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 Second Marriage by Gill Paul

I’m pleased to be sharing my review today for The Second Marriage by Gill Paul (published as Jackie and Maria in the USA). Thank you to Anne from Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour and thank you to Avon Books for a digital proof copy via NetGalley. My thoughts about the book are my own and not influenced by the gift. To catch up on the other reviews, please see the details for the other blog tour members below.

Synopsis:

JACKIE
When her first marriage ends in tragedy, Jackie Kennedy fears she’ll never love again. But all that changes when she encounters…

ARI
Successful and charming, Ari Onassis is a man who promises her the world. Yet soon after they marry, Jackie learns that his heart also belongs to another…

MARIA
A beautiful, famed singer, Maria Callas is in love with Jackie’s new husband – and she isn’t going to give up.

Little by little, Jackie and Maria’s lives begin to tangle in a dangerous web of secrets, scandal and lies. But with both women determined to make Ari theirs alone, the stakes are high. How far will they go for true love?

My thoughts:

This is my first Gill Paul novel and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I was aware that Jackie Kennedy had been married to Aristotle Onassis after her first husband, Jack died, but I knew very little about the story before reading the book.

Gill Paul explains at the end of the book how she has mixed factual details (such as the details of the death of Jack Kennedy in Dallas), with fiction. This is primarily a piece of fiction based on real people. Many young people dream of being famous but this book shows why fame and money don’t guarantee happiness. Mixed amongst the glamour is anger, addiction and infidelity.

Without giving away any spoilers, I found myself feeling sorry for both Maria and Jackie. Both experienced tragedies and betrayals, and both loved Ari in very different ways. I feel that Gill Paul has been sympathetic to the plight of both her main female characters. My opinion of Ari worsened as the book progressed but as Gill Paul notes, the era this book was set in was was very different to the #MeToo era of 2020.

I loved the detailed descriptions from the story, including the places they visited, the food and drink they enjoyed, the outfits they wore. I’m happy to recommend this as an excellent and enjoyable piece of historical fiction – with a reminder that it is not a true story.

Author Bio:

Gill Paul’s historical novels have reached the top of the USA Today, Toronto Globe & Mail and kindle charts, and been translated into twenty languages. 

They include THE SECOND MARRIAGE (titled JACKIE AND MARIA in the US), two bestselling novels about the Romanovs – THE SECRET WIFE and THE LOST DAUGHTER – as well as WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST, which was shortlisted for the 2013 RNA Epic Novel of the Year award, NO PLACE FOR A LADY, shortlisted for a Love Stories award, and ANOTHER WOMAN’S HUSBAND, about links you might not have suspected between Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana.


Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A HISTORY OF MEDICINE IN 50 OBJECTS, and she speaks at libraries and literary festivals on subjects ranging from the Titanic to the Romanovs.
Gill lives in London, where she is working on her tenth novel, and she swims daily in an outdoor pond.

www.gillpaul.com

Twitter @GillPaulAUTHOR

Instagram @gill.paul1

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (17 Sept. 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000836625X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0008366254

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Second-Marriage-Gill-Paul/dp/000836625X

We are Family by Nicola Gill

I’m pleased to share my review for the new book by Nicola Gill on my blog today. I reviewed her debut novel The Neighbours earlier this year. Thanks to Avon Books UK for a digital review copy via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift. This book is being published on the 3rd of September 2020 in ebook and paperback.

Synopsis:

Laura has a laid back attitude to life. Her home isn’t spotless, and after a hard day she likes to take to bed with a block of cheese.

Jess, on the other hand, is your classic overachiever: The Big Sister, Chief of Chivvying, Queen of the family WhatsApp. Her life is picture-perfect.

Laura and Jess lost their dad when they were kids, and now their mum is gone too. And one of the hardest times in life is made harder by the fact they can’t agree on a single thing, from where to scatter the ashes to whether “passed away” is even an acceptable term.

But when Laura starts pushing her own boundaries and Jess agrees to let other people in to her (not so) perfect life, the two women realize they need each other more than ever. They might not be ready to admit it, but family is everything…

A funny, tender and thoroughly entertaining read for anyone who loves Marian Keyes, Ruth Jones, and Fleabag.

My thoughts:

The story starts with the death of the mum of Laura and Jess. Laura is a kind person, eager to help, but is being let down by friends, work and her partner. Her sister Jess appears to have a perfect life – rich husband, immaculate house and well behaved children.

The story follows Laura and Jess as they try to deal with the death of their mum, 25 years after the sudden death of their dad and to build a new sibling relationship.

I really enjoyed this book, it dealt with some difficult topics, but included humour too, especially in relation to the children of Laura and Jess. Both Laura and Jess need to make changes in their lives and to move forward, instead of letting the past spoil their relationship.

An enjoyable read during the global pandemic of 2020.



View all my reviews

The Secrets of Saffron Hall by Clare Marchant

I’m pleased to share my review today for the debut novel by Clare Marchant. Thank you to Avon Books for a digital review copy via Netgalley – my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

Two women. Five centuries apart.
One life-changing secret about to be unearthed…

1538
New bride Eleanor impresses her husband by growing saffron, a spice more valuable than gold. His reputation in Henry VIII’s court soars – but fame and fortune come at a price, for the king’s favour will not last forever…

2019
When Amber discovers an ancient book in her grandfather’s home at Saffron Hall, the contents reveal a dark secret from the past. As she investigates, so unravels a forgotten tragic story and a truth that lies much closer to home than she could have imagined…

An enchanting historical novel about love and hope in dangerous times, perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley and Kathryn Hughes.

My thoughts:


A 4.5 star read rounded up to 5.

I enjoy reading time slip novels and thoroughly enjoyed this one. The two time periods were both interesting but I enjoyed the Tudor time period the most. The historical details were fascinating and the storytelling was superb. The link between the two eras was equally interesting and heartbreaking – if you have experienced a miscarriage or a stillbirth, this may be a difficult read.

A very impressive debut novel and I’m looking forward to reading more by Clare Marchant in the future.



View all my reviews

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.

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.



View all my reviews

Book Review for Meet Me at Pebble Beach : Seas the Day #4 by Bella Osborne



I was thrilled to receive an email from Avon Books with a NetGalley widget for part 4 of the Meet Me at Pebble Beach series – I needed to know who had driven off after hitting Kevin and Elvis, and how would Regan cope as Charlie’s health started to deteriorate.

I was so eager to know, that I had to put my current read to one side and ignore my family (who were able to home school or carry on with their work from home without me) for one afternoon to reach the conclusion.

What a conclusion! I had worked out the secret Regan’s dad was keeping from her but hadn’t realised the second part. I had no idea who had failed to stop after the accident and 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.



View all my reviews

#BookReview In Too Deep (Meet Me at Pebble Beach #2) by Bella Osborne

Publisher comments:

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 to Avon Books for a digital review copy – my thoughts are my own.

Having enjoyed Part One, I was eager to find out what happened next to Regan. As her relationship with Charlie becomes a roller coaster ride of emotions, Regan needs to find ways to follow her dream to run her own business.

Part Two ended on cliff hanger and I’m eager to read Part Three.

#BookReview Out of the Blue (Meet Me at Pebble Beach #1) by Bella Osborne

Publisher comments:

This is the first part in a brand new four-part serial from Bella Osborne.

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 . . 

Publication date 2nd April 2020

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 first part to the Meet Me at Pebble Beach series – lots of humour but also some tough social issues such as homelessness. The character of Regan developed nicely and I’m looking forward to reading part 2 to find out what happens next.





View all my reviews