#BlogTour Christmas at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green #bookreview @rararesources

Hugely excited to be able to share my thoughts on CHRISTMAS AT THE LITTLE DUCK POND CAFE by Rosie Green today as part of this fabulous Blog Tour. My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for letting me be part of it all!

Christmas at The Little Duck Pond Cafe

Fen has always hated being the centre of attention. She loves her new job, working behind the scenes at the Little Duck Pond Cafe and baking the scrumptious cakes that have helped its reputation soar. But frankly, she’d rather scrub the public toilet floor with a toothbrush than have to come out and talk to the customers. She’s always been happy to stay in the background as long as she has a good supply of books to escape into. That’s her kind of romance – the fictional sort where she can read about other people taking a chance on love, but she doesn’t have to risk her own heart. But that was before Ethan Fox arrived in the village and turned her world upside down. Ethan is a leading light in the local amateur dramatics theatre company and Fen knows he’s way out of her league. But when the popular village Christmas pantomime hits a crisis, Fen and Ethan find themselves thrown together. Can Fen overcome her shyness and find the courage to step on stage and save the day?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About the Author

Rosie Green has been scribbling stories ever since she was little. Back then they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’. Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all, unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Rosie’s brand new series of novellas is centred on life in a village café. The first two stories in the series are: Spring at The Little Duck Pond Cafe and Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café.

Author on Twitter

MY REVIEW

A welcome return to the wonderful setting of The Little Duck Pond Cafe, and this novella features Fen who is a much quieter member of the team. Always happy to be in the background but always smiling and happy to help people when needed! She’s at her happiest when she’s alone with a book and dreaming of Mr Darcy sweeping her off her feet! Just a shame that the real world doesn’t work out like that too often!

Her shyness never really bothers her but she starts to feel in a rut and wants to get out of her comfort zone a little, and when the dreamy Ethan invites her to join the local Am Dram group, maybe this is her chance to shine and get that romance book relationship she’s always dreamt of! The more she starts to join in with things, the more she comes out of her shell and believes in herself a little bit more. She is good enough to achieve what she wants and maybe that means she gets the guy too!

It was lovely being back in this world and nice to be able to catch up with some of the other much loved characters too from previous books. She’s always a good friend to those around her, and Ellie is in real need of a friend at the moment as her life is about to be rocked.

The only problem Fen finds is that reality doesn’t always live up to the fantasy so she begins to wonder if she made the right choice of getting involved with things.

I always read this series with a huge smile on my face! The characters have become friends as we follow them on their journeys and this story flew by and I can’t wait for another installment – hopefully soon!!

🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

#bookreview A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor #bookblogger

About the book

An unforgettable picture of love, loss and the keeping up of appearances. Published as part of a beautifully designed series to mark the 40th anniversary of the Virago Modern Classics.

In the faded coastal village of Newby, everyone looks out for – and in on – each other, and beneath the deceptively sleepy exterior, passions run high. Beautiful divorcee Tory is painfully involved with her neighbour, Robert, while his wife Beth, Tory’s best friend, is consumed by the worlds she creates in her novels, oblivious to the relationship developing next door. Their daughter Prudence is aware, however, and is appalled by the treachery she observes. Mrs Bracey, an invalid whose grasp on life is slipping, forever peers from her window, constantly prodding her daughters for news of the outside world. And Lily Wilson, a lonely young widow, is frightened of her own home. Into their lives steps Bertram, a retired naval officer with the unfortunate capacity to inflict lasting damage while trying to do good.

Published by  Virago Press

Purchase Links

hive.co.uk

Book Depository

waterstones

MY REVIEW

This was the October choice for the Elizabeth Taylor Reading Project – a group I belong to on GoodReads.

To be fair, I was a little overwhelmed when first reading this as the number of characters introduced in this little community was a little confusing and I often found myself turning back the pages to try and work out who was who again, but once I had a clear picture in my mind of the relationships and characteristics, I found this to be a slow but really engaging book that follows a variety of characters, not all pleasant, in a sleepy village. But their antics are far from sleepy and were an insightful look at the behaviour of people, friends and acquaintances, and how we treat people of different ages.

There isn’t much that happens throughout the book, but that is where the author works her magic as you begin to understand the characters, and the way she picks up little quirks in their ways, and how often things are happening right under your nose which makes it too difficult to see. Or maybe you do see it and you just don’t want to believe it?

At times the treatment of some characters felt quite harsh in how they were being treated by others, but by the end it became quite touching in how a community rallied round those in need, as well as the touches of humour throughout that really light up the story. 

 Very glad I got to read it – and the cover is a stunner too!

                                                                       🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊

#TopTenTuesday The Longest Books I’ve Read #bookblogger

Another fabulous topic today for Top Ten Tuesday and that is the longest books you’ve ever read!  I love this choice from ThatArtsyReaderGirl who started the Top Ten Tuesday fun – please check out her site for upcoming topics!

So I’ve just headed back to GoodReads to sort through the stats and it has made for some interesting reading as I discover those big chunksters of books that I’ve picked up over the years!  Here’s a look!

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio  – 909 pages

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer  756 pages

Hiding From The Light by Barbara Erskine  – 736 pages

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown  – 736 pages

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova   –  704 pages

The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy  – 704 pages

The Assassination of Marilyn Monroe by Donald H.Wolfe – 660 pages

Tara Road by Maeve Binchy  – 648 pages

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton  – 648 pages

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer  – 629 pages

📚📚📚📚📚

#BookReview The Christmas Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke

About the book

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the café at Seashell Cove, where there’s hot chocolate to keep you warm – and the man of your dreams could be waiting…

Interior designer Tilly Campbell loves being carefree and single. But her latest job is redecorating the cosy local café for a Christmas party, and when her friends confess their plans for the big night – including a proposal, a declaration of love and a pregnancy announcement – Tilly starts to wonder if she might be missing out…

Transforming the café into a winter wonderland is more of a challenge than she thought, so when she bumps into gorgeous newcomer Seth, Tilly welcomes the distraction. Seth is a single father, struggling to settle his son Jack into their new cottage, and Tilly is determined to help them make their house into a home in time for Christmas.

But with the café still in chaos just days before the party it looks like it’s going to be a Christmas to remember for all the wrong reasons… With friends old and new relying on her, can Tilly save the Christmas party?

And could she finally find love waiting for her under the mistletoe? 

Published by Bookouture

Purchase Link

Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

Another fabulous installment of the Seashell Cove book series and perfect for getting you in the Christmas mood – whatever time of year you read it!

This book tells the story of Tilly – working at the Cafe as an interior designer, she is a people pleaser and always seems to be thinking of others before herself. She’s recently started going out with Rufus, but isn’t too keen on the socialising aspect of being a girlfriend and this causes a few problems for Rufus who wants her to join him at his brothers wedding. She’s much happier concentrating on work and also turns out to be a bit of a hero when she rescues a young boy from the bay who she spots in trouble one day. His father, Seth, is extremely grateful and has only recently moved to the area and they begin a really sweet friendship – and he needs friends at the moment as he’s dealing with a very overbearing mother who wants custody of his young son.

Seth hopes that Tilly will help him out with the revamp of his coastal home, but his mother has other ideas and somehow Tilly ends up pretending to be his sons’ new nanny to help out and Tilly and Jack also form a really sweet bond! Ooh and not forgetting Digby the dog!

I loved all the characters in this one – Tilly and Seth have both had some tough issues to deal with over the years and you can see how it affects the way that they are! There’s lots of humorous moments throughout along with characters growing up in front of your eyes as they finally get to see their worth, and find themselves doing what they enjoy despite criticism from others. It’s amazing what can be achieved when you put yourself first!

A really enjoyable treat of a  read!!

                                                                 🎄🎅🎄🎅🎄

my bookish weekly wrap up – week 39 2018

Hello! Hoppy Saturday to you all! Bunny and I managed to get in the garden for a little while this morning to start some bulb planting! Why does he never dig holes when I need him to?! Peeing down with rain out there now though so safely snuggled on the sofa to share my bookish week with you all!

Hope yours has been a good week?! Quite restrained here on the reading and hauling front! Managed to finish 4 lovely books this week, 3 books made new homes with me and just 1 newbie from NetGalley! I’m rather proud of myself haha! Ooh and GoodReads informed me this week that I’ve  read 200 books so far in 2018! I was a little shocked but very happy! And even with reading that amount you’d think my bookshelves would be emptying out a little….. wrong! oops!

Here’s a look back on  my week – click on the title for a link to the GoodReads pages!

BOOKS FINISHED

Melmoth by Sarah Perry  – 5 stars

Loved it!! As soon as my signed copy arrived from Waterstones I just had to read it and didn’t put it down until I’d finished!

The Paris Secret by Lily Graham  – 4 stars

a fabulous read full of history, secrets and romance 

The Light in the Dark by Horatio Clare – 4 stars

A fascinating look at winter and how it affected the author. Beautifully written. Will be reviewing in full on the Blog Tour at the end of the month! 

A Little Christmas Charm by Kathryn Freeman – 4 stars

The Christmas reading has begun!! And this was a sweet romance to start it off for me!

BOOKHAUL

The Shape of Us by Drew Davies – netgalley/bookouture

In a city of 8.8 million people, you’d be surprised. Surprised at how many times your path crosses with that stranger you spotted on the other side of the street. Surprised at how lonely living in a busy city can feel. Surprised that falling in love – against all the odds – is just about possible.

One day in London…

Daisy is rushing to work when a stranger on a bicycle almost knocks her over – and then asks for her number.

JoJo, a wife in her sixties, is trying desperately to win her beloved husband back from his mistress.

Adam has recently lost his job and lies to his housemate about where he goes every day.

Dylan, a teenage boy, lives with an illness which means he can’t leave his bedroom – but which hasn’t stopped him falling in love.

These four total strangers – whose paths cross in the charming and crazy city of London – have one thing in common. They’re all looking for love and they’re totally hopeless at it. But that’s about to change. 

Frogkisser by Garth Nix –  spotted this in the library sale for 50p!

‘Wise and wondrous’ – Holly Black
 
Garth Nix is on hilarious form as he spins his very own fairy tale, featuring Princess Anya, who, with her loyal dog, must embark on a terribly important (capital Q) Quest to acquire the ingredients for a reversal lip balm, the vital item needed to change a frog back to a prince . . . oh, and save her kingdom from her villainous step(step)father. 

Something of his Art by Horatio Clare

Very grateful to Little Toller for sending me this copy to review.

CURRENTLY READING

Where the What Ifs roam and the moon is Louis Armstrong by Esther Krivda

A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor 

☔☔☔☔☔

What has been filling your reading time up this week? The perfect weather for reading now this afternoon so I’m off to get a few more pages read!

happy reading!!

#BookReview The Paris Secret by Lily Graham #Publicationday @bookouture

About the book

On the brink of the second world war, a beautiful Parisian bookshop hides a heartbreaking secret that will tear one family apart forever …

The last time Valerie was in Paris, she was three-years-old, running from the Nazis, away from the only home she had ever known.
Now as a young woman, Valerie must return to Paris, to the bookshop and her only surviving relative, her grandfather Vincent, to find out what really happened to those she loved. As she gets to know Vincent again, she hears a tragic story of Nazi occupied Paris, a doomed love affair and a mother willing to sacrifice everything for her beloved daughter.
Can Valerie and Vincent help each other to mend the wounds of the past? Valerie isn’t after a fairy-tale ending, she only wants the truth. But what is the one devastating secret that Vincent is determined to keep from his granddaughter?

Published by Bookouture

Publication Date – 4th October 2018

Purchase Link

Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

If you love a book set in Paris, based around a bookshop and featuring heartbreaking tales of family secrets then this is the book for you!

I loved the way it was told as we look back over certain points in time that were so important to the family, and that mixed with the relationships that were being formed were such a captivating mix that really added to the story.

A chance meeting on a train pairs the elderly Valerie with Annie, who strike up a conversation and Valerie gets to share her amazing story of her life as she prepares to go back to Paris where she considers home. She has led an extraordinary life so Annie is only too willing to listen.

Her past coincided with the war and she was separated from her family and sent to live with a distant relative, and she always felt like she never knew the truth of why her supposed loving family were quick to ‘get rid of her’. So in the 1960’s she travels to France to work in a Paris bookshop to get answers – but this is a very special bookshop as it is where her family lived and still do.

I loved the way how Valerie quickly settled into life in Paris and how she was so careful to keep things close to her chest whilst trying to get information from those who were around at the time of the War. When Vincent, the bookshop owner, and Madame Joubert start telling her of what exactly happened during the war when the Germans invaded Paris, you could sense the fear that they lived with but had to keep trying to live their lives as normally as possible. It must have been a truly terrifying time and there were many horrific incidents that her family had to deal with, and that helps give Valerie a true sense of the people she knew very little about. She got to hear about what her mother had to go through, along with other members of her family which really changed her perception of the people she had thought about in her mind.

I found this to be a beautifully written book. The changing timelines really worked well in setting out the family history and creating such a beguiling story. I struggled to put it down at times as I just wanted to know more and could easily have carried on reading more of this captivating story!

my thanks to the publisher and netgalley for the advanced reading copy in return for a fair and honest review.

❦❦❦❦❦

#BookReview Melmoth by Sarah Perry #fivestarreads

about the book

For centuries, the mysterious dark-robed figure has roamed the globe, searching for those whose complicity and cowardice have fed into the rapids of history’s darkest waters—and now, in Sarah Perry’s breathtaking follow-up to The Essex Serpent, it is heading in our direction.

It has been years since Helen Franklin left England. In Prague, working as a translator, she has found a home of sorts—or, at least, refuge. That changes when her friend Karel discovers a mysterious letter in the library, a strange confession and a curious warning that speaks of Melmoth the Witness, a dark legend found in obscure fairy tales and antique village lore. As such superstition has it, Melmoth travels through the ages, dooming those she persuades to join her to a damnation of timeless, itinerant solitude. To Helen it all seems the stuff of unenlightened fantasy.

But, unaware, as she wanders the cobblestone streets Helen is being watched. And then Karel disappears. . . .

Published by Serpents Tail

Purchase links

hive.co.uk  £12.29

waterstones – signed edition  £14.99

book depository  £11.04

MY REVIEW

Wow!! Since loving The Essex Serpent, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of Melmoth, so the moment I got my hands on a copy I just had to start reading it and it has exceeded my expectations!! In some ways I found it more captivating at times than TES, as it’s a much less complex tale and just allows the reader to focus on the legend of Melmoth through a series of documents, and from those who are going through their own dark times.

Do you ever have that feeling that you’re being watched? Well if you don’t, you will do after reading this book! I will never look at an empty chair left in a random place the same again, and if I smell the scent of lilies out of nowhere ….. eeekk!!

Set in Prague, we follow the story of Helen Franklin. Something is haunting her and she seems to live each day to punish herself for whatever happened in the past. She lives a very basic life, often denying herself food,avoiding social contact, has very few possessions and doesn’t even like to hear music. No matter what is around her, she seems to find the world a very ugly place. Her childhood was quite regimented, parents didn’t like to draw attention to themselves and she always had that feeling that she was being watched, even though there was never anyone there.

Her time in Prague had led her to become friends with Karel who she met in a cafe, and when he insists she reads some documents he found she just can’t understand his complete obsession with the character of ‘Melmoth’ that he has read so much about. It almost drives him to insanity – the more she starts to read, the more she begins to understand the pull of this dark creature that has been around for so many centuries.

Melmoth is said to hide alone in the shadows, ready to search out those who are most distressed and wicked, and through the documents found we get to see a number of stories of people and their connection with Melmoth. The dark times that drove Melmoth to seek them out and the legend that followed her around through stories told to children.

This book is told in 3 parts and each part has the perfect level of story building. Your interest is engaged throughout as new facts are drip fed to you of the past, alongside Helen and her struggles to free herself from the past that just won’t let her go. When she goes to dinner with her neighbour and 2 friends, their confessions of sins is a staggering read and beautifully told. It explores the overwhelming wickedness of humanity in an astonishing way. The story of Josef was definitely the most revealing and horrifyingly captivating – why do people do the things they do? What’s the right thing to do as a human when you’re faced with stark choices and a conflicted mind?

I was completely mesmerized by the whole story and it is definitely one of my favourite books of 2018. Go read it!!!

                                                                    ❤❤❤❤❤

My October TBR! #bookblogger

Time to get myself organised again!! How on earth we’ve got to October already this year is beyond me, but it’s been such a wonderful bookish year so far and I’m hoping the last 3 months will carry on in the same vein.  And if the piles of books surrounding me are anything to go by, then I need to keep the pace up!  Up to now I, so GoodReads tells me!, have managed to read 197 books so far this year which has gone way beyond the target I set myself! It’s amazing how much you can get read when there’s not much to watch on TV and you do your best to stay offline! Although being online to browse books and blogs is actively encouraged!

So with a few more challenges to complete left for the year, alongside book club reads and blog tour books, here’s a look at the books I’m hoping to pick up over the next month!

👻👻👻

A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor

 – the latest pick for the Elizabeth Taylor Reading Project

The Light in the Dark by Horatio Clare

Ahead of the Blog Tour

Where the What Ifs roam and the moon is Louis Armstrong by Esther Krivda

Another blog tour read! And it’s over 650 pages long!

The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements

Hoping to read more spooky books for the RIPXIII challenge!

The Puppet Show by M.W.Craven

Another spooky read for October!

My Netgalley shelf also needs some ‘attention’ this month so hoping to get through a few of these! That includes some ‘Christmas’ reads too! Hope I’m feeling festive by then!!

The Paris Secret by Lily Graham

The Warning by Kathryn Croft

A Gift from the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

The Christmas Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke

A Christmas Secret by Kirsty Ferry

👻👻👻

So I’ve got Halloween and Christmas covered for the month ahead! Have you read any of these?! Is your October TBR list spooky or festive too?!  I’m sure a few other books will be finding their way on to the list throughout the month  – let’s hope the reading slump vibe doesn’t hit!

HAPPY READING!!