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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The Summer of Going Topless – Liz Davies

Welcome back everyone, I’ve had a busy couple of months and we’ve still got a few more weeks (maybe a month) of busyness. Today I have a contemporary romance that may or may not appeal to you as the heroine is in her mid-late 40s.

I know not everyone likes reading romance novels when the main characters could be your parents age. I mean ew right? No one wants to think of their parents like that!

What I really loved right off the bat was that Candice was real. In every sense of the word. She’s not a perfectly fit size 8 (my American friends that’s like a size 2 for you I believe), she has some grey hairs, her fashion sense is a bit outdated and her body isn’t holding up like it used to. She even went through a messy divorce that left her lonely, especially when her kids grew up and moved out.

Although Candice went through almost a complete make over, none of it was triggered by a desire to be young and pretty or to impress a guy. Her car broke down, so she got a new one. Her normal hairdresser was out, so the step in one did something a bit different. These were catalysts for change that she rolled with and only did what she was comfortable with and I loved it.

I’m all for, if you’re not comfortable with who you are, how you look or how you feel then do something about it. But I’m also massively against changing who you are to fit in or to impress someone else. For example, even though society, my family and my partner all tell me I should dye my hair to hide my greys. I’m adamant that I want to age gracefully. That’s my choice.

Candice’s choice was to take control back of her life and live it to it’s fullest because you only have one. And I love it! This message of body positivity, acceptance and being who you are is so important for people to read. And I love that this is being addressed in an age group that’s probably feeling quite self-conscious about how they look thanks to marketing and social media.

Thank you for bringing us a real book, with a real character!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; I have my monthly wrap up at the end of the week. And next week I’ll be reviewing Babe Driven by Lizzie Chantree. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.

She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat - she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.

She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper van and travel the world in it. 

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.

Project Duchess – Sabrina Jeffries

Welcome back everyone, after reviewing Zoe Ann Wood’s first sweet romance I’m on to my first approved NetGalley review! Which means I need to tell you that I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review (I always give honest reviews but I don't want to get in trouble for not explicitly saying this).

I’m pretty excited about this one because it’s the first one I requested to read and got approved for. The other’s I’ve requested I got rejected for, so this feels like a milestone for me. And the story was a pretty good milestone one as well. It would’ve sucked if my first approved book wasn’t great.

Luckily it was good!

A scoundrel who isn’t a scoundrel. An innocent who isn’t so innocent. A murder that’s possibly not a murder. There were a few different layers to this book that I found really engaging. Although there were a couple of moments where I wasn’t sure which story was meant to be more prominent. The romance or the murder?

The story is written in third person from either Grey’s or Beatrice’s point of view. However, there were a few points where we seemed to shift mid chapter. Mostly it only switched characters at the end of a chapter. Or if it did change mid-way through there was an obvious break in the chapter to show the change. Which made it a bit weird when it swapped part way through.

I quite liked this, but for those wanting a pure romance, you should be prepared for the murder investigation aspect. Unfortunately, I was left hanging at the end. I didn’t get the closure I wanted as to who murdered who and why.

On the romance front, however. The ending was very satisfying. So much so that I’ve gotten a copy of the sequel which is due for release in February 2020. So make sure you come back to find out if that carries as well!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Monday I will be reviewing When you were Mine by Lisa Swift.

Reclaimed by her Rebel Knight – Jenni Fletcher

Welcome back everyone, after spending some time in beautiful Croatia, I went back in time to medieval England for some good old romance!

This is my second Jenni Fletcher novel and I loved the first one, so I was sure I’d love this one too. I will have my moment to complain in that I loved receiving a signed paperback copy of The Warrior’s Bride Prize. I felt so special when that arrived, but I had to make do with an e-copy this time around.

But I digress so back to the story!

Constance and Matthew got married five years ago and haven’t seen each other since. That is until he comes back to England to collect her and stir up a rebellion. By this point in time she’s built up some well-deserved anger towards this arrogant guy who made all these life altering decisions about her life without even having spoken two words to her outside of the marriage ceremony.

I can’t even stand one case of this happening, so she definitely displayed better manners than me to actually get through a conversation with him without yelling at him. But reading about how she gave him a chance, them talking things out, slowly discovering things about each other etc really had me hoping they’d make it.

The passion they showed for each other was subtle in most cases and reflected how I believe people who’ve been hurt in the past, or don’t know how to show emotions because they were never exposed to them growing up would. It was great to read those relationship dynamics grow and develop over time in a way that is reminiscent of what happens today.

But Jenni also included specific details that made all these interactions feel real for the time period they were set in. Things like the male dominance, inheritance laws etc. It all felt so natural, while being historically accurate which was amazing. I can’t image the amount of research that goes into ensuring that happens. But I appreciate it all the same.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review. On Friday I will be reviewing two books (OMG why did I agree to so many books?! Or more importantly, why are there so many good books coming out now?!) Willow by Grace Parks and Lure of Obsession by Lisa Kessler. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Jenni Fletcher is Scottish by birth, but now lives in Yorkshire where she writes Medieval, Roman, Victorian and Regency romance novels. She studied English at Cambridge and Hull University and now teaches Creative Writing at a small university in the north of England. Her favourite Jane Austen novel is Persuasion and her favourite Brontë is Anne. If she had to choose a romantic hero it would be John Thornton, but maybe that’s just because she’s northern.

Giveaway - Win 3x US paperback copies of Reclaimed by her Rebel Knight (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 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.

Sea of Revenge – Nicola Italia

Welcome back everyone, we’re coming into a super busy period in my schedule which means I’m due for a holiday right?In the meantime, we have this sweet author request to review. I’m so thankful for Nicola reaching out to me after seeing my reviews of her other books I’ve read. Thank you!

I was due for an adventure packed regency romance when I picked this one up. I’d read a few contemporary romances and chick lit books, but I needed this fix. Considering the two other books of hers I’ve read I assumed the female lead would be a strong independent character. And I was right!

In The Sheik’s Son the female lead was a writer stirring up discontent against the higher classes, while in Love in the Valley of the Kings the female lead was educated, ahead of her times and so sweet. A noblewoman that moonlights as a pirate captain? That kinda fits the bill I reckon.

Although I was surprised by how and when our main leads met, I really enjoyed seeing them grow and develop. Especially because he was totally ok with her beating him in a sword-fight in front of his entire crew! How many men can say they are secure in their masculinity that they’d be ok with this?

I did feel like this book should be written in two parts. One during the pirate days and one after. It felt like these two sections were very different, and so should have had a bigger way to differentiate between them without creating a sequel. I agree that it didn’t need a sequel, but I still would have preferred a bigger “separator” in the story.

What I didn’t like was how casual Tamzen was when she found out why she’d run away from her “fiancé”. I can’t see someone being so casual about learning that fact, so it was weird that it felt like she was just like “o ok, but you won’t do it again? Ok that’s fine then.” It just confused me a little bit.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, I don’t have another review until July 31st, but I do have a cover reveal and an interview with Samantha Parks coming out next week. Then on July 31st I’ll be reviewing Reclaimed by her Rebel Knight by Jenni Fletcher.

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!

Believe in Me – Ella Quinn

Welcome back everyone, we’re still firmed locked in the past, in this case still in regency times. This book came to me in my first Bubbles & Books Book Box and it was a beautifully unexpected regency romance story.

I didn’t realise it at the time, but it’s apparently been a while since I read a regency romance. Looking back through the books I’ve read this year I realised it’s been 3 whole months! Considering how many regency romances I’ve read in the past I can’t believe it’s been so long.

Looking up this book to log it on Goodreads I discovered that it’s the 6th book in the Worthingtons series. How is it that I keep coming across regency series by starting on the 4th or more book in the series?

One of the things I love about regency romances is the glamour, the structure in society and the courting that goes on. The first thing we learn about Augusta is that she spurns societies strictures that ladies can’t be educated. Not only has she already sought private correspondence tuition on a variety of topics. But now she wants to go to Uni, which doesn’t happen for women in that time period.

The fact that she’s able to meet a guy who also believes that women should be educated and is enamoured by her knowledge and skills. I’m glad that she’s able to find a guy like this, even though it’s super unlikely to have actually happened.

Surprisingly, later in the book we went from a nice cruisy pace of luxury travel around Europe to a mad dash with a possible kidnaping, murder and international fiasco looming. So much so, that I found my own heartrate picking up and reading the pages as if the book was about to burn away in my hands without me being able to finish the book.

The ending even threw me another twist that gave the book an even sweeter than I anticipated.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing The Wedding Planner by Eva Devon.

If you're interested in getting yourself one of these amazing boxes you can head on over to Bubbles and Books and use the code ANTHEA10P to share the love! I'm personally loving