*BLOG TOUR* Make It Up To You by Lucy Keeling

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Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of Make It Up To You by Lucy Keeling as part of the blog tour.

What do mascara wands and gardening shears have in common? 

Absolutely nothing! At least that’s what wannabe beauty influencer Sophie Timney thinks when her friend Polly suggests involving her brother Marcus in Sophie’s make-up tutorials. She needs more views, Marcus needs promotion for his gardening business – in Polly’s mind joining forces will help them both. Sophie isn’t so sure.

Because Marcus Bowman has a habit of getting under her skin in a way that no exfoliating face scrub ever could. But, as the views and comments on her videos begin creeping up, it becomes increasingly obvious that Sophie’s subscribers like Marcus, and what’s even worse is that Sophie might be starting to feel the same way …

So the premise of this novel had me intrigued; how on earth can a make-up blogger and a gardener work together?! The idea of two such different personalities and career paths crossing in a mutually beneficial way seemed more than a little hard to believe but I was more than willing to give it a try.  Thankfully, Lucy Keeling seems to know what she is doing!

Make It Up To You is obviously a light-hearted rom-com, but it was nice to see such a strong, ambitious female lead character.  Sophie Timney is a make up blogger who has a very clear plan for her blog, which will ultimately culminate in her being able to quit her bar job to focus on her chosen career path.  She has grown her blog with her make up tutorials, but despite her planning, she finds her number of followers stalling.  When her best friend Polly suggests that she teams up with her brother Marcus, a budding landscape gardener who is also seeking to increase his business, she is initially sceptical.  Particularly considering their shared history.  What ensues proves to be a lucrative business arrangement for the both of them.  What Sophie doesn’t plan for though is her rising feelings for the very attractive Marcus.  Their easy-going, comfortable relationship has the potential to seriously impact on her plan.  The plan that she won’t allow anything or anyone to sidetrack.

Make It Up To You is a really light, fun novel about two equally ambitious characters, some fab female relationships, and highlights the great things that can happen if you occasionally deviate from your life plans.  This novel is perfect for those cozy Sunday afternoons in front of a roaring fire with a nice glass of wine.  If we have to put up with the changing seasons and weather, then we may as well open up our imaginations to a shirtless Marcus working in Sophie’s garden!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to Lucy Keeling and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase Links

Kindle UK: https://amzn.to/2ylSO92

Kindle US: https://amzn.to/2YAZJty

Author Bio

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Lucy Keeling is an author writing fun, sexy, stories with all of the happily ever afters. When she’s not typing at the kitchen table, she’s arranging and then re-arranging to see her friends for the occasional spot of day drinking. Lucy is currently writing the third book in a Contemporary Romance series, the first of which has been Shortlisted by Choc-Lit ‘Search for a Star’ Competition.

Facebook Page: @lucykeelingbooks 

Twitter: @Lucy_K_Author

Instagram: @lucy_k_author

*BLOG TOUR* Christmas at Pennington’s by Rachel Brimble

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It is my pleasure to help kick off the blog tour for Rachel Brimble’s Christmas at Pennington’s on publication day!

Gripping drama as Pennington’s department store prepares for a glittering Christmas in 1911, but a killer stalks the women of Bath.

Christmas sees Pennington’s at its most glorious, thronged with shoppers, its grand staircase and balcony adorned with holly, mistletoe, tinsel and lights.  It should be the happiest time, but dramas are seething beneath the surface.

For Cornelia Culford, in charge of jewellery, a divorce hearing looms, where she could lose custody of her young sons to her overbearing and unfaithful husband.

For Stephen Gower, being head of security at Pennington’s is the perfect refuge from a tragic past at Scotland Yard.  But soon the past will call him back, as Joseph Carter and Elizabeth Pennington beg him to help solve the murder of Joseph’s first wife, now that it seems as if the killer has struck again.

For Joseph and Elizabeth, their marriage depends on exorcising the past.  But can it ever be laid to rest?

I was very happy to be able to get my hands on Christmas at Pennington’s having already read and reviewed The Mistress of Pennington’s and A Rebel at Pennington’s both of which I loved.  I really enjoy reading historical series, as they give us the opportunity to not only revisit some beloved characters, but also a specific time period.  As you will be aware if you follow me, you will know that historical novels set during periods of war are normally my favourite, but the Pennington’s series has been a very welcome change.

Christmas at Pennington’s focuses on Cornelia Culford, Lawrence Culfords sister, who we met briefly in A Rebel at Pennington’s.  She is attempting to rebuild her life, after leaving her controlling and unfaithful husband.  Divorce at that time was very much frowned upon, and so for her, there is the very real possibility that she won’t be granted the divorce, or that she could lose her beloved sons to her husband.  Her sister-in-law Esther manages to get her job at Pennington’s, enabling her to start building a more independent life where she can focus on herself and her children.

Stephen Gower is a broken man.  He leaves his career at Scotland Yard behind as he joins the security team at Pennington’s, running away from tragedy in his past.  However as a detective he finds himself unable to ignore the murder of a young women.  Joseph Carter and his wife Elizabeth draw him further into the unsolved case, as they request his help finding the murderer of Joseph’s first wife.

Christmas at Pennington’s enables us to catch up with our friends, Elizabeth and Joseph, Esther and Lawrence as well as introducing us to new characters Cornelia and Stephen.  The female characters in this series are all strong, independent women who are fighting for their place in the world at a time when men are leading the way.  I really enjoyed following Cornelia as she joined an already impressive group of women who know what they want, and will work hard to get it.

In addition we learn more about Bath, and more specifically Pennington’s department store.  Its opulence and character are even more pronounced in this novel, as it is dressed for Christmas and bustling with customers.  I am already looking forward to the next novel in the series, to see where Pennington’s takes us next!

I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you all.  Whilst it can be read as a standalone, I think you’d be missing out on learning more about some really wonderful characters.  So maybe go and grab yourself the series so far!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to Rachel Brimble and Vicky Joss at Aria for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

About the author

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Rachel Brimble lives in Wiltshire with her husband of twenty years, two teenage daughters and her beloved chocolate Labrador, Tyler.  Multi-published in the US, she is thrilled to have a new beginning writing for Aria in the UK.  When Rachel isn’t writing, she enjoys reading across the genres, knitting and walking the English countryside with her family…often stopping off at a country pub for lunch and a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Facebook: @RachelBrimble

Twitter: @RachelBrimble

 

*BLOG TOUR* The Women of Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke

I am very pleased to bring you The Women of Mulberry Lane on day two of Rosie Clarke’s lovely blog tour!

The war is nearly over – or is it?

The women of Mulberry Lane anxiously wait for news. Peggy doesn’t know if she’ll ever again see Able, the American father of her twins, while a very odd letter from estranged husband, Laurie threatens to set the cat among the pigeons. Rose can’t stop loving Jimmy while Tom can’t stop loving her. Will Gordon never again be the man he once was? Can he be a proper husband to Maureen and if he can’t, what will become of their marriage? The men, women and children of Mulberry Lane fight on with indomitable spirit, as the endgame of the Second World War enters its most deadly phase.

The Women of Mulberry Lane is the fifth and final book in Rosie Clarke’s Mulberry Lane series.  This series follows a number of women as they find themselves on the streets of London, keeping their homes and families running in the midst of the Blitz, all whilst awaiting news of their loved ones who are out fighting.

Peggy, the landlady at the Pig & Whistle, is a central female figure in Mulberry Lane.  She has experienced heartache and pain throughout the war yet still strives to help anyone in need.  She desperately awaits news of her American soldier, Able, father to her now toddler twins, but is shocked to receive a letter from her estranged husband Laurie.  Maureen, another strong woman on the lanes, finds herself trying to help her husband Gordon who has struggled with his life after he was injured at war whilst she also looks after their growing family.  Finally, Rose, the new woman on the lanes introduced in New Arrivals at Mulberry Lane,, finds herself waiting for her fiancée Jimmy while he is away fighting, all whilst Tom watches, loving her from a distance.

World War Two is in its final stages, but love, loss, hope and tragedy are all still ever present on Mulberry Lane as the women all strive to keep their families and friends safe and together.  The Women of Mulberry Lane is a fitting end to this wonderful series; I have enjoyed following these strong, amazing women on their journey through one of the most brutal times in our history.  I cannot recommend this series enough; if you like historical fiction then these five novels are for you.  If you just enjoy reading about strong, courageous women then these five novels are still for you.

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖 📕

Thank you to Vicky Joss at Aria for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this novel.

About the Author

 

Rosie is happily married and lives in a quiet village in East Anglia. Writing books is a passion for Rosie, she also likes to read, watch good films and enjoys holidays in the sunshine. She loves shoes and adores animals, especially squirrels and dogs.

 

Follow Rosie:

Website: http://www.rosieclarke.co.uk/

Twitter: @AnneHerries

 

Pre-order Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JvWREY

Kobo: http://bit.ly/32fn8jj

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2Jti6IR

iBooks: https://apple.co/2SqIbLu

 

Follow Aria:

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

*BLOG TOUR* Coming Home to Wishington Bay by Maxine Morrey

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Happy Publication Day to Maxine Morrey! I am very pleased to be able to help kick off her blog tour for Coming Home to Wishingon Bay today!

Home is where the heart is…

Holly doesn’t have time for a holiday this year. But when her job threatens to send her over the brink, her boss insists she take a sabbatical. So she packs her bags and escapes to her beloved grandmother Gigi’s house on Wishington Bay, which has sat empty since Gigi passed away.

But Holly’s dreams of a coastal escape take an unexpected turn. Holly didn’t expect to spend time with any man this summer – let alone an Aussie Adonis…but when she meets her next door neighbour Gabe and his little dog Bryan, it’s clear her quiet summer of strolling along the sand and wandering through the seaside village’s tiny streets on her own will come with a hefty dose of distraction.

With a summer to fill and Gigi’s wonderful and surprising house to sort through, Holly knew it would be a summer packed with old memories. She just didn’t expect to make so many new ones…

As I am sure you are well aware, I am a big fan of Maxine Morrey’s.  She has recently released some grittier novels, but with Coming Home to Wishington Bay she returns to her writing roots with this fab rom-com!

Holly is a workaholic, with little time for anything other than the office.  When her panic attacks finally get the better of her, her boss forces her to take a sabbatical and so she finds herself returning to Wishington Bay and her beloved Grandmother Gigi’s old house.  Holly throws herself into her new project; a summer getting her inherited house ready for sale.

Gabe is Holly’s new neighbour; the Australian hunk of a man who had moved into the cottage next door whilst Gigi was still alive.  Whilst their first meeting was less than ideal, Holly and Gabe find themselves spending time together as they bond over both Gigi and Gabe’s pet dog, Bryan.

This is a story about two people who are pushed together, and are ultimately forced to consider what they really want from life.  Two workaholics who find themselves re-evaluating their lives, looking for something simpler that makes them happy.  This is a story about soul-searching, regret, love and happiness – it’s about going back to your roots to work out exactly what you want from life to make you happy.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel – Maxine Morrey has yet again succeeded in creating a fabulous story that reels you in, with characters that are both loveable and relateable.  I’m already looking forward to reading her next 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 for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Purchase Links:

UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Coming-Home-Wishington-Maxine-Morrey-ebook/dp/B07JH9MW41

US – https://www.amazon.com/Coming-Home-Wishington-Maxine-Morrey-ebook/dp/B07JH9MW41

Author Bio

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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, ‘Winter’s 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.

Follow Maxine Morrey

Website           www.scribblermaxi.co.uk

Twitter               @Scribbler_Maxi

Instagram           @scribbler_maxi

Facebook            www.Facebook.com/MaxineMorreyAuthor

Pinterest            ScribblerMaxi

*BLOG TOUR* A View to a Kilt by Wendy Holden

 

Today it is my pleasure to bring you A View to a Kilt by Wendy Holden as part of her blog tour.

Forget about Cool Britannia and Gallic Chic.  Scotland is having a fashion moment.

London’s most glamorous glossy magazine is in trouble.  Advertising revenues are non existent, and if editor Laura Lake can’t pick them up, she’s out of a job.

According to those in the know, Scotland is having a fashion moment.  Haggis tempura is on Michelin-starred menus, smart spas are offering porridge facials, and a chain of eco-hotels is offering celebrity bagpipe lessons.  So Laura’s off to a baronial estate in the Scottish Highlands to get a slice of this ultra-high-end market.

It’s supposed to be gorgeous, glitzy and glamorous.  But intrigue follows Laura like night follows day.  And at Glenravish Castle – a shooting lodge fit for a billionaire – Laura finds herself hunting for a scoop that won’t just save her job, it could save her life…

I must admit to having never read a Wendy Holden novel before, but I can now confirm that A View to a Kilt will definitely not be the last Wendy Holden novel that I read!

Laura Lake is the editor of the award winning magazine Society, a magazine famed for its exposes and hard hitting articles about topics that other glossy magazines won’t touch.  When Laura’s long-standing CEO Christopher retires, she finds herself managed by the wildly different Bev Sweet, a woman with big plans but no budget.  With advertising revenue at an all time low, she sets Laura the impossible task of bringing huge amounts of revenue for the next issue or find herself out of a job.

Finding herself set up to produce a Scottish issue Laura finds herself in Scotland, away from her boyfriend Harry at a crucial point in their relationship and at Glenravish Castle, guest to the eccentric Sandy McRavish.  What follows can only be described as entertaining and comical! This really is a laugh out loud novel – there were twists that I was not expecting at all, so for a light-hearted, entertaining read you are still kept on your toes!  I loved reading about Scotland, Holden’s descriptions are so vivid – they could definitely be used as a Scottish sales tool – it has certainly made me want to visit those rolling mountains and lochs.

Anyway, back to the book.  This really is a fab read, and I am more than happy to recommend it to you all.  It is perfect for a cosy Sunday afternoon read on a rainy day, or equally as perfect when sat on a beach with a cocktail in hand – read it anytime, anywhere.  I’m already considering my next Wendy Holden read…feel free to throw your suggestions at me!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to Wendy Holden and Victoria Joss at Head of Zeus for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this book.  All opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.

Author bio

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number-one bestselling author Wendy Holden was a journalist on Tatler, The Sunday Times, and the Mail on Sunday before becoming an author.  She has since written ten consecutive Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers.  She lives in Derbyshire.

Visit her website at http://www.wendyholden.net

Follow Wendy:

Facebook: @WendyHoldenAuthor

Twitter: @Wendy_Holden

Follow Head of Zeus:

Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

Twitter: @Hoz_Books

Facebook: @headofzeus

*BLOG TOUR* Maybe Baby by Carol Thomas

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Today it is my turn on the blog tour for Maybe Baby by Carol Thomas.

Just when you thought you had it all worked out …

Best friends Lisa and Felicity think  – maybe, just maybe – they finally have everything sorted out in their lives.

Lisa is in a happy relationship with her old flame, and busy mum Felicity has managed to reignite the passion with her husband, Pete after a romantic getaway.

But when Lisa walks in on a half-naked woman in her boyfriend’s flat and Felicity is left reeling from a shocking discovery, it becomes clear that life is nothing but full of surprises …

I have never read anything by Carol Thomas before, so Maybe Baby seemed like a good place to start! I should point out that Maybe Baby is the second book in the Lisa Blake series (the first is The Purrfect Pet Sitter) but I didn’t feel like I was missing out having not read the first book in this series.  I am therefore happy to confirm that it can be read as a standalone novel.

Maybe Baby follows best friends Lisa and Felicity.  Lisa has returned home after ending a turbulent relationship, and finds herself rekindling a relationship with Nathan, a hunky fireman and her childhood sweetheart.

Felicity is happily married to Pete, and mother to their four beautiful children.  With the passion in her marriage reignited, and her friendship with Lisa at an all time high she feels that everything is finally falling into place.

When life throws both Felicity and Lisa a curveball, they find themselves drawn closer together as they support each other through the trials that they are pushed to overcome.

Maybe Baby is a story about love and loss but most importantly, it is about friendship and how important that can be.  It’s about realising your own potential and what you can achieve when you have the support of those that you love.

This is such a lovely, easy-read novel.  I am more than happy to recommend it – best read with a glass of wine in front of a roaring fire!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to Carol Thomas 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.  All opinions offered are my own.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Maybe-Baby-friendship-humour-Blake-ebook/dp/B07NKQVL96

US – https://www.amazon.com/Maybe-Baby-friendship-humour-Blake-ebook/dp/B07NKQVL96

Author Bio

Maybe Baby Author Photo

Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively young Labrador. She has been a playgroup supervisor and taught in primary schools for over fifteen years, before dedicating more of her time to writing. Carol is a regular volunteer at her local Cancer Research UK shop. She has a passion for reading, writing and people watching and can often be found loitering in local cafes working on her next book.

Carol writes contemporary romance novels, with relatable heroines whose stories are layered with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads.

Social Media Links –

Website and Social Media Links:

http://carol-thomas.co.uk

http://facebook.com/carolthomasauthor

http://twitter.com/carol_thomas2

http://www.pinterest.co.uk/carol_thomas2/

http://www.instagram.com/carol_thomas2/

Blog:

http://carol-thomas.co.uk/blog

*BLOG TOUR* A Dangerous Act of Kindness by LP Fergusson

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for LP Fergusson’s A Dangerous Act of Kindness.

What would you risk for a complete stranger?

When widow Millie Sanger finds injured enemy pilot Lukas Schiller on her farm, the distant war is suddenly at her doorstep.  Compassionate Millie knows he’ll be killed if discovered, and makes the dangerous decision to offer him shelter from the storm.

On opposite sides of the inescapable conflict, the two strangers forge an unexpected and passionate bond.  But as the snow thaws, the relentless fury of World War Two forces them apart, leaving on the haunting memories of what they shared, and an understanding that their secret must never see light.

As Millie’s dangerous act of kindness sets them on paths they never could have expected, those closest to them become their greatest threats, and the consequences of compassions prove deadly.

As you know, I am a huge fan of historical fiction, particularly that which is set during World War II so I was very excited to be invited to read this debut novel by LP Fergusson and offer my review as part of the blog tour.

What sets this apart from other World War II historical fiction that I have read is the characters and the setting.  So much of what I read is about those living throughout the blitz in a war torn London.  In contrast this is set in the country, where the inhabitants are affected by the war due to rationing, and the inflow of women and children who are swarming out of the cities.  They are not however directly affected by the constant bombing, and therefore, at times, the war can feel to be far away.  The sense of this is really captured within the novel.  Of course the war is part of their every day lives, but not necessarily in the same way as those who found themselves night after night in air raid shelters, escaping the constant bombing.

The characters also set this novel apart.  Millie is a woman widowed, left fighting to keep her farm afloat in the absence of her husband.  She is struggling in a way that very few could understand due to the circumstances of her husbands death.  When a German plane comes down near Millie’s farm, the war becomes more real for the local villagers as they revel in the successes of Britains war effort in destroying the enemy.

When Millie finds Lukas, the injured German pilot, on her land she finds herself drawn to him despite the danger it puts them both in.  She protects him, as she finds herself becoming more and more emotionally involved as they both try to forget the circumstances they find themselves in.  I really enjoyed reading about Lukas – it was fascinating to read about the British war effort through German eyes, to find out more about the propaganda that the German forces were fed and how certain they were that they were mere days away from victory.  What he sees when he eventually leaves Millie and is captured is eye opening.

This is such a poignant tale of war, of love, of guilt and of betrayal at a time when all of these things were at the forefront of everyone’s minds. It really is a beautiful debut novel, and I hope to read more historical fiction from LP Fergusson.

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖 📕

Thank you to Ellie Pilcher at Canelo for providing me with a copy of this novel and inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio

LP Fergusson grew up on the borders of Wales in a Tudor house on the banks of the River Wye.  As a child she longed to go back in history.  Now she does, through her writing.  She has an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University and won the Blackwell’s Prize for MA Creative Writing.  Her stories have made a number of shortlists for competitions run by the Orwell Society, Oxfordshire Libraries and Flash500.  Her psychological thriller reached the final three of a Quercus/Psychologies Thriller competition and her wartime novel A Dangerous Act of Kindness was Highly Commended in the Caledonia Novel Award 2018.  She edits the historical blog With Love from Graz which was featured on BBC Radio Wales, Radio 2 and BBC4’s A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley.  She now lives in an Oxfordshire village beneath the chalk downs where her debut novel is set.