Review of ‘Death in Disguise by Emma Davies.

Sometimes a book takes you by surprise. You don’t realise just how enjoyable and satisfying it’s going to be. That’s what happened when I started reading ‘Death in Disguise’ by Emma Davies. Francesca Eve is a caterer and is intrigued by a murder mystery dinner party she caters for a group of female friends. It’s all good fun, even when one of the group has to ‘die’ as part of the game. When one of the women dies later the fun ends. Fran discovers that the victim may not have been all she seemed. In fact none of the guests were. What secrets did they hold – and did those secrets have anything to do with the murder? Fran and Adam join forces to find out the truth before the killer strikes again. 

This was an engrossing mystery that kept me guessing to the end. There were plenty of twists and turns and it was an original and enjoyable story. It got more and more exciting as the story progressed. I loved the dynamic between Fran and Adam. It was an unusual pairing, but one that worked really well. I’m looking forward to more in this new series.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Humbug’ by Amanda Radley

‘Humbug’ is the Christmas cuddle we all want and need this festive season. Once again Amanda Radley has given us characters we can love, a gentle romance and a setting we never knew we needed. Ellie Pearce is ‘Christmas Girl’ to everyone in the company she works for. Although an accomplished and brilliant statistician, she has, through circumstance, ended up in the marketing department of a recruitment firm. It’s not her ideal job. The CEO of the company, Rosalind Caldwell, is the archetypal Ice Queen – or is she? She may like to come across that way in business but as Ellie soon discovers, there’s a heart of gold underneath. When Rosalind is left in the lurch a few weeks before the big Christmas party, she needs someone to organise it from scratch – and who better than Christmas Girl? Despite the fact that Ellie has never been a PA or organised anything in her life, she is promoted upstairs, to the very top floor of a Canary Wharf building. Her extreme fear of heights is just the start of her worries. A growing crush on the boss is the last thing she needs, but try telling that to her heart.

This was a lovely story, full of kindness and joy. It was fun to see the thawing of an ice queen as the temperatures plunged in the corporate centre of London. Rosalind was firm, but fair. She needed the right person to let her see that love was possible. Ellie was completely adorable – the kind of friend we’d all like to have. Her enthusiasm was infectious and I couldn’t help but get into the Christmas spirit with her. This sweet story will open your eyes to the wonder of Christmas. I loved it.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Misfit Christmas’ by Anne Hagan

‘Misfit Christmas’ by Anne Hagan is a lovely Christmas themed romance. Sophia is a social work student who volunteers time at a recreation centre in Denver, helping disadvantaged kids. When Lacie is sent there to finish her community service the pair clash. It appears they have different ideas about how things should be done, and about life in general. But they both realise that they are there to help the kids and that must come first. Will the magic of Christmas bring them together and will they be able to give the community a holiday to remember?

I enjoyed finding out about the community they were helping. It brought into focus the true meaning of Christmas. Seeing the women change and realise what they wanted in life was sweet and romantic. But ultimately it was about being honest and being true to oneself. About accepting love and happiness. A perfect Christmas read.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ by Jenny Frame

I loved being back in Rosebrook Village. This time we are with dapper Archie Archer, a townie who loves her job, but wouldn’t want to live there. When she falls for the romance-loving country-phile Ashling, Archie has to decide what she really wants in life. Can she change her ways for the love of a good woman? And will she be able to give Ashling the storybook ending she hopes for?

There is conflict from the start for this pair. They seem to disagree on everything. But it’s obvious for anyone to see that they are made for each other. They might just need a little push in the right direction. As they are forced to work together more closely, the sparks start to fly. I adored the growing romance between Archie and Ashling, and could feel the passion jumping off of the page. The dynamic was wonderful. This age-gap, enemies to lovers story swept me off my feet. And the wonderful family-feeling of the village made it so special. Every person wanted to be there, and they were all behind the couple, cheering them on. I can’t wait for the next one and finding out what happens next for Fox, Clem and the gang.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Detour To Love’ by Amanda Radley

Melting an Ice Queen is a trope I must admit to being partial. And Amanda Radley does it so well. In ‘Detour To Love’, her first novel for Bold Strokes Books, she has hit the jackpot. Beautiful settings, adorable characters, and a love story to set the heart a flutter, make for a perfect read. 

High-flying businesswoman Celia Scott is on the way to Tokyo to accept an award she does not want. She starts the day off in a foul mood, and things go from bad to worse when her travel plans go south. Talented artist Lily Anderson is on the same flight, hoping that her online friend might turn into something more. The two women rub each other the wrong way, but sometimes wonderful things come from unlikely beginnings.

I loved the crankiness of Celia. Who can resist the sexy older woman, especially one who gives off an abrasive vibe? Lily sees past the icy exterior. She sees something in Celia worth waiting for. Each woman brought something to the other that made them a better person. It was a fantastic story and captured my heart.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘True Karma’ by Karen Klyne

Karen Klyne knows how to write an Ice Queen. And this time she has given us an unconventional twist. Amelia Steele is, at first glance, stand-offish and very anti-social, and I was prepared to dislike her. But that didn’t last long. To me she wasn’t at all unlikeable, because I knew who she was and why she acted the way she did. Her behaviour was perfectly normal for her and I really liked her. Who says we all have to be the same? 

When out walking her neighbours dog, Amelia finds herself somewhat beholden to the woman who rescues the adorable mutt, when Karma slips the lead. As someone unused to small talk or even any attempt at the social niceties, it’s hard for Amelia to know what to do. Juno Costello was warm and vivacious and full of chatter. So unlike Amelia. But opposites attract, don’t they? For some reason she sees past the social awkwardness and wants to know more about Amelia. Will Amelia let her see the woman behind the mask? I really liked Juno. She was sweet and thoughtful and the fact that she was interested enough to take time with Amelia, getting to know her, appealed to me. But it was Amelia that drew me into the story. I loved her vulnerability and her bluntness. What you see is what you get with her. I enjoyed this book and the intelligent and emotional storytelling.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Sealed With A Kiss’ by Sam Skyborne

This enjoyable age-gap romance is the story of Jacqui and her life-long love for an older woman. After years away from her island home, she returns to deal with something from her past. Dorothy has followed the rules and lived up to other people’s expectations her whole life. Now older, will she begin to life for herself and find the happiness she deserves?
This romance is beautifully told and hits an emotional note that makes the reader want to know more. The descriptions of the island setting are delightful and immersive. Sam Skyborne paints the scene with an artist’s eye. There are a few twists and surprises – and it certainly didn’t go the way I expected. The Lesvos setting is a character on its own, and plays an interesting role in the book. A lovely story with an emotional pull. I enjoyed it.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Finding Jessica Lambert’ by Clare Ashton

Jess can’t take any more. Everyone wants something from her and it seems like the whole world expects her to live up to an unattainable ideal. When a kind stranger takes care of her when she needs it most, her life changes. Anna has her own problems, but doesn’t hesitate to help the panicked young woman. As they hide from the world in Anna’s tiny rooftop flat, they learn about each other and themselves. Can a chance meeting spark the change that each of them needs?

‘Finding Jessica Lambert’ is an absolute joy of a book. It’s about two women who just click. Two women who know what’s its like to be on the very edge. Who know what it’s like to crave space and an escape from it all. It’s heartbreaking at times, but also beautifully romantic and sensual. It’s about meeting your soulmate. About finding the one and having the courage to be with them. It’s also about the perceptions we have of people, and how they can be way off the mark. There are so many layers to this story that I can see if being one of my favourite re-reads for years to come. I adored it.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Country Living’ by Jen Silver

I have just spent a wonderful few hours in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside thanks to author Jen Silver. Her latest novel ‘Country Living’ is the perfect book to read right now. Escape with unexpected and exciting storylines and get to know her believable and well-rounded characters. 

Peri has always dreamed of a life in the English countryside, with an old stone cottage, a vegetable garden and walks in the hills and fields. Her wife is not so keen, but goes along with it as long as she has time in London to finish off some projects before joining her. Moving near the lesbian mecca of Hebden Bridge, Peri expects a quiet life and ordinary neighbours. That’s not exactly what she gets though. There are a few secrets being kept from her and life may not turn out as she expected.

I loved Peri. She’s the woman you want living next door. She was kind and approachable and deserved to be treasured. I liked seeing her interact with her neighbours. It brought out something unexpected in her. There are a few different storyline strands woven through the novel and that takes it a notch above most others. Oh and it is very hot too! A great book and highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review. 

Review of ‘A Moment In Time’ by Lisa Moreau

I’ve read every book Lisa Moreau has written and I’ve never been disappointed. ‘A Moment In Time’ is definately another winner. Claire Fontenot jilted her boyfriend many years ago and his family have never forgiven her. Their two families are now bitter rivals in the hot sauce business and their fathers, once friends, now detest each other. When Claire meets Ivy Savoy, the much younger sister of her ex, the pair are instantly attracted. How can it ever work? 

It’s a romantic and sweet story with two extremely likeable main characters. Claire wants to do the right thing, but the Savoys can’t let go of their hatred for her actions. Ivy may be younger, but she’s mature and responsible and very kind. Each of them have problems they have to work through. Seeing them do so together was lovely. I really loved the setting too. I always enjoy finding out about new places and small town Louisiana was fascinating. The story had a powerful message and it was one that only made sense to our main characters once they spent time together . 

‘A Moment In Time’ is a feel-good story and made me want to smile. Who could ask for anything more? Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.