ChocLit

#Review | Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop by Hannah Pearl #DaisysChristmasGiftShop @HannahPearl_1 @RubyFiction @ChocLituk

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Hellooo Sunshine’s, I have the huge pleasure to be featuring this fabulously festive book with your all today, I can’t wait to share my review of; Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop by Hannah Pearl. So grab your mulled wine, a gingerbread man and enjoy.

Struggling to find the perfect Christmas gift? Step into Romantic Daze …

Daisy Kirk is a sucker for a love story, which is why she opened up her gift shop – because there’s nothing that makes Daisy happier than when she’s helped a customer achieve their own ‘happily ever after’ by finding the perfect Christmas gift for their loved one. And she absolutely does not just sell ‘soppy presents and frilly pants’ as her brother’s infuriating best friend, Eli, is so fond of suggesting.

The sad fact is that whilst Daisy is helping others with their love lives, hers is non-existent. But when unusual circumstances take Daisy and Eli on a road trip from London to rural Wales, will she finally get the happily ever after to her own Christmas love story?

I adore this! It is so heart-warming, it’s like being wrapped in a huge comforting bear hug. I did think that this would be a very sweet, run of the mill Christmassy romance where two warring factions finally get together, not that, that is a bad thing, I do love a cosy festive romance – I may not particularly like Christmas too much, but Christmas stories are my Achilles heel, I love them whether they are sweet or surprising and this is definitely the latter. It is far more then what you originally presume it to be, I loved that surprise slightly quirky twist, you do sit up and go; “Did that really happen?” which makes you fly through the rest of the book at lightning speed, yearning to know what happens.

This is only my second book by Hannah Pearl, having loved the first book I was excited to read more of Hannah’s work, I love her fun, original and classically romantic style which keeps the reader turning the pages, and this did not disappoint.

I really, really liked Daisy, she is a sweet unassuming character, she sees life in black and white. She broke my heart at times with her innocence, there is something very real about her, she is life long romantic who loves a good love story, plus she loves to help people who come into her little gift shop to find that one perfect item and to help them on their way to their own fairy-tale love story. But as much as she may love romance and happily ever after, she never has had one of her own and this is one of the things that I do like about Daisy she may have her head in the fluffy true love clouds, but deep down she is a realist. She has lived her life thinking she isn’t going to have her happily ever after, not when the man she has loved since she was a child doesn’t love her. She had on night of passion with gorgeous Eli, before he then moved away and made a life and a rather notorious name for himself, since he has proven time and time again that there is nothing between them, he is a playboy, an adventurer, he doesn’t want to settle down into an everyday real bliss. But when something happens, and even that makes them come together on a road trip that could change them both.

I love the character’s they are all so different, yet they really gel together, there may be animosity but there is love and friendship too. The relationships between daisy and the other character’s are beautifully written, Daisy and her brother Ben are like all siblings they love one and other and want the best for each other, yet they do know the way under the other’s skin. I love the friendship between Daisy and her best friend Lily, theirs is a friendship we all need in our life, there is an unbreakable bond between these two women, they know each other inside out and are always there.

Overall a wonderfully tender and exciting romance, that will take the reader on a surprising adventure, one that is full of friendship, loyalty, love, positivity and wrapped up with a charming festive bow.

This was an Arc copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you, Liz. Xx

Daisy’s Christmas Gift Shop is available now and do go and grab a copy.

#Review | Happy Christmas Eve by Jackie Ladbury #HappyChristmasEve @ChocLituk @RubyFiction @JackieLadbury

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Hellooo my friends, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this wonderful new Christmas book; Happy Christmas Eve by Jackie Ladbury. So grab a cuppa…and a sausage roll, or two and enjoy!

All I want for Christmas is you … or you?

Eve Halligan is back in her hometown for Christmas after a whirlwind few years touring with her band, the Molotovs. A lot has changed since she left, but two things have stayed the same. One: Eve is head-over-heels in love with Lucien Malikov, the Molotovs’ bad boy lead singer. Two: Lucien is completely indifferent to her.

Still, Eve dreams that this could be the Christmas where she convinces Lucien that they’re made for each other. But when childhood friend and local caterer Theo Wright comes back into her life bringing with him festive cupcake and sausage roll conundrums, Eve begins to question whether her Christmas dreams have been wasted on the wrong man …

I love a feel-good Christmas romance, and this is just perfect for those colder, chilly nights wrapped in a blanket with your fluffy socks on. It is pure festive joy; fun, charming, cheery and a very delicious romance, everything you would want from a Christmas book is right here….it even has sausage rolls, who doesn’t love a sausage roll at Christmas…or any time of the year? Yes, I am afraid to say that Jackie Ladbury did have me hooked from the moment a sausage roll making gorgeous guy was mentioned.

Eve is back home after years on the road with her band; the Molotov’s – well, when I say her band she is more like a roadie than a participating band member, she is in her own right a brilliant singer, songwriter and guitarist yet the bands lead; ridiculously arrogant and vain Lucien does push her into the background, Eve may like him and think that the sun shines when he is around but personally I thought he was a bit of a pillock and did take against him from the off, which I have to congratulate Jackie Ladbury for that brilliant piece of writing. Anyway, our Eve she has been infatuated with him since they were children, so when he asked her to tour with him and be his singer she literally jumped at the chance – unfortunately for Eve she soon learned that he didn’t want anyone to take the limelight from him so she became a basic dog’s body.

Once back home for Christmas she did hope that things would change and Lucien would change and start to see and treat as in the way she would like – really Eve, haven’t you heard that Leopards never change their spots, and this leopard is well and truly stuck in his, well that is until he realises there is competing for lovely Eve’s attention in the form of delicious and kind; Theo – ahhh, Theo – be still my beating heart!!

Theo is another of their childhood friends, whereas Lucien wants to be this hugely loved internationally adored pop star; our Theo is more than happy in the kitchen baking some delicious treat’s, yet he has made a name for himself and his catering business has soured and now they are all back together – in some sort of fashion. Now there are two men in Eve’s life, two completely different men; one is charming, natural, kind and actually see’s her as a person and the other is a notorious playboy, a rogue, charming yet arrogant and only interested because someone else is, but which one will sweep her off her feet and make this Christmas the best yet? I can tell you which one I was cheering on and for once it wasn’t the bad boy if a man-made me sausage rolls he would have my heart for life 😉

Well, I ain’t going to tell you, you’re going to have to read for yourselves! I’ll just say that this, I loved the journey Eve goes on to have her perfect Christmas, she has difficult choices to make. If you love your sweet, heart-warming and very festive romances then this is a perfect read, even if you don’t then I definitely recommend you give it a go. It is one of those stories that you will pull off the shelf every Christmas, I know that it will be one which I will be re-reading again.

This was an Arc copy from the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Liz. Xx

Happy Christmas Eve is available now and can be found at Amazon.

#Review | Reach For The Star by Kathryn Freeman #ReachForTheStar @KathrynFreeman1 @ChocLituk

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Hello my lovelies, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of this wonderfully starry new book; Reach For The Star by Kathryn Freeman, as always take a seat, grab a cuppa and a snack of your choice and enjoy.

What if your dreams were so close you could reach out and touch them?

How could anyone resist Michael Tennant, with his hypnotic blue eyes and voice like molten chocolate? Jessie Simmons certainly can’t. But Jessie’s a single mum who can’t sing to save her life – there’s no way she’ll ever cross paths with the star tenor.

A least that’s what she thinks until she’s unexpectedly invited to take part in a new reality TV show. The Premise? Professional singers teach hopeless amateurs how to sing. The surprise? Jessie’s partner is none other than Michael Tennant!

As she becomes better acquainted with the man behind the voice, will Jessie find out the hard way that you should never meet your idols? Or will she get more than she bargained for?

Have you ever had a serious crush on a celebrity than you literally dream and fantasise about them on a daily basis? Come admit it, we have all done it, lets all stand up and admit it. I will be the first to hold up my hand, I think everyone on the planet knows about my love of a certain Tom Hardy…sigh! So you have a wee inkling of how Jessie feels about charismatic crooner Michael Tennant, but just imagine actually meeting and then working along side your hearts crush on tv, I know it blows the mind, doesn’t it, but this is what happens to Jessie and what follows is a heart-warming, funny and delightfully romantic story about an everyday woman next door who does reach for the stars.

I adored the premise of this as soon as I read the blurb, having read Kathryn’s previous book; Crikey, A Bodyguard! I knew that this was going to be a real treat and I wasn’t wrong, this is the perfect escapism read, I love that it’s leading couple aren’t young twenty-somethings, but it has mature character’s who have real life issues and whom the reader can easily relate to, and personally I was willing Jessie on and so wanted her to find what she had been looking for.

Jessie Simmons is your run of the mill single, working mum of two. She goes to work cares for her children and goes around life doing exactly what she is supposed to do, putting everyone else first. Jessie deep down wants more, she wants excitement and love in her life, from the first few pages in I had a sense that Jessie is lonely, she wants someone in her life, someone other then two cheeky, boisterous boys, so she does what so many of us do she allows her mind to wander into her own secret fantasy world which is all about her not-so-secret crush, the fabulous and ridiculously attractive singer; Michael Tennant. Jessie is more then happy to daydream and fantasise about that gorgeous man, only her two children soon take matters into their own hands and with one letter to a TV show her life turns around and changes.

The little tykes have only gone and entered her into a reality show, where an enthusiastic amateur is partnered up with a professional musician, which later sees her partnered with none other then the man of her dreams; Michael Tennant. Oooh, any bets on Jessie being a little bit star struck?

Michael Tennant is a fabulous character, he is so different to how we first imagine him to be he isn’t a super confident and arrogant super star, he is a very down-to-earth man who hates being thrust into the limelight, he got pushed into this reality show and now he feel stuck. He is actually very closed up, he guards and protects himself from others as much as possible, he isn’t the best in social situations – in fact he is downright uncomfortable around people, which only makes you love him all the more. Being governed by an over zealous PA – who did get on my nerves a bit and really did need putting in her place. I got the feeling that he is a bit like a rabbit in head lights he is a lonely man who isn’t a fan of the lifestyle that his career has bought him. Then he meets an equally lonely woman, who not only appears to be on the show against her will but she has a passion for music.

I love them as a couple, both are from completely different worlds and there is a lot of wrangling to be able to be with each other, they are so similar in some ways and very different in others he can be shy and awkward when not on the screen, he is constantly worried about saying the wrong thing – I think we can all relate to that in some way. Whereas jessie she is just a normal woman, she is bored and lonely but she has got guts to go out and give something a go, she doesn’t intimidate she gives as good as she gets, I really think that she stole every scene she was in I was fascinated by her, she has fire beneath that mumsy persona.

I thoroughly enjoyed this, I adore Kathryn Freeman’s writing she has a great skill with drawing the reader into her world with just a few words. The story is heart-warming, original and fun, with fabulous character’s who really make the reader go through the mill, you never know where the story will take you, if Michael and Jessie will ever get together, I was engaged right to the last page.

I thoroughly enjoyable, delightful and heart-warming read and highly reccomended!

This was an Arc copy via the publisher, which I voluntarily reviewed, thank you Liz. x

#Review | Jessie’s Little Bookshop by the Sea (Tempest Sisters #3) by Kirsty Ferry #JessiesLittleBookshopByTheSea @kirsty_ferry @ChocLituk

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Hello my lovely friends, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of the gorgeous; Jessie’s Little Bookshop By The Sea by Kirsty Ferry, I will warn you that there is a fair amount of babbling within this review, but this book is just so good. So grab a cuppa and cake – your going to need it and enjoy.

Take a trip to the little bookshop by the sea …

Jessie Tempest has two main interests: reading books and selling books. Her little bookshop in the seaside town of Staithes is a cosy hideaway from the chilly Yorkshire wind, but it’s also Jessie’s sanctuary from the outside world.

When writer Miles Fareham and his son Elijah arrive to stay in the holiday apartment above the shop, it’s a test for Jessie who has always felt clueless when it comes to kids. But as she learns the story of the single father and the inquisitive eight-year-old, Jessie realises that first impressions aren’t always the right ones – and, of course, you can never judge a book by its cover!

I love, love, love this book!! My goodness I really can’t describe how much I love this book, the story is gorgeous, setting; stunning (But, I may be biased when it comes to Yorkshire) character’s are adorable, but more then that I felt a real connection to them, especially Jessie, everything about her reminded me of myself, from her little insecurities, to her passionate nature and her – shall we say loose tongue, this lass doesn’t hold back, I have literally just found myself in a book, honestly Jessie is me to a tea;

Loves, lives and breathes books. Check!

Has an aversion to kiddos. Check!

Is a little socially inept and would rather stay in the comfort of her own home with a book. Check!

Loves with a passion her home county of Yorkshire. Check!

Loves her family, even if at times they irritate the hell out of her. Check!

All I need now is a book shop and i would be living the dream 😉

Honestly, I think I best start actually talking about the book instead of concentrating on myself…..Did I mention how much I love this book? Yes, I thought I did, but it is so good I want to shout from the rooftops just how great this book is. What surprised me is that this is the third book in the Tempest Sisters series, usually by the third book in a series there are little clues that there have been previous books, but not here, I genuinely thought that this was a stand-a-lone, the writing is just so darn good. Jessie’s two sister’s are mentioned which gives us a nice little back story to Jessie which I really liked, the story really revolves around Miles and Jessie, their lives and their relationship with each other.

Set in the tiny, but cosy Yorkshire village of Staithes, Jessie Tempest owns the little bookshop which is one of the cosiest bookshops ever, with a hot drinks machine and reading corner this is just perfect. She likes to hide herself in her books and her work, the books shop really has become a sanctuary from the outside world, away from her family where she can just be herself. Not that there is anything wrong with that, she has this aversion to children, which she likes to call little beasties and fully believes that they should neither be seen nor heard – again nothing wrong with that 😉 her life is set, that is until one day she meets a tiny eight year old and his father who turn her life around.

Miles Fareham is in Staithes to research and write his latest book, but he is also there to spend some quality time with his young son Elijah, Miles is full of deep guilt that he doesn’t spend half enough time with his young son and that they are both missing out. He wants Elijah to have that so much yearned for happy family, but there are certain aspects of their story that does prevent that. I rather though that Miles is stuck in the past, and that his young inquisitive son is far more capable of moving forward and being able to see what is right in front of him far better then his father can.

I love everything about Miles and Jessie’s budding romance, how they start of on pretty negative terms, it’s actually very funny – maybe not for Jessie, but hey we all have little slips in etiquette, that soon turns into a friendship, but even though he has this bright eyed young woman in front of him , who is trying her hardest to bond with his son, Miles does have reservations, he is holding on tightly to the past. I love how they are both so encouraging with Elijah, they all bond over his reading which I thought was such a lovely touch.

I am a late arrival o the Kirsty Ferry bandwagon, having only discovered her last year, but from that first book I was completely hooked with her writing, I love her style, her books are so immersive and easy to read, this is by far my favourite I’ve read, I now need to find the other Tempest Sister’s books.

Jessie’s little book shop by the sea is just as adorable as the title hints at, it is charming, heart-warming, full of warmth that will make you smile as you read, its sweet and romantic with a touch of hope. With a darling little storyline that will keep you engaged, wonderfully multi-layered characters and the beautiful Yorkshire coast setting, this is a must read. I am completely smitten with it!

If you only read one book from now until Christmas then this is the one to read, I can guarantee you will be completely charmed.

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

Jessie’s Little Bookshop By The Sea is available now at Amazon, I cannot recommend you grab a copy.

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

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

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Home is where the heart is …

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

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

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

Chicks Rogues and Scandals Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The House That Alice Built is available now.

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

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

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

Is Paris the city of happily ever afters?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Queen of Diamonds never loses …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall, wonderfully written and a definite must read.

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

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