*** Please note that various posts will contain affiliate links for Amazon. Purchases from these links will make me a small percentage in store credit. ***

13 October 2017

Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances by Sue Watson (Book Beginnings & Friday 56)

This is the third book set in Appledore and it's every bit as heartbreaking and hopeful and lovely as the first two. It may be even more so since this one is set around Christmas which, in itself, tends to add a little extra something to your typical "feel-good" (when you aren't snotting all over your shirtsleeves) romance.
My only real problem with the book is the male lead. He rubbed me the wrong way and would never make it onto my list of book boyfriends ... but that could be because I've known too many like him on his worst days. Still, the book overall was so lovely that the most I could deduct because of Gianni is half of a star. Then, though, we add in how beautifully Chloe deals with him (and all of the snotty shirtsleeve moments), and that half of a star comes shooting right back on with a vengeance. 
Another 5 star book for me from Sue Watson. Now, can we PLEASE get Marco his own full story?
As always, Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice & Book Beginnings is at Rose City Reader.
This week my "56" comes from the 56% ebook mark.
from Amazon:

10 October 2017

The Things We Learn When We're Dead by Charlie Laidlaw (Tuesday Intros & Teaser Tuesday)

"First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" is from the first paragraph or two of a book being read now (or in the future) and is hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea. "Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read.
from Amazon:
On the way home from a dinner party she didn't want to attend, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident. Or does God have a higher purpose after all? At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realizes that she has decisions to make and that she needs to find a way home… 

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(review to come!)

03 October 2017

Fatal Masquerade by Vivian Conroy (Tuesday Intro & Teaser Tuesday)

I am absolutely gobsmacked.

Really. 

I didn't think that there was really any way that Vivian Conroy could possibly make me love Jake Dubois anymore than I already did after the first three books in the Lady Alkmene series. I was so very wrong.

Fatal Masquerade sees Alkmene and Jake at a house party where they are to attend a masquerade ball. Of course, someone turns up dead. And, of course, our dynamic duo has to get in the middle of things to investigate. Sticking to the true Christie-esque fashion that I so love about Conroy's books, the details are rich, the intrigue is gripping, and the red herrings are plentiful. Even better? I'm not sure I've ever crushed as hard on any character as I crush on Jake ... except, perhaps, for Arthur Hastings. (Sorry, Oliver ... you're a close third.)

Do yourself a favor and start this series from the beginning. You really need to get to know Jake (and Alkmene, of course) from the beginning of their relationship. You can thank me later, but just remember that I claimed dibs first.

Fatal Masquerade is available TOMORROW (October 4th) atAmazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaBarnes & NobleKoboGoogle Play

"First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" is from the first paragraph or two of a book being read now (or in the future) and is hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea. "Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read.

26 September 2017

Something Like Happy by Eva Woods (Tuesday Intro & Teaser Tuesday)

I know, I know .... I'm on a "hiatus." I'm taking a break from blogging because life is a steaming pile o' internetless crap .... except for on my phone or when I'm at work like I am right now. I would normally be, you know, working but this book is just too good to not share. 
It will rip your heart out and probably do the tango on top of it. 
It will lift your spirits so high you'll wonder if somehow the book is emitting helium.
It will make you laugh until you cry and then make you rush out to buy more tissues because the waterworks keep emerging when you least expect them. 
A lot of the tears will be happy; a whole lot of them won't be. All of them will end up being worthwhile, though.

"First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" is from the first paragraph or two of a book being read now (or in the future) and is hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea. "Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read.

Amazon Description

19 September 2017

A bit of a hiatus

The only internet access I currently have outside of work is my less-than-stellar data plan on my phone. It makes blogging more than a little difficult so I'll be taking a break until things get back up and running again. I'll still be reading when my brain let's me focus, but the reviews will likely be limited to short blurbs on Goodreads & Amazon.

08 September 2017

House. Tree. Person. by Catriona McPherson (Book Beginnings & Friday 56)

Catriona McPherson's latest, House. Tree. Person., took me a while to get into. It actually took me several different attempts -- each time I would start from the beginning and make it a little further. I love McPherson, though, so I was determined. By the time it finally clicked with me, I couldn't put it down because I just had to know what was going on with Ali and I had to know yesterday. (I received the book via NetGalley back in May and finally finished it on its release date.) It can be a gripping tale ... if you can make if far enough in to it.

from Amazon:

As always, Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice & Book Beginnings is at Rose City Reader. This week my "56" comes from the 56% ebook mark.

01 September 2017

Cocktails and Dreams by A.L. Michael (Book Beginnings & Friday 56)

You may remember how much I abso-freaking-lutely adored A.L. Michael's House on Camden Square series. Those girls became part of my tribe. I didn't want to ever let them go. When I heard that Michael was starting a new series I wasn't thrilled with the idea. I know that these things happen, but I'm still in mourning over not knowing what's happening on Camden Square. I reluctantly hit the request button on NetGalley, figuring that maybe someday I would possibly get around to reading this Cocktails and Dreams thing.

Oh, me of little faith.

I'm absolutely loving this book and its main character, Savannah ("Savvy"), and her friends and co-workers and dad and most definitely not her mom or her ex. And then there's Milo. I never thought I would be bookcrushing on anyone named Milo .... but I've fallen for him pretty hard (and I'm definitely not Jacques' type even though he's pretty crush-worthy, as well). 

I still have a bit to go, but I'm already claiming this a 5-star hit and I'm already looking forward to seeing what's coming next at The Martini Club! (And I have every intention of taking some of the cocktail ideas with me to my favorite bar at some point to see if I can get them to make me some!)

As always, Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice & Book Beginnings is at Rose City Reader
This week my "56" comes from the 56% ebook mark.

30 August 2017

Tour! Rubies in the Roses by Vivian Conroy

In June I participated in the double cover reveal for Vivian Conroy's latest series.


In July I was able to share my love for the first in the series, Death Plays a Part.


Today I am beyond thrilled to be participating in the blog tour for the next Cornish Castle book -- Rubies in the Roses!


Once again, we're back at the castle in Cornisea where Guinevere is still trying to make some sense out of all of the books and documents that Lord Bolingbrooke needs catalogued ... as well as out of Lord Bolingbrooke's son, Oliver.

Oh, Oliver.

I have to hand it to Vivian Conroy. She definitely knows how to write a swoon-worthy male. I am absolutely torn between Oliver and Jake Dubois from her Lady Alkmene Callender series. It's almost as bad as my constant battle of whether I prefer Knightley over Tilney! Each one is rugged, serious without being too stuffy, mysterious in his own right and, at least in my head, ridiculously good looking.

And then she has to go and throw Max into the mix.

Max is a photographer staying at the castle with Bolingbrooke's old friend, Gregory Wadencourt. Wadencourt is a historian and treasure seeker who believes that there's a legendary wedding goblet on the castle grounds and he has every intention of locating it before an article about it's existence is published and hordes of tourists show up to search.

Of course, another murder takes place and thrusts Guinevere, her dog Dolly, and Oliver right into the middle of things. Having to figure out what happened in the past, in the present and what could possibly be happening in her future has poor Guinevere more than a bit frazzled. I honestly can't blame the poor girl!

History is obviously a dangerous thing -- especially on Cornisea. Luckily, Guinevere has the support of Inspector LeFevre again (and oooooh how I want to know more about him!) and, of course, her beloved Dolly. It almost makes up for the constant confusion being thrown at her from Max and Oliver!

It's another 5-star winner for me from Vivian Conroy and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us (and Guinevere) next!


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Get the first two #CornishCastle books now!
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Death Plays a Part

Welcome to Cornisea island and spend your summer holidays in a Cornish Castle.

Guinevere and her trusted dog Dolly have arrived on Cornisea island in Cornwall for the summer. But what should be weeks of cataloguing books and sunny walks on the beach turns deadly when murder strikes!

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Rubies in the Roses

Welcome to Cornisea island and spend your summer holidays in a Cornish Castle.

Guinevere and her Dachshund Dolly are happily enjoying their summer by the Cornish coast - sun, sea and delicious food. Until a long-lost treasure and a mysterious death turns her holiday into a search for justice!

29 August 2017

The Great Escape by Charlotte Fallowfield (Tuesday Intro & Teaser Tuesday)

I absolutely loved the first of Charlotte Fallowfield's books set in Dilbury, Never the Bride, so when I was offered the chance to read the follow-up I was pretty much ecstatic. The Great Escape actually overlaps Never the Bride a bit, but it isn't necessary to read them in order I suppose. (Yes, it pained me to say that. Read them in order. ALWAYS read things in order.)
It's another fabulous book that made me laugh, and cry, and laugh some more until I cried some more. This time, though, our main focus is on Georgie -- the best friend of Abbie from the first book. She's not quite as much of a hot mess as Abbie, but the girl definitely has some serious issues going on in the trust and romance departments.
While on vacation with Abbie she meets Weston who, of course, turns her world upside down. She allows herself to let her guard down to have some vacation fun .... but then he shows up in Dilbury, too! (Because it's a book and of course he does.) And because Georgie has trust issues, he ends up lying about ..... something. (Because it's a book and of course he does.)
Watching it all unfold with the other Dilbury residents (Dilburians?) mixed in has been absolutely delightful and I'm already looking forward to reading Charlie's story next!


"First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" from Bibliophile by the Sea is on vacation ... but I'm used to doing these two together so I'm just going to stick with it. "Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read.

25 August 2017

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (Book Beginnings & Friday 56)

Oh, my dear readers, you must know by now how much I adore Jane Austen (except, of course, for Mansfield Park). Even on my own personal Facebook page I'm constantly updating my cover photo with different art based around sappy Austen quotes. I have a regular rotation from Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, and Emma, with a random Persuasion tossed in from time to time. But what about Northanger Abbey? It's not that I don't love Northanger Abbey because I do oh-so-much, but it seems as though aside from one or two quotes, the vast majority of the world overlooks it. 

It's a shame, really, because that means that they miss out on Austen being fabulously snarky (especially towards the book world), the innocent bookworm Catherine Morland, and most of all the swoon-worthy Henry Tilney. Sure, Emma's George Knightley is one of my longest-standing fictional crushes (especially when being portrayed by Jonny Lee Miller) but Henry? 

Oh, Henry. 

He's the stuff that daydreams and life-long loves are made of. He's got intelligence and quirkiness and is adorably funny. I do believe I fell for him at their first meeting. I do love a good smirk, after all. And he reads. Not just the "proper" things, either. In fact, one of my favorite Austen quotes (which stays off my Facebook cover to save certain people from being offended) is Henry's: 

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."

Of course, it figures that my beloved Tilney does not appear in either of today's Book Beginnings & Friday 56 snippets. I suppose you'll have to acquaint yourself with him the old fashioned way and grab yourself a copy of the book. 

As always, Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice & Book Beginnings is at Rose City Reader
This week my "56" comes from the 56% ebook mark since I sadly forgot my paperback at home.

22 August 2017

Life Unbothered by Charlie Elliott (Tuesday Intro & Teaser Tuesday)

As per usual, "First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" from Bibliophile by the Sea is on vacation ... but I'm used to doing these two together so I'm just going to stick with it. "Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read. I know I have more than a line or two. Be impressed I didn't just screenshot the whole page to post.


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I knew absolutely nothing about Charlie Elliott when I saw us both complaining on Twitter one day about Goodreads being down. I was just outright complaining while Charlie was lamenting the fact that he had a giveaway to set up for Life Unbothered. Smartass that I sometimes am (I know - you're shocked at that revelation), suggested that since Goodreads wasn't playing nicely he could just send the book to me directly and cut out the middle man. Shockingly (to me, anyway), he agreed.

Of course, my life being such as it is, it took me longer than I had hoped to start reading it and then longer still to actually find the time and mental oomph to stick with it. It's the story of Wade (and, later, of Wade and Sophia).He's depressed. He's got massive anxiety. Panic attacks are a normal thing for him. He shuts pretty much everyone away as often as possible. 

I get it. 

Most of what he experiences and feels I just sat there nodding. "Yep ... that's totally what it can feel like." Amazingly, though, Elliott has written it in a way that hasn't triggered any of the feelings like books sometimes can. Either I'm getting a better grip or Charlie Elliott is some kind of magical being. Perhaps it's a little bit of both.

This is not a happy-go-lucky book. There's humor and romance and pain and heartache and so much realism that it's sometimes hard to read, but it's harder to put down.

11 August 2017

Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens (Book Beginnings & Friday 56)

I have an enormous amount of NetGalley ARCs waiting for me right now ... but Hazel Wong is my spirit animal and I need to spend some quality time with her, Daisy and the rest of my Deepdean girls.
The last two books saw Daisy and Hazel off campus, but they're back in Jolly Foul Play and the school has been commandeered, as it were, by a nasty group of Big Girls. When the head of the group, who also happens to be the school's Head Girl, dies at a Guy Fawkes Night celebration, the Detective Society jumps into action.
This time, Daisy and Hazel have accepted help from their friends and suite-mates, Lavinia, Kitty and Beanie. Oh, and Hazel is also secretly corresponding with a boy detective they met in First Class Murder and is enlisting his aide, as well. It's all so delightfully scandalous!

As always, Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice & Book Beginnings is at Rose City Reader
This week my "56" comes from page 56 of the UK paperback.

08 August 2017

The Punch Escrow by Tal M Klein (Teaser Tuesday & Tuesday Intro)

As a general rule, if Felicia Day recommends something I'll give it a shot. Such was the case when I was offered Tal M Klein's The Punch Escrow. I wasn't sure that it really sounded like it would be "my thing," but .... Felicia .... so I said yes and I am so flipping happy that I did.
No, it's not "my thing." I daresay it's not like anything I've read in a very long time. That, my friends, is a very good thing. And, for at least the first 44%, so is this book.

As per usual, "First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" from Bibliophile by the Sea is on vacation ... but I'm used to doing these two together so I'm just going to stick with it. "Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read. I know I have more than a line or two. Be impressed I didn't just screenshot the whole page to post.

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"An alt-futuristic hard-science thriller with twists and turns you'll never see coming. I couldn't put it down." —Felicia Day, founder of Geek & Sundry

It’s the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We’ve genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport—a secretive firm headquartered in New York City. Their slogan: Departure... Arrival... Delight!

Joel Byram, our smartass protagonist, is an everyday twenty-fifth century guy. He spends his days training artificial-intelligence engines to act more human, jamming out to 1980’s new wave—an extremely obscure genre, and trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. Joel is pretty much an everyday guy with everyday problems—until he’s accidentally duplicated while teleporting. 

Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.

05 August 2017

Cover Reveal! Vivian Conroy's Lady Alkmene # 4!

 

I have known about the fourth Lady Alkmene Callender book since the first part of May and it has been absolutely killing me not to have my hands on it. The third book was released way back in November 2016 and I've had a giant hole in my life every since. Vivian Conroy has made up for a little with the introduction of the Cornish Castle series and by sending devious little teases, but I need Jake and Alkmene.

We're still a couple of months away from the October release of Fatal Masquerade, but today I can finally share with all of you what Vivian sent to me last week.

Are you ready???

Are you sure???


How gorgeous is that cover?

I saw it and immediately started to freak out.


Whoever HQ Digital has doing the covers for this series definitely deserves all the kudos for this one. There is absolutely nothing I would change and it makes me want October to get here even faster! (Even the missing Jake is okay since he's never been on a cover. Maybe though .... just a glimpse at some point? Please???)


04 August 2017

If You Could See Me Now by Keris Stainton (Book Beginnings & Friday 56)

I know .... I'm supposedly on a self-imposed ban of sappy .... but I couldn't help myself with this one once I went to see what the 56% would have. After all, I don't necessarily have to read something to tease it, right? 

And then the strangest thing happened.

I wanted to sap.

Without knowing anything about who he is or who she is? The quote I pulled for the Friday 56 was enough to make me want to dive into Keris Stainton's If You Could See Me Now head first. I just wish I had made the decision a few hours earlier because I'm so incredibly anxious to see where it's all going and likely won't be willing to sleep until it's finished. 

It's that good.

No ... it's not good ... it's splendiferous. It's everything that I've needed without realizing it. It's making me sap again.

As always, Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice & Book Beginnings is at Rose City Reader
This week my "56" comes from the 56% mark of the ebook.

01 August 2017

Crazy Stupid Love by Cassie Rocca (Tuesday Intro & Teaser Tuesday)

As per usual, "First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" from Bibliophile by the Sea is on vacation ... but I'm used to doing these two together so I'm just going to stick with it. "Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read. I know I have more than a line or two. Be impressed I didn't just screenshot the whole page to post.


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Crazy Stupid Love is Cassie Rocca's follow-up to A New York Love Story, which I read back in December.  This time the main focus is on Clover's friend Zoe ... but for me it was really more about her best friend Eric. It's a classic unrequited love story.
He's loved her forever.
She's pretty oblivious.
Been there, done that ... may actually be doing it now.
It was quite similar in general feel and pacing to ANYLS, and I got to see Clover and Cade again which was awesome ... but I couldn't find myself as into this one. Maybe it hit a little too close to home with the Eric similarities while also feeling a little too "yeah ... right ... never going to happen" all at the same time.
I think maybe I'll go back to serial killers for a while.

28 July 2017

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza (Book Beginnings & Friday 56)

I'm still working on The Girl in the Ice and still loving it! It's entirely possible that I'll be finished with this by the time I get home from work. Once I was able to focus a bit it really started flying for me. I had forgotten how much I love a good police procedural. I've been stuck in the cozy/romcom mode for far too long! 

Erika Foster is a wonderfully complex and gloriously flawed main character. She's sometimes vulgar, often impulsive, and emotionally scarred. I kind of feel like I should be buying her shots in a bar just so we can have a good gab and get it all out. 

As always, Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice & Book Beginnings is at Rose City Reader. This week my "56" comes from the 56% mark of the ebook I was gifted, and the Book Beginnings is actually from the second paragraph since I used the first on Tuesday.


25 July 2017

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza (Tuesday Intro & Teaser Tuesday)

Earlier today I shared the cover reveal for Robert Bryndza's upcoming Cold Blood -- the fifth book in the Erika Foster series. Now I'm sharing the beginning few lines and a teaser from the first, which I started reading this afternoon. 
Oh. 
My. 
Gosh.
This is definitely exactly what I needed and I may very well fly from one book in the series straight into the next until I'm caught up for Cold Blood

(By the way -- in the US The Girl in the Ice is only 99 cents right now for Kindle on Amazon!)

As per usual, "First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" from Bibliophile by the Sea is on vacation ... but I'm used to doing these two together so I'm just going to stick with it. "Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read. I know I have more than a line or two. Be impressed I didn't just screenshot the whole page to post.

COVER REVEAL! Robert Bryndza's Cold Blood

I've been hearing about Robert Bryndza for ages now (basically for as long as I've been a bookouture junkie), and even have several of his romantic comedies sitting in my Kindle app waiting for me to get to them .... but they'll have to wait. 

Everything will have to wait and all because of one book cover. 


Is that not just amazingly gorgeous in a goosepimpley "what the heck" kind of way?!?

I normally don't read thrillers. I'm a lighthearted, fluffy, cozy kind of reader for the most part. The occasional gothic and paranormal, sure, but even those tend to be more on the butterflies and rainbows end of the spectrum to some degree.

Well, kids, life ain't all butterflies and rainbows.

Thanks to life ... stuff ... I've been more in the mood for nitty and gritty. For blood. For smashing butterflies.

Then I saw this cover.


This cover for Robert Bryndza's Cold Blood is so far away from butterflies and rainbows that I have a feeling it would eat them for lunch. And that is exactly what I'm in the mood for. I read the description and knew this had to be mine. This is exactly what my brain has been crying out for.
The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find inside…

When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before. 

As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago. 

Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack. 

But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer

Brilliantly gripping, Cold Blood will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath to the heart-stopping and shocking ending. 
Of course, then I realized that I'm so far behind that I have four Detective Erika Foster novels to read before I can get to this one. Luckily, I now have them all and this comes out on the 20th of September (you can pre-order it now, though ... UK readers can pre-order here). I've got this.

11 July 2017

American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Tuesday Intro & Teaser Tuesday)

I'm taking a little break from the NetGalley shelf and the cozies and the rom-coms to finally crack open Neil Gaiman's American Gods. I've had the paperback sitting on my shelf for 5 or 6 years now and I can't bring myself to watch the show until I've read the book ... so ... 
The reviews -- like most of Gaiman's -- are either love it or hate it. So far I'm in the "love it" camp, but I'm also not past the 25% mark yet, even though the Teaser Tuesday quote is from 55%. (I picked a random percentage to jump to and found the perfect-for-me blip.)
As per usual, "First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" from Bibliophile by the Sea is on vacation ... but I'm used to doing these two together so I'm just going to stick with it. "Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read. I know I have more than a line or two. Be impressed I didn't just screenshot the whole page to post.


10 July 2017

A little ramble about.. A French Affair by Katie Fforde

Author: Katie Fforde
Title: A French Affair
Publication: Bookouture -- 7 July 2017 (re-release)
First Line: ‘I’m saying this more in horror than in anger, sweets, but are you really going like that?’
Faves on 4s:
14% - 'You know, I find it quite hard to see Matthew and Aunt Rainey working together. She was so eccentric and off the walk and he's so -- stuffy!'
34% - His smiles were so rare it reminded Gina of the sun coming out from behind the clouds after a stormy day: it wasn't exactly blazing sunshine but it lifted the spirits.
64% - Gina felt she was in heaven or was the star of the best sort of romantic film.
84% - 'It was so awful when we weren't speaking. It was like I was missing an arm.'
A French Affair is the fourth Katie Fforde book I've read so far. It's a sweet story about two sisters who inherit their aunt's stall in an antique center -- cynical public relations specialist Gina and the more whimsical mum of twins Sally. Of course, part of the deal of the inheritance was that they work with the owner, Matthew -- single, serious and brooding. There's romance and heartbreak and a lot of antiques ... but I didn't feel as much magic as I had with my previous Fforde reads. Maybe if I had more of an interest in antiques it would have been different. It was still a good read, but not one that I'm going to be rushing out to buy in paperback to add to my actual shelves.

07 July 2017

Death Plays a Part by Vivian Conroy (Tour, Book Beginnings & Friday 56)


Just under a month ago I was thrilled to be part of the double cover reveal for Vivian Conroy's new Cornish Castle Mystery series and I still can't get over how cute the covers are -- especially now that I know how perfectly the first one, at least, matches what's inside!


Today the first in the series, Death Plays a Part, is finally being released and I'm so flipping excited for you all to finally be able to read it, too! I knew as soon as I saw the description that it would likely be one that my theater-loving Cornwall-obsessed self would love, and I wasn't wrong.


The first of Vivian Conroy's Cornish Castle Mysteries is yet another fantastic tale with characters I just can't get enough of!

Guinevere is absolutely my kind of girl. She loves books and history and the theater and her sidekick dachshund, Dolly. When faced with a locked-room murder happening right under her feet, she uses her knowledge of theatrics and mystery stories to come up with possible scenarios -- even acting them out with make-shift displays like one would use in order to plot out placements for a theater production. She's smart, she's spunky, she's caring ... and I could totally see us being friends.

That's one of the great things about Vivian Conroy -- whether she's writing about 1920s London socialites, or present day "normal" gals in Maine or Cornwall, she has a knack of being able to create heroines I would love to call my friends. She also adds the right combination of supporting characters to keep things interesting and the men? Well, let's just say that I would definitely trade shoes with Guinevere for a few pages if it meant quality time to be had with Oliver .... just like I still swoon with a mere thought of Jake from the Lady Alkmene books. I can't wait to revisit the castle, its inhabitants and their neighbors in Rubies in the Roses!

Basically, Vivian Conroy rocks my socks and this is definitely another book that I would highly recommend reading. You can order it now, and since it's Friday, I also get to give you a little glimpse or two as part of my usual Book Beginnings & Friday 56:
As always, Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice & Book Beginnings is at Rose City Reader.

Please visit the other stops on the tour! 
Clicking on the image below will take you to Conroy's 
Twitter and she always shares links to tour stops!

04 July 2017

Big Sexy Love by Kirsty Greenwood (Tuesday Intro & Teaser Tuesday)


Oh, Kirsty Greenwood. Last year she nailed me with an obsession with Grease 2 that lasted for months, and now I'll have no choice but to watch Atonement over and over and over again. And, once again, she's also given me a main character who simultaneously breaks my heart and makes it swell with hope and joy and ... just all the feels. Big Sexy Love's Olive is so me in so many ways that it's almost terrifying. Actually, I wish Olive was so me in so many ways because the way things turn out for her? I could definitely deal with that. Our "so me"-ness seems to veer in different directions right around the 50% mark, but I've got time yet for my own other 50.
Out of five stars I would have to give this a solid 11 and even that isn't enough.

From Amazon:
Olive Brewster is a scaredy cat. She doesn't do new or risky. She’s happy enough with her job at the local market, it’s cool that she has no boyfriend to fret over, she even likes that she still lives in her childhood home. No drama, no fuss, no problems. Everything is fine. Super duper fine.

Except … Olive's best friend in the world​, Birdie, is dying.

Birdie has one final wish. She wants to track down her first love, Chuck, and because she's stuck in the hospital she needs Olive's help to do it. But there’s a teeny problem: Chuck is somewhere in New York and Olive has never even left her home town, let alone roamed the crazy streets of Manhattan.

As if the big city isn't scary enough, Olive has to contend with Seth, a cocky comedy TV writer who thinks she’s a joke; Anders, a bored socialite who’s taken a shine to her; and the fact that no matter how hard she tries to track down Chuck, he doesn't seem to want to be found.

Can Olive learn to overcome her fears, abandon her old safe routine and fulfil her best friend’s last wish?  It's going to take extra bravery, one badass attitude and a whole lot of Big Sexy Love to make this happen …

I know ... "First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" from Bibliophile by the Sea is on vacation ... but I'm used to doing these two together so I'm just going to stick with it. "Teaser Tuesday" at The Purple Booker asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read.

30 June 2017

Curves, Kisses & Chocolate Ice Cream by Sue Watson (Tour, Book Beginnings & Friday 56)

I loved the first book in this series, Ella's Ice Cream Summer, so I was thrilled when I saw this follow-up on NetGalley! I was even more thrilled when I grabbed a spot on the blog tour for its release week. Curves, Kisses & Chocolate Ice Cream is fabulous!
We're back at the ice cream cafe and although most of the characters from the first installment are present here, this time our focus is on an employee of the cafe named Dani. Dani has a lot of issues with relationships and food and, often, they go hand-in-hand. Each chapter starts out with a diary entry of a diet she has been on -- and the man involved. 
(Can't get much more of a "Book Beginnings" than the table of contents, can you???
Book Beginnings is hosted at Rose City Reader)
None of her past attempts have ever worked as intended. Now she's almost 40, back home in Appledore, and working at the ice cream cafe where she had worked as a teenager. She's determined to celebrate turning 40 slimmer, healthier and happier but it's a daunting task since she despises exercise as much as she loves food.

She joins a local gym and she meets its owner, Chris. Inappropriate comments and mishaps abound, but it's all good. At least she's going, right?

(Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. This week's 56 is page 56 of the ePub from NetGalley.) 
Dani is snarky and sarcastic and tries to turn everything into a joke -- often at her own expense. I get it. Say something bad about yourself as a "joke" before someone else can say it and "mean it" (although, really, you mean it, too). Chris is super serious and determined to help her reach her goals, though -- especially because it would be great for the gym's reputation to have her as a success story.

It was such a joy to watch both of them transform over the time spent together. He loosened up and she got more serious about her life choices. Of course, being a Sue Watson book, there were some sad face sniffley heartbreak moments ... but there were so many more laughs and heartwarming moments that I smiled a lot more than I sniffled. I also craved a lot of ice cream. (Luckily, I embraced my inner Dani and hit the exercise bike instead of the box of ice cream ... except for a spoon or two!)


Absolutely a 5 star read!



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Buy from AmazonUK πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ http://amzn.to/2nD4RdH 
Buy from AmazonUS πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ http://amzn.to/2thm4NR
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Dani’s on a mission to get her life back on track by the end of the Summer. Running, rowing, aerobics and more, but perhaps all she needs are sweet treats and a second chance?

Twenty years ago, Dani fled Appledore with a broken-heart and a suitcase full of shattered dreams. Only now is she brave enough to put her past behind her and return for a summer selling homemade ice-cream and getting fit by doing sit-ups by the sea.

But the new-look cafe is filled with old memories of Jude, her teenage sweetheart-turned-sour. She thinks of him every time she swirls warm sauce onto a “chocolate-bockaglory” and even with the help of Chris, her gorgeous personal trainer, the urge to break her diet is everywhere she turns.

When Jude makes an appearance at the cafe on the eve of Dani’s birthday party, history threatens to repeat itself. Is Dani strong enough to say no? And is the love she’s been longing for much closer than she thinks?

A truly delicious, laugh out loud beach read that’s guaranteed to melt your heart. Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond, Jenny Colgan and Debbie Johnson.


❤❤❤🍦🍧🍨❤❤❤🍦🍧🍨❤❤❤

Buy from AmazonUK πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ http://amzn.to/2nD4RdH 
Buy from AmazonUS πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ http://amzn.to/2thm4NR
❤❤❤🍦🍧🍨❤❤❤🍦🍧🍨❤❤❤