One Family Christmas by Bella Osborne

Thanks to Avon Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to join the blog tour for One Family Christmas by Bella Osborne. Thank you to Avon Books for a digital review copy – my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

A big family. A whole lot of secrets. A Christmas to remember…

This year, Lottie is hosting one last big family Christmas at the home she grew up in – just like her Nana would have wanted.

But when her relatives descend on the old manor house, Lottie gets more than she bargained for. Every family has its secrets, but in this family, everybody has one!

So, between cooking a Christmas dinner, keeping tensions at bay and a stray dog out of mischief, she has plenty on her plate (and not just misshapen sausage rolls and a frozen turkey). And then her first love shows up – nine years after he walked out of her life.

Can Lottie make their last family Christmas one to remember… for the right reasons?

A festive treat to curl up with this Christmas, perfect for fans of Milly Johnson and Trisha Ashley.

My thoughts:

I only discovered Bella Osborne’s books this year, when I read Meet Me At Pebble Beach (which I heartily recommend). So I was pleased to be given an early opportunity to read and review her new festive novel, One Family Christmas.

The opening chapters are actually quite sad, as Lottie and her family say goodbye to Nana Rose. Lottie manages to persuade everyone to return to stay at the Manor House, for one last Christmas, before it is sold and the proceeds split between the family.

Lottie’s family are an eclectic mix, elderly Great Uncle Bernard and his carer, Lottie’s widowed brother, his young daughter Jessica and ‘new’ girlfriend Emily, her mum Angie and latest of many boyfriends, Scott, and her uncle Daniel and his family. As the ‘blurb’ states, everyone is nursing a secret, and these will be revealed over the Christmas period.

Lottie is trying to achieve a perfect family Christmas, which isn’t easy when her ex boyfriend, Joe and a stray dog arrive on Christmas Eve, she forgets to defrost the turkey and a surprise present goes missing from the tree.

I loved this book, so many laugh out loud moments, especially with little Jessica, Dave the dog and Duchess the cat. After a stressful day, this was just what I needed – a book to escape into, full of festive fun, a dysfunctional family, romance and disasters waiting to happen. Lottie is a wonderful main character with a heart of gold.

Another lovely book by Bella Osborne, and I’m already looking forward to 2021 for her next book.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B085XQXDB9/

Universal Amazon link – http://mybook.to/OneFamilyChristmas

KOBO – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/one-family-christmas

Author Bio :

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 six 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.

For more about Bella, visit her website at http://www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

Social Media Links – 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/osborne_bella

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

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bellaosborneauthor/

A Surprise Christmas Wedding by Phillipa Ashley

Thank you to Avon Books for providing a digital review copy of this gorgeous book via NetGalley. My thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift. This is published in ebook format on 19th October and in paperback on 26th November 2020.

Synopsis:

It’s been a year since Lottie’s fiancé walked out, leaving her heartbroken. But things start to look up when she lands her dream job at a beautiful Lake District estate, with a handsome groundskeeper for a neighbour.
 
So when Lottie is asked to organise a last minute Christmas wedding at Firholme, she can’t wait to get started. Until she meets the couple, and discovers that Connor, the man who broke her heart, is the groom-to-be.
 
As snow falls on the hills, can Lottie put aside her past to organise the perfect winter wedding? And will there be any festive magic left to bring Lottie the perfect Christmas she deserves?
 

My thoughts:

This is a lovely festive read. Lottie has had a tough year, with a broken engagement and supporting her sister through her cancer treatment. Jay, her new neighbour and work colleague, is also nursing a broken heart.

The story features secrets, half truths, comedy moments, reindeers, Christmas trees, decorations and romance. Will getting to know Jay, and his gorgeous dog, Trevor help Lottie to cope with organising a wedding for her ex? This is a no spoiler review so you will need to read the book to find out.

A lovely story to provide an escape from the stress and anxiety of 2020. I only discovered Phillipa’s books this year (see my review at https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2020/05/29/bookreview-a-perfect-cornish-escape-by-phillipa-ashley/) but have been busy adding more of her books to my Kindle to curl up with over the winter. I recommend enjoying this one with a mug of hot chocolate whilst listening to some Christmas music.

The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams

I’m pleased to share my review for The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams on my book review blog today on the ebook publication date (paperback publication is in August 2020). Thank you to Avon Books for a digital ARC – my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

She’s single. But that doesn’t mean it’s not complicated…

Penny Bridge has, historically, been very unlucky in love. She’s pledged to focus on other things – her friends, her career – making the most of what busy London life has to offer.

But when difficult circumstances mean that Penny’s uncle must hand over the kitchen of his beloved restaurant in Derbyshire, she finds herself stepping into a new life in a new town.

And as luck would have it, she’s suddenly confronted with one remarkable man who wants to date her, followed by another. And then another…

So begins a hilarious love-square with Penny firmly in the middle…

My thoughts:

This is the first book I’ve read by Laura Jane Williams and I liked the sound of the synopsis. The story starts with Penny living and working in London, wondering if she will ever find her special someone to go home to. Over the next few weeks she meets three very different men, a chef, a band manager and a wine merchant, and moves to Derbyshire for at least a year.

The story follows how Penny finds herself in the middle of the love square, with all three men enjoying her company, and wanting varying levels of commitment from Penny.

The story is an enjoyable modern romance story with lots of food descriptions (Penny is a chef) and hopes for the future. It covers topics such as cancer and IVF, so isn’t a ‘fluffy’ read.

Laura Jane Williams:

Laura Jane Williams was born in 1986 in Derbyshire, England. Her 2019 debut novel Our Stop was an international hit, and she is currently adapting it for screen. Her non-fiction includes Becoming, Ice Cream for Breakfast, and The Life Diet, and she has contributed essays and articles to the Telegraph, the Guardian, Marie Claire, the Independent, Cosmopolitan, as well as to a collection by Stylist Magazine, Life Lessons from Remarkable Women. She was previously a columnist for both Grazia and Red.

Find out more about Laura on http://www.laurajaneauthor.com.

The Heatwave by Katerina Diamond



I’m pleased to share my review for the second book called The Heatwave I have read this year. This book is written by Katerina Diamond, a new author to me. Thank you to Avon Books for a digital copy via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

One summer. One stranger. One killer…
Two bad things happened that summer:
A stranger arrived. And the first girl disappeared.
 
In the wake of the crime that rocked her community, Felicity fled, knowing more than she let on.
 
But sixteen years later, her new life is shattered by the news that a second girl has gone missing in her hometown.
 
Now Felicity must go back, to face the truth about what happened all those years ago.
 
Only she holds the answers – and they’re more shocking than anyone could imagine.
 
The heatwave is back. And so is the killer.

My thoughts:
This is a book which got darker the further I read it. We know from the front cover of the book that there was a killer and the story gives us lots of hints about who that could be.

Felicity, living in the Lake District with her husband and children, is suddenly driving back to Sidmouth in Devon, a place she left behind years ago after a girl went missing one summer. Her family don’t understand why she has to go back to a place she never talks about because a girl she didn’t know went missing.

As we follow her in Sidmouth, talking to old school classmates and to the friends of the latest missing girl, parts of the story of 16 years ago are shared. We find out about Jasmine and her family, with their new lodger Tim who appears to have lots of secrets, the teacher who tried to kiss Jasmine and her friends (including Felicity). But can the killer be back in town too?

I really enjoyed this thriller, plenty of twists and turns, and an ending I hadn’t expected. I predict that that this will be a popular read in back gardens and parks, whilst social distancing, in the summer of 2020. This book is published in June 2020.

Katerina Diamond:

Katerina is the author of the Sunday Times Best Selling Exeter based crime thriller series – starting with ‘The Teacher’ and followed by The Secret, The Angel, The Promise and Truth or Die Katerina is currently working on her seventh novel which is a standalone. 

Katerina also runs the facebook book group CRIME SUSPECT with several other crime authors. 

Katerina currently lives in East Kent. Katerina was born in Weston-super-Mare and has lived in various places since including Greece, Cyprus, Derby, East London and Exeter.



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Meet Me At Pebble Beach by Bella Osborne

Synopsis:

Regan is holding a winning lottery ticket.
Goodbye to the boyfriend who never had her back, and so long to the job she can’t stand!
Except it’s all a bit too good to be true…

When Regan gets pranked, she finds herself jobless, homeless and boyfriendless in one fell swoop.

Luckily her friendly seaside community provides a beacon of hope, proving to Regan that sometimes you really can rely on the kindness of others – and one local in particular, a handsome fireman called Charlie, helps Regan realise that this could be her chance for a fresh start.

Armed with a list of ways to change her life, Regan decides it’s time to step out of her comfort zone. Because – as Charlie knows all too well – life is for living . . .

My thoughts:

Thank you Avon Books, Bella Osborne and NetGalley for my digital review copy – my thoughts are my own. This is the first book I’ve read by Bella Osborne and I was thrilled to be gifted a digital review copy after seeing great reviews.

I really enjoyed this book, lots of humour but also tackling some social issues such as homelessness. The character of Regan developed nicely – the opening chapters with the lottery ticket prank made me laugh out loud. As her friendship with Charlie develops, Regan needs to find ways to follow her dream to run her own business and to find a new home.


What a conclusion! I didn’t expect the ending of the story – may have had damp eyes a couple of times. Thank you to Bella Osborne for writing such great characters and making me care about them. This has been a great escape from the global pandemic and I will be recommending it to friends/family/readers of my blog.

A PERFECT CORNISH ESCAPE by PHILLIPA ASHLEY

Thrilled to share my review for this lovely book on my blog today. Originally it was going to be shared next month as the main publication date is 11th June – however I heard yesterday that special advance copies are now in Tesco – time to add a copy to your ‘essential’ shopping basket in person or online.

Synopsis:

Summer in Cornwall is the perfect time for a fresh start…
Seven years ago, Marina Hudson’s husband was lost at sea. She vowed to love him for the rest of her life – but when kind-hearted Lachlan arrives in Porthmellow, should she deny herself another chance at happiness?

Tiff Trescott was living life to the full as a journalist in London – until her boyfriend’s betrayal brought it all crashing down. Fleeing to her cousin Marina’s cottage, Tiff feels like a fish-out-of-water. And when brooding local Dirk wins a day with her in a charity auction, she’s thrown headfirst into Cornish life.

This summer promises new beginnings for both Tiff and Marina. But are they too good to be true?

My thoughts:

Thank you to Avon Books/Harper Collins for gifting a digital advanced review copy of this book to me via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own. This was an Easter 2020 read for me and I enjoyed my first ever visit to Porthmellow – this was the perfect way to visit Cornwall during Lockdown.

I have seen great reviews for Phillipa’s books and I have now added her previous books to my wish list.

This book follows Marina and Tiff, cousins who have led very different lives since they used to spend summer holidays together in Cornwall as children. Both have to deal with the baggage from their past and to move forward with their lives.

The stories evolved well as we joined Marina and Tiff on their year of making new friendships – I loved how kindness and community were central to the story, as was the local lifeboat and volunteers.

Hopefully by the time this book is published, the Lockdown will be easing, but I recommend this book for a relaxing read anytime of the year – maybe with a glass of Pimms and a plate of seafood or a Cornish pasty.



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#BookReview Summer on a Sunny Island by Sue Moorcroft

This summer, sparks are flying on the island of Malta…

When Rosa Hammond splits up from her partner Marcus, her Mum Dora suggests a summer in Malta. Not one to sit back and watch her daughter be unhappy, Dora introduces Rosa to Zach, in the hope that romance will bloom under the summer sun. But Rosa’s determined not to be swayed by a handsome man – she’s in Malta to work, after all.

Zach, meanwhile, is a magnet for trouble and is dealing with a fair few problems of his own. Neither Rosa or Zach are ready for love – but does fate have other ideas? And after a summer in paradise, will Rosa ever want to leave?

My thoughts:

Thank you to Avon Books for a digital review copy via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own.

I loved travelling to Switzerland with Sue Moorcroft in Let it Snow last year and enjoyed my visit to Malta in Summer on a Sunny Island.

The story involves two families, who have been reunited decades later, who spent time in Malta with the British Armed Forces. Having only visited Malta for a day on a cruise 20 years ago, Sue Moorcroft has given lots of recommendations throughout the book for places to visit and foods to try when the current global pandemic is over.

Rosa and Zach are spending the summer working in Malta, whilst thinking about where their futures will take them. Both need to resolve issues in their past to be able to move forward. The story flows well and is a good summer read. My favourite characters are Dora and Paige – both made me smile on numerous occasions.



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Let It Snow by Sue Moorcroft (Publication date 26/9/19)

Let It Snow

Let It Snow by Sue Moorcroft

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This Christmas, the villagers of Middledip are off on a very Swiss adventure… 

Family means everything to Lily and Zinnia Cortez and, growing up in their non-conventional family unit, they and their two mums couldn’t have been closer.

So it’s a bolt out of the blue when Lily finds her father wasn’t the anonymous one-night stand she’s always believed. She is in fact the result of her mum’s reckless affair with a married man.

Confused, but determined to discover her true roots, Lily sets out to find the family she’s never known – an adventure that takes her from the frosted, thatched cottages of Middledip to the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, via a Christmas market or two along the way…

My Thoughts:
This is the first book I’ve read by Sue Moorcroft and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The book combines planning a choir trip to Switzerland, family secrets, relationship issues, being a carer, having a difficult pregnancy, dealing with staff issues, Christmas, romance, trials of internet dating and copious amounts of snow into an enjoyable festive story.

I have to admit that Doggo the Dalmation was my favourite character, amongst a group of well thought out characters.

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon books for an uncorrected proof copy in return for an honest review.



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We Met in December by Rosie Curtis

We Met in December: The most romantic, uplifting book you’ll read this Christmas

We Met in December: The most romantic, uplifting book you’ll read this Christmas by Rosie Curtis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This December, unlucky-in-love Jess is following her dream and moving to Notting Hill. On the first night in her new house-share she meets Alex, the guy in the room next door. They don’t kiss under the mistletoe, but there’s still a spark that leaves Jess imagining how they might spend the year together – never mind the house rule against dating…

But when Jess returns from her Christmas holiday, she finds Alex has started seeing Emma, who lives on the floor above them. Now Jess faces a year of bumping into the man of her dreams – and, apparently, the woman of his.

Jess is determined to move on and spend the year falling in love with London, not Alex – but what if her heart has other ideas?


My thoughts:-


I really enjoyed this book about Jess – who is moving to London to start a new chapter in her life. She meets her new housemates in December, goes on holiday with friends, then returns to start her new job and to live in London. The story follows Jess as she falls for her new housemate Alex, then discovers that he is not available.
The characters were believable, the pages were eagerly turned and I was left with a smile on my face.

Thank you to NetGally and Avon Books for a digital review ARC – all views are my own.



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The Unlikely Life of Maisie Meadows by Jenni Keer *Release Day 8th July 2019*

The Unlikely Life of Maisie Meadows

The Unlikely Life of Maisie Meadows by Jenni Keer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is the first book I’ve read by Jenni Keer and I really enjoyed it.

Maisie and all the other characters are brought to life beautifully by Jenni. I loved meeting the workforce of Gildersleeve’s Antiques, the Meadows family (including Nigel) and the Mayhew family.

This book combines friendship, antiques, family issues, communication difficulties, romance and magic into a story that I didn’t want to put down. I will be recommending this to friends and family.

Thanks to NetGalley for a digital review copy in return for a honest review. I’m now looking forward to reading Jenni’s first book – The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker.



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