Cocktails and DreamsTitle: Cocktails and Dreams

Author: AL Michael

Pages: 210 Pages

Publisher: Canelo

The Blurb

A heart-warming novel with characters you’ll love, don’t miss this first in a new series for romance, laugh-out-loud comedy and a feel-good ending. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Lindsey Kelk. 

I was seven years old when I realized my mother was not a great person…

Since Savvy was abandoned by her rockstar mother, she has craved a normal life. But after years of financing her boyfriend’s lacklustre career, he leaves her when he hits the bigtime.

Savvy’s friends at the burlesque club where she serves elaborate cocktails encourage her to make bold changes in her life. She soon meets handsome bartender Milo, and she begins to plan a future she can be excited about.

But when Savvy’s estranged mother crashes back into her life, her newfound happiness is under threat… will Savvy have the courage to pursue her dreams?

See inside for a delicious cocktail recipe and book club questions! 

The Review

Whenever I read a book by AL Michael I get cross. No, not with AL Michael but with myself. You see, every book I have read by AL Michael I have enjoyed. I don’t know why I leave it so long in between reading them.

This was the exact thought I had after I finished Cocktails and Dreams.

The story focuses on Savvy. Now Savvy does anything for an easy existence. She stayed with her boyfriend because it was easy. She worked temp jobs because it was easier than figuring out what or who she wanted to be. Add into the mix a flaky musician mum and you can’t help but sympathise with Savvy and her want for a simple kind of life.

However, her world turns upside down when she is dumped by her boyfriend and everything that she thought she knew about herself starts to unravel. But is it for the best?

I genuinely loved Cocktails and Dreams. I couldn’t put it down and it is one of those books that feels like it is over too quickly because you haven’t been able to stop turning the pages. Savvy is a likable lead character and you really root for her throughout.

Another fine job, A.L. Michael. Well done!

Cocktails and Dreams by A.L. Michael is available now.

For more information regarding A.L. Michael (@ALMichael_) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Canelo (@canelo_co) please visit www.canelo.co.

4 Stars

The Blurb

Megan McAllister is home for Christmas…whether she likes it or not!

Christmas is about family…and for Megan, family means two people: herself, and her daughter Skye. It doesn’t mean her parents who, ten years ago, saw her pregnancy as anything but a miracle. And it definitely doesn’t include her irresistible ex-boyfriend Lucas Bright.

So ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ has never been top of Megan’s festive playlist. But for Skye, she knows she needs to spend the holiday season with the people she’s left behind. She can do this. Even if the thought of meeting Lucas under the mistletoe still has her feeling like she’s drunk one-too-many Snowballs!

But somewhere between the hanging of stockings and the crackle of wrapping paper, Christmas starts to sparkle. And Megan begins to wonder if family could be bigger than her and Skye after all…

Pop the buck’s fizz, stoke the fire and prepare to giggle the festive season away with AL Michael!

The Review

Oh poor Megan McAllister. Megan is the black sheep of her family. The golden child who blew it all away by becoming a gymslip mum; extradited by her family, she has spent the last 11 years living in exile with her aunt. Yet at the wishes of said aunt, she finally returns home to her family in the little village where everyone knows everyone’s business. Needless to say, this may not be the merriest Christmas for Megan and her daughter Skye.

My initial reason for reading Driving Home for Christmas was that I had one more pre-Christmas review slot for my book blog that needed filling. I will admit, I didn’t read the blurb and I didn’t think to myself ‘Ooh, this sounds good.’ Reading Driving Home for Christmas, I realised what a serendipitous thing it was that I chose this very book to read because, dear reader, it is bloody fantastic.

I loved it!

It was a classic story of a young girl with so much hope and promise that ended up barefoot and pregnant whilst still a child herself. Yet, it was so much more. It was about success and growing up and about lost love and about mending fences. The story was so multifaceted that you couldn’t help but feel engrossed by the story line.

Furthermore, AL Michael has created a rather wonderful romantic lead; one that has you questioning ‘why weren’t the boys like that when I was in high school?’

Driving Home for Christmas is the third book that I have read that was written by AL Michael and I have enjoyed them all immensely. I’m grateful that I have found another author that I can trust to release a damn good book. Driving Home for Christmas was a wonderful read and the perfect book to end my Christmas feature.

Driving Home for Christmas by AL Michael is available now.

Follow AL Michael (@ALMichael_) on Twitter.

The Blurb

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Imogen has come to London to make it as a writer. At least, that was the plan. Finding herself in a dead-end job serving coffee to hipsters was not on her to-do list. And even if gorgeous colleague Declan does give her more of a buzz than a triple-shot cappuccino, Imogen can feel her dreams evaporating faster than the steam from an extra-hot latte.

Until her anonymous tell-all blog about London’s rudest customers goes viral – and suddenly, Imogen realises that landing the worst job in the world might just be the best thing that’s ever happened to her! As long as she can keep her identity to herself…

The Review

Imogen is living the dream…sort of. Well she is living my dream. She has moved to London and is trying to make it as a writer. She is living in a crappy flat, with no money, no job and no writing prospects. Things are looking grim but when she finally gets employment (albeit in the service industry – not media) she actually embarks on a whirlwind adventure that gets her everything that she wants. Make me want to pack my bag and move to London right now.

Ok, so Imogen seems to have the fairytale experience of ‘all’s well that ends well’ but AL Michael has created a really realistic story and lifelike characters in If You Don’t Know Me By Now. Imogen has her trials and tribulations and she battles her way through them. You never feel like she is grumbling about her lot in life. She just gets on with things. I think that is what actually makes her very likeable. You watch her blossom from an insecure little girl into a fighter. She works hard for everything she gets and it is nice to see a protagonist who isn’t relying on everyone else to make her happy.

One thing is for sure and that is that AL Michael has a finger firmly on the pulse of contemporary romance.

If You Don’t Know Me By Now by AL Michael is available now.

Follow AL Michael (@ALMichael_) on Twitter.

If You Dont Know Me By Now

The Blurb

Meet Tigerlily James: romance cynic, North Londoner and die-hard margarita fan.

Tigerlily James has been a member of the Young and Bitter Club ever since she was dumped on Valentine’s day. By her fiancé.

Surviving on a diet of cynicism and margarita-fuelled ‘Misery Dinners’ with her best friends, she’s become a romance free zone…and that’s the way she likes it. Until an invitation for The Ex’s wedding arrives. Suddenly in need of a plus one, Tig has little choice but to bin the takeaways, ditch the greying underwear collection…and start pretending to view the opposite sex as something other than target practise.

Then, she meets Ollie – ie. the perfect solution. No sex. No strings. Fake boyfriend. The only catch is that she has to pretend to be his girlfriend for three whole months.

Dating without the heartbreak: the best idea Tig’s ever had, right? Wrong!

The Review

I went through a phase of refusing to read romantic comedy books. I admit, I was embittered by being cruelly dumped that my bitter and twisted response was to cut off reading about the girl who gets the guy when at that time of my life was the complete opposite to my situation. You may be wondering why I am sharing this part of my past but I swear to you that I have a point. Basically, I became Tig. I had gone through something similar (nowhere near as bad as what Tig went through but enough to leave me cold and angry and in need of the feel good factor) and this, dear reader, is what is great about this book. Any girl that has had their heart cruelly broken will find this a great read.

Besides a storyline that is easy to empathise with the characters are truly loveable. You want Tig to come back to life and you want her and Ollie to make it. Apart from that, you also want someone to come into your life and sweep you off your feet with a series of romantic dates.

In a storyline that could very easily become cheesy AL Michael has managed to avoid that plot pitfall and created lively three dimensional characters with real world lives and real world problems…you know in a fictional format. What I am trying to say is that this book will fill you with the warm and fuzzies and you should add it to your ‘to be read’ pile straight away.

My So-Called (Love) Life has surpassed all of my previous reads of 2015 and has quickly taken the top spot. It is going to be a hard book to beat for my personal favourite therefore I bid all future reads good luck.

My So-Called (Love) Life by AL Michael is available now.

You can follow AL Michael (@ALMichael_) on Twitter.My So Called Love Life