Under a Tuscan Sky by Karen Aldous Review

Blurb

Escape to Tuscany this summer with Karen Aldous’s brilliantly uplifting read. Perfect for fans of Erica James and Cathy Kelly.

A summer she’ll never forget…

When Olivia Montague’s grandmother passes away, she decides it’s finally time to make some changes in her own life. So she breaks up with her ‘going nowhere’ boyfriend and embarks on a journey to her Nonna’s home in Tuscany.

Until now, Olivia has always believed that she’s incapable of love, after being abandoned by her parents as a baby. But with each day spent at the gorgeous villa nestled in the rolling Italian hills, she feels her heart begin to flutter…

And when handsome antiques dealer Hugh St. James arrives on the scene, she realises things might be about to change forever!

Review

Summer is the time for gorgeous romance novels with breathtaking settings, and this book certainly delivers on that front. I loved how the main character, Olivia, seized the opportunity to change her life after losing her grandmother. She decides she’s not happy with how things are and sets off to the Italian countryside in search of a new beginning. Olivia was a sparky, likeable protagonist and I loved how she took control of things throughout the story. Who wouldn’t love to have an Italian villa to escape to? Her romance with Hugh sizzled from the beginning and I really rooted for them as a couple. Olivia’s backstory added a sad note to an otherwise feel-good romance, and I loved the sharp contrast between the two. It added depth to the story and I was interested to see how Olivia would explore the issues that her parents’ abandonment had left her with.

Karen Aldous has delivered yet another rich, sumptuous romance for her readers to enjoy. I can’t wait to see what she does next!

Giveaway (UK only)

1st prize: £10 Amazon voucher, eCopy of Under a Tuscan Sky & a signed notebook

2nd & 3rd prize: eCopy of Under a Tuscan Sky & a signed notebook

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf633057121/?

Author Bio

 Karen Aldous enjoys village life on the edge of the north-downs in Kent with easy access to the buzz of London. Not only does she love the passive pleasures of reading and writing, she also craves the more active pursuits with her family and friends such as walking, cycling and skiing especially when they involve food and wine!

Karen gets much of her inspiration from her travels and if she had to choose, France, Greece, Switzerland, Italy and the USA would be her favourites. However, wherever she goes, she discovers a new character emerges in ‘Karen’s World’. She likes to write about strong independent women who can direct their own lives – but struggle to control them! And, of course there’s always a gorgeous hunk or two!

Website: http://www.karenaldous.co.uk/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/karenAldous_

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A Little of Chantelle Rose by Cristina Hodgson Review

Blurb

At the age of twenty-four, Chantelle Rose has all a city girl can expect: a tiny bed-sit in South London, a lousy poorly-paid job, a tyrannical boss, and quite a few exes added to an ever-growing list.

Desperate for change, she becomes an extra in a seedy crime film. When that leads to the opportunity of a lifetime – a role to play with a million dollars to win and seemingly nothing to lose – she accepts without thinking twice. After all, what could possibly go wrong? In any event, she´ll earn enough to buy her dream home, set up her own business and never worry about money again.

And what about love? Two men have won her heart: Robbie – sultry, silent, mysterious; and Lionel – Hollywood heart-throb, charm, wealth, adventure.

But who can she trust? Who is bent on scaring her away, and why?

There seems to be more at stake than just her heart. Will a million dollars be worth it?

Review

If you’re after a slice of summer escapism, you’re sure to enjoy this book. When she’s asked to be an extra in a ‘seedy crime film’, Chantelle Rose sees the chance to make all her dreams come true. With the million dollars on offer, she can buy a house in a quiet Kent village and have the life she’s always dreamed of. Throw in two hunks – Robbie and Lionel – plus someone trying to scare her off, and you’ve got A Little of Chantelle Rose!

The book, for me, was split into two halves. The first half was light and funny, while the second half had more of a gritty, suspenseful feel. The dramatic change in tone was slightly confusing and jarred for me a little, but I still enjoyed the book. Chantelle herself changed throughout the book too. She was a funny romantic heroine, but seemed to change to fit the more suspenseful feel of the second half. Overall, I liked her as a character. I perhaps would’ve had more questions if someone was offering me a Hollywood role with a million dollars attached though!

Overall, this was an enjoyable read that would be perfect for diving into by the poolside.

Giveaway

Win A Little of Chantelle Rose bookmarks and keyrings!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf633057120/?

Author Bio & Links

Cristina Hodgson, mother of two, born in Wimbledon, London, currently lives in southern Spain. Cristina had a long career in sport, reaching national and international level and still actively participates in Triathlon races and enjoys outdoor activities. In her spare time she also enjoys reading and writing. She won a sports scholarship to Boston College. After a period in Boston, she returned to the UK and graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Sports Science.
A LITTLE OF CHANTELLE ROSE is her debut novel and will be released in May 2017. Amazingly, it has nothing to do with running!

The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters by Jaimie Admans Cover Reveal

Blurb

Wendy Clayton stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago. Instead, she has a ‘nice’ life. Nice job. Nice flat. Absolutely no men. Until her life is turned upside-down when her elderly neighbour, Eulalie, passes away and leaves her the Château of Happily Ever Afters!

But there’s a catch: she must share the sprawling French castle with Eulalie’s long-lost nephew, Julian. And no matter how gorgeous he is, or how easily she finds herself falling head over heels, Wendy needs to find a way to get rid of him…

Because surely happily ever afters don’t happen in real life?

Escape to beautiful France this summer with this uplifting romantic comedy. Perfect for fans of Kat French, Caroline Roberts and Holly Martin.

 

How gorgeous is this cover? I can’t wait to read this awesome summery read from Jaimie!

Hot Shade by Tamara Lush Review

Blurb

In the tropical Florida heat, a man with deadly secrets falls for a lovely, inquisitive reporter…

After Luca Rossi lost everything to the Italian mafia, he used all his skills to write a stunning expose, and managed to put a key don on trial for his life. But now Luca must hide out on the Florida coast until justice is served in Italy. All is well, until he meets a lovely young American reporter who won’t stop asking questions about who he is. Soon he’s fighting the urge to hush her with a kiss … and much, much more.

Skylar Shaw took a job with a small Florida paper determined to make her mark on the journalistic world. She may spend her days writing up alligator scares and human interest stories, but when she meets a handsome mystery man on the beach, she’s not afraid to dig into his past, and the danger stalking him from across the seas. There’s just one problem … will her efforts help Luca, or bring danger straight to him?

Luca knows all too well the journalistic drive to keep digging. Can he trust his lovely Skylar to keep his secrets, or must he push her away to save both their lives?

Review

I found this book enjoyable, if a little rushed in places. The chemistry between Luca and Skylar was well-developed, but I’d have loved to have seen it be pushed even further to really intensify things between them. That being said, I really enjoyed both characters’ development throughout the story. Although the primary focus was their developing relationship, both Luca and Skylar grew as people and were well-rounded characters. There was plenty of internal and external conflict throughout the story and although the pacing seemed a little rushed at times, the points of conflict were all developed and explored really well. I enjoyed the storyline with Luca’s efforts to take down a mafia don; it was brilliantly portrayed and I could tell the author researched it thoroughly.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It has plenty of romance and heat, with lots of interesting subplots to add depth to the story. The two main characters were both likeable with a good amount of chemistry between them.

Universal buy link: https://books.pronoun.com/hot-shade/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34319155-hot-shade

About the author: Tamara Lush was born in California and raised in Vermont. She graduated from Emerson College with a degree in broadcast journalism. For the last several years, she’s worked as a journalist and is currently a correspondent in Florida with The Associated Press. She lives with her Italian husband and two dogs on the Gulf Coast.

She was recently chosen as one of 24 writers for the Amtrak Residency program, and in 2017, she’ll be riding trains and writing romance.

Published in September of 2015, her debut novel HOT SHADE received four stars from RT Book Reviews. Her most recent novel, a five episode serial called TELL ME A STORY, has “an engaging voice, sexy heroes and heroines and a wry sense of humor,” according to New York Times bestselling author Beth Kery.

Tamara is a fan of vintage pulp fiction book covers, Sinatra-era jazz, 1980s fashion, tropical chill, kombucha, gin, tonic, beaches, iPhones, Art Deco, Spanish telenovelas, coloring books, street art, coconut anything, strong coffee and newspapers.

Twitter: @tamaralush

Website: http://tamaralush.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tamaralushwrites

Giveaway

This giveaway is for a $10 Amazon gift card (or equivalent)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf633057114/?

Those Who Lie by Diane Jeffrey Review

Blurb

Emily Klein doesn’t know she has killed her husband until the day of his funeral.

At first, signs point to a tragic accident. Yet, as Emily pieces together the events before his death – events which led to her own memory loss – she begins to suspect that her husband’s death may have been the result of more than a terrible twist of fate…

But the accident is only the beginning. Because while Emily’s physical scars will heal, the trauma of the accident has awakened old ghosts. She hears strange sounds, catches things that can’t possibly be there in the corner of her eye. Before long, everywhere she looks, she seems to see her husband.

And suddenly, Emily finds herself asking the most dangerous question of all.

Can she really trust herself?

***GIVEAWAY***

Check out the awesome Those Who Lie giveaway!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf633057113/?

1st prize: eBook of Those Who Lie

2nd prize: Teddy and chocolates

3rd prize: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland notebook & chocolates

Review

This book was a dark, dangerous thriller that kept me guessing right until the very end. Diane Jeffrey did a great job of keeping the reader off-balance, so that you’re never quite sure what’s going on. I devoured the book in two sittings and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It was anything but predictable with plenty of twists and turns to make you yell ‘OH MY GOD!’

Emily was a great unreliable narrator. Suffering from memory loss means the circumstances surrounding her husband’s death are distorted in her mind and her version of events can’t be relied upon. Piece by piece, what truly happened to her husband is finally revealed, culminating in a really surprising ending. Diane Jeffrey’s characterisation was excellent throughout, and I felt myself sympathising with Emily as she searched for answers about what really happened to her husband.

If you’re looking for a dark, twisty thriller you’ll love Those Who Lie!

Author Bio

Diane Jeffrey grew up in North Devon. She lives in Lyon, France with her husband and their three children, black Labrador and kitten.

THOSE WHO LIE is her debut psychological thriller.

Diane is an English teacher. She hates marking and Mondays. When she’s not working or writing, she likes swimming, running and reading. She loves chocolate, beer and holidays.

Above all, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Readers can follow Diane on Twitter @dianefjeffrey

or on Facebook.com/dianejeffreyauthor

 

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Those-Who-Lie-gripping-thriller-ebook/dp/B01MRGTRIF/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486044657&sr=8-1&keywords=those+who+lie

 US: https://www.amazon.com/Those-Who-Lie-Diane-Jeffrey-ebook/dp/B01MRGTRIF/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1483780326&sr=1-1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33785476-those-who-lie?ac=1&from_search=true

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dianefjeffrey

Ashael Rising by Shona Kinsella Review

Blurb

Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.

The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.

Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of the folk that were taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance.

When Iwan and Ashael meet and she invites him to stay in Oak Cam, neither of them realise that she is the one the Zanthar seek. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on Ashael’s shoulders.

Review

Although this book wasn’t in the genre I usually read, I really enjoyed it. KalaDene was so well-drawn, the characters were expertly crafted and the whole story was put together in a really engaging way.

I really enjoyed the human elements within this book. Ashael and Iwan’s struggles were very real and I found myself able to relate very easily to them. The pace throughout was excellent and I was thoroughly gripped as I read. The weight of responsibility on both Ashael and Iwan was clear throughout the book and I rooted for them to emerge triumphant at the end. Shona Kinsella makes it really easy for you to invest in the characters’ journey, especially with such a well-crafted world to lose yourself in.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves well-drawn fantasy with excellent, relatable protagonists.

Bio

Shona Kinsella is a fantasy author who lives near the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, in the west of Scotland. She is a member of the British Fantasy Society where she writes reviews of indie books. Shona has a degree in Law from the University of Strathclyde where she learned a lot about narrative structure.; everyone loves a story.

Shona enjoys spending time outdoors and much of her writing is inspired by the environment that she lives in, at the edge of Scotland’s first national park. When she is not writing, she enjoys geocaching with her husband and children and reading as many books as she can get her hands on.

Giveaway

£20 Amazon giftcard and eCopy of Ashael Rising: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf633057112/?

Book links

www.unbound.com/books/ashael-rising

https://www.facebook.com/ashaelrising/

 

Author links

www.shonakinsella.com

Twitter: @shona_kinsella

Instagram: shona.kinsella

The Somme Legacy by M J Lee Review

Blurb

July 1, 1916. The Somme, France.

A British Officer prepares to go over the top on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

March 28, 2016. Manchester. England.

Genealogical investigator Jayne Sinclair, a former police detective, is commissioned by a young teacher to look into the history of his family. The only clues are a medallion with purple, white and green ribbons, and an old drawing of a young woman.

Her quest leads to a secret buried in the trenches of World War One for over 100 years.

Who was the real heir to the Lappiter millions?

From the author of the best selling, The Irish Inheritance, comes a gripping new book revealing family secrets hidden in the fog of war.

The Somme Legacy is the second book in the Jayne Sinclair genealogical mystery series, but it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.

Review

I really enjoyed The Irish Inheritance, the first book in the Jayne Sinclair series, so I was really excited to pick up this one. It can be enjoyed as a standalone though, as it states in the blurb. In this book, Jayne has to try to uncover a secret buried 100 years in the past, in order to uncover who the real heir to the Lappiter fortune is. In a twisty, fast-paced story, she unearths a complex web of lies and a lot more besides…

This is yet another well-written book from M J Lee, who has managed to create a compelling story that keeps you guessing until the end. A couple of times, I thought I had everything sussed until the rug was pulled from under me! Jayne is a great protagonist: wicked smart with a passion for history and genealogy that leads her into the most unexpected cases. The books have an air of the TV show Cold Case, as Jayne delves into the past for the answers her clients crave. If you’re looking for a mystery with something a little extra to offer, I’d highly recommend this book!

Links:

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33657920-the-somme-legacy?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N1SY2QR/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Somme-Legacy-Sinclair-Genealogical-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01N1SY2QR/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488113067&sr=8-1&keywords=the+somme+legacy

 

About M.J Lee

Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, tv commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.

He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
Whilst working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarter of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in 1920s and 30s.
When he’s not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practicing downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.

 

Links:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/WriterMJLee

Website: http://www.writermjlee.com