*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

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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.

Book Review: Charlotte by Helen Moffett

I am very pleased to bring you my review of Charlotte by Helen Moffett.

For fans of Longbourn and The Other Bennet Sister, this beautifully told story of marriage, duty and friendship follows Charlotte’s story from where Pride and Prejudice ends.

Everybody believes that Charlotte Lucas has no prospects. She is unmarried, plain, poor and reaching a dangerous age.

But when she stuns the neighbourhood by accepting the proposal of buffoonish clergyman Mr Collins, her fortunes change. Her best friend Lizzy Bennet is appalled by her decision, yet Charlotte knows this is the only way to provide for her future.

What she doesn’t know is that her married life will propel her into a new world: not only of duty and longed-for children, but secrets, grief, unexpected love and friendship, and a kind of freedom.

I have had this book for a little while, along with Longbourn by Jo Baker. Pride and Prejudice is my favourite book – it’s like a comfort blanket. When I’m struggling to read, or don’t know what book to pick up next, Pride and Prejudice is always the right book to fill that gap. So I love the idea of reading other peoples take on characters from such an important novel to me. But I then get a little scared to actually pick them up and read them. What if those authors ruin the characters? What if their view of Pride and Prejudice is different to mine? So I have put off reading these novels, because I couldn’t face the disappointment. I finally gave myself a talking to though, and picked up Charlotte by Helen Moffett.

Charlotte Lucas plays a relatively minor role in Pride and Prejudice, despite being Lizzy Bennet’s best friend. At 27 years old, the community has written her off as a spinster at a time when marriage was the only thing that could provide security to a young woman of her standing. Her sudden marriage to the incomprehensible Mr Collins causes upset within the Bennet household, and places an immense strain on Charlotte’s relationship with Lizzy. Mr Collins is depicted as a buffoon; very little intelligence with an unhealthy obsession with the upper classes, namely Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Due to this, Lizzy cannot believe that someone of Charlotte’s intelligence would marry him of her own free will.

Charlotte gives us such a clear insight into the life of Charlotte Collins and the decisions she makes, along with the reasons why. Helen Moffett has achieved what I hoped she would – a clear, smooth link to Pride and Prejudice. She understands Jane Austen in a way that I had really hoped for. She depicts Charlotte in exactly the way I imagined her to be – a practical woman looking for security, but hopeful for a peaceful, meaningful life.

I really loved this novel. I loved following Charlotte, and I surprisingly enjoyed learning a little more about Mr Collins, a character with more depth than we could really see or imagine in Pride and Prejudice. Helen Moffett has respected Austen’s work, and provided us with a new story that is completely sympathetic to a novel that I, and many others, love. I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you all. If you love Pride and Prejudice then this is definitely the novel for you.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

BLOG TOUR: Heartcross Castle by Christie Barlow

It is my pleasure to bring you my review of Heartcross Castle by Christie Barlow as part of her fabulous blog tour!

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what

A second chance…

When her grandfather Marley passes away Grace Power discovers she’s been left the beautiful but crumbling estate of Heartcross Castle. As a single mum of three, Grace has no idea what she’s going to do with it – but who can say no to a roof over their kids’ heads and a chance to get away from past hurts?

And a forever home

Heartcross Castle is full of secrets – especially a lost security deposit box that holds the truth to everything… But when celebrity chef Andrew Glossop sets his eyes on the castle and, to make matters worse, mistakes Grace as the new housekeeper, Grace tells him there is absolutely NO CHANCE he is getting his hands on her home.

Devastated to have got it so wrong, Andrew will do anything to make it up to her – but is she willing to listen?

I am always pleased when Christie Barlow releases another Love Heart Lane story, they are always full of family, friendship and love, and I am pleased to confirm that Heartcross Castle is no exception!

Grace Power is a mother to 3 boys, with a very difficult home life. She has spent years struggling after running away from home, but when she finds out that her Grandfather has passed away and left her Heartcross Castle, she finally sees a way to improve the future for herself and her beloved sons.

Upon arrival, she discovers that the Heartcross Castle she remembered is now unloved and crumbling. With celebrity chef Andrew Glossop living next door and clearly with his eyes on the castle, Grace will need to decide whether to work to retain the legacy of the Grandfather or take the money and secure her future.

Heartcross Castle is one of my favourite novels in the Love Heart Lane series. I loved Grace and her wonderful boys – Christie Barlow really highlights the difficulties of single motherhood, whilst showing how hard mothers work to give their children the best life possible. She really shows what you can achieve with very little money. Andrew Glossop is an equally great character, someone from an incredibly privileged background but with a less than ideal family life, proving that money isn’t always everything.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel, its an excellent addition to what is already a fab series!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thank you to Christie Barlow 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.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

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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.

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*BLOG TOUR* War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm by Rosie Clarke

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm by Rosie Clarke as part of her fabulous blog tour!

Cambridgeshire – March 1939

As the clouds of war begin to gather in Europe, the Talbot family of rural Blackberry Farm will be torn apart, just as so many families all over the world will be. Life will never be the same again.

Whilst in London, the Salmons family will feel the pain of parting and loss.

Brought together by war, the two families become intertwined and, as the outlook looks bleak, they must draw on each other’s strength to fight through the hard times.

Lizzie Johnson and Tom were sweethearts until a mistake caused a terrible rift. Lizzie takes herself off to London to heal the pain in a glamorous new job but she still loves Tom. His pride has been hurt – but deep down inside Tom still cares. Can they find happiness before their chance is gone and the whole word is swept into the terrible madness of war?

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you will know that I am a huge fan of Rosie Clarke’s Mulberry Lane series so when I was offered the opportunity to read War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm, the first in a new saga series, I jumped at the chance! I am pleased to confirm that I was not disappointed – Rosie Clarke knows how to write a good saga series!

In this first novel we are introduced to Lizzie and Tom, childhood sweethearts who are living under the cloud of a looming war. When a shocking incident occurs, Lizzie finds herself fleeing her home and heading for London where she aims to throw herself into her hairdressing. She has always wanted to compete with her hairdressing, and when she finds herself safe lodgings and a good salon, she finds herself attempting to heal, despite pining for her lost love with Tom.

Tom is hot headed and sometimes struggles to contain his anger. But he knows he would never hurt Lizzie, and he finds himself caring for her, despite what has happened in the past. As war becomes inevitable, Tom finds himself longing to bring Lizzie back home, away from the city in order to keep her safe.

I really liked both Tom and Lizzie’s characters – their thoughts and actions are very fitting for the time period but it was nice to see Lizzie’s ambitions shining through, despite what has happened to her. Rosie Clarke’s real success in her storytelling is her characterisation, and War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm is no exception. The themes of family, love and loss run strongly through her novels and they are clear to see here. The love and support within the Talbot family is beautifully described which left me keen to know more about other family members. It was also nice to see the clear contrast between rural and city life in 1939. With the Mulberry Lane series being set in London, I actually really enjoyed reading more about rural life in Britain as war started to become a certainty for all.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you all – I personally can’t wait for the release of the next in this historical saga series!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Rosie Clarke and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be part of this fabulous 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 an RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire.

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*BLOG TOUR* The Girl from Bletchley Park by Kathleen McGurl

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of The Girl from Bletchley Park by Kathleen McGurl as part of her fabulous blog tour!

A country at war. A heartbreaking betrayal. 

1942. Three years into the war, Pam turns down her hard-won place at Oxford University to become a codebreaker at Bletchley Park. There, she meets two young men, both keen to impress her, and Pam finds herself falling hard for one of them. But as the country’s future becomes more uncertain by the day, a tragic turn of events casts doubt on her choice – and Pam’s loyalty is pushed to its limits…

Present day. Julia is struggling to juggle her career, two children and a husband increasingly jealous of her success. Her brother presents her with the perfect distraction: forgotten photos of their grandmother as a young woman at Bletchley Park. Why did her grandmother never speak of her time there? The search for answers leads Julia to an incredible tale of betrayal and bravery – one that inspires some huge decisions of her own…

If you follow my blog, you will know that I am a big fan of WWII fiction – having a split timeline novel is a great way of reading about something more contemporary whilst also following a story from the past. Kathleen McGurl has managed to write the dual timeline in a very effective way. The characters in both timelines are loosely linked, but the stories are obviously so different that there is no room for confusion. I also liked the fact that she has kept the total number of characters to a minimum. I sometimes find dual timeline novels a little confusing if there are too many characters involved – I find myself losing the thread of each story, so I am pleased to confirm that this did not happen with The Girl at Bletchley Park!

Pam is a young woman who knows her numbers. When she finds herself being offered a position at Bletchley Park thanks to her math skills, she is keen to throw herself into the work knowing that in some small way she will be helping the war effort. Having signed the Official Secrets Act, Pam takes the confidentiality of her work very seriously, not even discussing what she does with those she works with. When she meets two young men, both of whom try to catch her eye, she finds herself experiencing freedom and love for the first time. Working at Bletchley Park could never be that straight forward though!

Julia, Pam’s Granddaughter, is struggling to find a good balance in her life, as she tries to look after her sons, maintain a successful business and keep her marriage alive in the face of her husbands jealousy at her success. When her brother gives her a box of photographs of their late Grandmother, she is keen to find out more about Pam’s time at Bletchley Park, something none of them knew anything about. Finding out more about her Garndmothers incredible life might just help Julia re-evaluate her own life choices.

This was such a lovely novel that really brings to life the important work that was carried out at Bletchley Park – in so many novels the focus is on frontline fighting, whether that be soldiers or pilots, so it’s nice to see the work that was going on behind the scenes being highlighted in this way. I really enjoyed following the characters in both timelines. They were believable, well rounded characters for whom I had empathy. I could really understand Julia’s position as a mother, wife and a business woman, and I really felt for her as she fought to create balance between her numerous roles in life. Pam also really fascinated me – I loved her morals in terms of her commitment to the job as well as her commitment to secrecy. She understood the importance of her role in the war, and she relished that.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you all – it will make you want to learn more about Bletchley Park and its significance in the war effort, whilst also providing you with lovely character stories.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Kathleen McGurl 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 Links

Amazon UK

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Author Bio

Kathleen McGurl lives near the coast in Christchurch, England. She writes dual timeline novels in which a historical mystery is uncovered and resolved in the present day. She is married to an Irishman and has two adult sons. She enjoys travelling, especially in her motorhome around Europe.

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Book Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of Beach Read by Emily Henry.

TWO WRITERS, ONE HOLIDAY. A ROMCOM WAITING TO HAPPEN…

January is a hopeless romantic who narrates her life like she’s the lead in a blockbuster movie.

Gus is a serious literary type who thinks true love is a fairy-tale.

But January and Gus have more in common than you’d think:

They’re both broke.

They’ve got crippling writer’s block.

And they need to write bestsellers before summer ends.

The result? A bet to swap genres and see who gets published first.

The risk? In telling each other’s stories, their worlds might be changed entirely…

Set over one sizzling summer, Beach Read is a witty love story that will make you laugh a lot, cry a little and fall head over heels. For fans of The Flat Share and If I Never Met You.

January Andrews is a romance writer with writers block. She has always had a romantic view of the world, despite the traumas she had faced with her parents, their love for each other never ceased to amaze or inspire her. A sudden loss made her question everything.

Augustus Everitt is also an author, and a successful one. He also just so happens to be January’s nemesis from college. Ever critical of her work, January can’t help but despise Gus, even if she can’t quite forget that one night…

When January and Gus find themselves living next door to each other, each with their own demons to fight and severe writers block, a flippant writing bet might be just the thing they both need.

Beach Read is not your typical romance novel. January and Gus are both troubled souls who are each trying to make sense of their pasts. The bet becomes a lifeline for them both, as they seek to learn each others chosen genres while spending more and more time together.

Beach Read is full of loss, anger and confusion. But it is also full of love, family and longing. There’s some hot and heavy scenes but also some tender and emotional moments that are beautifully captured by the author. I haven’t read anything by Emily Henry before but Beach Read will certainly not be the last novel of hers that I read.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel – if you want some serious character chemistry with great backstories, then this could well be the book for you!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Purchase Link

Amazon UK

*BLOG TOUR* Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop by Jessica Redland

It is my pleasure to bring you my review of Jessica Redland’s Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop, as well as helping to kick off her fabulous blog tour!

Sometimes you just need a little Christmas magic to make your wishes come true…

When master chocolatier, Charlee, takes the leap to move to the picturesque seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, she is determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and set up a chocolate shop.

Luckily, she finds the perfect location for Charlee’s Chocolates on beautiful Castle Street… Now she just has to refurbish it in time for Christmas!

With a useless boyfriend and countless DIY disasters, Charlee doesn’t know if she’ll make it in time. With no ‘traditional’ family to support her, she feels lost in her new surroundings and the secrets of the past are weighing her down.

But the warmth and festive spirit of the Whitsborough Bay community will surprise her, and when plumber, Matt, comes to the rescue, it might be that all of Charlee’s dreams could come true this Christmas, and she could learn what family really means…

Escape to Castle Street for the perfect uplifting, festive read from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland. Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop was originally released as Charlee and the Chocolate Shop. Now re-released with a new title and new cover, this version has been freshly edited and features several new chapters.

Firstly, I know what you’re thinking – it’s October. Christmas is so far away! Well that is simply not true, there’s only just over ten weeks to go until the big man makes an appearance down our chimneys! So with that in mind, I was more than happy to read my first official Christmas novel of the year!

Charlee has lost her grandparents, so with nothing holding her back, she finds herself following her boyfriend Ricky to the beautiful Whitsborough Bay. With her inheritance providing her with the opportunity to finally open her own chocolate shop just like her grandfather did, Charlee is so excited when the opportunity arises for a shop on the picturesque Castle Street.

With Ricky being less than helpful, and Charlee faced with numerous obstacles, she begins to wonder if her dreams of opening her chocolate shop before Christmas were misplaced.

Firstly I think I should say that whilst this novel is focussed on a chocolate shop opening at Christmas, it is not entirely a Christmas novel. So there should be no guilt felt when reading this book in October! I really enjoyed Charlee’s character – the way that she dealt with her relationship with Ricky was a little irritating (I think another person may have moved on a little sooner), but when you understand her position, that she has no family, you begin to understand why she is reluctant to let go of him. Her passion for her craft is lovely, and her ambition really drives her forward with the opening of her shop. Of course, Matt the plumber also adds a little something to the mix!

Whitsborough Bay sounds wonderful – it is the perfect location for Charlee’s Chocolates, and the atmosphere of Castle Street really comes across through the pages. The sense of community and belonging is exactly what Charlee needs in her life! In fact, we could all do with a Castle Street in our lives!

I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you all. It’s filled with chocolate, friendship, community spirit and Christmas! What more could you want as we enter Autumn and start the countdown to the Christmas festivities! Even better, Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop is book one in the Christmas on Castle Street series! I look forward to revisiting Castle Street soon.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Jessica Redland, Boldwood Books 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.

Purchase Link

Amazon UK

Author Bio

Jessica Redland writes uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community set in Yorkshire where she lives. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast and her Hedgehog Hollow series takes them into beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds. 

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*BLOG TOUR* Snug in Iceland by Victoria Walker

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of Snug in Iceland by Victoria Walker on the first day of her fabulous blog tour!

Rachel Richards is stuck in a rut. Her boyfriend Adam barely notices her most of the time and her life in London isn’t as exciting as it should be. When the company she works for, Snug, asks her to oversee the opening of a new store in Iceland, she jumps at the chance for a change of scenery. Exploring Reykjavik with the help of Icelandic tour guide Jonas, Rachel discovers that life is out there waiting to be lived. As she falls in love with Iceland, she begins to see what is important to her and wonders whether the life she left behind is what she wants after all…

Rachel Richards loves her job. She also loves her boyfriend, Adam. But she’s feeling more than a little neglected, so when she is offered the opportunity to oversee the setting up of a new store for her company Snug, she jumps at the chance! Even better is that the new store is in Iceland! Excited to see a new city, and with high hopes that a little time apart will shake up her relationship with Adam, Rachel throws herself into life in Reykjavik. With the help of Icelandic tour guide Jonas, Rachel’s eyes are truly opened to a new way of life, forcing her to really think about what she wants from life. With Adam really lacking in the boyfriend department, maybe the handsome Jonas and her new surroundings will show Rachel that she needs a new direction for her life.

I was so excited to read this novel – Reykjavik and Iceland are at the top of my travel list (if I ever manage to get back on a plane – pandemics are the worst!), so I was keen to soak up every part of this novel in the hope that Victoria Walker would be able to transport me there. I am pleased to confirm that she succeeded. Her description of Reykjavik and its surrounding area were just beautiful. I wanted to be on the tours with Rachel as she explored the beauty of Iceland (I’d have also quite liked to have been with her tour guide – Jonas sounds delicious!)

The story though really was lovely. It was nice to follow a female character who was driven – rather than giving up the amazing opportunity in order to please her boyfriend, she grabbed it with both hands and really followed it through. Of course there is romance in this novel, but I really enjoyed how this was actually a novel about a woman looking for something more from her life, and actually making it happen for herself.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel – if the beautiful cover doesn’t draw you in, then I hope my review has!

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 fabulous blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase Link

Amazon UK

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Author Bio

Victoria Walker lives in the Malvern Hills with her husband and two teenage children. She is an avid reader of contemporary romance but tempers this addiction by being a member of a book club where she is often surprised by her enjoyment of other genres. She also loves sewing and knitting and Scandinavian dramas.

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