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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entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The
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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.

The Worst Couple in the World – Holly Tierney-Bedord

I couldn’t fit a review into my schedule what with my study and everything. But I wanted to make sure you know about Holly’s latest book (RELEASED TODAY!) to give it a chance.

No longer content to just be Snappigram sensations, folk hop singers Zeke and Angelique are ready to move up from coffee house performances to the big stage. With songs like “Uh Huh, Future Baby Mama” and “Don’t Worry About the Bills, Little Missus” there’s pretty much no way they can fail.

But if their musical career takes off, will it leave their love behind?

This satirical novella about an over-the-top fame hungry duo is for fans of David Sedaris and Don DeLillo.

BUY IT NOW!

US
UK
AU

Author Bio

Holly Tierney-Bedord is the author of over twenty books ranging from serious women’s fiction to romantic comedies, domestic thrillers, humor, and cozy mysteries. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

You can check out Holly on her various social media channels including Pintrest, BookBub and LinkedIn.

Giveaway – Win a $5 Starbucks Gift Card (open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –US 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.

A Different Time – Michael K. Hill

Welcome back everyone, we’re stuck into another massive tour with The Write Reads Ultimate Book Tours. There’s a hint of sci-fi in this one compared to most of the books I read, although I’d love to read more sci-fi in the future coz I know I love that genre in my TV shows and movies.

The first thing I’m going to say is that reading this felt like reading a cross between The Lake House and The Notebook. Both are great romantic stories with tragically sad endings. If you do choose to read this one, I should warn you to have a box of tissues ready because you’ll need them.

The two main characters are set 30 years apart (hence the hint of sci-fi) yet manage to fall in love with each other. Lindsey’s story spans a good 30 years, while Keith’s (after you finish the prologue) spans all of like one month. The prologue is important, and I’m not sure if I was super quick or super slow but I totally keyed in on one tiny little detail and my mind was like “OMG! That’s an anagram of **** and ***! That’s so cool! OOOOOO!!! That means *******!”

I bleeped those out because I doubt you want spoilers for this kind of story. You really do need to read it yourself to realise the genius of it. I literally stayed up 3 hours past my bedtime and 2 hours past my sleep time to read this book in one night. Let’s just say my work colleagues were NOT impressed with my body’s response to the lack of sleep!

On a different note, the day after I finished reading it (same day I’m writing this) I was chatting to Dave from The Write Reads about the story where I mentioned I wasn’t happy with the ending. I really feel like this story deserves a sequel to finish it off. Purely because I have so many questions that I can’t even share with you!

Michael, if you’d like some fan ideas for a sequel let me know! My creativity damn seems to have been well and truly burst open in the last few months so I have a few ideas I think could really work to close off this story without it being overkill.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this really vague review, next week I will be reviewing The Perils of Autumn by Rusty Blackwood brought to me by author request. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Make sure you check out what everyone else thinks too!

Author Bio

Beginning as a sketch comedy writer for American television, Michael K. Hill progressed to become an internationally published writer of fiction and non-fiction. His short story anthology, Anansi and Beyond, published in 2017, and his debut novel, A Different Time, is available now. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, kids, and 7 rescued animals.

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.

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.

Lure of Obsession – Lisa Kessler

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 romcom while the other is a fantasy romance.

This one is the fantasy romance, yay!

I do love a good mixture of gods, myths, legends and the modern world and this one has that. This is the first book in the Muse Chronicles series which follows modern day women who have the power of one of the nine ancient Greek Muses woken in them. That means they are driven to inspire the current generation to create, develop and progress.

But we also find out that they had guardians to protect them from the forces that would harm them. And those forces would be those dedicated to freeing the old Titans, including Kronos. Those followers trying to kill Mel, the personification of the Muse of Tragic Poetry, is what draws her guardian Nate to her.

We’re then gripped up in the crimes being committed by the followers of Kronos as they try to eliminate all the Muses for their own gains. I’m not quite sure how Lisa managed to get such a great balance between romance, comedy, mystery and a crime story but she did.

The whole way through I found myself totally falling in love with each of the characters more and more and loving the banter. I’m not sure if the humour was intended to be such a big part of the book but I found myself laughing at the sarcastic comments, overtures and the regular jokes being bandied about. I’m hoping I can keep reading this series because I found myself really enjoying it.

Don’t forget to check out Willow by Grace Parks 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 any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Lisa Kessler is a Best Selling author of dark paranormal fiction. She's a two-time San Diego Book Award winner for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror and Best Published Romance. Her books have also won the PRISM award, the Award of Excellence, the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award, the Award of Merit from the Holt Medallion, and an International Digital Award for Best Paranormal. 

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award. 

When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, and has performed with San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.

Stay up-to-date on new releases and giveaways by subscribing to Lisa's newsletter. You can check out Lisa on her social media and on Pinterest.

Giveaway - Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card (open internationally)


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*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.

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.