#BlogTour #Review : Reading Between the Lines by Jo Merrett. @JMerrett87 @LoveBooksGroup

Today I’m on the blog tour for a book that’s quite different from my usual reads. All will become clear further down.

Blurb: Woking, Surrey – Ballsy reporter Kate Cleaver doesn’t wait for things to happen. A modern woman with a voracious sexual appetite she takes life – and men – by the balls – and makes things happen! Sassy Kate wants to leave cat shows and council meetings behind her and hit the glamour of national journalism – but not before she gets her hands one particular exclusive: the delicious but elusive Chief Reporter, Aidan Tindall.

Reading Between the Lines is a rollercoaster of sexual freedom and angst-ridden rejection, office flings plus desire and ambition and 2am gin soaked confessions.

Review:  As I said above, this is something different for me. This is not a genre I’ve reviewed before but I’ve been trying new things recently so when this blog tour option came along I thought I would give it a go too.  The blurb was intriguing so I signed up and got stuck in. 

This is a story about Kate Cleaver. While there are other characters they are mainly background characters. Even Aidan Tindall, the object of Kate’s desire, is in a supporting role in this book. Kate is a reporter on a small, local paper and seems to equally like and loathe her job. It’s clear she’s working there as a stepping stone to a bigger publication but she does seem to enjoy some of her work, at least some of the time.  However, her job is not the focus of the story, men and nights out drinking appear to be more important to her and for those reasons I found it hard to identify with her. I’ve no issue with men or nights out but I never went to the extremes that Kate does and turned up at work still hungover from the night before so I struggled to have any sympathy for her when she was ill because of this. 

This is clearly a book with sex scenes in it, that much is obvious from the blurb though I didn’t expect them to start in the first few lines of the book. These scenes are very detailed and descriptive although I found them a little lacking and the dialogue, when there was some, was a bit stilted and I didn’t feel it always fitted the scenes.

I think it’s fair to say this story wasn’t for me.  However, it was a fast paced story and a romp of a read, in more ways than one!
Author bio:

Former Mirror features writer turned stay-at-home mum of two Jo Merrett’s first book takes her early days as a journalist and spins them into an erotic chick lit, where ambition and sex rule. Acting on an idea that had pole-danced around her head for a decade, 44-year-old Jo finally got creative after watching Fifty Shades at the cinema.

She said: “I was halfway through watching the first film and thought, ‘I can write erotic fiction, what am I waiting for? I started writing it that afternoon! Reading Between the Lines is a book every woman who is in or has been in her 20s can identify with. Kate’s ambitious and confident but isn’t immune to the hurdles life throws at her. You will laugh, cry and cringe – maybe all at the same time!”

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#GuestPost : Why I carry on writing by Madeleine Reiss.  @MadeleineReiss 

Today I am thrilled to have on my blog a guest post from Madeleine Reiss whose latest book was published only two days ago.  Madeleine talks about her books and why she keeps writing.  Information about her newest book, Before we say goodbye, can be found further down the post.

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Why I carry on writing.

My first publishing deal didn’t come about after years of trying like it does for most writers, a fact that always makes me feel a little ashamed, as if I haven’t really earned my spurs. I entered a TV writing competition and won on the basis of three chapters that I had written years before (my first and only attempt at a novel) and then stowed away in my computer in a folder called ‘Bits and Bobs.’ I only entered the competition in the first place because my mother badgered me into it and so, in a sense, I think of myself as an accidental novelist.

Despite the fact that I finished that first book and have written two more since, the random nature of my entry into the writing world has left me with a legacy of uncertainty. I still wonder, a little, how it is that I find myself here, day after day, staring down the empty screen. If my mother had been dead set on me having another sort of career, would I have been just as happy working on a busy hospital ward or inventing slogans to sell beer?

No one is a writer because they expect a lot of money. If you worked out the hourly rate of pay for the time I have spent writing each of my books, it would be a miserable return. Nor do most of us do it for the praise and the attention. All writers know that once their work is unleashed upon the world, they have to roll with the review punches. 

A couple of weeks ago, with my latest book on NetGalley, I perused my early ratings (I know I shouldn’t do it). There were some lovely posts, even a few five star ones, but the one that leapt out at me like a blow between the eyes was the one star review that simply said ‘dnf’’. For those of you not familiar with this abbreviation, it stands for ‘did not finish’. I found the lack even of capitals to be particularly galling. All those hours and months of hard labour, all those times I spent wrestling with structure and characters and words, dismissed with three letters. Everyone has different tastes, particularly when it comes to the books they enjoy reading, but nevertheless I felt diminished.

I’m a big girl and I know about putting things into perspective (and never, never, responding to negative reviews) and so it was not a mortal wound. I still got up the next day and sat in front of my computer and started writing again. In fact, if anything, it toughened my skin and firmed my resolve and made me look at why it is I do what I do. Even though I may never write a great novel, it gives me pleasure when the words come and I can see the story taking shape. It is a thrill to see it at last between covers on a shelf.  It delights me when someone, somewhere, actually finishes the book and tells me it meant something to them. 

Above all, it is a privilege to be able to spend my days juggling with words and spinning yarns. Thank you Mum.


About the author: 

Madeleine Reiss was born in Athens. She worked for some years in an agency for street performers and comedians and then as a journalist and publicist. She currently works part-time at a brain injury charity and writes novels for the rest of the week. She has two sons and one grandson and lives in Cambridge with her husband and an extremely paranoid cat called Ruby.

She has written two previous novels – ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’ and ‘This Last Kiss’. ‘Before We Say Goodbye’ was published on 22nd February 2018.


About the book:

‘I found it deeply moving and couldn’t stop reading’ Susan Lewis

‘Gorgeous and emotional’ Fern Britton  

Blurb:  Scott Hudson owes everything to his mother, Josie. Since the day he was diagnosed with heart failure, her whole life has been about him. She’s been at every appointment, held him through every dark moment and never once given up hope.  Now, having been given a new heart, Scott is ready to live his life, but first he’s determined to give his mother a second chance at love. To help her find someone who will be her champion. Posting a video on YouTube, he sets out to find the perfect man.  Blissfully unaware of ‘Project Boyfriend’, Josie is startled when Scott sets her up on a series of blind dates. Unable to deny her son anything, she awkwardly finds herself back in the dating game . . . and enjoying it more than she ever imagined.  But just as life seems to be coming together for both Scott and Josie, some distressing news threatens everything.

Book Link:  Amazon UK

#GuestPost #BlogTour : The Karma Farmers by Pierre Hollins. @pierrehollins @annecater 

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for the interestingly named The Karma Farmers and I have a guest post from the author for you.   

THE BLURB:  Bradley Holmeson a thirty-something bookshop manager, is attempting to cure his existential dilemma with quantum physics. A reluctant philosopher embroiled in an occult experiment, he meets the violent, the obsessed and the dangerously misguided, armed only with his defensive sarcasm – all to win back the woman he loves.

Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Karma-Farmers-Pierre-Hollins/dp/191158605X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1512649146&sr=1-1&keywords=the+karma+farmers


MY ACCIDENTAL POSTMODERN MYSTERY

Years ago, before the current comedy boom, when the new-comedy scene really was ‘alternative’, I had a friend who decided to branch out by putting on his own show in a theatre. He called the show Sold Out. He thought it was an inspired title, referring to the fact that he had sold out his principles by performing in an established theatre; also referencing the fact that he was such a draw, the show would sell all the seats every night – that it would literally be a sell-out. The final piece of brilliance, so he thought, was to stick a ‘sold out’ label across the poster. The show’s title now worked on three levels of cleverness, but tragically no one turned up because they thought the show was sold out. 

I mention this because it’s possible I have made a similar error of judgement. I know… One thing an author should probably never do while trying to promote their novel is confess to the potential mistakes they made during the writing process. Every social media expert will tell you how important it is to be positive. You need to be relentlessly positive about the product; and I am, but I still have a few niggling doubts that I’d like to share.

The fact is I wanted to write a novel that defied categorisation. I don’t know if I made this decision out of naivety, arrogance or idealism; but in my defence, I always assumed this was the ultimate aim: to write something so beautifully unique that it challenged all genre expectations. But now that I’m in the process of marketing the book I realise the problem I’ve created, because I find my novel The Karma Farmers almost impossible to talk about (without sounding vague or pretentious).  

The shout line on the cover is ‘love, murder and quantum theory’ – but any reader looking for a traditional love story, or procedural crime story, or a non-fiction science book will be disappointed. In fact I’m so confused by my lack of obvious genre category I’ve been relying on my Amazon reviews for clues. 

Here’s one: … I’d have difficulty categorising it: part thriller, part comedy, part thought experiment, but it made me smile, and it made me think, and it helped pass some difficult days in a good humour.

Another Amazon reader says, …this book is in a league of it’s own – well, because I think it actually is. It’s seamless crossovers between fact, fiction, dark comedy, philosophy and science are standalone… true gems in every scene… one to contemplate and savour…

Judging by this feedback, I know I’ve succeeded in creating something that’s uniquely difficult to categorise, but I’m no clearer about how to market the damn thing. So I researched book genres, and discovered that I might have written a Postmodern Mystery.

The web site that led to this revelation is called postmodernmystery.com. The content on the site is written by Ted Gioia, who brings an enviable passion and insight to the subject. 

It was such a relief to discover that my book might after all belong to a particular club. In spite of my former conviction that I wanted The Karma Farmers to be literally like nothing else, I still need some means of describing it to potential readers. 

I now feel reasonably confident in declaring The Karma Farmers to be a postmodern mystery; a fast-paced tale that sits somewhere between science fact and crime fiction; a story of love and murder, driven by a deconstruction of quantum theory. It sounds like a difficult read, but actually it’s very light and funny. But as Ted Gioia explains, although the postmodern mysteries are to some degree, the emblematic books of our time… they are not for the faint hearted…

So my advice to anyone writing a novel is this: be clear about what it is you’re creating. Try to objectify your novel as a commercial product even before you finish writing it. It sounds obvious, but the easier it is to describe, the easier it will be to sell.

THE KARMA FARMERS: a postmodern mystery; a dark, cinematic adventure of love, murder and quantum theory.


AUTHOR BIO:  

Pierre Hollins is a stand up comedian; he has written for TV and radio, and his cartoon strip GURU featured in the Fortean Times for many years. This is his first novel, published by Unbound.

Website: http://www.pierrehollins.com/

Twitter @pierrehollins

#BlogTour #Review : A Vicarage Reunion by Kate Hewitt. @katehewitt1 @NeverlandBT

Today I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for another Kate Hewitt book.  Those of you who follow my blog regularly may have noticed that I’ve done a few blog tours for this author, this one is for a new series she has written about the Holley sisters of Thornthwaite in the Lake District.  Read on and find out what I thought and at the bottom of the post there are details of a giveaway, open internationally.

Blurb: Welcome to Thornthwaite, a quaint village tucked up in England’s beautiful but rainy Lake District, where homecomings and surprises await the four Holley sisters… 

Esther Holley, the eldest in the family, has always had her life firmly in control until a miscarriage knocks her off course. Two months later, still emotionally spinning, she separates from her husband Will, a sheep farmer and man of few words and moves back in with her parents. 

Life as a singleton thirtysomething living in her parents’ house is miserable, but Esther is determined to re-boot her life, including going on a few unfortunate dates.  She’s shocked when tight-lipped Will shows up on her doorstep determined to woo her back. They’ve been married for seven years, but Will wants to return to the beginning, dating and getting to know each other again. 

New challenges face them as they start over-and new chances too. Can Esther and Will save their marriage, especially when faced with the hardest decision of all?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36662846-a-vicarage-reunion?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B077KFNJKK/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738

Review:  As I’ve enjoyed Kate’s previous works it’s not much of a suprise to find out that I enjoyed this one too.  There is a previous story, A Vicarage Christmas, which I haven’t read yet though that did not affect reading this story at all.  They are connected but work equally well as stand-alones.  The author writes about situations with a lot of knowledge.  As someone who has also woken up, as Esther did, and realised that my marriage was not as it seemed I could both relate to what Esther was going through and also appreciate the mixed emotions and turmoil that she was feeling.  The feelings of confusion and not knowing what happened and what to do next came across really well and were well-written. I particularly liked the fact that Will’s perspective was shown and it wasn’t just one sided, we get to hear how he is feeling too.  

The setting of the Lake District was nicely done but almost secondary to the story.  The other characters, of which there were a few, were also well-written but not too involved in the story.  This was a tale of Esther and Will and although the other characters were relevant and contributed to the story the main focus was on Esther.

While this story deals with serious issues like the marriage separation and Esther’s miscarriage it is a light read.  It’s one of those books you are happy to go back to and one which, for me, I kept reading because I wanted to find out what happened in the end.  

If you’ve enjoyed previous books by this author then you’ll enjoy this one. If you’re new to this author but are looking for something realistic, light and easy to read while being enjoyable and getting you involved in the lives of the characters then this would be a good book to start with.  It’s exactly what you want to read on these frosty, cold and damp evenings so get yourself settled with a nice warming drink and enjoy.


About the author: 

Kate is the USA Today-bestselling author of over 60 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 time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. 

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 a market town in Wales with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.

Website: http://www.kate-hewitt.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/katehewitt1

Giveaway

1st prize: £10 Amazon Gift card

2nd prize: A paperback copy of A Vicarage Christmas

Open Internationally 

To enter click here

#BlogBlitz #Review : Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe by Richard Dee. @RichardDockett1 @rararesources

Today I am taking part in the blog blitz for Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe. It’s such an unusual title for a book so read on and find out more about it, including what I thought.

Blurb: Meet Andorra Pett; with her trusty sidekick, she’s taken over a derelict café. On a mining station. It just happens to be orbiting Saturn! She’s hoping for a fresh start, away from all the drama of her old life. It’s a chance to relax and start again in a place where nobody knows anything about her or her past. But the café holds a secret, and secrets have a habit of coming out; whether you want them to or not. And being accident prone doesn’t help. The more you try to pretend that you know what’s going on, the worse it gets. Andorra’s plans for peace and quiet get lost amid the revelations and skulduggery and she soon realises that the fate of the whole station lies in her hapless hands. In space, you can still trip over your feet; the question is, will you land upright?

Universal Purchase Link – https://www.books2read.com/u/4XoQ6e

Review: This is the first of Richard Dee’s books I have read but the eagle-eyed among you will remember he was on my blog last month during my 2018 Plans and Resolutions series. I bought this book before that was organised but hadn’t had the chance to read it so this blog blitz was the perfect opportunity.

Science fiction is a genre I’ve read in the past, long before I started blogging, and one I want to get into again so this seemed like a good place to start and it was. Andorra Pett is a feisty, if accident prone, character who is trying to make a fresh start on a mining station by opening a cafe. As a character I found her likeable and irritating in equal measures. For someone who wanted to run a cafe she seems to have put very little thought into it but manages her first day simply through sheer hard work and help from others, which is both irritating and appealing. The effort she puts into the cafe and other things on the station makes up for her shortcomings elsewhere.

There is a host of supporting characters, who help Andorra (Andi) out as she learns about the station or investigates the ‘surprise’ that she found in the cafe when she took over.

This is a light and cosy book, clearly sci-fi from the location but with elements of crime and romance in it too. I enjoyed it but found there were a lot of characters and a lot of jumping around for me. If there was more depth and a few less characters and a bit better flow to the story then I think I would have enjoyed it more.

It’s definitely different and if you want to try science fiction but aren’t sure you’ll like it then this is a good introduction to the genre. There’s enough familiarity, like bacon rolls and wheat fields, for it to tricky to get into.

Author bio:

A native of Brixham in Devon, Richard Dee’s family left Devon when he was in his teens and settled in Kent. Leaving school at 16 he briefly worked in a supermarket, then went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986. Coming ashore to be with his growing family, he used his sea-going knowledge in several jobs, including Marine Insurance Surveyor and Dockmaster at Tilbury, before becoming a Port Control Officer in Sheerness and then at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich. In 1994 he was head-hunted and offered a job as a Thames Estuary Pilot. In 1999 he transferred to the Thames River Pilots, where he regularly took vessels of all sizes through the Thames Barrier and upriver as far as H.M.S. Belfast and through Tower Bridge. In all, he piloted over 3,500 vessels in a 22-year career with the Port of London Authority. Richard was offered part time working in 2010, which allowed him to return to live in Brixham, where he took up writing and blogging. He retired in 2015, when he set up and ran a successful Organic bakery, supplying local shops and cafés. The urge to write eventually overtook the urge to bake but Richard still makes bread for friends and family. Richard is married with three adult children and two grandchildren.

He can be found at http://www.richarddeescifi.co.uk

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/@RichardDockett1

#Guestpost : Karen Ankers, author of The Crossing Place.

Today I am thrilled to bring you a guest post and a poem from Karen Ankers, author of The Crossing Place.  Karen has written a fabulous post about herself and her writing and I hope you enjoy reading it.  Book information, author bio and links are further down the page but before you get there make sure you read the poem, it’s stunning!

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Guest post:

I have always enjoyed playing with words. So my first attempt at serious writing was poetry, because I loved (and still love) the way that words in a poem work on more than one level, creating a powerful resonance.  I joined a local poetry group when I was seventeen and to my surprise they liked my work.  They went on to publish my poems in several of their anthologies and I probably wouldn’t be writing today if it wasn’t for that early support and encouragement.  When I got married and had children, I allowed my energy to be diverted from my writing, although I still wrote poetry occasionally.  It wasn’t until my children were older that I decided to take my writing seriously.

When I moved to Anglesey in 1997, I joined a writing group led by my friend and fellow poet Fiona Owen, who really encouraged me to develop my work.  I also joined a local repertory company and it was the experience of being on stage that led to my starting to write plays.  So far, I have written eight one-act plays, which have been published by Lazy Bee Scripts and have been performed in the UK, USA, Australia and Malaysia.  One day, maybe, one will be performed near enough to my home for me to go and watch it!  In my plays, I try to give a voice to those who would otherwise not have one and although the subject matter can sometimes be rather dark, it is always thought-provoking.

Last year I published a collection of poetry.  One Word At A Time contains 53 poems and is described by poet/performer Laura Taylor as “a collection that shines with honesty and integrity”.  I find that poetry is an excellent way of exploring emotions and ideas.

Earlier this year, my first novel, The Crossing Place, was published by Stepping Stones Publishing.  A dark-edged love story set in Chester, where I grew up, this novel ran the risk of never being finished.  I actually started writing it about fifteen years ago.  When I thought it was finished, I sent it to a publisher.  They, quite rightly, sent it back, because it was nowhere near ready.  However, their comments about it were very positive, and I decided it was worth reworking.  But life got in the way and it was shelved.  Many years later, I started writing a different novel, but found that my heart really wasn’t in it.  When I mentioned this to a writer friend, she suggested I have another look at the earlier novel, because I obviously needed to get it out of my system.  I moved some of the characters into it that I had created for the second, unsuccessful one, and the story took on a new life.  After many, many hours of being thoroughly unsociable and staring at a computer screen, it was finally finished and was published in January.

People ask me sometimes whether I will ever settle down to one kind of writing, but that’s not going to happen.  I am a storyteller, and stories find their own shape.  Sometimes if I’m struggling to write something, it’s because I’m trying to force it into a shape that doesn’t fit.  I recently gave up a soul destroying job and am waiting to see what life will be like as a struggling wordsmith!  It’s great, though, when someone asks me what I do, to be able to reply, “I’m a writer”.   My diary is filling up with invitations to talk to writing groups, so it looks like being a really interesting and creative year.

detail_21305960.jpg one word at a time

Here is one of the poems from One Word At A Time.  A poem inspired by a very short meeting with a young lady in London last year.  A lady whose life was not going as well as she deserved, but whose story I felt I had to tell.

 

 

 

MEETING AT EUSTON

 

a girl with city faded eyes

excuses her request for a pound

says she’s never been on the streets before

tells me in a worn tobacco coated voice

she needs the money for a bus

 

as if I need a reason to be kind

 

the coin in my hand is bright

as she once was

has unquestioned value

as she once did

perhaps

when her eyes and soul still shone

before promises and practised lies

took her light as deposit

on oxygen and pavement space

the metal that slides from my palm to hers

courts the sun

just for a second fairytale gold

illumines the touch of our hands

and in that moment more is passed

than money

 

skin meets soul remembered skin

blood beats between us

each strengthening the other

in the time it would have taken

to turn and cross the road

 

The Crossing Place

Crossing Place cover

Blurb:   The Crossing Place is a dark-edged love story. Laura is frustrated with her mundane life, her boring job, and marriage to a man she no longer loves. But she does not expect things to change so dramatically and so suddenly. An accidental encounter with a homeless stranger leaves her shaken and confused, before a series of unsettling dreams disturbs her further and leaves her questioning her own sanity.

When Laura meets Paul Jayston, a handsome, charismatic past-life counsellor, she is very sceptical about his beliefs. When he suggests that her dreams might be memories of a past life, she insists there must be a rational explanation. One particularly difficult dream has her turning to Paul for help and advice, but when she is confronted by revelations about his past, Laura has to make a choice. Should she allow herself to be guided by the alternative world-view of a man with strange ideas and a questionable past, or should she try and deal alone with the unsettling things she keeps seeing?

When danger comes from an unexpected source, both Laura and Paul find themselves having to confront not only very real threats in the present, but also doubts and fears from the past.

Links:  

https://www.steppingstonespub.com/shop/the-crossing-place

https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Word-Time-Karen-Ankers/dp/0244926409/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517181176&

https://sites.google.com/site/karenankers/

https://www.facebook.com/steppingstonespublishing/videos/455831204814583/

https://www.facebook.com/karenankers37/

http://www.lazybeescripts.co.uk/Authors/Author.aspx?iIA=410

 

Author bio: 

IMG_7054x50 Karen Ankers lives in Anglesey, North Wales, where she draws inspiration for her writing from Wales’ mythic landscape and from the Celtic storytelling tradition.  She started her writing career as a poet and has had poems published in various magazines and anthologies.   Her first poetry collection, One Word At A Time, was published last year and she regularly reads at local spoken word events.  She also writes one-act plays, in which she tries to give a voice to those usually ignored and unheard.  These plays are published by Lazy Bee Scripts and have been performed in the UK, America, Australia and Malaysia.  Her first novel, The Crossing Place, was published in January 2018 by Stepping Stones Publishing.

 

 

#Review : Winter at West Sands Guest House by Maggie Conway @conwaymd910 @HQDigitalUK @NetGalley

Today I have a review of the lovely Winter at West Sands Guest House for you.  I initially heard about this book through seeing the cover on twitter, it is a gorgeous cover, and given that it is set in St Andrews, Scotland, somewhere not a million miles from me, I was intrigued and decided to give it a go.

Many thanks to HQ Digital UK and Netgalley for letting me have a copy of this book to review and thanks to Maggie Conway for writing such a lovely story.

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Blurb:   Eva Harris has her hands full juggling a young son, a disobedient dog and running her thriving seaside guesthouse, so really the last thing she needs is to be distracted by her new neighbour, ridiculously handsome but arrogant Ben Matthews.

For one thing, she’s got nothing in common with the man, Ben’s a high flying lecturer at the town’s university while she barely scraped through high school, for another he’s fresh out of a relationship while Eva hasn’t been on one single date since the death of her husband, seven years ago!

She’s determined to keep her distance, but in a small town like St Andrews that’s easier said than done, and it doesn’t help that everyone, including her son Jamie, think Ben is wonderful! Breaking out of her sad but safe little bubble might be the hardest thing she’s ever had to do, but Ben might just be worth the risk…

Buy link:   Amazon UK

 

Winter at West Sands Guest House: A debut feel-good heart-warming romance perfect for 2018 by [Conway, Maggie]

 

Review:  As I said above I spotted this book because of the cover on twitter, just shows that covers are so important in getting people interested in the book itself.  I think it’s fair to say that from reading what I’ve written above you’ve probably guessed that I enjoyed this book and you’d be right.  This is a lovely winter’s tale of love, misunderstandings and the infamous Scottish weather.

While the writing on the book says it’s a Christmas romance I would say you can read it anytime, Christmas does happen in the story but as the book starts in August and covers from then till January Christmas isn’t central to the story.   As long as you want a cosy, light read this will be perfect at any time of year.

We meet Eva, her son and their dog right at the beginning of the book and are introduced to them and their situation before their new neighbour, Ben arrives.  Initially the two homes and occupants couldn’t be more different, Eva’s house is warm and welcoming just like her whereas Ben’s is cold and uninviting.  Ben has moved north for a fresh start somewhere new but having just come up from London is unused to the friendliness that he encounters in Scotland.

As you would expect things soon start to change but to say more would be giving away too much.  Over the rest of the book we learn more about Eva and why she hasn’t dated since her husband died, why Ben moved so far from London and whether they will become more than just friends.

This is a light and lovely novel, perfect for a cosy read when the weather is miserable or when you just want to be enveloped in a warm hug.  That’s essentially what this book is, a warm hug so if that’s what you’re looking for, regardless of the time of year, this is definitely worth checking out.