Book Review: The Dish by Stella Newman

What’s it about?

When Laura Parker first crosses forks with Adam Bayley, she’s only after one thing: his custard doughnut. But when she takes a closer look she sees a talented, handsome man who outshines the string of jokers she’s been dating.

There’s just one problem. Adam’s job means Laura has to keep her job as restaurant critic for The Dish, a secret. Tricky for someone who prides herself on honesty.

Can the truth be put on ice long enough for love to flourish?

And how can you expect your boyfriend to be honest if you’re not quite telling the truth yourself?

My thoughts

This is another ARC that had been on my book shelf for far too long and I’m really glad I finally got round to picking it up.  It’s very rare that I choose a women’s fiction, specifically a chick-lit novel, but I’ve got to say I really enjoyed this and would love it to have had a sequel.

From the outset I enjoyed the humour of main character Laura and her witty restaurant reviews.  The one in contention for the most part of the book was hilarious.  I also liked that it wasn’t overly schmoozy and lovey-dovey, it was pitched just right for me.  In fact my own teeny-weeny issue with the book is that a lot of the conversation takes place in email, there’s so many I find it slightly grating having to check and double check who the conversation is between but I can understand the need for it.

I also really enjoyed all the food and baking references so if you’re a foody looking for a delightful rom-drama this could really tickle your fancy so to speak 😉

Book links: Goodreads | Waterstones | Amazon

Author links: Website | Twitter

Small print for info
Source: ARC – many thanks!
No of pages: 407
Publisher: Headline


Book Review: I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk

What’s it about?

Angela’s running from the world’s worst wedding for a new life…

Fleeing her cheating boyfriend clutching little more than a crumpled bridesmaid dress, a pair of Louboutins and her passport, Angela jumps on a plane – destination NYC.

Holed up in a hotel room, Angela gets a New York makeover from her NBFJenny and a whirlwind tour of the city that never sleeps. Before she knows it, she’s dating two sexy guys and writing about it in her new blog. But it’s one thing telling readers about your romantic dilemmas, it’s another figuring them out for yourself …

Angela has fallen head over heels for the big apple, but does she heart New York more than home?

My thoughts

It’s not in my usual bookish nature to pick up a rom-com but I’d had this on my Kindle for some time, ok a long time, and it was like a breath of fresh air after the rather heavy going brutal serial killer thriller I’d just finished.

This is the first book in the I Heart series and it’s a good read which I enjoyed.  It’s light-hearted, sad, funny and is mostly set in one of the best cities in the world.  Having been to New York I do like reading about places I’ve visited as I have much more of a clearer image of the setting – this book just made me want to go back even more!

Our heroine Angela is a somewhat clichéd character who thinks of herself as a bit of a lush but I think she’s actually stronger than that and has got her head screwed on exactly where and how it should be.  I totally see where her actions were coming from on her arrival in America and would think that a lot of women who’d been through what she had would rebel.

It’s not without faults, some of the storylines are a little far-fetched but overall it’s an entertaining read.  I’m not sure if I’d continue with the series…maybe if they were on Kindle offer I might be tempted.

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon

Author links: Website | Twitter

Small print for info
Source: Purchased
No of pages: 322
Publisher: Harper

Book Review: The Vintage Teacup Club by Vanessa Greene

the-vintage-teacup-clubWhat’s it about?

At a car boot sale in Sussex, three very different women meet and fall for the same vintage teaset. They decide to share it – and form a friendship that changes their lives . . .

Jenny can’t wait to marry Dan. Then, after years of silence, she hears from the woman who could shatter her dreams.

Maggie has put her broken heart behind her and is gearing up for the biggest event of her career – until she’s forced to confront the past once more.

Alison seems to have it all: married to her childhood sweetheart, with two gorgeous daughters. But as tensions mount, she is pushed to breaking point.

My thoughts

I’m gonna make this a super quick mini review as I’ve not masses to say about it – it’s a perfectly nice read!  My daughter picked this up for me in the local charity shop as she  thought I’d like the tea cups; which I did and there’s some cute images of tea cups throughout.

I went into this book with an expectation of what the storyline and characters would be like and it was pretty much as I thought it would be.  Three likeable and easily relatable women with a thing for tea cups, so there was potential but it was just how I like my cup of tea, milky, weak and overly sweet!

Cute, nice, all’s well that ends well, but unfortunately for me, the most interesting feature was the collection of tea cups.

Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Author Links: Website | Twitter

Small print for info
Source:  Purchased
No of pages: 416
Publisher:  Sphere

Book Review: The Broken Hearts Book Club by Lynsey James

Tour banner broken hearts for JIN

The Broken Hearts Book ClubWhat’s it about?

Secrets never stay buried for long…

Lucy Harper has always been good at one thing: running from her past. But when her beloved Nana Lily passes away she has no choice except to return to the one place in the world she most wants to avoid…

Luna Bay hasn’t changed much in the eight years she has spent in London. The little Yorkshire village is still just as beautiful, but the new pub landlord is a gorgeous addition to the scenery!

Lucy only intended to stay for a day, yet when she discovers that Nana Lily has not only left her a cottage but also ‘The Broken Hearts Book Club’, Lucy is intrigued. Her Nana never have mentioned the club and Lucy can’t wait to get started, but walking into her first meeting she is more aware than ever that her past is finally catching up with her.

One way or another, Lucy must finally face the secrets she’s kept buried for so long – or spend the rest of her life on the run…

My thoughts

I have to admit I was attracted to this book by its cover as it’s gorgeous and was hoping that it would have a vintage type theme to the book but that’s not the case.

Coupled with the lovely seaside setting my favourite parts of this book were the book club scenes and the books that were mentioned to aid the member’s grieving process. There were some very heartfelt scenes that made me fill up and feel quite emotional.

Lucy’s character feels very relatable; somewhat young and naive but with quite a humerous side to her and whilst I initially found her appealing, I found myself getting bored with hearing the same things all the time (could it have done with better editing, I don’t know).

Although there are hints along the way the big reveal of the mystery incident was over-indulged and dragged out a little too long for me and I found myself losing interest into what it was.

I had a couple of issues with the actual timeline in the book; one that sticks in my mind (forgive me if I don’t quite get the scene right) Lucy goes to the solicitor with her mum after her Nana’s funeral but later it mentions that being yesterday but it doesn’t read as being yesterday; confused me and I had to go back and check. Another one was with the cocktail event but I can’t recall all of those details. Of course, I have an ARC so these little issues may have resolved prior to publication.

I so wanted to love this book as I’d put myself forward to take part in the blog tour so I did feel an expectation would be upon me too but I have to be honest. I hope I don’t sound too harsh as overall, this is a light, easy read and utterly predictable but die hard fans of chick-lit will devour and love it and I wish Lynsey all the best with the book!

Many thanks to the publisher, Carina, for approving me for an ARC via Netgalley.

Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

About the author Lynsey James

Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She’s an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she’s sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left her job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey’s not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she’s daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they’re meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

Connect with Lynsey via Website | Twitter | Facebook

Book Review: Fairytale Beginnings by Holly Martin

The bestselling author of One Hundred Proposals and The Guest Book is back with a big hearted romantic comedy and I’m delighted to be a part of the blog tour for Holly’s new book Fairytale Beginnings

Fairytale BeginningsWhat’s it about?

Love is an open door… except when it keeps slamming in your face!

Hopeless romantic Milly Rose has had her fair share of heartbreak. Obsessed with all things Disney, she refuses to give up on finding her Prince Charming – he’s out there somewhere, isn’t he?

When Milly is given a job to investigate the origins of a historical building in the village of Clover’s Rest, she’s not sure what to expect. What she discovers takes her breath away – a beautiful real life Cinderella castle, complete with turrets, a magnificent drawbridge AND a very handsome owner…Cameron Heartstone.

As Milly and Cameron begin to unearth the secrets of Clover Castle, they can’t ignore the intense chemistry building between them. But they’ve both been hurt badly before. Can they take a big leap of faith and find their own happily-ever-after?

My thoughts

It’s always difficult reviewing someone’s book when you’ve had positive interaction with them but in order to give your blog and yourself credibility you have to be honest. So, that said, I really loved Holly’s previous novel The Guestbook as it was quite different to other books in this genre so was looking forward to this one as I like a rom-com and I like Disney….

Holly’s writing style is very easy to get along with and is extremely relatable; I enjoy her down-to-earth approach and I liked that she gives us a little bit of Milly followed by a little of Cameron analysing the same scene and conversation which did allow me to assume how the plot would twist.

This book is good fun, a bit cheesy, a bit sexy, a bit tense, a bit mysterious and I found myself matching the book’s characters to Disney characters although those 3 old village women reminded me of the 3 witches in Macbeth – very double, double toil and trouble in a laughable way which brings me on to the Summer Solstice ceremony which was quite strange and very Midsomer Murders!

However, Milly’s eternal optimism and at times childish ways did started to grate on me a little, which probably says more about me than her to be fair. And I found their initial conversation and obvious attraction slightly irritating; Cameron was prepared to be quite open about how he pleasures women in bed and Milly responds albeit stilted but then they couldn’t be upfront about what they thought of each other and what was happening between them…..and that whole to-ing and fro-ing with professionalism, I was just shouting at them in my head to get on with it 🙂

When the relationship did start to develop and progress I was glad that the sexy scenes were sufficiently racy but without being overly explicit, some readers don’t like reading about character’s getting it on so if you want explicit read 50 Shades of Grey etc.

This book is what is says on the tin and was just what I needed after a run of less than engaging reads. Overall, a light easy read, perfect for the summer and for rom-com and Disney lovers – Read the first chapter here…Chapter One

Many thanks to Bookouture for approving me for an ARC via Netgalley, and Holly, best of luck with the book! 🙂

Get the book Kindle

About the author Holly Martin

Holly has been writing for six years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival Holly-Martin-500pxof Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. Holly lives in Bedfordshire.

Connect with Holly

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