The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness by Laura Kemp #BookReview

When Ceri Price arrives in the small seaside village in West Wales, she only means to stay for a couple of nights – long enough to scatter her mother’s ashes, and then go back to her life as a successful make-up entrepreneur.

But when a case of mistaken identities means she lands a job as the barmaid in the local pub, she unexpectedly finds friendship, and perhaps a chance at love.

But when the plans for a new housing estate put the local woodland under threat, she fears the way of life here could disappear.

Then mysterious acts of kindness start springing up around the village – a string of bunting adorns the streets, a new village signpost appears out of nowhere and someone provides paint to spruce up the houses on the seafront. Who is behind these acts of kindness and can they help in the race to save the village from the faceless developers…?

Welcome to the Village of Love. Where friendship flourishes and love blossoms…

BUYING LINKS

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

Amazon UK

Book Depository

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura Kemp writes tender but hilarious romantic comedies which are unashamed love letters to the everywoman.
Her uplifting message – based on the notion that everything is research apart from the rude bits – is ‘You Don’t Know How Brilliant You Are!’.
A journalist who has written for The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Sun amongst others, she is married with a son in Cardiff, where she pretends to be a domestic revolutionary so she doesn’t have to do the ironing. Runs to eat crisps and drink wine, adores her mates and loves her dog, Lego and sweary cross-stitch.

Follow the Author on Twitter @Laurajanekemp

MY REVIEW

 

I won this book in  a GoodReads giveaway and knew it was going to be my kind of book from the cover! Such an idyllic setting!

This was a charming and easy to read book that was a perfect escape on a rainy afternoon!

Ceri finds herself in Wales after the death of her beloved mother, in a place where she’s never been before but immediately finds herself at home amongst the villagers and she finds this pace of life refreshing and comfortable. The more time she spends away from her old life, the more she finds herself and discovers there’s more to life than the crazy world she lived in before.

I loved the setting and the variety of characters. There were secrets galore that were revealed along the way which made the journey Ceri faced really interesting. Loved the humour too! I would have liked more focus on the random acts of kindness as I often found that they were forgotten about and could have played a much bigger role in the story and impact on the village. But it still made for a really enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!

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A Little Christmas Faith by Kathryn Freeman #BlogTour #BookReview

It is an absolute pleasure to share with you today my stop on the A Little Christmas Faith Blog Tour!  As a big fan of Kathryn Freeman, it is always a delight to read something new from her and this is another story that is sure to warm you on a cold winters’ day!!

 

THE BLURB

Is it time to love Christmas again?
Faith Watkins loves Christmas, which is why she’s thrilled that her new hotel in the Lake District will be open in time for the festive season. And Faith has gone all out; huge Christmas tree, fairy lights, an entire family of decorative reindeer. Now all she needs are the guests …
But what she didn’t bank on was her first paying customer being someone like Adam Hunter. Rugged, powerfully built and with a deep sadness in his eyes, Adam is a man that Faith is immediately drawn to – but unfortunately he also has an intense hatred of all things Christmassy.
As the countdown to the big day begins, Faith can’t seem to keep away from her mysterious guest, but still finds herself with more questions than answers: just what happened to Adam Hunter? And why does he hate Christmas?

Publisher – Choc Lit

Amazon UK

Kobo Books

MY REVIEW

If you want to get your Christmas 2017 reading off to the best start, then look no further!! Kathryn has created another delightful tale to warm your heart and leave you with all the ‘feels’ this festive period!

Faith has declared herself crazy for opening a brand new boutique hotel 10 days before Christmas!  It has always been her dream and she’s put her heart and soul into the project so now it is opening time and the nerves are kicking in!

Things aren’t helped when her moody teenage niece is roped in to help on reception – not quite the first impression she was hoping for when her customers find they’re being ignored while Chloe is on her phone as all teenagers are nowadays, but scratching away at the surface of Chloe and the truth about her behaviour becomes a little clearer.

The first guest to the hotel is Adam – swoon, swoon!! – and he is hoping to escape Christmas by getting away from it all.  Just what that ‘all’ is that he is trying to avoid has led him to shut out many people, but there’s something about Faith when he first sees her that seems to warm his heart.

The sparks between Faith and Adam fly on their first meeting, and I just loved how they both seemed to compliment each other with their outlooks and banter!    There is a great humour throughout and mostly between these two characters – Faiths’ dogs Nip and Tuck play their part too in creating a cosy feeling throughout!

I raced through this as I just loved seeing how Faith would deal with her new life as  a hotel owner, and there were plenty of other plotlines throughout to keep you interested.  With Christmas getting every closer I found this to be the perfect festive romance read in an idyllic setting!

 

HAPPY READING!!!

#BookReview The Lustre of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller

In this story for readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and A Man Called Ove, when all seems lost, he finds what matters most.

Walter Lavender Jr. is a master of finding. A wearer of high-tops. A maker of croissants. A son keeping vigil, twelve years counting.

But he wouldn’t be able to tell you. Silenced by his motor speech disorder, Walter’s life gets lonely. Fortunately, he has The Lavenders—his mother’s enchanted dessert shop, where marzipan dragons breathe actual fire. He also has a knack for tracking down any missing thing—except for his lost father.

So when the Book at the root of the bakery’s magic vanishes, Walter, accompanied by his overweight golden retriever, journeys through New York City to find it—along the way encountering an unforgettable cast of lost souls.

Steeped in nostalgic wonder, The Luster of Lost Things explores the depths of our capacity for kindness and our ability to heal. A lyrical meditation on why we become lost and how we are found, from the bright, broken heart of a boy who knows where to look for everyone but himself.

Publisher;  Allison & Busby

Publication Date; August 2017

Amazon UK     £12.99

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support a local bookstore   £8.49

Author GoodReads page

MY REVIEW

I found this to be an entrancing, magical read of a boy who finds meaning in the world by finding lost things. He suffers with a speech disorder which stops him from communicating with the world in the normal way, but his silent life allows him to listen and helps him witness more than the rest of us normally see. He lives with his mother in a bakery that they’ve turned into a magical world that is thriving, until the special copy of a book that came into their possession goes missing. Then their luck seems to change. That really puts his finding skills to the test and as he travels across New York on the trail of the missing book and pages, he uncovers some amazing characters and finds out things about himself that he never knew possible.

It really is a feel good read that has you looking for all the good in the world. It isn’t about how much you have or what you’re doing, but what you notice and the meaning and memories behind treasured possessions, however big or small. His journey is enlightening both for him as a character, and for the reader as well and it all comes down to life being a surprising journey for us all.

The characters he meets along the way all add their own special take on the world and Walter Jr is such a special soul that he learns so much and becomes braver and more confident and transforms.

Walter Jr is a very methodical thinker and is completely charming and it doesn’t take long before you fall in love with him as he goes on his finding quests! You also see that while he’s searching for things for others, he’s searching for answers for things that have happened in his life.

Highly recommended for those searching for a book full of hope and warmth

Thank you to Nudge Books for the copy in return for a fair and honest review

The Summer of Second Chances by Maddie Please – my review

THE BLURB

The Summer of Second Chances is the perfect feelgood summer read.’ Chrissie Manby, author of What I Did On My Holidays

Lottie is about to discover that even when you think you’ve lost everything, hope and romance can be just around the corner . . .

It takes time to build your life. To get into a long-term (OK, a bit boring) relationship. To find a job (you don’t completely hate). Lottie might not be thrilled with the life she’s put together, but it’s the one she’s got.

So when in the course of one terrible evening, it all comes crashing down around her, Lottie has a choice: give herself over to grief at being broke, single and completely lacking in prospects.

Or, brick by brick, build herself a new life. And this time, with a little help from friends, a crumbling cottage in Devon and a handsome stranger, maybe she can make it the one she always wanted.

The Summer of Second Chances is an irresistibly funny read about never giving up, whatever the world throws at you. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Jane Costello and Christie Barlow.

Amazon UK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maddie Please was born in Dorset, brought up in Worcestershire and went to University in Cardiff.
After a career as a dentist Maddie now lives in Devon with her wonderful husband. They have 4 adult-ish children all of whom have left home and are probably rather surprised by all this. She did warn them. Sorry.

Maddie is a voracious reader, and would enjoy hoovering, defrosting the fridge and cleaning the windows but unfortunately she doesn’t really have time. She is very disciplined about writing every day because it gets her out of doing the ironing. She likes soppy films, anything to do with Christmas, America, and writing. In her spare time she likes watching American box-sets, thinking about holidays and drinking red wine.

The Summer of Second Chances is Maddie’s debut novel, and it was the result of best selling author Chris Manby’s brilliant plotting workshop in beautiful Cornwall.

Maddie is represented by the Annette Green Agency.

Maddie’s second book will be published by Avon Maze in February 2018 provisionally titled ‘Cold Hands Warm Heart’ and she is now working on her third book. *

* No cupcakes or bunting were harmed in the writing of any of these books

Author on Twitter

MY REVIEW

I found this book to be one of those that was so easy to get into that you lose yourself completely for a few hours and it leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy once you’ve finished!

Lottie, the main character, is so easy to empathise with. She’s found herself alone, homeless and puzzled as to where her life is going. Losing her partner has been a major shock, and the fall out from his untimely death was one she hadn’t been expected. So when she is offered a friends’ rundown cottage in the country to crash at and renovate, she is left with little option but to grab it! But once she gets painting she loses herself and finds that time therapeutic and gives her the time needed to get her life back on track.

Of course, it does help when your next door neighbour is a rather quiet, secretive and dishy bloke! He’s the brother in law of her best friend, but that is as much as he wants people to know! But he always seems to find a way of seeing Lottie when she’s not looking her best – wearing a tin of paint is one way to introduce yourself to your neighbour!

Their relationship does evolve quite quickly but I like the way they are with each other – it’s fun and flirty but they don’t let each other know everything about each other straight away. They both seem quite reluctant to share every detail of their lives and with their pasts becoming clear you can understand why. But they connection they seem to have is really heartwarming!

The setting is idyllic and I loved the characters introduced throughout – Lotties’ sister, her best friend, and her partners’ mother – all show different aspects to the stories running throughout and they aren’t all light and fluffy, and I think Lottie copes quite admirably with whatever is thrown at her – this is one of those books that shows exactly why you should never give up even when all seems bleak!

Read it in one sitting as I just enjoyed being in ‘Lottie world’ and I highly recommend this to anyone looking for inspiration, warmth and escapism

Thankyou to the publishers and NetGalley for the arc in return for a fair and honest review

HAPPY READING!!

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Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin – my book review

THE BLURB

Fall in love with the gorgeous seaside town of White Cliff Bay this summer and enjoy long sunny days, beautiful beaches and… a little romance.

Darcy Davenport is ready for a fresh start. Determined to leave a string of disastrous jobs and relationships behind her, she can’t wait to explore White Cliff Bay and meet the locals.

When Darcy swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she discovers the charming Rose Island Lighthouse. But it’s not just the beautiful building that she finds so intriguing…

Riley Eddison doesn’t want change. Desperate to escape the memories of his past, he lives a life of solitude in the lighthouse. Yet he can’t help but notice the gorgeous woman who swims out to his island one day.

Darcy is drawn to the mysterious and sexy Riley, but when it seems the town is trying to demolish his home, she soon finds herself having to pick sides.

She’s fallen in love with White Cliff Bay. But is that all Darcy’s fallen for?

Pull up a deck chair, sink back with a bowl of strawberry ice cream and pick up the summer read you won’t be able to put down

 
 
 
MY REVIEW
 
I loved Book 1 of the series.
 I loved Book 2 of the series
 
.. ….. and guess what!!
 
 I ADORE book 3 of the White Cliff Bay series! Loved, Loved, Loved it!!

Holly Martin has such a fabulous way of writing that I was hooked from the first couple of pages! She fills her books with characters that you immediately warm to, settings that you want to move to and sprinkles the right amount of humour amongst it all and creates another wonderful reading experience!!  The cover is rather stunning too!!

This is the story of Darcy who feels like a failure in whatever she does. Especially to her parents – nothing she ever does seems good enough for them. So when she leaves London to escape the rat race to take up a position in White Cliff Bay for the council, she knows she’s letting them down again. But for her it brings back all the wonderful memories she has of the place when she used to spend time with her Aunt there and learning to love Scuba Diving and the sea life which led to her career as a marine biologist.

Riley is an American who is living in the White Cliff Lighthouse, but that looks all set to change soon with the council planning big changes for the area. He keeps himself to himself as to not get involved with the local community, but still has the female population swooning in his prescence! But there’s something different about Darcy when he first meets her – and the feeling is mutual!

With the help of the community though a plan is put into place to try and save the Lighthouse and it is always wonderful to read of people power in such a small community.

 
It is fair to say  that this book won me over heart and soul again and I hope that if you visit The White Cliff Bay series then the same happens for you!!  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed! They can easily be read as standalone stories, but it is much nicer to get the full impact of the community via the series!

Another wonderful story from Holly and I am hoping there’ll be more from this wonderful setting in the near future as I’m always eager for more!!
 
 
HAPPY READING!!

The Forever House by Veronica Henry – my review

THE BLURB

The house of your dreams. But can this dream last forever?

Hunter’s Moon is the ultimate ‘forever’ house. Nestled by a river in the Peasebrook valley, it has been the Willoughbys’ home for over fifty years, and now estate agent Belinda Baxter is determined to find the perfect family to live there. But the sale of the house unlocks decades of family secrets – and brings Belinda face to face with her own troubled past.

A gorgeous escapist read for anyone needing a hug in a book – perfect for fans of Erica James, Lucy Diamond and Harriet Evans.

Amazon UK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veronica Henry was a television script writer before turning her hand to fiction. She has published sixteen novels which she describes as realistic escapism – her setting are gorgeous, but her characters have problems and dilemmas everyone can identify with.

www.veronicahenry.co.uk

MY REVIEW

Veronica Henry does it again! She has this amazing ability to write the books I NEED to read and fall hopelessly in love with the characters and the setting! In this case, the wonderful home is Hunter’s Moon, the home of the Willoughby clan for more than 50 years, but things could be about to change as the current owners are facing their own personal heartbreak and need to find a solution and fast!

Belinda is the estate agent brought in to handle the sale and she is a total romantic and will only take on properties that she loves! She’s had her heart broken in the past, both personally and house related, so understands their predicament and tries to do all she can to help the situation.

Alongside Belinda’s story, we also go back to 1967 and follow Sally as she makes her way in the world and finds her way to Hunters Moon where she starts work as their housekeeper to help keep Margot Willoughby, the famous author, and her household in check. She soon falls in love with more than just the home and you get to see why it has such a hold on people who visit there.

Belinda is a fascinating character due to the really tough times she has faced, and shows how she became so driven and work obsessed. When her past walks back in the door she is conflicted and has to relive some very tough memories. The Willoughby family soon become very dear to her heart and you are left hoping that they all get the happy ending that they all so richly deserve.

Loved this book and it was the perfect read on a hot, sunny afternoon! I just didn’t want it to end!!