Trials and Tribulations of a Pet Sitter by Laura Marchant

Today I’m pleased to be sharing an extract from Trials and Tribulations of a Pet Sitter as part of the blog blitz organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.

Synopsis:

Hilarious and heart warming true stories of a Pet Sitter.

​Laura takes us on her journey describing the immense joy that the animals have brought into her life. But it’s not all fun and games. With sometimes as many as ten dogs around her home, things can get a tad hectic. Not to forget the every day challenges faced in keeping the pets happy and safe when out walking. Luckily she is not alone in her quest; her unusually dominant Golden Retriever ‘Brece’ is always by her side. Brece earns her keep by convincingly playing the part of the alpha female, ensuring harmony amongst the pack.

​At times, the responsibility that Laura faces becomes overwhelming. She may think she has everything covered but that hand of fate could quite easily swoop down, creating havoc for her and the dogs. Laura has endured many close calls and teetered on the precipice of disaster may a time. The longer she continues with her pet sitting enterprise, the more likely hood that total disaster will actually strike. Is she tempting fate?

​Laura Marchant is the Bridget Jones of the pet sitting world!

Purchase Links 

Author Bio:

Laura Marchant was born in 1959 in the seaside resort of Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, England. Both her parents were born in the same town, so not exactly a family of intrepid travellers! As a child Laura and her siblings were fortunate enough to own shares in the families pets. Unbeknown to Laura at the time, her love for the animals formed the blueprint for a large part of her life.

In 2011 she finally found her vocation, and in the comfort of her own home, set up a pet boarding business. For the next 7 years she shared her abode with a pack of dogs. A lot of this time was spent watching over the animals and observing their behaviour, which in turn inspired her to write her first novel ‘Trials and Tribulations of a Pet Sitter’.

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/laura.marchant60/?modal=admin_todo_tour

https://twitter.com/lauramarchant16

Extract:

As part of my pet sitting business I offered a house sitting service. A lady called Marion took on the actual role of the house sitter.

I deeply regret the first house sitting job that I arranged for Marion and the position that I put her in. It was our very first assignment job back in 2011 and I was inexperienced in my new role. But in my defence, the customer had grossly misled me as to the extent of the rat infestation in her home!  

At the consultation with the customer Elizabeth, she warned me that she had a couple of rats knocking about in the back garden. She owned six dogs, three rabbits and of course the rats, which she casually mentioned in passing. The house backed onto a brook and rather unwisely she kept the rabbit hutch in the back garden closely situated to the water. The rats from the brook were naturally attracted to the rabbit grain. It occurred to me that the vermin situation was not aided by the fact that the hutch was at ground level and not elevated in any way shape or form. Elizabeth understood that the rats were attracted by the rabbit food yet did nothing to rectify the situation. I found it strange that she ignored the health risk to herself and dogs, but kept my thoughts in my head. Elizabeth tried to assure me that the rats only came out at night to scavenge any grain that may have fallen out of the hutch, ‘You wouldn’t even know they were there!’

I provisionally booked Marion to house sit for Elizabeth. The actual booking would only be confirmed if Marion agreed to stay in a house with a rat issue and that was a highly unlikely scenario, or so I thought. After I left the house, I immediately made the call to Marion and put the revolting proposal to her; candidly informing her about the vermin but reiterating Elizabeth’s comments;

“You won’t even know they are there.”

It was a certainty that Marion would decline the unattractive invitation, most people wouldn’t have touched the job with a barge pole. Marion proved me wrong. I was completely startled when without hesitation she accepted the position. Being the tough old bird that she is, she resiliently replied; “Well, what I can’t see, can’t hurt me.”

So, with that we took Elizabeth at her word and agreed to house-sit for her. Several weeks after the job I learned from Marion that Elizabeth’s prediction was completely incorrect. When Marion was staying at the house she knew full well that the rats were there. The vermin, were bold as brass coming out in broad daylight, scavenging for scraps, and in their numbers, half a dozen at a time. Marion didn’t even get any respite at night, when darkness fell the rats invaded the kitchen. As she lay in bed, she could hear them scratching and scuttling about. Entering the kitchen each morning, sleep deprived, she was greeted by traces of rat urine on the worktops! Although clearly not comfortable with the situation Marion barely complained; such a tough old bird.

The Purple Shadow by Christopher Bowden

Thank you to Christopher Bowden for a copy of the book, to prepare for the blog tour organised by Rachel of Rachels’s Random Resources. My thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

In the years before the war, Sylvie Charlot was a leading light in Paris fashion with many friends among musicians, artists and writers.  Now she is largely forgotten.  Spending time in Paris during a break in his acting career, Colin Mallory sees a striking portrait of Sylvie.  Some think it is a late work by Édouard Vuillard but there is no signature or documentary evidence to support this view.

The picture has some unusual qualities, not least the presence of a shadow of something that cannot be seen.  Perhaps the picture was once larger.  Colin feels an odd sense of connection with Sylvie, who seems to be looking at him, appealing to him, wanting to tell him something.  Despite a warning not to pursue his interest in her portrait, he is determined to find out more about the painting, who painted it, and why it was hidden for many years.   

Colin’s search takes him back to the film and theatre worlds of Paris and London in the 1930s – and to a house in present-day Sussex.  As he uncovers the secrets of Sylvie’s past, her portrait seems to take on a life of its own. 

My thoughts:

This book had an old fashioned feel to it, despite some of the story being set in modern times. We start off in Paris, meeting Colin, an actor in between roles, who is intrigued by the purple shadow on the painting of Sylvie Charlot. The painting had been found wrapped up and hidden away in the apartment. Colin is convinced this was part of a bigger portrait but why would someone cut up a portrait and who else was in the original?

Colin visits theatres, galleries and museums in Paris and London, and finds a love story set in the 1930’s. The more he discovers, the more intrigued he becomes, the more mysterious it becomes, and he discovers that he is not the only person interested in the story behind the painting. This is a spoiler free review so I can’t divulge anymore about the story but can confirm that I enjoyed the story, which was very different to my normal genres.

Author Bio:

Christopher Bowden lives in south London. He is the author of six colour-themed novels, which have been praised variously by Andrew Marr, Julian Fellowes, Sir Derek Jacobi, and Shena Mackay.  

Social Media Links –  https://www.facebook.com/christopher.bowden.90

Website – http://www.christopherbowden.com/

Purchase Links 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Purple-Shadow-Christopher-Bowden-ebook/dp/B01JLMD7N4/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Purple-Shadow-Christopher-Bowden-ebook/dp/B01JLMD7N4/

France – https://www.amazon.fr/Purple-Shadow-Christopher-Bowden-ebook/dp/B01JLMD7N4/

Winter at Wishington Bay by Maxine Morrey

Thank you to Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to join the blog tour. Thank you also for a digital review copy of the book, my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

Eighteen months ago, Sophia Jones finally walked out on her unhappy life.

With a tricky divorce ongoing, money is tight and so when friends offer her a housekeeping job while they’re away travelling, she accepts.

Nate McKinley is hesitant when his brother, Gabe, offers him the use of their home in the picturesque village of Wishington Bay. But he has a book to a write and an imploded marriage to recover from, so maybe a change of scene is exactly what he needs. 

As Wishington Bay works its magic, friendship blossoms between Sophia and Nate. For Nate, finally feeling able to be himself with someone who is honest and down to earth is a revelation. 

But Sophia has a secret and a jealous colleague is determined to blow her cover. Can she really keep her old life in the past or is it destined to destroy this new, happy one too?

Take a trip back to Wishington Bay this winter and find out…

A deliciously heart-warming and romantic read, perfect for a cosy winter’s evening, from the author of the bestselling Winter’s Fairytale.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/32l5kV5

My thoughts:

This is the first book I’ve read by Maxine Morrey and I enjoyed my visit to Wishington Bay. I did quickly realise that Maxine had set a book in the area before (Coming Home to Wishington Bay) but that didn’t stop me enjoying this story.

Sophia and Nate are both running away from heartbreak, and need to make new lives

The course of true love never runs smoothly, especially when jealous work colleagues and ex partners get involved. However, the majority of the residents at Wishington Bay are keen to help the two recent arrivals, and there is a four legged cupid involved too.

A lovely book to curl up with on a cold winter evening. My recommendation is to team this up with a mug of hot chocolate and a cosy blanket. And relax…

Author Bio:

Maxine Morrey is a bestselling romantic comedy author with eight books to her name including Winter’s Fairytale and the top ten hit The Christmas Project. She lives in West Sussex. Her first novel for Boldwood, #No Filter, was published in November 2019.

Social Media Links – 

Newsletter Sign up – http://bit.ly/MaxineMorreyNewsletter

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

Twitter @ https://twitter.com/Scribbler_Maxi

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/MaxineMorreyAuthor

Christmas at the Cornish Confetti Agency by Daisy James

Thank you to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite to enjoy the tour. I enjoyed reading and reviewing Summertime at the Cornish Confetti Agency earlier this year. Thank you for a digital copy of the book, my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

It’s Christmas at The Cornish Confetti Agency!

When Lexie Harrington is asked to choreograph Phoebe and Sam’s Christmas-themed wedding, she can’t wait to create the perfect winter wonderland – elegantly dressed fir trees, glossy garlands of holly and mistletoe, baskets of yule logs and pine cones, and the mouth-watering fragrance of gingerbread, cinnamon sticks and warm mulled wine floating through the air.

With handsome wedding columnist-cum-fledgling scriptwriter Theo Barker at her side, she’s confident that she can create the perfect festive ambience the bride and groom have been dreaming of since their engagement in the Swiss Alps; no rampant hosepipes, no mechanical mice, no confetti-filled hairdryers.

But this is The Cornish Confetti Agency, and the words ‘plain-sailing’ and ‘hassle-free’ do not feature in the promotional brochure. So, when a much-loved portrait of the groom’s father is adorned with pirate eye-patches and black plastic moustaches, and his expensive cologne is switched for toilet cleaner, Lexie and Theo must once again don their metaphorical deerstalkers and unravel the mystery before the wedding dissolves into Christmas-themed chaos and calamity.

A perfect Christmas wedding?
Is there such a thing for The Cornish Confetti Agency?

A glittery, feel-good story perfect for the festive season, and the third book in The Cornish Confetti Agency series.

Purchase Links 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0892GV962

US  – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0892GV962

My thoughts:

I enjoyed curling up with this book on a wet and windy afternoon during the October half term holiday in Wiltshire. I’ve still not managed to visit Cornwall and due to the current global pandemic, don’t see any likelihood of a visit in the next few months. So it was nice to have a virtual visit.

Lexie is organising a wedding AND a Blissful Brides Christmas Extravaganza in the two weeks before Christmas, when life is already busy for many of us. As the synopsis states, Lexie has to discover who is playing jokes on the groom’s father during the hen and stag events before the wedding is spoilt. If you have read the previous Cornish Confetti Agency books, you will remember how Lexie regularly has to save the day.

Much as I enjoyed the wedding run up and the wedding, my favourite part of the book was the Blissful Brides Christmas Extravaganza. This sounded amazing and Lexie had been planning for this since primary school. Of course, nothing is easy or straightforward for Lexie, but the book has a lovely community feel as everyone pulls together to help.

The book includes a mixture of old and new characters, delicious sounding food, a gorgeous dog and a sprinkling of festive snow. I recommend reading with a large mug of hot chocolate and a mince pie (Loved Theo’s mince pie recipe and Christmas baking competition tradition). A cosy Christmas book I’m happy to recommend.

Author Bio:

Daisy James loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. She especially likes to create sunshine-filled settings in exotic locations – the Caribbean, Tuscany, Cornwall, Provence – so she can spend her time envisioning her characters enjoying the fabulous scenery and sampling the local food and drink.

When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

Social Media Links – 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/daisyjamesbooks

Twitter – https://twitter.com/daisyjamesbooks

Instagram – @daisyjamesbooks

The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker

Today I’m happy to be sharing my review for the latest book by Sandy Barker, The Christmas Swap. Thank you to One More Chapter for a digital proof copy and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to join the blog tour.

Synopsis

Christmas is coming and best friends ChloeJules, and Lucy are needing change… so swapping homes for the holidays could be the perfect present for all of them!

Australian Chloe spends her Christmas in a sleepy village in Oxfordshire, England. She is totally star-struck when she discovers who lives across the road.

Lucy, who has jetted off to snowy Colorado for her dream-come-true white Christmas, is taken into the fold of Jules’s loud and brash family, discovering more about herself in a few short days than she has in years.

And Jules leaves the cold climes of Colorado to spend her Christmas on a beach with Chloe’s friends in Melbourne, finding that time away is just what she needed.

The only thing better than one Christmas romance is three, and this wonderful festive novel is perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Holly Martin and Karen Swan.

Purchase Links 

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-christmas-swap

https://books.apple.com/gb/book/the-christmas-swap/id1522992097

https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-christmas-swap,sandy-barker-9780008390044

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-christmas-swap/sandy-barker/9780008390044

My thoughts:

Having read many of Sandy’s previous books, I was pleased to be given a sneak preview of her new festive novel.

2020 has been the year when many of us haven’t travelled far, with holidays and family reunions curtailed by the global pandemic. So I was thrilled to be able to travel around the world with the May Ladies at Christmastime. I loved how everyone swapped to experience Christmas differently – to have snow guaranteed or to be able to visit a warm beach.

In each Christmas location, each of the May Ladies also met and fell in love with a gorgeous man, so this book is full of travel and romances. Personally I would have chosen the chance to travel to sunny Australia to meet Dexter the dog, but the rum hot chocolates after spending time in the snow was also very tempting.

This is a fabulous festive read, with fun stories from each of the three countries, all interwoven by the catch up video calls between Chloe, Lucy and Jules – thank goodness for video calling in 2020. I felt much more festive reading this in mid September and I’m happy to recommend it.

Author Bio:

Sandy Barker is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list. She loves exploring new places, outdoor adventures, and eating and drinking like a local when she travels, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, film buff, wine lover and coffee snob.

Social Media Links – 

https://www.facebook.com/sandybarkerauthor

https://www.instagram.com/sandybarkerauthor

https://sandybarker.com/

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/

#CoverReveal for Christmas in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May

Today I’m helping reveal the cover of the latest book by Nicola May with the bloggers from Rachel’s Random Resources.

Meet old and new characters in the Bay for Christmas fun and frolics.

With both the Corner Shop and Cockleberry Café in safe hands, Rosa turns her attention to Ned’s Gift, the charity set up in memory of the great-grandfather whose legacy turned her life around.

Over at the Ship Hotel, Lucas has his work cut out with his devious new girlfriend and the mystery poisoning of an anonymous hotel inspector. Will the hotel still get its 3-star Seaside Rosette?

Will Mary find true love at last? Can Titch cope with the demands of the shop and being heavily pregnant. And can Rosa, with a baby of her own, pull off the Cockleberry Bay Charity Christmas Concert in time?

Christmas in Cockleberry Bay is a festive delight for fans of Rosa and her cheeky mini dachshund Hot, delivering a feast of unpredictable events and surprises.

Pre-order Links

Kindle – UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08JHJKLQF/

Kindle – .com – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08JHJKLQF/

Paperback  – http://eye-books.com/books/christmas-in-cocklberry-bay

Publication Date – 4th December

Author Bio – 

Nicola May is a rom-com superstar. She is the author of eleven romantic comedies, all of which have appeared in the Kindle bestseller charts. Two of them won awards at the Festival of Romance, and another was named ebook of the week in The SunThe Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay became the best-selling Kindle book in the UK, across all genres, in January 2019, and was Amazon’s third-bestselling novel in that year. 

She lives near Ascot racecourse with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan.

Follow Nicola May

Website – www.nicolamay.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/NicolaMayAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/nicolamay1

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

The Girl from the Hermitage by Molly Gartland

Today I’m pleased to be sharing my review for this thought provoking impressive debut novel on the last day of the blog tour organised by Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources and Lightning Books. I’ve added the tour poster below so that you can see the other blog sites to visit. Thank you to the publisher for a digital review copy – my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

Galina was born into a world of horrors. So why does she mourn its passing?

It is December 1941, and eight-year-old Galina and her friend Vera are caught in the siege of Leningrad, eating wallpaper soup and dead rats. Galina’s artist father Mikhail has been kept away from the front to help save the treasures of the Hermitage. Its cellars could provide a safe haven, as long as Mikhail can survive the perils of a commission from one of Stalin’s colonels.

Three decades on, Galina is a teacher at the Leningrad Art Institute. What ought to be a celebratory weekend at her forest dacha turns sour when she makes an unwelcome discovery. The painting she starts that day will hold a grim significance for the rest of her life, as the old Soviet Union makes way for the new Russia and her world changes out of all recognition.

Warm, wise and utterly enthralling, Molly Gartland’s debut novel guides us from the old communist era, with its obvious terrors and its more surprising comforts, into the bling of 21st-century St Petersburg. Galina’s story is an insightful meditation on ageing and nostalgia as well as a compelling page-turner.

Purchase Link 

http://eye-books.com/books/the-girl-from-the-hermitage 20% off with discount code HERMITAGETOUR. Free UK p&p

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-Hermitage-Molly-Gartland-ebook/dp/B087BZSXN5

My thoughts:

As regular readers of my blog may notice, I have been reading and reviewing a large number of books set in the last century and especially with links to the history of World War 2. However, this is the first one set in the USSR/Russia.

The opening chapters are heartbreaking. We are currently in the midst of a global pandemic but the way Molly Gartland brings the siege of Leningrad to life, makes you realise how different our lockdown experience has been. Parents starving to death to try to save the lives of their children and eating the wallpaper paste off the walls as a gruel. Moving to the Hermitage offers Galina the opportunity to survive the siege if her father can paint a portrait of the children of a senior Army figure in time. Hearing the description of rat and cat stews whilst her father paints a plump son of the Army hierarchy shows the contrast in the lives of the various children of the Soviet Union.

The story continues as Galina grows up, following in the creative footsteps of her artist father, and we meet her again as a mother of an 18 year old, then as grandmother and a great grandmother. During these times Leningrad has become St Petersburg and the grip of communism weakened as the Berlin Wall fell and the era of perestroika began. As a Westerner I had assumed that life would be much improved as the changes occurred but as Molly explains via Galina and her family, this wasn’t actually the case for many people.

Thank you to Molly Gartland for writing this thought provoking book, inspired by a painting she bought. I look forward to reading more from Molly Gartland in the future, and have given her debut novel 5 stars.

Author Bio:

Originally from Michigan, Molly Gartland worked in Moscow from 1994 to 2000 and has been fascinated by Russian culture ever since.

She has an MA in Creative Writing from St Mary’s University, Twickenham and lives in London.

The manuscript for her debut novel The Girl from the Hermitage was shortlisted for the Impress Prize and longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition, the Bath Novel Award and Grindstone Novel Award.

Social Media Links – @molbobolly Twitter

Stuck on You by Portia MacIntosh

I’m happy to be sharing my review for the latest book by Portia MacIntosh as part of the blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources and Boldwood Books. Regular readers of my blog may remember that I have previously shared reviews for The Plus One Pact (https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2020/05/30/bookreview-blogtour-the-plus-one-pact-by-portia-macintosh-boldwoodbooks/), My Great Ex-Scape (https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2020/01/18/my-great-ex-scape-by-portia-macintosh/), Honeymoon for One (https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2019/08/05/honeymoon-for-one-by-frankie-collins-publication-day-is-6-august-2019/) and Home Alone on Hope Island (https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2019/11/18/home-alone-on-hope-island-a-fun-festive-novella-by-portia-macintosh/)

Synopsis:

Could a post-it note really lead to love…?

Sadie doesn’t have time for finding love. She’s too busy as PA for famous artist Damian Banks. When she’s not arranging exhibitions, she’s organising his dry cleaning or dumping his never ending stream of girlfriends.

But when she strikes up an unusual friendship with her desk share buddy, she finds a confidante and a new potential love interest. Problem is, they’ve never actually met…

With Christmas just around the corner, can Sadie put herself first for a change and find what she’s been looking for all along?

The brand new romantic comedy from top 10 bestseller Portia MacIntosh. Perfect for fans of Sophie Ranald, Mhairi McFarlane and Zara Stoneley.

Purchase Link – buff.ly/3f9Yy8M

My thoughts:

After reading back to back crime thrillers and historical fiction books recently, I was thrilled to see the latest Portia MacIntosh book on my NetGalley shelf. I’m pleased to say, that after first discovering books by Portia last year, I haven’t been disappointed. Stuck on You is another book full of romance and humour, and another visit to Hope Island over Christmas.

A great cast of characters. Sadie is working for (or pandering to every need of) Damian, a world class photographer. We also meet Sadie’s family (who live on Hope Island), Damian’s family in Oxfordshire and travel to the wedding of the daughter of a suspected serial killer.

Although I had quickly worked out one of the secrets in the story, it didn’t distract from the enjoyment of the story – this is an uplifting read, not a who did it thriller.

A relaxing story with a festive feel, to be enjoyed with a mug of hot chocolate whilst wearing a pair of Elf pyjamas.

Author Bio – 

Portia MacIntosh is a bestselling romantic comedy author of 12 novels, including It’s Not You, It’s Them andHoneymoon For One. Previously a music journalist, Portia writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real life experiences.

Social Media Links – 

Newsletter sign up: http://bit.ly/PortiaMacIntoshNewsletter

https://www.facebook.com/macintoshportia

http://instagram.com/portiamacintoshauthor

http://bookbub.com/authors/portia-macintosh

View all my reviews

Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes by Jessica Redland

Thank you to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to join the blog tour for this gorgeous book by Jessica Redland. Having recently read and enjoyed Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Cafe, I was thrilled to return to the Castle Street again so soon.

Synopsis:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…


It’s December on Castle Street; the fairy lights are twinkling, snow has settled and the festive season is in full swing.


For Carly, the owner of Carly’s Cupcakes, it’s the busiest time of year getting everyone’s Christmas treats ready on time. However with her clumsy sister, Bethany, as a co-worker, it’s proving a difficult task. They say you shouldn’t mix work with family. Maybe they have a point…

As Christmas approaches, Carly is also eagerly awaiting the return of her best friend to Whitborough Bay. Liam has no idea he’s been the object of her affection since their schooldays. After years of pining after him, can Carly pluck up the courage to finally tell him how she really feels by 25th December?

Could a little festive magic make all of Carly’s wishes come true this Christmas…?

A heartwarming, short festive story of friendship and family from bestseller Jessica Redland. You can find out what happens to Carly next through exploring her best friend Tara’s story in Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café.

This is a new and updated version of Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes which has been previously published.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3e5pUMP

My thoughts:

Thanks to Jessica Redland for creating another lovely story set in Castle Street with a festive vibe. Carly is a talented cake maker/decorator who is trying to help her sister, Bethany, recover from a traumatic incident, and get ready for her impending wedding.

This is a lovely festive story, full of cakes, wedding preparations, falling in love, the Castle Street community, and making snow angels. I curled up on a Sunday afternoon to read this with a mug of hot chocolate and a snoring dog – a lovely way to relax after a hectic week. This is an uplifting read which left me feeling happy (and craving cake).

Author Bio:

Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

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Blog – https://jessicaredlandwriter.wordpress.com/

Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jessica-redland

Mailing list sign up – http://bit.ly/JessicaRedlandNewsletter .