A Perfect Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley

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Image sourced from Goodreads

Genre: Romance

Publisher: Avon Books

Publication Date: 25 April 2019

“Summer is on the horizon, and the people of Porthmellow are eagerly awaiting the annual food festival. At least, most of them are…

For Sam Lovell, organising the summer festival in her hometown is one of the highlights of her year. It’s not always smooth sailing, but she loves to see Porthmellow’s harbour packed with happy visitors, and being on the committee has provided a much-needed distraction from the drama in her family life (and the distinct lack of it in her love life).

When their star guest pulls out with only a few weeks to go, everyone’s delighted when a London chef who grew up locally steps in at the last minute. But Gabe Matthias is the last person Sam was expecting to see, and his return to Porthmellow will change her quiet coastal life for ever.”

MY REVIEW

Sam was a likeable character and I quickly found myself feeling emotionally invested in her festival preparations. The other characters were just as likeable, I enjoyed finding out more about their lives. It seemed that the festival was a lifeline for most of them.

With the star chef unable to attend the festival and the replacement not looking like a popular option, I was keen to see where it would all lead and this kept me flipping the pages.

I absolutely love Cornwall so there were many descriptions and moments that made me smile, one scene in particular brought back memories of tiny roads that absolutely did NOT feel like roads! Food was also a big part of the storyline which meant that I felt hungry on multiple occasions whilst reading this book.

I really enjoyed the ups and downs of life in Porthmellow and, even though there were a few troublemakers, the sense of community spirit was heartwarming. The committee get-togethers were a favourite of mine, the combination of personalities was just perfect and made for very entertaining reading!

This was a warm and comforting read, perfect for curling up on the sofa with a cuppa.

kate1

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Thank you to the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook in exchange for my honest opinion.

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Song of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury

IMG_1384Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Scholastic

Publication Date: 7 March 2019

“Sorrow Ventaxis has won the election, and in the process lost everything…

Governing under the sinister control of Vespus Corrigan, and isolated from her friends, Sorrow must to find a way to free herself from his web and save her people. But Vespus has no plans to let her go, and he isn’t the only enemy Sorrow faces as the curse of her name threatens to destroy her and everything she’s fought for.”

MY REVIEW

After enjoying the first book, State of Sorrow, I was keen to find out what was in store next for Sorrow so I was thrilled to win this signed copy with a stunning pin to match!

It didn’t take long for me to sink back into the storyline and it was pretty clear that Sorrow was not particularly enjoying her new role as Chancellor of Rhannon.

This book had a completely different feel to the first, I guess because Sorrow was in a position of power this time. Unfortunately a side effect of that power was that she was susceptible to bribery, friendship struggles and other tricky situations. I got the feeling she was overwhelmed by her new lifestyle and this led to her not always making the best choices or reacting to things in a harsh manner.

I found myself hooked as she navigated her way through some dark and difficult times. The twists and turns were exciting and constantly kept me guessing where the storyline was heading next. I gasped out loud in shock during a particularly scary intervention and then again at the revelation that followed!

I enjoyed seeing Sorrow blossom and grow stronger as the story progressed, her decisions became clearer and I loved where the story ended up.

An addictive and gasp-inducing read that left me with a smile on my face.

kate1

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Mr One-Night Stand by Rachael Stewart

IMG_1318Genre: Romance

Publisher: Mills & Boon

Publication Date: 21 February 2019

“One night only.

Just think of the possibilities…

The second she sees Mr Oh-So-Delicious, Jennifer Hayes knows she needs one night of crazy. No names, no strings, no rules. Except that Jennifer’s naughty one-nighter is actually Marcus Wright—her new business partner! Now they’re mixing business with all kinds of pleasure. But when it comes to falling in love her sexy Mr Wright is either Mr Wrong or the best mistake of her life…”

MY REVIEW

Normally, I’m all for a book that jumps straight into the action but on this occasion it didn’t work for me. I felt disconnected during the first chapters because there wasn’t any time to form an opinion on the main characters, their partnership didn’t mean anything to me at that point.

Once they moved away from the bedroom and into the office I began to establish a clearer picture of each of them and found myself more interested in their predicament.

I liked the idea of the storyline but it just didn’t hold my attention the way I thought it would.

kate1

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Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Snow Angel Cove by RaeAnne Thayne

image1Genre: Christmas Romance

Publisher: Mills & Boon

Publication Date: 6 September 2018

“Nothing short of a miracle can restore Eliza Hayward’s Christmas spirit!

The job she pinned her dreams on has gone up in smoke and now she’s stuck in an unfamiliar little town for Christmas.

Enter Aidan Caine. He can help Eliza find the perfect Christmas project – the renovation of his lakeside guest lodge. It’s a strictly business relationship. Until Aidan sees how easily he could fall for Eliza. But is he willing to risk his heart on a yuletide romance that could lead to forever?”

MY REVIEW

I’m the kind of bookworm who is happy to read a Christmassy read at any time of the year so of course I picked this book up in February!

The action started straight away, Eliza was NOT having a good day and it was about to get much worse when she met Aidan. I loved the way this all happened, meeting characters in extreme circumstances is always fun.

I enjoyed finding out more about the characters and there was lots to find out – medical issues, emotional pasts, complicated families and Christmas traditions. Every new thing I learned about each of them only made me like them more.

The romance built gradually and although I knew where things were heading I still enjoyed the journey to get to that point. The only negative for me is that I felt like some parts of the story were a little rushed.

This was a lovely festive read with characters who were easy to care for.

kate1

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Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Summer of Chasing Dreams by Holly Martin

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Image sourced from Goodreads

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Publication Date: 29 March 2019

Eva is quite content with her life in London. In her job as a cover designer, she works at home, and often in her cosy pyjamas. She’s happy to stay in her safe little world and not explore much outside of it.

She is the opposite of her mum, a free spirit who craved finding adventure and thrills in all corners of the world. But on the day her mum’s will is finalised, Eva finds a list of all the dreams her mum wanted to achieve in her life. Things she never did because she fell pregnant with Eva.

Eva decides these dreams will not go unfulfilled – she is going to be brave and complete them for her mum. As Eva has no experience travelling the world, she hires a guide to go with her on this holiday.

Gorgeous but rude Thor Anderson is not the person she would choose to accompany her on this adventure, but somehow she gets stuck with him. As they discover the world together Eva starts to think he might not be as bad as she first thought. She is swept away by Thor’s kindness and mischievous sense of humour. While Eva wrestles with moving out of her comfort zone, Thor is running from a past heartache. Sparks fly between them, but will a simple holiday romance be enough or can they put aside their pasts to embrace their futures?”

MY REVIEW

I had already read (and very much enjoyed) a couple of Christmas books by this author so I was excited to get stuck into her latest book which sounded like quite an adventure.

For me, something that always stands out about Holly’s writing style is how real it feels. I genuinely felt like I was chatting to an old friend even though Eva was a new character to me and I’d only just started reading. I felt her loss straight away, a cutting loss that left her unsure about her place in the world.

I found it incredibly easy to relate to Eva, she was an introvert who was generally cautious about her decisions and I often found myself nodding in understanding at her fears and uncertainties. As her big adventure began I felt so excited for what was to come and as I joined her in experiencing the world I felt proud to see her blossom.

There were so many enjoyable moments but some of my favourites included: babygate, a French singing debut, a hair removal catastrophe, a cake mix-up, an important book signing and a long overdue meeting that gave me chills. By the time I got to the end I literally felt like I’d been on an amazing journey alongside Eva and I was sad to let it all go.

This was an absolutely cracking read, one that I know will stay with me for a long time!

kate1

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Thank you to the author for sending me this eBook in exchange for my honest opinion.

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

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Image sourced from Goodreads

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Bantam Press

Publication Date: 7 February 2019

“Fixie Farr can’t help herself. Straightening a crooked object, removing a barely-there stain, helping out a friend . . . she just has to put things right. It’s how she got her nickname, after all.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees, she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank her, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, scribbles her an IOU – but of course Fixie never intends to call in the favour.

That is, until her teenage crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and needs her help – and Fixie turns to Seb. But things don’t go according to plan, and now Fixie owes Seb: big time.

Soon the pair are caught up in a series of IOUs – from small favours to life-changing debts – and Fixie is torn between the past she’s used to and the future she deserves.

Does she have the courage to fix things for herself and fight for the life, and love, she really wants?”

MY REVIEW

I’m such a big fan of Sophie Kinsella’s writing and always thoroughly enjoy her books so when I saw her latest offering available for request on NetGalley, I simply couldn’t resist.

I was laughing out loud at the very first page which is always a good sign. Fixie was an incredibly likeable character, she was naive, a little unsure of herself and, at times, she seemed easily overwhelmed but on the whole she was a genuinely caring person who I would love to be friends with!

Her first encounter with Seb was so entertaining and the storyline that followed had just the right combination of comical and heartfelt moments, even though it did focus on a different area of Fixie’s life than I’d been expecting.

I can’t write this review without commenting on the lovely bunch of characters. By the time I finished the book, I felt like I was part of the fabulous, and sometimes a little crazy, Farrs family.

This was a delightful tale of self discovery, a real feel-good read!

kate1

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Thank you to the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook in exchange for my honest opinion.

A Winter Beneath the Stars by Jo Thomas

image1Genre: Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Headline Review

Publication Date: 29 November 2018

“Halley has been running from her problems for years.

On a courier trip to Tallfors, deep in Swedish Lapland, everything is going to plan. Halley has her bag, with two precious wedding rings inside for delivery… until she doesn’t.

The only way to save the wedding is to team up with mysterious reindeer herder Bjorn, the one person who can lead her across the snowy tundra to be reunited with her bag.

On a journey of a lifetime beneath the stars, with only the reindeer and a bad-tempered stranger for company beside the fire, Halley realises that she will need to confront her past heartaches in order to let the warmth of love in once more…”

MY REVIEW

What a delightful read!

The storyline was fun and quickly pulled me in so that I was as keen as Halley to resolve her problem. As she set off on a mission to find her bag my heart was pounding in anticipation, I felt like I was experiencing the journey with her.

The characters Halley met along the way were a colourful bunch, particularly Lars who never failed to make me smile. I figured out the mysterious Björn pretty quickly but I was curious about his motives and the consequences of his involvement.

I was well and truly kept on my toes by a variety of twists and turns – some tense, some exciting and one in particular that shocked me deeply, leaving me with an ache in my heart that I know I won’t forget.

This was a wonderful winter adventure filled with giggles, plenty of emotion and even a hint of romance. I couldn’t stop reading!

kate1

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Thank you to the publisher for sending me this proof in exchange for my honest opinion.