26 January 2015

Book News: The Beachside Guest House by Vanessa Greene

Vanessa Greene is back this spring with a brand new book... The Beachside Guest House! It's due out on 28th April, and I love the summery looking cover too, makes me hopeful of some warmer weather soon! I love Vanessa's stories, and I am sure this one will be another I will adore and devour!

You can pre-order The Beachside Guest House as a paperback or an eBook now.

"When Rosa and Bee get together in the run-up to Bee's wedding, they reminisce about the holiday they took together as teenagers to the beautiful Greek island of Paros. They remember the sandy coves, the guest house in the converted windmill where they stayed with their friend Iona, and the gorgeous local men. As memories of that long-forgotten holiday resurface, they are forced to confront the turns their lives have taken - and the guilt they both feel about letting Iona slip away from them.

When they learn that the windmill guest house is going bust they form a plan: why not go back to the island and take it over themselves? And so begins a life-changing journey - because it turns out that opening a guest house and reliving their teenage dreams isn't that easy . . .

Full of romance and friendship, love and life, laughter and tears, The Beachside Guest House is an uplifting novel about the magic of starting over with friends by your side."

25 January 2015

eBook Review: Skating at Somerset House by Nikki Moore

"There’s nothing Holly Winterlake loves more than Christmas and skating, so working as an Ice Marshall at London's Somerset House is a dream come true.

Noel Summerford hates the festive season and is a disaster on the ice, so taking his godson to Somerset House is his idea of the nightmare before Christmas!

Things are bound to get interesting when these two collide…

With a forty foot Christmas tree, an assortment of well meaning friends and relatives, and a mad chocolate Labrador, will this festive season be one to remember … or forget?"

Rating: 5/5

You can buy Skating at Somerset House as an eBook now!

I never used to be a fan of short stories, but since I have had my Kindle Paperwhite, I have been more willing to give them a go, and I am glad that I have! One such story I am glad that I read is the first in Nikki Moore's 'Love London' series, called Skating at Somerset House. As usual, publishers Harper Impulse have come up trumps with a stunning eBook cover that I am in love with, and the story inside promised to be just a delightful! At only 40 pages in print length, it is the perfect short story to sit down with of an evening and devour in one sitting... I did!

Holly Winterlake loves Christmas, and her passion for ice skating is still very much in force, so when she gets a job as an Ice Marshall at the ice rink at Somerset House she's delighted. Surrounded by Christmas cheer, trees and ice, she's a happy woman. Noel Summerford isn't a Christmas fan, and hates skating too, especially as he just can't seem to do it. When he takes his young godson skating and makes a bit of a fool of himself, he befriends Holly and the pair strike up a quick and easy friendship...

I don't want to say too much in this review, simply because the story is so short, and I can reveal far too much, especially as it's a book you will want to read for yourself to see how it develops! I loved the 2 main characters, they couldn't be more different (even their surnames show their loves of seasons!), but they somehow manage to get along. Holly's passion for her skating shows through straight away, you can really sense that she loves it, and we are left wondering why she gave it all up when she had such a promising career. Noel, too, is hiding a secret about his godson and why he won't let him skate with Holly, but again it's a bit of a mystery for much of the book.

The setting of Somerset House is brilliant for the book, it felt so Christmassy right from the start, and it's somewhere that I am going to put on my list of places to visit next Christmas without a doubt, I've never been before and feel I am missing out! Nikki's descriptions of the house, the ice rink, the trees and the people enjoying the whole experience are wonderful and it's easy to picture in your mind as you are reading. As I said, it is a short story but I was engrossed in it from start to finish, it was a joy to read about Holly and Noel as they begin their friendship, and the ending part of the book left me with a few giggles and a big smile on my face. I can't wait to read more in Nikki Moore's 'Love London' series, this was a fantastic start!

24 January 2015

Book Review: Christmas for One by Amanda Prowse

"As a child, Meg always dreamed of the perfect Christmas...

This year, she can make it come true for her own little boy. There will be turkey and all the trimmings, a glittering tree, and a stocking hung up by a roaring fire. Who cares if there's no devoted husband in the picture? She and Lucas will be just fine on their own.

But then a chance meeting with a stranger in New York unravels everything she's planned. Will Meg finally get everything she wished for? Or will she be alone this Christmas after all?"

Rating: 4/5

You can buy Christmas for One as a paperback or an eBook now.

This is the first of Amanda Prowse's novels that I have ever read, and now I have finished reading her latest festive offering, I know it won't be the last. Complete with a stunningly beautiful Christmassy book cover, Christmas for One was a wonderful read from start to finish, with characters to care about, a sweet love story and also the magic of Christmas thrown in there too. Meg has resigned herself to being a single parent after the death of her fiancĂ© Bill, and works hard at Plums Patisserie, a bakery where she is working her way up the career ladder. When her job sends her to New York City to sort out the new bakery there, she bumps into New Yorker Ed, and the pair strike up a quick friendship. But is that all that New York has to offer Meg, or will she finally spend a Christmas with someone she loves?

New York is certainly a popular setting for books these days, I have read a few this year alone but it doesn't stop me loving the city any less. Meg is visiting at Christmas, and I love the magic of New York at this time of year having visited myself - there's nothing like seeing the Rockefeller Centre tree up close for yourself! Meg is captivated by the city, and she loves exploring, as much as she loves trying to get the New York branch of Plums Patisserie up and running. I really liked how Meg struggled with her work/life balance, feeling very guilty at leaving her young son Lucas behind when she was travelling, but knowing it needed to be done for the business - a lot of mums feel like this, and there's nothing like coming home to your child when you've been away from them! I loved the relationship Meg and Lucas had, so very close and it was heartwarming to read about.

The relationship between Meg and Ed happened very quickly in the book, and I had hoped that nothing would go wrong for the pair because Meg deserved some happiness at last after being so unlucky in her life so far - growing up in care with a mother who didn't really want her, having a baby then losing her fiancé, and although she's finally settled she still would like someone to really love. I kept hoping that Ed wasn't too good to be true, and found myself sprinting through the book to find out how it was all going to end up for the pair. It didn't seem like it could possibly work long-term, with the pair living on either side of the Atlantic, and this really was a sweet love story that I was fully behind.

Amanda Prowse's writing was really enjoyable to read, and I found she got the emotion of the book just right. She tapped into Meg's guilt, love and hope so well that you were really feeling it along with her as you read, and as things took a bit of a turn about 3/4 of the way through the book, you realise Christmas isn't all happiness and jollity, and that for some it is a tough, lonely time. Yes, Ed and Meg's relationship happened very quickly, and almost a tad unrealistically but for me it didn't matter - it just added to the overall magic of the story. I loved this book from start to finish, and really didn't want to put it down until I had got to the last page. A charming festive love story - this most certainly won't be my last book from Amanda Prowse.

22 January 2015

Book News: First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan

I was very upset when I finished Sarah Morgan's last novel, Maybe This Christmas, as I had loved the Snow Crystal trilogy and didn't want it to end! However, she's back on 1st March with a brand new series, and the first in that series is called First Time in Forever! Complete with gorgeous summery cover to get you in the holiday mood, this sounds like it's going to be a fab read, and I can't wait to get stuck in.

You can pre-order First Time in Forever as a paperback or an eBook now.

"Happily-Ever-After isn’t on Emily Donovan’s agenda…
Emily’s been too swept up in a challenging year of firsts, from becoming a stand-in mum to her niece Lizzy to moving to remote but beautiful Puffin Island, to think about love.

But that’s before charismatic local yacht club owner Ryan Cooper kisses her…

Ryan knows Emily has a complicated past that she’s struggling to face. So he makes it his mission to help her unwind and enjoy the chemistry they share.

Can the welcoming community of Puffin Island work their magic on Emily and get her to take her biggest leap of trust yet —putting her heart in someone else’s hands?

Let bestselling author Sarah Morgan whisk you away with the all new Puffin Island series!"

21 January 2015

Book News: That Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson

Another of my favourite authors, Dorothy Koomson, is back this year with a new novel, hurrah! That Girl From Nowhere is Dorothy's first book for a few years, and I love the cover for this new book, very eye-catching and something I would want to pick up. The book is out on 9th April.

You can pre-order That Girl From Nowhere as a hardback or an eBook now.

"‘Where are you coming from with that accent of yours?’ he asks.

‘Nowhere,’ I reply. ‘I’m from nowhere.’

‘Everyone’s from somewhere,’ he says.

‘Not me,’ I reply silently.

Clemency Smithson was adopted as a baby and the only connection she has to her birth mother is a cardboard box hand-decorated with butterflies. Now an adult, Clem decides to make a drastic life change and move to Brighton, where she was born. Clem has no idea that while there she'll meet someone who knows all about her butterfly box and what happened to her birth parents.

As the tangled truths about her adoption and childhood start to unravel, a series of shocking events cause Clem to reassess whether the price of having contact with her birth family could be too high to pay."

20 January 2015

Book News: One Small Act of Kindness by Lucy Dillon

One of the authors I always look forward to reading a new book from is Lucy Dillon. I've never read anything by this author that I haven't loved, and so I am eagerly anticipating her book One Small Act of Kindness which is out on 23rd April 2015. I cannot wait for this, I just know it'll be utterly brilliant.

You can pre-order One Small Act of Kindness as a paperback or an eBook now.

"Libby helps a stranger, and transforms her life in the process.

Libby and her husband Jason have moved back to his hometown to turn the family B&B into a boutique hotel. They have left London behind and all the memories - good and bad - that went with it.

The injured woman Libby finds lying in the remote country road has lost her memory. She doesn't know why she came to be there, and no one seems to be looking for her.

When Libby offers to take her in, this one small act of kindness sets in motion a chain of events that will change many people's lives..."

19 January 2015

eBook News: Kate & Alf by Carrie Stone

I love Harper Impulse and their stories that they find - I've discovered some great authors through them, and was delighted to see a new addition to their Netgalley page recently. Kate and Alf is by Carrie Stone, and is due out on 5th February. The story sounds great, and the cover looks gorgeous - I'm definitely going to give this one a try!

You can pre-order Kate and Alf as an eBook now.

"Kate loves Alf. And Alf loves Kate… Doesn’t he?

Kate can’t wait for her long-term boyfriend Alf to propose. So he might be a bit of a control freak who’s obsessed with his career … and he also seems to have conveniently forgotten their two-year plan to get married, buy a bigger house and have children. But Kate’s sure that ring will be on her finger soon.

When her thirty-second birthday ends in humiliating, proposal-less disaster, even Kate is left wondering if Alf really is The One. Then Alf’s friend, Marcus, needs a place to stay. With his dark eyes, easygoing manner and kind concern for Kate, Marcus is everything Alf is not - and it's not long before Kate begins to wonder if there’s more to life than diamonds."