blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Little Theatre on Halfpenny Lane – Clodagh Murphy

Aoife and her sisters know exactly what to do when they inherit their Great-aunt Detta’s theatre on Halfpenny Lane:

  • Restore the dilapidated building to its former glory.
  • Perform together on its stage to packed houses and rapturous applause.
  • Live happily ever after.
    But they didn’t count on Detta leaving a share in the theatre to her godson, Jonathan. Now they’ll have to persuade him to buy into their vision of stardust and magic – or find the money to buy him out.
    As they fight to save the theatre, Aoife also battles her growing feelings for Jonathan. Because she can’t let herself fall for the man who’s about to bring the curtain down on their dreams.

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  • Author Bio Clodagh Murphy lives in Dublin, Ireland. She has worked as a bar waitress, cleaner, secretary, editorial assistant, mystery shopper and movie extra. But she always dreamed of being an author, and after more jobs than she cares to (or can) remember, she now writes full-time. For more information about her books or to sign up to her newsletter, visit her website.
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My thoughts: this was a lovely story of sisterhood and theatre. The three sisters want to restore their great-aunt’s theatre, turn it into a going concern again and stage a production of Chekhov. But first they need to raise a lot of money. Luckily their aunt meant a lot to the Dublin theatre community and they’re all up for a fundraiser or two. And maybe Aoife might get through the tough exterior of Jonathan and her stage fright.

Enjoyable, funny and sweet, I knew I’d enjoy a story about a theatre (theatre kids never say die) and I was right!

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Elodie’s Library of Second Chances – Rebecca Raisin

An uplifting story about fresh starts, new beginnings and the power of stories, from the bestselling author of Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop!
When Elodie applies for the job of librarian in peaceful Willow Grove, she’s looking forward to a new start. As the daughter of a media empire, her every move has been watched for years, and she longs to work with the thing she loves most: books.
It’s a chance to make a real difference too, because she soon realises that there are other people in Willow Grove who might need a fresh start – like the homeless man everyone walks past without seeing, or the divorcée who can’t seem to escape her former husband’s misdeeds.
Together with local journalist Finn, Elodie decides these people have stories that need sharing. What if instead of borrowing books readers could ‘borrow’ a person, and hear the life stories of those they’ve overlooked?
But Elodie isn’t quite sharing her whole story either. As the story of the library’s new success grows, will her own secret be revealed?

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Rebecca Raisin writes heartwarming romance from her home in sunny Perth, Australia.
Her heroines tend to be on the quirky side and her books are usually set in exotic locations so her readers can armchair travel any day of the week. The only downfall about writing about gorgeous
heroes who have brains as well as brawn, is falling in love with them – just as well they’re fictional.
Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true, once in a lifetime love. Her bestselling novel
Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop has been optioned for film with MRC studios and Frolic Media.

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My thoughts: Elodie is hired to reinvigorate a library – one she visited as a child. But she’s keeping a secret and her wealthy family at arms length. She wants to do this on her own, no family money, no media, no red carpets.

Her ideas are innovative and fun – I liked the idea of “borrowing” a person and hearing their life story. Unfortunately not everyone feels the same way. And there’s a dishy local journalist she’s hoping to kiss.

A sweet, fun and funny book about not judging a book by its cover and a person by what local gossips have to say.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Love & Other Human Errors – Bethany Clift

A book synopsis is fundamentally ridiculous. How can I possibly convey, in only 100 words, the events of the past year and their impact on my perfectly ordered existence?

It is insufficient space to accurately detail how I was blackmailed into demonstrating my flawless algorithm to find a soulmate, despite having no desire for one.

In my former life I avoided trivial human connections. I was alone, accomplished and brilliant.

Unfortunately, that solitary and driven woman no longer exists.

My name is Indiana Dylan and this is the extraordinary account of how I fell in love.

There: 100 words exactly.

My thoughts: I loved this funny, sweet book, I loved Indi and Jack and Lina and Connie and Bruce and Frank and Lina’s family and Peggy and Spider and of course Alan. I did not love Emily. She was a bitch.

Indiana is basically a genius, she’s designed an algorithm that can find anyone’s soulmate. And now she wants to sell it to JaneDoe, a tech company, so she can move on to her next project. Only people don’t do what you want. Cameron, the mean owner and CEO of JaneDoe forces Indi to be a human guinea pig and find her soulmate.

Her new friends Lina and Jack want to help her, Peggy, her brilliant assistant, wants to look after her, Frank and Alan who are basically her neighbours want to help her and look after her. She wants to be left alone.

I loved Indi’s determination, her resilience and her sadness, her life hasn’t been easy and she’s tried to bury it under her tech genius. But she’s lonely. And people need people. Once she starts to let people in, she changes and realises she doesn’t have to be alone anymore.

This was a lovely book, even the sad bits.

Also I’d like Mr & Mrs B to come and cook my Christmas Dinner this year please.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: One Last Day of Summer – Shari Low

As a flight to St Lucia leaves the runway, four passengers meet for the first time.
After escaping her controlling husband, Bernadette Manson is taking the first extravagant holiday of her new life. But when her best friend cancels, will she be strong enough to fly solo?
Tadgh Donovan is about to jet off to his destination wedding when he sees a shocking text. Has his bride-to-be written her wedding vows… or already broken them?
Hayley Ford is the wife of a top fertility specialist yet her battle to get pregnant has almost broken her marriage. Can a trip to the sun heal their relationship or should she brace for a crash landing?
Dev Robbins is crossing oceans to track down the woman he fell in love with at first sight. Will it be a one way trip to happy ever after or a return journey to singledom?
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Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 30 novels, including My One Month Marriage and One Summer Sunrise and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.

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My thoughts: this was lots of fun, set mostly on a plane between Gatwick and Saint Lucia, four strangers are thrown together and during the flight share their secrets and worries, forming a bond like no other.

From Bernadette, determined to enjoy the rest of her life, to Dev who thinks he’s found The One on a one night stand, all 4 need some love and some advice from their new pals.

Funny, entertaining and charming, this is classic Shari Low and perfect for reading while lazing by the pool or on the sofa.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Blast: Anything Could Happen – Lucy Diamond

A chance encounter in New York City. 

A great love story on the cusp of beginning. And then he was gone.

For Lara and her daughter Eliza, it has always been just the two of them. But when Eliza turns eighteen and wants to connect with her father, Lara is forced to admit a secret that she has been keeping from her daughter her whole life. Eliza needs answers – and so does Lara. Their journey to the truth will take them on a road trip across England and eventually to New York, where it all began. Dreams might have been broken and opportunities missed, but there are still surprises in store… 

Anything Could Happen is a warm, wise, funny and uplifting novel about love, second chances and the unexpected and extraordinary paths life can take us down.

My thoughts: this is a rather lovely story. All about second chances, family and finding where you’re meant to be.

After a brief romance in New York, Lara and Ben are separated by an unfortunate turn of events. 18 years later they are reunited. Is that spark still there?

I loved Lara and her kind but firm driving instructor ways, the way she worried about her clients, and her daughter. She had such a good heart. Ben was also rather sweet, with his map shop and a million (ok, three) sisters.

But Eliza was my favourite character – I wasn’t a particularly happy 18 year old but if I could do it again, I’d want to be as hopeful and sunny as Eliza was. Her one magical night in New York was funny and uplifting.

A fun, will they, won’t they, rom com with lots of heart.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all

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Cover Reveal: The Cottage in the Highlands – Julie Shackman

When Leonie Baxter finds herself out of a job and out of a relationship, she’s at her wits end. Her life has just been turned upside down and she needs a plan, fast.

By chance, on a walk with her rescue puppy, Leonie stumbles across a striking house in the woods; fully furnished but unoccupied. As a journalist, she is determined to find out more, after all, reporting is in her nature.

But her attempts are thwarted by Lily Cruickshank who lives in the cottage next door. Why won’t Lily help Leonie? And who is the mysterious Flynn Talbot, whose letter Leonie finds inside the house?

And in uncovering the secrets of the abandoned house, will Leonie open her own heart and let love back into her life?

The brand new escapist story from the bestselling author of A Secret Scottish Escape and A Scottish Highland Surprise, for fans of Jo Thomas, Trisha Ashley and Cathy Bramley.

Pre-order Links: Amazon UK Amazon US Publication Date: 1st December

Julie Shackman is a former journalist from Scotland, who has always wanted to write feel-good romance. As well as being an author, Julie also writes verses and captions for greetings card companies. Julie admits to having an obsession with stationery and handbags. She is married, has two sons and has a Romanian rescue puppy, Cooper. The Cottage in the Highlands is Julie’s seventh novel.

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Beekeeper at Elderflower Grove – Jaimie Admans

A new start is about to bee-gin!
Having moved into her mum’s spare room after a disastrous break-up, Kayleigh Harwood is desperate for a fresh start. When she sees an opening for a new beekeeper at the old manor house
at Elderflower Grove she jumps at the chance – despite not knowing a thing about bees…
The abandoned house holds a mystery of its own – the previous owner vanished years ago – and locals have been inventing stories about the manor ever since. Unable to resist the urge to look around, Kayleigh is shocked to find drop-dead-gorgeous gardener Carey living inside!
Carey explains that the house and surrounding land is at risk of being demolished, endangering the bees, and he has been staying there to protect it.
Convinced the secret of the house holds the key to saving Elderflower Grove’s bees, Kayleigh is prepared to do everything she can to help. But is she ready to find her own happy-ever-after too…?

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Jaimie is a 36-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, watching horror movies, and drinking tea, although she’s
seriously considering marrying her coffee machine. She loves autumn and winter, and singing songs from musicals despite the fact she’s got the voice of a dying hyena. She hates spiders, hot weather,
and cheese & onion crisps. She spends far too much time on Twitter and owns too many pairs of boots. She will never have time to read all the books she wants to read.
She is the author of several romantic comedies for HarperCollins – The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters, The Little Wedding Island, It’s a Wonderful Night, The Little Vintage Carousel by the Sea, Snowflakes at the Little Christmas Tree Farm, The Little Bookshop of Love Stories, The Wishing Tree Beside the Shore, The Little Christmas Shop on Nutcracker Lane, The Post Box at the North Pole, and The Beekeeper at Elderflower Grove.

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My thoughts: I like bees, but I don’t think I could be a beekeeper like Kayleigh, they’re fine at a distance. But this was a lovely story about bees yes, but also about love, the past, and saving the natural world for the next generation, and the bees.

Kayleigh and Carey investigate the mystery of Elderflower Grove’s last resident, and the love letters they found in a secret room behind a bookcase. It was very much the sort of adventure I’d love to have. There’s a moment that brought back the trauma of My Girl, so be prepared.

There’s also lots of bee puns, a furious old lady who dresses as a bee, Kayleigh’s mum’s boyfriends, a friendly fox and the grounds are basically The Secret Garden all over again. Lovely.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Way Back to You – James Bailey

When Simon reconnects with his first love Sylvie – the French pen pal he never met – he is determined to not let her go again.

Life may not be as straight-forward at sixty as it was at sixteen, but that won’t stop him.

Together with old school friend Ian, he sets off on the same bike ride – from Bristol to Bordeaux – that they attempted all those years ago.

But while they now have better bikes, more acceptable haircuts, and Google Maps, some things never change.

And it soon becomes clear that this trip will have even more bumps in the road than the first . . .

My thoughts: this was really fun, a clever road trip rom com, told from the male perspective and written by a man too. Which I really liked. Simon is 60, single after the death of his wife ten years before, running a very stressful B&B and in need of a change.

After an old school friend dies (I promise this book isn’t sad, there’s several laugh out loud moments) he and old pal Ian, decide to recreate a madcap adventure they had as boys and cycle to Bordeaux. Becoming MAMILs in the process (Middle Aged Men in Lycra – fetching, not!). They almost die a few times, and honestly it’s hilarious – there’s a bit where they camp out in a church and accidentally flash a congregation of French villagers and the priest.

I think the romance of letters, then emails, between Simon and Sylvie is very sweet but the real relationship here is the rekindled friendship between Simon and Ian – a bromance if you will. As they remember their teenage years, apologise for some terrible behaviour and bond in their adventures. There’s something very precious about friendships that last a lifetime, even when you don’t see each other for forty odd years in the middle.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Note to Self – Anna Bell

It’s never too late to follow your heart.

One summer’s day seventeen years ago Edie and Joel meet.
Their connection is instant and a friendship is born, although Edie can’t help but wish for more. But just as she builds up the courage to lay her heart on the line, one night changes everything…

Edie’s moved on from the heartbreak of years ago. So the last thing she expects to receive on her thirty-fifth birthday is an email… from her eighteen-year-old self. As more emails arrive, she starts to remember what – or rather who – she left behind.

Following her own advice, Edie heads back to the place where it all began, and finds her path unexpectedly crossing with Joel’s once more. Could this finally be their chance at love? Or are some things better left in the past?

My thoughts: this was a fun concept for a rom com – emails set to be sent from your own past self, which inspire Edie to look up an old friend and take a few chances in life, and love.

As she starts to reconnect with the teenager she was before her mum’s sudden death, she starts to realise things need to change – from her job to her relationship. Reuniting with old friends and the man she once thought might be something special cause Edie a lot of confusion and then clarity. Fun and entertaining.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Scotsman in the Stacks – Alana Oxford

Paige wants two things: to land a full time librarian job and find the man of her dreams. On the cusp of thirty, she finds herself suddenly single and working part-time in a Michigan library. A handsome patron with a delicious accent appears at the reference desk, inadvertently sparking an idea that
might help her land the promotion she so desperately needs. But that’s not the only thing he sparks.
James is in town from Glasgow, Scotland, on a summer artist residency. Luckily, the trip got him away from the pressure he feels to take over his uncle’s river tour business. He only wanted to clear his head and make his art in peace, but he wasn’t counting on finding an attractive librarian to fill his days.
With only eight weeks before James goes home to Scotland, Paige knows she should protect her heart. After all, she already wasted years with her commitmentphobe ex. But the more she gets to know James, the less she can stick to her plan to just be friends. Is she just wasting her time again, or can they bridge the ocean between them to find a happily ever after of their own?

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Alana Oxford is a Michigan author of romcoms, sweet romance, and humorous
women’s fiction. She wants her stories to bring sunshine and smiles to her readers. She enjoys improv comedy, moody music, everything book related, and has an ongoing love affair with the United Kingdom.

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My thoughts: this was adorable and I love Paige, I might be a bit biased as a former librarian, because librarians are cool. But Paige also seems like a fun, clever person who loves good food (there’s a lot of food in this book) and knows how to have a good time. She’s also a great friend, there when her bestie Kayla really needs her.

Meeting a hunky Scottish artist at work is probably a fantasy for many, but for Paige it happens – James is in town on an art residency, he carves sculptures from wood and is one of several artists preparing for a show.

They start off as friends, Paige worried that a short term thing isn’t what she needs, love blooms between them and everything seems set for a happily ever after. But James receives a call that sends him home to Glasgow – will they find a way to be together?

I really enjoyed this quirky and entertaining book, I quite fancy the idea of visiting Michigan now too!

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.