The Christmas Surprise by Samantha March @BySamanthaMarch


Length: 77 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal buy link for the book

What they say: Juliette Mabry is a happily married stay-at-home wife and mother…until there appears to be trouble brewing in her nearly ten-year marriage. Juliette takes it upon herself to find out if her husband is up to no good, but does she want to know the truth? Everything is revealed on Christmas, and Juliette is in for her biggest Christmas surprise.

The review: First off I have to mention that the author of this book is none other than Samantha March, who runs blog tours on Chick Lit Plus. I have always followed Ms. March on both Facebook and her blog and love how her posts are so bright, inspirational and motivational. There was also the fact that I knew she had written a great deal of books (see them here) and so, when I saw this for free last year (£0.99 now), well, you know, you’re always curious, aren’t you? So I guess I’m starting off my Christmas books here. I know it’s early, but I think it’s going to be another year where there’s going to be a lot of excellent titles out here (last year I steered very clear but the year before I read a fair few, see wrap up here) so off we go!

This story starts with a lady in a toilet stall, listening to the rumour mill starting up about someone’s partner having an affair and I was intrigued straight away. The scene was reminiscent of Desparate Housewives, and indeed this programme was mentioned, with our protagonist wondering if they could be talking about her best friend, who had once been caught sleeping with her gardener. And this was the essence of the story, which had me so early on, and kept me through every twist and turn with its ‘who can you trust?’ tale of betrayal and deceipt. It featured lavish lifestyles, yoga and Botox, but with more likeable characters than I’d have expected from a book set in this backdrop. The descriptions were beautiful and grabbed you and put you right there, the suspence got you and I read it in an evening. The only issue I had was that I felt it could have been just a little braver, but saying this I enjoyed the ending. Add to this that it was a free Christmas read which made it that little bit more satisfying! This is a book that will definitely send me back to Ms. March’s back catalogue.

Rating: 4.5/5


Lost by Elle Field


Length: 262 pages

Note: The image leads to a universal amazon buy link for the book

What they say: “I’m starting to realise that age is just a number, but Tabitha pointed out I’m only saying that because I’m twenty-five, engaged, and have my life together. (Touch wood things stay that way.)”

Arielle is back! OK, she’s not on her way to becoming the next Coco Chanel, her childhood dream, but she is one way step closer to running her very own shop with her business partner, Felicity.

She’s also planning her perfect romantic wedding to fiancé, Piers, and Arielle is starting to believe that she’s finally found her place in the world… Of course life is never that straightforward.

With a new-found foe interfering with her shop decisions, not to mention haughty wedding planners and loved ones facing personal struggles, will Arielle figure out what’s important before all is lost?

Lost is the second book in the delightful Arielle Lockley chick lit series, following on from the #1 best seller Kept, which was long listed in the Best Romantic Comedy category, SpaSpa Book Awards 2013. Shopaholic and Lindsey Kelk fans will love the next book in this funny coming of age series.


The Review: When I saw the opportunity to review one of Elle Field’s books I ran for it. I’ve seen and encountered Elle Field a number of times on Twitter and have huge admiration for both her work ethic and writing advice. This, coupled with all the gushing about her books, and the fact that I have B-side sitting on my Kindle, pushed me forward. This is book 2 of the Arielle Lockley series. I read it as a standalone and it worked well as such.

We begin this book with a prologue from Obelix, who turns out to be our lead, Arielle Lockley’s best friend. Our insight into him is that he is a nice, easy-going, slightly awkward vet, who hasn’t had any luck in the girl department and also who is gearing up for his best friend’s wedding, hoping not to let her down.We then move over to Arielle, going back in time by four months, when she is looking for the perfect premises for her new business, a boutique. We get insights into her business partner and friend, an elderly lady named Felicity and I was pulled along with Arielle, as she tried to deal with the many interruptions, events and crises thrown at her. And there were quite a few. I really enjoyed said crises, thrown in when you least expected them. I really warmed to Arielle, although she was perhaps a little over dramatic in places, as were many of the characters. There were some nice hints thrown in as to what might happen in the next book of the series and we were left on a great cliffhanger. All in all a really enjoyable book and, given the ending I will most definitely continue to follow the series (Found is out now).

Thanks to Samantha March from Chick Lit Plus for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

About the author:


Elle Field writes coming of age chick lit books, and is the author of the Arielle Lockley series and Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not. She grew up in a small town in England, then moved to Scotland to study International Relations and Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews.

Elle now lives in London with her boyfriend and their cat. She’s a massive fan of sunshine, giraffes, The Killers, Audrey Hepburn movies, playing Scrabble, musicals and tea. Oh, and reading, of course!

Find out more about Elle by reading her blog  or by following her on Twitter: @ellefie

Elle’s books on Goodreads

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