Thursday, 1 December 2022

Blog Tour: The Word is Love

Lucky in life but unlucky in love, Lucy Greenfield owns a successful carriage business along with her best friend Max, and they have never been busier since their shire horses gained fame from their roles in the hit movie A Little in Love.

Too busy for romance, Lucy is surprisingly swept off her feet when Spencer arrives seeking help with his horse, and something more from Lucy. As quickly as Lucy falls, she wonders if all is not as it seems. Max can prove it, but that means he will have to express his true feelings for Lucy.
Relationships are strained as secrets unravel, and Lucy needs to solve the riddle of words to best describe how she feels… For her best friend.

Together, they must overcome what’s keeping them apart before it’s too late, if they are going to realise that the word is love.

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Author Bio

I was born in Coventry but now live in Nuneaton. I married the love of my life over 20 years ago and we have two almost grown up children. We share our lives with two mad dogs as well.
Writing is a great passion of mine, that one day I hope to be able to turn into a career but until that day comes, I will continue working in accounts and payroll.

I also write for children as Lily Mae Walters.

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Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Blog Tour: Let's Not Be Friends by Phoebe MacLeod

Perfect for fans of Jo Watson, Mhairi McFarlane and Portia MacIntosh.

City girl Sophie has married the prince (or landed gentry - close enough), moved to his pile (which is more accurate a description than she’d anticipated) and is set to live happily ever after - until she finds the other half of her perfect life in the stables with the stable girl, and they’re definitely not grooming the horses.

Shocked and appalled, Sophie’s no happier to learn that she’s supposed to 'just get on with it'. After all, according to her mother-in-law, she got the title . . . they even overlooked her family’s ‘new money’ status.

What a lovely family she’s married into! But what’s a girl to do when she’s still in love? Make it work or leg it as fast as she can? Either way, the mother-in-law will not be coming to tea!

What readers are saying about Phoebe MacLeod:

'A perfect love story'

'Humorous, light and romantic!'

'I absolutely loved it. Heart-warming, just perfect!'

 'I loved every minute reading this book, light hearted and fun, finished in a day!'

'I smiled so much'

'What a wonderful book'


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Less of a romance and more of the best revenge being living well, this is a charming book about Sophie putting her life back together after she catches her devoted husband banging the stable girl and his mother admits they only accepted her as a daughter in law for her inheritance. While a HFN is part of her happy ending, it's not the central theme of the plot.

It can be hard to empathise with Sophie due to her privileged upbringing and indulgent parents, but she's genuinely kind and hard working, and at least somewhat aware of her privilege. I also love that she enjoys and is good at her job, and it's central to her reclaiming her life instead of a slog. 

I adored the scenes where she got to tell her ex off; they were super satisfying and more numerous than you'd think. The book also focuses on Sophie's many female friendships and generally women are only portrayed in a negative light when they set themselves up in competition to other women. 

This is a satisfying post-divorce romp with tons of female friendships, low angst, and a heap of fun. 

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

Author Bio 

Phoebe MacLeod is the author of several popular laugh-out-loud romantic comedies. She mainly sets her books in her home county of Kent and her first new title for Boldwood will be published in November 2022. They will also be republishing her existing titles from August this year.

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Saturday, 26 November 2022

Blog Tour: The Gentleman of Holly Street by Lotte James

Will this Christmas…

Change their lives again?

When self-made gentleman Freddie Walton rescued penniless Philomena Nichols at Christmas eight years ago, he never imagined that he would build his empire with her. Yet whilst they have created a life together as friends, Freddie can’t let their special connection become more than that. Not when his dangerous past continues to haunt him… But what happens when Freddie’s feelings for Philomena also refuse to stay hidden?

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The Gentleman of Holly Street is a heartwarming romance that does away with trite sentiment and insists that the true spirit is not just love, it's kindness with no strings attached. This book makes me want to - if not change the world, then improve my little corner of it. It's most certainly idealistic, but when else will hope by rewarded with success and true love, if not at Christmas?

Freddie and Mena are two wonderful characters who spend far too much of the book mutually pining over each other, kept apart by reasons both valid and less so. I always have sympathy for women in this situation in historicals, as there's generally a power imbalance that may make the consequences of rejection far more dire. Given the situation, I think the author does a good job of putting Freddie and Mena on an equal footing not just inside their relationship but outside of it.

I also loved Lady Mary. She was the clear voice of reason that everyone needed and I'd love to read more about her.

For a cosy Christmas romance with some slow burning angst and a dose of hope, pick this one up.

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

Author Bio
Lotte James trained as an actor and theatre director, but spent most of her life working day jobs crunching numbers whilst dreaming up stories of love and adventure. She’s thrilled to finally be writing those stories, and when she's not scribbling on tiny pieces of paper, she can usually be found wandering the countryside for inspiration, or nestling with coffee and a book.

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Thursday, 24 November 2022

Blog Tour: The Summer Escape by Hannah Ellis

Single-mother Beth desperately needs a break.

Grieving the loss of her mother, she sets off to the Isles of Scilly with her five-year-old daughter, Ellie.

Their holiday cottage is utterly charming, but it’s meeting Trystan – the owner of the cottage – that makes Beth’s stay so perfect.

When their holiday fling starts to feel like something more, she knows she’s in trouble. Her life is in Plymouth, while he lives in London. Besides, Trystan has already admitted he’s not ready for a family.

Is he prepared to take a leap of faith for Beth and Ellie? And with the odds stacked against them, can they find a way to make their relationship last beyond the lazy days of summer?

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This sweet romance might be my favourite in the series so far. It has the tight-knit Treneary family we know and love, the gorgeous Isles of Scilly once again giving me travel envy, and a precocious plot moppet named Ellie. Ellie's relationship with Trystan's mum is adorable.

Tissue warning: there is discussion around dementia and the sudden death of a parent. The book starts light but it's not afraid to delve into the emotional stuff and I'm not ashamed to admit I got choked up when Beth and Trystan really got talking. It's leavened with humour, but it's heavy subject matter that can hit quite close to home. I liked that it was realistic and not perfectly clear-cut or cured by the end of the book - though Trystan has some family loose ends that I hope get tied up soon!

I liked both Beth and Trystan - two normal people carrying their own share of hurts, not looking for love but finding it anyway - and making it work through sensible communication and a gentle dose of matchmaking. They're that realistic type of couple who make you believe love is possible.

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

Author Bio
Hannah Ellis spent many years working in childcare before deciding she'd like to write books. When she's not busy writing she likes to read, drink tea and eat chocolate. She also enjoys yoga and jogging.

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Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Blog Tour: A Secret Escape to Sunshine Island

Welcome to the sunshine island - where the beaches are golden, the lifestyle is perfect and anything is possible.

Popstar Matteo Stanford is eager to escape to the sunshine island to catch up with his old friend Alex and secretly film his latest music video. But within moments of landing, the location for the shoot is leaked to the press, and his island escape and video might be over before they start.

Not to be defeated, Alex’s girlfriend Piper recruits her two best friends Casey and Tara, who run the Smoke and Mirrors stall at the The Cabbage Patch market. It doesn’t take Casey more than a moment to realise the perfect setting for Matteo’s video is Gorey castle, but securing the venue means Casey is soon planning a secret wedding, finding an actress and becoming a set designer!

It’s chaos and crazed fans, peppered with the sweetest moments she's ever experienced. But could a popstar really fall for island girl Casey Norman?

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This is a charming story about the power of community, not to mention a tempting travel advert for Jersey! There's something wholesome about watching a group of people come together to make dreams come true -its positivity is what we need these days and there were so many wonderful characters from around the island, it was hard to keep track. (I hope we see more of Dilys!)

The romance here is a little more understated, but it's not hard to see why Matteo would fall for Casey, because she's pretty awesome. As for Casey, she's living the dream of a rockstar romance - if the dream also involves a very stressful weekend of last-minute event management. I can't help but wonder how their fledgling relationship will survive outside the sunny bubble of Jersey and would love a follow-up short story (or even an epilogue!)

Need a break? Don't think too hard about the logistics, just sit back and enjoy this light and uplifting romance.

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

Author Bio
Georgina Troy writes bestselling uplifting romantic escapes and sets her novels on the island of Jersey, where she was born and has lived for most of her life. She has done a twelve-book deal with Boldwood, including backlist titles, and the first book in her Sunshine Island series was published in May 2022.

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Sunday, 20 November 2022

Review: Chance by Allie York

Chance is a story of two halves: the first is the story of how author and dog trainer Jovie falls in love with sexy English accountant Ewan, and the second is a suspensful read as Jovie is terrorised by a stalker just as she's finally learning to trust again. For those disturbed or triggered by stalking, this book may not be for you.

There are a ton of little references peppered throughout that make it clear that both Jovie and the author are bookworms, specifically of romance, which I adored! I might not agree with all the opinions expressed and some may age better than others, but it helped me connect with the character. Jovie is indeed 100% correct when she says the library is Beauty and the Beast is the dream. I also loved that her job as a dog trainer / groomer was so prominent, especially as it brought them together in the first place!

I liked that both the leads were flawed enough to make them real without making them unlikeable - Jovie is cynical and stubborn, whereas Ewan struggles (and mostly succeeds) to keep a lid on his overprotective and possessive tendencies. Their chemistry together is undeniable and is enough for them to both let down their walls.

The ending did feel rushed - there was a bit of a timejump and I would've enjoyed a bit more closure around Jovie's career - but overall it was a good read, perfect for fans of steamy contemporary romance.

Chance (previously published as All & Nothing) is available now

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

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Blog Tour: Chaos at Carnegie Hall by Kelly Oliver

Agatha Christie meets Downton Abbey in the Fiona Figg and Kitty Lane Mystery series opener.

Can Fiona catch a killer and find a decent cup of tea before her mustache wax melts?

1917. New York.

Notorious spy, Fredrick Fredricks, has invited Fiona to Carnegie Hall to hear a famous soprano. It’s an opportunity the War Office can’t turn down. Fiona and Clifford are soon on their way, but not before Fiona is saddled with chaperon duties for Captain Hall’s niece. Is Fiona a spy or a glorified babysitter?
From the minute Fiona meets the soprano aboard the RMS Adriatic it’s treble on the high C’s. Fiona sees something—or someone—thrown overboard, and then she overhears a chemist plotting in German with one of her own countrymen!

And the trouble doesn’t stop when they disembark. Soon Fiona is doing time with a group of suffragettes and investigating America’s most impressive inventor Thomas Edison.

When her number one suspect turns up dead at the opera and Fredrick Fredricks is caught red-handed, it looks like it’s finally curtains for the notorious spy. But all the evidence points to his innocence. Will Fiona change her tune and clear her nemesis’ name? Or will she do her duty? And just what is she going to do with the pesky Kitty Lane? Not to mention swoon-worthy Archie Somersby . . .

If Fiona’s going to come out on top, she’s going to have to make the most difficult decision of her life: the choice between her head and her heart.

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 Despite being billed as the first in the series, it feels like we come into this series with plots already in progress. Plucky Fiona Figg is constantly belittled by her male coworkers at the war office but is nonetheless sent to follow a potential German spy to America. Armed with a suitcase of disguises and pressed into service as chaparone to a bright young woman, she finds herself caught up with historical figures and embroiled in a murder. 

I loved this take on the historical period as we explore how the rest of the world fared. World War One rages in Europe and sits behind everyone's motives, but America is far from the front lines and life continues on. I wouldn't want to visit the time but it's certainly fascinating! The (period appropriate) misogyny Fiona faces make me grit my teeth. Fiona isn't always the most perceptive - despite her photographic memory - so there are plenty of red herrings as the mystery twists and turns.

For a twisty mystery with a unique heroine set in an interesting era, give this book a go!

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

Author Bio
Kelly Oliver is the award-winning, bestselling author of three mysteries series: The Jessica James Mysteries, The Pet Detective Mysteries, and the historical cozies The Fiona Figg Mysteries, set in WW1. She is also the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is bringing new titles in the Fiona Figg series to Boldwood, the first of which, Chaos in Carnegie Hall, will be published in November 2022.

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