Sweatpants at Tiffanies by Pernille Hughes

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Length: 262 pages

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

What they say:

Tiffanie Trent is not having a great week. Gavin, her boyfriend, has dumped her unceremoniously on their tenth anniversary, leaving her heartbroken and homeless.

Frank Black, the owner of Blackie’s boxing gym and where Tiff has been book-keeper for the last decade, has dropped dead. He’s not having a great week either.

And if that wasn’t enough, Mike ‘The Assassin’ Fellner, boxer of international fame and Tiff’s first love, is back in town and more gorgeous than ever. Tiff can’t seem to go anywhere without bumping into his biceps.

When she discovers Blackie has left her the gym, Tiff, with her saggy trackies and supermarket trainers, is certain she’ll fail. Can Tiff step up and roll with the punches, or will she be down and out at the first round?

The Review: There’s times when you read a blurb and it catches you by surprise and you go ‘geney mac I have to read that!’ And so it was with this, a book about Tiffanie, who is living with a guy who is probably one of the best literary examples of an a**hole that there is (!), dumping her. Tiffanie is shocked but doesn’t quite see what we’re seeing and is set on winning him back. Struggling on, we are hit with another shock, Blackie, the owner of the gym Tiffanie works at as a bookkeeper, dies. It is very wrong to think ‘oh well done’ to the way he dies, but as a writer, I’m afraid I did nod and think that (what is wrong with me?!)

I really enjoyed this book. ‘Laugh out loud’ was exactly how to describe it as there was indeed a number of moments where I actually spluttered! It deals with, as you would guess, a male dominated area where a number of men, in particular one who thinks he has designs on the gym, try to force Tiffanie out. I loved her ideas for the gym and the way not everyone was against her, there were a number of lovely characters that were brilliant in their support. The romance and heat was very well done and I read this in one sitting at the fire with a box of Pringles (just setting the scene!) and really enjoyed (both book and Pringles). Thanks so much to Bookouture and Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

A Winter’s Wish Come True by Lynsey James

awintersLength: 254 pages

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

What they say:

Tis the season to be . . . pregnant? Catch up with Cleo and Scott in this fabulously feel-good festive read

Being pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby is the last thing on Cleo Jones’s Christmas wish list. Scott might have been the man of her dreams once upon a time, but things change and now Cleo faces a future as a single mum… Or does she?

Scott won’t let Cleo go through this alone; whatever their differences he’s vowed to be there, from antenatal classes to night feeds and nappy changing. The two agree to bring up their baby as friends – but as Cleo’s bump grows, so do their feelings for each other.

Cleo can’t be sure if it’s her heart of her hormones urging her to give Scott a second chance – but getting back together could be the best Christmas present of all!

The Review: After loving A Season Of Hopes And Dreams (review here ), I was thrilled to jump STRAIGHT into this, A Winter’s Wish Come True, returning to see what had and would happen with Cleo and Scott. Books with pregnancy and babies or kiddies bundled up with comedy and romance are right up my street and I looked forward to seeing how Ms. Jame approached the whole thing. We start off somewhere along the street we ended up in (don’t worry, no spoilers for the last book!), with Cleo still attacking that bucket list; she’s taking a skydive and turning down her instructor for a date. As the blurb says, she’s broken up with Scott, which is a shock, and I was dying to see what had happened and why. As always, Cleo is always full of surprises and I settled in. The pregnancy of course comes as a shock and I loved the brilliantly done ‘it can’t be THAT!’ moment. There are many captivating moments in this book and a return to some of the characters we’d met before, although here, we’re used to them and so settle into enjoying her friends, and her family (her mother, although pushy, stole my heart.’ We also meet old acquaintances, some not so friendly, and issues that she thought she had conquered, the psychology of which was captivating. I highlighted as I went, chortled, ohhed and made shocked faces as I flew through this excellent book that will make any chick lit lover happy out this Christmas. Could be read as a standalone but to be honest I’d go enjoy them both! Thanks so much to Netgalley and HQ digital for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

No One Ever Has Sex On Christmas Day by Tracy Bloom

What better way to start December than a Christmas read? So here’s one that’ll be hard to beat!

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Length: 298 pages

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

What they say: A dream family Christmas or a total nightmare? Katy and Ben are about to find out…

Katy’s been stuck in the office away from her family so she wants it all: snow (fake or real), the Michael Bublé Christmas album, whatever it takes.

There’s only one thing missing as far as her husband Ben is concerned: another baby to complete their family. But Katy isn’t so sure she’s ready yet…

Ben may be playing the role of Master Elf in the pre-school nativity but he is struggling to master his own family life. With romantically-challenged friends, an ex who refuses to go away and Katy’s mum’s 64-year-old toy boy thrown into the mix, Christmas looks like it could be going off the rails… Never mind family planning, can Katy and Ben even plan to make it to the end of Christmas Day?

From the no. 1 bestselling author of No-one Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday, this book will make you cry with laughter, and then book your flights abroad for the festive season. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella and Milly Johnson.

The review: I know I’ve said this before, but how frigging excellent is it when you go looking for an author on Amazon because you loved their sense of humour, settings and everything else and find they have numerous books out?! (Yes, it’s gonna be another gushy one, everyone beware!)

So, to start off with, this is a book that has a smattering of characters, all with different roles, and all equally memorable, which is just how I like it. We begin the story with a  lead up to Christmas. Katy’s husband, Ben, has decided to pull out all the stops in terms of Christmas decorating, and we receive the news that Katy’s mum has been having a fling with a younger Spanish man, and wants to bring him to theirs for Christmas dinner.

From the off I found the humour to be loud, but not crude, which is exactly what I love and by only eight percent in I had already laughed (properly) or smiled about six times! I highlighted on and on which was ridiculous, but from the sense of being IN the story, to the comedy, to the characters-well, I just couldn’t stop!

There was Katy and Ben, where Katy wasn’t sure which should take precedence, her career or another baby, which was what her husband, Ben wanted. Ben was a stay at home dad, and I adored his little flip outs that reminded me of the crazy days- the ones where things don’t go to plan and you feel like you’re juggling everything on your own but don’t want to upset the bread winner, as they’ve so much on their plate too.

We also got to see into other people’s homes, Alison and Matthew, with Alison, hmm, let’s just say she was a little bit het up over things that may or may not have been necessary to get so upset over (her twins ‘ place in the nativity play ruining their whole future for one!). This also led us to meet the brilliant Ian, a well known womaniser with eyes for their nanny, much to Alison’s horror!

Their was also Ben’s best friend, Braindead who I adored (adored, adored!) who had decided that maybe he was one for committment with his long term girlfriend, another excellent character!

This is perfect for people who heart films such as ‘This Years Love’ with laugh out loud moments, heartwarming ‘aww’ moments, all put together with some nailbiting ‘what are they going to DO?!’ bits. Loved it! Thanks so much to Boookouture and Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.

Note 1: My only problem was that I hadn’t read Tracy Bloom’s other books first and met the characters. I had read it as a standalone but wished I’d read in order. But you can (and I will go back!)! Find them here!

Note 2: Watch out for where the title is mentioned in the book. You won’t expect it!

Rating: 5/5

 

#BlogTour #Review Upstairs, Downstairs by Olivia Hart @Aria_Fiction

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Hi everyone! Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Upstairs, Downstairs by Olivia Harte.

As always the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

Available on NetGalley to request here

Buy links: Amazon: here

Kobo: here

iBooks: here

Google Play: here

What they say: Secrets on your doorstep don’t stay secret for long… A romantic comedy perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Holly Martin.

When Daniele Bracci – a musician at Rome’s Opera Theatre arrives at his new apartment, he is surprised by the warm welcome he receives from his neighbours. Giovanna however, is more preoccupied with introducing him to her daughter Anita. But what she doesn’t know is that for the last two years, Anita has been secretly seeing someone else. When Anita is introduced to the new tenant, she has the shock of her life – Daniele was Anita’s first love at high school. Can she come to terms with the terrible way things ended between them? Anita isn’t the only one with something to hide… and none of these secrets go unnoticed by Pina, the apartment gossip who writes everything down in her secret diary…

The Review: This was the story of a group of people who lived in a group of apartments in Rome and their day to day life. They range in age, but in general are of an older age, which I appreciated. The youngest inhabitants were Anita, a very fiery, free spirited twenty eight year old tour guide who zips about on a moped, and Daniel, a musician who arrives to houseshare. There are secrets surrounding both and I suppose to jump straight in there were times I liked both, and times I didn’t, finding some of their reactions incredibly over dramatic, although at times they were funny too. If I’m honest in this book I accepted that a lot of the characters were fiery and passionate and dramatic and read on without them alienating me from the story.

Aside from these outbursts, there was an easygoing tone, very much heightened by descriptions of a veg garden they all share and regularly convene in that was bursting with vivid colours and wholesomeness and was so tangible that I wanted to be there. The apartment complex was similar, so real to me that it was like I was stepping into the ochre building walking through the stone archway with the dragons on the roof. This continued to other settings and I appreciated all the beauty the book had to offer.

There was also the secrets each of the ‘villagers,’ in particular that of Giovanna, Anieta’s mother, who was so so lovely. In fact the lovely characters balanced out the ones that weren’t so easy to like and I found myself swooning and smiling all over the place. I liked the comedy, had mixed reactions to characters, and was taken by the settings. Thanks so much to the lovely Melanie at Aria, an imprint of Head of Zeus, and to Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

About the author (wait for this, extremely intriguing!)

Olivia Hart is a collective group of authors who met five years ago on a writing course and then could no longer do without each other’s company. They decided to write a novel that would bind them forever.

Alice Avella writes because she is always lost in Wonderland. Se is an employee at the city hall in Rome and has worked in the movie industry.

Fabrio Franceschini is a worker by necessity and a writer by passion. In his life he has read and written many things. After this adventure he doesn’t have any specific projects for the future, but he likes to look at the glass half full.

Guido Fare lives in Rome. He avoids contradictions in order to fully enjoy them.

Anna Froscali began to write when she stopped working. Fromt he thriller genre she went on to romance. She sees life in colours: the colours of the countries she has visited, the colours of the fabrics she likes to sew, and the colours of the book covers that crwod her bookshelves.

Tiziana Isoni was born in Rome, but half of her genes are from Sardinia. She became a bit French with Erasmus. She studied Sciences, but with her creative imagination, since childhood she has transformed her perceptions into little poems. She works full time in computer science, looking for the free time to write.

Luca Pallini has experienced skiing, canoeing, trekking, and Cuban drums … before discovering writing. He had never imagined waking up one dayw ith a published novel! He works in the computer science sector, and he is always looking for something to discover, learn and maybe create.

Maurizio Pompei a gentle soul and curmudgeon, who effortlessly went from Roman archeological sites, that he studies with investigative methods, to thrillers. He is a collector of miniature soldiers and builds dioramas. He wrote a book of poems and one of short stories.

Antonietta Sciammarella, having put belly dancing behind her, looks for new, unexplored goals. Afetr she breaks into a house of secret loves, they won’t be secret any more.

Follow (the excellent!) Aria:

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction 

 

Now. How about you follow the rest of the blog tour?

Upstairs, Downstairs The Blog Tour

 

Seasons of Summer Novella Series by Melissa Baldwin

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

I have to start this by telling you that the second I saw the offer of promoting this I realised I’d read the first of this series after letting down Melissa Baldwin by not promoting the release of the final of this series. I was a bit all over the place at the time and I let it pass me by before I realised I’d missed the deadline. So I mailed  and apologised, without a very good excuse or even an excellent apology, as I still wasn’t myself, and everyone involved was so incredibly lovely that I downloaded the first book of the series and it was honestly just what I needed (I cannot tell you how much I mean this, I’d been reading a lot of thrillers, and while they’re great, when you’re tired and down, they can keep you a bit submerged, if you know what I mean). I’ll get the review up for you in the next few days but I’m pretty sure I had it as a 4 or 4.5/5, I definitely remember smile out loud moments and hints of magic that had me nodding along but anyway, back to the task in hand, which is letting you know that this whole set is Melissa Baldwin has bundled her Seasons Of Summer Novellas into a box set, which is available now and when I saw this I pre-ordered it myself and will get to the remaining three in the next while ( I love box sets as I’ve an awful habit of reading a novella and waiting for ages to get to the next one!). Each novella sells for $.99, but you can get all four books in the box set for only $2.99. Happy out!:)

 

About the Seasons of Summer Novella Series Box Set 

After a devastating breakup, Summer Peters knows she needs something to distract her. Become a fly on the wall for a year and discover how Summer handles new experiences and challenges that each season throws at her. Will these ups and downs lead to the life of her dreams? 

Fall Into Magic – Book One  

After a devastating breakup in the middle of her summer vacation, Summer Peters knows she needs something to distract her. What better than the arrival of fall, Halloween, and a new client? 

Winter Can Wait – Book Two 

Following a fabulous fall, Summer is not looking forward to the frigid winter. Much to her dismay, she knows this winter is a time for many changes in her life, including moving on from the heartache of the past. 

To Spring with Love – Book Three 

Summer is thrilled to be done with the frigid winter. Spring is in the air, and she’s ready for a fresh new start. Her career is thriving, she’s searching for a new place to live, and she’s finally ready to take her relationship with Alexander Williams to the next level. 

Return to Summer – Book Four 

Summertime has arrived and things aren’t only heating up outside for Summer. After a rocky spring, Summer thinks she’s finally moved on from the heartache of last year. She’s found a new place to live, her company has new clients, and her relationship with Alexander Williams is going strong, despite the desperate attempts by others to sabotage it. 

Where to find the Seasons of Summer Novella Series Box Set 

Goodreads

Universal Buy Link

 

Meet Melissa 

Melissa Baldwin is an avid runner, planner obsessed, and has always had a love for writing. She is a wife, mother, and avid journal keeper who took her creativity to the next level by fulfilling her dream with her debut novel, An Event to Remember…or Forget. Melissa writes about charming, ambitious, and real women and is now a published author of ten Romantic Comedy novels and novellas. 

 

When she isn’t deep in the writing zone, this multi-tasking master organizer is busy spending time with her family, chauffeuring her daughter, traveling, running, indulging in fitness, and taking a Disney Cruise every now and then. 

 

Connect with Melissa 

melissabaldwin

Website: http://www.authormelissabaldwin.com/ 

Goodreads

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

Twitter @mpbaldwinauthor

Pinterest

Amazon Author

 

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Novella Review: The Snowflake Valley Advice Fairy by Holly Tierney-Bedord

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Length: 95 pages

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

What they say: The author of Right Under Your Nose: A Christmas Story brings you another sweet, festive holiday novella.

At just twenty-five years old, Elinor has landed the job of her dreams: She’s going to be Merry the Advice Fairy for the Snowflake Valley Gazette. She’s ecstatic that she’s about to embark on a fun, cushy career while living in the cutest, quaintest town she’s ever known.

She’s barely settled into her desk at work when that famous Snowflake Valley shimmer starts to fizzle. The real Snowflake Valley bears little resemblance to the picture postcard tourist destination she and her family loved when she was a child. Her new co-workers are uninspiring, to say the least, and the problems that people are submitting to the Gazette are much weightier than what she was expecting.

Losing faith in herself, Elinor considers cutting her losses and moving on. However, the attention of hot young reporter Nile might be enough to get her past her chilly start in Snowflake Valley, and back to seeing its charm once again.

 
The Review: It’s funny that the last line of the blurb uses the word ‘charm,’ because no word is more apt for this gorgeous little novella. From the very beginning, where we meet Elinor as she introduced to her new surroundings at the Snowflake Valley Gazette, I could tell this was going to be special. Elinor has some very romanticized visions of Snowflake Valley brought about by her childhood memories of apple picking at Harvest Fest and caroling there at Christmas time, however she soon realizes that there’s a harsh reality out there, and her job is to deal with it, by turning agony aunt and answering the problems people send into the newspaper. I loved the letters, with problems that ranged from heartbreaking to properly hilarious, with one making me say ‘yes!’ as I laughed out loud.

The characters in this book were excellent, the romance lovely, the story brilliantly spun and actually, this is one that I’ll possibly read again. An extremely satisfying read and an author I will most definitely be back to for more and more (by the way I’ve reviewed Boots On The Ground by Ms. Tierney-Bedord here  , Weekend Immune System here and there’s an author interview here).

Thanks to the author for this book in return for an honest review .

Rating: 5/5

About the author

hollytierneybedford

Website

Blog

Twitter:  ( @hollytierney)

Facebook

Holly’s Amazon Page

Dear Dad by Giselle Green

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What they say: Handsome, 28-year old, Nate Hardman is a frontline reporter with a big problem. Suffering from shell-shock and unable to leave his house, he’s already lost his social life and his girlfriend. Now his career prospects are sinking fast.

9 year-old Adam Boxley who lives alone with his ageing nan, also has big problems. Neglected at home and bullied at school, he’s desperate to reach out to his dad – and that’s when he sends his first letter to Nate. Only Nate’s not who he thinks he is. Will he help? More importantly – can he?

Across town meanwhile, caring but impulsive teacher Jenna Tierney really wants to help Adam – except the feisty redhead has already had enough of teaching. Recently hurt by yet another cheating boyfriend, Jenna’s now set her sights on pursuing a dream career abroad … only she’s about to meet Nate – her dream man who’ll make her re-think everything.

The big question is; can three people desperate to find love, ever find happiness when they’re only connected by one big lie?

The Review: First off thanks so much to the author for this book in return for an honest review. I have to admit, when I first saw the cover of this I was a bit worried. I wasn’t sure it was my type of read. With the child looking so serious and the light shining on him I was afraid their might be something of a dubious nature within the book, but one quick look of the blurb and I was looking forward to reading. This book was a cross between What Milo Saw by Virginia MacGregor and Into The Night Sky by Caroline Finnerty and it matched up nicely, with a great storyline, humour, romance and fun.

The story alternated between characters Nate and Jenna, a tool I’m always a fan of, and we got to know both of them intimately, Nate, a twenty seven year old front-line war correspondent who’s suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, and Jenna, a primary school teacher who has just arrived home after leaving  a cheating fiance in Sicily. Nate was great, the perfect mix of ‘not so sure about him,’ mixed with ‘I adore him so much.’ He narrated his episodes brilliantly, and we were tentatively shown his back stories nicely as the story progressed. The one thing I couldn’t fathom was why we kept being reminded of how young Nate was, and at times this grated on me, just a little.

Jenna was great, I loved her from the start, with her ability to tell it like it was perfect. In particular I adored her arrival at her new school, which was genius, and how she stepped straight in and did the right thing.

I loved the story-line, with 9 year old Adam Boxley, as expected, the star of the show, taking his lot with such bravery, and showing us how to smile despite having so much to deal with. In particular his letters were the perfect mix of heartbreaking and hilarious. I loved how the mix-up came about, and thought it was nicely carried through. In general there was perhaps one too many mix ups, where someone didn’t say something where they should have, but in general this was also well done.

I now have to throw up a huge kudos for all the side characters, Mr Drummond a good ‘baddy’ and Marcie a great boss, although my favourite were her best friend Mags, and Nate’s work associate, Hal. Both were lovely, giving their characters moral support, told honestly, at times with hilarious results! They told us what we needed to know as we needed it, without being hit over the head with it. Actually, in general this was the magic of the book, I was totally engrossed and walking alongside the characters as everything happened while we were told what was happening through dialogue and descriptions.

All in all, a book I couldn’t put down (the pacing was really well done). I relished every single chapter while having to hold back from seeing what happened and where these three very different lives would end up. And I can simply say, it was worth the wait. Very much recommended:)

Rating 4.5/5

 

About Giselle

gisellegreen

Again the best way to tell you about Giselle, is in her own words 🙂

Giselle’s website

Giselle on Twitter

Giselle on Facebook

Giselle Green’s books on Amazon

 

The Girls From See Saw Lane by Sandy Taylor

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What they say:I loved this novel so much, even though it’s probably the most heart-breaking story I’ve read all year…it will totally absorb you and capture your heart.That Thing She Reads

Brighton 1963. Mary Pickles and I walked along the street with our arms linked, looking in shop windows. We were best friends and together we were invincible.

Dottie and Mary forged a friendship over a bag of penny sweets when they were eight years old. They’ve shared everything together since then – the highs and lows of school, family dramas, hopes and dreams and now, at seventeen, they’re both shop girls, working at Woolworths.

As they go out in the world in pursuit of love and happiness, the simplicity of their childhood dissolves as life becomes more complicated. The heady excitement of first love will consume them both, but the pain of unintentional betrayal will test their friendship in ways neither of them could ever imagine…

A charming, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting novel which brings a bygone era vividly to life. Fans of Nadine Dorries, Mary Gibson and Pam Weaver will love The Girls from See Saw Lane. Counting Chimneys coming soon.

‘I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down. It has all the ingredients for a perfect read: fantastic, loveable and very real characters, an emotional and compelling storyline, and a brilliant setting in time and place.’ Louise Douglas

‘Sandy Taylor has proven herself to be a very talented and gifted storyteller with an immense insight into family, friendship, love, and forgiveness…This is one of the most endearing, yet heart-breaking, novels that I have encountered in quite some time and will certainly not soon forget…Witty and humorous dialogue written with such ease truly brought this story to life and swept me away between the pages. Filled with unexpected twists and turns, you’ll want to keep the box of tissues nearby!’ Kimberly’s Bookshelf

‘I have just started to read this one and am hooked! I love the vivid details of the time period and the closeness of the best friends.Weekend Reading

‘I would recommend it to anyone who loves stories about female friendships, books set in the past…and for anyone who wants an emotionally stirring read!’ My Bookish Ramblings

A beautiful tale of friendship, love, betrayal and forgiveness and one that will stay with me for a long time to comeThe Girls From See Saw Lane is a truly beautiful story that will touch your heart. Mary and Dottie will certainly live on in my head and my heart.’ By The Letter Book Reviews

‘I find it very hard to believe that this is Sandy’s first book. This book is so well written…The relationship between the girls is very heartwarming, but also extremely heartbreaking, there will be times when you will need tissues at hand.The Reading Head

‘I recommend this book to all who want to take a wonderful trip back to the 60’s. I would give it more than 5 stars if there were more to give.’ Library Thing

When you read this book, be prepared to laugh and to cry (it gets really sad)The Girls from See Saw Lane is a good book to settle in and read on a rainy afternoon.’ The Avid Reader

‘Wow this book had me laughing out loud one minute and bursting into tears the next..A massive page turner.Nat’s Reading Cloud

‘I absolutely adored it…so wonderful and so captivating.The Book Cafe

Will make you smile, laugh, reminisce and perhaps even cry a little…an absorbing and charming read.’ Portobello Book Blog

The Review: First off, such a mahoosive thanks to Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review. There’s books where you enjoy every single word, and this was one of them.  It was the story of Dottie and Mary, starting with them aged 8 and continuing into teenagedom and then adulthood. I adore books told from multiple points of views and this was told through Dottie, the character who saw herself as the lesser of the pair, although I thought of her as only slightly more innocent, with a tiny diary extract by Mary sealing everything. Both characters were as strong and as lovely as each other and you could see that both through story and diary extracts.  The story was great, Dotties family aiding in the comic moments and both Dottie and Mary’s ‘beaus, Ralph and Elton’ adding to drama, warmth and gorgeous romance.

The beauty is in the everyday, the ordinary, the many examples of what great friends the two were, two people who were always looking out for each other,

” ‘Well they won’t tease you any more, Dottie Perks … Not if I have anything to do with it.’ We smiled at each other, and in that moment it was as if we both knew that something wonderful and special had just happened.”

and how their friendship continues through. There was no waiting for the next Big Bang, or whatever was going to happen at the end (although the beginning of the story did continue to return to my mind), I just read and enjoyed each description, each daily event.

There’s betrayal, of course, a betrayal that packed a punch, with repercussions both heartbreaking and beautiful that I floated through, they were so vivid. The reviews I read all told of how one of the main characters obviously didn’t appreciate the other, but there are countless examples that tell otherwise. The ending had me in floods of tears, my heart truly broke and after I put the book away it still continued to enter my mind. I cannot recommend enough and I was shocked to see this was a debut, it was so beautifully crafted.

Rating: 5/5

 

Inconceivable by Tegan Wren

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What they say: A popular, young royal couple can’t produce an heir? INCONCEIVABLE!

When Ozarks native Hatty goes “whole hog” during karaoke, she catches the eye of Prince John. He isn’t what she expects the heir to a small European nation to be: he’s affable, witty, and isn’t put off by her tell-it-like-it-is demeanor. Their flirtation should be short lived, but a force stronger than fate—Hatty’s newspaper editor—assigns her to cover the royals. After spending time together, she and John soon begin dating, and Hatty finds herself making headlines instead of writing them.

But challenges loom that are even more complicated than figuring out how to mesh Hatty’s journalism career with life at Belvoir Palace. Hatty and John soon find themselves embroiled in an unusual sex scandal: they can’t produce an heir. Tabloids dub Hatty a “Barren-ess,” and the royals become irate. Hatty politely tells them to shove it. But beneath her confident exterior, she struggles to cope with a heartbreak that invades her most intimate moments with John.

Pressured to choose between invasive medical procedures and abandoning John’s claim to the throne, the couple feels trapped until a trip to Ethiopia shows them happy endings sometimes arrive long after saying “I do.”

“As someone who has experienced infertility, I empathize with Hatty’s struggles. Wren beautifully illuminates the joy, grief, and adventure of creating a family against all odds in this heart warming and impactful story.” America Olivo Campbell, actress: DeGrassi: The Next Generation, Chicago PD, Mission Impossible 5.

“Not only was this a very well written and entertaining story (I flew through it), but I feel it’s also a very important story.” -Meredith Tate, author of Missing Pieces

“Tegan Wren’s debut novel is by turn funny, heartbreaking and ultimately inspiring.” JDC, author and journalist

“Inconceivable is not only an intelligent read, but a candid chronicle of a condition that can disrupt anyone’s longing to create a family.” -Pamela Hirsch, Founder, Baby Quest Foundation

 

The review: To start I have to gush about that beautiful cover. Doesn’t it just lure you in? Add to this the fact that the start of each chapter contains that very silhouette and you’re in heaven (Just as I’d reach the first page of each chapter, I’d smile, thinking of that beautiful picture. I know, I know!)

From the start of this book I was very much taken. Meeting Hatty, a journalism intern, I warmed to her immediately, her strength, her intelligence, her sense of fun. She was loud and bright and yet not irritating and I warmed to her, enjoyed her fun parts, and felt for her when the chips were down. I loved how she and Prince John Meinrad, Toulene’s most popular royal, were put together, and the chaos that followed. By the way I suppose I should throw in here that the banter between the two was lovely, and the chemistry great. I wasn’t always sure about John, but given his status that just made him all the more three dimensional to me.  The detail into the royal family’s customs, traditions and nuances were captivating, especially when taken with the descriptions of relevant royal locations and tales  of various family members.

If you look at the blurb and recommendations above, the hype is nearly fully devoted to the fertility issues that Hatty and John have, understandable, of course, given the title of the book, however I feel this is selling the rest of the book short. All of this happens later on, and the prequel to this, the story of John and Hatty, of a prince dating a journalist who wants to be recognised for the mark she wants to make on the world as opposed to who she’s with, the Royal family’s reaction to her; THESE are what makes the book for me. I know the fertility issue is so important, but I just don’t think that that needs to be the hook for ‘Inconceivable,’ which I found to be an intelligent, giggle out loud, satisfying read with good characters, lovely romance and some great sticky situations. Very enjoyable.
Rating4.5/5