Blog Tour: Rome For The Summer by Lynne Shelby

Rome For The Summer

Delighted to be taking my turn on the tour today for Rome for the Summer by Lynne Shelby. It’s especially exciting as today is publication day for the book, so happy publication day, Lynne! My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on to the tour and to the publisher for my digital copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

Rome For The Summer Cover

Kate Harper has always loved the painting that has hung in her parents’ dining room for years, never suspecting that it is worth a fortune. When her art dealer boyfriend cheats her family out of the proceeds of the painting’s sale, she is left devastated and alone.

Kate discovers that two hundred years ago, the girl in the painting, Charlotte Browne, ran off to Rome with the artist who painted her portrait, but her eventual fate is unknown.

Hoping to uncover the mystery of what happened to Charlotte, Kate seizes the chance of a summer job in Rome, where she strikes up a friendship with artist Jamie Taylor. As they explore the city and start to piece together the surprising secrets of Charlotte’s life, Kate finds herself wondering if a summer in Rome can mend a broken heart…

I’m on a roll with the travel romance novels at the moment, and I was particularly looking forward to reading this one, as Rome is one of my favourite cities in the world and I couldn’t wait to be whisked off there again – if only vicariously – to explore in the company of broken-hearted Kate and handsome artist, Jamie.

The premise behind this book is fun, and I thoroughly enjoyed the blending of light romance with the historical thread. You more often see historical themes explored in a more serious way, so this was a refreshing change and I think it really worked. The historical aspects complemented the contemporary story without dragging it down. I felt the contrast between Kate’s travels to Rome in the 21st century and the same story being experienced by Charlotte in the 19th worked brilliantly to highlight how much harder it was for women back then; you will leave the story feeling glad that you weren’t a female in the 1800s!

If you enjoy immersing yourself in foreign locations via literature, you will love this book, because the author really captures the spirit and beauty of Rome in this novel. Having been a couple of times, it is a place I am familiar with and love very much, and this story gave me all the warm fuzzy feelings I get whenever I think about that beautiful city, its sights, sounds, smells and flavours and the vibrant, welcoming people. It has made me want to return as soon as possible (which much be an overdue event, as threw my last coin in the Trevi Fountain more than five years ago) and, if you’ve never been, you’ll be searching for flights to the Eternal City as soon as you’ve turned the last page.

All this aside, the essential ingredient of any romance novel is, of course, the romance, and the central relationship in this book does not disappoint. Kate is a warm, likeable and sympathetic character and you will be firmly on her side from the beginning. Jamie is a suitably swoon-worthy foil for her, and watching their relationship grow is a pleasure and a privilege. All the ingredients are present for a happy ending, and the tension between them, whilst a slow boil rather than a roaring inferno, feels all the more genuine and with better prospects because of it.

All in all, another fantastic summer read to add to the growing pile for packing in your summer suitcase. Better make sure there is plenty of room on your Kindle, as there are some marvellous romance novels being published just in time for the holidays.

Rome for the Summer is out today in ebook and paperback formats and you can get your copy here.

Make sure you visit some of the other blogs taking part in the tour for alternative reviews and other content:

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About the Author

Lynne Shelby Author Photo

Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction and romance. Her debut novel, French Kissing (re-released in e-book as Meet Me In Paris) won the Accent Press and Woman magazine Writing Competition, and her fifth novel, Love On Location, was shortlisted for a Romantic Novelists’ Association Award – the Jane Wenham-Jones Award for Romantic Comedy. When not writing or reading, Lynne can usually be found at the theatre or exploring a foreign city with her writer’s notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand. She lives in London with her husband and has three adult children who live nearby.

Connect with Lynne:

Website: http://www.lynneshelby.com

Facebook: Lynne Shelby Writer

Twitter: @LynneShelby5

Instagram: @lynneshelbywriter

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Blog Tour: A Wedding in Tuscany by Sandy Barker

A Wedding in Tuscany

I’m such a big fan of this series so I’m thrilled to be taking my turn on the blog tour today for A Wedding in Tuscany, the latest in the Holiday Romance series by Sandy Barker. Huge thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me a place on the tour and to the publisher for my digital copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

A Wedding in Tuscany

The Parsons sisters are all loved up.

Sarah is living in Sydney with Josh and their cat, Domino, but is anxious about her fast-approaching fortieth birthday.

And Cat is still living in London with her flatmate, Jane, but is in a long-distance relationship with Jean-Luc, her childhood sweetheart and recently re-discovered love.

One of the sisters receives a surprise wedding proposal – it’s a yes! – and everyone heads off to Tuscany for a destination wedding.

Reunite with favourite characters from the Holiday Romance series in one of the most beautiful locations yet for love, laughter, wedding vows, and just a smidge of sisterly mayhem.

I was so sad when I heard that this book was going to be the last in this wonderful series but, if it has to end, what a way to go out. What could be a more exciting and romantic read than the whole Holiday Romance gang travelling to Tuscany for a rustic, Italian wedding? There is absolutely nothing I enjoy reading more at this time of year, when I am anticipating my own summer travels, than a beautiful, light-hearted book that combines a trip to a gorgeous, exotic location with a huge dollop of love, and this book has both in spades.

I’m not going to give away who is getting married or what actually happens but, needless to say the path to the altar is bumpy and strewn with pitfalls and calamities, just as you’d expect in the perfect romance novel. I mean, if there are no problems, there’s no story, right? All the things you can imagine that might go wrong when trying to arrange a wedding at a distance occur, and we eagerly ride the rollercoaster to the altar with the bride and groom and their families. On this trip, Sandy takes us via Tuscan castles, vineyards, medieval Tuscan cities, naked Italian gods in human form and… actually I don’t need to say any more do I? I completely had you at ‘naked Italian gods’ and you are definitely going to buy this book now, I know!

Sandy’s books always combine easy, flowing writing with rounded and appealing characters, fully immersive locations where you can smell the lavender and rosemary wafting off the page, and a thrilling plot. The conclusion of the story filled me with all the feels and I think this was the perfect way to round off this wonderful series. Whilst I’ll miss Cat, Sarah, Jaelee, Lou and the rest of the gang immensely, I can say goodbye knowing that they all have achieved their happy ever afters, just as it should be. And, of course, they are all there, waiting patiently on my shelf if I decide I ever want to catch up with them again.

This book is the perfect armchair travel read, and an ideal summer book. I cannot recommend it highly enough and, if you haven’t already read the previous four books in the Holiday Romance series, now is the perfect time to pick one up.

A Wedding in Tuscany is out now in ebook and will be published in paperback on 18 August. You can buy a copy here.

You can follow the rest of the tour for this book by visiting the blogs detailed below:

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About the Author

Author Photo Sandy Barker

Sandy is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover and a coffee snob. 

Sandy lives in Melbourne Australia with her partner, Ben, who she met while travelling in Greece. Their real-life love story inspired Sandy’s debut novel One Summer in Santorini, the first in the Holiday Romance series with One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins. 

The series continues in That Night in Paris and A Sunset in Sydney and there are two more to come in 2022. Her standalone novel The Christmas Swapcelebrates her favourite time of the year, and next up is The Dating Game, a laugh-out-loud romcom set in the world of Reality TV.

Connect with Sandy:

Website: https://sandybarker.com/

Facebook: Sandy Barker Author

Twitter: @sandybarker

Instagram: @sandybarkerauthor

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Blog Tour: Not The Plus One by Belle Henderson

Not The Plus One

I’m taking my turn on the blog tour today, unfortunately not with the review I had hoped for this book, but a spotlight post instead. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for offering me a place on the tour and to the publisher and author for my digital copy of the book.

Not the (plus) one

Tilly’s got her invite, now this single mum needs a plus one.

But she’s far too busy parenting her little girl, stopping her mum from over injecting her face with filler, and playing happy families with her pompous coffee-fuelled ex. Oh yeah, and there’s the new guy at work who is gunning for her job. So Tilly really doesn’t have time for any of the grief that relationships can bring. She just wants the fun, not the red flags. And it just so happens that a nice-looking man has recently caught her eye. He’ll do… for now… just perfect.

Except he’s a little elusive. After a wild hen do including a very ropey boat trip, a gobby gate crasher and a dodgy male stripper, a series of dating disasters leaves Tilly feeling disheartened. When that familiar gorgeous face pops up on the dating website, she thinks all of her Christmases have come at once. Could he be the plus one?

Tilly’s too nice and she really needs to set some boundaries if she wants to be happy. Is there such a thing as the perfect plus one? Will her mother’s obsession with tweakments ever stop? Can Tilly compete with the sexy but infuriating new guy at work?

This books sounds like a lot of fun, don’t you think? As well as being intrigued by poor Tilly’s life juggling dilemmas – which sound all too familiar to anyone who has ever been a single parent – I was particularly looking forward to meeting Tilly’s mum who sounds like a wild character.

Unfortunately, due to some personal and health issues, I have not been able to complete reading the book in time to include my review for the blog tour today. However, I can tell you that I have started the book and so far is is proving too be the entertaining read I was hoping it would be and I am really looking forward to finishing it and bringing you my review next week.

In the meantime, you can buy Not The Plus One here in paperback and ebook formats. And other bloggers are sharing their reviews of the book as part of the tour as detailed below:

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About the Author

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Belle Henderson is a lover of books, big hair and training her beagle not to eat all her furniture and possessions. She lives in sunny Swindon, UK with her family and said naughty beagle.

Belle co-wrote her first romantic comedy in 2019 whilst on maternity leave. In 2020 she was made redundant and in-between parenting and tearing her hair out, she has created another four stand-alone chick lit books, all set in the fictional seaside location of Coolsbay, based in the South-West of England.

People’s idiosyncrasies fascinate and occasionally amuse Belle. She loves to home in on these quirks which subsequently help to breathe life into her characters.

Belle’s books are quirky, romantic, laugh out loud and always a little toe-curling. 

Come swoon (and cringe laugh) with Belle.

Connect with Belle:

Facebook: Belle Henderson Author

Twitter: @BelleHe21599883

Instagram: @bellehendersonauthor

TikTok: https://vm.tiktok/ZMesW9RQA

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Blog Tour: The Spanish Wedding Disaster by Karen King

The Spanish Wedding Disaster

Delighted to be taking part in this mini blog blitz for The Spanish Wedding Disaster by Karen King. Thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part and to the publisher and author for my digital copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially as always.

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Some people are romantics. Some aren’t. When Sophie and Maddie are summoned to a mysterious, top-secret meeting by their best friend Kate’s partner, and told that he’s planning to whisk Kate away for a surprise wedding in Gibraltar, it’s immediately clear that bubbly florist Sophie is a total romantic. And that freewheeling, purple-haired Maddie is not.

Soon, Maddie finds herself reluctantly organising venues, planners and ceremonies; trying not to think of her own memories of Andalucia, and those she’s lost touch with there. Meanwhile Sophie’s hoping this dreamy gesture might spur on her own boyfriend to similar plans . . . and absolutely not thinking at all about Kate’s gorgeous brother-in-law-to-be.

But Kate’s got no idea what’s going on. And as the stress piles up and the group jet off to the sunny south, it seems it’s not just Kate who might get a surprise in Spain – one that could change everything . . .

Anyone who is a fan of the TV show, Don’t Tell The Bride, is going to have some idea why the premise behind this book was appealing to me and sounded like it would make an entertaining plot. This book takes the premise a step further, however, as in this case the bride doesn’t know there is going to be a wedding at all; in fact the couple involved aren’t even engaged. Normally staid and predictable Steve, responding to a plea from his girlfriend Kate to do something romantic, goes from zero to sixty by deciding to arrange a surprise wedding for Kate in Spain before he has even proposed. What could possibly go wrong?

All of the trials and tribulations of trying to arrange a wedding in secret emerge in the book, as Steve tries to arrange venue, flowers, flights, guests, reception, bridesmaids, and even the bride’s dress, without her knowing anything about it. He ropes in Kate’s two best friends, romantic Sophie and footloose Maddie, as well as his brother to help him out and they all concoct a complex plan to pretend Sophie is planning a wedding to her boyfriend, Glenn, as a ruse to sound Kate out on her wedding dreams. Shame Glenn isn’t too happy with the situation. At the same time, in seems relations may be developing between the best man and one of the bridesmaids…

This book is full of great ideas, great characters and romantic tension. I really loved the fact that Karen made it unclear from the beginning exactly what romantic relationship we were supposed to be rooting for in this book, which is a refreshing spin on the average romcom plot, and she handles the whole scenario with consummate skill, milking the interesting premise for all of its comedic and uncomfortable potential. The book lived up to all of my hopes and expectations and entertained me from start to finish. This would make the perfect sun lounger read to accompany you on your summer holiday and you should definitely buy it in preparation for jetting off.

The Spanish Wedding Disaster is out today in ebook, audiobook and paperback formats and you can get your essential copy here.

Make sure you check out the rest of the blogs taking part in the blitz:

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About the Author

KK Head and Shoulders

Karen King is a multi-published author of both adult and children’s books. She has had eleven romantic novels published, two psychological thrillers with another two in the process of publication, 120 children’s books, two young adult novels, and several short stories for women’s magazines. Her romantic novel The Cornish Hotel by the Sea became an international bestseller, reaching the top one hundred in the Kindle charts in both the UK and Australia. Karen is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. Karen now lives in Spain where she loves to spend her non-writing time exploring the quaint local towns with her husband, Dave, when she isn’t sunbathing or swimming in the pool, that is.

Connect with Karen:

Website: https://karenkingauthor.com/

Facebook: Karen King Author

Twitter: @karen_king

Instagram: @karenkingauthor

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Blog Tour: The Gin Sisters’ Promise by Faith Hogan

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I’m delighted to be taking my turn on the blog tour today for The Gin Sisters’ Promise by Faith Hogan. My thanks to Ayo Okojie of Head of Zeus for inviting me to take part and providing me with a paperback copy of the book for the purposes of review. As always, I have reviewed the book honestly and impartially.

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Three estranged sisters. Six months to come back together.

When Georgie, Iris and Nola’s mother died and their father disappeared into his grief, the sisters made a pact: they would always be there for one another, no matter what.

Now, decades later, they haven’t spoken for years and can barely stand to be in the same room. As his health declines, their father comes up with a plan to bring them back to one another. In his will, he states that before they can claim their inheritance, they must spend six months living together in their childhood home in the village of Ballycove, Ireland, and try to repair their broken relationships.

As the months progress, old resentments boil over, new secrets threaten to come out and each sister must decide what matters more: their pride, or their family. Can they overcome their past and find a way to love each other once more?

This is another warm hug of a novel from Faith Hogan, set in what has quickly become one of my favourite fictional places to visit, the small coastal town of Ballycove. Readers of The Place We Call Home and The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club will be delighted to have a chance to return to Ballycove and, for those of you who have yet to discover it, welcome! You’ll love it here.

I have to say that this book starts out anything but warm and soothing though. Each of the three Delahaye sisters are at a point in their lives where things are falling apart. None of them are happy in their current situations and, having been estranged from each other for years, they don’t even have family to lean on. Then, as a final blow, their father dies suddenly and they are forced back to Ballycove to deal with his funeral and estate. The last thing any of them want is to have to spend time together, but their father had other ideas and has come up with a plan to throw them together one last time and force them to deal with their differences. As plot devices go, it works very well and we are presented with the story of three women trying to untangle years of resentments and misunderstandings against the backdrop of a beautiful Irish town. The perfect recipe for an enjoyable, emotional read.

Faith’s characters are always sympathetic and her exploration of family relationships observant and sensitive and this book is no different. The tense relationships between the sisters certainly hit a nerve for me, as the eldest of four, and the squabbles that have riven the Delahayes apart are entirely plausible. I was immediately engaged with their situation and its outcome and this carried me through the book swiftly and easily. Faith’s writing is always flowing and easy to read, and the hours spent reading this book passed by in the blink of an eye, whilst being entirely immersive whilst I was reading it. Everything I could possibly ask for in a piece of family-focused fiction.

I am always left with a feeling of happiness and satisfaction after reading a Ballycove novel, always moved and emotional and this was another excellent example. Faith has that friendly, Irish charm that makes you feel like a friend is telling you a story about people you actually know. All you need is a comfy chair, a cup of tea and maybe a slice of cake and you can settle down for a good old chinwag with a pal. There is no nicer way to spend a few hours, I highly recommend it.

The Gin Sisters’ Promise is released in ebook and audiobook formats on 9 June and you can buy a copy here.

Make sure you follow the rest of the tour for other great reviews and content:

About the Author

Faith Hogan New Photo

Faith lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and two very fussy cats. She has an Hons Degree in English Literature and Psychology, has worked as a fashion model and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.

Connect with Faith:

Website: https://faithhogan.com

Facebook: Faith Hogan Author

Twitter: @GerHogan

Instagram: @faithhoganauthor

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Blog Tour: One Of The Girls by Lucy Clarke

One of the Girls Graphic 1

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today for One Of The Girls by Lucy Clarke. My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part, and to the publisher for my digital copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

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One of us is a liar. One of us is a stranger. One of us is a cheater.

But who could be a killer?

The six of us arrived on the beautiful, sunbaked island of Aegos to leave it all behind, our suitcases packed with flip flops and beach towels, our heads full of dreams for the perfect weekend away with friends…

On the first night, we laughed and danced under the stars. On the second night we went skinny dipping in the warm, summer sea. On the third night the wine loosened our tongues, the lies spilling and the masks starting to slip.

And on the final night it all ignited as we celebrated around the beach fire – for someone, the holiday in Greece would be their last…

This is one of my favourite thrillers that I have read so far this year. I thought I would probably enjoy it, which is why I volunteered for the tour. I am a fan of this author’s work and the blurb suggested it had all the elements I love in a book – female dynamics, exotic location, death…. Even so, it exceeded all my expectations.

The tension in this book is palpable from the very first page and it has all to do with the awkward dynamics between a group of people who have only been brought together by their loose connection to one of their number. Anyone who has ever been on a hen night will recognise the friction between groups of women who don’t know each other, who come from different areas of the bride’s life and are forced into camaraderie and jollity with people they would not personally choose to hang out with. The author captures this feeling absolutely perfectly and it gives this thriller an uneasy feeling even before there is any indication that anything is particularly wrong. It’s easy to see how a tiny nudge can send this trip off the rails.

Once she has set up this tense scenario – awkward group of women, isolated location, too much expectation for the trip – she plays on it beautifully by introducing hints that each of the women is hiding something. Some personal issue, some resentment, some secret, so the reader then doesn’t know who trusts whom or who is in conflict with whom, or who they themselves can trust. This is what makes for the perfect thriller – suspicion. Suspicion abounds between all the characters, and between the characters and the reader and the tension sits like a brick in your chest as you proceed through the story, until it gets to an almost unbearable pitch, because we KNOW something is going to go wrong, which just don’t know what or to whom or why. She dangles us on a string, waiting for the drop. The literary equivalent of Disney’s Tower of Terror.

The pacing of the book is perfect, the writing is easy to read, the characterisation is totally believable and the dynamics between the characters feel authentic and work perfectly for the story. There was not one thing about this book that I didn’t enjoy, it’s a wonderful example of the genre and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for their next fantastic thriller. The perfect book to take to your poolside lounger this summer- just make sure you are travelling with people you trust!

One Of The Girls is out now in ebook, hardback and audiobook formats and will be published in paperback in July. You can buy a copy here.

Make sure you follow the rest of the tour for more reviews:

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About the Author

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Sunday Times bestseller Lucy Clarke writes from a beach hut, using the inspiration from the wild south coast to craft her stories. Her debut novel, The Sea Sisters, was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick, and she has since published A Single Breath, The Blue/No Escape, Last Seen, You Let Me In, and The Castaways, which was a Waterstones Thriller of the Month. Lucy lives by the sea with her husband and two children.

Connect with Lucy:

Website: http://www.lucy-clarke.com

Facebook: Lucy Clarke

Twitter: @lucyclarkebooks

Instagram: @lucyclarke_author

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