#BlogTour All at Sea by Gemma Roman

Today its my turn on the BlogTour All at Sea by Gemma Roman.

About the Author

“I’m Gemma Roman. I have pretty much always been a bookworm.

I always loved reading, writing and the creative arts, and also enjoyed dancing which led me to study for a degree in Dance Studies when I was at University. Following graduation, I worked in retail and became interested in the wealth of characters that I came across daily while working in customer service.

I’d had a few ideas rumbling around in my head for a while, and so spent a few years writing my first novel in my spare time. I finally managed to release it in June 2016, and am now planning for the release of my new book ‘All At Sea’, which is due out in 2019.

Follow me on the social media links below to stay updated on all of my bookish news, and even subscribe to my blog www.gemmaroman.co.uk

Follow @GemmaRomanBooks on Twitter, on FacebookBuy All at Sea

About the book

Alice is young, in love and living on the Cornish coast. Life should be perfect. But Alice is about to meet someone who will make her question everything.


This is a novella, a short exploration into identity, sexuality and the boundaries society imposes upon us, as we do upon ourselves.

What would happen if everything you thought you knew about yourself, your sexual identity and to whom you may be sexually attracted to was suddenly thrown into complete and utter confusion. In essence that is what happens to Alice.

Her norm, which is a heterosexual relationship with a man, is disrupted and complicated by her attraction to a young woman. Is this the element she always thought was missing from her relationship with her boyfriend and her life?

In the end it shouldn’t be about labels, stereotypes or boxes society wants to press us into. Lust is not love, and yet sometimes both exist simultaneously. Love shouldn’t be defined by what gender one is attracted to, but by the person you fall in love with and/or feel lust for, be that man or woman and be you or I man or woman. This was the crux of the story.

This is about the freedom to explore what those emotions are and how they are received and defined depending on who you are and despite what everyone else thinks. Roman makes some important points about this towards the end of the story.

It’s a contemporary read about the definition and understanding of what love is for each of us.

Buy All at Sea at Amazon Uk. Publisher: Independently published; pub date 10 Aug. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

It Had To Be You by Nikki Logan and Barbara Hannay

it-had-to-be-you-millsTo celebrate finding their Man of the Year 2016, Courtenay Hayles, Mills & Boon have published It Had To Be You, which contains two lovely romantic stories.

Molly Cooper’s Dream Date by Barbara Hannay and Shipwrecked with Mr Wrong by Nikki Logan.

Two completely different stories about love.

Whether you are looking for the careless sun-swept feel of Logan’s story or the more practical approach to searching for Mr Perfect by Hannay. There is something for everyone in this double-whammy.

Molly Cooper’s Dream Date

Molly is dead set on finding the perfect English gentleman, and apparently they tend to be easier to locate in London. So a house swap with a gentleman in London sounds like the perfect opportunity to look for him.

Patrick is excited to relax on the other side of the world and he also wasn’t expecting to be so intrigued by his house swap mate. Molly is suddenly far more interesting than the reason he wanted a break in the first place.

Hannay has given her story a modern social media aspect. Dialogue via emails and diary entries by both characters. This way the reader gets straight to the inner turmoil, while watching the two of them write themselves into a relationship.

Shipwrecked with Mr Wrong

The last thing Honor expects, needs or wants is an invader in her tiny haven. Her own personal peace on earth is disrupted by an obnoxious underwater Indiana Jones, who happens to believe in mermaids.

Rob is curious about the island hermit, who would rather spend her time watching and recording the animal kingdom, than spend time with him or anyone for that matter.The two of them are drawn to each other, but Honor has a terrible secret that is keeping her from connecting with other people. Animals are a safer bet.

Buy It Had To Be You at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Exposure by Helen Dunmore

ExposureBased in 1960, this Cold War story is a mixture of politics, bureaucracy, spy story and about relationships. In fact I felt as if the emphasis was on family and love, regardless of whether it was hetero or homosexual.

I particularly liked the way Dunmore wrote the confrontational scenes between Lily and the person sent to interview her.

The misconception of people thinking that if you were born in a country it automatically means you can speak the language fluently, despite leaving the country as a young child.

Also the cold reality of naturalisation often only being a pretty bureaucratic word. Once a foreigner always a foreigner is a common reaction and the subconscious thought most people try to suppress

I actually think Lily made a subconscious decision to ‘forget’ her first language. Too many uncomfortable images. memories and anger. As if forgetting her origins would help in the remodelling of her self. She is still very paranoid about being treated differently because of her religion. Lilly looks for the anti-Semite in everyone. Completely normal for survivors and I would say almost a persecution complex, but then perhaps Lily isn’t so paranoid after all.

When Simon is accused of treason and spying Lily finds she has already landed right in the middle of this mess, even before any accusations had started flying. She acts instinctively in an effort to protect her family.

Throughout the turmoil and embarrassment of the accusations Dunmore has woven the two loves of Simon into the fabric of the story. His past and his present, his hidden desires and his open conformity. In their own way the two loves save Simon.

I liked the combination of emotion versus political chess playing, of betrayal versus protection and the backdrop of the minefield of a post-war world.

Buy Exposure at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

It’s got to be Perfect by Haley Hill


What do you if you have totally failed at dating and are still looking for Mr Right? Start your own exclusive dating agency of course. That is exactly what Ellie Rigby decides to do. Help all those other good-looking singles out there to find their perfect match.

Sounds simple enough, eh? Well it does until Ellie realises just how many of her potential clients are just ever so slightly eccentric and high maintenance. I’m not sure I would be able to find a partner for a macho playboy gynaecologist with a porn-star name either.

Of course the problem with sifting through all those handsome men is that inevitably there will be one of them, who just happens to caught your eye. Not even matchmakers are immune to the charms of Cupid.

It’s got to be Perfect is a comedy of errors with a bevy of pretty people with one thing in common, the search for Mr or Mrs Perfect.

Hill doesn’t mince her words when it comes to the dialogues, They are refreshing, witty and occasionally slightly on the graphic side.

She has her main character concentrate her efforts on the top ten percent, as opposed to the more normal looking single. Beauty attracts mates and not plain Janes, is the message, which leaves a slightly negative tinge to the otherwise light-hearted story.

Buy It’s Got to be Perfect at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Read Love Is… by Haley Hill. (The next chapter of Ellie Rigby’s life)

Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts

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A tale of hope and despair in equal measures.
Zac is trapped in his bubble of medical loneliness, his day-to-day tedious routine and his constant deliberation of statistics. What are the odds, what are his odds? The only contact he has to the outside world are nurses, doctors, his family and other patients in similar situations. All on the same treatment ward, some with one way tickets and others holding on to a smidgen of hope.

This is where he meets Mia, a young girl trying to come to terms with her own diagnosis. She is in complete denial and is coping by pretending it isn’t really happening. This, and the medical decisions her parent has to make, has caused a breach between Mia and her mother.

Mia places the blame firmly on the shoulders of her mother, because of the drastic decisions she has had to make in the course of the treatment. She follows the path of least resistance and runs away from her problems, her family and her medical care.

Zac and Mia become close, mainly because they share a bond, a connection or perhaps just an understanding between two young people in the same dire situation. When Mia does finally accept the reality of her illness she turns away from Zac. Unfortunately the bond between them becomes strained and threatens to tear. This pushes Zac further into a black cloud of despair, which is always hanging over him since he became ill, but this time it’s different.

This is a sweet little story about love and friendship blossoming in the middle of a difficult time for two very young people. Although I felt at first that the ending was a little insipid, after more thought I appreciate the fact the author didn’t opt for a dramatic ending, but rather for an open and more realistic one.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

Suddenly Last Summer by Sarah Morgan


I think I have begun creating my own tiny legion of Sarah Morgan readers. She is one of the first I recommend for romance genre readers.
This book is part of the Snow Crystal series (Sleigh Bells in the Snow Bk 1), featuring the heartbreak, romancing and escapades of the O’ Neil brothers. Sean and Élise feature in this second book in the trilogy.

Morgan has added a slightly darker element to the story this time. Everyone has a past, some of us have parts of our lives we would like to forget and never quite get over. That is exactly what it is like for Élise. Part of her past is stopping her from moving forward and enjoying her life to the fullest.

When you experience abuse in a relationship a part of your soul dies. It can and often does subconsciously determine your future relationships, especially romantic ones. Walls are built, boundaries are drawn and perimeters are not allowed to be breached.

Élise is quite clear on her boundaries and the fact Sean feels the same way makes any interaction very simple. No complications, no strings attached and no extras. Or so they both think.

Life has a strange way of throwing people together even if they clearly do not want to be thrown together at all. What do you do if that happens? Go with it? No, not Élise, she decides to go into full panic and defensive mode.

One other element of the story I would like to mention is what often happens in large families. The dynamics of a large family is such that everyone knows the ins and outs of everything about each person in that particular family.

No secret kept silent, no wishes kept hidden and everyone has an opinion of each of those things. Not an easy situation to deal with and sometimes not all members of big families like the lack of privacy.

The O’Neil family members seem to thrive on being in the middle of each others business, regardless of whether it is private, romantic or hot and heavy secrets.

This tale of tempestuous and passionate emotions combined with the short temper of Élise and the cool-headed Sean makes for an explosive roller coaster ride of a read.

Buy Suddenly Last Summer at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

You can connect with Sarah online at her website: www.sarahmorgan.com on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahMorgan or on Twitter @SarahMorgan_

Read The Christmas Sisters, Moonlight over Manhattan (From Manhattan with Love #6), Holiday in the Hamptons (From Manhattan with Love #5)New York Actually (From Manhattan with Love #4)Miracle on 5th Avenue (From Manhattan With Love #3)Sunset in Central Park (From Manhattan with Love #2)Sleepless in Manhattan (From Manhattan with Love #1)Christmas Ever AfterFirst Time in ForeverMaybe This Christmas, Sleighbells in the Snow or The Notting Hill Diaries, all by Sarah Morgan.

Follow @SarahMorgan_@HQStories and @HarperCollinsUK