#Review by Lou of -The Summer Job by Lizzie Dent @lizziedent @EllieeHud @VikingBooksUK #Fiction #ContemporaryFiction #BookReview

The Summer Job
By Lizzie Dent
Rated: 5 Stars *****

The Summer Job by Lizzie Dent is a joy for anyone’s spring/summer book collection. It’s moving, funny, great scenery and food. It’s such good entertainment and fun which is so uplifting. It’s a great plot for a relaxed weekend or evening. It’s one to watch out for this spring!
Thank you so much to  Ellie Hudson at Viking Books for gifting me a copy of this joyous book and for inviting me to this very exciting blog tour.
Find out more in my blurb and the full review. Check out the unique cover too, which is also fun…

The Summer Job

Blurb

Have you ever imagined running away from your life?

Well Birdy Finch didn’t just imagine it. She did it. Which might’ve been an error. And the life she’s run into? Her best friend, Heather’s.

The only problem is, she hasn’t told Heather. Actually there are a few other problems…

Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)?

And can she stop herself from falling for the first man she’s ever actually liked (but who thinks she’s someone else)

The Summer Job is a fresh, fun, feel-good romcom for fans of The Flatshare, Bridget Jones and Bridesmaids.

WANT TO ESCAPE REAL LIFE FOR A WHILE? RUN AWAY WITH BIRDY FINCH, A MESSY HEROINE WITH A HEART OF GOLD. THE SUMMER JOB IS THE HOTTEST DEBUT TO LOSE YOURSELF IN THIS YEAR.

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Review

The Summer JobThe Summer Job is such a glorious book. I was thoroughly entertained and the food and wine all sounds absolutely, mouthwateringly delicious, set in Scotland amongst the pretty scenery, especially around the loch. It is such fun and really lifts the spirit. 
Birdy Finch is such a unique character, who isn’t perfect and she hasn’t worked out all of life yet, but she has heart, which makes her so brilliant to read about. The premise of running away from your life is written in such a way that you can’t help but want to join her. The humour in this book is devine and provides a great time for escapism as Birdie Finch, in her early 30’s escapes London to a lovely hotel in Scotland and ends up pretending to be a sommelier, with funny consequences as she pretends to be Heather, her best friend, who is the expert in this area, but wanted to spend time travelling with her boyfriend. It’s a great plot to easily slip into for a relaxed weekend or evening.

Lizzie Dent has produced a character who is so readable and feels authentic in such a delightful, feel-good rom-com. The sort that would be great, translated onto screen as well.
She has insecurities and feelings of being self-conscious that come flooding in here and there and that makes her seem so real and so many people will be able to relate on some level, but also has spirit in character and humour in the situations she finds herself in.
She is a bit like a contemporary of Bridget Jones in some ways and is very engaging and a great debut!
Lizzie Dent is an exciting author to watch!

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#BookReview by Lou of The Life We Almost Had by Amelia Henley @MsAmeliaHenley @HQstories @RandomTTours #TheLifeWeAlmostHad

The Life We Almost Had
By Amelia Henley
Rated: 5 stars *****

Amelia Henley Banner

Romance can be beautiful and come when you least expect it, but can bring so many twists and turns. Elegantly written, this romantic fiction bring uplifting and heartwarming to despair and heartache all with a large pinch of hope and courage that is quite the page-turner as it becomes ever more absorbing and an addictive read.

Thanks to HQ Stories and Random Things Tours for inviting me onto the blog tour and for providing such an elegant and gorgeous physical copy of The Life We Almost Had.
Read further for the blurb and full review.

The Life We Almost Had Cover

Blurb

This is not a typical love story, but it’s our love story.

Anna wasn’t looking for love when Adam swept her off her feet but there was no denying their connection, and she believed they would be together forever.

Years later, cracks have appeared in their relationship. Anna is questioning whether their love can really be eternal when a cruel twist of fate delivers a crushing blow, and Anna and Adam are completely lost to one another. Now, Anna needs Adam more than ever, but the way back to him has life-changing consequences.
 
Is a second chance at first love really worth the sacrifice? Anna needs to decide and time is running out…

A beautiful and emotional love story that asks, how far would you go for a second chance at first love? Perfect for fans of The Man Who Didn’t Call and Miss You.

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Review

Each chapter takes readers to Anna, Adam and Oliver in this beautiful, purposeful, romantic story of life.

Anna and Adam meet in unconventional circumstances, when love strikes.
It shows in a believable, honest way how relationships can break-down, but gives a kind of hope that second chances can occur.

Ann was supposed to have gotten married, but was dumped only two weeks before and can’t help but look up her ex-fiance’s Facebook Page. Nell, her best friend, is a wise soul, who tries to help her out with this compulsion, in urging her to unfriend him and taking her mind off things in the best ways possible, until an incident, whilst swimming. It’s all written with the upmost believeability and with so much that women, who have experienced having a bad relationship experience, will be able to relate to. The water scene is also descriptive that you can totally imagine what it would be like in a difficult situation. What happens next, is when Adam comes in, being all brave and handsomely masculine, with a romantic idealism. It’s enough for even the most confident of swimmers to not mind being in challenging circumstances; not when the chivalrous Adam is about anyway.

A holiday romance that is so spontaneous that it captures and wraps you up with love as the conversation of Anna and Adam as they click together are just sublime, about life, university and the truth of not being a high flyer, which in itself is so refreshing and dreams, such as Anna wishing she was a writer and Adam wanted to travel.

It’s so incredibly heartwarming and uplifiting and Adam is sure to be the man of every woman’s dreams.

It isn’t all plain-sailing though as unknown things like the possibility of endemetriosis starts to show and so does some of the stress and tension that it can cause in a relationship. Being unable to conceive is a hard-hitting subject, that is written with such realism, but altogether with the strife, heartbreak and the romance intertwined, makes rooting for this couple easy, as the likeable groundwork to Anna’s and Adam’s personalities has already been done, earlier in the book. The way the effect of this issue affects both men and women is balanced so well and adds an understanding to the book, that endemetriosis emotionally affects both in a couple. It’s a pleasingly mature way of observing this in the writing as it would be so easy to write from just a female perspective. It is also, surprisingly thought-provoking at how couples can feel and can end up.

There’s a twist to the tale and things take a heartbreaking turn for Adam, which makes for a story of so much hope as he becomes unwell and it becomes even more of a page-turner, with a change of pace and urgency to continue.
The way scientists look at patients and the way partner’s do is highlighted well, with the contrast of the cold, hard medical experiement to push whatever boundary and the warmth, human touch of a partner who see a human-being much more. It’s strong and again, honest. This in turn, introduces Oliver Chapman and also hynotherapy for Anna.

There’s a spiralling, unravelling that appears in Anna’s and Adam’s lives in unconventional ways, that then made, my memory anyway, cast back to the swirling water near the beginning, whether it was intentional or not, it’s cleverly written. RIght to the end, it’s an enthralling book that is heartwarming and uplifting and this will sustain any reader through what becomes utter despair and heartbreaking for the characters.

It is so worth reading the utterly heartbreaking author’s note at the end to understand why this book was written and to know why there is such a sense of heartbreak within this wonderful book that covers just about every single emotion.

There are then questions for Book Clubs.

I took a read of an excerpt from the next book, I am very intrigued to see how that unfolds too as it gets off to a brilliant start.

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#Excerpt of #Romance #Suspense #NewBook – The Counterfeiters Daughter by Victoria Marswell @vicmarswell @booktamins #TheCounterfeitersDaughter

The Counterfeiter’s Daughter
by Victoria Marswell
Romance/Suspense
Excerpt

Today I am pleased to be closing this blog tour for the Counterfeiter’s Daughter by Victoria Marswell, with an excerpt from the book, to give you a taste of what you can expect from it. Please find below, the blurb, excerpt and a bit about the author.
Thanks to Booktamins for inviting me on the blog tour to share this content.

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Blurb

An empathetic psychologist, Madelyn Brighton trusts no one. She maintains a solitary and organized life with a serene view of the beach.
Everything changes when bad news forces her to leave sunny California and travel to Bavaria in south Germany. Amid 19th-century castles and dark family secrets, she must deal with the repercussions of her estranged father’s shocking counterfeiting crimes when she secretly inherits a priceless artifact.
Complications ensue when Madelyn reluctantly partners with the adventurous, blue-eyed archaeologist Jake Nolan. He promises to help her evade Leon Von Füssen, a prominent and wealthy art conservator who keeps them on the run as he tries to get his hands on the valuable museum piece Madelyn hides.
Madelyn finds herself caught in the middle of a rivalry between Jake and Leon. Will she succeed at protecting the innocent victims affected by her father’s mistakes, trust Jake with her safety and open herself to love again? Or will the counterfeiter’s daughter suffer the fallout of her father’s choices?
Join Madelyn on her thrilling journey of romantic suspense—from disillusionment to faith, bitterness to forgiveness, and loneliness to the prospect of love. 

The Counterfeiter's Daughter cover

Excerpt

Sam’s eyes darted to the tiny flame on the edge of the rug. A breath hitched in his chest.

“Next time your wife and kids may not make it to the train so easily.” He wore a hard smile on his face, turned his back and headed toward the door. “Be at the beer garden tonight, seven sharp.” He patted the pocket that concealed the gun and left.

Sam seized a glass from the coffee table, tossed water onto the small fire and stomped on the remaining flames. A billow of smoke rose, setting off the alarm. Grabbing a magazine, he stepped up onto a chair and fanned the soot from the ceiling. He rushed to the front door, slammed it shut then chained and double-bolted the locks.

A tightness gripped his heart. He smacked a flat palm against his chest and sucked in a sharp intake of air. He bustled toward the writing desk in the room’s corner, pulled out a sheet of paper and scribbled a note. Time denied him a moment to dwell on thoughts of Gretchen and the boys.

He only had one chance to react and perhaps, just this once, get it right.

After he penned the letter, he folded it, sealed the back and wrote the name of the one person essential to notify in his despair. Putting on his wool pea coat he shoved the envelope inside his pocket and peered out the balcony.

A silver sedan sat parked across the street. Sam noticed the vehicle when he returned after driving Gretchen and the kids to the Berlin Central train station.

Sam’s hands trembled and he closed the windows overlooking the Brandenburg Gate. The room darkened as he pulled the shades, blocking the little sunlight peeking from the thick gray clouds.

He shuddered. An eerie sensation swirled in the pit of his stomach, spreading to his nerves, that he’d never again see the light of day.

 

About the Author

Victoria MarswellVictoria Marswell is a romance suspense author. Victoria started writing poetry and short stories in her early teens. She majored in biblical studies at Hope International University and incorporates inspirational Christian themes into her writings. Victoria is a world traveler and sets her stories in the locations she has visited. At 17, she traveled to Germany and Austria where she was inspired to write her debut novel, The Counterfeiter’s Daughter. Victoria continues to travel the world; creating and writing romantic and thrilling adventures. She lived in Orange County, CA. for 38 years and currently resides in Portsmouth, NH.

Media Links

Website – https://www.victoriamarswell.com/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20371336.Victoria_Marswell

Twitter – https://twitter.com/vicmarswell

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/VicMarswell/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/victoriamarswell/

Purchase Links

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0893PM7YK/r

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Counterfeiters-Daughter-Victoria-Marswell/dp/173501351X/

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53807026-the-counterfeiter-s-daughter

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#bookreview of fun #SummerRead Flying Solo by Zoe May @zoe_writes @HarperCollins #RomanticFiction #Fiction #FlyingSolo

Flying Solo
By Zoe May
Rated: 4 stars ****

Flying Solo is a sweet romance that has you really rooting for the main protagonist, who is romantic, strong and can turn the tables of life around. Thank you for allowing me to review this pleasurable summer read… Discover the blurb and review…

Blurb

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy about love, dreams and self-discovery by bestselling author, Zoe May.

Rachel Watson has it all worked out. By 30, she’s ticked off most of the goals on her Life List. She’s a home owner, a partner at her law firm, she has a gorgeous boyfriend, lots of hobbies and loads of good friends. The only thing that’s missing is a ring on her finger.

According to her Life List, Rachel should be getting hitched around now, so when her boyfriend, Paul, plans a romantic date, Rachel’s pretty confident he’s going to propose. Except Paul has other ideas. He’s jetting off to India to find himself.

Distraught, Rachel doesn’t know what to do. Not one to easily admit defeat, she embarks on a mission to win him back.

Flying solo to India is definitely not part of Rachel’s plans, but could her trip teach her unexpected lessons about love, life and herself? Could she realise that perhaps her Life List wasn’t exactly what she wanted, after all?

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Review

This is a fun take on the romantic comedy and a good summer read.

Rachel is desperately hoping and thinking that tonight is the night she is going to be engaged on London Bridge, after her and her boyfriend, Paul, who lives with her have had pizzas. It sounds lovely and romantic and what could be more perfect? Main character sounds like she couldn’t be happier and Paul sounds divine and he can even make up IKEA furniture – impressive as not all guys possess this magical skill.

Paul however walks into the pizzaria and announces he has quit his job. Right there and then. Done! That causes friction as the air of romance fades and then a bigger bust-up begins and what is assumed that Paul must have been feeling to lead Rachel to believe she was going to be proposed to that night, couldn’t have been further from the truth. It is the mammoth of all tantrums he throws and states he is off to India to think. Right there and then, man with potential is disappearing and fast to the point where, yes I do want to tell him to get a grip as his anger practically leaps off the page! So instead of rooting for them both, I find myself rooting for Rachel, which was rather enjoyable.

Amazingly, love is still there and Rachel would do anything to keep Paul and goes to Bangalore, India to find him. When in India and being shown to her treehouse, which sounds fun (minus the mosquitoes of course),  she meets Seb, who has already “found himself” and is comfortable with life in India. Rachel, by contrast doesn’t really fit. Seb is more into Yoga, meditation and shakras. Rachel is more into shopping, even if her only possibility of shopping is in a gift shop. I enjoy how the characters are written to show their personalities and also that there’s at least one character you’d be championing for.
There’s humour, especially with Rachel just not getting meditation. She tried!!

There’s a darker turn, even darker than Paul’s mood and me as a reader wanting to at least chuck one of the meditation cushions at him. Guru Hridaya is also not all that he seems, so neither is the ashram.

There’s an unexpected and yet delightful end to what is a good summer read to sink into.

#Review of emotionally beautiful #fiction #newbook – Butterflies By D.E. McCluskey #Butterflies #SummerRead

Butterflies
By D.E McCluskey
Rated: 5 stars *****

Life can be beautiful, but also delicate. As delicate as a butterfly’s wings, as Olivia Martelle is about to find out as life shows her that as things take off, there are unexpected twists, in this beautifully, emotionally written book. Thank you to D.E. McCluskey for the opportunity to review.

See below for the blurb and full review…

Butterflies Cover

Blurb

Olivia Martelle has it all. She’s young and beautiful and has just had her fairy-tail wedding to the man of her dreams, the man who makes the butterflies in her stomach swoop and swirl. Life is looking rosy indeed.

Then, a cruel twist of fate changes everything. Her future looks to be torn away from her. Her husband is incapacitated and every day seems to be a continual battle with her sister-in-law, who she is convinced, hates her.

Her beautiful blue butterflies have turned to black.

A desperate mistake, leads her onto a path that she doesn’t want to tread, and her life begins to spiral out of her control. 

Olivia is about to find out that butterflies don’t beat for everyone…

 

Review

Sensual, Emotional, Fragile, like the wings of a butterfly.
If you’ve ever thought of taking life for granted, you quite possibly won’t after reading this beautiful, yet heart-wrenching book, where the characters have it all until life changing events happen. One minute, life is all fluttery and beating like an active butterfly, the next, it is just as fragile as those silky wings.

I read the book in a day. It hooks you into the characters lives so easily and the need to know how it ends is a necessity, this is done with aplomb and I am more impressed than I thought I would be. The plot has depth and twists and turns and Olivia, allthough most definitely flawed, is a strong woman.
Butterflies, blue, silky winged butterflies feature throughout and are an intelligent way of representing feelings of nerves and love as the wings flutter, when all is well, turning black when life changes.
The writing all appears to be done with sensitivity and care.

Olivia Britt, a determined, sassy character, who’s wedding day it is in Geneva, experiences the butterflies of love in many different ways. The flutter of the wings of a butterfly is a clever use of describing not just the pre-wedding nerves, but also the lovemaking. This is sensual and passionately written.
Distaster strikes when they are driving along… The lovely, light atmosphere of love and joy changes as Olivia and Paul find themselves in hospital. The way it changes so dramtically comes across well and as strongly as the romantic scenes before. It shows, like a butterflies wings, how fragile life can be, as family, such as Angela – Paul’s sister meet in a hospital as unexpected events start to occur that has an impact and consequences on everyone’s lives.

The colourful butterflies from the beautiful blue before are described as turning black.
I like this as a depiction a lot, how the butterflies are still used, even when life isn’t as it used to be. It’s just as powerful.

Life gets even more complicated when Angela attempts to become more controlling in her agenda to gain everything. I think people will recognise that this can happen within families. People will have to give it a read to see if it is resolved or not.

The emotions around Paul on the wedding night and when he is in hospital are realistic and convey the love and turmoil strongly, including when Richard, Angela’s husband comes more into the scene and life becomes more tangled.

There are beautifully written flashback sequences to the wedding day and how the tender, silky winged butterflies reacted.

I absolutely recommend this book. It’s one you will find yourself needing to find out if the butterflies can ever return and flutter with the rhythms and beats of life ever again.

 

Review of Crossing In Time by DL Orton – One to go Time Travelling With. @The_WriteReads #DLOrton #Review #Sci-Fi #dystopia

Crossing In Time
By DL Orton
Rated: 3.5 stars

Thank you to Dave at The Write Reads for inviting me on this blog tour to review the interesting, sci-fi book Crossing In Time. I thank him and the author – DL Orton for an audiobook code, so I could listen to it.

About The Author

DL ORTON, THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR of the BETWEEN TWO EVILS series, lives in the foothills of the Rockies where she and her husband are raising three boys, a golden retriever, two Siberian cats, and an extremely long-lived Triops.♂‍

In her spare time, she’s building a time machine so that someone can go back and do the laundry.

Website: http://www.DLOrton.com.

Amazon link: Amazon Buy Link

Goodreads link: Goodreads reviews link

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Blurb

The past isn’t over, it’s an opening. The future isn’t hidden, it’s a trap.
If she ever wants to see him again, she’ll have to take the risk.

Fall into this “Funny, Romantic & Harrowing” (Publishers Weekly Starred Review) dystopian love story and prepare to encounter a finicky time machine, a mysterious seashell, and a very clever dog (some sex, some swearing, some violence, but no vampires and absolutely NO ditzes!)

When offered a one-way trip to the past, Isabel sacrifices everything for a chance to change the rapidly deteriorating present–and see her murdered lover one last time. When she arrives twenty years in the past, buck naked and mortally wounded, she has 24 hours to convince a stunned but enraptured nineteen-year-old to change their future. Definitely easier said than done, as success means losing him to a brainy, smart-mouthed bombshell (her younger self), and that’s a heart breaker, save the world or not.

This offbeat tale is about falling madly in love when one is too cynical for such things, letting go of pessimism when it’s the last life jacket on a sinking ship, and racing against the clock when one doesn’t have the proper footwear. It’s a coming-of-age story for old fogeys, a how-to-make-love guide for diehard celibates, and a laugh-out-loud tragedy with a hopeful twist.

Review

Let the cover lead you into another world. A dystopian world. There are a few twists and turns here and there within this dystopian tale of love. It is fast-paced as it takes readers through a dystopian wasteland as Isabelle tries to survive. She is going through a messy divorce and meets up with an old flame, some time before the world becomes an even darker place to be.
There are some intriguing plotlines, one of the strongest ones being about what happens when Diego gets abducted by the government in a strange time travelling sphere. I like the sounds on the finicky time machine. It is a fascinating concept.
The love aren’t always quite believable, but there are some excellent, strong topics within the relationship and being in danger sense, within this book as well as some strong characters.
I thought it lacked in humour a bit, but the tragic side was definitely well told and is emotional and well-handled. The topics huge and do take for an empathetic reader to perhaps grasp the world, without being argumentative and instead empathetic, to be able to enjoy this story. I will say again, the themes are well-handled.

There is adventure, trepidation and I would go as far as saying, danger, within a hope that doomsday won’t actually happen.

The book sets itself well for another to perhaps follow on from the series.

Is it worth a try? Well, yes it is. There are some ups and downs in the book, but in saying that, it does make for an intriguing story and it does hold attention and the maturity within the story is good, in the way the world is created.