*BLOG TOUR* You Only Live Once by Maxine Morrey

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for You Only Live Once by the fabulous Maxine Morrey!

When Lily’s husband dies, she moves to the edge of a tiny village, settling into a solitary life, her only real company her brother and his family. A quiet life becomes her safe space, with no risk of getting hurt.

When her brother offers her spare room to his oldest friend, Jack, Lily’s reluctant – but knowing how much she owes her family, can’t say no. 

A lodger takes some getting used to but to her surprise, Lily begins to enjoy Jack’s company. Slowly but surely, Jack encourages Lily to step outside her comfort zone. 

But taking risks means facing the consequences, and telling people how she really feels, means Lily might have to face losing them. But as the saying goes – you only live once – and being brave could mean Lily gets a second chance at love…

I always find it exciting when Maxine Morrey has a new book due for release, and You Only Live Once was no exception to that rule!

We are introduced to Lily, a reclusive, widowed writer who has achieved amazing success with her novels. She is close to her brother and his family, but beyond that she barely leaves her home. She has struggled with the grief of losing her beloved husband for so long, that she has been determined to protect herself from any further heartache.

When her brothers best friend returns to the village, Lily finds herself with an unexpected new lodger. Jack knows and understand Lily’s reluctance to have him in her safe space, but as they settle into an unlikely routine, they find themselves becoming more and more comfortable in each others company.

Lily and Jack are both such lovely characters, it was easy to fall into their story. Lily’s grief and the ease with which she withdrew from society was both heart wrenching and understandable. Her fear of loss is something that most of us can relate to. Her brother and sister-in-law clearly adored her, but didn’t know how to pull her out of her safe space back into the real world. Enter Jack: The incredibly handsome landscape gardener with his own family issues. When pushed together they find themselves able to help each other in ways they didn’t realise they even needed help with.

I loved this novel. It was so easy to immerse myself in it completely – I was invested in all the characters, the small village setting was perfect with some lovely glamorous socialising thrown in for good measure! I am more than happy to recommend this novel, so go grab yourself a copy (and when you’re finished go to Maxine’s back catalogue – there’s not a single bad novel in there!).

Star Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Boldwood Books, Maxine Morrey and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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Maxine Morrey is a bestselling romantic comedy author with twelve books to her name including #NoFilter and Things Are Looking Up. She lives in Dorset.

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*BLOG TOUR* Sweet Love and Country Roads by Camilla Isley

Sweet Love and Country Roads

Falling for the wrong cowboy never felt so good . . .

Samantha Baker is a high-flying movie producer living in New York City. She loves her shoes, drinking cosmopolitans, and wouldn’t trade the comforts of city life for anything in the world. But when her job is put on the line, Samantha has no other choice than to move to the middle of nowhere to straighten out the filming of her latest romantic comedy blockbuster.

Her new country home has no Starbucks, no Pilates, and the one pub in town has never heard of appletinis—only serves beer and whiskey neat. On the plus side, the views are scenic. And not just for the aerial shots, as the local eye-candy provides a welcome distraction.

At least until Samantha discovers a native cowboy, Travis Hunt, is the source of all her troubles…

And the battle begins.

Each has something the other wants, but as Samantha and Travis go head to head, they might discover the endgame has changed. When hate turns to heat, all becomes fair in love and war for these two sworn enemies who’ve been playing a game of hearts.

But will a roll in the hay be enough to make Samantha decide there’s no sex in the city and convert to country living? 

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of Sweet Love and Country Roads by Camilla Isley on the penultimate day of her fabulous blog tour!

I was excited to grab myself a copy of Camilla Isley’s latest offering, Sweet Love and Country Roads, and I am pleased to confirm that I was not left disappointed!

Samantha is a career driven, city loving, movie producer who finds herself heading out to the middle of nowhere when her current movie finds itself stalling, facing lengthy and costly delays. With a stubborn small town mayor to contend with, Samantha finds herself stuck exactly where she doesn’t want to be.

Travis Hunt is a small town cowboy born and bred. Handsome and caring, both about his family and his hometown, he’s difficult to ignore. Looks however can be deceiving, and there is more to this small town cowboy than meets the eye. When Travis and Samantha meet sparks fly – keeping it professional could prove to be difficult, but with Samantha counting down to her big city return, could anything really happen between them?

I love small town romances, and Sweet Love and Country Roads is no exception to this. Camilla Isley knows how to write a good romance, she builds up the tension beautifully – falling in love is never easy and she really highlights both the good and the bad. I really enjoyed the small town setting, the movie set backdrop and of course, the very attractive leading man, Travis.

I am more than happy to recommend Sweet Love and Country Roads to you if like me, you love a good will they/won’t they romance set in small town America. You won’t be disappointed!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Camilla Isley and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this fabulous blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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Author Bio

Camilla is an engineer who left science behind to enter the whimsical realm of romantic fiction.

She writes contemporary rom-coms. Her characters have big hearts, might be a little stubborn at times, and love to banter with each other. Every story she pens has a guaranteed HEA that will make your heart beat faster. Unless you’re a vampire, of course.

Camilla is 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.

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*BLOG TOUR* Victory Bells for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of Victory Bells for the Harpers Girls by Rosie Clarke.

Can the Harpers Girls look forward to some happy times as a new dawn rises over London?

Sally Harper is busy juggling running London’s Oxford Street Store Harpers and looking after her beautiful new-born daughter, whilst husband Ben is overseas on another dangerous mission, this time to rescue a friend in need.

Young Becky Stockbridge finds herself in a difficult situation which could bring shame to her and her family. Will Becky, with the help of her friends find her happy ever after and keep her secret?

Marion Jackson is blessed with a son as she eagerly awaits the return of her husband Reggie. But all is not right when Reggie returns. Is Marion strong enough to save her family from yet another crisis?

As the war clouds retreat and the victory bells ring, tears and joy mingle with those of sadness as the world counts the true toll of war and celebrates peace.

Victory Bells for the Harpers Girls is the sixth book in the Welcome to Harpers Emporium series, and is set towards the end of World War One. Rosie Clarke knows how to write wartime fiction, so I knew I’d be in for a treat! Sally Harper, Becky Stockbridge and Marion Jackson are the main characters of our story, all of whom have men fighting in the Great War. With the war finally coming to a close and all families rocked by its effects, these women from Harpers Emporium lean on each other for support as they learn to live with the aftermath of such a devastating time in history. Sally Harper runs Harpers Emporium alongside her husband Ben. With Ben being required to carry out important war work, Sally finds herself caring for her newborn daughter, supporting her friends whilst also seeking stock to ensure Harpers Emporium can continue on as the successful store it is known to be, despite the war causing significant issues. With Harpers Emporium being such a lifeline for so many people, she knows how important it is to ensure it’s future beyond the war.

Victory Bells for the Harpers Girls is yet another excellent example of Rosie Clarke’s ability to create wonderful female friendships during times of hardship. I love her Mulberry Lane series, and the Welcome to Harpers Emporium series is no different. The love and support these women have for each other is admirable, and it really highlights how women together were able to keep the country running in the absence of their beloved men who were away for fighting for their freedom. It also really highlights the strength of these women as they fought for their families as their men began to return home, or in the worst cases, never returned home.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you all. It is a lovely example of historical fiction, and really shows womens efforts both during and after the war.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Rosie Clarke and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Shop Girls of Harpers and The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire.

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*BLOG BLITZ* The Island in Bramble Bay by Victoria Walker

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of The Island in Bramble Bay by Victoria Walker, on publication day no less, so there’s no excuse not to go and grab yourself a copy!

Welcome to Bramble Island! Find breezy, sunshine-filled days, shaded woodlands, glittering sea and a summer of love…

Maggie Cassidy is the new park manager of Bramble Island in Dorset. A job on an island where she is the only year-round inhabitant is the perfect fresh start for her. But when she’s torn between the job she came to do and the island she has grown to love, can she hang on to her perfect new life without compromising her dreams?

Charlie Mackenzie is the forester on Bramble Island. He is a loner full of secrets, burnt out by the life he left behind in San Francisco. When his past catches up with him can he finally face what he has spent three years running from without jeopardising everything that healed him?

Bramble Island lulls them both into an idyllic existence but when the outside world bangs on their door, is history about to repeat itself for both of them?

Maggie is pleased to have secured herself a new job as the park manager on Bramble Island; a remote island where she is the only permanent resident! After holding down a high powered job that ultimately caused the demise of her relationship she is keen for a reset and Bramble Island seems like the place to do it.

Charlie is the volunteer forester on Bramble Island. Like Maggie, he has found Bramble Island to be an escape from the outside world after having his heart broken and walking away from his life in America.

With both Maggie and Charlie running away from their lives to Bramble Island, and with so few people on the island, it doesn’t take long for them to find each other and forge a meaningful friendship in their idyllic surroundings. But can that friendship survive when their previous lives suddenly come looking for them?

I really enjoyed this novel. Maggie and Charlie are great characters, who are both seeking some peace after a few years of turbulence. Charlie is definitely in hiding, but his reasons for this become clear as the story unfolds. Whilst I don’t believe Maggie is hiding from real life, she is a character who is able to recognise their flaws and mistakes, whilst she tries to learn from them. They are both well rounded, believable characters who just add to the richness of the story.

Bramble Island is the ideal setting for this novel. You can really imagine the trees and the isolation of the island but also the peacefulness of it, particularly after the ferry takes away the remaining tourists at the end of the day. Its a place I would most definitely like to visit and explore, and it provides the perfect backdrop for the story.

I am more than happy to recommend The Island in Bramble Bay – its warm, full of love with characters who are able to grow at their own pace. I really enjoy Victoria Walkers writing (check out my review of Snug in Iceland if you haven’t already!), so I am already looking forward to her next offering!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Victoria Walker and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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Author Bio

Victoria Walker has been writing romantic fiction since a visit to Iceland in 2014 inspired her first novel. As well as writing, she spends her free time dressmaking, knitting and reading an inordinate amount of contemporary romance, occasionally punctuated by the odd psychological thriller and saga.

In the past she has worked as a cinema projectionist, a knitting and sewing tutor and has owned a yarn store, all things which will no doubt appear in her books if they haven’t already.

Victoria lives in the Malvern Hills with her husband and two teenage children.

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*BLOG TOUR* Jeannie’s War by Carol MacLean

It is my pleasure to bring you my review of Jeannie’s War by Carol MacLean on day 2 of her fabulous blog tour!

War changed her country, but it couldn’t change her spirit

Glasgow, 1939

Despite being shy and reserved, Jeannie Dougal finds herself newly engaged to handsome soldier, Arthur Dunn, the day war is announced. Jeannie accepts, even if she is unsure if a girl from the tenements will fit in with Arthur’s comfortable, middle-class background. But as WW2 takes its toll on the world, her wedding must wait…

As she sets off to work at a munitions factory she meets Eileen, Janet and Annie. As her new friends bond together in war work, sharing their stories of romance, Jeannie is grateful to be settled with Arthur, even if he is set in his ways.

Until she meets charming Canadian soldier, Bill, and realises she has found a spark she was always missing. But how can Jeannie tell Arthur? And is she strong enough to fight her own battle, with the country already at war…?

An emotional and romantic family saga set in WW2 Scotland and the start of a captivating new series. Fans of Call the Midwife and Katie Flynn won’t be able to put this down.

Jeannie’s War focusses on Jeannie Dougal, a young shy woman living in Glasgow as war is declared in 1939. If you’ve followed my blog for a while you will know that this novel is right up my street – historical fiction that follows women in war is always a winner for me!

Against the advice of her handsome soldier fiancee Arthur, Jeannie goes to work at the munitions factory where she makes new friends in Eileen, Janet and Annie. The four women couldn’t be more different yet they find themselves forging a strong friendship as the war starts to pick up and Glasgow really starts to feel its effects.

This novel follows Jeannie as she navigates her relationship with Arthur who has a very set idea of what their marriage will be like. Watching Jeannie’s character develop from one of a meek, almost trodden down women into a more independent, strong woman who battles for what she wants from life as the bombs start to fall around her is rather inspiring. As the days where a woman was expected to be a good wife, keeping their husband happy become numbered, Jeannie and her friends find themselves with a newfound freedom and many more options available to them.

It was interesting to read a WWII novel set outside of London, as it really highlighted the important war work that took place all over Great Britain as the Allies fought for control. So many of these novels are set in London which I love, but it was nice to branch out geographically. The descriptions of Glasgow are vivid, and Carol MacLean really does set the scene beautifully. This novel is filled with love and friendship, but also heartache as the war is truly brought to life.

I loved this novel, and am more than happy to recommend it to you all. Jeannie’s War is book 1 in The Kiltie Street Girls series, so I can’t wait for the next one to learn a little more about this Glaswegian community during such a difficult time.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Carol MacLean and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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Author Bio

Carol MacLean lives in the Glasgow area. She began by writing pocket novels, having 18 published before deciding to write an historical saga. She enjoys weaving social history into fiction and imagining how life must have been for ordinary people living through different times.

When she’s not writing, Carol can be found visiting museums or walking around the city looking for traces of old Glasgow to inspire her next novel.

Carol is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
She has written 18 pocket novels published by DC Thomson and Linford Romance Series (Ulverscroft). 

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BOOK REVIEW: Walking on Sunshine by Giovanna Fletcher

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of Walking on Sunshine by Giovanna Fletcher.

In the darkness, we all need a little light . . .

________

After Mike loses Pia, his partner of seventeen years, their best friends Vicky and Zaza try to help pick up the pieces.

But though Pia’s gone, she left a plan. A list of loving instructions to help Mike and her friends come to terms with their loss.

And they’re each going to need it . . .

Just-engaged Zaza fears committing any further.

Exhausted mother and wife Vicky has lost sight of herself.

While Mike just feels all the colour has gone from his life.

When the list sends them trekking to Peru, where high mountains and sweltering rainforests push them to the brink, all they have to guide them is their faith in Pia and in themselves.

But will they learn that anything is possible when you’re walking on sunshine?

I’ve always enjoyed Giovanna Fletchers novels, so I was very excited to get my hands on her latest offering, Walking on Sunshine.

Mike, Pia, Zaza and Vicky have been the best of friends forever. When they lose Pia, the remaining three are united in their grief whilst struggling to maintain their lives individually. Mike is drowning; Pia was the light of his life and without her, he just cannot see a way forward. Zaza has recently got engaged, but she still finds herself struggling to commit, even though she knows she should. And Vicky is a wife and mother, both of which are roles that she loves but she just cannot seem to find herself.

The one thing I will say is that I felt that Walking on Sunshine is quite different to Giovanna’s other novels. When the theme of a novel centres around grief, it’s quite difficult to keep the story light. What Giovanna achieves is a story about a difficult subject, whilst bringing a lightness to the friendships that this novel centres on. That is what this story is really about – friendship. Walking on Sunshine definitely wasn’t what I was expecting it to be, but I loved it all the same. Mike, Zaza and Vicky are all truly there for each other, united by their love of Pia, their long standing friendship grows more as they grieve together. By opening up to each other on their Peruvian trek they are able to open themselves up when they return home to their loved ones.

This is such a great novel, and I am very happy to recommend it to you all. It’s a moving novel full of love and friendship, so go and grab yourself a copy and let me know what you think!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Penguin and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this novel.

*BLOG TOUR* Living Your Best Life by Maxine Morrey

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of Living Your Best Life by Maxine Morrey as part of her fabulous blog tour!

Some days Bee feels invisible. Most days Bee does not feel as if she is ‘living her best life’.

Sure she has a loyal group of friends, a job she’s good at, and a small London flat to call home, but a lot of the time, Bee feels as if no one actually ‘sees’ her.  

Her best friend, the unfeasibly handsome and successful Luca Donato does not have that problem. People are practically falling over themselves whenever they see Luca, but one thing the two friends do have in common, is they haven’t yet found the ‘One’.  When their friend Tia challenges them to change all that through online dating, Luca and Bee set about the task with very different levels of enthusiasm.

The saying goes that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince, and it’s not long before Bee is ready to admit defeat. But with Luca inundated with potential love interests, Bee is determined not to give up. Surely her perfect partner is out there somewhere… 

‘Read yourself happy’ with Maxine Morrey’s latest heart-warming, feelgood, page-turning romance, guaranteed to make you smile. Perfect for fans of Lauren Weisberger and Sophie Kinsella.

Bee is a girl we can all relate to. She regularly feels unseen, and far too often she just settles. An outsider looking in may think she has it all – a job she’s good at, her own London flat and a great group of friends. And yet, none of it seems quite ‘right’. Her best friend, Luca Donato, is incredibly handsome, wildly successful and a genuinely nice person. Yet, like Bee, he has yet to find ‘the One’. So, when they are both challenged to use online dating as a way to find their ‘person’ they agree. Bee however, is rather less enthusiastic about the situation! What follows is a series of events that may well force Bee to revisit how she sees herself, and how others see her.

I always jump at the chance to read a Maxine Morrey novel, and it was no different when I found out about Living Your Best Life. In fact i’m not sure she can write a bad novel! Bee is a great character, and one I could definitely relate to. So many of us women second guess ourselves, or doubt our abilities, so Bee really could be one of us. Obviously Luca sweetens the novel beautifully, he’s handsome and kind – he’s really rather perfect! All good romance novels require a perfect man for us to visualise (and fantasize about!), and Maxine has definitely achieved that with Luca!

Living Your Best Life is a real ‘feel-good’ novel. I loved the characters and their relationships. It was great to follow Bee, and watch her really achieve her potential, not just in her personal life but in her professional life too. It was also wonderful to follow a male character who really champions women and lifts them up – they are out there and it’s nice to see them out and about in the world of fiction! I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you all. If you love Maxine Morrey, and you love a good romance novel this could be the book for you!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thank you to Maxine Morrey, Boldwood Books and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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Author Bio

Maxine Morrey is a bestselling romantic comedy author with eight books to her name including Winter’s Fairytale and the top ten hit The Christmas Project. She lives in West Sussex. Her first novel for Boldwood, #No Filter, was published in November 2019.

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*BLOG TOUR* The Mother’s Day Victory by Rosie Henry

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of The Mother’s Day Victory by Rosie Hendry.

Can the Women on the Home Front protect their community in times of war?

Norfolk, 1940. As war rages on, sisters Prue and Thea, along with the wider community of Great Plumstead, are doing all they can to help the war effort, from running the mobile canteen for the Women’s Voluntary Service to organising clothing drives and collecting salvage.

When, Anna, a young German girl who fled her country, seeks refuge in the village, Thea opens up her home, Rookery House, and invites Anna into their growing family. But while many in the village welcome Anna with open arms, others are suspicious of the new arrival . . .

As the war intensifies and panic sweeps the country, Anna is taken by the government who fear she’s a spy. The women of Great Plumstead are already fighting their own battles on the Home Front, but will they come together in Anna’s time of need to keep the newest member of their community safe from war?

The Mother’s Day Victory is the perfect wartime family saga and the second novel in Rosie Hendry’s much-loved series, filled with heart-warming friendships, nostalgic community spirit and a courageous make-do-and-mend attitude. Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Donna Douglas and Elaine Everest.

The Mother’s Day Victory is the second in Rosie Hendry’s Women on the Home Front series. The Mother’s Day Victory follows sisters Prue and Thea in their small community in Norfolk, as they do what they can to support the war effort. When Anna, a young German Jewish woman who has fled Nazi rule settles with Thea, tensions rise as some people begin to be suspicious about her intentions. Anna’s story is a heartbreaking one, but it was one that we need to read about. So many of the historical novels I read are from the British perspective, it was nice to read one from the perspective of the persecuted. Despite finding herself safe from Nazi rule, she still finds herself facing prejudice in the place she thought she would be free – despite being Jewish, her German roots continue to bind her to the atrocities in Europe.

Rosie Henry really brought a new perspective to WWII fiction for me, and I loved it. Obviously I loved the camaraderie and ‘can do’ attitude of the women in Great Plumstead – it’s always wonderful to read about communities coming together to support those protecting their country. But learning a little more about Anna, and those like her who managed to escape the Nazi regime was fascinating. I will go back and read The Mother’s Day Club so that I can learn more about the women in Great Plumstead, but in the meantime I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you. It is full of strong, capable women who fight for what is right – very fitting for International Women’s Day! I shall definitely be reading more of Rosie Hendry’s work!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Rosie Hendry and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase Link

Amazon UK

Author Bio

Rosie Hendry lives by the sea in North Norfolk with her husband and children. She writes uplifting, heart-warming historical fiction based on true events from our social history. Listening to her father’s tales of life during the Second World War sparked her interest in this period and she loves researching further, seeking out gems of real-life stories which inspire her writing.

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*BLOG TOUR* Mrs Morphett’s Macaroons by Patsy Trench

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of Mrs Morphett’s Macaroons by Patsy Trench on day one of her fabulous blog tour!

London, 1905. A show. A stuttering romance. Two squabbling actresses.

Is it Shakespeare? Is it Vaudeville?

Not quite. It is Mrs Morphett’s Macaroons, a satirical play about suffragettes which its creators – friends and would-be lovers Robbie Robinson and Violet Graham – are preparing to mount in London’s West End.

It is the play rival actresses Merry and Gaye would kill to be in, if only they hadn’t insulted the producer all those years ago.

For Robbie and Violet however the road to West End glory is not smooth. There are backers to be appeased, actors to be tamed and a theatre to be found; and in the midst of it all a budding romance that risks being undermined by professional differences.

Never mix business with pleasure? 

Maybe, maybe not. 

Robbie Robinson is finally bringing his play, Mrs Morphett’s Macaroons to the West End, and he knows just who should produce it; Violet Graham. Despite her lack of experience, and probably because of his feelings for her, he know she is the woman to bring his play to fruition in Edwardian London. With actresses vying for the role, despite their insulting behaviour to Violet in a past life, this is a play with plenty going on back stage!

It is clear that Patsy Trench has previously worked in theatre, and she brings that knowledge so eloquently to this novel. From the casting, to the financing, to the finalising of scripts, she really seems to know about all aspects of producing a play and it really comes across within the novel. Its not all technical though, the characters are well-rounded and believable. You can imagine the upset felt by rival actresses Merry and Gaye when they discover that Violet, a woman they were once so insulting to when she was but a junior member of staff, is now in charge of a play that they both both so desperately want to lead!

This is a novel full of great characters, set in the bitchy world of theatre in Edwardian London with a budding romance thrown in for good measure – it is light and fun; a very enjoyable read that I am happy to recommend!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Patsy Trench and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this fabulous blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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Amazon UK

Author Bio

Patsy Trench has spent her life working in the theatre. She was an actress for twenty years in theatre and television in the UK and Australia. She has written scripts for stage and (TV) screen and co-founded The Children’s Musical Theatre of London, creating original musicals with primary school children. She is the author of three non fiction books about colonial Australia based on her own family history and four novels about women breaking the mould in times past. Mrs Morphett’s Macaroons is book four in her ‘Modern Women: Entertaining Edwardians’ series and is set in the world she knows and loves best. When she is not writing books she teaches theatre part-time and organises theatre trips for overseas students. 

She lives in London. She has two children and so far one grandson. 

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*BLOG TOUR* Heaven & Hell for the Tobacco Girls by Lizzie Lane

It is my pleasure to bring you my review of Heaven & Hell for the Tobacco Girls by Lizzie Lane as part of her fabulous blog tour!

Bridget Milligan has donned a uniform and joined the nursing services where she becomes intrigued with the miracles of modern medicine. She’s also torn between family loyalty, her new career and Lyndon O’Neill, the love of her life. Is it too impossible to hope that everything will come out right in the end?

Phyllis Harvey is still serving in Malta where she sees the casualties of war first hand. Finally it seems like Phyllis is blessed with true in love, but fate can sometimes be a rocky road and nothing is that certain.

Maisie Miles is left holding the home front at the tobacco factory but with the sudden death of her grandmother finds herself once more alone in the world. However, thanks to a substantial inheritance, she is able to extend a helping hand to a friend in desperate need.

There are tears and laughter, goodbyes and new arrivals along with the hope that new beginnings are not far over the horizon.

As you are aware if you follow my little blog, I am a big fan of World War II historical fiction, so I jumped at the chance to read this! I have been aware of the Tobacco Girls series for a while now, but haven’t had the time to get stuck in, so this seemed like too good an opportunity to be missed! Heaven & Hell for the Tobacco Girls follows a number of girls who originate from the Tobacco factory in Bristol.

Bridget is leaving the tobacco factory in order to train as a nursing auxiliary, as she is keen to make a real difference to those fighting in the war. But she needs to work out if she can have a career, love and family.

Phyllis has already left the tobacco factory for foreign shores. Based in Malta, she has seen the real impact of the war. Having found love, she has dreams for the future but the unpredictable nature of the war means that nothing is certain.

Maisie remains at the tobacco factory, but feels lonely as her friends leave her behind. When her Grandmother passes away and leaves her an unexpected inheritance she hopes to really help those around her.

This is a novel all about women keeping the home front running for those away fighting. It is about a group of women who want to make their mark and help with the war effort, whilst also realising how much of the world is opening up to them – they have choices, they can look for love on their own terms and they can find fulfilling work. Careers are opening up to them like never before and they are finally starting to be able to make their own decisions on how they want their lives to be.

I read Heaven & Hell for the Tobacco Girls as a standalone novel, but if I’m honest I wish I had read the others in the series first. Whilst the characters all had back stories that were mentioned, I would have preferred to have known about their stories in more detail. That’s just me though, this novel gives you more than enough information to be able to thoroughly enjoy it without having read the previous novels in the series! It was also nice to read a wartime novel not based in London. London suffered the brunt of the bombing during the Blitz, but it is often easy to forget that the whole of the country was doing everything it could for the war effort, so it was nice to read a novel set in Bristol!

I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you all. It is a great example of war fiction, but it’s also a lovely novel about women, friendship and love.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Lizzie Lane, Boldwood Books and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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Author Bio

Lizzie Lane is the author of over 50 books, a number of which have been bestsellers. She was born and bred in Bristol where many of her family worked in the cigarette and cigar factories. This has inspired her saga series for Boldwood The Tobacco Girls.

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