A Summer to Remember – Victoria Cooke

Welcome back everyone, after doing a book vs movie comparison on Friday I’m back to reviews! Today it’s another tour (because what else have I been doing for the past few months?) with Rach Random Resources.

Although the book starts out quite sad with Sam having lost her husband, we quickly move on to how she’s doing like 8 years after his death. She’s moved to London from her sleepy hometown, found new friends, gotten a cat and is in her dream job.

The only problem is her world is starting to change and she’s finally got the opportunity to go to America for the summer as part of a work exchange program. While she’s there she discovers new friends and finds a new joy in life that leaves her worrying about other factors. While this sounds all well and good, she needs to go home and that makes it emotionally gripping.

I found myself constantly asking “what if?” to everything. All her decisions, all the talks, all the backtracking. Everything.

Although the ending didn’t have a certain fact I was certain would be there, it was amazing as well. I found myself impressed that Victoria held back from adding that one little thing in the happily ever after, unlike so many authors. By doing that it made it feel much more inclusive and real to me.

That real element of her storytelling is something that was woven throughout, but that I hadn’t realised until I got right to the end. I love it and I hope she continues to bring it into her writing.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Rewrite the Stars by Emma Heatherington. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, 'The Secret to Falling in Love,' in 2016.

Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018.

Giveaway - Win A Summer to Remember by Victoria Cooke and chocolates (UK only)


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

Babe Driven – Lizzie Chantree

Welcome back everyone, after a busy August we’re getting back into the swing of reviews once a week. I hope you enjoy returning to this relaxed pace with me.

Babe Driven isn’t just the name of the book, it’s also the name of Harriet’s business. One I spent a fair bit of time trying to figure out until it was finally explained to me. And that’s just one example of how Lizzie’s writing style hides information from you throughout the book.

This hidden information isn’t done in a way that makes it difficult to read or follow. Instead it drives up the suspense in a way that leaves you guessing as to what could happen in a way that keeps your interest in the story. An example of this is the information Harriet gains, how she gains it and when it works to her benefit.

Another area I was kept guessing was the love interest for Harriet. I know the blurb mentions a Max and a Mr Grant, but they aren’t the only potential love interests involved. The dramas involved with Harriet’s family and business add another layer of complexity to the story I wasn’t expecting.

When you think you’ve found out all the bits and pieces of the drama you soon discover there’s more. This led to a surprisingly suspense laden story that I was able to work my way through while home sick one day. Although being sick sucked, having this interesting read to keep me amused was pretty good.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing A Different Time by Michael K. Hill as part of a Write Reads Ultimate Book Blog Tour. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Award-winning inventor and author, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office's British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now runs networking hours on social media, where creative businesses, writers, photographers and designers can offer advice and support to each other. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex.

You can see check her out at her author page, on Pintrest and across her various social media channels.

Giveaway - win a Lizzie Chantree paperback of your choice (open internationally)

Choice of books is Babe Driven, Love’s Child, Finding Gina, Ninja School Mum and If you love me, I’m yours. 

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


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Give Me a Day – Zoe Ann Wood

Welcome back everyone, today I’ll be reviewing the sequel to Give me a Dream. Each book within this series is a standalone book with no characters appearing in the following books, so don’t feel like you need to read the whole series if only one or two books sound good to you.

I was a surprised at how Sebastian and Lori met, and the ongoing strife caused by how they met. Although, I was impressed by how much Lori was considering her safety while travelling alone in a foreign country.

Throughout their time together they slowly build up to a full-blown romance which appears to be going along at a natural pace. But of course, the characters personalities get in the way of things working out which then makes it hard for them.

I did find the ease of access to someone else’s bank records and the willingness to share it a bit weird. That might be my banking background going “NOOOO!!!! NEVER SHARE THOSE DETAILS!!! AND HOW THE HELL DID YOU GET A HOLD OF SOMEONE ELSE’S BANK STATEMENTS?! ISN’T THAT ILLEGAL?!?!?!”

My stress levels got a little bit of a hit, but it did calm down quickly.

Without spoiling the ending, I was robbed of the planning phase that makes it so special. But at the same time, it was kinda sweet, but kinda presumptuous of what the answer would be.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing The Summer of Going Topless by Liz Davies.

When You Were Mine – Lisa Swift

Welcome back everyone, after escaping Rachel’s tours for a very brief break I’m on back on another one!

This one sounded really interesting and I was wondering where this could possibly go. Does Maggie know Ibby is gay? Did Ibby become gay later in life? How does the rock star disrupt their lives?

I think I got almost half-way through the book before I figured out how the rock star disrupts their lives. Once the reveal happened, I felt silly for not realising sooner. All the signs pointed that way, but it wasn’t quite clear enough for little ‘ol me to figure out.

However, once the reveal happened my brain started ticking and guessed the surprise twist right at the end!

Given how bad my guesses have been recently I didn’t put a lot of stock in it. But it sat there. Even when Maggie made a comment that should’ve blown my guess out of the water. I kept on wondering if I’d be proven right. And my patience was rewarded!

Outside of that long drawn out process this was a surprisingly clean romance. The closest you get to anything raunchy happening is some kisses (in PG rated areas) and a hand that slips up the back of a top.

Given how many of the romances I’ve been reading lately get quite descriptive, this was a nice change. Especially because the time otherwise taken up with describing said sex scenes was better spent unpacking and exploring the emotional reactions to our four main characters.

You’ve got Ibby who’s gay and struggles to date, Maggie who’s a relationship counsellor with no romantic life to speak of, Jordan who seems to be emotionally lost and poor Amelia who’s only 13 (she turns 14 by the end of the book) and struggling to come to terms with teenage hormones and a changing family dynamic. This spoke to me on so many levels. As I’m sure anyone who’s gone through a “broken” family situation could.

The raw emotions felt like they really reflected what people would feel like in the real world if they were in those situations really made this book. I loved reading this and I hope all the subtle social messages come across to anyone who reads it. Which I urge you to do! And share with any kids you have in your social circles!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing The Summer of Going Topless by Liz Davies. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Lisa Swift is a romance author from West Yorkshire
in the UK. She is represented by Laura Longrigg at MBA Literary Agents.
Her first book is due to be published by Hera Books in August
2019.

As Mary Jayne Baker, Lisa also writes romantic comedies for Aria Fiction. Lisa is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Sunshine over Bluebell Castle – Sarah Bennett

Welcome back everyone, after a hectic schedule last week with my July Wrap Up and 3 reviews going live, you’ll find this week to be much quieter. A lot like today's book.

Following on from Spring Skies over Bluebell Castle we’re now into summer and following Iggy. I think I’ve picked up a trend that the love interests for our characters will be coming from London and discovering the delights of a quiet countryside town and castle.

I kind of get Will’s behaviour but in a way also feel like this rings very true of the media attention Meghan Markle has been getting. We don’t really know who the real Will is in a lot of situations, while others are quick to judge, and blame based on potential lies others are spreading.

I enjoyed his childlike humour, fun and excitement. But I also admired his wisdom in knowing when to leave a woman alone to figure out what’s happening in her head compared to when to push and tell her the truth.

I feel like the mystery of “who leaked Will’s presence to the media?” was a little obvious, and surely the family should’ve figured out who it was before they did. I feel like that could have added more mystery with tension arising between the couples Iggy and Will and Arthur and Lucie. From how Arthur behaved I feel like he would have been defending their mother and fighting for her to stay while Iggy and Will would have been adamant that she was a bad influence.

But that’s my take on it and I don’t know yet if it happened this way to set things up for Tristan’s book or not. I mean, I’m assuming that’s coming yea?

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Mrs Sommersby’s Second Chance by Laurie Benson. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Sarah Bennett has been reading for as long as she can remember. Raised in a family of bookworms, her love affair with books of all genres has culminated in the ultimate Happy Ever After – getting to write her own stories to share with others.

Born and raised in a military family, she is happily married to her own Officer (who is sometimes even A Gentleman). Home is wherever he lays his hat, and life has taught them both that the best family is the one you create from friends as well as relatives.

When not reading or writing, Sarah is a devotee of afternoon naps and sailing the high seas, but only on vessels large enough to accommodate a casino and a choice of restaurants.

Sarah is the author of the Butterfly Cove, Lavender Bay and Bluebell Castle trilogies, published by HQ Digital UK.

Willow – Grace Parks

Welcome back everyone, today I have two special reviews for you so please look out for the other one as well! One is a bit of a rom-com while the other is a fantasy romance.

I was really looking forward to this one and for some reason thought it was called “Can a socialite and a technophobe fall in love?” I guess the first line of the blurb really stuck in my memory!

I had liked this book, but I can’t say I loved it. The storytelling was captivating, the characters felt real. But I feel like a certain level of detail was missing to really suck me in. This was most evident where the couple got together in what felt like the space of two chapters.

I got to the end of the second last chapter and felt like, story development wise I was probably sitting around the 75-80% mark. The characters were on their way to becoming a couple and meeting halfway. But they still had some work to do.

When I happened to scan the percent and see 94%, I was a bit shocked. When I checked how many chapters I had left, I saw I only had the one left. My first thought was “o, is this series one where we follow the same two characters? I got the feeling each book would follow a new couple.”

Not only was I treated to the quickest get together I think I’ve ever read, making it highly dissatisfying. It was probably one of the more teenage types of get togethers. It didn’t feel like the character’s I’d gotten to know, and it didn’t feel like it suited the rest of the book.

Literally, up until that last chapter I was really enjoying it. But that rushed ending felt like someone went “o crap! I’m reaching my word count but don’t want to cut anything out. How can I wrap this up quickly?!” and then left it at that. If you don’t mind rushed endings that leave you feeling bewildered, you’ll be fine! Otherwise just be prepared for that rushing at the end there.

Don’t forget to check out Lure of Obsession by Lisa Kessler which I also reviewed today. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Monday I’ll be reviewing Sunshine over Bluebell Castle by Sarah Bennett. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and my first extra giveaway hosted by me (supplied by the author).

Author Bio

From Grace, with Love... Grace Parks is a sweet romance/ chick lit author with a penchant for the happily ever after.

Giveaway - Win 1 of 2 e-copies of Willow thanks to Grace (open internationally)

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

The Wedding Planner – Eve Devon

Welcome back everyone, after a regency romance last week we’re back into modern day. But this time we stay in the same country. Just centuries later.

Within 2 pages of starting this book all I could think was “o god, I really hope people don’t see me like this!” I’m a straight talker, I don’t beat around the bush, I call things as they are, I’m the person you can trust to give you the absolute brutal truth, I’m absolutely independent and hate needing others. But I’m also fiercely loyal to those I love. And this pretty much sums up Gloria to a tee.

Granted we don’t learn about the loyalty until a bit into the book. It’s still pretty obvious that she’s uniquely her and for some reason is apologetic about it. I get not being like that to the point of driving people away. Like Gloria I’ve gone through some work to not be like that either. But I will never understand why people don’t value those traits.

When romance does creep up on her she doesn’t know what to do about it. But what I REALLY love about this romance is that he doesn’t try to change her. Seth accepts who she is and loves her BECAUSE of those traits many people don’t like.

Little things like seeing the fight come into her eyes and working out what she’s thinking, and it just makes him love her more is amazing. Romance and love to me should be about accepting the other person for who they are. Faults and all. So I love that this story really embraced that and never tried to be like “maybe you should tone this down” or “well if you had have just kept your mouth shut that wouldn’t have happened”.

I enjoyed this story all the way to the end and in a way see some of my own relationship in this story. Although in our case we were both scared to take the plunge but realised about the same time we actually did want to. It’s super weird reading a book that you feel like could almost be written about you and your life but in a way great to see people embrace and love Gloria for who she is.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing I Will Follow Him by Holly Tierney-Bedord. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

My name’s Eve Devon and I write sexy heroes, sassy heroines and happy ever afters…

Growing up in locations like Botswana and Venezuela gave me a taste for adventure and my love for romances began when my mother shoved one into my hands in a desperate attempt to keep me quiet during TV coverage of the Wimbledon tennis finals.

When I wasn’t consuming books by the bucket-load, I could be found pretending to be a damsel in distress or running around solving mysteries and writing down my adventures. As a teenager, I wrote countless episodes of TV detective dramas so the hero and heroine would end up together every week. As an adult, I worked in a library to conveniently continue consuming books by the bucket-load, until realising I was destined to write contemporary romance and romantic suspense myself. I live in leafy Surrey in the UK, a book-devouring, slightly melodramatic, romance-writing sassy heroine with my very own sexy hero husband!

Lessons from a One-Night Stand – Piper Rayne

Welcome back everyone, I hope you enjoyed my review of To the Stars and Back. Today I’m reviewing a book that came to my attention from other bloggers reviewing it and it sounded great.

I’m happy to say that I enjoyed the story as a bit of light hearted fun between being bored to tears doing short courses for research for my diploma. The one thing that held me back a little bit reading this one was Game of Thrones starting up again and having all my brain power being zapped by theories.

My first response to this book was that it sounded hilarious. But at the same time, surely, you’d know something was up if a hot new girl has just moved to town days before the new principle starts at the school you work for? Or is that too practical for a romance?

I found that there were a few too many plot twist things happening to really be invested and drawn in properly. I mean really, how are there this many twists?

  1. Holly is Austin’s new boss
  2. Holly is only staying 3 months
  3. Austin leaves in 3 months
  4. Lake Starlight Buzz Wheel
  5. Holly’s come to find her dad
  6. Holly’s dad is Austin’s family’s nemesis
  7. Austin’s youngest two sisters are causing drama
    about college
  8. Phoenix doesn’t want Holly and Austin to end up
    together and is trying to ruin it
  9. Everyone else in Austin’s family wants them
    together
  10. Everyone else in Austin’s family decides they
    don’t like Holly because of her dad
  11. Holly’s mum rocks up out of no where

Like, I’m all for a good couple of twists so you don’t see it coming. But I felt like RIGHT as I was getting invested in one of these something else popped up and ruined it for me. Sometimes less is more. In this case, streamlining the story and expanding on Austin and Holly more could have given me so much more and really hooked me in.

My mind can’t keep up with two Game of Throne level craziness stories at the same time.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Heart of Stone by Ben Galley.

To the Stars and Back – Camilla Isley

Welcome back everyone, from the wilds of Tanzania we’re back to western countries. Specifically, Los Angeles in America with a nobody engineering professor and a famous Hollywood actor.

I started this one on a Friday night after writing up a bunch of stuff for my professional blog and some more notes for my assignment. By Sunday morning I was finished. And no, I didn’t read all day Saturday, I was actually busy studying!

I think after the emotional intensity of Outlander and Game of Thrones finishing, I just needed something light-hearted and easy. And this fit into that need perfectly.

It had the girl at the lowest point in her life having a chance meeting with a famous actor who she doesn’t even know exists. He falls for her quiet beauty and the fact that she doesn’t know who he is. Romance blossoms. He stuffs it up royally in an attempt to protect her from his world.

And of course, the grand gesture and pursuit to make it all work out in the end. But what I loved about this gesture was that he did the little things that count. Not some big grand showy thing that money buys. He did things that were meaningful to her.

Why can’t more guys be like this?

I definitely needed this break in something uplifting before jumping into the next book, coz that’s another heavy one. So this was a great break, quick, easy win for me that just worked on so many levels for me. Including the fact that the writing just felt so natural that I didn’t feel like anything was forced.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Heart of Stone by Ben Galley thanks to a Write Reads tour! Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband on an adventure abroad.

She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

You can find her on the socials below as well as BookBub and Pintrest.

Giveaway - Win a To the Stars and Back Tote Bag (UK only)

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