The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper #BookReview #BlogTour (@ItsEmmaCooper) @headlinepg @annecater #RandomThingsTours #TheSongsOfUs #UpLit

Emma Cooper Banner

So very happy to be taking my turn today on the blog tour for The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper as I absolutely love this book, and the person who wrote it. My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me on to the tour so I get another chance to rave again about this wonderful book ahead of its paperback publication tomorrow. I reviewed this book originally back in March so, when you read the review below that I am reposting today, you may recognise one of the lines from it quoted above. Yes, that’s me, on a poster! Fame at last..kind of.

The Songs of Us Cover

“If Melody hadn’t run out of de-icer that day, she would never have slipped and banged her head. She wouldn’t be left with a condition that makes her sing when she’s nervous. And she definitely wouldn’t have belted out the Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ in assembly at her son’s school.

If Dev hadn’t taken the kids to the zoo that day, then the accident wouldn’t have happened. He wouldn’t have left Flynn and Rose without a dad. Or shattered the love of his life’s heart.

But if they hadn’t seen the missing person report that day, they might never have taken the trip to Cornwall. And, in the last place they expected, discovered what it really means to be ‘Us’.”

So, I have just got off a seven-and-a-half hour trans-Atlantic flight where I had planned on watching ‘Darkest Hour’ and grabbing a few hours sleep. Instead, I sat up all night and devoured Emma Cooper’s new novel from cover to cover in one sitting and I don’t regret a single second of lost sleep.

This book is, quite frankly, astonishing. It manages to be funny and heart-wrenching at the same time, and explores some huge themes of love, loss, personal struggle and family, deeply but without being the least bit heavy-going or preachy.

It starts off with a hilarious scene in a supermarket which launches us straight into the complicated and mad world of the main character of Melody King who, following an unfortunate accident, has the embarrassing habit of launching into song at times of stress and anxiety, which leads to some extremely toe-curling but funny moments. Her two children, Flynn and Rose, both in those awkward teenage years and struggling with complicated issues of their own, tend to find this less amusing. I absolutely love the way Emma has chosen the perfect appropriately inappropriate song for Melody to sing at any given moment.

The book is written in the first person from the points of view of four main characters, Melody, Flynn, Rose and Dev, Melody’s missing husband. Each has a distinct voice, totally fitting their character and the personal stresses they are under and Emma has done this so well that we are right inside each of their individual heads, seeing the situation from four totally different points of view with the tint that their specific outlooks gives to the situation. It is so cleverly and perfectly done that we have a complete emotional insight into the whole perspective of the situation they are in, you can’t help getting sucked right into the drama.

And, oh, how much did I love these characters. Emabattled, troubled, sullen but warm-hearted Flynn. My heart broke for him and I was willing him to conquer his demons and become the amazing person you can see under the surface. Brilliant but confused Rose, fragile but not, having to grow up faster than she perhaps can cope with and trying to take control in dangerous ways. I just wanted to fold her in my arms and take care of her. And Melody. I don’t really know what to say about Melody except she is so perfectly imperfect, so valiant. She has stolen into my heart and taken firm root.

This book is a rollercoaster that takes you to unexpected places emotionally and has left me bruised, battered but ultimately uplifted. It is such a brilliant portrayal of how flawed and struggling people can be, but how love and family will hold us up and help us overcome if we have each other. I know I will go back and re-read this book soon, and I will feel exactly the same way about it again. It made me laugh and cry and I didn’t want it to end, to let go of these characters that took such firm hold of me in such a short space of time. This book is something really special, I might even venture to say, perfect.

Just don’t finish it on a jumbo jet full of hundreds of curious people as it comes in to land whilst wearing non-waterproof mascara.

(Blogger note: I love this book so much I have made my two best friends wait until now for their birthday presents just so that I can give them a copy each.)

The Songs of Us is out now on Kindle and in paperback tomorrow and you can (or I should say, must) get a copy here.

To see if my fellow bloggers are as effusive about this book as I am, follow the tour below:

The Songs of Us Blog Tour Poster

About the Author

Emma Cooper Author Picture

Emma Cooper is a former teaching assistant, who lives in Shropshire, with her partner and four children. Her spare time consists of writing novels, drinking wine and watching box-sets with her partner of twenty-four years, who still makes her smile every day.

Emma has always wanted to be a writer – ever since her childhood, she’s been inventing characters (her favourite being her imaginary friend ‘Boot’) and is thrilled that she now gets to use this imagination to bring to life all of her creations.

The Songs of Us was inspired by Emma’s love of music and her ability to almost always embarrass herself, and her children, in the most mundane of situations. She was so fascinated by the idea of combining the two, that she began to write Melody’s story. Working full-time with a large family meant that Emma had to steal snippets of ‘spare’ time from her already chaotic and disorganised life; the majority of her novel was written during her lunchtime in a tiny school office. She never expected to fall so deeply in love with the King family and is overwhelmed that others feel the same.

Connect with Emma:

Facebook: Emma Cooper

Twitter: @ItsEmmaCooper

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Haircuts, Hens and Homicide by Stephanie Dagg #BookReview #BlogTour (@llamamum) @RaRaResources #HaircutsHens&Homicide

Haircuts, Hens and Homicide

A very belated turn on the blog tour today for Haircuts, Hens and Homicide by Stephanie Dagg so apologies for the late posting to the author and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources who invited me on to the tour. I have been hampered by severe headaches the past two days, hence my erratic blogging, but I hope normal service will be resumed tomorrow. Now, on to the book!

HaircutsHensHomicideBig2

“Megan finds mayhem when she arrives in France to bury her Gran and sort out her affairs. She expected difficult encounters with civil servants and red tape but not with wandering chickens, an imperious policeman and a dead body. Together with her unlikely new friend, the elderly and grumpy Alphonse and his canine equivalent, Monsieur Moustache, Megan becomes involved in investigating the fowl-related foul play that’s at work in this sleepy part of rural France.
She’s helped but mainly hindered by the people she comes across. These include the local mayor, who wants Megan to stay and set up a hair salon in his village to help keep it alive. There are the cousins Romain, the gendarme, and Nico, the clumsy but hunky farmer. They have always clashed, but do so constantly now that Megan is on the scene. Michelle, Romain’s terrifying ex who wants him back, appears along the way, as does Claudette, a wheelchair-bound old lady, and Kayla, Megan’s best friend, who is hugely pregnant but not above taking on the forces of French law and order when Megan finds herself the prime suspect after Alphonse is stabbed.”

What can I say except I really, really loved this book! Part romance, part cosy mystery with a strong element of comedy running through the story, it was sweet, mad, lovely nonsense that was just a delight to read.

Megan arrives in France to bury her Gran and discovers she has inherited her gran’s cottage, her hens and a lot of fairly eccentric but friendly neighbours in a small, rural town. While deciding whether to stay in France, she encounters a poultry-obsessed geriatric with a bad-tempered dog, hunky French cousins warring over her affections and a phalanx of old ladies demanding her hairdressing talents. As Megan becomes embroiled in local life, largely against her will, she is thrust into the centre of a murder mystery that might be the death of her.

Megan was a character I instantly warmed to. Vulnerable but feisty in equal measure, she is very easy to like and begin to root for. She manages to get herself into some terrifying situations through a combination of naivete and a soft heart which is very appealing. Her romantic dilemma was a lovely one for a girl to be faced with, but I’m not sure I would have made the same choice she does…

The plot was hilarious and, whilst I did guess the identity of the murderer about 60% of the way through, I was mystified as to the possible motive and was hooked on the story right to the end. The story was sufficiently crazy to be raucously entertaining and the book is peopled with delightfully mad but believable characters that I just adored.

There is nothing about this book I didn’t like. The writing style is warm and enticing with plenty of detailed description to bring the story to life. we are left with a great cliffhanger at the end to make it imperative that I get my hand on the sequel, Perms, Pigeons and Poison as soon as it is available. Wonderful stuff, buy this lovely book immediately.

Haircuts, Hens and Homicide is out now and you can get your mitts on it instantly here.

Follow the rest of the blog tour below:

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About the Author

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I’m an English expat living in France, having moved here with my family in 2006 after fourteen years as an expat in Ireland. I now consider myself a European rather than ‘belonging’ to any particular country. The last ten years have been interesting, to put it mildly. Taking on seventy-five acres with three lakes, two hovels and one cathedral-sized barn, not to mention an ever increasing menagerie, makes for exciting times. The current array of animals includes alpacas, llamas, huarizos (alpaca-llama crossbreds, unintended in our case and all of them thanks to one very determined alpaca male), sheep, goats, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens and turkeys, not forgetting our pets of dogs, cats, zebra finches, budgies , canaries, lovebirds and Chinese quail. Before we came to France all we had was a dog and two chickens, so it’s been a steep learning curve. I recount these experiences in my book Heads Above Water: Staying Afloat in France and the sequel to that, Total Immersion: Ten Years in France. I also blog regularly at http://www.bloginfrance.com.

I’m married to Chris and we have three bilingual TCKs (third culture kids) who are resilient and resourceful and generally wonderful.     

I’m a traditionally-published author of many children’s books, and am now self-publishing too. I have worked part-time as a freelance editor for thirty years after starting out as a desk editor for Hodder & Stoughton. Find me at http://www.editing.zone. The rest of the time I’m running carp fishing lakes with Chris and inevitably cleaning up some or other animal’s poop.   

Connect with Stephanie:

Website: http://www.bloginfrance.com

Facebook: Stephanie Dagg Books

Twitter: @llamamum

The Holiday Cruise by Victoria Cooke #BookReview #BookBirthdayBlitz (@VictoriaCooke10) @HQDigitalUK @RaRaResources #TheHolidayCruise #NetGalley

The Holiday Cruise

Delighted to be taking part in the blog blitz today for the book birthday of The Holiday Cruise by my fellow RNA member, Victoria Cooke. Have a very happy book birthday, Victoria and thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly. My thanks also to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blitz.

The Holiday Cruise Cover

“As if it weren’t enough to be cheated on by her husband of ten years, Yorkshire lass Hannah Davis is losing her beauty salon business too. Luckily, her big sister is there to pick up the pieces, but Hannah is desperate to find some independence.

Impulsively, Hannah applies for a spa job…on a cruise ship! Christmas in the Caribbean, springtime in the Mediterranean, what’s not to like? But, despite being in her thirties, Hannah has never done anything on her own before, and she’s terrified.

As the ship sets sail, Hannah has never been further from home…or closer to discovering who she is and who she wants to be.”

This book has the perfect recipe for a light romantic read. It has a compelling heroine, a dastardly man doing the dirty, a great relationship between sisters, a suitably difficult dilemma for the heroine to deal with, new friends, a potential new romance and fabulous exotic locations beautifully described along the way. Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir for several hundred pages before turning out the perfect beach (or any other time for that matter) read. (Can you tell I am writing this just after watching Bake Off?)

We start the book with our heroine, Hannah, at the lowest of low points in her life. Her husband has left her for the other woman and, in the course of mourning her marriage, she has let her business go to the point of no return. It looks like she is out of options until she is given the idea of applying to work on a cruise ship, and a chink of light appears. Encouraged by her stalwart sister, she decides to go for it and the rest of the book follows her experiences on the ship.

Oh how much I enjoyed this book. I felt all the highs and lows with Hannah along the way. I really wanted to punch Daniel in the face for what he did to Hannah, and I’m really not a violent person, which just goes to show how quickly I was sympathising with Hannah. I loved her sister galloping to her side, it reminded me of how much my sisters support me in times of need, and the ladies in the village backing her up as they shun her wayward ex and his floozy. Victoria had me on side from the very beginning and I was desperate for Hannah to take the chance on the cruise.

Once she got on board, I was fascinated by the insight into working behind the scenes on the cruise ship and all the new friends she makes on board. The visits to the ports were fabulous – armchair-travelling at its best which is one of my favourite things to do in books, especially now the evenings are getting longer and darker and I am missing the summer sunshine.

The thing I enjoyed most about this book was that Hannah and her personal growth and development was the focus o the book, rather than her finding a new romance. There is a romantic aspect to the book, but it is not the central theme. This is a book about a woman overcoming personal challenges to find out who she is and what she wants out of life, with or without a man, and that is more interesting and compelling to me than a woman jumping from one relationship straight into another because she can’t be alone. Women are tougher than that!

This is a fabulous, light and delightful read, the perfect contemporary read. Grab yourself a slice for a sweet treat.

You can get your copy of The Holiday Cruise here.. Victoria’s new book, It Started With A Note will be published in December.

About the Author

Victoria Cooke Image

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016

Connect with Victoria:

Facebook: Victoria Cooke Author

Twitter: @VictoriaCooke10

Instagram: @victoriacookewriter

The Oddest Little Book Shop by Beth Good #BookReview #BlogTour (@BethGoodWriter) @QuercusBooks @RaRaResources #TheOddestLittleSeries #Book

The Oddest Little Series

We are on to Book 4 in the Oddest Series and the one I have been looking forward to the most, which is The Oddest Little Book Shop by Beth Good. thanks to Rachel Gilbey and the author for having me on the tour and to the author for my copy of the book.

Oddest Little_BOOK SHOP

“After ten long years away, television star Daisy Diamond is finally going home.

She’s not back at the gorgeous seaside resort of Port Pol in sunny Cornwall five minutes before she realises the mistake she’s made. Her childhood sweetheart Nick Old – affectionately known as ‘Devil’ – is still living there, running the local bookshop, and he is determined to rekindle their flame.

Daisy is no longer the dewy-eyed romantic of her school days. Her life may not have gone according to plan, but she’s not afraid to show Nick how much she’s grown since he famously dumped her at the school leavers’ disco. 

Even if it means bending her heart out of shape a little . ..”

We’re back to Cornwall today but this time in the little town of Port Pol, where actress Daisy Diamond has returned to her childhood home for a little R&R and to house sit her childhood home. But she realises it may have been a mistake when her old flame Nick, who dumped her at 18, appears and she realises she may not be over him.

I was really impressed by how the author has made the feel of this book very different from the one I reviewed yesterday. Her characters are all very distinctive, with clear and individual personalities and motivations which are well established and defined in the books which makes it very easy to relate to them and their stories and become emotionally invested. Although, there is another brooding ‘devilish’ Cornish man in this book, but can a girl really ever have too many of those?

Daisy has a whole different set of problems to deal with in this book from Annie yesterday. Lecherous co-stars, persistent paparazzi, naked yoga and a slightly mad ex-schoolfriend all impede the path to true love in another enticing read from Beth Good which will provide you with an hour or so’s pleasant diversion from real life when you need it.

I’ve really enjoyed reading this series by Beth Good – as tenuously connected as they are. They are just the kind of thing you need on your Kindle to brighten your day when you’ve got and hour to spare and are looking for a literary pick-me-up. Pure escapism, well-written and a joy to read. I’ve loved them so much that, even though I’m not on the tour for it, I will be reviewing the final book in the series, The Oddest Little Cornish Teashop, on the blog next week. The fact that I’ve forked out my own hard-earned pence to buy the book should tell you all you need to know about the quality of the writing and story-telling.

The Oddest Little Book Shop is out now and you can get your copy here.

Check out the rest of the blogs on the tour and, when you see my name pop up again, check back for a review of one of the other titles in the series!

The Oddest Little Series Full Banner

About the Author

Jane Holland Beth Good credit Anna Rybacka-1

Born and raised in Essex, England, Beth Good was whisked away to an island tax haven at the age of eleven to attend an exclusive public school and rub shoulders with the rich and famous. Sadly, she never became rich or famous herself, so had to settle for infamy as a writer of dubious novels. She writes under several different names, mainly to avoid confusing her readers – and herself! As Beth Good she writes romantic comedy and feel-good fiction. She also writes thrillers as Jane Holland, historicals as Victoria Lamb and Elizabeth Moss, and feel-good fiction as Hannah Coates.

Beth currently lives in the West Country where she spends a great deal of time thinking romantic thoughts while staring out of her window at sheep. (These two actions are unrelated.)

You can find her most days on Twitter as @BethGoodWriter where she occasionally indulges in pointless banter about chocolate making and the Great British Bake Off. Due to a basic inability to say no, she has too many children and not enough money, which means she needs as many readers as she can get.

Connect with Beth:

Facebook: Beth Good

Twitter: @BethGoodWriter

The Oddest Little Beach Shop by Beth Good #BookReview #BlogTour (@BethGoodWriter) @QuercusBooks @RaRaResources #TheOddestLittleSeries #Beach

The Oddest Little Series

Book 3 for me in the Oddest Little series which is The Oddest Little Beach Shop by Beth Good. My thanks again to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for allowing me to continue to be a part of the tour and to the author for my copy of the book.

Oddest Little_BEACH SHOP

“From the first day of Annie’s arrival in the sleepy Cornish resort of Polzel, next-door neighbour Gabriel seems determined to make her life difficult.

Despite his sexy looks and angelic name, Gabriel behaves like an ogre to everyone, and has apparently been that way since losing his wife in a surfing accident. Annie would do far better, her friend Claudia urges her, to focus her attentions on Jamie instead. Jamie’s the hottest lifeguard in the village – and her co-worker in the Polzel beach shop.

But when Polzel’s famous annual pie-rolling contest sees Annie and Gabriel forced together, it turns out Annie might have a thing for big Cornish ogres after all . . .”

This book is set in Cornwall! And in a shop! Hurrah, we can concentrate on the contents rather than the cover, which is fabulous because the contents are well worth your attention.

I loved everything about this little novella. The setting, in the gorgeous little Cornish town of Polzel, which Beth brings beautifully to life with clever descriptions of its position at the bottom of a hill nestled on the beach between two cliffs and with a lovely little town and gorgeous beach.

The characters, consisting of a clutch of charming townsfolk in a friendly community, hot life guards, pouty teenagers, gruff farmers, sexpot journalists – how many interesting people can pack in to one small community? And, at the heart of it all, Annie – newly responsible for bringing up her orphaned nephew without a clue how to be a mum – and brooding widower Gabriel, cast in the perfect dark Cornishman mould. Fans of Poldark will adore him.

The plot, packed with drama and humour. Dry land surf lessons, a pie-rolling event and peril on the high seas, this tiny book packs a mighty emotional punch. Pick this up and you will get plenty of bang for your buck to keep you racing from start to finish. As a single mum myself, I’m not buying into the idea of celibacy until the kids graduate though, not while there are hot men in trunks on the horizon!

Another great novella from this author, I’m really glad I have discovered her work. Perfect for someone looking for a quick read that delivers a lot in a small package.

The Oddest Little Beach Shop is out now and you can buy a copy here.

Check out the rest of the blogs on the tour and, when you see my name pop up again, check back for a review of one of the other titles in the series!

The Oddest Little Series Full Banner

About the Author

Jane Holland Beth Good credit Anna Rybacka-1

Born and raised in Essex, England, Beth Good was whisked away to an island tax haven at the age of eleven to attend an exclusive public school and rub shoulders with the rich and famous. Sadly, she never became rich or famous herself, so had to settle for infamy as a writer of dubious novels. She writes under several different names, mainly to avoid confusing her readers – and herself! As Beth Good she writes romantic comedy and feel-good fiction. She also writes thrillers as Jane Holland, historicals as Victoria Lamb and Elizabeth Moss, and feel-good fiction as Hannah Coates.

Beth currently lives in the West Country where she spends a great deal of time thinking romantic thoughts while staring out of her window at sheep. (These two actions are unrelated.)

You can find her most days on Twitter as @BethGoodWriter where she occasionally indulges in pointless banter about chocolate making and the Great British Bake Off. Due to a basic inability to say no, she has too many children and not enough money, which means she needs as many readers as she can get.

Connect with Beth:

Facebook: Beth Good

Twitter: @BethGoodWriter

Summer of Secrets by Nikola Scott #BookReview #BlogTour (@nikola_scott) @headlinepg @annecater #SummerOfSecrets #RandomThingsTours

Summer of Secrets Banner

I am so delighted to be taking my turn on the blog tour today for Summer of Secrets by Nikola Scott. I have been longing to share my thoughts on this book for a while and today is the day, so pull up a chair and get comfy so we can begin. My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me on to the tour and to the publisher for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly.

The Summer of Secrets Cover

“August 1939

At peaceful Summerhill, orphaned Maddy hides from the world and the rumours of war. Then her adored sister Georgina returns from a long trip with a new friend, the handsome Victor. Maddy fears that Victor is not all he seems, but she has no idea just what kind of danger has come into their lives…

Today

Chloe is newly pregnant. This should be a joyful time, but she is fearful for the future, despite her husband’s devotion. When chance takes her to Summerhill, she’s drawn into the mystery of what happened there decades before. And the past reaches out to touch her in ways that could change everything…”

Before we launch in to the review of the book, let’s just take a moment to admire this stunning cover, shall we? It’s so striking and enticing, who wouldn’t want to pick up this book and dive in? Full marks to the cover designer for doing a fabulous job. I have an ARC copy with a plain blue cover but I think I am going to have to replace it with a published copy so this beautiful design can grace my shelves.

This is a dual timeline narrative, set partly in 1939 just before the outbreak of the Second World War and in the present day.

In 1939, Maddie feel cocooned in the isolated estate at Summerhill, spending her days sketching and waiting for her sister Georgina to return from a trip to Europe. But when Georgina does come back, she brings with her a group of friends who disrupt the status quo at Summerhill and Maddie’s peace of mind. She is also haunted by past events and secrets that eventually have to come out.

In the present day, Chloe has the perfect life which is just about to be rounded off when she finds out she is pregnant. But all is not what it seems to the outside world and Chloe begins to realise that her relationship is not perfect and she is in danger of losing herself. Circumstances conspire to bring these two women together to form a friendship which reveals parallels between their lives that help them both.

I really loved this book. I am a sucker for a dual timeline narrative and this one is done beautifully. The stories weave together seamlessly and are so cleverly aligned it is a joy to read. I was equally entranced by both timelines so there was no sense of rushing through one chapter to get back to the other timeline. I loved the way they came together and the friendship that grew between the two women in the modern day was lovely. In fact, all the relationships in this book were wonderfully drawn and really captivating, the author has a real skill for this.

The book has a leisurely pace which allowed me to really become engrossed and revel in the wonderful descriptions and all the small details that brought the time periods and settings to life but at the same time there was enough going on and plenty of clues, and small revelations to keep the pages turning to the end of the book. This is a novel that it was truly and enjoyable experience to read. It was a real treat and I immersed myself in the experience totally.

Definitely a book I would highly recommend to fans of this type of novel and one I personally will return to in the future.

Summer of Secrets is hot off the press and you can buy a copy here.

To follow the rest of the blog tour for the book, make sure you check out the blogs listed below:

Summer of Secrets Blog Tour Poster

About the Author

Nikola Scott Author pic

Nikola Scott was born and raised in Germany and studied at university there. Having been obsessed with books from a young age, Nikola moved to New York City after her Master’s degree to begin her first job in book publishing, a career in which she could fully indulge her love of fiction!

She spent ten years working in publishing in New York and then in London, editing other people’s books, before she decided to take the leap into becoming a full-time writer herself.

She now lives in Frankfurt with her husband and two sons.

MY MOTHER’S SHADOW was published in 2017 to wonderful reviews. Her new novel SUMMER OF SECRETS is coming in September 2018.

Connect with Nikola:

Website: https://nikolascott.com

Facebook: Nikola Scott Author

Twitter: @nikola_scott

Instagram: @nikolascottauthor

Goodreads: Nikola Scott

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The Oddest Little Romance Shop by Beth Good #BookReview #BlogTour (@BethGoodWriter) @QuercusBooks @RaRaResources #TheOddestLittleSeries #Romance

The Oddest Little Series

Another day, another Oddest book on the blog. Today I am reviewing the second (for me, they aren’t a series to be read in a particular order, all standalones so have at it in whatever order you fancy) of the five books in the Oddest Little series, The Oddest Little Romance Shop. Again, my thanks to Rachel Gilbey and the author for having me on the tour and for my copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly.

Oddest Little_ROMANCE SHOP

“Izzie has the perfect plan for a perfect life. Work hard, get married, settle down, start a family. But when a mysterious Valentine’s day card arrives, asking in a bold scrawl, ‘Will you marry me?’, it upends everything.
Because Izzie thought she’d found Mr Right – and the card isn’t from him.

Puzzled, she sets out to discover the identity of her secret admirer . . . and is shocked by the truth. Torn in two directions, Izzie doesn’t know what to do.

Should she stick to the plan, or is it time to take life in a bold new direction?

Another quirky, charming novella in the ‘Oddest Little Shop’ series from popular romantic comedy writer Beth Good.”

Things continue to bemuse me about the covers, and in this case the titles, of these books, since this one doesn’t even have a shop in it at all. (I did wonder what a ‘Romance’ shop would be). For some reason the publishers have decided to make a series connecting books via things that aren’t in all the books which is purely a marketing decision and is the ‘oddest’ thing about these books but I am not going to let that distract me any more, because the stories and the writing themselves are a delight.

This book centres around Izzie, who is desperate to get married and start her perfect family life and has decided that this starts with marrying Norman. So we know there is something amiss early on because the perfect romantic hero can’t be called Norman! The apple cart gets upended when a Valentine’s card arrives containing a marriage proposal, that isn’t from Norman.

This is another whirlwind tale as Izzie sets out to find out the identity of the card’s sender and, when she does, things spin off in an unexpected direction with the reader carried along for the ride.

I loved the premise of this book, a secret and unexpected marriage proposal  coming out of the blue, and the flashbacks to Izzie as a child were really lovely and moving. Again, the characters are beautifully written and sympathetic where necessary and suitably unsympathetic elsewhere. This book also had quite a strong comedy streak running through it which I really enjoyed.

The ending of the book is the literary equivalent of an episode of Scooby Doo and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. A great read and highly recommended for a quick romantic fix. Just don’t expect a shop to feature in it anywhere. Bizarre. I’m looking forward to reviewing another two in the series next week, so check back then.

The Oddest little Romance Shop is out now and you can buy it here.

Check out the rest of the blogs on the tour and, when you see my name pop up again, check back for a review of one of the other titles in the series!

The Oddest Little Series Full Banner

About the Author

Jane Holland Beth Good credit Anna Rybacka-1

Born and raised in Essex, England, Beth Good was whisked away to an island tax haven at the age of eleven to attend an exclusive public school and rub shoulders with the rich and famous. Sadly, she never became rich or famous herself, so had to settle for infamy as a writer of dubious novels. She writes under several different names, mainly to avoid confusing her readers – and herself! As Beth Good she writes romantic comedy and feel-good fiction. She also writes thrillers as Jane Holland, historicals as Victoria Lamb and Elizabeth Moss, and feel-good fiction as Hannah Coates.

Beth currently lives in the West Country where she spends a great deal of time thinking romantic thoughts while staring out of her window at sheep. (These two actions are unrelated.)

You can find her most days on Twitter as @BethGoodWriter where she occasionally indulges in pointless banter about chocolate making and the Great British Bake Off. Due to a basic inability to say no, she has too many children and not enough money, which means she needs as many readers as she can get.

Connect with Beth:

Facebook: Beth Good

Twitter: @BethGoodWriter