Today I thought I’d share a review of A Season For Love. Let’s take a look at the blurb and then I have my no spoiler review.
Can old-fashioned courtship survive in today’s dating world?
When Emma Love’s mother retires, it is time for her to take the reins of the family dating agency and build on its success. And she has a fresh new idea: to host a Jane Austen-style Regency Season of glamourous events where potential lovers can actually take the time to get to know each other in person, with no apps in between.
As the round of glamourous social events begins, we meet some of Emma’s new clients, and see her matchmaking skills in action.
Annie, who has a romantic soul but believes she lost her chance at love a long time ago; recently divorced Jane, who is not quite ready to see what her new love life might look like, and wild child Lydia, who is more interested in hooking up than finding her Mr Darcy.
All is going swimmingly but as the Season unfolds, there is a fly in Emma’s ointment – the irritating Mr Knight, with his casual attitude and gentle cynicism. Why is she allowing him to ruffle her calm, ordered life and why can’t she stop thinking about him? She has no intention of becoming romantically involved herself, of course; she is far too sensible to take a chance on love – isn’t she?
Jane Austen meets Sophie Kinsella.
A Season for Love is very much in the territory of Jane Austen, in-fact so much so that it practically delves into the territory of Emma in both character and premise. It has Emma setting up a dating agency so she can play matchmaker professionally and host regency style balls.
It is witty in places and very much feels like Emma in contemporary times. The best concept in the book is to see whether, what would be considered old-fashioned dating can actually work in today’s modern, high-tech world.
Overall, it is a pleasantly entertaining rom-com.
Thanks to Hera Books for a copy in exchange of an honest review.
Celebrating Authors – Fern Britton By Louise – Lou
As part of my blog in 2023 until it reaches 5 years old in September, I will be celebrating an author or publisher every so often. Join me as I celebrate works of Fern Britton in this part of my series of blog posts. Find a short article and a bit about a couple of her books and links below.
Fern Britton is a well-known TV presenter and author. She has successfully published over 15 books – stand-alone books, novellas and non-fiction over many years and at least one was a Quick Reads book in the Reading Agency scheme. She is also known for her tv presenting on programmes such as Ready Steady Cook, This Morning, Watercolour Challenge (rebooted), My Cornwall and many more.
I’ve read a number of books by Fern Britton, most pre-blog, so one day I will write reviews of more as I highly recommend her; but whilst writing my blog, I have had amazing opportunities such as to review her books and during lockdown, be part of a small group of people on Zoom to interview her in a Q&A set up by her publisher, all of which you can find in the links below in this short article. I was fortunate enough to attend an in-person talk at Good HouseKeeping magazine a couple of years later where she talked warmly and intelligently about The Good Servant as well as candidly about her life, including gardening. She also gave people opportunity to have a signed book and to meet her, which was fortunate for me as her kindness has been beyond and I like to thank people in person. I highly recommended her books, tv programmes and her talks.
Fern Britton’s tv programmes are inspiring, interesting and warm. Anything she touches, her passion and genuine curiosity oozes, pulling in her audience. It’s a great skill and no mean feat, considering the amount of programmes made on many channels. Her books are excellent for curling up with for all year round reading with your favourite snack and drink, whatever the weather. They are evocative and compelling, whether it is romantic fiction, such as A Seaside Affair or historical such as The Good Servant. She has the mystique in her writing to enthral and enchant as she envelopes the reader in the scenery and gives them a clear window into many characters lives. She also has the ability to use facts as a base and fictionalise a story just enough to steer away from it becoming non-fiction as she has in Daughters of Cornwall and The Good Servant.
Daughters of Cornwall is fiction, but was inspired by her own family. It’s a fascinating story across the generations, taking in 1918, 1939 and 2020. It truly is a compelling read with bloodlines and secrets from start to finish.
Within the link for the blurb and full review, you will also find a write-up of the Q&A and about the online book launch. Daughters of Cornwall
The Good Servant is a fictional story based on fact about Marion Crawford (Crawfie) is a young Scottish woman who becomes a governess to two princesses – Princess Margaret and the princess who became our queen – Queen Elizabeth II. It is a thoughtful, interesting book that now holds a deeper poignancy than ever before. There are twists and motives uncovered and a sense of duty revealed in this engaging read.
Find out more about the fascinating, well researched book in the blurb and review within the link. The Good Servant
One Moment is perfect for David Nicholl’s fans. I have the blurb and my blog tour review that I am closing the tour with, thanks to Random T. Tours for inviting me onto and the publisher – Corvus for the book in exchanges for an honest, non-biased review.
About the Author
Becky Hunterlived and worked in London for several years before moving to Mozambique to volunteer
with horses and try her hand at writing. A few years, a few destinations, and a few jobs later she had theidea that would become One Moment. Alongside writing, she now works as a freelance editor and publicist, splitting her time between Bristol and London, and constantly trying to plan the next adventure.
One moment in time can change everything…
The day Scarlett dies should have been one of the most important of her life. It doesn’t feel fair that she’ll never have the chance to fulfil her dreams. And now, she’s still … here – wherever here is – watching the ripple effect of her death on the lives of those she loved the most.
Evie cannot contemplate her life without Scarlett, and she certainly cannot forgive Nate, the man she blames for her best friend’s death. But Nate keeps popping up when she least expects him to, catapulting Evie’s life in directions she’d never let herself imagine possible. Ways, perhaps, even those closest to her had long since given up on.
If you could go back, knowing everything that happens after, everything that happens because of that one moment in time, would you change the course of history or would you do it all again?
One Moment is sure to have readers taking a sharp intake of breath as the words on the first page tumble out. It also has some One Day vibes about it, not a bad thing at all. Becky Hunter’s book is about how everything can change in One Moment and in the most shocking of ways.
It is a highly charged emotional read about grief and you see the impact death has on those left behind, especially in Evie’s life and then Nate keeps appearing, further changing her life.
The book also talks about MS – (Multiple Sclerosis – a disease with no cure and affects everyone differently), being an unpaid carer to someone with this, of course it piqued my attention further and scrutiny heightened. I will add that it isn’t mentioned lots and isn’t the whole story, but as part of this story and the way it fits in, it is done well.
Scarlett also has a pov in this book, yes, she is dead, (as the blurb says) but she in a state of limbo. It almost asks the reader to imagine what it would be like to witness what happens after your death, would you want to and would you change certain events? It’s an interesting concept in what is a fittingly emotional journey that shows all of life, how in a moment it can all change, so basically, perhaps not take it for granted, and so much of life’s connection.
This is a quick paced, compulsive read that packs a punch with a most unexpected ending!
Thanks to Valley Press and Random T. Tours I have a review on a book reminiscent of the film Sliding Doors. So, slide down to discover the blurb and the review of this well constructed debut novel.
Kathryn Johnson’s life is at a standstill. Stuck in a lacklustre marriage, the spark that once burned so brightly within her has since been snuffed out by the monotony of the everyday.
Returning to England after many years of living in Ireland, she is shocked to discover a familiar face on the side of the road one dark and stormy night. But a person can’t just reappear like that. Not when they’ve been dead for twenty years.
Uncovering long-buried memories of first love and its devastating loss, Kathryn returns to the past to see if she can rewrite her present. But love divided by time is a complicated equation to solve.
There’s a dreamy beginning as you enter Kathryn’s life in the prologue and then a startling revelation that is sure to reawaken your senses with a jolt, before slipping into the first chapter to see more of her life as it pierces with grief before swinging you into 1992 and there’s Ed and his love of horses and the racing fixtures. There’s also the life, culture and music of Liverpool, the 90’s films like Top Gun and Ed and Kat’s love blossoming. The party and drugs scenes, however are also in full flow. In fact, The Beatles had a song called Within You, Without You. It is worth a listen to, perhaps after reading this book. It interestingly does in some respects marry up to the book. I don’t know if this is what the author had in mind or the film Sliding Doors, or both, but this works pretty well.
It is an intense read, but quite compelling as you see her life in the past and present. It is quite sliding doors in a sense. This is what makes it compelling as you really need to get to the end to work it all out and what truly happened and also to find if and how lives work out. Investing time and required concentration in their lives certainly is worth it as you go through all the twists and turns and pangs of nostalgia throughout.
Matt Cain is the author of the successful and well received book -The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle. Now he brings his second standalone book – Becoming Ted and thanks to Headline Books for allowing me to review, which you can find below the blurb.
A charming, joyful and surprising story about love, friendship and learning to be true to yourself, Becoming Ted will steal your heart.
Ted Ainsworth has always worked at his family’s ice-cream business in the quiet Lancashire town of St Luke’s-on-Sea.
But the truth is, he’s never wanted to work for the family firm – he doesn’t even like ice-cream, though he’s never told his parents that. When Ted’s husband suddenly leaves him, the bottom falls out of his world.
But what if this could be an opportunity to put what he wants first? This could be the chance to finally follow his secret dream: something Ted has never told anyone …
Matt Cain whisks readers off to the seaside where there’s hope, dreams and putting down new roots and creating a different life. Ted Ainsworth has a dream and it is captivating to see if he reaches and achieves his goal. One he has been keeping secret. He’s into the Manchester music scene and he wants to pursue his dream of being on-stage and be part of this and the drag scene. He’s a fairly unassuming guy in his 40’s who works in the family business with life meandering along, not that he wants to be in the family firm nor has a passion for ice cream, but was moving along not too badly, until his heart is broken. You can really feel the weight of his pain, with the memories attached and all he really has is Lily, his dog and not his man as planned. This is testament of Cain’s writing and realism of how you break up with someone, but there’s still things to do, thoughts in the form of memories still persist, as they do when he was with Giles. There is the sense of the seaside and how it was in its hey-day and how it is now.
There is also the story of Oskar who settled in St. Luke’s-on-Sea after relocating from Poland. He is full of hope of learning a new culture and of new things he had never heard of before. There is also Trevor and his wife, Hillary dealing with a diagnosis to do with her health and Stanley wanting to make the most of what is left of his life, now he is 90. Suddenly there’s a few characters, including the supporting ones who suddenly, energy goes into rooting for from the moment they’re met to when more is revealed.
Readers can see who Ted Ainsworth and how he transforms and becomes Ted in what he becomes in what is an uplifting, charming book, even through all the emotion.
This is an author I’d certainly read again, having read two and now look forward to seeing what he writes in a third.
Transport yourself back to the 1990’s with This Could Be Everything. It even ups the ante with a QR code containing the sound tracks of the era. Discover the blurb and my review below as today I close the Random T. Tours blog tour.
From the author of modern classic The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets comes a feel-good novel about hope, love and the powerful bond between sisters.
It’s 1990. The Happy Mondays are in the charts, a 15-year-old called Kate Moss is on the cover of the Face magazine, and Julia Roberts wears thigh-boots for the poster for a new movie called Pretty Woman.
February Kingdom is nineteen years old when she is knocked sideways by family tragedy. Then one evening in May she finds an escaped canary in her kitchen and it sparks a glimmer of hope in her. With the help of the bird called Yellow, Feb starts to feel her way out of her own private darkness, just as her aunt embarks on a passionate and all-consuming affair with a married American drama teacher.
THIS COULD BE EVERYTHING is a coming-of-age story with its roots under the pavements of a pre-Richard Curtis-era Notting Hill that has all but vanished. It’s about what happens when you start looking after something more important than you, and the hope a yellow bird can bring…
The year is 1990. I was in the middle of my young childhood. It wasn’t until just a few years later, I would hit my teens, however, I was very aware of the music and film scene in 1990. It was pre-Richard Curtis era (thankfully as I was way too young to watch anything he produced). This Could Be Everything, well, 1990 had that vibe and as a young child realising the earth wasn’t about to spin off its axis and we didn’t fall off the cliff edge, it may well have been everything (I was an imaginative child alright). . I was also a teen in the 90’s and she captures that vibe well of music and fashion and the wider world well.
This Could Be Everything is nostalgic for anyone who lived through it, after all, who wasn’t aware of Kate Moss or Pretty Woman? It was an era of change, of innovations we see and use today and it had a certain grit. This book is a must to relive it and also listen to the music tracks in the QR code within the book to get you in the mood, just for fun. Revisit New Kids on the Block, Kylie Minogue, The Blues Brothers, Madonna, Erasure and many more. The ingenious QR code in the book links into the list on Spotify. I really liked this idea.
February Kingdom, aged nineteen also lived through 1990 and it captures that belief of This Could Be Everything type feeling well. This is her take on the year and one where she was coming of age. Turns out humans then aren’t so different from now with tragedies and life continuing on through the darkness. Readers see February’s life and how it tumbled, first with her losing both parents when she was younger and secondly with her losing her twin sister. Just as you think this is going to be an emotionally grim book, it turns out not to be so. February has a lot to deal with on top of the usual stuff of trying to find your place in the world when you step into adulthood and the wider world, but this book has a sunny disposition, not only in the way it is nostalgically written, but in the hope. February comes across a sunny, yellow canary that has flown into her house, whom belongs to Theo, called Yellow. Yellow becomes like a companion, which helps her to navigate life, including grief and makes her want to try to find a future and that light at the end of the tunnel. It shows that things do and can change even when you don’t think it can and as a reader it is easy to root for February.
The book vividly encapsulates its reader, whisking back to 1990 well and what it’s like at that turning point of really growing up. It is a slow burn, but it is well worth sticking with. It is intense at times and lighthearted at times, It’ll take you on a great journey of both nostalgia and the depth of life and all that’s thrown at it.
I totally recommend you get the book, put on the tunes and read!
Thanks to Simon and Schuster for the book, for which I enjoyed a talk about last year and for Random T. Tours for inviting me to review on the blog tour.