Blog Tour – We are not like them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza

Thank you to the lovely Sian @HQstories for my place on the tour and gifted ebook via NetGalley in exchange for review. All opinions are honest and my own.

Blurb

Not every story is black and white.

Riley and Jen have been best friends since they were children, and they thought their bond was unbreakable. It never mattered to them that Riley is black and Jen is white. And then Jen’s husband, a Philadelphia police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager and everything changes in an instant.

This one act could destroy more than just Riley and Jen’s friendship. As their community takes sides, so must Jen and Riley, and for the first time in their lives the lifelong friends find themselves on opposing sides.

But can anyone win a fight like this?

We Are Not Like Them is about friendship and love. It’s about prejudice and betrayal. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, no matter the cost.

My Review

This is destined to be a conversation piece in the book world and would make a great book club choice. It is written with nuance and has many blink and you miss it little inclusions that as a white woman I had to pay careful attention to. I’m sure if I was black these would have stood out a mile. For example Riley changing her name from Leroya to a more “white” name to get where she wanted.

What I did like was the authors’ choice to make Riley successful and Jen riddled with debt and beholden to her after accepting money for another round of IVF. Black characters are rarely portrayed as successful and it was nice to move away from the lazy stereotypes. With all the social commentary over police shootings and brutality towards the black community this is a story that needs telling and who better to tell it than two authors that can give a unique perspective by joining together. I felt after their reader note that was exactly what I was going to get.

However, while this book is mostly about a friendship between Riley and Jen unfortunately that was what I found slightly lacking. Maybe it was because I didn’t particularly like either of them and it was a friendship that felt very one sided and at times even toxic. In fact the voice that was, for me anyway, the most resoundingly powerful was Justin Dwyer’s. The fourteen year old black boy who was the victim of the police shooting.

Without any spoilers, this was a compelling read but I just wanted it to be more raw and real rather than the polished and too neat story it sadly became.

About the authors

Christine Pride worked in publishing for fifteen years. Over the course of her career, Christine worked with a variety of established and debut writers and published many New York Times bestsellers and critically acclaimed books including, From ScratchHeaven is Here, and A Reason to Believe. Christine now writes full-time.

Jo Piazza is an award-winning journalist and editor who has written for The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesGlamourMarie Claire and Elle. The bestselling author of The Knock OffHow to Be MarriedFitness Junkie, and Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, she currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two children.

We Are Not Like Them is their debut novel as a writing duo.

Link to buy

Don’t forget to check out all the other blogger’s thoughts on the tour. Happy reading!

Blog Tour – The Mother’s Fault by Nicole Trope

Thank you to Sarah @bookouture for my place on the tour and gifted ebook via NetGalley in exchange for review. All opinions are honest and my own.

Blurb

She’ll do anything to save her son. But what if telling the truth means losing him for ever?

On a crisp winter’s evening, Beverly is cooking for her son. Eight-year-old Riley is climbing a tree in the garden, and Beverly smiles as she watches him. Nothing makes her happier than her precious child having fun – she never thought they’d be happy again.

The water on the stove is boiling, and Beverly slides in a handful of spaghetti. When she glances out of the window again, Riley is not there.

She races outside, her heart thumping. Riley is nowhere to be found.

Instinctively, Beverly knows that her son has not just run away. She knows this because of her secret – the one she has kept for eight years. The one that means she has no choice but to keep neighbours at a distance, that stops her sleeping at night.

She thought she’d made the right decision, that she was protecting her son. But now he’s gone. Could this be all her fault?

She’ll do anything to save him. Yet if she tells the truth, she could lose him for ever…

A totally gripping psychological thriller that will get your pulse racing like crazy as it hits you with twist after twist after twist! If you loved The Wife Between Us or The Girl on the Train you’ll be utterly glued to this page-turner.

My Review

I always expect the unexpected with Nicole’s books. Here, it is not the things becoming apparent in the cold light of day but the cleverness of taking two stories and watching them converge with such a force that you can do nothing except sit there and gape like a fish.

Narrated by single mum Beverly, her son Riley and a third narrator we learn that Beverly is running from something and has a secret that involves her son. She is very young so is trying hard to maintain perfection in her parenting so as not to attract attention. Including dumping her boyfriend Ethan when he gets too close and starts asking questions about Riley’s dad and his family. Beverly is such an easy character to like, even when you are unsure if she is a reliable narrator. You just know her heart is in the right place.

Riley, Riley, Riley oh boy did I love him, he is such a cheeky little terror. After receiving gifts in the mailbox and after talking to his mate Benji he’s got it in his head his dad is alive and a spy. They are eight years old so it’s a perfectly reasonable explanation. They both have a new substitute teacher called Mr Benton who starts to single Riley out for favourable attention. My detective radar was certainly on high alert with him. Riley is narrated so perfectly I’m pretty sure the author has an inner eight year old terror who is probably right now up a tree somewhere.

Then we have the third narrator who is spying on the two of them from Sam’s house. Sam is an elderly gentleman with a little black Scottish terrier called Scotty. Sam is unaware there is even another person in his house and as if that isn’t creepy enough it soon becomes apparent that the narrator has a terrible past and an intent that will bring them all together soon enough.

This does feature child abuse but nothing sexual or too graphic and raises a lot of questions around nature vs nurture and the cycles of abuse. I thought I had worked out who the third narrator was and how the two stories would come together. But like I said at the start with Nicole’s books always expect the unexpected…..

About the author

Nicole Trope went to university to study Law but realised the error of her ways when she did very badly on her first law essay because, as her professor pointed out, ‘It’s not meant to be a story.’

She studied teaching instead and used her holidays to work on her writing career and complete a Masters’ degree. In between raising three children, working for her husband and renovating houses, she has published six novels. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

https://www.facebook.com/NicoleTrope/

https://www.instagram.com/nicoletropeauthor/

https://twitter.com/nicoletrope

Links to buy

Amazon: https://bit.ly/3afuwjXApple: https://apple.co/3yAmfSnKobo: https://bit.ly/2VGFGdPGoogle: https://bit.ly/3lH3cSJ

Don’t forget to check out all the other blogger’s thoughts on the tour. Happy reading!

Blog Tour – One more Christmas at the Castle by Trisha Ashley

Thank you to Anne @RandomTTours for my place on the tour and to the author and @TransworldBooks for my gifted ebook. All opinions are honest and my own.

Blurb

An uplifting new Christmas novel from the Sunday Times bestseller
Elderly widow Sabine knows this will be her last Christmas in her beloved home, Mitras Castle. Determined to make it just like the ones she remembers from her childhood, she employs Dido Jones of Heavenly Houseparties to help with the big day.
Dido is enchanted by the castle as soon as she steps through the imposing front door. And as Christmas day approaches, her feeling of connection to the old house runs deeper than she first thought. But when the snow begins to fall and Sabine’s family arrive at the house – including Dido’s teenage crush Xan – tensions rise around the castle’s future and long-buried mysteries begin to unravel…
As past secrets come to light, can this still be a magical Christmas to remember?

My Review

I will admit to being a little confused at the start with who was who (who knew you could have so many relatives) but luckily Sabine wittily penned a party guest list in the style of a cast of characters in a murder mystery.

Sabine was a wonderful character with just the right amount of flamboyance that can often tip into snootiness in the wrong hands. After being diagnosed with a progressive illness and knowing this could be her last Christmas she decides to host the party of all parties and cheekily buys off someone else’s event planners Heavenly Houseparties. She needs to make a will so invites all her relatives and a few select others to see who is worthy to inherit the castle and her fortune. As she says herself, her family is not so much dysfunctional as dislocated.

Heavenly houseparties is run by Dido and best friend Henry. As soon as they enter the castle they are swept up in its magnificence and even more surprising is the appearance of Xan, Dido’s teenage crush. Dido not only sees her past in the present but lots of other skeletons that were in the closet seem to be making an appearance at the party and was this Sabine’s plan all along?

Beautifully descriptive writing sets this apart from most lighter reads, however at times this did slow down the story progression. I cannot fault the characterisation or the wonderful festivities, they certainly made me feel most Christmassy.

This was my first book by this author and although it was a little too in depth at times it would be perfect for those that want a little more from a romance.

About the author

TRISHA ASHLEY’s Sunday Times bestselling novels have sold over one million copies in the UK and have twice been shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan award for Romantic Comedy. Every Woman for Herself was nominated by magazine readers as one of the top three romantic novels in the last fifty years. Trisha lives in North Wales.
For more information please visit http://www.Facebook.com/TrishaAshleyBooks or follow Trisha on Twitter @trishaashley

Don’t forget to check out all the other blogger’s thoughts on the tour. Happy reading!

Blog Tour – The Village Inn of Secret Dreams by Alison Sherlock

Thank you to Rachel @rararesources for my place on the tour and to the author and @BoldwoodBooks for my gifted ebook via NetGalley in exchange for review. All opinions are honest and my own.

Blurb

Brand NEW from the bestselling author of The Village Shop For Lonely Hearts.

After escaping her parents’ unhappy marriage to sleepy Cranbridge a long time ago, Belle Clarke dreams of staying at The Black Swan Inn forever.

But with the rundown Inn threatened with closure, Belle may be forced to leave, unless a buyer can be found … quickly.

So, when her oldest friend Pete Kennedy returns from working abroad with a plan to save the Inn, Belle should be overjoyed. The trouble is, Pete has some rather radical ideas for the renovation which Belle disagrees with.

But when a snow storm hits, Belle and Pete are forced to put aside their differences and work together to help the village.

Can Belle realise her dreams to stay in Cranbridge and can Pete ever stop running from his past?

As they try to save The Black Swan Inn, secrets are revealed and just maybe they’ll finally find out how they really feel about each other.

My Review

Not going to lie I was positively itching to get back to the village of Cranbridge and find out what the locals were getting up to. Book 1 and 2 focussed on the shop with Amber and Jake and then the newspaper office with Lucy and Tom. This time around it’s Belle and The Black Swan pub, affectionately known by the locals as The Mucky Duck.

With a poor reputation for an arguing landlord and lady, atrocious food and decor, the pub is failing badly and so Belle’s aunt and uncle put it up for sale and Belle is about to lose the only place that feels like home. On top of that romance seems to be in the air and after witnessing her parent’s and aunt and uncles tempestuous marriages she has sworn off marriage for life. Or has she? When old friend Pete returns to Cranbridge could he save the pub and mend Belle’s heart? Or will he flee like he did once before taking his secret with him?

I love these books and this was no exception, the characters all return and it feels like you are catching up with friends. I have a real kinship with Belle in that she is all bark and no bite, if only you take the time to see past the growl. Pete, at the start, I didn’t warm to and felt that he wasn’t good enough for our Belle. But as the pub is transformed so were my feelings towards him.

If you want a lovely cosy winter read with real community spirit and colourful characters then look no further.

About the author

Alison Sherlock is the author of the bestselling Willow Tree Hall books. Alison enjoyed reading and writing stories from an early age and gave up office life to follow her dream. Her new series for Boldwood is set in a fictional Cotswold village and the first title was published in July 2020.

Social Media Links –
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/alison.sherlock.73
Twitter https://twitter.com/AlisonSherlock
Newsletter Sign Up Link http://bit.ly/AlisonSherlockSignup
Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/alison-sherlock

Link to buy

https://amzn.to/2U73qa7

Don’t forget to check out all the other blogger’s thoughts on the tour. Happy reading!

Book club book review – Away with the penguins by Hazel Prior 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Blurb

Veronica McCreedy is about to have the journey of a lifetime . . .

Veronica McCreedy lives in a mansion by the sea. She loves a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst watching a good wildlife documentary. And she’s never seen without her ruby-red lipstick.

Although these days Veronica is rarely seen by anyone because, at 85, her days are spent mostly at home, alone.

She can be found either collecting litter from the beach (‘people who litter the countryside should be shot’), trying to locate her glasses (‘someone must have moved them’) or shouting
instructions to her assistant, Eileen (‘Eileen, door!’).

Veronica doesn’t have family or friends nearby. Not that she knows about, anyway . . . And she has no idea where she’s going to leave her considerable wealth when she dies.

But today . . . today Veronica is going to make a decision that will change all of this.

My Review

This was September’s choice at Novels&Natter bookclub on Facebook. I assumed it was going to be a nice easy read featuring cute penguins. What I didn’t expect was that it wouldn’t be the penguins that captured my heart but a grumpy, stubborn octogenarian with a love of a glamorous handbag and not much else.

Veronica is everything I never knew I needed in a protagonist, she has a fabulous inner dialogue which she tactfully changes when she opens her mouth. After watching a wildlife documentary she decides on a whim she will leave her millions to a research centre studying Adélie penguins on Locket Island in Antarctica. Only after she has visited to make sure they are worthy and ruled out having any living relatives though.

Enter grandson Patrick, dope smoking, work shy and recently dumped he is everything Veronica abhors. While Veronica is annoying everyone at the research centre Patrick is sent a box containing her personal journals and while Patrick may not like the present Veronica much he loves the teenage girl he reads about.

This is where the book took a real turn for me, it became historical fiction and explored prisoners of war and the freedoms they had, sent to work in the countryside. Veronica experiences some terrifying losses and you come to understand why she has built a hardness around her heart.

The author writes with beautiful clarity from both an elderly woman and young adult male perspective. The characters really make this book, from Eileen who regularly helps Veronica at home to the staff at the research centre. All are slightly eccentric and absolutely wonderful.

There is a clear message at the heart of this book about climate change and also a little romance, some funny moments and not forgetting some very cute penguins. It really is something quite special.

About the author

HAZEL PRIOR lives on Exmoor with her husband and a huge ginger cat. As well as writing, she works as a freelance harpist. Hazel is the author of Ellie and the Harp-Maker and Away with the Penguins, which was a #1 bestseller in ebook and audiobook. Call of the Penguins is her third novel.

Link to buy

Blog Tour – Mistletoe at Moonstone Lake by Holly Martin 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to Holly for my gifted ebook in exchange for review. All opinions are honest and my own.

Blurb

Escape to Jewel Island where the snow sparkles in the moonlight, the fairy lights twinkle from the trees and true love is in the air. This gorgeous new love story by million selling author Holly Martin is the perfect treat to warm your heart this Christmas.

Artist Zoey Flynn hadn’t planned to spend her favourite holiday on the shores of Jewel Island, but when her fiancé breaks off their engagement before their Christmas Eve wedding, this Cornish paradise is just the distraction she needs.

With a cosy cottage to call home for a month and a stall at the island’s famous Christmas market to sell her paintings, Zoey quickly puts her heartbreak behind her. Love is the last thing on her mind. That is until the handsome Kit Lewis crosses her path…

Their connection is instant, but Zoey has a secret. And the deeper she and Kit fall for one another, the harder it is to hide. Kit knows Zoey is holding something back and if she won’t tell him the truth she could lose him forever.

Is keeping a promise from the past worth sacrificing a future with the man she loves? Or might Kit be the one person she can trust?

Love, laughter and long-hidden secrets are waiting for you on sparkling Jewel Island. For fans of Jill Mansell, Sarah Morgan and Sue Moorcroft, this is the perfect tale to curl up with this Christmas.

My Review

It’s no secret how much I love Holly’s books and Spring at Blueberry Bay will always hold a special place in my heart as it was my first. Hold on to your horses though as there’s a new sheriff in town that quickly became my new favourite.

Mistletoe at Moonstone Lake has everything I want in a romance and it was a delight to read from the first page. So much so I really didn’t want it to end and to set it around my favourite holiday season was the dusting of snow on the perfect Christmas tree.

Zoey is an artist and is staying with her mum Beth on Jewel Island. After a dreadful break up she’s making the most of a break away and running a stand at the Christmas market. Another fabulously funny meet cute happens with Kit who is also on the market making churros. I didn’t think Holly could top the flashing escapade on a bicycle in her previous book but I’m always happy to admit when I’m wrong.

What then follows is Zoey trying to bring back a love of Christmas traditions for Kit. Some are delightfully sweet and sentimental some are rib tickling funny. I don’t think I will ever see a sweet little bunny or a churro in the same light. However, there is a secret holding Zoey back and it could be enough to stop any potential future for her and Kit. When he finds out the truth will he be able to see that her lie was for a very valid reason?

If like me you want a nice sweet romance with a little comedy, a man you wish existed in real life and a guaranteed happy ever after you can’t go wrong with any of Holly’s books but trust me this is her best yet!

About the author

Holly lives in a little white cottage by the sea. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves. Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance. She is the bestselling author of 26 books selling over a million books worldwide. Holly’s books have been translated into French, German, Italian, Dutch, Bulgarian, Estonian, Turkish and Russian. Follow her on Twitter @HollyMAuthor

Link to buy

Don’t forget to check out all the other blogger’s thoughts on the tour. Happy reading!

Buddy read – There’s someone inside your house by Stephanie Perkins

Blurb

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins will have you swooning with fear and romance. The perfect page-turner for fans of Scream QueensFear Street and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Soon to be a major Netflix Film for Halloween 2021, from the producers of Stranger Things.

After a mysterious move from Hawaii to a new school in small town Nebraska, Makani Young and the rest of her class are being targeted by a masked killer intent on exposing their darkest secrets. 

As one by one the students of her new high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, Makani doesn’t know who’s next on the list . . . and her own secrets from the past to keep. Between this and her scorching relationship with the school misfit, this school year may turn out to be one to die for . . . literally.

My Review

I did this as a buddy read with the lovely Gemma over at http://betweenthepagesbookclub.blog/ We both wanted to read it before it hit Netflix and although we finished the book in September I was holding off my review until I had watched the film too so I could compare.

Starting with the book, it’s a really good ya slasher thriller. The tension is built well and it has a sinister edge as the killer messes with his victims heads by moving stuff around and wearing a mask of their own face while he kills them. The killing is graphic and brutal and I loved every single death, morbid girl that I am, it actually was quite fun and the deaths very inventive.

Makani the protagonist was likeable and that is testament to the author as I normally can’t stand teenage girls in books. I also liked Ollie and her group of friends but I did find the stereotypes a bit lazy if I’m honest. Although saying that I’m pretty sure you will find them in all high schools, so maybe it is more realistic.

This was a fast paced gripping read right till the end, then we both felt it fell flat and were a little disappointed. It was so close to 5 stars but I ended up giving it four.

Then I watched the film……

Now I personally suggest you pick one, read the book or watch the movie but don’t do both. They changed everything, which I suppose is great as at least I was still surprised and didn’t know what was coming. But I just ended up messaging Gemma saying wt actual f as the kills were different, Zac looked more like Ollie and vice versa and even the murderer and the motive was changed. Makani’s secret was slightly changed and it felt a little like I had entered the Twilight Zone where up was down and down was up. If I hadn’t read the book the film would have been a 4 star but this was definitely a case of the book was better so it gets 3.

About the author

Stephanie Perkins is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author. She has always worked with books–first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. She and her husband live in the mountains of North Carolina. Every room of their house is painted a different color of the rainbow.

Link to buy

Buddy Read Book Review – Our Little Secret by Kiersten Modglin

Read via Kindle Unlimited

Blurb

Bad things don’t happen in Cason Glen. 
The locals make sure of it.

So, when the residents of the town’s most exclusive subdivision discover one of their own is missing, it sends a wave of panic and discord throughout the neighborhood.
They are supposed to be safe.
But they quickly realize not everything is as it once seemed in their idyllic world.
Slowly, the cracks have begun to show, revealing the dark and devious truth behind their home, their neighbors, and the lengths some people will go to protect their secrets. 

Someone’s missing.
Someone’s dead.
Everyone’s lying. 

In a town full of masterfully woven webs, these six friends are about to watch their world unravel. And, if they’re not careful, one of them might be the next to disappear…  

When everyone you know is a liar, how do you decide whom to trust?

My Review

Another brilliant book by Kiersten and another fun buddy read with Amanda. This time it’s all set around a lake with friends and neighbours that are all keeping secrets from each other. A missing teacher, a mayor, a sheriff, their respective wives and children and they all think they are doing the right thing by covering up what they think they know.

As with all of this author’s books though nothing is quite as it seems and it’s not just secrets that are buried in the lake. As the secrets start to surface along with a body or two you start to distrust everyone. Is a mother lying to protect her twin boys? What is the secret that the sheriff and his wife know and have kept for years? Is Stephanie making up seeing the car go in the lake and if she is then why? And why does she then retract her story?

And where is Cason Glen’s golden boy? A well liked teacher both by staff and pupils can’t just disappear without a trace.

“In a town this small, it was almost impossible not to know your neighbours exceptionally well” but how well do they really know each other?

Narrated from multiple points of view, we get to know the friends/neighbours and some are more likeable than others. But it’s true what they say it’s always the quiet ones you have to look out for!

About the author

Kiersten Modglin is an Amazon Top 30 bestselling author of psychological thrillers, a member of International Thriller Writers and the Alliance of Independent Authors, a KDP Select All-Star, and a ThrillerFix Best Psychological Thriller Award Recipient. Kiersten grew up in rural Western Kentucky with dreams of someday publishing a book or two. With more than twenty-five books published to date, Kiersten now lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and their two Boston Terriers: Cedric and Georgie. She is best known for her unpredictable psychological suspense. Kiersten’s work is currently being translated into multiple languages and readers across the world refer to her as ‘The Queen of Twists.’ A Netflix addict, Shonda Rhimes super-fan, psychology fanatic, and indoor enthusiast, Kiersten enjoys rainy days spent with her nose in a book.

Link to buy

Blog Tour – Always in December by Emily Stone

Thank you to Anne @RandomTTours for my place on the tour and to the author and Headline Books for my gifted paperback. All opinions are honest and my own.

Blurb

For fans of One Day in December and Me Before You, Always, in December is the timeless, stay-up-all-night love story you’ll take straight to your heart.
Josie Morgan never looks forward to December. It’s always a reminder of the life she lost, twenty years ago. Now, she always switches off the radio when Christmas music comes on. She always wants to tear down the tinsel her flatmate insists on pinning up. And she always posts a letter she knows will never be read.
Max Carter never expected to find himself stranded in London just days before Christmas. He never expected it would be so hard to say goodbye to a woman he hardly knows. Then again, he never expected to fall in love.
But, this December, when Josie’s letter leads her to Max, a chance encounter will change their lives in the most remarkable way. And their story is only just beginning . . .
From London to Manhattan, from Edinburgh to the English countryside, Always, in December is a romantic journey that’s impossible to forget.

My Review

I have written this review a thousand times in my head but when I have tried to get my thoughts down nothing seemed to work and give it the justice it deserves. This is not your typical, ordinary romance, in fact there is nothing ordinary about it at all.

Josie has just discovered her boyfriend cheated on her, with a mutual colleague, at a work function from which she left early. So it looks like she will be spending Christmas single and alone. Losing her parents at a young age she can’t face going back to her grandparents and feeling their loss as well as her own even more sharply, along with the guilt that also brings. (Not very romantic so far is it!)

But then, on her way to keep her yearly tradition of posting a Christmas letter she crashes into Max, literally and spectacularly. This is also where the book started to worm it’s way into my heart. Max is, not surprisingly, a bit of a grump after being knocked down by a raving lunatic of a girl on a bicycle and his flight to New York being postponed. Two strangers alone for Christmas (yay here comes the romance).

Don’t be fooled though, this author manages to get them together only to then repeatedly tear them apart. You will fall in love with them both for different reasons. You will invest in them and you won’t be quite the same after reading this.

This book will give you all the feels and I mean ALL! It will make you happy, sad, happy again and then furiously angry. Emily Stone is one hell of a writer and the fact that this is a debut is mind blowing.

About the author

Emily Stone lives and works in Chepstow and wrote Always, in December in an old Victorian manor house with an impressive literary heritage. Her debut novel was partly inspired by the death of her mother, when Emily was seven, and wanting to write something that reflected the fact that you carry this grief into adulthood, long after you supposedly move on from the event itself.

Link to buy

Don’t forget to check out all the other blogger’s thoughts on the tour. Happy reading!

Blog Tour – The Mistletoe Pact by Jo Lovett

Thank you to Sarah @bookouture for my place on the tour and ebook via NetGalley in exchange for review. All opinions are honest and my own.

Blurb

Two single thirty-year-olds. One marriage pact. And a night in Vegas that’s about to change everything…

On Christmas Eve eight years ago Evie and Dan made a pact: if they weren’t married by thirty, they were going to marry each other. Of course, neither of them took it seriously, even if Dan has always been mesmerised by Evie’s beautiful smile, and Evie has always fancied Dan, her best-friend’s brother.

But then “it” happens. They wake up on Christmas Eve, the night before Evie’s thirtieth birthday in Vegas… married. In a honeymoon suite filled with hundreds of heart-shaped pillows, they realise too late what they’ve done – just like Ross and Rachel.

Surely if they just get a quickie divorce, they can go back to the way things used to be, right? If it wasn’t for the alcohol and Susan-with-the-huge-beehive-hairdo who just wouldn’t take no for an answer, none of this would have happened. They can just go back to being friends.

Except moving on is easier said than done when you’ve secretly loved each other forever… but if one of them doesn’t admit that, what happens to their friendship? If they don’t get together this time, what happens to the pact? Are they really ready to let it go for good?

Fall in love this Christmas with this feel-good story about love and second chances. Fans of One Day in December, This Time Next Year and Beth O’Leary will adore The Mistletoe Pact.

My Review

Anyone that knows me well, knows of my love of cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies. Yes they are schmaltzy and predictable but they are also warm and comforting and you know the girl will get the boy or vice versa. This book played out like one of those movies, miscommunications, funny moments and yet the only thing really missing was the most wonderful time of the year. It just needed more Christmas to really be a Christmas book.

It starts with Evie waking up severely hung over in a room so pink I thought it belonged to a seven year old girl. But it turns out it’s a Las Vegas honeymoon suite and her long term friend Dan is asleep beside her in the bed. It then goes back in time to a Christmas party and Evie’s potential date ending up with her own mum. With her best friend’s brother Dan walking her home after the party they share a kiss and make a mistletoe pact that they will marry each other if they are not settled once they hit thirty.

I really liked the chemistry between Evie and Dan but boy did I want to bang their heads together. They can’t see the wood for the trees these two. They are so vividly written that I instantly pictured Eddie Redmayne and Alia Shawkat. They are an easy pair to root for and for me that’s the real crux of the book.

So if you want a sweet easy read with a little Christmas, a will they or won’t they and some lovely supportive characters. (Evie’s mum is fabulous, you go girl!). Then I recommend you give this a read.

About the author

Jo Lovett lives in London with her family.

She worked in Corporate Tax before taking a longer-than-expected career break to have more-than-expected children (five). She started writing romantic comedy when she realised that she was regularly begging her oldest son to let her do his English homework but she wasn’t actually that interested in haunted houses or Macbeth.

Jo was runner-up in the Good Housekeeping/ Orion First Novel Competition 2018 and shortlisted for the Comedy Women in Print Award 2019.

When she can escape from her laundry mountain and childcare, she enjoys reading, tennis and wine.

https://twitter.com/JoLovettWrites

Links to buy

Amazon: https://bit.ly/2XMJWd4
Apple: https://apple.co/3xYI90f
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3CXEjbA
Google: https://bit.ly/3mhvR18

Don’t forget to check out all the other blogger’s thoughts on the tour. Happy reading!