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31 December 2015

My Top 10 Best Books of 2015!

2015 was a fabulous year when talking about books! I managed to read almost 165 books this year and discovered some pretty amazing stories that will stay with me for quite some time to come! I had a hard time picking my 10 favourites of 2015, but here they are. All of them worth picking up, especially if you're a chick lit fan like me!

Which books did you consider the best of 2015? I'd love to hear from you! 

Lucy Robinson - 'The Day We Disappeared'
Rachel Hollis - 'Sweet Girl'
Iona Grey - 'Letters to the Lost'
Traci Borum - 'Finding the Rainbow'
Victoria Connelly - 'The Rose Girls'

Kate Kerrigan - 'The Dress'
Cathy Bramley - 'Appleby Farm'
Nicholas Sparks - 'See Me'
Stacy Juba - 'Fooling Around with Cinderella'
Mandy Baggot - 'One Wish in Manhattan'

30 December 2015

Review: 'The Snowflake Valley Advice Fairy' by Holly Tierney-Bedord (2015)

At just twenty-five years old, Elinor has landed the job of her dreams: She’s going to be Merry the Advice Fairy for the Snowflake Valley Gazette. She’s ecstatic that she’s about to embark on a fun, cushy career while living in the cutest, quaintest town she’s ever known.

She’s barely settled into her desk at work when that famous Snowflake Valley shimmer starts to fizzle. The real Snowflake Valley bears little resemblance to the picture postcard tourist destination she and her family loved when she was a child. Her new co-workers are uninspiring, to say the least, and the problems that people are submitting to the Gazette are much weightier than what she was expecting.

Losing faith in herself, Elinor considers cutting her losses and moving on. However, the attention of hot young reporter Nile might be enough to get her past her chilly start in Snowflake Valley, and back to seeing its charm once again.

On December 19th another promising festive-themed short story was released, namely Holly Tierney-Bedord's 'The Snowflake Valley Advice Fairy'. Holly e-mailed me about her novella and I straight away loved the sound of it. So, the morning of Christmas Day I snuggled up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and dove straight into this quick and festive read; what better way to start Christmas than with a great romance story, right?

'The Snowflake Valley Asvice Fairy' tells the story of twenty-five-year-old Elinor who is incredibly excited to take on her new job as Merry the Advice Fairy for the local paper in the cute town of Snowflake Valley. Elinor can't wait to help people with their problems and to finally live in the town she loved so much when she visited it when she was still a little girl. However, it doesn't take long before Elinor realises the town is not exactly what she hoped it would be and her colleagues aren't the most supportive either. Elinor is almost ready to give up, but might there be something, or someone, to convince her of staying and giving both the job and village another chance...?

This was my first time checking out one of author Holly Tierney-Bedord's works and an experience I thoroughly enjoyed! I really loved the storyline of this novella, namely protagonist Elinor taking on a new job as an advice columnist for a local newspaper. I loved reading the letters people wrote to Elinor, and her trying to think of ways to help them. This could easily be a great plotline for an entire novel; definitely a novel I'd love to pick up, especially in combination with the author's comfortable and well-paced writing style.

Next to the main storyline, there was also a touch of romance, of course. I personally would have liked a bigger focus on the romance aspect of the novella, but I understand there's limited space in a novella like this! Overall, I thought it was a thoroughly entertaining festive novella, and a great introduction to a new author! 'The Snowflake Valley Advice Fairy' is a fun and festive romance novella, perfect to pick up on a cold or rainy December morning, or just whenever you feel like a quick read!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

29 December 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2016

'Top Ten Tuesday' is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. I love making lists, so this feature fits me perfectly! If you also take part in this feature or have any additions to my lists, please get in touch; I'd love to hear from you!
Top 10 Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2016

And before you know it, it's the end of another year! I can't believe we're almost at the end of 2015, this year has really flown by and we have seen some amazing books being released. Luckily, 2016 already has some pretty exciting book news coming up, and I can't wait to get my hands on some of these new books. Below are the top 10 books I'm most looking forward to reading during the first half of 2016; which reads are you looking forward to?

Be sure to share your own TTT's in the comments section below; I'd love to hear from you! 

1. Rachel Hollis - 'Smart Girl' (January 2016)

Brilliant designer Miko Jin is a hopeless romantic. She’s spent most of her life falling in love over and over again…with the men she finds in the pages of her favorite novels.

When Miko meets Liam Ashton, it’s love at first sight. At least, for her. Sure, the two of them are polar opposites, and yes, he seems to be dating someone new each week. But Miko knows what true love is and that you can’t rush it—after all, what she lacks in real-world experience, she makes up for in book smarts. With novels as her guide, and her best friends by her side, she knows she can get Liam to love her back. But just like any good romance novel, fate has a few plot twists in store. Will Miko get her own happy ending? Will she find the strength to stand up for what she deserves even if it means breaking her own heart?

2. Katie Oliver - 'What Would Lizzie Bennett Do?' (January 2016)

When your name is Lizzy Bennet, and the object of your affections just happens to have the surname Darcy, it seems fitting that life should imitate art, and you should end up together – right?
So when a film crew arrive to shoot Pride and Prejudice’ at the Darcy estate next door to the Bennet home, and Hugh Darcy arrives home after 8 years away, Lizzy knows that their time has finally come. Until, that is, he introduces her to Holly – his fiancée…

What is Lizzy to do? It can’t hurt that Holly knows nothing about country life, and that her ex-boyfriend and film star Ciaran Duncan just happens to be the main star of the new movie. And it’s clear that Lady Darcy does not approve of Holly either. Lizzy knows Holly isn’t right for Hugh, but can she make him see that and get her Austen ending after all?

3. Victoria van Tiem - 'Holding Out for a Hero' (January 2016)

The problem with first love is that it never truly dies.
Libby London fell in love in with the 80s, came of age in the 90s, and now, in the 21st Century, she's completely falling apart... Her New York City fashion sensibility is more 'vintage tragedy' than 'retro babe' and might just be what's holding her back in all matters of life and love...

At least that's what her well-meaning friends think. They've staged a #80sIntervention in an effort to bring Libby bang up-to-date. But how do you move forward when the one you love holds you in the past? Between her dreaded birthday party, friend's madcap ambush, and being forced to relocate her Pretty In Pink thrift shop, Libby's nearing the end of the rope... If her therapist isn't quick, it could be a literal one.

4. Debbie Johnson - 'The Birthday That Changed Everything' (January 2016)

She wanted a birthday surprise, just not the one she got…
The last thing Sally Summers expected from her husband on her special day was that he’d leave her for a Latvian lap dancer half her age. So with her world in tatters, Sally jets off to Turkey for some sun, sea and sanctuary.

The Blue Bay resort brings new friends and the perfect balm for Sally’s broken heart in gorgeous Dubliner James. He’s just the birthday present she needs. And when the chemistry between them continues to spark as the holiday ends, Sally wonders if this is more than just a summer fling.

But James has scars of his own and Sally isn’t quite ready to turn her back on her marriage. This birthday might have changed everything, but what will the next one bring?

5. Jenny Colgan - 'The Little Shop of Happy Ever After' (February 2016)

Given a back-room computer job when the beloved Birmingham library she works in turns into a downsized retail complex, Nina misses her old role terribly - dealing with people, greeting her regulars, making sure everyone gets the right books for their needs. Then a new business nobody else wants catches her eye: owning a tiny little bookshop bus up in the Scottish highlands. No computers. Shortages. Out all hours in the freezing cold; driving with a tiny stock of books... not to mention how the little community is going to take to her, particularly when she stalls the bus on a level crossing... 

6. Laura Tait & Jimmy Rice - 'The Night that Changed Everything' (March 2016)

Rebecca is the only girl she knows who didn't cry at the end of Titanic. Ben is the only man he knows who did. Rebecca’s untidy but Ben doesn’t mind picking up her pieces. Ben is laid back by Rebecca keeps him on his toes. They're a perfect match.

Nothing can come between them. Or so they think.

When a throwaway comment reveals a secret from the past, their love story is rewritten.

Can they recover from the night that changed everything? And how do you forgive when you can’t forget?

7. Emma Hannigan - 'The Perfect Gift' (February 2016)

Happy Birthday, darling girl...

Ever since she can remember, Roisin has received a birthday card in the post. Signed with love from the birth mother she has never met.

Brought up by her adoptive parents, Keeley and Doug, Roisin has wanted for nothing. But on her thirtieth birthday a letter comes that shakes her world.

For Keeley, who's raised Roisin as her own, the letter reminds her of a guilty secret she's been hiding for thirty years.

And for Nell, keeping watch in the lighthouse, the past is a place she dare not go. Until a young runaway arrives seeking shelter, and unwraps the gift of hope for them all...

8. Emily Liebert - 'Some Women' (April 2016)

Annabel Ford has everything under control, devoting her time to her twin five-year-old boys and to keeping her household running seamlessly. So when her husband of a decade announces that he’s leaving her, without warning, she’s blindsided. And suddenly her world begins to unravel.

Single mother Piper Whitley has always done her best to balance it all—raising her daughter Fern by herself and advancing her career as a crime reporter. Only now that she’s finally met the man of her dreams, Fern’s absentee father arrives on the scene and throws everything into a tailspin.

Married to the heir of a thriving media conglomerate, Mackenzie Mead has many reasons to count her blessings. But with an imperious mother-in-law—who’s also her boss—and a husband with whom she can no longer seem to connect, something has to give.

On the surface, these three women may not have much in common. Yet when their lives are thrust together and unlikely friendships are formed—at a time when they all need someone to lean on—Annabel, Piper, and Mackenzie band together to help each navigate their new realities.

9. Alexandra Brown - 'The Secret of Orchard Cottage' (June 2016)

April Summers is wondering what to do next – her life has been turned upside down after the loss of her husband so she’s hoping to piece herself together again with a visit to her elderly great aunt, Edith. Arriving in the rural idyll of Tindledale, she’s dismayed to find Edith’s cottage and the orchard behind it in a sorry state of disrepair. Edith seems to have lost interest completely, instead she’s become desperate to find out what happened to her sister, Winnie, who disappeared during WWII.

April gets to work immediately, discovering that the orchard still delivers a bumper crop each year, and with the help of some of the villagers – including Matt, the enigmatic Blacksmith – begins to unravel the mystery of the missing Winnie. 

Slowly, April can feel things coming to life again – but can Orchard Cottage work its magic on her too?

10. Sarah Morgan - 'Sleepless in Manhattan' (March 2016)

What if the person who broke your heart, is the only one who can help you find your future?

Great friends. Amazing Apartment. An incredible job. Paige has ticked off every box on perfect New York life checklist. Until disaster strikes and instead of shimming further up the career ladder, Paige is packing up her desk.Her brother’s best friend Jake might be the only person who can help her put her life back together. He also happens to be the boy she spent her teen years pining after, and Paige is determined not repeat her past mistakes. But the more time she spends with Jake, the more Paige realises the one thing that was missing from her world all along. The perfect New York love story…

28 December 2015

Review: 'The Great Christmas Knit Off' by Alexandra Brown (2014)

Heartbroken after being jilted at the altar, Sybil has been saved from despair by her knitting obsession and now her home is filled to bursting with tea cosies, bobble hats, and jumpers. But, after discovering that she may have perpetrated the cock-up of the century at work, Sybil decides to make a hasty exit and, just weeks before Christmas, runs away to the picturesque village of Tindledale.

There, Sybil discovers Hettie’s House of Haberdashery, an emporium dedicated to the world of knitting and needle craft. But Hettie, the outspoken octogenarian owner, is struggling and now the shop is due for closure. And when Hettie decides that Sybil’s wonderfully wacky Christmas jumpers are just the thing to add a bit of excitement to her window display, something miraculous starts to happen…

Over the last couple of years it seems like Christmas novels are getting more and more popular, because each year we are being treated to numerous festive books. So many I don't even have enough time in December to pick all of them up! Last year I actually planned to read Alexandra Brown's 'The Great Christmas Knit Off' but unfortunately never got to it. So, I made sure to find enough time to read the book this year, especially since it was the first part of Alexandra Brown's new book series which I really really want to check out. I loved her previous series about the department store Carringtons', and I can't believe it took me this long to read her next release. However, I finally found the time and couldn't wait to step into the world of Tindledale!

After being jilted at the altar by her ex-fiancee who decided to run off with her twin sister, Sybil finds it difficult to get on with her life. When she is afraid she has made a big mistake that might cost her her job as well, Sybil decides she needs a break from it all and flees to the small village of Tindedale to visit her good friend Cher for a few days. Sybil just wants some alone time to focus on her true passion: knitting. When she visits Hettie's House of Haberdashery, a small shop in Tindledale focused on everything having to do with knitting, Sybil decides to help out old lady Hettie, who is in financial trouble and about to lose her shop. But will Sybil be able to help Hettie and also find some purpose in her own life again after everything that has happened?

I can't believe it took me so long to read this novel; another fantastic read by Alexandra Brown, who is undoubtedly one of my favourite chick lit authors. If you're looking for a warm-hearted and fun romcom, just pick up one of her novels and you won't be disappointed. 'The Great Christmas Knit Off' is a great start to a new series and I already can't wait to read the second part, 'The Great Village Show.' The book is set in the town of Tindledale which is a lovely village I want to move to straight away! There is even a map at the beginning of the book which was a great touch. The community spirit is fantastic and there are numerous great characters who I can't wait to get to know better and learn more about in the parts that are still to come. 

I easily fell in love with protagonist Sybil; she has been through a rough time and ends up in Tindledale for a short break away from it all. I also really liked Sybil's cute dog Basil, and there is a fabulous selection of secondary characters such as Sybil's good friend Cher, handsome doctor Ben, loveable Lawrence, Hettie, Ruby... The book focuses a lot on knitting; a topic which I'm not too familiar with, but which really suited the story and I ended up loving it. This book just really had it all for me; I loved it and can't wait to read the author's next novel! 'The Great Christmas Knit Off' is a heartfelt, simply lovely, uplifting and festive read that will leave you with a big smile on your face; loved it from start to finish!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

27 December 2015

Review: 'Christmas Confessions & Cocktails' by Vicki Lesage (2015)

Party girl Vicki tells it like it us, from her crazy Christmases growing up in the Midwest (book auction, anyone?) to her even crazier holidays in her new home of Paris (like a marathon 8-hour meal sitting on a stool). Bizarre gifts, weird food, and holiday travel disasters are just some of tales you'll chuckle at in this collection.

This Christmas-themed memoir features 25 funny and heartwarming essays, all with a tenuous tie to Christmas, and pairs each with a delicious drink recipe. So grab your martini shaker and get ready for some great cocktails and some hearty laughs this holiday season!

I've had the pleasure of reading and reviewing several of author Vicki Lesage's works over the past two years, such as 'Confessions of a Paris Party Girl' (click here to read my review) and 'Confessions of a Paris Potty Trainer' (click here to read my review). Earlier this year, Vicki released a festive collection of short stories titled 'Christmas Confessions and Cocktails' which I looked forward to reviewing this festive season. The book consists of 25 different parts: several short stories focusing on Vicki's own memories of the Christmas season over the years, and multiple recipes for delicious festive cocktails. 

Vicki Lesage really has her own voice which make her collections of stories based on her own life experiences always fun and entertaining reads. Vicki grew up in America but now lives in France with her husband Mika and two children, Leo and Stella. Her stories are set throughout her life, so back in the day when she was still a party girl to her days as a new mum. I really enjoy Vicki's writing style and loved being able to sneak in a few short stories every now and again when I found myself with some free time during the holidays. 

Some of the stories have already been used in some of Vicki's other books, so people who are familiar with her work might recognise some of the stories here and there. However, there's a big selection of new fun tales and I really liked the idea of switching it up with festive cocktail recipes. 'Christmas Confessions & Cocktails' a festive seasonal anthology of stories told in Vicki Lesage's own fun and entertaining voice; once again, a Vicki Lesage story collection I really enjoyed and worth picking up if you're looking for an enjoyable and quick read with a fun French/American touch!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

26 December 2015

Review: 'A Very Country Christmas' by Zara Stoneley (2015)

Love is in the air in Tippermere as Lottie dreams of a white Christmas with no trimmings – other than her hot and hunky eventer, Rory. But things are never quite that simple on the Tipping House Estate.

Festive fervour takes over and it isn’t all seasonal peace and goodwill as expectations rise and it soon escalates from cosy dinner for two, to all the trimmings for ten!

With missing turkeys, loose horses, troublesome terriers and randy huntsmen, Lottie is hard pushed to find time for a kiss under the mistletoe, let alone find the opportunity to woo Rory with her sexy Santa costume.

But there is only one thing Lottie really wants for Christmas, and only one man can deliver it…

Earlier this year I had the chance to check out Zara Stoneley’s Tippermere book series, consisting of her two novels ‘Stable Mates’ (click here to read my review) and ‘Country Affairs’ (click here to read my review). I really enjoyed both books, so was quite excited when I discovered Zara has written a festive novella as the latest part in the series, ‘A Very Country Christmas’, which is set a few months after the end of ‘Country Affairs.’ I was lucky enough to receive a review copy via NetGalley and couldn’t wait to join Lottie, Rory and the other characters for the festive season!

Lottie Brinkley can’t wait to spend Christmas with her fiancée, Rory Steel. She already has dreams of a white Christmas, just the two of them in front of the telly with enough Christmas food for days, the house to themselves, and hopefully that one special Christmas present Lottie has secretly been wishing for… But when the merry and kind-hearted spirit of Christmas unexpectedly hits Lottie, she suddenly  finds herself inviting all her friends and family for Christmas at her and Rory’s place. Instead of an exclusive dinner for two, Lottie finds herself preparing a festive meal for ten and all of a sudden Christmas at Tippermere isn’t exactly what Lottie expected it to be… 

I loved this wonderful festive trip back to Tippermere and once again seeing all these familiar faces! While ‘A Very Country Christmas’ could be read as a stand-alone, I definitely recommend reading it as part of the series, because it provides you with that extra bit of background information that makes this story even better than it already is. The author has included a guide with all characters’ names and a bit of information at the beginning of the story, which is really helpful to refresh your memory or help you when all these characters get a bit too much. I loved the fact that almost all familiar Tippermere faces make an appearance in this Christmas novella and I had a big smile on my face throughout.

The novella is divided into three separate parts: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, which was a nice division. Zara Stoneley’s writing style is great; it flows well, provides enough detail, and made me laugh several times. I personally know nothing about horses and am also not a particularly big fan, but Zara has made me fall in love with Tippermere and its characters (also the great animals, mainly dogs and horses) and I can only hope we will be treated to another part in 2016! ‘A Very Country Christmas’ is a light, feel-good, festive read that is definitely worth picking up this Christmas; I loved it!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

25 December 2015

Review: 'A Christmas in Disguise' by Katie Fforde (2015)

When Jo’s friend Andi asks if she’ll stand in to cook Christmas lunch for her employer, Jo reluctantly agrees. She knows Andi will lose her job if she doesn’t, and wants to help out her friend.

Jo is nervous because Andi’s boss is a well-known celebrity diva, who outright refuses to have anyone but Andi cook for her. But she also insists Andi wears full chef's whites so the girls think they’ll get away with it … it’s the perfect Christmas disguise.

But when Jo runs into one of the guests - good looking and very smart Anthony - things get even more complicated…

First of all, Merry Christmas to everyone! :) Christmas is the perfect time of year for so many things, butone of them is definitely short stories. I love reading a great novella or short story every day of the year, but around Christmas time these quick reads are a great way of cheering yourself up on a winter's day or to get into the festive mood! Last year, author Katie Fforde released a collection of Christmas stories titled 'A Christmas Feast' and this year she is treating us to another story filled with holiday cheer, namely 'A Christmas in Disguise.' I always enjoy Katie's works, so definitely looked forward to checking out this short story in the weeks before Christmas!

When Jo is asked for a Christmas favour by her best friend Andi, she can't help but say 'yes'. Andi works as a chef for Caroline, a celebrity diva who is never done with her demands and wants a Christmas dinner made by Andi. However, Andi wants to go and visit her family, so Jo, who is also a trained chef, decides to go in disguise and pretend to be Andi for the day. However, Jo never expected to run into handsome Anthony, who also asks her for a favour, and before Jo knows it she finds herself in all kinds of trouble...

'A Christmas in Disguise' is another lovely festive short story by author Katie Fforde and a great read to pick up during the cold December days. It can be a bit tricky to really write a short story with characters that leave an impression, characters you warm to, because you only have a limited amount of space to do so. However, Katie Fforde really managed to do just that in this novella, making it a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience!

Protagonist Jo is a trained chef who works as a hotel receptionist and volunteers at an animal shelter for dogs. During the holiday season, Jo's best friend Andi needs some help to take over her job as a chef so she can go home to her family. Jo wants to help out her friend, but has no idea what exactly she has gotten herself into. I really liked the storyline and it had moments that made me laugh and a good dose of romance as well. 'A Christmas in Disguise' is a sparklingly fun short story, perfect to pick up in the lead-up to Christmas if you're looking for a quick and entertaining festive read!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

24 December 2015

Review: 'Snowflakes on Silver Cove' by Holly Martin (2015)

Libby Joseph is famous for her romantic Christmas stories. Every December, readers devour her books of falling in love against the magical backdrop of the Christmas season. If only Libby believed in the magic herself... 

Struggling to finish her current novel, Libby turns to her best friend and neighbour George Donaldson to cheer her up. But George also needs a bit of support himself. Nervous about getting back into the dating saddle after splitting from his wife, he and Libby strike a deal. She will teach George how to win over the ladies, and Libby will in turn be inspired to inject her novel with a good dose of romance. 

As Libby and George explore the beautiful White Cliff Bay on a series of romantic Christmas-themed dates, Libby finds herself having more fun than she’s had in ages and...discovers feelings that she never knew she had for George. 

But is it too late? Will George win someone else’s heart or can Libby act like the heroine in one of her stories and reach for her own love under the mistletoe this Christmas? 

Earlier this month I posted my review of Holly Martin's festive novel 'Christmas at Lilac Cottage' (click here to read my review); a book which I really enjoyed. Holly definitely spent the past few months writing like a crazy person, because she actually released another Christmas-themed novel a few weeks ago, namely 'Snowflakes on Silver Cove', which I am reviewing today! This book is the sequel to 'Christmas at Lilac Cottage' and the second part of the White Cliff Bay series. I was really excited to check out my third Holly Martin novel, hoping I would enjoy it as much as the other two, but I had a good feeling I would end up loving it (based on its lovely book cover alone the novel already deserves a big 10!)! 

Libby Joseph loves her job as an author. People enjoy the romance stories she writes and it takes her to all kinds of places all over the world. Right now, she has found herself quite a special spot in White Cliff Bay, where she has become close friends with her neighbour George Donaldson. George is a lovely guy but has had some trouble dating women after his wife cheated on him and divorced him. Libby, who knows all about romance, decides to help George capture the heart of their new neighbour, Giselle, so they go on several practice dates together. With each date, Libby starts to feel more and more for George and suddenly she realises she doesn't want him to go out with someone else. Question is, is she still on time or is it already too late for Libby to find love this Christmas?

'Snowflakes on Silver Cove' is my third Holly Martin novel and definitely my favourite book of hers so far; what a lovely read! The book is set in the wonderful village of White Cliff Bay and while it is the second part in the White Cliff Bay series it can be read as a stand-alone as well. I fell in love with this town in 'Christmas at Lilac Cottage' and it was great to be back there again and read about all the familiar characters. Holly Martin really managed to create a great town with so many interesting and loveable characters and I loved getting to know both main characters Libby and George better, but also Amy and Seb, the two characters on which the other storyline in the book focuses.  

Libby and George are probably one of my favourite fictional couples of all time; they have a brilliant friendship and they really made me laugh out loud with their jokes and actions. As I already mentioned, the book also has a great cast of secondary characters, including Amy and Seb, whose storyline I also really enjoyed. I loved the fact that the novel takes place at the same time as 'Christmas at Lilac Cottage' and some of the events in both books matched. I already can't wait to hopefully go back to White Cliff Bay in 2016 and am keeping my fingers crossed for a third part of the series. Overall, 'Snowflakes on Silver Cove' is an incredibly heart-warming, sweet and festive romantic comedy that I couldn't get enough of. A brilliant read by Holly Martin and one I can recommend to any chick lit fan out there!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

23 December 2015

Review: 'Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses' by Jenny Hale (2015)

Single mother Abbey Fuller loves her family more than anything, and doesn’t regret for a moment having had to put her dreams of being an interior designer on hold. But with her son, Max, growing up, when a friend recommends her for a small design job she jumps at the chance. How hard can it be? 

Nick Sinclair needs his house decorated in time for his family’s festive visit – and money is no object. What he doesn’t need is to be distracted from his multi-million dollar business – even if it is Christmas. 

When Abbey pulls up to the huge Sinclair mansion, she has a feeling she might be out of her depth. And when she meets the gorgeous, brooding Nicholas Sinclair, she knows that she’s in real trouble… 

With the snow falling all around, can Abbey take the chance to make her dreams of being a designer come true? And can she help Nick to finally enjoy the magic of Christmas?

If you're searching for the perfect novel to get you into a festive December mood, be sure to pick up one of author Jenny Hale's Christmas books; trust me, you won't be disappointed! Two years ago I read and reviewed my first Jenny Hale title, 'Coming Home for Christmas' (click here to read my review) and I straight away fell in love with her writing and her ability to paint a gorgeous Christmas picture that made me feel all warm inside! Last year's 'A Christmas to Remember' was another stunning read (click here to read my review) and this year Jenny has once again released a festive book in the form of 'Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses.' Another Bookouture release which I couldn't wait to sit down with and one I knew I would fall in love with!

Single mother Abbey has always put her son Max and family on the first place, moving her dream of becoming an interior designer to the back burner. However, when completedly unexpectedly Abbey's job as a nurse for elderly lady Caroline leads to a fantastic opportunity, Abbey knows she has to take it with both hands. Caroline's grandson Nick Sinclair is a businessman with lots of money and a big house that needs to be decorated before his family comes to visit for the holidays. There are no rules and no budget; what more could an interior designer ask for? But Abbey can't help but worry about Nick; he only seems to be hiding in piles of work and doesn't take time to enjoy what's around him. Can Abbey not only change Nick's home this Christmas but perhaps also the man himself...?

The lovely winter book cover of 'Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses' already sets the tone for this novel perfectly; it's a stunning read with that magical touch of Christmas I personally look for each December. After having read several of Jenny Hale's novels, I've come to love her writing style and her books always live up to my expectations, especially her Christmas books. Some books use the word 'Christmas' in the title but don't really have anything to do with the holidays, but Jenny's novels breathe Christmas from start to end. All the descriptions of the amazing decorations and a fabulous Christmas atmosphere really make her books the ideal reads to pick up in the lead-up to the end of December, if you ask me.

I straight away fell in love with main character Abbey and her cute son Max. Abbey is a devoted mother who is finally given the chance to make her dream of becoming an interior designer come true when she takes on a job at Nick Sinclair’s mansion. Nick is the perfect male character for a Christmas novel; handsome, rich, and needs a woman to remind him of what exactly is important in life. This novel is about family, love, friendship, and the Christmas spirit, and it is beautifully written as well, making it a must-read for any chick lit fan this December, if you ask me. ‘Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses’ is an uplifting, heart-warming and truly festive treat that left me with a big smile on my face and made me long for Christmas even more!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

22 December 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

'Top Ten Tuesday' is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. I love making lists, so this feature fits me perfectly! If you also take part in this feature or have any additions to my lists, please get in touch; I'd love to hear from you!
Top 10 Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

It's been quite some time since I took part in Top Ten Tuesday! The reason for this is that December has been all about Christmas books on my blog and the TTT's of the past few weeks haven't really been about Christmas, so I decided to skip a few of them. However, this week I'm back again with a fun top 10 including the 10 books I'd love to find under the Christmas tree this year!

Be sure to share your own TTT's in the comments section below; I'd love to hear from you! 

1. The Penguin Complete Jane Austen Collection

I love love love this pretty Jane Austen collection, released by Penguin, and really want to add it to my Austen collection! <3

2. Lindsey Kelk - 'A Girl's Best Friend'

I can't believe I still haven't read Lindsey Kelk's latest release 'A Girl's Best Friend.' I love Lindsey's novels, no exceptions as of yet, so I would love to find a copy of this latest one underneath the Christmas tree this year!

3. Lucy Holliday - 'A Night in With Audrey Hepburn'

I've heard great things about Lucy Holliday's books, and I love the cover of this one, so definitely want to give it a try.

4. Cecelia Ahern - 'The Marble Collector'

Another one of my favourite authors; can't wait to check out 'The Marble Collector'!

5. Miranda Dickinson - 'A Parcel for Anna Browne'

As I am typing this I still can't believe I haven't read this book yet. I love Miranda Dickinson; she's an amazing author and I know this book won't let me down. I put it on my wish list for this year and really hope I'll be able to read it as soon as possible!

6. Tasmina Perry - 'The Last Kiss Goodbye'

Isn't this a simply gorgeous book? The cover is already enough reason for me to want to pick it up!

7. Giovanna Fletcher - 'Dream a Little Dream'

Another 2015 release by a fabulous author that I somehow managed to miss. Once again, only heard positive things about this book, so look forward to finally finding the time to read it!

8. Alexandra Brown - 'The Great Village Show'

I love Alexandra Brown. Her Carrington's series is still one of my favourite chick lit series and I have been wanting to check out her newest novel for months... Fingers crossed Santa will bring it this Christmas!

9. Kirsty Greenwood - 'The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance'

Another great 2015 release which I somehow managed to miss!

10. Lucy Robinson novels

I read my first Lucy Robinson novel this year and was blown away by it! I can't wait to check out more of her work, so hope to find another one of her books underneath the tree this year!