Thursday, 12 December 2019

Guest Review: Snowdrops on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry

Last winter she had a plan.
Lucy fell in love with tumbledown Rosemary Cottage as a child. So thirty years on, when she loses her city job and discovers the cottage is for sale, it feels like fate. She’ll raise her children in Burley Bridge and transform the cottage into a B&B with her husband.
But a year can change everything . . .
Now Lucy is juggling two children and a B&B, but on her own. Christmas looks set to be their last on Rosemary Lane – until she meets James, a face from her past and someone who might offer a different kind of future . . .
Should Lucy leave the cottage behind? Or could this winter on Rosemary Lane be the start of something new?

 Review: I have been waiting for this book to be published with great anticipation. I have read and very much enjoyed Ellen Berry’s other books set in Rosemary Lane and couldn’t wait to see who was going to star in this next addition to the series. Once again, when I sat down to read, I found myself quickly drawn into the Yorkshire village of Burley Bridge, pleased to meet up with a few familiar faces.

This story revolves around Lucy Scott and her family. Having loved visiting Burley Bridge as a child during her school holidays, Lucy is delighted to find that Rosemary Cottage, a house that she had always admired on her visits, is for sale. Glad to be able to escape the hustle and bustle of Manchester, she moves in with husband Ivan and their children Sam and Marnie. Having made some necessary improvements to the property, the couple set up Lucy’s dream B&B business and settle into country life. When tragedy strikes and Lucy finds herself bringing up the children and running the business on her own, she is thankful for all the friends who rally round to help her, especially James, who she first met on those childhood visits to the village. However, even with such a wonderful support network, Lucy ultimately begins to wonder whether she should leave her beloved cottage behind and return to her old life.

I really loved this book and whizzed through it in no time. It is quite an emotional read, extremely sad in places, but with some humour as well. The storyline spans a few years from when Lucy moved to Burley Bridge to the time that she began to consider her future there, so the book is not as Christmassy as the lovely wintry cover suggests. The author skilfully conveys Lucy’s grief and coming to terms with the tragic situation in which she finds herself; the reader can almost feel the pain come out of the book’s pages. I greatly admired the way in which Lucy steadfastly resisted her mother’s forceful attempts to rush her away from the village which she regarded as being too far from civilisation. I’m not sure I could have been quite so patient with her mother and her thoughtless comments. Although the main focus of the story is on Lucy, there is an interesting subplot concerning James and his ageing father, the author again dealing sensitively with a difficult subject. I can definitely recommend this book and the Rosemary Lane series as a whole to other readers. I’m hoping that there may be other stories about the Yorkshire village in the pipeline.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US 

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Guest Review: Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage by Katie Ginger

The brand new novel from the author shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Romantic Novel Award 2019!
On a grey London day, Esme’s world crumbles around her when she loses her glitzy job on a top TV programme, her gorgeous, city-slicker boyfriend and her stunning apartment, all in one fell swoop just before Christmas.
Esme is forced suddenly to move back to her sleepy home town of Sandchester, and despite the snow blanketing the roof and the fairy lights that twinkle in her rustic little cottage, everything is looking bleak. That is until she reconnects with an old crush and finds herself unexpectedly getting swept away.
But Joe, handsome and charming as he is, is not all he seems. Esme soon realises that he has a tragic past which he just might not be able to overcome…
Surrounded by her loving, if hare-brained, family and with the support of her hilarious friends, Esme is determined to have a go at forging her own path, even if it all comes to nothing. But one question still lingers in her mind: will she find someone to kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas?

Review: This is my first read from Katie Ginger. I was drawn to this particular book by its beautiful cover, the lights and red door of the cottage inviting me in on a snowy evening, and also the very Christmassy title. It proved to be one of those stories that I could well have read in one sitting had life not intervened. That said, I did finish it very quickly, and was left with a nice warm feeling at the end.

When Esme Kendrick loses her job, her boyfriend and her home all in the same day close to Christmas, she finds herself with little choice but to return from London to her quiet childhood home in Sandchester. Rather than live with her parents once more, she finds the most reasonably priced place to rent, the rather rundown but quaint Mistletoe Cottage. A food technician by training, Esme takes a friend’s advice and sets up her own blog, aiming to pass on some of her grandmother’s recipes, with a modern twist, to aspiring cooks. Her search for a home has brought her into contact with estate agent Joe Holloway, who she knew at school. Joe has a reputation as a bit of a ladies’ man, so when he seems to take an interest in Esme, she is somewhat wary. However, as he supports her through this troubled time in her life, she discovers another side to him.

I very much enjoyed this heartwarming festive story, filled with a delicious mixture of drama, romance and humour. There was a wonderful mix of characters too, from the lovable and lost Esme and the soft-hearted Joe, to Esme’s madcap friends and indeed parents, and lastly the dastardly ex Leo. I absolutely loved Esme’s attempts at vlogging, especially her live broadcasts; just reading about them had me in stitches. Of course, with Esme’s blog being all about food, there were quite a few descriptions of mouthwatering dishes within the pages of this book. I was envious of the ease with which she could whip up the most delicious sounding treats. I can confidently recommend this book to other readers looking for an entertaining festive read. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Linda's Top Ten Festive Reads 10/12/19

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I have a special treat for you today, Linda AKA my mum AKA my guest reviewer and highland hamster over on Twitter agreed to do a top ten festive reads to share with you today-I think you'll recognise most of these as she has of course reviewed them for the blog!

When Catriona asked me if I would put together my top 10 Christmas reads, I thought ‘yes no bother’. Well, that was sooo wrong. To narrow it down to 10 has been so difficult. I’ve done it at last, but the struggle to get down to 10 from the last 13 was immense. I have included my favourite from each author listed, although several writers have multiple Christmas favourites. I’m only glad she didn’t ask me to put them in order!! Here goes: 

Monday, 9 December 2019

November 2019 Reading Wrap Up

I had a really good reading month in November. I think the fact that it was nonfiction November really gave me a bit of a boost in that I added to my TBR as I went with some wonderful wonderful nonfiction. I loved listening to nonfcition on audio and having this as an excuse really spurred me on. 

As always I will break my wrap up down into ebooks, phsyical books and audiobooks and share any reviews if I have already posted them. 


Physical Books


Friday, 6 December 2019

Blog Tour: Review of A Million Dreams by Dani Atkins

Today is my stop on the blog tour for A Million Dreams by Dani Atkins. I loved this books and I have a review to share with you today. If you like the sound of that you can click here to order your copy now. 

About the book

'A true love story, written by a mother's heart' Milly Johnson.

'A captivating story that packs an emotional punch' Heidi Swain.

Beth Brandon always dreamed of owning a florist, but today the bouquets of peonies and bright spring flowers are failing to calm her nerves. Because today, Beth has a life-changing decision to share with her husband.
Izzy Vaughan thought she and her husband would stay together forever, but sometime last year, their love began to fade. They both find such joy in their young son Noah – but is he enough to keep them together?
Eight years ago, something happened to these two women. Something that is about to bring them together in a way no-one thought possible...

Review: Oh I absolutely loved this novel from start to finish. As usual for a Dani Atkins novel, this one really tugged at my heart strings and I couldn't read too much at a time for fear of getting emotionally overwhelmed. Since I have read all of Dani's previous work I was prepared for this but if this is your first of her books then be warned, this can get a little intense. 
I loved the premise for this story. It is almost impossible to talk about the plot as a whole without giving spoilers but this is something that you could totally see making headlines and totally see happening to someone you know. This also goes in directions you never even thought possible and I really wasn't prepared for some of the choices these amazing characters made. 
I loved Beth and Izzy as characters because they were so easy to relate to and easy to find in your own friendship group and yet at times each of them think the other is the villain of the piece. I loved the fact that they had entire back stories of their own as well as true motivations to be the main player in this novel. I really enjoyed getting to know them and spending time with them and I still in awe of just how strong each of them is. 
Although this is an emotional novel it isn't necessarily sad or depressing. I loved the feelings wrapped up in each and every paragraph and I definitely felt very hopeful and even upbeat by the time i finished their story. I loved going through all of this with Beth and Izzy and I am sure you will too. 

About the author

Dani Atkins is an award-winning novelist. Her 2013 debut FRACTURED (published as THEN AND ALWAYS in North America) has been translated into sixteen languages and has sold more than half a million copies since first publication in the UK. Dani is the author of four other bestselling novels, one of which, This Love, won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 2018. Dani lives in a small village in Hertfordshire with her husband, one Siamese cat and a very soppy Border Collie.

Follow Dani:

Twitter: @AtkinsDani
Facebook: @DaniAtkinsAuthor

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Twitter: @HoZ_Books
Facebook: @headofzeus
Instagram: @headofzeus

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Guest Review: The Memories of Us by Vanessa Carnevale

One moment can change your life

When Gracie Ashcroft wakes after a crash with severe amnesia, she must choose whether to live a life through other people’s memories or to start a new life all her own.
Discovering her late mother left her an old flower farm, Gracie leaves her fiancé, best friend and the home full of forgotten memories behind, hoping to learn who she is now.
Torn between wishing she could remember and afraid of losing what she now has, Gracie starts to wonder: if you had your time over, would you live the same life twice?

Review: Vanessa Carnevale is a new author to me. I spotted this book, set in Australia, in the library, and was intrigued by the synopsis; it also has a lovely, colourful cover. I chose to listen to the audio format and was spellbound from start to finish.

The story concerns Gracie, who wakes up in hospital after being involved in a car crash and finds she has total amnesia. She remembers nothing of the crash itself or any of her family friends, even her fiancé who was driving when the accident happened. She makes the courageous decision to leave behind the well-meaning people who want to help her remember her life and ends up returning to her childhood home, a flower farm run by her late mother. There, she makes acquaintances who are willing to help her start up the flower business once again, including neighbour Flynn. The flowers seem to help her remember odd instances, but will she ever remember her life before and rekindle her relationship with fiancé Blake, assuming that she really did love him, a question that has worried her all along.

I thought this a wonderful story, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. The author has expertly conveyed the emotions experienced by a person with amnesia, including confusion, frustration, and even anger. On the other side, we also see the emotions in those who wish to help that person regain control of their life, but don’t want to, or are not allowed to, push too far. Flowers play a big part in helping Gracie through her struggle; I learned quite a bit about them while reading this book. There was a lovely twist at the end of the book; I guessed the secret beforehand, but that didn’t spoil the ending for me. I shall definitely be looking out for more from this author.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Holiday Reads 3/12/19

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

There are so many I could list here and this is by no means an exhaustive list. I've tried just to list one from each author where many of these authors have multiple holidays reads that are EXCELLENT!

Monday, 2 December 2019

December 2019 TBR

Well we have reached the final month of the year and so here are some of the books I would like to read before 2019 is up. 

Just a heads up that I am doing vlogmas again this year so if you aren't subscribed to my BookTube channel, there are some videos coming up, including my top tens of the year that you're not going to want to miss!

As always, I will divide these books into a couple of categories...

December Releases

January Releases

Buddy Reads

Other Books I Want to Get To