blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Hidden in the Mists – Christina Courtenay plus giveaway!

A love forged in fire lives on through the ages.
She stared at the man again. Was he real? Her mind returned to the ghostly figure by the shore and to her strange dream. No, he was not a figment of her imagination.
Skye Logan has been struggling to run her remote farm on Scotland’s west coast alone ever since her marriage fell apart. When a handsome stranger turns up looking for work, it seems that her wish for help has been granted.
Rafe Carlisle is searching for peace and somewhere he can forget about the last few years. But echoes of the distant past won’t leave Skye and Rafe alone, and they begin to experience vivid dreams which
appear to be linked to the Viking jewellery they each wear.
It seems that the ghosts of the past have secrets . . . and they have something that they want Skye and Rafe to know.

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Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Hidden in the Mists Viking tea-towel and Viking carved butter knife (Open INT)


Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014) and the RNA Fantasy Romantic Novel of the year 2021 with Echoes of the Runes. Hidden in the Mists (timeslip/dual time romance published by Headline Review 18th August 2022) is her latest
novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

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My thoughts: slightly different to the previous books in this series – instead of one person journeying back in time to live with Vikings, this time two people dream themselves into the bodies of two actual people from the past. When Skye and Rafe meet, there’s an instant connection and with both of them wearing mysterious jewellery decorated with runes, they are transported into the lives of two Viking-era people who lived on Skye’s land years before. They experience the past in dreams but the things they see and feel are very real.

This was quite fun, I loved Skye’s dogs, Pepsi and Cola, even if they were a bit rubbish as guard dogs. I liked Rafe and Skye, they seemed like good, genuine people, both with things in their pasts they’d rather forget. I was less involved with the Viking story of Ata and Otturr – I just didn’t connect with them very much. Though I was glad their story had a happy ending, as both had suffered.

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

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the
Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway
organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Summer of Castles – Rachel Walkley

A Summer of Castles. A secret in ruins.
At the beginning of the sultry 2003 English summer, Robyn Yates quits her job to photograph fifteen castles for a man she’s never met. A man who won’t tell her his real name.
What motivates her is an unusual ability she can’t explain nor understand. Somebody does though and is keen to exploit her secret.
But Robyn isn’t alone on her journey. An artist is painting pictures of the same castles. Wherever she goes, so does he, like a stalker. But is he dangerous? And could this man be the same person who
wants her photographs?
She decides to challenge him, never anticipating that the confrontation will change the path of both of their lives.
The stifling summer will eventually end, but will Robyn find out the truth in time?

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Aspiring writer who pens Women’s Fiction and magical tales about family secrets.
What else?
An East Anglian turned Northerner – almost.
Information professional, always.
Biologist, in my memories.
Archivist, when required.
Amateur pianist and flautist.
Reluctant gardener.
Scribbler of pictures.
And forever…. a mother and wife.
Oh, not forgetting, cat lover!

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My thoughts: this was a clever and gentle romance with a mystery at its heart. Who is the stranger who calls themself Medici, after Lorenzo, who asks for photos and paintings of ruined English castles? Why did they pick Robyn? And what is the strange gift she has that brings a glimpse of the past to life?

As Robyn roams Northern England with her camera and meets a mysterious painter, she is drawn further into the swirl of secrets around her new patron. And romance awaits on the horizon as well as a sad tale or two.

Gently enjoyable and with summer baked through it – one before everyone had smart phones or watches, when getting information was a lot trickier than just asking Google, this is a clever and moving story.

*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: Come True – Brindi Quinn

ComeTrue copy

I’m so excited to share this amazing book with you today! Read on for more details about Come True: A Bomb-Ass Genie Romance by Brindi Quinn! You’re going to want to read this one!

COMETRUEgoodreads

Come True: A Bomb-Ass Genie Romance

Publication Date: April 27th, 2022

Genre: New Adult/ Paranormal Romance/ Comedy

Publisher: Midnight Tide Publishing

★A jaded girl. A persistent genie. A contest of souls.★

Recent college graduate Dolly Jones has spent the last year stubbornly trying to atone for a mistake that cost her everything. She doesn’t go out, she doesn’t make new friends and she sure as hell doesn’t treat herself to things she hasn’t earned, but when her most recent thrift store purchase proves home to a hot, magical genie determined to draw out her darkest desires in exchange for a taste of her soul, Dolly’s restraint, and patience, will be put to the test.

Newbie genie Velis Reilhander will do anything to beat his older half-brothers in a soul-collecting contest that will determine the next heir to their family estate, even if it means coaxing desire out of the least palatable human he’s ever contracted. As a djinn from a ‘polluted’ bloodline, Velis knows what it’s like to work twice as hard as everyone else, and he won’t let anyone—not even Dolly f*cking Jones—stand in the way of his birthright. He just needs to figure out her heart’s greatest desire before his asshole brothers can get to her first.

COME TRUE: A BOMB-ASS GENIE ROMANCE is the romantic, fantastic second-coming-of-age story of two flawed twenty-somethings from different realms battling their inner demons, and each other, one wish at a time.

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Excerpt

I’ve been poisoned? I’ve had an allergic reaction? There are toxins held within that ancient turquoise glass?

These are the thoughts racing through me as I blink open my eyes and find my face planted on the kitchen floor. Never a good idea to get eye-level with your kitchen floor. One finds all sorts of treasures hiding out under crannies and betwixt nooks. I see an eraser, a spill mark, a hair cluster and . . . feet.

FEET?

There are most certainly bare feet standing on the other side of my open fridge door! At least I got my wish. A burglar came for me instead of fire. I reach for a gun, but I have no gun. I don’t even like guns. So what do I grab? A fucking glue gun from the craft bin beside my kitchen table. And I hold it with all the confidence it hasn’t earned.

“L-Larry?” I venture. “Is that you?”

Larry’s the name of the super. The only one that should have keys to my apartment.

The fridge door slams, and feet much too tan to be Larry’s begin closing in on me. Not to mention, Larry always, always, always wears socks. One time, I saw him wear them under flip-flops. That toe-separator was working overtime.

I digress, and the feet are nearly upon me, soon accompanied by a head dropping into frame; the intruder has just crouched. Definitely not Larry. Larry’s incapable of smirking like that.

WHAT THE FUCK?

It’s a guy and, let’s be real, it’s a guy of higher than average features, with dusk-blue hair tossed effortlessly with product and eyes a paler shade of blue than I thought possible on a person. Sharp, the centers pierce like turrets through a blizzard while the corners taper with smug amusement.

Oh, yeah, and did I mention he’s NAKED? All but for a pair of gray sweatpants low around his waist and rolled up at the ankles.

“Hello, Master,” he says with undue familiarity. “Sorry for invading your refrigerator. You were taking your time, and I was getting hungry.” He makes a chomping noise with his teeth.

“Stay back!” I scamper into a sitting position and steadily crab crawl away from him, holding the glue gun like it might fool him into thinking I’m armed.

“No use pulling the trigger,” he counters, straightening to reveal a body that’s lean. “Your bullets will miss me every time.”

He . . . thinks it’s a real gun?

But it has a cord!

No matter.

“I have a very steady hand,” I assert, knowing my hand is anything but. “You have three seconds to get out of here or I’ll shoot!” It sounds like something someone would say in a movie—from what I remember of movies.

“I don’t doubt your hand, Master,” he says and takes a step closer. “But you’re incapable of hurting me physically. It won’t work, even if you try.”

Again, this is clearly a glue gun.

“How did you get in here?” I demand. “We’re on the third floor, and I know I locked the door.”

He tips his head. “Really? You’re the one that brought me in. You said I could spend the night. And then you sealed it with a kiss.”

Blinks befall me—One. Two. Three.

“You were in my apartment the whole time?!” I jab the glue gun in his direction and notice for the first time that it has a half-used stick of glue butting out the ass of it. “You were watching when I kissed that—that vase?!”

And, oh, dear lord, now we’ve admitted to another living person that we kissed a vase.

“Vase?” He shakes his head comically as though this is all a big misunderstanding. “No, no. That’s not a vase. It is my holding vessel. I’d invite you in for a tour, but it’s a bit cramped.”

“Your holding vessel? As in something that contains you?” I look between the shirtless, blue-haired guy, eyes trailing over the tight chest of him before flicking to the bottle on the counter in all its arcane wonder. “As in, you expect me to believe you came out of it? Like you’re a . . . a genie or something?”

“To be honest, genie is kind of a derogatory term where I come from, but—”

“Get out.” I prod the glue gun at him with new vigor. “Get out, get out, get out!”

For a moment, it’s as if a shadow settles over his brow as a shimmer from some nonexistent light source catches his eye. “Is that a wish?”

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About the Author

20220108_145943

Brindi Quinn is a fangirling fantasy author from Minnesota specializing in world-building and romance. She is an advocate of quirky love and firmly believes that banter makes the heart grow fonder. Her main ingredients for a great read are spice, sparkle, and SWOON.

Since 2011, Brindi has written over a dozen young adult and new adult novels beginning with her debut epic fantasy series, Heart of Farellah. Her works often blur the lines between paranormal romance, science fiction, and fantasy, and her series have been hailed as unique, addictive reads by reviewers.

Brindi is an IT Project Manager by day and has a bachelor’s in communication-based studies from Southern New Hampshire University. She lives in suburban Minnesota where she likes to bike, indulge in video game lore, and spend time with her life partner, Kent, the world’s cutest pup, Burton, and the fluffle of cantankerous rabbits that hop around her house.

Brindi is published through Never & Ever Publishing and Midnight Tide Publishing.

Brindi Quinn | Instagram | Facebook | TikTok | Goodreads

Click the link below for a chance to win a signed paperback copy of the book!

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My thoughts: this was a funny, entertaining read, I liked Dolly and her sarcastic, slightly hostile world view, and how naive Velis was about humans and the world we live in. Not everyone wants to be an influencer!

Their adventures take in other worlds, time travel, obnoxious siblings, falling in love with the wrong person and a lot more kissing than I Dream of Jeannie would dare.

Are genies, genii, djinn, about to be the next big thing in fantasy romance after vampires, werewolves and fairies? I don’t know but this a fun start.

Book Tour Schedule

July 25th

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July 26th

@dany.alvy (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dany.alvy/

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Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

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Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

July 27th

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Cheryl’s Book Nook (Review) https://cherylsbooknook.blogspot.com/

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July 28th

Balancing Books and Beauties (Review) https://balancingbooksandbeauties.wordpress.com/

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Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

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See Sadie Read (Review) http://sadieforsythe.com/wp/

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July 29th

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*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.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Lord of Worth – Philippa Jane Keyworth

London 1776: Lord Worth is busying himself restoring his family fortunes and burying any feelings he still harbours for the woman who rejected his proposal.
The fact that the lady in question—Lady Rebecca Fairing—happens to be his sister’s best friend, his niece’s godmother, and present at every Societal gathering of consequence is… unfortunate.
Meanwhile Rebecca fears she made the wrong decision in rejecting James Worth, but when he assures her he won’t be renewing his proposal, she is forced to accept her choice. It doesn’t take
long for the eligible Lord Worth to attract other suitors, among them Lady Sophia, daughter to Society’s most notorious gossip, Lady Goring.
Rebecca knows she must step aside and allow James to find happiness, but when she senses all is not as it seems in the Goring family, she can’t help but intervene.
As James and Rebecca work together to unearth Societal secrets, deal with scheming matriarchs, and face villainous highwaymen, they find themselves more in each other’s company than ever before.
Will they continue to bury their feelings for one another, or will they finally realise what it means to love?

About the Ladies of Worth series
The Ladies of Worth series is a historical romance series of novels set in 18th century. From the gaming hells of London to Bath’s fashionable Pump Room, the Ladies of Worth series opens up a world of romance, wit and scandal to its readers. With formidable heroines and honourable heroes who match each other wit for wit you’ll find yourself falling in love with the Ladies of Worth.

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Philippa Jane Keyworth, also known as P. J. Keyworth, writes historical romance and fantasy novels you’ll want to escape into.
She loves strong heroines, challenging heroes and backdrops that read like you’re watching a movie.
She creates complex, believable characters you want to get to know and worlds that are as dramatic as they are beautiful.
Keyworth’s historical romance novels include Regency and Georgian romances that trace the steps of indomitable heroes and heroines through historic British streets. From London’s glittering
ballrooms to its dark gaming hells, characters experience the hopes and joys of love while avoiding a coil or too! Travel with them through London, Bath, Cornwall and beyond and you’ll find yourself falling in love.

Keyworth’s fantasy series The She Trilogy unveils a world of nomadic warrior tribes and peaceful forest-dwelling folk. Explore the hills, deserts and cities of Emrilion and the history that is woven through them. With so many different races in the same kingdom it’s become a melting pot of
drama and intrigue where the ultimate struggle between good and evil will bring it all to the brink of destruction.

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Giveaway Win a signed copy of Lord of Worth (Open to UK Only)

My thoughts: this Regency romance is full of gossip and intrigue as James, Lord Worth and Lady Rebecca Fairing spar and conspire to help a young friend on the path to true love, and perhaps resolve their own feelings for each other along the way.

There’s the society gossip and snob Lady Goring to contend with as she practically tries to force James into marrying her daughter, the sweet Lady Sophia, her nephew Lord Avers, who has schemes of his own, James’ sister and brother-in-law, on hand as back up when James re-enters society and the dreaded Season.

Rebecca has her own sister in her corner, as well as Caro, James’ sister. Which helps as Lady Goring seems determined to ruin her life on her way to securing a rich husband for her daughter. Miserable woman that she is.

Over card games, tennis, lunches, and other high society pursuits, Rebecca realises she was a bit hasty in rejecting James and they finally realise they do actually need each other.

I’m rather glad these days you don’t have to marry to avoid disgrace and parents don’t have the same sway they once did. I felt sorry for Sophia and Rebecca, and was pleased that things sorted themselves out before Rebecca’s aunt swooped in.

There’s humour along the way, from zebras in the Royal menagerie, to meddling sisters and misunderstandings. A fun, historical romantic comedy of manners.

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

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by
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Cover Reveal: My Paris Romance – Olivia Spring

Falling in love with a billionaire…

Cassie swore she’d never fall for another rich guy. Her heart has other ideas.

After a whirlwind holiday romance with hot billionaire Frenchman Nico, personal assistant Cassie receives an invitation to visit him in Paris.

Although she’d love a fairy-tale reunion, Cassie cannot fall for Nico. They live in different countries, come from different worlds, plus he’s more loaded than a bank vault. And after her rich ex and his snooty family left her feeling heartbroken and worthless, Cassie swore off dating wealthy guys. If she’d known Nico was France’s most eligible bachelor when they met, she’d never have got involved.

But their connection is undeniable and she’d be crazy not to see him again. If Cassie suppresses her feelings and just goes for the experience, she can avoid getting hurt, right?

Except when Nico sweeps her off her feet with a string of sexy, romantic dates around Paris, her plan not to fall in love unravels. She hopes he feels the same, but then a shocking revelation turns her world upside down…

Can they overcome their obstacles? And will Cassie get the happily-ever-after she’s been dreaming of?

Order this fun, steamy, fish-out-of-water, billionaire romantic comedy now and join Cassie in Paris to find out!

Read as a standalone novel or as book three in the My Ten-Year Crush series.

Amazon UK Amazon US Publication Date: 30th August 2022

Olivia Spring is a British, London-based writer of contemporary women’s fiction, sexy chick lit and romantic comedy. Her uplifting debut novel The Middle-Aged Virgin, which was released in 2018, deals with being newly single in your thirties and beyond, dating, relationships, love, sex and living life to the full.

In addition to The Middle-Aged Virgin, Olivia has published The Middle-Aged Virgin in Italy, Love Offline, Losing My Inhibitions, Only When It’s Love and the sequel When’s The Wedding? 

Olivia’s seventh novel, My Ten-Year Crush, was published in September 2021. Book two in the series, My Lucky Night followed in November 2021 and book three, My Paris Romance will be published in summer 2022.

When she’s not writing, Olivia can be found enjoying cupcakes and cocktails and of course, seeking inspiration for her next book!

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Little Library on Cherry Lane – Katie Ginger

Elsie Martin may lead a quiet life, but working in her beloved local library is enough to make her happy. After all, books have always been her armour against the world. So when the library is threatened with closure to make way for a new housing development, Elsie knows it has to be saved – and that, despite being painfully shy, she needs to lead the campaign to save it.

Jacob Yardley thinks he’s doing the right thing by building a new affordable housing development. Why shouldn’t local people be able to buy a house in the place they grew up? Having to leave his own small hometown broke his heart. Plus, people don’t really use libraries anymore, do they?

As Elsie and Jacob clash over the future of the library, sparks begin to fly. Jacob is falling back in love with books and libraries – could he possibly be falling for her too? And will Elsie be able to save the library that means so much to her?

My thoughts: I pretty much spent my childhood in a library. I even became a student librarian at secondary school, with responsibility for uploading new books onto ALICE, the computer system and shelving. So I immediately felt a kinship with Elsie – libraries are so important and hers is also essentially the heart of village life.

The various community groups that meet there, the safe space it offers for the lonely and bereaved, the daily cakes from best friend Gemma’s bakery, even rude Karen the supervisor. And knocking it down will prevent those people from having anywhere to go. Typical box ticking nonsense from the council about enough provision in the local area not taking anything into account. And then there’s Jacob’s horrible father, I wanted to push him in the duck pond – but that might be unfair to the ducks!

I found myself cheering for Elsie and her pals as they pushed back against the closure, as they pulled together to save their library from floods and demolition. And of course as Jacob learns to stand up to his dad and realises that with Elsie is where he belongs. Lovely, heartwarming stuff.

*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 One – Claire Frost

What happens when you lose the love of your life just three months after you meet him?

Lottie Brown has finally found The One. Leo is everything she’s ever wanted – he’s handsome, kind, funny and totally gets her. Three months into their relationship, Lottie is in love and happier than ever before. 

But then Leo tragically dies, and Lottie is left floundering.

As she struggles to stop her life falling apart, Lottie learns more about the man she thought she knew, and starts to question whether Leo really was as perfect as he seemed…

The brand-new heart-breaking novel of love, loss and learning to live again, from the acclaimed author of MARRIED AT FIRST SWIPE. Perfect for fans of Paige Toon, Holly Miller and Rosie Walsh.

My thoughts: I vaguely remember that heady rush at the start of a new relationship (I’ve been with my husband for 12 years) that mean you don’t notice the things the other person doesn’t say, the questions they avoid answering and the ugly bits of themselves they don’t like to show. Which is where Lottie is when Leo dies, three months into their relationship.

It’s only after he’s gone and she starts to learn a little bit more about him, mostly from his cousin Ross, that she starts to realise that perhaps their perfect three month old relationship wasn’t all that perfect and that maybe she needs to find a way to move forward with her life and let go of the idealised version in her head.

I liked Lottie, grief is a strange and bewildering emotion – you’re not always the most logical or balanced version of yourself and you do lash out and try to numb yourself as Lottie does. You’re mad at the universe and brokenhearted and furious and sad and lost. Sometimes all at the same time. She’s very lucky to have her sisters, her friends, and even Leo’s family, that support, however you react, makes a huge difference.

I liked Lottie even more as she healed, as she started to make changes, to find her way back to herself, from applying for what sounds like an amazing job (if it was real I’d be applying for it), to finally forgiving herself and building better relationships with her family and friends. The hopefulness at the end of the book was heartwarming and joyful. A funny, sad, happy sort of book, one that will maybe make you think differently about what love is.

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

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Book Trailer Reveal: The Triangle of Hope – Michael Myer

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Welcome to the book trailer reveal for The Triangle of Hope by Michael Meyer! Read on for more details and have a watch!

Idyllic Cliffs of Moher at sunset, Co. Clare, Ireland

Triangle of Hope

Genre: Literary Fiction/ Irish/ English Literary Fiction/ Romance

If one person can make a difference, just think what three can do. A tender story of love. Three strangers, each harboring a dark secret, become united by chance in a small Irish village, and the wonderful power of the human spirit comes alive.

If you believe that love and romance can happen in unusual circumstances, then this book is for you.

“If an author can make you cry for his characters then want to hug them close and then want to do an Irish jig with them to celebrate overcoming that much pain, then you know you have read a book that will stay with you forever.” – Wanda Hartzenberg, Wanda’s Amazing Amazon Reviewers

It is a “fantastic read that will pull at your heart.” – Lauren Alumbaugh, Goodreads librarian

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Mike Meyer

Michael Meyer is the author of mysteries, thrillers, humorous fiction, and non-fiction: Love and romance, laughter and tears, thrills and fears.

He has resided in and has visited many places in the world, all of which have contributed in some way to his own published writing. He has literally traveled throughout the world, on numerous occasions. He has lived in Finland, Germany, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He gained the wanderlust to see the world, to experience other cultures, at an early age, and this desire has never left him. If anything, it has only gained in intensity as he has aged.

Among the many unique things that have happened to him in his world travels, he has walked the streets of Istanbul with a detective, searching for a pickpocket who got him good. He has ridden on the back of a motorcycle in Tehran while the driver, who spoke not one word of English, pointed out all the sights to him. He has wrestled an Iranian soldier who tried to break into his hotel room in Tehran. He has had the paint completely stripped from his car as he drove across Saudi Arabia in a sandstorm. He has stood on the stage of a busy nightclub in Tokyo, singing “She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain When She Comes” to an audience feeling no pain from the Sake they were drinking. He has been chased by a family of mongooses (yes, that is the correct spelling) on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Croix. And that is just the beginning of his long list of worldly adventures.

As a recent retiree from a forty-year career as a professor of writing, he now lives in Southern California wine country with his wife, Kitty, and their two adorable rescue cats.

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Book Review: Regency Romance trilogy – Katy Moran

This trio of books is set in an alternate version of history where Wellington lost the battle of Waterloo and Britain became part of Napoleon’s empire.

1817 Cornwall and London

Heir to an aristocratic family scorched by scandal and scarred by war, the Earl of Lamorna (known to friends as Crow) is as dangerous as he is self-destructive. As a spy, he treads a fine line between loyalty and treachery, with a haunting secret in his past that threatens to destroy not only Crow himself, but those he loves. It’s only going to take a single spark to set his world aflame. So when Crow’s wild and impetuous young brother catches him in flagrante with their widowed stepmother, a lethal chain of events is set in motion.

Heiress Hester Harewood has problems of her own, on the run from the men who shot her father. The last thing she needs is to get involved with a complicated aristocrat, even if he does offer her his unconditional protection. But who is more dangerous? Those she is running from? Or Crow himself: charismatic, unpredictable, and yet with the capacity for such tenderness that Hester’s heart is in just as much danger as her life.

Game of Hearts was previously published as False Lights by K.J. Whittaker and on Kindle as Hester and Crow by Katy Moran

In high society England, gossip and scandal are traded over afternoon tea and the country is awash with rumour.

In Lady Hester’s opinion, it’s just typical that the wickedest gossip of all focuses on her beautiful, impossible husband Crow. Damaged aristocrat, soldier, spy, Crow loves Hester fiercely, but he has a wild past and rumours of a child with his black hair and grey eyes wound Hester more deeply than she is willing to admit. And yet London blazes with a far more lethal whispering campaign that threatens the safety of their own little daughter, Morwenna. Crow’s enemies want him tried for treason and soon Morwenna herself is in mortal danger. Hester may love Crow as much as he loves her, but now their baby’s life is at risk. There’s nothing she won’t do to protect their child. So when clever, worldly-wise Countess Lieven drops her guard and says, ‘Run… take your baby, Hester, and run,’ Hester does exactly that.

Accused of high treason, Crow will do anything to save Hester and Morwenna, even if that means accepting a final mission that might just end in losing them both for good.

1825
FONTAINEBLEAU, FRANCE

Clemency Arwenack never dreamed she would be appointed lady-in-waiting to the notorious Princess Royal. A soldier’s daughter, Clemency has aristocratic connections that she could quite frankly do without, and catering to the whims of an impetuous heir to the throne is the last thing she wants. Even so, Clemency’s ambitious godmother forces her to accept the position. Always a keeper of other people’s confidences, Clemency has a secret of her own, and Georgiana, Lady Boscobel, is only too ready to use it against her.

Worse still, the Honourable Lieutenant Colonel Kit Helford is now captain of the royal guard – and so Clemency can’t avoid the one childhood friend who might just see through her dangerous web of deceit. Kit Helford is just as wild and handsome as he’s always been. And Clemency knows only too well that he’s just as much trouble.

My thoughts: I loved this trilogy, I want more Hester and Crow and Kit and Clemency. I have questions – where on earth did Arkwright disappear to? Does Kitto retire his commission and rear horses instead? Is Clemency still running a book bindery? What happened to Nadezdha – did she become queen? There’s too many loose threads, book 4 please!

Alternate history novels are a lot of fun – all the what ifs, completely flipping things on their head. With Wellington a prisoner in the first book (Game of Hearts), all looks lost, but Crow, dashing, handsome, dangerous Crow is tasked with rescuing him and increasing his own infamy in the process. Hester provides some balance but those wild Cornish Lamorna men are tricky to tame.

I have a great love for Cornwall, my grandmother came from the West Country, and I’ve been to several of the places mentioned – I even own Lamorna pottery with its distinctive blue colouring. So I enjoyed going “been there!” as various locations enter the story. I’ve also been to France and Russia, I could easily picture St Petersburg (Wicked by Design) and the Neva River, frozen over and glittering. I think this added an extra dimension for me, but even if you haven’t a clue what any of these places might look like, Katy Moran brings the courts of Europe in all their gossiping, back stabbing delight to full life.

A big thank you to Head of Zeus for sending me these lovely books.