*BLOG TOUR* Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow

Today I am pleased to say that it is my stop on the blog tour for Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow.

Welcome to Love Heart Lane…

When Flick Simons returns to the small village of Heartcross she only expected to stay for a few days.  The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.

When a winter storm sweeps in, the only bridge connecting the village to the main land is swept away!  As the villagers pull together, Flick finds herself welcomed back by the friends she once left behind.  And as the snow begins to melt, maybe there is a chance that Fergus’s heart will thaw too…

Love Heart Lane is the first book based in Love Heart Lane, and I am pleased to confirm that it will not be the last!  It is the first novel that I have read by Christie Barlow, and I really enjoyed exploring the village of Heartcross and getting to know its inhabitants.  As you all know, I am a fan of authors who revisit places in future novels, as it often means that we get to learn about new characters, or find out more about characters we have fleetingly met, whilst also hearing about the characters we already know and love.  So as I’m sure you can imagine, I am already sitting waiting to read Foxglove Farm so that I can revisit Heartcross!

Anyway, back to Love Heart Lane.  Flick Simons is a woman living in the city, far away from her home, escaping a past full of tragedy and loss.  When her beloved Grandmother passes away, she finds herself back in her childhood home with her mother, grieving and faced with regret about the time she has lost with her Grandmother.  When the village finds itself cut off from the outside world, and Flick finds herself unable to return to the city, she is forced to face up to what, and who, she left behind.  Flick finds herself in the centre of a village which is pulling together to rescue itself, surrounded by friends and loved ones who, despite her running away years ago, welcome her back into their fold with open arms.

Fergus Campbell is Flick’s childhood sweetheart, and father to the beautiful Esme.  He is less pleased to see Flick again – when she ran away to the city, she ran away from him too.  Having finally recovered from his heartbreak, he is less than happy to find her back in the village, forgiving her seems an almost impossible task.

This is a novel about love, friends and family.  Its about loss, but it’s also about what you can find when you are forced to re-evaluate your life, whilst overcoming obstacles.  It’s about forgiveness, and it is about admitting when you were wrong.

I really enjoyed Love Heart Lane.  I loved watching a wealth of characters pull together in a time of need, forgetting past wrongs to really achieve something together.  Of course I love a bit of romance thrown in, but this was also a novel about how important friendships are, and family.  It is about discovering that you do not have to cope alone – there is always someone there if you are willing to let them in. I am more than happy to recommend this novel if you enjoy a light read, full of family, friends and romance!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to Christie Barlow 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 book in exchange for my honest review.

Author Bio

Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Love Heart Lane.  Her writing career came as somewhat of a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams.  The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA and Australia.

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for http://www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.

Website: http://www.christiebarlow.com

Twitter: @ChristieJBarlow

*BLOG TOUR* Second Chance at the Ranch by Maxine Morrey

I am very pleased to say that today is my stop on the blog tour for Second Chance at the Ranch by Maxine Morrey.

It’s never too late for a second chance at love in this uplifting and warm-hearted romance.

It’s never too late to find love…

When Juliet Scott falls for ruggedly handsome Pete while away travelling, she never imagines how different her life will be to that of her sister, successful and beautiful model Hero.  Based on a cattle station in the vast Australian Outback, Juliet’s life is now simple, down-to-earth and honest, and the perfect antidote to the chaotic celebrity lifestyle that Hero leads in the UK.

With her striking brunette hair, perfect posture, and mesmerising green eyes, it is no wonder Hero has come so far in such a superficial industry.  But when tragedy strikes, Hero finds herself in the arms of her sister, recuperating from a terrible accident on the other side of the world.

With her modelling career in tatters, and her scars more than just skin deep, Juliet worries that Hero will hide behind the mask she wears forever.  But does Australia have something, or someone, to offer that London never could?

Well…what can I say.  I am a fan of Maxine Morrey’s, having already read Winter’s Fairytale, The Christmas Holiday and The Christmas Project (click the links to check out my reviews), all of which I loved.  So I was excited when I discovered her newest novel, Second Chance at the Ranch.  This is a very different novel to Maxine’s previous offerings.  It is a little harder, a little more emotional – it doesn’t have the light-hearted edge that her other novels have.  Please do not think this is a bad thing – the grittier nature of this novel really adds to its appeal.

Hero is a top class model, with the glamorous life to match.  Her beauty is unrivalled, making her highly sought after worldwide.  When her sister Juliet falls in love with Pete and moves to the Australian outback, Hero finds herself torn between two worlds; one glamorous but superficial, and the other rough and simple but full of love.  When Hero has a tragic accident she finds herself following her sister to Australia as she tries to put back the pieces of her life.  She also finds that she can no longer hide from a past that she has spent a lifetime protecting herself from.  I am pleased to confirm that whilst this novel does have a sad side, I am pleased to confirm that we also have some romance!

I really loved all of the characters in this novel.  Hero is such a beautiful person, both inside and out.  Despite living in such a superficial world, she still retains a sense of realism.  Her anchor to the real world is her sister Juliet, another lovely, well-rounded character.  She pushes her sister to reveal her true self not only to her, but to others too.

This novel is full of sadness, tragedy and pain, but it is also the story of a sisters bond, recovery and love.  Whilst there is romance in this novel, I really felt the love between Hero and Juliet – a bond that really could not be broken.  I could not be happier to recommend this novel!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖 📕

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

Author Bio

Maxine has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember and wrote her first (very short) book for school when she was ten.

As time went by, she continued to write, but ‘normal’ work often got in the way.  She has written articles on a variety of subjects, as well as a local history book on Brighton.  However, novels are her first love.

In August 2015, she won Harper Collins/Carina UK’s ‘Write Christmas’ competition with her first romantic comedy Winters Fairytale.

Maxine lives on the south coast of England, and when not wrangling with words loves to read, sew and listen to podcasts.  Being a fan of tea and cake, she can (should!) also be found doing something vaguely physical at the gym.

*BLOG TOUR* Island of Secrets by Diane Demetre

Today it is my pleasure to bring you Island of Secrets by Diane Demetre, as part of her blog tour.

Two love stories separated in time.  Two women following their dreams.  In a paradise littered with painful secrets, will love turn the tide?

1973.  Cecilia “CiCi” Freemont has a restless soul and the voice of an angel.  Leaving her privileged upbringing behind, she chases her dreams to the sandy beaches of an unspoiled Hawaiian paradise, Harbor Island.  But life takes an unexpected turn when she falls for the island’s heir-apparent and her newfound adventure becomes too much to bear…

2017. Investigative journalist Tina Templeton has dedicated herself to the pursuit of truth.  But when she inherits Harbor Island, her career plans take a confusing twist.  Managing the sprawling island estate is a tough business even with the help of ageing cabaret singer, CiCi Fremont.  Especially when a massive ecological disaster threatens to destroy her beautiful beaches – and the responding coast guard captain steals her heart.

As the investigation into the disaster reveals a 40-year-old mystery that could change their lives forever, will Tina find love among the secrets, or will CiCi’s painful past dash her dreams on the rocks?

I regularly enjoy a dual timeline novel, and this was no exception. In fact, it was probably a little easier to read, because rather than having two stories set in different eras running at the same time, they are very clearly defined and separated.  In part one we find ourselves in 1973 following CicCi Freemont, a free-spirited young woman who unexpectedly finds herself on Harbor Island, a Hawaiian paradise that is seemingly separated from civilisation.

In part two we move forwards in time to 2017 where we meet Tina Templeton, an Investigative Journalist.  When she unexpectedly inherits Harbor Island from her uncle, Tina finds herself back on the island where she spent many happy childhood summers.  Taking on the responsibility of managing such a historic island comes with its own difficulties, particularly when Tina finds herself joint owner with her brother Sebastien, a man with his own agenda.  With the arrival of the mysterious cabaret singer, CiCi Freemont, and the huge ecological disaster that appears to be happening on her beaches, Tina finds herself fighting to save the island that she never expected to call home.

CiCi and Tina are two very different characters, which I feel helps to differentiate between the two time periods.  CiCi can be described as a free-spirit, someone who is trying to escape her privileged but stifling upbringing.  I think it is clear that she is a little lost in the world, struggling to find where she fits and what she really wants.  Tina is very ambitious: she knows what she wants, and she strives to achieve it.  When she finds herself unexpectedly back on Harbor Island following the death of her beloved Uncle Dickie, she is thrown off course, and made to question everything that she has come to know about both herself and what she really wants from her life.

Island of Secrets is beautiful novel about love, loss and finding yourself in the most unexpected of places.  Harbor Island is a lost gem; it is a Hawaiian paradise hidden from the world, with traditional practices, untouched by the outside world.  It is the perfect setting for such a lovely novel.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel – I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to Diane Demetre and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for asking me to be a part of this blog tour.

Author Bio

Diane began her career as a school teacher before moving onto the entertainment industry as a choreographer, director, event manager, dancer and actress, working in television and live theatre, and managing multi-million dollar productions.

Following her onstage career, she spent many years as a stress & life skills therapist, keynote speaker and presenter, appearing on national radio and television.

When she launched into a writing career, Diane’s debut erotic romance series, the Dance of Love was voted Luminosity Publishing Readers’ Choice Best Books and Best Covers for 2015 and 2016.

Her romantic suspense, Retribution won the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Pro Award 2017 for Best Unpublished Manuscript. Diane loves to write genre-busting stories with a twist.  Her works are packed with emotional punch and featured empowered heroines who live life to the fullest, much like the author herself.