Clemency feels like all her Christmases have come at once when she meets Sam on a flight back toThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
Clemency feels like all her Christmases have come at once when she meets Sam on a flight back to the UK. That is until she finds out he is married. When three years later he walks in the room as her Sister’s boyfriend it starts to feel like a case of star-crossed lovers and Clem knows there is no hope for any future for them despite the definite pull of attraction.
The setting of St Carys reminded me of all the time I’ve spent in Cornwall, the descriptions of the seaside town pulled memories from me and I was able to picture what the town looked like and what the town was like to get around. All the different characters had their own story arc’s and weren’t completely absorbed with the main arc which made it a full and absorbing book.
Ronan, Clem’s best friend had a couple of lovely story arc’s which were well crafted and raised lots of questions throughout the novel. My favourite character was easily Clem’s sister Belle who was beautiful, and snarky but had her own underlying issues which gradually become more apparent through the course of the book, and I found myself totally rooting for her.
This was a wonderful novel, with a real fell-good factor, some giggles, and lots of smiles.
A huge thanks to Jill Mansell and Headline for the ARC of this book in return for my honest review....more
I’ll be honest this is the first eBook I’ve received through the post! And the packaging with theThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
I’ll be honest this is the first eBook I’ve received through the post! And the packaging with the hashtag #yessquad peaked my interest straight away. So much so that I, quite unusually for me, picked this up straight away and read it in one sitting.
OK, so it’s a novella so reading it in one sitting isn’t a huge task but even novella’s need to be engaging to be read in one sitting as they require a few hours of dedicated reading time. The Year of Saying Yes will consist of four novellas, all featuring Izzy, a young journalist who has become despondent with making the same failed new years resolutions each year.
We meet her at her family’s new years eve party where she fawns over her brother-in-law (an annual tradition) who she fancies far more than she should, gets far too drunk, and then regrets it all the next day. During a new years editorial meeting she admits to her failed resolutions and the year of saying yes is born. Each month she has to take on a dare chosen for her by somebody else, and she has to say yes to it.
Izzy is hesitant and shy, taking on these dares dips into her deepest fears and goes against all of her routines and comforts. But she intends to embrace the project wholeheartedly and does so with some hilarious consequences. The Year of Saying Yes: Part 1: It Started with a Dare is an hilarious, light hearted read and I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on Part 2: A Dare to Remember!
A huge thanks to Hannah Doyle and Headline for the ARC of this book in return for my honest review....more
When I read Isabelle Broom’s debut, My Map of You, back in the summer I was swept away with the bThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
When I read Isabelle Broom’s debut, My Map of You, back in the summer I was swept away with the beautiful story she created and to the beautiful island of Zante. Part of me wondered if my love of the novel had been because I have a long running love affair with Greece myself, so when A Year and a Day came along, a novel set in Prague a place I have never been to nor had the desire to visit it was an opportunity to truly see if I could become embroiled in the story once again…and I did.
This time we have three leading ladies, each as different as the next. Megan has gone on a break to Prague with her friend Ollie. She is a photographer who is completely focused on what she wants from her career and has no room for love in her life. The problem is Ollie is head over heels in love with her and though she won’t admit it there is definitely chemistry there.
Then there is Hope, a woman in her mid-life, she’s just made a huge change in her life and is in the early stages of new love with Charlie, but she’s lost as in the process of finding Charlie she may have lost her daughter forever and this is breaking her heart.
Then there is newly engaged Sophie, Prague is where she met her fiance Robin. He is delayed and will meet her in a few days, he’s the light of her life and the group relish hearing stories about their life together.
Not only do we follow this group as the mingle and get to know each other but Isabelle Broom has completely immersed us into Prague, with extremely detailed descriptions of not just the main tourist attractions but other places which were off the beaten track. I felt completely immersed into the trip these people were taking I felt like I was walking the streets with them and at one point I had a pile of tissues around me as I tried to compose myself to get through the chapter!
This book is an emotional roller-coaster which reminds you what it means to love with all of your heart. There are few who would fail to be moved by this novel and the events that transpire as the story unfolds.
This is another excellent novel from Isabelle Broom and I’m just waiting with baited breath to see what she comes up with next.
A huge thanks to Isabelle Broom and Michael Joseph for the eARC of this book in return for my honest review....more
I don’t know if it’s because I adore Dallas where this book is set, or because I used to play IceThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
I don’t know if it’s because I adore Dallas where this book is set, or because I used to play Ice Hockey the sport the book is centred around, maybe it’s because I suffer from social anxiety like Holly, or maybe it’s just because she’s a bookworm geek. Whatever the reason I well and truly adored this book.
I hadn’t read the earlier books in the Dallas Demons series and was a little concerned I might be a bit lost coming in at book four but I had nothing at all to worry about. This is very easily a standalone and from the first page I completely adored Holly and absolutely felt for her plight having to attend a plush party with severe social anxiety. I’ve been in that situation and it is HARD!
I felt an absolute connection to both Holly and Matt, I didn’t necessarily felt they made the right decisions along the way but I I did feel they made their decisions with the best and most genuine of intentions. Their story was moving and I read it in a couple of sittings.
Aven Ellis has woven a story which captures your heart aswell as the heart of her characters. For my first time out with one of her books I was hooked and am over the moon to have discovered this author. I will definitely be picking up more of her books and becoming more acquainted with her other characters.
I highly recommend On Thin Ice for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
A huge thanks to Aven Ellis for the eARC of this book in return for my honest review....more
This is an epic novel considering the genre, at 727 pages long it’s length is more attuned to theThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
This is an epic novel considering the genre, at 727 pages long it’s length is more attuned to the Fantasy novels I read than the Chick Lit which tends to sit around 250 pages. There were times reading this I felt that it was a little too wordy and that maybe there were parts of Maggie’s story that weren’t entirely relevant to the overall story we were being told, but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the novel and there was something quite enjoyable about being really immersed into a story rather than being taken on a whistlestop tour which this genre normally does.
Maggie really isn’t the most likeable character I’ve ever read, I found myself consistently irritated by her actions, decisions, things she said, and the fact that she was probably one of the most gullible people I have ever encountered in real life or in a book. That being said, it made for great reading fodder as she wound herself up in more and more knots.
As for the men in her life, I would have loved to see more of Luke, we only really got glimpses of him and for such a long book I felt really disappointed that by the end of the novel I didn’t know him at all well. As for Tony I felt like I worked him out very quickly, he was very charming and handsome but that ex-fiance bugged me.
As for Maggie’s friends, I totally adored Jenny, I love a friend who tells it like it is and I think that’s why Maggie doesn’t tell her a lot of things because she doesn’t want to hear the truth.
Overall, I really enjoyed this, it’s a long read but it does pay off and has some fantastic laughs throughout.
A huge thanks to Sara Mendes da Costa and Clink Street Publishing for the eARC of this book in return for my honest review....more
Visions of Zarua introduces us to Paddren, a wizard who is thrown into the centre of a sinister pThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
Visions of Zarua introduces us to Paddren, a wizard who is thrown into the centre of a sinister plot to overthrow the world as they know it by a sect of assassin mages. With his closest friends Varnia and Leyoch he sets out to uncover the evil threatening their way of life and how the visions he has had since he was a young boy can help.
Paddren was a wonderful character, beautifully written to show he was a potentially powerful mage on the cusp of his power. He hadn’t got there yet, so the nerves were evident, his nervousness in having to embark on such an important task was evident but he was still certain in his need to do it.
Paddren is connected to a wizard from the past, in the ancient city of Zarua, via visions, we see these visions in cut off chapters through the book and while at first it is hard to understand the relevance to the overall novel as we progress through the story it starts to become clear how the two stories intertwine and how these visions will help Paddren in his quest for answers.
Varnia is Paddren’s best friend from childhood and a skilled tracker, they have been brought up knowing they will both work together to help the village. She is in love with Paddren’s servant Leyoch, a well known secret among all who know them and when given an opportunity to raise his station in life by helping with this quest Leyoch takes it, even though it means potentially risking his relationship with Varnia.
These three characters interact much like normal friends would throughout this book, there are arguments, laughs, and sentiment. Whatever is happening though they look out for each other and have each others backs.
The world building is detailed and I had a clear picture throughout of where I was what each village, city, building looked like and how it felt. There is some travelling in the book and this was well covered within the world building elements aswell so that you really felt a part of the story.
As for the story it develops well, and picks up pace quickly, there are quite a few characters aside from the three main one’s but they are easy to remember and fit in perfectly, whilst not being too overwhelming in number.
Overall this was a thoroughly enjoyable sword and sorcery based epic fantasy. There are some great new creatures in this book and some interesting magical premise to check out and some highly relatable characters.
A huge thanks to Suzanne Rogerson for the eARC of this book in return for my honest review....more
Askon is a half-elf in a world highly prejudiced against his kind. But Askon is different, he risThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
Askon is a half-elf in a world highly prejudiced against his kind. But Askon is different, he risked everything to save the Prince and is destined to lead his City once he has carried out his final mission in the King’s army. Whilst on this mission though things start to go wrong, things which lead back to gem fragments he has been told about but he doesn’t yet understand.
The world building and imagery is excellently done. Time has been taken to create the world, describe it, build a picture for the reader. Given that there is a lot of travelling in the novel this could have been lost.
Askon is slightly too good at times, I found him a bit faultless, a bit too perfect. I tend to like characters with faults, who get torn between good and evil a little more.
This is a high fantasy novel which is heavy on the swordplay, I’m sensing sorcery will play heavier in the future novels but this was very much a set up and world building novel which read well and did a good job of building a connection with our main character.
Many thanks to Nathan Barham for a copy of the novel in return for my honest opinion....more
This is our third trip to Luna Bay, as with the other books this can be read as a standalone butThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
This is our third trip to Luna Bay, as with the other books this can be read as a standalone but threre are a few small aspects of the story which do continue if you have read the earlier books.
We first meet Alice, our star of this book, in The Sunflower Breakfast Club, she briefly appears as a breakfast club member, lonely and isolated and we are left wondering what happened to her and why she doesn’t engage with others from Luna Bay.
Lynsey James has answered our questions with this book and told Alice’s heartbreaking story, a story of love lost and deep, soul crushing grief.
Alice’s Mum has been desperately trying to get her to integrate more and to come out of her shell, she used to be a broadway actress, and now barely leaves her house. We meet her as an elf in the local department store, the same place she runs into Ethan, the owners son and Hollywood superstar.
When her Mum convinces her to help with the Luna Bay Pantomime she recruits Ethan to help and everyone wonders if he can help with Alice’s confidence aswell.
Lynsey James has created a character who is wracked with grief and it is heartbreaking following her journey. Alice is such a relatable character, even if you haven’t been through the same experiences I think it’s nt hard to imagine being in her shoes.
I finished this book with so much love and time for Alice and I hope that everyone who picks up this book feels the same. Luna Bay is a beautiful village with some of the friendliest people and The Silver Bells Christmas Pantomime is the most human of the stories here.
Many thanks to Lynsey James and HQ Digital for a copy of the novel in return for my honest opinion....more
Picking up where Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky finishes, Christmas Under a Starlit Sky can be rThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
Picking up where Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky finishes, Christmas Under a Starlit Sky can be read as a standalone but I personally think the two are better read together as a set and in close succession! In this novel we see Oakley Rey, Hollywood superstar arrive to mend fences with Neve, the love of his life and Manager of the Stardust Lake Hotel.
Holly Martin has given us a 2-4-1 with this novel as we have a simultaneous story with the adorable Adam and Ivy locking eyes in a big hole (I kid you not) and a love story developing between these two which is absolutely beautiful. Personally I looked forward to their segments the most.
I absolutely bounded through this book in record time, I couldn’t put it down. Holly Martin has created such likeable characters, yet they are flawed, they make mistakes, Neve is a walking mistake at times saying things that make you want to put the words back into her mouth and you can see everything unravelling because she speaks before she thinks. Despite this seeing these wonderful people battle through and find enjoyment and love during a hectic Christmas is heartwarming.
I highly recommend Christmas Under a Starlit Sky grab a copy for Christmas and go hide from the mayhem with a hot chocolate and blanket to read it!
A huge thanks to Holly Martin and Bookouture for the eARC of this book in return for my honest review....more
When Anna arrives in Wychwood-on-Lea from New York she is expecting an idyllic English CountrysidThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
When Anna arrives in Wychwood-on-Lea from New York she is expecting an idyllic English Countryside Christmas getaway where she can heal her broken heart and avoid her overbearing family. What she doesn’t expect is to find herself stranded when her bed and breakfast is flooded and everywhere else is fully booked. Colin, her landlady’s cousin comes to the rescue offering her a place to stay and a friendship which sparks life into her ailing heart.
I was swept away with this story between Anna and Colin. These were a fragile pair of characters who both had reasons to avoid connecting with another person, especially someone from another country and yet they both found themselves falling hard and quick. I’ve seen this happen in real life and I know it can happen and it’s beautiful. I loved reading their story and seeing them get to know each other, to understand each other, and to learn how to overcome their hurdles together.
I felt completely engaged with this couple and I was willing them to make it and for Anna to not go home to New York.
This would be the perfect novella to curl up with after your Christmas feast, with a warm blanket and hot chocolate. You can easily read it one sitting.
A huge thanks to Kate Hewitt and Tule Publishing for the eARC of this book in return for my honest review....more
In A Criminal Magic, Lee Kelly has put a twist on America’s prohibition introducing magic as theThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
In A Criminal Magic, Lee Kelly has put a twist on America’s prohibition introducing magic as the thing under prohibition. Told from the point of view of two different characters the novel centres around how the mob use magic to make money and exploit people.
Joan is a young sorcerer who despite being powerful hasn’t yet learned much about her magic after a tragic accident when she first came into her magic saw her Mom die. She’s from a very poor family and just wants to do well by her cousin and sister who she feels responsible for.
Alex has joined the Prohibition Unit trying to make up for the mistakes of his Father who worked for one of the mob gangs and had convinced him to sorcer for him. When he’s asked to go undercover to penetrate another gang he knows this is his opportunity to make amends.
Joan and Alex are both on dangerous paths, both in deep and having to deal with far more than they are comfortable with. The magic in this book is spectacular and very beautiful, it’s visual and well described.
The mob aspects are real, scary and edge of your seat. As you see the characters weave through their stories and in and out of each others youhope for their outcomes to interweave so that they can both get a happy outcome but it consistently looks unlikely.
This was a beautiful book, it was wonderfully written and the ending was heartbreaking. Lee Kelly is definitely an author to keep an eye on.
Many thanks to Lee Kelly and Saga Press for a copy of the novel in return for my honest opinion....more
Piper and Gabe fell in love when they were teenagers but unfortunate and heartbreaking circumstanThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
Piper and Gabe fell in love when they were teenagers but unfortunate and heartbreaking circumstances tore them apart. Now years later circumstance has thrown them together again on Juniper Island where Gabe has opened a magical Christmas retreat and Piper has gone as a secret shopper to write a review.
Holly Martin has used her magic with words to create a beautiful book full of wonder and hope. I’m not a huge fan of Christmas but even I got swept into the feel of warmth and joy that this book envelopes you in and felt like Juniper Island would be an amazing place to visit.
Piper was a lovely character who had been through some awful life experiences and yet still held her head high and was willing to keep fighting. Gabe was a wonderful person who fought hard for the people he loved, as a father to his daughter Wren (who for me totally stole the show – and I rarely say this about children!) was wonderful and really stood out as a strong character who knew he had maybe made mistakes in the past but owned them.
This book had a wonderful cast of characters and it perfectly set things up for the second book in this series which is also out now, Christmas Under a Starlit Sky, I also felt with all the characters we meet and fall in love with there could easily be several books in this series and I would happily spend lots of time on this island with these lovely people.
A huge thanks to Holly Martin and Bookouture for the eARC of this book in return for my honest review....more
This is Book Two in the Heartbreaker Bay series although it can be comfortably read as a standaloThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
This is Book Two in the Heartbreaker Bay series although it can be comfortably read as a standalone. It was great to see the residents of Heartbreaker Bay again, everybody is a hoot and fits back into this story nice and smoothly from book one. This story sees us focusing on Willa the owner of the local pet shop.
Willa and Keane had an unfortunate encounter in High School but Keane has forgotten. Now he’s appeared in Willa’s pet shop all handsome, strong and flirty and Willa is mad, very mad. Jill Shalvis as always does a great job of building their connection and intense relationship.
Willa had a really tough childhood and that has haunted her through her life, and determined many of her decisions. Jill Shalvis helps her manouvere her way to a new life free of many of her ghosts but what we need to know is will that new life include Keane?
This is a beautifully written festive novel, Willa’s need to plaster everything in festive cheer will have you in stitches and Keane’s pursuit of Willa is nothing if not adorable. If you are looking for a book to warm your cockles on the cold winter nights then I highly recommend The Trouble With Mistletoe.
A huge thanks to Jill Shalvis and Headline Eternal for the ARC of this book in return for my honest review....more
October Fetterhoff has been a very ordinary girl her entire life, she has merged into the backgroThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
October Fetterhoff has been a very ordinary girl her entire life, she has merged into the background at school. She doesn’t have a best friend, she’s not had a boyfriend and she just drifts from day to day. Then one day just before her eighteenth birthday everything turns on it’s head as with the onset of an itch to beat all itches she starts to discover her family, and in turn she, isn’t all she thought and she is heir to the fairy and troll thrones.
As she discovers more about this new world that is being introduced to her, an evil is trying to usurp the throne and will do anything to get what it wants. October is suddenly having to be far more than ordinary and is responsible for helping an entire civilisation.
This is a quick-paced book and I read it in two sittings. October is a witty and enjoyable character to read. The surrounding characters are well written, they are also written in such a way that you spend a lot of time not knowing which characters are on her side and which are against
This story has some original concepts on the fae world tale which is enjoyable to read. It is a young adult novel but was absolutely enjoyable as an adult reader....more
This book is perfection, I don’t say that lightly, it is every fantasy readers dream, a world whiThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
This book is perfection, I don’t say that lightly, it is every fantasy readers dream, a world which interweaves on itself to the point where you have no idea what is real and what isn’t anymore.
Scarlett is due to be married, an arranged marriage organised by her abusive Father to a man she has never met. When an invitation to Caraval arrives, something she has been trying to get for a long time, her sister Tella arranges for them to get there under any circumstances.
As soon as they arrive though, Tella disappears and “the game” appears to be centred around finding her. Stephanie Garber has created a web of intrigue, magic, and confusion. From chapter to chapter you wonder what is happening and how it is happening.
Yet despite the confusion running through your mind the story flows in a very easy way. The characters are easy to like, even the suspicious characters are likeable, until they aren’t! This is a bright and colourful world, which is visual and triggers your imagination.
Scarlett goes on an emotional and physical journey while she’s in “the game” trying to decipher what is real and what is the game. She spends time trying to learn what the secret of Caraval is and how to unravel it to find Tella. She needs to learn who to trust in a place where you can trust nobody.
The writing, world and people all come together to make the most wonderful book. This was a magical read, it touched me in a way that no book has in a long time. It is beautiful in so many ways, the relationships between Sisters and the way they will do anything to fight for each other is something I can relate to.
This is a book for any age, it’s a timeless piece and it has a wonderful cliffhanger that already has me chomping at the bit for book two.
A huge thanks to Stephanie Garber and Hodder & Stoughton for the eARC of this book in return for my honest review....more
Throne of Glass is a young adult fantasy novel featuring Calaena Sardothien a teenage assassin whThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
Throne of Glass is a young adult fantasy novel featuring Calaena Sardothien a teenage assassin who having been caught is serving a life sentence in the back breaking Endovier salt mines. When Captain Westfall makes a deal with her that she can go free in return for her to fight in a to the death tournament for Prince Dorian.
On the one hand Calaena is a strong feisty character and it was great to see this. She’s a strong fighter, holds herself against her male counterparts, many much older than her. But she’s also quite a stroppy teenager and this doesn’t fit with the picture of the strong assassin we’ve been painted.
The worldbuilding in this novel is good, and the image of the castle is graphic, as the first book in a series we don’t see much of the world beyond the salt mines and the castle. The third world creation with the demons is really interesting and it’s interaction with the real world has been delicately done. Sarah J. Maas has created a magic which fits with her fantasy world.
I particularly liked that the romantic elements didn’t become a big focus and were gently woven into the fabric of the story.
Whilst I knew this was just the first in the series, the tension in the books was sufficient to leave you wondering if Calaena will survive the trials she is entered into and at times she is very badly beaten and it leaves you anxiously wondering if she will make it.
Overall, this book had me glued and could have hit five stars if only for the teenage angst which just didn’t fit the overall picture of Calaena’s character for me. I look forward to reading more of this series and seeing where Sarah J. Maas takes this story....more
The cover initially grabbed me with this book, I loved the hard, swashbuckling look of the characThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
The cover initially grabbed me with this book, I loved the hard, swashbuckling look of the characters then the description clinched it for me.
Vocho and Kacha are brother and sister, recently ejected from the Duellists Guild after Vocho was accused of murdering an important charge they’ve turned to a life as highwaymen. When they steal a chest from a magician they get themselves wrapped up in a plot to return a king to power in a world without kings.
Julia Knight has built a truly interesting world here with the Clockwork God, and a city, Reyes, built on clockwork which moves and changes as the day changes. This is perfectly described and is the basis for the story and the treachery within the story. A lot of time is spent on the world building which helps paint the picture perfectly.
Vocho and Kacha are great characters with deep held resentments, competitiveness, and deep love, all characteristics which sit naturally within their brother/sister relationship. They are strong willed characters who have been brought up with honour and to fight for the duellists guild, but neither of them is above cheating and cutting corners to achieve their goals.
This brother sister relationship is the pivot the book is written on, whilst there is much going on within the book the relationship between Vocho and Kacha is what everything relies on. The need they both have to be the best, and their protective instinct for each other.
This is a light-hearted fantasy which weaves through the world with lots of sword play, and witty characters....more
I went to the bookshop to buy another book and saw this on the shelf and ended up buying it aswelThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
I went to the bookshop to buy another book and saw this on the shelf and ended up buying it aswell. It was one of those “it called to me” moments, and I’m so glad it did!
When Asher leaves his fisherman roots and family to make some money to help his Father he has no idea what is awaiting him in Dorana, the capital city. falling into the employ of the Prince, known as a cripple because he doesn’t have magic like the rest of the Royal Family, Asher becomes more successful and happier than he could have imagined.
But some of his friends are not what they seem, members of a magical circle set on overthrowing the Royal Family and they believe Asher is the one they’ve been waiting for, the Innocent Mage.
This story is a slow boil, it has many strands and is the first part of a saga so is not in a hurry to give anything away. But it is a gripping fantasy. The characters, all of them, are intriguing and gripping, they are complicated and whether you judge them to be good, evil or in between they make interesting reading.
There are many twists and turns in this story that you don’t see coming none more so than right at the end of the book which left me gaping, stunned and wishing I had a copy of the second book to jump straight into!
If you like high fantasy with lots of magic then this is going to be the perfect read for you!...more
OK I admit I may have fallen a little bit in love with Ben Garston while reading this book. He’sThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
OK I admit I may have fallen a little bit in love with Ben Garston while reading this book. He’s tough, he’s a biker, he fights for what he believes in, and oh yeah, he’s a dragon.
When there are several attempts on his life in one night Ben knows something is up as a centuries old alliance has been broken. The more he invesigates the more danger he realises him and the woman he loves are in. As he fights to right the wrongs and save her life it becomes clear just how attached to humans Ben is and just how much he would do to keep humanity intact.
This is a superb urban fantasy from James Bennett, with myths from around the world delicately woven into the narrative so that they help guide our characters from country to country.
The worldbuilding in this novel is intricate and detailed. As an urban fantasy it is set in our world but Bennett has layerd a paranormal fantasy world upon it which is well explained and believable.
The fight scenes are graphic, violent and leave you breathless. There is a sense of finality looming with each one and you are never sure who will come out the victor.
This is the beginning of a new series and I look forward to seeing what is to come for Ben Garston and this world.
A huge thanks to James Bennett and Orbit for the eARC of this book in return for my honest review....more
Ellie Rigby (yes she has the same name as the famous Beatles song!), runs a dating agency and hasThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
Ellie Rigby (yes she has the same name as the famous Beatles song!), runs a dating agency and has been proud of matching so many couples. But as her final round of IVF fails, so does another of her matched marriages and as she looks at the stats she realises the divorce rate is rising and vows to do something about it.
Love Is… see’s Ellie go on a world tour meeting “love” experts while at the same time trying to discover what has happened to her own marriage. Like many people who go through the trials of IVF her marriage has been left with cracks and unspoken words and the journey she embarks on is about whether she can come back from that, especially when there is someone else pursuing her.
This book was really interesting and a refreshing change from the norm in this genre. It challenged the ideas of what love is, how it looks, what makes it last and asks some of the harder questions about why people stay together. All the while it had some side cracking funny moments and left me genuinely unsure which way I wanted things to go.
This book is wonderfully written and looks at what it takes to make a marriage work when times get tough and mistakes are made.
Thank you very much to Haley Hill and HQ for a copy of the novel via NetGalley to review this book honestly for the blog tour....more
The Lavender House is a contemporary romance where we are shown that romance and love can come tThis review was originall posted on BrizzleLass Books.
The Lavender House is a contemporary romance where we are shown that romance and love can come to people at any age. Nancy has given up on love after her Husband leaves her for a younger woman. In her sixties she concentrates on her family but when she meets country and western singer Jim she realises that love is something she can believe in.
The problem is her family, they have come to rely on her to be there and help out at the drop of a hat and this puts a huge strain on her fledgling relationship.
Whilst I enjoyed this book, the familial set up was extremely frustrating. I found Nancy’s family selfish and self-centred. I found her Mother cold and distant, her daughter Louise was in short a bitch. She had issues with her marriage and reasons for being anxious and on edge but the pressure she put on Nancy to be at her beck and call to look after her children was totally unreasonable, I kept thinking just hire a bloody babysitter you tight cow!
I also got frustrated with Nancy, I felt like she let her family treat her like a doormat, she never stood up for herself and what she wanted. It made me feel sorry for Jim, even when he was doing silly things, making mistakes I just felt like he was due a pass for all the messing about from her.
I come from a close family, the kind of family where we all do anything for anyone, but we wouldn’t expect anyone else to give up their own happiness for another member of the family. I felt the dynamics in Nancy’s family were all wrong and just really uncomfortable to read.
This was, however, a wonderful novel and a great contemporary romance, and I imagine it mirrors many real life stories in many ways which made it even more beautiful. Waiting to see if Nancy and Jim could find their way to love was painful but also enjoyable, and this is a great story about people finding love in their mid-life.
A huge thanks to Hilary Boyd and Quercus for the ARC via Quercus Summer so that I could read and honestly review this book....more
In a world where demons have control and humans are dying out Nina Cain and her small band of exoThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
In a world where demons have control and humans are dying out Nina Cain and her small band of exorcist friends known as Anathema are fighting for survival.
This novel takes place several months after the events of ‘The Stars Never Rise’. I didn’t read this novel but caught up on the events quickly and had a good understanding of the world we are in within a couple of chapters.
Rachel Vincent has created a dystopian paranormal world where demons are king. Anyone who has read Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series will know what to expect from her writing and she doesn’t’ disappoint. The storyline here is hard hitting, with characters you grow close to put in mortal peril, while they fight for their humanity, and that of their friends and family.
Nina Cain is a strong, fearless woman, even at seventeen she is selfless and willing to sacrifice herself for others. As an exorcist she is one of the few people truly capable of banishing demons back to hell and she takes the responsibility seriously whilst caring for her pregnant sister.
This is an action packed novel and involves some original ideas around exorcism, demon possession and the apocalypse. Rachel Vincent has created a scary world that it wouldn’t be nice to live in and a fantastic band of characters who are inspiring and strong.
Thank you very much to Rachel Vincent and HQ Young Adult for a copy of the novel via NetGalley to review this book honestly for the blog tour....more
The Brandon empire has been run by the morally corrupt for years, now two brothers are fighting fThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
The Brandon empire has been run by the morally corrupt for years, now two brothers are fighting for control Derek who is making dodgy deals and Shane who is trying to get the business onto the straight and narrow. When he meets Emily he is swept off his feet and discovers a fire and passion he didn’t realise he had.
As the novel continues Shane discovers there are dangers afoot far beyond the legal issues he was expecting and he has to battle between his passions for Emily and his fears for her safety. But Emily is keeping secrets aswell and she thinks her secrets might be able to help him.
This is a passionate novel with two people who are completely besotted with each other juggling dangerous situations with dangerous liaisons. The tensions are notched up to maximum from the first page. Shane is a strong, beguiling character who is a pleasure to read.
Emily is a complete mystery, she has a deep dark secret which is alluded to throughout the novel, we know she is afraid, and we know she is also very genuine, caring, and loving.
Together these two are fire, their scenes together are definitely not safe for work!
I completely devoured this book and was left completely dangling at the end of the cliff at the end. I can’t wait until the next one comes out so that I can find out what happens next!
A huge thanks to Lisa Renee Jones and Headline Eternal for the ARC so that I could read and honestly review this book....more
I may have released a squeal of excitement at discovering that Jill Shalvis was releasing a new sThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
I may have released a squeal of excitement at discovering that Jill Shalvis was releasing a new series, Sweet Little Lies is the first book in this series known as Heartbreaker Bay, set in San Francisco we are introduced to a new group of friends and their delicate love lives.
In this first novel we meet Pru, a woman who has dedicated her life to righting the wrongs of her parents. One of the people wronged is Finn who she is determined to help find love and happiness. What she doesn’t count on is falling for him herself.
As with all of Jill Shalvis’ books there is no beating about the bush, it is clear from the very beginning that the two people at the centre of the story are meant to be together it is just a case of helping them along the road and overcoming their obstacles.
This novel is well written, has realistic and relatable characters, they are flawed like a normal person, funny, and wiling to take risks for happiness. Jill Shalvis has again created two characters perfectly moulded for each other, right from the first pages the attraction between them is palpable.
The supporting characters in this novel are wonderful and I’m sure we will see more of them through the Heartbreaker Bay series.
A huge thanks to Jill Shalvis and Headline Eternal for the ARC via BookBridgr so that I could read and honestly review this book....more
Poison City is an urban fantasy and mystery set in South Africa. Gideon Tau is a detective in theThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
Poison City is an urban fantasy and mystery set in South Africa. Gideon Tau is a detective in the Delphic Division of the South African Police, a division which specifically investigates supernatural events and where the detectives have magical powers.
Gideon is haunted by the murder of his daughter a few years previous under mysterious circumstances and the book opens in pretty dramatic fashion while he investigates a lead into who did it.
Paul Crilley manages to cram most types of lore into this book in some way with multiple types of fae, vampires, demons, gods, mentioned even in passing. He has built a rather large world with some of it far more prevalent in South Africa where this book is based. As this is the first in a new series I imagine the world building will continue in further books with some of the creature lines being further developed.
The creatures which were developed within this novel were detailed and easy to picture, the fight scenes were graphic and full of gore. What I particularly loved was there was no love lost between the creatures and the humans, this felt real and brutal.
I loved the references to films and TV shows scattered through the book, people do this when talking and describing things and it made Gideon feel more real to me.
Gideon’s spirit guide his dog was easily one of the best characters in the book, having a drunk dog with a dry sense of humour was a stroke of genius. Some of the lines the dog has in the book are hilarious and had me laughing out loud.
Overall this book has everything you need for a perfect urban fantasy, and in the original setting of South Africa. This is an absolute must read for anyone who enjoys this genre. I can’t wait for the next book!
Thank you very much to Paul Crilley and Hodder & Stoughton for a copy of the novel via BookBridgr to review this book honestly for the blog tour....more
Bringing us back to the lovely seaside town of Luna Bay, Lynsey James has done it again, creatingThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
Bringing us back to the lovely seaside town of Luna Bay, Lynsey James has done it again, creating a beautiful story full of humour, feel-good romance, and characters you can’t help but to feel an affinity with.
In The Sunflower Cottage Breakfast Club we are introduced to Emily, who after discovering her biological Father comes from Luna Bay, head there to close a work deal at the local B&B and to find out more about this mysterious man. What she doesn’t count on is meeting Noah, and feeling so at home in Luna Bay.
As the book unfolds there is plenty of humour, and some really moving moments. Lynsey is an expert at creating tense moments and leaving you reading desperately waiting for something to happen, unsure if it will.
As Emily negotiates her way through her emotions and her time in Luna Bay we see a woman who has prided herself on being a strong businesswoman but is actually extremely vulnerable and this is very well written and expressed.
The Sunflower Cottage Breakfast Club can be read as a standalone but is perfect as part of the Luna Bay series with updates on the characters from the first book which was a great addition.
This is the perfect summer read, it’s feel-good chick-lit at it’s best.
Thank you very much to Lynsey James and Carina UK for a copy of the novel via NetGalley to review this book honestly for the blog tour....more
The Santiago Sisters is a tragic tale of what can happen when greed and selfishness intertwines iThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
The Santiago Sisters is a tragic tale of what can happen when greed and selfishness intertwines into the lives of two innocent girls.
Twins Calida and Teresita are just like any other sisters, they are close, competitive and full of love for each other. They bicker as Sister’s do, but when a world-famous actress stumbles on their home in Argentina and see’s Teresita as her perfect “project”, her greed for fame and their Mother’s greed for money separates the girls in a web of lies that will potentially destroy their lives.
Victoria Fox weaves a web of lies through this novel which it becomes almost impossible to believe. That people can be so selfish, so cruel becomes hard to take in. The pain these two girls and later women suffer is implausible and hard to read. Once separated these girls are destined for misery it seems. Even when there are glimmers of hope they just don’t seem able to let go of the lies and deceits they have been told.
With one of the sisters hell bent on revenge and the other steeped in grief nothing good can possibly come from the path’s they have been set on.
There is little to like about most of the characters in this book, the “Mother’s” represent most of what is wrong in humanity, many of the peripheral characters are fake and superficial and we don’t see a huge amount of the few characters who have some redeeming qualities.
I found myself getting extremely frustrated with Calida and Teresita for various reasons, mostly that I felt they were causing themselves an awful lot unnecessary upset and I felt they could set themselves on a path to happiness instead of staying stuck in the vicious cycle of misery. Of course the book would have been a lot shorter that way!
Overall, this was a twisted tale of betrayal, greed and sisterhood that will make you think about what type of person you are and you want to be.
Thank you very much to Victoria Fox and MIRA for a copy of the novel via NetGalley to review this book honestly for the blog tour....more
I’m a huge fan of Gregory Maguire’s more twisted and unusual take on fairy tales, with his eloqueThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
I’m a huge fan of Gregory Maguire’s more twisted and unusual take on fairy tales, with his eloquent prose and intelligent take on the story he is retelling. I have been reading and enjoying his books for about twenty years now and he is in my opinion the master when it comes to re-imagining fairy tales.
With After Alice, Maguire has taken a new take on the Alice in Wonderland story by taking the story of Ada, a friend of Alice’s who is briefly mentioned in Carrol’s original, and expanding on it as she follow’s Alice down the rabbit hole and following the story of Lydia, Alice’s sister as she searches for Alice and Ada while the two families grow more concerned during the day.
Maguire has embraced the Victorian language for the chapters in Oxford, and the lilting rhyme of wonderland for the scenes with Ada in Wonderland. The Wonderland characters we meet are the lesser known characters, breathing a fresh life into them as Ada looks for Alice, who doesn’t appear in the book until the final pages.
This isn’t a book about Alice directly but is still very much focused on Alice and where she may be, we learn much about her personality, her temperament, her family, and the kind of friend she is.
This is a wonderful read, and whilst I’m not someone who is one of the world’s huge fans of Alice in Wonderland I’ve certainly read it many times and felt this was a lovely accompaniment to it.
I also feel I have to make a comment on the cover, which is easily one of the most beautiful covers I have seen this year.
A huge thanks to Gregory Maguire and Headline Publishing Group for the ARC via BookBridgr so that I could read and honestly review this book....more
I don’t read very much historical fiction, I often find it quite similar and drawn out but FlorenThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
I don’t read very much historical fiction, I often find it quite similar and drawn out but Florence Grace was a captivating read with many plot twists and an ending that I certainly didn’t see coming.
Florrie Buckley is a Cornish orphan and quite the wild-child running free on the moors. Early in the novel a life-changing secret is revealed to her which completely changes her life and she is whisked away to London to live the high-life and to learn how to be a lady.
The book flows beautifully as Florrie changes into Florence Grace, falls in love and becomes the lady her new family wish her to be. This novel doesn’t feel as long as it is, it doesn’t follow a typical formula and it is delightfully written.
Florrie’s relationships are so well written and each of the characters are so well formed that they can be perfectly pictured. From her Grace family patriarch Hawker to her childhood Nan in Cornwall each character has been very carefully thought out and described to ensure the reader is fully committed to each person in Florrie’s life.
Florrie is a resourceful and clever young woman and it is this which keeps her sane throughout some very difficult times. She never gives up hope of finding happiness even when life appears completely hopeless. There are times when you feel her utter despair and can only hope she will find a way through, the only times I felt she may fall foul of her bad luck was when it came to her tumultuous love for Turlington Grace.
Florence Grace is a heartwarming book, and is beautifully written.
A huge thanks to Tracy Rees and Quercus for the ARC via Quercus Summer so that I could read and honestly review this book....more
Kate Hewitt has brought us back to the friendly village of Hartley-by-the-Sea and though this booThis review originally appeared on BrizzleLass Books.
Kate Hewitt has brought us back to the friendly village of Hartley-by-the-Sea and though this book can easily read as a standalone, if you have read the first book Rainy Day Sisters, you will feel enveloped with warmth by the familiarity of old friends as they help Claire and Rachel through their story.
The friction between these old friends was so very well described and the pain both women were feeling for different reasons was evident. You couldn’t help but to feel sympathy for them as you continued through this book written from the dual-perspective to ensure that both Claire and Rachel had an equal voice throughout the book.
Whilst Claire had a privileged upbringing she was also stifled and her return to Hartley-by-the Sea was a break for independence, while Rachel was pinned to her family, being the person responsible for looking after them, and sacrificing her wants and needs.
The women who had once as very young girls had been best friends, are now polar opposites but this book see’s them becoming the guides they both need to learning what the future can hold for themselves independently.
Kate Hewitt, has a knack for writing real people, she doesn’t write people in fantastical situations, who extra good looking, who seem to have super jobs, and are over-achievers. She writes people who do very normal jobs, who look like a normal person and make the same mistakes any of us could make.
This makes reading Hewitt’s characters like reading a friend, you could be reading about your neighbour, your sister, your cousin. It makes you root for the characters so much more and you want something good to happen for them, and for them to find happiness, whatever form that may come in.
I thoroughly enjoyed Now and Then Friends, I felt a connection with both women and I was rooting for them to find a future that suited them and put a smile on both of their faces.
I also loved reading about more of the characters within Hartley-by-the-Sea and I really hope that we see more of these in the future.
This is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it for people that know what a true friendship is made of.
Thank you very much to Kate Hewitt for a copy of the novel to review this book honestly for the blog tour....more