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
 

View Book on Goodreads
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!
 
 
 

Does My Bump Look Big In This? by Amy Lynch

Thank you to Amy for inviting me as part of the blog tour, please check out the book once you’ve read my review!

doesmybumplookbiginthisSynopsis

Newlyweds Barry and Becky are just back from their tropical honeymoon. The tans are gorgeous, and it was five star luxury all the way. But there’s a problem. Barry’s desperate for a baby, and Becky’s not quite so keen.
 
Surrounded by pregnant friends and a mother who’s talking about the ticking of invisible biological clocks, Becky starts to feel the pressure. When a surprise pregnancy rocks the boat, Becky’s friends and family are rooting for her all the way. Will she navigate the choppy waters to motherhood? Will she survive antenatal classes? Can she avoid stretchmarks, indigestion and her dreaded boss? And most importantly of all… does her bump look big in this?

Review

Last year I read and reviewed Amy’s debut novel ‘Bride Without A Groom’ which was over dramatic, in the funniest possible way. This book follows suit, as long as you don’t take it too serious, this book can be a lot of fun.
 
Rebecca and Barry are just returning back from their luxury 5 star honeymoon in Mexico, where Rebecca is not happy about returning to the banality of every-day life. Naturally she reverts back to her usual self-absorbed self, which makes me feel sorry for anyone that knows her. I think she is even more ridiculous in this book. I wouldn’t make some of her choices, it’s nothing criminal, more immature and at times very irresponsible. She is an exaggeration of everything you might find annoying with someone. Once I realised this (in both books) I had a lot of fun reading her ridiculous antics and selfish acts.
 
Again I felt really sorry for Barry, regardless of what he did in the previous book, he clearly cares for Rebecca and strives to please her. People have said that I have Simon twisted round my little finger, but that is nothing to how Barry is, I’m surprised his hair isn’t falling out (or maybe it has?!). You can see he would make a great father, and really dotes on the idea of having a child, and it’s charming to see.
 
This book is silly in the best possible way, something to laugh at, and almost certainly a light hearted look at what not to do when having a baby. I seriously hope motherhood tames Rebecca, but something tells me that it won’t!
 
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Gratefully received from the author for review
 
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Blog Tour Extract ‘The Affair’ by Amanda Brooke

Thank you to the publishers for inviting me on this blog tour, I’ve wanted to read a book from Amanda for ages and this one sounded a great one to start.
Order on Amazon: Paperback (Published 12th January 2017) Ebook (Out Now)
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“You might as well know from the start, I’m not going to tell on him and I don’t care how much trouble I get in. It’s not like it could get any worse than it already is. I can’t. Don’t ask me why, I just can’t.”
 
When Nina finds out that her fifteen-year-old daughter, Scarlett, is pregnant, her world falls apart.
 
Because Scarlet won’t tell anyone who the father is. And Nina is scared that the answer will destroy everything.
 
As the suspects mount – from Scarlett’s teacher to Nina’s new husband of less than a year – Nina searches for the truth: no matter what the cost.
 

Extract

By the time Nina was ready to face her daughter, Scarlett had turned her back on them and was inspecting the contents of the fridge. Gone were the days when her daughter looked cute in her new uniform. Her plaid skirt had been rolled up at the waist so that it was a couple of inches higher than the regulatory knee-length, although thankfully still longer than most of the outfits she was inclined to wear these days.

When Scarlett picked up a half-eaten bar of chocolate, Nina said, ‘Why don’t you try a flapjack?’

‘Chocolate’s good for you,’ Scarlett said, snapping a piece from the bar.

Nina tutted. ‘You do know that’s just a myth? There’s no scientific evidence behind it.’

Scarlett popped the chocolate in her mouth and beamed a smile. ‘I’ll take my chances.’

‘The flapjacks will keep, I’ll put them in a container,’ Bryn said. ‘They’re only a hundred calories each, and they have slow-releasing energy.’

Under her mother’s withering glare, Scarlett’s conscience was pricked. ‘I suppose I could take some out tonight for my mates.’

‘Out? Tonight?’ Nina repeated. ‘I don’t think so. Summer holidays are over and you have your GCSEs this year. No socializing during the week and only once at the weekend.’

Scarlett’s jaw dropped. ‘You can’t do that!’

‘It’s not open for discussion, Scarlett. That’s how it is. And by the way,’ Nina added, dropping her gaze to Scarlett’s hands, ‘when I told you last night to take off your nail varnish, I meant take it off. You know the school rules, and by my reckoning you’re breaking at least half a dozen.’

‘But, Mum, nobody cares. Everyone wears makeup and nail varnish, and the teachers don’t say a thing. If you’re that bothered, I’ll put nail-varnish remover in my bag and, if any of the teachers freak out, I’ll take it off.’

‘No, do it now.’

Scarlett shoved another piece of chocolate in her mouth before returning the remainder to the fridge. ‘If I do, can I still go out tonight? It’s not as if school’s started properly.’ In the midst of their negotiations, Liam had appeared like a spectre only vaguely aware of the world around him. Without uttering a word, he grabbed something from the fridge and wedged it between two slices of bread before disappearing.

‘I give up, honestly I do.’

Scarlett’s face lit up and she ran over to give her mum a dramatic hug. ‘Thank you, Mum,’ she said, scurrying outof the kitchen before Nina realized her daughter thought she had been talking to her. Nina was going to have to up her game if she were to avoid being outmanoeuvred by her children in the coming year.

Nina stood on the landing staring at two firmly closed bedroom doors, and as she listened to Bryn preparing dinner downstairs she could feel her frustration get the better of her. She accepted that they were all in a period of adjust- ment, but was it too much to expect Liam and Scarlett to at least acknowledge the efforts their stepfather was making, even if they chose not to reciprocate? Her marriage could be a great opportunity for them to have a male role model in their lives at long last, if only they would recognize it.

Liam and Scarlett’s dad worked on the North Sea oil rigs and lived a single life in Aberdeen as far as Nina was aware. His children rarely had contact with him and it had been a year or two since either of them had made noises about going to stay with him. Nina had been a lone parent in every sense of the word and, despite heroic efforts, there had been limits to the advice and support she could offer her children, not to mention time. Bryn could bridge the gap. He was bridging the gap, and while Nina wasn’t quite ready to drive the point home forcefully, she wasn’t averse to helping things along.

She tapped on Liam’s door and, after receiving no reply, pushed against the doorstop her son used to deter unwel- come visitors. The door opened only a fraction, revealing a darkened room thick with stale air. A flicker of blue light suggested Liam was using some form of electronic device to communicate with his virtual world.

‘Liam?’

When she received a grunt in response, she asked, ‘How was your first day back?’

‘Fine.’

‘Dinner won’t be long. Bryn’s trying out a new recipe.’

Nina hadn’t posed a question so received no answer or acknowledgement.

‘Have you made plans for the weekend?’ she continued, and although it was a question this time, an answer wasn’t necessary. If Liam had friends outside school, they rarely met, not in the real world at least. ‘Sarah’s suggested we all go out for Sunday lunch. I’d like us all to go.’

There was a hiss of annoyance, but not an outright refusal.

‘OK?’ she asked.

‘OK, Mum. Is that all?’

‘Great, lovely. I’m so looking forward to having quality time with my family,’ she muttered under her breath as she closed the door and turned her attention towards Scarlett’s room.

 
This book is truly fantastic, and one you should definitely check out.
A review will be up very shortly and check out the other bloggers on this tour!
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Blog Tour – We’ll Always Have Paris by Sue Watson

Thank you to the publisher and Sue for letting me take part in the blog tour, check the poster at the bottom to follow other fab bloggers’ stops on the tour!

wellalwayshaveparisSynopsis

When she was almost seventeen, Rosie Draper locked eyes with a charismatic student called Peter during their first week at art college, changing the course of her life forever.
 
Now, on the cusp of sixty-five and recently widowed, Rosie is slowly coming to terms with a new future. And after a chance encounter with Peter, forty-seven years later, they both begin to wonder ‘what if’ . . .
 
 
 
 
 

Review

While I’ve never read any of Sue’s previous books before, in a similar fashion to many authors that are ‘new to me’, I have several waiting for me on my kindle. When offered the chance to read and review Sue’s new book, it sounded too good to resist.
 
The book opens with a real heart-wrenching chapter about Mike, his final moments, and the realisation for Rosie that it’s all coming to an end. It’s so sad to read her hurried thoughts while on the hunt for pineapple yoghurts, It’s also heart breaking to read that despite loving Mike, he wasn’t the love of her life. Though if he had been, this would perhaps been the shortest adult book on record.
 
After the prologue we pick back up 1 year after, and Rosie is still grieving and coming to terms with her loss. She decides to take the first big step though, and return to work in the flower shop she owns and runs with her daughters. Despite Mike not being the love of Rosie’s life, you do get the feeling that she really did love him and need him by the way she feels after he has gone, she doesn’t move in haste.
 
Getting  to know Rosie throughout the book was an absolute pleasure, I was mildly worried I wouldn’t relate or connect with her because of her age (this occasionally happens in YA and other books where I’ve read someone who’s much older. This was unfounded, I connected with her and got her point of view. I was so happy when she started finding her old self and her spark again. Understandably she took a long time to grieve over Mike, who wouldn’t, he was her rock, but it took meeting Peter gain after 40 years for her to realise that she has a life of her own. Also showing that while she is a big part of her family, she can have the best of both worlds, finding time for her daughters and grandchildren, but also herself as well.
 
Anna, the eldest of Rosie’s children, is a hard one to figure out. She does so much that is dislikable, but its clear to me she can’t help it. It doesn’t seem her nature to be mean, but she is clearly one of life’s worriers, and it only makes her see the worst in every situation. I can completely sympathise with that, and while her treatment of her mother, was over protective at best, but came across as mean (Rosie was right to feel peeved at Anna), I am also one of life’s worriers, so I’m not sure that how I would react, if a similar situation was to happen to me. When I get worried and anxious about something, I can only see bad outcomes at times, it sometimes leads me to reasoning that, shall we say, isn’t particularly the most sensible of trains of thought.
I think Rosie has an amazing head on her for coping and dealing with this situation. I would have probably been more hot headed in her situation.
 
Peter, what to say?! I normally read about male suitors who are dreamy and perfect and handsome, and while Peter was incredibly charming, I was never under the impression that I would fancy him on looks alone, and that is due to age. That said, it was interesting reading someone that could be a suitor for my mother (if she was single of course). 
During the flashbacks to when Rosie first met Peter (or Pierre) it was incredibly easy to see why Rosie fell in love. He seemed cooler and more grown up than her, especially with Rosie’s strict upbringing, it was inevitable that he would seem exotic and cool and it completely ties in with how I felt about an ex that I had at a similar age to Rosie.
Grown up Peter though is, as I said, charming. At times however he can seem selfish as he doesn’t really ‘get’ children and their ‘bonds’ even when fully grown up (and that’s understandable) but just as Rosie grows, so does Peter. Which goes to show you’re never too old to grow and improve as a person.
 
This book isn’t just a romance. Naturally that’s a fairly big part of it, but it’s about finding yourself and being true to yourself. About doing things, just for you and not because you think other people expect or want that from you. We can all take lessons from that. Heart-warming and beautiful, this is a perfect read for just simply relaxing and unwinding after a long day.
 
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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
 
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