Sunday, 9 December 2018

Bells and Bows on Mistletoe Row - Emily Harvale (Blog Tour)

Date of Reading: 17/11/2018
Author: Emily Harvale
Publisher: Crescent Gate Publishing
Year: 2018
Rating: 4.5/5
(This review is part of the blog tour organised by Rachel's Random Resources)
About the book:
It’ll take a miracle to make Juliet’s Christmas merry, but Mistletoe Row is the place to be when you need some Christmas magic.

The last person Juliet Bell expects to see when she returns home for Christmas is Harrison Bow. Especially with the most beautiful woman in the world by his side. Twenty years ago, Juliet and Harrison had the shortest romance in history, consisting of one date – and one blazing row. But Juliet will never admit when she’s wrong, and Harrison doesn’t forgive easily, so they haven’t seen, or spoken to one another since.

Harrison Bow vowed he’d never visit his grandfather at The Grange, again, or drive along Mistletoe Row, the scene of one of the unhappiest times of his life. He hasn’t been back for twenty years and he’s only here now because his brother pleaded with him to come. At least with his executive assistant joining him, he’ll be able to do some work.

But Juliet’s sister, Zoe and Harrison’s brother, Luke have some surprises in store for their elder siblings, and so it seems does Fate. After Harrison risks his life to save Juliet, the least she can do is be nice. The problem is, Harrison is hotter than the log fire in The Mistletoe pub, and when she’s surrounded by twinkling lights and softly falling snow, it doesn’t take long for her to realise she’s in love with the man she thought she hated. Even if he doesn’t appear to be in love with her.
My Review:
        This is one of the amazing books I had the pleasure to review this year. The story was completely predictable and utterly loving. Emily Harvale has this wonderful gift of taking us into a fairytale land where the two families, Bells and Bows, (ah, such clever names) is having a family feud between them going on for years. That has ruined the short romance of Juliet and Harrison twenty years ago and now they are both back during Christmas in their quaint little village, Mistletoe Row (Yup, another cunning creation of the author).
        If you are not in the Christmas swing yet, then this is a must read for you. You will be in a winter wonderland in no time. Juliet, Harrison, Zoe, Luke . . . I loved every bunch of them. And I should not be leaving Dan out of this. He is so funny and even though his role is minor, that has been done perfectly.
       It was lovely to watch Harrison and Juliet moving from one misunderstanding to another and I was impatiently waiting to see how the author will conjure up the happy ending. What glued me to the story most is the Christmassy feel that is generated throughout and Mistletoe Row sounded like a place I would be happy to live my entire life. 
       Thank you, Rachel, for the tour invite. You were completely right, this is an utterly irresistible novel that truly lives up to the magical cover. 
Meet the author:

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her hometown of Hastings where she now spends her days writing... and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She's an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All-Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily says, "I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings." When she isn't writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies - and will do anything to avoid both.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin - Helen J. Rolfe (Blog Tour)

Date of Reading: 8/12/2018
Author: Helen J. Rolfe
Publication Date: December 6, 2018
Rating: 4/5
(This review is part of the blog tour organised by Rachel's Random Resources)
About the book:
Do you believe in Christmas miracles?
Holly is looking for a change and even though not everyone agrees with her career choices, she’s determined there’s more to this life than the long hours she works as an editor in New York City. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Mitch, a recluse who’s hiding more than she realises.

Mitch spends his days hidden away in a little log cabin in the woods out in Inglenook Falls where he owns a Christmas tree farm. He speaks to people only when and if it’s necessary, so when Holly falls into his life, he’s not sure how to react. All he knows is that something needs to change if he ever wants to get his life back on track.

Along with friends Cleo and Darcy, Holly is determined to bring joy back to Mitch’s life, but will he appreciate their interference? And when a business proposition throws everything up in the air, will it do more harm than good and ruin lives forever?

Both Holly and Mitch must learn that on the surface people aren’t always what they seem…but if you dig a little deeper, they can take you by surprise.

Curl up this Christmas for plenty of snowflakes, roaring log fires, a marriage proposal, unlikely friendships and second chances as we return to the much-loved New York Ever After series. 
My Review:
      I have just closed my kindle with a huge grin that tells all about this miraculous story. The beginning was a bit slow with Holly embarking on a new career path and also shows insights into her friendship with Darcy and Cleo. Since I haven't read the other books in the series (as a matter of fact I was not even aware that this was the fourth), that left me in a bit of a muddle. So it will be wise to look at the blurb of the previous books before reading this one and that will equip you with the background stories of Darcy and Cleo and their significant others.
        But soon Holly's voice was joined with Mitch, the local scary recluse and things begin to look up. Unlikely though it seemed at first, they do make a handsome couple and the ending was just as beautiful as its cover. Since its a Christmas story, the author had wisely put off any possible grudges and everyone gets their fair share of Christmas miracles.
       The beautiful narrative voice will soon have you transported to the snow-covered Inglenook with its ethereal beauty and charming Christmas farm (if you could minus the Grinch of course). Snowman building, tree felling, wood chopping and a cosy log cabin . . . ya, you are going to live and breathe through it all. A wonderful, bewitching Christmas read that should not be missed!
Meet the author:
Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women's fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen's stories always have a happy ending. 

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen's books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

A Very Lucky Christmas - Lilac Mills (Blog Tour)

Date of Reading: 16/11/2018
Author: Lilac Mills
Publisher: Canelo
Year: 2018
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5

About the book:

Things can't get worse for Daisy Jones... can they?

Christmas is meant to be the happiest time of year so why is absolutely everything going wrong for Daisy? Reeling from a bad breakup, moving back in with her parents and hounded by trouble at work she really shouldn’t be surprised when things go from bad to worse..and she ends up in A&E!

Her great-grandmother persuaded her to plant a silver sixpence in the Christmas pud for luck but choking on the coin isn’t the ‘change’ she’d wished for. Yet when dashing Dr Noah Hartley saves the day things finally start to look up. With Christmas Day just around the corner, Daisy’s determined to make her own luck...and hopefully, bag herself a dishy doc in the process!

My Review: 

      Finally, I had my hands on a Lilac Mills book and it was everything that I expected. A cute and lovely Christmas romance with lots of banter and hilarious misunderstandings. I won't trade places with Daisy even for the happy ending, but you know what they say, everything is laughable when it's not about you.
       Daisy is an amazing character and because of the blurb I have foreseen that breakup with Freddie, but the reason was shocking and I couldn't help but break into a laugh. Well, that was before her 'loving', all women (except for the darling brother) family is introduced. Hmph, fortune's ways are not smooth at all, even at Christmas.
       Then there are all those hospital encounters which have me chuckling even now. And that was only just the beginning of mischiefs a single silver sixpence could trigger. 
       An amazing, sweet but quirky romance that you wouldn't want to miss this Christmas . . .

Meet the author: 

Lilac Mills writes feel-good romantic women's fiction and is the author of Love in the City by the Sea, A Very Lucky Christmas, Summer on the Turquoise Coast, and Sunshine at Cherry Tree Farm. Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework! Home for Lilac is Worcester, England.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

It's a Wonderful Night - Jaimie Admans (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Date of Reading: 03/10/2018
Author: Jaimie Admans
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: October 5, 2018
Rating: 5/5

(This review is part of the blog tour organised by Neverland Blog Tours)

About the book: 

One night will change their lives forever…

Georgia Bailey is closing up her little charity shop in Oakbarrow when she gets a mysterious late night call from a stranger, threatening to jump off the town’s bridge.

Something about the man’s voice is faintly familiar but all she can do is stay on the line and, after talking for hours and losing the sense of time passing, coax him back from the edge.

The next morning, Georgia walks to work, buys a festive latte from Leo (who she’s had a crush on for months!) at the local coffee shop, and is shocked when she suddenly recognizes the voice from last night…

A heartwarming festive love story that reminds us that even in the darkest of times, hope is always just around the corner!

My Review: 

       This is, without a doubt, the best Christmas story I have read in 2018. Well, that says it all and this would probably be the shortest review I am going to write. When you love something so much, it is hard to put those fragmented but intense emotions to words. This book will forever be associated with Christmases and angels for me.
       The title, as you can guess is inspired by the famous Christmas movie, 'It's a Wonderful Life'. The novel follows a similar pattern and follows the lives of Leo and Georgia as the latter decides to play the role of his fairy godmother or the guardian angel. Together they bring back life and the rejuvenating spirit of Christmas to their market street. It is inspiring, imaginative and shows us how a little human kindness can bring heaven on earth. After all, the birth of Christ is the promise of peace to the virtuous. 
       Truly, a wonderful book and I can't wait to see what this incredible writer is capable of creating next. A story I never wanted to end . . .

Meet the author:

Jaimie is a 32-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, watching horror movies, and drinking tea, although she’s seriously considering marrying her coffee machine. She loves autumn and winter and singing songs from musicals despite the fact she’s got the voice of a dying hyena. She hates spiders, hot weather, and cheese & onion crisps. She spends far too much time on Twitter and owns too many pairs of boots. She will never have time to read all the books she wants to read.

She is the author of chick-lit romantic comedies The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters, The Little Wedding Island, It’s a Wonderful Night, and Kismetology and she has also written young-adult romantic comedies Afterlife Academy, Not Pretty Enough, and North Pole Reform School.


It's a Wonderful Night Goodie bag, includes:

*It's a Wonderful Night notebook
*It's a Wonderful Night fridge magnet
*A signed postcard of the cover
*A copy of It's a Wonderful Life on DVD because this is the inspiration behind the story.
*An invisible spine Paris notebook because it's where Georgia wants to go more than anywhere in the world.
*A light-up Christmas tree pen, because who doesn't need a light-up Christmas tree pen at this time of year?!

UK Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Love to Hate You - Anna Premoli

Date of Reading: 12/10/2018
Author: Anna Premoli
Publisher: Aria
Year: 2016
Rating: 5/5
About the book:

Can your worst enemy become the love of your life? A fun, feisty, feel-good romance for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Meg Cabot. 
Jennifer and Ian have known each other for seven years. They are leaders of two different teams in the same London bank and are constantly engaged in a running battle to be number one.

Ian is a handsome, wealthy and sought-after bachelor; Jennifer is a feisty, independent lawyer. When they are thrown together to work on the same project, Ian makes Jenny an offer she can't refuse: to have free reign of their rich client if she pretends to be his girlfriend.

Soon, it becomes more and more difficult to tell the difference between fiction and reality...

My Review:

      After reading one of her recent works, I thought of digging up some of Premoli's older novels. This one caught my eye since I am a great fan of enemies to lovers romance and the fact that Ian St. John is also a future Duke made the perfect combination I needed.
       As always, the witty banter between the two protagonists is the highlight of her novel. Jenny may irritate you a bit towards the end, but Ian is definitely someone to swoon for. Alright, I can feel Jenny rolling her eyes at this comment, categorising me among all other brainless girls who are after Ian. Easy there girl, after all, it is your narration that reminds us constantly of his deep blue eyes.
       Completely predictable but hugely enjoyable plot hooks you from the beginning and guarantees so much fun. I have read it twice already 😉. Surely, this is Anna Premoli at her best!

Meet the author: 

Anna Premoli is a bestselling author in Italy. She began writing to relieve stress while working as a financial consultant for a private bank. Her novel, Love to Hate You won the Bancarella prize in 2013   

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Athena's Champion - David Hair & Cath Mayo (Blog Tour)

Date of Reading: 8/11/2018
Authors: David Hair, Cath Mayo
Publisher: Canelo
Published Date: November 8, 2018
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5

About the book: 

The first in a thrilling new historical fantasy series; Odysseus must embrace his secret heritage and outwit the vengeful Gods who would control or destroy him…

Prince Odysseus of Ithaca is about to have his world torn apart. He’s travelled to the oracle at Pytho to be anointed as heir to his island kingdom; but instead, the Pythia reveals a terrible secret, one that tears down every pillar of his life, and marks him out for death.

Outcast by his family, hunted by the vengeful gods, Odysseus is offered sanctuary by Athena, goddess of wisdom, and thrust into the secret war between the Olympians for domination and survival. Only his wits and his skill as a warrior can keep him ahead of their power games – and alive.

When one of Athena’s schemes goes drastically wrong, and the young Helen of Sparta is kidnapped, Odysseus must journey past the gates of Hades to save her. Falling in love with a Trojan princess, a bewitching woman who poses a deadly threat to both his homeland and Athena, won’t make his task any easier…

Drawing from classic Greek mythology, Athena's Champion, first in the epic Olympus series, is perfect for fans of Madeline Miller and David Gemmell.

My Review:

     Odysseus was never one of my favourite heroes in Greek mythology partly because I sided with Troy and Hector in the epic battle of Troy. Yes, not even Brad Pitt as Achilles could change my loyalties in this regard. Since Odysseus had more than paid up for his treachery and the fact that he never wanted to be a part of the Trojan war in the first place had favoured him to me a bit. And Tennyson's poem invoking him as a tireless fighter who is intended to live life to the lees only accentuates this image.
       David Hair and Cath Mayo's recent addition to this literary corpus brings yet another side of this Ithacan hero. Following the non-Homeric tradition which sees Odysseus as the son of Sisyphus, the book traces his journey of survival as a champion of Athena, the warrior goddess of logic and reason.
     From the beginning itself, we feel a comradeship with Odysseus who are scared to wits when his stable world comes tumbling down. He knows his limitations and his silver tongue sets him apart from the usual heroes who are known for bloodshed and deeds of valour. The man we find here is fragile as any other human but refuses to be a pawn in the games of gods. How he will manage to do that is yet to be seen.
      Though first in the part of a series, the story has a satisfying end so that the readers can keep their excitement leashed until the arrival of the next one. I loved the way the authors managed to give a modern interpretation to the existence of Greek Gods; they are alive till they are worshipped and thus the Trojan war turns out to be a decisive one regarding their survival.
      To conclude, 'Athena's Champion' will hook anyone who loves Greek mythology. You feel right at home with Odysseus and with each turn of the page, we are pulled deeper into the story. It was an enjoyable and educative read which made me revisit some of my mythology references. Thank you, Ellie Pilcher of Canelo, for sending me an ARC and for the invitation to the blog tour.

Meet the authors:

David Hair is an award-winning New Zealand YA and Adult fantasy writer, and the author of sixteen novels.  He’s joined his considerable skill and expertise with Cath Mayo to create the Olympus Series, an adult historical fantasy drawing on ancient Greek Mythology, following the adventures of Odysseus as he navigates the dangerous world of the Greek Gods.

Cath Mayo is a New Zealand YA, Children and Adult fiction author. Her two published YA historical novels are both set in Ancient Greece and her first novel received a Storylines Notable Book Award for Young Adult Fiction in 2014. She’s joined her considerable skill and expertise with David Hair to create the Olympus Series, an adult historical fantasy drawing on ancient Greek Mythology, following the adventures of Odysseus as he navigates the dangerous world of the Greek Gods. @cathmayoauthor

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