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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Legends Rise – Devri Walls

Welcome back everyone, we’re finally back with the Venators! It’s been a while.

We pick up where we left off, just like the last book. And end somewhere very interesting with some interesting facts shared with us!

As with Promises Forged we get heaps of character development. Some fairly standard, while some took us to a whole new level!

Some of the things we learned about Grey and Beltran really changed my opinion of them. In Beltran’s case, I have no idea what my opinion is anymore. I feel like I only have a part of the puzzle with no image to use to put it together. Even Zio seems to be getting more and more interesting with a few pieces leaning towards one answer, but that answer doesn’t make sense based on other information we have.

Every piece we get makes things that little bit different, interesting and so much more complex!

I am definitely wanting to know more, but I did feel like some pieces didn’t add up which is why it didn’t get 5 stars. Although I’m not sure if they didn’t add up because they aren’t meant to or because it’s so complex Devri has forgotten pieces.

It gives me a feeling of Game of Thrones, which I loved (like everyone, I think once they reached the end of the books the show went downhill) so I can definitely see this becoming an epic! When’s the next one coming out?

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Mine to Five by Tara September. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

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A Widows Vow – Rachel Brimble

Welcome back everyone, I feel like it’s been forever since I last read a regency/historical romance.

Although this isn’t a regency romance, it is set in those times. Why isn’t it a regency romance if it’s set in that time?

Because neither of the characters are from or involved in the aristocracy. Well other than their “business” dealings. None of which are legal.

Both Louisa and Jacob have faced hardship after hardship, which wasn’t uncommon in those years, and yet found ways to rise above it and make a life for themselves. Even if that life wasn’t what they were expecting, they made it so they were in control.

I admire that both of them were able to make difficult decisions and used their limited skills to create a profitable and (mostly) happy life. The way Jacob and Louisa’s best friend were able to break through her self-imposed grief to help her accept her life was amazing. Definitely an ending I was happy with!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; next week I’ll be reviewing Venators: Promises Forged by Devri Walls. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of over 20 published novels including the Pennington’s department store series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin).

Her next project is a Victorian trilogy set in a Bath brothel which she recently signed with Aria Fiction. The series will feature three heroines determined to change their lives and those of other women. The first book. A Widow’s Vow is due for release in September and available for Amazon preorder now.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and has thousands of social media followers all over the world. To sign up for her newsletter (a guaranteed giveaway every month!), click here!

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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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The Return of the Disappearing Duke – Lara Temple

Welcome back everyone, you know that feeling when you start a book and realise it’s a sequel, yet can’t figure out to what? Yea I had that with this one.

Within like 2 pages I knew this was a sequel to another book I’d read. Yet when I looked through all of Lara Temple’s books on Goodread’s that I’ve read I should figure it out based on the series names.

After a quick email to Rachel I figured it follows the Sinful Sinclairs but I’m still not sure if it’s meant to be part of that series or not since there was barely a Sinclair in this one.

If you are a fan of reading a series books in order you’ll find this one slightly annoying since most of it is set before The Lord’s Inconvenient Vow, yet if you tried to read this first you’d just spoil some of the good things in that. So please don’t read this one first!

The way Cleo is treated by others and how she acts in response felt authentic to me, mostly because she often pretends to be a man in order to go about doing things that women can’t otherwise do. She even made a comment about how much easier it is to be a man. A sentiment I don’t think has changed too much in all these years for many women.

The slow development between them was such a bonus. It wasn’t something that happened too quickly, they respected when the other didn’t feel the same. I mean, Rafe was in touch with his emotions enough to actually clear up the misunderstanding between them!

That is a rare man that can do that without even realising it!

I loved every minute of this book and easily finished it within a few days.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be reviewing Hopeful Hearts at Glendale Hall by Victoria Walters. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Lara Temple writes strong and sensual Regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion. She lives with her husband, two children, and one very fluffy dog and they are all very understanding about her taking over the kitchen table so she can look out over the garden as she writes and dreams up her Happy Ever Afters.

Giveaway – Win 3x e-copies of The Return of the Disappearing Duke (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.

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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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Starcross Manor – Christie Barlow

Welcome back everyone, today we find out way back to Love Heart Lane and all the drama that seems to surround this one small village.

One of the things I love about Christie Barlow is that she doesn’t write about “regular” characters. We’ve had someone who can’t have kids, a marriage on the verge of collapse, a relationship going places (but not) and now, a woman turning 40 and yet to find love.

So few of the romances I read have a main character over 32. I think there needs to be greater representation of these women because there will be more and more women in this age group in the future who don’t need to be made to feel inadequate because they’ve put their career first.

Thank you, Christie, for making sure there are books like this available for when these girls are ready to read these stories. And I’m sure it won’t hurt anyone who currently reads romance!

In so many way’s it’s a standard romance done really well. Yet in subtle ways, there’s some things that make this book so amazing!

Those amazing parts are what really stuck with me and make me believe this is worth a read if you enjoy romance. It’s got an element of second chance romance, enemy’s to lovers and even some other trope I can’t even name!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Thursday I’ll be reviewing Losing Control by Rachael Stewart. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the number 1 International bestselling author of ten bestsellers including A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Clover Cottage. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada & Australia.

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