#BlogTour Discovering the Woodsman by N.M. Brott

Today it is my turn on the Blog-Tour for Discovering the Woodsman by N.M. Brott. It’s a tale of mythical creatures, forbidden love and dark secrets. It might make you rethink your trips to the forest though.

About the Author

After reading Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ book, Women Who Run with the Wolves, back in 1994, Nina had the notion that her dreams could turn into interesting stories if she wrote them down. So she did. Her wish is for readers to find these stories as entertaining to read as they were for her to write.

When she’s not expanding her dreams into stories, Nina spends time with her husband of 27 years (when he’s home from work), their two children (when they’re home from college), and their two rescue dogs (when they’re not sleeping).

Follow @AuthorNMBrott

Visit nmbrott.wixsite.com/evgenia or visit NM.Brott on Facebook

Buy Discovering the Woodsman

About the book

In the beautiful and peaceable kingdom of Evgenia, it is rumored that mysterious creatures still survive long after the secrets of magic have been lost. Lady Heather Bloodstone’s headstrong nature impels her to discover whether the creatures known as Woodsmen truly exist outside of the fairy tales she adored as a child. When she meets Jasper—a handsome Woodsman with deep blue eyes, wild grass-colored hair, and a cocky smile—she is nearly overwhelmed by his kiss.

Jasper the Woodsman’s life consists of fulfilling requests from the maidens and ladies of the castle—be it for a healing potion, a kiss, or to become lovers. When the lovely Lady Heather refuses his offer of the latter, he is nevertheless intrigued by her request to become friends. A dangerous situation arises when their friendship deepens, because those who cross noble bloodlines with a commoner’s are banished from Evgenia forever. (less)

Review

One might presume, going by the cover that this is perhaps something other than what it is. The cover suggests middle-grade and younger readers, the blurb hints at more of a YA direction, however the content is more of a risqué nature and perhaps more suited for New Adult. It is filled with suggestive language and innuendos, for instance Woodsmen licking pink caves or rosy caverns, and there a few horizontal tango romps in the middle of the forest.

The blurb speaks of fairy-tales, mysterious creatures and hints at the more salacious nature of the story with words like lovers and kiss. The dialogue reveals a more amorous intent. It’s almost like a naughty romance written with fantasy and fairy-tales in mind, except the innocent princess and her companion sound as if they are discussing the attributes of the Woodsman as if he were an adult film star. What size is his appendage and what exactly is different about his tongue?

So bearing that in mind and armed with that information, let’s get to the characters and the story. Filled with curiosity, both Heather and Malva are determined to discover whether all the stories are true about the mythical Woodsmen. They are dwellers of the forest and givers of love and pleasure. Heather finds one quite quickly, apparently when you shout for them in the forest they just pop up out of nowhere. Note to self, try this the next time I’m in a forest.

Heather finds herself drawn to the Woodsman, despite their connection being deemed illegal. She also finds herself thrust into the world of royal secrets and obligations, some of which may rip her from the arms of her leafy lover.

I’m of two minds about this book, possibly because it is being torn in two different directions. Without the erotic element it would work as a lovely tale of love and or with mythical creatures. With the erotic element something seems out of place. I think Brott can deliver the goods on both fronts it just doesn’t work well together in this particular case. The description needs to be clearer, so someone looking for a simple love story or fantasy for young teens doesn’t end up with a more adult read.

I would like to see Brott unleash her penchant for passion and love, and deliver it as such.

Buy Discovering the Woodsman at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

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#BlogTour Perfect Match by Zoe May

Today is my stop on the BlogTour for Perfect Match by Zoe May. Perfect Match is breezy light read with quite a few laughs. May doesn’t take herself too seriously and applies the same approach to her views on relationships and online dating. The result is an entertaining read.

Connect with Zoe May on Twitter:

Follow @zoe_writes @HQDigitalUK @HarperCollinsUK

Buy Perfect Match

About the book

Can you ever find true love online?

Sophia Jones is an expert in all things online dating: the best sites, how to write a decent bio, which questions to ask and the right type of photos to use. The only thing she’s not so great at? Picking the guys…

After sitting through yet another dreadful date with a man who isn’t quite what she expected, Sophia is just about ready to give up on the whole dating scene. But her flatmate, Kate, persuades her to give it one more chance, only this time she must create a profile describing her ‘perfect’ man.

Yes, he must look like Robert Pattinson and needs to own a multi-million pound business, but there are a couple of other deal breakers, too! So, when a guy comes along who ticks every box, surely there’s got to be a catch?

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Catherine Bennetto and Rosie Blake!

Review

There is a chapter in this book that had me in stitches, because it reminded me of a similar faux pas I once made, except mine was mistaking a small heated fluffy hand-towel for a dessert. I was crying tears of laughter when I read it.

What May hides really well in this humorous story is the serious question of our expectations vs reality when it comes to relationships and love, and if that wasn’t enough the author also takes a subtle pop at online dating. It has become the 21st century approach to meeting a potential mate. It has opened up opportunities, but it also brings certain safety concerns with it. Connecting with other people is now as easy as breathing air thanks to app, smartphones and technology in general.

Sophia has used nearly every website she can think of to find the right man. So far she has only met duds, bores and freaks. Then again she is extremely finicky. No one is handsome enough, rich enough, smart enough and certainly not entertaining enough for her.

In an act of desperation she writes a profile for yet another website with what can only be described as fantastical requests. In return she gets a lot of weird replies, but one of them is different, one of them matches the profile perfectly.

The moral of the story is you should never judge a book by its cover. Nothing could be more true in this case. As is the saying that you don’t want something or someone until somebody else has it and it is no longer available to you. Sophia definitely suffers from wanting what she can’t have and not wanting what she can have.

Perfect Match is a light-hearted rom-com with a frank take on 21st century dating and our inability to appreciate what we have, and to see what is often right under our noses. May entertains without losing sight of the point she is trying to make, and brings the serious tone when the story requires it. It isn’t often that a scene in a book makes me laugh out loud, so kudos to May for that.

Buy Perfect Match at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

#BlogTour A Week to be Wild by J.C. Harroway

a week to be wild2

#MillsandBoonmakeover #MillsandBoonDare #HarlequinDare #IamLovingthenewCovers

A Week to be Wild by J.C. Harroway is kicking off and introducing the new and improved face of Mills & Boon, which was launched by Gerald Mills and Charles Boon and started off as the romance imprint of Harlequin UK Ltd in 1908. That means Mills & Boon have been enthralling their readers for 110 years.

The publisher, a subsidiary of Harlequin Enterprises Ltd, operates as a division of Harper Collins. Mills & Boon has grown to become the UK’s undisputed market leader in romance fiction publishing, entrenched in the hearts and minds of its avid readership.

Now an imprint of Harper Collins, Mills & Boon is starting 2018 off with a mega boom and a brand revamp, which includes their new DARE series.

DARE ~ Sexy. Passionate. Bold. A brand new, searingly sexy romance series written by women for women, the Mills & Boon DARE series will feature strong, empowered women who take the lead – be it in the boardroom or the bedroom – and enjoy great sex on their terms.

About the Author

“Writing love because the world always needs more…” J.C. Harroway

Follow @jcharroway @MillsandBoon Visit @jcharroway.com

Visit millsandboon.co.uk

Buy A Week to be Wild

About the book

Harlequin DARE, a new romance series featuring strong, independent women and sizzling hot heroes. Harlequin DARE stories push the boundaries of sexual explicitness while keeping the focus on the developing romantic relationship.

A daring game of temptation

She’ll play his game—but only by her rules!

Alex Lancaster is an adrenaline junkie. He’s also a sexy British billionaire who should come with his own warning signs. When Libby insists she is done with men who live on the edge, Alex coaxes her out of her comfort zone—professionally and very, very personally. Libby’s taking a high-stakes gamble, but the pay-off could win her everything…

Review

You might want to have your hand fan or battery powered handheld fan at the ready for this one. It might just get your pulse racing and your temperature a’rising to a level that might necessitate a cool breeze.

Libby is a strong independent business woman, who has put her love life on hold for the last few years to concentrate on herself and her business. She is also recovering from a traumatic event that has made her cautious about close romantic relationships, but hey having a little fun when you’re hot under the collar isn’t forbidden. Which is exactly what goes through her head when she meets the wealthy and handsome Alex. Suddenly being all professional is the last thing on her mind and all she can think about is this man who has got all her synapses firing on full power.

In the midst of all the horizontal tangoing, the passionate encounters and provocative game-playing the two of them start to develop a real emotional connection. The kind of connection Libby is still shying away from. The only reason she hasn’t started to run yet is the fact Alex has managed, for the first time in a long time, to help her to experience the rush of life.

The new DARE series doesn’t just cater to the reader who believes in the excitement of love, butterflies in their stomach and the heat of a blush rising to their cheeks. They also cater to the ones wanting the thrill of the chase, the excitement of sexual attraction and the hotter than hot interactions between the characters.

Harroway brings exactly the right amount of romance, sexual tension and eroticism to bring pleasure to the readers. Yes, that pun was intentional. It gets really racy and is superbly tempestuous. It might even elicit a gasp or two while you read.

This is pocket-sized passion that fits in your handbag, so you can enjoy a titillating read whenever and wherever you want. Mills & Boon for the 21st century woman.

Buy A Week to be Wild at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

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#BlogTour Aphrodite’s Tears by Hannah Fielding

Today @kraftireader and I are kicking off the Blog-Tour for Aphrodite’s Tears by Hannah Fielding. It is a delectable delight of mythology, history and a passionate romance. My post also features a fantastic Q&A with Hannah Fielding, and my review of course.

About the Author

Following her huge success as one of the UK’s leading romance authors with total sales of over 130k, Aphrodite’s Tears follows the award winning success of Hannah Fielding’s previous novels Burning Embers, Echoes of Love, Masquerade, Legacy and Indiscretion. Echoes of Love won Romance Novel of the Year at the IPB Awards in 2012 and Burning Embers was Amazon’s book of the month in 2011, while Hannah’s novels have been translated into 13 languages. With its spectacular setting and deep emotional drama, Aphrodite’s Tears will appeal both to fans of her backlist, as well as lovers of atmospheric travel writing including Santa Montefiore, Penny Vincenzie, Victoria Hislop and Lucinda Riley.

Egyptian by birth Hannah is fluent in French, English and Arabic and has lived all over the world, she currently lives between her writing retreat in the South of France and her rambling family home in Ireland. Hannah’s grandmother, Esther Fanous, was the revolutionary feminist writer in Egypt during the early 1900s and helped found the Women’s Wafd Central Committee in 1920.

Follow @fieldinghannah on Twitter or AuthorHannahFielding on Facebook

Visit hannahfielding.net Visit London Wall Publishing

Buy Aphrodite’s Tears

About the book

Summer 1977, Oriel Anderson finds herself on the charming Greek island of Helios hoping to fulfil a long held dream or joining an archaeological dive team. Broken hearted after her university fiancé left her for her best friend, Oriel is determined to prove she can make it in a man’s world heading up an all-male team on her first underwater dig.

Spending her days excavating a Roman shipwreck, surrounded by turquoise waters and scorching sunshine, Oriel thinks that she has found paradise, until she meets her employer and the owner of the Island, Damian Lekkas.

A widower, with a scarred face, Damian is a brooding presence on the island who instantly takes a shine to Oriel, but Oriel resolves to maintain a professional relationship between them.  But the mercurial Damian has other ideas, and Oriel’s stay soon becomes a battle between her head and her heart.

When strange things start happening Oriel doesn’t know what to think. She learns that no other women who had come to work on the dive had lasted more than a few weeks, then a young boy almost drowns on one of the dives, and one morning Oriel finds a dead songbird in her room, its throat slit, and out exploring the beaches on her own Oriel becomes trapped in a cave. Could these things just be a coincidence or is someone trying to send her a warning?

A modern retelling of some of the most popular Greek myths, Aphrodite’s Tears evokes the Legends of the Gods, their power and passion, playfulness and cunning.

Q&A

The last book you read? (Inquisitive bookworms would like to know) I have just finished reading Mythos: A Retelling of the Myths of Ancient Greece by Stephen Fry. He is such an intelligent and considered writer; I am very much enjoying his take on Greek mythology. I only wish the book were more comprehensive – no Troy and Odysseus, no Jason and the Argonauts, no Theseus and the Minotaur, no Heracles’ labours. Perhaps he will publish a second volume.

Books or authors who have inspired you to put pen to paper? I think it was the romantic writers like Victoria Holt, MM Kaye, Charlotte Bronte and Daphne du Maurier who inspired me and still inspire me the most: the romance, the detail in description, the beautiful, almost poetic prose. I am also deeply inspired by the French romantic authors of the 19th century, like Stendhal, Musset, Theophile Gautier, Leconte de Lisle and Victor Hugo, whose works formed the basis of my university degree in literature.

 
The last book you read which you felt left a mark (in your heart, soul, wallet…you name it)? Helen Dunmore’s collection of poetry Inside the Wave moved me deeply. She died this year, very soon after the publication of the book, which is about life and death and the borderline between. It was through her poem ‘Hold Out Your Arms’, published widely in the media after her death, that I discovered the book. It really is beautiful. You can read it here:
 
Are you more of a movie night or series-binger kind of person?
I love series, because just as I love thick books, I enjoy long, sustained stories on screen. Films can leave you wanting more, but series allow you to really get to know the characters, and there is plenty of scope for detailed, intricate plots with twists and turns that compel you to watch the next episode – and the next! Recently, I have been in a ‘royal phase’, watching The Crown about Queen Elizabeth II and Victoria about Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
 
Which famous person (dead, alive, barely kicking) would you most like to meet?
Margaret Mitchell, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gone with the Wind. I would love to know how the writing process was for her (supposedly, she wrote the ending of the book first, and then went back and wrote the story leading up to that ending) and how she enjoyed the epic movie based on the work. I’m also fascinated by her refusal, despite pressure, to write a sequel – and I wonder what she would make of the two sequels by other writers that were released many years later, after her death.
 
From where did you get your inspiration for Aphrodite’s Tears, and why did you pick Greece as the setting?
Quite simply, Greece is one of my favourite parts of the globe. It’s a very special place for me, because it is so romantic. I bought my wedding dress in Greece – and I felt like a goddess wearing it; and my husband and I honeymooned there. One of the best evenings of my life was spent in the Acropolis in Athens, watching a production of the Sleeping Beauty ballet under the stars.
 
Greek mythology plays an important role in Aphrodite’s Tears, in fact I would say it is the essence of the story. Do you think it is becoming a lost and forgotten subject?
The Ancient Greeks left such a rich inheritance of legends – stories full of wisdom, and a god or goddess for everything, from love and war to wine-making. It would be such a shame for those legends to fade from memory, I think.
Creative minds find all kinds of ways to reinvent old stories, whether legends or fairy tales.  In the 1960s, for example, colour films like Jason and the Argonauts brought the Greek myths to life. Fast-forward to the early 2000s and writer Rick Riordan’s ‘Percy Jackson’ series was enchanting children all over the world.
The Greek myths have timeless appeal, so I don’t think they will ever be lost. The main issue appears to be confusion between the Greek myths and the Roman ones, because there is considerable overlap between them.
 
Leading on from the previous question, along with mythology there is also a heavy emphasis on history and the cultural identity of the Greek people. How important was it to you to try and give your readers a real sense and taste of all of those elements?
Absolutely essential. I don’t just want to tell readers a story; I want to draw them into that story. I want them to be sitting in their armchair in London or Kansas or Amsterdam and be transported to a little Greek island – to feel the sun on their face, to smell the fishermen’s catch of the day, to taste the tang of the salt air on their tongue. I so love to travel, I want to help my readers travel too. Only then can they really understand the context of the story that unfolds, and believe in the characters.
 
Helios sometimes appears to be an island lost in time, especially when it comes to the gender inequality. Women are still not treated the same as men when it comes to inheritance and marriage. Is this an imbalance so ingrained in their society that they refuse to let go of it, because the Greek feel that it would be like letting go of their historical past and traditions?
I think all cultures find change difficult, particularly when a way of being has existed for a very long time. As you suggest, granting women full equality would mean letting go of past traditions – and these are important for a people’s identity. The island of Helios is traditional, and that can have a downside for women; but it also has an upside in terms of men providing for and protecting their families. Just as ancient Greeks revered goddesses, so do men of this island appreciate women.
 
There are occasional glimpses of the third eye, the divine instruments of fate and the connection between folklore and mythology.  The beliefs of the Greek are linked with all of those things. Do you believe in fate?
Yes, I do, which is why the concept appears in my most of my fiction in some way or another. I don’t believe that our futures are already written and we have no power over our destiny. But I do believe that something things are meant to be, and that if we are open to there being a guiding force, it can lead us to places where we can be our very best selves.
 
Will we be hearing from the inhabitants of Helios again?
I think not. It is never easy to part from characters; to leave them at a point in time in a story, even with the suggestion of a bright future ahead. But being an author is about writing the next story: a fresh story that will capture your heart and transport you to another world; a new set of characters about whom you will care deeply. I think my passion for travelling helps here: each new story is set in a new country, and I am always excited to let go of the last book and travel to the new place, where I can learn all about its people and culture.

Review

Aside from the fact the writing is beautiful, melodic even, Fielding manages to transport her readers straight onto the island of Helios. An island I would love to travel to and explore, despite it being a fictional one.

Oriel is hired in her capacity as an archaeologist trained in underwater excavation, to investigate a shipwreck on the island of Helios and catalogue any possible treasure or remnants of an ancient culture the team discovers. She is shocked to find that her employer isn’t a stranger to her, well technically he is. let’s just say they have yet to be formally introduced.

The spark between them is electric, despite the fact they are both fighting their attraction in different ways. Damian is a man with many female admirers, and Oriel is determined to only be with someone who wants her and her alone. Archaic views are quite normal in Helios, as are the traditions they follow, regardless of whether those traditions endanger the lives of the islanders.

The historical element made me want to take up scuba diving and treasure hunting. It is what makes this read more than just a romance with an intense relationship between two people in the throes of passion. The descriptive scenery, the islanders who seem to live by the rules of the middle ages, and the historical and cultural context, are what make this a beautiful read.

Helios sometimes appears to be an island lost in time. Lost in the history, the folklore and mythology of Greece. They adhere to the power of the divinities, the traditions set by the gods and of course the more mundane laws decided by man.

It is a delectable delight of mythology, history and a passionate romance. I admire authors who can transport their love of a culture and country onto the pages of a book, and in doing so inspire readers to experience new things. Not every scribe is capable of transporting their readers into the vivid imagery they create with words. Hannah Fielding is one of those authors.

Buy/Pre-order Aphrodite’s Tears at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Aphrodite’s Tears is out in paperback on 25th January for £7.99

Watch the booktrailer for Aphrodite’s Tears

#BookTrailer Aphrodite’s Tears by Hannah Fielding

Aphrodite’s Tears will be published on the 25th of January 2018 by London Wall Publishing. The Blog-Tour takes place from the 15th Jan to 26th Jan 2018. On the 15th of January I will be featuring a fantastic Q&A with the author Hannah Fielding, and of course my review. It is an emotional and colourful extravaganza of mythology, history, culture and romance. Here is a wee taste of what it is all about:

About the Author

Following her huge success as one of the UK’s leading romance authors with total sales of over 130k, Aphrodite’s Tears follows the award winning success of Hannah Fielding’s previous novels Burning Embers, Echoes of Love, Masquerade, Legacy and Indiscretion. Echoes of Love won Romance Novel of the Year at the IPB Awards in 2012 and Burning Embers was Amazon’s book of the month in 2011, while Hannah’s novels have been translated into 13 languages. With its spectacular setting and deep emotional drama, Aphrodite’s Tears will appeal both to fans of her backlist, as well as lovers of atmospheric travel writing including Santa Montefiore, Penny Vincenzie, Victoria Hislop and Lucinda Riley.

Egyptian by birth Hannah is fluent in French, English and Arabic and has lived all over the world, she currently lives between her writing retreat in the South of France and her rambling family home in Ireland. Hannah’s grandmother, Esther Fanous, was the revolutionary feminist writer in Egypt during the early 1900s.

About the book

Summer 1977, Oriel Anderson finds herself on the charming Greek island of Helios hoping to fulfil a long held dream or joining an archaeological dive team. Brokenhearted after her university fiancé left her for her best friend, Oriel is determined to prove she can make it in a man’s world heading up an all-male team on her first underwater dig.

Spending her days excavating a Roman shipwreck, surrounded by turquoise waters and scorching sunshine, Oriel thinks that she has found paradise, until she meets her employer and the owner of the Island, Damian Lekkas.

A widower, with a scarred face, Damian is a brooding presence on the island who instantly takes a shine to Oriel, but Oriel resolves to maintain a professional relationship between them.  But the mercurial Damian has other ideas, and Oriel’s stay soon becomes a battle between her head and her heart.

When strange things start happening Oriel doesn’t know what to think. She learns that no other women who had come to work on the dive had lasted more than a few weeks, then a young boy almost drowns on one of the dives, and one morning Oriel finds a dead songbird in her room, its throat slit, and out exploring the beaches on her own Oriel becomes trapped in a cave. Could these things just be a coincidence or is someone trying to send her a warning?

A modern retelling of some of the most popular Greek myths, Aphrodite’s Tears evokes the Legends of the Gods, their power and passion, playfulness and cunning.

Follow @fieldinghannah @midaspr

Visit hannahfielding.net

Visit London Wall Publishing

Buy/Pre-order Aphrodite’s Tears at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Don’t forget to come back on the 15th of January 2018 for my review and the Q&A with Hannah Fielding, as part of this fantastic Blog-Tour!

The Big Little Festival by Kellie Hailes

festivalJody has spent years building a wall around her to keep all men and any emotion out. It has made her over-sensitive to any kind of relationship. She questions herself and anyone who dares to come anywhere near her.

She is determined to put on a festival for Rabbit’s Leap to raise money for the community pool. She wouldn’t normally put up with the eccentricities of the villagers, but her guilty conscience is proving stronger than her natural aversion to the dramatics of certain people in the village.

She hires a successful and very expensive event planner, who turns out to be rather handsome and more interested in her than in putting on a fantastic festival.

The Big Little Festival is all about finding the courage to move on in life. To be brave enough to let someone new in. Joanna finds it extremely hard to take down even a few bricks in her wall, especially because the majority of people turn out to be unreliable. As a single mother she has to not only look out for her own heart, she also has to make sure her kids don’t get attached to any fly-bys.

Hailes paints an accurate picture of life in an English village, where the competitions for best jam or largest vegetable can become quite competitive. The characters are quirky and amusing, and the drama is plentiful. Prepare to be entertained.

Buy The Big Little Festival at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @KellieHailes & @HQDigitalUK @HQStories or @HarperImpulse

Paris for One and other Stories by Jojo Moyes

parisThis is a book of short stories, two of them more novella length. It contains the following eleven tales: Paris for One, Between the Tweets, Love in the Afternoon, A Bird in the Hand, Crocodile Shoes, Holdups, Honeymoon in Paris, Last Year’s Coat, Thirteen Days with John C, Margot and The Christmas List.

They are stories about women and empowerment. They are also tales of love, desire and the imperfections of relationships.

Paris for One is all about Nell, a straight-laced shy young woman, who is stood up by her unreliable boyfriend. She ends up on a romantic trip to Paris by herself. Alone in a foreign country, dealing with an unknown language and the disappointment of not being important enough to her boyfriend for him to spend time with her in the city of romance.

It’s all about Nell discovering her inner mojo and comprehending that she is supposed to live life for herself and not in accordance with the expectations of others. Sometimes you have to take a risk and step outside of the box you yourself and others have put you in.

Moyes hits the right notes, and has the gift of gab and the gift of storytelling. Although emotions are laid bare and presented to the reader, which evokes a sense of empathy, there is also a strong layer of realism in the dialogue and scenarios. This stark contrast is what makes the stories relatable and memorable.

Buy Paris for One and other Stories at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @jojomoyes @MichaelJBooks

Visit jojomoyes.com