Before the Dawn by Emma Pass @EmmaPassAuthor @AriaFiction

Before the Dawn by Emma Pass
Publication date: 3rd March 2022

About the Book:

When everything you hold dear is torn apart by war, can love put you back together again?

It’s 1943, and the Second World War is raging. Ruby Mottram works for her local newspaper, the Bartonford Herald, typing up adverts and obituaries, whilst dreaming of a more exciting life. Between her shifts as an ARP warden and caring for her ailing father, the chance for escape doesn’t come often to Devon.

Meanwhile, in America’s deep south, Sam Archer is hatching a plan to raise enough money to get his mother and sister away from his abusive stepfather. Using falsified documents to hide his age, he enlists with the U.S. Army.

Two chance encounters bring Ruby and Sam together from opposite sides of the Atlantic, giving them the chance of love, hope and freedom from their troubled lives. But fate, in the shape of D-Day and Omaha Beach, has other ideas.

When their very lives are at risk, will their promise to wait for one another be what keeps them alive?

About the Author:

Emma Pass grew up in Surrey and has been making up stories for as long as she can remember. She wrote her first novel – a sequel to Jurassic Park – when she was 13 in maths lessons with her notebook hidden under her work. She previously worked as a library assistant and has published two novels for young adults and a non-fiction creative writing e-guide. In 2020 she was commissioned to create a poetry-film for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. She is now a full-time writer, creative writing teacher, editor and mentor. She has ME and, at the age of 40, was diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum. Emma lives in Derbyshire with her artist husband and a very naughty retired racing greyhound called Auburn. When she’s not writing she loves to read and knit (often at the same time).

Follow Emma:

Twitter: @EmmaPassAuthor
Instagram: @emmapassauthor

Follow Aria & Head of Zeus:

Twitter: @AriaFiction
Instagram: @headofzeus
Facebook: @ariafiction

Where to Buy:

Buy from Amazon:
Buy from Kobo:


Part One


Hidden amongst the dunes above Bartonford beach, I threw my head back and yelled. The wind snatched my voice away and Toffee looked at me with his head tilted sideways, one ear pricked. I bent and rubbed the top of his head. In front of me, through a gap in the dunes, I could see all the way past the beach defences to the sea where steely waves tumbled fiercely over one another, capped with brownish foam. A summer storm had blown in last night and the wind was still charging across the bay like an express train.
It was just past seven o’clock in the morning, and I was the only person here. Just as well, really – if anyone heard me screaming like this, they’d think I’d gone quite dotty. But mornings like these, when I had the bay to myself, were the only time I truly felt like me. At eighteen, my life was one of strict routine: unless I’d been on duty the night before I rose at half past six, washed and dressed, and walked Toffee for Mrs-Baxter-down-the-lane who was so hampered now by her rheumatism that she couldn’t manage it anymore. Then I returned home, fetched Father’s paper from the main house and laid the table for breakfast.
After we’d eaten, Father walked over to the psychiatric unit and I made my sandwiches and did the dishes, unless it was Mrs Blythe’s day to come in. Then I cycled to the Herald offices. After work I came straight home. Usually the rest of the Herald staff went for a drink at the Bartonford Arms Hotel; Vera was always pestering me to come too, but I already spent several evenings a week out on duty, and the thought of leaving Father with only the wireless for company every night of the week made me feel unbearably guilty. Anyway, he often needed me to help him type up his notes.
When I was on shift, though, I’d change into my Air Raid Precautions uniform – a smart blue serge tunic – straight after supper and cycle back into town to the sector post, my helmet with its white ‘W’ painted on the front looped over the handlebars and my gas mask in the basket, unable to help the spark of rebellious joy deep down inside me at the break from routine it afforded, however small. I would have loved to have done something practical – work in a factory or as a land girl – but because leaving Father was out of the question I’d become a warden instead, signing up to the Women’s Voluntary Service the day after my sixteenth birthday.
Toffee pulled stubbornly on his lead, desperate for a good run. ‘Sorry, boy,’ I told him. ‘I can’t let you off. Not here. I’d never forgive myself if you got tangled up in all that wire.’ I shivered as the wind cut through my thin coat with its too-short sleeves; I didn’t have enough coupons for a new one yet. I was about to turn for home when something caught my eye: a group of three men at the other end of the beach, one digging around the bottom of one of the posts, the others looping a heavy length of chain around it. The end of the chain was attached to a bulldozer. Panic spiked through me. Had the Germans invaded at last?
I crouched behind a hummock of marram grass, trying to see through the stalks as they tossed in the wind and wondering if I was brave enough to challenge the men. I imagined the headline in the Herald: PLUCKY REPORTER DEFEATS ENEMY INVASION! The more sensible part of me reminded me that I could hardly be called a reporter, and that if they were Germans, they’d have guns. But I wanted to get my facts straight before I fetched the constable. Check, double-check and check again for luck – that’s what Vera always said.
Then I looked again and let out a relieved laugh. The men were wearing Home Guard uniforms; I knew them. Barnaby Sykes, who was blind in one eye – another casualty of the last war – was doing the digging and helping him were old Tom Bidley and Alfie Blythe. I stood, brushing sand off my skirt and coat, picked Toffee up and made my way down there, squeezing past the enormous cubes of concrete placed to prevent enemy tanks from being able to drive up into the dunes, and stepping carefully through the rolls of barbed wire. Several posts had already been taken out and lay scattered across the sand like tree trunks uprooted by a playful giant.
‘Hullo, Alfie,’ I said as I reached them. Alfie jumped. He was trying to tighten the chain while Barnaby carried on digging around the base of the post with a shovel, Tom watching with one hand resting on the bulldozer.
Toffee was wriggling; I put him down and he strained forwards on his lead, wagging his tail. Alfie ignored him. ‘Ruby! What are you doing here?’ he said.
I raised my eyebrows. ‘I might ask you the same thing. I thought you were Jerry, digging up the defences so you could invade the town!’
Alfie, Barnaby and Tom looked at one another, and Alfie pressed his lips together primly. ‘I can’t tell you anything, I’m afraid.’
‘Might as well,’ Tom interjected in his thick Devon burr. ‘Whole town’s gon’ know soon ’nough.’
Alfie and Barnaby exchanged another glance. Then Alfie said: ‘It’s for the Americans.’
‘The Americans?’ I asked.
‘The American troops. They’re coming here. They’re going to be training on the beach. We have to clear it for them.’
‘Buildin’ some girt big huts up on them dunes, they will be, too, and a dance ’all too if the lil’ bird that told me about it is right.’ Tom grinned at me from underneath his bushy white moustache, showing the gaps in his teeth. ‘That’ll liven things up for you and that friend o’yours at the newspaper, eh, missy?’
My heart skipped a beat at the thought of whirling around to the sounds of an upbeat dance band in the arms of a handsome American soldier or airman.
Alfie saw my smile and sniffed. ‘I do hope everyone’s not going to go completely silly about them.’
I sighed inwardly. Alfie had shot up suddenly last year, his arms and legs filling out with sinewy muscle. Because of his asthma he couldn’t sign up, or go to his father’s engineering works, so he’d taken a job at the post office, delivering letters, which meant he called in at the Herald nearly every day. I caught him looking at me like this sometimes, as if he was sizing me up for something and finding me lacking, and I wasn’t sure I liked it. I missed the wiry, cheerful boy in baggy shorts I’d gone to school with, and the easy closeness we’d once had, more than I cared to admit. But perhaps it was inevitable – we were both growing up, after all.
‘I shouldn’t think so,’ I said. ‘The Americans’ll be on the lookout for something far more exotic than a lot of country bumpkins from Bartonford. Anyway, I’ll leave you to it. See you later if there’s any letters, Alfie.’
‘Don’t say anything to anyone!’ Alfie warned as I walked away.
‘Don’t worry, I won’t!’ I called over my shoulder, and smiled, wondering exactly how he proposed to hide the fact that the beach defences were being torn up.

Boldwood Romance Tropes Bingo #BoldBookClub

I was wondering what challenge to do next when I got an email from Boldwood to invite me to the Romance Tropes Bingo. There was a virtual bingo card too.

There were various categories of books within the romance genre to be shared between the 11th and 14th of February and I want to share my book picks. I have posted about each book on my blog. I shared my books on my Instagram @purplestar81 and Twitter @theglitzqueen, since a requirement of the challenge was to post to social networks.

The first challenge was a diagonal line featuring two tropes. I chose First Love and Fake Relationship.

The second was a horizontal or vertical line with two/three tropes. I chose First Love, Second chances and Forbidden Love.

The third was to share all eight books representing all eight tropes.

And there were prizes (books and a tote bag).

Here are all my books:

Enemies to Lovers:

The Rancher’s Forgotten Rival by Maisey Yates

Love Triangle:

I was torn between which book to share for this category. The first one I always associate with a love triangle is Imzadi II by Peter David.

Fake relationship:

A Soldier Under Her Tree by Cathy Douglass

Opposites Attract:

Twelve Dates of Christmas by Laurel Greer

Friends to Lovers:

Leave The Night On by Laura Trentham

First Love:

Competing with the Star (Star #2) by Krysten Lindsey Hager

Second Chances:

Finding Dreams by Lauren Westwood

Forbidden Love:

Her Amish Suitor’s Secret by Carrie Lighte,

The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan

About the Book:

This Christmas, be whisked away by USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan in this uplifting novel of friendship, the festive season, and risking everything for the biggest gift of all…

Christy and Alix are forever-friends. Not even Alix’s well-meant but badly-timed intervention the night before Christy’s wedding has put a dent in their bond. There’s nothing Alix won’t do for the woman who helped fill the hole in her heart left by her own family’s rejection. But taking Christy’s boisterous little daughter Holly on holiday to Lapland, days before Christmas, is a huge ask. Marketing whizz Alix might know how to turn toys into million-dollar Christmas bestsellers, but the responsibility of parenthood terrifies her. And unfortunately, she’ll have a witness to her ineptitude, in the annoyingly delicious shape of Zac, Holly’s father’s best friend, who will also be there…

Christy had hoped this year would be her dream Christmas, in her dream new family house. Instead, it’s turning into the nightmare before Christmas, with a frightening list of household repairs, no money, and a make-or-break crisis in her marriage. Even worse, it’s a crisis of her own making, and one that is on her shoulders to fix. With best friend Alix coming to the rescue and looking after Holly, Christy will finally have time to focus on rebuilding her relationship.

As Alix confronts her fears and finds unexpected romance under the Northern Lights, and Christy fights to save her marriage, could it be that their Christmas holiday opens their eyes, and their hearts, to what they’ve always wanted?

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction. Her trademark humour and warmth have gained her fans across the globe and three RITA® Awards from the Romance Writers of America. Sarah lives with her family near London, England, where the rain frequently keeps her trapped in her office

Where to Buy:
Barnes & Noble

Contact Sarah:

Author Website
Facebook: @AuthorSarahMorgan
Instagram: @sarahmorganwrites
Twitter: @SarahMorgan_

My Review:

The first Sarah Morgan book I bought was Sleigh Bells in the Snow. The second book of hers I have is the ARC of A Wedding in December. I loved them and knew I wanted to get more of Sarah’s novels.

I selected this one from my NetGalley library as I wanted something christmassy and escapist. The Christmas Escape was just that.

The characters were unique and the little girl was cute. Sarah Morgan’s writing style is immersive, and she has a great eye for detail. The novel is feel good yet the relationships are realistically shown.

Thanks to Sarah Morgan and Harlequin for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

4.5 stars


She hadn’t dared hope that this might happen.
Someone less cynical might have thought of it as a Christmas miracle, but Robyn no longer believed in miracles. She was terrified, but layered under the terror was a seam of something else. Hope. The kaleidoscope of emotions inside her matched the swirl and shimmer of color in the sky. Here in Swedish Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle, the unpolluted skies and clear winter nights made for frequent sightings of the northern lights.
She heard the door open behind her, heard the soft crunch of footsteps on deep snow and then felt Erik’s arms slide around her.
“Come inside. It’s cold.”
“One more minute. I need to think…” She’d always done her best thinking here, in this wild land where nature dominated, where a human felt insignificant beneath the expanse of pink-tinted sky. Everything she’d ever done that was foolish, selfish, risky or embarrassing shrank in importance because this place didn’t care.
Trees bowed under the weight of new snow, the surface glistening with delicate threads of silver and blue. The cold numbed her cheeks and froze her eyelashes, but she noticed only the beauty. Her instinct was to reach for her camera, even though she already had multiple images of the same scene.
She’d come here to escape from everything she was and everything she’d done and had fallen in love with the place and the man. It turned out that you could reinvent yourself if you moved far enough away from everyone who knew you.
Erik pulled the hood of her down jacket farther over her head. “If you’re thinking of the past, then don’t.”
How could she not?
Robyn the rebel.
Her old self felt unfamiliar now. It was like looking at an old photo and not recognizing yourself. Who was that woman?
“I can’t believe she’s coming here. She was three years old when I last saw her.”
Her niece. Her sister’s child.
She remembered a small, smiling cherub with rosy cheeks and curly blond hair. She remembered innocence and acceptance and the fleeting hope of a fresh start, before Robyn had ruined it, the way she’d ruined everything back then.
Her sister had forbidden her to ever make contact again. There had been no room for Robyn in her sister’s perfect little family unit. Even now, many years later, remembering that last encounter still made her feel shaky and sick. She tried to imagine the child as a woman. Was she like her mother? Whenever Robyn thought about her sister, her feelings became confused.
Love. Hate. Envy. Irritation. She hadn’t known it was possible to feel every possible emotion within a single relationship. Elizabeth had been the golden girl. The perfect princess and, for a little while at least, her best friend in the world.
Time had eased the pain from agony to ache.
All links had been broken, until that email had arrived.
“Why did she get in touch now, after so long? She’s thirty. Grown.”
Part of her wanted to celebrate, but life had taught her to be cautious, and she knew this wasn’t a simple reunion. What if her niece was looking for answers? And what if she didn’t like what she heard?
Was this a second chance, or another emotional car crash?
“You can ask her. Face-to-face,” Erik said, “but I know you’re nervous.”
“Yes.” She had no secrets from him, although it had taken her a while to reach the point where she’d trusted their relationship not to snap. “She’s a stranger. The only living member of my family.”
Her sister was gone, killed instantly two years earlier while crossing the road. There was no fixing the past now. That door was closed.
Erik tightened his hold on her. “Your niece has a daughter, remember? That’s two family members. Three if you count her husband.”
Family. She’d had to learn to live without it.
She’d stayed away, as ordered. Made no contact. Rebuilt her life. Redesigned herself. Buried the past and traveled as far from her old life as she could. In the city she’d often felt trapped. Suffocated by the past. Here, in this snowy wilderness with nature on her doorstep, she felt free.
And then the past had landed in her in-box.

I’m Christy, your niece.

“Was it a mistake to ask her here?” It was the first time she’d invited the past into the present. “Apart from the fact we don’t know each other, do you think she’ll like this place?” For her it had been love at first sight. The stillness. The swirl of blue-green color in the sky, and the soft light that washed across the landscape at this time of year. As a photographer, the light was an endless source of fascination and inspiration. There were shades and tones she’d never seen anywhere else in the world. Midnight blue and bright jade. Icy pink and warm rose.
Some said the life up here was harsh and hard, but Robyn had known hard, and this wasn’t it. Cold wasn’t only a measure of temperature, it was a feeling. And she’d been cold. The kind of cold that froze you inside and couldn’t be fixed with thermal layers and a down jacket.
And then there was warmth, of the kind she felt now with Erik.
“Christmas in Lapland?” He sounded amused. “How can she not like it? Particularly as she has a child. Where else can she play in the snow, feed reindeer and ride on a sled through the forest?”
Robyn gazed at the trees. It was true that this was paradise for a Christmas-loving child, although that wasn’t the focus of the business. She had little experience with children and had never felt the desire to have her own. Her family was Erik. The dogs. The forest. The skies. This brilliant, brutal wilderness that felt more like home than any place she’d lived.
The main lodge had been handed down through generations of Erik’s family, but he’d expanded it to appeal to the upper end of the market. Their guests were usually discerning
travelers seeking to escape. Adventurous types who appreciated luxury but were undaunted by the prospect of heading into the frozen forest or exploring the landscape on skis or snowshoes. Erik offered his services as a guide when needed, and she, as a photographer, was on hand to coach people through the intricacies of capturing the aurora on camera. You couldn’t predict it, so she’d learned patience. She’d learned to wait until nature gave her what she was hoping for.
Through the snowy branches she could see the soft glow of lights from two of their cabins, nestled in the forest. They were five in total, each named after Arctic wildlife. Wolf, Reindeer, Elk, Lynx and Bear. Each cozy cabin had floor-to-ceiling windows that offered a breathtaking view of the forest and the sky. The Snow Spa had been her idea and proved a popular addition. The focus here was wellness, with an emphasis on the nature that surrounded them. She and her small team used local resources whenever they could. Guests were encouraged to leave phones and watches behind.
Erik was right. It was the perfect escape. The question she should have asked wasn’t Will she like it here? but Will she like me?
She felt a moment of panic. “The last time I saw Christy—well, it wasn’t good.” The kitten incident. The memory of that visit was carved into her soul. Despite all her good intentions, it had gone badly wrong. “What age do children start remembering? Will she remember what happened?” She hoped not. Even now, so many years later, she could still remember the last words her sister had spoken to her.
You ruin everything. I don’t want you in my life.
Robyn pressed closer to Erik and felt his arms tighten.
“It was a long time ago, Robyn. Ancient history.”
“But people don’t forget history, do they?” What had her sister told her daughter?
Robyn the rebel.
She wondered what her sister would say if she could see her now. Happy. Married to a man she loved. Living in one place. Earning a good living, although no doubt Elizabeth would see it as unconventional.
Christy, it seemed, was happily married and living an idyllic life in the country, as her mother had before her.
What would Elizabeth say if she knew her daughter was coming to visit?
Robyn gave a shiver and turned back toward the lodge.
Elizabeth wouldn’t have been happy, and if she could have stopped it, she would have done so. She wouldn’t have wanted her sister to contaminate her daughter’s perfect life.

Excerpted from The Christmas Escape by Sarah Morgan. Copyright © 2021 by Sarah Morgan. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

Snowflakes over the Starfish Café by Jessica Redland

About the Book:

Welcome to The Starfish Café – where you will find stunning views, delicious food and lifelong friendships.

Two broken hearts.

Since she inherited The Starfish Café, Hollie has poured her heart into the business, striving to keep her mother’s traditions and warm-hearted spirit alive. But behind closed doors Hollie is searching for true happiness as she grieves the tragic loss of her family who were once the beating heart of the café…

An unexpected meeting.

Jake lives by two rules: don’t let anyone get close and don’t talk about what happened. Little does he know that a chance meeting at The Starfish Café, facilitated by a fluffy lost dog, is about to turn his world upside down…

The chance to love again.

Can Hollie and Jake break down the barriers that have been holding them back from finding love and happiness, before Christmas comes around? After all, with courage, nothing is impossible…

Join top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for a magical winter at the seaside, where love blossoms and lifelong friendships are made.

My Review:

Hollie and Jake have broken hearts. Hollie has been through good times and bad. She hopes the café will still be the important place her mum created it to be. She and her mum are very close and I liked thst.

There are moments of tragedy in this book and there are always sweet treats and good company. I was won over by the mention of hot chocolate with marshmallows and chocolate buttons (I will have to try it like that) at the beginning of the book and felt the atmosphere of the café and surrounding area was somewhere I wanted to be.

Can Jake forget the past and move on?

Jessica Redland’s books are uplifting and I’m looking forward to discovering more of them after this. I enjoyed Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow and All you Need is Love.

Her writing style is always gripping, immersive and makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

I can’t rate this book highly enough. It’s beautiful.

Thanks to Jessica Redland, Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

Also thanks to Claire for the Boldwood Book Club Readalong event featuring this book from 13-17 December 2021.

5 stars

Buy Here:

The Christmas Wedding Dress by Susan Mallery

Author: Susan Mallery
ISBN: 9781335522450
Publication Date: September 28, 2021
Publisher: HQN Books

Where to Buy:
Barnes & Noble

Social Links:

Author Website
Twitter: @SusanMallery
Facebook: @SusanMallery
Instagram: @susanmallery

About the Author:

Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations,” and readers seem to agree—40 million copies of her books have sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live.

Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She’s passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the two ragdoll cats and adorable poodle who think of her as mom.

About the Book:

The last thing Reggie Sommerville wants is to come back home for Christmas. It’s only been a year and a half since her boyfriend, Jake, proposed and then broke up with her, all in one weekend, and the prospect of facing the entire town is humiliating. But when her parents reveal that they’re renewing their vows in the lavish wedding they always wanted and her mother asks her to be a bridesmaid, Reggie knows she can’t say no. No matter how much she wants to. She expected the town would be gossiping about her relationship with Jake, but she never expected to run into Toby, her first love that broke her heart all those years ago, living in town and raising his son. She always thought things between them were long over…but this Christmas is full of surprises.

Dena Sommerville has only ever wanted one thing: to have a child. But motherhood has been alluding her because she never met the right man…until she took the bull by the horns and decided to have a baby as a single mom. She knew it would be difficult and the morning sickness alone is knocking her down for the count, but she’s determined to do this on her own. So when a handsome musician checks into the inn where she works, Dena is surprised when a friendship develops. He has his own issues to work through—that much is clear. But she can’t deny there’s something between them

This Christmas, guilted into being bridesmaids at their parents’ vow renewal ceremony, Reggie and Dena Sommerville just might find the most unexpected gift of all—love.

The Ticklemore Tavern by Liz Davies @LizDaviesAuthor @rararesources

About the Book:

Nell Chapman has always assumed that one (or the other) of her twin sons would help run her antique shop once they finished university. The boys, however, have other plans, when they announce they’re going backpacking for a year, leaving Nell feeling bereft and lonely.
Not only that, but with their father (her lying, cheating ex-husband) back on the scene and demanding half of the business, there might not be anything left for her boys to help manage when they return.
However, she hasn’t counted on the unexpected support of local landscape artist, Silas Long. And neither has she considered the possibility she might fall in love again – especially since Silas is so distant and moody, and has his own cross to bear.
Should Nell take a chance and risk her heart, or should she leave well alone? And why has Silas painted her portrait if he doesn’t feel anything for her?
A perfect romantic read for fans of Heidi Swain and Sarah Morgan

Where to Buy:

About the Author:

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.
She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.
She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper can and travel the world in it.

Social Media Links:


My Review:

After the Ticklemore Treasure Trove which I loved, I was thrilled to learn there were more books in the series.

The beginning of the synopsis made me smile, and I knew I was in for a treat. A pub is a great focal point in a village. I was in eager anticipation as to what would unfold.

Logan and Violet seemed to have good chemistry in that sentence and I knew the novel would be fun.

His mum, however is harder to convince. What will happen when Marie falls ill? Will Logan help her or be faithful to Violet? Can he possibly do both at the same time, or will someone get hurt in the process?

Deeply moving in the hard parts yet warm and fun overall, The Ticklemore Tavern won me over as The Ticklemore Treasure Trove had before it thanks to Liz Davies’ excellent character creation and worldbuilding skills.

I love Ticklemore as a village and like the variety of characters who live there as they all have their personalities.

Thanks to Liz Davies, Lilac Tree Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 stars.

Escape to the Hummingbird Hotel by Daisy James @daisyjamesbooks @rararesources

About the Book:

Welcome to the Hummingbird Hotel!
When florist-to-the-stars Abbie Coleman catches a glimpse of her boyfriend through the window of Tiffany’s, she couldn’t be more excited. Keen to share her happiness, she organises a huge surprise party for all their family and friends… except things don’t quite work out as she expected, and instead of planning a flower-filled wedding, she finds herself single, and fired from a job she loves.
Desperate to escape her heartbreak, she jets off to her aunt’s quirky Hummingbird Hotel on the gorgeous island of Corfu. Little did she know that instead of spending her time lounging by the pool, drinking cocktails, and soaking up the sun, she’d be stepping into the role of the island’s newest hotelier.
The arrival of unexpected guests sends Abbie into a tailspin of panic, and she’s forced to turn to snippy, but charismatic, vineyard owner-turned-chef, Nikos Angelopoulos, for help. Why does the kitchen fill with smoke whenever she makes coffee? Why is there a naked man swimming in the pool? And why do the hotel’s toiletries turn their guests’ hair pink?
Despite all the chaos, the Hummingbird Hotel works its magic on Abbie, and she finds herself with a decision to make. Will she return home to the drizzly grey skies of London? Or will she take a leap of faith and embrace the new opportunities that little corner of paradise has to offer, and maybe, just maybe, discover a sprinkle of romance along the way?

Where to Buy:

UK –
US –

About the Author:

Daisy James loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. She especially likes to create sunshine-filled settings in exotic locations – the Caribbean, Tuscany, Cornwall, Provence – so she can spend her time envisioning her characters enjoying the fabulous scenery and sampling the local food and drink.When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.
Daisy would love to hear from readers via her Facebook page or you can follow her on Twitter @daisyjamesbooks or on Instagram @booksdaisyjames.

My Review:

I am no stranger to Daisy James’ novels and have loved each one that I have reviewed so far. Sunshine and Secrets (The Paradise Cookery School #1) Mistletoe and Mystery Summer at Villa Limoncello A Wedding at Villa Limoncello Confetti and Confusion.

In Escape to the Hummingbird Hotel, Abbie inherits her aunt’s quirky hotel in Corfu. She is all too ready to escape London after being cheated on and wants a new start. But can she do it?

She thinks Greece will be poolside relaxation, cocktails and sun but life has other plans for her. Will she get used to Greece? How will she like working at the hotel?

Then there’s vineyard owner-turned-chef, Nikos Angelopoulos to contend with…..

Will love and happiness be hers again? Will she stay or will it be back to London?

As always, Daisy James impresses me with her attention for detail and passion for writing romances set in paradise locations. She fleshes every character out well and paints a mean picture of a nemesis.

Thanks to Daisy James and Rachel’s Random Resources for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 stars.

Surprise Reunion for His Cinderella @HQNBooks @rararesources

About the Book:

Can one week in paradise……heal ten years of heartache?
When the elite M dating agency sends wealthy Freddie Highgrove to the Seychelles for a weeklong “date,” the last person he’s expecting to be matched with is Jasmine Walker, his first love and ex-fiancée! Ten years ago, his family’s expectations for a high-society marriage sent housekeeper’s daughter Jasmine running. Can one week in paradise bring them back together?

Where to Buy:

About the Author:

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heartwarmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.She’s been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled on A4 sheets in her loft will attest to, and the lovingly bound short stories that her father would run off at work and proudly share out with his colleagues. Thinking it was a pipe dream to be published one day, she pursued a sensible career in business but she was really play-acting, achieving the appropriate degree and spending many years in the corporate world where she never truly belonged. Always happiest when she was sat at her laptop in the quiet hours tapping out a story or two. And so here she is, a published author, her full-time pleasure, a dream come true.A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she’s not glued to her laptop, she’s wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.

Contact Rachael:

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Giveaway to Win Prize bundle of 2 Rachael Stewart paperbacks plus assorted goodies (Open INT)
Prize Contains – – Paperback of Tempted by the Tycoon’s Proposal

  • Paperback of Surprise Reunion with His Cinderella
  • Mills & Boon Notebook
  • Rose Gold Pen
  • Cute Placemat
  • Lip balm
  • Sweets
  • Heart post-its
  • Author Swag

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My Review:

Freddie and Jasmine were once engaged and they thought what they had was in the past. Each has got on with life, or tried to, but they have not been lucky in love again.

“M” Dating Agency is known for sweeping potential love matches off to exotic locations. When Freddie is one of the chosen ones, the last person he ever expects to see is Jasmine.

I love Mills and Boon romances. I know there are so many by different authors. Rachael Stewart is a new author to me, and how talented she is!

I felt a book with this type of plot could have gone either way and been hot and engrossing or written in a less engaging manner since I have had different experiences with books with similar plots.

Fortunately, I was hooked by it. I immediately got inside each character and loved the way their past came out in inner thoughts. All the conversation surrounding them meeting again was natural for the circumstances and I got the feeling pretty early on that both Jasmine and Freddie were complex characters.

Freddie is Scottish but has moved to the US and I liked how we learnt so much just from a small mention of the changes to his accent. That was enough for me to understand how Jasmine felt at his moving on.

The initial meeting was so well done that I could feel the awkwardness, the not knowing if they wanted to be in the same room but having to be because of the date circumstances. The wanting to remember some things and not others. It was just so true-to-life.

A lot of the book is inner dialogue, but I didn’t mind that as the characters are so well fleshed out. I wanted to know every little thing about them.

Jasmine is the more sensitive of the two, and I was proud of the way she pulled herself together when tears threatened. I identified with being sensitive. This to me shows she’s real.

Surprise Reunion with His Cinderella is the second book in the Billion-Dollar Matches series, and I so want to get a copy of the others. I was really looking for a gripping excapist read with characters to root for and that’s what this is.

I was wondering fom the start if Jasmine and Freddie would have a HEA (Happily Ever After) whether it be as lovers or friends and wondering about that had me racing through the book. The writing style is contagiously gripping and I loved the blind date will-they-won’t they premise.

The Seychelles is a beautiful location on my dream vacation list and that came alive in this novel too.

Whether you yourself have been lucky in love or not as I have been, Freddie, Jasmine and the Seychelles will captivate you.

I have had some disaster dates that were blind dates but I enjoyed this all the same.

Surprise Reunion with His Cinderella is a standalone novel within a romance series.

Thanks to Rachael Stewart, Harlequin Mills and Boon and Rachel’s Random Resources for my ARC in exchange for sn honest and voluntary review.

5 stars

Up All Night by Laura Silverman @LJSilverman1 @AlgonquinBooks

Workman Publishing

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Up All Night

13 Stories between Sunset and Sunrise

Edited by Laura Silverman

When everyone else goes to bed, the ones who stay up feel like they’re the only people in the world. As the hours tick by deeper into the night, the familiar drops away and the unfamiliar beckons. Adults are asleep, and a hush falls over the hum of daily life. Anything is possible.

It’s a time for romance and adventure. For prom night and ghost hunts. It’s a time for breaking up, for falling in love—for finding yourself.

Stay up all night with these thirteen short stories from bestselling and award-winning YA authors like Karen McManus, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nina LaCour, and Brandy Colbert, as they take readers deep into these rarely seen, magical hours.

Full contributor list: Brandy Colbert, Kathleen Glasgow, Maurene Goo, Tiffany D. Jackson, Amanda Joy, Nina LaCour, Karen M. McManus, Anna Meriano, Marieke Nijkamp, Laura Silverman, Kayla Whaley, Julian Winters, Francesca Zappia

My Review:

I have always wondered what happens when everyone is asleep. Up All Night has 13 stories by new-to-me authors and the subjects are varied. Romance to ghost stories and more. Whatever your taste in stories, there’s bound to be something for you here.

A really great idea for an anthology. I love anthologies as they are excellent for getting an idea of each author’s writing style.

Thanks to Laura Silverman and Algonquin Books for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

4 stars

$15.95 (US)

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“This collection of stories, all set in the nighttime, seamlessly brings together some of the biggest names in YA fiction. The mix of genres and diverse casts allows the collection to address many issues plaguing teens . . . High-interest stories by popular authors make this a first purchase for high school libraries and teen collections.” 

“Editor Silverman compiles an impressive collection that explores coming-of-age themes, including the thrill of teenage crushes, the whirlwind of preparing for prom, and the adjustments needed to create a blended family, while also featuring a mix of characters diverse in race, sexuality, and gender identity. … A thoughtful volume that will appeal to a broad range of readers.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Multiple genres find a home in this intriguing anthology . . . Representing multiple forms of love—between crushes, friends, pets, and siblings—this group of stories offers an inclusive range of narratives and twisty endings alongside sound lessons about love, joy, and life’s natural changes.”
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Age range12 – 18Grade range7 – 12Categories

Number of pages352Publication dateJuly 13, 2021ISBN9781643751641

Hooverville by Kayla Joy @joyfulkayla @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources

About the Book:

Annaleise Winston can never seem to fit in with the Society Girls, the strict rules that govern them, or their selfish indulgence during the Great Depression. Behind closed doors, her publicly perfect new fiance, Frank Alexander, is violent and dismissive, but without his financial security, Annaleise and her mother will be on the streets with not a penny to their name.
When Annaleise finally has enough, she runs away and accidentally becomes stranded in a Hooverville, a lawless homeless encampment in Central Park, where she must keep her identity a secret if she wants to stay alive. But a kind shoe shiner named Thomas Kelley may get in the way of everything she thought she ever wanted. As their love for each other grows, the Great Depression worsens, and Frank will pay any price to bring back his bride.

Where to Buy:

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US –

About the Author:

Kayla Joy is an author and artist living in the Pacific Northwest with her family and her many animals. At 20, she has already self published two books: Morbid Tales from Behind the Mirror (available on Amazon now) and Hooverville. You can follow her journey at

Contact Kayla:


Instagram: @joyfulkayla

Facebook: Kayla Joy Author | Facebook

My Review:

***Contains a depiction of domestic violence***

Annaleise Winston is happily married, or so she thinks, to her husband Frank. When he turns abusive, she has to do something. She flees with her mother to a homeless camp in Central Park.

I was proud of her for taking that risk to find somewhere new. There, she meets Thomas. Will he be different?

The Great Depression is the historical period for this novel. I was really interested in it as soon as I got the blog tour invite because I love stories of women who fight against the odds.

The unusual title also made me curious to review the book.

Hooverville is a novel about how relationships can turn into what we don’t expect (either for better or worse) and it’s about fighting and survival against all odds.

I was rooting for Annaleise, and felt so glad she had her mother. Frank, Annaleise’s abusive husband, may have wealth, but she’s in danger with him. I was waiting for her to leave and the tension building up to that is good.

The atmosphere throughout the book is very well portrayed.

Hooverville is a novel about hope, taking risks and new beginnings too.

Sad and nerve-wracking in some parts and heartwarming in others, I really enjoyed Hooverville.

Thanks to Kayla Joy and Rachel’s Random Resources for my ARC in exchange for an honest and vountary review.

5 stars