`*•.¸(*•.¸(´*•.¸(*•.¸FREE FOR A LIMITED PERIOD¸.•*´)¸.•*´)¸.•*´)¸.•*  Until We Collide by Charlotte Fallowfield

Don’t miss your chance to get this Amazon UK and international bestselling romantic comedy novel for free 4th-5th May. Link below:
http://mybook.to/UntilWeCollide 

“This is Brit rom-com at its finest. Fans of Bridget Jones will love this.” – TotallyBooked Blog

What do you do when the guy you’re in love with is seeing someone else? That’s the dilemma facing Paige Taylor. All of her life she’s only ever had eyes for the gorgeous Alec Wright, but despite their undeniable chemistry, their timing has always been off. Fast approaching her thirtieth birthday, Paige despairs of ever finding love and a happy ever after. Her best friend Poppie tells her that she can either watch life pass her by, or grab it with both hands. She convinces Paige to throw herself back into the dating pool, or she could be waiting for Alec forever. What Paige didn’t expect was the catalogue of dating disasters to follow. A neck brace, jelly fish, stitches, flashing and an encounter with a gorilla were some of the most memorable. Despite some downright hilarious, humiliating and cringe worthy dates, her biological clock is ticking and Paige is determined to keep trying until she finds the one. Was Alec Wright always her Mr. Right, or is he still out there waiting to be found? Join Paige in her quest to find the ultimate prize. Love

*ARC REVIEW* ~ Never The Bride (Dilbury Village #1), by Charlotte Fallowfield

#romcom #humour

Loveable Feel Good Romantic Comedy!

I was honoured and SO excited to receive an ARC of this book! I have read a number of Charlotte Fallowfield’s books, writing as CJ Fallowfield (Torn, The Temptress and All That Glisters) and have hugely enjoyed them all. This was the first Rom-Com I’ve read of the author’s and her wicked sense of humour is given full reign – I LOVED it! Scroll down to find out more about the book and for my review. The book is due for release on 28th February, but is up for pre-order now. 🙂

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Blurb

From Charlotte Fallowfield, bestselling rom-com author, comes Never The Bride – A laugh out loud romantic comedy novel full of heart-warming friendships, romance, and quintessential British humour – Coming 28th February 2017.

Available to pre-order from Amazon now!

Abbie Carter felt doomed as she clutched her bouquet and started walking up the aisle. Again. She felt like she was stuck in some kind of Groundhog Day wedding nightmare. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Eight dresses, most of them hideous, were already stuffed in her attic space. She had more bridesmaid dresses than relationships. Was she really that unlucky in love? She despaired of ever finding her soul mate and was convinced that if she packed away dress thirteen in her attic, she’d never get to wear the coveted white one and have her happy ever after.

That was until she locked eyes with one of the handsome ushers, whose wink turned her elegant and well-practiced glide up the aisle into a flailing Bambi-on-ice spectacle. Miller Davis was the first man in forever to make her heart skip a beat, as well as her legs turn to jelly. And, for once, her interest in a man didn’t seem to be one-sided. It was just a shame that the Atlantic Ocean separated them. Abbie couldn’t even make a relationship with her elderly fat pooch, Sumo, work, so what chance did she have with a permanent New Yorker? Her best friend, Georgie, told her to ignore the miles that separated her from Miller and to go for it, saying that true love knew no bounds.

Was Abbie fated to always be the bridesmaid, or would her wish for the perfect day with the man of her dreams ever come true?

While Never The Bride will be a standalone story, it’s the first in the Dilbury Village series of romantic comedy novels. All of them will be set in the quaint fictitious English hamlet in the Shropshire countryside, but feature a different village couples’ story.

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My Review ~ Loveable Feel Good Romantic Comedy! 5 stars

Charlotte Fallowfield’s Never the Bride is a feel good romantic comedy, the ideal read if you are after an instant pick me up! It contains an unlucky in love but totally likeable heroine Abbie, who careers from one embarrassing or compromising situation to another, whilst she lives her life and looks for Mr Right. It is the first book in the author’s Dilsbury Village series, but can be read as a standalone.

Abbie meets Miller, a sexy American IT specialist whilst she is once again bridesmaid (never the bride) at the wedding of one of her old school friends. The scene where they meet is one of pure comic genius, as are many other scenes in the book! Their attraction is instantaneous yet they live thousands of miles apart, separated by the Atlantic. The romance sees a non-starter until their paths once again cross at yet another wedding and Miller’s persistence pays off.

Yet Abbie is very much wedded to village life and her friends in Dilsbury, in the centre of England. Can there possibly be a future with Miller, the swoon worthy alpha male, who is equally committed to his career and home in New York? How can they meet each other half way, when half way is the middle of the Atlantic? Is Abbie forever destined to remain the bridesmaid and never the bride? Should Abbie look elsewhere for her beau? The book is a rollercoaster ride of emotions and humour!

Abbie’s tale is recounted in Charlotte Fallowfield’s signature comedic style, interspersed with some sexy scenes. Village life in Dilsbury is never boring –  there are a wealth of lovable and entertaining individuals who accompany Abbie on her exploits and support her in her quest for Mr Right. Characters incude Abbie’s BFF Georgie, Daphne and David her neighbours, Heath the sexy gardener and last but not least her adorable pooch Sumo, who plays a key role in the plot.

I’ll say no more – this read just about killed me with laughter. It full of  hilarious scenes, recounted with typical British humour.

Highly recommended for fans of Romantic Comedies. A riotous read guaranteed.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note an ARC of this book was sent o me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Pre-order now:

Amazon UK  Amazon US

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Connect with the Author

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31742268-never-the-bride?from_search=true

https://www.facebook.com/Charlottefallowfield.author

http://cjfallowfield.co.uk/charlotte-fallowfield

 

*Release Day* HEATH, CLIFF & WANDERING HEARTS by Laura Barnard

Fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of contemporary rom-com/chicklit, best-selling author, LAURA BARNARD, to release her latest: HEATH, CLIFF & WANDERING HEARTS! I absolutely love this author’s work (previous works include The Debt & the Doormat series), and spent many a night laughing out loud, cheering the characters on, as well as to feel the characters on an emotional level. Now, the wait is over….

HEATH, CLIFF & WANDERING HEARTS IS RELEASED TODAY !!!

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Blurb:

Life for sixteen year old Savannah Franks has just been turned upside down. Her Mum’s business has failed and they’re forced to move into a maisonette in the rough end of town.

She doesn’t want anyone to know her dire situation, not even her besties. So when the rest of the money for the school ski trip is due she can’t be seen not to attend. Everyone is going! She just needs to find a job. Add that to the list of getting a boyfriend and losing her pathetic virginity.

But working every spare hour in a job she hates on top of school work and mounting secrets doesn’t prove easy. Soon she’s keeping so many she’s not even sure herself what’s true and what’s not.

The only person she can lean on to tell the truth is her best friend Heath.

Only…did he get hot recently? That won’t make things awkward between them…right?

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BUY LINKS:

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

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Author info



Laura Barnard lives in Hertfordshire, UK and writes romantic comedy or ‘chick lit’ as its so often described. In her spare time she enjoys drinking her body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of her face and drooling over hunks like Jamie Dornan, Ryan Gosling and Leo Dicaprio.

She enjoys wearing yoga pants and reading fitness magazines while sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. She’s a real fan of the power nap and of course READING!

She writes not to get rich or famous, but because she LOVES writing. Even if one person tells her they enjoyed her book it makes the midnight typing worth it!

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Review Round Up Sept ’15

Hi readers, we do hope that you have been able to settle down with a great book, especially now that we are seeing the early autumnal leaves fall and the weather has now taken to a chillier feel! Yes, the warm sunshine from those September afternoons is truly behind us, and my favourite time to read is this time of year when pj’s become your best friend, along with a blanket, the sofa, a nice, warm beverage, and of course, a great book.

And so, for a few romantic read ideas, a little later than planned, we have our September reviewed titles for you to take a sneaky glimpse at and hopefully indulge yourself with! They consist of twelve titles mostly covering contemporary, chicklit, historical, erotic and comedy romances, with some paranormals and a revenge thriller!

If you’d like to share some of your cosy autumn/winter reads we would love to hear from you.

Happy reading! 🙂

Caroline & Tina ❤

As always, please click on the title/author for our full review posts!

Perfectly InnocentPerfectly Innocent (Audio Book) by Tamra Lassiter, contemporary romance, suspense (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Innocent or guilty—there’s nothing perfect about it.

Phoebe Davidson is a good girl who’s been through some bad times. Her life changed forever when she learned that her husband was living a secret life. Now, six years later, she’s just going through the motions of her life, afraid to let anyone in.

When a horrific crime occurs in her home, she meets Logan Matthews, a police detective working the case. When Phoebe herself is charged with the murder, can she trust Logan? Can she, and should she let him into her life?

Lotus daughter of darkness pt 1Lotus (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part I by C.J. Pinard, paranormal crime mystery thriller (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: 4 authors will each take a different daughter born from the Prince of Darkness, Vlad Montour. (Also known as Vlad the Impaler, an evil villain from history).

Blair – Chrissy Peebles
Jezebel – Kristen Middleton
Victoria – W.J. May
Lotus – C.J. Pinard

The Daughters of Darkness is a series of female heroines who may or may not know each other, but all have the same father, Vlad Montour.

Lotus
Don’t let the pretty name fool you. This daughter is no delicate flower.

Lotus grew up orphaned. Having no idea who her real parents were, she’s been drifting around the U.S. for over 100 years moving every 15 years or so since she just doesn’t seem to age. She’d figured out on her own that she had to be at least part vampire, as she needs to suck on a few blood bags a month to survive.

Working as a detective with the Denver P.D., Lotus is searching desperately for a serial killer who is murdering the homeless of the city. Except these are not ritualistic or thrill killings. These victims have been drained of blood and Lotus knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they have been committed by a vampire.

Her search will take her to Las Vegas, and that is where the true adventure will begin, when she finds out who has been searching for her.

This is part I of Lotus’s journey. Part II will be out in late October 2015.

Jaxson (River Pack Wolves 1) - New Adult Paranormal RomanceJaxson (River Pack Wolves #1) by Alisa Woods, New Adult paranormal romance (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Three brothers. Three Secrets. One hope to save the shifters of Seattle.
Former SEAL Jaxson River would give his life for his brothers and his pack, but if he doesn’t claim a mate soon, he’ll be forced to step down as their alpha. There’s only one problem: Jaxson’s dark secret would kill any mate he claimed. With someone kidnapping shifters off the street—and only Jaxson and his brothers, Jace and Jared, to stop them—now is not the time for his secret to come out.

Curvy Olivia Lilyfield is a half-witch orphan with a dark secret of her own. She wants to atone for it by doing good in the world, so when she finds a wolf being tortured in an alley, she doesn’t hesitate to help… even though wolves and witches mix like matches and TNT.

Olivia’s dangerous magic means she can’t let anyone get too close—but Jaxson can’t keep his hands off her, and his kisses are more than she can resist. As they race to save the disappearing shifters of Seattle, the true danger lies in loving each other. They’re playing with magical fire… and their secrets could end up destroying them both.

Jaxson is a complete novel with HEA, the first in the River Pack Wolves trilogy (Jace and Jared coming soon).

Contains scorching shifter sex, alpha military heroes, and sexy witches. Only readers over 18 should dive into the deliciously hot world of the River brothers.

Lady BlayneThe Delicate Matter of Lady Blayne (Intimate Secrets #1) by Natasha Blackthorne, erotic historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Catriona, Lady Blayne is recovering from a most delicate situation. Driven to the brink of madness by love for her late husband, a young man too ill to meet the demands of the marriage bed, she teeters on the brink of scandal. Now she must face the carnal temptation personified by her husband’s cousin and heir, James, the new Lord Blayne. His sensual appeal, contrasted with his iron will and stern self-mastery fascinates her. She can’t help but ask: what if sensual indulgence is the only way out of her darkness? However, she is not free to explore the idea. There are those who seek to control the young widow, keeping her imprisoned through emotional manipulation and physical coercion. With her growing restlessness, the very people she loves and trusts the most are becoming an increasing danger to her sanity and safety.

James is determined to protect Catriona—but he will not soften to her again. She rejected him once and James can’t risk losing his heart a second time. As heir to the Blayne baronetcy, he must marry a woman socially and politically appropriate. Such a scandalously self-indulgent lady as Catriona won’t do. Yet the pretty girl he once knew has grown into a beautiful, curvaceous woman that is every man’s dream.

Especially his.

Erotic Romance; Regency Historical; Elements of Sensual Domination, Spanking and Light Bondage; Rubenesque Heroine; Character-Driven Story with Angst and Strong Internal Conflicts; Standalone Long Novel.

Reader Advisory: The characters discuss issues of abuse which took place in the heroine’s backstory. Frank sexual language & period appropriate sexual slang and general bedchamber naughtiness. 

a59da-newaacoverAbigail’s Affair (Looking for Love #1) by Pat Spence, contemporary rom-com, chicklit (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Reasoning that absence makes the heart grow fonder and attempting to force her married lover’s hand, 30 -year old Abigail Aske decides to visit an old friend in Australia.

But staying with a 6’2”Amazonian fitness freak proves something of a challenge, as does maintaining ‘no contact’ with Jake, not to mention resisting other tempting ‘offers’.

Set against a wonderful Australian backdrop, with a host of quirky, emotionally dysfunctional characters, Abigail’s Affair tells of a woman’s search for love and happiness, revealing the highs and lows of having an affair, and showing how the experience of travel becomes a voyage of self-discovery, with surprising results.

A story of love, lies, betrayal and hope…

For anyone who is having an affair, has had an affair or is thinking of having an affair, this book is ESSENTIAL reading…

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How to Kill a Minority Shareholder and get away with it by Rob Watkins, revenge thriller (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Deb had worked and fought her way from council estate to a position that promised a comfortable retirement for her and her husband, Bob, and would make all their sacrifices over the years worthwhile. Her skill, dedication and knowledge had enabled her to take a failing, small family business she had joined a quarter century before and turn it into an international empire. She had made her boss and the shareholders multi-millionaires. On paper, even Deb would walk away with a few million when it came time to retire.

At the happiest and proudest point of her hard-working life, Deb’s evil boss, Ms Summer Ponsenbury, after twenty-five years of festering, hidden jealousy, shattered Deb’s world. With the help of her unscrupulous cohorts, Summer took everything she had promised. She destroyed Deb’s reputation, took her rewards, trashed Deb’s achievements and dumped her at rock bottom.

All concerned believed they were above the law. They were too powerful and too rich to have to worry about Deb getting justice. They thought no one would care… they were wrong. They had forgotten about Bob. The fight was just about to start.

Sinful Confessions (Cynfell Brothers #1)Sinful Confessions (The Cynfell Brothers #1) novella by Samantha Holt, historical romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. The Cynfell brothers are the very embodiment of a sinful existence. But could the right woman change that?

Wrath

Locked behind the walls of Lockwood Manor, Julian Cynfell, the Marquess of Lockwood whiles away his days writing angry letters, drinking and sleeping. He never expects his solitude to be interrupted by a brazen American heiress.

An American heiress who is expecting a wedding.

Viola Thompson can’t believe her luck when the English lord she has been corresponding with for the better part of a year asks her to visit him. This has to mean an offer of marriage surely? Finally, Viola will prove to her family and friends that she is more than a ruined woman with no prospects. Not to mention she knows they will be a love match. No one could write such beautiful letters without being the perfect man.

But when she arrives in cold, dreary England to be faced by a foul-tempered, grizzled—albeit in a handsome way—marquess, her dreams of marriage are quickly dashed. Can she draw the lord out of his melancholy ways? And does she even want to remain in England while rumours of three dead wives circulate around Lockwood?

One thing is for certain, this American heiress has never been one to back down from a challenge—especially when not even the Atlantic Ocean could dampen the patent desire running between them.

The temptressThe Temptress by C.J. Fallowfield, contemporary erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: There’s just something about a French accent, something that conjures images of romance, sex and passion. There’s a reason French is called ‘the language of love.’

Lulu McQueen runs an exclusive honeytrap agency, to test the fidelity of rich men for their suspicious partners. While her business flourishes and her track record in the field remains unbroken, earning her the nickname of The Temptress, her personal life isn’t so successful.

A trip to Paris, years ago, led to the most erotic encounter of her life with Luc, a charismatic, dominant, irresistible Frenchman. For one night she experienced bliss on a scale she’d never encountered and fled in the morning, ashamed of herself, but her Parisian one night stand was burned into her memories and no one since had compared.

With no one available on short notice, Lulu steps in to lure Mrs. Le Grand’s rich husband, for an extortionately high fee. Lulu’s in for the shock of her life when she finds her mark at the hotel bar. Luc Le Grand still has a face and body to make Adonis weep. He exudes confidence, masculinity and raw sex appeal.

The question now isn’t whether Lulu can tempt him, but whether she can resist him, retain her reputation and secure her fee, or whether she’ll fall under Mr. Le Grand’s spell. Again.

Crimson coveThe Crimson Corset: The Vampires of Crimson Cove by Alistair Cross, modern gothic paranormal horror (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: Welcome to Crimson Cove

Sheltered by ancient redwoods overlooking the California coast, the cozy village of Crimson Cove has it all: sophisticated retreats, fine dining, and a notorious nightclub, The Crimson Corset. It seems like a perfect place to relax and get close to nature. But not everything in Crimson Cove is natural.

When Cade Colter moves to town, he expects it to be peaceful to the point of boredom. But he quickly learns that after the sun sets and the fog rolls in, the little tourist town takes on a whole new kind of life – and death.

Darkness at the Edge of Town

Renowned for its wild parties and history of debauchery, The Crimson Corset looms on the edge of town, inviting patrons to sate their most depraved desires and slake their darkest thirsts. Proprietor Gretchen VanTreese has waited centuries to annihilate the Old World vampires on the other side of town and create a new race – a race that she alone will rule. When she realizes Cade Colter has the key that will unlock her plan, she begins laying an elaborate trap that will put everyone around him in mortal danger.

Blood Wars

The streets are running red with blood, and as violence and murder ravage the night, Cade must face the darkest forces inside himself, and perhaps even abandon his own humanity, in order to protect what he loves.

“Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, “The Crimson Corset” – a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.”
– Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of THE WALKING DEAD: INVASION and LUCID

“This drop-deadly tale of seduction and terror will leave you begging to be fanged … ”
– Tamara Thorne, international bestselling author of HAUNTED and MOONFALL

“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s got more hooks than a day boat out of San Pedro Harbor!”
– QL Pearce, bestselling author of SCARY STORIES FOR SLEEP-OVERS

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Hold Me Until Morning (Grayson Brothers #2) by Christina Phillips, contemporary erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

She’s the one girl he should never touch…

Cooper Grayson is supposed to hole up in a mountain cabin and protect his best friend’s little sister from the paparazzi for a week. That’s it. But Paris O’Connell isn’t a kid anymore, and it’s hard to remember this is strictly business when she bats her big green eyes at him…then crashes through all his carefully placed boundaries.

Paris loves a challenge. And gorgeous Cooper Grayson is the most dangerous challenge she’s faced yet. He ignores the sizzling attraction that keeps her awake at nights, and he doesn’t care about her fame or her contacts, only seeing her. When they finally kiss, Cooper leaves her bare. Exposed. His for the taking. And take he does…

For one incredibly hot week, Cooper fulfils her every fantasy. But when the real world crashes in, so does reality. And reality tells them there’s no way a Hollywood star and a bad boy from the wrong side of town could ever have a future together…

ItHappenedOneNight 500x750It Happened One Night (Adventures of Blind Dating #1) by Christine S. Feldman, contemporary rom-com (reviewed by Caroline)

Blurb: Who has time for dating these days? Certainly not struggling entrepreneur Paisley Jameson, who has way too much on her plate to pay any real attention to her shriveling social life. And not mechanic Joe Spencer either, who has a lot on his mind with both the family business and family in general. But neither can say no to the beloved mutual acquaintance who wants to set them both up on a blind date.

Which is too bad, because they both kind of wish they had said no when they show up for the dinner date and realize they’ve met before–and not under happy circumstances.

But fate seems determined to prove that they’re not so wrong for each other after all, because in spite of the intentions of both Paisley and Joe to nip this whole unfortunate blind date thing in the bud and go their separate ways, events transpire to keep them together for an evening involving muggers, foot-chases, and even a high-speed trip to the ER–

And that’s all before dessert.

Dating: it’s not for wimps…

Rogue KnightRogue Knight (Medieval Warriors #2) by Regan Walker, historical medieval romance (reviewed by Tina)

Blurb: “Mesmerizing medieval romance! A vivid portrayal of love flourishing amidst the turbulence of the years after the Norman Conquest.” — Kathryn Le Veque, USA Today Bestselling Author

York, England 1069… three years after the Norman Conquest

The North of England seethes with discontent under the heavy hand of William the Conqueror, who unleashes his fury on the rebels who dare to defy him. Amid the ensuing devastation, love blooms in the heart of a gallant Norman knight for a Yorkshire widow.

A LOVE NEITHER CAN DENY, A PASSION NEITHER CAN RESIST

Angry at the cruelty she has witnessed at the Normans’ hands, Emma of York is torn between her loyalty to her noble Danish father, a leader of the rebels, and her growing passion for an honorable French knight.

Loyal to King William, Sir Geoffroi de Tournai has no idea Emma hides a secret that could mean death for him and his fellow knights.

WAR DREW THEM TOGETHER, WAR WOULD TEAR THEM APART

War erupts, tearing asunder the tentative love growing between them, leaving each the enemy of the other. Will Sir Geoffroi, convinced Emma has betrayed him, defy his king to save her?

Caroline’s Top Reads 2014

Hi readers, it’s that time of year again when Tina and myself have lots of fun going through our reviews of the past year and choose our favourites to share with you! And, wow, there are so many it is difficult to narrow them down!Australian xmas card (2)

This is the end of our second full year and we cannot thank you all enough for following us and sharing our posts. We have made so many friends, be they authors, bloggers, agents, publishers and more, it has been overwhelming. We have received our first Christmas card from Australia (pictured), which was an absolute pleasure to receive. It’s amazing to see the sun and summer holiday reminders when the usual card for us is full of snow, log fires and dark evenings.

We hope that you have had a great year and are looking forward to the festive season. We are looking forward to sharing it with you. And I hope that you enjoy us sharing our favourite reads. Tina’s Top Reads will also be coming your way very soon. And here are mine!

Please click on the titles for my full review and much more info!

Contemporary Romance

Books of this genre and some contemporary rom-coms have been a big hit for me this year, and Helena Fairfax’s The Silk Romance was an absolute pleasure to read. It was written so beautifully, powerfully and thoughtfully, and certainly a read you will not forget! It is a Cinderella-type story that is highly intense and completely grips the reader. I have also likened it to some high-profile romance movies in my review as some aspects are similar and captivating!

TheLoveofMarisol_WP2014The Love of Marisol by Christos Toulouras is a short story of love and loss, but with the possibility of finding new love after. It is, again, very powerful and emotive, beginning as quite a dark and realistic read (although fiction). Taking only around an hour to read, it was one of my favourite reading hours of the year!

Contemporary Rom-Coms

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda's Story)As well as the serious side of romance, it is always uplifting and refreshing to read some fun reads, even though they still hold a serious undertone. The book that enlightened me in this manner is C.J. Pinard’s Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) (Duty & Desire #3). It is my favourite book of the Duty & Desire series. It is a light-hearted, fun and cheeky read. And I love how C.J. Pinard follows both Miranda’s career, as well as her romances, and at the same time the reader sees a different side to the friendship that Miranda has with Cara.

An Autumn CrushWanting to read a seasonal book at the time, I thoroughly enjoyed An Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson. It was a Bridget Jones style read, with plenty of humour and a real feel-good and refreshing feel that really captured the time of year. And with some sombre storylines for some characters it has an awful lot going on, but is still relaxing and fun to read.

Historical Romance

Summer in RyeLucy Oliver’s novella Summer in Rye is an incredibly intense short story, with power and the ability to grip the reader. Following a new governess to children that have been badly affected by smallpox, and a master that is tyrannical, Eva only has one choice: to turn to the master’s brother, who was once engaged to her. Passion reignites between these two, but after he lied before, can Eva really accept him back?

Paranormal

Vampire Flappers (Samantha Carter #1.5)To top off my favourite paranormal reads is Tim O’Rourke’s Vampire Flappers (Samantha Carter #1.5). Last year the first of the series, Vampire Seeker, was one of my favourites, and again this series has really thrilled me. It has everything from vamps, shifters, action/adventure and time travel! The romance and passion is also very intense, making for a very HOT read! This is a series not to be missed, and I cannot wait to review Vampire Watchmen (Samantha Carter #2) in the new year!

And, not always a huge fan of short stories, this year has certainly changed my point of view. I used to think that to create great characters that full novels would be more fulfilling. However, there are a number of short stories in my top reads this year and a certain series of short stories really blew my mind – Alisa Woods’ True Alpha series. There are six shifter stories, which follow Mia and shifter Lucas, their attraction and heat for each other! Yet, the dilemma is that Lucas lost his last mate, and being to close to another is just not an option. But, when rival shifters kidnap Mia, Lucas has to face his true feelings. Each story is complete with action, heat and intensity. Shifter fans will LOVE this series. Here are the links to each review:-

Desired (True Alpha #1)

Guarded (True Alpha #2)

Hunted (True Alpha #3)

Captured (True Alpha #4)

Sacrificed (True Alpha #5)

Claimed (True Alpha #6)

I am also hoping to review another short A True Alpha Christmas over the coming days before the big day. And, in the new year Alisa Woods will be releasing her Dark Alpha short story series!

Soul RebelNow, for my second entry of author C.J. Pinard we have Soul Rebel. This is my favourite novel of C.J.’s. With plenty of action, suspense and romance it really does have it all. The characters and storyline are brilliant. Nolan loses his soul during a kiss with a female succubus in a nightclub and he only has 7 days to claim his soul back! Time constraints cause the tension and really make the pace quick. Plus there are many surprises which make it an exciting read.

Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal Trilogy #1)Recommended for the younger adult (15yrs+) Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal trilogy #1) by Pat Spence is an enchanting and fairytale-like read with supernatural mystery and horror. It is highly recommended to fans of the Twilight saga, but without the vamps. It follows the idea of eternal youth, ancient links and an attraction between Emily (17) and the handsome Theo. It is highly emotive, with a great eerie atmosphere as the reader gets sucked in to the mystery. Blue Moon is a fantastic beginning to this trilogy.

Horror

Moonshine (The Moon Trilogy, #3)This year saw the final instalment of Tim O’Rourke’s Moon trilogy, Moonshine (The Moon trilogy, #3). A paranormal horror series that has it all; action and adventure, vamps, weres, heart-warming moments and plenty of surprises. The running theme through the trilogy is whether or not vamps and weres can exist in peace together. Or, will they both have to try and annihilate each other? Will the love of Winnie be enough to hold it all together? (Clicking on the links for books 2 and 3 may spoil the storyline for those who haven’t read book one.)

Moonlight (The Moon Trilogy #1)

Moonbeam (The Moon Trilogy #2)

Crime Thriller

COLD CALL BOOK COVER - with blood SAFE COPYCold Call by Colin Llewelyn Chapman, was an instant like for me. After being likened to author Martina Cole, Luther (BBC tv series) and with a pinch of Fifty Shades, Cold Call proved to be a gritty, well-planned read that follows both the suspect and the police with their investigation into the deaths of several women from seedy backgrounds. This is another read with surprises along the way that will keep you gripped until the end.

21 Hours - Dustin Stevens_1Dustin Stevens’ 21 Hours is full of action and suspense as an uncle and ex-con is attempting to save his two year old niece after she has been kidnapped. Being an ex-con he is not entirely trusted by the authorities, but he is so desperate that he will do anything! I have likened it to some action movies, such as Lethal Weapon, Commando, Ransom and Con Air as there are some elements of these in the book and especially in they way it left me feeling after I had read it. It is also another read that is quick-paced, partly due to the time that it is believed that the young girl has left!

Ooh, and now for some Festive Contemporary reads

As an added treat, and because they were brilliant reads, I thought I would share the following two festive reads:

CANDY CAIN by C.L. Scholey - Click Image to CloseC.L. Scholey’s Candy Cain is a short 55 page read that is festive, hot and full of suspense. After being snowed in during a blizzard and left on a desolate road, with only the stranger that she dislikes after briefly bumping into him earlier, the only way they can keep warm is by body heat! Hmm, I wonder where this will lead and what the outcome will be for them? There are also heart-warming moments and an underlying storyline about helping those in need.

All I Want for ChristmasAnd finally, a full-length story with a Christmas build-up, new friendships and a new romance in Amy Silver’s All I Want for Christmas. Beginning from the fourteenth of December, the story is written with each chapter being a new day in the lead up to the big day, when there are plans at The Honey Pot café for people of the neighbourhood to meet for a party of food and friendship for the lonely.

I have read many more great reads that I cannot possibly add due to the amount I have here. Crossing many genres, I always hope that there are reads in here to suit many, and I feel that there is a great mix of both published and indie authors.

I hope that you enjoy our posts and would like to thank each and everyone of you for following and supporting us. I sincerely wish you a Merry Christmas and an absolutely brilliant New Year!

Caroline Barker 🙂

If you would like to check our Top Reads of 2013 to recap on our previous year, you can do so here:-

Caroline’s Top Reads 2013

Tina’s To Reads 2013

 

 

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (Bridget Jones #3) by Helen Fielding (blurb & review)

Bridget Jones: Mad About the BoyBlurb: What do you do when your girlfriend’s sixtieth birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s thirtieth? Is it better to die of Botox or die of loneliness because you’re so wrinkly? Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating? Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice? Is it normal to be too vain to put on your reading glasses when checking your toy boy for head lice? Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant? Is it normal to get fewer followers the more you tweet? Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood? If you put lip plumper on your hands do you get plump hands? Is sleeping with someone after two dates and six weeks of texting the same as getting married after two meetings and six months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day? Pondering these and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of loss, single motherhood, tweeting, texting, technology, and rediscovering her sexuality in—Warning! Bad, outdated phrase approaching!—middle age.

REVIEW:

This was an absolute pleasure to read. Oh, I have missed Bridget! Mad About the Boy is as hilarious as ever and very heart-warming. I found myself laughing out loud one moment and resorting to tears the next at this sensitive time in Bridget’s life. And now she is back on the ‘single’ pile, a born-again virgin. Only, her friends urge her to change that fact! Is she ready?

Bridget (now 51), has aged, along with her audience; she was married, had children, and lived a settled family life. I found this easy to relate to as a reader, making the story believable and easy to read. I loved how Fielding has kept to the characters we all know and love, i.e. her family, her friends and even…… Daniel Cleaver!!! And yet, at the same time she has also introduced new characters as potential ‘love interests’ for Bridget. The main focus being on Roxster.

Roxster (29) is a fun and lovable character. He is cheeky, rude and dirty – but not in a Daniel Cleaver womanising way. Roxster is really uplifting for Bridget. He is silly, flirty, and yet he is respectful and mature when accepting Bridget’s lifestyle. The introduction of Roxster’s character is also great to cater for the younger audience, therefore building on the following that Bridget has.

As well as having to deal with her love-life, kids, mum and friends, Bridget is also juggling a screenwriting career and trying to work her way around modern technology! Being useless with a tv remote is one thing, but then figuring out Twitter, along with numerous dating sites, adds to the comedy. I found Fielding was able to use this aspect of the story to cleverly incorporate current issues into the storyline, e.g. horse meat found in ‘beef’ products, the Royals and their new arrival, etc. This kept the story real by allowing the reader to relate not only to the characters but the storyline as a whole.

There are areas of the story which I will not go into for fear of spoiling it for the potential reader. However, I do feel many of you will be a little disappointed with Mark Darcy’s storyline. I must admit that I was. However, life changes and it doesn’t always work out the way we thought. With this thought in mind, I was able to accept this instalment of Bridget Jones. Oddly enough, it is Darcy’s storyline which is fundamental to Bridget’s whole situation.

My only other niggle is that the story ended a little abrupt for me. There are twists (which I enjoy), however towards the end I didn’t feel that there was enough build-up for the reader to get too excited about. This did not change my overall feeling towards the novel as throughout I was giggling and generally feeling most of the emotions that Bridget was at the time. For me that was an important factor.

Mad About the Boy is written in the same diary-style we are used to seeing in this series. Bridget is still noting down her weight, calories and units of alcohol, with the added comical occurrence and sarcastic remarks. Due to the style of the chapter layouts it is very easy to put down and pick up where you left off so easy, whilst also allowing for those readers that can only fill a few minutes of reading here and there.

Certainly not my favourite of the Bridget Jones series (that will have to be the original), however for fans of the series, Helen Fielding and/or those who are looking for a fun, heart-warming starting-to-date-again chick-lit/rom-com Mad About the Boy is a touching and exciting read!

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding is available on Amazon UK and Amazon US in both ebook and hardback versions, with paperback versions set for release in June 2014.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

The Baby & the Bride (The Debt & the Doormat #2) by Laura Barnard – blurb, interview & review!!!

The+Baby+%26+the+Bride_2The very much awaited sequel to Laura Barnard‘s ‘The Debt & the Doormat’ has been released today, 1st March 2014. I am thrilled to introduce ‘The Baby & the Bride’. Not only are we lucky enough to post the fantastic cover, blurb and review this hilarious chick-lit/rom-com, but we also take pride in interviewing Laura. This is certainly not one to be missed! We hope you enjoy! (Please scroll down for Laura’s interview and our review below). Caroline 🙂

BOOK BLURB:

Poppy and Jazz’s lives sound perfect on paper.  Jazz has a new baby and Poppy’s getting married.  But their realities are very different.

Poppy must strive to keep her cool new job with crazy hours, while trying to keep Ryan happy.  Before she knows it her wedding has got out of control, thanks to her mother, the runners at work are bullying her, her parents are in financial difficulty and she’s doubting everything and everyone she ever knew.

Meanwhile Jazz is struggling with motherhood, something a credit card won’t fix.  Why won’t this baby give her a break?  Will Jazz be able to cope before she loses it?

And will Poppy make it down the aisle?  Will Ryan even be waiting?

INTERVIEW with Laura Barnard:

Hi Laura and welcome to A Reader’s Review Blog. I would like to thank you in advance for taking the time out for answering some questions in regard to your new release, ‘The Baby & the Bride’, sequel to ‘The Debt & the Doormat’!

When did you realise there was going to be a sequel to The Debt & the Doormat, or was it planned before you began writing the first novel?

I never actually planned on writing a sequel.  When I released The Debt & the Doormat I never had any idea of how popular it was going to be.  It was only when book bloggers and fans started messaging me begging for one, I thought why not!

Does the comedy in your work reflect your personality? If so, would you say you were like Poppy, Jazz or any other character from your books?

I love all things comedy, although I didn’t exactly set out to make the book ‘funny.’ I just wanted it to be embarrassing and amusing; I definitely wasn’t expecting it to reach #1 Amazon best seller in free humour! 

I’d say I’m definitely like Poppy.  I’m so accident prone it’s ridiculous!  My husband is constantly saying things like ‘What is wrong with you? Why can’t you get through the day without getting another bruise?!’ I think I just have no co-ordination and I don’t realise how wide my hips are – I’m constantly just walking into walls, window sills, door handles.  It’s a wonder I survive at all!  I also have a serious problem with saying ‘no’ to people, which lands me doing all kinds of ridiculous things.  I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve started a story and my friends have said ‘having problem saying no again, Laura?  Stop saying yes!’  I’m just a people pleaser!  But I’m trying to be better.

And have you written about any of your own experiences in your novels?

Yes, some of them have actually happened to me, some have happened to friends and some are pure imagination.  I won’t embarrass myself and tell you which ones! 

Both book covers look great! Could you let us know who designed them and how much input you had?

My friend Karis Staniforth from Deer Beth (www.deerbeth.co.uk) designed both.  I had a lot of input and am naturally bossy.  It’s hard when it’s a friend, as I can feel bad asking for things to be re-done, etc, but she’s always given me amazing covers.  I’d definitely recommend her to everyone. 

What influenced you to become a writer, and in particular to write a rom-com?

I’m obviously a massive reader and also enjoy watching loads of films.  It’s naturally the genre I go towards.  I don’t like the idea of writing something so ridiculously deep that it would depress me.  I want to write something with a happy ending that will put a smile on someone’s face.  That’s what I want when I escape into a book. Unless I fancy some book porn ha ha!

When taking a break from writing what do you like to do?

Take a break? What is that?  Ha ha!  I like to hang out with my family, who I’m very close to.  My friends are also a tonic.  We go see movies, talk about how much weight we want to lose and discuss the filthy books we’ve read.  I know I can always call them and whinge down the phone ‘I think this book is going to be crap,’ and they’ll tell me to shut the hell up and get on with it.  It’s the smack back to reality I need.  Other than that I love to sleep!  I could seriously sleep twelve hours a night if allowed to. 

Will there be a third book in the series?

No.  This is definitely the last instalment for the foreseeable future.  I’ve wrapped everything up at the end and want to concentrate on my next stand-alone book.  As a reader I can get frustrated with a series, as you don’t feel closure until the next book, which you normally have to wait a year for.  Although never say never.  Jazz does inherit her trust fund money when she turns thirty and this could change a lot of dynamics within her relationships, which could be fun to look into. 

the-debt-the-doormat_1To read our review of The Debt & the Doormat (Book 1) by Laura Barnard please click here. This first book is FREE on Amazon UK and Amazon US. The Debt & the Doormat was one of my Top Reads for 2013. Go grab a copy now!

REVIEW of The Baby & The Bride (Laura Barnard) by Caroline Barker:

She’s done it again! Another fantastic masterpiece in chick-lit/rom-com from Laura Barnard! Reading The Baby & the Bride is like meeting up with an old, close friend. Within seconds you become familiar with the characters you know and loved from Book 1, The Debt & the Doormat, and can easily relate to them, experiencing their roller-coaster of emotions. To read this book, you will need more wine, more choccies and be prepared for giggles throughout as Poppy and Jazz’s lives are turned upside down with some rather embarrassing moments along the way!

Oh dear, Poppy! Some things never change. She is still the doormat she always was, although trying not to be. It seems she’s running around after everyone like a headless chicken whilst Ryan is left waiting! Although very exciting, it can also be a disaster at times when your mother tries to plan your whole wedding for you and you haven’t a chance to express what you’d like! And Jazz, what trouble are you in this time? If it’s not debt, it’s a baby! What a fab start to the sequel, with great storylines for both characters and just as much excitement and tension as before. Laura Barnard has created a sequel that is just as good as the first.

The+Baby+%26+the+Bride_2In The Baby & the Bride Poppy and Jazz, although more grown up and settled in some ways, have their own crisis’ to deal with. At the same time they try to look out for each other, sometimes keeping secrets to protect the other from being hurt and yet always there to help each other when they are in need. We all need a Poppy and Jazz in our life, needing a pick up from time to time.

As a mother, I can completely relate to Jazz as early motherhood for her is exactly how I felt when I had my first – without too much exaggeration! In fact it was so precise, I thought that Laura Barnard was writing about me! The tiredness, the depression and the downright humiliating moments that childbirth and a baby can bring. But did I say depression? Well, yes, but Laura has a fantastic way of turning it around, uplifting these moments whilst at the same time still keeping them real. She makes it so natural for the reader to relate to the characters.

One of my favourite aspects of The Baby & the Bride is that Laura Barnard has kept all of the characters from The Debt & the Doormat. The reader can follow up Poppy and Jazz’s housemates, families and colleagues. Many of which have their own storylines which can interfere with Poppy and Jazz’s life at times, making their lives all the more topsy turvy! As Poppy hates to let anyone down she almost puts everybody else first, even before her own wedding!

The reader also has more of an incite into Ryan’s family (which brings along it’s own troubles which adds to all the chaos) and Poppy’s brother, Ollie. There is no mistake that Ryan is a hottie, handsome, sexy and affectionate. But as the reader discovers more about Ollie I’m sure there won’t be any disappointments there either!

As mentioned in my previous review of Book 1, this series is Bridget Jones meets Miranda Hart. As well as being heart-warming and sweet, one cannot escape the humour, the awkward moments and the slaptick. And when one sarky accusing question ends with ‘are we?‘ it reminded me of the Miranda tv series and I was in stitches. This is brilliant writing that had me laughing out loud so many times.

Due to the nature and fun style of Laura Barnard’s writing the series/book is a quick, fun read that leaves you feeling sparkly and energetic. It is completely uplifting. I strongly recommend that Book 1, The Debt & the Doormat, is read first, and at the moment there is no excuse as it is absolutely FREE on Amazon. However, The Baby & the Bride is written so well that new readers to this series could read this as a stand alone.

I cannot get enough of Laura Barnard’s writing. May she write many more wonderful, sweet and delightfully fun work in the future. This is an author not to be missed!

The Baby & the Bride was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest and fair review.

You can find The Baby & the Bride on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

You can also find the first book of the series, The Debt & the Doormat, for FREE on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Contact info:

Laura would love you to check out her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/laurabarnardbooks and while you’re visiting please give her a ‘like’!

Laura also has her own website at www.laurabarnardbooks.co.uk and is available on Twitter: @BarnardLaura

Reviewed by Caroline Barker