she is a force to be reckoned with. She is the star of the London’s Gambling circuit, a Diamond in the rough which is why she has been handed down the moniker of the ‘”Queen of Diamonds” but all didn’t go to plan, when she was caught trying to swindle the mighty but gullible; Earl of Addington, she was caught by the Earl Son; Edward who banished her from London.

Five years later, Edward is now the Earl and he wants a precious heirloom back that his father had sold, but to get it back he needs the help of the one person he vowed never to see again, the one woman who can boil his blood faster then a cauldron, the woman he banished instead of sending to the gallows. He needs the Queen of Diamonds and oh, how he hates that, he hates everything she stands for, he has seen for himself how gambling, drinking and whoring can destroy a family – as has Felicity, but Edward doesn’t realise this, yet. I’m pretty sure you can guess what Edwards want the brilliant Queen of Diamonds for, Felicity and Edward make a deal, one that could back fire on them both as they both have their hearts on the line.

I really liked Felicity, I love a good independent heroine, especially one who has a little bit of fire and intelligent behind the seductive smile and I really think that Ms Fox aka the Queen of Diamonds, is that. She is caught between a rock and a hard place, she hasn’t had the best start in life but she has made something of herself, yes, it may not be the most respectful career choice, but she is good at gambling, she is good at reading people and she uses her knowledge and her feminine whiles to good use, I really admire that.

I haven’t read Sharon Ibbotson’s work before, but I can see from this book that she is an author to watch out for. This is a very clever and original story, with a spiders web of emotion, out two lead character’s are both brilliantly intriguing and complex individuals, both have a real fragility and a vulnerable side that they keep boarded up so no one can hurt them again, both have issues with trust, with being able to love and with thinking that they deserve love.

This is an sexy, exciting and entertaining romance, that balances the blossoming romance between Edward and Felicity with an engaging adventure. What I particularly liked more than anything is that subtle feminist undercurrent that is ever present throughout the story, as well as that this does have a darker feel to it then your average historical romance, I like the edginess of the story and the individualism of the characters.

Overall, wonderfully written and a definite must read.

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you Liz and ChocLit.

A Game of Desire is available now and can be found at Amazon.

#Review : Crikey A Bodygueard by Kathryn Freeman @KathrynFreeman1 #CrikeyABodyGuard @ChocLituk @RubyFiction

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Hello my lovely readers! Today, I have the great pleasure to be sharing my review of the gorgeous; Crikey A Bodyguard by Kathryn Freeman, this book is amazing and I can’t wait to tell you all a little about it.

A fun heart-warming read. Perfect for Spring!

Fabulous new book from the best selling author of Oh Crumbs and Too Damn Nice. Highly recommended.

She’s got the brains, he’s got the muscle …
When Kelly Bridge’s parents insist on employing a bodyguard for her protection, she’s not happy. Okay, so maybe not every woman is on the cusp of developing a vaccine against a potential biological terrorist attack – but crikey, it’s not like she’s a celebrity!

Ben Jacobs flunked spectacularly out of school, so he knows his new client Dr Kelly Bridge spells trouble for him. But on a conference trip to Rome he finds things are worse than he thought. Not only is he falling for the brilliant scientist, he’s also become horribly aware she’s in grave danger. As they go on the run, dodging bullets and kidnappers, can he resist his feelings and keep her safe?

Ooooh, this is so good!! I mean seriously this is way beyond just being good, this is in a league of it’s own for greatness. Romance, comedy, thrilling action it has everything! This is only the second book I have read by Kathryn Freeman, I was hooked by the first of hers I read; Oh, Crumbs! I fell in love with her serious and realistic and very easy to read writing style so I knew that I had to read this one too. As soon as I read about this I just knew; This book is going to be a good one! Do you ever get that? When you instantly know, that a book is going to be good without even reading the first page? This is what happened here, I just had to get this book in my hands.

Kelly is a scientist who is on the verge of a break through with vaccine for a pox that the government think terrorists could start using in biological attack. After she has been followed and had strange men turn up at her door claiming to read the meter her parents decide that she isn’t save and employ a body-guard for her – much to her disbelieve, she can’t believe tat they would go and do such a thing without asking her first. How could they think she needs a bodyguard, she is just scientist. But they won’t take no for an answer. So in walks ex-special forces soldier and now bodyguard; Ben.

I have fallen hopeless, head over heels in absolute love with the hero; Ben, my goodness!! I am swooning a little at the mere thought of this incredible man, what a hero! Lots of love is going to be showered towards this man and those vivid green eyes. I love how real he is, after leaving school with practically nothing except the notion that education wasn’t for him, he chose to enrol in the military which was the making of him, he found what he was good at, he found his family and more than he loved his job – even when he was going through tortuous special forces training. So when he gets shot and has to leave it broke his heart, which is when Pantha Security Services came in. Not only now does he get to be useful but because everyone in the company is ex forces, it’s like going home. Ben is a complex man, he is a multi-layered man kind, protective, loyal, patient, strong, ruthless, no-nonsense, brusque and undeniably charming.

But he has his vulnerabilityyes, I did zone on that fragility part of him the moment I met him – he feels inadequate and rather stupid around those who are higher on the social ladder then himself. So, when Ben finds out that his next job is to be the bodyguard of a scientist, he does groan and worry that this is going to one hell of a long job. That is until he meets; beautiful, brilliant, stubborn, super smart, unbelievably rich scientist; Kelly, who isn’t at all what he thinks her to be.

Even though Kelly doesn’t want Ben or any bodyguard, she fully thinks her parents are just jumping to conclusions – how wrong she is – she takes a real shine to him – again how could she not? She soon learns to trust the large man’s opinion and that he will keep her safe. I really liked the way Kelly explained the science and her job to Ben, after all he isn’t the inly one to not understand science talk.

This is my kind of book, it has everything! A stonking great plot, where you never know what is around the corner. A fantastic romance between two gorgeous people who you know are just crazy for each other. A super smart and independent heroine and rugged ex military hero – with green eyes, sigh! That is definitely my kryptonite. What you think will be a basic woman meets her bodyguard and they fall helplessly in love, soon shows that thus is far, far more than that. Yes, there is romance – after all this is a ChocLit book which are one of the best publishers around for a good old love story, but add to that the fast paced, race against terrorists then you have something very special.

This has a; must be made into a film, written all over it!

There is a real depth and feeling about it that just pulls you in and you literally at the edge of your seat as you devour it age by page, there re times when your heart is in your mouth and then you go; wow!!

Honestly, this book is so good! Thrilling, exciting, fun, witty, intelligent, romantic and it has real heart. Ms Freeman’s writing is so good, stylish, eloquent and so engrossing.

Just perfect!

This was an Arc copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you Liz.

Crikey a Bodyguard is available now from Amazon.

#Review : Daughter Of The House (Cornish Tales #5) by Victoria Cornwall @VickieCornwall #DaughterOfTheHouse #CornishTales @ChocLituk

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Hello my lovely reader’s! Today I have the huge pleasure to be sharing with you all my review of the amazing Daughter of the House by the very talented Victoria Cornwall. My, goodness this book is just so good! But, don’t just take my word for it, go and take a peek for yourself.

Evelyn Pendragon is spirited but lonely, and largely ignored by her parents whose attentions are taken up with her brother, Nicholas: the expected heir to the family’s Cornish estate and the one who will carry on the Pendragon name.

Stifled by her aristocratic existence, Evelyn finds companionship in an unlikely place when she befriends Drake Vennor, an apprentice gardener on the estate.

But When Evelyn’s life is thrown into turmoil by a tragedy, she realises just how much she has come to rely on Drake. Will family expectations and the burden of the Pendragon name mean she must turn her back on him when she needs him the most?

What a magical story, Victoria Cornwall has done it again! This is book five in the Cornish Tales series, and what I love about this series is that yes, there is something that links them all together, but it’s not huge that you need to read them all in order to understand what’s going on. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t until this one that I even realised what the link was, and I’ve read them from the beginning. These beautiful books are very much stand-alones, they all have their own unique stories and character’s which you will instantly fall in love with whilst reading.

Evelyn Pendragon (don’t you just love that name?) is the second and seemingly unwanted child of Sir Robert Pendragon, she is practically ignored by everyone except her older brother – and favourite child – Nicholas. She lives a lonely life when her brother is with tutors and his parents, she is spirited and wants more than to just sit quietly. She finds that once her governess has dozed off after an afternoon of reading Evelyn can sneak off to her favourite place; the garden! She loves watching Timmons; the head gardener and loves staring out over the beautiful gardens – usually from her perch atop of one of the many statues – it is whilst out amongst the roses; quite literally that she first meets the young Drake Vennor, the new gardeners apprentice and soon the aristocratic lady and the apprentice gardener are soon firm friends.

When her beloved bother sadly passes away, to stop her cousin Mawgan from inheriting the estate Evelyn’s father names her as head of the estate ans soon she is in full training, doing what she would never have thought possible for a mere woman. It is in these difficult times that her friendship with Drake really comes into it’s own, as he is enduring the hard training of being the apprentice gardener and she her own estate training they soon find that they need each other more than they even imagined. I love this part of the story, they really come to each others aid when needed. This is what is so special about Evelyn and Drake they are made to be together, they are a loving couple who really see each other for who they are, but it is the fact that they are true friends first and that is the basis of their relationship. But, all doesn’t exactly go to plan and there is far more in store for both Drake and Evelyn.

I absolutely loved the start of this, the prologue is set in 1870, sixteen years before the actual story begins and it definitely makes you stop and think; well what is going to happen here? There is an edgier feel to that, which will grab your attention and make you keep turning the pages with lightning speed wanting to know what will happen.

Anyone who has ever read a Victoria Cornwall book, then you will know just how gifted she is, and this one is right up there with the best. I love how it tells the story of Evelyn and Drake from first meeting as children’s they grow up into adults. Their love is solid and eternal, from being children you can so easily see that they have a special connection that lasts.

The story is solid, it takes the reader on a wonderfully crafted and engaging journey as Evelyn and Drake find their way in the world, their romance is captivating, it’s so tender and sensual it makes the heart melt watching as they find their happiness with each other.

Daughter of the House is a magical, loving and enchanting romance that will stay with you long after the last page. As always Ms Cornwall has deftly woven a tale of love, lies, secrets and intrigue all wrapped up with a romantic bow. What a real treat!

A gorgeous romance, that has real heart!

This was an Arc copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you Liz!

Daughter of The House is available now and can be found at Amazon and do grab it while you can.

#Review The Potter’s Daughter by Jackie Ladbury @JackieLadbury #ThePottersDaughter #HistoricalFiction @ChocLitUK @RubyFiction

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Hello my lovelies, I have the very great pleasure to be sharing my review of The Potter’s Daughter by Jackie Ladbury, so grab a cuppa and let me tell you little about this sweet little story.

When Daniel Davenport saves Maddie Lockett and her young brother Tom from drowning, an immediate bond is forged between them.

But Daniel is an aspiring doctor and son of a wealthy manufacturer, whilst Maddie is a potter’s daughter from a poverty-stricken area of the Potteries. Even a friendship between the two could be frowned upon, let alone anything more …

But Maddie and Daniel want more, and as they grow closer gossip and prejudice look set to spoil their blossoming romance. Do the young couple stand a chance when there are those who would stop at nothing to keep them apart?

I was fascinated by the sound of The Potters daughter since I first heard about it, there was something different about it that I found utterly intriguing. I do have a soft spot for books where the hero/heroine are working class, don’t get me wrong I have nothing against historicals that lean heavily on the aristocratic stories, but it is very refreshing having two very normal individuals take centre stage.

Aspiring doctor and son to the local wealthy manufacturer, Daniel’s life is set on a course, success and wealth is his future, that is until he rescues beautiful, impoverished Maddie and her brother from drowning. There is an instant mutual attraction between the two young love birds, but prejudice soon raises its ugly head as she is from the poverty-stricken potteries community and he from wealth – well can you see where this is going? They must face so much scorn from those who believe themselves superior to the likes of Maddie and her family, to be honest it was Maddie who really stuck with me. Her story of growing up in poverty, of doing all she can to get herself and her family out of the sewage strewn gutter where they live is not a story that most authors like to focus on, but we readers love it as Maddie’s story is not fluffy it’s raw and very relevant. With so much in Maddie and Daniel’s way can they ignore the snide gossip and fin their happy ever after?

This is definitely my kind of historical, it doesn’t hold back Ms Ladbury has really pulled out all the stops at creating a very relatable and real world and extremely likeable character’s who the reader can get behind and will them to have their so deserved happy ever after. The Potter’s Daughter is like a mixture of North and South with the luscious Mr Thornton – or in their case adorable Daniel and hard hitting drama; The Mill with his very raw and real look on just how difficult life was for the regular working class and for those who tolied long hard hours in mills.

I haven’t read any of Ms Ladbury’s work before now and I will definitly be reading more from her, I really liked her intense, straight to the point and atmospheric writing. She does a wonderful job at grabbing the readers attention. The story is a basic wealthy boy meets poor girl and family tend to get in the way kind of trope, but I love the emotional journey the character’s go on as they find their feet and as their romance blossoms, it is a very sweet little story that I think will appeal to many historical readers.

This was a Arc copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you Liz and apologies for the late review!

#Review Magnolia House by Angela Barton @angebarton #MagnoliaHouse #Contemporary #Romance @ChocLituk

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I have the great pleasure to share with you all my review of Magnolia House by Angela Barton, grab a cup of tea and let me tell you about this emotional book.


When you open up your home and your heart …
Rowan Forrester has it all – the happy marriage, the adorable dog, the good friends, the promising business and even the dream home after she and her husband Tom win a stunning but slightly dilapidated Georgian townhouse in London at auction.

But in the blink of an eye, Rowan’s picture-perfect life comes crashing down around her and she is faced with the prospect of having to start again.

To make ends meet she begins a search for housemates, and in doing so opens the door to new friends and new beginnings. But could she be opening the door to new heartbreak too?

Magnolia House is a wonderfully emotional and up-lifting book, which will stay with you a long time after shutting the last page. This is the first I have read by Angela Barton, so I came into this book with open eyes and I am so pleased to say that Ms Barton has grabbed my attention with her heart-warming story of moving on after heart-break and I know without a doubt that I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

The story opens to Rowan who basically has everything a woman could want; adoring husband and happy marriage, gorgeous dog, a plan to open her own business and winning her dream house at an auction. All is going more or less to plan, their Georgian house; Magnolia House may be in a bit of a state and need some work, Tom; her husband may be a little pre-occupied but this is their dream and they will make it work. That is until the worse thing that could ever happen to Rowan, does happen, and she is alone with a dilapidated house, no income and having to deal with a double heart-break.

Which is when she decides that the only way she is going to be able to pay the mortgage and all the bills that comes with owning a house and able to afford the work that is needed on it, she opens up the door to flatmates. My heart absolutely went out to Rowan, she has been through the mill anyone who reads this book will shed a tear of how cruel life has been for poor Rowan. She is a good woman, she is just trying to start a whole new life for herself and tragedy strikes and her whole world collapses, any other woman in Rowans’ position would have given up, yet she faces each change with a proper stiff upper lip. She refuses to allow her grief to take control and govern the way she lives her life.

After careful consideration she chooses the people who will share her home -the home she always thought she would share with Tom. Soon between them they start to move forward, forging new relationships and friendships. As Rowan again faces some tough trials ahead of her, some hard truths and skeletons coming out of the cupboard. She also struggles with her mixed feelings for James; one of her flatmates as well as feeling that she is betraying her husband with how she is feeling toward James.

There is a lot of up’s and down’s for Rowan, this book really tugs at the heart-strings, anyone who doesn’t get a lump in their throat after meeting Rowan then they must have a heart of stone. This is emotional, beautifully written, heart-breaking and heart-warming story. I love how realistic the plot is, Rowan’s personal story could happen to anyone, the reader can really relate to her. All the character’s are beautifully created and very likeable, even the secondary character’s such as Tom’s sister Libby who goes through her own issues. Magnolia House is a story that is full of hope, love and compassion, highly recommended!

This was an Arc copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Liz.

Magnolia House is available from Amazon.