Contemporary

#Review The One by Maria Realf (@MariaRealf) #Contemporary #Romance #TheOne @HarperImpulse

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You never forget the one.
You’ll never forget this book.

’A beautiful, believable writer…5 stars’ THE SUN

Fall in love with this beautiful love story. A must read for fans of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You and Cecelia Ahern’s PS I Love You

Lizzie Sparkes should be the happiest girl in the world – she’s three months away from marrying The One in the wedding of her dreams! But then The One before the One walks back in to her life with a bombshell.

Alex’s unexpected return changes everything and now Lizzie faces an impossible dilemma. Because how can you leave the past behind you, when it’s standing right in front of you…asking you for one more chance?

My View

Wow, just wow! What an incredible, moving, heart-wrenching and highly emotional book, and by far one of the best contemporaries I’ve read. Not just this year, but one of the best I’ve ever read! This is the first I have read by Maria Realf and it will definitely not be the last. The One had me reaching for the tissue’s with every new page, it is a book that makes you think never to take anything for granted as you don’t know what’s around the corner.

13 weeks before her wedding to Josh; Lizzie is on cloud nine she is going to be marrying the love her life, nothing could go wrong. That is until Alex; the man she always saw as being her ‘The One’ comes back into her life after years apart, but he hasn’t come to break her or Josh up he has come with devastating news, news that will change her life. Lizzie is now torn between the man she is set to marry and supposed to live happily ever after with and the man she has always loved, the man who stole her heart then went on to break it.

I love the way this is written, you follow Lizzie as she is getting ready for her big day, as she struggles with her feelings for both men and as she is trying to get her thoughts in order to decide what she must do. Then the story briefly jumps back to when Lizzie and Alex met, their relationship through University and above all what happened to break them apart – which is in itself deeply sad and beautifully written. The reason why Alex has come back is heart-breaking, and I will admit that the ending was deeply emotional and I did shed a tear or two – note to reader; stock up on the tissues you are going to need them! The split between them was difficult on them both but there was a reason for his sudden leaving the country.

Lizzie is a good woman, she has a kind honest and loyal personality and a heart of pure gold, she wants to do right by everyone. Her heart has always belonged to one man, but when Alex left he did break it, I did get the feeling that Josh was sort of a close number two where for Lizzie. She loves him dearly, she is so happy with him but there is a piece of her that still belongs to Alex and you pick up on that within the first few pages when she finds herself in a complicated and difficult position.

The One is a touching, honest, emotional, heart-breaking, loving, poignant story all about true love, about second chances. Ms Realf’s writing is flawless, she has a real gift for pulling at the heartstrings and drawing the reader into her story, the character’s are brilliantly portrayed, realistic, likeable, humbling and engaging whether that be the leads of the secondary character’s, each character is beautifully created.

This book is simply stunning, if you love the likes of PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern and When I Fall In Love by Miranda Dickinson (which are two of my favourite books) then this is the book you need to read, I can guarantee you will love it and be moved to tears. I really cannot recommend this enough, it is a book that everyone needs to read.

Perfect!

This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, Thank you Maria!

The One can be purchased from Amazon, go and buy it.

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#Review The Truth About Clicking Send & Receive A Romance Writer’s Email Adventures (The Truth About Series Book #1) by Alissa Baxter (@alissa_baxter) #TheTruthAboutClickingSendAndRecieve #Contemporary #Romance

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It’s great to see a chick lit book set in South Africa, with cultural references we can relate to.” Cosmopolitan

Wrapped up in the dreamy world of romance fiction and flushed with the heady heat of a tropical Durban summer, Angie Wilson is having a hard time separating fantasy from reality. Struggling to choose between a hopeless crush on her gorgeous trust fund manager and a blossoming cyber affair with an enigmatic writer, Angie turns to her zany new friends for advice on love and life. But what does she really want?

A light-hearted romantic comedy.

This book was previously published by Oshun as ‘Send and Receive’

My View

I have read Ms Baxter’s historical romance work before, which I though was wonderfully rich with detail of the period with an original story and I am pleased to say that this book is n different. The Truth About Clicking Send and Receive is fresh and equally as original as her historicals, this is one of those books that will keep you glued as you don’t know what will happen on the next page, there are twists and turns that our heroine has to face and endure, a mysterious author hiding behind emails, an unexpected romance and some great secondary character’s.

Set in South Africa – which, I will admit is a whole new setting for romance books for me, but none the less very satiating to read. Angie Wilson unexpectedly inherits a large sum that has been placed into a trust fund for her, one that is looked after by handsome-as-hell trust fund manager who fully believes to be a little too naïve and a bit childish. Once she receives her first payment from her fund she quits her job and moves into a share house so that she can write full time, which is a little harder then she first thinks especially given her housemates. Each of who are as different as people can come!

She sends an email to her favourite author, which something which I have done a few times and I will admit that I could relate to Angie’s apprehension when she first sends it. She is unsure of the response – if any – and she then starts questioning whether sending what is basically a ‘fan letter’ to Vic was the best idea. I have been in that situation myelf and believe me it is a nervous and somewhat daunting feeling pressing that send button, afraid that the author may think your a weirdo – anyway, enough of my babbling 😉 When she receives a reply from author Vic she is ecstatic and is the start of something she never expected.

This is a great coming of age story, Angie is a great, realistic character who a lot of people can relate to in some way. I felt that this whole story wasn’t just about her blossoming romance or her relationship with Vic the author or even about her eclectic housemates this is a story of a woman finding her feet, growing up and making a life for herself in the ‘real’ world.

The writing is wonderfully engaging, the plot in essence is a simple one, but in reality there is far more than that and the characters are amazingly different, each one has his/her own story that you get glimpses of through out. It makes you think about your own relationships, especially those that you have via social media and so on, which in this day and age where we all practically live on Twitter and Facebook that can’t be a bad thing, it opens the eyes. Even though it is a romance, I felt it is far more about Angie’s relationships with others and how she acted.

Over all a thought-provoking and engaging story, one that I highly recommend.

This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you Alissa.

The Truth About Clicking Send and Receive is available at Amazon.

#Review Bob the Dog; The Memoirs of Evil Bob the Terrier by CBX Martin (@C_B_X_Martin) #BobTheDog #Comedy

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A terrier, an industrial estate, two strangers. Lives collide.
The surprising memoirs of a devilishly-handsome dog.
You’ve read fluffy tales written by humans about how a dog helped them with this or that nonsense. Well, this is my tail, oops, tale, setting things straight from my perspective. You humans are just food providers and pooh picker-uppers. Get over it. And get reading my true story.
The fun can start now: I’m here. Evil Bob – the self-service guru of life

Probably been said about Bob and his memoirs:

‘I don’t approve.’
A vet

‘I didn’t know a book could teach me so much.’
Ted, Jack Russell

‘Bob, he’s all action-packed-and-ready-to-go.’
Rich, mohican punk

‘He left me with eight pups, but I still love him.’
Daphne, saluki bitch

‘He’s our hero.’
The eight pups

‘Hey, lads, get the bill ready for that huge chop and those sausages: I know where to send it now.’
A butcher

‘What a dog! He’s a legend.’
Butch, English bull terrier

‘I spent the best day of my life with Bob.’
Ursinia, glamorous bitch

‘So that’s the !!!!! who bit me!’
Errol, Staffie

‘He stole my best carrots.’
A greengrocer

My View

Well this is absolutely wonderful, talk about funny, I have never laughed as much while reading as I have with this. It is written though Bob the dog’s point of view and this is where all the hilarity comes from.

Little Bob has been living the life of riley, wandering his industrial estate; begging and stealing food while in between filling his stomach he took generous naps. Life is none stop when you have sausage rolls to devour and sun rays to catch. That is until the infernal land rover driven by two busy bodies; Ian and Josie who pluck poor Bob off his street corner and change his life, whether for the good you’ll have to read Bob’s thoughts on that. Then they have the nerve to take him to the vets – who unceremoniously begins prodding and fondling areas of Bob’s anatomy that really shouldn’t be touched. And then he is taken to his ‘new home’ well Bob is adamant that this strange uncivilised place will not hold his for long as he plots to escape, which is where the real fun begins.

Bob The Dog is an imaginative, completely new, hilarious, entertaining and at times tender and loving story that puts the reader right there in the head of this furry fiend, who wants nothing more than a sausage roll. I have never read anything like this before and it is an absolute hoot, CBX Martin has created a unique and hilarious book that had me hooked from page one and kept me engaged and turning the pages, all the way through laughing at the hilarious exploits of this devilish little dog.

I just loved this book, it is an easy weekend read that will leave you with happy tears in your eyes – after way too much laughing. Highly recommended, whether you have a dog or not this will entertain everyone.

This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you CBX Martin.

Bob the Dog; The Memoirs of Evil Bob Terrier is available from Amazon.

 

#Review Penny’s Antique Shop Of Memories And Treasure by Helena Fairfax (@HelenaFairfax) #PennysAntiqueShopOfMemoriesAndTreasures #Contemporary #Romance

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Previously published as The Antique Love

A wonderful and heart-warming contemporary romance that you won’t be able to put down until the very last page.”  Romance author Marie Laval

One rainy day in London, Wyoming man Kurt Bold walks into an antique shop off the King’s Road and straight into the dreams of its owner, Penny Rosas. Kurt certainly looks every inch the cowboy hero…but he soon brings Penny’s dreams to earth with a thump. His job is in the logical world of finance – and as far as Kurt is concerned, romance is just for dreamers. But when Kurt hires Penny to help refurbish his Victorian house near Richmond Park, it’s not long before.

My View

Penny’s Antique Shop Of Memories and Treasures is a cosy, heart-warming and feel good romance that will leave the reader feeling wonderfully uplifted and entirely charmed. Previously published under the title ‘The Antique Love’ this fun book has got a whole new lease of life, and I have to say I am rather pleased that Ms Fairfax has re-released or I could well have missed out on something rather special and I do have to say that I do love this new title it just makes the reader want to immerse themselves into the story.

Penny; as the title says owns a teeny little antiques shop, her business is plodding along nicely even after a spot of trouble with her previous accounts manager and ex co-worker Penny finds herself in a bit of a jam with regards to her books. But all the stresses she has found herself in just washes over her when one rainy day a large, handsome cowboy walks into her shop, ready to sweep her off her feet…Well in her dreams that is what he is and what he is going to do, as you’ve probably guessed our lovely Penny has a bit of an imagination.

OK, so Kurt maybe from Wyoming with the most alluring accent she has ever heard, but isn’t a bona fide cowboy. He is a handsome devil, though one which Penny instantly is enthralled by she soon learns that the man, who she whole heartedly envisions wrestling bulls is actually in finance and he is the most stoic, stubborn and is isn’t the romantic hero she at first envisioned as our Kurt does not believe in love or romance he believes that marriage is some sort of arrangement. All Kurt wants is someone to be there when he gets home, a companion, a level headed woman who will fit in with his well ordered life.

That is until he meets romantic, dreamer Penny. At first all he wants is for her to redecorate his new town house ready for said unknown level headed woman, but he soon becomes charmed by Penny’s zest, her imagination her down to earth kindness and spirit.

I love the chemistry between Penny and Kurt, they are both in their own ways guarded, Penny is a lovable, insecure and imaginative young woman who fully believes in love. I love the change that thy both have on each other, Ms Fairfax has created two very lovable character’s who will enchant you.

This is beautifully written, wonderful love story that will warm any readers heart, and that I highly recommend.

This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you Helena.

Penny’s Antique Shop of memories and Treasures is available from Amazon.

#Review – Love and Lies at The Village Christmas Shop by Portia MacIntosh (@PortiaMacIntosh) #Blogtour #Christmas #Romance #LoveAndLiesAtTheVillageChristmasShop @HQDigitalUK

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I have the great pleasure to be the last stop on this great blog tour, and to be sharing my review of Love and Lies At The Village Christmas Shop by Portia MacIntosh.

Blast the Michael Bublé, wrap your hands around a cinnamon latte and enjoy this warm, hilarious Christmas novel!

Ivy loves Christmas. As owner of Christmas Every Day, the year-round festive store, you’d expect nothing less!

The only thing missing in Ivy’s life is a dash of romance – something her twin sister Holly will not let her forget…

When her mother passed away, Ivy vowed to take over the running of her mother’s store and keep the Christmas spirit alive in the idyllic seaside town of Marram Bay.

But all this changes when an enigmatic businessman moves to the town, threatening to bulldoze her beloved shop to make way for a holiday complex.

Can Ivy save her shop before Christmas? Could there be a different side to the newest resident of Marram Bay that would make all her Christmas wishes come true?

The brand-new laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from bestseller Portia Macintosh. Perfect for fans of Zara Stoneley and Tilly Tennant.

My View

Well this is splendid, what a great way to get yourself into the festive spirit! I will admit that this is ashamedly the first book I have read by Portia MacIntosh, where have I been to let this wonderful author pass me by? Anyway, I will definitely be seeking out more of Ms MacIntosh’s work because this was wonderful.

For Ivy there is nothing better in this world than Christmas, she loves it’s, breathes it and lives it everyday something that she shared with her dear late mother. So it will comes at no surprise that she runs a Christmas shop; ‘Christmas Everyday’ which used to belong to her mother. Situated in the little Yorkshire town of Marram, Ivy has vowed that she will always be here and run her mother’s shop as she would have wanted it to be run.

I really like Ivy, she gave up a lot for the Christmas shop and her family, she gave up a brilliant carer as a chef, everything she has done has been for the shop and her family. She is a glorified book worm, she is more than happy sitting quietly in a corner reading. She is by far one of the most selfless women, she has given up her dreams of being whisked of her feet by a handsome stranger, her entire life solely revolves around the shop and I for one can relate to her. At times Ivy was so real to me it was like reading about myself, I have never related to a character as much as I have Ivy she spoke to me on a level I have never experienced before, I understood her. This for me is what makes this book such a winner, Ms. MacIntosh has created this real and likeable young woman who is very normal. There are no airs and graces about Ivy she is a normal, working class young woman who is in need of a boost of self confidence.

But all is not fine in the shop, Ivy is struggling to get people through the door other then at Christmas. After all not everyone is like he and her late mother, some are like her Christmas hating twin sister; Holly. Honestly you never have though that these two completely different women were even related let alone, twin sisters, they are like chalk and cheese and in many ways I think people will relate to Holly just as much as Ivy. She believes that there is more to life then Christmas trees, decorations and carol singing and she worries that her sister has given too much for their mothers Christmas shop legacy, I can see her point of view too. When Ivy finds out that he land lord is selling the shop to a mysterious stranger who wants to turn her precious mothers shop into holiday lets she now must fight for her mother’s legacy and for herself, especially once she meets the very man who could change her whole life.

Seb and Ivy are such a cute couple, even though they are in competition there is a lot of flirting, giggles and good natured bantering between them. He is a sexy, confident and kind man who knows what he wants and will do what ever he can to get it, even though that does sounds as though he is ruthless, but to me I think it’s more the fact that he is a charmer and everyone falls under his spell.

I have to say that even though Seb is mightily attractive and a decent man, I was more drawn to the rough around the edges, heavily tattooed and a but scruffy Gaz, and it has nothing to do with the fact that as soon he appeared in the book I envisioned Tom Hardy, oh, alright it has more or less everything to do with that  😉 he’s a bit gruff, but there is something very enticing about him.

Love and Lies and the Village Christmas Shop is a light-hearted, witty and seasonally perfect romance. The plot is fun, easy to read and entertaining, there is a lot of laugh-out-loud moments to be had, especially from the witty banter from all character’s. The cast of character’s are each brilliant in their own way, each one has his/her own style and quirkiness that you will instantly love. Ms. MacIntosh’s writing is a real joy to read, there is a lot of passion for the story and the character’s that really comes through in the story.

An utterly charming and feel-good festive romance that will have you reaching for the hot chocolate and fluffy socks and settling in for the night.

This was an ARC copy via the publisher for this blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

Love and Lies and The Christmas Village Shop can be purchased from Amazon.

#Review What Happened to us by Faith Hogan (@gerhogan) #Blogtour via @aria_fiction #Christmas #Romance #WhatHappenedToUs

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I have the great pleasure to share my review of What Happened to Us by Faith Hogan as apart of this mammoth month long blog tour via Aria Fiction.

A heart-warming story full of winter warmth and new beginnings. Perfect for the fans of Cecelia Ahern.

Carrie Nolan is devastated when she is dumped by Kevin Mulvey after more than a decade without even a backwards glance! On reflection, she has sacrificed her own long term happiness establishing their critically acclaimed Dublin restaurant and pandering to his excessive ego.

Meanwhile Kevin can’t believe his luck. Valentina, their new waitress is a stunner, the kind of girl that turns heads when she walks in a room and surprise, surprise she has chosen him! He is living the dream!

Carrie seeks solace from a circle of mismatched friends who need her as much as she needs them. Jane, who struggles to run the pub on the opposite side of the street, Luke, who has stopped drifting while his father settles in a nearby nursing home and Teddy, a dog who asks for nothing more than the chance to stay by Carrie’s side.

With Christmas just around the corner, all is not quite as it seems and a catastrophic sequence of events leads to the unthinkable…

How far do you need to fall before you learn the true value of family and friends? And is it ever too late to start again…

My View

This is a wonderful, sweet and thoughtful story that has a strong sense of love, friendship and family, it leaves the reader feeling immensely warm and cosy, plus hugely satisfied. This is the first I have read my Ms Hogan, really I have been missing out on something here, she is an exceptional story teller who has takes the reader on an emotional journey as we temporally walk in the shoes of her strong and kind heroine; Carrie.

Carrie, what an extraordinary woman, she really is sweetness and kindness incarnate, suddenly is told by her weasly boyfriend Kevin that after ten years in their relationship he is leaving her for another woman. But not just any woman, a twenty year old goddess and the new waitress at their restaurant “the Sea pear”. For ten years they have been happily plodding along, living together, working together and for him to suddenly come and not just break what they had together, but to smash it to smithereens and then to top it Carrie must work side by side with the wretch and his floozy as they parade around shoving their so called ‘love’ in her face. I got to say that Carrie is a much better woman then me, the fact that she didn’t throw a pan at him is a testament to her good nature.

But all is not so well in both camps, and with a few mishaps along the way we soon see just how amazing strong and resilient Carrie is and just how much of a useless waste of space, Kevin was. With the help of her two friends; June who works across the road in the pub, and stranger Luke who suddenly appears in her life both of her best friend have heartaches and not to mention woman best friend Carries little dog; Teddy who she finds in the street, who as we all know dogs can be valuable support when needed, with their continued help and support of her three companions Carries finds the strength to face the world alone.

This is brilliant, the characters are beautifully written – even the love to hate them Kevin and his strumpet Valentina, I love that word don’t you; Strumpet? 😉 Ms Hogan has got the character’s personalities perfectly , Kevin he is a useless wretch, he is the most pathetic man I have ever come across – I’m surprised he can get dressed himself and Valentina, well I’m going to say it again – strumpet! Carrie though, she really is a marvel Ms Hogan has written her perfectly, I love her resilience her spirit and her kindness and the friendship between June and Luke is both touching and real.

This is a book that you will sit down and curl up with again and again\, it is comforting and enjoyable and highly recommended and I am looking forward to reading more from Faith Hogan. The message I got from this was that with true friends by your side and with a kind heart no matter what you face you will win.

This was a ARC copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review as apart of this blog tour,

What Happened To Us can be purchased from Amazon.

***

About The Author

Faith was born in Ireland and currently lives there with her husband, four children and two fussy cats. She gained an Honors Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate from University College, Galway. She was a winner in the 2014

Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair- an international competition for emerging writers. When she’s not writing, she’s an enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger.

Website / Twitter: @gerhogan / Facebook: @faithhoganauthor / Amazon / Goodreads

About the book

#Review – A Match Made in Heaven by Sun Chara (@sunchara3)

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Who ‘s meddling with happily ever after?

The Wedding: it’s a set up.
The Break-up: it’s a con.
The Reconciliation: it’s a trap.

When high society bride, Samantha Carroll, devises an ingenious plan to ditch her meddling matchmaking mamma’s groom of choice, the banker’s son, instead of the ordinary Irish guy Johnny Belen she’s pining for, all pandemonium breaks loose.

In the meantime, Johnny has devised his own plan to thwart monster-mamma-in-law’s matchmaking for the wedding of the season, but it is soon clear that Sam is not the type of girl who can be scooped up by just any man…

My View

Well this is a wonderfully original and enjoyable story, this is the first book I have read by Ms Chara and I thoroughly enjoyed her entertaining and refreshing writing, and I absolutely adore the laugh out loud humour that had me giggling away – which did resort to bemused expression from the family – and I know I will be reading Sun Chara again.

Sam is a from a very, very wealthy family she is used to the luxuries in life the only thing that she doesn’t like is the fact that her mother is a control freak, I mean literally her mother is like the devil incarnate and I did really hate her from the beginning. Her mother wants nothing but high status and everything that comes with it, she wants her daughter to marry this snobbish banker just so that they can all cement themselves into the highest of society. Whereas Sam has only eyes for the rugged, working class penny-less Irishman; Johnny.

Well the wedding of the year has arrived but one thing leads to anther and she ends up not marrying the man she was supposed to but her true love; Johnny – or so they both think! That is until once settled into not so happy married life, they get the shock of their lives plus both have secrets on the closet all this could destroy their relationship.

With a bit of divine intervention from the wonderfully quirky; Mirabella, these two strive for what they both want, but will they get it?

I am known for having soft spots for down on their luck, regular heroes so it’s not surprising that I took adorable Johnny into my heart right from the off. He is a genuinely good man, he has a kind heart and he just wants to do the right thing and show Sam and her pretty horrendous family that he is exactly that; a good man and that he can make Sam happy. Johnny may comes across as all fun and games, never serious but he is trying, he wants him and Sam to work. At times I don’t think that Sam really deserved Johnny’s love.

I did find the beginning a little confusing especially with the jumping from different character POV’s – don’t get me wrong I do enjoy character hopping perspectives, that flitting from character to character can really get the reader to become immersed in the story, but the first part did have me scratching my head. I do have to say that once I settled into the story, I really saw how that first part was essential for the whole frame work of the story. I could clearly identify where the author was going as the story began to develop through the book.

I liked the sound of the blurb which interested me enough to want to read it, then I found that there was so much more going on then what the blurb was saying. There is a certain, shall I say magical quality to the plot that I thought was a unique twist on the stereotypical romantic comedy genre. It was that twist to the tale that really made the book shine for me, I loved the addition of Mirabella and what she brought to the story.

Over all this is a charming, humorous and quirky story, it is one of those books that some readers may feel not for them once started reading but I highly recommend that you persevere don’t give it up and I can guarantee that you will fall in love and go on an interesting journey.

Quirky and fun, a must read for fans of romantic comedies that have a certain edge.

This was a complimentary copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.

A Match Made in Heaven can be purchased from Amazon.