#BlogTour Where We Belong by Shann McPherson

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Where We Belong by Shann McPherson.

About the Author

With big dreams of being a published author since she was an eleven-year-old girl writing Beverly Hills 90210 fan fiction before fan fiction was even a thing, Shann McPherson has been writing angsty, contemporary romances for most of her thirty-something years.

Living in sunny Queensland, Australia, when she’s not writing Shann enjoys making memories with her husband and cheeky toddler son, drinking wine, and singing completely off-key to One Direction’s entire discography.

Follow @Shann_McPherson on Twitter, on Amazonon Facebookon InstagramBuy Where We Belong

About the book

When Alice ‘Murph’ Murphy’s beloved mother died, she promised to keep the family bakery in Graceville, Georgia afloat—even if it meant letting her high-school sweetheart, Nash Harris, go. For years, Murph has been biding her time, waiting for Nash to come back for her.

So when he strolls into Piece O’ Cake, Murph’s heart skips a beat—until he hands her an invitation to his wedding… There are painful secrets in both their pasts that only the two of them share, and Murph can’t bear the thought of Nash belonging to someone else.

There’s only one thing Murph can think of to do: fake a relationship with local bar owner and old friend Harley Shaw to remind Nash of what he’s losing, and win him back for good.

Nash is Murph’s best friend, a vivid reminder of her childhood and all the things she’s lost—but the more time Murph and Harley spend together, the more the lines between real and pretend begin to blur. Can Murph choose between the one who got away and the one who never left—and heal her aching heart?

Review

Alice is ecstatic to see her first love Nash right there in front of her. Has he finally realised what he left behind? Err, nope. He is there to invite her to his wedding. He has found his Mrs Right and wants Alice to be a part of the celebrations.

She isn’t going to just accept the new status quo and starts meddling in the happiness of the wedded couple to be. Her ‘pranks’ make her look like a tiny psycho and often end up punishing the wrong person, especially when she spontaneously decides to cast Harley in the role of her boyfriend. It creates friction between the three tight friends.

To be completely frank Alice doesn’t always come off in a great way. It’s sometimes hard to feel empathy for someone who whines about not succeeding in life the way they wanted to because their mother had the audacity to become terminally ill. How dare she stop Alice from being with her one true love. Yeh, that didn’t always gel well for me.

That vibe comes and goes as Alice aka Murph is caught between her first love and the man who always had her back. She has to leave the past behind and figure out which one is her future – if either of the two fits that description at all.

It’s a turbulent romcom with a focus on loyalty and friendship. This very much has the feel of the popular My Best Friend’s Wedding. McPherson creates the same kind of emotional turbulence, which is combined with humour and compelling characters. It’s a feel good read where the reader is routing for the main character, even when the character has completely given up.

Buy Where We Belong at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 21 Feb. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Hattie goes to Hollywood by Caroline James

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Hattie goes to Hollywood by Caroline James.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a cuddly Drake toy! (Open INT)

Be in with a chance to win Drake, Hattie’s faithful pet duck! Tall Drake & Handsome – A gorgeous soft toy who will be your friend for life.About the Author

Best-selling author of women’s fiction, Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that often features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can. A public speaker, which includes talks and lectures on cruise ships world-wide, Caroline is also a consultant and food writer.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, the Society of Women’s Writer’s & Journalists and the Society of Authors and writes articles and short stories, contributing to many publications. In her spare time, Caroline can be found trekking up a mountain or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.

About the book

A Cumbrian Village…Three suicides…A red-hot summer…

Join super-sleuth Hattie as tempers and temperatures rise in the Cumbrian village of Hollywood. With mischief and shenanigans aplenty, will Hattie discover the truth?

A funny and intriguing mystery – the first in a new series by Caroline James

When recently bereaved Hattie Mulberry inherits her aunt’s dilapidated cottage in the village of Hollywood in Cumbria, she envisages a quiet life. But retired hotelier Hattie is bored and when her neighbour asks her to investigate a suspicious suicide, Hattie’s career takes a new direction and H&H Investigations is born. During the hottest summer for years, Hattie discovers there have been three recent suicides in Hollywood and she determines to find out why. Temperatures rise as she throws herself into village life and, with mischief and shenanigans aplenty, Hattie has her work cut out. But will she establish the truth?

Review

When Hattie inherits a rundown cottage in the village of Hollywood she pictures a life filled with restoring the place she intends to live in. A quiet life, with no trouble and certainly not with any pesky ducks. Little does she know she is about to embark on a whole new career.

Whilst playing at amateur sleuthing Hattie finds one coincidence too many and starts, with a little prompt from her neighbour, to investigate a series of suicides. Is it a case of copycat suicides or is there something more nefarious going on in the background.

Simultaneously Hattie is living her best life when it comes to a wee bit of hanky-panky and pinch of romance, and of course let’s not forget the feathered friend she makes when she throws him a piece of stale bread. Err, just be clear, she isn’t having a romance with the duck.

It reminded me of Agatha Raisin, but with less of an uppity attitude, more rumpy pumpy and really solid duck humour. Let’s just acknowledge the duck as a major character, because he has some great scenes and entrances. In fact he gives Hattie a run for her money when it comes to being the main character.

It’s a cosy crime with a romcom feel to it. James combines elements of multiple genres to create a funny and easygoing read. The kind of read that makes people wonder why the reader is smirking or gives an occasional snort of laughter. James does what she set out to do by pulling the reader in and entertaining them with a good read.

Buy Hattie Goes to Hollywood at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: The Publish Hub Ltd, pub date 14 Feb. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.


Enter the Giveaway to Win a cuddly Drake toy! (Open INT)

Be in with a chance to win Drake, Hattie’s faithful pet duck! Tall Drake & Handsome – A gorgeous soft toy who will be your friend for life.

 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

#PaperbackPublicationDay for The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

It’s Happy Paperback Publication Day for The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary and to celebrate Quercus Books are giving you the chance to win a copy of The Flatshare with its brilliantly quirky new cover!

To win a copy just leave a comment underneath this post!

About Beth O’Leary

Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being within reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work.

You’ll usually find her curled up with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).

Follow @OLearyBeth @QuercusBooks on Twitter, on Instagramon Goodreads, Visit theflatshare.co.ukBuy The FlatShare

Review

This book surprised me. It has the kind of charm that makes it memorable. The main character, Tiffy, is a kind of anti-Eleanor Oliphant and yet at the same time in a way a part of her is an Eleanor. This book has the same kind of quaint je ne sais quoi. An indescribable element which draws readers in.

Tiffy is looking for a place to live and Leon is looking for a flat mate. Neither of them have a lot of choice, which is how they end up coming up with a strange living arrangement. Sharing the same bed, but never at the same time – sounds like a really bizarre way to share a living space.

Leon’s girlfriend, yes he has a girlfriend, just has one rule. Never the twain shall meet. Tiffy and Leon must never be in the flat at the same time.

This is how the most entertaining part of the story evolves, as the two of them inadvertently become involved in each others lives and build a friendship without ever meeting each other. The fine lines of friendship are woven through communication, common concerns and an instantaneous emotional connection.

The other aspect of this book is how Tiffy slowly comes to the realisation that her relationship with her ex might have been anything but perfect. It’s interesting, albeit perhaps not what friends would do, how they are all invested in Tiffy making the connections herself. She isn’t swayed or convinced by anyone, she just starts to see events, actions and remarks in a different light.

The flashbacks she experiences are the beginning of an epiphany. Instead of remembering the loving boyfriend she suddenly feels different emotions. Fear, apprehension and the feeling of being manipulated. Is this because she wants to hate him for leaving her and for cheating? Or is there something more nefarious going on?

It’s a witty contemporary rom-com with endearing characters and a compelling plot. O’Leary brings humour, emotional turmoil and intense relationships to the table, she also weaves more serious topics into the story.

How easy it is to be controlled and abused without realising it and how some people can suck the life out of their partners with their sheer selfishness. Simultaneously it’s also about the fragile bridges of love and romance that can be built over distance and time without any physical interaction at all. It’s a really lovely read.

Buy The Flat Share on Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Quercus; pub date 18 April 2019. Buy at Amazon comat Waterstones.

#BlogTour Five Wakes and a Wedding by Karen Ross

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Five Wakes and a Wedding by Karen Ross.

About the Author

As a former journalist, broadcaster and advertising copywriter, Karen Ross has followed a fairly traditional path into writing fiction.   Five Wakes and a Wedding is her fourth book, and like its predecessors, the novel has two common threads:  the setting is London’s Primrose Hill – Karen’s own neighbourhood – and one of the characters is a dog . . . this time he’s called Chopper and he’s almost the same size as a Shetland Pony

Karen has been self-employed for many years, and continues to work as a marketing consultant, in the absence of an offer to manage Tottenham Hotspur.  By way of credentials, her other ‘job’ is trading profitably on the world’s first football stockmarket, a platform called Football Index, where you buy and sell players with real money.

Follow @ComedyKaren on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit karenross.onlineBuy Five Wakes and a Wedding

About the book

Undertaker Nina Sherwood is full of good advice. For example, never wear lip gloss when you’re scattering ashes.

Nina is your average 30-year-old with a steady job, a nice home – and dead bodies in her basement. As an undertaker, she often prefers the company of the dead to the living – they’re obliging, good listeners and take secrets to the grave.

Nina is on a one-woman mission to persuade her peers that passing on is just another part of life. But the residents of Primrose Hill are adamant that a funeral parlour is the last thing they need… and they will stop at nothing to close down her dearly beloved shop.

When Nina’s ‘big break’ funeral turns out to be a prank, it seems like it’s the final nail in the coffin for her new business. That is, until a (tall, dark and) mysterious investor shows up out of the blue, and she decides to take a leap of faith. Because, after all, it’s her funeral…

The perfect antidote to all those books about weddings, this book will make you laugh until you cry, perfect for fans of Zara Stoneley’s Bridesmaids, Four Weddings and a Funeral and The Good Place.

Review

At the beginning I think there is this subconscious expectation of making sure there are five wakes and eventually even a wedding, but the truth is you get so caught up in the read that they pass by without you realising it.

Nina’s business is making sure the dead get the send-off they want and deserve. She sets up shop in Primrose Hill with the hope that her investment will pay out eventually. What she isn’t expecting is so much confrontation and determination to close her down and run her business out of the neighbourhood. They will stop at nothing to get rid of the upbeat business owner with creative ideas on the final journey.

She also wasn’t expecting to meet a very attractive investor, who tries to sweep her off her feet. The question is whether he is too good to be true.

It’s a snarky romcom – a fun introduction to life before death and death itself.

I wasn’t sure about the motive for opposing Happy Endings – not wanting to be confronted with death, perhaps because I have a more relaxed approach to it. I loved the way Ross takes the opportunity to take away a little bit of the fear and uncertainty by introducing something more than just the bog standard goodbye.

Around that she creates a lovely story about a determined young woman who moves over, under and through all the obstacles in her way without even blinking.

Buy Five Wakes and a Wedding at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ – One More Chapter; pub date 19 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Reach For A Star by Kathryn Freeman

Today it’s  my turn on the BlogTour Reach For a Star by Kathryn Freeman.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a PB copy of Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman (Open INT)About the Author

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

Follow @KathrynFreeman1 on Twitter, on Facebookon Goodreadson Amazon,  kathrynfreeman.co.ukBuy Reach For a Star

About the book

What if your dreams were so close you could reach out and touch them?

How could anyone resist Michael Tennant, with his hypnotic blue eyes and voice like molten chocolate? Jessie Simmons certainly can’t. But Jessie’s a single mum who can’t sing to save her life – there’s no way she’ll ever cross paths with the star tenor.

At least that’s what she thinks until she’s unexpectedly invited to take part in a new reality TV show. The premise? Professional singers teach hopeless amateurs how to sing. The surprise? Jessie’s partner is none other than Michael Tennant!

As she becomes better acquainted with the man behind the voice, will Jessie find out the hard way that you should never meet your idols? Or will she get more than she bargained for?Review

Jessie’s sons think they are doing their mother a favour by applying to a reality show.  Giving her a chance to sing with her idol, the singer Michael Tennant, in front of the whole world. She may sound like a rusty pipe with drainage issues, but what’s a little lack of singing talent matter in a singing competition, eh?

What starts as an opportunity to meet her crush and perhaps show everyone what she is made of quickly turns into something quite unexpected. Michael likes Jessie. Is that even a scenario worth considering? The star and the single mother of two teenage boys, could it really be more than just a short blip in the exciting world of Michael?

Freeman makes an important point about the desirability of women who aren’t super young and childless. Even if society, especially the patriarchal system, tries to convince women that being a mother and a caregiver also equates to being a non-sexual being. Nothing could be further from the truth. Taking care of tiny humans doesn’t lessen the desire to be wanted or considered an object of desirability.

Jessie has to confront her fears and needs simultaneously, and be honest about what she wants and deserves in her life. A message the majority of us can comprehend and relate to.

It’s a passionate story about love, family and romance. The normal Mom finding out love is written and spoken in the same language everywhere – no matter how rich, famous or everyday normal you or you life may be.

Buy Reach For a Star at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Choc Lit; pub date 24 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a PB copy of Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman (Open INT)

Click here to Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

#BlogTour Call Me Maybe by Steph Chapman

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Call Me Maybe by Steph Chapman.About the Author

Stephie was born in England in the mid 1980s, which makes her thirty-something (but if you ask, she’ll probably tell you she’s 27). Now, she lives on the South coast of the UK, has a day job to keep her holiday budget topped up, and two kids and a husband to keep an eye on.

Getting Over Jesse Franklin and Jetplanes to Jupiter were born out of a healthy appreciation of bass guitars (and the dudes who play them), and Franko was very much inspired by her favourite band as a teenager. So now you know.

Follow @imcountingufoz on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit stephiechapman.wordpress.comBuy Call Me Maybe

About the book

What if you got a second chance with your first love?

What happens when you meet your teenage heart-throb – when you’re both all grown up? When Cassie was fifteen, all she wanted was to marry Jesse Franklin, the bassist from her favourite band, Franko. Now she’s single, in her late twenties and wondering what happened to that teenage dream.

A chance encounter on Facebook soon leads to a transatlantic hook up, and soon, Jesse and Cassie are having a long-distance love affair spanning five thousand miles.

Cassie is on cloud nine – until she hears something that makes her think that Jessie might not be all that he seems. They say never meet your heroes – but what happens when you fall in love with them…?

Are Cassie and Jessie star crossed lovers, destined to be together? Or should Cassie have left her crush in the box marked teenage memories?

Review

I can imagine this is somewhat of a dream scenario for some people. Could you even imagine meeting a celeb you had a massive crush on as a teenager and then having a relationship with them? I’d just like to point out that mine would be all wrinkly now.

In the blurb it says what if you got a second chance with your first love, but that isn’t really the premise of this story. Having a crush, even a really obsessive strong emotional swoony crush on a celebrity or some unattainable person in the public eye, is not the same as your first love.

It made me wonder whether I would want to meet a teenage crush (if I can remember that far back), thereby possibly destroying the myth and the magic. Clearly Cassie doesn’t have the same fears, and she does have concerns that she might come across as a crazy stalker fan.

When Jesse replies to Cassie she just can’t believe it and she definitely isn’t expecting them to click and end up meeting in person. Is this meant to be or is it all too good to be true?

It’s a romcom – a dream come true scenario for some. Chapman has used modern media, text message exchanges, instead of dialogue per se, which gives the story evn more of a contemporary vibe. The dialogue and writing is also very much in tune with a YA book. It’s easy to forget that the main characters are late twenties and older, because their exchanges are very similar to people in their late teens and early twenties. This  is an easy and fun read.

Buy Call Me Maybe at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Hera; pub date 9 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Kobo.

#BlogTour Make It Up To You by Lucy Keeling

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Make it Up To You by Lucy Keeling.About the Author

Lucy Keeling is an author writing fun, sexy, stories with all of the happily ever afters. When she’s not typing at the kitchen table, she’s arranging and then re-arranging to see her friends for the occasional spot of day drinking. Lucy is currently writing the third book in a Contemporary Romance series, the first of which has been Shortlisted by Choc-Lit ‘Search for a Star’ Competition.

Follow @Lucy_K_Author on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagramon AmazonBuy Make It Up To You

About the book

What do mascara wands and gardening shears have in common?

Absolutely nothing! At least that’s what wannabe beauty influencer Sophie Timney thinks when her friend Polly suggests involving her brother Marcus in Sophie’s make-up tutorials. She needs more views, Marcus needs promotion for his gardening business – in Polly’s mind joining forces will help them both. Sophie isn’t so sure.

Because Marcus Bowman has a habit of getting under her skin in a way that no exfoliating face scrub ever could. But, as the views and comments on her videos begin creeping up, it becomes increasingly obvious that Sophie’s subscribers like Marcus, and what’s even worse is that Sophie might be starting to feel the same way …

Review

Before I get to the core of the story I have to hand it to Keeling for creating a wee bit of a mystery. The kind of mystery that makes readers keep coming back to a specific character – what exactly does Mya do for a living?

Sophie is trying to carve out her own niche in the world of social media influencers, specifically in the arena of beauty, make-up and style. So far it has been an uphill battle, perhaps because the huge ocean of social media users is already filled with people who are doing it better than Sophie. Or is it just a question of attracting the attention of the right crowd of viewers at the right time?

When a friend suggests creating a better backdrop to her online tutorials and also giving the garden a new look by asking Polly’s brother Marcus to lend a hand, well Sophie isn’t exactly thrilled. She is even less thrilled when he ends up becoming a part of her videos and then flabbergasted when her viewers appear to like him a lot.

This is an amusing romcom, a feel good story set around relevant careers of our day and age. Social media has taken over a huge part of our lives, both in our private and public lives. There are new careers on the horizon for young people. Marketing via online presence, likes equating to popularity and hopefully eventually to sales. It’s a whole new ballgame.

It’s a contemporary romcom, an accidental love story with a focus on the world of social media.

Buy Make It Up To You at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Choc Lit pub date September 17, 2019. Buy at Amazon com.