Wednesday, 19 July 2017

BLOG TOUR: The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara

The Blurb:
One summer, property seeker, Serendipity Parker finds herself on the beautiful west coast of Ireland, hunting for a home for a wealthy Irish client. But when she finds the perfect house in the small town of Ballykiltara, there’s a problem; nobody seems to know who owns it.

‘The Welcome House’ is a local legend. Its front door is always open for those in need of shelter, and there’s always a plentiful supply of food in the cupboards for the hungry or poor.
While Ren desperately tries to find the owner to see if she can negotiate a sale, she begins to delve deeper into the history and legends that surround the old house and the town. But for a woman who has always been focussed on her work, she’s remarkably distracted by Finn, the attractive manager of the local hotel.

But will she ever discover the real truth behind the mysterious ‘Welcome House’? Or will the house cast its magical spell over Ren and help her to find true happiness?

I loved this book from start to finish, everything from the brilliantly written characters to the amazing scenery to the humour that is contained within the pages of The Summer of Serendipity, are what make this book a winner.

The Summer of Serendipity is the perfect summer read for this year and is a book that I found very hard to put down once I picked it up and started reading.  The thing I loved the most about this book is the fact that it is set in Killarney, Co. Kerry which is about a thirty minute drive from where I live and is extrememly close to where I work.  I loved being able to lose myself in this book and being able to picture the surroundings in my mind, while knowing that the story that I was losing myself in was also so far removed from the real place, that it was still such a sense of escapism for me.  Ali has done such a good job in making the town come to life and has really captured the sparkle of the town, showing why it is so popular.

Serendipity is one of the best female leads that I have had the pleasure of reading.  She has everything that is looked for in a leading lady and she is hands down the thing that makes this book as special as it is.  I fell in love with all of the characters in this novel and being Irish myself, I was very impressed with how well written the Irish characters were and how perfectly the culture was captured.

I really can't recommend this book enough, it will make you laugh and have you smiling from ear to ear throughout.  There wasn't one thing about this book that I didn't like.

4 stars.

About the Author:
Ali McNamara attributes her over-active and very vivid imagination to one thing – being an only child. Time spent dreaming up adventures when she was young has left her with a head bursting with stories waiting to be told.
When stories she wrote for fun on Ronan Keating’s website became so popular they were sold as a fundraising project for his cancer awareness charity, Ali realised that not only was writing something she enjoyed doing, but something others enjoyed reading too. | @AliMcNamara

You can catch the other blog tour posts here:

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

BLOG TOUR: Summer's Lease by Carrie Elks

The Blurb
Cesca Shakespeare has hit rock bottom. Six years after the play she wrote bombed at the box office, she’s unable to hold down a job, keep an apartment, and worst of all her family have no idea how far she’s fallen. So when her fairy Godfather offers her the use of his friend’s Italian villa for the summer, she grudgingly agrees to try writing a new play. That’s before she finds out the house belongs to her arch-nemesis, Sam Carlton.

When Hollywood heart-throb Sam Carlton sees his name splashed across a gossip rag, all he wants to do is hide. That’s how he finds himself traveling to Italy, deciding to spend the summer in his family’s empty villa on Lake Como. Except when he arrives it isn’t as empty as he’d hoped.

Over the course of the hot Italian summer, Cesca and Sam have to come to terms with their pasts. What begins as a tentative friendship quickly grows into an intense attraction – and then a scorching fling. But they can’t hide from reality forever . . . as their different worlds collide, Sam and Cesca face a choice: is this just a summer romance, or could their love weather even the coldest winds?

My Review
There really are not enough words to describe how much I loved reading this book. I have really been struggling with reading lately and the minute I started reading this book, it pulled me in and I was totally unable to put it down.  I was transported to Italy with this book, and the way that they country was described really made me want hop on a plane and head out there.  Even on the dullest of days here, Summer's Lease brought some sunshine into my life.

The story is like a huge hug and I adored every single page of it.  Even though this is light hearted read, it did have some serious moments, which really added to the story and gave it an air of mystery.  I loved Cesca and Sam, they were both brilliantly written characters and I really enjoyed getting to know them and learn their stories.  

I was delighted to find out that this is the first book in a series that will follow the Shakespeare sisters because there is no way that I would be able to leave the story there! I am so looking forward to getting my hands on the other books in the series as soon as they come out and get to know Cesca's sisters.

Summer's Lease is the perfect Summer read, that will transport you to sunny Italy and keep you thoroughly entertained throughout,  I can't recommend that you read this book enough.  It has everything that I look for in a book and left me with a huge smile on my face.  Carrie Elks is very quickly becoming one of my very favourite authors and I can't wait to read more from her! 

5 stars.

About the author
Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. An avid social networker, she tries to limit her Facebook and Twitter time to stolen moments between writing chapters. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.

You can catch the other posts on the blog tour here:

Saturday, 8 July 2017

The Woman at 72 Derry Lane by Carmel Harrington

I would like to thank the publisher, Harper Collins, for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Carmel Harrington's books have become the release that I look forward to the most every year, so you can only imagine my excitement when this book came through the letter box.  Of course, the second I opened the envelope, I had to drop what I was doing and get stuck into this book straight away, knowing that this book would bring all of the emotions with it, the give away being the tissues that accompanied the book.  I am so pleased to say that this book is all that I expected and more.

Stella has not had an easy life, so when she met her husband and he swept her off of her feet, she though it was too good to be true, and that's because it was.  A year later, Stella finds herself stuck in an abusive marriage with no way of escaping her husband, who both mentally and physically abuses her on a regular basis.  Rea lives next door and is the woman at 72 Derry Lane, who is hiding a big secret that means she has developed a mental illness that has seen her lose everything and leave her housebound.  When she realises what is going on next door, Rea strikes up a very special bond with Stella and is determined to help her to escape her abusive marriage and see her husband be brought to justice.  The third woman that this book focuses on is Skye and her story takes us back to the St Stephens Day Tsunami, leaving the reader with heartbreaking scene that will chill you to the core.

From the second I opened this book and started reading I could tell that Carmel has but her heart and soul into writing this book and bringing these amazing characters to life.  At times it was hard to read as scenes from the tsunami and the abuse that Stella suffers at the hands of husband are hard to read, but I still couldn't draw myself away from this story and I read it at record speed.  There wasn't one single thing that I disliked about this book and I really can't find one fault with it.  After reading it, it is so easy to see how it is flying up the charts, as it deserves this and so much more.

The Woman at 72 Derry Lane is probably my favourite book of 2017 so far, because it made me laugh and cry, sometimes both at the same time, and at the same sentence.  This book came into my life at a very emotional time for me, so i felt every single emotion that all three of the women felt, leaving me feeling so sad, upset, angry and happy at the same times as the characters were.  You will not find a better book this year and I really cannot recommend that you read this book enough.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

BLOG TOUR: The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle

Today I am delighted to take part in the blog tour for The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle, which is hands down my favourite book of 2017 so far! I'm hosting Hannah's top five must read books, which you can read below!

Image result for the year of saying yes part one

#SayYes to Hannah’s reading challenge – Hannah’s top 5 books you HAVE to read!

Using the power of my detective skills (eg the fact that you’re reading this fab blog) you guys love a good read as much as I do. So to celebrate the launch of my new book The Year of Saying Yes, I thought I’d put together the top five books on my bookshelf which I absolutely LOVE.

A romantic comedy is my go-to genre for a good old LOL at the end of a busy day but I’ve spiced things up with a real mix here. Happy reading, lovelies!

1. All the Poirot
It’s kind of tricky to pick one because I heart all of Agatha Christie’s Poirot books. My husband buys me a couple every Christmas then listens to me chuckle away as the French detective employs his little grey cells. I’d love to say that I always figure out who the murderer is before the end of the book but that would be a big fat lie.

2. Lindsey Kelk, A Girl’s Best Friend
Oh I love this. You’re whisked off to New York at Christmas for a lot of fun with photographer Tess and her hapless ways. Perfect for a wintery night in.

3. Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love

This sparklingly funny book is so, so worth a read. It follows the aristocratic Radlett kids and is absolutely packed with fabulous characters, like terrifying Uncle Matthew and sex-obsessed Linda.

4. Lucy Robinson, A Passionate Love Affair with A Total Stranger

I really like Lucy’s writing, it’s so fresh and funny. When basically every element of Charley Lambert’s life hits the skids, she ends up setting up an online dating service and falling for someone completely unexpected. Such a fun book.

5. Sebastian Faulks, Jeeves and the Wedding Bells
PG Wodehouse’s famous characters, Jeeves and Wooster, have been brought to life again by writer Sebastian Faulks. The haphazard duo end up in a series of scrapes in this jolly old romp, which I seriously recommend for a good giggle.

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