Review of ‘Before You Say I Do’ by Clare Lydon

Jordan Cohen is a professional bridesmaid. And she’s good at it. Relationships are not on her agenda and the odd one-night stand is enough at this stage in her life. When she is hired by the fiancé of Abby Porter to help her through the last few weeks before their wedding, she expects it to be the same as every other job. But it’s not. For a start, she’s immediately attracted to the bride to be. Can she keep a professional distance?

Abby did not expect this at all. She has her life planned out, and a stunning fake bridesmaid was not part of the deal. Will she be able to keep on track and make it down the alter?

Clare Lydon makes my heart soar every single time, without fail. ‘Before You Say I Do’ is a beautiful love story, with adorable characters and, of course, Ms Lydon’s trademark injection of humour. I loved Gloria, Abby’s Scottish mum. She was hilarious and very well-observed.  I can attest that square sausage is one of life’s greatest pleasures, as Gloria made sure to point out. Jordan was a wonderful mix of efficiency, kindness and vulnerability. And she was also really, really hot. How could Abby resist? Abby was a woman who thought she had it all figured out, but faced with a glimpse of something different, she began to have doubts. They were perfect for each other and I really wanted them to give in. Their story had such want, such passion, such desire. It is impossible to read this story without the biggest, happiest smile on your face by the final page. I adored it. Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Made in London’ by Clare Lydon

‘Made in London’ by Clare Lydon is the sixth story in her London series. It is the story of single mum Heidi, a wedding photographer, and Eden, a marketing whizz. Neither has dated in a very long time and for very different reasons. Fate just seems to keep bringing them together and despite their dating reservations they find that they can’t stop thinking about the other. Heidi was hard-working and committed to her career but her daughter Maya would always come first. Would Eden be able to get over her past, a past that made very very wary of dating someone with kids? She had spent so long building a structured life that definitely did not involve children or family. For Heidi, family was everything.

I really liked Heidi. She was a great mum, fun and kind. And she was also really hot. Eden was a complex character with reasons of her own to live as she did. I hoped that she would see that there could be so much more to life. Heidi was the perfect woman to coax her. There was some outrageously funny moments as I have come to expect from Clare Lydon. One in particular had me in fits of giggles. The love story felt so right, so natural. It was about two people who had to find a way past certain obstacles in order to be together. I feel that I want to go back and read the whole series from the start. The links between all of the stories has been so well done. Another winner from Ms Lydon.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘A Taste of Love’ by Clare Lydon

 ‘A Taste of Love’ by Clare Lydon is a sweet, heartwarming story set in a picture-perfect Cotswold village. It is the second in a series written by Ms Lydon, T.B. Markinson and Harper Bliss. Once you have visited this particular village, you’ll never want to leave. 

Natalie Hill works for the family gin business and has been spectacularly unlucky in love thus far. When a gorgeous Londoner opens an ice cream shop across the street, she can’t help but be affected. Can she ever forget her past failures though? Can she trust an in-comer who might leaves as quickly as she arrived?

Ellie Knap has had enough of the rat-race. A bad relationship has made her realise she has to get out and start anew somewhere else. Will Upper Chewford be a place to call home? Will her beautiful neighbour become more than a friend? 

The story is romantic, sexy and of course very funny. It wouldn’t be a Clare Lydon without embarrassing situations and laugh out loud moments. The characters are relatable and feel like family and old friends by the end of the book. And, as with every novel I’ve ever read by Ms Lydon, I was left with a smile on my face. It was a delight. 

I was given this ARC to review. 

Review of ‘You’re My Kind’ by Clare Lydon

Clare Lydon certainly played with my emotions on this one. ‘You’re My Kind’ is the story of Justine and Maddie and their road to love after splitting ten years previously. Justine has never been able to get over it and professes to hate the very mention of Maddie’s name. But when she unexpectedly turns up again on an already awful day, Justine is forced to start confronting her feelings.

Now, I was determined to hate Maddie too, on Justine’s behalf. But she crept up on me. I wanted to resist her, but I just couldn’t. I felt myself wavering and letting her in. The story was thoughtful and sad at times and really touched my heart. It was also hilariously funny and I almost spat my coffee across the room at ‘vagina cupcakes’! Clare Lydon writes romance like no other. I ached for the pair of them and when they had sex, it was so much more than that. It was everything; it was remembering and wanting and needing. 

The Bristol setting was wonderful. I could picture so many of the places mentioned. The constant mention of cakes might have made me dash for the mixing bowl too! An excellent story and highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘London Actually’ by Clare Lydon

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‘London Actually’ is the fifth in Clare Lydon’s ‘London’ series and I can confidently say it’s my favourite to date. Becca and Cleo meet at a wedding and hit it off right away. But twenty-three year old Becca has made a pledge to stay away from relationships for a year and Cleo is still hurting from her painful divorce and doesn’t want anything to do with younger women. So what are they to do? Their story is sexy, romantic, intensely emotional and absolutely hilarious.

Clare Lydon is the queen of observation – and I love her for it. It makes her books so real and funny and true. I felt that I was in London when I read this book. She describes all the sights, sounds and people so well.  And I love all the connections between the characters. It makes London seem like a small town rather than a huge metropolis. The writing is seriously impressive and gets better with each book. Never once did I leave the lives of Cleo and Becca and their entourage of friends and colleagues. I was pulled into their world.  I couldn’t help but smile at some of the corny jokes and laugh out loud at some of the situations. I loved Becca as she was wise beyond her years, capable and totally adorable. Cleo wanted to do the right thing and wrestled with her conscience – but when you meet ‘the one’ sometimes you just have to go with it. Their friends and family were perfectly drawn and made this a smile-fest for me from start to finish. Duncan was a scream and I loved Heidi so much. The humour they brought  made my day.  This was an excellent story and gets 5+++++ stars in my books .

I was given this Arc for review.

Review of ‘The London of Us’ by Clare Lydon

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The latest book in Clare Lydon’s London series ‘The London Of Us’ is the coming out story of Alice Di Santo, a woman in her 30s who has always been mistaken for a lesbian, but never was – until now. When she can’t stop thinking about her friend Rachel in some very hot and steamy scenarios she knows she has to do something about it. Can she deal with the repercussions? Will Rachel even feel the same way?  I loved this story with a passion. Claire Lydon writes the most beautifully romantic and funny stories with characters we can identify with. ‘The London Of Us’ is perfect.  It’s like getting together with old friends every time I read one of her books. We get to meet characters from the previous three books in the series and that makes it all the more special. There is a familiarity and feeling of warmth of joy that permeates every page.  I will keep going back to this particular author again and again because her work is of the utmost quality. I know I won’t be disappointed. It just feels right.

I was given this ARC by the author.

Review of ‘Once Upon A Princess’ by Clare Lydon and Harper Bliss

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Enchanting is the perfect word to sum up ‘Once Upon a Princess’ by Clare Lydon and Harper Bliss. Set on the beautiful Cornish coast, it is a story of true love and passion. Princess Olivia goes incognito as Charlie to Otter Bay after being forced to announce her engagement to the eminently suitable Jemima. While trying to clear her head and accept her fate she meets Rosie, local cafe owner and the woman who may just capture her heart. There are so many obstacles to this particular fairytale having a happy ending. Will they find a way? Can Olivia keep her identity a secret?

This book was always going to be a winner, with two of the best Lesfic romance writers in the business. Clare Lydon and Harper Bliss have managed to collaborate seamlessly and have created a wonderful love story. I really liked the main characters Rosie and Charlie (Olivia). Charlie was torn between duty and what she really wanted in life. Rosie was strong and capable and perfect for her. Their story was tender and loving and very hot. I adored it.

I was given this ARC in return for an honest review.

Review of ‘London Calling’ by Clare Lydon (audiobook)

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‘London Calling’ is a funny, romantic, sexy book and is perfect as an audio book. The London setting is so vividly written and the characters feel like people I know. Jess is one of those women for whom things are destined to go exactly the way she doesn’t want them to. Humour and mishaps are the order of the day for her as she tries to get on with her life after a painful break up. When she is blown away by gorgeous optician Lucy she tries so hard to make it work. Exes coming out of the woodwork threaten to scupper all that. I love the whole cast of characters as they add to the feeling of family – be they blood relations or great friends. The narration by Emily Bennett works really well. I can’t imagine anyone else capturing the tone of the book with such skill. Clare Lydon excels here and I’m desperate to listen to the next in the London series.

Review of ‘Twice in a Lifetime’ by Clare Lydon

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Sally and Harriet were teenage sweethearts but things did not end well for them. When they meet up unexpectedly in their 30s the old feelings are still there. Can they forget the past? Living in cities hundreds of miles apart with established businesses further complicates things. The romance is sweet and sexy, with some very hot scenes that will have you reaching for a fan to cool down! I wanted it all to work out for them as they were meant for each other. Sally had a hard time getting past the hurt from their past relationship and I could see why she was reluctant. Harriet was determined and persistent. Once again Clare Lydon has me grinning from ear to ear and feeling that all is right with the world. She has that rare gift of being able to draw the reader in from the start.   The writing is full of humour – it’s gentle but irreverent and Aunt Paula is hilarious. A wonderful book that left me happy – something I have come to expect from Clare Lydon’s books. I highly recommend this beautiful romance.

I was given this ARC in return for an honest review.

Review of ‘Nothing to Lose’ audiobook by Clare Lydon

Nothing to Lose

 

When the town floods and Scarlett’s flat is deluged by water she ends up homeless and in despair. Life hasn’t been great for her for a while but this is the final straw. She ends up living in the house of the local mayor Joy, a closeted lesbian, while her home gets dried out. Their attraction is powerful and being together brings huge changes to both of their lives. Can they ever be more than friends? Will love win out? 

Clare Lydon writes the most beautiful love stories, filled with humour, wit and romance. She is also the most skilled creator of the hottest sex scenes imaginable. One in particular is epic and hearing it read out in the sultry tones of Gabrielle Baker made it even better.  This was a tale of hope and the realisation that sometimes what appears to be the worst day of your life might turn out to be the best. I adored this audio book and highly recommend it.