Tuesday, June 27, 2017

With Love For Romantic Books - Kiss Me That Way, Then He Kissed Me, Light Up the Night & Till I Kissed You by Laura Trentham - Book Reviews, Interview & Giveaway

 
Review by Anniek

A river is what kept their lives separate by creating a boundary between the upscale Mississippi side and Louisiana. Louisiana is considered to be the wrong side of the track, or the river, if you live in Cottonbloom. Monroe has been struggling with the alcohol problems of her mom and the nasty boyfriends she brings home from the bar. When mom's latest boyfriend shows to Monroe that he can't be trusted she flees the house. Monroe ends up at the river having nothing else on her but her nightgown. She's cold, dirty and scared. Cade finds her and promises her that he'll do whatever he can to keep her safe. Will Cade be able to stay Monroe's knight in shining armor or will the river divide them for good this time?

Cade had to grow up really fast when he was a teenager. Needing to provide for his siblings he didn't always follow the law. Cade did what was necessary to keep them all together. He despises people who pray on the weak, just so that they can take whatever it is they want. This is why he defended Monroe at a time when she couldn't do this for herself. He's always had a weak spot for her and that never went away. One night when Cade is caught by the police he has to make a choice. Everything he has ever done has been for others, will this choice give him the space to finally start living for himself?

Monroe isn't a scared young girl anymore. She trained herself in martial arts and knows how to defend herself now. Not only is Monroe teaching self defense classes to teenage girls but she's also a physical therapist. She never forgot about Cade and how she felt when she was with him. He's the only one who knows everything there is to know about her. When he left without a word, Monroe's heart was shattered. I loved Monroe from the start. She has a very good work ethic and is a smart and capable woman. I love to read about people who are strong and will fight for the good in this world. Monroe has managed to overcome her own nightmares and tries to help others to build up their self esteem.

Cade still sees himself as the swamp rat from Louisiana. When he was forced to leave Cottonbloom it meant leaving his family and Monroe behind. It also gave him the opportunity to make something of himself. He's now a wealthy man with a successful company. When he returns home unexpectedly, he can't stop thinking about the girl he once had to leave behind. In Seattle he'd been living the life of a ghost, leaving his soul to wander Cottonbloom. He once was a teenager with the burden of never feeling good enough and now returning as a rich man must feel amazing. Cade is rough around the edges, but has a heart of gold. He did what he had to do to provide for his family and I can't imagine how hard that must have been for him.

Kiss Me That Way is one of the most intense love stories I have read this year. I loved the passion between Monroe and Cade. They know each other inside and out and I felt that connection throughout the story. I laughed out loud several times when the mayors of both towns kept antagonizing each other. Kiss Me That Way is a fabulous story with fascinating main characters, many interesting emotional layers and brilliant writing. Laura Trentham's sentences are exceptional and I can't wait to find out more about Cottonbloom and the great people who live there.

Advice

Kiss Me That Way is perfect for lovers of small town romance and compelling love stories.


Cottonbloom is a divided town, split in two by a river. One side is part of Louisiana and the other of Mississippi. There's quite a bit of animosity between the two and this has made life difficult for Nash and Tally. They used to be neighbors and were best friends. They spent all of their time together and Nash wanted nothing more than to run away with Tally. When his mother died he had to move in with his aunt at the upscale side of the river and he lost Tally's friendship. His aunt considered her a swamp rat and didn't think Tally was good enough for her nephew.

Nash is back in Cottonbloom to teach at Cottonbloom College. Tally owns her own gym. The past has damaged them both. Tally went through something traumatic and had to do this without the support of his best friend. They've missed each other, but now that they're adults their lives are very different. Nash's aunt is still against Tally and Tally's ex boyfriend is making her life incredibly difficult. Will they be able to find a way back to each other and repair their once so precious friendship and is there a chance there can be more between them?

Then He Kissed Me is a beautiful romantic story. Nash has a good heart. He's a kind and patient man with a lot of hidden depts. I was immediately fascinated by his multilayered personality. He's smart, strong and resilient. He can stand up for himself and will always defend the girl he loves. I liked the special friendship between Nash and Tally. They've loved each other for so long and it's clear from the start that they're soul mates. I couldn't wait to find out if they'd finally find happiness and read the book in one sitting because of it.

Laura Trentham has an amazing heartwarming writing style. I love the setting she's chosen for her books. The two towns where love and friendship are often being influenced by rivalry between the different parts of the river are a great setting for plenty of intriguing stories. The inhabitants of both parts are equally fun to read about. I love how they all have their own story and how the river plays such a big part in them. Nash and Tally are very special and I hoped they wouldn't let the river separate them ever again. Their story kept me glued to my seat and the ending is fantastic. I really enjoyed reading this amazing romantic book.

Advice

Then He Kissed Me is the second Cottonbloom novel, but can easily be read as a standalone. If you love small town romance you'll definitely like this series.
 

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Regan and Sawyer were high school sweethearts, but not everybody was happy with their relationship. Regan is from the rich Mississippi side of Cottonbloom and Sawyer is from the poorer Louisiana side. After an awful breakup they stopped been part of each other's lives, but that is no longer an option. Regan is the mayor of the Mississippi side and Sawyer the Parish Commissioner of the Louisiana side of the river. They are competing against each other by organizing a festival on the same day. They both need funding for their side and are battling against one another to receive it.

Regan is being sabotaged and at first she thinks Sawyer is behind it, but when the things that are being done to her are starting to get personal and are going pretty far she no longer suspects him. He even offers her his help. Slowly they're finding their way back to each other, but there's a lot of pain from the past they have to deal with before they can make a fresh start. Will they be able to mend each other's broken hearts?

Till I Kissed You is a fantastic romantic story. Regan and Sawyer used to be in love, but they became enemies. At first there's plenty of animosity between them, but they can't keep it up. They still like each other and are trying to find a way to get along. I loved their chemistry. They're both doubting themselves and the other and there's a lot of confusion because of it. They have to talk and work things out, but that isn't always very easy. Especially not when other people are involved. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see where this would lead and hoped they'd be able to overcome their differences and have their much deserved second chance.

Laura Trentham's Cottonbloom stories are terrific and I loved Till I Kissed You. Regan and Sawyer are perfect together and I liked the way they interact. The dialogue is fiery, their connection is deep and the story has many emotional layers. Someone is trying to sabotage the festival they're organizing and finding out who's behind the nasty incidents kept me on the edge of my seat. I absolutely loved Till I Kissed You, it's a dynamic, fun and endearing story with an unexpected gripping ending. I highly recommend this fabulous book.

Advice

The Cottonbloom novels can be read as standalones, but I'd advice you so start with book one, simply because they're all really great.

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Sadie was the victim of a mugging that left her traumatized and easily spooked. She's new in Cottonbloom where she'll work at the local college. She has a PhD in psychology, but hasn't been able to get rid of her anxiety. She was hoping to feel safe in her new surroundings, but someone was in her house and she hears noises in the garden. Therefore she calls Thaddeus, the local Chief of Police. Who's behind these incidents and will Sadie eventually feel safe again?

Thaddeus hasn't really lived since his older brother did something incredible for him. He's tried to make something of his life and wants to make sure his brother's sacrifice wasn't in vain. However, he hasn't allowed himself any fun because of it. Will Sadie bring back a part of him he thought he'd lost forever?

Light Up the Night is a lovely sweet story. Sadie is easily scared because of what happened to her and Thaddeus is the perfect knight in shining armor. They like each other straight away and share an easy friendship with plenty of sparks. I liked that they feel so comfortable with each other. They clearly belong together and I kept hoping that they'd both find their happily ever after.

Laura Trentham has written another wonderful Cottonbloom story. The setting has so many possibilities and I love that she makes use of that in such a good way. She's a skilled writer and knows how to create a perfect romantic atmosphere. Light Up the Night is a charming and entertaining story with a great heartwarming ending.

Advice

If you love a quick romantic read set in a great small town, Light Up the Night would be an excellent choice.

Free book

Light Up the Night: A Cottonbloom Novel is currently free on Amazon.
 
About Laura Trentham


An award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.

She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. The first two books of her Falcon Football series were named Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she's shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as large as the to-be- read pile of books on her nightstand.

Author links

Interview

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in a little town in northwest Tennessee. I toyed with the idea of majoring in English in college, but I wanted to eat and make money when I got out, so I picked the next most logical major: chemical engineering. I worked, got married, had kids. Just before my 39th birthday, with my kids both in school, I sat down and started writing my first book. I didn’t tell my friends or husband what I was doing until I was about a third of the way done with no signs of slowing down. That’s when I was like, Holy crap, I’m going to finish this book. I got an agent a year later and sold that first book plus its follow-up a year after that. It’s never too late to try something completely different or pursue a dream that you’ve put off!

2. What makes your heart beat faster?

The pot of coffee I drink a day? Lol.

3. You've grown up in a small town. Is this where you get the inspiration for your stories from?

I’ve definitely pulled from my experiences in a small town both in Tennessee and Alabama, both good and bad. If you’ve read my contemporary books, both the Falcon Football and Cottonbloom series touch on the darker aspects of small town life. Drugs, poverty, class differences. I want my small towns to be real. One reader told me that Cottonbloom reminded her so much of her hometown—except her town didn’t have as many available hot men!

4. On your website you wrote about your house which got glanced by a tornado. That must've been terrifying. Are you accustomed to dealing with these forces of nature?

Not at all! In fact, like a total idiot, my 12yo son and I were looking out the window when he said, “The wind is blowing in two different directions!” The bottom edge of the slide on our playset lifted six feet off the ground and only then did I grab the kids and the two dogs and shove everyone in our small bathroom downstairs. The tornado threw our wooden, sturdy playset across the yard and took down our fence. It was matchsticks. Craziness!

5. You have a pages with recipes on your website. Which one is a favorite in your household?

Chicken and Dumplings. Comfort food that isn’t unhealthy and is easy to make. A win-win!

6. Who did you have in mind when you created the personalities of your main characters?

Unlike some authors, I never pull “inspiration” pictures or base my characters on actors or actresses. The characters come to me first, and they are like unique, real people to me. In fact, when I start writing, I usually only know the characters, their backstories, and the first scene. Quite often, I’ll be writing and the characters will totally surprise me! I’ve made myself gasp before. Is that weird?

7. Do you find it difficult to write about romance?

I love romance! I started filching my mom’s Harlequin Presents back in middle school. I would sneak one, read it, return it under her bed, and repeat. I graduated to the lush historical romances of the late ’80s in high school. Even though I read across many genres, when I decided to write a book, it was a no-brainer. The story that came to me was a romance. And, unlike some authors, I love writing sex scenes. The tension and push-pull dynamic make them that much sexier.

8. Can you describe the main characters of your stories in seven words each?

I’ll take the hero and heroine of LEAVE THE NIGHT ON, the next Cottonbloom book.

Wyatt: Rumpled, sexy, blue-collar mechanic, restless, loyal, dreamer.

Sutton: Betrayed, unsure, uptown, classic-beauty, down-to-earth, caring, dreamer.
The fact both Wyatt and Sutton have (as yet) unrealized dreams draw them together.

9. What's the most special thing about Cottonbloom and the river that flows between it?

The river bisects the town in fortunes and also acts as the state line. One side in Louisiana, one in Mississippi. It’s a twist on a “wrong side of the tracks” trope, except it’s a river. Even though a competitiveness and lingering animosity exists between the two sides, when it counts, the town comes together.

10. Recently you've signed a new two-book deal (congratulations!). The books will be military romances. What more can we expect from you?

Thank you! I just turned in the first of the military romances, as a matter of fact. Tentative release date is summer 2018 (so far away!!) I also have three more Cottonbloom books coming. Yay! The first, LEAVE THE NIGHT ON, will be out August 1st! Same town, different family. This trilogy will follow three blue-collar mechanic brothers on the Louisiana side of the Cottonbloom.

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will receive a paperback copy of Kiss Me That Way by Laura Trentham. If the winner is from the US the book will be signed, if the winner lives outside the US the book will be sent via an online bookshop.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Book Review - Boardwalk Summer by Kimberly Fisk

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
 
Review by Suze
 
Hope is a single mother. She raised her twins, Joshua and Susan, mostly by herself. She became pregnant at seventeen and thought she and Nick shared something special, but Nick let her down and she had no choice but to move and start over. She made a life for herself in Tranquility Bay and never thought she'd see Nick again. However, when her son's life is in danger she calls him and asks for his help.

Nick is a famous race car driver. He's won many prizes and has achieved almost all of his goals, but when Hope calls him he feels he's missed something. They didn't keep in touch when he left her behind all those years ago and he didn't know Hope was pregnant. To his surprise he's the father of two teenagers and wants to be part of their lives. To be able to give Joshua a chance Hope and Nick need to patch things up. Will they be able to make amends for the sake of their son?

Boardwalk Summer is an impressive emotional story. Hope is a sweet woman. She does everything for her kids and fights for them in any way she can. Her strength and dedication are admirable and that's something I loved about her character. She managed to deal with the heartbreak of the past and has given her children a good and warm home filled with love. I liked this heartwarming part of the story a lot. Hope has such a beautiful personality and that gives Boardwalk Summer a wonderful warm atmosphere.

Nick is a kind and determined man. He once was really poor and had a bad reputation, but he managed to make something of himself and now he's rich and famous. Status isn't everything though and he finds out how much he's missed when Hope invites him back into her life. He has some tough choices to make and realizes that money isn't everything. He still has a lot to learn and discover and being with Hope and the twins broadens his horizons. There are plenty of unresolved feelings between Nick and Hope and I couldn't wait to find out if they'd manage to make things right.

Kimberly Fisk writes about difficult subjects in an honest empathic way. Her main characters are going through something awful, but they never lose hope. They're realistic, but stay optimistic at the same time and I liked that attitude a lot. Boardwalk Summer is a moving story with plenty of different layers. The main characters are struggling, but they're making progress as well and I loved to see them grow. Kimberly Fisk balances this with loving and romantic scenes, which gives her story a good balance. Boardwalk Summer is a terrific story and I enjoyed reading it very much.

Advice

If you love emotional romantic stories Boardwalk Summer would be an excellent choice.

Monday, June 26, 2017

With Love For Bookouture: The Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Millie is running away from her old life because she feels threatened and is starting over in Honeybourne, a small village where she wants to run the village bakery. She's purchased the building without seeing it first and the state of her premises is daunting. Millie doesn't have money to restore it and can't open her bakery before the work has been completed, so she needs to be inventive to be able to open her business. Fortunately the inhabitants of Honeybourne are kind and helpful, will she eventually manage to pull it off?

Millie immediately finds a friend in Jasmine, a local pink haired jewelry maker. Jasmine is the mother of triplets and this makes her well known in the village. Millie's neighbor Ruth is curious and often comes in to snoop and talk. Jasmine's brother Dylan instantly likes Millie, but he's a notorious player and has never had a serious girlfriend. He wants to help Millie with the renovations, but should she accept? Unfortunately when Millie starts to feel at home in her new surroundings her past is catching up with her. Will Millie be chased away from Honeybourne as well?

The Little Village Bakery is a lovely heartwarming story. Millie has a big heart, she's helpful, capable and friendly. She's also guarded because of the past she's running away from. She's been through something devastating and my heart ached for her when I read the details. She's a gorgeous person inside and out and I immediately loved her lively spirit and creativity. Something else I really enjoyed reading about is how easily Millie makes friends. She wants to keep people at a distance, but she's too nice and they don't let her. I loved the beautiful friendships she forms and they kept putting a big smile on my face. Tilly Tennant has managed to create the exact right hospitable atmosphere, which is one of the most wonderful parts of the story.

Honeybourne is a cozy small village. It's the perfect setting for a romantic book and the detailed and colorful descriptions of both Honeybourne and its inhabitants made the story come to life incredibly well. Tilly Tennant kept surprising me with her unusual twists and turns. Her writing is original and fun and I found it very refreshing to read a story about a bakery that has many unexpected elements. There's also a delightful hint of magic that completely enchanted me. The Little Village Bakery is a fantastic entertaining story and I highly recommend this spellbinding charming book.

Advice

If you love creative stories set in a small town and like a hint of magic The Little Village Bakery would be the perfect choice for you.

About Tilly Tennant


Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing, graduating in 2009 with first class honours. She wrote her first novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books before the rest of the world gets them.

Tilly is represented by the lovely Philippa Milnes-Smith at LAW.

You can get the latest news on book releases and special offers by subscribing to Tilly’s mailing list. So you never need to be left out!

Author links

Website: https://tillytennant.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7204286.Tilly_Tennant

Guest post

A LETTER TO MY UNPUBLISHED SELF
By Tilly Tennant

Dear Tilly 

Listen up! I know you have this grand delusion that you’re going to be a famous singer but, really, nobody wants to hear it. You think you open your mouth and you sound like Mary Poppins. The reality is that you crack mirrors, dogs howl and small children flee. Ditch the warbling.

Have you thought about writing books? You love reading, right? You love wordplay and humour? You love happy ever afters? Sometimes you get grumpy that the story you’re engrossed in doesn’t turn out the way you want it to? Well, hold the phone, because if you’d written it, it would have been exactly the ending you wanted to see. See? 

I won’t bull you; it’s going to be tough. Possibly tougher than one of your Sunday joints. Almost certainly tougher and less financially rewarding than singing (at least, other people’s singing). You will have to hold down about fifteen jobs for a while. You will have to work late into the night and get up at the crack of dawn to start all over again the next day. You will sit in darkened rooms on the sunniest days of the year when everyone else is out leaping in fountains and eating ice-cream because you have a deadline. At times your kids will think you’ve left home when you’ve actually been holed up in the loft for three days crying over a plot that won’t work. There will be times when you want to throw the laptop from the nearest window, times when your characters will misbehave, times when it seems that nobody wants to buy the stories you’re peddling and when they do they only have bad things to say about them. But one day, one glorious, heavenly-choirs-massing-in-the-clouds day, someone will love what you do. Enough to hand you a contract and take you under their wing to nurture what you grain of talent you have. One day, you’ll publish that book. 

That’s when the adventure really begins. And in the words of a wise old(ish) Irishman: Life is a rollercoaster, you just gotta ride it. 

That’s my advice. So, what are you waiting for? 

Love from Tilly xxx

Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will receive digital copy of The Little Village Bakery, a paperback copy of the next book in the Honeybourne series, Christmas at the Little Village Bakery, and a gorgeous The Little Village Bakery book cover necklace.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

With Love for Bookouture: The Lost Daughter of Liverpool by Pam Howes - Book Review & Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Suze

Dora and Joe can finally get married. It's 1946 and the war is over at last, so the future is looking a lot brighter than before. Dora is building up her own dressmaking business together with her best friend Joanie and Dora and Joe have found a nice house to live in. When Dora gets pregnant they're over the moon. However, that is when bad luck is starting to strike. Dora's pregnancy is tough, she's having twins, but unfortunately one of them doesn't make it. This is only the beginning of a tragic period in Dora's life. Will she survive?

Joe's colleague Ivy has always been interested in him and Dora knows she has to watch out for the woman. When Dora isn't well Joe confides in Ivy and he starts spending time with her, while he should have stayed away. The woman is determined to take Dora's man from her. Can Dora compete and will she be able to save her marriage? After everything she and Joe have been through, are they strong enough to make it together or will Ivy get exactly what she wants?

Dora is a sweet and cheerful girl. She's intelligent, talented and creative. Joe is the one for her and marrying him is the start of a new life for both of them. Unfortunately they aren't having an easy time and Dora's heart is being broken time after time. She keeps fighting her way out of her misery and I admired her for that. She doesn't have any time to breathe between the catastrophes that are happening in her life, but she can stand up for herself and she still knows what she wants the future to be like. She's a wonderful person and although her story is sad I loved reading it and adored Dora's beautiful spirit.

 The Lost Daughter of Liverpool is an emotional story about the importance of family and the value of friendship. It's tragic, but also hopeful and I shed quite a few tears while reading it. The story certainly impressed me and Pam Howes is a skilled writer. I could easily picture what life was like in the years after the war and her vivid descriptions are making her setting and characters come to life incredibly well. There are many surprising twists and turns and the ending is fitting and meaningful. The Lost Daughter of Liverpool gripped me from the start and I absolutely loved this fantastic story.

Advice
 
If you like a good family saga you should definitely read The Lost Daughter of Liverpool.

About Pam Howes


Pam Howes was born in Cheshire. She is a retired Interior Designer who began writing seriously in the mid nineties. The idea for her first novel, set in the sixties, was inspired by her time as a teenager, working in a local record store and hanging around with musicians who frequented the business. 

That first novel evolved into a series set in the fictional town of Pickford, based on her home town of Stockport. Three Steps to Heaven; 'Til I Kissed You; Always On My Mind; Not Fade Away, and That'll Be The Day, follow the lives and loves through the decades of fictional Rock'n'Roll band The Raiders. Pam is a big fan of sixties music and it's this love that compelled her to write the series. 

A stand-alone true-life romance, Fast Movin' Train, set in the nineties, was published in early 2012. A new series of Fairground Romances, set in the sixties, begins with Cathy's Clown, to be followed by Ruby Tuesday early 2016. 

Pam is mum to three adult daughters, grandma to seven assorted grandchildren, and roadie to one musician partner. She still lives in Cheshire and is currently involved in raising awareness of her home-town's musical heritage with campaigns to have Blue Plaques erected on the walls of local clubs, The Manor Lounge and The Sinking Ship, where the likes of The Walker Brother's, The Who and Jimi Hendrix played; now closed, but still firmly in the hearts of Stockport's recycled teenagers. 

Author links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pam.howes
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PamHowes1
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pam- Howes/e/B004D5E24S/ref=sr_tc_ 2_0 qid=1421929686&sr=8-2-ent
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4097443.Pam_Howes

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will received a signed copy or an audiobook (winner's choice) of The Lost Daughter of Liverpool and a gorgeous book cover necklace and one runner-up will get a digital version of the book.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

JillyJilly Book Lover & Space Notebook and Mug Sets Giveaway

 
Enter this giveaway for a chance to win Jilly Jilly Book Lover & Space notebook and mug sets. Good luck!
 

 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

The Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young - Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


Book review
By Suze
 
Goodreads
 
India is the most popular girl at school and she's confident things will stay this way. She has clear goals for the future and knows exactly how she's going to achieve them. Her mother has other plans though. She informs India that they'll move from California to Boston to live with a wealthy lawyer and his daughter. India's mother has managed to spend time with her boyfriend and his daughter for months, but never told India about them. India has to move in with two strangers and she'll be transferred to a new school. She also has to learn to adjust to being wealthy, because her mother's boyfriend is rich. India spent years of her life in a trailer and has trouble fitting in.
 
India has to go to the same school as Eloise, her stepsister-to-be. Eloise is cold and distant and her friends seem to dislike India as well, especially Eloise's boyfriend Finn. It's obvious India isn't wanted, but she's been through worse, so she steels herself and tries to make the best of it. Things improve when she discovers that Finn and Eloise are hiding something. Because of their secret India gradually forms a connection with them and life at school becomes a lot better. However, secrets often come out. What will happen when the truth comes to light?
 
India is strong, but damaged and closed off as well. She had to grow up quickly and is wise for her age. She had an awful childhood and never knew unconditional love. My heart ached for the frightened little girl she once was. However, she's turned into a confident, courageous and kind teenager. She doesn't tolerate bullying and always stands up for both herself and those who are being bullied. I admired that about her. She fakes it until she makes it and that attitude is usually getting her far. When she finally starts to understand Eloise she helps her instead of holding a grudge because of the chilly welcome she received. India's forgiving and has a big heart. She isn't afraid to choose the difficult path if she believes it's the best way to go. She's an interesting main character and she's beautiful both inside and out.
 
Samantha Young's writing has a nice easy flow, which made it possible for me to completely focus on India's story. India doesn't have an easy life and Samantha Young describes her problems in a raw and empathic way. She doesn't stay away from heavy topics and is very good at writing about emotional impact. She fully understands everything her main characters are going through and that greatly impressed me. The Impossible Vastness of Us is both moving and fascinating at the same time. It's multilayered with plenty of surprising twists and turns. It's a fantastic compelling and original story with a gorgeous unexpected bittersweet ending. I highly recommend this very special book.
 
Advice

If you love reading stories about complex love and family dynamics with plenty of emotional depth you will definitely like The Impossible Vastness of Us.
 

Purchase links

Amazon US Hardcover: http://amzn.to/2f0RQGu
Amazon US eBook: http://amzn.to/2kj5JD1
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2s6JJNr
iBooks US: http://apple.co/2kbLRC9
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2q7Bd2S
Kobo UK: http://bit.ly/2qKZDOC
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2qtHGR8
iBooks UK: http://apple.co/2qFNlV0
Kobo US: http://bit.ly/2rnAuey
 
About Samantha Young
 

Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook& hardback June 2017

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.
 

 Excerpt

“You’re a great photographer, Finn.”

He leaned against the counter by the sink, seeming surprised by the compliment. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

Silence stretched as we could do nothing but stare at each other, and my skin started to feel tight and hot, as if I was seconds from bursting out of it.

“Uh.” I stepped back, suddenly needing more space between us. “So we should probably arrange a time to meet up for the presentation. That’s if you’re not planning to stand me up.”

He frowned. “What are you talking about?”

“You said to meet you after school today even though you work at the Chronicle.”

“I don’t always come to the meetings. I only decided to come work here because you said we couldn’t meet,” he explained, and if I wasn’t mistaken he sounded a little annoyed.

“Oh.” I refused to feel guilty for thinking badly of him. Refused. “Okay. Well, we need to meet up some time soon.”

“Yeah.” He agreed, looking at his feet now.

“I’d suggest Theo’s but it might be distracting for you with Eloise there.”

Finn looked up at me. “Theo’s?”

Confused by the question I raised an eyebrow.

“You said ‘Theo’s.’ You didn’t say ‘my place.’”

“Because it isn’t.” It was my turn to cross my arms over my chest.

Sensing I wasn’t going to elaborate on my feelings about the house I was living in and the people I was living with, Finn eventually nodded. “Okay. My place, then. Tomorrow.”

Glad we’d finally organized a time but not so glad it meant spending more alone time with Finn, I just nodded and stepped back toward the door. “Okay. I’ll meet you out front after school.”

“Do you need a ride home tonight?”

I looked back at him, surprised by the offer, but not surprised to find him staring at his feet rather than at me. “Eloise’s director has upped her rehearsals so she’s still here, too. Gil’s picking us both up in an hour.” I would’ve thought he’d be fully aware of Eloise’s schedule.

“Right.” He straightened and turned his back on me.

There was something about it that was vulnerable. Something about him that was vulnerable. I was probably insane to even think that about him—this beautiful, rich boy—but he was getting to me.

Nobody got to me.

Crap.

“But thanks,” I found myself saying quietly.

He glanced over his shoulder. “You’re welcome,” he replied just as quietly.

Crap, crap.

My fingers slipped around the door handle as I tried to get out of there at superspeed. 
 
Giveaway
 
One very lucky winner will receive a signed hardback copy of The Impossible Vastness of Us, an Umbrella and Raindrop Necklace and a Bubblegum Blue Fuji Instax. Four runner-ups will receive a signed copy of The Impossible Vastness of Us.
 
 
 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

With Love For Bookouture: The Summer House by Jenny Hale - Book Review & Giveaway

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Anniek

When they were kids Callie and Olivia used to spend their summers at a beach in Outer Banks. They've always dreamed about owning a beach house themselves and when the opportunity arises there's no doubt in their minds that his is their chance. Now they're working hard to turn the beach house into a bed and breakfast. Hidden behind a wall Callie finds a box and a diary from the former owner. Curious about the content, Callie and Olivia go out on a quest to find the rightful heir to these belongings. Will there be secrets that remained hidden for a long time written down in that diary? 

Luke has been living a life in the spotlights. He's gorgeous and successful and has dated a lot of beautiful women. Being home is always incredibly relaxing for him and he doesn't miss the reporters who are usually following him or stay hidden in the shadows until the right moment. A persistent paparazzo makes Luke use Callie to get out of a tricky situation. They form a bond immediately and they're comfortable with each other straight away. It's like they've known each other for years. Luke can't remember ever feeling this way about someone. He's determined to make Callie see the real him. How will Luke react when he finds out that the things he values most in life are not even really his?

Callie and Olivia have been best friends ever since they were little kids. Callie didn't have a nice childhood and sees Olivia and her parents as family. Gladys, an older lady who lives in a nearby beach house, is part of their family as well and these women obviously love each other very much. Callie and Olivia work hard and know what they need to do to reach their goals. I instantly felt a connection to these women and I loved reading about the progress they make with their bed and breakfast. 

The whole world thinks that Luke is a rich playboy who takes whatever he wants without consideration for others. There aren't a lot of people who know he has a softer side and hardly anybody sees how sweet and considerate he actually is. He's a great brother and son and I loved the way he interacts with his family. Even though Luke is rich he still enjoys the simple things in life and isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. I liked this no-nonsense man and I could totally understand why Callie felt attracted to him.

The Summer House is a fabulous sweet story about best friends and love. Having won the lottery with my own best friend I always love to read stories about true friendship. Callie and Olivia are fantastic women and I loved that they don't hold back in achieving the dream they've had since they were children. Jenny Hale describes the surroundings so vividly that I could almost smell the ocean and feel the sun warm my skin. The Summer House is a lovely feelgood story, a perfect read for the summer. It left me with a smile on my face and I'm hoping this book will become part of a series.

Advice

If you're looking for a lighthearted and easy read The Summer House would be a great choice.

About Jenny Hale


When I graduated college, one of my friends said, "Look out for this one; she's going to be an author one day." Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn't until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to me.

Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can't.

While I didn't start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children, and hundreds of thousands of words later, I completed a novel that I felt was worthy of publication. The result was Coming Home for Christmas, a heart-warming story about the magic of love at Christmas, and 2017 TV movie on The Hallmark Channel. 

The rest is history. 

When I'm not writing, I'm a mother of two boys and a wife to a very supportive husband.

Author links

Website: http://itsjennyhale.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennyhaleauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jhaleauthor
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jhaleauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7201437.Jenny_Hale
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jhaleauthor/

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will receive a digital copy of The Summer House and a gorgeous book cover necklace.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

With Love For Reviews - Guest Post by Darcie Boleyn



Guest post

Please leave a review
By Darcie Boleyn

It’s June 2017 and I’m lucky enough to finally be a fulltime writer. Why finally? Well, even though my first Darcie Boleyn book released in 2015, I’ve actually been writing for years. It took quite some time – almost twenty years as a classroom teacher, a fair share of rejections, some procrastination and a lot of hard work – to get to where I am today. 

But even though I am an author, I am also a reader. So when I say please leave a review… I’m looking at it from both perspectives. 

Writing can be quite a lonely job. I sit at my computer for hours every day, creating stories and developing characters. I do spend time on social media, which is a great way to communicate with you all, but I have to be careful or it eats into my writing time. And if I want to continue writing, I have to earn, so I have to get on with it… if you see what I mean. Therefore, getting feedback from readers about my books, is very much appreciated. 

One way for you to communicate with me – and other readers and authors – is to leave a review. It doesn’t need to be long, even the one liners are great, but it lets us writers know that you’re reading our work and enjoying it – or sometimes, that you’re not. But either way, we appreciate you taking the time to leave a review. Your feedback can give us authors a boost – and who doesn’t like some praise or encouragement – or help us to see something we could develop in future books, whether that’s a plot point, a character or the next book in a series. If it’s about something that you loved, then we know to give you more of that in our next book, and that has to be a good thing.

Your reviews also make our books more appealing to potential readers. If you’ve taken the time to leave a review, then another reader is more likely to buy a copy of the book, especially if they read something in your review that appeals to them.

Reviews also give books more visibility. Search engines pick up on books with lots of reviews because they see them as relevant to new searches. So leave a review and get your favourite authors noticed. This works the same way with sites like Amazon, which will suggest your book to readers who’ve enjoyed similar books. Apparently, it’s all about the algorithms that rely on things like fresh content. Visibility is so important for future sales and even future publishing contracts. 

Even if you didn’t love a book, leaving a review can help. A mixture of good and critical reviews gives a book credibility, and suggests to potential readers that reviews have come from genuine readers, not an author’s friends and family. So even if a book didn’t set your world on fire, leaving a review can still help other readers to make informed decisions.

Then there’s the acknowledgment of yourself as a reader. Authors have their jobs because you like to read. Perhaps you’d even like to write but haven’t yet found the time or just can’t settle to write a full novel. Writing a book review gives you the opportunity to write something, however long or short it is. By writing a review you are empowering yourself because you’re championing reading, which is something you love and enjoy. In addition, writing down your feelings about a book can be therapeutic; after all, if you enjoyed the story, why? If it made you emotional, why? Did you enjoy the escapism? Identify with one of the characters? Get whisked away to a different place and time?

Reviews also make great marketing tools for authors and publishers because we can use your quotes to tempt other readers to buy our books. This genuine word of mouth endorsement helps enormously, and who knows, your quote might even make it onto a site like Amazon, an author or publisher website, or a future book cover.

Finally, you don’t have to write a detailed review if you don’t want to. As I’ve already said, even the words good book or entertaining read, with a rating, will help.

So please, leave a review and help the reading and writing communities to continue to share our enjoyment of the written word.

About Darcie Boleyn


Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night.

Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate.

Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

Author links


Books by Darcie Boleyn

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Shakespeare Mug, Tote Bag, Coaster, Mirror, Badge and Bookmarks Giveaway

 
Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a Shakespeare package with a mug, tote bag, pocket mirror, coaster, badge and bookmarks made by Fable and Black. Good luck!
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

Book Reviews - The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square & The Second Chance Café in Carlton Square by Lilly Bartlett

Reviews by Suze

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
 
Emma and Daniel are very much in love, but when Daniel asks Emma to marry him, it becomes clear that they are from two completely different worlds. Daniel's parents are rich and money is no object. Emma comes from East London, where people aren't loaded, but do know the value of friendship and community. Daniel's mother wants a society wedding, but Emma's parents can't afford anything fancy. They don't want Daniel's parents to pay for anything though. How will Emma manage her future mother-in-law's expectations while making sure her parents won't go bankrupt at the same time? Will Emma have the wedding of her dreams or will fighting best friends, the pressure she's under and hardly having any money to spend spoil her big day?
 
The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square is a wonderful story. I immediately loved Emma. When there's a problem she tries to solve it, she's capable, loving and strong. She's kindhearted and generous as well and she wants to keep everybody happy. Emma is also creative and comes up with the most fantastic plans. I admired her strength and determination to make sure everyone would have a great time at her wedding and nobody would be disappointed. It was fun to read about her plans, the love for her family, best friend and Daniel and the original solutions she comes up with.
 
Daniel is a sweetheart. He's posh and I especially loved the endearing way Lilly Bartlett describes his accent. Reading the dialogue kept putting a big smile on my face. He's a generous and gentle man and I liked reading about his love for Emma and how he's trying to make her happy. I absolutely loved his warm personality and could easily understand why Emma wants to marry him, which makes the story fabulously sparkling.
 
The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square is a terrific romantic story. There are also plenty of lovely tips and tricks when it comes to planning a wedding on an extremely tight budget. Lilly Bartlett managed to surprise me plenty of times with her inventiveness. I liked the setting and enjoyed reading about the cozy atmosphere of East London. Emma's friends and family truly love her and want to help in any way they can. I found that incredibly heartwarming. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see if Emma would succeed and loved the very special ending of the story that brought tears to my eyes. The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square is an amazing charming, adorable and entertaining story.
 
Advice
 
If you love good stories about weddings The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square is a story you shouldn't miss.

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
 
Emma and Daniel are living in East London and Carlton Square is their home. Emma needs a new challenge and a closed-down pub is the perfect location for her Second Chance Café, where she'll serve delicious cakes and sandwiches together with good tea and coffee. It's a place where kids get a chance at a better future. Emma will train them, so they'll have work experience. Her friends and family all support her, but not everybody in the neighborhood is happy with Emma's new business.
 
Emma has to deal with a competitor determined to close her down. Her business is constantly being undermined, but Emma doesn't want to give in. She fights for what she believes in and wants to make her café the place people visit when they want to relax in a cozy atmosphere. The campaign against her is getting nastier and nastier. Will she be able to survive such hatefulness when she's only just opened her doors or will her customers stay away because of it?
 
The Second Chance Café in Carlton Square is such a lovely story. Emma has a good heart and she tries to manage running a household and owning a business at the same time. It isn't easy, but she's great at solving problems, so she always comes up with a fabulous creative solution. I loved her spirit and enthusiasm. She's helping kids while being around people all day, which is something she loves doing. She makes new friends and learns how to run a business. She often has to compromise and it was fun to read about her plans. She's an amazing admirable main character and I liked reading about her a lot.
 
Lilly Bartlett has a wonderful descriptive writing style. She writes about the feelings of her characters in an honest and open way. Emma has to work hard and doesn't have much time to relax, so she doesn't always have the energy to be her bubbly cheerful self. It was interesting to read about her struggles and the way she deals with them. She has no choice but to learn how to stand up for herself, which is something I loved about her story. Emma and Daniel are a fantastic couple and I really enjoyed reading about them again. I highly recommend this lively friendly story.
 
Advice
 
The Second Chance Café in Carlton Square is the second book in the Carlton Square series, but it can be read as a standalone. If you want to know more about Emma's background and her relationship with Daniel I'd advise you to start with The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square.
 
About Lilly Bartlett
 

Lilly Bartlett’s cosy romcoms are full of warmth, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.

Lilly is the pen-name of Sunday Times and USA Today best-selling author, Michele Gorman, who writes best friend-girl power comedies under her own name.