Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Arrivals To The TBR Pile In December

Title: A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas by Darcie Boleyn
Description: Lucie Quigley hates Christmas. It’s the time of year when everything goes wrong in her life. So this year, when she’s asked to be a bridesmaid at her friend Petra’s Manhattan wedding, she jumps at the invitation to escape the festivities.

Dale Treharne has been best friends with Lucie for as long as he can remember. He’s used to looking out for his oldest friend and when she asks him to be her plus one, he can’t seem to find a reason to refuse. Instead, he sees it as a way to help Lucie get through what is, for her, the most miserable time of the year.

In New York, as the snow starts to fall, Lucie and Dale start to realise that their feelings run deeper than just friendship. But can they overcome their pasts, and make it a very merry Manhattan Christmas?

Title: My Fairy Godmother Must Be On Strike by Rebecca Moisio
Description: As it turns out, challenges can often reveal the greatest opportunities.

Ada Lee was perfectly content just being herself. Yes, was – then her boyfriend David suddenly got sick of her and broke off their relationship. To make things worse, the break-up was anything but graceful. Poor Ada overheard David trashing her to a “frenemy”, saying she had put on weight, become socially awkward, and was all-in-all incompetent at life. Ouch!

What band-aid could possibly heal this ailing heart? Ada's friends think they have the magic cure and quickly swoop into action to help Ada patch her broken spirit with a beautiful exterior. Ada's new makeover boosts her confidence to new heights as her friends encourage her to focus on the superficial and lose weight, dabble in make-up, obtain a new fashion sense (or get one, period), and touch up her social skills.

Ada's new look turns heads and brings in all the attention she could ever want. So why does Ada feel strangely empty? Sometimes the most obvious things are the most difficult to see, and Ada may miss an important opportunity right under her nose. As she finds out, her new glitz and glamor have blinded her, and she is about to miss life-changing opportunities and hurt those she loves. Will she be able to get back to what really matters and fix things before it is too late?

Title: Rome Is Where The Heart Is by Tilly Tennant
Description: Can a holiday romance ever have a happy ending? Escape with Kate to the sun-drenched city of Rome where a love affair is just about to begin …
When Kate’s husband Matt dumps her on Friday 13th she decides enough is enough – it’s time for her to have some fun and so she hops on a plane to Rome. A week of grappa and gelato in pavement cafes under azure blue skies will be just what the doctor ordered.

What she doesn’t count on is meeting and falling for sexy policeman Alessandro. But the course of true love doesn’t run smoothly – Alessandro has five meddling sisters, a fearsome mama and a beautiful ex Orazia. They’re all certain that Kate is not the girl for him.

Can Kate and Alessandro’s love last the distance? Or will she return home with the one souvenir she doesn’t want – a broken heart …

Fall in love with the colorful cafes and the cobbled piazzas of Rome and follow Kate’s dreams and her heart in this enchanting escapist read.

Title: The Good Girlfriend’s Guide To Getting Even by Anna Bell
Description: When Lexi's sport-mad boyfriend Will skips her friend's wedding to watch football - after pretending to have food poisoning - it might just be the final whistle for their relationship.

But fed up of just getting mad, Lexi decides to even the score. And, when a couple of lost tickets and an 'accidentally' broken television lead to them spending extra time together, she's delighted to realize that revenge might be the best thing that's happened to their relationship.

And if her clever acts of sabotage prove to be a popular subject for her blog, what harm can that do? It's not as if he'll ever find out . . .

Title: Wicked Days by Lily Harper Hart
Description: Ivy Morgan is happy with who she is, and what she can do. She certainly doesn’t need to second guess her life, or her witchy ways ... that is until Shadow Lake’s newest police detective enters her life.

Jack Harker is haunted by a past he refuses to talk about, and he’s not looking forward to a future with anyone – especially a sassy witch with boundary issues. Jack and Ivy find their paths crossing on a regular basis when a dead body is discovered on the edge of Ivy’s property. Jack doesn’t want any romantic entanglements, but there’s just something about Ivy that keeps drawing him in. When the truth is finally revealed, Jack has to decide what he believes – and he has to do it before a murderer turns his attention to Ivy.

Can Ivy heal Jack’s wounds? Will she even get a chance to try?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

REVIEW: Mistletoe Mansion by Samantha Tonge

Title: Mistletoe Mansion
Author: Samantha Tonge
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: November, 2014
Genre: Chick-Lit
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Description: Kimmy Jones has three loves: cupcakes, gossip magazines and dreaming of getting fit just by owning celeb workouts.

When Kimmy's Sensible Boyfriend told her he didn't approve of her longing for the high life or her dream of starting a cupcake company Kimmy thought she could compromise – after all, she did return those five-inch Paris Hilton heels! But asking her to trade in cake-making for a job sorting potatoes is a step too far.

So, newly single - and newly homeless – Kimmy needs a dusting of Christmas luck. And, masquerading as a professional house sitter, her new temporary home is the stunning Mistletoe Mansion. Soon she’s best buds with glamorous next door golf WAG Melissa, and orders are pouring in for her fabulous Merry Berry cupcakes! The only thorn in her side is handsome handyman Luke, a distraction she definitely doesn't need. And talking of distractions, something very odd is going on at night…

Kimmy is finally living the life she’s always wanted. But will her glimpse into the glittering lifestyle of the rich and famous be as glamorous as she’s always imagined?

My Thoughts: Mistletoe Mansion by new to me author Samantha Tonge delivers a cute and entertaining story about a woman who has big dreams and a big heart. Unfortunately, her dreams don’t match those of her boyfriend, Adam. He drops the ultimate ultimatum on her…give up her dreams of starting her own cupcake business and get a dreadful and boring full time job or they are finished. Now, single and homeless, Kimmy and her best friend, Jess, also newly homeless, take a job housesitting at Mistletoe Mansion until it sells. Neither one of them has any experience or has a clue what they are doing but they manage to pull it off and make it work.

The secondary characters of Melissa, Luke and Terry bring so much texture to this story. The author brings all of these characters to life with unique personalities that the reader gets a real sense of who they are and feels a connection with all of them. Adding to the mix are the strange goings-on at Mistletoe Mansion…Christmas music being played by nobody…smoke coming in under doorways…it has driven off several previous house sitters but Kimmy is determined to do a good job and stay on until the place sells…paranormal spookiness or not! There are quite a few twists and surprises in this story that I was not expecting but really enjoyed.

My Final Verdict: Mistletoe Mansion was a very good choice for my Christmas holiday reading list. I recommend this story to anyone who enjoys Christmas themes, romance, fun and a little bit of paranormal on the side. I have a few other titles by this author that I am very much anticipating reading.

Monday, December 12, 2016

REVIEW: The Christmas Bake-Off by Abby Clements

Title: The Christmas Bake-Off
Author: Abby Clements
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: November, 2012
Genre: Chick-Lit
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Description: With Christmas just around the corner, the residents of Skipley village are gearing up for the annual bake off, and tensions are high.

Winning means a lot to everyone involved - talented cake-shop owner Katie dreams of baking stardom, Rachel wants to prove she's more than a stay-at-home mum, and John hopes his culinary skills will impress the woman he loves.

But when the judges discover that some cakes have been tampered with, the villagers' loyalties are called into question - whose ambition would stretch to sabotage, and why?

The Christmas Bake-Off is an exclusive short story from Abby Clements, author of Meet Me Under the Mistletoe.

My Thoughts: Very short, very fast Christmas story about the annual Christmas bake-off in Skipley village. The story was too short to feel a real connection to any of the characters and just when things started to get interesting with the revelation of the tampering, the story was over. If you are looking for something short and fast that can be read in one sitting, this would be a good choice for the holiday reading pile. If you prefer your stories to have more substance, depth and a connection to the characters, you may want to look for something else.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

REVIEW: A Christmas In Disguise by Katie Fforde

Title: A Christmas In Disguise
Author: Katie Fforde
Publisher: Cornerstone Digital
Publication Date: November, 2015
Genre: Chick-Lit
Buy The Book: Amazon

Description: When Jo’s friend Andi asks if she’ll stand in to cook Christmas lunch for her employer, Jo reluctantly agrees. She knows Andi will lose her job if she doesn’t, and wants to help out her friend.

Jo is nervous because Andi’s boss is a well-known celebrity diva, who outright refuses to have anyone but Andi cook for her. But she also insists Andi wears full chef's whites so the girls think they’ll get away with it … it’s the perfect Christmas disguise.

But when Jo runs into one of the guests - good looking and very smart Anthony - things get even more complicated…

My Thoughts: Readers looking for a short story with a Christmas romance theme will enjoy A Christmas In Disguise by new to me author Katie Fforde. In order for her friend, Andi, to spend Christmas with her family, Jo agrees to stand in for her to make Christmas dinner for Andi’s employer. The only problem is that Andi’s employer is not very flexible and will not appreciate anyone but Andi cooking the meal. Jo and Andi concoct a plan where Jo will disguise herself as Andi in the hopes that nobody will notice.

This was a cute story that kept me entertained waiting for the other shoe to drop as Jo tries to balance it all and meeting one of the guests, Anthony, was perfect, especially when the reader finds out Jo isn’t the only one pretending to be someone she isn’t. Romance and fun are the perfect recipe for Christmas.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of A Christmas In Disguise from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, December 09, 2016

REVIEW: Love Is A Four-Legged Word by Michele Gorman

Title: Love Is A Four-Legged Word
Author: Michele Gorman
Publisher: Notting Hill Press
Publication Date: October, 2016
Genre: Chick-Lit
Buy The Book: Amazon

Description: Best friends Scarlett and Shannon spend their days tangled up in dog leads and covered in fur, running their dog business together. Scarlett’s intensive training course, Ruff Love, fixes owners as much as their pets, while Shannon spends her days walking spoiled pooches.

They share more than their business though: they also share Scarlett's husband, Rufus, who's been Shannon's best friend since childhood. It's a cozy setup. Unless one of them has a secret...

When Scarlett and Rufus's baby plans are decimated by a surprise turn of events, their marriage hits the rocks and they both turn to Shannon. All three relationships are pushed to breaking point, but when loyalties become divided, how do you decide who's most important?

My Thoughts: Love Is A Four-Legged Word by Michele Gorman offers a light story that perfectly blends romance, fertility and dogs. The story centers on best friends and partners Scarlett and Shannon who run a dog business together. Scarlett is married to Shannon’s best friend, Rufus and Shannon harbors a major crush on “Mr. Darcy,” a man she sees in the park, but lacks courage and confidence to approach him. The business is doing well, with Scarlett providing dog training and Shannon providing dog walking, but Scarlett and Rufus have been struggling to conceive. After several months of trying, they go to a fertility specialist to be tested, but discover their plans aren’t going to develop as they had hoped. The stress puts a major strain on their marriage and thrusts Shannon into the middle.

I really enjoyed this story as I got to know Scarlett, Shannon and Rufus. I got a really good sense of Scarlett’s frustration with the lack of pregnancy and her feelings of anger and resentment towards pregnant women. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of Scarlett’s dog training clients, both the four-legged and two-legged ones. The secondary characters bring interesting layers to this story with their own personalities and voices. I felt more connected to Shannon and could relate to the awkwardness she feels and was cheering for her to find her happiness. I especially liked Shannon’s attraction to “Mr. Darcy” and am hopeful there is a story for Shannon in the future.

I wanted to be angry at Rufus for the way he behaved, but I felt sorry for him for the most part. I think his reactions and behavior are quite typical when handed the kind of news he gets and though I wish he had behaved differently, I think he and Scarlett needed a major wakeup call so they could find their way back to each other.

My Final Verdict: If you want hours of entertainment when you read, you can’t go wrong with Michele Gorman. She writes great characters you can easily relate to and care about with storylines that are entertaining, you can get lost in the book for hours. I highly recommend this book for sappy romantics like me looking for a wonderful story as well as people who like their romance mixed in with four-legged characters or characters struggling with everyday issues and sensitive relationship problems.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Love Is A Four-Legged Word from the author in exchange for an honest review.


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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)