Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Blog Tour Review: Magnolia House by Angela Barton


Magnolia House by Angela Barton
Published: 29th January 2019
Publisher: Choc Lit UK
Pages: 333
Available  on Kindle
Rating: 5/5 



Blurb
Rowan Forrester has it all – the happy marriage, the adorable dog, the good friends, the promising business and even the dream home after she and her husband Tom win a stunning but slightly dilapidated Georgian townhouse in London at auction. 

But in the blink of an eye, Rowan’s picture-perfect life comes crashing down around her and she is faced with the prospect of having to start again. 

To make ends meet she begins a search for housemates, and in doing so opens the door to new friends and new beginnings. But could she be opening the door to new heartbreak too?

Review

I loved Angela Barton’s previous novel Arlette’s Story so was really looking forward to reading Magnolia House, it may be a different genre but once again Ms. Barton has succeeded in creating a richly detailed and emotional story.
When Rowan and her husband first see Magnolia House its love at first sight, together they do a wonderful job of renovating it and bringing it back to its former glory. Everything is perfect for Rowan and husband Tom, until one frightful evening when Tom has a heart-attack and dies. Now Rowan’s facing life alone in the huge house it doesn’t seem so perfect, after months of soul-destroying heartache Rowan finally decides it time to move on and turn Magnolia House into three separate flats. The arrival of new flat-mates Mason and Nora, marks the start of a new beginning for Rowan but will it be a happy one?
Rowan is a lovely main character she’s fun, warm-hearted and creative about to start the next phase of her life when everything falls apart. Yes she grieves for a long time but then she decides its time to move on and build a future for herself, I really admired her resilience and determination to make her little business work. For me though the star of the book was Mason, he added some fun and humour back into Rowan’s life and with brother James the possibility of romance. He was there for Rowan when the story takes a darker turn and provides the ideal confidante.
Magnolia House was a wonderful emotional read. I cried along with Rowan at the beginning but also found myself laughing at some of the situations Rowan ends up in and I loved the intrigue and mystery behind the letters Rowan received. For me this was a perfect novel full of heartbreak, romance and mystery, Angela Barton really brought Magnolia House to life and I loved it.
I highly recommend Magnolia House, it’s a book I know I will read again for sure. I’d like to thank the publishers Choc Lit for sending me a copy to review and Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the blog tour. 


About the Author


Angela Barton was born in London and grew up in Nottingham. She is married with three grown up children and adorable four-year-old twin granddaughters. Angela is passionate about writing both contemporary and historical fiction and loves time spent researching facts for her novels. Having signed publishing contracts for three of her completed novels with Choc Lit’s new imprint, Ruby Fiction, Angela is excited to be working alongside such a lovely team.
Angela and her husband, Paul, recently moved to France and planted a lavender field. She’s looking forward to spending more time writing in the beautiful Charente countryside working from her new writing room, a beautiful shepherd hut. Angela is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and Nottingham Writers’ Studio.


Purchase Link  - smarturl.it/fttfc2




Sunday, 17 March 2019

Blog Tour Review: She's Mine by Claire. S. Lewis


She's Mine by C.S. Lewis
Published: 5th March 2019
Publisher: Aria
Pages: 4848
Available on Kindle
Rating: 4/5


Blurb
She was never mine to lose…

When Scarlett falls asleep on a Caribbean beach she awakes to her worst nightmare – Katie is gone. With all fingers pointed to her Scarlett must risk everything to clear her name.

As Scarlett begins to unravel the complicated past of Katie’s mother she begins to think there’s more to Katie’s disappearance than meets the eye. But who would want to steal a child? And how did no-one see anything on the small island? 

Review
She’s Mine is the debut novel of Claire S. Lewis. While Scarlett is sleeping on the beach, Katie the little girl Scarlett is supposed to be watching goes missing. With Scarlett’s involvement with the disappearance coming under suspicion, Scarlett knows she’ll have to work out what really happened to Katie herself and as she begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding Katie and her mother, she’s not sure what to believe anymore.
This is a twisty psychological thriller which is split between two narratives, the present day and the past. It was not a book I instantly loved as I felt the start was a bit slow and I felt the story lacked urgency which I would expect with a missing child story, the police investigation was very lack-lustre and clumsy. After a steady start the story and the pace increased to create a more dramatic storyline which had me gripped until the shocking ending.
Scarlett was not the most likeable of characters, she often used information she had to her own advantage and you could never be totally sure she was being completely honest, but I think that’s the beauty of this novel is working out who is telling the truth,  something I changed my mind about throughout the book and I found kept me reading.
The best part of the story for me was the narrative from the past which explored the relationship between the twins through key moments in their lives linked to photographs. I found their relationship fascinating and wanted to find out more, more than I wanted to find out what happened to little Katie.

About the Author


Claire Simone Lewis studied philosophy, French literature and international relations at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge before starting her career in aviation law with a City law firm and later as an in-house lawyer at Virgin Atlantic Airways.  More recently, she turned to writing psychological suspense, taking courses at the Faber Academy. She’s Mine is her first novel. Born in Paris, she’s bilingual and lives in Surrey with her family. 

Follow Claire:   
Twitter: @CSLewisWrites
Facebook: @CSLewisWrites

Buy Links:
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2GShJ9O


Follow Aria:

Website: www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @Aria_Fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction


Thursday, 14 February 2019

Blog Tour Review: Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman


Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman
Published: 5th February 2019
Publisher: Aria
Pages: 404
Available on Kindle 
Rating: 5/5


Blurb

The feel-good read of 2019, perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Karen SwanBestselling

Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping - and steamy - love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling.... Not only does she have writer's block, but she's a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.

So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer's retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda - owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson - could this be just the thing to fire up Brie's writing - and romantic - mojo?

Brie's sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer's very own happy-ever-after...

Escape the January blues with this sun-drenched, heart-warming story from the bestselling author of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove. What readers are saying about Lucy Coleman...


Review

Summer on the Italian Lakes is the third novel by Lucy Coleman and personally I think it is her best yet. The cover is beyond gorgeous and I’m sure enough to entice anyone to read and once you get past the first page you’ll be as engrossed as I was.
Brianna Middleton is a romance writer who’s well-known for her saucy sex scenes and more recently her failed relationship with heart-throb Paul. Burying herself in her cottage is all Brie’s done for the last few months but now its time to face the world again and after a make-over from best friend Mel Brie’s ready to pick up her healthy lifestyle once more and find some inspiration for her next novel.
Her editor Carrie has just the solution, four weeks spent in on the shores of Lake Garda helping fellow writer Arran Jamison run his writing retreat. A change of scenery is just what Brie needs but when she arrives in Italy its not just the beautiful countryside which makes its way into Brie’s heart.  
Anything which is set in Italy is a winner for me as its somewhere I long to go and in this book Lucy Coleman has really brought a sense of the relaxed Italian way of life into the book and I would just adored it if I could go stay in Arran’s villa as it sounds like an absolute dream, especially that library.
I loved the chemistry between Brie and Arran and how their relationship grew but for me the best aspect of this novel was perhaps the whole writing process which Brie and Arran explain through their retreat, I found it all fascinating. Don’t worry if this is not your thing though as it doesn’t overwhelm the romance, for me it just made it more interesting.
Like any relationship Brie and Arran have their ups and downs and Lucy Coleman has made theirs interesting by adding one or two unexpected twists.
I loved everything about this book, for me it was perfection. I adored Brie from the start as I could totally relate to her weight concerns and loved how she would help those around her instantly when they needed her. The setting is gorgeous and the whole story flows beautifully. It’s a book filled with different emotions and had me both laughing and crying in places, a truly marvellous story and I’m so looking forward to her next one.
Thank you to Aria for sending me a copy to review and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

About the Author


Lucy lives in the Forest of Dean in the UK with her lovely husband and Bengal cat, Ziggy. Her novels have been short-listed in the UK's Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Lucy won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.


Follow Lucy:  

Twitter: @LucyColemanAuth

Facebook: @LinnBHaltonAuthor

Buy links:
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2Mba8DC

Follow Aria
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction


Saturday, 9 February 2019

Book Birthday Review: The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke


The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke
Published: 9th February 2017
Publisher: HQ Digital
Pages: 198
Available on Kindle
Rating: 4/5

Blurb
Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, Insta's and Snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.

That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if, for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!

Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline.

If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her…

Review
Lifestyle journalist Melissa is content with her life of working hard and playing hard and documenting every moment through social media, that is until she wakes up her thirtieth birthday alone and wondering if she’ll ever find the one. Swiping left has been fun for a while but Mel’s ready to settle down, so when her boss challenges her to go technology free for a month Mel takes up the opportunity to access what her life’s really like.
Life without technology prevents Mel with a few problems but also some opportunities she would have completely missed had she been glued to her phone and when not one but two potential Mr Right’s walk into her life Mel’s left wondering how she will ever choose her perfect man.
Right from the start of this I was hooked on this story. It really makes you question just how reliant we’ve all come to be on technology and how sometimes taking time to look at the small everyday things we often take for granted can make us happier than endlessly scrolling through images of random strangers’ perfect lives.
Mel’s a very relatable character who is easy to like, her antics in her quest to find love made very entertaining reading. She has the typical relationship issues with her mother and sister and I’m glad her technology detox helped her to appreciate both a whole lot more.
I loved the way the story unfolded with some unexpected twists and some highly amusing scenes, my favourite was near the beginning and involved a doggy-door flap
This is the second book by Victoria Cooke which I have read, and I loved both this book and The Holiday Cruise which I read last year. As a debut book I think this is a great book and I’m looking forward to reading more from this author as she has a very honest and compelling writing style which is packed full of humour. 

Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review in exchange for my honest opionions.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Blog Tour Review: Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow


Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow
Published: 11th January 2019
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Available on Kindle
Rating: 5/5

Blurb
Welcome to Love Heart Lane…
When Flick Simons returns to the small village of Heartcross she only expected to stay for a few days. The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.
When a winter storm sweeps in, the only bridge connecting the village to the main land is swept away! As the villagers pull together, Flick finds herself welcomed back by the friends she once left behind. And as the snow begins to melt, maybe there is a chance that Fergus’s heart will thaw too…

Review
I’m a huge Christie Barlow fan and Love Heart Lane sounded like the perfect read for those post-Christmas blues we can sometimes feel. It was the perfect uplifting novel and I think my new favourite novel by Ms. Barlow so far.
After leaving her home eight years ago in a whirlwind of heartbreak Flick Simons reluctantly returns to the small Scottish village of Heartcross to visit her mum who is struggling after the death of Flick’s grandmother. Coming home to Love Heart Lane has left Flick with a mixture of emotions including guilt, regret and uncertainty as she tries to make amends with those she left behind. Maybe her actions were selfish eight years ago when she left behind partner Fergus, but I really felt for her when she must face him again and learns his life has moved on without her.
A freak winter storm breaks the only bridge into the village soon after Flick arrives, leaving her and the rest of the village stranded from the nearest town. Needing something to do to stop herself brooding about the past Flick volunteers herself as village spokesperson and begins a campaign to get supplies to the village. Her well meaning actions don’t always lead to the desired results and as Flick finds herself falling for Fergus all over again, she wonders if he’ll ever find it in his heart to forgive her.
I connected with Flick straight away as a main character. Yes, she has her flaws mainly being she’s selfish and doesn’t always think how her actions will affect others; but given that she’s lived by herself for eight years then that’s understandable. I loved reading about her interactions with young Esme and I think these were my favourite parts of the novel as showed Flick at her best. The other characters added some depth to the novel and I loved seeing how much they all welcomed Flick back home.
I found Love Heart Lane an uplifting and inspiring novel with an over-whelming sense of community spirit throughout. The story develops at a good pace and some unexpected plot twists add some drama to this delightful tale. I think this is Christie Barlow’s best novel yet and I was gutted when I finished Love Heart Lane and Ihad to leave Flick and her friends behind. Luckily Christie Barlow is writing another book based in Heartcross and I for one cannot wait to read it.

About the Author


Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty's Countryside Dream, Lizzie's Christmas Escape, Evie's Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Love Heart Lane. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia. 

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.




Twitter @ChristieJBarlow 

Facebook page Christie Barlow author

Purchase Links



Thursday, 13 December 2018

Blog Tour Review: Christmas at the Chocolate Pot Cafe by Jessica Redland


Christmas at the Chocolate Pot Café by Jessica Redland
Published: 10th November 2018
Publisher: Little Bear Publishing
Pages: 187
Available on Kindle
Rating: 5/5

Blurb
A few minutes of courage might change your life…
Emotionally, Tara Porter finds the festive period a challenge. Christmas Day is a reminder of the family she lost, and New Year’s Eve holds bitter memories of the biggest mistake of her life: marrying Garth Tewkesbury. Shunning invitations to celebrate, she seeks refuge in her flat with only her giant house bunny, Hercules, for company.
Professionally, though, it’s the best time of year. Tara’s thriving café, The Chocolate Pot, is always packed. With the café hosting a wedding and engagement party, it’s shaping up to be the café’s best Christmas ever.
When former nemesis, Jed Ferguson, threatens the future of The Chocolate Pot, Tara prepares for a fight. The café is everything to her and she’s not going to let anyone or anything jeopardise that.
Tara badly misjudged ex-husband Garth and, since then, has refused to let anyone in. After all, if you don’t let them in, they can’t hurt you. But has she misjudged Jed too? Is it possible that he’s not the arrogant, deceitful man from whom she bought the café 14 years earlier? Can she find the courage to find out for sure?
Review
After reading Jessica Redland’s first Christmas book this year Callie’s Christmas Wish I was really looking forward to reading Christmas at the Chocolate Pot Café in the hopes of Callie and Maria’s story evolving. They do appear in Christmas at the Chocolate Pot Café but the story is set five years on, so I feel a lot of wonderful story-telling potential has been missed.
I soon got over my initial disappointment once I began Tara’s story. Tara Potter has been the owner of The Chocolate Pot Café for over fourteen years and has led a very sheltered life in Whitsborough Bay hoping her past life won’t catch up with her. With her customers she’s the perfect café owner, warm, hospitable and nothing is too much trouble for Tara to help with. Here personal life is a different story, she lives alone and hasn’t formed any close bonds with anyone in the town, except maybe her assistant manager Maria who she longs to see happy again. As Tara spends yet another Christmas alone, she decides maybe its time to step out of her comfort zone and start to let people into her life again. But just as Tara starts to reach to people her old advisory Jed Ferguson returns to the Bay and threatens the café’s livelihood, can Tara be strong enough to confront him about his cheating ways all those years ago and finally let her demons rest.
I really loved The Chocolate Pot Café, Tara’s story is a great one and has some very unexpected twists which kept me hooked on reading this. This is a book which covers betrayal, grief, loss, and at times is quite a sad tale, this is perfectly balanced out though with Jessica Redland’s wonderful heart-warming writing. The addition of Maria’s wedding adds extra romance and there is plenty of community spirit which was a lovely to read about.
I can’t wait to read more from Jessica Redland as her story’s totally absorb me and leave me wanting more everytime.

About the Author

Jessica had never considered writing as a career until a former manager kept telling her that her business reports read more like stories and she should write a book. She loved writing but had no plot ideas. Then something happened to her that prompted the premise for her debut novel, Searching for Steven. She put fingers to keyboard and soon realised she had a trilogy and a novella.
She lives on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast — the inspiration for the settings in her books — with her husband, daughter, cat, Sprocker Spaniel, and an ever-growing collection of collectible teddy bears. Although if the dog has her way, the collection will be reduced to a pile of stuffing and chewed limbs!
Her passion for North Yorkshire is shared by fellow-writer and great friend, Sharon Booth and, together, they are the Yorkshire Rose Writers.
Jessica tries to balance her time — often unsuccessfully — between being an HR tutor, trying to re-learn how to play the piano, studying towards a Masters in Creative Writing, and writing itself. Who needs sleep?
Social Media Links –
Twitter:                               @JessicaRedland
Facebook:                          https://www.facebook.com/JessicaRedlandWriter/
Website and blog:           www.jessicaredland.com

Purchase Links



Saturday, 1 December 2018

Blog Tour Review: A Bloomsbury Affair by Anita Davison


A Bloomsbury Affair by Anita Davison
Published: 20th November 2018
Publisher: Aria
Pages: 333
Available on Kindle
Rating: 5/5

Blurb
1905 London is a heady mix of unimaginable wealth and simmering political tensions, and with war looming Flora Maguire wants to keep her family safe.

So when her beloved charge Viscount Edward Trent is accused of murder, she’s determined not to leave the investigation to the police. Flora has trodden the path of amateur sleuth before, but with so much at stake, this time it’s personal.

Slowly the body of the victim found stabbed on a train bound for Paddington starts giving up its secrets, and Flora and her husband Bunny become mired in a murky world of spies, communists and fraudsters. And with the police more sure than ever that Edward is their murderer, Flora must work fast to keep him safe.

Anita Davison’s compulsive story-telling, combined with the irresistible mix of historical drama and gripping mystery, make this unputdownable.

Review

Anita Davison is back with a fifth Flora Maguire mystery in The Bloomsbury Affair. This time its her younger cousin Viscount Edward Trent who the one being investigated. While on a train to Paddington to visit his sister, Ed shares a compartment with a young gentleman, when it’s time to leave the train Ed finds the man dead and the police think he’s to blame. Panicked he runs to Flora’s house where he hopes her, and husband Bunny will help clear his name before he’s sent to jail.
As the mystery and Flora encounters a haberdashery in a Cheltenham, an elderly army officer and a trendy new hotel its clear that Ed hasn’t been totally honest with them about his connections to the dead man. Can Flora solve the mystery without putting herself in danger again?
I loved the latest Flora Maguire novel I read which introduced me to Flora, her husband Bunny and her estranged parents and other members of her family and household. The book continues the storylines from that book, so it gave the mystery a comforting feel as many of the characters I had previously connected with were involved. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the previous books though you’ll soon figure out who’s who and the storyline so far.
I did find the mystery part of this book slow to get going but Flora soon finds herself in a tangled mess as Anita Davison slowly lets the story unfurl and more and more connections are made between the characters we are introduced to. Each of her characters are well developed and I can clearly visualise them.
If you’re a lover of historical mysteries then I can highly recommend this novel, it has realistic characters a great storyline and plenty of historical details.

About the Author




Born in London, Anita has always had a penchant for all things historical. She now lives in the beautiful Cotswolds, the backdrop for her Flora Maguire mysteries.

Follow Anita
Twitter handle: @AnitaSDavison
Any blogs/website: @AnitaDavison

Buy links

Follow Aria
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction