#BookReview By Lou of A Cosmic Kind Of Love By Samantha Young #SamanthaYoung @Bookish_Becky @PiatkusBooks @littlebrownuk #RomanticFiction #RomCom #Space #ACosmicKindOfLove #ContemporaryFiction #BookClubReads #BookClub

A Cosmic Kind Of Love
By Samantha Young

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I have a review of a wonderful romantic comedy, that truly is as cosmic as they come. Thanks firstly to the publisher – Little Brown Books for gifting me a copy of the book. Without further ado, onto the blurb and then find out my thoughts in my review. Thanks to Becky Hunter and Piatkus Books and Little Brown UK

 

Blurb

Space is the last thing an event planner and an astronaut need in this charming new romantic comedy from New York Timesbestselling author Samantha Young.

When event planner Hallie Goodman receives party-inspiration material from the bride of her latest wedding project, the last thing she expects to find in the files are digital videos from Darcy’s ex-boyfriend. Hallie knows it’s wrong to keep watching these personal videos, but this guy is cute, funny, and an astronaut on the International Space Station to boot. She’s only human. And it’s not long until she starts sending e-mails and video diaries to his discontinued NASA address. Since they’re bouncing back, there’s no way anyone will ever be able to see them…right?

Christopher Ortiz is readjusting to life on earth and being constantly in the shadow of his deceased older brother. When a friend from NASA’s IT department forwards him the e-mails and video messages Hallie has sent, he can’t help but notice how much her sense of humor and pink hair make his heart race.

Separated by screens, Hallie and Chris are falling in love with each other, one transmission at a time. But can they make their star-crossed romance work when they each learn the other’s baggage?

Review

Hallie Goodman is an interesting woman, she is an event planner and an astronaut. She has a boyfriend, but tensions and cracks show from the beginning, especially in his behaviour, even though she herself does land herself in the sorts of situations, but his response makes her question her relationship.

Away from her own relationship issues, she has an engagement party to plan for Darcy Hawthorn, a true blue New York socialite.
There is also Aunt Julia, who wants a bachelorette party and there are funny social media consequences to this.
The scene and flavour of what’s to come is set up in the first chapter. The book then goes back to 1 year ago with the chapters going between Hallie and Chris. Chris (Captain Christopher  Ortiz) works for NASA and has spent over a month on the International Space Station. It really works for the background of the characters before switching back to present day.

It is a great story of social media and romance and how events occur and relationships develop. The video diaries from Chris that readers can tap into throughout the story add extra insights and thoughts into his life. They show a certain amount of grounding even though he is in space.
In-amongst the romance is also other tensions, such as within families to follow.

A Cosmic Kind of Love builds into a story that is easy to kick off the shoes and relax on a cold, wintry day (or enjoy in the sun, if it’s your summer) and feel it’s romantic, uplifting vibes.

This is also great for book clubs as there are excellent questions prepared at the end for discussion points.

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#Review By Lou of The Cottage in the Highlands By Julie Shackman @G13Julie @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #RomanticFiction #ScottishHighlands #SecondChances #ScottishScenery

The Cottage In The Highlands
By Julie Shackman 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Transport yourself to rural Scotland, so rural is this cottage, it is located in the Highlands. Open the pages and discover that rural doesn’t mean devoid of life, there’s plenty of that to explore in this mysterious part of Scotland… Discover firstly, the blurb and review below… Thanks first to Rachel Random Resources for inviting me to review.

Blurb

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.

Review 

The Highlands, full of beautiful scenery, romance and mystery and Julie Shackleton brings it all into this lovely book. There are secrets and twists as well as charming characters, coupled together with that second chance at life.

Leonie is the main character who is a journalist, recently losing her job through changes in the way the industry is being made to work, so in a way it really highlights cause and effect and how certain actions can be detrimental to people’s jobs. Leonie gets lucky and gets a chance to have a new life adventure in the Highlands of Scotland, with new people to meet, perhaps some beckoning romance, and a cottage to open up and be in. As she looks round the cottage she finds a mysterious letter…

This is a charming book set in beautiful scenery but with so much to uncover and to delight and be intrigued in.

#BookReview By Lou of Kerry Tucker Learns To Live By Louise Voss @LouiseVoss1 @bookouture you @sarahhardy681 #BlogTour #KerryTuckerLearnsToLive

Kerry Tucker Learns To Live 
By Louise Voss

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Kerry Tucker is an engaging book. Find out more in the blurb and my review below. Thanks, first to Bookouture and Sarah Hardy for inviting me to review as part of the blog tour.

Blurb

Sometimes you have to reach the end of the road before you can start over.

Kerry is perfectly happy with her life. She gets up at the same time every day to deliver post to the winding lanes and little villages around where she lives, stopping for a chat at some of the houses along the way. Once a month she has Sunday lunch with her sister Beth’s perfect family, to eat roast chicken while Beth tells her why she should want more out of life.

Beth thinks Kerry is kidding herself. She thinks Kerry needs to move out of the horrible little apartment converted from the garage in their parents’ garden, find a better job, and maybe even meet a man. And now their parents’ house is up for sale, Beth is going to make sure Kerry gets a life… whether Kerry likes it or not.

Kerry knows something Beth doesn’t, though. She knows the happiest of marriages can hide dark secrets, and that even the people you love most in the world can betray you. She’s known that since she was seventeen years old, when she learned her father’s secret.

It’s far safer not to get close to people…

Isn’t it?

A brilliantly emotional novel about moving on and learning to live that will make you laugh out loud and cry buckets. Perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Matt Haig and Mike Gayle.

Review

Kerry is a postwoman in her 40s. She spends some of her spare time having lunches with her sister, Beth. The story goes between 1993 and present day and it turns out Kerry knows a secret about Beth’s dad for many years.

The book is quite moving as the sisters are mourning the recent death of their mum. Kerry has plans to move into the family home, whilst Beth does not and has plans of her own. Whilst she tries to work things out and forget things in her past and hoping for something positive to happen, her life begins to fall apart and she seeks solace in glasses of wine.

Delving into Kerry’s work, there is insight into being a village postal worker and she tries to help people within the community as she can.  Beth on the other hand thinks Kerry needs to find a different job and a man.

So at times the book can delve into dark emotions and past secrets and at other times it becomes warm and uplifting. Overall it’s an engaging book.

About the Author 

 
 
Over her twenty-year writing career, Louise Voss has published books via pretty much every publishing model there is, from deals with major traditional publishing houses (Transworld and HarperCollins), to digital (Thomas & Mercer and Bookouture) and self-publishing. In 2011, she and co-author Mark Edwards were the first UK indie-published authors to hit the No.1 spot on Amazon UK. Louise has written thirteen novels in total, seven solo and six co-written, across psychological thrillers, police procedurals and contemporary fiction. 

 
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#Review By Lou – With This Kiss By Carrie Hope Fletcher @CarrieHFletcher @HQstories #WithThisKiss

With This Kiss
By Carrie Hope Fletcher

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

With This Kiss With This Kiss

I am delighted to share with you my review of With This Kiss By Carrie Hope Fletcher. She is currently starring in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, but has also written a few very successful books, this being her latest. Thanks to HQ Stories/Harper Collins, I have been gifted a proof in exchange of an honest review. Find out more about this enchanting story with a difference in the blurb and my thoughts in my review below…

With This Kiss

Blurb

If you knew how your love story ends, would you dare to begin?

From the outside, Lorelai is an ordinary young woman with a normal life. She loves reading, she works at the local cinema and she adores living with her best friend. But she carries a painful burden, something she’s kept hidden for years; whenever she kisses someone on the lips, she sees how they are going to die.

Lorelai has never known if she’s seeing what was always meant to be, or if her kiss is the thing that decides their destiny. And so, she hasn’t kissed anyone since she was eighteen.

Then she meets Grayson. Sweet, clever, funny Grayson. And for the first time in years she yearns for a man’s kiss. But she can’t…or can she? And if she does, should she try to intervene and change what she sees?

Review

With This Kiss is an enchanting romance, but one that is somewhere between that fairytale whimsicalness and some grounded reactions and emotions.

Lorelai is the main protagonist and happy with life and being friends and can sometimes be a bit defensive when it comes to men because of what romantic entanglements lead to. Lorelai has best friend Joanie, there, pushing her along and trying to see things in a more positive light.

The fact that everytime Lorelai discovers that she has the power to know how someone is going to die after kissing them is what really grabbed my attention to this book. It is a highly intriguing and different concept. The opening pages are fantastic and really drew me in. They have an glow of mystique and and air of intrigue. I felt that the aftermath of finding out how someone was going to die, could have had a bit more depth to it. There is some decent humour, when it presents itself, just perhaps not quite enough. There’s a bit too much procrastination, which is a pity as loses a bit of pace, which becomes a bit frustrating at times, although of course given the situation Lorelai finds herself in, it is absolutely understandable that there would be. Anyone in this situation surely would have this affliction, with such power as she wonders what to do about Grayson, who she is properly falling in love with, whom she meets at a bookclub. The bookclub meet is a lovely place to meet, it is also nice that the club isn’t the crux of the whole story as that doesn’t seem to be what the story is about. It seems more about romance and how to deal with the hand you’ve been given and what to do with magical powers. It has a theatrical sense to it all in a way. There is a love and respect for cinema, books and theatre and everyone involved in these art forms cascades throughout the story very well.

It’s more a darker take on a fairytale for adults than rom-com as such and it is the fairytale like quality that has parts that almost sweeps you along, some parts more than others.

It is all in all, fairly fun. Don’t go into this thinking there is some greater meaning or a massive amount of depth in the power that Lorelea has, or you may find yourself feeling disappointed. If you go into it with a view of that fairytale magic that has a bit of darkness and an open mind, then it is a pleasant read that has a different take on romance.
This was so close to being 4 stars.

WithThisKiss_BTBammended

#BookReview By Lou of A Wedding In Provence By Katie Fford @KatieFford @centurybooksuk #AWeddingInProvence

A Wedding In Provence
By Katie Fford

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Make time for you

A Wedding In Provence whisks readers off into France for some pure entertainment and escapism. Take a look below at the Blurb and Review and a little about the author, what you’ll find is certainly interesting. Thanks to Century Publishing UK/Penguin Randomhouse for allowing me to review.

A Wedding In Provence cover

Blurb

Late summer, 1963

Fresh from London and a recent cookery course, Alexandra has always loved a challenge.

Which is why she now finds herself standing outside an imposing chateau in Provence.

Waiting for her inside is three silent, rather hostile children who are to be her charges for the next month.

They will soon be more friendly, she tells herself. All they need is some fun, good food and an English education.

Far more of a challenge though is their father – an impossibly good looking French count with whom she is rapidly falling in love . . .

Review

A Wedding in ProvenceA Wedding in Provence oozes romance and spells a time to chill out with a book, in the garden with a glass of wine.

It all begins in autumn, 1963 in Paris, where you meet Alexandra, who is only there for a day before heading to finishing school in Switzerland. There is an air of adventure and possibilities on a day that Alexandra has without her guardians deciding what or where she should go next. When reading about this, you can’t help but feel a little excited for Alexandra, to have this time of freedom. She then comes across Donna, who isn’t feeling her best. Alexandra’s personality then starts to really reveal itself and it is easy to warm to her.

The book is a rather fun and relaxed read as Donna (who is married to Bob), and Alexandra get to know each other. There’s a bit of humour, perhaps also in places it isn’t meant to be, such as some gorgeous guy having a job, just as Alexandra doesn’t want to leave France. As far-fetched as that sounds, it really just adds to the entertainment and pure escapism that continues to shine through and that is just part of the catalyst of what unfolds, making for an enjoyable read and where more of the story unfolds, as she arrives at a chateau and meets the family living there, to start work with them, taking care of the children. It isn’t all plain-sailing, plus they need educating. It’s interesting reading about different schools and the opinions of adults with what to choose for their children.

Amongst her work and the grandeur of the chateau is also food galore that all seem to jump off the page and there’s romance brewing between the count and Alexandra.

A Wedding in Provence

Everything is romantic, right from the setting to the premise. It’s enjoyable escapism!

About The Author

I live in the beautiful Cotswold countryside with my family, and I’m a country girl at heart.

I first started writing when my mother gave me a writing kit for Christmas, and once I started I just couldn’t stop. Living Dangerously was my first novel and since then, I haven’t looked back.

Ideas for books are everywhere, and I’m constantly inspired by the people and places around me. From watching TV (yes, it is research) to overhearing conversations, I love how my writing gives me the chance to taste other people’s lives and try all the jobs I’ve never had.

Each of my books explores a different profession or background and my research has helped me bring these to life. I’ve been a porter in an auction house, tried my hand at pottery, refurbished furniture, delved behind the scenes of a dating website, and I’ve even been on a Ray Mears survival course.

I love being a writer; to me there isn’t a more satisfying and pleasing thing to do. I particularly enjoy writing love stories. I believe falling in love is the best thing in the world, and I want all my characters to experience it, and my readers to share their stories.

I love hearing from all my readers on Twitter @KatieFforde or on Facebook at facebook.com/KatieFforde

 

 

 

#BookReview By Lou – Every Day In December By Kitty Wilson @KittyWilson23 @0neMoreChapter_ #ChristmasRead #Christmas #December #EveryDayInDecember #Fiction #ContemporaryFiction #RomanceFiction

Every Day In December
By Kitty Wilson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Follow two lives, each with their ups and downs within them each day in December. A poignant romance for Christmas. Check out the blurb and the rest of my review below.

Every Day In December

Blurb

Every Day In DecemberTwo people. One month to fall in love.

Belle Wilde loves December. Yes, she’s just lost her job and Christmas is not a good time to find yourself ‘financially challenged’. And yes, her parents are still going on about the fact that she really should have it all together by now. But Belle believes that in December, magic can happen.

Rory Walters hates December. Whilst it looks like his life is together, he’s still reeling from a winter’s night five years ago when his life changed forever. Now back at home, he’s certain that this will be yet another Christmas to endure rather than enjoy.

But as midnight on December 31st draws closer, Belle and Rory’s time together is coming to an end. With a little help from a Christmas miracle could Belle find the one thing she really wants underneath the mistletoe?

Review

Each chapter leads readers into each day in December and into the main characters – Belle and Rory’s lives. Belle has fallen on hard times, which leads her into a different path in life. This is only the surface of her life. Going deeper in, she has had rough upbringing. She has far, far got her life sorted.
Rory’s life is also not going so well either and he has a lot going on, yet he seems destined to be with Belle, even if it is a slow-burner of a romance.

Belle shows that she has a passion for Shakespeare in inspires others as she talks about him to students and shows just how very relevant he still is, through the themes that he wrote about, which are still universal today.

There is also the equation of Belle’s God-daughter whom she has a close relationship with  and this brings a lighter dynamic to the story.

The book is also poignant about December and how the closer you get to Christmas holidays, the harder it can feel in if something bad has happened in your life. There are ups and downs that the main characters have to overcome.

There is some Christmas cheer to be found amongst the poignancy of Every Day in December.