love songs for sceptics by christina pishiris

Late last year I attended a Books and The City book event run with Hillingdon Library and requested a copy of this book. When putting together a ‘sunshine stack’ for my Instagram account (@karenkisreading), I realised that I still hadn’t read the book and added it to my April reading list. Here is a mini review of the book.

Synopsis:

My brother’s getting married in a few weeks and asked for help picking a song for his first dance. I suggested Kiss’s ‘Love’s a Slap in the Face’.

It didn’t go down well.

When she was a teenager, Zoë Frixos fell in love with Simon Baxter, her best friend and the boy next door. But his family moved to America before she could tell him how she felt and, like a scratched record, she’s never quite moved on. Now, almost twenty years later, Simon is heading back to London, newly single and as charming as ever . . .

But as obstacles continue to get in her way – Simon’s perfect ex-girlfriend, her brother’s big(ish) fat(ish) Greek wedding, and an obnoxious publicist determined to ruin her career – Zoë begins to wonder whether, after all these years, she and Simon just aren’t meant to be.

What if, despite what all the songs and movies say, your first love isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be? What if, instead Zoë and Simon are forever destined to shuffle around their feelings for each other, never quite getting the steps right . . .

With a smart, relatable central character and razor-sharp wit, Love Songs for Sceptics is perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lucy Vine and Lindsey Kelk. 

My thoughts:

This was the perfect book to start my Easter holiday readathon. Zoe is a wonderful character and the story flowed beautifully. Her best friend Simon is back in the same country, her brother is getting married and her work family are under threat of redundancy. Zoe now needs to resolve her feelings for Simon, bond with her new sister-in-law-to-be and find a solution to make her music magazine more profitable.

This book is full of relationships, food and music. Once I stopped shouting ‘social distancing’ at the characters, I enjoyed being in a virtual world where it was normal to work in an office, go out for a meal and attend large social gatherings.

A fabulous debut novel published by Books and The City. If you missed this last year as I did, then I recommend reading a copy in 2021. I look forward to reading more by Christina Pishiris in the future.

Author Bio (From Amazon):

Christina was born in London to Greek Cypriot parents, who used to bribe her to go to family weddings by promising that George Michael might be there. To deal with the inevitable disappointment, she began making up stories on napkins and has been writing ever since.

Her debut novel, Love Songs for Sceptics, a romcom set in the world of music journalism, is published by Simon & Schuster in the UK. You can find her on Twitter: @ChristinaPi Facebook: @ChristinaPishirisAuthor and Instagram: christinapishiris

For more info, visit: http://www.christinapishiris.com

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 Marriage of Innis Wilkinson by Lauren H. Brandenburg

I’m pleased to join the blog tour for The Marriage of Innis Wilkinson, organised by Fern Lindsey-Tolley of Lion Hudson. Thank you for a paperback copy of the book, my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

It is said that something magical happens during the festival season in Coraloo, something unexplainable. People tend to be a little crazier, reckless. Maybe it’s because it coincides the full moon, but Coraloo’s constable, Roy Blackwell, is beginning to think it’s something else. That said, Roy has other things on his mind, like marrying Margarette Toft. A controversial decision as the Toft and the Blackwell families have a hatred for one another that is older than the town itself.

Tradition collides with superstition as the feuding families compete to organize the events surrounding the most talked about wedding in the history of Coraloo. Despite the array of minor catastrophes that ensue, and the timings clashing with a four-week long festival celebrating a legendary beaver, Roy and Margarette hold fast and declare they will do whatever it takes to wed.

That is until Roy unearths a town secret – a murder involving a pair of scissors, an actor with a severe case of kleptomania, and the mysterious marriage of Innis Wilkinson. Can good come out of unearthing the past – or will only heartbreak follow?

My thoughts:

This is the first book I’ve read by Lauren, so I haven’t read the The Death of Mungo Blackwell, where the Blackwell and Toft families were introduced. However that didn’t cause any problems to understanding the story here.

Coraloo sounds like an old fashioned town in the United States, where tradition is very important and the slightest change causes shock. The engagement of Margarette Toft and Roy Blackwell causes a huge shock to the feuding Toft and Blackwell families – suddenly they will be linked by marriage.

There are some fantastic quirky (and slightly scary) characters in this story and poor Margarette does her best to please both families whilst planning her wedding in a few weeks and working full time as a teacher. Roy Blackwell is the local Constable, who sees very little crime but then discovers a possible past murder linked to Innis Wilkinson.

This is very different from anything else I’ve read this year, and I really enjoyed it. There is plenty of drama, intrigue, romance and fun for everyone to enjoy. I did find myself wondering if the engaged couple should elope to be able to have the wedding they actually wanted and deserved, but I’m pleased to say that Lauren provided a wonderful alternative ending. Happy to recommend this charming story.

Author Bio:

Lauren H. Brandenburg happily blurs the lines between traditional genres in both middle grade and humorous contemporary fiction. Lauren is a former junior high and high school English teacher who stepped away from her profession to raise and homeschool her two children. She currently lives with her husband, Jamie, and their children in a lovely little town just south of Nashville, Tennessee where they eat and laugh a lot.

www.LaurenHBrandenburg.com

Summer at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry by Caroline Roberts

The Pudding Pantry opens its doors for summer.

And there are wedding bells on the horizon . . .

The sun is shining as Rachel and her gorgeous beau, Tom, prepare to tie the knot at Primrose Farm.

It takes a village to pull off the perfect country wedding and Rachel couldn’t be more grateful for her friends and family as they roll out the haybales and string up the bunting – all she needs to do is focus on her Happy Ever After.

But no wedding is without drama. A face from the past is looking to stir up trouble in the village and there’s a secret following Rachel all the way up the aisle . . .

With old friends, new promises and a little borrowed time, will Rachel get the wedding of her dreams?


My thoughts:

First of all, I need to say what a gorgeous cover this book has – I know I only have a digital proof copy at the moment but I’m looking forward to getting a paperback copy of this book when it is published in July 2020.

Thank you to One More Chapter at Harper Collins for approving my NetGalley request to read and review. I enjoyed the first two Pudding Pantry books and was eager to find out what happened next for Rachel, Maisy, Jill, Ruth and the friends of Primrose Farm in the Cheviot Hills.

At the start of the book, wedding plans are in preparation for Rachel and Tom’s big day. As the current pandemic has forced the postponement of many weddings in 2020, it felt even more special to be able to read this.

Alongside romance, puddings, farm life, desserts, community spirit, children, cake, the story also covers issues with ex partners, missing loved ones and recognising that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I loved being back at Primrose Farm and would like to thank Caroline Roberts for giving me a wonderful escape on a wet and windy lockdown bank holiday Saturday.

A delicious, delightful story and a much need uplifting read, plus a recipe book (recipes are included in all three Pudding Pantry books). A five star read too.

Caroline Roberts information from Goodreads:

Family, friends, food, a glass of bubbly and, of course, a good book make me smile. I love writing emotional stories about love, loss, betrayal, and family, that explore how complex and yet beautiful love can be. I also like to write romantic comedy, letting the characters have a bit of flirty fun too! I believe in following your dreams and working hard towards them, which led me to Harper Impulse (Harper Collins) and a publishing deal (woop!) after many years of writing. Stunning Northumberland is my home – sandy beaches, castles and gorgeous countryside that have inspired my writing.

Website http://carolinerobertswriter.blogspot.co.uk/



View all my reviews from http://www.karenkisreading.com