Blog Tours; Features/Reviews

#BlogTour | Temple of Dreams by Carolyn Mathews #TempleOfDreams #Excerpt #LoveBooksTours @Carolyn_Mathews @RoundfireBooks @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this brilliant blog tour for; Temple of Dreams by Carolyn Mathews. Not only will I be sharing this fascinating book with you, but I also have an exclusive excerpt with you all. Go on, take apeek I hope you love it as much as I do!

Temple Of Dreams by Carolyn Mathews

Genre: Historical / Publisher: Round Fire Books / Format: Ebook, Paperback

Homeless and jobless following the death of his adoptive parents, Sebastian enrols at a college of natural medicine which boasts a sanctuary modelled on an ancient Greek healing centre. After a night in the temple, he dreams of Apollos, a young Athenian defeated in a pankration contest, suffering memory loss. More dreams follow, decrypted by Sybil, the lecturer who insists he keeps a dream journal. Seb is kept busy in the 21st century by a budding relationship with Fliss, which stalls when she tries to persuade him to search for his birth parents. Meanwhile, Apollos, in the fifth century BC, readies himself to attend the festival of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, to discover the secrets of how to avoid the perils of the underworld and make it to Elysium.

Amazon

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Exclusive Excerpt

I am woken by a kiss from Pelagia, who must be freshly bathed and perfumed because she smells wonderful. I respond to her caress and then something Philemon said yesterday makes me turn away from her.

What’s wrong, Apollos? Are you ill?’

I can’t think of a tactful way to say what’s on my mind, so I blurt it out.

I’m sorry, Pelagia. I should have thought of this before, but it only occurred to me recently. Was it you or your husband who was unable to…who was….

Barren?’ she says, with an edge to her voice.

I take her hand and press it over my heart.

Did he marry again?’

Yes.’

And did he have children?’

There is a child but I have it on good authority that his wife pretended to be pregnant and sent one of her father’s slaves to Mount Lycabettos to pick up a newborn boy. If I’d loved him, I might have considered doing the same.’

How could she get away with that?’

He often travelled abroad on business and she chose an opportune time. She padded herself out and went to her parents’ house for the “birth”. They probably sprinkled some pig’s blood around, to make it more realistic.’

What if he finds out?’

I think he’d turn a blind eye. They were married for two years before the child “arrived”. This way, it makes him look more of a man.’

If it wasn’t his, does that mean you might be fertile?’

Pelagia dropped her cynical pose and giggled.

I wouldn’t be surprised, pledged as I am to a goddess of fertility. If I wasn’t before, I probably am now.’

I can’t tell whether this is a yes or a no, but have now grown tired of the subject and proceed to finish what she’d started, making conversation redundant.

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About the Author

Carolyn Mathews is the author of the Pandora Trilogy, whose first instalment Transforming Pandora was showcased by The People’s Book Prize in 2014. Carol has an MA in Applied Linguistics and an abiding interest in metaphysics, both of which have profoundly influenced her writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, UK.

You can find more about Carolyn here – http://carolynmathews.co.uk/

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#Blogtour | The Place We Call Home Faith Hogan #ThePlaceWecallHome #Review @gerhogan @aria_fiction @BOTBSPublicity

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Hello, Sunshines! I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the blog tour for; The Place We Call Home by Faith Hogan, I read this earlier in the year and loved it, so when I had the opportunity to re-share my review for this new blog tour, I delighted to do so. Go on and have a look, I hope you love it as much as I do!

The Place We Call Home by Faith Hogan

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Aria Fiction

Welcome to Ballycove, the home of Corrigan Mills…

Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Irish countryside the famed mills have created the finest wool in all of Ireland. Run by the seemingly perfect Corrigan family, but every family has its secrets, and how the mills came to be the Corrigan’s is one of them…

Miranda and her husband were never meant to own the mills, until one fateful day catapults them into a life they never thought they’d lead.

Ada has forever lived her life in her sister’s shadow. Wanting only to please her mother and take her place as the new leader of the mill, Ada might just have to take a look at what her heart really wants.

Callie has a flourishing international career as a top designer and a man who loves her dearly, she appears to have it all. When a secret is revealed and she’s unceremoniously turfed out of the design world, Callie might just get what’s she’s been yearning for. The chance to go home.

Simon has always wanted more. More money, more fame, more notoriety. The problem child. Simon has made more enemies than friends over the years, and when one of his latest schemes falls foul he’ll have to return to the people who always believe in him.

Ballycove isn’t just a town in the Irish countryside. It isn’t just the base of the famous mills. It’s a place to call home.

Best-selling author, Faith Hogan returns with a family tale of love, loss, secrets and finding yourself.

AmazonKobo / Google Play / iBooks

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Set in Ballycove, Western Ireland, The Place We Call Home is a beautifully written, realistic and deeply emotional family saga which spans the generations with its a perfectly interweaving plot which delves into the past and connects it with the present. I love how Faith Hogan delves deep into the Irish way of life in Ballycove, it adds to the story and the characters, which I think makes everything feel very real and authentic.

The setting is absolutely perfect, each scene is vivid and adds a marvellous echoing atmosphere to the story, the setting itself is like an extension of the story like an extra character, always there in the background and adds so much to every scene.

I really won’t say too much about the story as a whole as it is complex and each character’s own story is so interwoven though out that I wouldn’t which to give anything away. But this whole story revolves around the Corrigan and Blair family, who have been mill owners for generations, there are huge secrets and lies, heartache and love. The centre of the community is the mill which isn’t just apart of the family, it’s not a vessel of mystery, but it is peoples lives, roofs over heads and food on the table. I love how the mill is cemented into the book, how realistically it’s importance to the community is written.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the family and discovering the secrets that have been so cleverly hidden and then revealed throughout the book, Faith Hogan never fails to grasp the reader’s attention and their heart with her perfectly written stories, the way she can take every human emotion and the tangled relationship which are within every family is a master class of writing. The wring is strong, intelligent and thought-provoking, you are drawn into the world she has created for her characters, you follow each of them as though you were walking right beside them.

Each character is brilliantly written, true they are not all likeable, but as this is a glimpse of real-life is would be odd if everyone was sweetness and nice, as we all know the world isn’t full of good people and this is again where Faith’s talent at writing every nuance of human life comes into its own.

This is a wonderfully poignant story with family at its heart, full of love and lies. I will admit that it did start off a little slow for my liking but it soon picks up and I soon easily fell into it’s gentle and at times a soothing pace. If you love your family saga’s then this is the book for you, definitely highly recommended.

This was an arc via the publisher and Netgalley, which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour.

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About the Author

13/04/2018 Author Faith Hogan with her dog Penny at her home in Ballina, Co. Mayo. Photo: Keith Heneghan

Faith Hogan is an Irish award-winning and bestselling author of five contemporary fiction novels. Her books have featured as Book Club Favorites, Net Galley Hot Reads and Summer Must Reads. She writes grown-up women’s fiction which is unashamedly uplifting, feel good and inspiring.

Faith’s latest book, The Place We Call Home is published in January 2020.

She writes crime fiction as Geraldine Hogan – Her Sisters Bones is available now!

Faith gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway.

She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!

Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter @gerhogan / Website / Instagram

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Blog Tour Schedule

With thanks to, Sarah Hardy at Book On The Bright Side Publicity & Promo for the invitation to this wonderful blog tour. Twitter: @BOTBSPublicity / Facebook: Book On The Bright Side

#BlogTour | The Summer Island Swap by Samantha Tonge #TheSummerIslandSwap #Review @SamTongeWriter @aria_fiction

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Hell, Sunshines! I have the great pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; The Summer Island Swap by Samantha Tonge. I am super excited to be sharing my review of this charming book with you and I also have an exclusive excerpt for your all to enjoy, I do hope you love this book as much as I do!

The Summer Island Swap by Samantha Tonge

Genre: Contemporary /Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Aria Fiction

Format: Ebook/Audio/Paperback

Sometimes the best holidays are the ones you least expect…

After a long and turbulent year, Sarah is dreaming of the five-star getaway her sister has booked them on. White sands, cocktails, massages, the Caribbean is calling to them.

But the sisters turn up to tatty beaches, basic wooden shacks, a compost toilet and outdoor cold water showers. It turns out that at the last minute Amy decided a conservation project would be much more fun than a luxury resort.

So now Sarah’s battling mosquitos, trying to stomach fish soup and praying for a swift escape. Life on a desert island though isn’t all doom and gloom. They’re at one with nature, learning about each other and making new friends. And Sarah is distracted by the dishy, yet incredibly moody, island leader she’s sure is hiding a secret.

Perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Mandy Baggot and Heidi Swain.

Amazon / Kobo / Google Play

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This is only the second book I have read by Samantha Tonge and again I was completely hooked with her witty and heart-warming story of friendship and family. I really love Samantha’s writing, you are not only swept away on a fun and enjoyable adventure but with some serious subjects that make you stop and really think about the world we live in.

Sarah hasn’t been on holiday in an age, after a pretty turbulent year she is ready to relax and allow her mind and body to chill and wind down. But as things stand losing her job and not having anything else in the pipeline plus not money, the long-wished-for dream of a holiday is just that; a dream. That is until her sister; Amy wins some money and decides to take them both on a dream holiday, she is going to whisked them both away to a sunny and relaxing island.

I really like Sarah, her story really spoke to me, I related to her far more then I did Amy. She is a very relatable and likable woman, she has always done her best, worked hard and always looked after her little sister. She is the sort of woman that anyone can instantly like, she is a little down on her luck and deserves a little happiness and fun.

Sarah thinks that Amy has booked them a glorious Caribbean holiday, four weeks of nothing but luxury and pampering. Oh, how wrong she is! It turn’s out that the holiday is in fact, a paid voluntary conservation scheme, instead of a month of sunning herself and being waited on hand and foot, it in fact means a month of hard graft.

What I really liked about this book is that even thought there is a hint of a romance, it doesn’t overshadow the main plot, this is all about building confidence, binding those family ties and finding ones feet again, it’s all about friendship and the strength of family and self discovery.

The romance aspect is really sweet, and to be perfectly honest this book would be just as delightful whether there was romance or not.

There is such a important message hidden within, not only to that doing things for your is important to moving forward and coping with past issues. But there is a serious aspect in the conservation side which does make you stop and think.

Overall, a hugely enjoyable, inspirational and perfect escapist story, at times a little predictable but I was completely hooked!

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Exclusive Excerpt

I’ll still have to clear it at work. I’m not sure how Prue will feel about me taking a month off.’

Just the mention of my boss’s name made my stomach knot.

No one’s indispensable. Not even wonderful you,’ she called back.

My chest felt warm. Over recent years, Amy had matured and started to look out for me, cooking dinner and mowing the lawn. However, I’d never lose my maternal feelings towards her. When we were ten and six ours was quite an age gap. As was eighteen and fourteen when I’d had to leave her behind with Dad but promised we’d live together again. I beat the sugar and butter, remembering her tears and his folded arms as I dragged my suitcase past the fountain and out of the huge driveway, into the street. I’d finally realised I had to leave after… I swallowed. No. I wasn’t going to think about that now.

I let Nelly into the back garden, busied myself with ingredients and cleaned up whilst the cookies baked. Their sweet aroma wafted through the air as I carried them into the lounge, on a tray, with two coffees.

Good timing,’ said Amy and turned off her screen, looking pleased with herself. I put the tray on the table and joined her.

Is it all booked?’

She nodded. ‘A modest deposit paid. The rest is due in the middle of June, two weeks before we leave.’

Can’t you at least share which part of the world we’re visiting?’

That would be telling,’ she replied airily and took the largest cookie.

I jumped up and held her right arm firm whilst tickling the armpit. ‘I won’t stop until I find out, Amy Sterling.’

However, she was as strong as me these days and, giggling, held the cookie in her mouth and forced both of my hands away. I sat down once more. I recognised that expression. She was determined to keep her secret. Sometimes, with my impulsive sister, that could be a dangerous thing, like when she’d agreed to do a charity skydive with colleagues at work. She didn’t tell me until the morning of the jump.

Just a clue. A teeny one,’ I said. ‘Please…’

I’ve never seen you this excited before. Well, not since you were made assistant manager. Oh, and the time you found that fancy moisturiser for half price.’

It wasn’t just any moisturiser. The Duchess of Cambridge uses it.’ I pressed my palms together. ‘At least let me guess… the Canary Islands? Barbados? Australia’s an island, right? I mean, you and me – we share most things, don’t we?’

Best buddies, always,’ she said solemnly.

It was a promise we’d made to each other, the day after Mum’s funeral. And sure enough, we confided in each other about our latest celebrity crushes, about our dreams for the future; we put the world to rights over Chardonnay and Pringles. I knew her favourite colour, favourite food, favourite band. She could always tell when I’d had a stressful day at work and, without prying, would make me a hot chocolate, fetch a blanket and switch on my current Netflix obsession.

* Excerpt used with permission of the publisher as apart of this blog tour. 

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About the Author

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.

When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award

Website: http://samanthatonge.co.uk/ Twitter: @SamTongeWriter / Facebook: @SamanthaTongeAuthor

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Follow the Publisher

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

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Blog Tour Schedule

#BlogTour | The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson #TheSeaGate #Excerpt @JaneeJohnsonBakr @HoZ_Books

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Hello, Sunshines! I hope you are well? I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazingly epic blog tour for; The Sea gate by Jane Johnson. I have a brilliant exclusive excerpt to share with you all, which I am sure you will love. This book sounded so good that even though I initially signed up to this blog tour with an excerpt, I did manage to grab a copy of this book from NetGalley and I will be sharing my review of that in the next week or so. But, until then I hope you love the sound of this as much as I did!

The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson

Genre: Time Slip, Women’s Fiction, Historical, Mystery

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Format: Ebook, Paperback, Hardpack 

One house, two women, a lifetime of secrets…

Following the death of her mother, Becky begins the sad task of sorting through her empty flat. Starting with the letters piling up on the doormat, she finds an envelope post-marked from Cornwall. In it is a letter that will change her life forever. A desperate plea from her mother’s elderly cousin, Olivia, to help save her beloved home.

Becky arrives at Chynalls to find the beautiful old house crumbling into the ground, and Olivia stuck in hospital with no hope of being discharged until her home is made habitable.

Though daunted by the enormity of the task, Becky sets to work. But as she peels back the layers of paint, plaster and grime, she uncovers secrets buried for more than seventy years. Secrets from a time when Olivia was young, the Second World War was raging, and danger and romance lurked round every corner…

The Sea Gate is a sweeping, spellbinding novel about the lives of two very different women, and the secrets that bind them together.

Amazon / Kobo / Google Play

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Praise for The Sea Gate

‘A beautifully written and intriguing story that stayed with me long after I had turned the last page’ Santa Montefiore.

‘I’ve so enjoyed the hours I’ve spent reading the novel. I loved the warm, vivid characters, especially salty Olivia, and was completely swept up in this intriguing and beautifully researched mystery of wartime Cornwall. It was quite magical’ Rachel Hore.

‘Full of secrets, passion, and with two strong heroines, this book satisfies every need. It’s utterly romantic and and page-turningly exciting. I can’t recommend it highly enough’ Katie Fforde.

‘I so enjoyed this. The relationship between the two women of such very different generations, the parallel love affairs, the feeling of place are all so well done. It’s a treat!’ Amanda Craig.

‘A beautiful evocative story capturing the darkness of Cornwall and its piercing beauty … This had me in tears’ Liz Fenwick.

‘The Sea Gate just blew me away. Utterly compelling and one of the few books for a long time that kept me reading deep into the night’ Barbara Erskine.

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Exclusive Excerpt

The next day James, Evie and I make our way to Mum’s flat, which lies at the top of an unprepossessing building on the edge of Warwick. James turns the spare key in the lock and pushes the door, but it won’t budge more than a few inches. I drop to my knees on the dusty doorstep and reach around the frame to find that the obstruction is a pile of unopened post. I claw it away till the door opens a bit wider and James steps inside. I am about to get up to follow him, but Evie presses a hand down on my shoulder and steps over me, placing the spike heels of her crocodile-skin boots carefully into the islands of floorboard revealed between the ocean of envelopes and flyers. ‘Good grief,’ she says as she passes. ‘Anyone would think she’d been dead for years.’

I stare at her retreating back in disbelief.

She stalks down the hallway and stares in passing at the framed pictures on the wall, dismissing them as worthless. Yes, Evie, they’re barely worth the cost of the canvas they’re daubed on: I painted them.

I gather the post into a pile, imagining Mum lying in her hospital bed with the stupid, oppressive reminders of ordinary life spilling through the letter box day after day. Sixty-four years old, gone without warning; of course the bills and letters and junk mail have kept on coming – no one expected this sudden departure. Again, the enormity of her passing hits me. I will never be able to call her on a whim, to ask if she’s seen the size of the moon tonight, or to check on her recipe for scones; never share another Christmas lunch with her, never have to sneakily return ill-fitting birthday presents to Marks & Spencer. Never be able to hear her say, Don’t worry, darling, I’m sure it’s nothing. I sniff back tears.

James reappears with a roll of black bin bags, a long length of which he tears off and passes to me. ‘Here you go. Evie, bless her, is going through Mum’s clothes.’

I feel suddenly hot with outrage. ‘Don’t you think you should have asked me to do that?’

Calm down! We thought it’d be too much for you, so Evie volunteered. You should be grateful: you know what a good eye she has. She’ll be able to tell at a glance if there’s anything worth selling on, though she said right away she thinks most of it will have to go into recycling or to charity shops—’

It’s not Mum’s fault she didn’t dress the way Evie thinks she should. Dad left with all the money and then fucked off and died after spending the lot on his mistress!’

James shuffles his feet. ‘No need to swear, not very ladylike.’

Not very ladylike, I mouth at his back. When did my brother become such a prig? Probably ever since Evie started campaigning.

Gathering the post into my arms, I take it into the lounge and dump it on the coffee table, knocking a framed photograph to the floor in the process. James picks it up and stares at it, hands it to me. The photo is faded into the ochre and pale blue of old Kodak stock. It shows the four of us, Mum and Dad with James and me, standing in front of a hedge and old gate, and beyond us a shining expanse of sea stretching into flared-out infinity. James and I look about eight or so. You’d never know we were twins. We don’t look alike, have never even had much in common. As soon as we’d developed our own little personalities the family had fractured along gender lines: me and Mum, with our fine, fair hair and introversion, our love of books and plants; James and Dad, dark and confident and loud, disappearing to take part in manly pursuits. It’s a window into a lost age.

*This excerpt has been used with permission from the publisher as apart of this blog tour.

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About The Author

Jane Johnson is a British novelist and publisher. She is the UK editor for George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb and Dean Koontz and was for many years publisher of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Married to a Berber chef she met while researching The Tenth Gift, she lives in Cornwall and Morocco.

Follow Jane on Twitter: @JaneeJohnsonBakr

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Follow the Publisher

Website: www.headofzeus.com

Twitter: @HoZ_Books

Facebook: @headofzeus

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Blog Tour Schedule

#BlogTour | Another Us by Kirsten Hesketh #AnotherUS #Excerpt #LoveBooksTours @Kirsten_Hesketh @canelo_co @lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I hope you are all well? I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; Another Us by Kirsten Hesket, not only will I be sharing this great book with you all, but I also have an exclusive excerpt. I hope you love it as much as I do, enjoy!

Another Us by Kirsten Hesket

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Canelo

Format: ebook

What if Emma isn’t the person she thought she was?

Her younger son has just been diagnosed with autism.

She’s accidentally quit her job.

The marriage she was dedicated to suddenly seems like a sham.

She’s pretty sure that she is going to have an affair with a hot new dad at the school.

The only thing that stays the same is everyone else. Emma realises it’s not them – it’s her. But if she’s not who she thought she was, can her old life fit in with the new Emma?

Compassionate, funny and poignant, Another Us is perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Fiona Gibson.

Amazon

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Exclusive Excerpt

Chapter Sixteen

Jack took a deep breath and nodded his head. ‘Yeah. Sorry. I wasn’t being me.’

He was as white as a sheet.

A small, vulnerable, precious ten-year-old boy. I really shouldn’t have shouted.

Right, let’s get you home,’ said Daniel. ‘I think the Healey family has made quite enough of a spectacle of itself for one evening.’

Charming!

I wanted to go home. I really did. I wanted to go home, have a cup of tea, be with Jack… be with them all. But I couldn’t just abandon Mandy.

The tattoo tent—’ I started.

Oh, for goodness sake, Emma,’ said Daniel. ‘Does that really matter at a time like this? OK, I’ll take Jack and Lily home and you stay with your precious PTA.’

Before I could answer, he was gone, Jack and Lily trailing behind him. I stood there staring after them all.

Was I really that useless?

Was it really my fault?

Then I turned and walked slowly back across the playground.

A wave of noise and light almost winded me as I approached the hall. I felt exhausted, overwhelmed… helpless.

Emma. Are you OK?’ It was Paul, appearing at my side.

Not really,’ I said. I didn’t even have the energy to pretend that everything was all right.

Yeah, I saw you come out with Jack,’ said Paul. ‘I was going to come over but then Dan pitched up. Where are they all now?’

Gone home,’ I said. ‘I’ve got to stay and do the bloody tattoos.’

No, you don’t,’ said Paul. ‘Mandy will understand. Oh, Emma, love, you’re shaking. Come here.’

He pulled me into his arms. It was a friendly, comforting hug rather than anything else but suddenly I was weeping against his shoulder.

Oh God, I’m so bloody useless,’ I sobbed. ‘I’m a terrible mother.’

I felt Paul smile against my hair. ‘No, you’re not,’ he said. ‘You’re a lovely mum.’

I’m bloody not. I have no idea what do to when Jack gets like that.’

Paul stroked my hair. ‘That’s because it’s hard,’ he said.

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About the Author

Kirsten has a background in advertising and now runs her own consultancy specialising in psychological interviewing and focus groups. Over the past 25 years, she has interviewed the Great British public on everything from Rolos to razors and vacuums to Viagra.

Kirsten is married with a son and a daughter and two exceptionally fluffy moggies. She is a keen amateur archaeologist and loves to spend her weekends hacking through the mud on a local Roman dig.

She is also a staunch supporter of Wycombe Wanderers – especially when they are winning!

Kirsten can be found on Twitter as @kirsten_hesketh

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Blog Tour Schedule

#BlogTour | The Woman In the Painting by Kerry Postle #TheWomanInThePainting #Review @kerry_postle @HQDigitalUK

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on this wonderful blog tour for; The Woman in the Painting by Kerry Postle. I can’t wait to share my review with you all, I hope you love it as much as I did.

The Woman In The Painting by Kerry Postle

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: HQ Digital

Format: ebook/paperback

Release Date: 23rd July 2020

‘She’s beautiful,’ I told him. ‘Hair like skeins of silk; deep, brown eyes that sparkle in the light like jewels; beautiful lips, deep pink, and as juicy as ripe fruit.’

Ideas rippled in the pools of his eyes. ‘I must paint her,’ he said

1508. In Rome, artists are everywhere and feted as gods. But the most celebrated amongst them, a man who can paint beauty itself, is Raphael. When he touches brush to canvas, his subjects burst to life; he takes base metal and turns it to glistening gold.

When Raphael meets Margarita Luti, a baker’s daughter, he is beguiled and inspired in equal measure. As his muse, her face becomes that of a thousand Madonnas, but it is his portraits of her which reveal his full talents – and which will become his downfall.

For Raphael is wanted for greater things than a mere baker’s daughter. He is soon promised to the niece of a cardinal, a man upon whose connections and commissions the artist’s future relies. Without his good will, Raphael will be ruined.

Raphael must make a choice between his love for Margarita and his future as an artist – a choice that will have devastating consequences.

Inspired by a heartbreaking true story, this stunning and evocative novel is perfect for fans of Debbie Rix, Kate Furnivall and Dinah Jefferies.

***

After reading the previous by Kerry Postle, I was really looking forward to reading this one and I can happily say, I was not disappointed. It was a little slow-paced for my liking, there are long-winded chapters that did carry on a little too much, which I think could have been shorter and still told the overall story, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Set in 1508; the Italian Renaissance is in full swing, artists are revered and loved by all this tells the story of maybe not as a well-known artist, but one of the very best; Raphael, a man whom people think has been touched by God himself for the beauty he creates on the canvas. When Raphael meets alluring and utterly beautiful Margarita, the daughter of a baker he is enthralled and transfixed by her, she becomes his muse and also his downfall. He may love her dearly but a mere bakers daughter isn’t good enough for the likes of the great Raphael as he is promised to another, a woman he doesn’t want but a woman who has the connections that any artist needs in this era to be able to further his career.

But will he give up the woman he loves his human heart or will his artist’s one win and he does as expected of him?

I learned so much about Italian art from this, I have read a few other stories that feature Italian artist’s from the Renaissance, so I had heard of the artist mentioned in this book. I loved this is inspired by the true love story of Raphael and Margarita, their story was one of love, passion and heartbreak. It is obvious from reading this, that this story and the history is a real love of Kerry’s, her passion for those Renaissance artists shines through, the research and attention to detail are fabulous it’s clear and vivid. But more than that, after reading this it does leave you intrigued by the artwork mentioned.

I was intrigued by the sound of this as soon as I read the back blurb, I am fascinated with this era there is something about Italian history that really pulls you in and captures the attention. This is a beautifully poignant and compelling book that will leave the reader feeling all the love of any Renaissance artist.

This was an arc copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour.

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About the Author

Kerry loves art, history and literature.

In her debut novel, ‘The Artist’s Muse’, she explores the artist Egon Schiele’s relationship with his model Wally Neuzil and shows that it isn’t only Schiele’s paintings of Wally that shimmer and shock.

Kerry’s second novel, ‘A Forbidden Love’, is set during the Spanish Civil War and tells a rousing and ultimately uplifting story: that when war has taken everything away from us we are still left with our humanity.

With the author’s third novel, ‘The Woman in the Painting’, she returns to the world of art. Set in Rome at the start of the 16th century the author shares with us the heartbreaking story behind the artist Raphael’s portrait of his lover, Margarita Luti. Known as ‘The Baker’s Daughter’, this portrait hides a secret…

For more about Kerry Postle visit; http://frockfriday.co.uk/

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Blog Tour Schedule

#BlogTour | These Lost and Broken Things by Helen Fields #TheseLostAndBrokenThings #LoveBookTours @Helen_Fields @Lovebooksgroup

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Hello, Sunshines, I have the massive pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; These Lost and Broken Things by Helen Fields. I am super excited to be sharing my review of this astounding book with you all. So grab that cuppa, take a seat and enjoy!

These Lost and Broken Things by Helen Fields

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Wailing Banshee

Format: ebook/paperback

Girl. Mother. Assassin.

How dangerous is a woman with nothing left to lose?

The year is 1905. London is a playground for the rich and a death trap for the poor. When Sofia Logan’s husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her penniless with two young children, she knows she will do anything to keep them from the workhouse. But can she bring herself to murder? Even if she has done it before…

Emmet Vinsant, wealthy industrialist, offers Sofia a job in one of his gaming houses. He knows more about Sofia’s past than he has revealed. Brought up as part of a travelling fair, she’s an expert at counting cards and spotting cheats, and Vinsant puts her talents to good use. His demands on her grow until she finds herself with blood on her hands.

Set against the backdrop of the Suffragette protests, with industry-changing the face of the city but disease still rampant, and poverty the greatest threat of all, every decision you make is life or death. Either yours or someone else’s. Read best-selling crime writer Helen Fields’ first explosive historical thriller.

Goodreads / Amazon

 

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I cannot put into words how much I loved this book, I loved every single moment, from the back blurb I was instantly fascinated but the moment I started reading, those first few pages had me gripped, I went flying through the pages devouring every word with greed. I was hooked like a fish on a line with Sofia and her sad and sorry tale of hardship and turmoil.

I have always been a fan of darker and gritter historical’s add-in that it is set in one of my favourite era’s; the late Victorian/Edwardian with a backdrop of the women’s rights movement; the Suffragette’s March. Plus, it really shows just how far a woman will go to protect her children when she has nothing left.

Full disclosure that I hadn’t read anything by Helen Fields before, I have heard so many great things about her work though and I know for a fact that after reading this amazing book, I will be reading more from her – maybe this is the time I started delving back into crime thrillers?

The story opens when Sofia is a mere child of twelve who sneaks away from her camp to play a few rounds of cards, something she is rather good at, even at this young age she is a brilliant card counter. Unfortunately, her plan goes wrong, and in that moment her life changes forever. Faster forward to 1905 where she is happily married to the man she did love, with two little children, lives isn’t perfect but at least she always thought she would have her husband; Tom by her side, until he passes away and she is left destitute facing the dreaded workhouse.

You really get a sense of just how hopeless she sees life to be, she has lost everything but the clothes on her back and her children, but would she still have those if she stepped foot into the workhouse, an awful place of death and decease? She finds herself rescued again by a man who wants more from her than she initially thought, but how far will he push her and what exactly will she do to keep her children safe?

This book really tugs at the heart-strings at times, Sofia is a complex and troubled young woman, she starts of hugely naïve, she is vulnerable and fragile throughout and I suspect there is a serious and deeply ingrained mental health illness something which is lurking just beneath the surface and when it shows itself it is as though Sofia is a completely different person. It is in those moments when her ‘other self’ appears where the story takes a real darker and uglier turn, she isn’t the faithful wife and devoted mother, she is something else altogether. I have to say that her split personality is so brilliantly written, there are some moments where I genuinely felt goose-bumps.

I cannot say a single negative word about this, it has so much to love; gripping, atmospheric and complex storyline. This is captivating and riveting, the writing is flawless, its full of gritty and richly layered detail that will knock your socks off.

This really is an absolutely amazing book, and I can’t wait to read more from Helen Fields.

This was a complimentary copy from the author, which I voluntarily reviewed as apart of this blog tour. Thank you, Helen and Kelly, from Love Books.

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About the Author

An international and Amazon #1 best-selling author, Helen is a former criminal and family law barrister. Every book in the Callanach series claimed an Amazon #1 bestseller flag. Her next book, the sixth in the series, ‘Perfect Kill’ is due out on 6 February 2020. Helen also writes as HS Chandler, and last year released legal thriller ‘Degrees of Guilt’. Her previous audiobook ‘Perfect Crime’ knocked Michelle Obama off the #1 spot. Translated into 15 languages, and also selling in the USA, Canada & Australasia, Helen’s books have won global recognition. Her first historical thriller ‘These Lost & Broken Things’ comes out in May 2020. A further standalone thriller published by HarperCollins will come soon. She currently commutes between Hampshire, Scotland and California, where she lives with her husband and three children.

Helen can be found on Twitter @Helen_Fields for up to date news and information or at www.helenfields.co.uk.

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Blog Tour Schedule

#BlogTour | Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten #Tsarina #Review #RandomThingsTours @EAlpsten_Author @annecarter

Posted on

Hello, Sunshines, I hope you are all well? I have the massive pleasure to be today’s stop on this amazing blog tour for; Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten, I am super excited to be sharing my review of this amazing book with you all. As always grab that cuppa, take a seat and enjoy!

Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

Format: ebook/paperback/audio

Spring 1699: Illegitimate, destitute and strikingly beautiful, Marta has survived the brutal Russian winter in her remote Baltic village. Sold by her family into household labour at the age of fifteen, Marta survives by committing a crime that will force her to go on the run.

A world away, Russia’s young ruler, Tsar Peter I, passionate and iron-willed, has a vision for transforming the traditionalist Tsardom of Russia into a modern, Western empire. Countless lives will be lost in the process.

Falling prey to the Great Northern War, Marta cheats death at every turn, finding work as a washerwoman at a battle camp. One night at a celebration, she encounters Peter the Great. Relying on her wits and her formidable courage, and fuelled by ambition, desire and the sheer will to live, Marta will become Catherine I of Russia. But her rise to the top is ridden with peril; how long will she survive the machinations of Peter’s court, and more importantly, Peter himself?

Amazon

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Praise

‘This is the ultimate Cinderella story of an illiterate peasant girl who becomes the empress of Russia. It makes Game of Thrones look like a nursery rhyme’ Daisy Goodwin

‘Ellen Apsten’s Tsarina brings to life the dramatic life of Catherine I, wife of Peter the Great, and afterwards Empress of Russia in her own right. She recounts this remarkable woman’s colourful life and times in the form of a novel, drawing however throughout on documentary evidence – this proves a highly effective approach’ Nikolai Tolstoy

‘ Tsarina should come with a health warning- once you start reading, it’s impossible to stop’ Hannah Rothschild, author of The Improbability of Love

***

OMG, this is so bloody amazing!!

I am blown away by the quality of this book, this is never a debut, surely someone is lying to me?? This book has pure intoxicating, indulgent class written all over it. It’s a fascinating, dark tale of a woman so few of heard of – I do count myself in that category. It’s a captivating mix of compelling history, sex, violence and the wonderful story of a woman who was an essential part of history, a woman who fought to gain her place and the respect she deserved.

I am astounded that I had never heard of Catherine I of Russia before now, which strikes me as not just amazing that this brilliantly intelligent and ruthless woman appears to have disappeared from history but also that those might women who came after her; such as the legendary Catherine the great have a lot to thank Catherine I for. She was an extraordinarily cunning, intelligent and determined woman who will do everything she can to keep her place. I really admire Catherine – whose birth name was Marta – she came from humble origins, illegitimate and tough she is sold off by her family and she then was passed from pillar to post; used, violated, humiliated and abused until finally catching the eye of Tsar Peter. Which is not surprising as Marta was an incredible young woman, she was a born survivor, beautiful and alluring with a keen wit. They share a long marriage of ups and downs and lots and lots of sex, he isn’t the perfect husband anything but he is prone to quite shocking behaviour but she keeps her head high and fights to keep her place right up to and after his death she is a strong woman and I do hugely admire her.

As well as being a dramatic and brilliantly vivid tale of danger and hardship this really shows just how debauched the Russian aristocratic court was… My goodness, it’s hot and steamy and quite shocking, there a lot of romping around the bed-chamber – Ouh la la, who knew that the Russian court could be so hot and lustful? It actually reminds me of a mixture of the tv series’ Versailles, The Tudors and The Devil’s Whore, if you’ve watched any you will have an inkling what I mean by sex-mad aristocrats.

It isn’t the easiest of reads, at times it can be uncomfortable and there are some truly harrowing and shocking moments, which are all the more disturbing and uncomfortable to read because this is based on a true story and the abuses, the violence the manipulations all most like did happen which again is shocking.

An advisory note, even if you love your historical fiction do be prepared for some scenes that are uncomfortable but essential to the entirety of the story. If you are of a more sensitive disposition then this may not be the best book, personally, I think it’s utterly amazing, easily one of the best of the years but I have always preferred my historical’s to have a darker feel to them. All I am saying is just take heed because I can guarantee that once you do start reading you won’t be able to stop, it consumes you, it pulls you into the dark, vodka-soaked and turbulent world of the Russian court.

This is thought-provoking, richly textured and enthralling tale of the strength and lengths a woman will go to survive, I cannot recommend this enough.

This was a complimentary copy which I voluntarily reviewed as a part of this blog tour.

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About the Author

Ellen Alpsten was born and raised in the Kenyan highlands, before attending L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. Whilst studying for her Msc in PPE she won the Grande École short story competition with her novella Meeting Mr. Gandhi and was encouraged to continue writing. Upon graduating, she worked as a producer and presenter for Bloomberg TV in London. She contributes to international publications such as Vogue, Standpoint and Conde Nast Traveller. Tsarina is her first novel. She lives in London with her husband and three children.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Do check out the amazing blogs that are participating in this blog tour, and show them some blog love.

#Review | The French Wife by Dinah Costeloe #TheFrenchWife @Dineycost @HoZ_Books

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Hello Sunshines, I hope everyone is safe and well?! I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the charming book with you all today; The French Wife by Dinah Costeloe. This review goes hand in hand with my blog tour post from last week, I was supposed to review this as apart of the blog tour, but as we all know one thing leads to another and we fall behind…..Oops! So, here it is ridiculously late, sorry! I hope you all enjoy it!

The French Wife by Dinah Costeloe

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Format: ebook/audio/paperback

Love, secrets and danger abound in the new historical novel from bestselling author Diney Costeloe, set in 19th-century France.

As the St Clair family prepare for the grand wedding of their daughter, Clarice, trouble is brewing. An old friendship, a new love and a dangerous secret threaten to destroy the life the St Clairs have built.

Their younger daughter, Hélène, became friends with orphaned Annette during the terrible events of the 1871 siege of Paris. Now they are reunited, with Annette working below stairs for Hélène’s parents. But she is hiding a dangerous secret, which Hélène has promised to keep at all costs.

Meanwhile, Hélène has begun to fall in love with a young nobleman from England, whose family has plans which do not include their son choosing a French wife.

Amazon

***

This is a beautiful, evocative and gripping story that really grabs the readers attention and carries them away on a magical carpet of captivating bliss.

This is the sequel to; The Children of The Siege, which I haven’t read and to be honest I didn’t even realise it was a sequel. Yes, I know, that it says it clearly in the back blurb, but I have said it before and I will say it again; I do walk around with my eyes shut – no wonder I am always bumping into things 😉 – anyhow, to say that this is a sequel I wouldn’t have guessed it, I saw this as a stand-alone, it reads like a stand-alone so if you are like me who does jump in first without properly reading the blurb then I can guarantee you don’t have to read the first book.

What really struck me about this is that it isn’t just your run-of-the-mill historical, there is a lot of depth. There is a lot of feelings, a lot of emotion. There are some pretty taboo subjects such as mental health illness, rape and abuse. For those who know me, will most likely know that Mental Health awareness is very close to my heart and I am always seeking out a book that has it apart of the story in some way, especially when it is written with such care and beautiful sensitivity as it is here. Some may not like hose aspects included in what is essentially a very simplistic and elegant story, but I beg to differ. These subjects no matter how unsettling and as sad and hard it is to read, need to be apart of our stories now.

I completely got behind the characters, each of the women brought something different to the story. The shining star of the book isn’t the characters are the beautiful engaging plot, it is the attention to detail. Every single scene is sprinkled with perfect historical detail and great depth which makes you feel as though you are living and breathing the era. The clothes, the rooms, gardens even the characters personalities are so perfectly written.

This is the first I have read by Dinah Costeloe, how many times have I said that over the last few weeks? And I can say without a doubt, that it certainly will not be the last. I thoroughly enjoyed her elegant and timeless graceful writing, the attention to historical detail is rich and vivid you can almost smell the French air and envisage every scene. Anyone who follows the blog will know that I am one of those readers who like a lot of historical facts and history, I love to be bombarded with the small details that really create a picture in my mind and this is right up there with some of the best.

I just want to make a brief apology to Dinah and the team over at for not posting this review on my day of this amazing blog tour. I think many will agree with me when I say the last few weeks/months have been a bit on the weird side and I’m afraid I have let things slide a little and now I am drastically playing catch up.

So, for all those who missed out on the blog tour, why not check out each of these amazing blogs which participated in this tour and show them some love?

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About the Author

Diney Costeloe is the author of twenty-three novels, several short stories, and many articles and poems. She has three children and seven grandchildren, so when she isn’t writing, she’s busy with family. She and her husband divide their time between Somerset and West Cork.

Website / Twitter / Facebook

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Publisher Details

Website: www.headofzeus.com

Twitter: @HoZ_Books

Facebook: @headofzeus

Instagram: @headofzeus

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Blog Tour Schedule

I just want to make a brief apology to Dinah and the team over at Head of Zeus for not posting this review on my day of this amazing blog tour. I think many will agree with me when I say the last few weeks/months have been a bit on the weird side and I’m afraid I have let things slide a little and now I am drastically playing catch up.

So, for all those who missed out on the blog tour, why not check out each of these amazing blogs which participated in this tour and show them some love?

#BlogTour | Someday In Paris by Olivia Lara #SomedayInParis #Review #Excerpt @olilara_writes @Aria_Fiction

Posted on Updated on

Hello, Sunshines, I hope you are all safe and well? I have the massive pleasure to be today’s stop of this fabulous blog tour for one of the most romantic and magical books I have ever read; Someday In Paris by Olivia Lara. Not only will I be sharing my babbled review for you all to plough through, but I also have an exclusive excerpt which I hope will make you love this book as much I do. So grab that cuppa and biscuits (you will need them) and enjoy!

Someday In Paris by Olivia Lara

Genre: Historical/Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Aria

Format: Ebook

‘An epic, sweeping romance … Timeless yet completely original’ Holly Miller.

Finding the one is only the beginning…

1954. Zara is fifteen the first time she meets Leon. During a power cut in a small French museum, the two spend one short hour in the dark talking about their love for art, Monet and Paris. Neither knows what the other looks like. Both know their lives will never be the same.

1963. In Paris, Leon no longer believes he will ever find the girl he lost that night. After dreaming about him for years, Zara thinks she has already found him. When they meet at an exhibition, they don’t recognise each other – yet the way they feel is so familiar…

Over the course of twenty years, Zara and Leon are destined to fall in love again and again. But will they ever find a way to be together?

‘It’s about dreams and taking chances. Missed opportunities and mistakes. Loss and sacrifice. But above all, it is about love. The kind of love that survives time, distance… even death. The kind of love I wish for you.’

A magical new love story about star-crossed lovers, perfect for hopeless romantics and fans of One Day and The Notebook.

Amazon / Kobo / Google Play 

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What people are saying about; Someday in Paris

‘I absolutely adored this book and stayed up late at night to finish it!! I couldn’t put it down. This was a truly epic love story’ Goodreads reviewer 

‘Magical, all-encompassing and timeless; an unforgettable romance’ NetGalley reviewer 

‘Without question 5.0 Exquisite Stars!! There are not enough magical adjectives to describe the beauty of this story!! Someday in Paris moved me beyond words and to quite a few tears’ Goodreads reviewer

‘Some books leave you a print in your heart which make them difficult to forget … Emotive, sweet and unforgettable … The most beautiful book I’ve read in a while!’ NetGalley reviewer 

‘This is a book for hopeless romantics, for those who dare to dream, and for those who believe in true love everlasting … I could not put it down’ Goodreads reviewer 

‘This book left me speechless. I haven’t read such an amazing story in a long time’ Goodreads reviewer 

‘I absolutely loved this book … The story kept me hanging on and reading late into the night’ Goodreads reviewer 

***

Exclusive Excerpt

So, you like Monet?’

I don’t know anything about Monet.’

Why do you have the book then? Do you like art?’

I like Bartholdi and Viollet-le-Duc if that counts.’

Never heard of them,’ the boy said in a low, timid voice.

I’m not surprised. They’re not as famous as painters are, for instance.’

Yes, I love painters. Well, I mean I love paintings. Mostly by Monet. I like Cezanne too. Degas, sometimes. Pissarro. Manet less. Renoir is okay too. And Toulouse-Lautrec—’

He spoke so fast. She stopped him. ‘Can I have it back now?’

What?’

The book.’

Oh, sorry, of course.’

Zara stretched out her arms just a bit and felt the edges of the book. He let go of it.

Thank you,’ she said. ‘You’re not from around here, are you? Your accent—’

I’m from New York. But I go to school in Switzerland.’

Apart from Paris, New York was her favorite city in the whole world even if, just like Paris, she had never seen it. She knew everything about it. New York was every artist’s dream. The skyscrapers, the fantastic architecture, the bridges, the statues, the parks. She had read many books about the city and even more about the statue.

You’re lucky. I’ve always wanted to visit New York. Maybe one day. I’m fascinated with Liberty Enlightening the World,’ she said in one breath.

Enlightening what?’ he asked tentatively.

The statue. The Statue of Liberty. That’s what it was initially called. Did you know the mastermind behind it lived here, in Colmar? The old town is filled with his sculptures and fountains. They’re magnificent.’

No, I didn’t know that,’ he said.

Yes, Colmar is not just a pretty small town on the Alsatian wine route. But let’s keep it between us because if word gets out, this place will be swarming with tourists.’

He chuckled, and her heart fluttered. She tried imagining what the face of a boy with such beautiful laughter looked like. She wondered if you could like someone without seeing them, without knowing anything about them. There was something about him. Something that made her feel things she’d never felt before.

Too late. I’m a tourist, so your secret is out. Tell me about this man who built the statue.’

He didn’t build it; he designed it. You know who built it? Gustave Eiffel, the same man who made the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Don’t feel bad, not a lot of people know this.’

But you do,’ he said. ‘Hey, you never answered my question.’

What question?’

The painting. Is it here?’

I’m afraid not,’ she said. ‘In Paris, perhaps. Like I said, I am not that good with—’

Paintings,’ he said and chuckled. ‘Apparently neither am I.’ He sounded disappointed. ‘Well, at least I tried.’

Did you come all the way from Switzerland for this? What’s so special about it?’ Maybe there was something about Impression, Sunrise that would explain her dream.

It belongs to my family.’

Really? Then how come you don’t know where it is?’

It’s complicated.’

My mother says that everything worthwhile is at least a little bit complicated. Besides, I’m in no rush. Tell me,’ she said, sitting on the floor next to him.

She forgot about the watchdog, about getting caught. It didn’t seem to matter anymore.

Alright then. Claude Monet made four identical Impression, Sunrise paintings. One he signed, the other three he kept secret and gave to his closest friends – among them, my great-grandfather. Years later, during World War II, the painting was stolen from our family’s house in Newport.’

And someone told you it might be in Colmar?’ asked Zara.

Not exactly. No. I just – I felt I had to come here. Not sure why. I saw the signs pointing to the museum, and here I am.’

I’m sorry you didn’t find what you were looking for,’ she said.

I…’ Silence.

Yes?’

*This excerpt was used with permission from the publisher as apart of this blog tour post.

***

I cannot express just how breathtakingly beautiful this is!!

If I was one of those reviewers who rated books then this wouldn’t be a mere five stars, this would easily be a ten-star book. Honestly, there aren’t enough words to fully describe just how beautiful this is; it’s incredibly moving, magical, unforgettable, enchanting, full of everlasting love.

…nothing is more important than love. In all shapes and forms, at all ages and no matter what the ending. Love is the destination, the journey. Love is the reason.

Is that one of the most beautiful quotes, or what?

Believe me, this perfect book is full of positive and powerful ‘it’s all about love’ moment that I could weep…something I did more than once while reading this, it does turn you into a human watering can at times.

Easily one of the most romantic books I have read, it settles itself into your heart and refuses to leave, this is a book that will be talked about, read and loved for many, many years to come. If you love ‘The Notebook’ then this is the book you absolutely need to read, it feels like I have been apart of something very special by being apart of this blog tour and having the opportunity to review this exquisite book, it leaves its mark on every reader who dares to open the first page.

I do realise that I am waffling and this review will probably make no sense at all, but my thoughts are so scrambled, I want to say so much about this, yet my brain won’t connect with my fingers on the keyboard and they are just typing nonsensical waffle.

Honestly, I best actually say something about the story instead of fulling this review with lots of heartfelt gushing.

The story opens to an old lady who has ‘dreams’ telling her granddaughter a very special story, as she tells the story we are whisked back in time where we meet Zara and Leon; two teenagers share a love of art and who after spending a power cut they are torn apart by circumstances and over the course of twenty years they become entwined in what I think is one of the greatest new love stories on the time; one of which is full of missed chances, hope, loss, sadness, laughter, joy and of course love.

I absolutely adored every aspect of this book, I loved the beautifully poignant plot which swept me away, the characters are perfect the love that swirls around Zara and Leon is magical, they are instantly likeable and you know from the moment of meeting them that they will take you on a memorable journey. The setting of Paris the most romantic city in the world and the intricately entwined love of art is the perfect backdrop to this epic love story and it makes you dream of Paris, I do have a real soft spot for Paris as it is; even though I have never stepped foot there I have this pull towards this beautiful and historic city which made reading this book even more special.

This book is like a rare gift to every romantic heart who craves a true, unquestionable love story, Olivia Lara I want to hug you, bow down to you and thank you for bringing such a joyously beautiful and memorable story to the world.

I am astounded that this is Olivia’s debut book, this is amazing! I can see a hugely successful writing career spanning out into the future for her and I cannot wait to see what comes next.

It’s a timeless classic! – there isn’t any more I can say, it really is a beautiful, heartbreaking love story that will forever stay lodged inside my romantic heart.

I have to say a huge thank you to the Aria team for allowing me to be apart of this blog tour and to Olivia just for writing this spell-binding book.

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About the Author

Olivia’s love for words started as a child when she spent all her summer vacations watching her grandfather, who worked for the biggest publishing house in Romania, edit hundreds of books. She is a former investigative journalist for a newspaper and a television network in Romania, now a Marketing Director in Silicon Valley – in between she lived in Paris where her love for the Alsace region was born.

Follow Olivia

Twitter: @olilara_writes / Facebook: @olivialaraauthor

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Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.comTwitter: @Aria_Fiction / Facebook: @ariafiction / Instagram: @ariafiction

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Blog Tour Schedule

Do go and visit the amazing blogs participating in this tour and show them some love.