Monday, March 27, 2017

With Love For Romantic Books: His Forbidden Debutante by Anabelle Bryant - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Lavinia can dance again. While nobody was sure she'd be able to walk after the horrible accident that killed her parents, she managed to heal because of sheer determination. She has a passion for shoes and is proud she can walk on them. Many secret visits to her favorite shop are being made to find the most beautiful pairs. Lavinia's feet deserve to be spoiled after everything she's been through. Lavinia had a pen friend who sent her the most wonderful letters and she had high hopes to marry him one day, but because of her accident they lost touch. She doesn't know where he is now, but Randolph has a special place in her heart and no other man will make her feel the same.

Randolph thinks he's found the ideal woman to fulfill his duty as an Earl. He has to make sure there's an heir and Claire seems to be perfectly agreeable. He doesn't love her and they aren't friends, but she should be able to give him what he needs. However, that's not at all what he wants. Randolph fell in love with the woman who was writing him warmhearted and open letters for years. He never managed to meet her in person and as duty calls he's trying to move on. When he sees Lavinia for the first time he knows he's made the wrong decision, but he's already betrothed. Is there still a chance for him and Lavinia or is it too late?

His Forbidden Debutante is a great romantic story. Lavinia is smart, outspoken and honest. She has a fabulous passion for shoes and I enjoyed reading about her new purchases very much. After a difficult past she deserves a happy future, but the man she desperately wants to marry is engaged to someone else. She doesn't despair though and I loved her strength. Randolph is a kind man and he's perfect for her. He's exactly the type of person she should be with. They're both passionate and caring and they do things because they feel right instead of just appropriate. They have amazing chemistry and their letters have brought them a precious solid friendship. I loved that combination of deep love and they clearly are each other's soul mates, which is one of my favorite topics to read about.

Anabelle Bryant writes about a dazzling world filled with stunning dresses, gorgeous shoes, balls and priceless jewelry. Her story is a combination of impressive true love and a thrilling mystery. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what would happen to Lavinia and Randolph and if they would get their happy ending or not. His Forbidden Debutante is a captivating story from beginning to end. I absolutely loved the main characters, the fascinating intrigues and the sparkling descriptions. Anabelle Bryant has written a terrific charming, entertaining and sexy book.

Advice

If you love reading about gorgeous nobility, beautiful dresses and society intrigues His Forbidden Debutante is a great choice. It's the fourth part of the Regency Charms series, but can easily be read as a standalone.
 
About Anabelle Bryant


Anabelle began reading at age three and never stopped. Her passion for reading soon turned into a passion for writing and an author was born. Happy to grab a suitcase if it ensures a new adventure, Anabelle finds endless inspiration in travel, especially imaginary jaunts into Regency England, a far cry from her home in New Jersey. Instead, her clever characters live out her daydreams because really, who wouldn't want to dance with a handsome duke or kiss a wicked earl?

Though teaching keeps her grounded, photography, running and writing, counterbalance her wanderlust. Often found with her nose in a book, Anabelle earned her Master's Degree and is completing her Doctorate Degree in education. Thrilled to be an author for Harlequin's Carina line, Anabelle's historical romances are character driven. She strives to provide a heartfelt connection between her hero, heroine, and the reader, believing the emotional journey on the path to true love is the most important bond. Clever secondary characters and lively conversation keep the pages turning.

Anabelle knows sometimes life doesn't provide a happily ever after, but her novels always do. She enjoys talking with her fans. Follow her on Facebook and join her mailing list for the latest news concerning her upcoming novels.

Links


Interview

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m an elementary teacher who always dreamed of writing historical romance and now is living that dream. Did I mention it took over a decade to reach publication? Aside from writing and teaching, I love taking photos and scrapbooking my travels. I’m lucky to have visited many countries around the globe and while I enjoy living in New Jersey, am ready at the drop of a word to plan a new adventure.

2. What makes your heart beat faster?

There’s so many good answers to this question. A good run – a must-have pair of shoes – my work in progress and its dark hero – romantic kisses - too much caffeine!

3. If you could create the perfect romantic day what would it look like?

Oddly, I’m not all about the stereotypical “romance” scene. Give me comfy clothes, a fire and good conversation and you’ve nailed it. I don’t need flowers, candlelight and soft music. I’d much rather talk and laugh. Make me laugh and you’ve won.

4. Who are your favorite romantic couple?

Aside from Max and Vivienne in my new novel, (Max is very sexy), I would have to say in the celebrity world – John Legend and Chrissy Teigen win. When he looks at her, adoration shows in his eyes. In the book world, I’ve loved so many of Lisa Kleypas’ couples, I couldn’t list them all.

5. Could you describe what romance means to you?

Smart, witty, considerate and sexy – those four components make the perfect male.

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

No. I’ve always had a very active imagination and devoured romance novels for years! I love writing romance.

7. What kind of music do you like to listen to when you're in a romantic mood?

I love to dance, so even though it’s not the most romantic type of music, having fun and dancing is part of setting the mood. When I write I like fast music too. 

8. Which country personifies romance for you and why?

Even though I write about the Regency era in England, I love France. Paris is the most romantic city I’ve visited and aside from the wonderful history, art, fashion and food, the idea of falling in love in Paris is romantic by itself.

9. What can we expect from you in the future?

Den of Iniquity released in January and is book 1 in my new series, Bastards of London. The next three books come out through 2017 with Into the Hall of Vice (book 2) coming out in April. I also have a massmarket paperback series coming out with Kensington Publishers in 2018 – so I’m very busy and I couldn’t be happier!

Giveaway

Three very lucky readers of With Love For Books will receive a digital copy of The Den of Iniquity by Anabelle Bryant.
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Alice in Wonderland Mugs & Coaster Giveaway

 
 
Enter this giveaway for a chance to win two gorgeous Alice in Wonderland mugs and one beautiful coaster made by Miss Bohemia. Good luck!
 

 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

With Love For Romantic Books - Broken Pieces & Pieced Together by Kelly Moore - Book Review & Giveaway

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Review by Anniek

Brogan has been traumatized in her past. Since that time she hasn’t let anybody come close to her, except her best friend and her brother. She lives in a small town and just keeps to herself. One night she goes to a town celebration and there she meets Kyren. He’s everything she wants in a man, but Brogan isn’t looking for a relationship. She doesn’t believe in love anymore, but she can’t deny the way he makes her feel. Will Kyren be the one who restores her trust in love?

Kyren is a yacht builder and he worked incredibly hard to get where he is today. He is mesmerized when he sees Brogan. He knows immediately that she is someone he wants to get close to. Their meeting ends with him crumpled on the floor and Brogan running for the hills. A small town has its advantages and he finds her again in no time.  Kyren and Brogan can’t deny their attraction to one another, but when they grow closer together old demons resurface. Both of them have their own hurt and guilt to work through, but will they manage to deal with it together?

Brogan sees herself as broken because of the violence in her past. I see her as a strong person who has fought her way through life. She’s tough as nails and therefore it took me a little while to warm up to her. In the beginning I didn’t understand her actions and where she was coming from. When I learned about how she became this way my heart broke for her. Brogan is surviving. She doesn't trust easily, but will do so with all her heart once someone gets past her walls.

Kyren is an ex-military alpha man who has gotten his own share of trauma. It's obvious that he cares about Brogan and he's so sweet to her. I loved that about him. He takes his time to help Brogan trust again. I liked Kyren from the beginning. He’s a wealthy self-made man who doesn’t look down on people and treats everyone with respect. 

In Broken Pieces Kelly Moore writes about how Brogan and Kyren got their scars. You really get to know the characters and it's easy to connect with them. I could actually feel their pain and sorrow. Brogan and Kyren’s connection is really beautiful. There is plenty of darkness in their pasts, which left them both traumatized. Kelly Moore writes about them with a lot of respect and dignity and I liked her sensitivity. I was hooked from the very first page and read Broken Pieces in one sitting. 

Advice

Broken Pieces is an emotional heartbreaking story about finding the courage to trust and love again. This story does address some difficult and violent topics. Please take this in consideration before you start reading. 

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Review by Anniek

Kyren had to make a difficult decision. Even though he saved Brogan’s life he can’t get over the choice he made. To find peace for himself Kyren leaves Brogan at a time she needs him the most. He isolates himself on his yacht and drowns his sorrows in alcohol. Kyren never got over the love he felt for Brogan, but hasn't been able to forgive himself for what happened. When fate leads him back to her will it be possible to win her heart all over again?

Brogan is devastated when Kyren breaks up with her. He’s the only one she has ever fully loved and is sure that she’ll never find a love like this again. She moves to a secluded island in Maine to rebuild her life. She starts her own practice and slowly accepts the way her life is now. Brogan has a big secret which Kyren knows nothing about. When Kyren shows up on her doorstep, determined to be a part of her life again, Brogan has no choice but to tell the truth. Will Kyren finally be the man she needs him to be?

Pieced Together tells the story of Kyren and Brogan three years after Kyren's heartbreaking decision. A lot has happened in the meantime, but the chemistry between them has never changed. They have their own way of dealing with the devastating events that caused them to break up. Kyren and Brogan have both been on a journey, which has made them stronger people. I loved to read about how love heals them both. 

Pieced Together is a story about all-consuming love and it has fierce main characters. Kelly Moore is one of my favorite writers. Ever since I started the Broken Pieces series I’ve been hooked. I fell in love with Kyren and Brogan in the first book and my love for them grew even stronger in Pieced Together. They have such an amazing connection. Kelly Moore is an experienced and skillful writer and she has written another brilliant story that I highly recommend.

Advice

Pieced Together is the second book in the Broken Pieces series. In order to fully understand the story I recommend to read the stories in chronological order.

About Kelly Moore


Hi my name is Kelly Moore and I am Southern girl raised in Florida. I am a registered nurse actually an ICU traveling nurse, wife, mother of two children and I have three grandchildren. I have always been an avid reader and kept journals. Until Broken Pieces, I never had the courage to attempt an erotic romance book and submit it for publishing. I tend to embrace the brokenness in all of us. It makes us who we are. I love to see people come out strong and win against past pains.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing the story……. 

Links


Giveaway 

Two very lucky readers of With Love For books will win digital copies of Broken Pieces and Pieced Together by Kelly Moore.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

Bookworm Notebook, Tote Bag & Pillow Giveaway

 
Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a Bookworm notebook, pillow and tote bag set designed by Tamidalton. Good luck!
 

 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Book Reviews & Guest Post: Willow Cottage - A Spring Affair, Christmas Cheer & Sunshine and Secrets by Bella Osborne

 
Book reviews
By Suze
 
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Beth needs a fresh start and she wants to be far away from London. Together with her son Leo she moves to Dumbleford, a small Cotswolds village where she has bought a house. Willow Cottage looked romantic in the pictures, but it's more dilapidated than Beth expected. Her neighbor Jack knows how to renovate houses and he helps her with the work. A small country village isn't what she's used to at all and Beth sometimes doubts if she's made the right decision. Will she feel at home in her new place and will she be able to get over her past?

Carly lives in London and isn't completely happy with her boyfriend Fergus. She works as a sign language translator and her boyfriend is deaf. He doesn't have a regular nine to five job and spends most of his time in his pyjamas. She isn't as content as she was at the beginning of their relationship because she is ready for the next step and keeps hoping he will make a romantic gesture, when this doesn't happen she gets frustrated. She's wants him to propose, but is that ever going to happen?

Sunshine and Secrets is the first part of the Willow Cottage series. I immediately fell in love with the romantic setting. The cottage might be in a terrible state, but it definitely has potential and I can't wait to see what Beth will do with it. Jack is grumpy at first, but once she gets to know him Beth finds out he's actually really nice. I loved Leo, he's such an adorable little boy. Beth is a sweetheart and she's strong and resilient. Carly isn't happy with the fact she isn't engaged yet. She keeps having false hope and when time after time her boyfriend disappoints her she needs her best friend Beth more than ever. I enjoyed reading about their friendship and couldn't wait for them to see each other again. The story ends with a fantastic cliffhanger that has made me extremely curious.

The main characters of the Willow Cottage story are all intriguing. Bella Osborne alternates between Beth and her best friend Carly, who she left behind in London, so there's also enough information about the life Beth used to lead and the problems she's facing. That gives the story some extra depth, which I liked a lot. I look forward to finding out what will happen when Beth's past and present will come together.

Bella Osborne is great at creating cozy atmospheres. Her stories are always warm and welcoming and I love her easy flowing writing style. When I'm reading her stories I stop paying attention to what's happening around me until I've read the last sentence. I read this story in one sitting and am anxious to read more. I love Willow Cottage, it's the perfect setting for a beautiful romantic story and this series shows a lot of promise.
 
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Willow Cottage is more habitable and even though Beth still has plenty of work to do, the project isn't so daunting any longer. With the help of her kind neighbor Jack, Beth can manage a lot of the renovation work. She's still afraid her past will catch up with her, but she also has some more breathing space. Her son Leo has a new best friend and likes his school and it seems like Beth has made some valuable contacts as well. Will things finally look up for them?
 
Carly and her boyfriend Fergus are having problems. Carly wants Fergus to propose and they're having trouble communicating with one another. They aren't on the same wavelength at all. When Fergus has a family emergency in Ireland they have time to think about what's going on with them and they'll have to decide if they want to fix their relationship. Fortunately Carly can go to Willow Cottage when things get too much, but it isn't a permanent place to stay. Will she and Fergus be able to patch things up?
 
Beth and Carly are both struggling, but they have each other and that helps. Beth is planning on renovating her cottage and then she will leave. She has plenty of help, but is becoming quite handy as well. She isn't afraid to handle difficult tasks and she does plenty of things that are outside her comfort zone, like dog sitting. She sometimes messes up, but she keeps moving forward and I admired that about her character. I loved the friendship she has with Carly. They cheer each other up and they're always there for each other. I liked how honest they can be in their friendship and they're a great match. While Beth is always gentle, Carly is bold and strong-willed. I loved how fierce and protective she can be. It was fun to read about the two friends again and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see what would happen to them.
 
Bella Osborne has a lovely tone of voice. She also plays with tension and atmosphere in a skilled way that I always like very much. Willow Cottage and Dumbleford are gorgeous characteristic locations. I loved the eccentricity of the villagers and liked how Beth slowly finds a way to belong. Carly feels at home everywhere, which is fun to read about as well. They both have amazing men in their lives, but Jack and Fergus give them plenty of trouble too. I can't wait to see how the relationships will develop and am desperate to find out if Carly and Beth will indeed get their happy endings. The Willow Cottage series is fascinating, charming and romantic.
 
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Beth and Jack have a misunderstanding and therefore they aren't speaking to each other. Beth doesn't know how she can do the rest of the work on Willow Cottage on her own. She can do a lot of things herself, but sometimes she needs help. She misses watching Jack's dog, but there are certain things she can't risk. Will they be able to sort out their differences? Beth's ex is trying to track her down, will she and her son Leo still be safe in Dumbleford or is it time to move out of Willow Cottage?
 
 Carly and Fergus are trying to work on their relationship problems. Carly has found out a lot about the man she's living with that she didn't know before. She does her best not to be solely focused on a proposal any longer. Does Fergus eventually want to marry her or is he happy with the way things are going? Is Carly willing to be content with whatever Fergus might offer her or are her wishes too strong to be put on hold?
 
A Spring Affair is another wonderful Willow Cottage story. Beth is trying to find herself again after running away from London. Slowly the parts of her personality that she had to hide from her ex are coming to the surface and she's pleased she's feeling more like herself every day. She works hard on her healing process and I loved her determination. She's still afraid, but she won't let the fear paralyze her anymore. She's also trying to help her best friend Carly as much as she can and together they're going through many ups and downs. Carly and Fergus are getting a bit closer again and that warmed my heart, as Fergus is such a nice man and they both deserve a lot of happiness. I equally like both Carly and Beth and love how different they are. They're a fabulous combination.
 
Bella Osborne writes about a charming setting in the Cotswolds. I loved reading about the village pub, the seasonal festivities and the fantastic sense of community. Dumbleford is a romantic village and I really enjoy reading about it. Bella Osborne ends each of her Willow Cottage novellas with a cliffhanger and the ending of A Spring Affair is so gripping that I'll be counting the days until I can read part four. I highly recommend these terrific stories.
 
Advice
 
If you love reading about small towns, beautiful dilapidated cottages, wonderful main characters and plenty of drama you should definitely read the Willow Cottage novellas.

 About Bella Osborne
 

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel.

In 2016, her debut novel, 'It Started At Sunset Cottage', was shortlisted for the Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year and RNA Joan Hessayon New Writers Award.

Bella's stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She likes to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weaves these into her stories. Bella believes that writing your own story really is the best fun ever, closely followed by talking, eating chocolate, drinking fizz and planning holidays.

She lives in The Midlands, UK with her lovely husband and wonderful daughter, who thankfully, both accept her as she is (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping).
For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on Twitter - @osborne_bella    

 Guest post

Hi With Love for Books,

Thank you for inviting me on to your blog today, it’s lovely to be here.

Whilst I am very proud of the books I have penned there is one book I truly wish I had written – Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding.

Despite what you may think this isn’t due to the large amount of money that it netted the author, it is for the pure pleasure it brought me and so many that read it.

At the time it was a book like no other. Its protagonist was a single woman in her thirties and it described in detail the reality of what this was like with hysterically funny results. We could all relate to Bridget.

It also spawned many other brilliant books that may not have been published if not for Bridget Jones and these authors have gone on to have long and prosperous careers and we the readers have been able to enjoy so many wonderfully flawed and funny female leads.

The book was shortly followed by the film and that is something I would truly love to have happen to one of my stories. How much fun must it have been for Helen Fielding to work with Richard Curtis on the film script? (I am a huge Richard Curtis fan and I credit him with making the romantic comedy genre popular and also credible).

To see your book come to life on the big screen must be amazing. I’m lucky in that I’m very visual so when I write a book my characters pretty much act out every scene in my mind’s eye so I’ve already seen the film version of all of my books – I just hope you get to see them one day too.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Book Review - Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings by Wendy Holden

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Review by Suze
 
Laura Lake lives in Paris with her grandmother. Laura wants to stay there to take care of the stylish woman who always has the best advice, but when she gets an opportunity to work for a magazine in London Laura's grandmother encourages her granddaughter to go. Society is a glamour magazine and Laura's first assignment is to cover a series of society weddings. This might be her big break, which she needs to become a paid journalist instead of an unpaid intern. While nothing is as it seems and things never go according to plan Laura tries to keep her head above water. Even if that means sleeping in a fashion cupboard, having no money to buy food and competing against her arch enemy. Will Laura be able to make her dreams come true?
 
Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings is a fantastic funny story. I loved Wendy Holden's humoristic tone of voice. Laura is smart, creative and daring. She's determined to get a paid position at the magazine she's working for. That means interacting with socialites, chasing thieves and going to the weirdest kind of weddings without being invited by the bride or groom. The competition is stiff and not sympathetic enough to play fair. There's a lot going on in Laura's life and all of it is fascinating, entertaining and eccentric. She needs to be intelligent and attentive to survive, which is something I liked very much.
 
Wendy Holden has a fabulous classy writing style. She combines it with funny remarks and witty dialogue. I immediately loved her dynamic and sparkling descriptions of her characters and the situations they find themselves in. Laura Lake is a marvelous main character. She's always in the right place at the right time and her observation skills combined with inventiveness are making sure she acts exactly when and how she should. That regularly made me grin. Laura goes from complex situation to really complex situation and I couldn't read fast enough to find out what her next adventure would be.
 
Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings is a comic and gripping story with plenty of surprising elements. Laura Lake's enchanting personality makes it easy to like her and her story. I loved how she enters the world of glitter and glamour like she's always belonged there and was amazed by how wonderfully lighthearted and bizarre it all felt. I read the story in one sitting and enjoyed every single page. Wendy Holden's engaging writing combined with plenty of amusement made me absolutely love this book.
 
Advice
 
If you're a fan of clever humoristic stories with plenty of glitter and some glamour you will love Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings.
 
About Wendy Holden
 
 
Wendy Holden grew up in Yorkshire, and studied English at Girton College, Cambridge. She worked in magazines for many years before joining Tatler's in 1997 as deputy editor, and later moved to the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine, which she left in 2000 to concentrate on writing. She regularly writes features for newspapers and magazines on a range of social, topical and lifestyle subjects and is also a television and radio contributor.

She has now published ten novels, Gallery Girl, Beautiful People, Bad Heir Day, Pastures Nouveaux, Fame Fatale, Azur Like It, The Wives of Bath, The School for Husbands, Filthy Rich, Farm Fatale, Gossip Hound, Simply Divine, all top 10 bestsellers.

Holden is married, and lives in England with her family.
 
 

Taken by the CEO by Stefanie London - Book Review & Giveaway

 
Book review
 
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Review by Suze

Emmaline's marriage wasn't a success. Her husband used her and bossed her around and it's time for her to take complete control over the direction of her life. She now has a prestigious job and she's ready to start dating again. To practice at being more comfortable and sexy Emmaline calls herself Sarah. When she meets Parker she thinks he's the perfect candidate for her first one-night stand and she can be anyone she likes, because she will never see him again after that night. She's in for a big surprise when she finds out Parker is actually her new boss.
 
Parker is a young CEO. After his father's disastrous leadership of the Wentworth Group he's taking over the reins of his family's company. His father caused a big scandal and Parker wants to restore their reputation. Falling for one of his employees doesn't fit into his plans at all. He can't forget Emmaline though and wants to get to know her better, but they both have their careers to think of. Will it be a wise idea to keep seeing each other?
 
Taken by the CEO is a fun and sexy story. Emmaline has been hurt in the past and she's determined to make it on her own. She's shy and sweet, but she tries to be bolder and tougher, which was quite endearing to see. She's perfect for Parker. She treats him with kindness and respect, but also lets him know what she wants and what her boundaries are, which is exactly what he needs. Parker is a protective man and he's used to getting his way. Emmaline surprises him and I loved how she constantly challenges him and brings out his nice and forgiving side. They have plenty of chemistry and are a sparkling couple.
 
Stefanie London writes about two people who are working hard to achieve their goals. The Wentworth Group is an intriguing place to read about and the company life she describes is interesting and eventful. Falling for her boss is the last thing Emmaline wants, but love always manages to bring out the unexpected, which is something Stefanie London uses for her book in a fabulous way. It is what I loved the most about Taken by the CEO and I flew through the pages of this lovely flirty book. It's a wonderful lighthearted read with a fitting romantic ending.
 
Advice
 
If you love office romances you will definitely like Taken by the CEO. 
 
About Stefanie London
 

SA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance with humour, heat and heart. Also llamas.

Originally from Melbourne, Australia Stefanie now lives in Toronto, Canada with her wonderful husband. She loves to read, collect lipsticks, watch zombie movies and drink coffee.

Her bestselling book, Pretend It’s Love, is a 2016 Romantic Book of the Year finalist with the Romance Writers of Australia.

To get a FREE copy of A Kiss in Kite Harbor, go here: http://stefanie-london.com/newsletter/

Connect with Stefanie

Website: http://stefanie-london.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StefanieLondonAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Stefanie_London
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/stefanielondon1/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stefanielondon/
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2eLURXy
Newsletter: http://stefanie-london.com/newsletter/
Amazon Author Profile: http://amzn.to/2fl4bG2
 
Giveaway
 
 

Book Review & Giveaway - The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

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Review by Suze
 
Lucy and Jonah are happy together. Lucy has finally found her true love, they have enough money because they both have successful careers and they live in a nice house. There's one wish they want to see fulfilled and that is having a baby together. Lucy is thirty-nine years old, so there's still time. However, becoming parents isn't as easy as they thought it would be and that is when their problems start.
 
Jonah has a teenage daughter, Camille. She lives with her mother in France, but is staying with her father for the summer. Lucy has never met the girl and doesn't know how to treat her, should she act like a friend or a parent? Jonah is thrilled with his daughter's stay, but doesn't see how much it's troubling his wife to spend time with his daughter while she's devastated she might not have a baby of her own. Things are spiraling out of control Lucy and Jonah have to learn how to talk to each other and they have some important decisions to make. Will they be able to reach out to one another and will their marriage be strong enough to survive?
 
The Idea of You is a beautiful story. I love how Amanda Prowse writes as an observer without any judgment. Her writing flows easily and naturally. I love her honesty and bravery to tackle any subject. She isn't afraid to dig deep and to make her stories raw and filled with emotions. It's what I love most about her books, they are always impressive and they have quite an impact on me, whatever she writes about.
 
Lucy's miscarriages are difficult to witness and they are a heavy subject for a story. There are many women who are struggling or have struggled with this problem and Amanda Prowse perfectly describes the devastating process of losing a baby you desperately want to have. While for some starting a family is a given, for others it's the most difficult thing there is. Lucy is dying inside, while on the outside she has to keep up appearances. It broke my heart to read about her problems and I shed quite a few tears while reading her story. It's moving and sad, but there's also always that little ray of hope that one day a completed pregnancy will happen. Amanda Prowse writes about real life and not knowing if Lucy's biggest wish would be fulfilled or not kept me on the edge of my seat.
 
The Idea of You wasn't an easy read for me. Amanda Prowse's skill to dig deep into her subjects always makes me go through an emotional rollercoaster. Her stories are multilayered and every feeling has been thoroughly explored. Lucy is a lovely woman and Jonah is a kind man, which made me wish even more that they'd see their heart's desire fulfilled. Amanda Prowse makes sure every detail is exactly right and Lucy's emotional letters to her baby are making it possible to see straight into her soul. Combined with plenty of original twists and turns the story is admirably complete. I highly recommend The Idea of You, it's a terrific compelling story.
 
Advice
 
The subject of miscarrying isn't an easy one. I'd still recommend this book to anyone who loves emotional stories though as it's a beautiful well written story and if you're going through the same problems as Lucy you might find some support.
 
Giveaway
 

One very lucky winner will receive paperback copies of What Have I Done and Clover's Child by Amanda Prowse.
  

 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

Books of Choice Giveaway

 
 
Enter this giveaway for a chance to win books of choice worth $25. Good luck!
 

 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Book Review & Guest Post - The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick

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Review by Suze
 
The Second World War changed the lives of many people. In 1943 Adele and her identical twin sister Amelia are old enough to become Wrens. Because of the different directions they choose they will be separated for the first time. Adele will miss her sister, as Amelia is her other half, but she will also finally experience the freedom of being just herself, not part of a duo seen as one. Adele is sensible and Amelia is daring. When Adele is being betrayed in the worst possible way she will never be the same. Even seventy years later the past remains a raw wound. What happened to her that caused her so much grief and changed the direction of her life forever?
 
The Returning Tide is an impressive story. I love books about sisters and I was hooked from the first page. I immediately liked Adele, she's sweet, sympathetic and brave. She once loved with all her heart and I had tears in my eyes when I read about what she had to go through. Her story is fascinating, moving and multilayered and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I had tears in my eyes when I read both the beginning and the ending of the story.
 
Liz Fenwick knows how to build tension and her stories are always interesting as well as gripping. The Returning Tide is set in the past and the present. Cornwall is the main location, but parts of the present are taking place in America. Both settings are beautiful and I love Liz Fenwick's vivid descriptions that make everything come to life incredibly well. I could almost smell the sea and enjoyed seeing the surroundings through the eyes of her main characters. I could easily feel the love she has for them and that makes them extra wonderful. I could feel their pain, their love and their sorrows. Home is an important subject for them and Liz Fenwick's vision of what it entails is captivating, which is something I absolutely love about her books.
 
The Returning Tide is such a special story. The Second World War hugely influenced people. Liz Fenwick perfectly captured the atmosphere with the intense sadness on one side and the will to live and seize the day on the other. Being separated from loved ones is hard and living for the moment is the only way to keep going for a lot of people. I loved how Liz Fenwick uses these strong feelings as a solid basis for a terrific story. Her writing is engaging, meaningful, poignant and honest. There are deep wounds and immense joy and experiencing what the characters are going through was both magnificent and heartbreaking at the same time.
 
I'm a big fan of stories about family secrets and The Returning Tide is a riveting one with plenty of surprising twists and turns. It's clear from the beginning that something tragic happened to Adele and Amelia and Liz Fenwick slowly lets her readers know the exact details. The story is a combination of shocking, sad, intriguing and thrilling scenes. Secrets tend to come out and when they do they can have a huge impact and that's exactly what happens in this book. Liz Fenwick has written a fantastic novel, The Returning Tide is a story that will stay with me for a long time.
 
Advice
 
If you love reading intriguing family stories that are very well written and multilayered you should definitely read The Returning Tide.
 
Guest post
 
Five Favourite Spots in Cornwall
by Liz Fenwick

I’m always stumped when I’m asked for my top five or ten favourite places in Cornwall. It would be easier to say what I don’t like… tails back getting into the Duchy is certainly up there. But I love my adopted home and in different seasons I have different favourites. But here is my top five for now – I hold onto the right to change them in the near future maybe even tomorrow!
 
1. The sunset viewed from the top of Godolphin Hill…from this primitive place you can see to the heart of Cornwall behind you, the Lizard, St Michaels Mount and the to the west St Ives Bay. It’s as if the world is at your feet as you watch the sun sink into the sea…pure magic.
 
2. Prussia Cove – we took this walk for the first time in January on a day so bright and clear it hurt. You wind your way through the private estate past enchanting cottages to the cove that hints at smugglers and long years of fishing. A short climb/walk along the coast brings you to deserted beaches and massive caves…if they could only talk.
 
3. Frenchman’s Creek…it is a place that the world forgot or feels that way. Whether you walk along its banks in spring - when bluebells are just appearing and their colour is impossible to capture somewhere between blue and purple and possibly heaven, or in twilight when the tide is in and you are sure that you are not alone despite the echoing silence because surely fairies hide among the twisted branches bending down to the creek…it is the most special place.
 
4. St Ives. I could rave about the light and the colour of the sea but everyone does that and deservedly so. I love to wander with a plan and see where I find myself on the twisting lanes filled with surprising views. St Ives for me is best in the morning before it’s too busy and as a special treat breakfast on the beach at Porthminster Beach CafĂ©.
 
5. Lizard Point…the power of the sea, the size of the cliffs, the call of the choughs and playful sight of a seal all make this a unique. My family is mildly obsessed with visiting the UK’s most southerly point when the weather is fierce and you realise how small we are compared to natures almighty strength.
 
About Liz Fenwick
 

Writer, ex-pat expert, wife, mother of three, and dreamer turned doer….

Award winning author of The Cornish House, A Cornish Affair, A Cornish Stranger Sky, Under A Cornish and a novella – A Cornish Christmas Carol. After ten international moves, I’m a bit of a global nomad. It’s no wonder my heart remains in Cornwall.

The Returning Tide is out on the 23rd of March 2017 and I’m currently writing the next book.

My books are available in Dutch, Germany, Portuguese, French, Estonia, Norwegian, Danish, Turkish, Swedish, Latvian, Serbian and Czech.
 

The Bad Boy Next Door by Jody Holford - Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

 
Book review
 
Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads
 
Review by Suze

Shay wants to make it on her own. Her family is protective and they like to do everything for her, but she wants to prove she can also achieve something without them. That's why it's time for a new beginning. She's started a business and she's moved into her own apartment. She wants to be carefree and isn't looking for a relationship, but when she meets her neighbor Wyatt she can't help but feel something for him. He isn't the lighthearted fun type of guy though, will Shay follow her heart or are her dreams for the future standing in the way?

Wyatt works for the police. He accepted an undercover job that went wrong in many different ways and his confidence has taken quite a blow because of it. His heart has been bruised and he isn’t looking for either friendship or love, but then he meets Shay. She’s a ray of sunshine and that appears to be exactly what he needs. However, there’s someone else in the building who likes Shay as well and Brady is Wyatt’s exact opposite. Brady seems so much better for Shay. Will Wyatt have a chance and is he prepared to go after a woman again after having his heart broken so badly?

The Bad Boy Next Door is a great romantic story. Even though Wyatt doesn’t seem like Shay’s type he’s perfect for her. He’s thoughtful and grounded and under a broody exterior he hides an adorable sweetness and wonderful generous personality. I loved him from the start, he’s a troubled man with a good heart. Shay brings him the happiness he needs so badly. I loved her determination to be independent. She’s trying to survive on her own and her friendly character makes it easy to like her. She’s had a protective upbringing, but she wants more for herself than just being coddled and helped with everything. I admired that about her. Wyatt treats her with respect and kindness and she brings him warmth, lightness and cheerfulness. They perfectly complement one another and are a really cute couple.

Jody Holford writes about a lively building with interesting people. Kendrick Place is an amazing setting for a series. It was fun to read about the building itself and its inhabitants. Jody Holford’s detailed descriptions make it come to life very well. There’s quite a bit of drama going on in the basement and it was fascinating to see where it would lead. I enjoyed reading about the intrigues in the lives of the main characters combined with true love. The Bad Boy Next Door is a lovely charming read with endearing main characters.
 
Advice
 
The Bad Boy Next Door is the second part of the Kendrick Place series, but can easily be read as a standalone. If you like reading about interesting neighbors and true love this series will be a great choice.
 
 

Wyatt frowned at her as she started to remove the long coat she’d worn over the dress. “How can you scowl when you’re looking at a beautiful woman?” Brady nudged Wyatt in the arm, then removed his own jacket.

Shay had a feeling she knew exactly why he was frowning. She shook her head and handed the coat to Brady.

“Stop it. You’re looking at me like my brother Simon did when he picked me up at a party one night. I’d borrowed a dress from a friend, and he lost his mind.”

“Did it look like what you’re wearing now?” Wyatt’s voice was strained. He passed his jacket over to Brady, who looked back and forth between them.

“Why don’t I help you, O? These two need a minute to discuss their wardrobe,” Brady said.

Owen laughed, and he and Brady left them alone. Wyatt closed the distance between them.

He put his hands on her hips. “Did it?”

“Did what?”

“Did the dress your brother didn’t like look like the one you’re wearing now?”

Amusement and frustration crowded each other and Shay sighed. “You don’t like my dress?”

Wyatt’s eyes widened. “What? Are you nuts? That dress is killer. I love it. I’d just love it more if you were only wearing it for me,” he said, pulling her close.

His fingers grazed the bare skin on her back and Shay shivered. She wound her arms around his neck and went up on tiptoes. Her heart was skipping just from the sound of his lips saying the word “love.” Twice.

She kissed his cheek then whispered in his ear, “I am wearing it only for you.”

Wyatt growled with pure male appreciation and tightened his hold on her. “You sure you don’t want to just go home?”

She smiled and pulled back, taking his hand. “No way. I want to socialize and meet people. I want to look at art, hold your hand, and drink champagne.”

The affection in his gaze as they walked toward the curved staircase made her breath catch in her throat. He squeezed her hand in his own. “Partway there. Let’s get something to drink.”

About Jody Holford
 

Jody Holford is a multi-published author who has a soft spot for happily ever after. So much so, she tattooed the words on her arm. She’s a mom and a wife, a friend, sister, daughter, teacher, and book-lover. Her stories have a little bit of heat and a lot of heart. And maybe, some swoon-worthy moments that will make you smile.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Profile

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Book Review - Cards From Khloe's Flower Shop by Isabella Louise Anderson


Book review

Amazon USA Amazon UK Goodreads

Review by Anniek

Khloe has her own flower shop. Her best friend Sharon helps her with the deliveries and the customers. Khloe has been burned in the past, so having a succesfull shop is enough for the time being. Her business is booming and Khloe can hardly keep up with all the orders she's getting. She always uses flowers from local people so she's not the only one who benefits from her success. When Derek walks into the store, Khloe can't deny that she's interested in this gorgeous man. Will he be who she needs to overcome her past betrayal?

Cards From Khloe's Flowershop follows several women in their search for love: 

You'll get to know Connie who has created her own imaginary man. Connie orders flowers every week and has them delivered at work, so that she can read the cards out loud to her coworkers. Connie wonders if finding true love will ever happen for her. She searches on the internet for a man who resembles Walt, the man she has invented. Connie finds someone who is everything she ever envisioned for herself. When the real Walt finds out why Connie sought him out will he be able to forgive her?

Gabby has lost her husband after a long marriage. She's devastated but has found comfort and support with her friends. Love isn't limited by age and Gabby decides to try online dating, hoping to find love again. Gabby is a fun and warm person and I loved how she interacts with people. She feels guilty about moving on and I can imagine that it can't be easy being on your own after such a long marriage. I was really happy for her when I read about how she slowly gets ready to start dating again. Will she have her second chance at love?

Cards From Khloe's Flowershop is a very sweet and uncomplicated read. Flowers will bring comfort in times of sadness and will make people happy during the good times. I loved the different stories and how they were all connected through Khloe's shop. Age is nothing but a number and it warmed my heart to read about Gabby, who's searching for love at an older age. Isabella Louise Anderson's writing is realistic and I could sympathize with all of the main characters without any difficulties. She has a nicely flowing writing style, which made me fly through the pages. I absolutely loved this heartwarming story.

Advice

Cards From Khloe's Flowershop is a fabulous easy to read romance novel, it's perfect for readers who like stories about women who are open to the possibility of love again.


About Isabella Louise Anderson


Isabella grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day nothing has changed. She focuses her time on featuring other writers on her blog, Chick Lit Goddess, along with organizing Goddess Book Tours, and is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

She lives in Dallas with her husband, enjoys spicy Mexican food, margaritas, gin on the rocks (with a splash of lime). She loves spending time with family and friends and cheering on the Texas Rangers. Not only is Isabella an author, she’s also a Scentsy consultant and hoarder.

Isabella is the author of The Right Design and Cards From Khloe’s Flower Shop. Her short story, “Meet Me Under the Mistletoe,” was featured in Simon & Fig’s Christmas anthology, Merry & Bright. She’s currently working on another book.

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