Wednesday 30 April 2014

Review ~ Life Lived Twice by Sherrie Wouters

Title: Life Lived Twice.
Author: Sherrie Wouters.
Publisher: Bermingham Books.
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult Romantic Fantasy.
Release Date: June 6, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Pre-Order: Amazon UK | Amazon

Some promises are made to last forever...

What if you fell in love with a stranger...but that stranger had come from your past, a past you never knew existed until the moment your eyes met?

When Tess Winters locks eyes with a stranger at an airport bookstore, it ignites a feeling of passion somewhere deep inside her that she can't explain.

Although the encounter is innocent and brief, the intensity of it lingers, leaving her overwhelmed by a yearning for the mystery man now consuming her every thought.

Struggling to break the powerful hold he has over her heart, Tess starts to experience strange but familiar dreams...dreams from the turn of the twentieth century of the charming Mr Addison Taylor.

As her dreams start to materialize into reality, and past and present begin to blur, Tess is forced to put the pieces of a forgotten time together, and soon discovers that love isn't the only thing that can find you after an eternity.

Captivating, mysterious, and romantic, Life Lived Twice will leave you wondering whether love is so powerful it could last more than a lifetime.

Life Lived Twice was a real surprise package for me. I didn’t expect to be drawn into the story so much or to have finished it as quickly as I did but this was a captivating novel with a great plot. It was a really impressive debut by Sherrie Wouters and I’m eager to read more from this author.

Tess was an interesting character. Straight away, I was fascinated by why she was drawn to the mysterious guy at the airport so suddenly and as we learn more about her nightmares and her past, the concept never let me down. I loved how intricately the present was linked with her recurring nightmares and how realistic they felt. As the story unfolded, I felt like Sherrie did a great job at making sure everything previously mentioned was linked and not forgotten.

This book wasn’t perfect by all means but it was really gripping and entertaining. Although this book was intriguing right from the start, towards the middle I thought some parts of it felt a little too over-explained. Minor things like Tess being speechless at someone opening the door for her or stunned by someone querying her question seemed unnecessarily detailed. I just felt like Sherrie didn’t need to over-express and spell things out for us so because we could come to the conclusions ourselves.

What I loved most about this book though was the part I wasn’t expecting – the suspense. Life Lived Twice led Tess on the road to discovery and along the way, the twists and turns as more things were uncovered made for a great suspenseful read. With a spectacular ending as well, I thought this book was fantastic. I’m yet to move on to another book yet as I’m still left considering the events in Life Lived Twice, which I think is a great judge on how much I enjoyed it!

Review also posted on Goodreads

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Release Day Blitz ~ Fire of Stars and Dragons by Melissa A. Petreshock.

Title: Fire of Stars and Dragons (Stars & Souls Trilogy #1).
Author: Melissa A. Petreshock.
Publisher: Swoon Romance.
Genre: New Adult Fantasy Romance.
Release Date: April 29, 2014.

Purchase: Kindle | iBooks | Kobo

Following the death of her vampire uncle, twenty-one-year-old Caitriona Hayden finds herself in the midst of a trio of quintessential alpha male suitors in 22nd century sovereign America where human females should be seen and not heard.

Theo Pendragon claims her as his ward, ordained to guard her through to a long-awaited destiny unbeknownst to Cait, but finds more than he expected when passion ignites within the dragon for the first time. Always drawn to the pursuit of knowledge rather than the heat of desire, powerful demigod Dante cannot deny everything his future holds in Caitriona. America's monarch, ancient vampire Corrin, has no interest in the frivolity of love, yet marrying Cait could be the answer to his continued survival.

Soon, Cait goes from studying for college exams to choosing a husband in seven days, knowing the consequences are eternal, the love undying, and the bond timeless.


*Theo POV*

Jai says little yet conveys much, facial expressions and body language speaking volumes, painting pictures of a thousand words in the smallest reactions to his surroundings. And he adores Cait to such a profound degree one might believe he loves her as if she were his own ward. She makes him most lively to observe.

“You know, now that you’re with me, you guys don’t have to wear those suits.” Cait’s commentary comes at random, departing from the limo at the Gilroy Children’s House for a regular visit she makes as a major benefactor of Evan and Runa’s pet project. A longstanding tradition of her uncle’s to come the day after the gala, she intends to uphold it whether I feel it is safe or not. “Jai isn’t wearing a stuffy suit.”

I refrain from telling her he claims they misalign his chakras. “He’s a nonconformist,” I remark instead, glancing over her head at my brother in his loose pants and sandals, though he did don a silk, mandarin-collared tunic … after I told him he could not remain shirtless in the city. No amount of explaining will force Jai to understand his tattoos do not accommodate a sense of public propriety here as they do among the Fae.

“Says the dragon who likes to wear ancient rock band t-shirts. What exactly is a Blue Oyster Cult, anyway?” She does this just to aggravate me, and I know it. We already discussed the topic for more than an hour this morning. “This is casual. You don’t see me dressed up, Theo. We’re here to see the children.”

“Of course.” Never would I fail to notice what she wears, especially when it consists of a pair of form-fitting leggings with black leather boots, though I can’t say the silvery shirt does anything for me, but it does help that I know exactly what is beneath it. “You look lovely regardless of what you wear. We, however, must maintain a measure of professional appearance when representing you at public functions, Cait.”

“She sparkles,” Jaiteru softly adds to the conversation, pointing to her shirt, smiling. “Like Claaron.”

While containing my laughter, Claaron’s eyes fix into a death glare. There is nothing he despises more than commentary on the way his frosty hair glistens in the sunlight. He would hurt me for saying less.

None of us would dare lay a finger on Jai.

“That’s why we call him Snowflake.” Cait false-whispers, a devilish grin on her lips while eyeing Claaron. “He’s pretty like snowfall in the sunshine.”

I believe she winks at him, adding fuel to the fire.

Liam makes a small noise behind us, trying not to laugh as well, and if we weren’t in public, our Graywyne brother would be laying into us for this.

“And like me.” Jai speaks more in any single conversation with Cait than we would get from him in a typical week. “Blue dragons sparkle in the sun. Like gold.” His eyes widen, waving a hand toward the sky.

“Yes, Smiley, you’re a prettier dragon than Snowflake.” He smiles at her, walking closer, content he is favored in Cait’s eyes, and as we enter the building, Claaron and Clifford holding the double doors for her, I do believe Snowflake is jealous.

Melissa A. Petreshock is a full-time writer and member of the Romance Writers of America with past experience in the medical and educational fields, though she has primarily devoted her adult life to raising a family. Born and raised in Kentucky, Melissa spent a number of years in Massachusetts, living outside Boston and in Springfield before returning to her home state where she now resides on a small farm. She enjoys quiet married life and the silliness of her three children, indulging hobbies of music, Zumba, and a minor television addiction in what little free time she finds. Melissa’s interests include causes demanding social change such as mental health awareness and teen suicide prevention. FIRE OF STARS AND DRAGONS is her debut NA Fantasy Romance novel.

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Author Interview ~ Alison May.

Today I'm delighted to welcome Alison May to Reviewed the Book, a Contemporary Romantic Comedy author published by Choc Lit. You can check out Alison's books at the end of this interview.


Tell us about yourself and your books.

Hello. I’m Alison May. I write romantic comedies that are frequently quite unromantic and, in places, a little bit weepy, but otherwise definitely very romantic comedy-ish.

When I’m not writing I alternate between going to Zumba with excellent intentions about losing weight and Being Healthy, and arriving home from Zumba where I eat cake.

How challenging was your journey to becoming published by Choc Lit?

There were highs and lows. Most of the lows were as a result of it taking me the best part of six years and a whole part-time creative writing degree to work out that I wanted to write a novel. I spent a long time trying to be a playwright. I was bad at it. So very bad.

Sweet Nothing is my first novel. I have no doubt that the process of writing it was horrendous for large parts of the time, but somehow once you sign the contract you manage to put the pain out of your mind. Like childbirth. At least I imagine it’s like childbirth - I’ve never actually done a childbirthing but lack of experience or knowledge should never stand in the way of a good simile.

You tend to write more novellas instead of full length novels – why do you find short stories more appealing to write?

Actually I write both, but I do love writing novellas. They’re shorter, which is lovely because you don’t have to think of so many words, and it is having to think of all the words that makes the whole writing malarkey so tricky. I’m quite happy to admit that I find novella writing easier – up to about 50,000 words I find I can hold the whole story in my head. Above that and I end up having to use whiteboard and copious amount of sticky notes to keep track of who’s doing what, with whom, at what point.

Having said that, I also love playing around with structure in stories, so I use a lot of flashback and I like to get inside the heads of lots of different characters. It’s much easier to do that in a full-length novel, so hopefully I’ll get to carry on as I am at the moment and keep writing both.

What are you currently working on now? Can you tell us anything about it?

I’m working on my Christmas novellas for 2014 AND 2015, which means Christmas tunes playing full blast to get me in the mood. I’m seriously considering putting decorations up, but that’s the sort of behaviour that makes my normally very understanding husband look at me like I might have lost the plot.

The next two Christmas novellas are linked stories, both of which link back to some of the characters in Holly’s Christmas Kiss. I’m at the exciting ideas stage at the moment, so am busy falling in love with my Christmas 2014 hero. What can I tell you about him? Well, he’s called Liam, and he’s about to receive some very very good news.

What do you find most rewarding about being an author?

I love the moments where a story just falls into place. You can spend weeks trying to crowbar a character into a plot, or sort out a timeline that isn’t working, and then all of a sudden light will dawn and you’ll have a moment where you realise that if you just change one tiny thing everything works and hangs together. Those moments are magic. I mean, they’re not actually magic. They’re the result of the weeks of frustrating hard work getting you to a point where you’re able to see through the mess to the solution. But they feel like magic, which is almost as good.

Do you prefer ebooks or print books?

Practical head says ebooks. They’re cheaper to produce and buy. They’re lighter to carry around. You can keep a whole library in your handbag.

But paper books are lovely, aren’t they? I own hundreds (probably thousands) of the things, and you can stroke them and hold them and, in extreme circumstances, lick them.

I can have both though, right? You’re not going to come round and take my kindle away, are you? *barricades door against evil book police*

Do you celebrate or treat yourself after your books are released? If so – what do you do?

I’m slightly ashamed to say, not really. To be honest, the last few months since Sweet Nothing came out have been such a blur. I went straight from edits on that book, into edits on Holly’s Christmas Kiss, into writing novel 2 and now starting my next Christmas Kiss novella. I haven’t really stopped long enough to celebrate.

I probably ought to change that and have a little treat. So can I have David Tennant, a large bag of malteasers and a bottle of champagne brought to my room, please? *Waits expectantly*

Name the best book you read last year, your favourite book and the book at the top of your TBR.

My favourite book of last year wasn’t actually a new release. It was one I’d just never got around to before - Cuban Heels by Emily Barr. I love Emily Barr. She’s very clever and somehow manages to turn her settings into almost another character. Cuban Heels also had one of the most interesting main characters I’ve read in a long time, Maggie. She doesn’t always act particularly nicely, but Barr manages to keep you engaged with her. I’d highly recommend it.

Favourite book ever is an impossible question. It varies according to mood, so depending on the day it’s either The House at Pooh Corner¸ Margaret Attwood’s The Blind Assassin, Jane Eyre or pretty much anything by Marian Keyes or Terry Pratchett. Today I’m feeling Pratchettish, so I’m going to say one of the City Watch Discworld books. Night Watch I think. It’s an unusual book for Pratchett because it’s a timeslip story. A comic fantasy timeslip. Brilliant.

And the book at the top of my to read pile at the moment is Mhairi Mcfarlane’s Here’s Looking At You.

If you had the opportunity to meet one author and take in all their advice, knowledge and inspiration, who would you choose?

I’m going to stick with Terry Pratchett I think. It might sound like an odd choice given that he’s the king of comic fantasy and I write romance, but the way that he structures stories is unsurpassed. You start off with multiple strands that don’t link together, and all of a sudden you get a glimpse of the whole story and see that it could never have been heading in any other direction. Masterful.

Thanks for joining us, Alison!

Alison was born and raised in North Yorkshire, but now lives in Worcester. Alison has worked as a waitress, a shop assistant, a learning adviser, an advice centre manager, and is now a writer and creative writing tutor.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and won their Elizabeth Goudge trophy in 2012 for her short story Feel the Fear which appeared in the RNA’s 2014 anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply¸ published by Harlequin.

Alison writes contemporary romantic comedies. Alison’s debut Sweet Nothing (Amazon) was released by Choc Lit Lite in November 2013 and her novella, Holly’s Christmas Kiss (Amazon) in December 2013. You can follow Alison on Twitter @MsAlisonMay.

Would you risk everything for love?

Independent, straight-talking Trix Allen wouldn’t. She’s been in love once before and ended up with nothing. Now safely single, Trix is as far away from the saccharine-sweet world of hearts and flowers as it’s possible to be.

Ben Messina is the man who broke Trix’s heart. Now he’s successful the only thing rational Ben and free-spirited Trix see eye-to-eye on is the fact that falling in love isn’t part of the plan. But when Ben’s brother sets out to win the heart of Trix’s best friend, romance is very much in the air. Will Trix gamble everything on love and risk ending up with zero once again?

Monday 28 April 2014

Review ~ Late Call by Emma Hart.

Title: Late Call (Call, #1).
Author: Emma Hart.
Publisher: Emma Hart.
Genre: Erotic Romance.
Release Date: April 28, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon | Amazon AU | B&N | iTunes

She’s a high class call girl. He’s taking over his father’s business.
Seven years ago, they fell in love in Paris.
They walked away at the end of the summer, never imagining they’d meet again.
Now he’s her client.

We fell in love the way you jump from a cliff. Hard and fast with a reckless sense of abandon. The six weeks we spent together changed my life, but at seventeen, I was naive. I was a dreamer. A believer.

Now I’m twenty-four and cynical. I don’t believe in love. There’s no place for such emotions as a high class escort. The only things I’m allowed to feel are physical – and that’s why it’s so damn hard when the client of a last minute job turns out to be the man I left in France seven years ago. When he buys me for six weeks at triple my rate, my agent makes it clear I have no choice but to take the job despite our previous relationship. And my heart makes it very clear I have to stay firmly on top of the cliff this time.

Because for six weeks, I once again belong to Aaron Stone.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Emma Hart can write anything and I will love it. Late Call was different than what I’m used to from Emma but it was brilliant – probably the strongest plot I’ve seen in an erotic romance book. The writing and the plot development was great, captivating, and the ending was written to perfection.

So Dayton is a call girl and her ex, Aaron, has paid for her services. You’d be forgiven for thinking these were going to be trashy, unlikeable characters but they were anything but that. Day was really easy to emphasise with – she’d had a tough past but she wasn’t naïve as to what being a call girl was about. I felt for her the moment she met Aaron again and wanted her to be swept off her feet by him. And what girl wouldn’t be swept off their feet by him?! *fans face* I think I’ve fallen a little bit in love with him. He was hot and their chemistry tore off the pages.

Emma wrote a wonderful story full of attraction and chemistry and an awesome twist. The moment I thought things were moving along nicely something would change all that and I loved the edge-of-your-seat plot. Plus, this was an erotic romance novel with a plot! Like, it was jaw-droppingly hot at times but I never lost sight of the plot. So, extra brownie points for Emma. ;)

Late Call was a fabulous book if I haven’t made that clear enough yet. It was enthralling and steamy yet at times the plot was sweet and romantic too, as I reminisced along with Dayton and Aaron about their past. Emma Hart wrote a flawless novel and there’s no way I’ll be missing the continuation of this series.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon

By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies – usually wine – and writes books.

Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.

She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.

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Saturday 26 April 2014

Review ~ The Other Side of Morning by Jo Lambert.

Title: The Other Side of Morning.
Author: Jo Lambert.
Publisher: ThornBerry Publishing UK.
Release Date: March 8, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

Charlotte Kendrick’s ill-fated relationship with rock star Christian Rosetti still haunts her. The new man in her life, handsome, rich Italian restaurateur Marco D’Alesandro, is everything she wants. But when beautiful heiress Rossana Caravello arrives to spend time with his family as their house guest she wonders whether history is about to repeat itself. Marco insists he loves her and that he has no interest in their guest, but how can Charlotte believe him when everything about his behaviour around Rossana indicates he is lying? Giving him the benefit of the doubt, Charlotte wonders whether his ruthless stepmother Thérèse may be involved, and decides to find out more about the young heiress. However, far from putting her mind at rest, what she discovers leaves her feeling more unsettled than ever about her future with Marco…

From rural West Somerset to the glorious rolling landscape of Tuscany and the Italian lakes THE OTHER SIDE OF MORNING is a story of love, betrayal, deception and ultimate sacrifice.


The Other Side of Morning was high drama and I loved that! I was captivated with the plot the whole way through and for a book which packed a lot of events into it, I found the entire book intriguing and entertaining.

Although I do enjoy books with plenty going on, I struggled to keep up with quite a bit of this book and that’s the only thing which affected how much I enjoyed this book. There were so many names being dropped and more characters introduced which I just wish would have been slowed down a little bit so I could keep up. I’m not great at remembering names so maybe it was just me being dim but at times in the first third of the book, I wasn’t all that sure who was who.

Luckily for me, I was always captivated with the story and so I carried on and got to enjoy a wonderfully entertaining novel. There were some great characters and the author did a brilliant job at developing them. Instead of the characters being one-sided with the author basically telling us who to like and dislike, they all had complex personalities which throughout allowed me to make (and keep changing) my own opinions about them. It would have been hard for me to pick a favourite if it wasn’t for Marco… ah. He was a little bit dreamy…

This was a gripping book, intense, dramatic but always entertaining. It was easy to read as a standalone but I’ll definitely be checking out the other books Jo Lambert has written. If they’re all as captivating as The Other Side of Morning then I’m sure I’m going to love them.

Review also posted on Goodreads ; Amazon UK ; Amazon

Author Bio:

Born and raised in rural Wiltshire, Jo Lambert grew up with a love of books and a vivid imagination. As a child she enjoyed creating her own adventure stories similar to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five. Writing always stayed with her, but college, work and eventually marriage found it kept very much in the background as a hobby. In 2009 everything changed when she decided to self-publish a novel she had completed. After When Tomorrow Comes, three other books - Love Lies and Promises, The Ghost of You and Me and Between Today and Yesterday followed. In 2013 she decided to give up full time work to concentrate fully on her writing. Her fifth novel The Other Side of Morning was accepted by ThornBerry Publishing UK and is now available in e-book form with a paperback version to follow shortly.

Jo is married and lives in a village on the eastern edge of Bath, Somerset with one small grey feline called Mollie. She shares her husband with his ‘other woman’ Bridget - a 48 year old white MG Midget who keeps him occupied while she is busy writing.

Author Interview ~ Tilly Tennant.

Today I'm delighted to be joined by the lovely Tilly Tennant. Tilly is the author of the fabulous Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn which you can check out at the end of this interview and read my five star review here.

Tell us about yourself and your writing journey.

I was born in Dorset but now live in Staffordshire. I’m older than I’m going to admit to here! I have two lovely (but sometimes infuriating) daughters aged ten and twelve who are like my best friends and have me constantly laughing. I’ve always loved to invent stories so it seemed only natural that I would start writing them down. Ever since I can remember I had wanted to write a book, and I had even tried a few times but never got past the first few chapters. It wasn’t until I got to university as a mature student in 2006 that I finally finished one. After that I got the bug and wanted to write all the time! In November 2013, after years of trying, I was signed by LAW literary agents and Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was released in January 2014.

What was your inspiration behind writing Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn? Were any of the characters based on yourself or people you know?

I’m the first to admit that I suffer from the most inappropriate celebrity crushes and the question has often popped into my head of what would happen if I met one of them in a situation that enabled us to become friends. It was only natural that at some point I would write about it. Most of my characters have bits of people I know in them, and also bits of myself, but they’re not based on one person in particular. Strangely, I think Max is the most like me! I’m pretty easy going and never take anything seriously, which can get me into trouble!

Who’s your celebrity crush?

It’s well known amongst friends that I have an actual league table of celebrity crushes which changes on a weekly basis. It would be cruel to the others to choose just one of them…

Do your daughters share your love of writing? Would you recommend it to them?

They do. In fact, my oldest who will be thirteen in July is writing a novel at the moment. Whether she ever gets off YouTube long enough to finish it is the big question. But they both love reading and writing stories. I’m not sure it’s the most secure career option for me to recommend it to them, but I think things will change dramatically in publishing over the next ten years or so. Who knows, maybe it will become something much easier to make a living from.

Have your family read Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn?

My husband read it and says he enjoyed it. But then he has to say that or I burn his dinner and remove certain privileges. My mum also loved it too, but she’s my mum so, you know, kind of the same thing applies. I have three brothers and I don’t imagine they’ll get to grips with it – they’re far more interested in yukky boy things.

How does your typical writing day go?

I start after I’ve dropped the kids in school. It usually involves quite a lot of tea and sweets and looking out of the window! I set myself word count targets and try to sit at my laptop until I hit one and then I take a break and set the next milestone. This happens until the kids finish school, then I get them sorted with meals and baths etc, and I often do a bit more writing after they’ve gone to bed. I tend to pack up about 11.30 – 12.00pm.

Are you currently working on anything? If so, can you tell us anything about it?

I’m working on another novel that is set in the town of Millrise where Hopelessly takes place but with a new bunch of residents. The protagonist, Ellie, is a journalist on the local newspaper who finds herself in the middle of a story that will change her own life forever. I can’t say a lot more than that right now so I’ll just be as enigmatic as I can at this point! I’ve just sent it to my agent to read for the first time so I’m quite nervous but hopeful that it will be released in the summer if she likes it.

What have you found the most rewarding thing about being an author?

The support from readers, bloggers, other authors and the bookish community in general has been far greater than I expected and a wonderful experience. I’ve made fantastic new friends both online and in real life and no matter what else happens, that alone has made all the long hours writing worthwhile. And of course, it’s fantastic to see good reviews and to know that people like what you do.

Ebooks or print books?

Print books (but I carry my kindle everywhere because it’s so light).

Is there a book you’ve read that you’d loved to have written yourself?

I always say this, but John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things. The places his imagination went to overwhelm me every time I read it. I love the fairy tale elements, the real world elements, the emotion – just the whole package.

Have you ever read a book and wished you could transport yourself into the character’s life? If so, which one?

It has to be Harry Potter. I want to be the Chosen One and swish wands around all day!

If you could go to any destination in the world with three books you’ve yet to read, where would you go and which books would you bring with you?

I’d love to go to the Gold Coast in Australia. And I’d probably take The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filier and Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch. They’re all on my bookshelf now but I haven’t had time to read them yet.

Thanks for joining us Tilly!

Author Bio:

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing, graduating in 2009 with first class honours. She wrote her first novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.

Website ; Twitter

There’s only one man for Bonnie, and that’s Holden Finn.

The problem is that Holden Finn is a twenty-three-year-old pop megastar with his boy band, Every Which Way, and has no idea she exists. Not only that, but half the women in the world want to be Mrs Finn, including Bonnie’s teenage daughter, Paige. The real men in Bonnie’s life do nothing but let her down, but a man you can’t possibly have can never do that… right? She’s safe inside her fantasy bubble.

Then Paige wins a radio competition to meet Holden and the band, and Bonnie’s carefully-constructed world starts to unravel. She is about to find out that you should be very, very careful what you wish for …

Purchase: Amazon UK

Friday 25 April 2014

Review ~ The French for Always by Fiona Valpy.

Title: The French for Always.
Author: Fiona Valpy.
Publisher: Bookouture.
Genre: Women's Fiction.
Release Date: April 25, 2014.
Source: Review Copy.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

Leaving the grey skies of home behind to transform a crumbling French Château into a boutique wedding venue is a huge leap of faith for Sara. She and fiancé Gavin sink their life savings into the beautiful Château Bellevue – set under blue skies and surrounded by vineyards in the heart of Bordeaux.

After months of hard work, the dream starts to become a reality – until Gavin walks out halfway through their first season. Overnight, Sara is left very much alone with the prospect of losing everything.

With her own heart breaking, Sara has five weddings before the end of the season to turn the business around and rescue her dreams. With the help of the locals and a little courage can she save Château Bellevue before the summer is over?


The French for Always was a beautiful book. Just look at that cover! The books that bring you a setting you want to be transported to are always lovely to read and I need to spend some time at the gorgeous Château Bellevue.

The book looks like a serene, relaxing read and I felt like the writing represented that too. It was an easy, light book which for me was perfect to enjoy in one sitting on a night in. The French culture really stood out in this book and I felt like the author excelled at setting the scene for this book. It was a truly stunning story.

As much as I loved how pleasant this book was to read, I felt like maybe it could have done with an added twist in the tale, not unnecessary drama, but just something to give the plot a little bit of a lift. However, The French for Always was really brought to life with the brilliant characters. Sara was a lovely character and from the moment her life changes at the beginning of the book, I cared and rooted for her the whole way through. She felt like the kind of person I could be friends with in real life and I love authors who can write characters like that. Each of the to-be-married couples were developed wonderfully too. For a quick book I thought it was great at creating memorable characters who I loved to read about.

The French for Always helped me drift away from my own life for a little while and it was a lovely story – one that never failed to make me smile. With a plot I’d love to revisit again and again, this was a fab book.

Review also posted on Goodreads ; Amazon UK ; Amazon

About the Author:

Fiona Valpy lives in France, having moved there from the UK in 2007. She left behind a career in Marketing and Public Relations to explore new avenues and now teaches yoga and writes.

Having renovated an old rambling farmhouse with her husband, she has developed new-found skills in cement- mixing and interior decorating, although her preferred pastime by far is wine-tasting.

Connect with Fiona: Facebook ; Twitter ; Goodreads

Review ~ Face Time by S.J. Pajonas.

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Title: Face Time (Love in the Digital Age #1).
Author: SJ Pajonas.
Genre: Contemporary Romance.
Release Date: April 25, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon ; B&N ; Kobo ; iBooks ; All Romance eBooks ; Smashwords

After the best first date ever, Lee thought Laura was funny, intelligent, and impulsive; a whirlwind of bright laughter and happiness. Laura loved Lee's sweet smile and the way he expertly filled in every awkward pause. He held her hand and then pulled her in for the most perfect kiss she’s had in years. What could possibly be wrong? Just the 7000 miles that separates them the next day.

Even though Lee has gone home to Seoul, Laura can't stop thinking about him. What starts as an innocent text thanking him for their dinner date becomes something much more: someone either of them can't live without. But Laura's got a live-in mother going through a midlife crisis, and Lee's stressful traveling schedule means they'll be apart for some time. Life, family, and a complicated past also get in the way, and they're both going to need actual face time to figure it out.

Told from both Lee and Laura’s point of view, FACE TIME is a funny, romantic, modern-day story about two people who connect across the world.


I loved the whole concept of Face Time. I haven’t really read that many books focusing on long-distance relationships and especially with the contact between Laura and Lee being through technology, I believe that SJ Pajonas has written a great contemporary romance.

I wasn’t instantly drawn to the relationship between Laura and Lee. With their first meeting, I did think their dialogue and chemistry seemed a bit forced. But it didn’t take me too long to change my opinion as the alternative chapters for the main characters slowly developed their feelings and made me believe it more. Both Laura and Lee were likeable, real characters who were easy relatable. They each had their own issues and things to work through and I think the plot in Face Time is a real winner for the author because there’s so much for people to relate to.

The romance was really original and enjoyable. I thought all the Face Time-ing might have been a bit repetitive but it wasn’t at all. Each scene was different and the other characters all added to the plot too. Nicole was probably my favourite side-character but I thought they all had their own appeal.

Face Time was really entertaining and written very well. As soon as the moment came that I could root for Laura and Lee, the story flowed easily and it was captivating learning about the characters and seeing their stories and feelings grow. SJ Pajonas wrote a lovely modern romance and is an author I’ll be looking out for more from.

Review also posted on Goodreads ; Amazon UK ; Amazon

Want to know more about Face Time?
Listen to the Face Time playlist
Visit the Face Time visual inspiration Pinterest board
View a teaser trailer for Face Time from Laura’s point of view

Author Bio:

S. J. Pajonas loves all things Asian and has been in love with Japan and the East for as long as she can remember. Writing about Asia and Japan came naturally after studying the culture and language for over fifteen years. She studied film and screenwriting first and eventually segued into fiction once she was no longer working a full-time job.

Face Time is the first novel in the Love in the Digital Age series, and Pajonas’s first foray into Korean culture and families. Along with Removed and Released in the Nogiku Series, she continues to take the cultures of Asia and weave them into stories that appeal to people from around the world. Her writing is described as unique and unpredictable. Expect the unexpected.

Stephanie lives with her husband and two children just outside of New York City. She loves reading, writing, film, J- and K-dramas, knitting, and astrology. Her favorite author is Haruki Murakami and favorite book is The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.

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