Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for this amazing book, I loved Amelia Henley’s first book last year and this one was even better if that’s possible.
Jack & Libby were deeply in love and excited to start their journey together in their new home until life took a totally different direction that just breaks your heart. Libby is totally lost in her grief and desperately trying to keep her head above water whilst making some big decisions that affect not only her future but those of others as well. The emotions are raw and reflective with lots of single events keep taking place which are threading a whole other story together that grows in the background as you continue to read. Sid was introduced early on and I loved the little touches that he bought to the story through his memories of Norma, he was such a key character that you will instantly love and wish he was your grandparent.
This story is brimming with love and highlights how everyone deals with their loss differently, a frank reflection on the depths of grief for a group of individuals whose grief starts to unite them and helps them find a new way forward with new goals and a shared purpose.
They were so in love . . . And then life changed forever . . . Will they find happiness again?
Libby and Jack are the happiest they’ve ever been. Thanks to their dear friend, eighty-year-old Sid, they’ve just bought their first house together, and it’s the beginning of the life they’ve always dreamed of.
But the universe has other plans for Libby and Jack and a devastating twist of fate shatters their world.
All of a sudden life is looking very different, and unlikely though it seems, might Sid be the one person who can help Libby and Jack move forward when what they loved the most has been lost?
Amelia Henley is a hopeless romantic who has a penchant for exploring the intricacies of relationships through writing heart-breaking, high-concept love stories.
Amelia also writes psychological thrillers under her real name, Louise Jensen. As Louise Jensen she has sold over a million copies of her global number one bestsellers. Her stories have been translated into twenty-five languages and optioned for TV as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers list. Louise’s books have been nominated for multiple awards.
‘The Life We Almost Had’ is the first story she’s written as Amelia Henley and it’s out now.
Many thanks for the invitation to join the blog tour and for my copy of the book to read and review.
Massive thanks to everyone who has stopped by to visit my blog, please remember to like and share to help spread the book love far and wide!
Today I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for the lovely Lucy and her latest release The Little Barn of Dreams.
Well where do I start, once again Lucy has created vibrant characters that capture your heart and take you on a wonderful journey. When I read Lucy’s last book, I had a new favourite and now I am torn as this one was equally as wonderful.
Florence is a wonderfully quirky character that I instantly connected with, she reminded me of my constantly daydreaming daughter and I loved how she has been encouraged to be herself by her Nan and not change despite the influence of her best friend. When Florence’s Nan books her a holiday to Camp Calla Lily she reluctantly embarks on an adventure that she has been avoiding since being left heartbroken after her last visit. On her arrival at the Camp Calla Lily she fell in love with the magical setting of the wooden huts with their fairy lights and piles of books to devour whilst relaxing.
Lucy has a wonderful way of creating characters with wonderful endearing quirks and Florence and Jo were the ultimate dreamteam, I loved the references to Little Women one of my absolute favourite books scattered throughout. From the moment I picked this up, I just wanted to keep reading as I was so invested in the new friendship that continued to grow between Florence and Jo, and was keen to discover why Jo was really at Camp Calla Lily and whether he was there to help or hinder his Grandfather.
A story that left me feeling warm and fuzzy and I would happily sit and read over again. The perfect book to curl up with in the garden and enjoy the summer sun whilst losing yourself in the gorgeous destination of Camp Calla Lily.
When quirky bookworm Florence Danver loses her job, she knows it’s time to make some serious changes. Nanna Margot encourages Flo to spend a week at Camp Calla Lily, where she hasn’t been since she lost her parents. Her return is filled with bittersweet memories… until she meets Jo Hadlee.
Soon enough, Flo and fellow dreamer Jo are inseparable as they connect over books and build castles in the air. But when Jo leaves suddenly for his job in London, the fantasy bubble bursts and real-life comes roaring back in.
For Florence to turn her fairy-tale summer into a happily-ever-after, she’ll have to dive head-first into real life and all its chaos.
Lucy Knott lives in Manchester England, just around the corner from her childhood home and less than five minutes from her twin sister Kelly and brother in law Chris. She loves spending time with her family in addition to writing, reading and cooking Italian food. When not buried in a book, scribbling in a notebook or having dance parties for one to Harry Styles, she works as a teaching assistant where the majority of her days are spent talking about dinosaurs and making Godzilla out of just about everything, from Blu Tac to cardboard boxes, and she loves every minute.
If she could up and move to the stunning Amalfi Coast, San Francisco or live in a cabin surrounded by fairy lights, she would, but for now she’s quite content writing about those magical places. Lucy loves to write uplifting stories that she hopes will put a smile on your face, fill your heart with joy, encourage you to embrace the awesomeness that you are and believe that any dream is possible.
If you love a little romance then this is the perfect light hearted read for you, I love Kim & Ruby they were wonderful leading ladies as we join them in their hunt for the perfect man.
Set in the florist which is a gorgeous location for this story with a few adventures in London dotted throughout for Ruby as she chases her dreams. This is one of those stories where you are mentally pairing people off as you read and assessing why they wouldn’t be the perfect match for your character. Ruby has a habit of choosing the wrong man and now desperate to find her happy ever after she is willing to try anything to achieve her goal, whereas Kim has been left heartbroken after the departure of Vince and is struggling to move on with the next stage of her life.
Curtis is a complex character who befriends Ruby in the strangest of circumstances on a train to London, but quickly realises her lovely nature is just the influence he needs when holding meetings and interacting with his colleagues. I loved the camaraderie between these wonderful characters and how Ruby’s humour is often wrongly interpreted by Curtis as he genuinely struggles to understand when she is having a laugh and when she is being serious.
This is one of those stories that you want to go on forever as you become increasingly desperate for the characters to find their happily ever after. I loved the wonderful array of characters against the backdrop of beautiful plants and flowers and the way they are entwined throughout the story.
Ruby’s life is about to change for ever…
After years of dating losers, cheats and one guy who did something unrepeatable to her kettle, Ruby has all but given up on romance. But then a stranger sits next to her on a train to London and explains his plan to propose to the woman of his dreams. Maybe true love does exist after all?
When the man accidentally leaves the engagement ring behind, Ruby is determined to save the day. But she hasn’t counted on fellow passenger Curtis stepping in and insisting he should be the one to track the stranger down.
As summer closes in, the unlikely pair make a promise to reunite the ring with its owner. But can they find their own happy ever after along the way?
Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.
Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.
Today I am delighted to be joining the blog tour for this wonderful summer read, in this story we meet Kate and her 3 teenage sons as they embark on a summer away whilst she considers her options following her recent divorce.
I loved getting to know Kate and spend time with her whilst she decorates her brothers home whilst he is on holiday. Somerset is a lovely part of the country and I loved the idyllic setting of the town and the gorgeous bookshop and coffee shop that played such a huge part of the story.
A story about family and finding the balance between being the best parent you can be and also doing what is right for yourself to allow you to move on. Kate quickly made friends through the most unlikely circumstances and started to feel the magic that her brothers had always spoken about over her summer break.
This was my first story by this author and I really enjoyed it, this is Book 3 in the Willowbury series but I read as a standalone and loved it. I loved the descriptions which were dispersed in key places to help with visualisation and the story is one that will make you smile and forget everything else that is going on around you whilst you are absorbed in Kate’s story.
When Kate Harris accepts the job of redecorating her brother Aidan’s house in the picturesque town of Willowbury, she knows it’s just a stop gap before she has to decide what to do with the rest of her life. While her three sons spend the summer holiday with their father, Kate has an opportunity to prove to herself that there is a new life, after her divorce.
Harry Sinclair is the owner of Vale Volumes book shop on Willowbury High Street. Content, if a little bored with his lot, his shop, as well as his life, could do with freshening up. When Kate offers to spruce up Vale Volumes ready for the visit of a famous author, they find they have a lot more in common than colour schemes.
But both have secrets and responsibilities, and when the trials of family life threaten their burgeoning friendship, can they overcome the experiences of their pasts? Will Somerset’s most magical town cast its spell on them? Or will Kate and Harry have to concede that their friendship really is just for the summer?
Let Fay Keenan transport you to the perfect British summertime, with beautiful countryside, an unforgettable romance, and just the right dose of escapism. Perfect for all fans of Cathy Bramley, Fern Britton and Katie Fforde.
Fay Keenan is the author of the bestselling Little Somerby series of novels. She has led writing workshops with Bristol University and has been a visiting speaker in schools. She is a full-time teacher and lives in Somerset.
I discovered this wonderful author last year when taking part on a blog tour and jumped at the chance to read her next release.
A story set between London & Sandycove in Ireland and once again I loved it, the location was gorgeous and the descriptions really captured the spirit and bought the location to life. I quickly liked Liv as the main character in the story as she returned for a short break to Ireland to help her Mum run her shop. Liv was downtrodden when she arrived back home and keen to take the pressure off of her mother whilst she recovers.
Liv was instantly portrayed as kind and caring which just became more evident the more I read. The essence of the story is about not giving up hope despite the circumstances you find yourself in and I loved the different directions lives took as we read and got to know these lovely characters and watch their friendships blossom. Liv had previously run her own market stall and after working in the rat race of London and feeling she is missing out on life, she starts to remember how much she enjoyed creating her own products and speaking to customers.
I loved the romance that jumped from the pages and how a little self belief created such a fire in Liv’s belly. A wonderful story rich in love and friendship and that I loved from cover to cover.
Dreams can come true, you just have to believe…
All new from Irish bestselling author Sian O’Gorman
After 10 years in London, working in a stressful City firm, Liv O’Neill returns home to Sandycove, a picturesque seaside village, just outside Dublin to care for her mother after a fall.
Whilst Liv reconnects with friends and family, she is amazed by Sandycove’s thriving community spirit with its artisan shops, delis and cafes – it’s not quite the place she left behind.
As village life begins to creep under her skin, Liv is forced to confront the things that drove her away.
Can Liv balance her past, present and future and find her own happy place?
And will a handsome young doctor help her make a decision about the life she really wants?
Suddenly her old life in London begins to seem extremely unappealing and Liv is forced to use her family’s past in order to forge a brand new future.
Sian O’Gorman was born in Galway and now lives just along the coast from Dublin. She works as a radio producer alongside writing contemporary women’s fiction inspired by friend and family relationships.
I am delighted to be welcoming Thirteen Stops by Sandra Harris to my blog today, as part of her blog tour. Thirteen Stops is a book compiled of thirteen short stories that give you an insight to everyone’s lives who is on the tram. I have read a few reviews already and this seems to be a book you can pick up and absorb yourself with a selection of characters that are a bit like marmite and I can’t wait to get to it on my TBR pile.
Have a read of the blurb below and see what you think, is Laura about to make another terrible choice and what is Fauve actually hiding in her handbag? Currently just 99p on Kindle so grab yourself a copy and enjoying a book that brings out the ultimate people watcher in us all.
There are thirteen Luas stops between Sandyford and St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin and vice versa. The passengers all hunker down, folded tightly into themselves, eyes fixed on their phones, interminably scrolling, terrified of connecting with each other. Except . . . Except, who’s that good-looking guy in the long dark coat who’s eyeing up selfie queen Laura? Could he end up as one of her terrible choices? Hang on, isn’t he the same guy who was ogling glamorous working-mum-with-a-secret Maroon before? And why is Jamie over there telling his life story to a complete stranger? What’s Fauve hiding in her handbag? It must be the crown jewels or an unexploded bomb at the very least, the way she’s hugging it so tightly to herself. And why does Becks from two seats down look out the window so anxiously? Is she worried that Barry could be straying? Alight here for the inside track . . .
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline.
I have read and loved books by Rosie Dean in the past and am delighted to be offering her a chance to talk about Vicki’s Work of Heart and what inspired the story as she celebrates it’s birthday with a Birthday Blitz.
Where did Vicki come from?
Straight off the bat – thank you, Kel, for inviting me to be a guest on your blog. If I can ever return the favour – my blog is your blog.
Let me introduce you to Vicki Marchant, humble art teacher and jilted bride, and the heroine of Vicki’s Work of Heart.
When her marriage is blasted into the ether by her absent groom, she seizes her freedom and leaves teaching to paint – in France. It’s her time. Nobody is going to get in the way of her ambition. Definitely no men. Vicki learns two things: some men are difficult to resist, and choosing the right one is not always easy.
I have a huge soft spot for Vicki. It’s almost my story. Except that it isn’t.
I certainly used to be an art teacher and, like Vicki, I definitely knew the frustration of not being able to exercise my creativity because I had no spare time or not enough energy left at the end of the day. Let’s not beat about the bush – teaching in a high school is fun but exhausting. As soon as I came home, I’d sit down in the armchair and conk out. Me! Surely, that was what old folks did – fall asleep in front of the Six O’clock News – not me.
I also came out of a seven-year relationship, having thought I was going to get married, start a family etc. In truth, the decision was mine, I hadn’t been stranded at the altar but the result was the same. My plans had to be abandoned and I needed to start again.
So, in my downtime, I’d fantasize about moving to another country, where I could live cheaply on bread and cheese, washed down by cheap but warming wine, and spend my time painting. I’d have no responsibilities just freedom to pursue my art.
I would, of course, also be utterly stunning, with the kind of metabolism that would vaporize the calories from the Camembert and Pinot Noir. I’d be carefree, solvent and a complete man-magnet. However, I would be so into my artwork, I would swat these men out of my life and focus on my art. (Yes, you’re right, I’d also been in long-term relationships that hadn’t worked out.) No, my life would be much less complicated if I kept men at a distance. At least, until Mr-Utterly-Drop-dead-Gorgeous and Perfect-for-Me turned up. As he surely would.
So I built on that fantasy and started Vicki’s story.
I set it in France because the roots of Impressionism are there – which is my favourite artistic period. It’s a romantic country with beautiful scenery. The confections in their patisseries are beyond spectacular, and the men have the sexiest accents. No contest.
I also gave Vicki a positive, seize-the-day attitude because one thing I’ve learned is that making the most of the here-and-now is one of the best ways to keep going. But don’t panic! Vicki is no Pollyanna, she just learns how to dig into her little bag of grit when the going gets tough. And they do get tough, when she finds herself tangled up with the Wrong Guy, who seems hell-bent on screwing up the life of the Right Guy – if she only but knew it.
Ultimately, of course, she triumphs! So if you’ve ever dreamed about turning your back on the day job and following your dream, then you might just have something in common with Vicki too.
♥ ♥ ♥
Now fingers crossed after learning about what inspired Rosie to write this story, you will now feel inspired to read the story like me and meet Vicki for yourself. I have added the book blurb and purchase links below, so you can get stuck straight in.
Stranded at the altar, knee-deep in her fiancé’s gambling debts, Vicki Marchant seizes her freedom and moves to France, to paint. It’s her time. No man will get in the way of her ambition again. She learns two things: some men are hard to resist, and her judgement of them is still on the dodgy side.
Rosie Dean has been writing stories and plays since she was big enough to type. After studying ceramic design and gaining a ‘degree in crockery’ as the man in her life calls it, she became an Art & Pottery teacher. Seven years later, she moved into corporate world, writing training courses and marketing copy until the lure of being a full-time writer became irresistible.
Her passion is to write entertaining love stories that can make a reader chuckle, laugh out loud or, occasionally, feel a lump in the throat. Most of all, she loves developing the characters who inhabit her stories – eccentricities and screwball scenarios pop up in all of her work. Some of these characters have four legs – because animals offer an interesting counterpoint to human dramas.
Vicki’s story is close to Rosie’s heart. Once an art teacher herself, and going through a difficult time, she would dream of escaping it all to paint. From these dreams, she wrote Vicki’s Work of Heart
Rosie lives on the Isle of Wight, and can see the sea from her writing den.
I absolutely love reading books by this wonderful author who always writes such happy, feel good stories and I was entranced by the island of Elba within the first few pages. Once again the story is rich in location description and culture, you learn about the island and feel like you are sitting alongside Anna as she explores for the first time.
When you first meet Charlie and Anna you assume the story will be about their quest as geologists as they explore Elba but early on the story switches focus to Anna and we get to spend time with her as she battles her love of her job and the possibility of a career change so that she can finally find the time to focus on romance.
I flew through the pages of this story, it made me laugh, feel frustrated on behalf of Anna whilst being sprinkled with romance. Once again a wonderful story where you feel you have escaped every day life and been transported to a tranquil sunny location, providing some much needed escapism.
Her work has got in the way of relationships before – but never like this
Anna’s job as a geologist takes her all over the world, including to the beautiful island of Elba, where she’s sent to look for precious metals. And the island isn’t the only thing that’s gorgeous – she can’t believe her luck when she meets windsurfer Marco and sparks fly.
But Anna must keep her role on Elba a secret to avoid upsetting the locals, which means lying to Marco even as they grow closer. When her old friend Toby visits, Anna suddenly finds herself torn between the attentions of the two men. However, Anna’s not the only one keeping secrets.
Is Marco being entirely honest with her? And why did Toby really come to visit?
A fun and escapist romance, perfect for fans of Lucy Coleman and Alex Brown.
I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.
The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations, even if travel to them is currently difficult.
I am loving reading about the lovely Harper Girls and their families, in this story there are lots of changes as life continues to tick along despite still the war still raging on. Sally has some exciting news as she starts to piece more of her childhood together and how she came to be in the care of the nuns. Whilst Sadie must decide what to do about returning home or staying in France as she adapts to life as a Mother.
This story was full of love and loss, as everyone is gripped by the fear of losing their loved ones as the Germans continue to bomb supply boats. Despite the loss there is also lots of love to go round as new babies and children are welcomed into the fold and more Harper Girls are married.
I loved the ending of this story and already want to know what comes next as life starts to come together for some of the key ladies who make up the Harper Girls. A wonderful step back in time as everyone begins to see light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully an end to the war that has claimed the lives of so many young men.
As the Americans enter the War, there is renewed energy in the war effort.
With husbands and sons fighting for freedom, the women of Harpers are left to tackle the day-to-day affairs at home and work.
With Ben Harper away, Sally fears she is being followed by a mysterious woman. Who is she and what does she want?
Maggie Gibbs collapses seriously ill in the frontline hospitals and is brought back to England close to death. Can she be saved and what does the future hold for her and her broken heart?
Marion Jackson’s father is on the run from the Police already wanted for murder. She fears he will return to threaten his family once more. And Beth Burrows is pregnant with her second child, worried and anxious for her husband Jack, who has been many months at sea.
As Christmas 1917 approaches what will the future hold for Harpers, its girls and their men at War?
Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire. Rosie’s brand new saga series, Welcome to Harpers Emporium began in December 2019.
Oh what a read, this is the ultimate light hearted read that gives you all of the feels as you read. I love the friendship between Ella and Anna and it was great to spend more time with Anna in this story as she wrestles with potential infertility and arranging her wedding which is only increasingly highlighting the void from when she lost her parents.
This book gave me a whole host of emotions as it touched on anorexia, infertility and adoption, it was written with compassion and emotion and I loved the impact it created and the importance placed upon the friendships and support that Anna had around her.
The last few chapters of this story flew by and I was desperate to keep reading, yet I wanted to savour the story as I was loving the momentum and emotion that was flowing from the pages. A superb story and I already can’t wait to revisit Port Agnes and these wonderful midwives.
It’s wedding day in Port Agnes!
The venue is booked, the dress is picked, and Senior Midwife Anna Jones only has to say ‘I Do!’ to the man she loves! Theirs might have been a whirlwind romance, but Brae Penrose is everything Anna dreamed her husband would be and she can’t wait to start a family with him.
But as the big day approaches, Anna still isn’t pregnant and when disaster strikes, their perfect day looks destined not to happen at all! Is it a sign to slow things down?
The other midwives won’t hear of Anna and Brae postponing their big day, and soon the whole community of Port Agnes comes together to make sure the Penrose wedding goes off without a hitch!
And Anna realises, baby or not, she already has her dream family with Brae and her friends by her side.
Meet The Cornish Midwives of Port Agnes- where community, friendship and love are always delivered.
An uplifting and escapist read, perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Jessica Redland and Holly Martin!
I was born a stone’s throw from the English Channel and I still live near the sea in Kent, with my own family – so close to the South Eastern edge of England that we’re very nearly French – and it’s probably why so many of my books are set near the sea too. I’ve made up stories for as long as I can remember, but never really took it any further. Concentrating on my career and family, writing went on the back burner until a catalyst called cancer gave me a major kick up the proverbial. I decided I was going to write that novel after all.