Elle’s A to Z of Love by Claire Huston #Romance #ContemporaryFiction @ClaraVal

51NmkY+wDDSAuthor: Claire Huston

Published: July 2021 by Goldcrest Books International

Category: Romance, Relationships, Contemporary Fiction


Haileybrook, a beautiful village in the peaceful Cotswolds countryside, is most people’s idea of heaven on earth.

Born and raised in this small slice of paradise, Elle Bea can’t wait to leave.

It should be easy, but every time she packs her bags for exotic adventures, old loves and loyalties pull her back.

Will Elle be forced to forget her dreams of far-flung places and epic romance, or can she grab one last chance to have it all?

An uplifting, romantic story about friends, family and the relationships that make a place a home.

We meet Elle Bea the day after her 23rd birthday, secreted in a hidden corner of the library and wandering the streets of Florence in her imagination, immersed in E.M. Forster’s Room With A View. Elle, just returned from university, has never been abroad and can’t wait to leave the quiet confines of Haileybrook for a European tour with her friend, Serena, in the summer. But life can be anything but straightforward and often things don’t go to plan. 

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#BookBirthdayBlitz ~ Love Offline by Olivia Spring ~ Looking for Romance in Real Life… @ospringauthor @rararesources

I’m delighted to be a part of the book birthday blitz for Love Offline, courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources.

About the Book

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New Beginnings at Seaside Blooms (Whitsborough Bay Book 2) by @JessicaRedland #RomCom #ContemporaryFiction #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Jessica Redland

Published: February 2020 by Boldwood Books

Category: Contemporary Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Book Review


For Sarah Peterson, it’s time for change. Coming out of a dead end relationship and having had enough of city life, she just needs to escape and have a fresh start – a new job, a new home and a new lifestyle.
So when her Auntie Kay unexpectedly offers her the opportunity to take over her flower shop, Seaside Blooms, the timing could not be more perfect. She could escape to the beautiful seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, start a new chapter in her life – and learn how to run a business!

After three years Sarah is finally disillusioned with her commitment shy and insensitive partner Jason, and decides to call it a day. Leaving London for a weekend trip to her home town of Whitsborough Bay she’s sorry her parents are away for the weekend, but she can catch up with her Auntie Kay. Kay owns and runs Seaside Blooms and Sarah has happy memories of helping in the flower shop. Little does she realise the shop would soon be hers and her home would be back in Whitsborough Bay.

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A Cosy Candlelit Christmas by @TillyTenWriter #Contemporary #Romance @bookouture #FridayReads

  • Author: Tilly Tennant
  • Kindle Edition
  • Published 26th October 2017 by Bookouture
  • Category: Contemporary, Romance, Christmas, Books, Reading, Book Review

All Isla wants for Christmas is to be left in peace, but in the Alps there’s potential for romance in every snowflake that falls… 

It’s the week before Christmas and Isla McCoy has just received an unexpected gift: a letter announcing she is due a life-changing inheritance, but only if she’s willing to make peace with the father who abandoned her. 

 Isla McCoy is twenty nine, living at home with her mother and studying psychology. She can’t remember her father as her parents’ marriage broke down when she was five years old and she didn’t see her father again. Being brought up solely by Glory, her mother, who is still bitter and unable to make peace with her father after twenty odd years, has left a long term impression on Isla and influenced the potential for romantic relationships. She finds it difficult to form lasting relationships and tends to keep men at arm’s length, always expecting to be let down.

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Spotlight on…The Perils of Pauline by Collette Yvonne #chicklit #humour @panichouse

PerilsFor ex-army veteran Pauline Parril life marches along in orderly formation now that she is happily married, raising three children, and ascending a promising career ladder. But the handles of her safe and comfortable world soon turn upside-down when a termination letter lands on her lap and her once-loving husband Donald grows distant as he fools around with an attractive co-worker. Complications further arise when Pauline returns to school and meets Michael Fortune–the handsome and exciting poetry professor who threatens to get out of hand. Pauline once endured a long deployment to a war-torn country halfway around the world, but can she survive the front lines of her fraying household? FInd out how she does it in the Perils of Pauline, an uproarious tale à la Bridget Jones of an intrepid every-woman as she steps through the challenges of rebuilding her life while learning that there’s actually more to discover about herself than she ever dreamed possible. Continue reading

French Fry ~ The French Twist Series #3

  • FrenchFryAuthor: Glynis Astie
  • Publication: May 2015 by Tikinou Publishing
  • Category: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
  • four-half-stars

Sydney Durand had finally achieved the perfect life she had always wanted. After a whirlwind romance with a charming Frenchman, she endured the three weddings it required to satisfy the members of the newly formed Bennett-Durand clan. All she had left to do was stroll into the sunset with Louis to enjoy their long-awaited happily ever after.

Sydney Durand, in just over fourteen months, has met, fallen in love with and married (three times!) handsome Frenchman, Louis. The course of true love has not run completely smoothly, but now the ceremonies are all over Sydney feels she and Louis can relax and enjoy married life. Unless, as her father said jokingly at the final wedding reception ‘you’re dumb enough to get pregnant.’

Yes, you guessed it! French Fry opens on the last day of Sydney and Louis’ honeymoon with Sydney having a slight, ok a bit more than slight, meltdown in the hotel bathroom after three pregnancy kits test positive. 

I got up and started to pace the room. How did this happen? I mean, I know how it happened, but HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Everything had been going so well. Louis and I had finally gotten back to a good place…and now…and now…I have to scare the crap out of my husband on the last day of our honeymoon. 

Sydney’s world is rocking on it’s axis again. With a new mantra; ‘it’s not good for the baby’ and the need to make serious life changes, mainly to ‘rid myself of my neurotic (bordering on psychotic, if I’m being truthful) tendencies,’ she must practice wearing her mature and rational head…after she’s faced telling her family about the baby, that is. Oh, and her best friend, Maya, whose wedding day is a week or two before Sydney’s due date, and Sydney is matron of honour.

Sidney and Louis have encountered lots of stumbling blocks in their short time together and it seems they’re not over yet. Maya and Devon’s upcoming wedding is causing major headaches for all concerned. Maya has morphed into Bridezilla, the wedding is off then on again. Sydney gets a surprise, and not altogether welcome, visitor and, combined with strict instructions for complete rest, events don’t bode well for the expectant mother or those around her.

As we follow Sydney’s pregnancy trials and tribulations with some hilarity, several serious and heartfelt moments and hormones gone wild, I couldn’t help but laugh although I can absolutely relate and sympathise. Sit back and be entertained by Sydney’s offbeat perspective on life and situations, her attempts to remain unfazed by Maya’s antics and coping (or not) with her mother-in-law. But when Sydney and Louis’ little French Fry makes an appearance, fried nerves notwithstanding, all is forgiven and forgotten even though Sidney’s longed for slide into a peaceful and calm married life didn’t quite materialise.

I really enjoy the casual, conversational style of Glynis Astie’s writing, the incidental remarks that make it relaxed and friendly, and the authenticity. A really good mix of well-developed and engaging characters with their diverse personalities and interactions. Great family dynamics and a lovely conclusion to Sidney’s wacky world.

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

My thanks to Glynis Astie for sending an ARC in return for an honest review

About the author

GlynisGlynis never expected in her wildest dreams to be a writer. After thirteen years in the Human Resources Industry, she decided to stay at home with her two amazing sons. Ever in search of a project, she was inspired to write the story of how she met and married her wonderfully romantic French husband, Sebastien, in six short months. The end result became her first novel, French Twist. As this was just the beginning of their epic love story, Glynis continued to chronicle their adventures in the sequel, French Toast and the final installment in the series, French Fry.
When Glynis is not writing, she is trying to keep the peace amongst the three men and two cats in her life, finding missing body parts (Lego pieces are small!), supervising a myriad of homework assignments and keeping a tenuous hold on her sanity by consuming whatever chocolate is in the vicinity.

Author links ~ Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Safe and Sound ~ Summer Sale

T.S. Krupa is running an ebook sale for her novel Safe and Sound throughout August. It’s a touching, well written story of hope which ‘follows a yearlong journey of love, loss, friendship, and conquering the unexpected.’  Safe & Sound was recently named a finalist in the Fiction – Chick Lit Category of the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards.

You can find my review of Safe and Sound here.

The book is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iBooks.

9781599324654-Perfect.inddWhen Jill met Jay Greenfield she knew she had found her forever love. She was a kindergarten teacher, he was a high-powered attorney and their lives were perfect. But when a tragic accident takes Jay’s life, this young bride is left to pick up the pieces.

Jill finds herself a young widow facing multiple decisions she thought she had a lifetime to decide. With support from her childhood best friends, Lanie and Stella, Jill attempts to piece her life back together. With nightmares plaguing her dreams and the struggles of constant grief over Jay’s passing, Stella and Lanie keep near constant vigilance over her.

In the process of settling the estate, Jill learns that her husband was not quite the man she thought he was. She finds herself transported to the small beach town of Oak Island, North Carolina. But the fairy tale ending she envisioned no longer exists. She must face the reality that Jay is gone as she finds herself having a chance at love one more time.




About the author

TS-Krupa-Headshot-2_lowres-199x300T.S. Krupa was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Raised in a Polish household with a blended American culture, she is fluent in Polish. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Franklin Pierce University,where she also played field hockey. She earned her Master’s from Texas Tech University and plans to graduate with her Doctor of Education from North Carolina State University in 2014. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and her dog. Safe & Sound is her first novel.

You can connect with T.S. Krupa on FacebookTwitterGoodreads and her website


French Toast

  • 21526533Author: Glynis Astie
  • Published: February 2014 by Tikinou Publishing
  • Category: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
  • four-half-stars

I received a copy from the author in return for an honest review

Sydney Bennett is back! And her pursuit of perfection is alive and well. Naïve to the core, Sydney believed that when she finally married the man of her dreams, the hard part was over. Following a civil ceremony as a means to keep Louis from being deported, Sydney continues to plan the fairytale wedding that she had dreamed of since the age of five. Much to her chagrin, she discovers that her mother-in-law is planning what seems to be a rival wedding in France that SHE has been dreaming about for her only child since before he was born. How will poor Sydney be able to ensure two perfect weddings in the midst of Louis’ fruitless job search? Especially when her mother-in-law’s idea of perfection appears to be having Sydney embarrass herself in front of hundreds of French people that she has never met?

Sydney Bennet oops sorry, Sidney Durand is back with a bang! We left Sydney and Louis, after a very speedy romance and a civil ceremony, settling down to married life. Of course, being Sydney nothing is straightforward, and she now has two more weddings to navigate. One in America for her family and another, much scarier one, in France for Louis’ family.

So between coping with wedding preparations, financial pressures, a very pregnant sister and a formidable mother-in-law she can’t actually talk to (think language barrier) Sidney is unraveling at the seams.

One way or the other, I was going to have to go to France to meet the Durand family. I could pull the usual Crazy Sidney fare and freak out all over the place or I could make a serious attempt to change my perspective.

If Sidney thought it would all be happy ever after now she and Louis were married she was about to be proved seriously wrong, one point of contention being Louis’ ‘crotch rocket!’ I’m saying nothing more! Except..I laughed out loud.

There’s fun and frolics and lots of Sydney type meltdowns in this continuing story of romance tempered with the realism of marriage and the dawning awareness that it takes hard work and full time commitment.

Actually I can completely sympathise with the crazy, neurotic side of Sydney. She’s totally out of her comfort zone, taking into consideration a trip to foreign country, feeling a little intimidated, unable to speak or understand the language and thrust into the middle of a large, unknown family. And on top of all that there were Louis’ ex girlfriends to deal with. There was one plus though. The French pastries!

To say that I was a deer caught in headlights would have been severe understatement. I was a deer caught in headlights with my hind legs dangling off a precipice. Over a pit of lava. With poisonous gas rising towards me.

This is an excellent addition to the Sydney and Louis saga and I’m looking forward to French Fry and more Sydney mania!

tt10407952flttAmazon US Amazon UK

French Twist

  • french twistAuthor: Glynis Astie
  • Published September 2013 by Tikinou Publishing
  • Category: Contemporary, Romance
  • four-half-stars

Sydney Bennett had spent her life in pursuit of perfection. She planned, weighed her options and made careful choices based on calculated outcomes. Through all of her efforts, she had come pretty close to perfection, if she didn’t say so herself. She had fled the cold winters in New York for sunny California, found a job that she loved and lived in the same town as her sister, and best friend, Kate. The one area of perfection that had always eluded her was her love life. No matter how hard she tried, she always ended up with a broken heart. After a particularly traumatic breakup, Sydney vowed that she was done with love. Just as Sydney threw herself into her new plan to forget about men, a handsome Frenchman tossed all of her intentions out the window as he swept her off of her feet. Louis Durand had lived a life filled with excitement and adventure. He was impetuous, intelligent and incredibly charming. So naturally, he scared Sydney half to death. From the moment they met, Louis and Sydney’s romance progressed at warp speed. Sydney did her best not to run, but her deep-rooted relationship anxiety threatened to provide an easy exit. When Louis mentioned marriage before Sydney even knew his favorite color, she was more than tempted to reach for her running shoes. Will she be able to put her fears aside to follow her heart? The one thing that Sydney will learn is that sometimes perfection comes with a twist…

I received a digital copy in return for an honest review

I’m not a huge reader of chick lit but having said that I found myself enjoying this one very much, more so because the story is loosely based on the author’s own whirlwind romance. It’s light, fun, written with humour and happiness and all of that jumps off the page. It’s a real life fairy tale, girl meets handsome Frenchman and it’s love at virtually first sight.

Sydney Bennett is a mix of artlessness and anxieties with layers of zany. She’s the kind of woman most of us can relate to in some way and I couldn’t help but like her. After a string of disastrous romances she has a serious lack of confidence and believes it’s too good to be true when she meets a dashing and extremely charming Frenchman who seems very taken with her. Things happen so quickly Sidney is literally swept off her feet and has several hilarious meltdowns. Planning a wedding is fraught with dilemmas and complications at the best of times but when one partner is from another country and in the US on a visa, which is dependent on his employment, the obstacles begin to arise and add to Sydney’s nervousness and panic. 

I love Sidney’s relationships with her sister, her best friend, her brother and, of course her parents, but most of all with Louis. The characters are all well written and engaging.
Looking forward to the next instalment, French Toast!

tt10407948flttAmazon UK Amazon US