Friday, 13 September 2019

Book review: One Christmas Star by Mandy Baggot

One Christmas Star by Mandy Baggot

Emily Parker is set to have the worst Christmas ever!

Her flatmate's moved out, she's closed her heart to love and she's been put in charge of the school original Christmas show – with zero musical ability.
Disgraced superstar, Ray Stone is in desperate need of a quick PR turnaround. Waking up from a drunken stupor to a class of ten-year-olds snapping pics and Emily looking at him was not what he had in mind.
Ray needs Emily's help to delete the photos, and she needs his with the show. As they learn to work together they may just open their hearts to more than a second chance...

My thoughts...

This book has a sprinkling of magic at the turn of each and every page. I fell head first into the story from the very beginning and read the book in one day as I couldn't bring myself to put it down and hold off finding out how the story would unfold.

The narrative delivered festive romance in spades and I fell in love with Emily and Ray's chemistry from the start and championed them on from the sidelines in the hope of a happy ever after. As characters go, they were crafted to perfection and I felt they gave the book an extra coating of festive warmth and love.

But can I just take this moment to give a shout out to one of the greatest nativity shows I think I've ever come across.....I was giggling into the pages of my Kindle with each and every moment surrounding this hilarious piece. Year 6, for me, were the best thing about this whole book and I could have read an entire story on their antics alone. I mean talk about charismatic mini characters.....they were an absolute triumph.

One Christmas Star is a merry mega mix of family and love with a knock out nativity stealing the show. This is certainly one festive read to snuggle up with for the holiday season.

Read and reviewed with kind permission by Aria.

#StacyRecommends #literaryadventure #bookblogging #bookreview #booklove

About the author...

Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer represented by Tanera Simons of The Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency.

The winner of the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK's Festival of Romance, her romantic comedy novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year award in 2016. Mandy's books have so far been translated into German, Italian, Czech and Hungarian.

Mandy loves the Greek island of Corfu, white wine, country music and handbags. Also a singer, she has taken part in ITV1's Who Dares Sings and The X-Factor.

Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.

Visit Mandy's website at

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Book review: Living My Best Lie by Claire Frost

Living My Best Lie by Claire Frost

Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, Bell is struggling to move on with her life. Haunted by #blessed on social media, she can’t help but compare her life to those she follows online, wondering where she is going wrong . . .
In the world of social media, Millie is the successful online influencer @mi_bestlife. But in real life she’s just a regular single mum trying to make ends meet, while fending off the younger competition and tenacious internet trolls.

My thoughts...

I can hand on heart say that this book captures the very essence of modern day living to the maximum and I was certainly living my best life reading each and every word that came alive off the pages.

Claire Frost's ability to draw you into a sincere world, with characters that could easily become best friend material if it weren't for the inconvenient fact they're in 2D form (boo!!!) is quite special. Her writing feels like having a coffee and a catch up with a friend......warm and welcoming and if this is a debut book then sign me up for future releases as I'm a big fan.

Bell and Millie are each striving for happiness in life and with that comes a set of familiar challenges to overcome. Their new found friendship is utter joy and I loved every moment of their journey figuring out how to become the happiest version of themselves in a world of social media and social conforms. 

Living My Best Lie sweeps you away on a glittering journey of love, heart and friendship in an unapologetically honest manner.....what an absolute triumph! If you don't have this book sitting proudly on your tbr pile then this oversight needs amending immediately as everyone needs a Bell and Millie in their life and I know you will all adore this story as much as me.

Thank you so much to Anne at Random Things Tours and Simon and Schuster for letting me take part in this fabulous blog tour.

#StacyRecommends #literaryadventure #bookblogging #bookreview #booklove

About the author...

Claire Frost grew up in Manchester, the middle of three sisters. She always wanted to do a job that involved writing, so after studying Classics at Bristol University she started working in magazines. For the last 10 years she's been at The Sun on Sunday's Fabulous magazine, where she is Assistant Editor and also responsible for the title's book reviews. She can mostly be found at her desk buried under a teetering TBR pile.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Book review: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harris

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored and utterly out of place.
But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

My thoughts...

This book is beautifully crafted with a poetic narrative that ebbs and flows in a lyrical fashion. I was swept away on a journey of books and story telling with a pace that was both soft and delicate. The storyline builds gently rather than dynamically jumping off the page but the vivid nature of the piece pulls you into another world with a creative quality.

The writing is a work of art that comes alive with the turn of each and every page to reveal a stunning story that is addictive in nature. The immersive writing pulled me head first into the narrative and I read with the speed of light to see how the story would play out. The characters were small in quantity but as the saying goes it's quality that counts and I fell head first for January and her all consuming mind of wonders. Her vivid and eclectic way of looking at the world melted my heart and I loved every moment of my adventures with her.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a clever and creative story that will stay with you for many years to come. I predict great things for this book and I know you will all love it as much as I do.

Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for letting me take part in this fabulous blog tour.

#StacyRecommends #literaryadventure #bookblogging #bookreview #booklove

About the author...

Alix E. Harrow is an ex-historian with lots of opinions and excessive library fines, currently living in Kentucky with her husband and their semi-feral children. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is her debut novel. Find her on Twitter at @AlixEHarrow.

Cover reveal: One Week ‘til Christmas by Belinda Missen

One Week ‘til Christmas

I'm so excited to be bringing you a gorgeous festive cover reveal to brighten up this Monday afternoon. I think you can all agree it's an absolute beauty and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of the stunning story I know is hiding beneath.

Two people. One chance meeting. Seven days to Christmas.

Isobel Bennett is waiting for the number 11 bus when a man quite literally falls into her lap. Snow is falling, Christmas lights are twinkling, and a gorgeous man with dark brown hair has just slipped on ice and is now pressed against Isobel.
Isobel knows she’s not imagining the chemistry between them. But then his ride arrives and, embarrassed, he beats a hasty retreat, murmuring apologies – and Isobel realises only too late that she didn’t manage to catch his name…
When she runs into him again the next morning, she decides it’s fate.
It’s a second chance for Isobel and Tom – but there’s only one week until she’s leaving London for good. Seven days of enjoying all the festive delights the city has to offer: ice-skating at Somerset House, mulled wine on the Southbank, Christmas shopping at Liberty.
There’s magic in the air and mistletoe in the trees – but what will happen when the week is over?
For fans of Josie Silver, Lucy Diamond and Marian Keyes, this is one Christmas romance you don’t want to miss!

Pre-order Links:

Author Bio –
Author and sometimes foodie, Belinda is a ridiculous romantic who met her husband after being set up by a friend two states away.
Residing in country Victoria, surrounded by books, cat-fur, and half-eaten cake, Belinda divides her days between writing rom-coms, baking, and indulging her love of comic books.
Social Media Links –
Instagram @belinda_missen

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Book review: Heart in the Right Home by Lisa Hill

Heart in the Right Home by Lisa Hill

Wedding bells are chiming in the village of Clunderton, but will it be happy-ever-afters all around? Rebecca Cavendish thinks not. All she’s feeling is shame and remorse since her affair with property mogul, Edward Hardwicke, whilst in another corner of the village, Louise Edwards is slowly coming to the conclusion she might not be in love with husband, Johnnie, anymore.

Meanwhile, Lottie Hardwicke is resisting the urge to do what she does best…interfere. When Edward’s son, James, turns up announcing Hardwickes’ intentions to develop land on the outskirts of the village into residential homes, and Edward makes a further shocking announcement, a divide begins to set hold amongst the villagers, perhaps more monumental than the country being torn apart by Brexit…

Will Lottie refrain? Or will she cave-in to that need to interfere, and ensure everyone ends up with their heart in the right home?

My thoughts...

Lisa Hill has created a book filled to the brim with charm and charisma that had me smiling into my Kindle from the start. The plot was fast paced and ebbed and flowed with exciting highs and lows in a style not unlike that of a soap opera. The warm and witty writing held my attention with its keen eye to everyday village life in all its quirky glory.

The village of Clunderton certainly held an eclectic array of characters that came alive on the pages with entertaining vivacity. This village backdrop worked perfectly for this dazzling series to set it's lively narrative upon and I couldn't have loved it anymore if I tried. I particularly enjoyed how each character had equal time in the spotlight to shine and I found myself fully absorbed in each dramatic storyline that played out with keen investment.

Heart in the Right Home is a sincere story that will delight and entertain you. It certainly is the perfect book to cosy up with as the dark nights begin to approach. So make sure this warm and honest story makes its way onto your autumn tbr pile as it's definitely one not to miss.

Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for letting me take part in this fabulous blog tour.

#StacyRecommends #literaryadventure #bookblogging #bookreview #booklove

About the author...

Lisa grew up in the village of Bussage, near Stroud, in the Cotswolds until she returned to Cheltenham as a teenager. She is married to her very own hero, Matt, and has three sons, Hamish, Archie and Laurence. Her first encounter of a romance author was chats over the garden wall between her father, Godfrey, and Mrs Cooper from the neighbouring village of Bisley. It came as quite a surprise in later life to find that Mrs Cooper was in fact Jilly Cooper! Lisa's writing inspiration now comes from other Cotswolds authors including Jill Mansell and Katie Fforde.

Lisa writes contemporary women's fiction with a light-hearted tone. What interests her most is people, their interactions, emotions and relationships. It's probably why her career to date has been based in property; she confesses herself that she is 'naturally curious'.

When she's not busy writing, helping Matt run his electrical empire, or being her sons' taxi service, Lisa enjoys long walks with the family gundog, Sparky, and is training to be a counsellor where she hopes, one day, to be able to provide therapy in the form of writing to those who need it.

Lisa is a graduate of the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers' Scheme and attributes this supportive and informative scheme to her career to date, including her debut novel, Meet Me at Number Five, and this year's perfect summer read Heart in the Right Place.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Book review: A Question of Us by Mary Jayne Baker

A Question of Us by Mary Jayne Baker

Two best friends. Eight pub quizzes. One shot at love...

There are some people who seem like they have all the answers in life. Clarrie Midwinter isn't one of them.
At the age of 26, tomboy Clarrie is still struggling to become a 'proper' grown-up. She's eternally strapped for cash, she hasn't had a date in nearly a year and her attempts to quit smoking tend to take a nosedive after the second pint. Most annoyingly of all, her ladykiller best friend Simon just won't stop asking her out. The only thing keeping her sane is her pub quiz team, the Mighty Morphin Flower Arrangers.
But when Simon bets her a date their team will win the quiz league, Clarrie is forced to confront what she really wants out of life – and love. Is it finally time for her to grow up?

My thoughts...

Well where do I start with this book.....I think I'll begin by saying simply that I loved it. It was an outright success on every level and I'm sad it had to come to an end. Being a huge Mary Jayne Baker fan I knew I was in safe hands when it came to this story but it completely entertained me from start to finish and it's definitely a book not to be missed.

As I've come to know and love with Mary's books, character creations are on another level. She really knows how to create loved and memorable characters and this story did not disappoint. Clarrie and Si were the perfect pair and together with the rest of The Mighty Morphin’ Flower Arrangers, made this book into the success story it was. I laughed, I smiled and I enjoyed each and every minute of my time spent with these loveable rogues and I know you will to.

A Question of Us is the like a gift that keeps on giving....entertainment at the turn of each page with heartwarming moments threaded throughout like bursts of magic. If this is not on your tbr pile yet then please rectify this oversight immediately - you will not be disappointed.

Read and reviewed with kind permission by Aria.

#StacyRecommends #literaryadventure #bookblogging #bookreview #booklove

About the author...

Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country... and she's still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature, she dallied with living in cities including London, Nottingham and Cambridge, but eventually came back with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales, where she first started telling stories about heroines with flaws and the men who love them.

More information can be found about Mary Jayne on her website at You can also follow her on Twitter, @MaryJayneBaker, or like her Facebook page by going to

Book review: Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar

Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar

Christmas magic can thaw the coldest of hearts…
Sylvie Magnusson is going to be lonely this Christmas. Instead of jetting off for her
sunshine honeymoon, she’s freezing at home in Cheshire. Guess that’s what happens when your fiancĂ© dumps you a week before your wedding…

Sylvie’s best friend, Nari, plans a trip to see the Northern Lights and get Sylvie’s mojo back. But as their Lapland getaway approaches, Sylvie realises that Frozen Falls is the hometown of Stellan Virtanen, her dreamy Finnish ex-boyfriend, the one that got away. Even though he actually ran away, and Sylvie never understood why…
Luckily, when they meet, Stellan’s still gorgeous – and her heart is warmed when he shows her the romantic delights of Lapland (as well as some seriously adorable Husky puppies). But when she returns to England can she really leave Stellan behind? Or will she find that her heart belongs in the frozen North?
Curl up with the perfect cosy Christmas read this winter. Fans of Sarah Morgan and
Carole Matthews will adore this feel good, heart-warming romcom.

Buy Links:
You can download your copy for £1.99

My thoughts...

The one thing I'm certain of when I pick up a Kiley Dunbar book is the knowledge that I'm in safe hands and a truly memorable story is about to unfold itself before my eyes. I can hand on heart say that this book did not disappoint in the slightest. From the twinkling, snowy landscapes of Lapland, to the heartwarming romance that played out on the pages, I was in my element. I had all but packed my suitcase, together with a one way ticket, to permanently move to the home of all things Christmas.

The narrative delivered festive romance in all it's cosy glory and I was swept away on a delicious adventure that I didn't want to end. The characters came alive as I travelled on this glorious adventure filled with snow, romance and love and I fell in love with the story that glittered and shimmered with the turn of each and every page. Kiley is the master of memorable stories and this is certainly one I won't forget in a hurry.

Christmas at Frozen Falls is the perfect recipe for a festive read. Even devouring this delightful number in September still gave me all the Christmas feels as I was picked up and transported to Lapland.....the eternal Christmas destination. This is certainly one story to add to your tbr pile for the up coming festive season that's for sure.

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for letting me take part in this tour.

#StacyRecommends #literaryadventure #bookblogging #bookreview #booklove

About the author...

Kiley Dunbar is the author of heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places.


Kiley is Scottish and lives in England with her husband, two kids and Amos the Bedlington Terrier. She writes around her work at a University in the North of England where she lectures in English Literature and creative writing. She is proud to be a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and a graduate of their New Writers' Scheme. 

One Summer's Night is Kiley's first novel (published by Hera Books) and is on sale now!
Don't forget there's also a fabulous audiobook narrated by Eilidh Beaton.

Christmas at Frozen Falls, Kiley's dreamy festive romcom set in Lapland is on pre-order now: Out 4th September 2019.

You can find Kiley on Twitter @KileyDunbar
and on the 'Kiley Dunbar Author Book Page' on Facebook.