Mistletoe on 34th Street by Lisa Dickenson 

Olivia has never experienced a snow-covered, ‘traditional’ Christmas before. Having grown up in a family that chose winter sun over decking the halls, she’s not sure what all the fuss is about. So when she and her colleagues are stranded in New York after a work trip, Olivia is perfectly happy spending the holiday season in the Big Apple.

Jon, Olivia’s friend, on the other hand is desperate to get home in time for his big family get-together. Nevertheless, determined to make the best out of the situation, he sets out to show Olivia how enchanting Christmas in New York can be. And when handsome New Yorker Elijah is added to the mix, could the magic of the season finally be working its charm on Olivia? As 25 December draws closer, Olivia suddenly finds herself with a decision to make: who does she really want to kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas?

Full of romance and festive magic, Mistletoe on 34th Street is the funniest and most charming love story you will read this Christmas!


Mistletoe on 34th Street encapsulates the spirit of Christmas in one of the most festive stories I have ever had the pleasure to read. 

Olivia our main protagonist finds herself in New York over the festive period, but where others would find themselves sharing in the celebrations around them Olivia is numb to Christmas and the magic that surrounds it. That is until her friend Jon takes it up on himself to show her just what the magic of New York at Christmastime can do….

As with everything that Lisa Dickenson writes this story is both heartwarming and witty. In fact I defy anyone not to read this and laugh out loud! 

From the very first page I was pulled imagination first into a story that I never wanted to leave. Thanks to the descriptiveness that Dickenson writes with I found myself walking the streets of New York and longing to kiss Jon under the mistletoe. This book has made my need to visit New York even stronger. 

I adore the characters in this book and love the strong female characters that always feature within Dickenson’s novels, women who have strong friendships and don’t need a man to fulfill their dreams. To sum it up… this book has everything and you need it in your life! 

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

A huge thank you to Kim at Bookouture for sending me a copy to review! 

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Christmas isn’t far away and to help build the excitement of the festive season Holly Martin has penned a beautiful story that will bring the magic of the festive season to life and leave you with a wonderful winter glow.

This is one of those stories that allows your imagination to fall in love and believe in everything that christmas promises and so much more.

Within this beautiful picturesque cover is a story set in the idyllic White Cliff Bay and this story is about:

Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen.

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded.

As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore …

While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of?

I loved everything about this story from the wonderful setting to the absolutely incredible characters.

Penny is a remarkable character who has carved herself a wonderful life and is just missing someone to share it with it. This is the thing that I love most about the heroines in Holly Martin’s books, they don’t need a man in their life to make it successful they just want a man to add to the life they have built for themselves and it would have to be someone extremely special.

Which is where the swoon worthy hulking mass of manliness Henry comes in.(For the record Santa, this is the type of man I want for Christmas this year)

Yes Henry is slightly brooding and can be sulky at times but this man is an amazing father to his daughter Daisy and I defy anyone not to fall in love with him. Henry has hidden depths and if you fall in love with him instantly (like I did) then by the end of the book you find yourself wishing that you could jump head first into the pages and close the cover so that no one can steal your man!

But as much as I instantly loved Henry and could see instantly why Penny would be attracted to this man, it was Henry’s relationship with his daughter that made my heart swell with LOVE and honestly it is this aspect of the story that is one of my absolute favourite things about this book in fact I would say that this father and daughter relationship is the best family dynamic I have ever read. Henry and Daisy have such a wonderful bond and it makes for some beautiful reading as you discover why they are so close. 

Allow Holly Martin into your home this festive season and open your heart to the warmth and magic of White Cliff Bay in Christmas at Lilac Cottage.

  

Fairytale Beginnings by Holly Martin

Love is an open door…except when it keeps slamming in your face.
Hopeless romantic Milly Rose has had her fair share of heartbreak. Obsessed with all things Disney, she refuses to give up on finding her Prince Charming – he’s out there somewhere, isn’t he?

When Milly is given a job to investigate the origins of an historical building in the village of Clovers Rest, she’s not sure what to expect. What she discovers takes her breath away – a beautiful real life Cinderella castle, complete with turrets, a magnificent drawbridge AND a very handsome owner…Cameron Heartstone.

As Milly and Cameron begin to unearth the secrets of Clover Castle, they can’t ignore the intense chemistry building between them. But they’ve both been hurt badly before. Can they take a big leap of faith and find their own happily-ever-after? 
 

A big thank you to Kim at Bookouture for giving me a copy to review! 

When you think of romance, magic and fairytales, do you think of Disney?  Well now thanks to the genius that is Holly Martin you don’t need Disney to bring the magic to life for Martin has captured the sparkle in Fairytale Beginnings.

Martin never fails to captivate her readers, she has a way of pulling you into her stories within the first page and before you know it you are invested in a story that will make your heart swell and you face ache from smiling.

Fairytale Beginnings tells the story of Milly Rose a dendrochronologist who finds herself at Clover Castle to help current owner Cameron Heartstone age the building.

But Milly didn’t count on the Magic the castle seems to hold and the feelings handsome Cameron would stir in her.

Oh gosh, I love Cameron and Milly there is something so magical about this pairing that although I want to swoon at Cameron I can’t imagine him with anyone other than Milly. 

Milly is a fantastic character, she loves Disney, pink and generally everything girlie but don’t let that tool you because this girl will take no nonsense from anyone, not even Cameron and she doesn’t have a problem with facing up to ghosts and exploring unknown passage ways.

Cameron is brooding, sweet and HOT, seriously why do men like this only exist in books. If only I could summon a pinch of the magic within the pages and make him real! 

In fact it would be wonderful for Clovers Rest to be real because although the locals are a little bit odd there is such a sense of loyalty and community about them.

I find that with every book I read by Holly Martin I close that final page and long for the happiness and love that surges through the words to come to life. She writes with so much passion and emotion that you can’t help but forget that it isn’t real, fairytale beginnings to be precise! 



The Stall of Second Chances by Dana Bate

Blurb:

Sydney Strauss is obsessed with food.

Not just with eating it – though she loves that too – but with writing about it as an aspiring cookery reporter. But food journalism jobs are more coveted than cupcakes, and so Sydney is stuck working for one of TV’s biggest egomaniacs – until she’s left scrambling for shifts at the local farmers’ market.

Selling muffins at the Wild Yeast Bakery is hardly going to make her the next Nigella. But soon Sydney is writing the market’s weekly newsletter, and her quirky stories gain attention from a prominent food columnist. After years of being left on the shelf, she’s even dating again. And then Sydney gets a shot atthe story, one that could either make her career or burn it to a cinder – along with her relationship and her reputation.

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Thank you to Grace at Corsair for sending me a copy to review.

My Thoughts:

Dana Bate is back with The Stall of Second Chances.

Sydney Strauss is a foodie, she loves everything about food from its taste to its texture.
Sydney’ dream is go into Food Journalism, a job that seems to be harder to find that truffles on a beach!
After losing a job she fell into,
Sydney finds herself working at the local produce market, where she finds inspiration to start blogging again.
Could this be the stepping stone to better things or will her life end up in the bargain bin….

Sydney is a lovely character and she certainly experiences a roller coaster journey throughout the story.
I laughed with her, I felt for her and on several occasions I wanted to shake her for something she did or said.
She definitely has a way of ending up in situations she hadn’t planned on!

And unfortunately for Sydney some of these situations involved the new man in her life Jeremy.
I really liked Jeremy, I felt sorry for him and the way in which his past effects his future.

The Stall of Second Chances is a wonderfully delicious tale of romance and finding oneself, add into that the mouth watering recipes at the back of the book and you have a truly tasty treat for winter!

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I’ll Take New York by Miranda Dickinson

Blurb:

When Brooklyn bookstore owner Bea James is let down once too often by her unreliable boyfriend Otis, she swears off relationships for good. Determined to focus on her successful business and otherwise happy life in New York instead, she believes she has made the right decision.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Manhattan, psychiatrist Jake Steinmann is nursing a broken heart after his beautiful wife Jessica files for divorce. Rebuilding his life back in New York, he throws himself into work and re-establishing his relationship with older brother, Ed.

Unexpectedly thrown together at an engagement party where they are the only two singles, Bea and Jake bond over their love of New York and dislike of relationships – a conversation that ends with a Pact to never get involved with anyone ever again.

But the City has other plans…

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A big thank you to Olivia at LightBrigade for sending me a copy to review

My Thoughts:

There’s something magical about picking up a book by Miranda Dickinson, I can’t quite describe the feeling that comes as you lose yourself with the pages and find yourself enchanted by her words.

I’ll Take New York follows Bea and Jake two people who are experiencing heartbreak and the sense of self discovery.
When a chance encounter means that Bea and Jake are introduced, the duo decide to make a pact, neither will embark on a relationship ever again.
But what happens when the person you made the pact with, is the person you feel you couldn’t live without?

I LOVE THIS STORY, I love the way I fell in love with New York through the characters,
I loved the fact that Bea ran a book store and treated books with the love and care they deserve. I love Jake and everything about him.
I love being reunited with Rosie, Ed and the gang at Kawolski’s, I loved the glimpse we got of Harri and her life with Alex.
I loved the books that Bea’s grandmother sends her and the little book mice that visit.
I LOVE IT ALL!

Bea is wonderful, I found myself drawn to her like a kindred spirit.
Her passion for books and New York was felt throughout and I loved the relationship she has with her brother.
Someone else who has a wonderful relationship with their brother, is Jake, handsome, sensitive, loving Jake. I instantly loved Jake and it’s obvious he has good genes.
I admired Jake for being able to put his heartbreak on hold and share in the happiness of Rosie and Ed’s relationship,
I cannot express my love for this book enough!

Miranda Dickinson has always managed to create stories that real people will relate to, with characters who you will fall in love with.
From the first page of her debut novel, Fairytale of New York, I knew I had discovered someone who pours emotion into their words, someone who will show you through the pages that everyday problems happen to us all, but most of all someone who will inspire you by the strength and determination of the characters they write about.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough, I’ve already got copies on pre order ready for Christmas, give the gift of happiness and discovery this year, give the gift of I’ll Take New York

A Girl Called Summer by Lucy Lord

Blurb:

Island life is just one step away…

A new start…
Bella and Andy have escaped the rat race for the sun-drenched, relaxed lifestyle on the island of Ibiza. But with a run-down house to make habitable and a distractingly gorgeous neighbour, is their island idyll all that it seems?

A holiday adventure…
Tamara Gold has been Hollywood’s most notorious car crash since she was a child star. Now clean and sober, and engaged to Tinseltown’s hottest leading man, it seems like she’s finally conquered her addictions, if not her bratty behaviour. But a summer in Europe with all the hedonistic lures of Ibiza beckons…

A girl called Summer…
Summer Larsson has always known Ibiza as home: a haven of hippies, yoga and healthy eating – and loneliness. But in Bella, she’s found the friend she always needed, and when Bella’s glamorous Hollywood friends come to visit, it looks like she might have found true love as well…

This could be the summer that everything changes…

A big thank you to Lucy and Jaime at Harper Collins.

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My Thoughts:

Lucy Lord delivers summer in her latest book. Whether you are experiencing a heatwave or stuck listening to the rain, this book is the perfect form of escapism.

Lord, will whisk you away to Ibiza, LA and ST Tropez, with this deliciously descriptive read that will have you feeling the warmth of the water and the sand underfoot.
Her words will leave you longing for Sangria and a chance to experience the lifestyle that’s within the pages!

Before I start to tell you about A Girl Called Summer I wanted to say that although I’ve read and loved both previous books, that if you are a new reader this can be read as a standalone!

A Girl Called Summer reunites us with Bella and Andy, as they embark on a new life in Ibiza.
The story follows the couple as they settle into a new way of living, build new friendships and are visited by Poppy, Damien, Ben and Natalia.

I LOVED, being reunited with Bella, the change in her life brings about a happier more grounded Bella and it was wonderful to discover.

I LOVED the new friendship that she formed with Summer, Summer is an incredible character and it’s great to read about a beautiful character who has kept her personality and is just genuinely lovely and down to earth,
It felt to me as though Bella and Summer changed each other’s lives,

I LOVED Jack Meadows, HOT Hollywood movie star, incredibly down to earth and genuine. He sounds divine and has soared his way to the book boyfriend list.

I LOVED gorgeous, beautiful, happy Daisy!

In fact ladies and gentleman, I LOVED everything about this book. I need the shouty capitals to emphasise just how much I LOVED the story, the characters and the journey they go on.

Through the pages Lord takes us on a journey that deals with some tough issues, as well as some fun hedonistic escapades.
With the fluidity of the story flowing like the calmest sea, this is a read that will pull you in and captivate your mind, you will lose yourself in every page and close the book with a sense of happiness.

Summer is delivered in a book that has the most aptly named story and the most gorgeous cover!

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The Bookshop on the Corner by Rebecca Raisin

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Blurb:

Who said that only real heroes could be found in fiction?
Sarah Smith had an addiction – she was addicted to romance novels. The meet-cute, the passion, the drama and the gorgeous men! Now this wouldn’t have been such an issue if she hadn’t been the owner of the only bookshop in Ashford, Connecticut.

Ever since her close friend Lil, from The Gingerbread Café, had become engaged she had been yearning for a little love to turn up in her life. Except Sarah knew a good man was hard to find – especially in a tiny town like Ashford. That was until New York journalist, Ridge Warner stepped into her bookshop…

Love could be just around the corner for Sarah, but will she be able to truly believe that happy-ever-after can happen in real-life too!

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A big thank you to Rebecca for sending me a copy to review whilst on the Gosling Girls tour.

My Thoughts:

Sarah Smith runs the Bookshop on the Corner, a beautiful place to pilgrimage to, for pre loved books and a quaint room to read them in.
Sarah can often be found lost in the world of fiction and investing her emotions in the heroes of the pages.
But one day the handsome Ridge enters the shop and Sarah starts to wonder, do handsome heroes only happen in books?

I defy any booklover to read this and not instantly relate to Sarah because this incredible novella will speak to every bookworm out there.

Rebecca Raisin has created a captivating novella that will have you longing to visit Ashford and meet the wonderful people who live there.
Because through the pages you don’t just meet Sarah, you also meet her wonderful friends Missy, Ceecee and Lil.

The descriptiveness with which the bookshop was described had me longing to run my hands along the shelves and feeling the spines of old books that could share with us many stories.

This is a beautiful story that will have you losing hours, lost in the world of books and words, could there be anything better?

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Being Benedict Cumberbatch by Joanna Benecke

Blurb:
Illustrated with over 85 full-colour photographs His fans regularly discuss whether he looks more like ‘an otter or a hammerhead shark , but that hasn’t stopped actor-of-the-moment Benedict Cumberbatch becoming an international sex symbol on the very cusp of Hollywood superstardom. He’s made geektelligence hot in the insanely popular BBC series Sherlock, attracted critical acclaim in 12 Years a Slave and The Fifth Estate, and explored his dark side in blockbusters like Star Trek: Into Darkness and the Hobbit trilogy. Along the way he s won the hearts, minds and Twitter accounts of an alarmingly enthusiastic global fan base, many of whom refer to themselves as Cumberbitches. But who is Benedict Cumberbatch, and why do teenagers, their parents and everyone in between love him so much? Illustrated throughout with full-colour photographs, Being Benedict Cumberbatch is an essential guide to the man at the centre of the Cumberverse.

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A big thank you to Brenna at Plexus for sending me a copy to review!

My Thoughts:

After the excitement of drooling over Ryan Gosling (click here to read my review) I found my loyalties tested when I picked up Being Benedict Cumberbatch.

Now if truth be told I love watching him in Sherlock but I’ve never really got the attraction. He has always seemed like an acquired taste, but now thanks to Joanna Benecke, I have a whole new respect for the man who I once described as quirky.

Joanna Benecke tells you about Benedict with ease and wit that clearly comes naturally.
Within these 142 pages, you are taken through the life of Mr Cumberbatch, (oh who am I kidding I know that much about him now I should really be calling him Benny)

I’ve discovered that Benny should always smell nice, especially since he worked in a perfumery for 6 months, I know that he longed for female company at boarding school (I bet be doesn’t long for it anymore), but best of all I discovered that Benny is funny and profound.
Which means that now I’m a little bit in love with him, a sense of humour and I’m anyone’s!

I admit I still look at his pictures and examine the many different hair colours (his hairdresser is amazing) but I also look at his sparkly eyes.

Don’t worry, I know Benny isn’t mine because he can often be found punching above his weight with a gorgeous blonde or two and I’m not jealous, not one bit!

It doesn’t matter that he is out dating all these other blondes because I’ve realised I will always have his book and that means I can always look back fondly on the auburn tones of my Benny….

Want to win your own Benny book, then just leave a comment below.
Winners will be drawn at random tomorrow! (Saturday 31st May) UK only.

Sugar & Spice by Angela Britnell

Blurb:

The Way to a Hero’s Heart …

Fiery, workaholic Lily Redman is sure of two things: that she knows good food and that she always gets what she wants. And what she wants more than anything is to make a success of her new American TV show, Celebrity Chef Swap – without the help of her cheating ex-fiance and producer, Patrick O’Brien. So when she arrives in Cornwall, she’s determined to do just that.

Kenan Rowse is definitely not looking for love. Back from a stint in Afghanistan and recovering from a messy divorce and an even messier past, the last thing he needs is another complication. So when he lands a temporary job as Luscious Lily’s driver, he’s none too pleased to find that they can’t keep their hands off each other!

But trudging around Cornish farms, knee deep in mud and meetings with egotistical chefs was never going to be the perfect recipe for love – was it? And Lily could never fall for a man so disinterested in food – could she?

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My Thoughts;

Lily Redman aka America’s celebrity chef ‘Luscious Lily’ has arrived in England to launch a new project, for which she needs a selection of chef’s.
Kenan Rowse is back from Afghanistan and living back with his parents, who have volunteered him to drive Lily around whilst she scouts for talent.
As the pair are forced together, they discover a mutual attraction. But will this be an extra complication?

Lily comes across as a loud brassy American but as you get to know more about her character, you discover she is a lovely person.
Kenan on the other hand, although very handsome, he comes across as sulky and very brooding. But his family are concerned, he saw a lot in Afghanistan and they fear he may have PTSD.
Add into the mix Olvia, Kenan’s money grabbing ex wife and Lily’s manager Patrick who isn’t everything he seems and you certainly have the ingredients for a gripping read.

Sugar and Spice is a deliciously enjoyable read, that will have you dreaming of Cornish locations and brooding men!

Thirty-Two Going on Spinster by Becky Monson

Blurb:
Julia Dorning is a spinster, or at least on the road to becoming one. She has no social life, hates her career, and lives in her parent’s basement with her cat, Charlie.

With the arrival of Jared Moody, the new hire at work, Julia’s mundane life is suddenly turned upside down. Her instant (and totally ridiculous) crush on the new guy causes Julia to finally make some long-overdue changes, in hopes to find a life that includes more than baking and hanging out with Charlie.

But when the biggest and most unexpected change comes, will the new and improved Julia be able to overcome it? Or will she go back to her spinster ways?

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My thoughts:
Julia is thirty-two and living in her parents basement.
She’s stuck in a job that she has hated for ten years and has just discovered that the meaning of the word spinster seems to apply to her.
But how do you change your life when change isn’t something you like?

Honestly I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading Thirty-Two Going on Spinster.
I will admit like Julia, my opinion of the word spinster is highly negative and I too fear that’s what I will end up checking under marital status in the future!

So I suppose in a way I was slightly fretful that Julia and I would be very alike and in many ways we were.
But thankfully as the story progressed, I started to view this as a positive.

In fact the whole book made my day positive.
With it’s humour, wonderful characters and tale of self discovery, I found myself lost in the world of spinster!

Julia is an easy to relate to character, she is an over thinker and quite often her over thinking gets her into trouble, which makes for some wonderful lines.
Other wonderful lines come in the form of Brown, Julia’s gossipy co-worker and Jared, the rather dishy HR worker!

In fact there wasn’t one character I didn’t like.
But for me, the highlight of this story is the journey that Julia goes on, it makes this a fantastic feel good read, which will leave you smiling.

5/5

A big thank you to Becky for sending me a copy to review