Blog Tour | A Taste of Home by Heidi Swain

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Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 29 April 2021

“Fliss Brown has grown up living with her mother on the Rossi family’s Italian fruit farm. But when her mother dies, Fliss finds out she has a family of her own, and heads back to England with Nonna Rossi’s recipe for cherry and almond tart and a piece of advice: connect with your family before it is too late…

Fliss discovers that her estranged grandfather owns a fruit farm himself, on the outskirts of Wynbridge, and she arrives to find a farm that has fallen into disrepair. Using her knowledge gleaned from working on the Rossi farm and her desire to find out more about her past, Fliss rolls her sleeves up and gets stuck in. But what will she discover, and can she resurrect the farm’s glory days and find a taste of home…?”

I’m a big fan of Heidi Swain’s books so I couldn’t be more excited about taking part in this blog tour, just look at all the wonderful blogs involved. 

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MY REVIEW

Wow, what an exciting first chapter! It felt like an explosion of information booming off the page at me. Of course, this only made me more desperate to know what would happen next so naturally I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

There was a palpable sense of bewilderment to begin with, almost as though Fliss was sleepwalking her way through the unexpected situation she found herself in. From the first page to the last, the storyline was very emotionally charged so be prepared to feel ALL the feels!

As always the author’s wonderful descriptions gave me a vivid image of the farm and surrounding area. Once again I felt like I was returning home with the familiar writing style and homely characters who I could easily take to heart.

The romantic side of the storyline was intriguing to say the least, there was definitely some game playing going on and I was excited to see where it would all lead.

Favourite Moments

  • An unexpected welcome
  • Mr Helpful
  • A near miss in the library 
  • Hard leathers
  • Secret Supper Club

A Taste of Home was an emotional yet comforting read that was a delight to lose myself in. I think I could even go so far as to say it’s my favourite from this author so far!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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Thank you to the publisher for sending me this book to review for the blog tour.

The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures, Part 1: Starting Over by Holly Hepburn

Part 1 of The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures is available today and I’m thrilled to be able to share the first two chapters with you right here on Kate’s Book Spot!

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Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 6 May 2021

“When Hope loses her husband, she fears her happiest days are behind her. With her only connection to London broken, she moves home to York to be near her family and to begin to build a new life.

Taking a job at the antique shop she has always admired, she finds herself crossing paths with two very different men. Will, who has recently become the guardian to his niece after the tragic death of his parents. And Ciaran, who she enlists to help solve the mystery of an Egyptian antique. Two men who represent two different happy endings.

But can Hope trust herself to choose the right man? And will that bring her everything she really needs?”

 

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, I feel like this is the start of another fantastic Holly Hepburn series!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey

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Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: 18 May 2021

“Nothing will stop Madeline Moore from taking over her family’s independent bookstore after college. Nothing, that is—until a chain bookstore called Prologue opens across the street and threatens to shut them down.

Madeline sets out to demolish the competition, but the guy who works over at Prologue seems intent on ruining her life. Not only is he taking her customers, he has the unbelievable audacity to be… extremely cute.

But that doesn’t matter. Jasper is the enemy and he will be destroyed. After all—all’s fair in love and (book) war.”

MY REVIEW

I always enjoy reading books with a bookish theme so as soon as I read the blurb for this beauty I had to dive in. Bookstore wars? Sign me up ASAP!

In no time at all I found myself immersed in the storyline and caught up in the bookstore battle, I loved that the author jumped straight into the action. All of the characters were interesting and, thanks to the expressive writing, they were also easy to visualise/connect with.

Madeline’s excitement over her plans for the bookstore was infectious, I internally punched the air with every new idea that she came up with. Books that make me feel involved are my favourite.

There were lots of laugh out loud moments, not to mention scenes that were filled with some pretty exciting sexual tension. Last Chance Books had everything I’m looking for in a rom-com so if you’re a fan of the genre then I definitely recommend it.

Favourite Moments

  • Nervous number giving
  • Your move
  • Drunk texting
  • Truce brownies

This was a refreshingly fun and flirty read that ticked all the boxes for me.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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Thank you to the publisher for sending me this ARC to review.

Blog Tour | Until Next Weekend by Rachel Marks

Publisher: Penguin Michael Joseph

Publication Date: 29 April 2021

“Noah and Kate were meant to be together forever.

Married with two gorgeous sons, it looked like they’d got their happy ever after.

But marriage isn’t easy. And one day, Kate left, taking their two boys with her.

These days, Noah is a weekend dad – and it breaks his heart. He misses the chaotic mealtimes, the bedtime stories, the early mornings and the late homework.

Suddenly, he decides enough is enough – he has to win his family back. Starting with Kate.

The only problem?

In six weeks’ time, Kate is getting married to someone else…”

Until Next Weekend is Rachel Marks’ second novel and I’m thrilled to be sharing my review with you on today’s stop of the blog tour.

MY REVIEW

I love it when a storyline grabs my attention on the very first page and holds onto it until the end – that is exactly what this book did for me. The writing style was humorous and engaging, pulling me in so that I just didn’t want to stop reading!

I found it incredibly easy to connect with Noah even though I sometimes struggle to read from a male point of view. His life was pretty complicated and he had a lot of loose ends that were just crying out to be tied up.

As a mum-of-four, I’ve helped out in many classrooms and more recently experienced the joys of home-schooling so reading about his students antics really gave me the giggles. I was nodding my head along to the words as I pictured the scenes vividly in my mind.

Mimi was a surprise for me. When she first came along I felt sure that I wouldn’t like her but she was one of those characters who grows on you until you can’t help but love them.

The relationship side of things had me torn in two. I genuinely couldn’t decide which way I wanted it all to go and I continuously changed my opinion with each page I read.

Something that I particularly enjoyed was how the author had me laughing at one moment and then seamlessly managed to switch the atmosphere so that my eyes were suddenly filling with tears. Be prepared for a range of emotions with this one!

Favourite Moments

  • PE changing
  • Talking Tiger
  • Let it Go
  • The rope course

This was an absolute delight to read, funny, heart-breaking and thought-provoking all wrapped up in one beautiful package.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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Thank you to the publisher for sending me this proof to review for the blog tour.

Her Last Holiday by C.L. Taylor

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Publisher: Avon

Publication Date: 29 April 2021

“You come to the retreat to be healed. You don’t expect to die.

Two years ago, Fran’s sister Jenna disappeared on a wellness retreat in Gozo that went terribly wrong.

Tom Wade, the now infamous man behind Soul Shrink Retreats, has just been released from prison after serving his sentence for the deaths of two people. But he has never let on what happened to the third victim: Jenna.

Determined to find out the truth, Fran books herself onto his upcoming retreat – the first since his release – and finds herself face to face with the man who might hold the key to her sister’s disappearance. The only question is, will she escape the retreat alive? Or does someone out there want Jenna’s secrets to stay hidden?”

MY REVIEW

I don’t often read books from this genre but every so often I’ll come across a blurb that really grabs my attention and I simply have to know more. This book absolutely did that for me. I just couldn’t get the concept out of my mind and found myself coming up with all kinds of theories as to what happened to Fran’s sister. I had to find out the truth!

I quickly felt invested in the storyline thanks to the author’s captivating writing style which brought each character to life so beautifully. I particularly loved switching between ‘then’ and ‘now’ because it enabled me to gradually learn more about what happened whilst still retaining the element of mystery and keeping me flipping the pages.

After numerous ‘OMG’ moments I got to the point where I didn’t know who to trust and what to believe but as events reached a tense peak, all became shockingly clear. I must admit that I hadn’t predicted any of it correctly so the ending was pretty unexpected for me.

Favourite Moments

  • Undercover journalism
  • White water rafting
  • I Have Never
  • The sweat lodge

This was truly an edge-of-your-seat story that captivated me throughout. A must read!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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Thank you to the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook.

Blog Tour | The World at My Feet by Catherine Isaac

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 18 March 2021

“The secrets that bind us can also tear us apart…

1990. Harriet is a journalist. Her job takes her to dangerous places, where she asks questions and tries to make a difference. But when she is sent to Romania, to the state orphanages the world is only just learning about, she is forced to rethink her most important rule. 

2018. Ellie is a gardener. Her garden is her sanctuary, her pride and joy. But, though she spends long days outdoors, she hasn’t set foot beyond her gate for far too long. Now someone enters her life who could finally be the reason she needs to overcome her fears.”

I absolutely love Catherine Isaac’s writing so I’m delighted to be today’s stop on the blog tour for this beautiful book.

MY REVIEW

What a thought-provoking prologue! Straight away I was coming up with a variety of theories about what I’d just read. A fantastic start.

Ellie and Harriet couldn’t have been more different yet I was equally fascinated by both of them. I love a book that raises questions and this was certainly one of those books. Why was Ellie in the situation she found herself in? What happened to Harriet’s career? Was Guy trustworthy?

I must admit that I hadn’t expected some of the tougher scenes, they were raw and heart breaking but oh so vital to the storyline. I found myself holding my breath as I read about the horrors of the past and releasing that breath when I returned to the calm of Ellie’s garden.

There was a gentle sort of romance weaving it’s way through the storyline of both time periods which I rather enjoyed. Even with the odd bump in the road I felt as though everything that happened, happened for a reason and I finished the book with happy tears in my eyes.

The writing style was captivating and emotive, pulling me into the pages and enabling me to experience each character’s feelings for myself. If you’re looking for a book that you can fully immerse yourself in, this is definitely for you.

Favourite Moments

  • Oscar’s visits
  • A spontaneous walk
  • A trip to London
  • Facing the past

This was a powerful and beautiful story that truly touched my heart, a must read!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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Thank you to EDPR for sending me this book to review for the blog tour.

The World at My Feet by Catherine Isaac is out now, published by Simon & Schuster in Paperback Original, priced £8.99.

Blog Tour | Flappy Entertains by Santa Montefiore

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

Publication Date: 4 March 2021

“Underneath her graceful exterior lies a passion nobody knew about, least of all Flappy herself…

Flappy Scott-Booth is the self-appointed queen bee of Badley Compton, a picturesque Devon village. While her husband Kenneth spends his days on the golf course, she is busy overseeing her beautiful house and gardens, and organising unforgettable events, surrounded by friends who hang on to her every word.
 
Her life is a reflection of herself – impossibly perfect.
 
Until the day that Hedda Harvey-Smith and her husband Charles move into the village. Into an even grander home than hers. Taking the front seat on the social scene, quite literally.
 
That simply will not do.
 
Flappy is determined to show Hedda how things are done here in Badley Compton. But then she looks into Charles’s beautiful green eyes. And suddenly, her focus is elsewhere. She is only human, after all…”

I’m so so lucky to be taking part in the Flappy Entertains blog tour today!

I absolutely loved The Temptation of Gracie where Flappy was a standout character so I was looking forward to finding out more about her.

MY REVIEW

Santa Montefiore’s writing is captivating, I quickly found myself pulled into the storyline and flipping through the pages as I pictured Flappy and her glamorous lifestyle in my mind.

Flappy was a loveable character who left me unsurprisingly shocked by her behaviour and I absolutely loved her for it! I found myself giggling out loud at her antics, particularly her competitiveness which was like nothing I’ve ever known before. 

Flappy’s interactions with Hedda and her husband Charles were most entertaining, especially how flustered she became around the handsome Charles. I enjoyed her giddiness at the brand new feelings he created within her and wondered where the attraction would lead.

What followed filled me with a nervous anticipation, I feared the worst but hoped for the best. It was wonderful to see Flappy discovering parts of herself she never knew existed, she was like a flower unfurling her petals right before my eyes.

I also have to mention Persephone, Flappy’s PA, who intrigued me from the start and left me wanting to know more. I sincerely hope the author might be planning to tell her story soon.

Favourite Moments

  • Church pew etiquette
  • Bridge night
  • Naked dancing
  • Friendly spies

An absolute joy to read, this was a fun and flirty book that I devoured in less than a day!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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Thank you to the publisher for sending me this proof to review for the blog tour.

Flappy Entertains is published by Simon and Schuster on 4th March 2021, and available to buy through Bookshop.org HERE.

Space Hopper by Helen Fisher

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Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

Publication Date: 4 February 2021

“This is a story about taking a leap of faith
And believing the unbelievable

They say those we love never truly leave us, and I’ve found that to be true. But not in the way you might expect. In fact, none of this is what you’d expect.

I’ve been visiting my mother who died when I was eight.
And I’m talking about flesh and blood, tea-and-biscuits-on-the-table visiting here.

Right now, you probably think I’m going mad.
Let me explain…

Although Faye is happy with her life, the loss of her mother as a child weighs on her mind even more now that she is a mother herself. So she is amazed when, in an extraordinary turn of events, she finds herself back in her childhood home in the 1970s. Faced with the chance to finally seek answers to her questions – but away from her own family – how much is she willing to give up for another moment with her mother?”

MY REVIEW

I was immediately drawn in by the conversational style of writing, it felt comfortable and enjoyable to read. Like I was chatting with an old friend.

My first thought was how Faye was doing what she was claiming to do? I was glad that my answer came quickly and surprised at the Alice in Wonderland feeling it gave me. I also wondered what she hoped to get out of the visits and how it would affect her family life. So many questions!

As I read, I couldn’t help but imagine myself in Faye’s shoes, the whole idea of travelling through time was captivating and really got my imagination going.

Louis was a standout character for me, I loved his humour and the way he seemed to put Faye at ease. Their scenes were fun to read and I enjoyed seeing Faye let go of the tension she was carrying.

Favourite Moments

  • A magical fall
  • Twenty questions 
  • The Turkish café
  • An eventful beach goodbye

Space Hopper was a thought provoking and unique read with an incredibly twisty ending!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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Thank you to the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook.

Married at First Swipe by Claire Frost

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Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

Publication Date: 4 February 2021

“Hannah lives life on the edge. Never one to pass up on a new adventure, she has truly been living her best life. But once the adrenaline wears off, she wishes she had someone to spend the quieter moments with too. Learning that her best friend’s online dating business has taken a hit, she comes up with an idea that just might solve both of their problems…

Jess has been with her husband for twenty years. They have a stable marriage, great kids and run their own businesses. But what looks like a perfect life from the outside has its own problems within, and with her business on the brink Jess can’t help but wonder where the spark has gone in her life, and whether settling down is all it’s cracked up to be.

When Hannah embarks upon her latest scheme: finding a man using Jess’s dating app and meeting him for the first time at the altar, both women start to realise the grass isn’t always greener. Can Hannah help her friend save her failing business or will Jess stop her from making what could be the biggest mistake of her life?

In the modern tech-fuelled world of dating, is it possible to find true love?”

MY REVIEW

Hannah and Jess were characters who were so easy to take to heart, they had very different personalities but somehow their friendship was stronger because of those differences. They were a wonderful duo.

Jess’ family life was particularly relatable for me. The difficulties she faced whilst trying to create a balance between being a mother, a wife AND an individual was something that I know many women struggle with, myself included.

Hannah’s idea to boost Jess’ online dating app intrigued me, I wondered how it would actually work and if it would all end in tears. I couldn’t stop reading as the wedding preparations progressed, the whole scenario was fascinating and never stopped surprising me. By the time I got to the big day I was a bundle of nerves as I anticipated a variety of outcomes.

I don’t think I can say any more without giving away what actually happened so I’ll just tell you that I was taken on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster and received an insightful education into marriage from multiple perspectives.

Favourite Moments

  • Family interrogations
  • STD questions
  • A childhood interview 

This was a quirky and intriguing read that gave me all the feels.

 

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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Thank you to the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook.

Coming Home to Brightwater Bay by Holly Hepburn

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Publisher: Simon Schuster UK

Publication Date: 21 January 2021

“On paper, Merina Wilde has it all: a successful career writing the kind of romantic novels that make even the hardest hearts swoon, a perfect carousel of book launches and parties to keep her social life buzzing, and a childhood sweetheart who thinks she’s a goddess. But Merry has a secret: the magic has stopped flowing from her fingers. Try as she might, she can’t summon up the sparkle that makes her stories shine. And as her deadline whooshes by, her personal life falls apart too. Alex tells her he wants something other than the future she’d always imagined for them and Merry finds herself single for the first time since – well, ever.

Desperate to get her life back on track, Merry leaves London and escapes to the windswept Orkney Islands, locking herself away in a secluded clifftop cottage to try to heal her heart and rediscover her passion for writing. But can the beauty of the islands and the kindness of strangers help Merry to fool herself into believing in love again, if only long enough to finish her book? Or is it time for her to give up the career she’s always adored and find something new to set her soul alight?”

MY REVIEW

It was the sunny, tranquil cover that first grabbed my attention. This was quickly followed by the intriguing blurb which hinted at a warm tale of an author’s rollercoaster book writing journey. How could I resist?

A harsh prologue set the scene well for Merry’s escape to Orkney, I could almost feel her shock jumping off the page at me and this meant that I quickly took her character to heart.

I found myself willing Merry to rediscover her writing mojo and hoping every new encounter on Orkney would be the one that sparked her creativeness. The island seemed kind of magical and the residents were more than welcoming so I guess it was more a matter of when than if it would happen. Being an avid reader, following the thought processes of an author as they write a novel is always interesting so I particularly enjoyed this aspect of Merry’s story.

Magnús was an interesting addition to the storyline and threw a spanner in the works of my initial romantic prediction. In fact, Merry’s love life was surprisingly unpredictable and managed to keep me on my toes throughout!

Favourite Moments

  • A rooftop visitor
  • Running coercion
  • A nervous reading
  • Drunken phone calls
  • An unwanted romantic hero

This was a warm and welcoming read which beautifully demonstrated that inspiration can sometimes come from the most unexpected of places!

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CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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Thank you to the publisher for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook.