Love's a Piece of CakeTitle: Love’s a Piece of Cake

Author: Eva Jordan

Pages: 82 Pages

Publisher: Endeavour Press

The Blurb

Kate Mulligan has been working at Heavenly Cakes for five months and she already feels like part of the family.

A small café on the outskirts of the local market, Heavenly Cakes brings local people together with fantastic recipes and a great atmosphere.

Getting her dream job, Kate’s life is finally on track: she’s found a studio flat that she could actually afford, and she is in love.

Before Harry Jones, Kate had been single for 5 years, and after having had her heart broken one too many times, she was certain she was doomed to be single forever.

But then Harry walked into her life and everything changed. Smart, funny, sexy, Harry is perfect, and Kate can’t believe her luck.

The only thing that bothers her is that he mocks her passion for her cake business. Kate prides herself on making people feel better by choosing the perfect cake and cup of tea for them. But all Harry seems to be concerned with is making money.

Pushing her doubts aside Kate throws herself into the relationship, believing Harry could be ‘the one’.

But then everything changes.

With her job suddenly in jeopardy and a shock revelation about her relationship Kate is forced to re-evaluate everything she thought she knew about her life…

Love’s a Piece of Cake is a moving romantic novella about learning to find your own happiness. It is written by debut author Eva Jordan.

(Amazon Blurb)

The Review

Oh dear.

Yes it is another one of those reviews in which I didn’t particularly like a book. I hate writing those.

Love’s a Piece of Cake by Eva Jordan is a story about Kate, a girl who is unlucky in love. She chooses the wrong guy and her life turns to poop. On top of that her professional life seems to be hitting the rocks as well. However, like most romantic fiction there is a happy ending because let’s face it, it would be pretty crappy if there wasn’t.

My problem with Love’s a Piece of Cake wasn’t the premise of the story. I like cake, I like love stories and I like fiction so you are pretty much on to a winner there. I think my issue had to do with the protagonist. She was portrayed as being in love with love and not with the actual characters. I don’t remember any description of the good things about the love interest that would make me root for him. Kate seemed far too fickle and that she wanted to be in a relationship so much that she didn’t really care with whom.

I saw so much potential in this story but it just wasn’t developed enough and it was far too quick a story. It was like someone had taken pictures of the important pieces and flipped through them really quickly and expected an emotional pull. For me it just didn’t work.

Love’s a Piece of Cake by Eva Jordan is available now.

For more information regarding Eva Jordan (@EvaJordanWriter) please visit www.evajordanwriter.com.

For more information regarding Endeavour Press (@EndeavourPress) please visit www.endeavourpress.com.

2 Stars

Title: Mistletoe and Wine

Author: Faith Bleasdale

Pages: 74 pages

The Blurb

One office party, three couples, lots of secrets. What could possibly go wrong?

Harry Augustus, the third generation boss of Augustus Estate Agents, is hosting the biggest and best Christmas party yet.

He is pulling out all the stops and has a big announcement to make.

Gabby, the glamorous office manager, is in charge of the festive bash.

But she’s also sleeping with the boss.

Their office romance has been anything but subtle and is made more scandalous by the fact that Harry is married with two kids.

But theirs is not the only secret relationship in the office…

Caroline, Harry’s dutiful PA, is dating her irresistible colleague, Rob Sharp, who wants to keep their relationship private so it won’t affect his chances of an upcoming promotion.

But Caroline is at her wits end; she’d rather face the inevitable gossip than the icy from Rob puts on in the office.

Why does she feel like she’s the one having the affair?

Gabby takes Caroline for a drink at the ‘Olive’ to plan the party and tells her she thinks Harry is going to leave his wife for her.

That’s what the announcement is going to be about.

While leaving the bar, Gabby sees Evie and Joseph, two juniors at the company, sharing a tender moment.

She thinks they’d make a cute couple but Evie has set her sights on Rob…

As Gabby, Caroline and Evie grow closer, their secret relationships threaten to catch up with them.

Trouble is brewing…

What is Harry’s speech going to be about? How will the couple cope when the truth is revealed during a not so secret ‘Secret Santa’ present swap?

Can mistletoe and wine save the day?

The Review

Fair play to Faith Bleasdale. Initially, I was unsure about whether Mistletoe and Wine would work. You see, the story has three main narrative threads and only 74 pages in which to tell the story of three women. Now those of you who have read my short story reviews before will know that I am not a huge fan of the format but Faith Bleasdale manages to get all three stories out there. Expositon to Ending. Kudos.

Mistletoe and Wine centres on three women – Gabby, Caroline and Evie – who all work together in an estate agent office; their lives are not only linked by their jobs but also by their willingness to fall at the feet of their male colleagues. The only problem is that one of the men is married and the other man is using two of the girls.

Yes, the girls are initially fooled and if I am completely honest come across as doormats. They fawn over men that are using them and rather than stand up for themselves they just remain the playthings for their lovers. It is a pitiful state of affairs but fortunately the fickle finger of festive fate is lingering over their Christmas office party to help the girls find their way.

Bleasdale manages to jam pack her short story, closing all threads and creating three main female characters who are, admittedly, somewhat misguided in their romantic pursuits but also likeable enough to come through the darkness of seedy affairs and office fumbles.

This is a quick, no-nonsense, Christmas romp that will, if anything, encourage you to be on your best behaviour at your office Christmas party.

Mistletoe and Wine by Faith Bleasdale is available now.

Follow Faith Bleasdale (@FaithBleasdale) via Twitter.

Title: School Ties

Author: Emma Lee-Potter

Pages: 67 Pages

The Blurb

Downthorpe Hall. A posh boarding school in the Home Counties. Will Hughes has been installed as the new headmaster – fresh from working in an inner-city Comprehensive.

Will knows there will be challenges ahead. Difficult parents, rebellious teenagers, and jealous teachers who will fight his attempts to reform the school.

What he didn’t expect was a battle for his heart.

But when he meets the fiercely ambitious deputy head Grace Foley, and the brilliantly smart science teacher Henry Mead, Will realises that the ties at Downthorpe are not just the kind you wear around your neck.

What follows is a tangle of competing ambitions and desires that will leave Will bemused – and may force him to choose between the job he has always wanted and the woman of his dreams.

School Ties is a sparkling romantic comedy that takes the reader inside the cloistered, elite world of a top public school. It introduces a brilliant cast of characters that will entrance and entertain the reader.

The Review

School Ties is a lovely short set in a boarding school. It centres on Will, a new head teacher and his relationships with his colleagues and the students.

I’m not really going to go into the plot that much because it will reveal far too much. However, I will say that this book was the tonic that I needed. I had just finished reading two really heavy books and I needed something light and uncomplicated and I received that from School Ties.

That is not to say that it is devoid of drama because it really isn’t. It is actually a very accurate representation of the dynamics of a school (believe me, I work in one) and is really engaging. Emma Lee-Potter has packed a really great story into just 67 pages.

If you a looking for a little comic relief from a really dark read then School Ties is the perfect pick me up.

School Ties by Emma Lee-Potter is available now.

School Ties

Title: Darkwood

Author: Rosemary Smith

Pages: 99 Pages

The Blurb

In the Spring of 1865, Silvia Harvey travels to Dartmoor.
She is to meet her fiancée, her cousin Gareth.
It is a match enthusiastically arranged by her family, as were the marriages of her mother and grandmother.
But Silvia’s hopes of a whirlwind romance are quickly quashed.
Gareth, though handsome, is cold and aloof. He has pale blue eyes that his smile has never reached.
Arriving at the historical house of Darkwood, Silvia finds herself increasingly isolated by her fiancée’s distance from her.
Matters are made worse by the presence of the lovely Estelle Benedict, who is as cruel as she is beautiful.
Left to her own devices, Sylvia explores the many rooms of the grand building, and finds a painting of her beloved grandmother Lizzie.
The face has been cruelly slashed, and she worries of the real story behind her grandmother’s fate…
Can Lizzie uncover the true history of the old house which seems to haunt its corridors?
Can she warm the heart of Gareth, and free him from the grasp of the vicious Estelle?
It will take a strong spirit to lay bare the secrets of Darkwood…

The Review

Darkwood is a historical romance which is set within the confines of a familial estate. Two cousins, Sylvia and Gareth, are set to have an arranged marriage due to a clause in their spiteful grandfather’s will.

Before the wedding, Sylvia sets out to find out the secrets of Darkwood and the details of her beloved grandmother’s passing. She is also determined to ensure that she is marrying for love and not just for money.

On the surface the plot of Darkwood seems like an excellent read. It has passion, drama, family feuds and romance; unfortunately, the promise of a great story is let down by a few things. Firstly, the story is very rushed. For example the character of Gareth – who to begin with is frosty and arrogant – suddenly changes with no real explanation or character development. Secondly, the writing reads like an instruction manual – then I went outside, then I pulled my coat closer, then I got in the carriage etc. It was clunky and uncomfortable.

I do believe that Darkwood, in the right writer’s hand, could have been excellent. Unfortunately, it fell a little flat.

Darkwood by Rosemary Smith is available now.

Darkwood