A Christmas Wedding at the Castle – Eliza J Scott

Welcome back everyone, we’re back on the Moors a year after we first met Livvie and Zander in A Christmas Kiss.

In series like this one where each book follows a new couple it’s highly unusual for a second book in the same series to follow a couple we’ve already met. But at the same time, I love that I got to see them through to the wedding.

Interestingly, this book also spans 6 months from their engagement right through to their wedding just before Christmas. The trials and tribulations Livvie and Zander face seem to be never ending and yet their love for each other never seems to waver.

One secret I guessed, one I got partially right and one I didn’t see coming!

The final few surprises I didn’t see coming but I feel like they were just perfect. They made the perfect ending to all the drama, all the uncertainty and showed that sometimes things happen for a reason.

Given the year we’ve all had to deal with, this little feel good moment was perfect! I don’t think I could have planned a better ending if I’d tried. I even think we have a couple of contenders for the next book in the series!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; I’ll be taking a very short break so I can meet a couple of commitments I have in early December. But I’ll be back with a review for Tempted by the Tycoon’s Proposal by Rachael Stewart. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Eliza is proud to be a member of the RNA. She lives in a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden, fighting a losing battle against the weeds.

When she’s not reading or gardening, Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Her biggest weakness is ginger biscuits dunked in tea.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heartwarming romance stories with relatable female characters. She enjoys exploring the dynamics of female friendship, with a key feature of her books being how women pull together and support one another when things get tough.

Eliza’s novels will always have happy endings.

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Unwrapping the Best Man – Rachael Stewart

Welcome back everyone, Rachel is back with a follow up novel to Getting Dirty and it’s amazing!

I was really hoping there’d be a sequel to Getting Dirty and I had my wishes granted in a way I wasn’t expecting! Who knew the bartender was hiding so much and it’d take the PR queen to get it out of him?!

We start off at a wedding in Scotland where Cait finally convinces Jackson to sleep with her. And this is when we start to discover the issues that Jackson has struggled with for years. We had no idea about any of this until now and it’s exactly up the alley of Rachael’s style to bring in difficult topics.

If this was the first of her books I’d read I’d think she was copying 50 Shades of Grey, but I know better. Although the Mrs Robinson vibe is still there with an underage boy being seduced by a married woman, there were marked differences between those cases and Jackson.

In this case, Cait and Jackson work through his issues together over months and in ways I wasn’t expecting. Who knew so much could happen in just 6 months and in the way that they did?

I have a couple of fav bits including the car scene and the very last chapter. I don’t want to say more than that coz it might ruin it for you, but I felt like those were major breakthrough moments for them. Jackson more so given everything he’d been through, how he felt about it and the lasting impacts on his mental and emotional health.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing A Christmas Wedding at the Castle by Eliza J. Scott. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heartwarmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.

She’s been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled on A4 sheets in her loft will attest to, and the lovingly bound short stories that her father would run off at work and proudly share out with his colleagues. Thinking it was a pipe dream to be published one day, she pursued a sensible career in business but she was really play-acting, achieving the appropriate degree and spending many years in the corporate world where she never truly belonged. Always happiest when she was sat at her laptop in the quiet hours tapping out a story or two. And so here she is, a published author, her full-time pleasure, a dream come true.

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

Giveaway – Win an eCopy of Unwrapping the Best Man by Rachael Stewart (open internationally)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Mine to Five – Tara September

Welcome back everyone, it’s a bit of a jump going from the fantasy world of Eon to Christmas in New York.

My second Christmas romance for the season and boy was it short, fun and at times steamy!

In just 175 pages we went from Melanie and Joe breaking up, meeting Matthew, working with Matthew, breaking out the office romance, meeting the family, Christmas and New Years eve. Within that time, they obviously have to go through a rough patch and get back together for there to be a happy ending.

The whole story did feel a tad rushed, but what do you expect for only 175 pages? The whole point of this kind of novel is to give you a quick, dirty, fun, emotional rollercoaster of a story that you can enjoy in less than a day (depending on how quickly you read). For that kind of story, this is PERFECT!

I read this in one day while I was waiting for a morning while I waited for clients to get back to me and enjoyed it so much. I was able to laugh at all the right moments and generally enjoyed getting to know each character and seeing their relationship develop.

My only fault with this is that for “adults” it felt way too quick to get together. I think I would’ve preferred it being set starting earlier in the year so that the main romance part could still play out fairly similar, just with longer times between interactions. That way it’d feel less fake and more real while still giving us all the good vibes!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be reviewing Tempted by Zoe Ashwood. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Tara September is a multi-award-winning contemporary romance author living in Southwest Florida. Blogger and former PR executive for The Walt Disney Company, Tara holds a Master’s degree in journalism & communications from New York University. For over a decade, Tara has penned a popular lifestyle, travel and parenting blog at TaraMetBlog.com

An avid romance reader though, she has been daydreaming about being an author since she was a kid. Dozens of bad dates and adventures later, she still finds it impossible that she met her husband on a NYC subway. They now have identical twin boys and four cats underfoot/on her laptop/everywhere. Fueled by an IV of green tea and an outrageous stock of champagne, she’s finally writing the happily ever after tales she’s been dreaming about.

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Art and Soul – Claire Huston

Welcome back everyone, I have a slight change of plans today. I’d planned on reviewing Venators: Legends Rise but I mixed up my days, so I decided to bring you Claire Huston’s debut novel!

I’ve always enjoyed romance stories where there is a boss-employee romance, and they don’t get along in the beginning. With Charlie being emotionally distraught, without inspiration and at the final end of career failure. Becky is a master of solving other people’s problems, coming out of maternity leave and trying to revive her business.

Given our current year I’m really glad that this book doesn’t specify what year it’s set in like some do. It meant I could pretend like it was set in 2018 or 2019 with no COVID to ruin our lives.

With Charlie’s distinct lack of ability to articulate his feelings, it’s amazing that he was able to communicate in other ways. The best example of this is the final piece that Charlie makes for his exhibition. Becky’s reaction to seeing that piece for the first time is the most beautiful part of the whole story.

The frustrating moments Charlie, Becky, Rachel and Virgil went through led to this amazing moment and made it even better. Each little interaction felt real and similar to so many real interactions I’ve seen play out in real life.

That realism is so important with romance stories set in modern times that we can relate to. The fact that they’ve both been hurt by previous relationships and were willing to step up for their loved ones were what really made every part come together. It made the awkwardness real, relevant and so much more meaningful.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; I’m still locking down my plan for the next couple of weeks. Stay peeled for my next review! Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Claire Huston lives in Warwickshire with her husband and two children. Art and Soul is her first novel.

A keen amateur baker, she enjoys making cakes, biscuits and brownies almost as much as eating them. You can find recipes for all the cakes mentioned in Art and Soul at clairehuston.co.uk along with over 100 other recipes. This is also where she talks about and reviews books.

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Four Letter Feelings – Lasairiona E. McMaster

Welcome back everyone, knowing how much Lasairiona discusses mental health, you’d think I’d have been prepared for this book. I wasn’t.

The emotional battles Jeremy goes through is like nothing I could have guessed at based on what we learnt about him in the Intimate Strangers and AJ Williams trilogies. Also, one of the major things that might’ve hinted at the content (ok, told me outright) is the blurb.

Silly me jumped into this without ever reading the blurb, I just knew it was about Jeremey and I wanted to read it. Don’t make my mistake.

I read a good portion of this book (the really heavy hitting parts) in one day and found myself quietly crying and having to wipe away tears so I could keep reading. The level of emotion Lasairiona is able to convey with her characters is like nothing I’ve ever read before. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT go into this book expecting a cute love story about a jock that’s in touch with his emotions.

This is so much heavier than that, in all the right ways. The topics of toxic masculinity, mental health, the impacts of mental disorders on those close to them, grief, overdoses, estranged family and coming to grips with your emotions are all explored in this book. I feel like a few of them will continue to feature throughout this trilogy. (This is a trilogy right? I feel like it needs to be…)

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing Widows Vow by Rachel Brimble. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Lasairiona McMaster writes sassy, classy and badassy women and strong, yet vulnerable men. She challenges reader’s expectations by openly dealing with mental health issues, often exploring tough-to-handle topics and ‘taboos’ and books with a whole lotta heart.   She can either be found enjoying a gin and lemonade by the Irish sea, or baking sweet treats in her kitchen while singing at the top of her lungs. When she’s ‘home’ in Texas, and isn’t eating fresh-popped popcorn while buying things she has absolutely no need for in Target, she can be found at Chuys eating her body weight in chips and queso and washing it down with a margarita swirl. 

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Christmas at Lock Keepers Cottage – Lucy Coleman

Welcome back everyone, the first Christmas book of the year is here! And it’s only the start of September!

It took me like two weeks to read this book for a few reasons. The first being all the shows on TV taking up what little free time I have, the second being my general mental health with the lockdown in my city and finally, I really struggled to fall in love with the characters.

For what felt like the first 75% of the book, next to nothing happened. A lot happened in that final 25% but that doesn’t help me get engaged in the story from the start. Normally I really enjoy Lucy’s books, so this is a bit weird for me.

Maybe because the characters are so straight? And by that I mean, they don’t really drink, they don’t seem to have strong opinions about anything and it felt like they were people pleasers who know what to say to keep everyone happy without ever really having an opinion. I only know one person like this and that mask dropped away once we all got to know each other  better so I know it was more of an “I don’t know how to behave around you yet” thing rather than that’s what they’re like all the time.

To me, I find those kinds of personalities quite fake, so maybe I spent the whole time trying to figure out their angle? What were they trying to achieve? Why wouldn’t they just say what they thought even when they’re “alone”?

For me, their personalities was the biggest detractor. The community spirit, the stuff that goes wrong, the secrets that came out. That was all juicy and great. But it felt like it fell flat a little without the human drama to follow it.

If you’d like a feel good, wholesome, no unnecessary drama, relaxing read about Christmas, then this is the book for you!

If you’re like me and like a little more drama, you may find it’s not as great as you’d hope. It may have also been because my life is so boring in lockdown, I NEEDED more drama. So maybe it’s my fault for reading this while in Stage 4 lockdown?

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Who Wants to Marry a Duke? by Sabrina Jeffries. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

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Hopeful Hearts and Glendale Hall – Victoria Walters

Welcome back everyone, I hope you’re all doing well in these difficult times. My city is heading into it’s final (I HOPE!) week of Stage 4 lockdown. Surprisingly enough, work’s been too busy to take advantage of the forced home time to be able to read much.

The third instalment of Glendale Hall is here and it’s not quite what I was expecting. It’s a little bit like Foxglove Farm by Christie Barlow in that it’s about an established couple going through a “rough patch”. But it has its own little quirks and intricacies.

With an ex back in the picture who reminds you of your younger self it can be hard to know your own mind. Especially when things keep going wrong and they keep pointing out how you don’t belong where you are. As suss as that felt to me, I can sympathise with Heather and how she doesn’t recognise the suss nature of it all.

When Heather found her stride I felt so proud, even though she’s just a character and not even one I created! Every little thing she did to move forward felt huge, especially because her loved ones supported her and let her grow. It wasn’t forced, it wasn’t like she’d consciously been doing it. It just clicked and started coming together in such a beautiful way.

Personally, I was hoping for the epilogue to be set on a very different day. I would’ve loved the closure all at once. Although, if there’s a fourth book coming maybe that’ll give me the details I was craving.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing Christmas at Lock Keepers Cottage by Lucy Coleman. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Victoria Walters writes up-lifting and inspiring stories. She’s the author of three novels, THE SECOND LOVE OF MY LIFE, SUMMER AT THE KINDNESS CAFÉ, and COMING HOME TO GLENDALE HALL. She has been chosen for WHSmith Fresh Talent and shortlisted for an RNA award. Victoria was also picked as an Amazon Rising Star, and her books have won wide reader acclaim.

Victoria is a full-time author. She lives in Surrey with her cat Harry, and loves books, clothes, music, going out for tea and cake, and posting photos on Instagram.

Find out more about Victoria by following her on social media.

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Summer Island – Natalie Normann

Welcome back everyone, I feel like I’m finally making a dint in my NetGalley ARCs. Right in time for that to be spoiled by heaps of new review tours and a few series by authors who are giving me ARCs as well.

So much for reading more of my TBR this year. Maybe next year?

Harper Collins Digital has started letting me know more often when they have new books coming out that they think they’d be interested in. Which is how I heard about this one!

Being set in Norway on a small island I wasn’t expecting the level of drama that happened. Or should I have expected drama because it’s a small community and everyone knows each other?

I really wish I had have had more than 15 minutes here or there to read this because every time I got to read it I was loving it and enjoying the cultural differences and everything that small island life entails. I don’t know much (aka, anything really) about Norwegian culture, but since it’s an own voice kind of story, I think it’s safe to say the use of Norwegian language, culture, festivals etc would be pretty accurate.

I really wish I could describe more of this book but I’m honestly struggling because I read the book in such small snippets and it’s been almost a week since I finished it when I’m writing this review. I know I enjoyed it a lot, I loved the banter between various characters although I did find some moments and interactions confusing.

I was wondering at the time whether I didn’t like those interactions because the character was meant to be someone we didn’t like. Or whether this was something that was “normal” in Norway. The only reason I wondered that was because many of the other characters didn’t seem to mind the attitude that I didn’t liking.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Sunday I’ll be reviewing Return of the Disappearing Duke by Lara Temple.

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Losing Control – Rachael Stewart

Welcome back everyone, I know Thursday’s aren’t my usual posting days, but it’s publication day for Rachael again!

I always look forward to a new Rachael Stewart novel. They’re always short, steamy and suck you in so much it doesn’t take long to read.

In so many ways this one did all that. And yet, something was still missing. It took me a while to place it, and I think it comes down to the lack of details of the characters business and town. In her other books, Rachael has enough detail about these that you know what job people do, you know where they’re living, and you get little details to describe the location as you’re going.

Even after finishing the book I don’t know what the family business does, other than something techy. And even though we got a little bit location description, it was so sporadic and minimal that it didn’t feel like I got to picture the location at all.

On the other hand, the level of detail provided in the characters history, backstory, thoughts, emotions etc was phenomenal. I don’t know if she’s ever done to that level of detail before. But, there’s also a downside to this as well.

I know it’s traumatic, but I did feel like the mention of why Alexa hates Cain so much was talked about too much. It felt like it controlled her life rather than being something that she’s either over, processed or is still processing.

I’m so glad Rachael used this as the sensitive topic for this book. It’s another topic that really isn’t talked about enough and needs to be recognised and accepted so people CAN feel like they can talk about it. I just felt it controlled Alexa too much. But I’ve never gone through that, so maybe that is an accurate perspective of someone who’s gone through it.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing Summer Island by Natalie Normann. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heartwarmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.

She’s been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled on A4 sheets in her loft will attest to, and the lovingly bound short stories that her father would run off at work and proudly share out with his colleagues. Thinking it was a pipe dream to be published one day, she pursued a sensible career in business but she was really play-acting, achieving the appropriate degree and spending many years in the corporate world where she never truly belonged. Always happiest when she was sat at her laptop in the quiet hours tapping out a story or two. And so here she is, a published author, her full-time pleasure, a dream come true.

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

Giveaway – Win an e-copy of Losing Control by Rachael Stewart (open internationally)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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