One Christmas Kiss in Notting HillTitle: One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill

Author: Mandy Baggot

Pages: 448 Pages

Publisher: Penguin/Ebury Publishing/Ebury Press

The Blurb

Curl up by the fire with the ultimate seasonal romance, from the bestselling author Mandy Baggot!

‘I absolutely love Mandy’s books’ Milly Johnson

Imagine the perfect Christmas Kiss…

His strong arms around her waist, her hands on his face, the snow slowly starts to fall…

It’s enough to make Isla Winters cringe! While her sister can’t get enough of this – increasingly common – sight on the streets of London, Isla’s too busy trying to stop Hannah’s wheelchair from slipping on the ice, and making sure she’s not too late to her dream job at Breekers International.

But everything changes with the arrival of Chase Bryan, fresh from the New York office. He’s eager to learn everything about Isla’s beloved Notting Hill, but as the nights get colder, will cosying up to him come at a price?

The Review

There is nothing better than a honest to goodness Christmas romance story and dammit that is what Mandy Baggot has delivered with her brilliant new novel One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill.

Isla works for a company that helps get buildings built. She does this with a good conscience as she tries to get hospitals built and whilst doing that trying to keep the unique fingerprint of London alive but when she gets the chance to work on a new project it seems that a conflict of interest is going to hinder her – and the projects –progress.

Throw into this a 20 year old sister who happens to be in a wheelchair and who desperately wants independence and a hot new boss who Isla is having inappropriate feelings for, she feels like her world is moving too fast and she cannot keep up.

Will this year be Isla’s worst Christmas ever?

I really enjoyed this story and what was brilliant about it is that the character arc came from the secondary protagonist. Isla stayed determinedly herself throughout. She is the heart of the novel and everyone is infected by her Britishness and her sense of history.

One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill was a joy to read and was as much as a lovely romance novel as it was a love letter to a specific area of London.

One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill by Mandy Baggot is available now.

For more information regarding Mandy Baggot (@mandybaggot) please visit www.mandybaggot.com.

For more information regarding Penguin Books UK (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

For more information regarding Ebury Publishing (@EburyPublishing) please visit www.penguinrandomhouse.co.uk/publishers/ebury/.

4 Stars

 

Coming Home to the Comfort Food CafeTitle: Coming Home to the Comfort Farm Café

Author: Debbie Johnson

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins UK/Harper Impulse

The Blurb

Welcome to the cosy Comfort Food Café, where there’s kindness in every cup of hot chocolate and the menu is sprinkled with love and happiness…

Moving to the little village of Budbury, Zoe hopes the crisp Dorset sea breeze and gentle pace of life will be a fresh start for her and her goddaughter, Martha.

Luckily for them both, the friendly community at the café provide listening ears, sage advice, shoulders to cry on, and some truly excellent carrot cake. And when Martha’s enigmatic, absent father suddenly turns up, confusing not only Martha but Zoe too, the love and support of their new-found friends is the best present they could ask for.

Have Zoe and Martha truly found their home at the Comfort Food Café?

The Review

In my four and a half year of doing book reviews I have had the pleasure and the privilege of getting to read the work of some really great authors. The greatest aspect of reviewing though is meeting an author through their writing and then having them become one of your favourite and trusted authors. For me that writer is Debbie Johnson. For me, she can do no wrong and once again she has proven me right with Coming Home to the Comfort Farm Café.

I truly believe that Budbury, the Comfort Farm Café and the characters that live there have magical healing powers. I want to live there. I want to be in the novel, in every book in this series.

In this third instalment we meet Zoe and Martha; both broken by the loss of Kate (Zoe’s best friend and Martha’s Mother) and are looking to be healed. Martha has become self destructive since her mother’s death so Zoe makes the decision to relocate to Budbury.

Like the previous novels in the Comfort Food Café series, more than just comfort food will help with the healing process.

Ok, as cheesy as this may sound these books are aptly named. Whenever I read them I do feel comforted. It may be that I feel like I am meeting old friends in the staple characters or the fact that they have managed to remain happy and now are helping others. I just love these books. Long may the series continue.

Coming Home to the Comfort Farm Café by Debbie Johnson is available now.

For more information regarding Debbie Johnson (@debbiemjohnson) please visit www.debbiemjohnsonauthor.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit www.harpercollins.co.uk.

For more information regarding Harper Impulse (@HarperImpulse) please visit www.harperimpulse.com.

5 Stars

The NoteTitle: The Note

Author: Zoe Folbigg

Pages: 293 Pages

Publisher: Aria Fiction

The Blurb

The note changed everything…

One very ordinary day, Maya Flowers sees a new commuter board her train to London, and suddenly the day isn’t ordinary at all. Maya knows immediately and irrevocably, that he is The One.

But the beautiful man on the train always has his head in a book and never seems to notice Maya sitting just down the carriage from him every day. Eventually, though, inspired by a very wise friend, Maya plucks up the courage to give the stranger a note asking him out for a drink. Afterall, what’s the worst that can happen?

And so begins a story of sliding doors, missed opportunities and finding happiness where you least expect it.

Based on the author’s true story, The Note is an uplifting, life-affirming reminder that taking a chance can change everything…

The Review

Oh I needed to read a sweet romance and boy did I get one with Zoe Folbigg’s semi-autobiographical debut, The Note.

Maya is in love with Train Man. She sees him every morning. She knew from the first time she saw him that he was the one. But of course the love – much like the London tube system during peak hour – never runs smoothly.

With twists and turns a plenty, The Note really is a heart-warming love story. There were at times that I felt that Folbigg over told the description of thing but I think coming from her background as freelancer in fashion that is something to be expected. Overall though, I was enchanted by this story of will they won’t they.

Even if you just pick it up to read on your commute then you won’t be disappointed. I cannot guarantee that you won’t miss your stop.

The Note by Zoe Folbigg is available now.

For more information regarding Zoe Folbigg (@zolington) please visit www.zoefolbigg.com.

For more information regarding Aria Fiction (@Aria_Fiction) please visit www.ariafiction.com.

35 Stars

 

High School ReunionTitle: High School Reunion

Author: Kimberly Dean

Pages: 251 Pages

Publisher: Tiger Eye Productions

The Blurb

Tara’s ten-year high school reunion is approaching fast, and she’s not ready. She knows it’s shallow, but she wants to set her old classmates on their ears — especially the toxic Ellie, who bullied her in the old days. She has a good job but she needs the whole package if she’s going to make that killer entrance, including having a toned body, a great outfit, and, most importantly, a mouthwatering guy on her arm.

An eventful visit to the gym shows her that she may be able to kill two birds with one stone, as personal trainer Jake Logan turns out to be the perfect eye candy she needs. A course of hard training begins, with Tara eager to impress Jake—but what are his plans? She can’t help noticing that he flirts with all his female clients. There’s one particular client who could ruin all of Tara’s plans—and she’s getting far too close to Tara’s quarry.

The Review

When I was a teenager I watched Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion and wondered how my class mates and I would have changed when it came to our reunion. Well, ten years came and went and I didn’t go. Personally, I didn’t want to spend time with people who I didn’t particularly like or who gave me a hard time and equally I wasn’t (by my own standards) impressive enough. So, 17 years on from high school and I am still wondering what it would be like.

Kimberly Dean’s novel High School Reunion seems to me so true to how people think of reunions. They have to be skinny and successful with a great job and a man (or woman) by their side. There was a verisimilitude to her story which I thought was brilliant.

Her main character Tara was very relatable: she is clumsy but desperate to impress. Her name could have been Lisa.

What I didn’t expect when I started reading it was the saucy stuff. Wow. Kimberly Dean writes with unabashed glory and well done to her because I blushed all the way through reading it.

For a light, fun read on a topic that the majority all of us can relate to then pick up High School Reunion.

High School Reunion by Kimberly Dean is available now.

For more information regarding Kimberly Dean (@KDean_writer) please visit www.kimberlydean.com.

3 Stars

A song for tomorrowTitle: A Song for Tomorrow

Author: Alice Peterson

Pages: 448 Pages

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

The Blurb

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.

Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.

Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

The Review

Sometimes books are unfair. They make you fall in love with characters, with their fictional family and with their made up story before breaking your heart in the cruellest way possible. Sometimes books are even more unfair by having the story based on real life situations and they are even more impossibly cruel.

A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson is one such book. It is a story of a young girl called Alice who has always had to watch what she is doing, making sure she isn’t putting herself in harms way, making sure she isn’t taking risks with her health. But Alice realises that this is no way to live life. She may have a chronic life shortening illness but she wants to live it not just go through the motions.

Alice decides to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. She falls in love. She allows herself to be painted. She lives. She experiences life. It is heartwarming. However, with happiness comes great sadness and that is part and parcel of Alice’s journey. You need to read A Song for Tomorrow to find out more.

I loved A Song for Tomorrow. I laughed and I cried and after I read it I bought 6 more copies and gifted them to friends so that they could feel how I was feeling – #greatfriend. With this book Peterson has the innate ability to hold your attention and forget to breath; there were times when I literally felt like I was drowning because I couldn’t breathe. It is a truly wonderful story that is tinged with unbearable sadness.

A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson is available now.

For more information regarding Alice Peterson (@AlicePeterson1) please visit www.alicepeterson.co.uk.

For more information regarding Simon and Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonschuster.co.uk.

5 Stars