*BLOG TOUR* Home for Christmas by Camilla Isley

It is my pleasure to bring you my review of Home for Christmas by Camilla Isley, helping to kick off her fabulous blog tour!

Firstly let me just say – do not be put off reading this review of a novel with Christmas in the title. I know it’s February and Christmas is but a distant memory but this novel is too good for you to be scrolling past this review!

Would you share a bed with your enemy to save Christmas?

Down with a bad case of writer’s block, Riven has escaped to a mountain cabin for a prolonged writing retreat. The last thing he needs this Christmas is for his family to invade his sanctuary away from LA. What he needs even less is for a family of strangers as large and boisterous as his own to also be stuck in the same house after a double-booking disaster.

Especially when he ends up having to share a bunk bed with Wendy—a gorgeous, feisty New Yorker who quickly learns how to get under his skin.

Sharing a room with her is sweet torture and Riven isn’t even sure what he dreads more: that every passing day brings them closer to saying goodbye or that they have yet another night to spend together…

Riven is a famous author who is hiding out in a mountain cabin trying to overcome a severe case of writers block, whilst also trying to escape from his painful divorce. What he can’t escape though is his family, who insist upon him spending Christmas with them!

Wendy is a successful New York playwright, who is looking for a Christmas getaway with her family following the loss of her father. They need a new way to celebrate Christmas, and a snowy mountain retreat seems just the ticket! When a monumental mix up finds Wendy and Riven’s families sharing the mountain cabin for the holidays, of course only chaos can ensue!

This is a clear enemies to lovers romance novel – there is nothing unexpected. But that is exactly what I was looking for with this novel. Romantic comedies are supposed to be fun and light-hearted, and Home for Christmas definitely ticks all the boxes. The family dynamics were great within this novel, but the shining stars were Wendy and Riven. Both were excellent leading characters, well rounded and likeable. The tension between them was palpable, and it was so nice to follow two characters who weren’t intent on sabotaging each other. They really encouraged each other professionally, even when their working styles were so very different. There was no rivalry or jealousy – they were just really supportive of one another. Of course there was some high jinx along the way, but that just added to the fun! I can’t say I’d have been quite so forgiving as Wendy though after the ‘pink’ incident!

Home for Christmas is a standalone novel and should be read as such, but it also forms part of Camilla Isley Christmas Romantic Comedy series. If the other two novels in this series are half as good as this one I shall be grabbing myself copies!

Now for my star rating. If you have followed my reviews for a while you will know that I very rarely give out 5 stars. However, the stars clearly aligned when I picked up this book. This is the best romantic comedy novel I’ve read in a long time. It ticked all the boxes for me – great characters, light hearted fun, and a believable romance. I loved it! So I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you all. As today is publication day you have no excuse not to go out and grab yourself a copy immediately!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thank you to Camilla Isley 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

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.

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*BLOG TOUR* Spring Blooms at the Hummingbird Hotel by Daisy James

It is my pleasure to bring you my review of Spring Blooms at the Hummingbird Hotel by Daisy James as part of her fabulous blog tour!

Welcome to the Hummingbird Hotel!

When Corfu’s newest hotelier Abbie Coleman is asked to host a Bakes & Beaches retreat for a group of Bake Off enthusiasts from a regional TV and radio station, she knows she needs as much help as she can get. Baking is not her forte, and with cupcakes, traybakes, pastries and showstoppers to co-ordinate – along with a whole host of terrifyingly high-octane water sports – she’s worried that her guests’ culinary creations will be more ‘curdled catastrophes’ than ‘tasty triumphs’. For any successful enterprise, preparation is key, so, along with her new assistant manager and all-round astrological guru Felix Morgan, Abbie sets about preparing a long and detailed To Do list.

But this is the Hummingbird Hotel, and the words ‘straightforward’ and ‘drama-free’ do not feature on the menu. So, when the salted caramel cupcakes are heavier on the salt than the caramel, and a guest’s expensive watch takes an unscheduled dip in the pool, Abbie must once again join forces with chef-turned-vineyard owner – and now fiancé – Nikos Angelopoulos, to unravel the mystery and maintain the hotel’s reputation for delivering beautiful bakes instead of mayhem and mistakes.

Can she turn burnt buns into sumptuous soufflés? Or will her future on Corfu be over before it’s begun?

Book 4 in the Hummingbird Hotel series is Spring Blooms at the Hummingbird Hotel, and what a delight it was to return to the beautiful island of Corfu. Abbie Coleman, the unexpected hotelier for the Hummingbird Hotel after she inherited the beautiful location, is running a Bakes and Beaches retreat for a group of colleagues. As anticipated, nothing ever runs smoothly at the Hummingbird Hotel! With ruined baking and swimming watches, Abbie must turn sleuth to work out exactly what is happening amongst the guests at her beloved hotel!

We are back with Abbie, her fiancé Nikos and her friends on the beautiful island of Corfu. If you have been following this series, you will know that Abbie’s true passion is floral artistry, and in Spring Blooms at the Hummingbird Hotel she is looking to see if she can get back to doing what she loves, creating floral masterpieces for local hotels and businesses. With so much on her mind, Abbie is pulled in multiple directions as she seeks to run a successful hotel, achieve her floral ambitions whilst also attempting to become part of Nikos’ family if she can ever get them to meet her.

This is a great addition to the Hummingbird Hotel series. I love the setting in Corfu, and Daisy James never fails to really bring to life both the hotel and Nikos’ vineyard. You can really imagine yourself wandering amongst the vines, or relaxing by the pool. The Bakes and Beach retreat sounded fabulous, with all the characters really emerging from the pages as well rounded individuals. I really enjoyed this novel and am more than happy to recommend it to you all – make sure that you make time to pick up the other novels in this fabulous series too!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Author Bio

Daisy James loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. She especially likes to create sunshine-filled settings in exotic locations – the Caribbean, Tuscany, Cornwall, Provence – so she can spend her time envisioning her characters enjoying the fabulous scenery and sampling the local food and drink.

When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

Daisy would love to hear from readers via her Facebook page or you can follow her on Twitter @daisyjamesbooks, or on Instagram @daisyjamesstories.

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*BLOG TOUR* A New Dawn Over Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke

Today it is my pleasure to help bring to a close the fabulous blog tour for Rosie Clarke’s latest offering in the Mulberry Lane series, A New Dawn Over Mulberry Lane.

London 1958

Life has moved on since the war and the youngsters of Mulberry Lane are growing up fast.

Peggy’s Ronaski’s family is struggling with growing pains but she is always there, strong, reliable and ready to help whenever a crisis hits.

Meanwhile, Maureen Hart has family problems of her own to contend with.

Together they will work hard to conquer all of what life has to throw at them…

Join Peggy and Maureen as their siblings embark on life’s new adventures and try to forge a partnerships for success.

What does the future hold for the families and friends of Mulberry Lane?

Imagine my delight at discovering that Rosie Clarke was providing us with another novel in the wonderful Mulberry Lane series! If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you will know that I have read and reviewed each novel, and loved them all!

A New Dawn Over Mulberry Lane allows us to revisit characters that we have grown to know and love, including Peggy and Able and Maureen and Gordon. World War Two is long since over, but the friendships that were forged during that time are as strong as ever. However this novel really brings forth the next generation. Both Peggy and Maureen’s children feature heavily, as we watch them grow in both age and character. In Peggy’s case, her beloved grandchildren also play a large role within the novel. We follow them all as they find their way through post-war Britain, with big expectations for their futures. There is of course trials and tribulations, new friendships, love and even a wedding! But the stories I enjoyed the most were those of Shirley, Faye and Maggie – watching these young women and their ambitions grow, with such supportive family behind them all the way was lovely. You could really get a sense of the way times were changing, particularly for women. Rosie Clarke does such a great job of immersing us wholeheartedly into a time gone by, whilst providing us with characters that we are happy to revisit time and again. I love the Mulberry Lane series, and A New Dawn Over Mulberry Lane is a worthy addition to what is already a rich, character-based series. Peggy is, of course, the glue that holds together this fabulous community and I will always enjoy reading about her, her family and her friends. I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you, but I must insist that you work your way through the entire series!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Rosie Clarke and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful 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 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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Book Review: A Bookshop Christmas by Rachel Burton

It might not be Christmas anymore, but better late than never! Here is my review of A Bookshop Christmas by Rachel Burton.

A snowstorm. A stranger. A spark. It should be the perfect start to the perfect love story.

But real life is far messier and more complicated than in the pages of the books in Megan Taylor’s family bookshop – the last few years have left this young widow in no doubt of that. Moving back home to York should have been a fresh start, but all it did was allow her to retreat from the world.

When prize-winning author Xander Stone rams his supermarket trolley into her ankles and then trashes her taste in books, Megan is abruptly awoken from her self-imposed hibernation. It’s time to start living again, and she’s going to start by putting this arrogant, superior – admittedly sexy – stranger in his place.

Just as she is beginning to enjoy life again, the worst happens and Megan begins to wonder if she should have stayed hidden away. Because it turns out that falling in love again is about more than just meeting under the mistletoe…

So I am a little late reviewing this novel given the fact that Christmas is officially over, the presents have been unwrapped and the trees have been dismantled, but better late than never!

Megan Taylor is a young widow, who, following the loss of her beloved husband, moved back to York to her parents bookshop to grieve. Xander Stone is the award winning author Megan manages to secure for a book signing in a bid to save her bookshop – he’s arrogant, aloof but also rather attractive!

This is a novel set in York, and I have to say, it was rather refreshing to have a novel set in an English city that wasn’t London. York is such a beautiful setting and it really comes across as a city where memories are made, love can blossom and futures can start. It’s been a while since I’ve been to York, but Rachel Burton certainly made me want to visit again soon with her vivid descriptions of this cultural city.

A Bookshop Christmas is a love story – you know it from the moment you pick up the book. In fact it’s the reason that I chose to read it (that, and the fact that it is set in a bookshop!), and it is definitely a good enough reason for you to pick it up too. But the relationships that I really enjoyed within this novel were the friendships. Megans bookclub is a group of supportive women who have kept Megan safe emotionally whilst she takes the time to rebuild herself following the loss of her husband. Whilst I really enjoyed Megan and Xander’s story, it was these friendships that I particularly enjoyed. The way these women had pulled together to create a safe and nurturing environment was wonderful to follow.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you all – please don’t be put off by the Christmas theme (particularly given the fact that I am recommending it to you in February!) because it really isn’t a key focus, it’s more of a backdrop to the story. So grab yourself a copy of A Bookshop Christmas, a glass of wine and dive in!

Rating: 4 out of 5.