Blog Tour: Summer’s Lease by Carrie Elks

Synopsis

Cesca Shakespeare has hit rock bottom. After one prize-winning play that ended in disaster, writer’s block turned up, moved in and got a Netflix subscription. Six years later, she’s just lost her crappy job and is about to lose her flat. Worse still, her sisters have no idea how far she’s fallen. So when her fairy Godfather offers her a free summer holiday in a beautiful Italian villa, she grudgingly agrees to try writing a new play. That’s before she finds out the house belongs to her arch-nemesis, Sam Carlton.
 
Having just hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons – again – Hollywood heart-throb Sam Carlton needs a place to hide out. Where better than his family’s gorgeous empty villa on Lake Como? Except when he arrives, it isn’t as empty as he’d hoped.

Review

It seems like ages since Carrie’s last novel ‘Fix You’ was released so I was excited when I saw that this book was releasing this summer. It sounded exotic, excitingly romantic and the ultimate book to relax with in summer.
 
The opening scene is in London where Cesca gets fired from another job, mind you maybe a cat café isn’t the best place for waitressing when you’re not an animal person, but most of us have had a job we’ve had to take for money, while looking for something else I’m sure. Anyway she manages to get a job house sitting a villa for the Carltons, who are quite a famous family. The start of the book is quite humorous when Cesca is talking to her cat café boss but you soon start to feel for Cesca when you realise there is some deeper than just laziness or uselessness at keeping a job.
 
The book is mostly set in Italy though on the aforementioned house sitting job. Near Lake Como, it truly sounded one of the most relaxing places on earth. You could easily waste away a week in one of the café’s, piazza’s or anywhere by the lake, even better on a private beach at the end of your luxury villa. Add that with the friendly and kind locals, the rustic and delicious food and of course the local wine, and you have yourself the perfect summer destination, and it’s so easy to imagine yourself there with Cesca. One of the best things I liked about the books is the ability to transport you anywhere with just words, and this book does it incredibly well.
 
Cesca was certainly a feisty character, never scared to let you know how she felt. As it happens she was also quite insecure, and while she had every reason to be mad at Sam, her extreme reaction was a clearly a reaction that masked her annoyance at herself as much as Sam, if not more, but then you’re always your own worst critic aren’t you? When relaxed though, you could see Cesca was lots of fun, and her exchanges with Sam while they were sparring were great to read, as was the scene where she had too much to drink and Sam found her.
 
Sam was obviously handsome and fairly self assured, not in the arrogant way Cesca accused him of. He was also sensitive though, especially with family so it was easy to like him. However I felt at times he was far too possessive at times, I don’t always like people telling people ‘You’re Mine’, it can be romantic, but the tone in which it sounded was like Cesca was a possession, not a human, meant to be loved in return as well. Generally though, Sam was incredibly likeable if you over-look this.
 
Christiano was charming as well, but at times he came across as too enthusiastic, though maybe it was just me. He was very passionate, and the attention he lavished on Cesca would embarrass me, as I don’t like to be the centre of attention to that extent, but that’s a personal thing, and maybe if I met someone like him, I would like to be told how amazing I am.
 
This book was definitely a summer scorcher. It’s got lots of fun moments, with just enough drama that makes you want to keep turning pages long after this book is finished. The epilogue is the picture of perfection, just like ‘Fix You’, which also had one of my favourite epilogues, this one’s ending satisfied my appetite to know what happens to our hero and heroine.
 
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Published by: Piatkus
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
Released on July 15th 2017
 

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Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository

 
Thank you to Carrie and Piatkus for letting me participate in this fantastic blog
tour, check out the other posts shown on the banner below!
 
 
 

Blog Tour Q & A and Review of The Once In A Blue Moon Guesthouse by Cressida McLaughlin

Synopsis

Robin Brennan has come home to Campion Bay. Now her parents have retired, she’s set to become the new landlady of The Campion Bay Guesthouse.
 
Bookings have been as thin as the hand towels, and it doesn’t take long for Robin to realise that the place needs a serious makeover. Perhaps throwing herself into the task will help to heal her sadness at the tragic end to her dreams in London.
 
As she gives the guesthouse a new lease of life, Robin encounters old friends and new, including old flame Tim, who’d clearly like to reboot their romance. But what about Will, the new arrival at No. 4, who’s rocked up with the cutest dog ever?
 
Caught up in a flurry of full-English breakfasts and cream teas, Robin’s never sure what, or who, the next check-in will bring…

Q & A with Cressida

1. Could you give us your top 3 tips for aspiring writers?
 
• Believe in yourself, love your writing and don’t let anyone put you off. Constructive criticism is one thing, and is very useful, but don’t listen to other people’s negativity. If you want to do it, then go for it.
• Write first, edit later. Get the words written first and worry about improving them later – you can’t edit a blank page.
• Write a story that you’re passionate about. Don’t think too much about trends in the publishing world, because by the time your book is ready to be published everything will have moved on anyway. You have to love your story first, and then other people will be more likely to fall in love with it.
 
2. Have you ever been stuck while writing one of your books? How did you get over it?
 
I definitely get stuck days, and I find the best thing to do is step away from the words and engage my brain in something else – cooking or hoovering or going for a long walk. Usually, whatever writing knots I’m trying to untangle will work themselves out while I’m not thinking about them, and by the time I sit back down at my desk I’m able to get going again.
 
3. Are you currently reading anything you would like to recommend?
 
As well as romantic fiction, I’m a huge sucker for a good crime novel, and especially a series where the recurring characters – police, forensic experts etc. – are as compelling as the crimes they’re investigating. I’ve recently finished Perfect Remains by Helen Fields, which is a crime thriller set in Edinburgh. It’s gruesome but very gripping, and has two wonderful detectives at its core that I already care deeply about. I’m waiting eagerly for the second book, which is out at the end of July, and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes their crime stories dark, sexy and unputdownable.
 
4. What’s next for you?
 
At the moment I’m writing a two-part Christmas novella – which is proving a bit of a challenge when it’s this hot and sunny outside. It’s going to be called The Canal Boat Café Christmas, and is the next part of Summer and Mason’s story. I hope readers are looking forward to finding out what happens next!
 
Then I’m on to my fourth novel, which is all planned out and which I’m really, really excited about writing. It’s going to have lots of romance and drama in it, a very picturesque setting and also quite a bit of wildlife . . . watch this space!
 
Thank you Cressida! 

Review

I’ve not read any of Cressida’s novel’s before now, but know I have needed to read them for a while now. When I saw this one, I just knew it was the one I was going have to start with, since it’s set by the sea, a favourite place of mine. Even better is that it’s set about 30 miles away from me, which made it all the more special, as me and my parents used to visit that area a lot when I was a child.
 
It was easy to know I was going to enjoy the book, when not even all the way through the first chapter I realised I loved the setting, loved Robin and trusted that the story was going to be as amazing as the first few pages promised. The writing is the perfect blend of descriptive scenery, inner monologue and conversations between the characters who are all wonderful. The guesthouse is cosy at first, but maybe a bit dated. However when Robin gets her hands on it it remains cosy, but has a chic stylish feel to the room as well, making her stand out from the Bed and Breakfasts that are close by. Rarely have I wanted to jump into a book more than when Robin was planning ideas for the rooms, I was almost writing down notes as to what she could do myself, the world was that absorbing, proven again when I was jealous of some walnut bedside tables Robin bought for a room, when I’ve been looking for a pair I like for 10 years. YES, I envied a fictional character’s furniture, I’m beyond help now.
 
Robin is hurting, that much is clear, but her resolve to stay strong and put everything she has into all that she does. Her creativity was fantastic and the care she put into everything was a move and beyond.. She clearly deserves to succeed.
 
I almost loved Will from the moment he appeared. His tale of how he adopted his dog, Darcy was enough to melt my heart (despite being a cat person). There were some reservations initially, he was quite stand offish when it was suggested that he may have made up facts on his stately home tours, even though it was clearly said in jest as gentle teasing, which was at odds to how he was every other time he spent time with Robin. Well, we can forgive minor flaws in this case, he was clearly perfect in every other department.
 
All the neighbours seemed really friendly adding a great community feel to the whole book, they were clearly great friends to help, and it did fit into the cosy nostalgia I feel whenever I think about staying by the seaside and all the people I have met while there. They are clearly happy to go out of their way to help people. I loved Paige, for her age she was really mature (well., most of the time). She was great working for Robin, and it was good to have a side story that focused on a different age range to the lead character.
 
This book is just perfect of the summer, it completely makes me nostalgic. It is funny, especially when Molly and Robin get together, or when Maggie is involved. Also it has plenty of moments filled with emotion. A great blend of all the things that is essential for a summer read.
 
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Published by: HarperCollins
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 

View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository

 
Thank you to Cressida and HarperCollins for letting me participate in this fantastic blog
tour, check out the other posts shown on the banner below!
 

The Last Piece Of My Heart by Paige Toon

Synopsis

A successful travel journalist, Bridget has ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog about the missing pieces of her heart into a book. But after a spate of rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition.
 
Nicole Dupré died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel. Tasked with finishing the book, Bridget is thankful to have her foot in the publishing door, even if it means relocating to Cornwall for the summer and answering to Nicole’s grieving husband, Charlie

Review

If you have read a review of mine of Paige’s books, or spoken to me about books for more than 5 minutes, you probably know I adore Paige’s books. So there is never any doubt in my mind that I will enjoy any new books she puts out, the question is can she beat my favourite of hers, Chasing Daisy? Paige’s last book ‘The One We Fell in Love With’ was certainly a contender to do that, and this one has surpassed that, so the books just keep getting better and better.
 
It is wonderfully written. Binge reading at its finest. I found myself enamoured and charmed by the characters, but most of all the setting. Cornwall sounds just beautiful. Reminiscent of childhood holidays, and full idyllic vista’s, I want to go and have a long weekend there myself, though maybe avoid Hermie, while it was more charming than I could have imagined beforehand, I’m not sure I could deal with a camper van.
There is also a focus on Thailand, as it’s where the book Bridget is writing is partially set, so there is a visit there, and the resort does make Thailand seem even more exotic and dreamy than it already is.
 
Bridget was an absolute joy to read. I completely adored her. She was a lot of fun to be around, had great eclectic taste in music that featured throughout the book, and her sense of humour was fantastic. I loved how despite the initial awkwardness, she soon found her groove and her natural friendliness shone though. She always describes her boyfriend, Elliot as someone who no-one dislikes, but I think she also deals into that category. Her confidence was also something I admired about her, while obviously the negative comments on her blog would have hurt, she certainly didn’t take them to heart like I know I would.
 
Now Charlie, where does one begin? I loved him, simple as that really. I really felt for him after losing his wife. He clearly adored April and wanted what was best for her, but also struggling with grief. The relationship between him and Bridget, was great to see them become friends, Bridget helped him push himself.
 
This book is as fantastic as I had expected. I didn’t want it to end, it made me feel warm and fuzzy and also struck emotional chords as well. The book you need to put in your suitcase on your summer holiday, or just read on a lazy sunday afternoon in the sun.
 
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Published by: Simon & Schuster
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
Released 18th May 2017
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Blog Tour: Catch Me If You Cannes by Lisa Dickenson

Synopsis

Jess has decided it’s time to get out of her comfort zone and live a little. So when her best friend Bryony, a journalist on a gossip magazine, is sent to cover the Cannes Film Festival, Jess decides to seize the day and go along for the ride. Two weeks of sun, glamour and exclusive entry into celeb-filled parties is just the kind of adventure Jess needs.
 
Reality soon bites though when Jess and Bryony find they’re staying in a dingy hotel far away from all the action and Bryony’s expenses budget barely covers a glass of local wine. Undeterred, the two women are determined to live like the elite and enjoy one fancy night out to begin their holiday. So what if they have to tell a few white lies along the way? It’s just this once. No harm done . . . right?

Review

I have read Lisa’s previous novels and loved them all, you can guarantee she will put you in the mood for jetting off on a summer holiday when you read her Summer releases or cosy up by the fire for the Christmas novels, so there was no doubt in my mind that this one was going to be just perfection.
 
The cover is beautiful, the title is clever, and most importantly it has Lisa’s trademark humour. Add to this a bucketful of outrageous antics that are over the top, but if you can’t be over the top when you’re on holiday and in somewhere like Cannes, then when can you? If you have more money than you can possibly spend, your lifestyle is probably going to be pretty outrageous, so it was fun seeing Bryon and Jess, especially Jess,, living the life, even if you knew they were going to return from the holiday with a killer credit card bill.
 
Their antics were maybe spawned by their whole lies about being wealthy but lead to karaoke, staying in expensive hotel rooms for free and parties aboard super yachts to name a few. They were great fun to read, and naturally led to some funny scenes, for example when Jess is shopping for some glasses, but to some extent, it almost made Jess come more out of her shell, and also learn to take life as it comes and try to experience as much as she can, which is something I admire.
 
I really liked Jess, she was completely relatable. A bit of a closed book at the start about what pushed her to go on this holiday, but when she is more relaxed, her bubbliness shines through. Again, just like all of Lisa’s other leads, I would love to be her best friend, she was great fun to read.
 
Bryony had constant suspicion that there was bound to be a story deeper than the celebrity gossip that she hates but was sent to Cannes to cover. She was desperation to get into more serious journalism so I get she needed a story. She was such a great friend to Jess, and seeing them and their antics together was smile-inducing.
 
Leo was handsome and pretty much loved him from the get go, but some way through the book, I took a leaf from Bryony’s book and began to have my suspicions something was up, not quite to the dramatics that Bryony imagined, but something was up. Loved his character though, and also liked his friend as well.
 
This book is clearly another stunning summer novel from Lisa. It’s funny, outrageous in the best possible way with some heart to go with it.
 
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Published by: Sphere
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review
 
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository
 
 Thank you so much to Clara for organising the blog tour, I was so happy to be asked to take part in this blog tour. Make sure to check the other participants out too and see what they thought!