The Personal Shopper (Annie Valentine #1 ) by Carmen Reid

I’ve decided to post my Scribd reviews on my blog, too. This is the first one I’m posting here.

About the Book:

There’s just one accessory Annie Valentine can’t find — the perfect man!

Meet Annie Valentine: stylish, savvy, a multi-tasker extraordinaire.

As a personal shopper in a fancy London fashion store, Annie can re-style and re-invent her clients from head to toe. In fact, this super-skilled dresser can be relied on to solve everyone’s problems . . . except her own.
Although she’s a busy single mum to stroppy teen Lana, and painfully shy Owen, there’s a gap in Annie’s wardrobe — sorry, life — for a new man. But finding the perfect partner is turning out to be so much trickier than finding the perfect pair of shoes.

Can she source a genuine classic? A life-long investment? Or will she end up with a mistake from the sale rack who’ll have to be returned?

Or maybe, just maybe, there’ll be someone new this season who could be the one…

My Review:

I love how each chapter of The Personal Shopper starts with a description of what each character is wearing, where it’s from and how much it cost. Annie’s take on what people around her were wearing and what was happening around her were hillarious at times. I loved her daughter Lauren’s take on life too.

Annie has two would-be love intrerests: who will she choose?

The Personal Shopper is a dream book plot come true for me. I have reviewed one of Carmen Reid’s books, Worn Out Wife Seeks New Life, and adored it. Carmen Reid is one of my favourite authors.

The Personal Shopper was a real winner for me, as it has a great heroine (Annie) and her family were realistic. The characters were all very well fleshed out. The plot has perect pacing and I really felt at home in The Store. I felt like I was there. I am a real shopaholic, and it would be my dream to have a personal shopper.

Each character’s backstory was something I was eager to find out about, as well as their life ups and downs. There were realistic insights into aspects of life such as school experiences, social life with and without family, being a teenager, and house hunting or apartment hunting as an adult.

The Personal Shopper was utterly fun and enjoyable.

5 stars, and I’d give it more if I could.

Where to Buy:

Summer at Croftwood Cinema by Victoria Walker @4victoriawalker @rararesources

About the Book:

Patsy Clements lives in Croftwood. It’s been her sanctuary for three years while she rebuilt a life for herself that is safe and happy. Out of necessity, she has learnt to live without ambitions or dreams, but she does have her best friend Oliver who means everything to her.

Oliver Jones owns the trendy local coffee shop and establishes himself as the town entrepreneur when he buys the derelict old cinema in the park. Bringing it back to life is going to be a challenge and he wants his best friend Patsy to be his business partner. 

After lying low for three years is it a mistake for her to change the life that has kept her safe or is it time to start living again? Will stepping into the limelight tempt fate and mean her past catches up with her and can she survive if it does?

Join Patsy and Oliver in the small town of Croftwood for a summer where friendships are made, challenges are everywhere and romance blossoms at the cinema in the park.

Where to Buy:

UK –

US –

About the Author:

Victoria Walker has been writing romantic fiction since a visit to Iceland in 2014 inspired her first novel. As well as writing, she spends her free time dressmaking, knitting and reading an inordinate amount of contemporary romance, occasionally punctuated by the odd psychological thriller and saga.

In the past she has worked as a cinema projectionist, a knitting and sewing tutor and has owned a yarn store, all things which will no doubt appear in her books if they haven’t already.

Victoria lives in the Malvern Hills with her husband.

Contact Victoria:



Twitter -@4victoriawalker

Instagram – victoriamakes

My Review:

After having loved Victoria’s previous book, Hideaway in Iceland, I was very keen to review Summer at Croftwood Cinema. As if the title isn’t original enough, the blurb is that plus nostalgic and realistic. I loved the idea of buying an old cinema and Croftwood is a lovely homely place.

Patsy, Oliver, Ed and Toby were all distinct characters and I liked Patsy and was keen to be on her journey. Oliver was a good person.

Real life, nostalgia, teamwork and romance collide in this novel with romance too.

Thanks to Victoria Walker, Ever After Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 stars.

Bound by a Sicilian Secret by Lela May Wright @lelamaywright @rararesources

About the Book:

The proof of their passion: she’s carrying the Sicilian’s child! Read this thrilling secret baby romance from Lela May Wight.

When their worlds collided…

They became tied forever!

Flora Bick once strayed from her carefully scripted life and lost herself in the uninhibited kisses of a stranger. Overwhelmed, she fled his bed and returned to her risk-free existence. Now, he’s found her and together they discover the unimaginable—she’s pregnant!

Demanding Flora accompany him to Sicily, Raffaele Russo finally reveals his vast wealth—and his determination to give their child the stable upbringing he never had. But for the time being, their secret remains theirs alone, and it will bind them even closer than their ever-present desire…

From Harlequin Presents: Escape to exotic locations where passion knows no bounds. 

Where to Buy:

UK –

US –

About the Author:

Lela May Wight grew up with seven brothers and sisters. Yes, it was noisy, and she often found escape in romance books. She still does, but now she gets to write them too! She hopes to offer readers the same escapism when the world is a little too loud.

Lela May lives in the UK with her sons and her very own hero, who never complains about her book addiction – he buys her more books! Check out what she’s up to at

Contact Lela:


Twitter (@lelamaywight)

Facebook (@lelamaywight)

Instagram (@lelamaywight)

My Review:

I love Harlequin romances as they are so well written and passionate. The backstory of Flora then Rafaelle. Flora had to choose between what her parents wanted for her and what she wanted. I loved the imagery of the fancy hotel and the contrast with what Flora had gone through. 

Both Rafaelle and Flora have been through hard times. 

Things got HOT very very quickly. 

The pace is fast, but the attention to detail is perfect. 

Thanks to Lela May Wright, Harlequin Presents and Rachel’s Random Resources for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

4 stars

Thank you, Just Katherine, for giving me and my book space on your wonderful blog! It means so very much to this newbie author. Please feel free to edit me if you need to, I do waffle. 

Thanks so much again. 

Lela May xxx

Introduction to book & characters:

Raffaele and Flora’s love story and journey to a happily ever after is a road full of tearing down the walls they’ve built around themselves…

Flora has lived a sheltered life, and a night in London opens her world to a whole new host of feelings and revelations! 

Raffaele is a mountain! A one-man band in charge of protecting everything and everyone. Until he meets Flora, and she is resolved to show him he can let down the security fences, all the alarms, he has in place, and let someone else protect him.

Tropes and themes!

*Never been kissed 


*Tortured hero

*One Night with Consequences 

*Surprise baby

Introduction to scene: 

Sometimes you have to allow yourself to come *undone * and give yourself the permission to let the mask of expectation slip, and only then can you feel *all* the feelings…

Flora has lived a sheltered life, and Raffaele, a mountain of a man, is blocking out everything, the ideology she has lived by to be perfect, to be everything she thinks those she loves wants her to be.

In this short little snippet, Flora is coming undone

Enjoy! Xxx


Flora shook her head and the messy bun piled on top of her head wobbled, strands of hair falling around her face.

He raised his long fingers to her cheek, and she held her breath as he caught a tendril between his thumb and forefinger and tucked it behind her ear. ‘You are coming undone, piccolina.’

‘Undone?’ she echoed.

‘Unravelling,’ he confirmed, his voice a sultry caress to the heavy weight in her chest.

Throatily, she repeated her earlier question. ‘Why are you here?’ She shouldn’t care. But she did. She wanted, and she needed, to know.

Softly, his fingers wrapped around her wrist. ‘Can you not guess?’

Heat penetrated her skin. Not a trickle, not a seeping warmth, but a shot of hotness directly into her veins.


Under a Greek Sun by Mandy Baggot @mandybaggot @BoldwoodBooks @bookandtonic @rararesources

About the Book:

Eve Collins is looking forward to the holidays.

Her job as a counsellor has been as taxing as it has been rewarding, and she can’t wait for some downtime on the Greek island of Corfu with best-friend, Gabby. But between Eve’s brother, Ben, unexpectedly joining and Gabby’s job at the animal rescue centre keeping her busy, Eve might have to start mucking in…

When Gianni arrives in the village of Episkepsi, it’s like a model has stepped straight off the pages of Vogue Italia… with an uptight personality to match. He may be super-sexy but there are obvious chips on those broad shoulders.

As Eve and Gianni get to know each other and both start to lean into the Greek customs and avrio mentality, an initial attraction starts to turn into something more. But with so much family drama in both their lives, neither of them were looking for a holiday romance…

About the Author:

Mandy Baggot is a bestselling romance writer who loves giving readers that happy-ever-after. From sunshine romantic comedies set in Greece, to cosy curl-up winter reads she writes gorgeous heroes and strong heroines readers can relate to. Mandy splits her time between Salisbury, Wiltshire and Corfu, Greece and has a passion for books, food, racehorses and all things Greek! 

Contact Mandy:   




Bookbub profile:

My Review:

I’ve reviewed so many Mandy Baggot books over the years that I knew I wanted to review her latest novel, too. 

Under a Greek Sun is a novel that had me gripped at the start, and then the pace seemed to lag a little after Eve and her brother Ben’s arrival in Greece. Then it picked up again. their backstory was so interesting and I was fearful of their mother for much of the story. Then I felt for her with the reveal that came later on. I wasn’t expecting it.

I agreed that Eve’s family circumstances were ones where a break would be needed, and the way the Greek holiday was woven in seemed to be in just the right way and at just the right time. 

I always love how Mandy Baggot details Greece and everything about it seemed to jump off the page as it always does in her books. Food, weather, customs,, towns and cities….it was as if I was there. The animal sanctuary was so atmospheric and I loved all the parts where animals were cared for.

Italy was very immersive and breathtaking too. I wanted Eve’s ice cream she had in Italy!

The book was special in that it’s set in three countries. England, Greece and Italy. The links between the three were very well explored within the plot.

I liked all the characters and they were all very well fleshed out. They’re all people to root for at some time in the story. They all have clear personalities, strengths and weaknesses.

I did feel for Gianni and his backstory was and situation with his father’s death and the coffee company and his inheriting it was dealt with in a wonderfully sensitive way, as were most of the tougher life issues characters have to deal with or have been/are going through. 

The story had some very clever and emotional twists and turns and I was hooked. I could feel myself tear up at some points and it was like I couldn’t get enough of the story at many points.

Eve and Gianni…what can I say? They are an amazing and beautiful couple. Ben’s story was compelling too. And Gianni’s parents’ story was one that was well woven in to the plot and romantic. Pan’s story was unique.

I was sad to finish this novel and it’s the kind of story I’d go back to again and again.

Emotional, feelgood and unforgettable.

Thanks to Mandy Baggot, Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. 

5 stars. I’d give it more if I could! The perfect pick-me-up for any season or a great beach read.

Where to Buy:

I Love You, Always, Forever by Charlie Dean @CharlieADean @rararesources

About the Book;

Life is full of highs and lows, but it’s who helps us through that counts.

Stumbling across her teenage diaries in her childhood home, Charlie is instantly transported to the 1990s.

Charlie relives all the emotions and feelings as memories come flooding back, from first kiss to first love and everything in between.

Back in the present and Charlie discovers that even in the darkest of times, light and laughter can ALWAYS be found.

A heartfelt journey through life, from teenage angst to the trials and tribulations of adulthood. Family love, friendship and romance weave throughout but who will love you, always, forever?

Contact Charlie:

Follow Charlie Dean on Twitter –

My Review:

I’ve never come across a book by Charlie Dean before, and I am SO glad to have had a blog tour for this one come up. I Love You Always, Forever is so much more than a romance (which I though it’d be from the title before I knew what the blurb was about).

It’s a celebration of sorts. A celebration of Charlie and her life and the people in it.

This novel made me feel so many emotions. Happiness, sadness, curiosity and the memories of thinngs Charlie mentioned made me so nostalgic for the 90s once again.

I was at secondary school in the 90s, so the novel was even easier to relate to for me. I remember Byker Grove (although I only watched a few episodes and never watched TV while doing homework). I completely identified with the experience of picking GCSE Options subjects, doing A’Levels, and being in Sixth Form while people I knew moved away to College.

I remember the teachers’ expectations that people would go to university, and of my own experience of applying to university.

I remember Slush Puppies and how I, too was intrigued by the fact the raspberry flavour was blue. I had the same “brain freeze” while drinking one, and can remember exactly how the drink would just be ice at the end.

I have heard of Haven campsites but have never been. From the stories of those I know who’ve been, they’re fun places,

Charlie had my heart at the mention of Sweet Valley High books. Having been born a twin, I remember Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield as coming to life so well through these books. I felt through them I was living the life of a twin although my sister had passed away.

I was intrigued and rooting for Charlie as she fell in love, experienced loss and heartbreak and lived life to the fullest. My heart went out to her every time she lost someone special in her lfie.

The going between past and present is a writing technique I always love, and the beginning of the book was wonderful at getting me hooked. I stayed that way throughout. I was a bit confused at times with the sudden change of tenses in some of the writing, but this did not affect or reduce my enjoyment of the book.

Thanks to Charlie Dean, the publisher and Rachel’s Random Resources for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

If you want a reminiscent and powerful journey back to life in the UK of the 90s for a teenager and then an adult, this is for you.

4.5 stars

Where to Buy:

Amazon UK –
Amazon US –

Somebody Like You by Donna Alward @DonnaAlward @rararesources

About the Book:

Come home to Darling, VT, and a new heartwarming series by New York Times Bestselling Author, Donna Alward!

When Laurel Stone’s garden center is targeted by vandals, she comes face to face with the man who once broke her heart: Aiden Gallagher. Aiden’s now one of Darling’s Finest, but the memory of how he hurt Laurel back in high school has stuck to his conscience. Helping her get back on her feet is the least he can do to make it up to her. And as time goes on, he realizes how much he cares for the woman she’s become: strong, resilient, and compassionate.

Laurel’s willing to forgive Aiden’s past transgressions, and before long it’s clear the old attraction between them still sizzles. But it’s harder for her to move past the loss of her dreams now that her divorce is finalized, and her ex is remarrying. Ever accommodating, Laurel has kept things amicable, but attending the wedding has all her resentments and disappointments bubbling to the surface. Aiden tries to be supportive, but what Laurel needs most is to stand on her own two feet, and she pushes Aiden away.

When their friend George meets with trouble, Laurel and Aiden must work together to get him back on his feet. Is this the opportunity for them to salvage their relationship, or is it goodbye for good?


About the Author:

While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer and Judith McNaught.  Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers.

Donna lives on Canada’s east coast. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece addict. 

Contact Donna:

You can visit her on the web at and join her mailing list at .

Facebook: DonnaAlwardAuthor

Instagram: @donnaalward


About the Narrator:

About Leanne: 

I’ve been behind a microphone for more than 35 years in commercial voiceover, narration, and radio.

I’m a single parent to an amazing daughter and we love to discover the theater, art, music, and bookstores of Asheville, NC where we live. When I’m not “working”, I explore the “real” world with hikes into the wild and dangerous culinary experiments.

I’m a certified personal trainer, swinging kettlebells and maces. Playing tennis is my passion and I love to get outside with my dogs.

I’m studying French – just to see if I can make my brain explode. Someday I’ll make it to France.

Social Media Links – FB:


My Review:

After The Playboy Prince and the Nanny, The Crown Prince’s Bride (Royal Duology 1 &2) and Deck The Halls, all Donna Alward books I reviewed in the past, I was overjoyed to receive the audiobook of Somebody Like You.

Somebody Like You has great attention to detail, and is very romantic. Realistic storyline and characters. Aiden and Laurel had interesting backstories and plotlines. There are hard times as well as romantic moments. 
The narrator was perfect for the book. 

Overall, Somebody Like You was an amazing start to a new series, and I am looking forward to the next books. 

Thanks to Donna Alward, HQN and Rachel’s Random Resources for my audiobook in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. 

5 stars

Where to Buy:

Take the Lead by Alexis Daria

About the Book:

From Alexis Daria, author of the critically acclaimed, international bestseller You Had Me at Hola, comes a fun, sexy romance set against a reality dance show.

Gina Morales wants to make it big. In her four seasons on The Dance Off, she’s never even made it to the finals. But her latest partner, the sexy star of an Alaskan wilderness show, could be her chance. Who knew the strong, silent, survivalist-type had moves like that? She thinks Stone Nielson is her ticket to win it all—until her producer makes it clear they’re being set up for a showmance.

Joining a celebrity dance competition is the last thing Stone wants. However, he’ll endure anything to help his family, even as he fears revealing their secrets. While the fast pace of Los Angeles makes him long for the peace and privacy of home, he can’t hide his growing attraction for his dance partner. Neither wants to fake a romance for the cameras, but the explosive chemistry that flares between them is undeniable.

As Stone and Gina heat up the dance floor, the tabloids catch on to their developing romance. With the spotlight threatening to ruin everything, will they choose fame and fortune, or let love take the lead?

My Review:

Alexis Daria is a new-to-me author. I was immediately drawn to Take the Lead.. The novel is immediately immersive. Gina is strong, determined and she has an amazing dance talent, both for teaching and dancing. Stone is mysterious and self-centered. He took longer to feel for.

The attention to detail is amazing. We see a challenging, cautious, then caring side to both of them. I liked this, as it gave their relationship a playful angle.

Is this strictly business or pleasure?

The writing style was very good and the attention to detail was perfect. Every word was chosen for maximum effect, whether that is to create atmosphere for setting or character development. The only thing is I found that the book seemed long for the type of plot it was.

Thanks to Alexis Daria and St Martin’s Griffin for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. Take the Lead was thoroughly enjoyable.

Really looking forward to more books from this author.

4.5 stars.

Where to Buy:

Ten Dates by Rachel Dove @rararesources @WriterDove @bookandtonic

About the Book:

Is it the end of their love story or just the beginning?
Callum and Alice McClaren have spent two wonderful years building a life and a home and making plans for a future together. But when Alice is involved in a car crash, Callum fears that he has lost her forever. As he sits by her bedside he promises he’ll do anything if only she’ll open her eyes…
But when Alice does finally wake up, she has absolutely no memory of being in love with Callum or the life they once shared. In fact, all she remembers about him is how incredibly annoying he once was! How can she have forgotten him if she really did love him so deeply?
Callum is determined to prove to Alice that what they had was special, so he makes her a deal: he’ll recreate their first ten dates and make her fall in love with him all over again!
Alice isn’t sure Callum can fill in all the gaps in their story.And what if going back to the start only means the end?

About the Author:

Rachel Dove lives in leafy West Yorkshire with her family, and rescue animals Tilly cat and Darcy the dog (named after Mr Darcy, of course!) A former teacher specializing in Autism, ADHD and SpLDs, she is passionate about changing the system and raising awareness/acceptance. Loves a good rom-com, and the beach!

Social Media Links

Newsletter Sign Up:

Bookbub profile:

My Review:

I wasn’t sure about requesting this at first, because I feel the coma-followed-by-amnesia storyline is overdone in books. That said, the success of the novel depends on the author’s writing style and plot development.

I have to say, I was hooked by the atmospheric start of the book. I was holding my breath in anticipation as to whether Alice would wake up or not. I have had a lot of hospital stays myself, and the hospital atmosphere, the doctors’ words and reactions were incredibly realistic.

Of the main characters, I warmed more to Callum than Alice. Callum did everything he could to show Alice she was his world. and I loved his nickname for her, Sparrow, as I thought it was original.

Callum’s idea to have ten dates was a good one, and each date was imaginatively recreated.

Rachel Dove is a new-to-me author, and I enjoyed her writing style. I’ll be checking out more of her books.

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

3.5 stars

Where to Buy:

Never Too Late by T. A. Williams @tawilliamsbooks @rararesources

About the Book:

A second chance to realise her dreams…
A classically trained pianist, Steph works as a recording engineer for a small studio when she’s offered the job of a lifetime – travel to the Italian Riviera to help world-famous band, Royalty, record their reunion album after a decades-long hiatus.
Steph could definitely do with the distraction. Her boyfriend – who also happens to be her boss – is increasingly unreliable and erratic, and she’s awaiting news from her doctor after a recent biopsy. So an all-expenses-paid trip to Italy is the perfect escape.
What she doesn’t expect is an instant connection with Rob, the son of Royalty’s lead singer. With her career – and her heart – at a crossroads, what path will Steph follow?

About the Author:

I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only nine years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.
The fact that I am now writing escapist romance is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels and I now also write cozy crime, but my first love is romance. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations, even if travel to them is currently difficult.

Contact Trevor:


My Review:

T.A. Williams’ books go straight on my list and I have now reviewed many. His books always tug at my heartstrings and leave me with a smile on my face. They are the ultimate definition of “feelgood” with a capital F. T.A. Williams does romance wonderfully well, as he does relationships in general. Life issues are so realistic.

I always feel like I am in Italy when I have a T.A. Williams book, as the towns, cities, villages and scenery as well as the sights and sounds always seem to be immediately immersive.

Great characters. I especially enjoyed Steph’s backstory, as I identified with her being in a country she loved and speaking the language fluently (in my case, I speak Spanish, but feel the same thrill at being in a country I love)

Add to this a sunny climate and a cute dog. These things always win me over as well as Trevor’s excellent attention to detail.

Never Too Late has different themes running through it: the first part focuses on the band members and how they find the music in their lives again. The second is more focused on Steph and Robert, although the ups and downs of their life are apparent from the beginning.

The whole book is about working to make sense of the past, forgive, heal and move on in the best way you can.

Thanks to T.A. Williams, Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

4 stars

Where to Buy:

AutoCrit Character Creation Challenge

I signed up late to this challenge (I didn’t sign up until the 14th and it ran from the beginning of February) but I still had enough time to complete it.

The challenge prompt was:

Write a 1000 word story about two characters meeting for the first time. By the end of the scene, we should have a strong sense of the relationship forming between them. Keep in mind that all finished entries must be under 1000 words.

Entries will be due on February 26th.

I sent my finished entry off on the 23rd. Mine was a date scene.

The Character Creation Challenge was fun. I am good at creating characters but I wanted to be even better, so that’ s why I joined the challenge.

There were some livestreams throughout the challenge, and a winner’s livestream today. I didn’t win and never do, but it was great to take part in an AutoCrit Challenge again.

The challenge was free and good fun just like other AutoCrit challenges I have done.