The Italian Job – Kathryn Freeman

This book contains:

  • References to and small descriptions of cheating
  • Descriptions of going to jail and why
  • Vivid description of a serious car accident and saving the occupants lives.

Anna is a chef who’s made a great career for herself, until her partner who’s also the head chef and son of the owners of the restaurant she works are cheats on her and she’s forced to quit. She’s determined, passionate and highly resilient despite what life throws her way.

Jake is an ex-con firefighter who’s struggling to find work and respect thanks to the influence of the man who’s responsible for getting him arrested. He’s loyal to a fault and protects his family and loved ones regardless of the personal consequences he needs to suffer.

Anna has just left her cheating ex and she’s looking for a new job when she comes across an add for a caretaker for a castle on Lake Como. Only catch is that they’re looking for a couple and won’t negotiate on taking on just her. Meanwhile, Jake is struggling to find work since getting out of jail, thoroughly depressed and worried he’ll need to move back in with his mum if he can’t find something soon.

Cue, Anna decides to ask Jake to pretend to be her boyfriend so they can both get away to Lake Como for a year to try and turn their lives around after the same man has ruined them both.

I found this one really interesting. While there were times where I felt it was a bit “meh”, overall, I really enjoyed it!

Thinking back, the “meh” times were the important background establishing slower moments that while critical to the story overall, in the moment just felt boring to me. But I think that had more to do with pace and style of the books I’d read immediately prior to this one more than anything lacking in Kathryn’s writing.

Even though you KNOW something is going to happen to try and derail their relationship, I still found myself heartbroken, frustrated and pissed off on their behalf for everything that kept getting in the way of them having a real go at a real relationship.

And of course, the ending was exactly what I was hoping it’d be! What more could you ask for from a contemporary romance with the fake fiancé trope?

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Dream job. Dream house. Fake fiancé. 

A year in a gorgeous Italian castle…

When Anna Roberts’ life implodes, an online search leads her to an ad for the ultimate dream job – management of a gorgeous castle on the shores of Lake Como, accommodation included. The only catch? Anna can’t do it alone…

…With the last man on earth she’d choose!

The castle owners will only accept a couple as caretakers, which means Anna needs a man on her arm at the interview. Enter her neighbour, Jake Tucker. Though Anna and Jake have never seen eye-to-eye, Jake’s had a rough few years and an escape to Italy sounds ideal. Yet, when they get the job and jet off, Anna and Jake face an unexpected challenge. Pretending to be a couple is difficult … but pretending the tension simmering between them doesn’t exist is quickly proving impossible!

Giveaway – Win a paperback copy of The Italian Job by Kathryn Freeman (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.

The Earl She Should Never Desire – Lara Temple

This book contains:

  • Emotional results of war
  • Descriptions of the death of a husband, mother and child
  • Family disputes.

Lily left home when she was barely old enough to be married and eloped with her husband to Greta Green. Since their families disapproved of their union, they ran away and joined the war effort, during which Lily had and lost a child before then losing her husband on the battlefield. After her husband dies, Lily returns home to Manchester to find work and try and live her life without her mother’s disappointment and disapproval constantly interfering.

Marcus promised his mother he would find himself a wife to become his countess and continue the family lineage and sets out to find the perfect bride. This search leads him to Lily’s sister as someone he can get along with, produce heirs and not hate his life. That’s all he’s asking for in a wife.

Lily’s younger sister is engaged and begging her to some to London to meet her fiancé and be there for her wedding. Despite her reservations, Lily travels to London and endures her mother’s wrath to be there for her younger sister.

When Marcus meets Lily, he’s instantly drawn to her despite his betrothal to her younger sister and somehow finds ways time and again to protect her and help her bear her mother’s antics. He even helps her when the after-effects of seeing war grips her tightly and she’s frozen.

Lara Temple’s regency romances have always drawn me in. The way she’s able to tell a story where the characters emotionally struggle and yet you feel like you’re struggling with the characters, and you want to help them is amazing. While we never have to fear a cheating situation happening, you still find yourself wishing they could hurry up and find a way to be together.

I read this in like the space of two days in amongst chores and uni work and the whole time I just wanted to go back to reading this because it was so good!

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.

Secrets Behind the Billionaire’s Return – Rachael Stewart

This book contains:

  • References to prior domestic violence
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Teen drinking.

Felicity is a single mum running a bed and breakfast in her small hometown doing the best she can to raise her teenage daughter. She’s worked hard to provide for her daughter and proudly rejects the need for ‘charity’ from others.

Sebastian runs a billion dollar international hotel chain with his brother and he’s finally returning home to turn the manor home he’s inherited into another hotel for his chain. Instead of staying at his home he goes to Felicity’s bed and breakfast in the hopes of out-running his past for as long as possible.

Sebastian has returned home and decides to try and reconnect with Felicity in the hopes of delaying confronting the past. While there, he not only discovers she’s taken over the bed and breakfast, she also has a teen daughter.

As they’re reconnecting, new spreads and suddenly their life snow balls into a drama neither of them expected and changes in ways they could never have imagined.

While I love Rachael’s books, there was something a little different to this one. Not just that it’s one in a series (which is rare for Rachael), but also the pacing. Typically, her books have a steady pace that slowly increases until you reach the climax of the story, then you get your slowed down ending. Which is a pretty standard pacing for romance novels.

However, in this one, it had multiple points where it felt like it sped up and slowed down which got a little confusing. While it wasn’t horrible, it was something that I noticed and threw me off a few times as I was reading.

Going back to the story, Rachael’s focus this time around was on generational domestic violence, the long lasting impacts it can have and teen pregnancy. Rachael’s written books with domestic violence involved previously, a couple actually, this new take on the generational aspect of it brought a new take on it that was quite interesting.

I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for when the second book comes along to find out about how Sebastian’s brother coped with it!

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 4x Signed Rachael Stewart Paperbacks and more (open internationally)

4 x Signed paperbacks:

  • Tempted by the Tycoon’s Proposal
  • Surprise Reunion with His Cinderella
  • Beauty And The Reclusive Millionaire
  • Secrets Behind the Billionaire’s Return

And:

  • “Hug” Bracelet
  • Diamond Metallic Pen
  • Heart Post-Its
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.

Home for Christmas – Camilla Isley

This book contains:

  • References to deceased parents
  • Difficult divorce involving a spiteful ex-wife.

Riven is an award-winning author going through a difficult divorce while trying to write his latest book. He’s hurting and he’s struggling to get more words on the page to keep his story’s going while his family is pestering him to spend Christmas with them since he’s hiding away from LA in a Ski Resort.

Wendy is a playwright from New York City, with a boyfriend who’s not around much and doesn’t fully support her career as being serious. With Christmas coming up and her mum not wanting to host the family Christmas, she takes charge to book a family get away for them in a Ski Resort.

When there’s a mix up about the lodge Riven is renting and both his family and Wendy’s arrive days before Christmas to spend a week there, all hell breaks loose. Suddenly two big families need to spend a week in 1 cabin that was already going to be tight fitting just one of them.

As the families spend the week together, Riven and Wendy struggle to get along and fight their growing attraction towards each other.

Riven and Wendy’s relationship with the will-they-won’t-they, getting together and how they work through things is amazing. It felt so insightful and had me siding with Riven when I’m often left siding with the female in the relationship.

I was often laughing at all the antics, but I was also loving the slow development of their relationship. The thoughtful speed at which Riven moves had me wishing more men could be like that. When in reality I’m sure there are plenty that do and that’s part of what infuriates us about them.

It’s a great read that I thoroughly enjoyed reading the whole time.

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband on an adventure abroad.

She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

Giveaway – Win one of 5 ebook copies of Fool Me Twice at Christmas (open internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Heartcross Castle

This book contains:

  • Domestic violence
    • Depicted
    • Talked about
    • Describes lasting impacts on the victim and their loved ones
  • Death of a loved one.

Grace is a domestic violence survivor who hasn’t been home to her family in over a decade. She has three sons and they’re her whole life. Everything she does is to give them the best chance at the best life possible.

Andrew is a Michelin Star chef who’s moved to Heartcross to start up Starcross Manor and continue his career as a famous chef. He’s never experienced life in the same way most people have. He’s lived a privileged life and everything he does and how he reacts to the situations he finds himself in show just how privileged his life has been.

Grace returns to Heartcross after more than a decade to a home that’s not the home she remembered. So much has changed but at the same time, some things haven’t. Even though she’s been given the best gift possible in that moment, there’s so much work she needs to do and she’s not sure she’s ready or able to do it. Even for her sons.

I’m loving the Love Heart Lane series so much!

In previous books we’d heard about the old man in the castle and the rumours of ghosts. I’d always wondered what his story is, it felt like there was more to tell. But I didn’t know what.

So having the opportunity to find out exactly what was going on, why, how etc. That was amazing.

Of course, the chickens provided a comedic relief you didn’t realise you needed until they popped up again right as you were wondering when they were about to make an appearance. (I promise that chicken comment will make total sense once you read it.)

After finishing this one, I was immediately looking up the next book. Even though they each follow different characters, it’s such a great ride following different issues and how they work through them that I really want the next one already!

Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the number one international bestselling author of fifteen romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.

Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she co-presents The Book Show on Radio Northwich, enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.

Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Tempted by the Runes – Christina Courtenay

This book contains:

  • Attempted kidnapping.

Madison (Maddie) Berger, the little sister of Linnea from The Runes of Destiny, is just 19 and in Ireland with her parents and brother for a Viking festival. While following her parents around to all the Viking festivals, she’s learnt almost everything there is to learn about the ancient Vikings and the skills needed to live in the Viking era. But she dreams of more, of having a purpose.

Geir is the youngest of three brothers (Hrafn, the oldest, is from The Runes of Destiny, and Rurik, the middle brother, is from Whispers of the Runes) and desperate to create his own life. Hrafn is a landowner and Rurik is an established silversmith in Ireland, but Geir has no skills as such to establish himself and he refuses to be reliant on his brothers.

Maddie finds a brooch engraved with a line she knows well as her sister has a brooch with the same line on it that took her back in time. She knows the implication and realises that this is her chance to see the Viking era for herself and experience life away from her parents, even just temporarily.

On her trip back in time, she ends up at Geir’s mercy and suddenly finds herself taking a trip much longer than she expected.

I was wondering how Christina was going to keep the story going without it feeling stretched and overused. I mean, how many times can 21st Century woman go back in Viking times to the same brothers and end up in love?

Except it actually wasn’t stretched or overused at all!

The new place, context and adventure gave us a whole new story that was quite different to the previous ones. While there were some elements that weren’t as great purely because it’s later in the series, there were so many that were fresh and amazing!

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014), and the RNA Fantasy Romantic Novel of the year 2021 with Echoes of the RunesTempted by the Runes (time travel published by Headline 9th December 2021) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

Giveaway – Win a signed paperback copy of Tempted by the Runes, a pair of silver Thor’s hammer earrings and a Thor’s hammer Christmas tree bauble (open internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Beauty and the Reclusive Millionaire – Rachael Stewart

This book contains:

  • Plane accident causing one death referenced
  • Miscarriage.

Catherine is a world-famous actress in need of a break. She’s strong, independent, has experienced a life so different to anything most of us know. Being the daughter of an actress means even her childhood wasn’t anything that most people experience.

Alaric is the big brother of Catherine’s best friend, a billionaire in his own right and a complete recluse. After a tragic accident he took himself off to a private island and hasn’t stepped foot off since.

Catherine is running from her own grief, a grief no one except her best friend and ex can understand. Her best friend suggests going to stay with Alaric to give her the time and space she needs to process and work through her feelings.

But she’s also there to try and convince Alaric to re-join the world and his family. He’s spent so long engulfed in his grief and survivor’s guilt that he doesn’t know how to be anything else.

While this book is similar to the rest of the series in that it’s fairly tame in the sex department; compared to many of her other books, it still has some sex which felt natural. There was no instantly falling into bed together, no dancing around the topic and never quite getting there. Instead, there was a slow burn, conflict in their decisions but the inevitable, natural draw that results in the physical.

There isn’t too much drama during the book, which allows the main theme of grief to shine through and really be the focus that draws our attention equally alongside the romance. Every instance of drama stemmed from their grief, continuing to build on what we’d learnt to that point.

And then there was the ending. The ending that rounded it all out and gave an awesome happily ever after moment.

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories, from heartwarmingly romantic to wildly erotic. She’s been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled-on pages in her loft will attest to. A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her very own hero and three awesome kids, and if she’s not tapping out a story, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors.

Giveaway – Win a prize including 3 Rachael Stewart Paperbacks, Heart Post Its and more (open internationally)

Win everything shown here!

The Amsterdam Affair – Kate Frost

This book contains:

  • references to a cheating spouse
  • behaviour that borderlines on emotional abuse/family violence
  • references to legal drug use.

Iris works as an Executive Assistant in York, although she wishes she had more time for her art. She studied art at university but never gave herself the chance. Instead, she settled for a 9-5 job that pays the bills including her mortgage.

Will, her boyfriend of 6 or 7 years, has just gotten a promotion that takes him to Amsterdam for a year. So of course, he accepts it and doesn’t tell Iris until they’re just a few weeks away from moving.

Iris is surprised when Will tells her they’re moving to Amsterdam, especially since she was expecting a marriage proposal. But she accepts it and moves with him deciding to use this surprising new year to figure out what she wants to do with her life.

Once there, Iris meets several new people, including Bram, and is reintroduced to her passion for art. When Will’s job takes a surprising turn, Iris is forced to make some tough choices, and all in the space of a few months, that will impact her life forever.

I always enjoy a story that involves the woman taking control of her life with the things that really matter to her. Especially at Christmas time.

The thing that I enjoyed the most, was the fact that all of Iris’s decisions were based on what would make her happy and feel satisfaction in what she was doing. Not love. While I of course love romances, I love it even more when the romance is an added bonus to making yourself happy.

At the end of the day, this is the best message I think we can pass on to anyone and everyone to help them have the best life possible no matter what else happens in their lives.

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Kate Frost is the author of best-selling romantic escape novels (The Baobab Beach Retreat, A Starlit Summer, The Greek Heart, The Love Island Bookshop and The Amsterdam Affair), character-driven women’s fiction (The Butterfly Storm series and Beneath the Apple Blossom), and Time Shifters, a time travel adventure trilogy for children. She has a MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, where she also taught lifewriting to creative writing undergraduates.

Kate lives in Bristol with her husband, young son, and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Frodo. As well as writing novels, she’s also the Director of Storytale Festival, a new city-wide children’s book festival that she co-founded in Bristol in 2019 with the ethos of making books accessible to all and encouraging children and teens to read, write and be creative. Kate feels incredibly lucky to spend her days writing and being immersed in books. Her first book with Boldwood will be published in March 2022.

Giveaway – Win a paperback copy of The Amsterdam Affair along with a bag of mini Stroopwafels (UK only)

*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 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.

Never Fall for Your Fiance – Virginia Heath

This book contains:

  • Bribery in action
  • References and descriptions of a con artist
  • Fake relationship.

Hugh is an Earl with a mother who’s insisting he needs to get married, except he’s not interested. He doesn’t feel like he’s suited to marriage or any long-term romantic attachments. Especially given the way his parents’ marriage progressed.

Minerva is an everyday woman working to survive and make enough money to keep her family afloat. After the way men have treated her in the past — her father, her almost fiancé and most of her customers — she’s got zero interest in becoming emotionally involved with one.

Hugh’s caught out when he gets word that his mother is on the way home and wants to meet his made-up fiancé. Only problem is, she’s expecting to come to wedding planning, and he doesn’t even have a fiancé, let alone a wedding in preparation.

Thanks to a chance encounter with Minerva, he suddenly sees a way out of his disaster. He helps her, and then hires her to pretend to be his fiancé while his mother is in town. Of course, family is involved which means there’s all sorts of drama that gets in the way in the most interesting way possible!

I had so much fun reading this. Most of the regency romance novels I read have more mystery or general drama in it. Not many of them have me laughing like I was with this one!

I mean, how much drama can happen in one book?

And the way they all interacted! Such chemistry!

The laughter had me going almost the whole way through the book with each little bit just adding to the whole thing. So when they did finally find their way together, it felt like something more was going to happen… then it didn’t.

Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

When Virginia Heath was a little girl it took her ages to fall asleep, so she made up stories in her head to help pass the time while she was staring at the ceiling. As she got older, the stories became more complicated, sometimes taking weeks to get to the happy ending. Then one day, she decided to embrace the insomnia and start writing them down. Twenty-two books and two Romantic Novel of the Year Award nominations later, and it still takes her forever to fall asleep.

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 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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