Blog Tour Review: The Little Antique Shop unde the Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin

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Book Information

Title: The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower

Author: Rebecca Raisin

Series: The Little Paris Collection, Book 2

Standalone?: Yes

Release Date: June 30, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Summary

Anouk LaRue used to be a romantic, but since she had her heart well and truly broken her love life has dissolved into nothing more than daydreams of the perfect man. Retreating to her extraordinary Little Antique Shop has always been a way to escape, because who could feel alone in a shop bursting with memories and beautiful objects…

Until Tristan Black bursts into an auction and throws her ordered world into a spin.

Following your heart is a little like getting lost in Paris – sometimes confusing and always exciting! Except learning to trust her instincts is not something Anouk is ready to do when it comes to romance, but the city of love has other ideas…

Book Links

Amazon US: https://amzn.com/B00W7Y9VQG

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00W7Y9VQG

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/little-antique-shop-under/id1022781469?mt=11

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-little-antique-shop-under-the-eiffel-tower-rebecca-raisin/1121995906?ean=9781474035514

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25371094-the-little-antique-shop-under-the-eiffel-tower

 

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My Rating: 4/5

Review:  Having read and loved The Little Bookshop on the Seine I was thrilled to be involved in this, the blog tour for the second book in The Little Paris Collection.  Although these books, and the third book coming soon, are part of a collection they can be read as stand-alone novels.

In this book we move location slightly, closer to the Eiffel Tower and learn more about the idiosyncrasies of Anouk who appeared very briefly in the first book of the collection.  She runs her antique shop in a way that is contrary to most business, new buyers are only allowed in if they have an introduction from someone she already knows and trusts and she will only sell an item if it a) stays in France and b) is the correct item for that person.  It seems to be the easiest way to go bankrupt but somehow it works for her and that is part of the charm of the shop and of this story.  Having had her heart and trust broken by the odious Joshua who quite frankly deserves to be slapped (I’m not condoning violence but he needs that irritating smugness knocked off his face!); Anouk is unsurprisingly hesitant about becoming involved with anyone again, especially not the mysterious. and sometimes irritating, Tristan who appears to have some sort of hidden teleport the way he appears near her without making a sound on more than one occasion.

Tristan gives out a lot of mixed messages so it’s hard for Anouk to know where she stands with him, especially as she has trust issues because of the odious Joshua but as the story progresses she does make some effort to shake off her slightly monotonous (her word!) life and live a little and the results are rather fun.  Who knew spying on people could be so hilarious!  Add into this family problems, colourful friends and a thief who is stealing precious and valuable jewels without being seen and it’s no surprise Anouk is having trouble knowing which way is up but it’s those elements combined with the male characters that make this book fun and interesting.

I loved the Little Bookshop on the Seine and while I really enjoyed this book too there was something missing, something that was in the previous book but not here and that’s why I haven’t given it 5/5.  I don’t mean for that to sound discouraging though, far from it.  This is a fun, light book with realistic characters, amazing antiques and brilliant descriptions of Paris in different seasons; how the tourist levels change, how the city wakes up in the morning and goes to sleep at night, all of this is there and is excellently written as always.  This is definitely a book worth immersing yourself in and enjoying, especially with a glass of wine or a coffee as both are a regular feature in the story.  I think, probably because I love books so much, that the first book spoke to me more but that did not stop me enjoying this one and I am definitely looking forward to the third book coming out soon.

Many thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Author Biography

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.

Come and say hello to Rebecca on her Facebook page or Twitter.

Social Networking Links

Website: http://www.rebeccaraisin.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6915386.Rebecca_Raisin

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaxandwillsmum

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rebeccaraisin/

 

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Blog Tour Review: Now and Then Friends by Kate Hewitt

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Blurb: The USA Today bestselling author of Rainy Day Sisters returns to Hartley-by-the-Sea…

Childhood best friends Rachel Campbell and Claire West have not only grown up, but after fifteen years, they’ve also grown apart…

After her father left, Rachel had to dedicate her life to managing her household: her two younger sisters, her disabled mother, and her three-year-old nephew. When Rachel’s not struggling to look after all of them, she makes her living cleaning the houses of wealthy families—including the Wests, where a surprise now awaits her. . . .

A lifetime of drifting in other people’s currents has finally left Claire high and dry. First it was her parents, then the popular crowd in school, and finally her fiancé. Now she’s returned to Hartley-by-the-Sea to recover. But running into Rachel brings back memories of past mistakes, and Claire wonders if she now has the courage to make them right.

Soon Claire’s brother, Andrew, asks Rachel to keep an eye on Claire, which is the last thing either woman wants. But as their lives threaten to fall apart, both Claire and Rachel begin to realize what they need most is a friend. The kind of friend they once were to each other, and perhaps can be again. . . .

Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28811359-now-and-then-friends?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Then-Friends-Hartley-Sea-Novel-ebook/dp/B016VRFU6E?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Then-Friends-Hartley—Sea-Novel/dp/0451475593/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467723541&sr=8-1&keywords=now+and+then+friends

Now and Then Friends (A Hartley-by-the-Sea Novel)

My Rating: 4.5/5

Review:  I really enjoyed this book, the setting, characters and the story were all brilliant and fit each other really well.  As someone who has been in a position where they felt stuck and also  had trouble standing up for themselves I could relate to both Rachel and Claire for different reasons.  We all do things without realising the consequences of them or make assumptions about someones thoughts or feelings without asking them instead and this is exactly what happened to Rachel and Claire when they were at school.  One small little thing lead to the end of their friendship because both of them assumed they knew what the other was thinking and then they never did anything to correct that assumption.  Fast forward 15 years and both are living completely different lives that neither of them are happy with whether they realise it or not.  Rachel feels resentful because her father ruined her dreams and she in turn is now pushing them onto her sister, while Claire is constantly being told what to do and when by her family and wants this to change, but how, or even if, their lives can or will change is something that can only be found out by reading the book……..

As I’ve said I really enjoyed this book, the characters were quite realistic and the struggles that both Rachel and Claire have are those that a lot of people have to deal with and it was nice to see a book dealing with relatable issues such as family commitments, fear of disappointing people, fear of being let down by others.  These are things that occur in real life but not always in fiction so it was refreshing to see them covered here.  Much as I love reading as an escapism from my own life I do still want some semblance of reality in what I read and this book definitely provided that.  It was lovely to watch the changes in Rachel and Claire (even though it was frustrating at times) and see them start to make changes in their lives and I would love their to be a sequel to this book so we can find out what happens to them next.  While I have focused mainly on Rachel and Claire the other characters were also interesting and clearly have stories of their own that have yet to be revealed or, like Rachel’s sisters, have barely started and I would also love to know what happens to them next, do things work out for them or does life take them on a different path?  While the book ended well and didn’t really leave loose ends as such it did leave a lot of questions which I’m hoping means a sequel, please can we have a sequel or find out about them in another Hartley-by-the-Sea book, please!!!!!

Anyway, now that I’ve dropped enough hints back to my review.  This was a lovely book, a nice easy read that whisks you off to the North-west coast of England and leaves you windswept and wanting more.  It was a pleasure to pick and up delve into and I’m only sorry that it wasn’t longer.  There’s a giveaway below for another book in the series and that one is definitely going on my to-read list as well as all future books and possible sequels………

Many thanks to the author and Neverland Blog Tours for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Giveaway Image

 

 

GIVEAWAY: 1 paperback copy of Rainy Day Sisters (International)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf63305795/?

 

 

 

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About Kate Hewitt: Kate is the USA Today­ bestselling author of over 40 books of women’s fiction and romance. She is the author of the  Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England’s Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series
of time­slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women’s fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well­ drawn characters and avoids high­ concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.

You can read about her life at http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk.
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/katehewitt1
Website: http://www.kate­hewitt.com/

 

Review of Falling Suns by J.A. Corrigan

Falling Suns

Blurb: A psychological thriller for fans of Belinda Bauer, Mark Edwards, Clare Mackintosh – a dark and brooding tale about the horrors that can lurk within a family.

Ex-DI Rachel’s small son is missing. Then his body is discovered. Her cousin Michael is found guilty of his murder and incarcerated in a secure psychiatric unit.

Four years later, now divorced and back in the police force, Rachel discovers that Michael is being released to a less secure step-down unit, with his freedom a likely eventuality. Unable to cope with this, she decides upon revenge, assuming a new identity to hunt him down and kill him. However, as she closes in on her target, her friend Jonathan, a journalist, uncovers some unnerving information about her mother and others in her family and begins to suspect that Rachel’s perception of the truth might not be as accurate as she thinks – that she might be about to murder the wrong man…

My Rating: 4/5

Review: There are some psychological thrillers that make you think and keep you gripped the whole time wanting to know what happens, while this is one of those it is also more.  As it says in the blurb it is dark and brooding and goes places a lot of other books don’t and for that you need a strong stomach, while this book is really good I feel many people will not agree or will be put off because of the dark areas it explores.

The book starts off with Rachel’s son Joe having been missing for a few days, the sense of helplessness and exhaustion are clear, the emotions raw and easy to see, and it’s obvious that some people are trying to be positive while others are not.  The trial follows the discovery of Joe’s body and again the emotions are out there for the reader to see and feel.  While the main character has a child and all the associated feelings and responsibilities that come with that, this book has been written in such a way that the emotions of Rachel during the time her son is missing and then through his trial, are able to be understood by anyone whether they have children or not.  Some time after the trial Rachel decides to return to work and so the book skips forward a few years to find her life changed quite dramatically but her career going well until the news about Joe’s killer reaches her.  This news changes her both physically and mentally as she prepares to kill a killer.  However, as with life, nothing is straight forward and she begins to wonder and remember events from her childhood that cause confusion and doubts in her plan.  At the same time, concerned about his friend, Jonathan is also looking into Rachel’s family and drawing his own conclusions that suggest that perhaps the person convicted of Joe’s murder was actually innocent.

Through telling this story the author delves into the inner workings of the psychiatric system as well as giving some insights into trials, fake ID’s and a host of other things but at the end of the day this story is still that of a mother whose son was taken from her and the lengths she goes to in her plan to make his killer pay.  While the story focuses on Rachel it also shows the impact that other people have or have had on her life. It is quite clear from this that what people do, even people we barely know, can impact on us quite dramatically and it’s refreshing to see that impact shown here.  We do not exist alone, whether we want to or not, and while most books do show the impact of other characters there are few that I have read that also show the impact of someone’s childhood on their adult life and that’s what makes this book stand out for me from many others I have read.

As a debut novel this is well-researched and incredibly well-written and I would definitely mark this author down as one to watch.

Falling Suns is released on 14th July and is available to pre-order here.

Many thanks to J.A. Corrigan for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tour Review: Where is Emma Butler’s Life Plan? by Julia Wilmot

Tour banner Emma Butler

Blurb: Emma Butler doesn’t know it but she is about to get bit more angelic help than she was banking on. Someone has messed up, or have they?

It appears that Emma is about to be ‘recalled’ to heaven but has completed none of the tasks she had set herself for this life time. They must be completed before she is recalled and time is running out. Archangel Gregory decides to take over. He will be her Guardian Angel to ensure it all gets done.

There’s a lot to do and a very short time to do it in. Gregory is determined that it will all be completed by hook or by crook. But where does that leave free will and what about Jack who has been chosen to be Emma’s love interest? How will this impact him? Jack and Emma have no idea what is going on, but it’s not going to be plain sailing.

Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28240011-where-is-emma-butler-s-life-plan?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Where-Emma-Butlers-Life-Plan-ebook/dp/B019HC4C7S?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Where-Emma-Butlers-Life-plan/dp/1519190719/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465998556&sr=8-1&keywords=where+is+emma+butler%27s+life+plan

My Rating: 4/5

Review: After signing up for this blog tour there were a few occasions where I wondered if I had done the right thing, although the book appealed to me part of me wasn’t sure about it but for some reason I decided not to withdraw from the tour and I’m really glad I didn’t.  This is definitely a book with an unusual premise, it’s the first one I remember reading where some of the main characters are actually angels.  Although this is the story of part of Emma Butlers life it also tells the story of guardian angels and the role they play, along with the roles of other angels ‘in Heaven.  I feel at this point I should say that I am not religious, I don’t believe in Heaven or anything else like that but that didn’t put me off this book in the slightest. This book is not trying to convert you or convince you that there is a God and a Heaven, rather it is a quirky take lives and the decisions people make and the directions those decisions take them in.

I really enjoyed this story and the way it was written, there were some lovely scenes between the guardian angels and their charges, especially between Brian and Jack, but there were equally good scenes between the human characters and that is why this book was so good.  The characters and the scenes were well written but what also came from this book was a lovely, joyful feeling.  I don’t know the author did it but the book is full of warmth, it almost glows with it because there is so much of it.  This is a lovely, light and happy story that will make you think about why you make the decisions you do and if, perhaps sometimes, you are getting a little extra help.  This is a lovely story for any time of day or year but is perhaps best for dark, gloomy times when it will brighten everything and give you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

Many thanks to the author and to Neverland Blog Tours for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bf63305774/?

About Julia Wilmot:

Julia Wilmot began her exploration of the spiritual life as a teenager at school. She was fortunate to meet a wonderful family who all practised Transcendental Meditation (TM) and her future was set. At the age of 15 Julia learnt TM and felt she had found her path in life. She was so sure that this path was the only one for her that she decided not to go to University and study law as she had previously planned but to devote herself to teaching TM and working within the charity that teaches the technique.

At 20, Julia was one of the founding members of a 300 people strong TM community in Skelmersdale, Lancashire and at 28 Julia became the Centre Chairman of the largest teaching centre for TM in Europe, which was based in Central London. Teaching Transcendental Meditation to people from all walks of life.

Julia began this novel in 1995 but it remained in a drawer for many years. She came across it again in the early 2000s and fitting in with becoming a mother in 2002 it took until 2015 to finish it.

Julia currently focusses her attention on her writing, blogging and looking after her family. Forty years on and she still practises TM, as do her husband and son and they live in the Chilterns in Buckinghamshire, UK.

Links:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/julia_wilmot
Website: http://www.justjulias.com/

 

 

 

 

 

July already!!!

I can’t believe it’s July already, it only feels like I few days since I typed up my post looking forward to June!  This, of course, explains why I haven’t posted up quite as many reviews as I had hoped but despite this June has still been a busy month on here.  July is looking a bit quieter thankfully so I may get those reviews up this month instead.

So far July is looking a bit like this:

Where is Emma Butler's Life Plan?

Now and Then Friends (A Hartley-by-the-Sea Novel)

 

 

 

 

6th – Blog Tour Review for Where is Emma Butler’s Life Plan? by  Julia Wilmot.Hosted by @NeverlandBT

8th – Review due for Falling Suns by J.A. Corrigan

13th – Blog Tour Review for Now and Then Friends by Kate Hewitt. Hosted by @Neverland BT

I’m not booking spaces on as many blog tours as I was because I’m trying to make a dent in my TBR and ARC piles because they are a little on the large side now.  Having said that I am excited about the books that I haven’t got round to reading yet so it looks like I’m going to have an excellent few months reading those.  Now, I really should get back to reading, this is the best chance I’ll have since I have a fairly busy weekend of non-reading activities planned.  I’d best put the kettle on then……..