Thursday, 27 November 2014

Book Review (410): Christmas At Tiffany's - Karen Swan

Christmas at Tiffany's

Publication: 28th October 2014
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 592
Genre: Chick-Lit
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It: Amazon ☀ B&N ☀ Book Depository ☀ Goodreads
What do you do when the man you pledged your life to breaks your heart and shatters your dreams? You pack your bags and travel the big, wide world to find your destiny--and your true love . . .

Ten years ago, a young and naive Cassie married her first serious boyfriend, believing he would be with her forever. Now her marriage is in tatters and Cassie has no career or home of her own. Though she feels betrayed and confused, Cassie isn't giving up. She's going to take control of her life. But first she has to find out where she belongs . . . and who she wants to be.

Over the course of one year, Cassie leaves her sheltered life in rural Scotland to stay with her best friends living in the most glamorous cities in the world: New York, Paris, and London. Exchanging comfort food and mousy hair for a low-carb diet and a gorgeous new look, Cassie tries each city on for size as she searches for the life she's meant to have . . . and the man she's meant to love.
My Thoughts.
One of the best surprises as a reader is when you pick a book up thinking this'll be alright, not expecting to be blown away by how fantastic it ends up being, and that's just what Karen has done here, truth be told I was expecting a fluffy and typical chick-lit story instead I got so much more, once I started this book it was so hard to put it down again.

On the night of her tenth wedding anniversary Cassie discovers that not only has her husband been cheating on her with one of her best-friends but they also have a three year old son, devastated she makes a plan with her three childhood best-friends to spend four months with each of them, Kelly in New York, Anouk in Paris and Suzy in London, along the way Cassie finds heartbreak, happiness and love as she discovers herself and the person she's meant to be, with a cast of characters that are entertaining and uniquely different from each other and the landscapes of three big cities around the world as this stories backdrop.

With vivid descriptions, a great storyline and in Cassie a heroine that I can surely relate to, this book will keep you entertained and completely absorbed as Cassie finds herself in the experiences she has throughout.

I will be sure to pick up any other Karen Swan books that I come across, and keep an eye out for further releases.

A great Christmas read, I definitely recommend this one.

I give this 4/5 stars.

About Karen Swan

Karen Swan
Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and an ADHD puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest in Sussex, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs. Her first novel, Players, was published in 2010, followed by Prima Donna and Christmas at Tiffany’s in 2011.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Book Review (409): Sunflower Lane (Lonesome Way #4) - Jill Gregory

Sunflower Lane (Lonesome Way #4)

Publication: 4th November 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
A heartwarming new novel by New York Times bestselling author Jill Gregory about taking a chance on passion, trust, love—and finally healing the past…

For Annabelle Harper, summer in her hometown of Lonesome Way, Montana, means a chance to make a home for her orphaned young nieces and nephew. It’s also a chance to find a new direction for her life—one that doesn’t include romance. So when rugged Wes McPhee shows up back in town, she has every reason to keep him at a distance…

Even unhappy memories can’t keep Wes from returning to Lonesome Way to help his grandmother recover from an injury. And his fear of commitment isn’t enough to make him resist the tantalizing heat that he feels whenever he’s near Annabelle. But can a wandering man like Wes ever settle down? When an old enemy comes to Lonesome Way, and their dreams of love are threatened, Wes and Annabelle must fight for the future.
My Thoughts.
Sunflower Lane is the fourth book in the Lonesome Way series.

This year is when I discovered my love for small town contemporary romance books, series especially, there's nothing like picking up a first book in a series and becoming absorbed in the lives and loves of small town life, and eagerly awaiting each new release.

Based in Lonesome Way, Montana a different couple is at the heart of each book, but as with all romances the journey to happily ever after is never a smooth one as problems and obstacles must be overcome before they can start their lives together.

Wes McPhee left Lonesome Way at eighteen, determined never to return after having one too many fights and arguments with his Dad vowing to never speak with him again, years later his Dad is dead and Wes returns when his Gran injures herself, not planning on staying past the Fourth of July, he rents a rundown, ramshackle cabin from Annabelle Harper who has become guardian to her orphaned nieces and nephew, sparks fly between the two but with Wes determined to leave will this romance be over before it's begun?

With a cavalcade of appearances from past couples and even some new characters there's something here for everyone.

A fantastic series full of warmth, love, laughter and heartwarming stories that will leave you with a smile in your face.

I look forward to the next book and the next couple to fall in love with.

An extremely enjoyable series by an author that knows how to write a good romance.

I give this 4/5 stars,

Jill GregoryJill Gregory is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of more than thirty five historical and contemporary novels and has been honored with the Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as with back-to-back Reviewer’s Choice awards for Best Western Historical Romance. Her books have been published in more than twenty-four countries. Her contemporary novel SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE, co-written with Karen Tintori, was adapted into a CBS TV movie of the week and was excerpted in Cosmopolitan Magazine.
Jill’s most recent series is her contemporary Lonesome Way book series (SAGE CREEK, LARKSPUR ROAD, BLACKBIRD LAKE, SUNFLOWER LANE), set in Montana and published by Berkley Sensation.
Jill grew up in Chicago and received her bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Illinois. An animal lover, Jill loves long walks, reading, hot tea on a winter’s day, and the company of friends. She lives in Michigan with her husband, and enjoys her home overlooking the woods where the deer, rabbits, squirrels, and an occasional owl or hawk come out to play.
I love hearing from my readers and they can email me at, or find me on Facebook, Twitter (@Jill_Gregory), and Pinterest. To see my latest news, readers can get the scoop at my website,

Thursday, 20 November 2014

(ARC) Book Review (408): The Maverick Of Copper Creek (Copper Creek Cowboys #1) - R.C. Ryan

The Maverick of Copper Creek (Copper Creek Cowboys #1)

Publication: 30th September 2014
Publisher: Forever
Pages: 400
Genre: Western Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
In the New York Times bestselling tradition of Linda Lael Miller and Diana Palmer, comes R.C. Ryan's stunning new western trilogy about the MacKenzie brothers of Copper Creek, Montana.

First love always burns hotter . . .

Ash MacKenzie broke his share of hearts when he left Copper Creek all those years ago and struck out on his own. Tall, tough, and proud. That's how Brenna always remembered him, and from the looks of things, he hasn't changed much. Once, she thought he could save her—whisk her away from her rough childhood home and start fresh together. Now she knows better . . .

Ash isn't planning to stick around town long. As soon as he uncovers the truth about his father's death and makes sure the family ranch is safe, he'll be back out on his own. And then he runs into Brenna Crane. It broke his heart to leave her once—a herd of stampeding horses couldn't make him do it again. But Brenna has made a new life for herself, one that doesn't include him. Now he just has to convince her to give their first love a second chance.
My Thoughts.
The Maverick Of Copper Creek is the first book in an all new western romance series.

At the age of nineteen Ash MacKenzie left home after one too many fights with his Father, Bear MacKenzie, eventually settling down on his own ranch in Wyoming.

The story skips forward ten years and we're there when Bear is shot and killed by an unknown assailant, when Ash hears the news he rush's home to Montana and the family ranch that he hasn't been back to once since the day he left, running into his best-friend and first love Brenna, he discovers that she's now engaged and has moved on with her life, after seeing her Ash realises that his feelings for her haven't changed one bit.

With the mystery of Bear's murder and with no idea of a motive in why he was killed, suspects are hard to find, there also seems to be someone targeting Brenna, with no enemies that she's aware of and the incidents only increasing and getting worse, will Ash and Brenna discover who is behind all this before someone's life is lost?

I've become a big fan of western romances lately and this is another great addition to the genre, with a great cast of characters who all gather when there's somebody in need and made this book a joy to read.

I look forward to further books in the series and of course more of the MacKenzies.

I give this 4/5 stars.

New York Times bestselling author R.C. Ryan has written more than ninety fiction novels, both contemporary and historical.  Quite an accomplishment for someone who, after her fifth child started school, gave herself the gift of an hour a day to follow her dream to become a writer.  In a career spanning more than twenty years, Ms. Ryan has given dozens of radio, television, and print interviews across the country and Canada, and has been quoted in such diverse publications as the Wall Street Journal and Cosmopolitan.  She has also appeared on CNN News, as well as Good Morning America.  R.C. Ryan is a pseudonym of New York Times bestselling author Ruth Ryan Langan.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Book Review (407): On The Edge - Allison Van Diepen

On the Edge

Publication: 25th November 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
From Allison van Diepen, author of Snitch and Street Pharm, comes a sexy, dangerous novel about a teen who witnesses a murder and gets caught up in the seedy world of Miami’s gangs.

Maddie Diaz never should have taken that shortcut through the park. If she hadn't, she wouldn't have seen two members of the Reyes gang attacking a homeless man. Now, as the only witness, she knows there’s a target on her back. 

But when the Reyes jump her on the street, Maddie is protected by a second gang and their secretive leader, Lobo, who is determined to take down the Reyes himself. Lobo is mysterious and passionate, and Maddie begins to fall for him. But when they live this close to the edge, can their love survive?

On the Edge is a compelling story about fighting for what’s right and figuring out where you belong. The novel showcases a gritty, realistic voice and earth–shattering romance that will intrigue readers of Simone Elkeles and Paul Griffin and captivate fans of Allison van Diepen's other novels.
My Thoughts.
Ever since this book first appeared on Goodreads I've been intrigued by it, I would even say this was one of my most anticipated books of the year, so when I received a copy for review I was ecstatic, the concept is what initially drew me in, I find that I quite enjoy books that feature gangs and girls who fall for gang members, it also helps when it's compared to Simone Elkeles who's Perfect Chemistry series I adore.

One night while walking through the park after a party Maddie witnesses two gang members from the Reyes attacking a homeless man who subsequently dies, reporting the crime to the police Maddie knows that the Reyes will be after her for payback, when she ends up getting jumped she is saved from further injury when Lobo the head of the Destinos and his gang save her and offer her their protection, Maddie is drawn to Lobo but since his face is always covered whenever she see's him she never knows what he looks like.

Torn between her attraction to Lobo and also Ortiz the hot guy who works at her local corner store, her choice is made for her when Lobo stays away to keep her safe, with all out war coming to a head between three gangs tension is brewing and retribution is coming.

This book once picked up is hard to put down it's a quick read, and while I did guess Lobo's true identity as soon as he appeared in the book it didn't take anything away from the story once it was revealed, full of action and fast paced this book will keep you enthralled the whole way through.

I give this 4/5 stars.

Allison van Diepen is the author of seven teen novels: Takedown, Street Pharm, Snitch, Raven, The Oracle of Dating, The Oracle Rebounds, and The Vampire Stalker. Her novels have been named ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers and New York City Public Library Books for the Teen Age. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Book Review (406): Mistletoe On Main Street (Briar Creek #1) - Olivia Miles

Mistletoe on Main Street (Briar Creek #1)

Publication: 30th September 2014
Publisher: Forever
Pages: 400
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It:  Goodreads / Amazon / B&N
Sleigh bells, snow, and second chances . . .
Briar Creek's quaint shop windows, cozy homes nestled in snow, and neighborly residents are what Christmas dreams are made of--for everyone except Grace Madison. She left her hometown years ago to pursue a writing career. But when her father's death leaves his bookstore empty, Grace must return to face why she fled Vermont in the first place: Luke Hastings, who still heats her up like a shot of smoky whiskey on a cold winter's night.

Grace is back, and Luke is worried. How much has she changed as a bestselling author in the big city? What memories will she stir up? And was the choice he made five years ago the biggest mistake of his life?

Now, with their past, present, and future rocking around the Christmas tree, it's time for Grace and Luke to face the music . . . and the mistletoe.
My Thoughts.
To say I loved this book was an understatement, there are no words to describe how much I adored this book, as soon as I started reading the first page I was hooked, I could not put it down, my house could have been burning down around me and I wouldn't have known, Olivia's writing grabbed hold of me from the start and wouldn't let go, this book is filled with everything I love in a contemporary romance, it's like Olivia crawled into my head pulled them out and wrote this fantastic book, it has:
* small town romance
* second chance at love
* the story take place at Christmas time
* it features a bookstore
* our main heroine Grace is a best-selling author
* the gorgeous cover (I know that has nothing to do with the story but it's so pretty).

Grace has returned home to Briar Creek for Christmas, having left five years ago to escape her first love Luke and all of the memories, she settled in New York and became a best-selling author just like she'd dreamed off, after her last book received less than stellar reviews Grace has almost given up on her writing career, her one goal while here is to avoid Luke but when driving into town she finds her car stuck in a snow drift and who should come to her aid but the one person she didn't want to see Luke, both shocked at seeing each other again and with a painful history between them things are awkward to say the least.

Arriving home, for the first time since the death of her Dad, Grace is shocked to find her family's house which has in the past won numerous awards for the best decorated house at Christmas with her Mom being known around town for her competitive decorating, barely decorated with just a skinny excuse for a tree and her Mom just a shell of her former self haven't not yet come to terms with her husbands death, when Grave goes to visit her Dads bookstore in town which was his pride and joy she comes to discover that it's been closed, her family knowing how much the shop meant to her were too afraid to tell her knowing how upset she'd be when she found out, Grace decides to try and save the store to be able to afford the next years lease, with a plan in mind to hopefully expand with a cafe into the empty store next door, but things don't go to plan when the owner refuses to give it up, Grace has to come to terms with possibly closing the last link she has to her Dad and also dealing with the tension she incurs every time she's around Luke, will these two ever reconcile the past and realise that they are meant to be?

Filled with love, loss, grief and the rediscovery of the Christmas spirit, this is definitely a great book to pick up over Christmas to get you in the mood and bring you some Christmas cheer.

I eagerly await the next book and I look forward to immersing myself once again in the small town of Briar Creek, Olivia is an author that I will follow closely and who's books will be an auto-buy for me.

Loved the writing, story and the characters, a definite reread, especially closer to Christmas.

Highly recommended.

I give this 5/5 stars.

Olivia Miles lives in Chicago with her husband, young daughter, and two ridiculously pampered pups. As a city girl with a fondness for small-town charm, she enjoys incorporating both ways of life into her stories. Not a day goes by that Olivia doesn’t feel grateful for being able to pursue her passion, and sometimes she does have to pinch herself when she remembers she’s found her own Happily Ever After.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Book Review (405): Caged In Winter (Caged In Winter #1) - Brighton Walsh

Caged in Winter (Caged in Winter #1)

Publication: 4th November 2014
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: New Adult
In this emotional and sexy New Adult debut from Brighton Walsh, the only thing more frightening than commitment is hope…
Aspiring chef Cade Maxwell is immediately, viscerally attracted to Winter Jacobson. But it’s not her mouthwatering curves he’s drawn to—it’s the strange emptiness in her eyes. When Cade saves her from a drunken customer with grabby hands, he’s shocked at her response…
Winter doesn’t need Cade’s help. After a lifetime of getting by on her own, she’s happy to rely on herself. She’s exactly seventy-six days away from graduating college, and if she can hold it together that long, she’ll finally be able to rise above the crappy hand she was dealt.
But now, every time she turns around, Cade is there, ready to push her, smile at her, distract her from her plans. Winter knows she can’t afford to open up—especially to a man she’s terrified to actually want…
My Thoughts.
Every time I pick up a new adult novel it's with a sense of anticipation, I've yet to read a book in this genre that I haven't liked, knowing that this book has had nothing but good reviews and praise heaped upon it, made me quite eager to pick this book up and immerse myself in the world that Brighton has created writing this book.

And I'm delighted to say that I didn't just like this book I adore it, I fell completely in love with the story and the characters, I shed a few tears and ended up putting this book down with a smile on my face.

Winter's secret is heartbreaking, I can understand why she is so closed off and determined that she won't ever have to depend on anybody but herself, life has been hard on her, when we start the book she is seventy-six days away from graduating college with the hope of finding herself a job in her chosen field of graphic design, meanwhile to make ends meet to afford rent and food she works nights at a bar, hating the job but knowing it's the only one she can find that fits around her college classes she gets used to the customers who think that because she has to wear a skimpy uniform that that gives them the right to touch her inappropriately, one night when a guy gets a bit grabby she's saved by Cade who is drawn to Winter immediately, unable to stop thinking about her he shows up every night desperate to know her name and take her out on a date, she eventually relents and they tentively start a relationship, and it's not long before Winter's insecurities, issues of trust and belief that anyone would want her rear there ugly head, can she finally open up to Cade and let go of her past before she loses the best thing that she's ever had in her life.

There's so many things to love about this book, the writing will keep you immersed so that you won't know what's going on around you, forget about putting the book down once you pick it up no matter how many times you tell yourself just one more chapter, before you know it the book is finished and you're left wondering where the time went.

The characters are a highlight here: Winter who is a strong, independent woman struggling to make ends meet but determined that she will do it on her own without anyone's help, but also broken inside and never able to rid herself of the baggage she's been carrying around for so long, never letting anyone see her softer side, too afraid of getting hurt again, and then we have Cade: sexy, strong, caring and more worried about making sure he's there for everybody else than worrying about what he wants, even willing to give up his dream job as a chef so he's there for his sister and niece.
Through being together they'll overcome obstacles and might just make their dreams come true if both of them are willing to let go and give life a chance.

I eagerly await the next book which will be Tessa and Jason's, just from the sneak peek I've read I can tell I'm going to love it already, if you love new adult contemporary romance's then be sure to check this book out, it's amazing.

I give this 5/5 stars.

Brighton Author Photo_Color
Brighton Walsh spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with writing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children.

Book Review (404): What A Woman Gets (Manley Maids #3) - Judi Fennell

What a Woman Gets (Manley Maids #3)

What A Woman Gets is the third book in the Manley Maids series, a fun and enjoyable contemporary romance series sure to leave a smile on your face.

The three Manley brothers have lost a bet to their younger sister, as payment they are to each spend a month cleaning someone's house, this book is about the oldest brother Liam who is sent to clean for Cassidy Davenport a rich socialite who lives off her Dad's fortune, having been burned in the past by an ex-girlfriend who only wanted him for what she could get off him he is not going to make the same mistake twice, when Cassidy is cut off from all her money, apartment, car etc, and is left with just the clothes on her back Liam offers to let her stay at his house, what she doesn't expect is to spend that time cleaning his house to pay her way, Liam soon comes to find that Cassidy is nothing like he thought she'd be, cleaning with no complaints and determined to make her own money and gain her own independence away from under her Dad's thumb, which she's been wanting for quite a while now.

This was my favorite so far of the three books released, I enjoyed seeing the change that Cassidy went through having to give up her life of wealth and privilege and learn to do everyday things that being in her position in life she took for granted, an example was going grocery shopping for the first time ever in her life and she had to work with a budget and then once she got to the checkout discovering that she couldn't afford what she had was a real eye-opener for Cassidy, this story was so well written, I adored these characters and I loved their story so much.

I look forward to Mac's book next, the Manley's Gran has a very good record of matchmaking and I can't wait to see what happens with Mac's story.

One of my favorite contemporary romance series ever, these books are a delightful way to spend your time, definitely a one sit read read, you won't be able to put these books down once you've picked one up.

A great series from a great writer!

I give this 5/5 stars.

Judi FennellJudi Fennell, author of What a Woman Wants and What a Woman Needs, has had her nose in a book and her head in some celestial realm all her life, including those early years when her mom would exhort her to “get outside!” instead of watching Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie on television. So she did—right into Dad’s hammock with her Nancy Drew books. These days she’s more likely to have her nose in her laptop and her head (and the rest of her) at a favorite writing spot, but she’s still reading either her latest manuscript or her friends’ books, or helping authors bring their books to readers with her formatting business. A PRISM and Golden Leaf Award winner, Judi is the author of lighthearted romantic comedies. She lives in suburban Philadelphia with her own menagerie—which might just include a few of the two-legged kind. Check out excerpts, deleted scenes, reviews, and contests, as well as the chance to dive into a whole new world, on her website,
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