Thursday, 27 October 2016

Rae reads... The Night Before Christmas by Rose Collins

About the book:

It was the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, 

Not even a … BEAR ? 

Clement Clarke Moore's much loved poem is brought beautifully to life in this gorgeous picture book with a twist- as Santa visits a family of bears on Christmas Eve. 

Share the Christmas magic and experience a whole new retelling of the timeless Christmas classic. 

With beautifully illustrated pages, The Night Before Christmas is the perfect gift for any child. 

Buy Links: 

My Review:

I have always loved the original story so when I was sent this book to review I was sure I would enjoy it. 

So what did I think...

I had told my children we were going to read a story about Santa and they were excited, especially my oldest.

The story definitely captured their attention as soon as they saw Santa there were lots of smiles!

One of the things that I liked along with my children was the lovely bright illustrations. They really helped bring the story to life.


This lovely classic tale has had a great makeover and it is engaging for children and adults alike. I have to admit I enjoyed the book as much as my little ones did.

The Night Before Christmas is a sweet and classic story but the added family of bears makes it extra special!

Five stars from me!

Thank you to NurseryBox Books for kindly sending me a copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion. 

Rae reads... A Red Hot Christmas Paris

About the book:

Two couples, Lulu and Luc Le Grand and their firm friends, Coco Barrella and Hunter Donovan, head to Paris for a romantic getaway at The Domville Hotel. Looking forward to good company, great food, and some steamy seasonal shenanigans away from the pressures of work, the last thing they expect is to be stranded there on Christmas Eve.

Will the calm marital waters of the seemingly perfect Le Grand’s relationship become choppy when they risk not making it home to their children for Christmas Day?

And will “love to hate each other” couple Coco and Hunter grow closer in the city of love, or will they be pulled apart by the unintentional reminder of their failings as they compare themselves to their married friends?

Featuring couples from the bestselling books The Temptress & All That Glisters, this festive erotic romance novella can be read as a standalone. 

It also contains adult material and is strictly for the over 18’s only. 

Buy here


My Review:

This novella is perfect for fans of Lulu and Luc from The Temptress. You also get to meet Coco and Hunter again from All That Glisters. Even if you have never read their stories this novella is still enjoyable. 

I liked that each couple was different, this was a good contrast to the story. With Lulu and Luc committed to each other with a family. Then you have Coco and Hunter who don't quite know where they stand. What will their future hold and will they stay together?

The story moves quickly and I have to say my favourite couple was Coco and Hunter. 


A short story where the pages sizzle and things get steamy!

Four and a half stars from me!

Thank you to C.J. Fallowfield for kindly sending me a copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion. 


Related Posts 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Blog Tour - Excerpt - Single by Christmas by Rosa Temple

Thank you for taking the time to join me for my second stop on the Blog Tour for Single by Christmas by Rosa Temple. First of all let's take a look at the book and then you can read an excerpt and then finally enter the lovely giveaway!

About the book:

You’ve heard the saying, ‘opposites attract’ haven’t you? Well meet 27 year old Alex Marshall, a party girl with a penchant for free flowing Prosecco, and her devilishly handsome scientist boyfriend, Charlie, who loves jazz and dinner for two.

Alex and Charlie are together for 11 blissful months until Alex goes out of town and does something she will later regret. Was she drunk? You bet. Does she want Charlie to know? Well what do you think?

With the couple about to spend their first Christmas together will Charlie be the forgiving kind or will Alex be Single by Christmas?

This is a feel good, Christmas novel with very few mince pies, not much snow and absolutely no mistletoe – just a couple of best friends, a sociopathic nemesis and a lot of drinking.



You might be wondering what I was doing, sitting in a graveyard at five minutes to midnight on Christmas Eve. And if you guessed gravedigger or graverobber, you’d be wrong. But ask yourself, who sits in a graveyard when it’s cold and out and out spooky unless it’s absolutely critical? The church, where I attend Midnight Mass with my family every year, is just across the way. But sitting on that particular bench just inside the graveyard was absolutely critical.

You see, in the lead up to Christmas I managed to lose something. Well, not something, someone. Charlie; my reason for living, my heart, my soulmate …  you get the idea. And before you start crying, don’t worry, he wasn’t buried there. At the time, I wasn’t exactly sure where Charlie was, but he knew I was there. Waiting.

By the stroke of midnight I would have known for sure if I’d truly lost him. I’d asked him to join me and my family for the service. They’d arrived earlier. I smiled and greeted them all – Mum, Dad, big sister, Elise, and her husband and my younger sister, Jo-Jo. They asked where Charlie was and I managed to hide my worst fears and say he’d be along soon, that he was held up. So they just kissed me and piled inside with the rest of the congregation.

My family had been looking forward to seeing Charlie, even more so than they were me. You see, like everyone who meets Charlie, they’d fallen in love with him. Who could blame them? He’s charming, he’s intelligent, he’s sweet, kind, generous. The list could go on. I admit those things weren’t what first attracted me to Charlie. No, the attraction was pure lust and desire. He walked into that New Year’s Eve party the year before and I was stunned into silence. And I’m never silent. Tall, well dressed, mesmerising looks and those dimples that appear every time he smiles, which he does a lot by the way.

And I love Charlie’s family, too. His mum, Leeza, his dad, Don, who Charlie gets his looks and  sense of humour from, and his brother. I wasn’t sure Leeza approved of Charlie having a white girlfriend, at first, but I realised that was just paranoia on my part. His family are not like that. His mum, who I grew to admire and love, was just being protective, the way some mothers are.

But, I digress. My family had no idea that I’d seen Charlie twenty-four hours prior to the service and that we’d had a heated argument and that Charlie had practically slammed a door in my face. Minutes before that I’d made a complete and utter fool of myself in front of his wonderful family and he’d walked away with such disgust and disappointment in his face my heart broke in two. He’d closed the door on me but I hadn’t stopped sending begging texts and hysterical voicemails just so he would show up on Christmas Eve – like he’d promised me. I wasn’t expecting a miracle, just praying for one. Because it would have taken a miracle for Charlie to walk towards the church, bypass the tall wooden doors, see me on the bench, push open the graveyard gates and tell me he’d forgiven me.

With everyone nice and warm inside the church, I continued to sit watching puffs of vapour appearing in front of my face from every exhale, brimming with an apology that may never be heard.

You might be saying, “If Charlie’s that wonderful, why couldn’t he just come to the church, it’s Christmas after all?” You have to know, he’d never be that unforgiving without very good reason.

Honestly? It took a whole year of knowing Charlie to finally understand what it is to love someone completely and to be loved the very same way in return and just one month to lose it all.

And this is how … 


About the Author

Rosa Temple is a writer of romantic comedies, chick-lit and contemporary romance. To date she has published one novella, Sleeping with Your Best Friend, and her first full length novel, Natalie’s Getting Married, was published on 14th March 2016.

She has tried her hand at various occupations, from tea lady (albeit for one morning only after being returned to the agency because half an office block suffered caffeine deprivation) to supervising the office running the London Bar Exams.

Rosa is a Londoner born and bred and still resides in West London with ambitions to escape to the country when a suitable country pile becomes available.

In 2014 she was awarded a Distinction in her Creative Writing MA from Brunel University.
Rosa admits to being a reluctant keep fit addict. She owns a yoga mat, a pair of trainers and a spin cycle that gathers dust in the corner of her writing room. She vows that she will run the London Marathon again but has been saying this since her first and only marathon, run in 2010. Hence the trainers.

Having been a ghostwriter for several years, Rosa has written several magazine articles and has penned a multitude of one off novellas and novella length series in the romance genre and in its various sub-genres to include: contemporary romance, historical, adult only, romantic comedies and sweet romances.

Rosa is a member of a writing critique group who meet monthly. This lively and hard working group keep her on her toes as she hones her writing, listening and editing skills.
Rosa’s husband and eldest son are both musicians, her second son swims at a National level for his London team.

Before devoting the majority of her time to her writing of romantic comedies and chick-lit, Rosa was a singer (that’s how she met her husband) and still continues to perform and write songs.

Early reviews show that Natalie’s Getting Married is a favourite of many readers and book bloggers and she follows it with Christmas romantic comedy novel, Single by Christmas, with plans to publish a book series in the very near future.

Rosa loves to chat (about anything really) so follow her on Twitter @RosaT_Author or visit her blog, Rosa Temple Writes, on

Read an excerpt of Natalie’s Getting Married on Goodreads or Facebook



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Why not follow along with the rest of the Blog Tour.


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Blog Tour - Review - Celebrations and Confetti by Rebecca Raisin

I am very happy to he taking part in the Book Tour for Celebrations and Confetti by Rebecca Raisin. Which is organised by Love Reading Romance Tours

 Let's have a look at the book and then read on to see what I thought in my review. 

About the book:

Celebrations and Confetti
Cedarwood Lodge # 1
By Rebecca Raisin
Releasing October 24, 2016


Part one in a feel-good romantic serial from bestselling author Rebecca Raisin!
Clio Winters is finally fulfilling her childhood dream of renovating the gorgeous old Cedarwood Lodge in Evergreen. Turning it into the perfect destination for big celebrations, weddings and parties has brought her back home, but Cedarwood Lodge is in need of a lot of tender loving care.

Perhaps all the work will be the perfect distraction from the real reason she had to leave her glamorous New York life behind.
Will coming home be the best decision of her life… or her biggest regret?

Cedarwood Lodge is a delectable romance told in three parts - following Clio Winters journey back to her hometown of Evergreen. This is Part One.

Book Links: 

Barnes and Noble|  Google Play | Goodreads


My Review:

Clio is a great character who was both a determined and likeable person. She found herself in a difficult situation but has done her best to pick herself up and start again.

I thought Amory was great and I enjoyed the telephone conversations she had with Clio. However all of the characters contributed to make this book extra special.

After hearing the lovely descriptions of Cedarwood I would love to stay there. Rebecca Raisin managed to bring it to life right before my eyes.

Even though this is only part one I got a good introduction to the characters and the story started perfectly. I can't wait to read more in the second part of the Cedarwood Lodge series. Even though the story is only short things didn't feel rushed which is always a plus point.


This book is a lovely start to what looks to be an enjoyable series. The characters are entertaining and I loved meeting them in this first book.

Celebrations and Confetti has new beginnings, friendships and lots of charm!

Four and a half stars from me!

Thank you to Rebecca Raisin and Love Reading Romance Tours for kindly sending me a copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.


Author Info:

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.

Author Links:

Monday, 24 October 2016

Release Week Blitz - Review & Giveaway - Mixing It Up by Tracie Banister

I am very pleased to be taking part in the Release Week Blitz for Mixing It Up by Tracie Banister. 

So first of all let's take a look at the book and then you can read on for my review. Also there is a lovely giveaway to enter if you have bought the book. 


Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Manhattan upper-cruster Cecily Sinclair now uses that pricey utensil to dish up fancy French fare on her cooking show, Serving Romance. When there’s an executive shake-up at the network, she’s not worried. Not much anyway. Her show’s a hit after all. Why would the new CEO want to mess with success?

The driving force behind several buzzed-about networks, Devlin Hayes is considered to be a wunderkind in the television industry. Although his plans to rebrand CuisineTV and make Serving Romance more Millennial-friendly don’t thrill Cecily, her charming, blue-eyed boss is a hard man to say “no” to and she really wants to keep her job—even if that means sharing screen time with a loathsome blast from her past.

Mercurial Italian chef Dante Marchetti a.k.a. “Il Duce” was once Cecily’s boss, and she has the PTSD to prove it. Now the owner of one of the hottest restaurants in town, Dante’s egomania knows no bounds and his constant attempts to provoke and upstage Cecily make her want to conk him on the head with a sautééé pan. She thinks they’re toxic together, but viewers love their chemistry and clamor for more.

As Cecily battles to maintain the integrity of her show, she finds herself scheming and manipulating right along with Dante and Devlin. Is she fighting a lost cause? Does she really belong on TV, or would her culinary talent be better served elsewhere? And could one of the men who makes Cecily’s blood boil ignite a passion in her for something other than food?

Buy link 


My Review:

First of all I have to mention the lovely cover as it's pretty perfect for this book. After reading the description I couldn't wait to start.

 So what did I think...

The first couple of paragraphs instantly made me wish I was there in the studio with Cecily. The yummy descriptions of the food definitely made me hungry!

I loved the different personalities in this book. Dante could be infuriating at times especially from Cecily’s point of view but a very entertaining character. Their interactions were brilliant and lots of fun.

Devlin and Cecily had some feisty confrontations and it was always great to see these two interact.

The characters in this story aren't totally perfect and have their flaws. This in my opinion makes them much more interesting. Cecily has great chemistry with both Devlin and Dante. I couldn’t wait to see in which direction things would go.

The story moved at a brisk pace and kept my interest and attention throughout. I really enjoyed becoming immersed in Cecily’s world. I found myself smiling all the way through, Tracie Banister has written a truly witty and enjoyable story.


If you enjoy reading about feisty characters and sizzling chemistry then this book is the one for you.

Mixing It Up has the perfect blend of food, romance and fun!

Five stars from me!

Thank you to Tracie Banister for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.


Purchase a copy of Mixing It Up between October 19th, 2016 and October 25th, 2016 and you could win this fantastic prize pack inspired by the book’s heroine and her love of French food!

 This prize pack includes:

Garnier-Thiebaut Oh, La La, Chéri French-themed 4-piece Kitchen Linens Set
(Apron, kitchen towel, pot holder, and oven mitt.)

Kate Spade Deco Dot Recipe Box with 8 tabbed dividers and 40 recipe cards

The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook by Mireille Guiliano

To enter this giveaway, simply e-mail the author at with your proof of purchase. Entries will be accepted until midnight on October 26th, 2016 when a winner will be selected via random drawing. This is an international giveaway, so anyone who buys Mixing It Up within the allotted time frame is eligible to win. Good luck!



An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O'Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a "real" job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Mixing It Up is her fourth Chick Lit release, and in it Tracie finally got to live out her fantasy of being a Cordon Bleu-trained chef.


Author Newsletter






Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Rae reads... Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

About the book:

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. Even if she is spending it alone housesitting a spectacular Fifth Avenue apartment. What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous–and mysterious–owner.

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

Buy here


My Review:

The first time Eva and Lucas meet is brilliant and it sets things up perfectly. I loved the chemistry they shared and couldn't wait to see how things would turn out.

Eva is such a loveable character and I really hoped she would find her happy ever after. Her happy outlook on life is completely infectious and I found myself wishing I could be as positive. Lucas is perfect as the brooding love interest and I loved learning more about him as the story progressed. Even though they are complete opposites they really do compliment each other. However will their differences keep them apart?

One of my favourite parts was when Frankie first met Lucas, I couldn't help but laugh! There is plenty of romance in this book but also friendship plays a key role too. Eva, Frankie and Paige have such a special bond and Sarah Morgan has written their friendship perfectly. It is definitely one of the things that has drawn me so much into this series.

The story grabbed my attention from the start and kept it all the way through. The fact this book is set at Christmas makes it all the more special.


Even though this is the last book in the From Manhattan with Love series it could be read as a standalone. I do have to say that it is well worth starting at the beginning though just because it is such an enjoyable series.

Sarah Morgan always manages to draw me into her stories with engaging and well written characters. 

Miracle on 5th Avenue is a festive delight!

5 stars from me!

Thank you to Mira & Netgalley for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion. 


Related Posts - Reviews


Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Blog Tour - Review - Q&A - Never Again by Nicky Clifford

I am so pleased to be taking part in the Blog Tour for Never Again by Nicky Clifford. First of all let's take a look at the book and then you can read on for my review. There is also a lovely Q&A with Nicky Clifford.

About the book: 

Mountains, Mystery, Romance: Can you run from your past?

Harriet Anderson’s life is spiralling out of control. Unused to such mayhem, she ditches her high-powered job to take refuge in the Swiss Alps where she meets Philippe Smith, a crime writer with a dark and shadowy past. Thrown together by chance, is their fate intertwined? Will the karma and romance of the mountains and the quaintness of the Alps soothe their troubled souls?

Or will their rocky paths create avalanches that cannot be avoided...

Buy here


My Review:

The interactions between Harriet and Philippe were well written. I especially enjoyed their first couple of meetings they were both fiery and lots of fun to read. To start with both of their pasts are hinted at and I thought that things were revealed along the way perfectly.

A special mention has to go to Elspeth she really was the voice of reason. Greg is a nightmare and at times I felt like yelling at Harriet to stop falling for his lies and emotional blackmail. 

At the heart of this story is a sweet and loving romance. There are however other things at play such as grief, alcoholism and trust issues.

The setting for the book was wonderful and I felt like I was right there at times with the beautiful descriptive writing. I have to say that I definitely had cravings for hot chocolate!


If I could have read Never Again in one sitting I would have done. However two young children, a part time job and sleep of course made this impossible. I did read this over two days which is still pretty quick. 

The characters and story held my attention throughout and I can't wait to read Nicky Clifford's next book!

So sink into a comfy chair, grab a hot chocolate and read this beautiful story! 

Five stars from me!

Thank you to Nicky Clifford for my copy, this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

About the author:

Writing has always been a passion for Nicky Clifford and as a student she penned poems, short stories and articles, many of which were successfully published. But a lack of confidence in her novel writing led her to follow a different career path and for many years she worked in the corporate world of HR & Training.

Now with her sons having reached their teens and with her husband’s encouragement, Nicky has decided to focus on her writing once again and, glued to her writer’s chair, has completed three novels. Her debut novel, Never Again, is the first to be published and hits the contemporary romance shelves this autumn. The book is set in her home county of Berkshire and also in the Swiss Alps where Nicky has many happy memories, having worked there in her student days.

As well as dedicating her time to writing, Nicky also works part-time for a local charity. She will make a donation from the book royalties to the charities, Auticulate and Childhood Tumour Trust. Having completed a writing course at Reading University, she is a member of her local writing group which she says, were staunch in their support and have helped enormously in encouraging Nicky to launch her first book.

Nicky was a keen ice-skater, managing to perfect backwards crossovers, mohawks and one foot turns, but has recently hung up her boots to spend more time relaxing with her friends and family at home in Berkshire.


Q&A with Nicky Clifford

Thank you to Nicky Clifford for kindly taking the time to take part in this little Q&A.

So lets start...

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Due to health issues, I recently hung up my ice-skating boots; I must admit I do miss gliding around the ice trying to perfect new moves. Instead, my husband and I go cycling along the Kennet Canal in Berkshire, although the highlight has to be the pub lunch at The Row Barge in Woolhampton at the half-way point! Having a cappuccino and a slice of gluten-free cake with friends at Nibsy’s, my favourite café ever, also features regularly on my calendar.

If you were stranded on a desert island what three books would you want with you?

The ‘Language of Letting Go’ by Melody Beattie because it contains daily inspirational readings to keep me on the right track – if I was left alone in my own head on a dessert island for hours, days, weeks, months at a time, I reckon this book might well be the one thing that keeps me sane!

Any book by Jodi Picoult. She always tackles difficult and often contentious subjects so cleverly that you can’t help but be swept up in the emotional journey she takes you on. I admire the way she writes in the first person with different characters narrating different chapters. I would find it impossible to pick out one of her novels as my favourite.

My late grandfather’s self-published autobiography. He lived an incredible and inspiring life in the RAF. His Irish sense of humour and modesty at his many achievements shine throughout the book. Not only would this entertain me for hours at a time, but it would help me to feel close to my family as there are plenty of photos and anecdotes to bring back fond memories.

What was the last book you read?

‘Coffee, Tea, the Caribbean and Me’ by Caroline James. It swept me away on a wave of adventure, which was packed full of interesting characters, dramas, romance and humour. I vicariously drank up the sun, the beach, the sea and the atmosphere as I chilled out, book in hand, during the damper days in the UK – I loved it!

What did you enjoy most about writing Never Again?

‘The End’! No, seriously, I loved it when my writing flowed and I lost myself for hours at a time typing away furiously at my desk in the corner of our spare room. Although the editing can be gruelling, it was so satisfying seeing my novel improve as I acted on feedback from friends and members of my writing group. I am always astounded and in awe of my characters and how they take on a life of their own and pretty much write the story for me…

Can you choose three words that best describe your personality?

Chatty. Enthusiastic. Tenacious. (My husband said: “lovely”, but he is biased, and I’m far too humble to include that!)

So just for fun I also asked Nicky some quick fire questions where you only pick one answer.
(answers in bold and underlined) 

Paperback or ebook

Classic novel or Contemporary novel

Cinema or Theatre

Crisps or Chocolate

Night out or Day out

Thank you again to Nicky for taking part in the Q&A, it is much appreciated!


Why not follow along with the rest of the Never Again Blog Tour


Monday, 17 October 2016

Rae reads... Heath, Cliffs & Wandering Hearts by Laura Barnard

About the book:

Life for sixteen year old Savannah Franks has just been turned upside down. Her Mum’s business has failed and they’re forced to move into a maisonette in the rough end of town. 

She doesn’t want anyone to know her dire situation, not even her besties. So when the rest of the money for the school ski trip is due she can’t be seen not to attend. Everyone is going! She just needs to find a job. Add that to the list of getting a boyfriend and losing her pathetic virginity. 

But working every spare hour in a job she hates on top of school work and mounting secrets doesn’t prove easy. Soon she’s keeping so many she’s not even sure herself what’s true and what’s not. 

The only person she can lean on to tell the truth is her best friend Heath. 

Only…did he get hot recently? That won’t make things awkward between them…right?

Buy links:

Book Depository


My Review:

When I saw Heath, Cliffs & Wandering Hearts by Laura Barnard I couldn’t wait to start it. I did notice that it was a YA story which to be honest I haven't read too many of. However I enjoyed The Debt & the Doormat so I was pretty sure I would enjoy this. So what did I think...

The first chapter introduces Savannah brilliantly and I couldn't help but laugh as the chapter ended. Savannah is a typical teenager and even though I'm (whispers) 32 years old. I can just about remember being a teenager and I found Sav and her friends escapades so much fun!

I thought Savannah's family was a great addition to the story especially her unconventional gran. All of her friends are written well and they are such a fun group of friends who were there for each other. 

The friendship that Heath and Savannah share is lovely. The question is are they just friends or could they be more?

I was pretty much either smiling or giggling to myself throughout this book. There are so many comical moments, this book was great at cheering me up.

The story kept a really good pace and there were times when I didn't want to put it down. The blog posts by Savannah's brother were a nice touch and kept things light. 


The theme of friendship, love and all the angst of being a teenager is portrayed brilliantly. I wish I could have carried on reading about Savannah, her friends and family. 

Heath, Cliffs & Wandering Hearts is full of charm, fun and laughs. 

Five stars from me!

Thank you to Laura Barnard for kindly sending me a copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.