Thursday, 8 April 2021

Book review: Staying Out for the Summer by Mandy Baggot


 

Staying Out for the Summer by Mandy Baggot


This is one summer that won't end in tiers!

For NHS nurse, Lucie Burrows, it's time to put the past behind her and embrace Greek life.

Finally free from the UK restrictions, Lucie is excited for the summer of 2021. When her best friend, Gavin, finds the perfect Greek island getaway, Lucie is sure that this holiday to Corfu is going to be one to remember.

But when a landslide puts the village into a local lockdown, Lucie is thrown together with Michalis Andino, the super sexy village doctor. It's not quite the escape she had planned, but things could certainly be worse.

As Lucie relaxes into the Greek way of life, she begins to wonder whether this lockdown might just end in a new beginning – and a new love...





My thoughts...


You know you've dived head first into a Mandy Baggot book when you reach the delightful shores of Corfu. Her books whisk you away to this beautiful sun drenched island where you can almost feel the sand between your toes, the sun on your shoulders and that ice cold bottle of Mythos within hands reach. Oh how I've missed holidays......and this book is certainly no different. But you would be forgiven for thinking that the premise was based purely on fun and frivolity.

The heart and soul of this book comes from its handling of the Covid pandemic. This delicate topic is still very real in the world today and the narrative speaks candidly of tough times and the resilience our characters showed in the face of adversity. A collective coming together weaved its way through the story in an inspiring way and although the book touches on real life it does not drag the uplifting and heartfelt nature of the book down in anyway at all.

The characters we meet along our journey are fully formed and loveable. Best friends Lucie and Gavin are a scream a minute and I was living for each and every moment of their much needed break abroad. After tough months serving on the NHS front line a frivolous and fun time was definitely the order of the day and I can confirm that our duo followed orders to the letter. Laugh out loud moments are waiting between the pages of this story and I can guarantee that you will fall head over heels for this loveable pair of nurses. But I feel it is long over due for me to introduce you to Michalis....I mean be still my beating heart there's a doctor in the house. This Greek demigod is sure to get heart racing and I for one was swooning on cue. But on a serious side note our Michalis has also been through his share of tough times, as a lung specialist you can only imagine the horrors faced on his journey through the pandemic. So these multilayered characters really do make their way into your heart as empathy and concern rushed through my veins with every turn of the page. I just wanted to wrap them all up in a big hug. Instead I had to wish them well from a socially distanced sideline and hope for that ever needed happy ever after.

Staying Out for the Summer is not your typical beach read.....it has sizzle and heat for sure but it also tugs deeply at the heart strings and will leave an unforgettable imprint. Well done Mandy on a sensational summer read, I for one am changed for having been on this journey.


Read and reviewed with kind permission by Aria.





About the author...


Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer. 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.




Friday, 26 March 2021

Book review: When's the Wedding? Dreaming of Saying I Do by Olivia Spring

 


When's the Wedding? Dreaming of Saying I Do by Olivia Spring


She’s found the perfect man. Will she get her perfect proposal?

 

Dog hotel marketing manager Alex has always dreamed of having a fairy-tale proposal: the glorious sunset, iconic backdrop and rose petals – the whole shebang. She’s found her Mr Right, and life with sexy paediatrician Miles is wonderful, except for one thing. Despite saying that he’s ready for marriage, Miles seems no closer to putting a ring on it.


After a romantic getaway to Paris ends in more disappointment and Alex receives news that sends her world into a spin, she decides that her dream proposal won’t just fall into her lap. So she hatches a plan.

Although she’s convinced her methods will lead to Miles popping the question faster than she can say ‘I do’, Alex’s friends warn her it will end in disaster. But a little bit of hint dropping can’t hurt, right?

Will Alex get her happily-ever-after, or is there a reason why Miles is dragging his feet?

Order this fun romantic comedy now and join Alex on her exciting adventures as she attempts to speed up the proposal process, with hilarious results!

 

When’s the Wedding? is the sequel to Only When It’s Love. It can also be read as a standalone novel.



 



My thoughts...


Dreams of that perfect fairytale wedding have consumed the thoughts of many a young girl. What dress? What location? What flavour cake and how many tiers? But what comes first is that perfect proposal. These thoughts have all been gently stored away in the memory, for future use, for most girls or so it seems. Meet our girl Alex here....she is hoping, wishing and even praying for that all important proposal. Everything has been researched within an inch of its life to the point of obsession, that includes a humongous wedding folder to put even Monica to shame, all that is missing is the green light in the form of a ring and a question.

My heart does go out to her though, she's in a perfect relationship, all the signs are pointing to serious commitment so where is the ring and when will it be her turn! Cue a proposal quest on the verge of sheer derangement and we have a storyline close to what happens here. My mouth dropped in 'oh no honey' reactions more than once or twice I must say but I was rooting for her happy ever after. Alex is a loveable character with her heart firmly worn on her sleeve and she absolutely deserves her fairytale but at what cost? Miles is an absolute dreamboat who I've loved since the moment I met him in book one.... for that reason I was tempted to push Alex out of the way and bag him for myself. But where is the romance in that? Clearly these two belong together but how far can a relationship be tested when the 'proposal blinkers' are firmly held in place?

This story has everything you could possibly want from a romance including probably one of the best proposals I've ever witnessed....there were tears and goosebumps and even a little air grab in triumph for good measure. I honestly didn't want it to end. This maybe book two but I'm still not ready to say bye to these characters just yet....I'm sure there's more to be heard from Alex and Miles in the future.....hint hint!!! So please do give this book all of the love that it deserves, I can promise you, you won't regret it.


Order on Amazon today

Amazon UK:  https://amzn.to/33T8qjG

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/303smiT

Only When It's Love, the first book in the series is available to read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited.

Follow Olivia on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @ospringauthor #WhensTheWedding

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18210898.Olivia_Spring

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/olivia-spr




Read and reviewed with kind permission by the author.






Book review: Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay




 

 Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay


Keep your family close, because your enemies are closer.

University student Matt Pine has just received devastating news. Nearly his entire family have been found dead while holidaying in Mexico. The local police claim it was an accident, but the FBI aren't convinced - and they won't tell Matt why.

The tragedy thrusts his family into the media spotlight again. Seven years ago, Matt's older brother, Danny, was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his teenage girlfriend. Danny has always sworn he was innocent, and last year, a true crime documentary that claimed he was wrongfully convicted went viral.

Now his family's murder is overlapping with Danny's case, Matt is determined to uncover the truth behind the crime that sent his brother to prison. Even if it means putting his own life in danger, and confronting his every last fear.


My thoughts...


It has certainly been a while since I picked up a thriller and dived in.....but what a way to break me back into this genre than with this gripping number by Alex Finlay.

In short this story had me hooked from the opening moments and I was pulled into a tightly wound web of lies, deceit and murder that had me on the edge of my seat.

The short, snappy chapters had me whizzing through the pages like a woman possessed in order to get to that all important reveal moment. It was like a drug, I was addicted to every last moment and didn't want it to come to an end....but then again I needed it to in order to find out 'who done it' and put me out of my misery. Because try as I might I could not pin down this killer.

The characters were compelling and emotive to bring the story to life off the pages and I felt each and every moment thay they were faced with. Alex certainly threw everything at them, including the kitchen sink.....I mean seriously how much mysery can one family take? But this all added to the stories compelling nature urging you to read on and finish what you've started.

Every Last Fear takes every last breath from your body. I urge you all to grab a copy of this thrilling story....you won't regret it.




Read and reviewed with kind permission by Head of Zeus




Friday, 12 February 2021

Book review: The Night We Met by Zoe Folbigg


 


About the book


As a man holds his wife's frail hand, he recounts a journey like no other...Daniel and Olivia are destined to be together. At least, Daniel thinks this the night he sees Olivia across a sea of people. As he backpacks through Australia, Daniel and Liv continue to cross paths, yet never speak. Until one night, Liv joins Daniel for a drink. And that night everything changes.

Back in London, stuck in a monotonous routine, Daniel finds himself daydreaming of the woman with green eyes and fiery hair. Armed with only a name he vows to find her, yet with every passing moment, Daniel's hopes begin to disappear. What if it wasn't meant to be?

But then fate steps in, and Daniel and Olivia’s story can truly begin...

This is a tale of serendipity, missed chances and the power of love.


Buy links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KJZuI0

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2EXzWno

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2GhKnmj

iBooks: https://apple.co/3sQJ0Pc

bookshop.org:https://bit.ly/3qKoNsM

Waterstones: https://bit.ly/366TbWa



My thoughts


True epic love stories, that will stand the test of time, don't come around very often. But when they do, boy do they take your breath away.....this is certainly one of those moments. The Night We Met threw everything and more at me in terms of love and life and I'm still trying to process the effect that this book has had on me.

The story captures your heart from the word go and I instantly knew I was in for an emotional roller coaster that would end only in tissues. The beautiful narrative doesn't reveal its treasures in a linear format instead it is woven together by patchwork memories that create a blanket so rich in emotion that I was moved to tears. You can feel every tiny nuance of detail that the author carefully places to allow Olivia and Daniel's love to burst off the page with fierce strength and I felt myself being pulled further into their story with the turn of each and every page.

I don't want to talk about the story in any detail as that would spoil the way the narrative is played out, which is a big part of the beauty of this book. Everything you need to know is in the book blurb but I urge you to dive in and soak up every last drop that this story has to give. As someone who has come out the other side I can safely say that this is one journey you do not want to miss. The heart and soul laid bare between those pages is raw and ready to be experienced. So grab your tissues, take a deep breath and jump in.

The Night We Met is a stunning love story that traverses the test of time showcasing strength, resilience and hope and I for one am changed for having read it. I'm a huge Zoe fan and this book was everything and more. A true treasure that will capture the hearts and souls of every reader.



Read and reviewed with kind permission by Aria Fiction.

#StacyRecommends #literaryadventure #bookblogger #bookreview #booklove 






About the author

Zoë Folbigg is author of Amazon number-one bestseller The Note, based on the true story of howshe met her husband on her daily commute. Her second novel, The Distance, was released in 2018 and The Postcard – the sequel to The Note – was released summer 2019. Formerly a magazine journalist and digital editor, Zoë started at Cosmopolitan in 2001, was chief sub editor of its teen sister CosmoGIRL! and has since freelanced for titles including Fabulous, Glamour, Cosmo, GoodHousekeeping, i newspaper, Healthy, Top Santé, Mother & Baby, ELLE, Sunday Times Style,ASOS and Style.com. Zoë wrote a weekly column in Fabulous magazine documenting her year-long round-the-world trip with ‘Train Man – ’ and now lives with him and their two sons in Hertfordshire.

Follow Zoë:

Facebook: @zoefolbiggauthor

Twitter: @zoefolbigg

Instagram: @zoefolbigg


Wednesday, 2 December 2020

LOST IN CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND PUBLICATION DAY GIVEAWAY!

 








LOST IN CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND PUBLICATION DAY GIVEAWAY!


To celebrate the release of Lost in Christmas Wonderland, Annabelle is giving away a marshmallow cake. In her book, the family makes a huge fuss over granny’s Christmas marshmallow cake that she makes every year. In one chapter, granny Sylta asks Rita to buy a bag of marshmallows at the Christmas Wonderland theme park, and throughout the book there’s always a mention of this delightful cake. Annabelle has decided to give one person the chance to win a marshmallow cake to enjoy!

There’s also a second prize, you can win a box of candy canes.



Here’s what you need to do to enter.


1) Follow Annabelle on her Instagram page at @annabellepresents

2) Find this picture of the marshmallow cake and leave a comment. Tell her what your favourite theme park ride is, or used to be, or just anything you enjoy about visiting a theme park, and that’s it.

The giveaway closes on the 8th of December at midnight. Winners announced at random on Annabelle’s Instagram page @annabellepresents

This competition is open to UK residents only. 


Thank you and good luck!




Lost in Christmas Wonderland,
by Annabelle John-Ligali


When ten-year-old Bella Matthews and her mum, Isabel, visit Granny Sylta in the snowy village of Lakersfield for Christmas, it turns out there is more in store than just Christmas cake and a ton of presents. 

 

When she arrives, she meets her cousin Rita and a boy called Tommy for the first time, and catches up with her friend Iris again too. Together they discover an exciting attraction is in town: A giant Christmas Wonderland Theme Park. They are dazzled by hundreds of decorated Christmas trees, a Musical Nativity, a Santa Parade, an Upside Down House, and many more attractions. 

 

But Bella ends up having an unexpected adventure of her own as she dances with pot-bellied Santas, discovers a palace made entirely out of glass, wanders into an intriguing puzzle room, and treks for miles to find shelter on a snowy night.

 

Can Bella find her way back to Granny Sylta’s house in time for Christmas dinner?

 

Lost in Christmas Wonderland is a story about courage, kindness, friendship, the importance of family, and the magic of Christmas.






About Annabelle

Annabelle is nine years old and lives in London. The inspiration for her book came after she visited Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park in November 2019 with her mum, dad, little brother Andre, and Granny Sylta.

It was here she first saw an Upside Down House and had heaps of fun filming and visiting all of the rooms. Annabelle was so fascinated that she decided to vlog about it on her Youtube channel. Click here to watch the video.



Shortly after her visit, she thought how fun it would be to write a story about a girl who visits a Christmas theme park with some friends and goes on a little adventure. 

Outside of school, Annabelle enjoys playing with her brother, vlogging about books she’s read, and places she’s visited. She also likes making up dance routines to songs that are trending on Tiktok. When she wants to have a giggle, she plays Guess Who with her mum. 

Her favourite authors are Alesha Dixon, Trish Cooke, David Walliams, and Ben Miller. She also likes reading magazines like First News For Kids and Cocoa Girl. This is Annabelle’s first book, and she hopes you like it.


LINKS

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Instagram @annabellepresents

Youtube: Annabelle Presents


Website: www.annabellejohnligali.com








Book review: The Snark by Justin Davis and Illustrated by Stephanie Jayne

 


The Snark by Justin Davis and Illustrated by Stephanie Jayne


"What's a Snark?" I hear you cry.

Night-time can be scary and this delightfully illustrated story shows us how natural those fears are. Once children can identify and understand their fears, they can begin to overcome them, and we can all have a good night's sleep! 

This story reveals that when we are brave and face our fears, they are often not as scary as we first thought!

Told in lyrical prose and with a dash of humour, this light-hearted story will help you and your child deal with night-time anxieties in a safe and reassuring way.


My thoughts... 


What a great and catchy story this was. Full to the brim with quirks and those much loved pump jokes.....which certainly go down well with the mini nation as a whole.


The rhythm built at a perfect pace and I found myself grinning at what rhymes would appear next as I ploughed my way through the book. There's humour to be had and surprising moments at the turn of each page to keep the entertainment at the forefront of a relevant narrative and I know that it is a story that will be read time and time again.


To compliment the writing I can't fail to mention the illustrations, by Stephanie Jane, that lead the way throughout this tale. The colours are beyond vibrant and the pictures almost burst off the pages in their vivid glory. I really feel that they elevated an already exciting story to another level to create a complete package.


The Snark is one dynamic gem of a story that should be on every Santa list this year.


Read and reviewed with kind permission by the author.


#StacyRecommends #literaryadventure #bookblogger #bookreview #booklove 


Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Book review: Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas

 



Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas 


Residential-home caterer Connie has had one online-dating disaster too many. Hurt in the past and with her son to consider, now she's feeling hesitant. Then one of Connie's residents sets her up on a date at a beautiful German Christmas market - with the promise she'll take a mini-bus full of pensioners along with her...

Amongst the twinkling lights and smell of warm gingerbread in the old market square, Connie heads off on her date with a checklist of potential partner must-haves. Baker Henrich ticks all the boxes, but when Connie meets Henrich's rival William, she starts to wonder if ticking boxes is the answer.

Will Connie's wish for love this Christmas come true, and if so - with who?



My thoughts... 


The lead up to the big day, otherwise known as Christmas, is generally viewed with mixed emotions. Missed loved ones or lonely circumstances can hinder happiness that others find with sheer abandon. But in my opinion this story captures each and every one of these true emotions to perfection.

The Christmas celebrations creeped along at a cosy crescendo from the out set. But my word when the festivities presented themselves it was like a huge Christmas cracker to the face. Gluhwein here, gingerbread there, German markets in the middle and a sprinkle of love, hope and new wishes to wash it all down with. I fell in love, hook, line and sinker with this eclectic cast of characters and I was fully invested in their festive tale.

The writing was like a comforting cup of hot chocolate, warm, sweet and soothing and in my eyes a perfect pick me up for this 2020 time of year. I fully recommend this gorgeous read and I know you will all fall in love with the seasonal scents and aromas waiting for you between the pages. It's definitely a treasured tale not to be missed.



#StacyRecommends #literaryadventure #bookblogger #bookreview #booklove