Book Review: Creature Comforts, by Trisha Ashley

Can Once in a Lifetime Happen Twice?

creature comforts

Fall in back in love with life in this gripping read about fate and second chances. Izzy has broken off her engagement to her feckless fiancée Kieran and returned to her childhood home – the sleepy village of Halfhidden.

She soon realizes that life in the village is anything but peaceful – for one thing she’s living with her mad aunt Debo and her pack of dogs, and for another, Izzy has a lot of unanswered questions.

When she was a teenager, Izzy was involved in a terrible accident, involving various inhabitants of Halfhidden. As she sets out to discover what actually happened on the night of the accident, she realizes that her painful past is actually standing in the way of her future happiness. So when a handsome stranger comes to Halfhidden will she let love back into her life?

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Book Review: First Time in Forever, by Sarah Morgan

Happily-Ever-After isn’t on Emily Donovan’s agenda…

first time in forever

Emily’s been too swept up in a challenging year of firsts, from becoming a stand-in mum to her niece Lizzy to moving to remote but beautiful Puffin Island, to think about love.

But that’s before charismatic local yacht club owner Ryan Cooper kisses her…

Ryan knows Emily has a complicated past that she’s struggling to face. So he makes it his mission to help her unwind and enjoy the chemistry they share.

Can the welcoming community of Puffin Island work their magic on Emily and get her to take her biggest leap of trust yet —putting her heart in someone else’s hands?

Let bestselling author Sarah Morgan whisk you away with the all new Puffin Island series!

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Book Review: Secrets of the Tower, by Debbie Rix

Two women, centuries apart, bound together by the secrets of one of the most iconic buildings ever created.


Pisa, 1999
Sam Campbell sits by her husband’s hospital bed. Far from home and her children, she must care for Michael who is recovering from a stroke. A man she loves deeply. A man who has been unfaithful to her.

Alone and in need of distraction, Sam decides to pick up Michael’s research into the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Immersing herself in the ancient city, she begins to piece together the mystery behind the creation of the tower, and discovers the woman who history forgot…

Pisa, 1171
Berta di Bernardo, the wife of a rich merchant, sits in her chamber, dressing for a dinner party. A gathering that will change the course of her life and a young master mason, Gerardo, forever.

A strong, intelligent woman, Berta’s passion for architecture also draws her closer to Gerardo. As she embarks on a love affair, her maid Aurelia also becomes spellbound by the same man. Yet for Berta, her heart’s desire is to see the Tower built, and her determination knows no bounds…

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Blog Tour Book Review & Extract: The A-Z of You and Me, by James Hannah

A comedy of errors, a tragedy of small mistakes…A to Z of you and me

Ivo fell for her.
He fell for a girl he can’t get back.
Now he’s hoping for something.
While he waits he plays a game:
He chooses a body part and tells us its link to the past he threw away.
He tells us the story of how she found him, and how he lost her.
But he doesn’t have long.
And he still has one thing left to do …


Today is my stop on The A to Z of You and Me blog tour, and I’m thrilled to be apart of it. My stop includes both a review and a cheeky extract from the book.

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Book Review: His Other Life, by Beth Thomas

The story of a couple with seemingly perfect lives…and the secrets they hide behind closed doors.

his other life

He was hiding a terrible secret . . .

Grace’s new husband Adam seems like the perfect package. Good looking, great job, completely charming – almost too good to be true . . .

So when Adam suddenly disappears from Grace’s life, she is left bewildered and heartbroken. And with a lot of unanswered questions.

As she tries desperately to find him, Grace opens a Pandora’s Box of secrets and lies – and starts to learn that Adam wasn’t so perfect after all.

What shameful secrets was her husband hiding? Is Grace in danger? And can she survive the truth? However terrible it may be . . .

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Book Review: A French Pirouette, by Jennifer Bohnet

Au revoir old life, Bonjour Brittany!

a french pirouetteParisian prima ballerina Suzette knows it’s time to hang up her pointe shoes before her next injury ruins her ankles for good. But dancing is all she’s ever known and she’s terrified of who she’ll be after that final curtain falls.

Meanwhile, lonely Londoner Libby is pouring her life savings into buying an auberge that she and her late husband had loved visiting on holiday. It’s a huge risk that could leave her broke…as well as broken-hearted.

And then there’s Brigitte who’s retired to the village for a slower pace of life, but who dreads seeing someone else run her beloved auberge.

Three fresh starts…one unforgettable summer!

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World Book Day: A Bookish Life

Happy World Book Day! Personally, I think today should be a public holiday so that we can snuggle up at home and read all day, but that’s wishful thinking I guess. It really does feel like a cause for celebration though. I’ve seen so many wonderful costumes donned today by school children, my heart swells with a strange pride for all these people I don’t even know, and I wish I was a youngster again and could get all dressed up for school (I made a mean Hermione, I tell you!). Unfortunately, my office didn’t feel entirely inclined to participate in this. Spoil sports.

Being World Book Day, I’ve found myself looking at the wonderfully bookish life I’m currently living, and how far I’ve come in the last year, and feel a surge of love and gratitude for all you beautiful, bookish folk I’ve come to know and love. So I thought I’d tell you a bit about my bookish lfe.

For me, books have been a life-long love and passion. My memory isn’t great, and even at just 24, I don’t particularly have that many memories of my childhood, but I do know I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember.

I couldn’t say if they were the first, but the earliest books I remember truly loving are Enid Blyton’s. I remember I had whole shelves lined with them, in their perfectly lovely matching hardback covers. I’d easily read at least one everyday.

I am notoriously awful at directions, as soon as I stray from the well known paths of the town I live and work in, I am lost. My older brother is the exact opposite, and I’ve long been teased about this by friends and family, sometimes feeling a little stupid and dispirited for it. When this got brought up the other day, my mum finally explained it to me: when we were growing up, as soon as we got in the car to go anyway, my brother would have his nose pressed against the window, taking note of everywhere we went; whereas the second my seatbelt clipped in, I re-opened the book I was reading, and was lost to the world again until my parents had to tell me to get out of the car, entirely oblivious to the world around me. Some things never change, for as I’ve never learnt to drive, travel time has always meant reading time to me, and sure enough the second I settle into my seat in a car, taxi or bus, I’m reading.

As soon as I started school, I took to reading like a duck to water. I remember at primary school, we had set books for each year, which were on bookcases outside that years classrooms, and we also had a wonderful library. I quickly sped through all the books for my year group and advanced to the next, and by the time I was in Year 2 (about 6 years old), I was reading the books set for Year 6, and I remember feeling so special that I was allowed to read such grown-up things. Whenever I felt I’d exhausted the yearly reading material, I could always find comfort in the library. It was a huge, light room with lots of giant, colourful animal-shaped cushions to relax and read on, and rows upon rows of bookcases. It always felt magical. When I was five or six, I was made librarian for the year, so when we all went there to take out new books, I used to check peoples books in and out for them, and help them find the ones they were looking for. When I was 14, I went back to that same school as a teaching assistant for my work experience, and I still found it just as mesmerising (even if everything felt a little smaller than it had done!).

In my early teens, I discovered my love of chick lit and romance. I’m pretty sure this was largely influenced from my now-Stepmum. I was about 11 or 12 when she and my Dad first started dating, and soon she introduced me to the likes of Sophie Kinsella and Cecelia Ahern; I don’t think I’ve ever looked back since. Books are one of the many things we’ve always bonded over, and we’ve always swapped books and recommended them to each other.

It was probably through my teens when I started having thoughts of wanting to write my own books. I’d always loved creative writing, but I think mid-teens was roughly when I started to realise it’s actually something people could do for a living, and that maybe I would love to do that. Unfortunately, I’ve never had the confidence to put my stories out there, so I’d always really found it a dead end. Even at school, whilst I loved doing creative writing assignments, I dreaded handing them over for someone to actually read. No matter how many good grades I got, that never really changed. So, I’ve stuck with reading books and letting others write them, and pushed those thoughts to the back of my head.

Until last year. So this confidence thing has caused major issues over the last few years in particular, and last year I finally decided it was time to buck up and stop holding myself back. I knew I wanted to start writing, and decided a blog was a great way to get me motivated and in contact with like-minded people. What I couldn’t possibly have foreseen, was just how much good it would do me. It quickly developed into a fully-fledged book blog, and helped me become part of the most AMAZING community I could possibly dream of. The authors, bloggers and readers I have ‘met’ feel just as much a part of my life as my friends I see day-to-day, even though I’ve never really met any of them (yet).

My love for books and reading has grown ten-fold. I’m reading more than ever and not only reading books I never would have considered before, but loving them too. Not to mention my first book is near completion. Sure, I’m still not quite ready to let anyone read it yet, but I will be, I don’t doubt that. Nothing compares to the magic of a book for me, and I want to provide people with the same wonder that other authors have given me.

Because books are magical. They provide escape in your deepest and darkest times, they offer comfort, guidance and solace, they help you to relax, to laugh or smile or cry – and all that from different patterns of 26 tiny little letters. It’s pretty amazing, huh?

So, book lovers, I’m wishing you a very happy World Book Day, and hope you’re spending it cosily snuggled up with a good book, wherever it may take you.

Signature 14 ja2

Book Review: Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery, by Jenny Colgan

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery

Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn’t be happier. Because Polly is in love: she’s in love with the beautiful seaside town she calls home, she’s in love with running the bakery on Beach Street, and she’s in love with her boyfriend, Huckle.

And yet there’s something unsettling about the gentle summer breeze that’s floating through town. Selina, recently widowed, hopes that moving to Mount Polbearne will ease her grief, but Polly has a secret that could destroy her friend’s fragile recovery. Responsibilities that Huckle thought he’d left behind are back and Polly finds it hard to cope with his increasingly long periods of absence.

Polly sifts flour, kneads dough and bakes bread, but nothing can calm the storm she knows is coming: is Polly about to lose everything she loves?

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