On Hampstead Heath by Marika Cobbold – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

Thorn Marsh was raised in a house of whispers, of meaningful glances and half- finished sentences. Now she’s a journalist with a passion for truth, more devoted to her work at the London Journal than she ever was to her ex-husband.

When the newspaper is bought by media giant The Goring Group, who value sales figures over fact-checking, Thorn openly questions their methods, and promptly finds herself moved from the news desk to the midweek supplement, reporting heart-warming stories for their new segment, The Bright Side, a job to which she is spectacularly unsuited.

On a final warning and with no heart-warming news in sight, a desperate Thorn fabricates a good-news story of her own. The story, centred on an angelic apparition on Hampstead Heath, goes viral. Caught between her principles and her ambitions, Thorn goes in search of the truth behind her creation, only to find the answers locked away in the unconscious mind of a stranger.

Marika Cobbold returns with her eighth novel, On Hampstead Heath. Sharp, poignant, and infused with dark humour, On Hampstead Heath is an homage to storytelling and to truth; to the tales we tell ourselves, and the stories that save us.

My review:

I had never read anything by Marika Cobbold before, but I will definitely be seeking out her earlier work. I loved the humour within the pages of this wonderful book, it had so much depth, from lighter funny moments to seriously dark humour that had me laughing out loud so many times.

On Hampstead Heath touched me in ways that I honestly could not have anticipated. It possesses a gentleness that I find exceptional and rare in literary fiction. It is a novel that is so gentle, but at the same time it really packs a punch!

This novel considers the impact of social media and ‘going viral’ on actual journalism. Thorn considers herself to be a serious journalist who keeps her finger on the pulse of cutting edge news, but when she finds herself effectively demoted to providing heart-warming fluff pieces of good news, she ends up (with the help of some alcohol) fabricating a story with dire consequences when her submission goes viral.

I adored Thorn and her complexities. She is instantly thrown into an out of control whirlwind where her one silly fabrication ends up snowballing with hilarious consequences. I loved that she retained such a strong friendship with her ex-husband, and found it really refreshing, and the complete antithesis of my own experiences.

I found the humour to be beautifully constructed layers of the most subtle kinds of humour from light-hearted witticisms to darkly sarcastic barbs.

I honestly don’t think I could have loved On Hampstead Heath more than I did, and I know that by the end of the year I will still consider it to be one of the finest pieces of literature that I have read this year.

Marika Cobbold’s delightful novel On Hampstead Heath provides an extremely humorous and poignant snapshot of the highs and lows of social media and the prevalence and impact of ‘fake news’.

Many thanks to Amber Choudhary, Georgina Moore, Midas PR, Arcadia Books and Marika Cobbold for the proof of On Hampstead Heath and the invitation to take part in the blog tour. Please check out the other stops on the blog tour below.

About the author:

Marika Cobbold was born with newspaper ink flowing through her veins. She used to visit her father and grandfather at their offices at the Gothenburg-Post, the Swedish broadsheet her grandfather had rescued from oblivion decades earlier. At hone, when Marika wasn’t reading, she listened as the grown-ups around her discussed the issues of the day, and to the stories told by her mother and great aunt, who was a writer.

She left Sweden for England when she was nineteen, with vague plans of studying law, but eventually what her grandfather called ‘the family curse’ caught up with her, and some years later she wrote her first novel, Guppies For Tea. She has been writing ever since.

Purchase links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1911350927/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_YG8PYH7Q041C7MHTB9RQ

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/on-hampstead-heath/marika-cobbold/9781911350927

Backstories by Simon Van der Velde – Competition

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to read and review the incredible compilation of ‘Backstories’ by Simon Van der Velde, which you can read here.

Over on Simon Van der Velde’s website, he is running an exciting competition where three lucky entrants can win a signed copy of Backstories, together with a chocolate treat! Can you work it out?

You can find full details on the PDF linked below, and it has a direct link to the competition.

Remember that the closing date for the competition is 11:59pm on 24th April 2021. Good luck taking part!

Purchase link:

Just in case this has made you want to buy Backstories, here is a link for you: http://bit.ly/Amazon-Backstories

Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage by Samantha Tonge – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

A new start can come from the most unexpected places…

It’s been years since Lizzie Lockhart spoke to her parents. But she was safe in the knowledge she knew everything about them. Once upon a time, they were as close as could be. Until they weren’t.

After receiving the earth-shattering news of their passing, Lizzie decides it’s time to unearth some family secrets and find out just who her parents really were… starting with Streamside Cottage. A cottage Lizzie never knew existed, in a place she’s never heard of: the beautiful English village of Leafton.

Leaving behind London, and the tattoo parlour she called home, Lizzie finds herself moving to the countryside. Faced with a tight-lipped community, who have secrets of their own, Lizzie is at a loss for what to do, until her rather handsome neighbour, Ben, steps in to help.

As Lizzie finally begins to piece together the puzzle of her family history she realises she has to confront the truth of the past in order to face her future.

My review:

I found ‘Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage’ a wonderful addition to Samantha Tonge’s books. I loved that the main character Lizzie was a tattoo artist. I have a few tattoos myself and I’m constantly considering a few more, and the only person I trust with my skin is a close female friend who is an incredibly talented tattoo artist. I also really enjoyed the inclusion of a fact about tattoos at the start of each chapter.

I love secrets and I found the secrets in this novel were fascinating. I really thought I had it figured out but I was so wrong! Families can be so complex, and the secrets that bound Lizzie’s family were difficult. Being estranged from her over-protective parents before they died shaped the person that Lizzie was. It wasn’t initially clear what had caused the estrangement but this became clearer as the story progressed.

I thought the fictional location of Leafton sounded wonderful and I adored the community vibe. I thought the villagers were all lovely, particularly Ben and Jill. I also loved the romance, and the way it brought cohesion to the storyline.

I found it an intricately woven story that absolutely captured my heart, and made Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage my favourite Samantha Tonge book.

Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage is available in eBook from today, 15th April 2021, and the paperback will be published on 8th July 2021.

Many thanks to Vicky Joss, Aria and Samantha Tonge for my invitation to take part in this blog tour. Please head over to the other stops on the tour below.

Purchase links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/31Uuyd2

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3msO5KM

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3dCuQdU

Bookshop.org: https://bit.ly/3fPAzjm

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 HQ Digital 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.

Follow the author:

Facebook: @SamanthaTongeAuthor

Twitter: @SamTongeWriter

Instagram: @samanthatongeauthor

Follow Aria:

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

Chasing the Italian Dream by Jo Thomas – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

A summer escape she’ll never forget . . .

Lucia has worked hard as a lawyer in Wales, aiming for a big promotion she hopes will
shortly come her way. Finally taking a well-earned break at her grandparents’ house in
southern Italy, the sunshine, lemon trees and her nonna’s mouth-watering cooking
make her instantly feel at home.

But she’s shocked to learn that her grandfather is retiring from the beloved family
pizzeria and will need to sell. Lucia can’t bear the thought of the place changing hands –
especially when she discovers her not-quite-ex-husband Giacomo wants to take it over!

Then bad news from home forces Lucia to re-evaluate what she wants from life. Is this
her chance to carry on the family tradition and finally follow her dreams?

My review:

One thing that you will learn if you follow Jo Thomas on social media is that she loves food and loves to write about it. Chasing the Italian Dream is the literary foodies absolute dream, but don’t read it on an empty stomach, because it will definitely make your tummy rumble!

This book was seriously mouth-watering perfection. As soon as Lucia arrived in Italy to visit her Nonno and Nonna, it was a complete sensory explosion, thanks to the stunning descriptions. It was so wonderful, but I really must warn you, you WILL want Italian food while reading this.

When Lucia’s Nonno decides it is time to retire from his pizzeria, Lucia decides she wants to take over. Unfortunately in this small town in Southern Italy, ,women can’t make pizzas because it is considered to be a job only for men. When she realises that her Nonno intends to hand over the business to her estranged husband Giacomo, she asks her grandfather to give her a chance to prove herself.

What follows is Lucia and Giac competing in the weeks before the town’s Bocce (a game similar to boules) festival. The only prerequisite that Nonno sets is that the town cannot find out that Lucia is cooking some of the pizzas.

All of the female protagonists in this book were completely inspirational, and as for the ‘Nonna network’, it made me wish I was there, joining forces with all of these incredible women.

In the days were armchair travel is pretty much all we can do, this was the perfect escapism, making me wish I was eating pizza under the Italian sun. I swear I gained weight just reading this book! I love books that combine escapism/armchair travel with local food because when I think about the places that I have travelled to, without fail I think of a memorable meal I ate while I was there. In addition, I also adored the second chance at love that Lucia and Giacomo were given.

Lucia may have been ‘Chasing the Italian Dream’, but Jo Thomas managed to whisk us away with her!

Many thanks to Anne Cater, Random Things Tours, Transworld and Jo Thomas for my invitation to take part in the blog tour. Please check out the other stops on the tour below. I’m off to go and make some pizza dough now!

Purchase link:

About the author:

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC
Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Radio 2’s The Steve
Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel,
The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014
RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award.
Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.

The German Heiress by Anika Scott – Book Review

About the book:

For readers of The Alice Network and The Lost Girls of Paris, an immersive, heart-pounding debut about a German heiress on the run in post-World War II Germany.

Clara Falkenberg, once Germany’s most eligible and lauded heiress, earned the nickname “the Iron Fräulein” during World War II for her role operating her family’s ironworks empire. It’s been nearly two years since the war ended and she’s left with nothing but a false identification card and a series of burning questions about her family’s past. With nowhere else to run to, she decides to return home and take refuge with her dear friend, Elisa.

Narrowly escaping a near-disastrous interrogation by a British officer who’s hell-bent on arresting her for war crimes, she arrives home to discover the city in ruins, and Elisa missing. As Clara begins tracking down Elisa, she encounters Jakob, a charismatic young man working on the black market, who, for his own reasons, is also searching for Elisa. Clara and Jakob soon discover how they might help each other—if only they can stay ahead of the officer determined to make Clara answer for her actions during the war.

Propulsive, meticulously researched, and action-fueled, The German Heiress is a mesmerizing page-turner that questions the meaning of justice and morality, deftly shining the spotlight on the often-overlooked perspective of Germans who were caught in the crossfire of the Nazi regime and had nowhere to turn.

My review:

I found The German Heiress by Anika Scott such a thought-provoking, suspense-filled story looking at post World War II Germany and the after-effects of the war, which had far reaching consequences for all Germans.

This was a Germany I recognised from the stories shared with me by the parents of one of my best friends when I was a child. They moved to Germany immediately after the war in the hopes of a better reception for their love for one another, a former German POW and a British land girl. They ended up living in the ruins of a bombed house for a few years before returning to the UK where the hardships were actually easier. The Germany in the pages of The German Heiress was similar in the respects that people were living amidst the ruins of the bombed houses.

The titular heiress was Clara, an heiress who ran her family’s ironworks during the war, and then following the war was living under a false identity in order to evade the war trials. With the British army looking for her in order to interrogate her for war crimes, she returned to her hometown in search of her best friend Elisa. She soon joined forces with Jakob, a former German soldier and black marketeer who also has his reasons for locating Elisa.

I found the darkness, and the twists and turns within the storyline entertaining and compelling. I found myself hoping that Clara is able to evade arrest, which left me feeling challenged and conflicted because of what she had been capable of during the war. Although Clara was the main focus of the story, I loved Jakob as a character, a flawed but ultimately good person.

This was an unusual novel because it looked at a rarely considered viewpoint of historical fiction, the rebuilding of a country that has been broken by a war that the country instigated and lost. It was a story of redemption and forgiveness, of family, love and the ties that bind.

Many thanks to Sarah Harwood for my copy of The German Heiress by Anika Scott which was published by Windmill Books on 18th February 2021.

Purchase links:

https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6701/9781786090775

Please note these links are my affiliate links, so clicking on them and buying the book if you decide to do so will provide me with a few pennies.

When’s The Wedding? by Olivia Spring – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

She’s found the perfect man. Will she get her perfect proposal?

Dog hotel marketing manager Alex has always dreamed of having a fairy-tale proposal: the glorious sunset, iconic backdrop and rose petals – the whole shebang. She’s found her Mr Right, and life with sexy paediatrician Miles is wonderful, except for one thing. Despite saying that he’s ready for marriage, Miles seems no closer to putting a ring on it.

After a romantic getaway to Paris ends in more disappointment and Alex receives news that sends her world into a spin, she decides that her dream proposal won’t just fall into her lap. So she hatches a plan.

Although she’s convinced her methods will lead to Miles popping the question faster than she can say ‘I do’, Alex’s friends warn her it will end in disaster. But a little bit of hint dropping can’t hurt, right?

Will Alex get her happily-ever-after, or is there a reason why Miles is dragging his feet?

Order this fun romantic comedy now and join Alex on her exciting adventures as she attempts to speed up the proposal process, with hilarious results!

When’s The Wedding? is the sequel to Only When It’s Love. It can also be read as a standalone novel.

My review:

I have loved every one of Olivia Spring’s novels and When’s The Wedding was no exception. Although it is the sequel to Only When It’s Love, this could absolutely be read as a standalone.

The story starts with Alex and Miles at the top of the Eiffel Tower. The location of many proposals, Alex fully expects Miles to propose there and then. What follows is in equal parts hilarious and totally cringe-worthy as Alex decides she must prepare a plan to get Miles to propose.

I think we’ve probably all known bridezillas before, but I’m not sure I’ve ever met a pre-bridezilla. If not, Alex was certainly it! Her obsession knew no bounds, and she was so outrageously determined to force a proposal out of Miles one way or another. I must confess to finding it difficult to relate to Alex over this. I am married, and have been for many years, but I don’t think I ever felt the need to be married. I got married because it was what my partner wanted. My commitment to him was always the same, marriage did not change that. However, I do understand that people like my husband do feel the need to make it official. Alex was definitely at the extreme end of that though!

I did enjoy some of the challenges that Alex set out to do, and who knew that ‘engagement chicken’ really was a thing? I must confess it sounded delicious, and having googled for the recipe, the next time I cook a chicken I will absolutely be trying out the recipe!

I loved Miles, as I did in Only When It’s Love, and I thought he had so much patience with Alex and her not very subtle hints! I adored the additional characters, some old, familiar ones, and some new. I loved the ‘siblings’ so much. I’m a sucker for dogs in books, so I really had a soft spot for them. I also loved how they were so good at judging character!

This laugh out loud romcom ticked so many boxes for me, and I really did not want to put it down. The endearing and heart-warming ending to this book was so sweet and just perfect for both Alex and Miles.

Many thanks to Olivia for the invitation to take part in the blog tour. Please check out the other stops below.

Purchase links:

Amazon UK:  https://amzn.to/33T8qjG

Amazon US:https://amzn.to/303smiT

Social media:

Twitter:https://twitter.com/ospringauthor
Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/ospringauthor/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ospringauthor
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18210898.Olivia_Spring

A Gentleman’s Promise by Penny Hampson – 1 Day Blog Blitz/Book Review

About the book:

A docile wife is what he wants. A husband is the last thing she needs. Can a quest for a killer teach them that they are both wrong?

Emma Smythe and her brother arrive at Easterby Hall to discover that a handsome stranger has laid claim to their ancestral home and the family title. Have her relatives been murdered, and is her brother next? Determined to find the answers, she has no option but to trust the gentleman who insists that he will help. But danger appears in many guises, and for a woman intent on remaining single, her intriguing protector may prove the biggest threat of all.

The attempts on Richard Lacey’s life begin when he inherits a title and a rundown estate. A coincidence? He’s not so sure. Problems multiply with the unexpected arrival of Jamie and Emma Smythe. Long thought dead, they too are potential targets. Richard thinks he wants a docile, obedient wife, but will the task of keeping headstrong Emma safe from danger change his mind?

Embroiled in a sinister mystery, can Richard and Emma work together to catch a killer? And will this dangerous quest teach them that what they both wish to avoid is exactly what they need?

Filled with intrigue, unexpected twists, and faultless period detail, this slow-burn romance is a must-read for lovers of classic Regency fiction.

My Review:

I found A Gentleman’s Promise such a compelling read. The main characters of Richard and Emma were both multi-dimensional characters and I loved their interesting and immediate connection. I loved that for Richard, having recently inherited a distant relative’s estate when the Viscount and his two sons all died in apparently suspicious circumstances, upon meeting Emma and her younger brother Jamie, and realising that Jamie was the true heir, immediately stepped aside.

It becomes clear to him and his younger cousins that there is a mystery to be solved in order to find out whether the deaths were suspicious, and to identify who may want the heir of the estate dead.

Emma was such a headstrong and determined woman for whom circumstances following the death of her parents, had forced her to disguise herself in order to get herself and her young brother back to Easterby Hall. Richard and Emma join forces to find out who is behind the attempts on Richard’s life, while Richard continues to pose as the Viscount, in order to protect young Jamie.

This was a slow-burn romance that had both characters completely focussed on the mystery more than on their growing feelings for one another.

I loved the depth of all of the characters in the book, and I loved the way in which the mystery was unraveled to a satisfying conclusion. The historical accuracy of the time, including the Napoleonic wars, and the Elgin marbles all felt like they had been effortlessly included, which really helped the story to feel authentic to me.

I enjoyed the modern feel to some of the themes within the book, which gave it a modern feel without losing any historical authenticity. I look forward to reading the other books in this series as A Gentleman’s Promise is book one in the series.

The suspense surrounding the mystery makes this an incredibly compelling read, with a swoon-worthy romance interwoven seamlessly into the story. A definite 5 star read for me.

Purchase link:

mybook.to/Gentlemans-Promise

About the author:

Penny Hampson writes mysteries, and because she has a passion for history, you’ll find her stories also reflect that. A Gentleman’s Promise, a traditional Regency romance, was Penny’s debut novel, which was shortly followed by more in the same genre. Penny also enjoys writing contemporary mysteries with a hint of the paranormal, because where do ghosts come from but the past?

Penny lives with her family in Oxfordshire, and when she is not writing, she enjoys reading, walking, swimming, and the odd gin and tonic (not all at the same time).

Social media:

For more on Penny’s writing, visit her blog: https://pennyhampson.co.uk/blog/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/penny_hampson

Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/pennyhampsonauthor

Staying Out for the Summer by Mandy Baggot – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

After a summer of staying in, it’s time to let your hair down and escape to Greece!

For Lucie Burrows, it’s time to embrace Greek life and put the past behind her! Having spent the summer of 2020 battling a global health crisis, Lucie Burrows is looking forward to a summer out of lockdown.

When best friend, Gavin, finds them the perfect Greek escape Lucie finally starts to think this summer might just go without a hitch.But after a landslide puts the village into a local lockdown, Lucie is thrown together with Michalis Andino, the super sexy village doctor. It’s not quite the holiday she had planned, but things could certainly be worse.

As Lucie relaxes into the Greek way of life, she begins to wonder whether this lockdown might just end in a new life, a new love…

My review:

Mandy Baggot completely whisked me away to the beautiful island of Corfu with Staying Out for the Summer. Her love for the location shone through every page.

Nurses Lucie and Gavin, after a year working for the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic are exhausted and in desperate need of a break, so they head to Corfu together for some fun in the sun. At the same time, a Greek doctor, Michalis, heads to Corfu to spend time with his family following a difficult time dealing with the pandemic in Thessaloniki.

I must confess to being apprehensive about the inclusion of the pandemic within the story, but honestly it was so sensitively handled that I think Mandy needs the highest of accolades for her handling of it within this story. It was very much an acknowledgement of how dark it has been, the cost of lives, friends, families, strangers, and the intense pressure it placed on the medical community across the world. Having addressed it, we then stepped out into the sunshine and heat of a Corfu summer, filled with love and the ability to reconnect with laughter and fun. Seriously this book is jam-packed full of Vitamin D!

This book had so many wonderful characters and so much humour. I adored the cute but seriously kick-ass sister of Michalis, Nyx an absolute demon with a knife, Lucie’s aunt Meg, and Gavin who reminded me so much of a friend of mine. In addition to the main characters, some of the quirky characters in the village were hysterically funny. I was particularly fond of Miltos the local fruit seller/taxi driver, and his 101 year old grandmother and her identical twin sister, both dressmaking legends.

This was the perfect escapist summer romcom, with a very hot doctor, and so many funny moments that it made me want to hop on a plane to Corfu as soon as it is safe to do so.

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

Purchase links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IlGbDt

Kobo: https://bit.ly/36R5TJy

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3gxtjXP

Bookshop: https://bit.ly/36SETt8

About the author:

Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer. The winner of the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance, her romantic comedy novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year award in 2016. Mandy’s books have so far been translated into German, Italian, Czech and Hungarian. Mandy loves the Greek island of Corfu, white wine, country music and handbags. Also a singer, she has taken part in ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and The X-Factor. Mandy is a member of the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.

Social Media:

Facebook: @mandybaggotauthor

Twitter: @mandybaggot

Instagram: @mandybaggot

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Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

Summer in Andalucia by Lucy Coleman – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

Lainey Summers feels blessed to have her dream job writing for a renowned foodie magazine. And the day she goes to interview chef Rick Oliver at his new restaurant—Aleatory—in London’s popular Piccadilly, is the start of an unexpected journey.

When Rick is offered the opportunity to jet off to a monastery in Andalucía, to film a cookery competition for Spanish TV, Lainey goes too, to cover the story.

Spending a month filming in the stunning Spanish countryside, soaking up the sights, sounds, smells and of course the cuisine, Lainey and Rick start to enjoy each other’s company. But their time together flies by too quickly, and before they know it, Rick and Lainey have to face going their separate ways.

With both their worlds shifting beneath them, the call of Andalucia and the call of happiness grows ever stronger. But with everything at stake, will they be able to take the chance of a happy-ever-after…

Let Lucy Coleman whisk you off on a sun-baked, life-affirming, total escape to beautiful Andalucia.  

My review:

I love Lucy Coleman’s books and this was no exception. She always manages to whisk me off to a wonderful location so effortlessly and with such detail that I could almost smell the citrus groves and feel the heat on my skin.

I really identified with Lainey and Rick, and their determination to stay true to themselves. They were clearly attracted to one another from the moment food writer Lainey met chef Rick in his restaurant in London. When Rick goes to Andalucia to film a cookery competition, Lainey goes to write features about the tv show for the culinary magazine that she writes for. It is clear that they are drawn to one another, but both strive to simply be friends and enjoy one another’s company without crossing the line beyond friendship, because Rick had a partner. I love the way in which neither of them was prepared to cheat, in spite of their connection.

The setting was stunning, with Lucy Coleman’s innate talent for whisking us away to her location, and what a location! Setting the bulk of the story in a former monastery turned hotel sounded so idyllic, and for fans like me of Game of Thrones, there was also a wonderful day trip not to be missed. I was left with the urge to book a holiday to Andalucia when it is finally possible to do so.

I loved the time spent in Le Crotoy towards the end of the book. It is in an area that I consider to be my home from home, in northern France, and a location I have missed so much during the pandemic.

This is only the second book that I have read that has made reference to the Covid-19 pandemic. The first time I was very much in the camp of not wanting to see a glimpse of our reality amidst the true escapism that I seek in books. This time round I felt completely different. Having given it some thought I think that it is not actually that bad to include it, although that may have something to do with having received my first vaccination and my finally feeling that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Anyway, I guess what I am trying to say is that it didn’t grate on me, and I found that, if anything, it added realness to the connection between Lainey and Rick. Maybe it really is time to add pandemic realness to escapist novels, and that is something I seriously never thought I would ever change my mind on.

I am drawn to books that include travel to exotic or exciting locations and delicious local food, with a little romance for good measure, and Summer in Andalucia provided me with everything I could possibly want, with a heavy dose of sunshine and warmth.

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, Boldwood Books and Lucy Coleman for my invitation to take part in this blog tour. Please check out the other stops below.

Purchase link:

http://amzn.to/3apKasK

About the author:

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys. Lucy’s first title with Boldwood was A Springtime to Remember, published in December 2019.

Social media:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanauth

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lucycolemanauthor/

Newsletter Sign Up Link: https://mailchi.mp/boldwoodbooks/lucycolemannewsletter

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lucy-coleman

Summer Kisses at Mermaid Point by Sarah Bennett – Blog Tour/Book Review

About the book:

Laurie Morgan runs a café in the small seaside community of Mermaids Point, named after the beauties rumoured to live in the waters a few miles off the top of the point. When a hazy image is posted online of what appears to be a mermaid, the café and the village are soon full to bursting with curious sightseers. 

The most eye-catching of the new arrivals is handsome author, Jake Smith, who has rented a cottage for the summer while he works on his new book. Or so he says. In fact, he is a journalist, burned out and disillusioned with life, whose editor has sent him on a crack-pot hunt for mermaids…

Jake quickly finds himself drawn to village life, and to the gorgeous woman who runs the local café. But he soon suspects there’s trouble lurking beneath the idyllic façade, and when it looks like Laurie’s family might be involved, Jake faces a difficult choice. Pursue the truth, or protect the woman he’s beginning to fall in love with…

Warm, escapist, feel-good and altogether brilliant story-telling from bestselling author Sarah Bennett. Perfect for all fans of Trisha Ashley and Milly Johnson.

My review:

Summer Kisses at Mermaid Point was the first book I have read by Sarah Bennett, but it definitely won’t be my last! I found this story warm and engaging, with a great cast of characters and a lovely romance between Laurie and Jake.

I loved the setting of Mermaid Point, and loved the hint of folklore with the possibility of mermaids. I adored the seaside resort feel to the story, and reading it on a cold and gloomy day it really transported me to the warm and sunny seaside location, and it was exactly what I needed. This really is a perfect summer feel-good read.

The mystery surrounding the mermaid sightings was fun and I enjoyed the way in which it developed. I also found myself considering baking some chocolate cherry brownies, which is perhaps bad for my diet, but good for tempting my literary taste buds!

I found the characters really had a good level of depth to them and I am thrilled to find out that this is the first in a series, and we will get to read Nerissa’s story next. I cannot wait to return to Mermaid Point again.

This feel-good summer read will have you dreaming of cakes and mermaids, and honestly, what could be better than that?

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources, Boldwood Books, and Sarah Bennett for my invitation onto this blog tour. Please check out the other stops on the blog tour below!

Purchase link:

https://amzn.to/2Lokynf

About the author:

Sarah Bennett is the bestselling author of several romantic fiction trilogies including those set in Butterfly Cove and Lavender Bay. Born and raised in a military family she is happily married to her own Officer and when not reading or writing enjoys sailing the high seas. The first book in her new Mermaids Point trilogy for Boldwood will be published in Spring 2021.

Social media:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sarahlou_writes

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahlbennettauthor/

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sarah-bennett-b4a48ebb-a5c3-4c39-b59a-09aa91dc7cfa