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#Review | The Ingredients For Happiness by Lucy Knott #TheIngredientsForHappiness @LucyCKnott @HQDigitalUK

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Hello my lovely friends, today I have the great pleasure to be sharing my review of; The Ingredients of Happiness by Lucy Knott, so grab a cuppa and enjoy.

Three sisters, a stash of family recipes, the chance to make their dreams come true…

Amanda is about to open her very own café. She has the pastry sorted, but hasn’t a clue about the plumbing. With the love of her life by her side, surely nothing else can go wrong?

Sabrina has struck out on her own and is proving to the global music industry she has what it takes. However, balancing the business side of the band with her personal life will end up being more than she bargained for.

Louisa is drawing inspiration from the beautiful Amalfi coast, channelling it into creating gorgeous gowns for modern day Sophia Lorens. But putting herself out there in the fashion industry will present its own challenges, even with the ever-supportive Luca by her side.

With the right mix of perseverance, love and plenty of Italian delicacies, these three sisters are about to discover that when they support each other, the sky really is the limit!

The hugely awaited second book from Lucy Knott is here, have we readers been looking forward to this, or what? Amanda, Sabrina and Louisa are back with all new drama and off course, all new delicious food for us all to devour in the long awaited sequel to the gorgeous; How To Bake A New Beginning and it is well worth the wait.

Even though I do call this a sequel, do not let that put you off reading it, as even though it does follow the same characters as the first book, it has an all different story, one that can very easily be read as a stand-a-lone. These stories are just so feel good, you can’t help but smile when you read this, its good for the soul – maybe not so good for the waistline with all the mention of food that you know you have to try too 🙂

I adore the way these books are written, the story alternates between the three sisters as we follow each of their own story, you really get to know each sister, I have read books that do this alternative point of view and it can be a bit messy and confused, that is never the case with these books, Lucy Knott has a wonderfully easy to read, fun and clever writing style that flows with ease. Plus, I really love how each chapter starts with a recipe and the food theme carries on throughout the book, they isn’t a chapter that passes you by without mention of food on some way – what could be better? I cute as a button, beautiful story which incorporates food, it is as heavenly as it sounds.

Each sister has followed theirs hearts and are now grabbing their dreams with both hands, only problem things don’t exactly go to plan, but really where is the fun if life did go exactly to plan? Amanda is finally in touching distance of her dream to open a Italian inspired café, which is all perfect in theory but with issues popping up left right and centre can her dream rise to perfection like a perfectly baked cake? But no matter what she must face she has the love of her life by her side, so all can’t be bad, right? Sabrina is back in America, this time she has taken the leap of faith and started to mange a band on her own, she is branching out in the music industry, but things aren’t exactly going to plan as she finds it hard to juggle her new business with her relationship with a member of the band she is managing – complicated much? And finally we have Louisa who has finally started to follow her own dreams, she has moved to sunny Italy and started working as a fashion designer, as with her sisters she has to face her own issues and her own struggles, but with Luca by her side she will succeed, right?

I just love how Ms Knott’s sunny personality is enthused into this story, her passion for family, food and the story jumps of the page and you know she has put so much heart and soul into this book that you honestly cannot help but feel happy while reading it, it’s like eating one of your favourite deserts or watching one of your favourite films.

This is a delightful and charming book that will keep you smiling throughout.

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#Review | Love Heart Lane (Love Heart Lane Series #1) by @ChristieJBarlow #LoveHeartLane @HarperImpulse

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Cosy up on the sofa with this year’s most heart-warming, feel good comfort read!

Welcome to Love Heart Lane…

When Flick Simons returns to the cosy village of Heartcross she only expected to stay for a few days. The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.

When a winter storm sweeps in, the only bridge connecting the village to the main land is swept away. As the villagers pull together, Flick finds herself welcomed back by the friends she once left behind. And as the snow begins to melt, maybe there is a chance that Fergus’s heart will thaw too…

Readers ADORE Christie’s books:

‘A hug in a book’ Jeannie, Amazon

‘A warm, cosy winter read perfect for January nights’ Susie, Amazon

‘I love reading about a community pulling together in the face of adversity…These days so many live lonely, anonymous lives in towns and cities’ Joanna, Amazon

‘A book full of love and community spirit’ Kathy, Amazon

‘I want to live there!!!’ Cally, Amazon

‘Delightfully warm feelgood fiction at its best’ Lorna, Amazon

I hate to say how long this has been sitting on my Kindle shelf, how could I have not devoured this before now? It seems unbelievable that I left this untouched, but I got there eventually and it was well worth the wait as this book is so cosy and heart-warming, it’s like being wrapped in a huge snug blanket, its comforting as well as heart-warming.

The story follows lead character Felicity (Flick) as she returns home to Heart Cross village after eight years away, she really only planned to stay for a few days, maybe a week most as the village and more importantly the people bring back far too many painful memories for her. But, as we all know nothing goes plan all the time, there are always hiccups with any well laid plan, and the hiccup here is that once Flick reaches Heart Cross there is a huge storm that cut the village and the people off from the rest of the world – slightly over dramatic, I know but it’s the truth, the only bridge leading in and out of the village is destroyed so Flick is essentially stuck.

It is here that you really see the good in people, it is so heart-warming to see how the community pulls together in it’s hour of need. But, one of the reasons that Flick wanted to stay away is stuck in the village along with her, the man she has always loved deep down before things got complicated and she left. To say that Fergus is less then pleased to see Flick back in the village is an understatement. I love how they are forced to face one and other because there is no where to escape to, how we see them battle their emotions.

The thing that I really got from this book was a sense of hope, that no matter where you look there will always be something positive and pleasant waiting for you. Christie Barlow has a real gift at cementing character’s into the readers lives in such a way that it is very hard for us to let go, we become completely sucked into their lives and their world.

This is a wonderful story full of hope, second chances and more then that a real sense of community spirit that is so lacking in the world today. I love the characters each brings something different just as each one is just as important to the development of the story as the heroine; Flick. There are some wonderful, heart-warming moment just as there is some sadness, the writing is fluid and full of warmth.

A sweet and loving story full of hope and very recommended, I am looking forward to what comes next from the little village of Heart Cross.

#Review | Once More Into The Breach by @AMeghanHolloway #OnceMoreIntoTheBreach

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For readers of The Nightingale and Beneath a Scarlet Sky comes a gripping historical thriller set against a fully-realized WWII backdrop about the love a father has for his son and the lengths he is willing to go to find him, from a talented new voice in suspense.

Rhys Gravenor, Great War veteran and Welsh sheep farmer, arrives in Paris in the midst of the city’s liberation with a worn letter in his pocket that may have arrived years too late. As he follows the footsteps of his missing son across an unfamiliar, war-torn country, he struggles to come to terms with the incident that drove a wedge between the two of them.

Joined by Charlotte Dubois, an American ambulance driver with secrets of her own, Rhys discovers that even as liberation sweeps across France, the war is far from over. And his personal war has only begun as he is haunted by memories of previous battles and hampered at every turn by danger and betrayal. In a race against time and the war, Rhys follows his son’s trail from Paris to the perilous streets of Vichy to the starving mobs in Lyon to the treacherous Alps. But Rhys is not the only one searching for his son. In a race of his own, a relentless enemy stalks him across the country and will stop at nothing to find the young man first.

The country is in tatters, no one is trustworthy, and Rhys must unravel the mystery of his son’s wartime actions in the desperate hope of finding him before it’s too late. Too late to mend the frayed bond between them. Too late to beg his forgiveness. Too late to bring him home alive.

What a emotional, edge of your seat thriller. My goodness this book is amazing, I know I say that a lot, but this is something very special. I am a huge fan of WW2 era fiction, and I have read an awful lot of fiction from this genre to know that Once More Into The Breach is a masterpiece of story telling.

Set at the end of WW2, the story is told through the eyes of WW1 veteran and now farmer; Rhys who has set out to war torn France to find his son. Which is far easier said then done, as Rhys is still traumatised from his own experience in the trenches during the Great War, he is still feeling the affects, there are periods of confusion where he is transported back and he is left scared and broken, which is why he was adamant that he would never return to France. That is until his son goes missing, he puts his own personal thoughts and anguish to one side and takes a step into the big unknown.

Once there is meets mysterious and enigmatic Charlotte, who is not all that she appears to be, I love that as soon as we meet Charlotte, there is just this feeling you get that something isn’t quite right about her, she has secrets and even though I do like her I was always thinking that she is out for herself, she has motives in everything she does and she knows far more then she claims.

Rhys and Charlotte set of on their journey of discovery through war torn France, at every turn there is something that stands in their way to find the answers to the questions that keep filtering through Rhys’ mind, he is desperate to find his son or find out what happened to him and then the other questions start emerging as what exactly did Owain do in France during the war? And What is Charlotte’s motives in helping him? Their journey is full of action and intrigue, of secrets, lies and suspense.

Meghan Holloway is an incredible narrator, she hooks you from that first dramatic and emotional page right to the last, her play with words is mesmerizing it was literally like being inside of Rhys’ head, you feel each and every emotion, his pain, his terror, his confusion, especially in the snap shots into his life during WW1, the way being in the trenches impacted on his life is heart-breaking. This fine woman has got a real gift, her passion and love of the story and her need to tell Rhys’ story is evident.

This is a real page turner, it has a constant undercurrent of fear and anguish throughout th book, mostly from Rhys, he broke my heart. He is a genuinely lovely man, he feels a lot of emotions that build up from fear and pain, to love for his son, the need to do what is right, his is scared by his own emotions especially when we have flashbacks into his past. But, what is the most refreshing about this is that the hero is just a regular man who has left his farm in Wales to go out and find his son.

This book is a must read for anyone who loves WW2 historical fiction, if you love the likes of Pam Jenoff, Alison Richman and Kate Mosse’s; Citadel then this is the book you need to read, I cannot wait to see what comes next from Meghan Holloway.

Gorgeous and highly recommended!

#Review | His Innocent Seduction by Clare Connelly #HisInnocentSeduction #DoYouDare #MillsandBoonInsiders @clarewriteslove @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

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A sexual initiation…

I enjoy the finer things—aged whisky, gourmet meals, beautiful women… So when sweet virgin Millie Davis propositions me, I vow we’ll savor every moment. It’s completely no-strings—love is too dangerous. Yet, how can someone so innocent bring me to the brink of losing control?

Phew, this is hot!! When I say hot, I mean scorching, you need to go and through yourself in frozen lake; hot. It’s a fast paced, scorching hot romance that will leave the reader gasping for more. For those who aren’t a fan of erotic romances, this maybe not the best book for you, but for those who love a good getting twisted within the bedsheets, then I say grab a copy and snuggle down for a bit of carnal lust. 😉

I’ve not read any of Clare Connelly’s books before, but I have heard some really great things about her work, well I have to say that she doesn’t disappoint, she definitely lives up to her marvellous reputation as a stonking great Dare author, as this is amazing and I will definitely be grabbing as many of Clare’s books as I can get my little hands on.

This book – as you would expect from a Dare, is sizzling, the temperature sours, the sex is steamy and raunchy and to be honest that really is the focal point of the story, as our heroine Millie being a virgin, she has basically had enough and wants – to put it bluntly; sex and lots of it – which is what she gets with lusty, workaholic Michael.

Millie is in the middle of travelling around Europe and she finds herself in Ireland where she starts working in a bar for a short time until she What I really like about this is how Millie, even though she is very naïve and there is something very innocent about her, she knows what she wants and she isn’t afraid to go out and get it. She wants Michael, she has been watching for a while as he goes into the bar she works in, she is fascinated by this enigmatic and suave looking man with the glorious Irish accent and she has got to the point in her life where she want to throw all rules out of the window and have a night of hot sex – which is where Michael comes in. He is a machine, his whole life revolves around work, he doesn’t want a relationship he is more than happy with one night stands and casual sex, so he is more than amiable when Millie puts her no strings proposition to him.

This is a fun, quick read that does entertain, the Irish setting is gorgeous – as gorgeous as our hero. The character’s are passionate and even though I felt that there was something missing about them, I can’t quite put my finger on it, it’s nothing huge that impacts on their relationship with each other or the story, it was just a niggling feeling I got, but apart from that, they are good fun and very likable.

I really liked the way it this was written it has a great flow to it that does make the reader keep turning the pages, Ms Connelly has got a wonderful way at developing a scene and enhancing the already simmering sexual tension between the two leads, she doesn’t keep pushing sex in your face while reading, the tension builds up brilliantly.

Overall a very entertaining book that you will devour in one sitting.

This was an Arc copy from Mills and Boons Insiders via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

His Innocent Seduction is available at Amazon.

#Review The Daughter’s Of Ironbridge by Mollie Walton @rebeccamascull #TheDaughtersOfIronbridge #MollieWalton @ZaffreBooks

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Hello everyone, I have the very great pleasure to be sharing my review of the wonderful; The Daughter’s Of Ironbridge by Mollie Walton with you all today.

1830s Shropshire.

Anny Woodvine’s family has worked at the ironworks for as long as she can remember. The brightest child in her road and the first in her family to learn to read, Anny has big dreams. So, when she is asked to run messages for the King family, she grabs the opportunity with both hands.

Margaret King is surrounded by privilege and wealth. But behind closed doors, nothing is what it seems. When Anny arrives, Margaret finds her first ally and friend. Together they plan to change their lives.

But as disaster looms over the ironworks, Margaret and Anny find themselves surrounded by secrets and betrayal. Can they hold true to each other and overcome their fate? Or are they destined to repeat the mistakes of the past?

Well this is wonderful, if ever there was a book that was written that needed to be read, then it is this one! It is a beautiful story that is all about friendship, about how two completely different young girls from two different back grounds found a real friendship.

Set in the 1830’s this tells the story of an unlikely friendship between Anny Woodvine, daughter of an ironworker at the iron works and Margaret (Peggy) King daughter of the owner of the works. Anny has big dreams and as she is can both read and write she gets a job as a messenger for the King’s which is when she meets Peggy, and straight from the off they form a special friendship. But its not all plain sailing for the two friends as their friendship is tested, are they strong enough to sail the storm?

What I particularly loved about this is that the story is centred on Anny’s and Margeret’s friendship, from the moment they meet you see that here is two young girls who are from opposite sides of the social spectrum and yet they have found a true friendship together, they both are the very thing that the other needs in their lives and I found it so heart-warming watching their friendship blossom and grow as the story developed, it is a natural and organic relationship that forms between the two girls, which is based on mutual trust and loneliness.

I love the character’s in this, each one is really well researched and developed, the girls really are the star attraction but I loved the secondary character’s too, each one has been wonderfully created even the evil ones such as Cyril; Peggy’s brother – who really is a nasty piece of work – but I especially like Peggy’s grandmother ‘Queenie’ there is something a little other worldly about the old matriarch of the King family, the old bird has secrets and there is a mystery that is swirling around her like an ever present mist, I love how Ms Walton keeps the read on edge with concerns to Queenie there is just something about her that kept my attention

This is a piece of really great writing, it’s not one of those wham-bam and then we are straight into the story, this is a gentle stroll that takes the reader past beautiful scenery both natural and industrial (I bet your wondering how an industrial scene can be beautiful? Believe me, it can) past heartache as well as joy and all the human emotion’s in-between. It shows both the good and the bad of both sides of society and amongst all that you have a very simple story with Anny and Peggy. The story is a mix of sweetness and raw brutal truth’s of the era. It doesn’t hold back any punches when it comes to delving into how divided the era was, how the social divide was wider then ever.

Overall this is a great story that has real backbone, a story that takes the reader on a real journey into the past. Every scene is perfectly detailed that makes it very real, you can see Ironbridge in your mind as you read. Ms Walton has done a great job and I can’t wait to read more.

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

The Daughter’s Of Ironbridge is to be released on 18th April and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

#Review Daughters of War by Lizzie Page (@LizziePagewrite) #WW1 #DaughtersOfWar #Historical #Romance @bookouture

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An emotional tale of wartime love and sacrifice, inspired by an incredible true story…

As a teenager in Chicago, May always dreamed of travelling the world. So when she meets handsome George Turner, she jumps at the chance to return to London as his wife. Ten years later, May is wondering if she’s made a terrible mistake.

It’s 1914 and war has been declared in Europe. All around, brave young men are being called up to serve. George, banned from conscription himself, has taken to the bottle, and May suspects he’s seeing other women too. She longs for a way to escape.

The chance comes when May meets veteran nurse Elsie, who persuades May to join the war effort. May knows nothing of nursing – it will be difficult, dangerous work, but her heart is telling her it’s the right thing to do.

But then George does the unthinkable and May’s future is put at risk. Will she have to make the impossible choice between duty to her family and her promise to the soldiers on the front line? And can she live with the consequences if her husband goes through with what he’s threatening to do?

My View

This is the second book in the planned trilogy which focus’s on the unbelievably courageous women of the Great War, and I have to say that this is a very worthy follow up to the hugely emotional and incredible The War Nurses and I really cannot wait for the third and final book, which I know will be another emotional ride just as this and the previous book have been.

This is an inspiring, emotional, heartbreaking, mesmerising, charming, haunting book that is inspired by the remarkable life of May Borden who was a nurse, novelist and poet during the Great War. The story opens with May in a bit of a depression, the man she thought she was to lead a whole new life with has is now a drunk and worse than that she knows that her husband is cheating on her. She is tired of her life surrounded by a man who doesn’t love or respect her, she wants to escape. Which is when she meets vivacious Elsie, who talks May into joining the nursing core. May knows nothing about nursing, but she feels that this is the very thing that could turn around her life.

Even though May is a hugely inspiring woman and what she did was amazing, while reading this I was at times in two frames of mind about May. There is no denying what she did was incredible and I am in awe and applaud everyone of those brave women who went to the front, but at times I felt at times she did act like a child herself, she needed stand up for herself more than she did. I felt she was as conflicted as the very war she was working in, I don’t think she was a strong women but she was a real one, she was plunged into a horrific war while her children were still at home. But what really made me soften towards May was her unrelenting compassion, loyalty and her unrelenting need to help those men who were experiencing the very worst that humans can do to on e and other.

I have to say that Lizzie Page is an unbelievably gifted writer, her absolute passion for these incredible women, the history and her thirst to share these wonderful stories with the world is evident in each page she has lovingly written, her love and passion comes through the story.

This is another powerful story that makes you stop and really take in what these women sacrificed for us, as with the war Nurses this isn’t just about bombarding the reading with sights and sounds from the front, this is about women coming together forming unbreakable friendships and doing their best to help. It’s a beautiful book and one that really needs to be read, no matter your views on the war we all need to hear these stories.

Emotional and expertly written!

This was an Arc copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Daughter of War can be purchased 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.