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16 October 2021

The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery

I was provided with a free copy of The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery ahead of the blog tour.

Yep, I'm jumping straight into the festive romances early. I can't help it, after the past couple years I need all of the happy endings I can get. And The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery fit the bill just right.

The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery book cover

'Tis the season to fall in love.

A year since she was dumped by her fiancé, the last thing Reggie Somerville wants is to come back home for Christmas. But when her parents announce their plans for a lavish Christmas wedding she has no choice. She expects to face town gossip, she does not expect to run into her first love Toby, or deal with the feelings he stirs in her…

Dena Somerville is single and pregnant-on purpose. Wanting a family her way she's determined to do it alone. She didn’t expect the distraction of a handsome musician checking into her inn-and one snow-kissed moment-to make her question what she really wants this Christmas…

As the Christmas wedding draws closer, these two sisters may just find the most unexpected gift of all—love.

Fall in love with this sparkling festive romance from international bestselling author Susan Mallery

Add The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery to Goodreads



Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Family, love, belonging, Christmas.


This book is like a Hallmark film come to life. I freaking loved it.

I'm the type of person that has Channel 5 every day in December to catch all of the Christmas films, and I settle into the Netflix Christmas Universe every evening for a re-watch of A Christmas Prince or The Holiday Calendar. On weekends I watch Hjem Til Jul over and over so I don't need the subtitles any more.

I'm a simple being. I love Christmas. Bring me all of the festive.

The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery fit the bill just right.

This was a perfect return to hometown romance, and I loved how the complications of the tropes caused all sorts of complications in the story. We had a return to Reggie's hometown for the first time since the breakdown of her relationship, and a second chance at love, and I loved the shared history, the resentment, the care that it brought. Wishing Tree is a small town where everyone knows everybody, and their business. And it's also festive AF.

I have to say that out of the two sisters, Dena was my favourite. I loved her personality and her drive and how she thought she had it all worked out. She's independent and happily defying expectations, and I loved to read it. Reggie was excellent too, and the moments of her with Belle were so cute and heart-warming - reminded me of me with my own Belle.

Family in books tends to mean mess, and there was plenty of it to go around. I liked the drama and the petty squabbles and the deep love.

The setting in this book really leans in to the festive. Christmas is SUCH A BIG DEAL and  I wanted to so desperately to experience it at Wishing Tree. It's the perfect Christmassy setting and was a gorgeous backdrop to the story.

I am glad that this is part of a series, as I definitely want more! The Christmas Wedding Guest is sure to fill your heart to bursting with feel good festive cheer.

The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery blog tour banner

Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books about the relationships that define women's lives—romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey. Sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, and always uplifting, Susan's books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list, thanks to her ever growing legions of fans.

Critics, too, have heaped praise on "the new queen of romantic fiction." (Walmart) Booklist says, "Romance novels don't get much better than Mallery's expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling," and RT Book Reviews puts her "in a class by herself!"

Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her most popular series, the Fool's Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.

Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Animals play a big role in her books, as well, as she believes they're an integral component to a happy life. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.

12 October 2021

Book Review Log Book by Jennifer Gilmour

I was provided with a free copy of Book Review Log Book by Jennifer Gilmour ahead of the blog tour.

This is a beautiful paperback book will all you need to keep your reading records offline.

Book Review Log Book by Jennifer Gilmour

You can set a reading goal, rate and review books, take plenty of notes, and indulge in a little creativity. I thought it was excellent, and it is the perfect gift for any bookworm.

Even the cover is pretty, and hints at the slight artistic touches throughout the log book.

I thought I'd share a bit about what to expect in the Book Review Log Book, and my plans on how I will use it. This is going to be my 2022 reading record offline, and I've already started filling in some sections and using the notes pages.

Amazon UK | Amazon US


To Be Read

Sketch the book ends onto the shelf.

This is the first thing you come to, and I thought it was awesome. I'm not majorly creative or artsy myself, but this keeps it simple while leaving room for you. It's a double spread of blank shelves with some botanical decorations to the side, with lots of room for adding you own book spines.


Book Release

Write the books you are looking forward to coming out.

Here we have another double page spread, this time a year to view for you to write down everything you're excited about. I've already started filling mine in ready for next year, and it's very handy for me because my memory is like a sieve and I'm always forgetting what I have my eye on or have pre-ordered.


Read 50 Books

Colour in a square when you've finished a book.

This is a single page spread filled with fifty squares to colour in as you finish a book. There is space at the bottom to enter six genres so you can see at a glance your reading tastes - if I coloured mine in based on this year I think I'd be surprised at the genres other than romance that I read.

I think 50 is a great goal - it's a little under one book per week, which I think is easily achievable with audiobooks and a Netflix ban.


Word Cloud

Add words that inspire you as you read.

A single page with some faint clouds as a background, and some silhouetted birds, I think this is a lovely idea. Sometimes when I'm reading there will be a turn of phrase or a word used in a different context than I'm used to and I'm like Oh. Now I have a place to note it down.


Book Review

There are 100 pages for you to fill with your thoughts on the books you've read, and you can enter a fair bit about them too. I think the space for a cover image (and the size is shared too) is a fantastic touch. When I fill it in I will probably print the covers in batches once a month and go to town with a glue stick.

  • Cover Image
  • Title
  • Author
  • Date Started
  • Date Finished
  • Format
  • Rating
  • Quotes
  • Personal Review
At the end of the section there's a lovely note to congratulate you.

Notes

A place for your thoughts and scribbles.

Between here and the end of the book are plenty of lined pages for notes and scribbles. I'll likely use this to compile TBRs and note down challenges and blog post ideas.


If you head on over to my instagram, you can find photos of the contents.


About the Author

Jennifer Gilmour is an author and advocate for women in abusive relationships, using her own experiences of domestic abuse as a catalyst to bring awareness and to help others. Jennifer has published two publications, Isolation Junction and Clipped Wings which have both been Amazon Best Sellers and received awards. Jennifer speaks at events across the UK and continues to raise awareness through her blog posts, public speaking, radio interviews and social media. 

Most Informative Blogger Award 2018 (Bloggers Bash Annual Awards)
UK & European Award for using Social Media for Good 2019 (Social Day: Social Media Marketing Awards) 

Jennifer says: “Together we are Louder”.



08 October 2021

Book Beginnings: We Can Be Heroes by Kyrie McCauley

For Book Beginnings, Rose City Reader invites us to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

For Friday 56, Freda's Voice asks you to turn to Page 56 in your book or 56% on your e-reader and pick a sentence.

I have the Worst Cold Ever right now, everything hurts and I can't stop coughing. Not too sure I trust my negative PCR so I'm staying in despite the result. I had hoped to visit a bookshop this week with it being Bookshop Week but alas I cannot.

I am currently reading We Can Be Heroes by Kyrie McCauley (AD - gifted).

We Can Be Heroes by Kyrie McCauley book cover


MERIT LOGAN: Welcome, listeners, to We Can Be Heroes, a podcast made for survivors of violence in the tradition of the "Take Back the Night" rallies that began in the 197s and continue to this day.

I was sent a free review copy of We Can Be Heroes by Kyrie McCauley

It's an interesting start. I'm not sure what I think about the podcast transcript, but it has piqued my interest.

I love the cover, I think it's gorgeous and clever.

I feel like this is going to be a pretty tense read, and uncomfortable at times. It's a story about the intersection of gun violence and misogyny - how could it not be uncomfortable? But I am looking forward to it.

MERIT LOGAN: What happened to Cassandra Queen? If you ask the sheriff of Bell, it was young love gone awry - and Nico Bell wasn't an abusive killer, but a lovesick Romeo.

This is from page 56 in my review copy.

OK, so I love the format of the story, the mix of podcast transcript and prose. It makes the book so quick to read, it gives so many different angles to the story.

I freaking love it. And I'm hoping to be punched in the feels.

About the Book

“Welcome to Bell, proud home of Bell Firearms for two hundred years, and where five months ago, the teen heir to the Bell fortune took his father’s guns to school and killed his ex-girlfriend, Cassandra Queen.” —WE CAN BE HEROES PODCAST

Beck and Vivian never could stand each other, but they always tried their best for their mutual friend, Cassie. After the town moves on from Cassie’s murder too fast, Beck and Vivian finally find common ground: vengeance. They memorialize Cassie by secretly painting murals of her around town, a message to the world that Cassie won’t be forgotten. But Beck and Vivian are keeping secrets, like the third passenger riding in Beck’s VW bus with them—Cassie’s ghost.

When their murals catch the attention of a podcaster covering Cassie’s case, they become the catalyst for a debate that Bell Firearms can no longer ignore. With law enforcement closing in on them, Beck and Vivian hurry to give Cassie the closure she needs—by delivering justice to those responsible for her death.


Add Have You Seen Me? by Alexandrea Weis to Goodreads button


What are you reading this week?


07 October 2021

Book Review: The Cosy Cottage In Ireland by Julie Caplin *AD gifted

I was provided with a free ebook of The Cosy Cottage In Ireland by Julie Caplin ahead of the blog tour.

Although it may be part of the Romantic Escapes series, The Cosy Cottage in Ireland can absolutely be read as a standalone. All of the series can, and you can read them in any order without missing out. If you're feeling down look no further, because this book will cheer you right up.

The Cosy Cottage In Ireland by Julie Caplin book cover

Snuggle up in your favourite armchair and take a trip across the Irish sea for comfort food, cosy cottage nights and a heartwarming romance…

Talented lawyer Hannah Campbell is after a change in her workaholic Manchester life – so on an uncharacteristic whim she books herself a place at the world-renowned Killorgally Cookery School in Country Kerry.

But on her first night in Ireland, sampling the delights of Dublin, Hannah can’t resist falling for the charms of handsome stranger Conor. It’s only when Hannah arrives at her postcard-pretty home at Killorgally for the next six weeks that she discovers what happens in Dublin doesn’t quite stay in Dublin …

Nestled amongst rolling green hills and breath-taking countryside, the cookery school throws Hannah and Conor together – for better or worse.


Add The Cosy Cottage In Ireland by Julie Caplin to Goodreads



Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Food, Ireland, cooking, expectations, love.


Warning, this book will make you hungry.

Read The Cosy Cottage in Ireland by Julie Caplin after a good meal, relax with a glass of wine by the fire.

I loved Hannah. I loved how she was pushing herself out of her comfort zone, it reminded me of me when I was trying to find myself. And just like me, Hannah got herself into some errr... Situations. It was excellent. She changes so much between the pages as she embarks on her culinary journey.

Conor is arrogant and cynical but he has reason to be. He's a complicated man who is trying to escape the spotlight, and he's quick and harsh to judge others. As unfair as I thought his treatment of Hannah was after Dublin, I wholly understood it. This book doesn't rely on the misunderstanding trope, rather it plays with the characters omitting certain details, and I thought it felt really fresh.

The first meeting between Hannah and Conor gave me such a giggle, and I loved how they came together. After that I loved the battle of wills between them, the sneers and glares and growls. And the tentative olive branch, the slow understanding? Perfection. 

I loved the scenery, how Hannah saw the world around her. I loved that she would pull on her walking boots and get out there, and that I could go with her. Her voice as a character was so expressive, it was easy to feel how she felt.

The writing is gorgeous and evocative. As much as I could feel the settings come alive around me, I could almost taste the food and wine and smell the fresh air. This was like a holiday in a book, an escape to another country.

I'll definitely be checking out more of the Romantic Escapes series.


The Cosy Cottage In Ireland by Julie Caplin blog tour banner


Julie Caplin, formerly a PR director, swanned around Europe for many years taking top food and drink writers on press trips (junkets) sampling the gastronomic delights of various cities in Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Copenhagen and Switzerland. It was a tough job but someone had to do it. 

These trips have provided the inspiration and settings for her Romantic Escapes series which have been translated into fifteen different languages.

The first book in the seven strong series, The Little Café in Copenhagen, was shortlisted for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

06 October 2021

Book Review: Snug In Iceland by Victoria Walker *AD gifted

I was provided with a free ebook of Snug In Iceland by Victoria Walker ahead of the blog tour.

I looked up halfway through reading this book and I was utterly shocked that it was not snowing outside.

Snug In Iceland by Victoria Walker boo cover

Rachel Richards is stuck in a rut. Her boyfriend Adam barely notices her most of the time and her life in London isn’t as exciting as it should be.

When the company she works for, Snug, asks her to oversee the opening of a new store in Iceland, she jumps at the chance for a change of scenery.

Exploring Reykjavik with the help of Icelandic tour guide Jonas, Rachel discovers that life is out there waiting to be lived.

As she falls in love with Iceland, she begins to see what is important to her and wonders whether the life she left behind is what she wants after all…

Add Love on Location by Lynne Shelby to Goodreads



Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Relationships, work, responsibility, friendship, care.


Snug in Iceland is the perfect book to snuggle up with as the evenings draw in.

Rachel was excellent. I loved her drive and her passion, and how open she was to change and adventure. I felt so sorry for her at times, and how lonely she appeared at times. She has a wicked drive and creativity though, and even if I didn't agree with all of her actions I couldn't help but get fully behind her.

Jonas is so lovely and sweet, although he doesn't seems to have boundaries down. I did find it a bit cringe at first, but it was also part of his charm and quickly grew on me. I wanted a gentle shoulder touch, a peck on the cheek. He's such a pure soul, and seems so surprisingly innocent at times.

I do have to admit that there is a bit of a cheating storyline, which usually would be an instant nope from me. But in Snug in Iceland it worked? I wasn't that put off by it? If anything I was kind of abso-freaking-lutely behind it? I wanted Rachel to have the love and respect she deserved and I was happy to look past her deeds for it.

I looked up halfway through reading this book and I was utterly shocked that it was not snowing outside. I was so deeply drawn into the world that I was disappointed that I wasn't wrapped in ten layers hiding in a remote cabin from a snow storm. The writing is excellent and will instantly transport you around Iceland.

This is a book to read on a long cold night, with a glass of wine and a cosy blanket. It's gorgeous and heart-warming and perfect for winter. I will definitely be reading Snug in Iceland again.

Snug In Iceland by Victoria Walker blog tour banner

Victoria Walker lives in the Malvern Hills with her husband and two teenage children. She is an avid reader of contemporary romance but tempers this addiction by being a member of a book club where she is often surprised by her enjoyment of other genres. She also loves sewing and knitting and Scandinavian dramas.

04 October 2021

Book Review: A Nun For The Viking Warrior by Lucy Morris *AD gifted

I was provided with a free ebook of A Nun For The Viking Warrior by Lucy Morris ahead of the blog tour.

Remember how much I loved The Viking Chief's Marriage Alliance, the author's debut earlier this year? and I did a five favourite quotes? And it was utterly perfect and amazing?

Well, how dare this book be so perfect too.

A Nun For The Viking Warrior by Lucy Morris book cover Mills & Boon historical romance

Forced to wed the warrior

Falling for the man…

Noblewoman Amée Évreaux had pledged her life to God, until her father promised her in marriage to thundering Norseman, Jorund Jötunnson.

After escaping her overbearing father, Amée vows never to fall under another man’s thumb, but her resistance to being Jorund’s wife turns to desire as she gets to know her intriguing new husband. For beneath his fierce exterior she’s glimpsed an unexpectedly pure heart.

If only she can penetrate the fortress that surrounds it…

Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Control, love, cruelty, family, betrayal.


The gentle giant of my dreams is here, and I am in love.

We meet Amée first, and she is an excellent heroine. I loved her story - she has had a messy, complicated life and it's made her a messy, complicated character. I loved the scenes of her inner turmoil whether it be about her faith or her attraction to Jorund. She has a great sense of duty to those under the care of her estate, and the conflict she felt when coming up against Jorund was excellent.

And Jorund? Possibly my new favourite romantic hero. I freaking loved him. I loved that he was tough and rough and gentle and caring all at once. He was as generous as Amée and together they made the most wonderful pair.

This is a fast paced romance, with a bit of everything you need for a good story. The romance was enticing, the passion was sizzling, and the action was breath-taking.

I thought that the historical setting was exquisite. I loved the small details that brought the world to life, the different constraints placed on different characters by society and how that helped shape their world. Life was hard, justice was harder, and A Nun for the Viking Warrior really brought the world to life.

This is perfect for fans of Vikings or The Last Kingdom.

I can't wait to see what Lucy Morris writes next, because her first two books have been truly phenomenal.

A Nun For The Viking Warrior by Lucy Morris blog tour banner

As a little girl, Lucy Morris was obsessed with myths and legends. She regularly escaped into the adventures of her imagination, with characters who were strong and fierce. Now fully grown she finds she can't forget the stories plaguing her mind and has to write them down. A book by Lucy Morris will sweep you away on a historical adventure filled with vivid characters haunted by their pasts. Her books will have you flying through her pages, desperate to reach her characters passionately romantic happily ever after. 

She lives in Essex, UK, with her husband, two young children, and two cats. She has a massively sweet tooth and loves gin, bubbly and Irn-Bru. A member of the UK Romantic Novelists' Association, she was delighted in 2020 to accept a two-book deal with Harlequin after submitting her story to the Warriors Wanted submission blitz for Viking, Medieval, and Highlander romances.

Writing for Harlequin Historical is a dream come true for her and she hopes you enjoy her books! 

28 September 2021

How Not To Chaperon a Lady by Virginia Heath

I was provided with a free ebook of The Marquess Next Door by Virginia Heath ahead of the blog tour.

I read The Marquess Next Door by Virginia Heath earlier this year and I freaking loved it, so I was super excited to be able to jump on the tour for How Not To Chaperon a Lady, the third and final instalment in The Talk of the Beau Monde Series (although they can all be read as delightful standalones).

How Not To Chaperon a Lady by Virginia Heath book cover Mills & Boon historical romance

His childhood nemesis…

is the woman he can’t resist!

Chaperoning Charity Brookes while she’s on a singing tour should be easy for Griffith Philpot - he’s spent his whole life sparring with her over her flighty ways!

But as he discovers that she’s much more than the impetuous girl he thought he knew, a passion ignites between them…

Sharing a steamy kiss leaves him torn – he’s supposed to be responsible for guarding her virtue!

Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Reputation, friendship, society, notoriety, love.


Hot cross bun, hot cross bun, one a penny, two a penny, hot cross bun.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, The Talk of the Beau Monde Series is the perfect fit for the Bridgerton-size hole in your life right now. It is excellent, and the scandal paper snippets have just the right tone

Charity is bold and brash on the surface, but I loved how her deeper insecurities were explored. She's as vulnerable as she is tough, and a thoroughly generous and kind person. She's a bit like a Ray of sunshine, and I loved how playful she could be. 

Griff is... Gruff. He's a hot cross bun of the best kind, and I loved his stomping and growling. His affection for Charity was so heart warming at times, even if I wanted to give him a shake and tell him to admit his feelings. 

I loved the chemistry between Charity and Griff, the slow burn of passion igniting from childhood adoration. I liked the history and resentment between them, and it had me rooting for them all the more. The setting had a bit of forced proximity which helped to drive the tension, and I loved how their travels and shows were broken up by other small adventures like exploring. 

Pick this book up, because I guarantee you will love it. 
How Not To Chaperon a Lady by Virginia Heath blog tour banner

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Twenty books and two Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations later, and it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

Giveaway to Win 2 x e-copies of How Not to Chaperon a Lady
(Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

23 September 2021

Book Review: The Shanghai Wife by Emma Harcourt *AD gifted

I was provided with a free copy of The Shanghai Wife by Emma Harcourt ahead of the blog tour.

It has been a while since I read a Rachael Stewart book that wasn't a Dare title, and Surprise Reunion with His Cinderella was a reminder that this author can do it all. And there's a giveaway that I wish I could enter, because the goodies look incredible.

The Shanghai Wife by Emma Harcourt book cover

Forbidden friendship, political conspiracy and incendiary passion draw Australian woman Annie Brand deep into the glamour and turmoil of 1920s Shanghai.

Leaving behind the loneliness and trauma of her past in country Australia, Annie Brand arrives to the political upheaval and glittering international society of Shanghai in the 1920s. Journeying up the Yangtze with her new husband, the ship's captain, Annie revels in the sense of adventure but when her husband sends her back to Shanghai, her freedom is quickly curtailed.

Against her will, Annie finds herself living alone in the International Settlement, increasingly suffocated by the judgemental Club ladies and their exclusive social scene: one even more restrictive than that she came from. Sick of salacious gossip and foreign condescension, and desperate to shake off the restrictions of her position in the world, Annie is slowly drawn into the bustling life and otherness of the real Shanghai, and begins to see the world from the perspective of the local people, including the servants who work at her husband's Club.

But this world is far more complex and dangerous than the curious Annie understands and, unknowingly, she becomes caught in a web of intrigue and conspiracy as well as a passionate forbidden love affair she could not have predicted: one with far–reaching consequences...

Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Belonging, love, change, Shanghai, travel.


The Shanghai Wife is a excellent book to read as the seasons shift.

At the start I loved the quiet budding relationship between Annie and Alec, even though I knew from the blurb that it wouldn't last. I loved the respect and care, and I feel like the river setting was perfect for them.

Annie is very much a product of her time and her upbringing - I loved her open-mindedness and how willing she was to change and try to effect change around her, even if she didn't put in much effort. She was open and kind and I loved her for it, even if her naivety had me wanting to hold her by the shoulders and give her a good shake. I liked her small acts of kindness to those around her, but they didn't always have the consequences she expected and at times it was heart-breaking.

I feel like this is a bit of a book of two parts, and they felt very different. The beginning, on he Yangtze river, had me enthralled. I loved the descriptions, the landscape, how it shaped the characters. Moving back to Shanghai I was less enamoured by the setting but definitely still gripped by the story.

The story is pretty fast paced, but at the same time felt slow. It was weird but enchanting, and I loved the writing style.

By the end, Annie is a completely different person, and I loved the journey she took as a character and the way she developed.

I'll definitely be reading more by Emma Harcourt.



The Shanghai Wife by Emma Harcourt blog tour banner



20 September 2021

Book Review: The Shameless Maverick by Louisa George

If you've read some of my romance reviews this year then you'll know that I am totally obsessed with the 200 Harley Street series, and I'm up to the penultimate instalment, The Shameless Maverick by Louisa George. 

I honestly don't know what I'll get overly invested in next, but I am going to miss this exclusive clinic.

The Shameless Maverick by Louisa George 200 Harley Street Mills & Boon Medical romance book cover

Junior surgeon Kara has been assigned her first high-profile case.

Great news – if she wasn’t working with surgeon Declan Underwood, the man she kissed at the hospital ball.

Declan’s notoriety with women is rivalled only by his reputation as the best reconstructive surgeon.

But Kara’s about to discover there’s more to her charismatic maverick than meets the eye…

Add The Enigmatic Surgeon by Annie Claydon to Goodreads button


Source: Purchase

5 Word Review: Loyalty, family, love, trust, commitment.


I can't believe I am almost at the end of this series. 

I loved coming back to 200 Harley Street, and meeting even more of the characters who had been fluttering on the peripheral of the previous stories. With its sojourn across the Irish Sea, it felt very different from the previous books, even though most of the story retained the clinical setting.

Kara is messy and had had a complicated past - her heart has been betrayed and it makes her wary and reckless in equal measure. It added a dash of something unpredictable to her character and I absolutely loved it.

Declan is very closed off, and yet strikingly passionate. I loved the care and understanding he showed for his patients, the generosity he had when it came to sharing his skills. I loved that he learned to open up and trust.

Together, they are marvellous. I couldn't help but want them to be together, I was practically shouting KISS at the book every time they were alone. They just work. They're perfect.

I really quite enjoyed that The Shameless Maverick spent a lot of time away from the clinic and hospital. It's not that I don't like the usual setting, but more that this gave the story a chance to pull much more at my heartstrings. This could possibly be the most heart-warming of the series, and I loved the scenes on the farm in Ireland. The familial setting meant that Declan's character ended up with much more depth, and I loved it. I loved seeing his love for his family, his care for those around him, and how his past shaped him.

Next up, The Tortured Hero by Amy Andrews. I especially can't wait for this one!


17 September 2021

Book Review: Whisper Cottage by Anne Wyn Clark *AD gifted

I was provided with a free ebook of  Whisper Cottage by Anne Wyn Clark ahead of the blog tour.

1

Whisper Cottage by Anne Wyn Clark book cover

How well do you know the woman next door?

When Stina and Jack move to an old rural cottage, they’re hoping for a fresh start. Their new home is run-down compared to their neighbour’s, but generous Mrs Barley quickly becomes a friend.

Until Stina sees a mysterious figure in the widow’s garden, and her happy new life begins to unravel. And when she hears strange noises in the night, she is forced to question if Mrs Barley is what she seems.

Why do the other villagers whisper about her? Why is she so eager to help the couple? And what is she hiding in her picture-perfect home?


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Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy


5 Word Review: Neighbours, mystery, chilling, secrets, rumours.


I feel like I should have guessed from the cover and the description, but wow this was dark. And I loved every moment.

I thought that Stina was pretty standoffish, and I have to admit that I didn't like her that much. But for me that lent itself so well to the story and for all I couldn't see myself being friend with her if she was real, I was so invested in her story.

The setting is exquisite. The small, claustrophobic village feels like it's bearing down on you as you read. It feels very isolated even despite (or because of) Mrs Barley next door. I was never quite sure of myself, and at times the narrator felt very much unreliable because of what she thought was happening, and yet I was utterly compelled to believe her at all times.

I thought that Whisper Cottage was so clever in how it built the atmosphere. It's slow and subtle, and all the more chilling for it, and it feels really Gothic. This book will keep you firmly in its grip, you will not be able to put it down, and the twists will absolutely take you by surprise. I felt like I was on the edge of my seat pretty much the whole time. I loved the mystery and how it was so slowly unravelled. It kept me guessing until the end.

Whisper Cottage took my by surprise, and I can't wait to read more by Anne Wyn Clark.

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Anne Wyn Clark lives in the UK, in the Midlands, with her husband, son and a feisty chinchilla. She has three (now grown-up) children and five grandchildren. She is particularly partial to Italian food, decent red wine (or any coloured wine come to that...) and cake - and has been known to over-indulge in each on occasions. She is passionate about animals and their welfare. Whilst she has enjoyed writing for many years, a love of all things gothic inspired her to try her hand at producing something dark and twisty, culminating in the haunting Whisper Cottage.



Book Review: Will They, Won't They? by Portia MacIntosh *AD gifted

I was provided with a free ebook of Will They, Won't They? by Portia MacIntosh ahead of the blog tour.

This book was so freaking fun I can't even. Will They, Won't They? by Portia MacIntosh is the rom-com you need in your life to brighten up the dark evenings.

Will They, Won't They? by Portia MacIntosh book cover

When life goes off track sometimes the only thing you can do is go back to where it all began...

Emmy Palmer is the star of Bragadon Forest, the biggest fantasy series on TV; adored by the public, living the life of glamour and luxury in London.

But when scandal strikes, Emmy must escape the city and return to her seaside hometown to lie low and wait for the storm to pass.

Emmy's agent decides it would be a good look to star in the community Christmas pantomime, but who else could be playing her leading man but her ex-boyfriend who she may or may not have ditched to move to London a decade ago...

As the show approaches, love and friendships blossom and the real question is - Will they? Won't they?


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Source: Purchase | Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Family, friendship, acting, misunderstanding, love.


I needed this book. It was so freaking fun and uplifting. I'd recommend running a nice hot bath, throwing in a bath bomb, and pouring a glass of wine. Then relax into Emmy's excellent story.

I love love loved Emmy. She is so funny as a character, I loved her personality too. Her family conflicts and personal relationships honestly had me in stitches at time. I loved the small scenes that showed the contrast between her life in London and her life in Yorkshire.

The messes that Emmy gets herself into are a hoot. The misunderstandings are many, and only exacerbated by her eccentric family. Her Auntie Vee is really something else.

I liked the added drama of the scandal, but at the same time it made me so frustrated. Emmy just didn't do what she was accused of and it was so unfair that the rumours and lies could almost destroy her career. She is so freaking lovely, she didn't deserve it. That said, without it we wouldn't have moved the story to Marram Bay. I wish so badly that the setting were real, but at the same time I know many places similar. Although perhaps without the tidal island (and the complications it brings).

There was a gently festive feel to this story, especially after half-way through, so if you're looking for something to kick off the festive season then look no further. Will They, Won't They? by Portia MacIntosh is perfect. I can't wait to wander around Fenwick's Christmas department.

Portia MacIntosh is definitely an author I will keep an eye on.

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Portia MacIntosh is a bestselling romantic comedy author of 16 novels, including The Plus One Pact and My Great Ex-Scape. Previously a music journalist, Portia writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real life experiences.

15 September 2021

Book Review: Dark Things I Adore by Katie Lattari *AD gifted

I was sent a free copy of Dark Things I Adore by Katie Lattari ahead of the blog tour. 

Dark, twisty, and sure to keep you gripped to the last page. I loved it 

Dark Things I Adore by Katie Lattari book cover Titan books

hree campfire secrets. Two witnesses. One dead in the trees. And the woman, thirty years later, bent on making the guilty finally pay.

1988. A group of outcasts gather at a small, prestigious arts camp nestled in the Maine woods. They're the painters: bright, hopeful, teeming with potential. But secrets and dark ambitions rise like smoke from a campfire, and the truths they tell will come back to haunt them in ways more deadly than they dreamed.

2018. Esteemed art professor Max Durant arrives at his protégé's remote home to view her graduate thesis collection. He knows Audra is beautiful and brilliant. He knows being invited into her private world is a rare gift. But he doesn't know that Audra has engineered every aspect of their weekend together. Every detail, every conversation. Audra has woven the perfect web.

Only Audra knows what happened that summer in 1988. Max's secret, and the dark things that followed. And even though it won't be easy, Audra knows someone must pay.

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Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Art, secrets, ambition, toxicity, revenge. 


This was the perfect book for stepping into autumn. 

Dark Things I Adore made me want to curl up under a blanket with a hot chocolate. It made me want to hide from the world, and honestly even the book at times. It's excellently dark. 

I liked the slow reveal of the past, the massive amount of thought that Audra has put into her plan. None of her actions are done on a whim, she's whip smart and shockingly manipulative. 

I freaking hated Max right from the off, even his point of view feels smarmy and arrogant. A truly marvellous villain, a character to easily hate. 

I think that the writing style was very clever - we are seeing the story from the perspective of artists and that really came through in the despcriptions. Max would literally wax lyrical when describing Audra. It also lent something extra unreliable to the narrative, like the characters were painting their own pictures with their words.

Dark Things I Adore is a perfect autumn thriller. From the setting to the twitsted, thrilling storyline, it will keep you wholly gripped for an entire evening or two. This story takes toxicity of all sorts and amps them up, and the result is deliciously dark and will chill you to the bone. 

And now this invitation. I'm like a vampire over the threshold.

14 September 2021

Book Review: Take A Moment by Nina Kaye *AD gifted

I was provided with a free ebook of Take A Moment by Nina Kaye ahead of the blog tour.

I went through a whole box of tissues and bottle of wine reading Take A Moment. It hit so close to home it was like the author could see me. And it was so freaking good.

Take A Moment by Nina Kaye book cover

Life is better lived in the moment

Meet Alex. She has a wonderful fiancé, a job she thrives in, and a best friend she’s known since childhood. Life’s not perfect, but it’s pretty fantastic. Until a shock diagnosis suddenly throws everything off course.

But Alex has never been one to back down from a fight. Now single and unemployed, she packs up and moves from her Glasgow hometown to vibrant Birmingham for a fresh start. In a new job, in a new city, she’s learning all over again what’s important in life.

Friendship, fun and even romance lie just around the corner – but can Alex get out of her own way and learn to just take a moment, and live?

A stunning, uplifting romance for fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Jo Watson.


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Source: Purchase | Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Disability, friendship, work, family, love.


Those five words don't do this story justice, by the way.

This is probably the hardest book review I have ever written. Because this book? Err... It's my life. Someone has been watching me go through my surprise diagnosis and my life falling apart and my body betraying me and having to come to terms that I will never ever get better and can only hope to put off getting more ill for as long as possible... And they've written it.

If you ever wondered what life with Multiple Sclerosis is like, look no further. Take A Moment is absolutely heartbreakingly perfect in its depiction of this auto-immune condition. I almost felt sick at the accuracy, but in a really good way. Is this how it feels to be represented in a book?

I completely understood Alex and her thoughts, feelings, and behaviour in the story. A Life changing diagnosis is difficult enough, but to know you will never get better? Your whole world is turned upside down. My heart broke when her personal relationships broke down, and yet I could see both sides of it. For all that she and her sister were like chalk and cheese there is still care there. 

I utterly adored the romance in this story, and the conflicts it caused. It was messy and felt so real, and it was so uplifting in how it all turned out. Disabled people are allowed romance and happy endings and I'm glad this book allowed one. 

I really enjoyed the work-conflict at Alex's new place, even if it did make me so so angry. And I lived how her manager rallied around her and was an actual friend. 

I wish this book had been around when I was going through the months after my diagnosis. It would have helped me so much (and even now so many years later it is helping) and I am just so thankful that this book is now around. Although my experiences have been very different, this hit the nail on the head. It was sensitively done, and for every hard moment there were moments to make you smile and laugh.

This is a hard hitting yet ultimately uplifting book that I will absolutely read again. 


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Nina Kaye is a contemporary romance author who writes warm, witty and uplifting reads with a deeper edge. She lives in Edinburgh with her husband and much adored side-kick, James. In addition to writing, Nina enjoys swimming, gin and karaoke (preferably all enjoyed together in a sunny, seaside destination). Nina has previously published The Gin Lover’s Guide to Dating and has also been a contender for the RNA Joan Hessayson Award.

13 September 2021

Book Review: Second Chance to Wear His Ring by Hana Sheik *AD Gifted

I was provided with a free ebook of Second Chance to Wear His Ring by Hana Sheik ahead of the blog tour.

I'm not usually a fan of the amnesia trope, but this one knocked the second chance at love right out of the park and I loved it. Read my review of Second Chance to Wear His Ring by Hana Sheik to find out why.

Second Chance to Wear His Ring by Hana Sheik Mills & Boon Harlequin romance book cover

A forgotten past…

Could pave the way to forever!

When millionaire Mansur Ali is called urgently home to Somaliland, he’s shocked to find that the woman who broke his heart needs his help.

After an accident, Amal has lost many memories… Including Manny’s marriage proposal and her rejection!

Manny will help her seek treatment in Addis Ababa, but he’s resolved to keep his heart firmly off-limits.

A promise that is tested when their journey brings them closer than ever before…


Amazon UK | Amazon US


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Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Family, history, responsibility, memories, love. 


I wasn't sure about this at first, but after the first chapter I was hooked. It was an excellent and heart-warming romance. 

Manny is the first character we meet and honestly I wasn't set on him at first, he seemed so arrogant. But that he'd jump on a plane and travel so far for those he cares about was what sold him for me. He's generous with his heart, even when he pretends he isn't. 

I felt so sorry for Amal. She's had it really really rough since her accident, her whole world was turned upside down. She's a successful woman in her own right and I loved the glimpses we saw of her working, and the passion she had for her projects. I also loved how charitable she was, from giving money to the poor to working to build a proper and decent hospital for everyone. She's the kind of person we need more of in the world. 

I loved the slow rebuild between Amal and Manny, that spark of care that was there from the very beginning and grew and grew. I liked their shared history and how they helped each other in their own way. They didn't smother each other, and it was like the further in love they fell the greater they became as individuals. 

This is probably one of the best second chance romances I've read, and I wouldn't hesitate to read more by Hana Sheik. 

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Hana Sheik falls in love every day reading her favourite romances and writing her own happy-ever-afters. She's worked as a data entry operator, customer service rep, telemarketer, and ghostwriter—but being a romance author is without a doubt the best job ever! Born in Somalia, she moved to the beautiful capital of Canada as a toddler, and still lives there happily with her family.

Giveaway to Win 2 x Paperback copies of Second Chance to Wear His Ring
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*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.