Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Blog Tour: A Good Demon is Hard to Find by Kate Moseman

Sometimes, a date from hell is just what you need...

When Erin thoughtlessly lays a curse on Mark, her cheating ex-husband, she doesn’t expect a well-dressed Great Earl of Hell to show up in her kitchen to fulfill the curse (and make damn good coffee while he’s at it).

Andromalius specializes in wickedness and revenge. He’s ready, willing, and able to rain down hell on Erin’s ex—but when Mark announces a hasty new marriage, Erin needs more than just revenge.
She needs a date to the wedding.

Fans of Good Omens, Lucifer, and The Good Place will love this wickedly funny paranormal romantic comedy!

Purchase Link http://mybook.to/agooddemon

Review

At last, a rom-com that is actually funny! I have a friend who is often (rightly) upset at books billed as rom-coms with a mere smattering of humour. Happily, this is not one of those. This is an irreverent laugh-out-loud light read about a woman who accidentally summons a demon.

Erin's awful ex-husband wants her to stop going to the church he still attends with his new partner - which, if there was any justice, HE would be politely asked to move on from. Fed up beyond belief, Erin curses him and ends up with a demon in her kitchen. Andromalius (Andy for short) is witty, handsome, and very bored after millenia of doing pretty much nothing. A spot of light revenge seems like just the thing.

I definitely enjoyed reading this book and seeing Erin get back on her feet. There was a ton of banter and some nice female friendship. I do however feel it wrapped up very quickly once feelings were realised which came off as almost abrupt. While I appreciate the lack of angst, there were a few problems that were mentioned, glossed over, and quickly forgotten in favour of a happy ending, things that might be a teeny bit important to that ending, like 'gender', and 'immortality'.

Yeah.

There was a fun subplot between two of the supporting characters that is probably leading to another book. I'm keen to read it, but would like that one to be a bit longer and answer a few of those questions that were left hanging, instead of rushing to the end.

Four stars

I received a copy of this book from Rachel's Random Resources; all opinions are my own

Author Bio
Kate Moseman is a writer, photographer, and recipe developer who lives in Florida with her family and enjoys going to theme parks as frequently as possible.
 
Social Media Links
https://www.katemoseman.com
https://www.facebook.com/katemosemanauthor/
https://twitter.com/KateMoseman
https://www.instagram.com/katemoseman/
https://www.pinterest.com/katemosemanauthor/

Monday, 25 May 2020

Blog Tour: A Cornish Summer Holiday at the Little Duck Pond Café


The Little Duck Pond Cafe girls are looking forward to a well-earned break in the Cornish seaside town of Pengully Sands, where Sylvia’s sister, Aggie, owns a holiday home. With the glorious golden sands, sparkling azure sea and an ice-cream parlour only yards away, it seems like the perfect location to relax and watch the surfers riding the waves (and maybe even have a go themselves). But when they arrive, the girls find it’s not quite the seaside idyll they were expecting. The house is less ‘holiday home’ and more ‘creepy, dilapidated haunted house.’ Gracie, who runs the ice-cream parlour, has problems of her own and the last thing she needs is a bunch of high-spirited girls arriving to disturb the peace and isolation she craves. And when a handsome stranger looks set to destroy her livelihood, it seems like the last straw. Will Gracie get her happy ending - and maybe even make friends with the girls next-door? This wasn’t the relaxing break the Little Duck Pond Cafe girls were expecting, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be the holiday of a lifetime!

Purchase Link - https://amzn.to/2slp10U
 

Review
Sometimes what you want isn't what you get, but you might just get what you need. In this cheerful summer read, the girls of the Little Duck Pond Cafe and a few others learn this lesson. Friends and family, both new and old, abound, along with ice-cream, cake, and a splash of romance.

This story follows two lines - Gracie, who is trying to run her mother's old ice-cream parlour, and the high-spirited Cafe girls who move in next door. As the two are set on the two cottages on a Cape, their stories are literally concurrent and manage to fit together well. Gracie's story is a story about hope, family, and moving on while still honouring the past, whereas the cafe girls all have their own stories in various stages. It did mean that, coming into what is obviously a series, the sudden influx of characters and all their associated problems and stories did get a little overwhelming. They start almost in media res and some of the plots are not wrapped up by the end. It is still an enjoyable read, but you gotta be prepared to sit back and absorb it all. I did have a few quibbles with the story continuity but those can be explained away by a few character having very poor reading comprehension.

As it was such lighthearted fun, I'm instead interested in reading the back catalogue, as it seems like the stories at the Little Duck Pond Cafe are quite charming - once you get a handle on who everyone is!

Four stars

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Rachel's Random Resources, all opinions are my own.

Author Bio
Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.
Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by 'the baddies'.Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all - unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.
Her series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘Lemon Drizzle Mondays at the Little Duck Pond Cafe', is out now.
Rosie is currently writing a full-length book, ‘Lucy’s Great Cornish Escape’, which – in a fun twist – will feature favourite characters from the Little Duck Pond Café series.
Follow Rosie on Twitter - https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green1988

Monday, 18 May 2020

Blog Tour: An Implacable Woman by KE Findlay


If a tooth costs a tooth and an eye costs an eye
When a man hits his wife, then it’s his turn to die

Furious that the courts and police can’t prevent respected surgeon John Kirby from beating his wife, Sally Mellors steps in to save her. Permanently…
But Grace Kirby isn’t the only one who needs saving and Sally quickly discovers she’s taken on a much bigger job than she’d thought.
With her unique ability to blend justice with fun, Sally sets joyfully about the business of removing the monsters from women’s lives, but is she in danger of becoming a monster herself?
As her friends in the police get ever closer, Sally has some serious questions of her own to answer.

Additional Maps of where An Implacable Woman is set are found at https://ktfindlay.com/an-implacable-woman-maps/

Purchase Links
The main Amazon.com link is https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088HJJ6NW/
The UK link is https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B088HJJ6NW/
The Indian link is https://www.amazon.in/dp/B088HJJ6NW/
The Canadian link is https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B088HJJ6NW/

Review
Sally Mellors is back! Not long after completing her revenge for her husband's death, she and her friends realise that a member of their golf club is hitting his wife. Aware that the police are helpless and unable to sit back and do nothing, Sally decides to bring her murderous alter-ego Selina back for a spot of husband-killing.

I actually enjoyed this book even more than the first, even though the body count is much higher and it really isn't practicable to flip back and forth on my phone to the maps every time Selina makes her escape. I really appreciated the female friendships, even if Sally did sometimes lie to her friends and leverage a few of them for alibis or information.

I was surprised Sally didn't come under closer scrutiny given her proximity to many of Selina's victims, but given her friendship with some of the police and some seemingly-solid alibis, I can forgive them for looking past her. I'm less sold on the outside cops being so forgiving but... eh. It was a different time and they had less of a window to investigate.

As we watched the murders and subsequent investigation from both sides, the tension didn't crank up until about 70% of the way through - but until that point, it was a satisfying showcase of vengeance and murderous competence. Sally's almost too good at this murder thing, which comes up now and then but never becomes a serious issue. After that 70% mark we get some thrills, more spills, and the payoff from a few bits of foreshadowing, but it finishes almost too neatly

The superfluous secret agents from the first book popped up a couple of times planning to recruit Selina, but still didn't interact with the plot or the main characters. If they recur, I hope they have a concrete purpose even though I'm hoping Sally is going to stop the murder thing and get on with living her life. I have an uneasy feeling these guys aren't going to take no for an answer however, so I foresee some blackmail-induced Selina shenangians in the future!

Four stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via Rachel's Random Resources; all opinions are my own.

Author Bio
K.T. Findlay lives on a small farm where he dovetails his writing with fighting the blackberry and convincing the quadbike that killing its rider isn’t a vital part of its job description.

Social Media Links

Webpage :  www.ktfindlay.com
Youtube :   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0UIrcFBnHtHXQzbr37Ay-Q
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/KTFindlayauthor
Twitter :     https://twitter.com/ktfindlay

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Blog Tour: A Shop Girl at Sea by Rachel Brimble

Bath, 1912.

Amelia Wakefield loves working at Pennington's, Bath's finest department store. An escape from her traumatic past, it saved her life. So when Miss Pennington sets her a task to set sail on the Titanic and study the department stores of New York, she couldn't be more excited – or determined!

Frustrated with his life at home, Samuel Murphy longs for a few weeks of freedom and adventure. Meeting Amelia on board the Titanic, Samuel can't help wonder what painful history has made the beauty so reserved. But he already has too many responsibilities for love.

Ruby Taylor has always kept her Pennington co-workers at a distance. Making sure her little brother is safe has always been her priority. But when that means accepting Victoria Lark's offer of sanctuary, more than one of Ruby's secrets is under threat of being revealed...

A riveting and uplifting saga, perfect for fans of Elaine Everest and Fiona Ford.

Review:

It's a tough ask, writing a love story on the Titanic. Rachel Brimble rises to the challenge with tact and grace. For those who are wondering, of the three POV characters, two become entangled in a romance and the third has a romance of her own as the Titanic sets sail for New York. I do wonder if she could have been given her own book, rather than splitting the focus of this story and receiving equal billing.

I didn't realise until almost halfway through the book that this is actually the fourth book in a series set at Pennington's department store. It is a testament to the strength of the characters and the author's delicate touch that past characters can make an appearance without overpowering the scene with their happy ever after. The characters are well fleshed out and relatable, the antagonists range from perfectly irritating to poisonous, and there's an iceberg on the horizon...

This was a sweet and emotional read about people overcoming past trauma and present circumstances to find love and chase their dreams. I did feel like the last minute fade to black sex felt a little shoehorned in, but it didn't mar my enjoyment of an otherwise good book.

Four and a half stars

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author via Rachel's Random Resources; all opinions are my own

Sunday, 10 May 2020

The Earl Not Taken by A.S. Fenichel

Left standing on the side while their contemporaries marry into society, four young ladies forge a bond to guard each other from a similar fate . . .

Finishing school failed to make a proper lady of Penelope Arrington. But as a Wallflower of West Lane, Poppy has a far more vital role—she and her three best friends have made a pact to protect each other from the clutches of dangerous, disreputable men. So when one of them is about to be married off to a duke sight unseen, Poppy makes it her mission to divine the prospective husband’s true character. If only she didn’t require the aid of London’s most unsuitable rake.

Rhys Draper, Earl of Marsden, has known the headstrong Poppy since she was a young girl naïve to the ways of men. To her eternal chagrin—and to his vague amusement—they have been at odds over the memory of embarrassing first encounter all these years. Now, with his services in need, Rhys sees a chance to finally clear the air between them. Instead, he is surprised by the heat of their feelings. If the two do not tread carefully, they may end up in a most agreeably compromising position . . .

Review

I have mixed feelings about this book. There was just a lot going on. It was hard to get into and I found myself frustrated with both Poppy and Rhys. While Rhys proved himself a decent fellow and Poppy became more sympathetic as the story went on, it just kept going past the point I thought everything should be wrapped up.

First off, there's enemies to lovers vibes stemming from their inauspicious first meeting. Then, there's Poppy's issues with marriage based on the unhappy marriages she's seen around her. On top of that, there's an investigation into the character of her friend's betrothed. While this is going on, Poppy decides to get rid of her virginity (pesky thing that it is) and Rhys agrees (never a good idea). Of course, this leads to mutual pining, matchmaking shenanigans, and parental meddling.

Like I said. It's a lot.

The best bit of this book was the friendship between the Wallflowers. The four girls are very much individuals but support each other as a group, sometimes to ridiculous extremes. I honestly hope they all get their happy endings and may keep an eye out to see if they can get there without all the to-ing and fro-ing.

This may well suit those who like their regencies packed with plot, but it wasn't for me.

Three stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via NetGalley; all opinions are my own.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Beautifully Broken by Bailey B

Piper

Most people don’t think about the day they’ll die. They coast through life, blissfully unaware of how their time is ticking away. I wasn’t like most people. I welcomed death, wanted her to take me away from the prison I called life, but she refused. I tried twice only to survive. And then, when I thought I had nothing left it came.

A reason to live.

Rex was a small, unexpected ray of light my world of darkness that blossomed into a beam of sunshine. I thought, maybe this was why Death didn’t take me. Maybe she knew that if I held on a little longer things would turn around. But the third time Death came to my door wasn’t by choice. Someone else brought her, and I fear this time she might take me.

Rex

Being the son of a country star sucks. My parents are never around, I move every year or so, and I have no real friends. Everyone around me has an agenda. Everyone except Piper Lovelace. I can’t get that girl to notice me. Trust me I’ve tried.
Thankfully, fate stepped in and gave me the break I needed. I’ve got her attention, now I need her to give me a chance.

Review:

Welp, this book is a ride.

After a traumatising summer and being labelled the school slut, Piper is trying to survive her senior year before getting the hell out of Dodge. Enter Rex, star hockey player and son of a country music star. Both hurt in their own ways, this is the story of finding each other and beginning to heal.

First off, let me open with ALL of the trigger warnings. Despite the high school setting, this is definitely not for kids. There's a flashback to sexual assault and it is threatened at least one other time. There are references to drug use and prostitution, and most of the parents are either neglectful or downright abusive.

Despite this, it's more hopeful than I would've expected. With Rex's support, Piper begins to heal - and it's less "love is a cure-all" and more that thanks to his care, she wants to heal and realises it's possible. Through their relationship with each other, they begin to rebuild relationships with the people around them. Too bad there's a mob boss gunning for Piper's head.

The story itself unfortunately came out messy, especially in the supporting cast. Plot threads are dropped, twisted, or magicked into existence at the last minute. I felt like there needed to be a critical editor or two to point out inconsistencies and ask the hard questions.

Three stars.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via NetGalley; all opinions are my own.

Love Under Quarantine by Kylie Scott and Audrey Carlan

Writing together for the first time, New York Times bestselling authors Kylie Scott and Audrey Carlan team up to tell a story that not only is a beautiful escape during a trying time, but a true lesson on the power of humanity’s ability to survive. Through a sexy, hopeful, strangers-to-lovers romance, the authors prove with love, trust, and faith, we can conquer anything.

While the world is ravaged by a global pandemic, hotshot NFL running back Evan Sparks is locked in his own personal hell. With a career-ending scandal on his back, Evan hides out in his best friend’s empty San Francisco home, the full city shutdown locking him in a lonely twenty-story apartment in the sky.

Romance writer Sadie Walsh is having the worst case of writer’s block ever…until the incredible, muscular stranger staying next door gets her muse going strong. The pair of loners, never expecting to find a friend in all the madness, meet each day out on their balconies like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet.

Each new day brings unique challenges for the pair as they navigate the unknown and find solace together. They quickly figure out that as long as they have one another, they can handle anything.

Even falling in love under quarantine.

~~~

Writing together for the first time, New York Times bestselling authors Kylie Scott and Audrey Carlan team up to tell a story that not only is a beautiful escape during a trying time, but a true lesson on the power of humanity’s ability to survive. Through a sexy, hopeful, strangers-to-lovers romance, the authors prove with love, trust, and faith, we can conquer anything. 

Download your copy today or read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited! 
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2xb7wmo

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/loveunderquarantine 

Review:

If you're meta and you know it, clap your hands!

This has to be the most meta romance I have ever read. It's the story of a romance writer who falls in love with the guy next door during quarantine, writing a romance novel about a girl who falls in love with the guy next door during quarantine. 

Yeah.

Let's address the elephant in the room. This book is hugely relevant right now. The charming banter and sexytimes are interspersed with coronavirus-inspired moments that mostly everyone can relate to in these times. From pleading with parents to stay home to eerily empty streets, this is contemporary romance that takes 'write what you know' to another level. It's 'write what everyone knows' and it adds a layer of reality to what could well have been an overly-topical cash grab. Instead, it's an optimistic comfort read assuring us that though life is difficult right now, we can get through it together (even if lockdown love isn't on the cards for most of us!).

I have to say, as I was reading, it felt almost too meta and overly self-referential. As Sadie is a romance author, she knows and names all the tropes - in particular, insta-love - and notes how unrealistic it is. Due to the explicitly short timeframe, their relationship went from zero to sixty real quick. While I can understand that stressful situations lead to intense emotions, I didn't end up sold on a happily ever after once the lockdown lifts. I did however appreciate the clear communication and sincere apologies for screw-ups on both sides, so there's hope.

Nevertheless, if anyone wants to read about our current situation but with waaay more phone sex (and sensible physical distancing precautions), I can certainly recommend this book.

Four stars

Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author via Social Butterfly PR; all opinions are my own

Meet the Authors

About Kylie Scott
Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013, 2014 & 2018, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Connect with Kylie 
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XujcZh
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2GngiQq
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2OiXx3I
Twitter: http://bit.ly/391pjJM
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2EUrx11
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2Imusk3
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2S7cc32
Book+Main Bites: http://bit.ly/2ETz5RQ
Stay up to date with Kylie by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2TOOivT
Website: https://kyliescott.com/

About Audrey Carlan
Audrey Carlan is a #1 New York Times and International bestselling author. Her titles have appeared on USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Audrey writes wicked hot love stories that have been translated in over thirty different languages across the globe. She is best known for the world-wide bestselling series Calendar Girl and Trinity.
She lives in the California Valley where she enjoys her two children and the love of her life. When she's not writing, you can find her teaching yoga, sipping wine with her "soul sisters," or with her nose stuck in a steamy romance novel.

Connect with Audrey
Facebook: https://bit.ly/2V0qWSS
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2V0zr0j
Bookbub: https://bit.ly/2x2rwaK
Instagram: https://bit.ly/39DdB8g
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2R9cIxM
Stay up to date with Audrey by joining her mailing list: https://bit.ly/2V050Y1

Website: https://audreycarlan.com/