#BlogTour THE MAGIC TOUCH by KELLY FLORENTIA #BookReview @AccentPress

Delighted to be the latest stop on the blog tour for THE MAGIC TOUCH by KELLY FLORENTIA.  My thanks to the author and team at Accent Press for the copy of the book and putting this together – and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Would you read your partner’s texts?What if you thought he was having an affair?

Once bitten, twice shy Emma King is in no rush to join Harry’s bustling, big, fat Greek Cypriot family and become Mrs Georgiades. So it comes as no big surprise when, after plenty of Dutch courage, his proposal of marriage at a family gathering is met with rejection.

Emma doesn’t think they need a piece of paper to prove how much they love each other. They’re solid – unbreakable. After all, Harry’s a loving and loyal partner whom she trusts implicitly. But when she accidentally stumbles across a flirtatious text message on Harry’s mobile phone from a female colleague alarm bells start going off in her head.  

Overcome with suspicion and an impending fear of losing the love of her life, Emma goes on a mission to get to the bottom of his secret affair with the help of her best friend Ola, her ninety-three-year-old neighbour Alistair, and Harry’s sister-in-law’s app, The Magic Touch. Because no one is going to snatch Harry from her – no one!.

PURCHASE LINKS

Publisher Website

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

A book that made me laugh and cry!! Fair to say that it’s full of emotion and I found myself totally caught up in the lives of these characters, especially Emma as she tries to navigate her emotions when she discovers a text on the phone of her other half – is he cheating on her?  Why is he acting so strange?  And why has he proposed to her if he is playing away from home?!  So many questions to be answered!!

You begin to understand her worries and fears as you find out more about her past and what she has been through. It also shines the light brilliantly on the modern world we live in with the over-use of mobile phones, apps and social media and that made this book so much easier to connect with as you understand so well the dilemmas she faces.

Harry should be the perfect man for her – very hard working, from a large close family and seemingly devoted but the little seeds of doubts in her mind really affect the way she sees him, and turns to her friends Ola and Alistair for advice – very wise people to turn to, especially Alistair who I found to be so funny and a total sweetheart!

This book really throws open the debate as to whether men  and women can be just ‘friends’, alongside the damage that being in a abusive relationship can take on your frame of mind.  Emma has so much to contend with and you are just willing her to make the right decision to make her own heart happy.

I really loved this story, the characters and the little talking points it throws up throughout, all sprinkled with that little bit of magic!

❤❤❤❤

#BlogTour In Your Silence by Grace Lowrie @AccentPress @GraceLowrie1 #BookReview

Hugely delighted to be kicking things off for the IN YOUR SILENCE blog tour today! My thanks to the author and publisher for the copy of the book and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

‘A compelling, suspenseful, and hauntingly atmospheric read’ – Lynne Shelby, author of There She Goes 

‘A beautiful garden, flawed leads and twisted obsession combine in this erotic romance’ – Laura Wilkinson, author of Skin Deep 


Still reeling from a sudden and very one-sided break-up, Liam throws himself into his work and gets commissioned to restore the neglected grounds of a mansion, Wildham Hall, for its owner Gregory Sinclair.

It is there that Liam meets Melody, who is mute.

Liam has always suppressed the darkest side of himself, but as his clandestine liaison with Melody develops, she tests him and his deepest desires are dragged to the surface.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Publisher Website

hive.co.uk

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

With a background in art, prop-making and garden design, Grace has always been creative – but she is a romantic at heart and writing was, and is, her first love. An avid reader of fiction she prefers coffee and a sinister undercurrent over tea and chick lit, and has a soft spot for grumpy ginger tomcats.
When not making prop costumes or hanging out with her favourite nephews, she continues to write women’s fiction and romance novels from her Hertfordshire home.

 CONNECT WITH AUTHOR


Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

MY REVIEW

Another sizzler from Grace which brilliantly captures the passion of a relationship alongside an intriguing storyline that left me shocked at the twists and turns by the end!

The story centres around Liam and Melody.  He’s a gardener who has just split with a long time girlfriend, and is drawn to an advert for  a gardener needed at Wildham Hall.

Wildham Hall is home to Gregory and Melody – he wants the grounds restored which is music to Liam’s ears as he loves looking into the history of the house and gardens and wants to bring it all back to life, despite the huge undertaking ahead of him.

Melody is the mystery character of the book! She is a proofreader and spends most of her hours in the house, with Gregory being very overprotective towards her and seemingly keeping her ‘safe’ at home for her own protection.  She’s always used to being different as she’s mute  – something that puzzles Liam when he starts spotting her watching him from windows or hanging around in the garden.  They both seem intrigued by one another! He because she is totally different from anyone he has ever met before, and she because Liam is patient with her, he doesn’t ask too many questions and she feels she can trust him.

The  more time they spend together, the more their passion grows and it’s soon clear they have a much deeper connection to one another – not that everybody approves!!

I loved the mystery in this story!  So many question you find yourself asking throughout, and then I found myself totally shocked when finding out the answers!! Melody seems to be a quiet soul, often cruelly treated by the housekeeper, but Liam seems to bring out another side to her and she soon craves more of the outside world rather than the lonely existence she’d had up until now.

Their relationship is often hot and steamy, but there’s a real tenderness there too but there’s more to this story than their romance, and I loved the tension as secrets from the past finally get revealed!  Prepare to be shocked!!

★★★★

#BlogTour The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw #BookReview #RandomThingsTours #TheSpaceBetweenTime @AccentPress @claidlawauthor

A huge delight to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for  THE SPACE BETWEEN TIME by CHARLIE LAIDLAW.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for putting this all together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth…

 Emma Maria Rossini’s perfect life begins to splinter when her celebrity father becomes more distant, and her mother dies suspiciously during a lightning storm. This death has a massive effect on Emma, but after stumbling through university, she settles into work as a journalist in Edinburgh. Her past, however, cannot be escaped. Her mental health becomes unstable. But while recovering in a mental institution, Emma begins to write a memoir to help come to terms with the unravelling of her life. She finds ultimate solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe – which offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.

 Published by ACCENT PRESS

Publication Date – 20th June 2019

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK £8.99

hive.co.uk  £7.49

Publisher Website  £8.99

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charlie Laidlaw was born in Paisley and is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. He has been a national newspaper journalist and worked in defence intelligence. He now runs his own marketing consultancy in East Lothian. He is married with two grown-up children.

MY REVIEW

Wow!! I wasn’t quite expecting this book to be the emotional journey that it turned out to take me on, but it was a stunning story of what happens when a seemingly perfect life starts to unravel, showing the highs and lows of family life and that the life we all probably dream of isn’t as it seems.

Emma is the star of this book – she’s the daughter of a loving but neurotic mum, a father who becomes a hugely famous actor and this story charts her life as she deals with an unconventional lifestyle, and how she learns about the world around her and how tragic events shape her life and put on her a different path to what she imagined.

The fame that her father finds turns his head so he’s rarely around for his wife and daughter, and her mother doesn’t cope well with this.   He moves the family to a large mansion but they never find happiness there and their lives become defined by him and his actions.

You cannot help but become so attached to Emma as she’s confronted with such sadness in her life – she idolized her grandfather whose own life was met with ridicule for what he believed, but in him she finds a kindred spirit and often shares his beliefs and perspective on the world around them and how you should see yourself.    She sees the ‘perfect’ life that her Dad portrays of his family life in the media and knowing the truth it really messes her up, and this  outlook causes her to try and find a way to get his attention and to become her own person.

She finds some comfort when she becomes a writer and never plays on her famous name – she wants to write about things that matter and not the superficial celebrity world she has been witness to.  She changes her name to try and become ‘herself’ but the mental issues she’s always struggled with are never far away.  There is so much I think we can all relate to with this character  as she finds herself in different stages of her life trying to figure out who she really is, and how much outside influences have changed her perspective and clouded her judgement.

There was so much to love about this book and the characters portrayed – it’s heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measures and is definitely going to be one of my most treasured reads of 2019!

★★★★★

#BlogTour Another Cup of Coffee by Jenny Kane #bookreview @AccentPress

About the book

Thirteen years ago Amy Crane ran away from everyone and everything she knew, ending up in an unfamiliar city with no obvious past and no idea of her future. Now, though, that past has just arrived on her doorstep, in the shape of an old music cassette that Amy hasn’t seen since she was at university.

Digging out her long-neglected Walkman, Amy listens to the lyrics that soundtracked her student days. As long-buried memories are wrenched from the places in her mind where she’s kept them safely locked away for over a decade, Amy is suddenly tired of hiding.

It’s time to confront everything about her life. Time to find all the friends she left behind in England, when her heart got broken and the life she was building for herself got completely shattered. Time to make sense of all the feelings she’s been bottling up for all this time. And most of all, it’s time to discover why Jack has sent her tape back to her now, after all these years…

With her mantra, New life, New job, New home, playing on a continuous loop in her head, Amy gears herself up with yet another a bucket-sized cup of coffee, as she goes forth to lay the ghost of first love to rest…

Published by Accent Press

Author Website

Purchase Links

waterstones

hive.co.uk

Book Depository

MY REVIEW

An ode to mix tapes! Oh how I miss them!! And in this book it just shows you how the power of a song from way back when can stir up the emotions and set you on a different path when you least expect it!

And this is what happens to Amy who is in her mid thirties, living in Scotland, feeling lonely, stuck in a dull job with no local friends, until she receives a mix tape from her old friend Jack, who she’d not heard from in years. And it just makes her look back on her time with him and their other friends and has her wondering ‘what if’.

And so she moves down South to see if her she can find her happy place again, reconnect with old friends and find out what she’s been missing out on. It’s a scary move for her but something she needs to do and soon finds friends and old feelings are difficult to shake off.

We also get to see the story from the point of view of Jack, who has recently come out but has always seemed to struggle with his sexuality. And his friendship with Kit, a wife and mother who writes steamy erotic fiction, is also another complex aspect of his life.

There are a number of characters in this book who annoyed the heck out of me at times, but that made it feel more relatable! Not everyone is going to be ‘your cup of tea (or coffee!)’, and they will often do things that annoy your or perplex you, but it’s their decision and you can only be there to pick up the pieces or support them whatever they decide to do. It brings into focus the fact that many people are unhappy with how their lives are turning out, they just go with the flow until it is often too late and it takes a big leap of faith to change things and to try and get more out of life – be that changing jobs or trying to reconnect with old friends.

I loved the mix of personalities of this group of friends – they don’t live in each others’ pockets, it’s not all rainbows and laughs, but when faced with a drama they are there to support those who need it no matter what. Many of them have very jealous personalities which can come across as quite petty at times, but that mirrors real life! Nobody’s perfect…. are they?! The timeline also jumps around quite a bit which does keep you on your toes!

The songs mentioned throughout were a great blend and often had me grabbing an old CD or looking online to listen to them again as it really helped connect more with the story! An engaging and grown up piece of fiction.

🎶🎶🎶🎶

#BlogTour Before We Fall by Grace Lowrie #BookReview @AccentPress

A huge pleasure for me today to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for the wonderful BEFORE WE FALL by GRACE LOWRIE.

My thanks to the author and publisher for asking me to be part of the fun and to help share the news for this stunning book!

About the book

When quiet Cally, an amateur ballet dancer, is suddenly diagnosed with cancer she runs away from her boyfriend Liam, her job in a call centre and her safe life in Wildham – in order to experience ‘real’ life in London. Taking a job as a stripper and flat-sitting in the top of an office tower she meets her obnoxious neighbour Bay; a tattooed, drug-taking, suicidal artist, haunted by the death of those close to him. Despite their differences, the two strike up a friendship – Bay pushes Cally to try new things while Cally provides Bay with a muse – and they fall in love. But their secrets threaten to tear them apart and time is running out…

Published by Accent Press

Purchase Links

hive.co.uk  £6.95

Book Depository  £7.74

Waterstones  £7.99

About the author

Grace Lowrie has worked as a sculptor, prop maker and garden designer. She published her debut romance Kindred Hearts in 2015.
A lover of rock music, art nouveau design, blue cheese and grumpy ginger tomcats, Grace is also an avid reader of fiction – preferring coffee and a sinister undercurrent, over tea and chick lit. When not making prop costumes or hanging out with her favourite nephews, she continues to write stories from her Hertfordshire home.

Twitter – @GraceLowrie1

MY REVIEW

It’s difficult not to be swept up in this passionate story of 2 souls drawn together as they struggle with their own personal demons. They both need saving and fate sometimes has a funny way of bringing people together, especially when they least expect it.

Cally has turned her back on her comfortable life and is looking to escape. So she throws caution to the wind and creates a new life for herself, and new persona, as she offers to house-sit for a friend in London for 6 months. She thinks it gives her the right amount of time to work out what to do next.

Bay is an artist. Quite successful too with a cult following, but he’s too wrapped up in his own head to care. And with his creative side comes a destructive side to his personality, so drugs are his escape. And when a new woman appears in his building, he’s thrown a little and can’t understand what it is about her that intrigues him so much. The spark between them is pretty obvious and she even gets him to venture outside to do tourist stuff! He’s not normally that kind of bloke!!

It’s clear as you read this that there is an explosive connection between these two characters! Despite their pasts that they both seem to be running from, they feel an ease to start opening up to each other – it even awakens Callys’ mind sexually… prepare yourself as this book does get very steamy! The more they find out about each, the deeper the bond between them strengthens and neither of them seem ready for all that entails.

This was a passionate, riveting read and I loved it! The two main characters were fascinating creatures and as they discovered different sides to themselves, it really made you connect with them as people. Really excited to read more from this author in the future as she really seems to create a wonderful spark between her characters!

💜💜💜💜💜

#BlogTour The Winter That Made Us by Kate Field #BookReview #thewinterthatmadeus @rararesources @katehaswords

A huge delight to be the latest stop on this wonderful Blog Tour for THE WINTER THAT MADE US by KATE FIELD.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachels Random Resources for letting me be part of it all!

The Winter That Made Us

When Tess finds herself unexpectedly alone and back in Ribblemill, the childhood village she thought she’d escaped, she’s sure she can survive a temporary stay. She’s spent a lifetime making the best of things, hasn’t she?

Determined to throw herself into village life, Tess starts a choir and gathers a team of volunteers to restore the walled garden at Ramblings, the local stately home. Everything could be perfect, if she weren’t sharing a cottage and a cat with a man whose manner is more prickly than the nettles she’s removing…

As winter approaches, Tess finds herself putting down her own roots as fast as she’s pulling them up in the garden. But the ghosts of the past hover close by, and Tess must face them if she’s to discover whether home is where her heart has been all along.

Published by Accent Press

Purchase Link

Amazon

About the Author

Kate writes contemporary women’s fiction, mainly set in her favourite county of Lancashire, where she lives with her husband, daughter and hyperactive cat.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Kate’s debut novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the RNA’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers in 2017.

Twitter @katehaswords

Facebook

MY REVIEW

Another fabulous book from an author who is quickly becoming one of my favourites! Kate Field has created another great cast of characters and put them in a believable situation that draws you in and tugs at the heartstrings. A story with all the feels!!

Tess Bailey is a woman who finds herself returning to her childhood village, Ribblemill, after many years away. Her life hasn’t quite turned out as expected and she’s looking for a way to find some meaning and purpose to her time. Her love of helping others and music shines through from the start though and she soon volunteers for a number of community projects, along with starting her own groups – the perfect way to become a firm favourite with the locals, many of who have known her and her family for a number of years.

She finds herself sharing a house – the wonderfully named Cobweb Cottage – with Noah, a man who is a completely different character from herself. He just wants to be left alone and enjoys the peace and quiet. The more time they spend together though, the more you realise that they’re both quite similar in that they’re hiding things from each other and you wonder if they’ll be able to open up.

Her singing group becomes a big hit, and then she also starts a community gardening group to help restore the Walled Gardens, and these help distract her from her own problems and those that beset her family. It even means she gets to spend more time with Noah who is working on the gardens, so she starts to learn even more about him from his brothers and they way they are seemingly protective of him when certain events seem problematic for him

I loved the characters of Tess and Noah! So likeable and endearing – you sense they are both dealing with some quite serious issues and do so in quite different ways which is always fascinating to explore. The book starts to take a darker turn towards the end which just adds to the drama and ramps up the emotions! Loved it!!

💕💕💕💕💕

#BlogTour The Woman in the Shadows by Carol McGrath #BookReview

A real pleasure to be involved in this mini anniversary blog tour today for THE WOMAN IN THE SHADOWS by CAROL McGRATH.  My thanks to the author and publishers for inviting me to be part of it all!

About the book

The powerful, evocative new novel by the critically acclaimed author of The Handfasted Wife, The Woman in the Shadows presents the rise of Thomas Cromwell, Tudor England’s most powerful statesman, through the eyes of his wife Elizabeth.

When beautiful cloth merchant’s daughter Elizabeth Williams is widowed at the age of twenty-two, she is determined to make herself a success in the business she has learned from her father. But there are those who oppose a woman making her own way in the world, and soon Elizabeth realises she may have some powerful enemies – enemies who also know the truth about her late husband…

Security – and happiness – comes when Elizabeth is introduced to kindly, ambitious merchant turned lawyer, Thomas Cromwell. Their marriage is one based on mutual love and respect…but it isn’t always easy being the wife of an influential, headstrong man in Henry VIII’s London. The city is filled with ruthless people and strange delights – and Elizabeth realises she must adjust to the life she has chosen…or risk losing everything.

Published by Accent Press

Purchase Links

from the publishers

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

You know when you finish an historical book and your first thought is to research more of the characters and period of history, then it has completely enthralled you and the author has done a first rate job! That is exactly what happened when I finished the last page of The Woman in the Shadows as I was just itching to know more about the historical figures in this fascinating novel, and very clever too to put Cromwells’ wife Elizabeth at the core of the story, as the story jumps from her past to her present alongside Cromwell, watching on as he becomes more involved in dealings with the court and the big players of the time.

The story of Elizabeth is a fascinating woman and very interesting to hear of life in the Tudor period from a womans’ perspective – especially one who has been widowed at 22, to a man she never really loved but who had a secret and how she dealt with keeping that to protect him. After this marriage she is determined to marry for love next time round, not the done thing at that time! She works for her father as a cloth merchant and is well educated and as time goes on she impresses the other traders with her knowledge and eye for a good fabric.

On the day of her husbands funeral, Thomas Cromwell is introduced to her although it turns out they knew each other from childhood. She is smitten but rarely sees him and concentrates on the cloth business before he proposes. We then follow their lives together, the role women played in the lives of these powerful men, while raising a family and following through gossip the goings on between the King and the Queen at the time. It follows the family through different houses they lived in as their family grew – they had 3 children together – and people they came into contact withx

I ended up reading this in one afternoon as I was just intrigued by the story – I loved the way the storyline jumped backwards and forward so that many different elements of Elizabeth and her life could be witnessed. It also did a great job of humanizing a character I’d only read about in history books in Thomas Cromwell – it made you wonder what kind of man he really was and how those around him dealt with things he was involved in. Highly recommended!

                                                                     🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

#BlogTour ribbons in her hair by Colette McCormick #GuestPost #AccentPress

ribbons

 

Delighted to be hosting the first stop on this blog tour for Ribbons in my hair. My thanks to Accent Press and Colette McCormick for letting me share in this wonderful blog tour and kicking it all off with a lovely guest post from the author herself.

About the book

Jean seems the perfect wife and mother but she struggles to love her daughters whose material comforts mask emotional neglect. When the youngest daughter, Susan, brings ‘shame’ on the family, Jean can think of only one response. She has to make the problem disappear. Finding the strength to stand up to her mother for the first time in her life, Susan does the only thing that she can to save her baby. What Susan doesn’t realise is that her mother’s emotional distance hides a dark secret of her own. Examining the divide between generations, between mothers and daughters, this emotionally charged novel asks whether we can ever truly understand another, however close our ties.

Published by Accent Press

Publication Date – August 23rd 2018

Purchase Link

Amazon UK

GUEST POST

Handing over to Colette now as she shares her thoughts on what she hoped the book would be and the inspiration behind it.

At the beginning of Ribbons in Her Hair I focused on Susan, the little girl who felt alone and unloved. I wanted her to tell the reader her story in her own words. She tells us how it feels when her mother has no time for her and her sisters ignore her. But, as we all know, there are always two sides to every story and I also wanted to look at what would make her mother behave the way she does. 

To the outside world Jean appears to be the perfect wife and mother. She keeps a tidy house; her children are always clean and well fed and her husband always comes home from work to a meal on the table. So why is she so emotionally detached?  

I wanted Jean to tell us her side of the story too. What was it that made her behave the way that she did? Was she really the mother that her daughters thought she was? 

I really didn’t want to like Jean but, as I wrote her story I started to understand her a bit more. Was it really her fault or was she merely a product of her own childhood? We only see Jean’s mother briefly but I think that’s enough to know where she got her mothering skills from. When Jean needed her mother’s support it wasn’t there so should we be surprised when she behaves the same way? 

Another line I wanted to pursue was how mother and daughter, a generation apart, would deal with the age-old problem of what to do when you are pregnant and unmarried. The shame was enormous in the 1950’s and had things changed that much nearly thirty years later? Maybe it had for some but not for Jean. Having said that, when Jean tried to make the problem go away was she, in her own mind, trying to do what she thought was best for her daughter? 

The main thing that I wanted to look at in this book though was the mother/daughter relationship. I am a mother and a daughter but I am not the mother of a daughter. I do however have a lot of friends with daughters so I can see that its rarely a straightforward thing at the best of times. Throw secrets and lies into the equation and you have a recipe for maybe not disaster but certainly for misunderstandings.

 

Jean came to life in my head following a conversation with someone whose mother was just like Susan’s and this surprised me because being on the outside, as I was, I had no idea. What has surprised me more though is that as I’ve been talking to other women about my book a lot of them have told me that their mothers were the same. This makes me appreciate not only my own mother but also my sister all the more. They were the women that put the metaphorical ribbons in my hair and that is why this book is dedicated to them. 

                                                                           💝💝💝

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour! Thank you for stopping by today!

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#BlogTour The Bridesmaid’s Dilemma by Karen King #GuestPost #Extract

Delighted to be hosting the stop today for this Blog Tour on behalf of Accent Press and Karen King!  As well as a little Guest Post by Karen herself on the inspiration for writing this book, there is also an excerpt for you to enjoy!!! 

ABOUT THE BOOK

From the bestselling author of The Cornish Hotel By The Sea 

Every summer has a story… Fun-loving travel rep Jess doesn’t want to be chief bridesmaid at her snooty cousin’s wedding, but it will cause a family feud if she refuses. She doesn’t want to fall in love either but when a raucous stag party arrives at her Majorcan hotel, Jess hits it off instantly with best man, Eddie. A summer romance is exactly what commitment-phobe Jess needs and, as the stag-do draws to a close, so does the holiday fling. She has no intentions of carrying on the summer fun but when Eddie turns up again, Jess is faced with a big dilemma.
Will this bridesmaid get the happy-ever-after she never knew she wanted…

Publisher Accent Press

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk

Book Depository

GUEST POST

Here are Karen’s thoughts on where she got the inspiration from for writing this fabulous new release!

The inspiration for The Bridesmaid’s Dilemma came from a few sources.

I’ve often admired the stamina and friendliness of the holiday reps at the resorts I’ve been to, they seem to be on duty all day and evening and have to deal with a variety of problems and awkward guests. There was a stag party on board one of our holiday flights, they were very raucous but good-natured, and these two things formed the seeds of a story about a holiday rep having a fling with a member of a stag party staying at the hotel where she worked. Then my husband, Dave, booked a trip to Majorca for our third wedding anniversary and that was the inspiration for the setting.

I enjoyed writing this dance scene because it showed how fun-loving, outgoing and popular Jess is, and is the instigation for the growing attraction between Jess and Eddie. I got the inspiration for the scene from a nightclub Dave and I went to in Crete a few years ago. We’d got engaged that day on Santorini, and the reps at our hotel invited a group of us to the nightclub that evening. We had a fantastic time, there were bubbles and foam everywhere and a couple of the women were dancing like Jess and Libby, with a crowd around them clapping and cheering.  I love the atmosphere at clubs, where everyone looks like they’re having such a good time, and I enjoy watching people dance. I’m a people watcher – and I’ll get up and dance myself if I’ve had a couple of Bacardis!

☀☀☀☀☀

And now here’s a little extract from The Bridesmaid’s Dilemma for you all to enjoy!!

One of the fantastic things about being a holiday rep was the social life. That, and the sun, and all the countries she got to visit. Last season she’d been stationed in Tenerife and the season before that it had been Barcelona. It was hard work, long hours, and sometimes the rooms were pretty basic – a few times she’d had to share with another rep –but she loved the job.

Libby was dancing with Damián, Marta, and a group of holidaymakers. She waved to them and Kurt grinned.

‘Go on, I can see you’re itching to dance. I’ll go to the bar and get the drinks.’

        ‘Thanks. You’re a star,’ Jess told him, giving him a peck on the cheek then heading off to join Libby and the others. She only had a couple of hours to dance, and she intended to make the most of it.

 ***

 Eddie recognised her as soon as he walked in. The bright red hair was a dead giveaway, although now it was hanging loose around her shoulders instead of tied up in a ponytail, and she was wearing a strappy silver mini-dress rather than the yellow T-shirt and faded denim shorts she’d worn this afternoon. Very sexy. There was a carefree air about her, a suggestion that she didn’t conform, wasn’t scared to be different. It intrigued him. Jess, that’s what the hotel manager had called her.

He watched as she kissed a fair-haired guy on the cheek then went over to join a group of people dancing while the guy went up to the bar. Were they an item, he wondered. Someone as gorgeous as Jess was bound to be taken.

‘I’ll get the first round in,’ Ross said. ‘What you all having?’

‘Jack Daniels for me,’ said Greg.

Eddie tore his eyes away from Jess and followed Ross to the bar. When they returned with their drinks, a crowd had gathered around Jess and a woman with long dark hair, and people were cheering and clapping as they both danced in the middle of the floor. Jess tossed her long hair, shook her lithe hips and rocked it like there was no tomorrow. While the other woman was gyrating, twirling, twerking, you name it, her black satin halter-neck jumpsuit clinging to her body like a second skin, emphasising her long legs, slender frame and sun-tanned skin. She was pretty, in a conventional sort of way, but Jess was striking. And had curves to die for.

Greg followed his gaze. ‘Hey, isn’t that the lass who helped us sort out our rooms at the hotel?  Who’s that stunner with her?’

‘Probably another rep. Good dancers, aren’t they?’

‘Cool it, mate, getting off with a couple of chicks is not what this stag weekend is all about,’ Ross told him.

‘You might be chained, but the rest of us aren’t,’ Greg said, walking over to join the group around the two dancers.

‘It’d only be polite to say hello, she did help us out,’ Matt said, following Greg.

Ross shrugged his shoulders. ‘I guess so.’

Greg and Matt joined the circle around the two girls, clapping and stamping their feet along with the rest. Tony and Sam followed them. Ross and Eddie looked at each other, shrugged then walked over, too. When the song had finished, the crowd gave the girls resounding applause.

Eddie saw Jess glance over at him, smile and wave. Then she and her friend both walked over to the bar to get a drink.

‘Let’s go and talk to them,’ Greg said. ‘I’d like to meet the friend.’

Eddie followed him, feeling ridiculously pleased that it wasn’t Jess Greg was interested in.

 ***

‘Don’t look now, but there’s a group of guys coming over to us. And they’re pretty fit.’

Jess turned her head slightly and saw that it was Eddie and one of the others from the stag group. She’d hoped he’d come over. All the while she was dancing she felt his eyes on her. He really was something. She wouldn’t mind spending a bit of time with him.

Take it easy, he’s probably got a girlfriend, she reminded herself. In her experience, guys in stag parties were always trying it on, conveniently forgetting their girlfriend/partner back at home.

Still, as a rep at the hotel he was staying at, she had to be friendly.

‘That was some dance.’ The other man – Greg according to his T-shirt – said, his eyes on Libby. Sandy-haired, a roguish twinkle in his blue eyes, just the right amount of stubble on his chiselled-chin, the sort of smooth operator with a ‘bad lad’ air that Libby always went for but had never appealed to Jess. Good job he wasn’t the groom.

Libby, true to form, flashed him a megawatt smile. ‘Thanks.’

‘Hello again,’ He nodded at Jess, but it was obvious his attention was on Libby. ‘Thanks for helping us sort the rooms out.’ Greg was slurring his words slightly. They’d probably been drinking all afternoon and evening, taking advantage of the cheap drinks here.

‘You’re welcome,’ Jess replied. ‘Which hotel did you get sent to?’

‘The one over the road.’

‘Oh, this is the stag party you told me about,’ Libby said. ‘Now which one of you is the stag?’

‘Ross,’ Greg pointed his thumb at Ross. ‘Are you a rep at the hotel, too?’ He pointed to the name on the front of his T-shirt. ‘I’m Greg.’

‘So, I see.’ Libby shook the hand he offered. ‘I’m Libby. And yes, I’m a rep, too. Glad you managed to get your rooms sorted out. Manuel is a stickler for obeying the rules.’

‘Thanks to Jess,’ Eddie joined in. ‘We haven’t been properly introduced, have we? Hello, Jess.’ He leaned forward and kissed her on both cheeks, soft sensual lips fleetingly touching her skin, a heady waft of after-shave, warm breath enticingly close. She felt a bit dizzy.  She must have drunk more than she realised.

‘I am Édouard, Eddie.’

Édouard. She mentally rolled the name around on her tongue. Nice. It seemed a shame to shorten it.

‘Er… hi.’

‘Thank you for your help, Jess.’ Every time he spoke it sent goose bumps down her spine.

‘It was nothing,’ she replied.

Greg was looking at Libby as if he’d never seen anyone as amazing as her before. Libby often had that effect on men.

‘Let me buy you and your friend a drink to say thank you. It would have been a really difficult situation without your help.’

‘Thanks, vodka and coke please,’ Libby replied before Jess could decline. Not that she was about to, not with Eddie looking at her like that.

‘And you?’ Greg looked questioningly at Jess.

She smiled and nodded. ‘A vodka and coke for me too, please.’

☀☀☀☀☀

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The Magic of Ramblings by Kate Field #bookreview

Running away can be the answer if you run to the right place…

When Cassie accepts a job as companion to an old lady in a remote Lancashire village, she hopes for a quiet life where she can forget herself, her past and most especially men. The last thing she wants is to be drawn into saving a community that seems determined to take her to its heart – and to resuscitate hers…

Frances has lived a reclusive life at Ramblings, a Victorian Gothic mansion, for over thirty years and now Barney is hiding away there, forging a new life after his medical career ended in scandal. He doesn’t trust the mysterious woman who comes to live with his rich aunt, especially when she starts to steal Frances’ affection – and maybe his own too…

Publisher – Accent Press

Buying Links

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support a local bookstore

Waterstones

Follow the author on Twitter – @katehaswords

MY REVIEW

A delight to read from start to finish!! Any book set in a large country house always grabs my attention, and when you add a cast of such fascinating characters then it was no wonder that I raced through this and could have easily read it in one sitting!

Cassie appears out of nowhere in the quiet village of Ribblemill and accepts the position of companion to the wonderfully feisty Frances. You understand that Cassie has run away from something, but she’s extremely reluctant to share any details of her past with her new employee or anyone she meets. Frances’ family aren’t too pleased about her arrival either, especially Barney who has always been there to help his Aunt and is a little put out that this stranger has become so close to his rich aunt, which explains his frosty attitude towards Cassie.

Despite her reluctance to share, Cassie soon finds herself under the spell of The Ramblings and the village and finds herself becoming more confident and settled in her life and gets more involved with village life especially when disaster strikes and the community has to pull together. Barney also plays a major part in her moving forward, and he has such an interesting back story too.

I adored the characters created in this book and it all felt so magical without becoming too cliched or over the top! Excited to read more by this author in the future!

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