Friday, 17 September 2021

Review: The Single Girls To Do List by Lindsey Kelk

Rachel Summers loves a to-do list: boyfriend, flat, great job.

NOT on the list: being dumped.

Best friends Emelie and Matthew ride to her rescue with an entirely new kind of list – The Single Girl’s To-Do List. Rachel doesn’t know it, but it will take her on all kinds of wild adventures – and get her in some romantic pickles too. And then it won't be a case of what but who she decides to tick off: Mr. bendy yoga instructor, Mr. teenage sweetheart, Mr. persistent ex, Mr. deeply unsuitable.

The Single Girl’s To-Do List gives Rachel the perfect heartbreak cure – and proves love is out there if you’re willing to take a chance.

Review: I did read this book when it first came out but that was before I even had my book blog so this will be a review of my re-read of The Single Girls To Do List by Lindsey Kelk!

I adored this book when I first read it and reading it again it was just as funny and really just a relevant now as it was then. I listened to it on audiobook the second time around, the narrator was excellent and whilst i don't often laugh out loud when listening to an audiobook I certainly did whilst listening to this one. I loved getting to wallow with Rachel just as much as I enjoyed getting through the single girls to do list with her. When I first read this I was recently single and now I am married and yet i related to Rachel equally both times. 

Lindsey Kelk has a way of dropping throw away comments from characters of tiny little physical things that happen to those characters subtly into her novels that are just so funny and so entertaining and timed perfectly and this novel is just such a great example of that. This story is true to life and some parts are tough to read because a lot of people are really not very nice to Rachel throughout the book but the timing of those moments is just balanced so well with the adventures that she has and then funny comments from her best friend or funny things that she trips over or wears that it doesn't come across as in many way gritty or depressing. 

I had completely forgotten that there is an amazing character cameo in this book from someone from the I heart series and when she made her appearance I swear I cheered. It was wonderful seeing that character interaction with Rachel, it's like when you meet someone famous in real life, you feel like you know them when really they're on TV but you are so happy to see them. 

I definitely think I would reread this book again, especially now I have the new paperback edition as well as the audiobook. It was just such a great time and I listened in just 2 sittings. I loved all the supporting characters as well as the running toothpaste gag and now I just want to go away and immediately start another Lindsey Kelk novel. I highly recommend The Single Girls To Do List-then, now and always!

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

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Review: The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures Parts 3 by Holly Hepburn

**PART THREE in the brand new series from Holly Hepburn.**
When Hope loses her husband, she fears her happiest days are behind her. With her connection to London broken, she decides to move home to York to be near her family and try to piece her life back together.
Taking a job at the antique shop she has always loved, she finds herself crossing paths with two very different men. Will, who has recently become the guardian to his niece after the tragic death of her parents. And Ciaran, who she enlists to help solve the mystery of an Egyptian antique. Two men representing two different happy endings.

But can she trust herself to choose the right man? And will that give her the life she really needs?

 Review: Oh it was so great to be back with Hope and her friends at the Little Shop of Hidden Treasures. I didn't realise how much I missed this group in between installments of this series-they really are a great bunch. I was also super eager to start this part in the series because part 2 ended on such a cliffhanger and I was desperate to find out what happened next. 

I love that we are getting to see Hope growing and learning over the course of this series, she is almost unrecognisable from part one because of the amount of confidence she has gained as well as the professional respect and the friendships she has made. I loved spending this installment of the series with her and finding out which steps she would take next. 

The other character I was pleased to spend more time with was Will, and of course his neice Brodie. I didn't realise how happy it made me when they appear in the story until we didnt' see them until partway through the book. I love him as a character and I really hope to see more of him in the next part! 

When I reviewed part 2 I said there was plenty of drama but the twists and turns just keep coming in this installment of the series. I gasped a couple of times and we have been rewarded with yet another cliffhanger of an ending. If you want to travel to York without the crowds and hang out with an awesome group of people then this is definitely the series for you. I can't wait to read part 4!

To order your copy now, just click the link: 

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Guest Review: Just My Luck by Adele Parks

It’s the stuff dreams are made of – a lottery win so big, it changes everything.

For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends, the Pearsons and the Heathcotes. Over dinner parties, fish & chip suppers and summer barbecues, they’ve discussed the important stuff – the kids, marriages, jobs and houses – and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything more than a tenner.

But then, one Saturday night, the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone doesn’t tell the truth. And soon after, six numbers come up which change everything forever.

Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth £18 million. And their friends are determined to claim a share of it.

Review: As a person who has been playing the national lottery ever since it started without any significant win, I was intrigued by the sound of this story about a family who won big. Although I am aware that Adele Parks has written several top selling books, this is the first that I have read. I’m glad that I did; the story had me hooked from the start and was a quick read for me. There is plenty going on and enough twists and turns to keep me turning the pages wondering what on earth was going to happen next.

The story begins with Lexi and Jake Greenwood discovering that they have won the weekly lottery draw, with a jackpot of £17.8 million. Until the week before, they had played for years as part of a syndicate with two other couples, but during a rather heated argument, the other couples apparently backed out of the arrangement. However, once the win is made common knowledge, the other four claim their share of the winnings. While Lexi, Jake and their two teenage children are spending the money, the dispute with their former friends is not the only problems their wealth brings them. They all have different ideas of what to do with the money. There are also all sorts of people who want a cut of their good fortune, some of them more forceful in their methods of asking than others. What’s more, they find that there is a change in the way people react to them. It seems that their win has had an effect on everyone around them, often bringing out the worst kind of traits such as greed, violence and betrayal.

This book had me surprised, and indeed alarmed, again and again by what was happening in the lives of Lexi, Jake and their children as a direct result of their lottery win. I found the whole story absorbing and frightening at times; very good writing in my opinion. I actually gasped out loud at a few points. There are quite a few nasty characters in the pages of this book; even the ones you feel you should be supporting have their own agendas apparently. Just when I thought everything was tied up, there was a terrific twist at the end - I certainly didn’t see it coming. I can definitely recommend this thrilling story to other readers, but I would warn them that it might make them think twice about playing the lottery.

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

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Enchanted Fandom July 2021 Drinking Vessel Unboxing (Jane Austen)


Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Numbers in The Title 14/9/21


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.

Ooo this is a fun one, I bet there are more than I think...

Monday, 13 September 2021

Blog Tour: Interview With A Country Village Christmas Author Suzanne Snow

Today is my stop on the blog tour for A Country Village Christmas by Suzanne Snow. I have an interview with the author to share with you today. If you like the sound of that, you can click here to buy your copy now. Don't forget to check out the other blogs on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 

Here's what it's all about:

Can the magic of Christmas and the community of Thorndale bring two lost souls together in love?

Olivia doesn’t have time for Christmas or for romance – she’s got a demanding career and has been burned before when it comes to love. This year, she’s spending the festive season in her dad’s old house, packing it up now that he’s moved out. Her dad failed to mention she wouldn’t be spending her time there alone…

The last thing Olivia expects is for her surprise guest to be the very man who literally ran from her after an evening of mutual flirtation. But Tom has nowhere else to go and Olivia is determined to forget the disappointment she felt at his abandonment and instead help him find his way again.

As heavy snow keeps them inside the cottage, will their enforced confinement spark romance once again – or will it push them further apart?

Are you ready to read that interview?

First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?

I loved reading as a child and was always drawn to creating my own stories. Writing seemed like a natural progression and just a few days ago whilst having a clearout I discovered all my old stories and files. Not sure whether to shred or save! I grew up with horses around farms and my first stories were about adventurous girls and their ponies.
Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?

I now write full time and am very grateful to be doing so, it was always my dream job. After several years as a stay-at-home mum, I trained in horticulture and spent five seasons planting redesigned gardens, which was a real passion.

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer?

I've always been drawn to romance and love to write about rural landscapes and the communities around them. I enjoy reading crime, especially historical, and have no idea how to write it!

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?

My characters might be inspired by a story about a person or something I've heard or seen, but they're never based on real people. I love creating my characters and learning about their pasts as I plot their futures.
What was the inspiration behind A Country Village Christmas?

It was actually a house to begin with, a property in Yorkshire with a view of a small library, an old armchair beside the fire. The character of Hugh popped up as I imagined him sitting there, and Olivia and Tom soon joined him. I'd always wanted to write a Christmas book and I so enjoyed creating a romance set in December, with all the festive happenings you'd expect during the holidays.

What is your writing process-do you plan it out first? Write a bit at a time?

I'm definitely a planner and I always know the ending before I start writing. For me the process of writing the book is drawing characters to that ending but however much planning I do, there's usually a surprise or two along the way.
How much of you is reflected in your writing?

I'd say very little, other than each of my heroines have a tiny something of me in them; namely cooking, gardening, horses and home. I've given each woman a very different life experience to mine and they're a lot of fun to create. I think a childhood growing up mostly outdoors has definitely influenced my writing and I love to write across the seasons and celebrate them through the landscape.
What kind of research did you have to do before/during writing A Country Village Christmas?

The story is set around an old bookshop and I researched lots of different Christmas books to decide which ones would suit my character's narratives, as each of the real books referenced have a meaning to Olivia, Tom or Hugh. Tom is an actor and his back story included playing a fictional romantic hero which made him famous and that was brilliant to play around with, as Olivia finds out!
Are friends and family supportive of your writing? 

My friends and family are very encouraging, especially my husband. I was very close to my late mother-in-law and she was definitely one of my biggest supporters. She usually read everything first and never doubted that I'd be an author, even when I did. My mum is a brilliant publicist, and has been known to stop people in the street to tell them about my books. She even took bookmarks on holiday and persuaded a local bookshop to order my books! It all really helps!

How do you feel leading up to your publication day?

There are always some nerves but it's mostly excitement and being grateful to the team who work so hard to bring my books to readers. I'm very thankful for the opportunities I've had and it's always wonderful when a reader gets in touch to say how much they loved a book and are waiting for the next.
Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?

I read everything by Karen Swan and I love CJ Sansom's Shardlake series in particular. I'm inspired by any author who has written and published a book, and I've made some lovely friends since joining the RNA.

Finally...what are you working on right now?

Writing my fifth book, and planning six and seven, which aren't part of the Thorndale series. I'm loving getting to know different characters and exploring a new setting, set in another rural community. 

Thanks so much to Suzanne for stopping by the blog today and answering all of my burning questions!