Posted in Book Review

A Summer of New Beginnings – Lisa Hobman

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Zara Bailey is a luxury travel writer. She spends most of her time traveling to stunning destinations, staying in boutique hotels in far-flung places and writing about her experiences.

She’s just returned from her last travel assignment in Miami when her boss, Noah announces her next assignment and destination: cycling in Scotland and writing an article of the North Coast 500. Her colleague, Dillion who was supposed to cover this article, has quit suddenly and Zara has to go on this assignment because the trip has already been paid for. Seeing as she’s used to staying in five-star hotels and penthouse suites in exotic places, she’s not too keen on the prospect of camping outdoors. Nevertheless, she agrees to go.

We follow Zara as she navigates the rough terrains of the Scottish Highlands on a bicycle, taking in the views of the stunning coastal scenery, the craggy mountains, not to mention the friendly people she meets along the way—her encounter with Daughters of Anarchy and the toy soldiers.

On her first leg of the journey, her map gets swept away by a gust of wind and then soaked in a nearby pool. Then she loses phone signal and her phone battery runs out. To make matters worse, her bicycle gets a puncture.

She decides to pack it up for the night, pitching her tent unknowingly on private property. The owner shows up the following morning but instead of reproaching her for trespassing, he offers her a place to stay on his farm while she sorts herself out.

A Summer of New Beginnings is a beautiful blend of romance and chick lit, interspersed with humor. I was easily transported to the dramatic scenery of Scotland’s Highlands. Not to mention the mouthwatering descriptions of the food she sampled there—the hot chocolate at Cocoa Mountain in Balkneil. Yum

I’m glad everything turned out well for Zara, from finding love in the least likely place to finally pursuing her dream of becoming a novelist. Overall, an enjoyable read and I definitely recommend.

Quotes I liked:

“She was like a comet passing through the atmosphere of his life. Beautiful but all too fast… So like a comet he would have to enjoy the memory of her even though it was unlikely she would appear in his sky again.”

  • Publisher: Aria (19 February 2019)

Available on Amazon

 

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Posted in Book Review

Christmas With You – Heidi McLaughlin, L.P. Dover, Cindi Madsen, R.J. Prescott, Amy Briggs

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Christmas With You is a beautiful collection of five romance stories taking place during the Christmas season in the sleepy town of Friendship, Massachusetts. The stories happen within the same time frame and feature a homeless man named Gabe, who appears in the lives of the main characters at the most opportune time to help them find each other or to rediscover the Christmas magic in their hearts. These feel-good romantic stories are filled with Christmas magic and are guaranteed to get you into the Christmas spirit.

Snowflake Lane Inn – tells the story of a fashion designer who decides to move to Friendship following a setback in her fashion line. She comes to Friendship for some peace and quiet and in hopes of finding inspiration. Instead, she meets, Colin, the owner of Snowflake Lane Inn and finds Christmas magic and so much more. But what happens when it is time for her to leave?

Runaway Christmas Bride – Regina has escaped to Friendship for Christmas after getting dumped at the altar. En route, she meets Emmett, the town’s sheriff and after a few drinks, she ends up staying at his sister’s. With the countdown to Christmas on, will the sheriff finally listen to his heart and admit he can’t live without Regina? With a little nudge from Gabe, the two realize they are meant for each other and together they find their Christmas magic.

Christmas Lights – Following the death of her parents, Samantha is having a hard time finding joy during the Christmas season. She meets Jason, a single father who is determined to bring some fill her with the joy of the Christmas season. 

Christmas Encounter – Lauren never had a great childhood and she never intended in following in her con-man father’s footsteps. After her encounter with Jensen, a Formula 1 driver, will she make him her next target or will Jensen help her find her Christmas spirit and become a better version of herself?

It’s a Wonderful Holiday – Rory, an investment banker, and his wife, Gwen used to have a happy marriage but now he seems more distant from his wife. With a job, which too often demanded him to put his work first, he has neglected his wife and daughter’s needs and his job takes priority over his family. Will he realize his family must come first before his work and rearrange his priorities before it is too late?

Quote:
“There is no love without forgiveness, and there’s no forgiveness without love.”

  • Pages: 335
  • Publisher: Forever Books (20 November 2018)
Posted in Book Review

Legal – Bree Dahlia

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Legal is the 1st book in the “Legal” series, featuring Jillian and Chase in this hot steamy romance. This book can be read as a standalone. 

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This was an enjoyable read, somewhat different from what we’ve come to expect from typical romance books. She’s 38, he’s 23. Not to mention he’s hot and irresistible. I couldn’t get over his charm, sex appeal and the way he made Jillian feel so beautiful and loved even when she felt otherwise.

The characters were relatable and I enjoyed the white-hot chemistry between Chase and Jillian. I’m glad she didn’t let her insecurities ruin what she had with Chase. The other characters Perry and Stephen were fun as well. I hope to read more about them in the sequel.

The story flowed beautifully. My only niggle was Jillian’s constant self-criticism which somehow detracted from the beautiful storyline I came to enjoy. As for Chase, we can all agree he’s one fine hot specimen. Probably hotter than the fajita sauce he made for Jillian. Suffice it to say I enjoyed this book immensely! I will definitely be reading other books from this author.
Hot, hot, jalapeño hot! Highly recommend!

  • Pages: 340
  • Published: 20 July 2016
Posted in Book Review

Fromage à Trois -Victoria Brownlee

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What’s not to like about this book? I loved everything about this book!
Fromage à Trois was an absolute delight, filled with cheese, humor, romance, and all things French. For a debut novel, I have to say that I am very impressed.

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The story revolves around Ella, a 29-year-old, whose boyfriend of 8 years suddenly decides to go on a retreat in Thailand to find himself, unsure of where their relationship is headed. She’s left with no choice but to break up with him. Heartbroken and hoping for a fresh start, Ella books a one-way ticket to Paris. We follow her through her adventures while living in France.

The writing complements the story with detailed descriptions of Paris and authentic dialogue. The characters were diverse and I enjoyed the whole cast. Ella as the main character was well drawn and highly relatable. The author portrays her so vividly that the reader could easily imagine themselves in Paris with her.

The characters are brilliantly crafted to feel real and consistent. They were sympathetic, funny,  likeable and quirky. Ella’s friend Billie—and her voice-of-reason—is adorable. Her colleague at Flat White, Chris, is funny—what with his obsession with French women. Clotilde, ever the quintessential Parisienne, was a very good friend and housemate. I loved how their friendship developed as the book progressed. Serge, a cheese connoisseur —and owner of the fromagerie, which Ella frequents—was very likeable.
Then there’s Ella’s former weird housemates, an elderly French woman who still lives her 40-year old son. Gatson is a handsome narcissistic and a jerk, and Ella’s ex, Paul will make your blood boil.

The descriptions of France and the food were evocative and I came away from the book knowing a great deal about French cheese; their origin, texture, and more. You could literally smell the aroma of cheese emanating from Serge’s cheese shop.

Fromage à Trois is a fun, entertaining read that is perfect for an afternoon curled up on the sofa with a glass of Vin de Paille 🍷and a slice of Comté. I highly recommend to everyone.

  • Pages: 280
  • Publisher: Amberjack Publishing (9 October 2018)

 

Posted in Book Review

Philippa’s Farm – Louise Couper

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Philippa’s Farm is a humorous novel in an idyllic setting filled with fun, interesting and quirky characters and interesting storylines, my favorite being Agatha, Philippa’s sister and her love affair with gin.
Although Philippa, the main character, comes across as judgmental, one will warm up to her by the end of the book.

The descriptions of rural Ireland and Philippa’s farm were evocative and I was easily transported to this picturesque setting. I loved reading about her short getaway to Aran, her spinning course in Bath, and her two-week vacation in France with her friends.

There are a lot of “laugh-out-loud” scenes throughout, helping to keep the pace. The ending was a bit of a surprise and satisfying. I am looking forward to reading more by this author. Overall, an interesting read and I recommend this book.

  • Pages: 241
  • Publisher: BooksGoSocial (16 October 2012)
Posted in Book Review

Hot Pursuit – Rebecca Freeborn

 

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Hot Pursuit centers on Sarah, a 30-year-old beauty therapist, whose boyfriend of two years suddenly bailed on her leaving her with the mortgage on their house. At Women’s Choice where she works, she wants more responsibilities but her boss has refused to give her more than her weekly beauty column. Besides, Sarah knows nothing about celebrities.

Following a tip-off from a friend at Law Enforcement, Sarah’s boss, Katrina asks her to look for journalists who would be willing to travel to Europe to cover a celebrity scandal. A musician is on the run after his band member is found dead. Turns out the celebrity in question is the same guy she met at a bar the weekend before. Desperate for this job and hopefully a career boost, she persuades her boss to let her do the story. Her boss finally gives in and sends her to Europe with Nick, her colleague and the magazine’s photographer.

We follow Sarah through her journey to Europe as they travel from Barcelona to Paris and Amsterdam following leads, their encounter with shady people, and even losing her personal effects—passport and laptop—following a hit-and-run.

Hot Pursuit is an entertaining novel, filled with interesting and quirky characters and an interesting storyline. Sarah as the main character was well developed and relatable. Nick was just plain annoying but I warmed up to him as the book progressed. Overall a good read, and I recommend.

  • Pages: 311
  • Publisher: Pantera Press (1 May 2018)

 

Posted in Book Review

The French Escape – Suzie Tullett

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After getting dumped by her husband on her wedding day, Felicity has become a bit of a recluse. Her mother, Brenda believes a change of scenery would do her daughter good and takes her daughter on a mother/daughter surprise trip to France. When they get there, Brenda takes her daughter to a chateau in Brittany that Felicity’s late father had planned to give her as a wedding present.

The chateau is a bit of a rundown and obviously in need of some repair. Felicity has to decide whether she wants to keep the Chateau and stay in France or put it on the market and move back to England. While in France, Felicity and her mother befriend townspeople. She also meets Nate, her taciturn neighbour, who seems distant and has an air of mystery surrounding him.

The French Escape was a quick and enjoyable read. The characters were likeable and I thought the story flowed well. Set against the autumnal backdrop of rural France, I loved the descriptions of the gorgeous scenery and food. I would recommend to anyone looking for a perfect holiday companion.

  • Pages: 254
  • Publisher: Bloodhound books (20 August 2018)

 

Posted in Book Review

Bossy Nights – Liv Morris

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This is a love story about a small town girl and an older, sophisticated and sexy millionaire who steals her heart. Alternating between the point of view of Tessa and Barclay, the book is well written and well-paced.

Tessa and Barclay both have an intense attraction to each other despite their age difference. Tessa and Barclay have fallen for each other; everything seems perfect until their individual dreams get in the way. Tessa has landed her dream man and dream job but can she keep both of them?

Tessa was a great character. I loved that she was sassy, smart, and confident to strike out on her own in NYC with no guarantees. Though I found her naivety worrisome. Not to mention the fact that she always relied on her best friend to tell her the ways of the world. I loved Barclay and the fact that underneath his hard exterior lies a sweet, kind, and caring man.

Overall, the story was fantastic. I enjoyed the interaction between the characters. It is a fun and quick read that will have you swooning for your own Barclay Hammond.

  • Pages:310
  • Published: 24 July 2018