Vanilla Extract – Louisa Berry

Welcome back everyone, this week is another week on a book tour. This week’s read is not one I’d recommend to under 18s given the amount of sex scenes throughout this one.

We start off with Lou, our main character, in bed considering if this guy is the one she wants to settle down back into a “vanilla” relationship with. Which leads me to believe that she’s been known to have unusual sexual relationships and shes considering going back to what most of us consider to be a “normal” relationship.

But this is something I hate. Telling us that we have to find a guy, date him for a period of time, get engaged, get married, have 2.5 kids and live happily ever after but only for our family. I personally hate this idea. I have a guy, we are living happily (mostly, as with all relationships we have our ups and downs) and neither of us have any inclination to expand our “family” by anything other than dogs (yea that’s totally me but I’m sure I’ll wear him down!).

As such I loved the idea of Lou having been through a marriage, having had kids and now finding herself sexually and deciding what she does and doesn’t want in her life. I think this is something everyone should do away from their family or friends pressures to know that what they decide is truly what they want. What I didn’t find so great was that it felt like every chapter was a new instalment in the “Lou’s sexual exploits” that read like a porno. I mean seriously. How many of you ladies (or guys) have come across every sexual partner being totally ripped, huge dick AND likes going down on you?

Personally, my experience with guys is that the vast majority only want to fuck you and leave you, often have pot bellies going on and have no interest in your pleasure through anything other than their dick in your vagina. How does Lou come across so many guys who revel in her pleasure?! Where are all these guys in real life?! And who makes guys feel like this behaviour is ok?

Also, how many of us have casual conversation during sex? Like past telling them what you want them to do (maybe), does anyone actually compliment their partner, make jokes etc while having sex? I found this concept quite funny and I can see how some conversations can be funny and/ or needed during sex but some of the conversations she has with these guys while having sex are just bizarre. I was reading them and thinking “I don’t know if I’d say that to my partner, let alone during sex!” so it felt a little weird to me. But good on her for feeling comfortable enough with herself to have those conversations.

What I liked most about this book was the final chapter where it felt like there was more of her heart and soul in the book than almost anywhere else during it. So I’d be interested to see where this goes in the next book (which incidentally is coming out soon!). If you like reading about raunchy sex scenes and female empowerment and control you’ll really enjoy this one. I just personally prefer a bit more of the emotional side of the character’s explored. But it feels like this will be explored more in the next book which I’m looking forward to reading.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing “The Merest Loss” by Steven Neil. Read on below to know a bit more about our author and see where you can buy this book.

Louisa lives in Hertfordshire with her four children. While not on ‘Mum-duties’ she works in high finance in London

Social Media Links

Twitter – @louisaberry69

Instagram – louisaberry69

If you like the sound of this, please support the author by buying the book from here.

Don’t forget to check out the other reviews which can be found at the below blogs:

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Chasing Ghosts – Madalyn Morgan

Welcome back everyone, I hope you enjoyed having a bonus book review last week. It was a one day only affair and I really liked the sound of the book so wanted to participate even though it wasn’t on my normal posting day.

Ok, now that you know what interested me I’ll get into the book. We start off with Claire arriving home after being questioned by an RAF captain within hours of returning to England from Canada with her daughter. But without her husband. And the fact that she’s being questioned started to ring alarm bells for me. It’d been a while since I’d read the blurb so I had forgotten about the whole war treachery thing which meant I was obviously confused at this stage.

Then the next chapter we go back in time to when Claire, Mitch and their daughter Aimee are flying to Canada. From here the book continue in chronological order. No more skipping back in time. So we get to find out why Mitch never made his flight and was declared AWOL. Except after find out he stayed overnight in the hospital where he was getting treatment and Claire wasn’t told until like 24 hours later we don’t get any more details about why he missed his flight! So frustrating!

I could empathise with Claire when she went to pick up her husband coz that just didn’t feel right. Her not being told he’d freaked out during his session and so had to be sedated and stay overnight. And why is the doctor’s nurse calling Claire telling her she could pick him up but all the other nurse’s saying she shouldn’t have known he was there? It just felt super weird and I started to get a bad feeling about the doctor.

Once we get back to England and I find out all the shit Mitch’s commanding officer has done to Claire and Mitch’s grandmother I started to think maybe he was responsible for Mitch’s overnight stay in the hospital. I mean, why else would you immediately drag Claire to be questioned for hours on end, search her house while she’s away and can’t stop them or see what they are looking for. And they gave Mitch’s poor grandmother the same treatment. And at Christmas time no less! I can easily say I was righteously outraged right along with them.

The fact that Claire had to secretly sneak out of the country to try and find her husband and why he went “AWOL” is a bit ridiculous to me. But she managed it, along with the help of her old French Resistance friends. Through a number of connections and old school spy craft Claire makes it from Oxford all the way to Paris where she’s able to figure out her next steps. And these next steps come with the help of the Paris Resistance’s old leader who seems to be flirting with Claire yet not… Makes me wonder what those two got up to during the war time before she married Mitch.

Through good old fashioned detective work they manage to find the proof they needed to clear Mitch’s name. Not only did they manage to find someone who could tell them about how Mitch was injured escaping the prison, those same people potentially risked their lives to give Claire indisputable proof that Mitch isn’t a traitor. And not only that, but Claire is able to Now the only problem is getting that information from the backwards part of France they are in to the appropriate authorities without getting killed or arrested along the way.

And throughout this time Claire is fighting to keep calm because she doesn’t know if the woman that seems to have instigated all of this drama is someone he had an affair with (and if he did, she’s not sure when this happened), someone he met in the prison he was trapped in and so feels survivors guilt because she didn’t make it out; or, is it like what’s been suggested by the doctor in Canada, this woman is someone from the prison that was actually a German double agent who turned Mitch and that’s how he was shot escaping. Because he gave the Germans that info. But which is it? With all the subterfuge going on how can Claire unravel all the mess to discover the truth?

Throughout this time, the sexual tension between Claire and her Resistance friend Thomas is rising. They almost kiss a few times but always seem to be interrupted. Which does make you wonder what happened during the war that there is such a strong connection when she’s searching for her husband. Or is she feeling like this because she’s wondering if her husband’s heart belongs to someone else? I can understand how emotions can get confused when you’re with the same person and no one else for days at a time. And throw in there that you feel rejected by your husband who you thought loved you and it makes it that much harder to resist. So hat’s off to her for resisting! Even when it’s obvious he likes her.

After all the drama that’s happened I finally felt like everything had worked itself out. Claire had her husband back, the authorities were made aware of what had really happened and were hunting down the right person. And I felt like the story was winding down to a great finish. Only for it to ramp right up again!

And this time we get to see a deeper side to Claire’s spy skills. And boy was it amazing! Even while reading the last portion of this book while sick I was fighting falling asleep again (btw I had already had a full nights sleep at this time) I really wanted to finish it and see them make it home to their daughter. Because if they don’t then that would be a tragic ending. And I really didn’t want a tragic ending. And luckily I wasn’t left hanging for long! It turned out I was closer to the end of the book than I realised so I got a really good happy ending.

Writing up this post and reviewing the details of the blog tour I realised that this book is actually one in a series and isn’t the first book. So I’m hoping I can go back and read the rest of the series. Maybe I’ll get to read about some parts of this story that were mentioned but not gone into depth with. So keep an eye out those those in the future! But not sure when that will happen yet. If you’re keen on snapping up a copy of the first book “China Blue (seen below) make sure you scroll down to the end for your chance to win a copy!

Anyway, there’s a few more bits to this post including the author bio, so continue reading below! But before you continue, next week I will be reviewing “The Concordat” by Sean Heary. This one was an authors request so in super stoked to bring this one to you so I look forward to seeing you then! For my new readers please come back and support an up and coming Aussie author by coming back next week!

Madalyn Morgan has been an actress for more than thirty years working in Repertory theatre, the West End, film and television. She is a radio presenter and journalist, writing articles for newspapers and magazines.

Madalyn was brought up in Lutterworth, at the Fox Inn. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live, as there were so many different characters to study and accents to learn. At twenty-four Madalyn gave up a successful hairdressing salon and wig-hire business for a place at E15 Drama College, and a career as an actress.

In 2000, with fewer parts available for older actresses, Madalyn taught herself to touch type, completed a two-year correspondence course with The Writer’s Bureau, and started writing. After living in London for thirty-six years, she has returned to her home town of Lutterworth, swapping two window boxes and a mortgage, for a garden and the freedom to write.

Happy to be an Indie Author, Madalyn has successfully published six novels. Foxden Acres, Applause, China Blue and The 9:45 To Bletchley are set before and during WW2 and tell the wartime stories of Bess, Margot, Claire, and Ena Dudley. Foxden Hotel and Chasing Ghosts are both post war. Chasing Ghosts is a sequel to China Blue.

Madalyn’s books are available on Amazon – in paperback and all formats of eBook.

Author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Madalyn-Morgan/e/B00J7VO9I2

Author’s blog: https://madalynmorgan.wordpress.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/madalyn.morgan1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ActScribblerDJ

Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/madalynmorgan/

Don’t forget to check out the other review’s on Chasing Ghosts and you can see who’s writing reviews below:

Giveaway – Win signed copies of China Blue and Chasing Ghosts (UK Only, so I’m totally bummed I can’t participate in this one)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then 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.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494144/?

The Warrior’s Bride Prize – Jenni Fletcher

Welcome to a bonus review for you. Today is the day that Jenni Fletcher’s “The Warrior’s Bride Prize” is released and I gota say. I really enjoyed this one! I read this while holed up in bed exhausted and trying to recover so I’m really glad I got to do it with a good book.

Overall this book spans only a handful of days, but in quite a bit of detail which is different to most of the books I’ve read recently. We started off with Livia in a carriage to a fort near Hadrian’s Wall to meet her soon to be husband. Along the way when she’s fairly sure her, her daughter Julia and her main are getting close to their destination they are stopped. Eager to find out what the hold up was after hearing voices but no fighting Livia steps out and comes face to faces with the man she believes to be her future future.

I think we all wish we had that moment when we come face to face with a guy who looks so perfect you can’t help but fall in love straight away. Except I don’t believe that that really happens. I believe that attraction is possible at first sight. I know I had that with my partner when I first saw him. But surely they don’t have a full on attraction so quickly? Not enough to try and ruin their lives? Surely?

Then reading about how they struggled through fighting their attraction while she had to try not to kill her newest fiance was a struggle. For both of them. Which was actually quite amusing for me. This meant every time I laughed at their awkwardness I ended up in coughing fits that then hurt. But I’m hoping that tells you how funny I found those moments. There is obviously some emotional connections, but they had to fight their way through all their social awkwardness and mistakes they made with each other.

And of course right as they finally seemed to connect; Livia’s past comes in the way and makes it impossible for them to move forward. Only to have Livia ignore Marius’s wishes. But lucky she did, coz that made him realise how much he loved her. And in typical manly fashion he lies and pretends to hate her to get her to leave the dangerous frontier so that he can concentrate on fighting and surviving. I know if I was in her place I would be completely pissed and would struggle to accept him if he came grovelling back. So at this stage I was starting to wonder if this would be the first book in the series. Because surely it’d be one hell of a journey for Livia to forgive Marius?

Given the way the book ended I don’t think there’d be a second book. But I did finish it wishing there was more. Even if it didn’t follow Marius and Livia it could follow Scaevola. Or maybe Julia some time in the future? I dunno, but I really want to read more about these two. I loved the way Jenni wrote this story and it totally hooked me in throughout the whole time. The major thing that sucked was that I kept almost falling asleep while I wanted to read. Now that I’ve had a chance to read her writing style I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

Now if you haven’t picked this up already, I think you should go and buy this book, take a couple of sick days (ok maybe don’t fake it…) and buy this one to read immediately! Worst comes to worst, put this on your Christmas wish list for someone to buy for you.

If you’re interested in buying this one, you can get it via the Amazon and Barnes and Noble links below as well as iBooks and WHSmith.

And finally, a bio about our wonderful author who I hope to have the pleasure of reading more of her books 🙂

Jenni Fletcher was born on the north coast of Scotland and now lives in Yorkshire, where she writes Medieval, Roman and Victorian romance novels.

She studied English at Cambridge University before doing an MA on Women and Literature in English and a PhD on Victorian & Edwardian literature at Hull. After realising that she was better at writing than teaching, she worked in a number of administrative jobs whilst trying to finish her first book, which was rejected. Thinking there must have been some mistake, she then wrote another, which was fortunately accepted by Harlequin Mills & Boon.

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.

If you’d like to follow Jenni (which I already am on Twitter, coz I wana know when new books are coming out!) you can follow her on the below pages:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenniFletcherAuthor/

Twitter: @JenniAuthor

The Makings of a Lady – Catherine Tinley

Welcome back to another round of book tour week! I’ve yet again managed to snag a spot in the blog tour on the day the book is released. YAY!!! I’m finding this experience super exciting and I don’t feel like such a geek knowing that there are other’s out there who are as into books as I am. So thank you to all my readers who make me feel included!

Alrighty, so the first thing I noticed about this book was that it’s publisher is Harlequin and Mills and Boon. Now this might seem trivial but over the last 12 months I’ve read a bunch of books that have been published through them (is it weird that I remember that?) and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. So I immediately got excited about what was in store for me with this one. And I wasn’t let down!

Now this one is the third book in the series but it’s one of those series where the books can be read as standalone books or in order. In my case I haven’t read the other two books so I read this one as a standalone. But I think I want to go back and read the other two as well!

So we start off with Olivia who is pretty nervous because she’s hoping her crush loves her and is going to propose to her. Except he doesn’t. He asked to walk with her because he’s leaving her for Australia with no words of love or devotion. Which obviously breaks Olivia’s 18 yr old heart. And like most people after they experience their first real heartbreak, she closes herself off from men not wanting to be hurt again. Which I completely understand. Once you’ve been hurt it’s really hard to open yourself up knowing that you might get hurt like that again.

Fast forward 4 years and she’s suddenly faced with Jem again, after 4 years of no contact. On the same day as he’s set to arrive though she also meets another gentleman who immediately catches her eye. And even manages a sneaky kiss! And cue the manly jostling of Olivia’s attention, made all the more awkward because Olivia doesn’t know Jem is interested in her because he doesn’t know if she’s interested in him, because she doesn’t know he’s interested in her. And OMG please stop the merry go round! Personally I’ve never experienced this. I’m a very straight forward person and if I like someone I’ll make sure they know it. So to read this cringe worthy over analysis and self destructive behaviour really had me wanting to smack their heads together going “you both like each other! Now talk it out!”

Obviously I couldn’t do that, so I had to settle with obsessively reading this book to finish it within 4 days to know who Olivia ends up with. They both seem to have moments where they are sure of their feelings for one another, but then they over analyse and let silly comments from others make them doubt the other’s feelings. And of course George constantly mooning over Olivia doesn’t help matter’s much. It’s obvious he’s vying for Olivia’s hand in marriage and she doesn’t seem to be pushing him away. So will she give up on ever understanding Jem and settle for George who she obviously doesn’t love?

Or will she use the same courage she had when she escaped captivity to tell Jem how she feels and see where things go from there? Well as it turns out it’s Jem who finally grows a pair and does something. Only to leave her again with no explanation of how he’s feeling. Which then put’s Olivia onto the backfoot again when someone mentions he’s going to marry one of her friends. By this point I was ready to scream at Olivia for lacking some self-confidence and assurance.

Anyway, after another couple of unfortunately encounters for Olivia she FINALLY get’s to hear Jem tell her that he loves her. And of course he stuffs up his proposal so she refuses him, which is good because it prompts him to propose in a much more romantic way that she then readily accepts.

My only criticism with this book is that I really would have liked an epilogue. Just to tidy up those loose ends, let us see Olivia and Jem some time later say on their wedding day or something to really solidify that happily ever after. The excitement, the hanging onto the edge of your seat and staying up late so you can know what happens next is great. But I feel like I really needed that extra little bit of closure. Especially since this is the final book in the trilogy.

Otherwise, yet another Harlequin book has not let me down! As I knew I would, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m sure anyone who’s a fan of exciting, regency romance novels will love this one.

Don’t forget to check out the other reviews as part of this tour, details are below:

Alrighty, so the first thing I noticed about this book was that it’s publisher is Harlequin and Mills and Boon. Now this might seem trivial but over the last 12 months I’ve read a bunch of books that have been published through them (is it weird that I remember that?) and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. So I immediately got excited about what was in store for me with this one. And I wasn’t let down!

Now this one is the third book in the series but it’s one of those series where the books can be read as standalone books or in order. In my case I haven’t read the other two books so I read this one as a standalone. But I think I want to go back and read the other two as well!

So we start off with Olivia who is pretty nervous because she’s hoping her crush loves her and is going to propose to her. Except he doesn’t. He asked to walk with her because he’s leaving her for Australia with no words of love or devotion. Which obviously breaks Olivia’s 18 yr old heart. And like most people after they experience their first real heartbreak, she closes herself off from men not wanting to be hurt again. Which I completely understand. Once you’ve been hurt it’s really hard to open yourself up knowing that you might get hurt like that again.

Fast forward 4 years and she’s suddenly faced with Jem again, after 4 years of no contact. On the same day as he’s set to arrive though she also meets another gentleman who immediately catches her eye. And even manages a sneaky kiss! And cue the manly jostling of Olivia’s attention, made all the more awkward because Olivia doesn’t know Jem is interested in her because he doesn’t know if she’s interested in him, because she doesn’t know he’s interested in her. And OMG please stop the merry go round! Personally I’ve never experienced this. I’m a very straight forward person and if I like someone I’ll make sure they know it. So to read this cringe worthy over analysis and self destructive behaviour really had me wanting to smack their heads together going “you both like each other! Now talk it out!”

Obviously I couldn’t do that, so I had to settle with obsessively reading this book to finish it within 4 days to know who Olivia ends up with. They both seem to have moments where they are sure of their feelings for one another, but then they over analyse and let silly comments from others make them doubt the other’s feelings. And of course George constantly mooning over Olivia doesn’t help matter’s much. It’s obvious he’s vying for Olivia’s hand in marriage and she doesn’t seem to be pushing him away. So will she give up on ever understanding Jem and settle for George who she obviously doesn’t love?

Or will she use the same courage she had when she escaped captivity to tell Jem how she feels and see where things go from there? Well as it turns out it’s Jem who finally grows a pair and does something. Only to leave her again with no explanation of how he’s feeling. Which then put’s Olivia onto the backfoot again when someone mentions he’s going to marry one of her friends. By this point I was ready to scream at Olivia for lacking some self-confidence and assurance.

Anyway, after another couple of unfortunately encounters for Olivia she FINALLY get’s to hear Jem tell her that he loves her. And of course he stuffs up his proposal so she refuses him, which is good because it prompts him to propose in a much more romantic way that she then readily accepts.

My only criticism with this book is that I really would have liked an epilogue. Just to tidy up those loose ends, let us see Olivia and Jem some time later say on their wedding day or something to really solidify that happily ever after. The excitement, the hanging onto the edge of your seat and staying up late so you can know what happens next is great. But I feel like I really needed that extra little bit of closure. Especially since this is the final book in the trilogy.

Otherwise, yet another Harlequin book has not let me down! As I knew I would, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m sure anyone who’s a fan of exciting, regency romance novels will love this one.

Don’t forget to check out the other reviews as part of this tour, details are below:

The Makings of a Lady Full Tour Banner

Thank you for reading. Next week I will be reviewing “Chasing Ghosts” by Madalyn Morgan as part of a book tour. I did warn you that there’d be a few! Lol, but don’t worry I have some of my TBR booking coming up in a few weeks. I look forward to seeing you next week, but don’t forget to scroll down to read about the author and some extra goodies!

Catherine Tinley writes heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works in Sure Start. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, cat, and dog and can be reached at catherinetinley.com, as well as facebook.com/CatherineTinleyWriter  and @CatherineTinley on twitter.

Don’t forget to take a look at Catherine Tinley’s Social media accounts.   She is running a giveaway to win a copy of the book, along with two other (surprise) romance novels by other writers.

2 x UK/Ireland Winners and 1 x International Winner.

For all the details look out for Catherine Tinley on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CatherineTinleyWriter 

Twitter: @CatherineTinley

Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine World’s – Columbkill Noonan

Welcome back all, I hope you’ve continued to enjoy my posts. I’d like to take a moment to say a special thankyou to all my readers! Knowing that you’re out there reading my thoughts on the books I read is pretty special, especially since you’re taking time out of your (probably, because who isn’t these days?) busy lives.

Jumping into Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds. This is the second book in a series about two detectives that get taken into the various lands of the gods. I know the first book is set in Egypt because the title is “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab”. However they also tell us throughout this book that Anubis kidnapped them and had them working in the Egyptian afterlife to solve his case. We join the two detectives when they are leaving Egypt and on their way to Asgard. One of the Viking god realms, and this particular one houses Valhalla.

Now the first thing I found kind of annoying about this book is that it’s written in third person. For most people this is probably nothing. But personally, I find it irritating when books are written in third person because they shift who’s opinion you’re reading without giving you any indication of it. I also find that you don’t get to understand the individuals motives, thoughts, emotions etc when it’s written in third person compared to first person. But if you don’t mind or quite like the third person writing style, then you won’t have a problem with this.

Another thing that irked me was that it felt like facts would get conflicting info throughout the book. For example, very early on in the book I could have sworn they said Barnabas was a mouse, and Bindi was also a mouse when they met. Yet later in the book they are saying that both had only mouse heads while the rest of their bodies were still human. I could have just mis-read it or not remembered it correctly.

Also, I’m not claiming to be a viking expert. But from my knowledge of viking mythology there is some conflicting info in this book. I understand that there are going to be aspects that are not historically accurate, because otherwise how can you write an interesting novel? But little things like Loki being married, only half of the dead warriors going to Valhalla, dwarves and elves etc are all thing’s I’d never heard of before when I’ve read about the vikings. As I said, I’m no expert but when I compare those kinds of conflicts with other authors that have written about ancient times and gods. I’ve felt like they have put a lot more thought behind their writing, and you can tell that they’ve researched it. And I didn’t get that feeling with this one. This one felt like they’ve watched one episode of Vikings and thought “hey that’s cool, I could write a book on those gods!”

Now for people who enjoy reading to just escape from reality for a bit, who doesn’t mind the writing style and isn’t too hung up on facts. I honestly think you’d enjoy this. There’s a good amount of action, intrigue, mystery and a touch of romance to keep you interested. I just personally felt it wasn’t quite the style of writing that really grabbed my attention and kept it.

I’m also conscious of the fact that I started this book after reading like 8 books in two weeks. Where two of those books had me hooked the whole way. Kind of like if you were to watch a marathon of Game of Thrones and then try and watch something like Big Bang Theory afterwards. They are so different in so many ways. And because of how complex and intense Game of Thrones is, it’s hard to tear your mind away from that to go into something a bit more fun and carefree.

I wouldn’t mind reading the other books because the banter between Barnabas and Wilfred was very amusing. It’s just they probably wont be at the top of my pile and it might take me a while to get to the point where I want to read them. But as I said, I think that’s got to do more with me and what I like rather than the book itself.

I think this series could make a great present to a teenager or young adult who enjoys reading. The writing style throws me back to memories of reading the Twilight, Tamora Pierce and Richelle Mead series. All of which are massive hits with the younger readers.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review. I strive to be honest but at the same time don’t like people who publicly diss something that’s not their style. When I come across books like that for me I try to explain why I felt like that and who it might be better suited for. That way I’m hoping you can make informed choices about anything you might want to read or recommend based on my opinions. If you are interested in this book you can find the links below, and keep in mind that this is the second book in the series.

Anyway, that’s me done for another week! Next week is the final instalment of Behind the Door “The Brilliant Game” by Adriana Gavazzoni. Are you as excited to find out who the killer is as I am? Well you will have to tune in next week to see if we can find out!

BUT WAIT! We have more! Starting off with the author’s bio:

Columbkill Noonan lives in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, where she teaches yoga and Anatomy and Physiology.  Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines. Her first novel, “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab” by Crooked Cat Books, was released in 2017, and her latest work, “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds”, is set to be released in September 2018.

In her spare time, Columbkill enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, aerial yoga, and riding her rescue horse, Mittens. To learn more about Columbkill please feel free to visit her website (www.columbkill.weebly.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ColumbkillNoonan) or on Twitter (@ColumbkillNoon1).

Giveaway to win a signed copy of Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine Worlds (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 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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An Unconventional Affair – Mollie Blake

Welcome back all, this review is one of many book tour review’s I’m participating in over the next couple of months So be prepared for lot’s of blurbs, author bios etc and potentially weird posting dates to fall in line with the availability on the tours. However, where possible I will stick to my regular posting day, Monday’s.

I hope you will enjoy this review as it’s only a very newly published book! I always envied those that got to read books and provide a review before they were released. And now I’m discovering that I can be one of those people. As such, I’d just like to say a massive thankyou to Rachael and the authors that utilise her reach to allow us to read and review these books before they are released to the public.

Also, I’m normally quite late to the party and end up reading a book in a series way after it’s finished or most of the way through and end up raving about something that other’s have known about for quite some time.

So to know that I’ve read the first book in this series before it’s released is pretty amazing and a first for me. And this first book set me up to expect a pretty good second book!

And on to my review, but don’t forget to read all the way down to see details of a prize giveaway!

I read this book in a little over a day as I spent my time lazing in the sun. And to read about how an older woman overcomes domestic violence to become a single mum who raises a boy who graduates high school and then university. Except right as  he’s about to graduate uni one of his friends falls for his mum. And that’s where the “Unconventional Affair” comes from.

Except it’s not as dirty as it seems it is. In reality it’s just a young guy who falls for an older woman and the fight they have to prove themselves as a legitimate couple. Even to each other. And then next thing we know Barrington moves to Melbourne, Australia (where I just have to say, no one except the most bogon of bogons ACTUALLY uses the word “Sheila”, when will international authors finally get that we are the same as them?! We’re not some weirdo species with another name for our women!) and starts a new life.

Anyway I didn’t find this book as “unconventional” as the title suggested. However I DID find the unexpected crime quite interesting! Given the blurb I wasn’t expecting anything more than a standard romance but this one really had me on tenterhooks by the end of it!

I look forward to the next one being released so that I can read that one and see what happens to Barrington and Tee!

If you’ve enjoyed this review don’t forget to check out the others that are participating in this blog tour and you can see the details below:

And on to my review, but don’t forget to read all the way down to see details of a prize giveaway!

I read this book in a little over a day as I spent my time lazing in the sun. And to read about how an older woman overcomes domestic violence to become a single mum who raises a boy who graduates high school and then university. Except right as  he’s about to graduate uni one of his friends falls for his mum. And that’s where the “Unconventional Affair” comes from.

Except it’s not as dirty as it seems it is. In reality it’s just a young guy who falls for an older woman and the fight they have to prove themselves as a legitimate couple. Even to each other. And then next thing we know Barrington moves to Melbourne, Australia (where I just have to say, no one except the most bogon of bogons ACTUALLY uses the word “Sheila”, when will international authors finally get that we are the same as them?! We’re not some weirdo species with another name for our women!) and starts a new life.

Anyway I didn’t find this book as “unconventional” as the title suggested. However I DID find the unexpected crime quite interesting! Given the blurb I wasn’t expecting anything more than a standard romance but this one really had me on tenterhooks by the end of it!

I look forward to the next one being released so that I can read that one and see what happens to Barrington and Tee!

If you’ve enjoyed this review don’t forget to check out the others that are participating in this blog tour and you can see the details below:

An Unconventional Affair Full Tour Banner

Also, we have a quick bio on our proud author with some links to her social media in case you’re interested in seeing what she’s up to.

Mollie Blake is a published author of contemporary romance. A lover of reading sexy stories, Mollie decided to go one step further and write her own. Her romances are filled with danger and peppered with hot sexy scenes. She is a member of International Thriller Writers and UK Romantic Novelists Association.

https://www.facebook.com/mollie.blake.54/

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/mollieblakeauth/

https://www.instagram.com/mollieblake.author/

Giveaway – Win a set of all 4 of Mollie Blake’s books, plus a lip balm and hand cream (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 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.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494125/?

I hope you have enjoyed this review. And I will see you next week for a review on “Lightweight” by Kirsty McManus.

Unshackled – Rachael Stewart

Welcome back all, I hope you’re looking forward to this bonus post. I chose to participate in this book tour because domestic and family violence is a topic that is rarely discussed in it’s dirty and truthful facts and I was interested to see how Rachel Stewart addressed this. However reading this novel I was really surprised and I was really happy to read how Rachael wrote this.

When signing up for this book tour I was given all these warnings about how domestic violence is portrayed in this novel, and that it might be tough to read etc to I was expecting to read some pretty gruesome details. But I was pleasantly surprised when the details were kept to a minimum and we explore the aftermath of these events rather than the events themselves. So I commend Rachael for this, it allows for the book to be pleasurable to read while also addressing real life issues and concerns that many people face. I also liked the fact that she didn’t explore just the physical aspect of domestic and family violence, but also the mental and financial control that can play a part in these circumstances.

So let’s get into the nitty gritty of the book then! We start of with Abi when she first meets Emma and it’s instant attraction. Only problem is Abi has never been attracted to women before. So what is she meant to do? Having known women who were only attracted to men and then met a particular woman who attracted them and resulted in a relationship I was curious to see how Abi would deal with these emotions and the confusion it would inevitably bring along with it. What I quickly figured out was that this seemed to be a matter of love at first sight kind of deals and that Abi was sick of living under her step fathers rule but didn’t know how to leave that control without loosing her lifestyle.

So what is Abi to do? Every time Abi and Emma hook up and her stepfather finds out about it Emma get’s punished. Physically. So not only is he controlling Abi’s access to money and therefore her lifestyle, he is also emotionally, financially and physically controlling Emma in order to garner more business deals to increase his current wealth. Up to the physical control Emma is ok with this as she chose to lead her life like that, however she never intended for a guy to control her physically. So when that starts happening she’s prepared to walk away.

After a fair bit of drama where both Abi and Emma are abused further by Abi’s stepfathers associates they finally seem to make the break they are looking for. Only to have the good doctor and stepfather find them and break in to physically take control of them once again. Luckily Abi seems to have been able to keep her head clear and calls for help which results in the physical safety of both women.

I can’t begin to imagine what real life victims of domestic violence go through before they choose to finally leave, or what they go through emotionally afterwards. I’m glad Rachael showed me a little bit about what they could potentially go through. Her writing style really wrapped me up in the story and got me involved to the point where I made my partner cook dinner just so I could finish the book.

I just wanted to know it ended ok, and I wanted to know what happened to both women after experiencing that. In a way I’m glad Rachael didn’t try to explore their emotional and mental states after going through that trauma as I’m sure it wouldn’t do it justice compared to what those victims actually feel. But I’m also kinda disappointed because maybe then it’d help make people realise that there are more forms of domestic and family violence than just the physical abuse.

Without giving too much away, I really enjoyed reading this novel and I’m glad I decided to go ahead with this one as I know it’s a topic not many people are willing to face. It’s almost like people try to brush this topic under the carpet so I commend Rachael for addressing it head on. And I hope for those people that read this they can gain some form of insight into the various forms of domestic and family violence and can be more empathetic to those who find themselves trapped by these situations.

Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers reviewing this book this week, details below:

If you’re interested in reading this book (and I recommend that you do) you can find it at the following locations, so I’ve included the link to Smashwords here for you.

Now a little bit about Rachael:

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

Despite a degree in Business Studies and spending many years in the corporate world, the desire to become an author never waned and it’s now 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.

Social Media Links –

Website: www.rachaelstewartauthor.com

Twitter: @rach_b52

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rachaelstewartauthor/

And finally! As we often see with blog tours there’s some free giveaways for anyone that’s interested!

*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.

Rafflecopter

FINALLY! I hope you’ve enjoyed the surprise post. At the time this post is released I will be wondering around Queenstown in New Zealand so I hope you’ve enjoyed the read and I will see you again in my next post.

One Summer Weekend – Juliet Archer

This one is a pretty new book and I feel honoured to bring you a review about it. Today I’m going to start with a quick blurb about the book then I will get into my thoughts about this one!

I began reading this book at the start of the Queens Birthday long weekend, for those of you not in the Commonwealth that basically means we get an extra day off work just the Queen of England wants to celebrate her birthday. Which for us Aussies just means we get another day to drink and relax. This year I took the opportunity to have a mini-getaway with my partner since we won’t be having a mid year holiday together. And because we are a super cute and romantic couple our mini-getaway was basically spent walking around Daylesford in rural Victoria before I spent a good 2 hours or so soaking in the spa bath having my glass of wine topped up regularly while he watched UFC on the tv.

Now I’m gona guess that some of you are probably thinking “but what has that got to do with this book?”. For me, everything. I believe that the time and place you read a book can really impact how you enjoy it. Since this book is shorter (or at least it felt shorter) than most of the books I’ve been reading recently I felt a great sense of achievement when I realised I’d read like half the book while relaxing in the bath. And since Daylesford is a really quiet, romantic type of town (after you get through the stupid tourists that seem to forget that there are other people around) made especially so by our secluded villa with a fireplace (since it’s winter here the fireplace was very much appreciated!).

So already being in a romantic frame of mind I felt I was really able to enjoy this short, sweet story between a modern day woman fighting against the “old school” mens club mentality by building her career off of coaching them how to manage their companies better. And then we also have a guy that initially comes across as your typical young playboy who’s had too much money and power all his life and is enjoying it much to much to ever contemplate changing or listening to an attractive woman.

What I thought was a great twist was that it seemed that for once the man was more in tune with his true feelings than the woman was. And that the woman was all wrapped up in her own past, insecurities and negativity to be able to move forward. Even when the object of her past that is holding her back reappears and tries to make things worse she manages to wake up an triumph against it. Which of course, since this is a romance novel means the happy couple end up together.

How they got together in the end irked me a little bit because they end up deciding that they will just up and take time off work without any notice or planning. I don’t know if this annoys be because of my OCD need to plan those types of things out. Or whether it’s because I feel like I’m often left having to pick up the pieces when someone decides 2 weeks to a month out from their holiday that they are going to go away regardless of what is happening at the time. But I guess it’s just a novel so I shouldn’t read to much into that aspect of it.

The rest of it was beautifully written, simple and allowed me to really just relax and enjoy my romantic weekend away which wouldn’t have been complete if I didn’t have a good book.

Now that the long weekend is finished I will see you next week with a review of another Guernsey Novel. This time it is “Dangerous Waters” by Anne Allen.

Also, don’t forget to check out the other blogs participating in this Book Tour, the author bio (below) and you can enter a draw to win copies of “The Importance of being Emma” and “Persuade Me” (also below)!

Author Bio –

Juliet Archer writes award-winning romantic comedy for Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction. She has been known to spend many happy hours matching irresistible heroes with their equally irresistible chocolate counterparts – watch out for the dark nutty ones!

Her debut novel, The Importance of Being Emma, won the Big Red Read Book of the Year 2011 Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the 2009 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance. Her second novel, Persuade Me, was shortlisted for the 2011 Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read Award.

Juliet’s third book, One Summer Weekend, is out in June 2018. You can also read her short stories: Incense & Insensibility in the Choc Lit Love Match anthology, and Love Rules in Choc Lit’s Kisses & Cupcakes anthology.

Juliet was born and bred in North-East England and now lives in Hertfordshire. She gives talks all over the UK and in the USA about the classic authors who inspire her work. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Jane Austen Society. Her non-writing career has spanned IT, acquisitions analysis, copy editing, marketing and project management, providing plenty of first-hand research for her novels.

Twitter – https://twitter.com/julietarcher

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/juliet.archer.77/

Giveaway – Win PB Copies of The Importance of Being Emma and Persuade Me (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 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.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c6949490/?

 

The Family Divided – Anne Allen

Welcome to my first ever Book Tour! I hope you enjoy it, so please like and share this if you’ve enjoyed the experience!

So I was silly enough to read the first book in this series before reading this one as scheduled so I’ve felt like I’ve been on a big deadline finishing reading this one to stay on track with my weekly posts. So I will be posting about the first week next week. So if you’ve liked the sound of this book and Anne’s writing, tune in next week to read more about this series.

Also, for those of you who may be new to my reviews be warned, I may spoil a few things but I also try to keep the mystery there for you so that you won’t know everything that happens if you choose to read these books yourself.

So into the book!

Reading this one I found that it did change who it followed from the first book, and when I was told about this series I was advised that each book can be read as a stand alone book and I agree with them. There were a few characters from the first book in this book as well so it was nice to see how their lives had progressed over time.

This book is the fourth book in the series so I fully plan to go back and read the second and third books. Which already tells you that I liked this book! (And the first one!) This book follows Charlotte; an English aristocrat, owner of a publishing company and a first time writer; and Andy a local architect. This couple is a little older than the first book, and I like how Anne adjusted her writing to suit them.

Charlotte is visiting Guernsey to recuperate so she can go home and focus back on her writing as she’s experiencing a pretty bad bout of writers block. While visiting La Folie she hears about Andy wanting to solve an old family mystery which has resulted in his father being shafted out of his rightful inheritance. Andy obviously isn’t so crash hot on the idea of some hoitey toitey rich English woman nosing around his families past but reluctantly agrees to let her research as Jeanne, a close family friend assured him that Charlotte is a great researcher and would be invaluable.

Given how reluctant Charlotte was to admit she was attracted to Andy and how much Andy resents Charlottes upbringing and money it felt impossible for them to come together. Especially as both had been married and burnt in the past. Having experienced being burnt in the past I can totally understand being reluctant to jump into something new and exciting. And Anne really does explore the various reasons for being nervous and the to-ing and fro-ing that happens when you meet someone new, and you don’t want to come across too strong but at the same time want to make sure they know you’re interested.

I really enjoyed reading how Charlotte had to battle with her own personal battles, researching the German Occupation for Andy, figuring out her feelings for Andy and interviewing the elderly to solve multiple family secrets hidden in Andy’s families past.

Throughout this book I felt myself cringing at the awkward moments between Charlotte and Andy, feeling for Charlotte with how her mum treats her since for a long time I felt I had a very similar relationship with my mum and at the same time was telling Charlotte that she was being an idiot and needed to just face her fears head on and embrace the changes to her lifestyle! Sometimes money, position and comfort aren’t everything in life and when it’s not you just need to embrace the change, roll with it and enjoy the ride. Which thankfully Charlotte decides to do.

While experiencing this roller coaster ride with Charlotte I felt myself I was trying to figure out what the hell happened with Andy’s grandfather and father to cause all the issues we’ve heard about. So when we finally find all the details out by the end of the book I felt like I should be jumping up and down in excitement and jubilation over FINALLY getting the answer I’d been craving since the start of the book.

The only thing I would’ve liked to get out of the book that I didn’t was to find out how it went with Andy’s dad’s claim to the family estate. Also, I would have preferred for the language used when characters talk to each other to be less formal and more colloquial since it just didn’t quite feel right.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you have enjoyed it stay tuned for next weeks post on “Behind the Door” by A. Gavazzoni and I will come back to “Dangerous Waters”which is the first book in the series in a few weeks.

On a final note, for those of you who regularly read my posts through your emails I would love it if you’d click on the links to visit the actual page. I know sometime’s it seems a little silly but I’d love to see how many of you are enjoying these posts and I can’t do this if you haven’t visited the actual posts. If you have the time, please do visit the pages so I know if you’re enjoying my posts as much as I enjoy sharing my thoughts with you.

Until next week, and don’t forget to check out the info below about the author, series and even a chance to win a holiday! 🙂

Win a two-night break

Courtesy of The Guernsey Novels by Anne Allen

Would you like to visit gorgeous Guernsey? Well, here is your chance to win a two-night trip to this beautiful island, courtesy of Anne Allen, author of the riveting book series, The Guernsey Novels.


The Guernsey Novels

Anne Allen’s fascinating book series, The Guernsey Novels, comprises six standalone novels. All the stories in her novel series, take place predominantly on the island of Guernsey and are linked by characters popping up from one book to another.

They provide an ongoing story of a ‘village’ spread, so far, over 6 years. Each book is standalone with fresh new lead characters with their own links to the German Occupation during World War 2, having an impact on the present.

The Guernsey Novels are a mix of mystery, family drama, and love story and influenced by the author’s love of the island where she spent many happy years. Guernsey itself is always a main character in the books, offering a gorgeous backdrop to all the sorrows, joys and tragedies she describes.

The Guernsey Novels are available from all leading bookstores:

Book #1 Dangerous Waters

Book #2 Finding Mother

Book #3 Guernsey Retreat

Book #4 The Family Divided

Book #5 Echoes of Time

Book #6 The Betrayal


About the Author Anne Allen

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. She was born in Rugby, to an English mother and Welsh father. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea.

Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.

By profession Anne was a psychotherapist but has long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. At the back of her mind the itch to write was always present but seemed too time-consuming for a single mum with a need to earn a living. Now retired from the ‘day job’, there’s more time to write and Anne has now published six books in The Guernsey Novels series. She will be publishing her seventh novel later in the year.


To find out more about Anne visit her website: you can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.



Enter the prize draw to win a two-night break at Hotel Ziggurat in Guernsey

Enter The Guernsey Novels Prize Draw

Read more details about the prize draw, including the Terms and Conditions on Anne Allen’s Website


Blog Tour Organised by The Globeflower Agency Ltd