Book Review: How I Wonder What You Are, by Jane Lovering

Maybe he wasn’t here because of the lights – maybe they were here because of him …

how i wonder what you are

It’s been over eighteen months since Molly Gilchrist has had a man (as her best friend, Caro, is so fond of reminding her) so when she as good as stumbles upon one on the moors one bitterly cold morning, it seems like the Universe is having a laugh at her expense.

But Phinn Baxter (that’s Doctor Phinneas Baxter) is no common drunkard, as Molly is soon to discover; with a PhD in astrophysics and a tortured past that is a match for Molly’s own disastrous love life.

Finding mysterious men on the moors isn’t the weirdest thing Molly has to contend with, however. There’s also those strange lights she keeps seeing in the sky. The ones she’s only started seeing since meeting Phinn …

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Book Review: The Doris Day Vintage Film Club, by Fiona Harper

‘Sweet and romantic, a story guaranteed to have you smiling’ – Milly Johnson on The Little Shop of Hopes & Dreams

the Doris Day Vintage Film Club

Claire Bixby grew up watching Doris Day films at her grandmother’s house and yearned to live in a world like the one on the screen – sunny, colourful and where happy endings with chiselled leading men were guaranteed. But recently Claire’s opportunities for a little ‘pillow talk’ have been thin on the ground.

Until she meets mysterious Dominic. Nic is full of secrets but their connection is instant. Could he help Claire finding the Hollywood ending she’s been searching for? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…

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Book Review: The Cake Shop in the Garden, by Carole Matthews

The Cake Shop in the Garden

Fay Merryweather runs her cake shop from her beautiful garden. She whips up airy sponges and scrumptious scones, while her customers enjoy the lovely blossoms and gorgeous blooms. Looking after the cake shop, the garden and her cantankerous mother means Fay is always busy but she accepts her responsibilities because if she doesn’t do all this, who will?

Then Danny Wilde walks into her life and makes Fay question every decision she’s ever made. When a sudden tragedy strikes, Fay’s entire world is thrown off balance even further and she doesn’t know which way to turn.

Can Fay find the strength to make a life-changing decision – even if it means giving up the thing she loves the most?

Life, love and family are about to collide in The Cake Shop in the Garden.

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Rebecca Raisin Valentines Interview

Rebecca Raisin is joining me today for a love-themed interview as part of my Valentines celebrations! Rebecca’s Gingerbread Cafe books are some of the loveliest, sweetest books I read last year, and I can’t wait for her to release Secrets at the Maple Syrup Farm next month!

  • What’s your dream date?
    Hmmm, good question! I adore Paris, so when I think of a dream date it would have to be there! A stroll along the cobbled streets, a meander around the iconic bookshop Shakespeare and Co, before dinner somewhere romantic, and maybe a show? Just being in Paris would be gorgeous!
  • What’s the worst/most embarrassing date you’ve ever been on?
    When Ashley met me at a hotel in the City I stepped out of the elevator and strode to the busy bar where he was waiting. As I walked in, the skirt I was wearing, sort of a fancy sarong, came untied so I was standing with just my knickers on. Not cool. Not cool at all!
  • What’s your favourite Valentine’s gift you’ve ever received?
    A memorable one was Ash coming home with some gorgeous presents, and said to get dressed up because we were going out for dinner. Once I was all ready to go I walked outside to find a sparkly silver limousine parked there! We were driven up to King’s Park where you can see the view of the city at night-time and of course there was some nice cold bubbles on hand to toast with! It was a great night!
  • What’s your favourite thing about love?
    My favourite thing is having that one person who knows everything about you. They’re the first person you run to when you’re happy, sad, and everything in between. I love that, especially now that I’ve had children, to share that kind of love, like we’re a team, is really special.
  • Can you describe what love means to you in three words?
    Love is everything.
  • What is your favourite memory of your wedding day OR what would be a detail of your dream wedding?
    We’re happily living in sin, but my dream wedding would be in Vegas, being either married by Dolly Parton herself or an impersonator! I heart Dolly! And it would be so much fun!
  • What is your favourite romance novel?
    Chocolat by Joanne Harris…Roux, oh God I loved him!
  • Who is your favourite romance author?
    Kristan Higgins
  • What is your favourite romantic film?
    Love Actually
  • What inspires you to write romantic fiction?
    The happy ever after! I adore that we can write about a world where we get what we want, and while there are ups and downs, love always wins!

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Secrets at the maple syrup farm

Secrets at the Maple Syrup Farm is out next month, and you can pre-order now!

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Secrets…we all have them.

Clay’s inheritance of Maple Syrup Farm came at the perfect time. Leaving city life behind he headed for maple-tree surrounded Ashford, Connecticut. Getting the farm in working order again might be back breaking work – but it seems to be the only way for Clay to finally forget about the girl who once broke his heart…

Lucy’s had enough of rules and the stress of planning her life down to the very last detail. Looking for an adventure she stumbles upon Maple Syrup Farm and its gorgeously gruff owner. This could be the perfect place to hide out…!

But the tranquillity and warmth of Maple Tree Farm is enough to heal even the most battered of hearts. There are very few problems in life that can’t be cheered up by maple syrup!

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rebecca raisin

Rebecca writes romantic comedies for Carina UK.

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Fiona Gibson Valentines Interview

Avon UK have SPOILED us by releasing 10 gorgeous short story’s for Valentines Day!

love...maybe

I’m very excited to welcome Fiona Gibson onto the blog today. Fiona is one of Avon’s lovely romance authors, who wrote their Love…Maybe? story ‘The Valentine-Free Zone,’ The Funny One.

  • What’s your dream date?
    I was madly in love with the Brat Pack actor Andrew McCarthy all through my late teens and twenties and I still have a thing about him now. A date with Andrew would make my life complete!
  • What’s the worst/most embarrassing date you’ve ever been on?
    It was an early date with Jimmy, my husband, who I’ve been with for 20 years. I thought I’d wear foxy hold-up stockings instead of tights. We were in the pub, and I was up at the bar getting our drinks when I realised the stockings had flumped down to my ankles. Turned out they weren’t hold-ups at all – they had no elasticky bits at the tops. They were just normal stockings and I spent all night holding them up!
  • What’s your favourite Valentine’s gift you’ve ever received?
    Gorgeous lingerie, a book of love poetry, a necklace of tiny pink crystals… it’s impossible to choose!
  • What’s your favourite thing about love?
    Sharing my life with a wonderful person
  • Can you describe what love means to you in one sentence?
    Feeling warm, fuzzy and crazily happy
  • What is your favourite memory of your wedding day?
    One of our rather sozzled guests climbing over a wall into a graveyard, and curling up on a gravestone for a little nap.
  • What is your favourite romance novel?
    I loved One Day and Us, both by David Nicholls. Not strictly romance but completely moving and brilliant.
  • Who is your favourite romance author?
    I’m not sure she’d class herself as a romance author – but Lisa Jewell.
  • What is your favourite romantic film?
    Brief Encounter.
  • What inspires you to write romantic fiction?
    I’m fascinated by how people relate, and the inner workings of relationships. I’m quite an emotional person and the whole, bonkers thing of falling (and staying) in love fascinates me.

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    the valentine-free zone

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    fiona gibsonFiona’s Bio

    Fiona is an author and journalist who has written for many UK publications including The Observer, The Guardian, Marie Claire, Red, New Woman, Top Sante and Elle. She writes a monthly column for Sainsbury’s magazine and is a Contributing Editor at Red magazine.

    Fiona lives in Scotland with her husband, their twin sons and daughter. She likes to draw, run 10k races, play her saxophone and lie in the bath with a big glass of wine, although not all at once.

    Connect With Fiona

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My Favourite Romances & Valentines Giveaway!

Generally speaking, I can class my two favourite types of romances into two categories: the old classics, and the heart breakers. I absolutely love old-fashioned romances, and Jane Austen has been my firm favourite since I first discovered Pride & Prejudice at a young age. I’ve religiously read her 6 novels countless times, and so blossomed a love of regency romances. I’m also a sucker for punishment when it comes to love stories, and will judge how amazing a book is by how many tears I shed. The more the better, for my twisted love of heartache.

pride and preludice pbPride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen

A timeless classic, and one that I will never grow tired of reading over, and over, and over again. I love everything about this book, and about Austen’s writing. It will always be my go-to in times of comfort and need, and the film adaptations have provided equal solace in many desperate times. (Matthew Macfadyen or Colin Firth, I’m not picky!)

 

 

 

the time travelers wifeThe Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffeneggar

This falls into the second category of rip-my-hear-out-and-crush-it-between-your-pages kind of book. The first time I read it, I actually had to stop and put it down for about 15 minutes until my sobbing subsided, my eyes stopped stinging and I could finally breathe and see again. It is just beautiful, in the most agonising way.

 

 

 

me before you

Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes

Another one that shattered my heart into thousands of tiny pieces, and also one of the most stunning books I’ve ever read. I can’t even think about it without feeling my chest tighten. If you haven’t read this book, you simply must. It’s a game-changer.

 

 

 

if you could see me now

If You Could See Me Now, by Cecelia Ahern

It’s difficult to pick out my favourite Cecelia book, as I absolutely love them, and at least five would probaby be on this list in all honesty. PS I Love You, deserves a mention as the first of hers I read, which has started a long term love, but I just adored If You Could See Me Now. Infused with magic and the wonder of believing, this book just takes you on such a beautiful journey.

 

 

the fault in our starsThe Fault In Our Stars, by John Green

You probably don’t need telling which category this one falls into! John Green is an evil genius, who’s life mission appears to be breaking hearts across the globe. The film was wonderful, but it just can’t really touch on the beauty and pain found between the pages of the book. Warning: you will be reduced to a snivelling, disgusting mess. Curse you, John Green.

 

 

 

love me for me

Love Me For Me, by Jenny Hale

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it, but I kinda love this book!! I think you’ve probably heard me say it enough times, so I won’t go on to much, but Love Me For Me is one of the loveliest, pure and simple romance stories I’ve ever read.

 

 

 

 

As a Valentines gift from me to you, I’m giving TWO lovely people the chance to win their choice of my favourite romances, listed above. Happy Valentines Day!

click to enter Vday

Claudia Carroll Valentines Interview

Avon UK have SPOILED us by releasing 10 gorgeous short story’s for Valentines Day!

love...maybe

I’m thrilled to welcome Claudia Carroll onto the blog today. Claudia is one of Avon’s fabulous romance authors, who wrote ‘The Feel-Good One’ for the Love…Maybe collection, Single, Forty & Fabulous!

  • What’s your dream date?
    Ooh, good question! I know a lot of people say it’s a posh dinner followed by champagne sipped in his private jet on your way to Rio…but for me it’s something a lot more humdrum. I love a date where it’s just something very casual like coffee or a quick drink after work, but then you just end up having so much in common and so much to say to each other that next thing it’s 2a.m. and it feels like you’ve only been there for about ten minutes.
  • What’s the worst/most embarrassing date you’ve ever been on?
    Oh God, it happened years ago and I’m still cringing. It was a blind date and he was so mind-boggingly boring and so up himself that I ran to the loo, then came back and pretended that I’d just had a phone call saying I was needed back home urgently. He drove me home and of course no sooner had I got rid of him then I scooted down to our local to meet up my pals. And bumped into him there, doing exactly the same thing…
  • What’s your favourite Valentine’s gift you’ve ever received?
    Well, here I’ve a confession to make here. Thing is, February 14th is my birthday, so whatever about the love/romance element to the whole day, I can always count on getting an iTunes voucher from my Dad and an anti-ageing cream from my mother. A subtle hint, methinks.
  • What’s your favourite thing about love?
    Well I’ve been single for so long that it’s hard to remember, but hauling myself through the fug of time, I’d say; laughter. After all if you can’t have a laugh with a potential partner, then there’s no hope, is there?
  • Can you describe what love means to you in three words?
    Companionship. Giggles. And long lazy dinners where you chat and talk late into the night, taking the whole world apart and putting it all back to together again. Sorry, I think I exceeded the 3 word limit…
  • What is your favourite memory of your wedding day OR what would be a detail of your dream wedding?
    Well, I’m not married, but I know exactly where my dream wedding would be. On a beach. In the Caribbean. At sunset. With both of us in our bare feet and only close family and pals with us. No Bridezilla carry on; in fact I think I’d wear just a little sundress from Topshop to really emphasize the point.
  • What is your favourite romance novel?
    Without a doubt, Pride and Prejudice. And to think that Jane Austen wrote it at twenty-one? Astonishing.
  • Who is your favourite romance author?
    Oh, I’ve so many! Jane leads the pack though, I think, she’s the mother of all women’s commercial fiction, if you ask me. but I also love and adore Jojo Moyes, Marian Keyes, Phillippa Gregory and Trisha Scanlan too.
  • What is your favourite romantic film?
    Casablanca. It’s got everything. It’s a heartrending love story, a thriller, a musical and a war movie all rolled into one. When they made it, they had no idea who’d win the war, which I think it makes it not just the most romantic movie ever, but also one of the bravest.
  • What inspires you to write romantic fiction?
    Anything and everything really. seeing a couple kiss passionately on a bridge in the lashing rain in the middle of January and wondering what their story is. Or seeing a couple clinging to each other with one of them in floods of tears at the airport departure gates. Because we all have love stories to tell, don’t we?

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single, fabulous and forty

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claudia carrollClaudia’s Bio

Claudia was born in Dublin and is a graduate of UCD, the College of Music and of the Gaiety School of Acting. Since then she has worked extensively as an actress on the Irish stage, but is probably best known for her role as TV’s Nicola Prendergast in the long running Dublin soap opera, ‘Fair City.’

Connect With Claudia

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