Synopsis

The end of the year is vastly approaching and Molly Mackenzie only has one more of her resolutions to complete; she wants one night of passion with Jake, the best friend of her older brother Tim.

Since their cheeky kiss at the previous year’s New Years Eve party Molly hasn’t been able to get Jake off her mind – moving two hundred miles away from her home in Liverpool to the nation’s capital did nothing to assuage her feelings. This year he is determined to finish what they both started.

Review

Of all the Christmas themed books that I have read as part of my “Festive Feature” The Kiss Before Midnight has to be my favourite. I absolutely bloody loved it….with Christmas balls on top.

I loved the set up for the whole story, to act upon a resolution, to fulfil a Christmas wish and to do it at one of the most romantic times of the year. What I really liked about it though was the fact that the story is age appropriate. The protagonist, Molly, is 23 and her life mission isn’t to find a husband, settle down, have babies, get a mortgage – her main goal is to have a night of sexy-time fun with a lad that he fancies. As someone who doesn’t have (nor do I necessarily want) the aforementioned list of responsibilities I appreciated this story all the more. It was fun, frisky and raised a frisson of excitement when I read it.

Furthermore, the fact that the story was set in my hometown of Liverpool made it all the more titillating.

In all seriousness though, The Kiss Before Midnight should be on your to be read pile. Besides being a good story it is well written, has loveable characters and Sophie Pembroke really makes you care for her characters. She is an author whose work I shall be seeking out in future.

The Kiss Before Midnight by Sophie Pembroke is available now.

You can follow Sophie Pembroke on Twitter @Sophie_Pembroke

The Kiss Before Midnight

Synopsis

Being part of the Winter clan is something incredibly special. Equally, being part of the Winter clan can be an albatross. The Winter’s, like most families, harbour many dark secrets; stories that they have failed to share. For although they are a close family there are some things that you just keep to yourself.

When Martha Winter, mother and matriarch of the family, calls all her children and grandchildren back to the family home Winterfold everyone is beyond curious. Hidden as an excuse to celebrate Martha’s 80th birthday, the family know that there is more than meets the eye to this party.

The house of Winter is about to be rocked to its very foundations.

Review

In the second instalment of A Place for Us Harriet Evans reunites the family and the secrets start to fall about like autumn leaves to the ground. Cat’s family find out about Luke, her secret love child; the scorned Florence returns from Italy plotting her revenge; David and Karen’s relationship hits the stumbling blocks when her illicit affair with local chef, Joe. Add to this the big reveal from Martha and you get one shocked family.

The secrets and lies are being peeled away slowly, each revelation providing shock and awe for the reader. Harriet Evans sure knows how to keep her readers wanting more especially as she leaves part two on an almighty cliff hanger.

A Place for Us Part Two by Harriet Evans is available now.

A place for us Part two

Synopsis

Christmas is all about families, as well it should be. However, the holidays bring with it tension, drama and good old fashioned family secrets.

When Thea’s parents, Anna and Mike, decide that they want one more big family Christmas before they permanently separate they guilt trip the whole family into joining them for a festive holiday in Cornwall. Along with the recently dumped Thea comes her sister Emily along with husband and two children and brother Jimi and his wife and teenage son. Everyone seems to have someone, reminding Thea once and for all that she is thoroughly alone.

Furthermore, the cottage becomes overrun with unexpected guests adding to the pressure and the tension to make this a good Christmas.

Will the family survive?

Review

It Must Have Been the Mistletoe is a heart-warming tale of a slightly broken family. Each character seems to have their own reasons for trying to hold things together. The overly emotional Emily just can’t seem to win, feels like she is failing as a mother and wife whilst constantly finding fault with her husband, his role as father and how her children behave. She snipes at every opportunity and can’t understand why people aren’t as worried about things as she is.

Anna just wants things to be peaceful and has a grace and elegance that tends to offer a happy balance. However, she is no Superwoman and even the most graceful of birds can be knocked off their perch by their soon to be ex-husband’s bit on the side. Then she cannot complain when her toy-boy has unexpectedly shown up for her family Christmas, can she?

Then there is Thea who is nursing something broken inside of her. Yet she seems to spend more time almost sabotaging her own happiness by not seeing the woods for the trees.

These three women make up the protagonist list in It Must Have Been the Mistletoe and each one has a strength that is enviable. They carry the story with their strong personalities and likeableness. Overall, It Must Have Been the Mistletoe is comedic, warm and entertaining. Who among us hasn’t felt the pressure to get Christmas right? What Judy Astley has done is make a Christmas to remember for this family but she has also made a Christmas story worth reading for us humble readers. This is definitely one you want wrapped up under your tree on Christmas day.

It Must Have Been the Mistletoe by Judy Astley is available now.

You can follow Judy Astley on Twitter @Judyastley

It Must Have Been te Mistletoe

Hello my lovely people,

I have had a boss week of reading but oh man it has felt like a long week. I was only in work for four days (and it was after a week off) but man it has been a difficult slog. I did, however, get plenty of books read. They are:

Moone Boy: The Blunder Years by Chris O’Dowd and Nick Vincent Murphy

It’s Not Me, It’s You by Mhairi McFarlane

A Place for Us Part One by Harriet Evans (Review posted but read last week)

A Beginner’s Guide to Christmas by Jennifer Joyce

The books that I have finished this week but are set for review this week are:

It Must Have Been the Mistletoe by Judy Astley

A Place for Us Part Two by Harriet Evans

Christmas with Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher

Actually, I’m rather pleased with that amount. I’ve not felt overwhelmed by them or like I needed to read more or stressed that I didn’t have enough time so yep, go me!

I’m currently reading

The Kiss Before Midnight by Sophie Pembroke (which I am loving)

Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham

The First Year: Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis by Jill Sklar

Now this week there are plenty of books due to be read but I am definitely going to read the following few:

From Notting Hill with Four Weddings…Actually by Ali McNamara (449)

Say it With Sequins by Georgia Hill (256)

A Place for Us Part Three by Harriet Evans (107)

Cold Feet at Christmas by Debbie Johnson (222)

I am rather excited about this week’s books. I do love a good read-a-thon.

In other book news I have managed to get my NetGalley review percentage up to 27.4% – with this week’s four books and The Kiss Before Midnight let us see if we can get that number up to 30%…it could happen if NetGalley don’t put up any irresistible books for me to request. I am not holding my breath on that one.

Hope you all have an excellent week of reading my bookish buddies J

L x

A Beginners Guide to ChristmasTitle: A Beginner’s Guide to Christmas

Author: Jennifer Joyce

Pages: 61 pages

Publisher: Amazon Media

The Blurb

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Ruth has been roped in to a more active role in her family’s Christmas celebrations. Her mother – incapacitated after falling over a rogue toolbox – has been forced to buy presents, entertain guests, cook Christmas dinner and create the perfect festive event. But is the pressure just too much?

(Amazon Blurb)

The Review

This book, whilst being short – a half an hour read – is the perfect tonic for those dreading the festive season. There is something about Christmas that fills people with dread. They love the whole holiday spirit and the whole gift giving and receiving and the eating until you get the met sweats but the lead up to Christmas can be fraught with all kinds of unnecessary drama and expense.

What Jennifer Joyce does in her story A Beginner’s Guide to Christmas is remind us of all the fun times ahead whilst also offering rather precise interludes of advice.

This short story will get you in the mood for Christmas but will also remind you that preparation is the key!

A Beginner’s Guide to Christmas by Jennifer Joyce is available now.

For more information regarding Jennifer Joyce (@Writer_Jenn) please visit www.jenniferjoycewrites.co.uk.

4 Stars