Contemporary/Chic-Lit/Womens Fiction

#BlogTour | The Ice Cream Parlour by @IsabellaMayBks #Review #TheIceCreamParlour @rararesources

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Hello everyone, I have the great pleasure to be today’s stop on this great blog tour and am very excited to be sharing my review of the delicious; The Ice Cream Parlour by Isabella May, do take a seat grab yourself a snow cone and enjoy.

The Ice Cream Parlour

Giovanna Tonioli is a successful stockbroker with a famous sports star boyfriend, but things aren’t as sweet as they seem. When life in the city of Bath goes from Vanilla to Rocky Road, she takes herself off to Italy for an ‘Eat Pray Love’ style tour of all things gelateria. What she doesn’t expect to find on her travels is one smooth, hot dollop of temptation that she just can’t shake.

How will her spiteful twin sister react when Giovanna returns to open a rival ice cream parlour? Will Natalia get her just desserts? Or will things become even stickier? All’s fair in love, war and ice cream. Isn’t it?

*Marian Keyes meets Paulo Coelho meets Nigella*

The Ice Cream Parlour is a mouthwatering tale of fate, family, love and jealousy – with a delectable drizzle of alchemy besides.

Purchase Here

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About the Author

Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. Having grown up on Glastonbury’s ley lines however, she’s unable to completely shake off her spiritual inner child, and is a Law of Attraction fanatic.

Cake, cocktail, gelato, and travel obsessed, she also loves nothing more than to (quietly) break life’s ‘rules’.

Website / Facebook / Twitter @IsabellaMayBks / Instagram @isabella_may_author

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My goodness this is delicious….honestly, I will probably say that I lot through out this review, but there isn’t another term I can think of another word do describe it. I have to be honest that this is the first book I have read by Isabella May, it definitely will not be the last, this book is gorgeous as well as so delicious. It is a feast for the taste buds, especially if you are like me and have a ridiculously sweet tooth.

This is essentially a story about a young woman who sets out to find herself, I love the ‘Eat Pray Love’ vibe that it has, and along the way she not only discovers some delicious Ice Creams and makes some great friends her life becomes clear. Giovanna who after finding out that her boyfriend of ten years has cheated on her in the worse way possible, instead of doing what we all would do and hide under the duvet with the tub of Ben and Jerry’s and a whole host of Jaffa cakes while watching re-runs of soppy films, Giovanna sets off on a trip to Italy.

I felt the first part as great as it was, lacked the sparkle that the part where Giovanna was in Italy had, that part of the book was beautifully engaging, it is was shiny and new, like a new penny. The time that Giovanna is touring Italy is a piece of brilliant writing, I loved the descriptions in each scene, it made the story play out like a movie in my mind, you could see the vivid colours, the scents and most of all the tastes. I am a very visual person and I do find that a more visualised and descriptive scene really pulls me into the story and the characters far more and Ms. May has written a mesmerizing story that will be loved by many readers.

I really, really like this book, it has a warmth and wit about it that steals the readers heart….not to mention their taste buds. The writing is fluid, it flows with ease and confidence that captures the readers attention from the off. You genuinely care about and cheer the character’s on, I got a real sense that Ms. May has put her whole heart into this story, there is a real passion and emotion in the story, the characters and the journey they go on, it’s real and engaging.

Overall this is a great story, fabulous writing, characters that you can both love and hate, a definite winner in my eyes.

This was an Arc copy in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, thank you Isabella and Rachel.

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#BlogTour : This Is Me by @ShariLow #Review #ThisIsMe @aria_fiction

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Hello everyone! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; This is Me by Shari Low. Not only am I sharing my review of this gorgeous book, I also have an exclusive extract for you, so with out further ado, enjoy.

This is…Denise.

Married to Ray, her first and only love, Denise has never for one moment regretted putting the husband she idolised on a pedestal above everyone and everything else. But, after forty years of marriage, he is gone, leaving Denise to discover that their perfect marriage was fatally flawed. Now she faces a future alone, but first she must face the betrayals of the past.

This is…Claire.

The estranged daughter of Denise, the woman who put her husband before her children, Claire took the opposite path and devoted her life to raising her family, sacrificing her marriage along the way. With her teenage sons about to flee the nest, she realises she may have left it too late to find her own happy ever after.

This is the story of two women, both alone, both cautionary tales of one of motherhood’s biggest decisions.

Who is more important, your partner or your children? And what happens if you make the wrong choice?

Buy links: Amazon / Kobo / iBooks / Google Play

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Exclusive Excerpt

Of course she’d lost people before. Her parents. Ray’s parents. But in those cases, their houses had filled with family and friends who came to offer sympathies, to share the loss, to bring casseroles and bread and tales of the times they’d had with the person who’d passed. Mourning was a time for gathering, for coming together to celebrate a life and share the sorrow of a passing.

No one was knocking on her door.

No one had come in the week since she’d returned home from the hospital, bereft, clutching only his bloodstained clothes, his watch and his wedding ring.

She snatched up her phone again, the second glass of red wine making her bold, pushing her to take action, to find someone – anyone – to share this grief. She scrolled through her contacts. When was the last time she’d talked to her siblings? Five years ago? Ten? Had she really not spoken to anyone else in her family in all that time? Of course, they had so little in common, and hadn’t been close for years before that anyway.

No, she couldn’t call them now. What would be the point? So they’d feel obliged to come, to sit awkwardly in her kitchen, giving fake sympathy and platitudes about a guy they’d never particularly liked in the first place? No. Ray would hate that. He hadn’t liked them when he was alive, so he wasn’t going to want them there in death.

She flicked through more numbers on the screen, then stopped when one name brought on another flash of pain. Doug. Her son. She could hear Ray’s roar of rage if she called that number. It had been many years since she’d heard his voice, seen his face, but that was his loss. She knew that. Hadn’t she and Ray discussed it so many times? Claire and Doug had walked out of their lives for the same reasons. She didn’t even want to think about that now. Hadn’t Ray told her again and again that they weren’t worthy of her? Only Ray deserved her time and her love.

Numbers exhausted, she threw the handset on the bed, her eyes drawn to Ray’s mobile phone, which had been sitting on the charging dock on his bedside table since the morning she’d called the ambulance.

Reaching over, she picked it up, switched it on, then watched as the screen came to life with the image of the two of them, toasting each other with champagne on the deck of the Queen Mary 2 as it set sail from Southampton en route to New York just a few months ago. Their fortieth wedding anniversary. The captain hadn’t believed them, said she looked far too young to have been married that long.

She punched in the code to open the phone, realising it was the first time she’d ever done that. She’d seen Ray doing it so many times that she knew the code by heart, but he’d have been furious if she’d ever looked through his phone, so she never had.

She went to contacts, the names coming up in alphabetical order. Restaurants. Hotels. Car valet. Architects. The tradesmen who sub-contracted for him on bigger jobs. Joiners. Landscapers. Painters. Plumbers. X. Y. Z. The end.

Or not.

The ‘Z’ category was empty, but there was one number in the preceding group, identified with only a Y. That was it. Just Y. It was all Denise needed to identify who it belonged to. That woman. Her.

He’d kept that bitch’s number.

A guttural sob escaped her. A whole fucking set of contacts and there was not a single person she could call for comfort, for help, to listen to her pain, until the very last contact in his phone. Y. It was a cruel bastard irony. The only person who might have just a glimmer of understanding about how she was feeling right now. And it would be a cold day in hell before she made that call.

She quickly searched his messages and past calls for any contact with Y, but there was nothing. Small consolation. He still shouldn’t have saved that bloody number.

She tossed the phone across the bed, the thud as it hit the duvet breaking through her red mist of anger, then she picked up her wine again and climbed into bed, still fully clothed, hoping that the warmth of the duvet would make the shivering stop.

She reached over to Ray’s side and picked up the tie that she’d left there, wrapping it around her neck, desperate to have a part of him touching her.

How was she to live? What was she to actually do with her days? Her dreams had been their dreams. Her plans had been their plans. How was she to move forward on her own, to have a purpose in a life without him in it?

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First confession time; I haven’t had the pleasure to read any of Shari Low’s work before, but from reading this one I will be reading more of her work in the future. I was fascinated by the sound of this and that was enough to draw me and want to read it and am I so pleased that I did, this is a hugely emotional and very poignant book that is so relative to our times and our lives.

This is Me is such a heart-warming story that so many women can relate to, it’s bursting with huge amounts of emotion. Its real and at times haunting, and it will certainly make you evaluate your own life and the choices you have made. It’s all about the two women; mother and daughter Denise and Claire and their choices in life; motherhood and relationships, the choices they have to make and the consequences that arises because of those decisions.

Denise has always put her husband; Ray first above all else, which did include her daughter Claire. Denise idolized her husband and when he passes she soon realises that her marriage was the idyllic haven she had always thought it to be. She sees that over the years her and daughter Claire have drifted further and further apart and they are at the stage that their relationship may never be fixed. Claire has always resented how her mother treated – or not treated her and she vowed that she would never be like that with her own children. She has always put her sons first, even at the cost of her own marriage but now they have flown the nest she starts to see that she has isolated herself and worries that she may missed her chance for happiness for herself.

This is a powerful, thought provoking read that so many can relate to in one way or another, it really focus on the estranged and fragile relationship between mother and daughter. Questions arise throughout that really make you think, and look at your own relationships through fresh eyes.

This is written through both Denise and Claire’s POV, you see both sides of the story and see the damage that has been caused on both sides. The question of who was in the right does pop up many times during the book, and to be honest I think both were wrong in ways, but This Is Me is one of those books that will open conversations and make people talk. The characters are perfectly written, they are real and relatable and I thoroughly enjoyed going on their personal journeys with them and when we find out what kind of man ray really was….well he was horrid!

There is sadness, tears, laughter, confusion, frustration, honestly you will go on a roller-coaster ride of emotions with this, the writing is so clear and vivid that you will feel every emotion as thought your are living it yourself.

Very highly recommended!

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About the Author

Shari Low is the No1 best-selling author of over 20 novels, including One Day In December, A Life Without You, The Story Of Our Life, With Or Without You and her latest release, Another Day In Winter. And because she likes to over-share toe-curling moments and hapless disasters, she is also the shameless mother behind a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. Once upon a time she met a guy, got engaged after a week, and twenty-something years later she lives near Glasgow with her husband, a labradoodle, and two teenagers who think she’s fairly embarrassing except when they need a lift. For all the latest news, visit her on Facebook, twitter, or at http://www.sharilow.com

Follow Shari : Website / Twitter: @ShariLow / Facebook: @sharilowbooks

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Blog Tour Schedule

Do have a look at the over great blogs on this tour.

Follow Aria : Website / Twitter: @aria_fiction / Facebook: @ariafiction / Instagram: @ariafiction

#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 The Bad Sister by Rachael Stewart @rach_b52 #TheBadSister @Deep_Desires

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Hello my lovely readers! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of one of the steamiest, sexiest books I have read this year; The Bad Sister by Rachael Stewart. So hold on to your knickers as I tell you a wee bit about this hot book.

TEN YEARS AGO, SHE RIPPED HIS HEART OUT… BUT NOW SHE’S BACK AND SHE NEEDS HIM.

When movie star Carrie Evans begs her ordinary twin sister to switch lives with her for three weeks, all Carrie can think about is escaping the trappings of Hollywood. But returning to England throws her into the path of old flame Dan Stevenson, the boy she left behind—without telling him why. And Dan’s no longer the soft, dependable guy, quick to do her bidding. He’s hot, sexy and dangerous…everything her career-savvy self should run away from.

But she can’t.

When Carrie walked out of Dan’s life without a backward glance, she broke his heart. Now, she’s back begging him to help save her sister’s business. The fire is still there: he wants her, and she wants him. But forgiveness? Never. He’s not the boy he once was. He’s a man in control, used to getting what he wants, and he’ll help her, as well as do a whole lot more.

But can their hearts survive a second time around…especially when the truth of the past comes out?

Phew!!! My goodness me, Rachael Stewart what are you doing to me? What a scorcher, seriously I need a cold shower after that. Honestly, while your reading I can guarantee that your pulse will race, your temperature with sore and your underwear will start to feel ridiculously uncomfortable – in fact, I would say read this in bed while wearing your birthday suit. 😉

This is the second book in this mini series and I hate to say it, but I haven’t read the first book; The Good Sister, that didn’t take any of the enjoyment out of this though, it just makes me want to read it all the more. As I hadn’t read the first – and I know a few reviewers did go into this book slightly biased and against the heroine; Carrie. – I came into this story with completely fresh eyes, as I hadn’t read the first book I didn’t know all about Carrie being the ‘bad’ sister, or why she was even labeled as such – which I think was a good thing as I saw the real woman, the character’ that Ms Stewart wanted readers to see. I saw her as a determined, resilient, intelligent, brave young women who has fought for everything she has ever wanted, and unfortunately that did mean sacrificing so much. She does come across as cold at times, but there are reasons for that, there are reasons for every move she has ever done. I really like how Carrie has been portrayed, I like her depth, her kindness, her real heart and her vulnerability that she tries so hard to hide. She is a multilayered characters that can really stir the emotions of the reader and that writing is a real skill.

The story open’s ten years earlier when Carrie choses to follow her father to LA to chase her much wanted dream of becoming an actress, but her choice to follow her dream comes at a cost. That cost is breaking three people’s hearts; the man who loves her Dan, her twin sister who loves Dan; Isla, and finally her own. Even though most think she hasn’t got a heart to break!

Now she’s back and she needs the help of the very man she abandoned all those years ago, the very man who hates her and who still loves her – very deep down! She wants to put things right, she has come back to rescue her sister Isla’s buissiness from ruin and she knows that there really is only one man who can help her do that, she just needs to avoid the daggers that are shooting at her from her frosted eyes. She thinks that she can just walk in and the Dan from her past will still be there to help her, what she doesn’t count on is that the Dan she knew and secretly loved isn’t the mighty, rough, tattooed, brutish sex god that is now standing in front of her. And let me tell you, this man isn’t the placid little boy she left behind he has really grown – in far more ways than one – he is now a man who is in full control of his life, he never takes no for an answer, he knows what he wants and he stops at nothing to get it. He agree’s to help her, under one condition – a condition that will shatter both their cold masks to show their real self’s beneath.

There are many, many descriptive words I can use for this book; sexy-as-hell, hot, steamy, seductive, raunchy, knickers melting, but there is so much more than just sex about this story. There is a real emotional pull to it, that will get under the readers skin grab your heart and not let go.

I am really picky about which erotic romances I read, over the years I had read many and most have been so bad that they did turned me off this genre slightly. Now I only read one or two authors in this genre and Rachael Stewart is definitely one of them, I was hooked with her work when I read her charity anthology; Filth but there is something very special about The Bad Sister, its out of this world good. The story and writing just flows seamlessly from one scene to the next, Dan and Carrie are brilliantly developed. Ms Stewart has a great talent at taking the reader on a highly emotional journey that is full of heart and lust.

Overall, this is an astoundingly good romance, sinfully captivating and highly seductive – and that’s just Dan!! Oh, my, oh, my!!! Racheal Stewart you made my weekend with this read, not only is it a truly wonderful book but Dan to me looked just like Tom Hardy….Swoon!!! Sex on legs tattooed, big and burly, a bit rough around the edge, kind-hearted, gorgeous…I could go on, but I’d rather just sit here salivating over luscious Dan 😉

Electrifying!

This was an Arc copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you Rachael.

The Bad Sister can be purchased from Amazon.

#BlogTour : Love and Other Things To Live For by @louiseleverett #Review #LoveAndOtherThings #LoveOnTour via @ninadouglas and @hqstories

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Hi everyone! I have the pleasure to be today’s stop on this great blog tour and to be sharing my review of Love and Other Things To Live for by Louise Leverett.

Jessica Wood is an aspiring photographer living in London. She’s had her heart broken, and her friends have pieced it back together again.

But across the neon lights of Soho, in the smell of alcohol and cigarette smoke, on every night bus, in every song, every time she tries to forget: she remembers him.

Now, in a battle between the past and the future, choosing between having a life and making a living, finding her feet or spreading her wings, Jessica must ask herself: who is she really living for?

Love and Other Things to Live For is an ode to modern girls and triumph over heartbreak, perfect for fans of Holly Bourne and Dolly Alderton.

This is the debut novel by Louise Leverett and I do have to say I am impressed, it wasn’t exactly my kind of reading but I have to give credit where credit’s due and say that this has a real quality about it that I had not expected.

Going by the blurb, I had unoriginally thought that this would be a fun chic-lit come coming of age story, but it is more more a journey of self discovery and shows just how important true friends can be.

The main character’ Jess is in the midst of a life breakdown, a promising, aspiring photographer she is living in the lights and smoke of London on the outside Jess has it all, but inside she is screaming and a dishevelled crying mess who after having her heart broken she has taken to the path of self destruction as she tries to make sense of her life and find her way to her won happiness.

I will admit that I am in two frames of mind about this, on one hand it is a fascinating look into the life of a twenty-something women living the high life in London, a woman who goes as on a self-destructive journey which ends in self discovery. And one the other hand, I couldn’t relate to Jess or the story, I felt that there was something essential; missing from it. That missing item was relatability, I am a reader that likes to relate in some way to the character’s and if I can’t – like I couldn’t here – then it does ruin the whole story. Which is a shame as, there is a lot of real depth and heart in this.

But, even though the story didn’t quite work for me, it will for many, many other readers out there. It’s not a light read, there is a real heavy feel to it especially as Jess goes on her self-destructive moments. Recommanded for those who like the more edgier, thought-provoking stories.

This was a complimentary copy via the Publisher and authors PA in exchange for an honest review, as apart of this blog tour, thank you Nina!

Do check out the other blogs which are participating in this blog tour.

#Review : The Time Of Our Lives by @PortiaMacIntosh #TheTimeOfOurLives @HQDigital

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Hello everyone! Today I have the great pleasure to be sharing my review of The Time Of Our Lives by the wonderful Portia MacIntosh, so grab a cuppa and let me tell you about this gorgeous book.

Love is in the air…?

Luca is used to being the ‘single one’ at weddings – it happens, when all your other friends are engaged, married or taken. But when she bumps into Tom, her friend from university who broke her heart into a million pieces, she finds herself wondering what could have been.

It’s ten years later, surely she should be over that Tom by now? So why is he looking even more gorgeous than ever – and why doesn’t he seem to be able to keep his eyes off her either?

And as the champagne flows and old secrets resurface, Luca realises that perhaps the time to take a chance on love and life is…now?

The laugh-out-loud new novel from bestseller Portia Macintosh

Well, Portia MacIntosh you have gone and done it again, this is good, so good! I will admit that I am very late to discovering Ms MacIntosh’s work after only reading my first of her work at Christmas, but I am definitely well and truly a fan of hers.

The story is split between two times of Luca’s life; present day and then it flits back to her university days and I really love how this is written, it really gives and insight into what was going on and how Luca found herself where she is in her life. I found that the flashbacks to her university days really brought Luca to life and you began to understand her and her friends all the more, at times this kind of writing can be a bit confused for the reader but Ms MacIntosh has nailed it.

I really like Luca, she is a down-to-earth, likeable and very real character, she is a woman whose life hasn’t exactly gone to plan she has headed way off the planned path of life – I think every single one of us can relate to that in one way or another! Single, in a job she has come to pretty much hate and surrounded by happily married/coupled people, something she is used to, so when she is invited to the wedding of one of her oldest university friends she knows that it will end up being a reunion – and she is ready for being the only single one left amongst their little circle. She is ready to blow their socks of at what a successful woman she has become – even if that does mean buying an out fit that could make her go hungry for the next few months, but hey; she can always take it back to the shop! What she isn’t prepared for is to unexpectedly bump into the very person her broke her heart all those years ago, a man whom she says she is over but deep down she is in fact still that heartbroken young woman and seeing him again at the wedding is a real punch for her. It is bumping into Tom; the one who broke her heart, that really makes Luca start evaluating her life.

This is a great story, the present is set during the wedding and we all know what mayhem weddings can bring on their own, let alone mixing in a bunch of old friends, ex’s popping up left right and centre and a bit of a romance blossoming – but from what direction is this romance? You will just have to read it to find out! The main message I got from this above the romance, the heartbreak, the emotional upheaval was that true friendships can last forever, no matter where you are going in life, those special friendships will always be there when needed.

The Time Of Our Lives is a fun, engaging and very sweet romance that I am positive readers will relate to in some way, there is a realism about it – or more accurately about lead character; Luca. I know that a lot of readers will probably say the same, but there is something very real about Luca, she is one of those character’s that you can instantly see a certain aspect of yourself in and you just know and understand her in every way. This is so rare to find and I absolutely applaud Portia MacIntosh for writing this wonderful story, for bringing Luca into the world where we all can sit back and say; ‘That is so me’ or ‘My, goodness, yes I think that too’. I literally finished reading this, sat back and heaved a sigh, wiped a tear at the perfect story I’d just read.

Ms MacIntosh is an astounding writer, she really captures Luca in this she is so real to me, it is so rare to really connect with a character from the very first page but here I instantly did. The story really does pull at the heartstrings, you will be laughing out loud, blubbering like a baby with it’s intricately woven tale of love and friendship, there are secrets and lies some of the best wedding scenes ever – honestly think Four Weddings and a Funeral and you will know what I mean about fun and love at a wedding.

Overall, this is one of the best romantic comedy’s I have read, highly recommended and one that you will be pulling of the bookshelf to re-read.

This was am Arc from the publisher, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Time Of Our Lives is available now and can be found at Amazon, and do grab a copy.

#BlogTour : You Say It First (Happily Inc. #1) by @SusanMallery #Review and #BlogPost. #YouSayItFirst #HappilyInc @MillsandBoon

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Hello everyone! I have the great pleasure to be today’s stop on this great blog tour for You Say It First by Susan Mallery. I am very excited to be sharing my review of this wonderfully fun book, plus for my themed blog post I will be chatting all about Weddings In Boxes. There is a lot of love on the blog today!

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fool’s Gold romances invites you to visit Happily Inc., a wedding destination founded on a fairy tale

Sculptor Nick Mitchell grew up in a family of artists and learned from his volatile father that passion only leads to pain. As he waits on a new commission, he takes a day job as a humble carpenter at a theme wedding venue. The job has its perks—mainly the venue’s captivating owner, Pallas Saunders. Although he won’t let love consume him, for ecstasy with an expiration date, he’s all in.

Pallas adores Weddings in a Box. But if she can’t turn the floundering business around, she’ll have no choice but cave to her domineering mother and trade taffeta for trust funds working at the family’s bank. Then when a desperate bride begs Pallas for something completely out of the box, her irresistible new hire inspires her. Nick knows she doesn’t belong behind a desk, and she knows in her heart that he’s right—where she really belongs is in his arms.

This is book one in the whole new Happily Inc series and what a wonderful introduction, not just to this new series but to this author. I haven’t actually read any of Susan Mallery’s work before ‘You Say It First’ but there will definitely be more of this fine ladies work on my future TBR pile.

Pallas runs the little company Weddings in a Box, at the moment she is in a spot of trouble with her finances. She doesn’t want to give up and have to go and do an ordinary day job as her family would love her to do, she loves Weddings in a Box, she loves making people happy, she just needs to find a way put of the hole she has found her self in;

Enter centre stage gorgeous, sexy god that is the carpenter; OK so Nick may not just be any old carpenter he is a world re known sculptor who at the minute is a bit in limbo he is currently awaiting word of a commission he has gone in for in Dubai but in the meantime he needs something to do.

Nick knows that he is just there temporarily as he waits for the go a head to jump on the plane and fly off to sunny Dubai for two years, but from the moment of meeting down to earth and impossibly seductive Pallas he is a bit torn as to which path he is going to take. Where as Pallas knows exactly that Nick belongs well and truly there, but can they both see past their own personal thoughts about love and actually take the dive?

I really like this, it is a simple down-to-earth and very normal girl meets boy type story, both Nick and Pallas are ridiculously likable which I found so refreshing, it is so nice to come across a bunch of character’s in abook that you can’t but like on the spot it makes watching their journey to their own HEA that more comforting, you can really relate to both they are very much the girl and boy next door who you just know will make a great couple. There are curve balls to the story that both our leads have to over come and I won’t spoil it for you all you will have to read it and see what happens.

I adore the little town of Happily Inc, what a great place with some genuine fascinating people, and I can’t wait to meet more of the residents – especially the furry kind as we have had a little glimpse of in this one.

This is a sweet, imaginative, sexy and very fun romance that will capture the reader’s imagination. The character’s are brilliantly written, they are kind, caring, hard-working, in need of love and very realistic. You will instantly fall in love with them and cheer them on as the story progresses.

Over all this is a great little book that is perfect for the long spring afternoons.

This was a complimentary copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour, thank you the lovely Mills and Boon Insiders team.

Do check out the rest of the great blogs that is being features on this blog tour!

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Blog Post!

Saying, I Do!

You Say It First is basically all along the theme of wedding’s, as Pallas has her own little company which is a Weddings In A Box – which is such a brilliant idea. The different wedding’s and themes that Pallas organises are fun and original and makes for great reading.

After reading this it did get me wondering about the whole ‘Weddings In A Box’ thing which led me to write this post. My first thought of the concept of a wedding in a box is that you build up the wedding at the venue and then dismantle at the end of the day, which I suppose in some case it could be, but while doing a bit of research for this post I found that the whole ‘Wedding in a Box’ is way bigger and at times far more complex then I originally thought.

There are some companies while I was researching that will do exactly what Pallas does and covers everything, and then there are smaller ‘Wedding’s in a Box’ that are just about the little extra touches; such as invitations and table décor. Really this whole wedding in a box craze is huge.

Which got me thinking for something fun for us all to do, if you could have a Fantasy ‘Wedding in a Box’ what would it be like? Would you have a traditional wedding box? Or would yours be themed? What would you wear? Where would your ‘Wedding in a Box’ be sent to (eg: Where would your dream wedding be?) This can be anywhere in the world and off course as this is all make-believe you can have your wedding in a box in any era and who would your dream Bride/Groom be? Lets have some fun you can really go to town on this one, I will share my fantasy ‘Wedding in a Box’ why not share yours?

My Fantasy Wedding In A Box

When I first thought of this post, I was like; Yeah, this will be as easy as chips – how wrong I was! This is actually a lot harder than you think, especially if your like me and have a more eclectic taste, literally my first draft of this part of the post, my fantasy wedding in a box ended up being a wild explosion of Victorian Gothic dresses, lots of black and purple, Scottish traditions, men in kilts – or more accurately Jamie Frasier, Whitby Abbey with Dracula, lots of animals, brass bands, fish and chips with gravy (I am from Yorkshire, it has to be done) and Tom Hardy in various stages of being undressed….you see how my mind works?

How on earth do brides actually makes these decisions in real life? I would be a wreck within an hour! Thank goodness this is just for fun. But, I did finally make my ‘Fantasy Wedding in a Box’ there is not theme, only because I couldn’t stick to just one.

So my Wedding in a Box basically consists of lots chocolate muffins, windswept eerie Yorkshire Moors (Think Wuthering Heights) a touch of Scotland (I do have real love for those old Scottish traditions, men in kilts, lots of tartan, hand tying – so romantic) lots of black, my old dog – off course she would have to be there and finally I would have to add Tom Hardy to my Wedding in a Box, how could I not? Even if it’s just to stand him in a corner for me to ogle at, I’m happy! 😉

There you go, that’s mine now it’s your turn. I will open this up for discussion on Twitter and Facebook so why not hop on over and join in, you know me I love seeing all your picture and Gifs.