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: The Hidden Child by Louise Fein

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London, 1929.

Eleanor Hamilton is a dutiful mother, a caring sister and an adoring wife to a celebrated war hero. Her husband, Edward, is a pioneer in the eugenics movement. The Hamiltons are on the social rise, and it looks as though their future is bright.

When Mabel, their young daughter, begins to develop debilitating seizures, they have to face an uncomfortable truth: Mabel has epilepsy – one of the ‘undesirable’ conditions that Edward campaigns against.

Forced to hide their daughter away so as to not jeopardise Edward’s life’s work, the couple must confront the truth of their past – and the secrets that have been buried.

Will Eleanor and Edward be able to fight for their family? Or will the truth destroy them?

I am delighted to be joining the blog tour today for The Hidden Child by Louise Fein. Louise has written a fabulous piece for me to share with you about how she went about researching the book. My thanks to Graeme Williams for inviting me on to the tour and to Louise for preparing the piece for me.

Now over to Louise:

Researching The Hidden Child

Writing historical fiction means I need to do a good deal of research for each book I write. Fortunately, I love research as I spend as much time researching as I do writing. As with all my books, research for The Hidden Child began with reading generally as much as I could about not only the time-period in which the book is set, namely the late 1920’s, but also about the setting (chiefly London, Surrey, and an epilepsy colony), and the social and political events of the time. I also researched the background for my characters who were partly based on, or inspired by, real people. Wherever possible I like to travel to locations for settings to get a real sense of the place. Once I began writing, more specific details needed to be researched in depth. This often slowed the writing process, as it might take me a whole morning to research something which ended up being just one sentence on the page. 

To gain a deeper understanding, I read a wide variety of non-fiction and fiction written at the time as well as historical commentaries and academic papers. I also needed to do a lot of research about eugenics, and the condition of epilepsy and its perception and treatment at the time. I researched the position of women across the classes, the rise of feminism after the first world war, birth control and the reason why it was encouraged for the lower classes rather than the professional and upper classes. I also carried out research into class and politics, the American eugenics movement, French and American research into epilepsy treatments, and legislation in the UK and the USA which led to the incarceration and mistreatment of those regarded as ‘the unwanted’ in society. 

One of my main characters, Edward, is very loosely based on a real person, Sir Cyril Burt, who was a psychologist and educationalist, instrumental in setting education policy for the nation. He was also a prominent eugenicist and much of the policy for setting up the nationwide grammar school system in England during the first half of the twentieth century was based on his eugenicist principles and now somewhat discredited research into intelligence. I read about him, as well as books written by him. I have included other real people in the book, such as Marie Stopes, Leonard Darwin, ‘Junior’ Rockefeller and other well-known names who might not be associated with eugenics. Much information could be found on-line through resources such as The Wiley library and The Wellcome Library. 

I was lucky to complete most of the research for this book just prior to lockdown in 2020. I was able to visit a school for children with severe epilepsy which was once an epilepsy colony. They were kind enough to open their archives for me. I also, through a local history organisation, was able to look at the archives of other colonies and asylums in the area, so my fictional colony is based on a combination of all of these institutions. 

Once all the research is done, it is important to be able to set it aside and focus on the story. This is after all fiction, and whilst I always try to write with authenticity, the majority of my research never makes it into the book. Instead, I aim to infuse the writing with it, so the reader is immersed into another world.   

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A lovely insight into a writer’s way of working. The Hidden Child is out in paperback today and in all other formats and you can buy a copy here.

Do please visit the rest of the blogs taking part in the tour for reviews of the book and other great content:

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About the Author

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Louise Fein was born and brought up in London. She harboured a secret love of writing from a young age, preferring to live in her imagination than the real world. After a law degree, Louise worked in Hong Kong and Australia, travelling for a while through Asia and North America before settling back to a working life in London. She finally gave in to the urge to write, taking an MA in creative writing, and embarking on her first novel, Daughter of the Reich (named People Like Us in the UK and Commonwealth edition). The novel was inspired by the experience of her father’s family, who escaped from the Nazis and arrived in England as refugees in the 1930’s. Daughter of the Reich/People Like Us is being translated into 11 foreign languages, has been shortlisted for the 2021 RSL Christopher Bland Prize, the RNA Historical Novel of the year Award 2021 and long listed for the Not The Booker Prize 2020.

Louise’s second novel, The Hidden Child, was published in the Autumn of 2021. Louise lives in the beautiful English countryside with her husband, three children, two cats, small dog and the local wildlife who like to make an occasional appearance in the house. Louise is currently working on her third novel.

Connect with Louise:

Website: https://www.louisefein.com

Facebook: Louise Fein

Twitter: @FeinLouise

Instagram: @louisefeinauthor

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Twelve Days in May by Niamh Hargan

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I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour today for Twelve Days in May by Niamh Hargan. Thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part and to the publisher for my physical copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

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For Lizzy Munro, working at the Cannes Film Festival doesn’t just mean cafes, champagne and celebrities. It also means the reappearance of Ciaran Flynn, a man she hasn’t spoken to in 12 years. While Lizzie works for the Scottish Film Board, Ciaran is the man everyone is talking about: heartthrob of the moment and director of the hottest film of the year.

When his film hits a huge snag, Lizzy is the only person who can save it. And it’s a film that bears a striking resemblance to their relationship all those years ago…

But fairytale endings only happen in the movies. Is this one love story that’s just too good to be true?

There was nothing about the blurb for this book that didn’t appeal to me when I read it. Set in an exotic location that I’ve never read a book about before? (Check, never read a book set against the back drop of the Cannes Film Festival). Interesting dilemma? (Check, deciding the fate of a Hollywood film is a new one on me and sounds exciting). Appealing romantic lead? (Everyone knows I love an Irishman!). But did the book live up to my expectations?

Absolutely. I really enjoyed this book, I found everything about it enticing. Lizzie is a genuinely relatable and sympathetic character. To begin with, she is a little prickly and defensive when she comes face to face with a… well a face, from her past and it takes us a while to find out why. The history between Ciaran and Lizzie is gradually revealed through small flashbacks to their time in Bordeaux, interspersed with their interactions in the present at Cannes. We slowly realise why there is such tension between them and understand Lizzie’s attitude, just as it is being shifted in the present day as they get to know each other again. It is really nicely done. Watching Lizzie’s barriers being broken down as she spends more time with Ciaran and they address the past is a pleasure to read.

Similarly Ciaran works really well as the romantic foil. For starters, he is typically Irish without being too much of a cliche. There are reasons that Irishmen are seen as being an attractive proposition as a race, and I can attest that, in my experience, they are largely true. There is nothing so charming as a man from the Emerald Isle when he wants to be and Ciaran has this in spades. However, it’s clear that there are hidden depths and vulnerabilities behind his relaxed and confident facade and he becomes more and more interesting to the reader as the book progresses. The chemistry between he and Lizzie is also palpable on the page and it is easy to buy into it as a reader and enjoy the development of their relationship for a second time.

The setting is everything I hoped it would be. The author knows what she is talking about when it comes to Cannes and this comes through on the page and the setting really comes to life. I loved all the madness, hubbub and glamour of the festival and it made a fantastic back drop to the love story. I love reading about new experiences, so this really made the book something special for me. I’ll probably never go to Cannes for the festival myself, but at least I feel like I have been there vicariously now!

This book is a great addition to the romance canon and I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a fresh new voice in the genre. Looking forward to more from this author.

Twelve Days in May is out now in all formats and you can buy a copy here.

Make sure you follow the rest of the tour:

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About the Author

Niamh Author Pic

Niamh Hargan was born and raised in Derry, Northern Ireland. An entertainment lawyer by profession, she first attended the Cannes Film Festival several years ago and found the experience to be both exactly like, and nothing at all like, what she had expected. When it became impossible to travel to Cannes in May 2020, she began to write about it instead.

Connect with Niamh:

Twitter: @EveWithAnN

Instagram: @niamh_hargan_author

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Blog Tour: An Island of Secrets by Eva Glyn

An Island of Secrets

I am thrilled to be one of the bloggers kicking off the tour for An Island of Secrets by Eva Glyn today. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources 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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That was then…

Seventy-five years ago, British SOE spy Guy Barclay was forced to leave behind the woman he loved in war-ravaged Yugoslavia.

…This is now

As ninety-three-year-old Guy’s days draw to a close, he asks his granddaughter, Leo Holmes, to go looking for answers. Given that her marriage has imploded and her City job is on the verge of killing her, Leo agrees and rents a house on the island of Vis, where her grandfather was stationed in the Second World War.

But as Leo’s search takes her down unexpected roads – and into the path of a gorgeous local, Andrej Pintaric – she begins to wonder if this journey down memory lane might yield unexpected results for more than just her beloved grandfather…

I’ll make an admission here. I signed up for the blog tour for this book without reading the book’s blurb because I have loved Eva Glyn’s previous work. I was kind of dismayed when I did get round to looking at what the book was about because, as a general rule, I don’t read novels set in times of modern warfare. It is just a genre I don’t particularly enjoy. However, a promise is a promise, so I decided to give it a go.

Lo and behold, I actually really enjoyed this book. It is set at a time and place during the Second World War that I am not familiar with at all and I found it absolutely fascinating from a historical perspective. I’d never heard anything about wartime activities of the British in, what was then, Yugoslavia and the precursor to the rise of Tito and communism in that country. Despite my lack of enthusiasm about modern conflict-set books, I do love to learn new information, so this previously unfamiliar aspect of the Second World War pulled me in and piqued my interest. It is clear that the author has done a lot of research about the location and what went on there during this period and this really brought the history to life.

Another reason that the book held my interest was that the focus was not primarily on the conflict, but on the relationship between Guy and Ivka and the war was the backdrop for that. Don’t get me wrong, the war is central to the story because their love story only unfolds the way it does because of the situation they find themselves in, but the focus on these intimate, personal experiences of war and how they affected the lives of those involved forever, changing the course of their futures, is what made it absorbing for me. The author has drawn beautiful, sympathetic characters in this book and their story was intensely moving and emotional. It would be a stunted heart that couldn’t feel the pain that war has caused these people by the end.

There are some quite disturbing events described in the book and the author does not shy away from telling the reader the truth about the horror of war, and not just the atrocities committed by the enemy. I was very shocked at one of the story threads running through the book, never having heard anything about such things happening before, and I think one of the best things about novels such as this is keeping the memories of these atrocities alive and trying to make sure they never happen again. Given the threats that women are still facing every single day across the world at the moment, even in supposedly progressive nations, these things are important. I am feeling especially sensitive to media around these topics at the moment, so I found reading this book quite painful and anger-inducing, but these are emotions that are necessary to overcome complacency and apathy and remind ourselves that we need to keep fighting against these things.

This sounds like the book might be a heavy read, but it really isn’t. The writing is engaging, the location setting vivid and immersive and the historical detail fascinating. If a book like this can engage and impress a war-phobic reader like me, fans of the genre are going to love it.

An Island of Secrets is out now in ebook and will be published in paperback on 26 May and you can buy a copy here.

Please do make sure you follow this magnificent tour:

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About the Author

An Island Of Secrets - Eva Glyn on her travels (1)

Eva Glyn writes escapist relationship-driven fiction with a kernel of truth at its heart. She loves to travel and finds inspiration in beautiful places and the stories they hide.

Her last holiday before lockdown was a trip to Croatia, and the country’s haunting histories and gorgeous scenery have proved fertile ground, driven by her friendship with a tour guide she met there. His wartime story provided the inspiration for The Olive Grove and his help in creating a realistic portrayal of Croatian life had proved invaluable. Her second novel set in the country, a dual timeline looking back to World War 2, will be published in the spring of 2022, also by One More Chapter.

Eva lives in Cornwall, although she considers herself Welsh, and has been lucky enough to have been married to the love of her life for twenty-five years. She also writes as Jane Cable.

Connect with Eva:

Facebook: Eva Glyn

Twitter: @JaneCable

Instagram: @janecable

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Blog Tour: The Meet Cute Method by Portia MacIntosh

The Meet Cute Method

I am delighted to be one of the blogs opening the tour for The Meet Cute Method, the new book by Portia MacIntosh, and on publication day to boot! Happy publication day, Portia. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for asking me to take part in the tour and to the publisher for my digital copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

THE MEET CUTE METHOD

Do movie romances ever happen in real life…?

Frankie doesn’t believe in true love. As relationships expert at popular magazine Stylife, she has learnt that dating disasters are far more common than happy ever afters.

So when she is tasked to find out if meet cutes can work in real life she is up for the challenge – but whether it’s being a damsel in distress with a flat tyre, or spilling coffee over a stranger, she isn’t convinced this can really lead to love.

But little does Frankie know that the ultimate meet cute opportunity is just around the corner. As she is whisked off her feet (all in the name of her work project of course…) perhaps true love isn’t just for the movies after all…?

What a fabulous, fun, fast read this was! I fairly flew through this book, laughing all the way, so enjoyable was it. A really fresh, funny, frenetic book.

Okay, I’ve run out of adjectives beginning with the letter ‘f’ to describe this story now, so I better get in to the meat of the review. This is a really joyous, light-hearted romantic comedy that will whisk you from London to the sandy shores of Hawaii and the bright lights of LA, following the romantic catastrophes of Frankie George. Frankie is the dating columnist on a women’s magazine and her new boss is demanding fresh ideas from Frankie for her column, or the threat of unemployment dangles over her. But Frankie has exhausted all the tired dating routines, so what can she do. Explore some tired movie dating tropes instead, of course.

Frankie is a disaster area when it comes to love, so none of the things she tries run smoothly, which leads to much hilarity for the reader. Portia has a wicked imagination when it comes to awkward scenarios to drop Frankie into. The dog in the park and the date with Tom had me snorting into my tea. Snorting with laughter was a mainstay of this book, which is always a point in a novel’s favour. But alongside this runs the serious issue of why Frankie’s love life is so tragic, and the sweet relationship which builds between herself and Max.

The author does a really fab job of muddying the waters in the book as to who Frankie will end up with, in the middle I was convinced it might go a different way, but the ending made me very happy. There is nothing not to enjoy here, it contains all the perfect ingredients for the ideal romcom – high jinks, beautiful settings, relatable characters and an ending to melt the stoniest of hearts. Fabulous from start to finish. 

The Meet Cute Method is out in both ebook and paperback format today, and you can buy a copy here.

You can also read my recent interview with Portia here.

Many more great blogs coming up on the tour, make sure you visit a few:

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About the Author

Life Author

 

Portia MacIntosh is the bestselling author of over 20 romantic comedy novels.

From disastrous dates to destination weddings, Portia’s romcoms are the perfect way to escape from day to day life, visiting sunny beaches in the summer and snowy villages at Christmas time. Whether it’s southern Italy or the Yorkshire coast, Portia’s stories are the holiday you’re craving, conveniently packed in between the pages.

Formerly a journalist, Portia has left the city, swapping the music biz for the moors, to live the (not so) quiet life with her husband and her dog in Yorkshire.

Connect with Portia:

Connect with Portia:

Website: www.portiamacintosh.com

Twitter: @PortiaMacIntosh 

Instagram: @portiamacintoshauthor

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Blog Tour: We’ll Always Have Venice by Leonie Mack

Well Always Have Venice

I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour today for We’ll Always Have Venice by Leonie Mack. I loved the first book in the series, A Match Made in Venice when I read it at the end of last year (you can read my review here), so I was eager to get back to Italy and catch up with what was going on with the York girls. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the tour, and to the publisher for my digital copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.

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Who can resist the romance of Venice… 

When Norah arrives in Venice for a ten-week internship she is surprised to discover that her guide for her work trips around the lagoon is the undeniably gorgeous and kind Gianluca. She can’t help thinking he might be too good to be true, with his endless fascinating local stories, and his infectious laugh.

Norah is still bitter after an accident left her with a serious injury and also meant the end of her long-term relationship. And besides, she’s serious about her career and that means leaving Venice at the end of the summer. 

Gianluca has had a summer fling before that led to heartache for him and he won’t do it again. He enjoys the long hours out on the lagoon with Norah, but after a storm strands them on a picture-perfect island for a night, they agree they should just be good friends for the summer. 

But life doesn’t always go to plan, and when it’s time for Norah to go, they have to decide whether what they have between them is really just a friendship, and not something more… 

I was desperate to be whisked back to the romance of Venice when I picked up the new book by Leonie Mack, having enjoyed my last trip there with her so much. Last time it was winter in The Floating City, so it was fun to anticipate how different it might look when we take a trip there in summer with Norah, as she embarks on her summer internship studying the algae that grows in its famous lagoon. (Bear with me, this is way more interesting than it sounds!)

Norah is the younger sister of Didi, who found love with a Ventian glassmaker in the first book in this series. You don’t need to have read, A Match Made in Venice, to enjoy We’ll Always Have Venice, but I highly recommend picking it up anyway because it is a fantastic read. Norah is determined not to follow in her sister’s footsteps though – she has a career to focus on which requires her to leave Venice at the end of summer and, anyway, she’s been let down by people before, best keep herself aloof. It’s going to be hard, though, when she is in such close proximity to Gianluca all summer…

We all know what comes at the end of romance novels, it’s how we get there that is important, and the journey that Leonie takes us on in this book is full of charm, tenderness and truth. She really draws a portrait of two damaged souls who have been hurt so badly in the past that fear is preventing them admitting their feelings for one another in a way that feels very realistic and honest. Watching their relationship grow despite their best efforts in engrossing and immensely touching, and I was completely captivated by their story.

Aside from the romance aspect of the story, what draws me to Leonie’s books is the setting, and the very different and fascinating approach she always takes to showcasing it. Here, Norah’s profession takes us to areas of Venice that are well off the tourist track and ones we would never expect to see normally in this type of book. She has obviously put in a huge amount of research to make this career for Norah sound convincing, there was so much detail woven in to the writing, I was really impressed with how it was done. The way she has used this so integrally to the plot, as opposed to just a mechanism to get her to Venice and in to the arms of Gianluca, is brilliant and I think it makes this book stand out from the herd of travel romance novels.

I continue to be excited by Leonie’s writing and, early in her career as she is, I’m eager to see what she does next. To be so bold and confident at this stage bodes well for her future, and is promising for us as reader that there is more and better to come. Aren’t we lucky?

We’ll Always Have Venice is out now in all formats and you can buy a copy here. It is also included in your Kindle Unlimited subscription if you have one.

Please make sure to follow the rest of the tour for more reviews and other great content:

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About the Author

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Leonie Mack is an author of romantic comedies with great international locations. Having lived in London for many years her home is now in Germany with her husband and three children. Leonie loves train travel, medieval towns, hiking and happy endings!

Connect with Leonie:

Website: https://leoniemack.com/

Facebook: Leonie Mack

Twitter: @LeonieMAuthor

Instagram: @leoniejmack

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