Love Offline by Olivia Spring Book Birthday Blitz

I would like to wish a very happy book birthday to Olivia Spring’s entertaining romantic comedy Love Offline.

I read and reviewed it last year and you can view my blog post and my 5 star review here. Please do check out my review and the reviews of the other bloggers taking part in the #BookBirthdayBlitz!

Here is a little more information about the book:

Love Offline: Looking For Romance In Real Life

Emily’s Struggling To Find Romance Online. Will Ditching The Dating Apps Lead To True Love?

Online dating isn’t working for introvert Emily. Although she’s comfortable swiping right at home in her PJs, the idea of going out to meet a guy in person fills her with dread.

So when her best friend challenges her to ditch the apps, attend a load of awkward singles’ events and find love in real life, Emily wants to run for the hills.

Then she meets Josh. He’s handsome, kind and funny, but Emily’s had her heart crushed before and knows he’s hiding something…

Is Josh too good to be true? Can Emily learn to trust again and if she does, will it lead to love or more heartache?

Love Offline is a fun, sexy, entertaining story about friendship, stepping outside of your comfort zone and falling in love the old-fashioned way. Ideal for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Lindsey Kelk and Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare.

Purchase Links:



Love Offline is available to read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited. It is also available to read for FREE in Prime Reading until late November.

About the author:

Olivia Spring is a British, London-based writer of contemporary women’s fiction, sexy chick lit and romantic comedy. Her uplifting debut novel ‘The Middle-Aged Virgin’, which was released in July 2018, deals with being newly single in your thirties and beyond, dating, relationships, love, sex and living life to the full.

Olivia published three novels in 2019: ‘Only When It’s Love’, ‘Losing My Inhibitions’ and ‘Love Offline’. ‘The Middle-Aged Virgin in Italy’, the hotly anticipated sequel to ‘The Middle-Aged Virgin’ and Olivia’s fifth novel, was published in July 2020.

When she’s not writing, Olivia can be found making regular trips to Italy to indulge in pasta, pizza and gelato and of course, seeking inspiration for her next book!

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The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

Christmas is coming and best friends ChloeJules, and Lucy are needing change… so swapping homes for the holidays could be the perfect present for all of them!

Australian Chloe spends her Christmas in a sleepy village in Oxfordshire, England. She is totally star-struck when she discovers who lives across the road.

Lucy, who has jetted off to snowy Colorado for her dream-come-true white Christmas, is taken into the fold of Jules’s loud and brash family, discovering more about herself in a few short days than she has in years.

And Jules leaves the cold climes of Colorado to spend her Christmas on a beach with Chloe’s friends in Melbourne, finding that time away is just what she needed.

The only thing better than one Christmas romance is three, and this wonderful festive novel is perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Holly Martin and Karen Swan.

My Review:

I am a huge fan of Sandy Barker’s travel-based romances, but this standalone was seriously a cut above the others, was definitely my favourite of her books, and if I’m really honest, I NEED this to be turned into a movie! If you love the Christmas movie The Holiday, this book will tick every one of your travel, romance and Christmas boxes as well as embracing The Holiday vibes.

The story follows three friends who met in a kids holiday club in Hawaii when they were 11, and stayed friends into their 30s, who swap Christmases with one another. I loved the way the book jumped between the three women, although my head did spin trying to work out time differences, as we jumped between not only women, but continents! I loved Lucy’s storyline the best, but each story was lovely, and all three leading men, a snowboarder, a movie star and a winemaker were all really hot, as well as being genuinely lovely guys.

I loved seeing the different traditions between the three countries, the differences in food were really interesting, and the festive settings made me feel very Christmassy. Being from the UK, having lived for two years in the States and being married to someone who had lived in Australia too, I was familiar with some of the differences, although our Christmases spent in the US were basically British Christmases relocated. I enjoyed reading about the subtle differences. I wanted one of the hot chocolates served by Jules’ dad in the States so badly, and I may well add rum to my hot chocolates this Christmas!

This is a book focusing on friendships, and Sandy really knows how to create believable strong women in friendship groups. That’s not to say there weren’t a handful of ups and downs in their friendships, which I thought was realistic. I loved how each of the three women were immediately welcomed into their dream Christmas experience by the family and friends of the others. I really felt that I was transported to each of the locations, and loving each storyline, so much so that at the end of each part of a storyline I was immediately both frustrated and thrilled in equal parts because I wanted to continue on the one storyline, but also wanted to move straight to the other. This really made me not want to put the book down at all, and ironically given the publisher, I kept saying ‘just one more chapter’ as I read late into the night!

This book is pure Christmas escapism, and you get not one but THREE romances within this funny, romantic feel-good story so what more could you want? Buy this book, you won’t regret it!

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, One More Chapter, and Sandy Barker for my invitation to take part in this blog tour. Although the tour is almost at an end, it’s definitely worth checking out some of the other blog posts below:

Purchase links:,sandy-barker-9780008390044

About the author:

Sandy Barker is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list. She loves exploring new places, outdoor adventures, and eating and drinking like a local when she travels, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, film buff, wine lover and coffee snob.

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Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

Grab your cosiest jumper and escape to the beautiful Swallowtail Bay!

Christmas and romance are in the air and Nell is obsessed! She can’t stop watching her favourite Christmas romcoms and dreaming of the day when she meets her own romantic hero, especially as she is hosting the first ever wedding at her small hotel, Holly Lodge.

Nell’s best friend, Tom, has been in love with her ever since they met. But Nell has never seen him that way, and he’s always kept his feelings a secret in case it ruins their friendship.

After the opening of the glamorous Langdon Mansion Hotel in the bay, Nell’s hotel is struggling for survival and she must fight, with Tom’s help, to keep Holly Lodge open. Can the magic of Christmas help two old friends save Holly Lodge and open Nell’s eyes to a love that was always there the whole time?

Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay is the hilarious new romantic comedy from Katie Ginger, perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Veronica Henry and Holly Martin!

My Review:

Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay is the third book in the Swallowtail Bay series, and it is such a wonderfully festive read. Although the third in the series, it is a definite standalone, so don’t worry if you haven’t read the other two books in the series. Locations and people are mentioned from the other two books, but not in any depth that would affect your enjoyment of this perfectly Christmassy book. I have really enjoyed the location of the three books, so I was thrilled to be able to return to it.

Nell is such a beautiful character, with a love of RomComs that I really identified with. Her best friend Tom was so adorable, I must admit I felt wound up to start with that Nell couldn’t see what was right in front of her. Cat and Kieran their friends (and soon to be the stars of the first wedding held at Holly Lodge) were also really lovely additions to the story. I loved the stray cat Mr Scrooge, who found his home at the hotel, and I have to say my heart was in my mouth at the possibility that Mr Scrooge may have a home somewhere else, because he clearly belonged with Nell at the hotel.

I really enjoyed the time that Tom and Nell spent with Tom’s Grandad Nigel at the care home in Swallowtail Bay, and found the relationship between Tom and Nigel so heart-warming. The events held at Holly Lodge, and the trouble caused by the Langdon Mansion Hotel added depth to this story of yearned for love that is sometimes right where you least expect it.

I must confess I shed a tear or two at the perfect ending to this series of books, and I really will be sad to move on from Swallowtail Bay. Katie Ginger has effortlessly created a story of love out of the strongest of friendships, in the middle of a coastal Christmassy setting that has a beautiful wedding too. This will tick a lot of Christmas and romance vibes, scented by mulled wine, mince pies and open fires.

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, HQ Digital and Katie Ginger for the invitation to take part in this blog tour. Please check out the other stops on the tour! Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay is out now and available to purchase in e-book.

About the author:

KATIE GINGER lives by the sea in the south-east of England, and apart from holidays to very hot places where you can sit by a pool and drink cocktails as big as your head, she wouldn’t really want to be anywhere else. Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay is her sixth novel. She is also the author of Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay, Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay, Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage and the Seafront series – The Little Theatre on the Seafront, shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award, and Summer Season on the Seafront.

When she’s not writing, Katie spends her time with her husband and two kids, and their dogs: Wotsit, the King Charles spaniel, and Skips, the three-legged Romanian rescue dog. (And yes, they are both named after crisps!)

For more about Katie, you can visit her website:, find her on Facebook:, or follow her on Twitter: @KatieGAuthor

Purchase Links:

UK Amazon ebook:

US Amazon ebook:

The Winter We Met by Samantha Tonge – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

When charming, mysterious, Nik sits next to Jess on a plane home from a Christmas toy trade fair, she never could have imagined the impact he’d have on her life. As they touch down in London, Jess is hesitant to let Nik walk away, and before she knows it, she’s invited him to visit.

As the two take in the delights of the toy store where she works, Jess gets an upsetting phone call. Willow Court, her Grandmother’s care home, is to close before Christmas. With the help of Nik, and her best friend Oliver, Jess is determined to find the perfect new home for her Gran – and throw the best Christmas party Willow Court has ever seen! But time is running out and Oliver isn’t the only one who has suspicions about charismatic Nik’s intentions.

Will a chance encounter on an aeroplane bring love to Jess’s life or is this Christmas miracle too good to be true?

My Review:

This book will leave you feeling completely Christmassy! I found myself googling recipes for Eggnog Pie (it really is a thing!) and Christmassy cocktails by the end of it! The storyline does contain romance, but I would say that the primary focus of it was community and family, because the storyline centres around the care home that Jess’s Gran lives at, which is going to be closing before Christmas, but also on the meaning of family, and how families are not always a conventional creation.

The sense of community is strong, which was no surprise, because Samantha Tonge writes books that have a strong thread of community in them, which contributes towards making her fictional world both warm and idyllic.

I adored Jess, and her friends, the mysterious Nik, her best friend Oliver, and her co-worker Seb. My lips are firmly sealed on the romance within this story, there will be no spoilers from me, but it was exactly how I wanted it to be, and I can’t ask for any more than that in a romantic storyline!

The pensioners living in the care home were all lovely, and I particularly enjoyed Alf and his theories! I felt for them all, not only because they were having to find new places to live just before Christmas, but because the insensitive owners seemed intent on removing the things that made the home feel like home, before the residents had found new homes. A mention must be made about Buddy, the dog that Jess owns, who is as much a part of the community as the people.

The painted pebbles, to be placed on the top of the hill together was a lovely and poignant memorial of the friendships and love that had filled the care home, and add to that the ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ themed Christmas Party, it provided the perfect resolution to the story of the care home, and gave the residents a special moment before their new beginnings.

In festive terms, if you don’t feel filled with the spirit of Christmas by the end of this book, I’d be extremely surprised. I’m ready to start decorating, and baking now, as this wonderfully festive novel has got me in the mood for festive tunes, festive food and lots of snow. The Winter We Met by Samantha Tonge is published today by Aria, and the links are below.

Many thanks to Vicky Joss, Aria and Samantha Tonge for the invitation to take part in this blog tour. Please check out the rest of the tour below.

About the author:

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely. When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award.

Purchase Links:




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Coming Home to Penvennan Cove by Linn B. Halton – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

Can Kerra’s Cornish hometown offer the fresh start she needs?

When Kerra left the quiet Cornish town of Penvennan Cove for the bright lights of London she didn’t look back. But after the death of her mother, she’s decided it’s time to face her past and return to the place she called home. Her father needs her, and perhaps she needs him more than she’s willing to admit?

Tackling town gossip, home renovations and a flame from her past, it’s not quite smooth sailing for Kerra. Ross is the bad boy she was meant to forget, not a man who still sets her heart aflutter. As he helps bring her dream home to life, they begin to break down the barriers that have been holding them back and in the process learn things about themselves they never thought possible.

As friends old and new come together, the future in Penvennan looks bright.

Perfect for fans of Milly Johnson, Phillipa Ashley and Julie Houston.

My Review:

Although this is the first of Linn’s books that I have read, I have loved the books she has published under the pen name of Lucy Coleman, so I was excited about reading ‘Coming Home to Penvennan Cove’, and it really did not disappoint!

The book follows successful businesswoman Kerra Shaw, who sells her business in London and returns home to Cornwall, following the death of her mother. I loved the way she throws herself back into village life, and sets about turning her inherited cottage into her dream home. As someone who is partial to a little upcycling of furniture, and home improvements, I enjoyed the transformation of her home.

For a confident woman, being around her childhood crush, Ross, seems to reduce her to a nervous wreck, and it was so cute watching as the two of them faced up to the fact that they had both had crushes on one another and both still felt the same years later. I thought the mystery around the previous tenant of Kerra’s cottage was an exciting part of the story, which brought not only intrigue, but also a few tense moments for Kerra.

The other characters all added depth to the story, in particular her best friend Tegan, her former employee Sy, neighbour Drew and the adorable Bengal cat Ripley who completely stole the show! This book is the first in a series of books about this wonderful Cornish community.

It was a story about love, family and community spirit, and I found as the story continued that I felt emotionally connected to Penvennan Cove, and the people who lived there, and I cannot wait to return to this idyllic Cornish world that Linn has created.

Many thanks to Vicky Joss and Aria Fiction for the invitation to take part in this blog tour. Please check out the other stops on the blog tour, as listed below.

About the author:

From interior designer to author, when Linn B. Halton’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden. Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic. Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. Linn writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Twitter: @LinnBHalton

Facebook: @LinnBHaltonAuthor

Purchase links:



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The Winter Garden by Heidi Swain – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

Freya Fuller is estranged from her parents and has been following her childhood dream of becoming a gardener ever since. When an opportunity to design a winter garden opens up at a Victorian property in Nightingale Square, Freya jumps at the chance to make a fresh start. But while the majority of the residents are welcoming, local artist Finn seems determined to shut her out, and when Freya’s family make a surprise appearance, it seems that her new life is about to come crashing down . . .

The Winter Garden  is the perfect read this Christmas, promising snowfall, warm fires and breath-taking seasonal romance. Perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Cathy Bramley and Sarah Morgan.

My Review:

Heidi Swain is one of my favourite authors to read, in part because of her exceptional world-building, and all of her books are like a warm hug from a friend, and are particularly soothing in the current non-soothing and hug-free real world. I love the world that Heidi has created, with Wynbridge, Wynthorpe Hall, Wynmouth, and Nightingale Square all feeling very real to me. This book, like all of the other books, is a standalone that is woven seamlessly into the world of Nightingale Square, but with reference to other locations and characters in the wider world that Heidi has created. You really don’t need to have read the other Nightingale Square books (Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square, and Poppy’s Recipe For Life), but it might give you a more detailed understanding of some of the characters.

The Winter Garden is not a Christmassy novel per se because the focus is on the garden in Winter so it is more of a seasonal read, but it will definitely leave you feeling festive. The descriptions of the garden really came to life, and I could picture myself there with the visitors on the opening day of the Winter Garden. I also loved sensitive rescue dog Nell, who became as much a part of the Square as the other new characters.

I loved Freya, who moved from Suffolk with Nell after the death of her friend and beloved boss Eloise, and found herself working for Luke and Kate in the gardens of Prosperous Place, on Nightingale Square. As for her love interest, and the other main character in the story, Finn the sculptor who creates statues from recycled metal, I’m sorry Gabe (from Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland), I think I have a new book boyfriend now. Finn, a Viking-like addition to Nightingale Square, complete with long hair and the ability to braid hair beautifully, had me swooning from the start!

Another diverse romance within the Square felt very natural and inclusive, and was particularly heart-warming to read for a character that I loved. It is always lovely to see recurrent characters from other books, who may not be the focus of the book, but are practically old friends to the reader, it adds to the creation of a multi-dimensional world that feels completely connected.

This was such a wonderful feel good book that made me look forward to frosty mornings and hot chocolates. Many thanks to Simon & Schuster, and Heidi Swain for the invitation to take part in the blog tour. Please check out the other stops on the blog tour below.

Purchase link:

The Winter Garden by Heidi Swain was published by Simon and Schuster on 1st October 2020.

Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

Residential-home caterer Connie has had one online-dating disaster too many. Hurt in the past and with her son to consider, now she’s feeling hesitant. Then one of Connie’s residents sets her up on a date at a beautiful German Christmas market – with the promise she’ll take a mini-bus full of pensioners with her…

Amongst the twinkling lights and smell of warm gingerbread in the old market square, Connie heads off on her date with a check-list of potential partner must-haves. Baker Heinrich ticks all the boxes, but when Connie meets Heinrich’s rival William, she starts to wonder if ticking boxes is the answer.

Will Connie’s wish for love this Christmas come true, and if so – with who?

My Review:

I love the stories that Jo Thomas weaves, in part because love and life is always entwined with food, which is exactly how I love to live my own life! This story was so beautifully festive, and so vivid that I could practically smell the gingerbread from here. Truth be told, I did light a gingerbread scented candle, the book just made me feel so festive.

I’ve only visited Germany once, in a cold November for a very fast 36 hours while my daughter sat a Korean language exam, and while I was killing time I got to visit Heidelberg, and this book really transported me to a fictional world that made me think of that trip. Combining that memory with my memories of Christmas markets in the UK and further afield, and I just felt swept away by the festive spirit. This book was pure escapism, and I found myself completely torn between wanting to savour every moment as slowly as possible, and not wanting to put it down!

I loved the romance and Connie’s connection to both Heinrich and William, but I have to admit I was Team William from the moment they met! Although it could have been the lebkuchen and family recipe hot chocolate that did it for me!

The stars of the book were definitely the adorable pensioners from the residential care home that Connie delivered meals and her own home-made cakes to. I loved the way in which they all went in search of their individual Christmas memories, and found ways not only to celebrate Christmas, but also to celebrate friendship, love and life. There was so much humour when they were around, and the way in which they followed Connie around on her dates had me in stitches.

This was such a brilliant and completely Christmassy book for me that it was such an easy 5 stars for me. I seriously think this could possibly become one of my go-to Christmas books to re-read.

Please check out the rest of the blog tour! Many thanks to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours, Jo Thomas and Transworld Books for the invitation to take part in this blog tour!

Purchase Links:

Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas is published by Transworld Books, and is out now on e-book, and will be published in paperback on 29th October 2020.

One Winter’s Night by Kiley Dunbar – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

A gorgeously uplifting, romantic read that will warm your heart – take a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon, where magic happens…

It’s autumn in beautiful Stratford-Upon-Avon and Kelsey Anderson is enjoying her new life in her adopted town. Her Shakespearean tour guide days behind her, she’s now opened her own photography studio and loved up with boyfriend Jonathan – even if a long-distance relationship is sometimes lonely.

When best friend Mirren Imrie moves down from Scotland, Kelsey is delighted to have her friend at her side – and as the nights turn colder, Mirren throws herself into dating, until she finds herself growing closer to sexy journalist, Adrian Armadale. But when Mirren uncovers a long-buried scandal while working at the local newspaper, her big scoop might throw Kelsey’s – and Jonathan’s – life upside down. Will she choose her career over her friends’ happiness?

And when Jonathan returns from America and discovers the secrets Mirren has uncovered about his family, it throws his relationship with Kelsey onto shaky ground. Can they find their way back to love, before it becomes the winter of their discontent?

A romantic, funny and feelgood read that will make you smile from ear to ear. Fans of Milly Johnson, Heidi Swain and Holly Martin will fall in love with this cosy winter read!

My Review:

Before I read One Winter’s Night by Kiley Dunbar, I read One Summer’s Night, which I loved, so within seconds of putting one book down, I immediately picked up the second book, which is a continuation of Kelsey Anderson’s story. It really was rewarding to go straight from one book to the other, and I would definitely recommend you doing that, if you haven’t already had the pleasure of reading One Summer’s Night.

Although the story continues for Kelsey, I loved that we got to really get to know Mirren who we had seen in One Summer’s Night, and who moved down to stay with Kelsey until she had worked out what to do next with her life. I really connected with Mirren who was confused about who she was, in part because of the way she treated her ex-boyfriend Preston, but also in the way she had been treated by a sleazy co-worker and an oblivious boss, and from some of the most disastrous dates that she had after she had left Preston. When she arrived in Stratford determined to steer clear of romantic attachments, it was clear she was going to have trouble avoiding sexy Adrian, who like Mirren was a journalist. I had such a strong image of Adrian in my head, and I have to say I definitely found him to be perfect book boyfriend material!

With Norma living in Italy with her husband, I loved the introduction of Blythe into Kelsey’s life, a larger than life former stage actress who had an apartment full of career memorabilia, and a still in her kitchen where she made her own gin! I also loved reading about the way in which Kelsey developed her photography business.

One Winter’s Night was such a festive joy, especially the mad dash to Scotland on Christmas Eve, and it was such a lovely complement to One Summer’s Night. You don’t need to look far from Kiley Dunbar’s wonderful books for feel good romances filled with humour and lovely multi-dimensional characters.

Many thanks to Kiley Dunbar, Hera Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to take part in this blog tour. Please check out the other stops on the tour!

Purchasing links:




About the Author:

Hi, I’m Kiley Dunbar, author of heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places.

If you’re looking for travel adventures, swoony heroes, and dreamy escapism that will let you forget the world just for a wee while then I’m your author.

Take your pick from my first three novels:

Summer at the Highland Coral Beach (2020), the first in the Port Willow Bay Series, takes you on an impromptu crafting holiday in the Scottish Highlands and reminds us that after the storm comes the rainbow. Crafts, ceilidhs, coral bays and gentle recovery. (Part two coming September 2021 – both parts can be read alone)

Christmas at Frozen Falls (2019) will fly you to snowy, remote Finnish Lapland over Christmas where Sylvie Magnussen is getting a second chance at love with an old flame – sexy Stellan Virtanen – the one who got away – well, he ran away actually, and Sylvie never understood why. Hot kisses in a cold climate, Northern lights and a stunning resort setting. (Standalone novel)

One Summer’s Night (2019) whisks you away on a working staycation in beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon during a sultry heatwave summer. Kelsey Anderson, Shakespeare nerd and aspiring photographer, navigates her new life in a new town. A starting over story, handsome actors, backstage passes, and a whole lot of drama in the Heart of England. (Sequel coming September 2020 – both parts can be read alone)

One Summer’s Night by Kiley Dunbar – Book Review

About the book:

The path of true love never did run smooth…did it?

Kelsey Anderson is stuck in a rut so big, she’ll need a 4-wheel drive to get out. She’s just been made redundant from her dead-end job, and boyfriend Fran is so busy climbing up the career ladder that he’s forgotten how to have fun. She needs to change her life – and fast.

Stumbling across an advert for tour guides in Stratford-Upon-Avon seems like the perfect way to bring the sunshine back. In an impulsive move, she moves from her small Scottish village to Shakespeare’s birthplace, armed only with a suitcase and her battered copy of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Kelsey quickly falls in love with the place, her job as a tourist guide allowing her to explore every inch of the picture-perfect town, from cosy cafes to the picturesque banks of the river.

But it’s not just the town that captures her heart, as she finds herself torn between the actors Will and Jonathan who both vie for her affections.

But will beautiful Peony, the lead actress at the Oklahoma theatre company where Jonathan is playing Oberon in A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, play a role in keeping Kelsey and Jonathan apart?

Or will flirtatious, charming Will, the fellow tour guide who has set his sights on Kelsey, keep the star-crossed lovers from finding their happy ending?

A gorgeously uplifting, feel good romance that will captivate readers of Holly Martin, Cathy Bramley and Milly Johnson.

My Review:

In advance of reading One Winter’s Night, I felt that I needed to read One Summer’s Night, which is the first Kelsey Anderson book. Although you could read both books as standalones (particularly as Kiley gives you a brief synopsis of the first book at the start of the second), I really do recommend that you read them in order.

I was drawn to these books, in part because I worked in Stratford Upon Avon years ago, when I lived nearby, and I adore Shakespeare, and his plays, and the theatres in Stratford were very important to me when I was growing up, I even saw John Thaw in Henry VIII in 1983, playing Cardinal Wolsey! Although several of the locations in the book are fictional, they completely captured the essence of Stratford Upon Avon, and really made me feel like I was there again.

Kelsey was such a beautiful character, finding herself in a position that needed a dramatic change of life direction, and moving hundreds of miles from home to indulge in her love of all things Shakespeare was a daunting but perfect move for her. I absolutely adored Norma who ran the tour company and burst into Kelsey’s life like a magical red and purple fairy godmother sprinkling fairy dust into her life! The meet-cute between Kelsey and Jonathan was just perfect, and the perfect addition to the romantic comedy.

This was a wonderful debut novel, and it left me wanting more from Kelsey and her friends, which was perfect as I immediately picked up One Winter’s Night, and will be on the blog tour for that tomorrow!

If I Could Say Goodbye by Emma Cooper – Book Review

About the book:

A heart-warming and uplifting story about love, loss and finding the strength to say goodbye, from the author of The First Time I Saw You.

Jennifer Jones’ life began when her little sister, Kerry, was born. So when her sister dies in a tragic accident, nothing seems to make sense any more.

Despite the support of her husband, Ed, and their wonderful children, Jen can’t comprehend why she is still here, while bright, spirited Kerry is not.

When Jen starts to lose herself in her memories of Kerry, she doesn’t realise that the closer she feels to Kerry, the further she gets from her family.

Jen was never able to say goodbye to her sister. But what if she could?

Would you risk everything if you had the chance to say goodbye?

My Review:

When I received this book from Headline I was so excited. Emma’s previous novel, The First Time I Saw You was emotional and one of my favourite books of the winter months, so I must admit I prepared myself to have my heartstrings firmly tugged by this book. It’s probably no secret to people who read my blog that I am a crier, I cry at the slightest thing in books particularly when I become completely involved in the story. This book, If I Could Say Goodbye, ticked my cry box, and boy did I cry! I had carried this book around for a few days, but did not pick it up to read until about 4:30am this morning, and everything stopped, I couldn’t put it down, and even needed my husband to make lunch because I just could not stop reading! Him working from home since the start of lockdown really does have some benefits!

This book follows the story of Jen and her husband Ed following the death of Jen’s younger sister Kerry. Jen is wracked with survivors guilt, and it takes her further and further from her devoted husband Ed, and their two children Hailey and Oscar. The story alternates between Jen and Ed and you get a multi-dimensional view of both of their thoughts in the situations that take place, but you also get a strong impression of what an impact Jen’s grief has on her young children. I really felt for both Hailey and Oscar, who were affected in different ways as their mother took a step back from them while she was lost in her memories of her sister Kerry. Ed was such a beautiful character, and was so supportive and understanding. I also adored that he turned to YouTube to find out how to braid his daughter’s hair!

This book was so powerful, and poignant, but although the loss and grief experienced was almost painful to read, there were humorous moments that brought a light to the darkness of the prose. It was such a beautifully written book by Emma Cooper, filled with effortless and almost poetic prose in such an emotive setting.

Purchase link:

If I Could Say Goodbye by Emma Cooper was published today by Headline Review.

About the author:

Emma Cooper is a former teaching assistant, who lives in Shropshire, with her partner and four children. Her spare time consists of writing novels, drinking wine and watching box-sets with her partner of twenty-four years, who still makes her smile every day.

Her debut, The Songs of Us was snapped up in multiple pre-empts and auctions and is now being translated into seven different languages.

Emma has always wanted to be a writer – ever since her childhood, she’s been inventing characters (her favourite being her imaginary friend ‘Boot’) and is thrilled that she now gets to use this imagination to bring to life all of her creations.

The Songs of Us was inspired by Emma’s love of music and her ability to almost always embarrass herself, and her children, in the most mundane of situations. She was so fascinated by the idea of combining the two, that she began to write Melody’s story. Working full-time with a large family meant that Emma had to steal snippets of ‘spare’ time from her already chaotic and disorganised life; the majority of her novel was written during her lunchtime in a tiny school office. She never expected to fall so deeply in love with the King family and is overwhelmed that others feel the same.

She has three loves in life: reading, writing and her family…oh, and music, cheese, pizza, films – Maths is not one of her talents.

Emma keeps in touch with her readers and loves to hear from them on twitter @ItsEmmacooper and on her website