Title: One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories

Author: Paige Toon

Pages: 390 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

One year after movie star Joseph Strike swept schoolteacher Alice off her feet, they are spending Christmas together in snowy Cambridge. But despite the romantic setting Alice can’t help but question whether life in the spotlight is really what she wants. Will a Christmas provide some perspective? Or will the life she’d be leaving behind be too much to lose?

In this irresistible collection, bestselling author Paige Toon reunites a much-loved cast from across her fifteen novels, including Johnny Be GoodThe One We Fell In Love With and Thirteen Weddings. Fall in love with nine witty and heartfelt romantic stories, published in print for the very first time.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

The first time I came across Paige Toon’s work was in Dublin Airport. Some friends and I had been to the OXEGEN Festival at Punchtown Racecourse and we were all shattered waiting for our flight back home to Liverpool. One of my friends tootled off to WHSmith to pass the time and came back with Johnny Be Good – a perfect title of book for three book loving girls (and Back to the Future was said friends favourite movie – see, the stars were aligned on this one). We all took turns reading the book and we all loved it. This was the start of my book love towards Paige Toon.

In her latest collection – One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories – we get to go back and visit much loved characters. We get to either see scenes from different perspectives or extension stories which let us know how they are getting on now. Some people don’t like this style of book but I personally love getting back in touch with old characters.

If you are a Paige Toon fan you will appreciate this book. If you have not read anything by Paige Toon before and you want a taste of her writing style this could be the book for you too. I loved it and I have to thank Sara-Jane from Books and the City for sending me a copy.

One Perfect Christmas and Other Stories by Paige Toon is available now.

For more information regarding Paige Toon (@PaigeToonAuthor) please visit www.paigetoon.com.

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

Title: A Gift from the Comfort Food Café

Author: Debbie Johnson

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Harper Impulse

The Blurb

Christmas has never been Katie Seddon’s favourite time of year. Whilst everyone else shares memories of families coming together and festive number ones, the soundtrack to Katie’s childhood wasn’t quite so merry.

But since she moved to the village of Budbury on the gorgeous Dorset coast, Katie and her baby son have found a new family. A family who have been brought together by life’s unexpected roads and the healing magic of a slice of cake and a cupful of kindess at the Comfort Food Café.

This year, Katie’s new friends are determined to give her a Christmas to remember, and with a gorgeous newcomer in town, Katie’s Christmas wish for a happy home for her son might just come true.

The Review

I love the frequent visits to Budbury. This time it is through the eyes of Katie. Katie has been somewhat of a mystery in the Comfort Food Café series. A bit reclusive, keeping herself and her young son out of arms length but now we get to see why.

As we watch Katie unfold and start to appreciate the closeness of the regulars of the café we get to understand exactly what made her this way to begin with. You constantly shout at her to keep those arms open and accept everyone’s metaphorical hugs because you get the sense that one bad move and Katie will be out of Budbury asap.

I genuinely love the Comfort Food Café series. I eagerly anticipate each new release and I am not ashamed to admit that I pre-order them and count down the days until each new story will be with me. If that is not a big enough reason to buy and read and love each of these books then I really don’t know what is.

A Gift from the Comfort Food Café by Debbie Johnson is available now.

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

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

Title: A Pretty Mess (An Astonvale Novel)

Author: Carla Caruso

Pages: 260 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

Sometimes, to come clean, you’ve got to get your hands dirty … The first in the Astonvale series.

Celeste Pretty, a self-confessed neat freak, has found the job she was born to do: a professional organiser, de-cluttering people’s homes and workplaces. Her new business gets off to a cracking start when she lands her first client, health and fitness guru Natalia Samphire, in the well-heeled suburb of Astonvale. But things get messy at Natalia’s mansion when Celeste finds a blackmail note and other mysterious items.

And then there’s Lenny Muscat, the sexy builder renovating the place, whose constant presence is muddling Celeste’s usually organised brain. When things get decidedly suspicious at the mansion, she and Lenny have to team up to investigate. But will Celeste emerge with her heart and professional reputation unscathed?

The Review

After reading a few heavy books recently it was really nice to pick up Carla Caruso’s A Pretty Mess. It is a fun story probably best described as romantic comedy mystery that revolves around the life of Celeste Pretty.

Celeste has recently set up her own organisation business and has landed a massive celebrity client but as she organises her new clients life she discovers that not everything is as it seems. With the help of hunky builder, Lenny, Celeste tries to solve the mystery surrounding celebrity fitness coach Natalie Samphire.

There were times when A Pretty Mess bordered on silly, with coincidental meet cutes and a clumsy Bridget Jones-esque protagonist but it cannot be accused of having no heart. This story is chock full of sentiment and whilst it probably won’t change your life it might just put a smile on your face.

A Pretty Mess (An Astonvale Novel) by Carla Caruso is available now.

For more information regarding Carla Caruso please visit www.carlacaruso.com.au.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollins) please visit www.harpercollins.com.

Title: Love Literary Style

Author: Karen Gillespie

Pages: 280 Pages

Publisher: Henery Press

The Blurb

They say opposites attract, and what could be more opposite than a stuffy literary writer falling for a self-published romance writer?

Novelist Aaron Mite meets Laurie Lee at a writers’ colony and mistakenly believes her to be a renowned writer of important fiction. When he discovers she’s a self-published romance author, he’s already fallen in love with her.

Aaron thinks genre fiction is an affront to the fiction-writing craft. He often quotes the essayist, Arthur Krystal who says literary fiction “melts the frozen sea inside of us.” Ironically Aaron doesn’t seem to realize that he’s emotionally frozen. The vivacious Laurie, lover of flamingo-patterned attire and all things hot pink, is the one person who might be capable of melting him.

In the tradition of The Rosie ProjectLove Literary Style is a sparkling romantic comedy which pokes fun at the divide between low and high brow fiction.

The Review

Sometimes you just need a good light-hearted love story. I know I do. Recently, having read a few heavier tomes I needed a bit of escapism and I got that in the romantic comedy Love Literary Style by Karen Gillespie.

The story focuses on the chance encounter between Aaron and Laurie – in a classic case of mistaken identity both of our protagonists have started to fall in love. They say opposites attract but where do people draw the line? And how long can the other person’s flaws keep being adorable before the rose tinted spectacles are removed to reveal the truth.

I really enjoyed Love Literary Style. Not just for its cute story but also because Gillespie made a conscious effort to poke fun at the publishing industry and how there is a culture of snobbery in the publishing world over what makes a text worthwhile – the whole argument of literary fiction versus romantic fiction.

Told with a dual narrative we get to hear both sides of the argument but I must say that I sided with Laurie and believed she was far too good for the rigidity of Aaron who was in fact a jolly big snob.

If you want escapism then look no further.

Love Literary Style by Karen Gillespie is available now.

For more information regarding Henery Press (@HeneryPress) please visit www.henerypress.com.

Title: What if He’s the One?

Author: Kathy Jay

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: Harper Impulse

The Blurb

The one that got away – is now LA’s hottest property!

The last time fashion student Magenta Plumtree saw aspiring actor Alex Wells, she was wearing a sexy Santa outfit and killer heels, and he was kissing her senseless! But before she got to enjoy the full benefits of her very fit friend, he left the next morning for LA and stardom…

Now ten years later Maggie’s an in-demand fashionista and her latest job? To style the stars of hit TV show Mercy of the Vampires – none other than twin hotties Alex and Nick Wells! Though if Fate has given her one more chance with the gorgeous Alex, it’s got a sick sense of humour, as Maggie has refused to wait for Mr Right and plans to embark on single motherhood! But the inconveniently electric attraction is definitely still there, and with Alex by her side through the whirl of pregnancy tests and glittering premieres, has Maggie found the one man worth waiting for?

The Review

What if He’s the One? by Kathy Jay is a love story that transcends time and distance. Sometimes you are just destined to be with someone and no amount of time will change that. This is where we meet Maggie. She has been in love with her friend Alex for years. There was once a chance that they would get together but when an opportunity for him to star in the next big fantasy programme occurs he has to take it. The only problem being that it will leave Maggie in London while he is in America.

Fast-forward ten years later and the pair meet again. The sparks are still there but has life moved on too much for them to make it work?

Kathy Jay explores so much in What if He’s the One? Unrequited love, independence, and heartbreak to name but a few; she ultimately she makes you fall in love with her two main characters. Due to the dual narrative you spend half your time in complete anguish because you know that they both still love each other and the sexual tension bounces off the page. It is almost agony to read.

If you are a fan of love stories then Kathy Jay doesn’t disappoint with What if He’s the One?

What if He’s the One? by Kathy Jay is available now.

For more information regarding Kathy Jay (@akathyjay) please visit www.kathyjay.com.

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