Wednesday 20 December 2023

Guest Review: Holiday Romance by Catherine Walsh

She’s meant to be catching flights, not catching feelings…

Molly and Andrew are just trying to get home to Ireland for the holidays, when a freak snowstorm grounds their flight.

Nothing romantic has ever happened between them: they’re friends and that’s all. But once a year, for the last ten years, Molly has spent seven hours and fifteen minutes sitting next to Andrew on the last flight before Christmas from Chicago to Dublin, drinking terrible airplane wine and catching up on each other’s lives. In spite of all the ways the two friends are different, it’s the holiday tradition neither of them has ever wanted to give up.

Molly isn’t that bothered by Christmas, but—in yet another way they’re total opposites—Andrew is a full-on fanatic for the festive season and she knows how much getting back to Ireland means to him. So, instead of doing the sane thing and just celebrating the holidays together in America, she does the stupid thing. The irrational thing. She vows to get him home. And in time for his mam’s famous Christmas dinner.

The clock is ticking. But Molly always has a plan. And—as long as the highly-specific combination of taxis, planes, boats, and trains all run on time—it can’t possibly go wrong.

What she doesn’t know is that, as the snow falls over the city and over the heads of two friends who are sure they’re not meant to be together, the universe might just have a plan of its own…

Reiew: As a lover of Christmas-based stories of all kinds, I was attracted by this book which is described on its striking cover as a hilarious Christmas romantic comedy. I’m not familiar with the author, but it sounded like something I would love to read. I listened to the audiobook, which was well read and kept me entertained for many hours.

The story concerns two people, Molly and Andrew, who have known each other for ten years, having travelled home for Christmas each year on the same plane carrying them to Dublin from Chicago, where they both live and work. After the first meeting on the plane, which was difficult for many reasons, they have gradually become friends but no more than that. Molly professes to being unmoved by Christmas, while it is very important to Andrew. Therefore, when their flight is cancelled due to bad weather this particular year, Molly would happily spend the holiday in her apartment, but Andrew is desperate to get home somehow. Knowing how important it is for him, Molly sets out to get him back to Ireland by any means possible and there follows a hilarious journey taking in many stops and many modes of transport. Somewhere along the way something is changing between the pair; could romance be in the air?

I have really enjoyed this story, which had me laughing a lot, but also anxious as Molly and Andrew gradually inched their way closer to home even as all sorts of obstacles dropped in their path. I loved the way in which the story was told, looking back over the last ten years of their friendship, each time reliving the flight taking them home that year. By the time of this present flight, they know a lot about each other and their families. They are so very different, but it is lovely to watch as they get closer with each passing year. This is a Christmas story with a difference and one which I’m sure other readers will enjoy as much as I have.

To order your copy now, just click here!

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Guest Review: A New York Winter by Isla Gordon

Will her dreams come true in the city that never sleeps?

When she was nineteen, on a magical trip to New York City, Ashling created a list of her five life goals. There, she'd felt inspired to dream big, but now, ten years later, with four out of five goals having crumbled before her, she realises she has only one option left to live the life she's always dreamed of: move to New York City, before it's too late.

Armed with a ninety-day visa, she's sure that a winter in the city that never sleeps will help her finally get her life on track. However, after arriving in the Big Apple with nowhere to live, Ashling realises that she may be in over her head, until she meets River . . .

River is miserable. He's newly single, recently demoted and feeling entirely lost, but sensing Ashling could do with the help, he offers her his sofa bed. Despite their clashing personalities, over the course of the winter, outgoing Ashling finds herself growing closer to quiet, geeky River - but is he just shy or is there another reason he's holding back?

With snow falling on 5th Avenue, a Thanksgiving parade and a fun-filled Christmas in the most romantic city in the world, can Ashling once again learn to follow her dreams - and maybe even her heart?

Review: I have read and enjoyed many Christmas stories from Isla Gordon and looked forward to experiencing a New York Christmas and a romance to boot in this book. The book itself has a lovely, colourful cover that beckons the reader in to experience views of New York and Christmas festivities. The story certainly pulled me in from the start and I found myself quickly lost in the Big Apple. 

The story centres on Ashling, who is feeling down because she has now failed completely to accomplish four of the five lifetime goals she set for herself ten years previously. She decided on these goals while on a magical trip from London to New York with her now deceased grandmother, who had had a wonderful time in New York herself in her younger years. With her once successful career in tatters, the one remaining goal on Ashling’s list is to live in New York city, where she is confident that she will be inspired to realise where her life should lead now. She arrives in the city on a ninety-day visa waiver, but finding somewhere to live for that time proves difficult until an ex-boyfriend tells her of a colleague who is out of town and may let her stay in his apartment. The colleague, River, returns from his trip, but reluctantly allows Ashling to sleep on his sofa bed. Having very different personalities, their relationship is difficult to start with, but as time passes, Ashling begins to succeed in getting River to open up to her. As they become closer, Ashling begins to wonder whether they will truly admit their feelings towards each other before she has to return to the UK.

I absolutely loved this wonderful book that takes the reader on a Christmas break in New York city without leaving home. It covers everything that a visiting tourist would want to experience on such a break if they possibly could. The writing absolutely transported me to the Thanksgiving parade, the snow covered streets, the wonderful shop window displays, the ice skating rinks and the excitement of the ball drop in Times Square. Ashling was a really interesting character. Her world could be falling apart around her, but she just won’t let it go. How brave to set off on her own confident that everything will work out for her. She could hardly be more different from shy, reserved River. It was heart-warming to watch as a romance slowly developed between them, although time was running out and I began to despair of a happy ending. This is a lovely Christmas book, perfect for reading in the warm on a crisp winter’s day. 

To order your copy now, just click here!

Thursday 7 December 2023

November 2023 Reading Wrap Up: Nonfiction and Netgalley Reads...

November was a great reading month for me because I LOVED everything I read! I managed 4 nonfiction books and 2 netgalley reads so I'm happy with that!

As always, I will break it down into the types of books that I read...

Physical Books


Tuesday 5 December 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Mainstream Authors I Still Have Not Read


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 loads of authors that are popular around the book blogging world and booktube that I still have no read so I loved making this list...

Monday 4 December 2023

December 2023 TBR-Everything I Want to Read Before the End of the Year!

 It's the last month of the year, I think that always makes me panic in terms of my reading because it's a feeling of everything I haven't read and want to try and squeeze in knowing that December is such a busy month and won't be giving me a lot of time for reading....

That being said, I've decided on a couple of things I want to complete coupled with some festive reads...

Finishing off books/series

December Releases

Festive Reads