Let’s start…

What’s more to say about my blog about books I’ve read?

Well, this is my blog about books I’ve read 😀.

I always liked reading books, and it all started on a very silly way… It’s always good to blame my dad, so he is the cause of my reading addiction.

When I was still a little girl, a looooooong time ago, I saw him always going to the bathroom with the newspaper. One day I wondered why he did that, so I took a book and tried to see the fun of that.

And since that day, you can find everywhere in the house a book of mine.

A while ago, I had the opportunity to review some books, and now a new opportunity came to post them on an own blog.

So here we are, my own blog!

I read books, and I will post my thoughts about them.

Some books I’ll like, some I won’t like that much…. but you can be sure that I’ll give you my personal and honest opinion about them.

I hope you enjoy reading it!

‘Coming Home To Merriment Bay: part Two: Sparks Fly’ – written by Emily Harvale @emilyharvale @rararesources

Me want more!!!

Synopsis


Part Two of this
 heartwarming four-part serial about finding the strength to put the past behind you and to reach out for a future filled with happiness and love.

Cat Devon knew she couldn’t avoid Amias Wells for long. She also knew sparks would fly the moment they came face to face. They never did get on and nothing has changed in eighteen years – except that Amias is even more annoying. So why does Cat still catch her breath whenever he looks her way?

The fact he flies a vintage Spitfire for the Merriment Bay WWII Museum doesn’t interest Cat, but his knowledge of the former RAF pilots stationed there certainly does. She wants to find out all she can about the man in the photo in Viola’s trunk. And what with hospital visits, dealing with her mum, and sorting out problems with Viola’s house, Cat could use more than just Kyra’s help.

But Kyra makes it clear she thinks Cat and Amias should spend more time together. Which is ridiculous. Apart from the fact they don’t get on, Amias wasn’t interested in Cat before the accident that left the ugly scars on her face and body, so he definitely won’t be attracted to her now. Besides, Cat’s not looking for romance. She’s happy with her life just the way it is.

My review

What a disappointment it was when I reached the end…
Before Emily gets a heart attack for my declaration, I DID NOT WANT TO REACH THE END SO QUICKLY!!!

Slowly we are getting to know more about the past of the Devon women. And discovering the past means for Cat she has to face Amias, even though he apparently still dislikes her…
Or not?

I truly enjoyed discovering the past together with Cat and Kyra, and it was so nice to get to know Amias better.
We also get to know a little bit of Kyle, even if he isn’t actual present any more, his memory still lingers…

We also see how all the Devon – women slowly are finding the way to live all together, despite their differences. Mary was in the first part a bit distant, but now she is more open and being more open towards Cat and Kyra. She also realizes that Cat deserves to know the truth about her father but she cannot tell the whole truth.

A great second part, with still a lot of mysteries to be solved, and a lot of unspoken feelings to be exposed!
Looking forward to read Part 3 !

‘Christmas Kisses On Hollywell Hill’ – written by Jackie Ladbury @JackieLadbury @rararesources

Just perfect for this time of the year,

Synopsis

Christmas is coming and actress Kirsty Castille seems doomed to play the front part of Nag, the Christmas pantomime horse, when a surprise audition lands her the lead role as Maria in the Sound of Music.


Even better she bonds with a handsome chef over a piece of squid at her local supermarket, although sadly romance is the last thing on Jake Levy’s mind.


He has a Christmas deadline, an ex-wife to mourn and lots of emotional baggage to drag around. He certainly doesn’t have time for romance and even if he did he wouldn’t fall for someone like Kirsty who craves the limelight: been there, done that.


A misunderstanding leads Jake to offer Kirsty a job in his new restaurant and she takes it purely to convince him that she’s the girl of his dreams.


Her charm offensive begins to work but while he’s cooking up a storm she’s secretly sparkling under the spotlight – until her cover is busted.


The fallout is catastrophic, but as they say in Luvvie Land, the show must go on, even if Kirsty is terrified that she’s taken her last curtain call and ruined her chance for love.


Read on and immerse yourself in this delightful winter romance as the snow starts to fall and Christmas day becomes a magical reality.

My review

He loves me, he loves me not…
Just an amazing Christmas story!

Kirsty is an actress, but not a famous one. She is struggling to go from one job to another and most of the time she has to accept the less appealing acts, just to be able to cope.
When she meets Jake in a supermarket, they bond immediately.
But Jake is opening a new business, is in the middle of a separation, has a lot of emotional baggage and hates everything that has to do with being in the spotlight.

I loved every bit of this book! Kirsty is living in movies, whenever a response is required, she manages to get a quote from films, straight on!
She has a vivid imagination, and even in public places she is not ashamed to just be herself.
She doesn’t care who is watching and what the others may think about her.
Jake instead is on an emotional rollercoaster, having been betrayed in the worst ways.
despite their differences, Kirsty and Jake manage to get along pretty well. Thanks to Kirsty, Jake manages to loosen up and move on with his life.

The combination of these 2 characters made me initially think they were all wrong for each other, and it would never work. But over several laughs, you see that they just need each other to be a better self.
In my modest opinion (but then, who am I? 🤣) this story could take place any time in the year, but the magic of Christmas makes sure this is an amazing story impossible to put away!

 

‘Ten Things My Husband Hated’ – written by Pauline Wiles @PaulineWiles @rararesources

Just wonderful!

Synopsis

Maggie Moone is happily divorced.

And with her talent for fixing things, she’s perfectly content with her mundane life in the sleepy English village of Saffron Sweeting. That is, until one humiliating March evening when she learns everyone else assumes she’d love to mend her broken marriage.

Determined to prove them wrong, Maggie and her friends concoct a list of ten ways to assert her independence and live large. But her mission to move on leads to unexpected encounters, and Maggie soon finds herself mixing business with pleasure. Is the attractive young Irishman just another item on her list, or is he something more?

Before long, unresolved issues from her past begin to clash, and Maggie is forced to wonder if antagonising her ex-husband was such a stellar idea.

No sooner does she begin to understand what’s important to her, than she stands to lose everything that truly matters.

This is the fourth in the collection of Saffron Sweeting romantic comedies, which can be read in any order. If you like gentle British humour and deliciously resilient heroines, you’ll love Ten Things My Husband Hated.

My review

What a way of taking back charge of your life!

Maggie and Colin divorced a while ago, but luckily for them, is was all done in an amicable way.
When one evening she gets humiliated, she learns that everyone thinks she want Colin back.
So to prove them wrong, she makes a to-do list with all things Colin hates.
While she is working on the list, she meets Finn, a nice Irishman. Is he the perfect next item on the list? Or is there more?

I really had fun reading this story!
From the moment Maggie starts working on the list, you know there are going to be some awkward but on the same time funny moments.
At the beginning of the story, Maggie is a woman struggling with living her life at the best. She doesn’t really do things she truly wants.
But thanks to her list and her friends, she starts blooming, and realizes that it’s her life and she has the right to do what she wants, even if there are people not understanding her.

And when she meets Finn, you just also instantly like him. He’s truly a nice guy, trying to surprise Maggie (and also the reader) by arranging non-conventional dates.

This story shows it’s never too late to believe in love, and never give up. Following your heart is never wrong, and chasing your own dreams is always the best thing to do.
But also honesty is important, as Maggie learns. And never do something just to please someone if your heart isn’t in it, or if your mind is not in the right mood!

Conclusion: a nice story about getting your life getting back on track, growth and love!

‘The Raided Heart’ – written by Jennifer C. Wilson @inkjunkie1984 @rararesources

So much more and better!

Synopsis

Meg Mathers, the headstrong youngest sibling of a reiving family on the English-Scottish border, is determined to remain at her childhood home, caring for the land and village she’s grown up with. When an accident brings her a broken ankle and six weeks in the resentful company of ambitious and angry young reiver Will Hetherington, attraction starts to build. Both begin to realise they might have met their match, and the love of their lives, but 15th century border living is not that simple, as Meg soon finds herself betrothed to the weakling son of a tyrannical neighbour, Alexander Gray. When tragedy strikes, can Meg and Will find their way back to each other, and can Will finally take his own personal revenge on Gray?

My review

Glad it was not just a ‘one look in each other’s eyes and instant true love’!

Meg is part of a family of border reivers, and a lot of people depend on her.  But when she has an accident and brakes her ankle, her brothers decide that Will, a young man part of their clan, must take care of her, as he ‘caused’ the accident.
Despite their initial dislike for each, spending so much time together, they start bonding and more feelings submerge.
But then her brother decide that she must marry the son of a tyrannical neighbor.

First of all, I understand Meg’s frustrations of being taking care of. About a year ago I broke my ankle and each day I had to ask help for the easiest tasks, got me more and more frustrated.
Meg is a real caring woman, and despite being a woman, everybody takes her advice in account. She has a smart head.
Will is a young man having suffered a lot in the past. He just want to make sure his sister is happy after being separated and just found each other back.

What I truly liked about this story, that both characters slowly start trusting each other. Sometimes when you read a story, it’s POOF instant love. But here both Meg and Will go from dislike to trust to friendship to more.
Even when their love is tested, they both know they cannot just run away, but must face their fate and make best of it.
They both know what they feel for each other, but they also realize that their love will never be accepted and try to resist each other.

That’s what makes this story so nice, instead of just thinking about their selves, they are altruistic and think what’s for the best of their clan.
It’s a slow story, making you go back in time, enjoying the described surroundings and the atmosphere of that period!
I also have a small negative comment although… Alexander has always been a name I truly liked. And thanks to this story, now it’s been removed from that list!!! 😃

‘Outreach’ – written by Shelly Berry @ShellyBerryUK @rararesources

Not what I thought it would be, but disturbingly good!

Synopsis

When Emily was offered a new job in London, she was sure that her life was about to change – new friends, a career in the big city and the boyfriend she always wanted.

Her new life turns out to be more complicated than she expected. Her flat mates don’t understand her. Her colleagues mock everything about her. Even her father doesn’t support her. The only person who offers her any encouragement is David.

He’s married. He’s her manager. To Emily it’s clear that they have something special. As their relationship develops, everyone seems to want to sabotage their chances.

But some things are meant to be…

My review

How a synopsis can be deceptive! This story was not what I thought!

Emily starts a new job in London, ready to change her life.
But it all just isn’t as easy how she thought. She’s having troubles with bonding with her new flat mates, her colleagues don’t seem to like her at all, and her father still thinks she’s going to fail.
Only her manager David seems to really care about her and soon Emily finds herself attracted to him.

Through the most part of the story, I felt real pity for Emily. She’s just trying to do her very best and apparently nobody seems to appreciate her efforts.
Being the new girl in town, is not the best situation for her. She’s a bit shy, trying to proof she’s capable of doing her job.

I see a lot of my former self in Emily: shy, insecure, even a little bit suspicious.
But you also see that Emily is not easily put down or doesn’t know what to do in awkward situations.
She stands up for herself and would let anyone bully her away!

About halfway the story, the atmosphere changes…
when Emily starts to develop feelings for David, she is sure he is feeling the same about her, but as he is married, he must act very cautious.

As her emotions take the upper hand, her work is suffering as she starts to miss signs that her cases are slipping back into their addictions.

This book was a bit a hard start for me, maybe because I saw me too much in it (but no worries, I’ve grown up a lot and am not a shy, insecure girl anymore ☺️).
But you see  how the situation is deteriorating for the worse, and you have the need to know how bad it all gets.
Even if you think there is no positive ending for Emily, you secretly hope that it will all get better somehow…

So after a rather rough start, I quickly couldn’t put the book away and I think that this is the actual purpose of a book!

 

‘The Wicked Lord’s Mistress’ – written by Scarlett Jameson @ScarlettJameson @rararesources

Not just lust…

Synopsis

The Wicked Lord’s Mistress is set in the late Victorian period (1886) for fans of upstairs/downstairs dramas such as Downton Abbey and steamy romances. It explores the continuing love story between Lily, a lady’s maid at Torrington Hall, and a handsome, mysterious aristocratic hero called Lord Edgar Wilson.

Lily is surrounded by challenges from all sides. She is being blackmailed by the evil Mallkins, she has a secret past that she is trying to hide, and her forbidden love affair with Lord Wilson grows more risky every day. Can their lusty affair transform into the tender and lasting love that Lily craves? And given the differences in their class, is a happy ending possible for them? 

Then a new enemy comes into Lily’s life, someone who is determined to destroy her. Lily finds herself facing the greatest challenge of her life, and hopes that Lord Wilson will be her hero.

My review

This is the second part of a series, and I really suggest to read the first part before heading into the second part. Otherwise the story would be confusing and as this is a good story in his genre, it would be a pity if you wouldn’t like it because some things wouldn’t make sense.

The story of Lily and Lord Wilson is by long not a simple one, as she is a simple maid and he is after all a Lord.
Despite the difference in class and secrets, both of them cannot resist their attraction.
But how will their affair end? Lily has many secrets she wants to tell Lord Wilson, but just cannot. And Lord Wilson is being pushed to marry someone of equal class…

I really enjoyed the story even if sometimes I had a nice roll of the eyes…
Lily is a woman who had her share of bad luck and is blackmailed into doing things she really doesn’t want to do. And Lord Wilson is the chosen victim.
It’s nice to see how the feelings evolve from just lust into more. Lily shows during the story that when she loves or cares for someone, she does it with all her heart. And is very conflicted when looking after for one person means jeopardize another one.
And Lord Wilson just seems a man following his you-know-what, but goes deep lengths to protect his loved one, and will not stop until the whole truth is uncovered.

For me this story was a pleasant surprise, as I thought it would be just a story where a Lord and a maid would give in their lust for each other, and out of the blue it all ends well.
But this was something different, as yes, there are some heated moments, but both of them have to fight not only for their love, but also for their freedom…

 

‘The Honeysuckle Dream’ – written by Kate Frost @katefrostauthor @rararesources

Even better than expected!

Synopsis

Two men. Three decades. One decision.

Pregnant at nineteen from an affair with a married man, Leila goes against her parents wishes. Alone in an unfamiliar city, a fresh start is terrifying. 

Leila struggles to navigate between being a single working mum, new friendships, and her bad choices in men. The heartache of past mistakes haunts her. Disillusioned, lonely, and with a fractured mother-daughter relationship, she swaps the vices of city life for the peace of the country. Yet new-found happiness is short-lived and old habits return. 

Can Leila let go of her past and find true love?

My review

Wow, just wow…
This story was so not what I expected, it was even better!

Switching through flashbacks, we get to know Leila. At nineteen, she has an affair with a married man and ends up pregnant.
Not wanting to give up her baby like instructed by her parents, she moves out and wants to build a life for herself and her child together.
But life isn’t easy for a young , single mother. She struggles getting her life back on track, but manages to build a few strong friendships. But her heartbreak so many years ago is still the cause for many bad decisions.
Last decision she makes is moving from the city to the country hoping she will finally find her peace and make amends with her daughter.

I can keep telling you what else is happening in the story, but I won’t do that.
Like I said earlier, this is not the story I expected.

Leila is a strong woman, always saying what’s on her mind. And yes, this is a positive thing, but there are sometimes occasions where it’s better to think before you speak. And unfortunately Leila doesn’t always think, causing a few feuds.
she is also a woman holding onto the past, and as her daughter teaches her, sometimes it’s time to put the past behind and allow yourself to live again.

There are several serious topics, affairs with married men, trying to survive with the little you have, secrets coming out, the past resurfacing when you’ve finally put it behind you.
But Kate manages to write everything with such realism but also so nicely, that you get the meaning of it, feeling the emotions, but it won’t drag you in a downward spiral.

Despite everything you keep hoping that in the end, Leila will find the peace she searches, needs and also deserves!

‘Coming Home to Merriment Bay: Part 1: A Reunion’ – written by Emily Harvale @emilyharvale @rararesources

I cannot wait to read more!

Synopsis

Part One: A Reunion

Merriment Bay series

After eighteen years apart, reclusive Cat Devon still recognises her mum’s handwriting. Plucking up the courage to open the letter, its contents send Cat racing to Merriment Bay, the seaside village where she grew up.

On arrival, Cat and her teenage daughter, Kyra are shocked to find the situation is worse than expected. But despite everything, Cat considers herself to be an optimist at heart and Kyra takes after her. Looking on the bright side may not improve the situation, but it definitely can’t make it worse.

 When clearing out the house that, even now, Cat fondly thinks of as home, she stumbles upon more than just memories in the battered leather trunk in Granny Viola’s bedroom. She discovers a faded photo of an RAF pilot, a pile of unopened letters, and a mystery waiting to be solved. Who is the man in the – clearly treasured – photo? Cat didn’t know her grandad. Could this be him? A man even her mum never met. 

Cat and Kyra are intent on finding out. But that’s not all Cat’s determined to do. It’s time she came to terms with the issues in her past, and made peace with her mum and her gran. All the while avoiding bumping into the one man she never quite got over … and keeping a few secrets of her own.

My review

OH MY GOD!!! Talking about a book letting you long for more!
I started it on a rainy afternoon, ready to discover an amazing story. And then POOF, part 1 finished!

Cat Devon left Merriment Bay with her then baby Kyra. 18 years later she receives a letter from her mother with not so good news about the condition of her grandmother.
Wanting to put the past behind, they decide to go back to Merriment Bay.
Slowly trying to find her place again in town, it’s also the start of discovering secrets bound to be kept.

Cat is a strong woman, but still carrying the burdens of her past with her, clearly not having put it all behind her.
And Kyra is just like her mother, strong independent and not being told what to do. Despite being just the 2 of them, they are not in need of extra help, they have made their lives how they wanted, without interference of negative thoughts.

Being the first part of the series, it’s obvious that when you reach the end of this book, it isn’t the end of the story.
For me personally, it was hell finding out that all the secrets and mysteries are still there. I need to know what happened in the past and what will happen next!

‘Sea Holly And Mistletoe Kisses’ – written by Laura Briggs @PaperDollWrites @rararesources

Just lovely!

Synopsis

Christmas is coming to Port Hewer and the hotel Penmarrow, where Maisie is suffering a case of the holiday blues far from home this year — until Gavin, a young American businessman staying at the hotel through Christmas, talks her into joining him as his partner in the hotel’s ice sculpting competition in a mutual pact to enjoy the holidays to the fullest. 

Meanwhile, Maisie experiences the village Christmas seasonvicariously through Sidney, and continues writing her Poe-inspired story with only Sidney aware of her secret novel. She soon learns, however, that criticism and praise go hand in hand when he takes issue with her latest chapters, which puts pressure on their friendship, too.

But is that what’s really the issue between them? Because handsome Gavin has more than ice sculpting in mind when it comes to Maisie’s time, which comes as a surprise to no one who’s seen them together. As Maisie faces this sudden romantic dilemma, she realizes what she wants most in her life … and faces a question of what her heart wants most, too.

My review

What a happy reunion this was, reading again about Maisie and her adventures in Cornwall!
And this time, it’s even Christmas time!

Maisie continues working in the hotel and working at the same time for her novel. When an American guest arrives, Gavin, they quickly bond as being both from the States.
And when they start following an ice sculpting course, she sees it as a simple passing the time, but is that all for Gavin too?
And let’s not forget about Sidney, as the relationship between Maisie and Sidney starts to develop into something more…

It was real fun for me to see how Maisie manages to be oblivious sometimes, but even if it causes misunderstandings, she does everything with a kind heart and with the best intentions.
Also her writing skills are also developing for the best.
And Sidney, intriguing Sidney with his air of mystery…

During the whole series, we know what Maisie her feelings for Sidney are, but does she dare to take the lead and finally just go for it?

As this book isn’t the conclusion of Maisie and her adventures yet, I cannot wait to read more!

‘One Week ‘Til Christmas’ – written by Belinda Missen @belinda_missen @rararesources

Just what you need!

Synopsis

Two people. One chance meeting. Seven days to Christmas.

Isobel Bennett is waiting for the number 11 bus when a man quite literally falls into her lap. Snow is falling, Christmas lights are twinkling, and a gorgeous man with dark brown hair has just slipped on ice and is now pressed against Isobel.

Isobel knows she’s not imagining the chemistry between them. But then his ride arrives and, embarrassed, he beats a hasty retreat, murmuring apologies – and Isobel realises only too late that she didn’t manage to catch his name…

When she runs into him again the next morning, she decides it’s fate.

It’s a second chance for Isobel and Tom – but there’s only one week until she’s leaving London for good. Seven days of enjoying all the festive delights the city has to offer: ice-skating at Somerset House, mulled wine on the Southbank, Christmas shopping at Liberty.

There’s magic in the air and mistletoe in the trees – but what will happen when the week is over?

For fans of Josie Silver, Lucy Diamond and Marian Keyes, this is one Christmas romance you don’t want to miss!

My review

I am not new to the stories that Belinda writes, so I knew that I would totally love this story.
But little did I know that I wouldn’t love it, but just ADORE every bit of this book!

When Isobel is waiting for her bus, a gorgeous man falls into her lap. And this fall is the beginning of a wonderful story.
Isobel thinks she will never see the man again, so big is her surprise when she suddenly stands in front of him, ready to interview the most wanted actor of the moment.

It seems like a story  you’ve read so many times: girl meets famous actor and blah blah blah.
But for me, it was so much more.

Both Isobel and Tom have this instant like for each other, but they also realize that they only have 1 week to spend together.
And no, they don’t spend it like you think they do. They take their time to get to get to know each other just as friends, and just go with the flow.
Each free moment they spend together, discovering London and share little bits of their lives.

It was refreshing to see that even though there is attraction, they don’t give in to that attraction, but truly want to know each other better. They don’t want to force anything between them and make no commitments they won’t be able to keep.
Both Isobel and Tom are down-to-earth, ready to see what the future will bring, but realistic enough to not just give up their whole world for something they are not sure about.

To say I’ve read the whole book in 1 day would be an exaggeration… it took me twice the time!
it seems a surreal story, as juts bumping into a gorgeous actor, but Belinda writes it so easily, that the next time you are outside, you just hope the same thing will happen to you!
A sexy actor, genuine feelings, a magical Christmas setting in London, it’s a perfect match for these darks days to sit nice and cozy and be submerged in the story!