Book Reviews

Book Review: Summer At The Santorini Bookshop by Rebecca Raisin

I’m very excited to be welcoming Rebecca Raisin to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her latest novel, Summer at the Santorini Bookshop. Happy publication day, Rebecca. 

A Greek island holiday. A fake-dating pact. A chance at true love?

After losing her job as a book scout, hopeless romantic Evie needs a fresh start. So when she hears that her eccentric grandmother has just taken on a small bookshop in Santorini, Evie jumps at the chance to visit her.

But life on the island is not as idyllic as it first seems. Gran has a tempestuous relationship with her landlord and he’s threatening to take the bookshop away from her. So when Gran asks Evie to fake a romance with her landlord’s Greek God of a grandson, Georgios, to keep the family on side, she reluctantly agrees.

As the sun sets on Evie’s Greek holiday, can she save the bookshop – and fake date her way to love?

*****

When Evie loses her dream job as a book scout, she needs to find another one and fast. However, when she’s told to go to Greece to check on her Grandmother, Evie has no choice but to go and besides, she decides that a few days in the Santorini sunshine will do her the world of good. She’s soon embroiled in her Gran’s current predicament made even more complicated when she meets the handsome Georgios.

This is the first novel I’ve read by Rebecca Raisin and I was very happy to be invited onto the blog tour for Summer at the Santorini Bookshop. I couldn’t wait to get started.

First, the cover is very dreamy and makes me want to move to Greece and open a bookshop.

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Book Review: The Cottage in Sweet Meadow Park by Liz Davies

I’m very pleased to be welcoming Liz Davis to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her book, The Cottage in Sweet Meadow Park.

Enjoy a stroll in the park with this uplifting story of love, friendship and following your dreams.

When Molly Brown buys a derelict cottage in the middle of a rundown park, she hopes to return both the cottage and the park to their former glory. However, Molly soon begins to wonder whether she’s bitten off more than she can chew, especially when the good-looking guy from the council refuses to help.

In his role as Parks and Highways Officer, Jack Feathers doesn’t want to waste public funds on an overgrown, unloved park, no matter how gorgeous Molly is. But when he finds himself needing somewhere to live, Molly makes him an offer he can’t refuse – to move into her spare room, rent-free.

The catch? He has to help bring the park back to life.

It seems to be an ideal solution, until… Molly falls for Jack, the park is vandalised, and she realises he is still in love with his ex.

And soon Molly begins to regret letting Jack into her home, her life and her heart.

*****

Molly Brown has always harboured a dream and that is to live in the cottage within the grounds of Sweet Meadow Park. With the house very run down, she knows she has her work cut out. She isn’t just going to transform the house, she’s going to take on the park beyond too.

When she meets Jack, she doesn’t like him at first. However, when circumstances change and he ends up being her lodger, will it just be the house being transformed or her whole life?

I was very excited to be taking part in another blog tour with Liz Davis and going by the cover alone (which is so pretty,) I couldn’t wait to get started.

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Book Review: Murder on the Dancefloor by Katie Marsh

I’m pleased to be welcoming Katie Marsh to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, Murder on the Dancefloor.

They DID promise her a killer hen weekend…

Jeanie’s getting married, and – despite her completely impossible four sisters – her best friends Clio and Amber are determined to give her a bachelorette weekend to remember. They’re in matching pink T-shirts and the drinks are flowing…

But the night turns out to be unforgettable for all the wrong reasons when a girl turns up dead on the dancefloor. And – even though she’s a stranger – she is wearing one of Jeanie’s hen T-shirts.

Who is she? And why are the police convinced that the hens are involved? Can the newly-formed Bad Girls Detective Agency solve the murder? And in time to get Jeanie up the aisle?

Unputdownable mystery set on the English coast – perfect for fans of The Thursday Murder Club, Bad Sisters and How to Kill Your Family.

*****

The premise of this novel really appealed to me so I was excited to be invited onto the blog tour for Murder on the Dancefloor, the latest novel in The Bad Girls Detective Agency series.

I haven’t read book one in the series but I found that this didn’t hinder my enjoyment of this novel. Enough background is given on both plot and characters.

The three main ladies are brilliant and I loved their dynamic and chemistry. My heart did go out to Jeanie and I so desperately wanted everything to be OK for her. Amber is a strong woman as is Clio. She just has to believe in herself. The supporting characters were also great and the author manages to develop all them well through the book.

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Book Review: The Mistress by Valerie Keogh

I’m pleased to be welcoming Valerie Keogh to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, The Mistress.

She wants what you have…

Hannah Parker is a woman who always gets what she wants.

When her current husband discovers she has been lying to him – again – she knows it’s time to move on and find someone who can give her the life she desires… The life she knows she deserves…

But who will be the lucky man?

When her eye catches a glimpse of an old flame in a photograph, she’s sure it’s a sign. Mark Shepherd has always been in her thoughts – they’d been happy once, he’d adored her, but she’d made a mistake and let him get away. She won’t make the same mistake again….

Hannah is older now and wiser. She knows what men want and she knows how to keep them happy.

So what if Mark is happily married with a family of his own?

All good things must come to an end…

*****

Hannah is used to getting what she wants or what she thinks she wants. So what if men fall over themselves to buy her things, to give her money? 

When her marriage comes to an end, Hannah looks back to a time in her life where she was close to happy. She will do whatever she can to be with the man responsible for that happiness, no matter what it costs him. 

Susan has been happily married to Mark for years. Although she’s suffering from empty nest syndrome, she thought that she could at least depend on her husband… or can she? 

I am such a big fan of Valerie Keogh and so was super excited to be invited onto the blog tour for her latest novel, The Mistress. 

The author doesn’t waste any time in throwing the reader into the action and the mind games that follow. 

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Book Review: The Other Gwyn Girl by Nicola Cornick

I’m so happy to be welcoming Nicola Cornick back to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her latest novel, The Other Gwyn Girl.

1671 – London

The Civil War is over and Charles II, the ‘Merry Monarch’, is revelling in the throne of his murdered father and all the privileges and power that comes with it. Sharing the spoils is his favourite companion, the celebrated beauty, actress Nell Gwyn. Beloved of the English people, Nell has come a long way from selling oranges and a childhood in a brothel, but as her fortunes have turned, her sister Rose has taken a different path. Marriage to a feckless highwayman has left Rose in the grim Marshalsea prison and now she needs her sister’s mercy to help get her out. But Nell needs Rose too. A plot to steal the Crown Jewels has gone tragically wrong, and Nell’s future with her protector King is at risk. If Rose can’t solve the riddle of the jewels both Gwyn sisters will head straight to the Tower.

Present Day

Librarian and history enthusiast Jess Yates has hit rock bottom. With her ex behind bars for fraud, Jess needs to lay low – easier said than done with a celebrity sister. But Tavy has her uses. Her latest TV project involves renovating Fortune Hall, and she needs a house sitter while she’s jetting around the world. The opportunity is too good to miss, especially when Jess discovers that Fortune Hall has links to the infamous Nell Gwyn.

Slowly the house begins to reveal its mysteries, and secrets that have laid buried for centuries can no longer be ignored. Jess hears echoes from a tragic past and as she struggles to understand her sister, Jess feels ever closer to Rose Gwyn, the sister forgotten by history but who had the fate of her family in her hands.

*****

It’s 1671. Charles II is on the throne and enjoying all that comes with it, including mistress Nell Gwyn. She’s come a long way from the poverty she experienced as a child. Her sister Rose on the other hand has needed to forge a different life.

When a failed attempt to steel the Crown Jewells puts her into the path of Sir Guy Forester, it has the potential to change her life forever.

In the present day, Jess is also struggling with scandal and living in the shadow of her famous sibling. When her sister suggests she look after Fortune Hall, Jess is excited especially when she finds a connection to a Gwyn sister.

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Book Review: Thor’s Revenge by Donovan Cook

I’m pleased to be welcoming Donovan Cook back to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for his novel, Thor’s Revenge.

A kingdom without a crown.

A boy forsaken by his God.

A warrior bent on revenge.

After the bloody Battle of Jelling, Denmark’s throne lies empty and chaos reigns as Jarls jostle for power.

Sven survives the bloodshed only to return home to find Ribe sacked by those he trusted and Charles, a pawn in a much bigger political game, kidnapped.

Consumed by the loss of Charles, Sven is shocked by the arrival of the Abbess Hildegard, daughter of his nemesis King Louis of East Francia, who seeks the whereabouts of Charles, her son, and also the cross of Charlemagne.

But whilst others want revenge for the chaos Sven has caused, Denmark burns and Sven must stand in the shield wall one more time if he is to survive and rescue his grandson.

Outnumbered and outmaneuvered, Sven and Charles must put their fate in the hands of the gods if they ever want to see each other again.

*****

Thor’s Revenge continues the journey of Sven the Boar, his grandson, Charles, and the gold cross which Charles escaped to Denmark with.

Following a disastrous battle outside of Ribe, young Charles believes many of his friends to be dead and is in the custody of his grandfather’s enemies. Meanwhile Sven, reeling from the loss of his grandson, is drinking himself into a stupor. Charles must stay strong in the face of great uncertainty, of both his future and his faith as he feels that God has abandoned him.

All the while French agents are circling, having determined that the cross of Charlemagne has been taken to Demark, and they will do anything to recover it and see the empire of France rebuilt.

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Book Review: The Graveyard Killings by Wes Markin

I’m happy to be welcoming Wes Markin to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for his novel, The Graveyard Killings.

A decades old case….

When the body of a young girl is found exhumed from her grave, DCI Emma Gardner knows there’s more to this grisly find than just misadventure. Penny Maiden was killed in a hit and run accident forty years ago, and her killer was never found…Could someone be trying to right an old wrong?

A DI on the rails…

Determined to bring a dangerous gang of drug dealers to justice, DI Paul Riddick is trying hard to play by the rules. After his previous reckless actions, he knows this is his last chance to stay in the job he loves. But when his private life takes an unexpected turn, Riddick begins to lose control again.

Emma needs Paul to help her with her case, especially when more bodies are found in the same graveyard. But hurt badly by Riddick once before, Emma’s not sure she can trust him again.

But as Paul’s behaviour begins to spiral even more, Emma worries she may have left it far too late to save her old friend Riddick from his own destruction…

*****

DCI Emma Gardner is still reeling from the death of a colleague but is determined to keep going. When the victim of an old case is found on the grave of another person, Emma needs to find out what’s going on and fast. What makes it even more complicated is her ex friend, DI Paul Riddick, who is dealing with ghosts and demons of his own.

This is the first novel I’ve read from author, Wes Markin but as I like a good crime/psychological thriller, I was so pleased to be invited onto the blog tour for The Graveyard Killings, book four in the Yorkshire Murders book series.

If, like me, you’ll be picking up the series from this point, don’t fear. There’s enough information given to be able to keep up with the story. However, I did also feel that reading the previous novels would have enriched the story. They have definitely been added to my list.

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Book Review: The House Sitter by Elizabeth Drummond

I’m pleased to be welcoming Elizabeth Drummond to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, The House Sitter

His house. Her rules. But who’s in charge?

Pippa Munro had everything planned for her perfect wedding. What she did not have planned, was for her boyfriend to break up with her. Or sell her beloved farm. So instead of being blissfully engaged, Pippa finds herself jobless, homeless and loveless. Things couldn’t be going better…

Wolfie Squires needs someone to look after his family’s ancient house. He’s too busy with his hot shot city job to deal with a country manor several hundred miles away.

The perfect solution? Find someone to house sit.
The less-than-perfect candidate? Pippa Munro.

Pippa is more comfortable working on a farm than dusting a chandelier, and definitely not the ideal choice for the job.

As tempers fray, ideas clash, and secrets are spilled, Pippa and Wolfie might realise they have the same ambitions for the house, if only they could stop arguing long enough to find out…

*****

Piper Monro has put years of her life into her boyfriend’s farm in her beloved Hurst Bridge yet, on the night she is hoping he will finally propose, she is given a big surprise.

She needs a new job and fast. When she hears that Squires House needs a house sitter, she finds herself applying for it.

It’s here that she runs into Wolfie Squires, a man she’s not seen since she was a teenager. From what she can see, he’s the same unfriendly person she remembers. Can she and Wolfie find a way to work together?

This is the first novel I’ve read from Elizabeth Drummond. The premise intrigued me so I was excited to be invited onto the blog tour for The House Sitter.

Piper is strong and brilliant and a little frustrating when it comes to her long term boyfriend, Alex but this book teaches us that time, space and hindsight are very important. She’s a force of nature and I loved that about her.

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Book Review: The Lost Letters of Evelyn Wright by Clare Swatman

I’m so happy to be welcoming Clare Swatman back to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her new novel, The Lost Letters of Evelyn Wright.

Starting over can be hard to do…

So when mum of two Beth moves out of her beloved marital home and into an unloved and unkempt cottage, she can’t help but feel demoralised. Faced with months of DIY and dust, her children Jacob and Olivia aren’t impressed either. But when Beth finds a box of letters while she’s clearing out the children’s room, things start to look up.

The correspondence is decades old, between agony aunt Evelyn and those in need of solace. Intrigued as to why the letters have been kept safe all these years, Beth can’t resist reading them, and as the wisdom and kindness of Evelyn falls off the pages, so Beth starts to feel she has a friend and champion in this woman she has never met.

Good advice doesn’t age, and as life starts to look brighter, Beth begins to wonder if she could track down Evelyn and thank her for her help. But as Beth uncovers more about Evelyn’s story, it becomes clear that everything is not as it seems. And now Beth is determined to bring peace to Evelyn as she has to her.

*****

Beth had it all – the marriage, the wonderful house and two children. 

Now, she’s a single mother in a ramshackle house that needs a lot of work, her husband is living with the woman he was having an affair with and she has never felt more lonely. 

When she finds some old agony aunt letters, she decides to reply. After all, it’s something to do. However, these letters open up her world to more than she ever imagined. 

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Book Review: The Year That Changed Us by Helen Rolfe

I’m happy to be welcoming Helen Rolfe back to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, The Year That Changed Us.

A warm-hearted and gripping story of community, secrets and the family we choose that will captivate fans of Lucy Diamond, Cathy Bramley and Jessica Redland.

As young women, Lise and Emma had the kind of friendship people dream about. While Lise’s own family was distant and disengaged, Emma’s was welcoming and warm, and for the first twenty-six years of their life, growing up together in a close-knit community, the duo were inseparable. But when they decide to spend one year living together in Paris, what starts as the adventure of a lifetime becomes a disaster that changes everything. And when Emma returns to Bath the following summer, Lise stays behind in France, their friendship in tatters.

Now, sixteen years later, Lise has come back to their hometown, determined to put things right. But to do so, she’ll have to face up to the truth about what happened in Paris. And with Emma refusing to talk to her, can she get close enough to share her secret?

*****

From the time they were in primary school, Lise and Emma have been the best of friends, even when Lise is sent to boarding school. 

When it is time for them to spread their wings, they decide to spend time in Paris. They are excited about their adventure. However, when the two women fall out and Emma returns home without Lise, their friendship seems forever broken. 

Can they repair what was lost or is their bond broken forever? 

Having previously read Christmas Nights at the Star and Lantern and loved it, I was excited to have the opportunity to take part in the blog tour for Helen Rolfe’s latest novel,  The Year That Changed Us. 

First, I want to give a shout out to the cover. It’s so pretty. The plot also sounded interesting and so I couldn’t wait to get started. 

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Book Review: The Summer of Lies by Louise Douglas

I’m pleased to be welcoming Louise Douglas back to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, The Summer of Lies.

The summer is the hottest yet in the Brittany coastal town of Morranez, but when a new case lands on the desk of the Toussaints detective agency, there can be no time to relax. As wild fires bear down on the town, the alert goes out for a missing girl.

Nineteen-year-old Briony Moorcroft has seemingly been taken from her sleepy Welsh village and brought to France. Her parents are baffled and scared – Briony needs her life-saving medicine or this case will become even more sinister, and with the police dragging their heels, the Moorcrofts are relying on Mila Shephard and Carter Jackson’s sleuthing skills.

Meanwhile there are mysteries troubling Mila’s life too. Two years after the accident that swept her sister Sophie and brother-in-law Charlie away and left their daughter Ani in Mila’s care, new evidence resurfaces that makes Mila doubt everything.

Can Carter and Mila find Briony before it’s too late? And is the truth about Sophie and Charlie finally about to be revealed…

*****

Mila is not looking forward to the responsibility of organising a celebration for her mother’s birthday – a thought that gives her anxiety rather than joy. A case soon takes her mind off her mother and onto an unwell nineteen-year-old girl who has seemingly been taken from her home in Wales to France. Can Mila and Carter find Briony Moorcroft before it’s too late?

I’m so happy to be back in Morranez with Mila, Carter, Cici and Ani. Having enjoyed The Lost Notebook, I was excited to catch up with these characters. It was like catching up with old friends.

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Book Review: Sword of Vengeance by Peter Gibbons

We’re pleased to be welcoming Peter Gibbons back to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for his book, Sword of Vengeance.

In the aftermath of the great battle of Maldon, justice is demanded and vengeance will be served!

992AD

King Aethelred’s the Unready’s army has been defeated at the historic Battle of Maldon by Viking invaders led by Olaf Tryggvason and King Sweyn Forkbeard.

The strategic turning point of the battle was when Godric, an East Saxon Thegn, fled the battlefield taking with him the Saxon army, leaving behind his brothers to be massacred in a welter of blood and Norse axe blades.

Saxon warrior Beornoth emerges from the ashes of defeat with his heart aflame with vengeance and when King Aethelred sends for Beornoth with orders to punish those traitors responsible for the crushing defeat, he heeds the king’s call.

With a small band of loyal warriors, Beornoth embarks on an unforgiving journey across the perilous landscape to seek out Godric and exact his bloody revenge. They must fight their way through a world teeming with political intrigue, shifting alliances and the ever-present threat of the Vikings.

Can Beornoth triumph over insurmountable odds in this pulse pounding quest for retribution?

*****

In the fourth instalment of the Saxon Warrior series, Godric has fled the battlefield with the Saxon army, leaving King Aethelred and the remaining solders to be defeated by the Vikings, led by Olaf and King Sweyn Forkbeard.

Saxon Warrior, Beornoth hears King Aethelred’s call and seeks vengeance against those who deserted the battle. Will he succeed in this quest?

Having read previous novels in this series, I was intrigued to see what was next for the vast array of characters. Once again, I was pulled into a rich, well-developed story where I became engrossed quickly.

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Book Review: Stranger in the Village by Kate Wells

I’m so happy to be welcoming Kate Wells back to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, Stranger in the Village.

Where there’s a body in Malvern End, there are secrets to be uncovered…

Jude Gray has worked hard to bring a steady equilibrium to life on Malvern Farm and things are going well.

The only fly in the ointment is the foul addition of a new face in the village: staunch townie and chauvinistic sleaze, Des Smith. Jude has nothing but sympathy for his caring, patient wife, Loretta, who has become a regular visitor to the farm for a cup of tea and a chat.

But things take a turn for the worse when a hit and run outside The Lamb brings death once again to the village. Is it an accident or is something more sinister afoot?

Perhaps the answer lies in the stranger with red trainers who’s been seen wandering through the village and through Jude’s fields at night. Following the clues, Jude desperately hopes she will find the right answers, because the murderer being someone she knows is unfathomable…

*****

Jude has settled into life working on her farm. With Noah and Lucy by her side, she feels like things are getting back to normal. However, when a hit and run occurs in the village, it sets off a chain of events. Can everyone figure out what’s going on before someone else gets hurt?

I was so excited to be invited onto the blog tour for Stranger in the Village. Having enjoyed the previous novel, Murder on the Farm, I was intrigued to see what was next for Jude, Noah and Lucy.

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Book Review: The Last Days of You and Me by Debbie Howells

I’m pleased to be welcoming Debbie Howells back to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her latest novel, The Last Days of You and Me.

They didn’t know – when Winter gave way to Spring that year – that their lives were all about to change…

Marnie didn’t realise – when she stormed into a bookshop one day, demanding a self-help book – that she was about to make a new best friend.

Bookshop-owner Rae didn’t know she had been living like a shadow since her parents died. But then Marnie exploded into her life. And suddenly she realised things had to change… more so when she meets handsome nurse, Jack.

And when Forrest’s life is turned upside down by a fatal car crash, he knew he was being given a second chance, but didn’t know why. He thinks Marnie might just be the woman he’s destined to be with. But – as she discovers that she has an illness she may never recover from – what if it’s too late for them?

Can it ever be too late though? To make friendships that change everything. To grow, to change, to start again. Even – for two unlikely new best friends to find love at last…?

*****

Marnie feels stuck. She’s come to Arundel to help look after a friend’s hotel. It’s the last place she wants to be. However, it’s not the only thing she doesn’t want to face.

Forrest is questioning everything about his life after a tragedy. When he meets Marnie, he feels like he’s getting a second chance.

Rae runs the local bookshop. Ever since the loss of her parents, she’s hidden herself away. New friends could bring her back to life.

Jack is used to dealing with death but grief holds him back. Rae may be a good reason to move on.

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Book Review: Driven to Murder by Debbie Young

I’m very excited to be welcoming Debbie Young to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, Driven To Murder. 

A perfect cosy crime for fans of M C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series.

Change is coming to Wendlebury Barrow – and not everyone is happy about it…

When the local bus company announces it will be stopping its route through their quaint Cotswold village, the people of Wendlebury Barrow are up in arms. Not least Sophie Sayers, whose driving lessons with her boyfriend Hector get off to a bumpy start.

But the locals’ peaceful protests against the decision turn deadly when a body is discovered on the Number 27. No one can work out how Janice Boggins met her demise, let alone how the driver didn’t notice. While the police wait for the post mortem results, Sophie immediately suspects foul play, and launches her own investigation.

Can she solve the murder before another passenger is hurt?

*****

Sophie Sayers and her boyfriend, Hector are in a good place as they prepare to expand his bookshop in the Cotswolds village of Wendlebury Barrow.

The only sticking point is the fact that Sophie learning to drive would help the running of the business and she’s terrified of the prospect. As she considers her next move, a body is discovered on the number 27 bus. Can Sophie once again solve the mystery?

The premise of this book sounded great so I was pleased to be invited onto the blog tour for Driven to Murder, the ninth book in the Sophie Sayers cozy mystery series.

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Book Review: Baby One More Time by Camilla Isley

I’m so happy to be welcoming Camila Isley back to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her latest novel, Baby, One More Time. 

Driven and smart, Marissa Mayer has worked her way to COO at a major Fintech startup as well as launching her own successful app on the side. Now what she wants more than anything is a baby. And having given up on love after her heart was broken by the boy next door, she’s prepared to do it alone.

Recently returning to New York from LA, Dr John Raikes is an expert in his field of neonatal medicine. But when John introduces himself as Marissa’s doctor, sparks fly, and not in a good way. Because Dr John Raikes is no stranger: he’s her teenage sweetheart all grown up.

Marissa knows she should keep John at arm’s length, lest she have her heart broken again… But there’s something about a man in a white coat. And with John determined to show Marissa he’s changed, can she keep saying no when her heart is saying yes?

A gorgeously funny enemies-to-lovers, second-chance rom com, perfect for fans of Sarah Adams, Lynn Painter and Jo Watson.

*****

Marissa has decided that she wants to become a mother and so embarks on IVF alone. What she doesn’t count on is a Doctor at the clinic being the man who broke her heart when she was 18.

When they are brought together in more ways than one, can Marissa let John back into her life?

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Book Review: The Girl in Seat 2A by Diana Wilkinson

Girlin2AI’m so pleased to be hosting the blog tour for The Girl in Seat 2a, the latest novel by Diana Wilkinson. 

Funny how one lie can spiral…

One thing about me: I HATE flying. It’s my worst nightmare.

That’s why I book seat 2A every time I fly. Since my big win, I’ve been booking seats 2B and 2C as well. They’re my comfort seats, they cushion the claustrophobia, and at last I can afford them.

I am now determined to live the life of luxury. I deserve it, after all.

How to Live Like a Millionaire is the book I’m reading on this flight. When it lands on the floor, a handsome guy hands it back to me. I know he clocks the title, because he’s totally charming and talks to me as if I’m one of the Marbella Millionaire set.

When I land in sunny Spain, I’ll be acting like a millionairess, that’s for sure – even if it’s stretching the truth, just a bit. We all know that money talks, and I intend to talk my way into a better life.

Who knows… maybe this guy, the one who had the cheek to sit down in seat 2C, might be someone special. He has an air of danger, but who cares?

*****

Jade is heading to Spain. She’s enjoying herself after having a windfall. Why shouldn’t she live the highlife? On the plane, she meets Issac. Good looking, protective and rich. Is he too good to be true?

Having enjoyed Diana’s previous novel, One Down, I was excited to be invited onto the blog tour for her latest novel, The Girl in Seat 2A.

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Book Review: Murder at Merewood Hospital by Michelle Salter

I’m pleased to be welcoming Michelle Salter back to Novel Kicks. She’s here with the blog tour for her latest novel, Murder at Merewood Hospital.

The patients survived the Great War only to face a new danger…

In 1916, Sister Helen Hopgood was sent with a team of nurses to care for wounded soldiers at Merewood Farm, a temporary military hospital in Hampshire.

Now the war is over, only five patients remain – and she is the only nurse. The last ward must close, and Helen is doing all she can to find new homes for the injured servicemen.

Joseph Wintringham has to sell the farm to keep Merewood Manor. But since the murder of Nurse Taplin, locals believe the place is cursed – perhaps by the doomed nurse or by the patients who perished from their war wounds.

Is the hospital haunted? Or is someone very real behind the unnatural deaths that begin on Midsummer’s Night 1919?

Can Helen discover the truth before it’s too late..?

*****

World War One has ended and soon the temporary hospital at Merewood Farm will have to close.

Nurse Helen Hopgood wants to make sure that the injured servicemen that remain in the ward have been moved and are OK, However, someone else has other plans and soon one of her patients is murdered. With everyone seemingly under suspicion, can the perpetrator be found before someone else gets hurt?

I’n such a big fan of Michelle Salter. I was not only excited at the release of this new mystery but was very happy to be part of the blog tour around its release.

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Book Review: The Screenwriter by Amanda Reynolds

I’m pleased to be welcoming Amanda Reynolds to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, The Screenwriter.

Every screenwriter knows the best stories come from the truth…

But the truth can be terrifying

Marnie thought she’d left behind her days of writing ‘celebrity’ tell-all memoirs, but when her big break as a screenwriter turns to dust she’s forced to take another ghost writing job.

Except this time it’s for someone who is actually famous. Or rather, infamous. Blythe Hopper. A reclusive former Hollywood star who recently murdered her screenwriter husband.

And Marnie has her own reasons for wanting to meet Blythe, not least because of an email she received from Blythe’s husband, sent two days after he was shot dead.

But Marnie soon learns Blythe is not a woman to be messed with.

Dark secrets lurk at the Hoppers’ palatial London home – secrets long buried, which Marnie is determined to unearth. At any price.

Because this isn’t just about Blythe’s past.

It’s about Marnie’s too.

*****

With her screenplay about to go into production, Marnie Wilde thought she could finally say goodbye to her career as a ghostwriter but when that falls through, she has no choice but to return to being a ghost. However, needing the job is not the only reason she has decided to help write Blythe Hopper’s memoir. She wants answers but will she find them?

This is the first novel I have read by Amanda Reynolds and I really didn’t know what to expect. The premise for The Screenwriter intrigued me and so I was so excited to be invited onto the blog tour for her latest novel.

Marnie is an interesting yet mysterious character. I like how she was written. There is a slight dark humour to her voice which I loved and it made me warm to her.

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Book Review: An Enchanted Moment on Ever After Street by Jaimie Admans

I’m so excited to welcome Jaimie Admans back to Novel Kicks. She’s here with the blog tour for her latest novel, An Enchanted Moment on Ever After Street, book two in the Ever After Street Series. 

A picture-perfect town, a place where dreams come true. Welcome to Ever After Street…

A tale as old as time…

Since her mum’s death, Marnie Platt has shut herself away from everyone who cares about her. Worse, her beloved bookshop on Ever After Street is suffering too. With sales down and the shop’s garden falling into disrepair, Marnie risks losing the very last thing she loves. Until a chance encounter with her surly and reclusive neighbour….

Dark and brooding, Darcy O’Connell likes to keep himself to himself. But when he hears Marnie needs help, he can’t turn his back on her. Soon they are spending most evenings together in her enchanted garden and a friendship starts to bloom…

With the help of old and new friends on Ever After Street, Marnie’s bookshop begins to thrive again, and with Darcy’s kindness, she starts to get her sparkle back too. She just can’t understand why Darcy continues to shut himself away – especially from her. Can she convince him it isn’t too late to embrace life, and maybe love, again?

Because every story, even theirs, deserves a happy ending….

*****

Marnie runs the A Tale As Old As Time bookshop on Ever After Street but after the death of her mother, everything feels as though she is simply treading water and even that is hard going.

When she receives a letter threatening to take away the only thing she has left, she doesn’t know what to do. However, a chance conversation with her ‘scary neighbour’ sends her life into a direction she never thought possible.

When a book features a bookshop named A Tale as Old as Time that is themed around Beauty and the Beast and a cat named Mrs Potts, you’ve pretty much drawn me in to be honest.

It’s evident to see how lonely Marnie is and I wanted to make her a cup of tea, give her a big hug and sit and talk books with her. She felt so relatable to me and someone I would be friends with.

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Book Review: The Glass Woman by Alice McIIroy

theglasswomanI’m pleased to welcome Alice McIlroy to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, The Glass Woman. 

When you wake up without your memories, who can you really trust?

Pioneering scientist Iris Henderson chose to be her own first test-subject for an experimental therapy, placing a piece of technology into her brain. At least, this is what everyone tells her. Trouble is, Iris is now without her memories so she doesn’t know what the therapy is or why she would ever decide to volunteer for it.

Everyone warns her to leave it alone, but Iris doesn’t know who to trust. As she scratches beneath the surface of her seemingly happy marriage and successful career, a catastrophic chain of events is set in motion. Secrets will be revealed that have the capacity to destroy her whole life, but Iris can’t stop digging.

*****

Iris wakes up in a hospital bed with no idea how she got there. Her memories are gone.

A man named Marcus claims to be her husband. She’s been told that she’s part of a pioneering therapy that inserts a piece of technology into her brain. When she can’t remember anything, who can she trust and who would do this to her?

Wow. That’s the first thing I want to say. It’s going to be hard to talk about this novel without spoilers. I will do my best but proceed with caution.

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Book Review: A Breath of Fresh Air by Jessica Redland

BreathoffreshairjessicaredlandPlease join me in welcoming Jessica Redland back to Novel Kicks. She’s here with the blog tour for her novel, A Breath of Fresh Air.

Rosie feels like there’s something missing in her life. She loves her job as the manager of Willowdale Hall Riding Stables, caring for the horses and teaching children to ride, and she loves the home she shares with her mother in the beautiful Lake District. But she can’t help wondering how her life might look if things had been different. What if her father had been around to help care for her mother? And what if she’d found someone special herself?

When Hubert Cranleigh – the owner of Willowdale Hall – is taken ill, his son Oliver steps into the breach. Brooding and distant, Rosie is furious when he claims not to know who she is. Especially when they have a history.

Rosie’s life is about to be turned upside down, but with the New Year comes new opportunities. What Rosie feels is missing from her life might be closer than she thinks, and with more significant consequences than she could ever have imagined…

Take a breath of fresh air and escape to the Lake District with million-copy bestseller Jessica Redland, for an uplifting story of family, friendship and love.

*****

Rosie feels she has a pretty good life. She lives with her Mum and runs the Willowdale Hall Riding Stables. She loves teaching children to ride horses. However, when her boss, the mostly grumpy Hubert Cranleigh has an accident, she finds herself facing the one person she had never wanted to see again and their arrival threatens not only her livelihood but also her home.

I have quickly grown to love the worlds that Jessica Redland creates. There is something a little magical about them. A Breath of Fresh Air is the second in the Escape to the Lakes series. I have not read the first book (not sure how this happened,) and if you find yourself in the same situation, A Breath of Fresh Air can be read as a standalone.

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Book Review: Clash of Kings by MJ Porter

We are so pleased to be welcoming MJ Porter back to Novel Kicks with the blog tour to their novel, Clash of Kings.

The next bloody and thrilling instalment in MJ Porter’s The Brunanburh Series.

Can the Norse and the Scots exact their revenge over the mighty King Athelstan of the English?

AD937

After the slaughter field of Brunanburh, a defeated Olaf Gothfrithson of the Dublin Norse and Constantin of the Scots narrowly escaped with their lives. In their kingdoms, failure has left them demoralised and weak.

Olaf licks his wounds in Dublin, whilst Constantin and the Welsh kingdoms who defied King Athelstan, are once more forced to bend the knee. As Athelstan’s reputation grows stronger day by day, their need to exact revenge on the overmighty and triumphant Athelstan has never been greater.

Olaf sets his sights on reclaiming the lost kingdom of Jorvik only for tragedy to strike at the heart of England and a reluctant new King, Edmund steps in the fray.

While England mourns the death of their warrior King, her enemies gather on her borders and England stands alone against the might of the Norse, Welsh and Scots.

Can the new King be victorious and banish her enemies once and for all or will England, and its king lose all that’s been gained and succumb to a new pretender? 

An epic tale of kinsmanship, greed and power, perfect for the fans of Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom series.

*****

After the battle of Brunanburh there exists an uneasy period of in-activity – not peace as such, but a time for repairs to be made and wounds to heal.

King Athelstan presides over England until his sudden death, bringing Edmund reluctantly to power.

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NK Chats To… Ryan Haidar from Your Paper Quest – A Self Published Book Subscription Service

Ryan

Hello Ryan. Thank you for joining me. How about we start by you introducing yourselves and telling us a bit about your fantastic sounding book subscription box, Your Paper Quest. 

Where did the idea for this service come from and what makes your box unique? 

The idea actually began during Covid. I had started a Bookstagram account and quickly realised that the Bookstagram community were all frequently posting about the same few books. I was always looking to include different voices from the mainstream and that’s when a few self-published authors had actually reached out to me about reading and featuring their stories. From there, an idea had formed, and I began brainstorming how to best connect these indie and self-published authors with curious readers, and Your Paper Quest was born!

YPQ is unique in that we’re the only subscription box that exclusively features self-published and indie stories. We also include notes from the authors that complement each story, as well as have a virtual book club where subscribers can discuss the stories with each other as well as ask our featured authors questions for the end of the month interviews that they participate in!

 

What challenges did you face setting it up? 

Steve

There have been so many challenges along the way that it’s hard to choose. I would have to say that the hardest part was genuinely getting started. It felt like (and turned out to be) such an endeavour that most of the time I didn’t even know where to begin. Breaking everything up into baby-steps and taking it one day at a time made a massive difference though. Whether it was the packaging, the website, the contracts, there was so much that I had to learn throughout the process. The current, and constant, struggle is marketing, getting the word out about who we are and what we’re doing! That all being said, I’d easily do it all again, this has been such a rewarding experience and the positive response we’ve received from the community has been nothing short of amazing.

 

The service is for indie authors. How important do you think a service like this is to them? 

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Book Review: Christmas at the Cabin by Rebecca Boxall

I’m pleased to be welcoming Rebecca Boxall to Novel Kicks. Today I’m reviewing her latest, festive novel, Christmas at the Cabin.

A festive, coming-of-age tale about an Oxbridge candidate and a young homeless man who find themselves in the bittersweet predicament of falling in love with exactly the right person at exactly the wrong time.

Well-to-do Jed never imagined he’d end up homeless, but family circumstances have made it his only option. Local vicar, Ben, tries to help him but there’s an element of self-punishment to the homelessness that makes Jed continue to put up with his situation – until disaster leads him to re-consider the vicar’s offer of a place to stay.

Hattie is on the cusp of adulthood, frantically trying to persuade her mum that she doesn’t want to attend an elite university, preferring the idea of pursuing her love of art and textiles. When she meets Jed, she badly wants to understand his circumstances and why, when she has everything at her fingertips, he doesn’t.

Hattie’s mum, Christine, has had a hard life and is desperate for more for her only child. When she meets Ben, the vicar who’s trying to help Jed, she finds an unlikely ally, and the two heartbroken souls find themselves drawn to each other. Until they find their relationship suddenly tested to the limit.

One thing’s for certain: none of these characters is looking forward to Christmas. It’s the worst time of year for each of them, for different reasons. But perhaps this year, the festive season could defy all expectations.

*****

Hattie first sees him from the library window, sitting in the doorway of an abandoned shop. When she approaches him and starts a conversation, it changes both of their lives, forever.

Even from the blurb for this novel, I felt there would be a little magic about this book and I wasn’t wrong.

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Book Review: Always The Bridesmaid by Laura Carter

I’m so happy to be welcoming Laura Carter back to Novel Kicks. She’s here with the latest novel in the Brits in Manhattan; Always the Bridesmaid.

A cheeky chappy comedian

Charlie is most comfortable playing the funny man in front of boisterous crowds in London’s comedy clubs. But he’s about to be swapping his routine for wedding speeches. And his new acquaintance Sarah, thinks he is anything but amusing.

The woman who’s got it covered

Weddings are always a difficult time for widower Sarah, but you would never tell – she’s too focused on making the week of her best friends’ wedding as perfect as possible. She definitely has no time for the grumpy and surly Charlie, who it’s clear her friends are trying to set her up with.

And only one room left at the rental…

When a drunken invitation adds more people to the pre-wedding holiday house than Sarah organized for, she finds herself spending A LOT more time with Charlie than she intended. If only they could both let their guards down, they might find they have more in common than they think.

*****

I loved the last book I’d read in the Brits in Manhattan series, Two to Tango and so I was excited to be invited onto the blog tour for book four in the series, Always The Bridesmaid.

If you’ve not read any of the books in this series, don’t worry. This can be read as a standalone. I felt there was enough information to keep up. However, I am going to be reading the books I’ve missed as soon as I can.

This novel focuses on Charlie and Sarah, as their friends, Jake and Jess prepare to get married.

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Book Review: My Best Friend’s Secret by Danielle Ramsay

I’m pleased to be welcoming Danielle Ramsay to Novel Kicks and the blog tour to her novel, My Best Friend’s Secret.

Five women; pretty, privileged, perfect, and ultimately protected… but not for long…

It was ‘their’ dark secret. For twenty-two-years ‘they’ kept it buried. Time hasn’t healed my wounds. Instead, they’ve festered. Their actions went unpunished. Until now…

Shamed, scarred, and shunned, I watched, waited and plotted how to shatter ‘their’ enviable lives. Now, finally, they will suffer as I did in ‘their’ cruel hands that fateful night.

Time’s up. I am here for you, Dr Claudia Harper. But first, you’ll witness your childhood friends, one by one, beg for mercy.
And I’ve saved the best ‘til last, so watch your back; I’m closer than you think. I’m here to expose your best friend’s secret. The one you’ve all kept hidden…until now.

A tale of betrayal, dark, twisted lies and long-awaited retribution. 

*****

Claudia has just lost her best friend. The biggest question she has is why did Jaz take her own life? Her own life begins to unravel. Who is set on ruining everything Claudia holds dear?

This is the first novel I’ve read by Danielle Ramsay. The premise of the novel intrigued me, so I was so pleased to invited onto the blog tour for My Best Friend’s Secret.

This book caught my attention quickly. It really was impossible to put down and as the questions mounted, I needed to know what was going to happen, especially as things begin to happen in Claudia’s life.

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Book Review: The Christmas Love Letters by Sue Moorcroft

Please join us in welcoming Sue Moorcroft back to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, The Christmas Love Letters.

A secret romance was just the start of the story…

Tucked into a crook of the Norfolk coast lies Nelson’s Bar – an idyllic village where time seems to stand still. Maddy Cracey has called this beautiful spot home all her life, as had her husband Adey – until an epic row sent him storming out into a blizzard, with no sign of him since that fateful night.

Six years on, and Maddy’s life in the village has settled into a gentle pattern with her young daughter and Great Aunt Ruthie. However, when handsome stranger Raff turns up with a handful of long-forgotten love letters, their quiet life is upended as family secrets from the past are unearthed.

As Raff and Maddy get to know each other, they grow closer and a love story of their own seems inevitable. But when Maddy receives a mysterious message, she can’t help but wonder whether her own past is as distant as she’d thought it was…

The festive new novel about love, family and the power of words from Sunday Times bestseller Sue Moorcroft, perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan and Phillipa Ashley.

*****

Roll on Christmas, then I can read this book again without feeling guilty…scratch that, I’m going to start it all over again, right now! The queen of the Christmas romance has done it again, and you don’t need it to be December to read this story; I should know.

Set in Sue’s Norfolk village of Nelson’s Bar, we meet a wonderful cast of characters from Aunt Ruthie who has a heart-breaking past which comes back to not only haunt her, but her niece Maddy and young daughter, Layla. This is in the form of a series of letters she kept which detail a relationship she kept secret for her whole adult life.
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Book Review: The Impossible Search For The Perfect Man by Debbie Howells

Please join me in welcoming Debbie Howells to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, The Impossible Search For The Perfect Man.

Imagine for a moment, your husband leaves you. Then through a bizarre twist of events, you find yourself working with the girl he’s left you for – and even worse, she’s pregnant…

Louisa’s not really up to any more complicated relationships. Right now, she doesn’t need them. She has good friends. Okay, so one has a screwed-up husband and the other a very strange horoscope habit. Not to mention her ex-husband’s new girlfriend, who Louisa has somehow found herself giving relationship counselling to. She doesn’t need anyone else with problems in her life right now.

It would be nice, wouldn’t it? To find a straightforward man, who isn’t remotely messed up. Now there’s a thought… But does such a man even exist?

She thinks not. But, she resolves, a life of helping other people find their happy-ever-afters is still something. But then handsome vet Marcus walks into her life. And everything changes…

Set in the Hampshire countryside against a background of horses and vets, this is a story about friendship and love, and life’s way of throwing in the unexpected…

*****

Louisa’s life is about to be turned upside down. Not only has her husband left her for his pregnant mistress, but she also ends up having to work with her ex’s new girlfriend. Can Louisa navigate her new single life when her old one continues to slap her in the face?

This is the first novel I’ve read by Debbie Howells. I was delighted to be invited onto the blog tour for The Impossible Search For The Perfect Man.

Poor Louisa. She is put through the ringer a little at the beginning of this novel. I really wanted to give Arian a piece of my mind. Even as this happens however, I feel there is a strength to Louisa that she doesn’t realise she has. I loved seeing how her character developed over the novel.

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Book Review: New York Miracle by Margo Laurie

Please join me in welcoming Margo Laurie to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novella, New York Miracle.

A sweet, Christmas ghost story with a dash of romance

Ellie Peach travels to Manhattan for a fan-making apprenticeship.

While staying at a historic boarding house, she meets the charming James Denny. He claims to be a Broadway actor waiting for his lost love. When Ellie offers to help search for her, it leads to old secrets and adventure…

*****

When Ellie Peach arrives in Manhattan to begin an internship with her Great-Aunt, she can’t help but marvel at the amazing city she has idolized and can’t wait to get to know her American relatives. She arrives at her boarding house, St Teresa’s Lodge with optimism. Then she meets James, and her visit takes an unexpected turn.

The premise for this novel intrigued me greatly and I knew it was going to be a unique read. I was delighted therefore to be invited onto the blog tour for New York Miracle.

First, how beautiful is this cover! I love it. It has a whimsical, 1930’s feeling to it, which, when you come to read the novella, which I hope you do, will make a lot more sense.

New York is also one of my favourite places and where I went on my own December honeymoon so to be able to revisit it around Christmas time, even if it was only in a novel was magical to me.

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Book Review: My Fake Italian Marriage by Romy Sommer

I’m pleased to be welcoming Romy Sommer to Novel Kicks and wish her a happy publication day for My Fake Italian Marriage.

Cleo Arendse: You know how almost every movie set in Italy seems to be about a woman who travels to Tuscany and is swept off her feet by a charming, gorgeous but arrogant aristocrat? Well, that’s not this story.

Luca Fioravanti:
Challenge accepted.

British Banker Cleo Arendse is nothing like the women lawyer Luca Fioravanti is used to – both because she’s only in Tuscany to oversee his family vineyard’s business and because she’s impervious to the charm that has never failed him before now.

But Luca has never shied from a challenge, and when circumstances arise that allow him to step in as Cleo’s knight in shining armour, he leaps…right into a fake marriage! The romance may be a ruse but the passion burning between Luca and Cleo is very, very real, and as the ‘honeymoon’ glow envelops the pair, all bets are off…

*****

Cleo doesn’t buy into the romantic notion of going to Italy, being swept off her feet by a gorgeous man and living happily ever after. Enter Luca – the handsome, Italian who is known to be a bit of a ladies’ man.

Cleo wants to focus on the task at hand, saving Luca’s family vineyard. However, when a lie of being married gets out of hand, the couple must deal with more than they bargained for.

This is the first novel I’ve read by Romy Sommer, and I was grateful to be invited onto the blog tour for her latest novel, My Fake Italian Marriage.

Although this is a standalone novel, it does allude to a previous story, Last of the Summer Vines, featuring characters that also appear in this latest novel.

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Book Review: Never Ever Getting Back Together by Phoebe MacLeod

Please join me in welcoming Phoebe MacLeod to Novel Kicks. She’s here with the blog tour for her novel, Never Ever Getting Back Together.

Everyone remembers their first love. Jess Thomas definitely does. So, it’s more than a little awkward when Jess’s first love, Jamie Ferguson, turns out to be the best man at the wedding she’s catering for. And more than a little insulting when he doesn’t appear to remember her at all.

Since Jamie broke her heart (via text!), 10 years earlier, Jess has sworn off romance. And with a booming catering business to focus on, she’s doing OK. She has no interest in revisiting the past.

But when Jess’s car breaks down on a country lane, she has no choice but to accept Jamie’s help. Now, Jamie is determined to show Jess he’s a new man. But can guys like Jamie ever really change? And if she gives him another chance, is she setting herself up for a fall?

*****

Jess is a successful businesswoman and hasn’t got time for love, especially when the man she had a crush on and who broke her heart comes back into her life.

However, fate has a way of intervening. Can Jamie prove he has changed?

Just the title alone made me want to read this novel. Yes, I am a Swiftie and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I was pleased to be invited onto the blog tour for Never Ever Getting Back Together (the song is going around in my head.)

This is the first book I’ve read by Phoebe MacLeod but it certainly won’t be the last.

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Book Review: The Highland Lodge Getaway by Julie Shackman

I’m pleased to be welcoming Julie Shackman back to Novel Kicks. She’s here with the blog tour for her novel, The Highland Lodge Getaway. 

Fall in love with the Christmas romance of the year, full of love and second chances!

Lottie Grant loves the festive season so much that she works at the incredibly successful Christmas shop, Christmas Crackers, in her pretty Scottish home town of Craig Brae. But when the shop is sold, her world is turned upside down, leaving her wondering what she will do next.

Just as she’s about to give up hope on finding a new dream job, an offer comes that she can’t refuse, managing a set of luxury wooden cabins… and opening just in time for Christmas!

As she gets to work decorating the cabins, and hanging lights on the fir trees, Lottie can’t believe her luck. That is until the arrival of Blake Dempster, a moody but handsome hiking expert, who threatens to bring down her festive joy. But never one to shy away from a challenge, Lottie is determined to change Blake’s mind about all things festive.

And as the snow falls and the fairy lights sparkle, will work-obsessed Lottie and frozen-hearted Blake make their Christmas wishes come true?

*****

Lottie has always loved Christmas and as the chance to own her own Christmas shop edges closer, she can’t help but feel positive about the future.

However, when things change and her business plans disappear, Lottie doesn’t know what she’s going to do. However, Christmas works its magic and brings a potential new job. If only she didn’t have to deal with the miserable Blake Dempster.

OK, the cover for this novel is absolutely stunning. I love it and want to go there immediately.

This book looked magical and I couldn’t wait to get started and was so pleased to be invited onto the tour for The Highland Lodge Getaway.

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Book Review: The Perfect Christmas Village by Bella Osborne

I’m so excited to be welcoming Bella Osborne back to Novel Kicks. She’s here with the blog tour for her novel, The Perfect Christmas Village.

When Christmas-hating Sam moves to Holly Cross, he thinks he’s found the perfect home, until he discovers that, each year, Holly Cross transforms into the most Christmassy village in the whole country…

Blythe is just one sale away from being Real Estate Agent of the Month, so she twists the truth to sell a home to city boy Sam, who is looking for the perfect house in the perfect location. Little does he know he’s just bought a cottage in the middle of the most Christmassy village in the country. And if there’s one thing Sam loathes, it’s Christmas.

Sam’s arrival puts Holly Cross’s chance to win the title of Britain’s Most Perfect Christmas Village now in jeopardy, and the villagers are soon up in arms. Meanwhile, Sam is in his own personal hell surrounded by fairy lights and everyone is looking to Blythe to fix things.

But as the festive season looms, maybe there’s more than just Christmas in Holly Cross for Sam to fall in love with…

*****

Blythe is determined to make twelve months as the top estate agent but to make it and beat her annoying colleague, she must tell a small lie. It’s not going to come back to bite her…. right?

Sam hates Christmas but has unknowingly just moved to one of the most festive villages. He wants to avoid it as much as possible, but Blythe and the village of Holly Cross have other plans.

I’m always excited when a new book by Bella Osborne is released and it being Christmas themed just made it all the better. I was so pleased to be invited onto the blog tour for The Perfect Christmas Village and couldn’t wait to get reading.

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Book Review: The Puppet Maker by Jenny O’ Brien

I’m pleased to be welcoming Jenny O’ Brien to Novel Kicks. She’s here with the blog tour for her novel, The Puppet Maker.

The scrap of paper looked as if it had been torn from a diary. The words written in faint pencil. The letters rounded, almost childlike: Please look after her. Her life and mine depend on you not trying to find me

When Detective Alana Mack arrives at Clonabee police station, in a small Irish seaside town on the outskirts of Dublin, she doesn’t expect to find a distressed two-year-old girl sobbing on the floor. Abandoned in a local supermarket, the child tells them her name is Casey. All Alana and her team have to go on is a crumpled note begging for someone to look after her little girl. This mother doesn’t want to be found. 

Still recovering from a terrible accident that has left Alana navigating a new life as a wheelchair user, Alana finds herself suddenly responsible for Casey while trying to track down the missing mother and solve another missing person’s case… a retired newsagent who has seemingly vanished from his home.

Forced to ask her ex-husband and child psychiatrist Colm for help, through Forensic Art Therapy, Alana discovers that whatever darkness lies behind the black windows in Casey’s crayon drawing, the little girl was terrified of the house she lived in. 

Then a bag of human remains is found in a bin, and a chilling link is made – the DNA matches Casey’s. 

Alana and her team must find the body and make the connection with the missing newsagent fast if she is to prevent another life from being taken. But with someone in her department leaking confidential details of the investigation to the media, can Alana set aside her emotional involvement in this case and find Casey’s mother and the killer before it’s too late? 

Heart-pounding and totally addictive, The Puppet Maker is the first in the Detective Alana Mack series.

*****

When Detective Alana Mack arrives for work one day at Clonabee Police Station, she didn’t expect to not only have to look after an abandoned two-year-old girl but would also need to investigate the discovery of human remains.

The hunt is on to find a murderer and to reunite a mother with her daughter. Can Alana and her team solve the mystery in time before another life is lost?

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Book Spotlight: A Cranberry For Christmas by Charlie Dean

Today, we are getting festive and shining a light on A Cranberry for Christmas, released today by Charlie Dean. 

Alisha Jones, or Princess Christmas as she is affectionately known, is joint heir to her Grandpa Frost’s family fortune, but being third behind an older sister and brother means she has to work three times as hard to prove herself.

Marsha Underwood, her Grandpa’s PA and ever-present thorn in her side, is determined to undermine her at every turn and Alisha finds herself powerless to prevent this.

An encounter with a fortune teller at the Frost Christmas Ball leads to a bewildering dream of the future; and the added complication of Tom Walker, the son of Frost’s new business partner leads to a tumultuous year.

With her friends by her side, will she be able to turn things around? And what exactly does the strange dream mean?

A story of family, friendship and love at first sight with a sprinkle of Christmas magic.

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Book Review: Take Me Home by Beth Moran

I’m so excited to be welcoming Beth Moran back to Novel Kicks. She’s here with the Blog Tour for her latest novel, Take Me Home. 

Sophie Potter’s job is helping people deal with the worst, because Sophie Potter knows what the worst feels like.

An expert at keeping moving, with her trusty motorhome and faithful dog Muffin, Sophie has built her life around keeping her loves and loyalties as few as possible.

Fabulous fifty-something Hattie Langford has kept her heart and past safely stored away too. But for reasons she’s only willing to share with a stranger, Hattie needs to tell the story her family has been hiding at Riverbend, their home in Sherwood Forest. There is a history of heartbreak and hurt that Hattie is ready to face.

As Sophie helps Hattie uncover the secrets of generations of women who have lived at Riverbend, along with the stories of the men they have loved and lost, they start to see echoes in their own pasts. And as Riverbend shares its biggest secret of all, can Hattie and Sophie finally embrace the lives they’ve put on hold for so long, and risk their hearts to men who can break the Riverbend curse?

*****

Sophie is far more comfortable helping other people get through their grief and pain than facing her own.

However, from the moment she meets Hattie, the course of her life will change forever.

I am always so excited when a new Beth Moran novel gets released. I have become such a big fan of this author and so I was honoured to be invited onto the blog tour for Take Me Home.

The cover is beautiful and I knew from the blurb that it was going to make me cry and make me cry it did.

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Audiobook Review: The Alewives by Elizabeth R. Andersen

I am pleased to be welcoming Elizabeth R. Andersen to Novel Kicks and the Audiobook blog tour for her novel, The Alewives

Colmar, 1353 CE

Gritta, Appel, and Efi managed to survive the Black Death, only to find that they are in desperate need of money. With limited options and lots of obstacles, they band together to become alewives – brewing and selling ale in the free Alsatian town of Colmar. But when an elderly neighbor is discovered dead in her house, the alewives cannot convince the sheriff and the town council that her death wasn’t an accident, it was murder. As the body count piles up, the ale flows and mystery is afoot!

Set in the tumultuous years after the most devastating pandemic the world has ever experienced, The Alewives is a playful romp through a dark time, when society was reeling from loss and a grieving population attempted to return to normal, proving that with the bonds of love, friendship, and humor, the human spirit will always continue to shine.

*****

Gritta, Appel and Efi are in desperate need of money. With limited options and a town reeling in the aftermath of the Black Death, they soon work together to brew their own ale.

However, when women in the area start getting murdered, are the three friends safe? Who can they trust?

The premise for this novel intrigued me so I was excited to be invited onto the audiobook blog tour for The Alewives.

This book is based on an element of history I’m not really familiar with beyond knowing about the Black Death. It has certainly piqued my interest in learning more about the Alewives and their place in history.

The story itself is based around Gritta, Appel and Efi.

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Book Review: The Housekeeper by Valerie Keogh

Please help me in welcoming Valerie Keogh to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her novel, The Housekeeper.

An unwelcome guest?

Still in shock after the tragic death of husband Richie, Cassie Macreddin hopes that her new home, historic Hindon House, is the place where she can heal her pain and hide her secrets.

But Hindon House has secrets of its own…

Cassie soon realises that not everyone is pleased at her arrival and that someone is actively trying to make her leave Hindon House….but who? And why?

As events escalate, Cassie must fight to save her home…and maybe even her life.

Don’t miss the brand new thriller by Valerie Keogh! Perfect for fans of Sue Watson, Shalini Boland and K.L. Slater.

*****

Cassie, having just bought Hindon House is hoping for a fresh start after the loss of her husband.

Wanting the work done on the house as soon as possible so that her dream of a B&B can be realised, she refuses to let a few strange things going on with the house to derail her plans but someone is determined to stop her and how far will they go?

I am a big fan of Valerie Keogh and so was pleased to be invited onto the blog tour for her latest novel, The Housekeeper.

The premise was intriguing and it didn’t take long for me to get pulled into this story.

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Book Review: Finding Family at the Cornish Cove by Kim Nash

Please help me welcome Kim Nash to Novel Kicks. She’s here with the blog tour for her latest novel, Finding Family at the Cornish Cove, book two in the Cornish Cove series. 

Family is everything…

In the years since her death, Gemma has been running her late mother’s café with devotion, and when an opportunity comes to buy out her next-door neighbour and expand, she jumps at the chance.

She knows she will do her mother proud – keep her legacy going strong – but deep down she knows there’s still something missing. With her mum in her mind more than ever, and the knowledge that she may never start a family of her own, she can’t stop thinking about what life has in store for her.

But sometimes family are those you choose, or those who choose you! And with a growing community of supporters cheering Gemma on – including some new faces at her blossoming bistro – and maybe one in particular, will she really spend the rest of her life alone?

*****

Gemma is running her late mother’s café in Driftwood Bay and when she has a chance to buy the property next door and expand, she doesn’t waste any time.

However, her love life isn’t as successful. Can Gemma find romance and find that thing she feels is missing?

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