Passport to Happiness – Carrie Stone

Passport to Happiness
Carrie Stone

An inspiring and escapist read – Eat, Pray, Love meets Bridget Jones!

Will the trip of her dreams…

Everly Carter is bored.

With her job, with her single status and with the never ending line of rubbish men on Tinder. Tired going through the motions of semming hpappy, Everly wants to be happy!

So, in a spontaneous moment of bravery (perhaps spurred on by a few cocktails) Everly books a holiday. Time away, alone, to find out what she really want from life.

Become the journey of her lifetime?

Everly’s search for happiness taker her to picturesque Swiss villages and the sunsets of glamourous Bermuda. But with every new stamp in her passport, Everly still feels as though something is missing….

Could it be that true happiness is hard to find, until she finds herself?

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Today I am lucky enough to be taking part in the blog tour for Passport to Happiness thanks to Rachel at Rach’s RandomResources, Carrie Stone and Harper Impulse.

I really enjoyed following Everly’s journey of self-discovery. Although she is a few years older than me, I felt that at the start of the book I could really relate to how Everly was feeling with life, which I think is why I warmed to her so much. To then see how she developed throughout the book, was both warming and inspiring.

You are transported to the places that Everly visits throughout the book, Switzerland, Bermuda and Bali, and it’s like you are there with her.

I was unsure how I would feel overall about this book because I found a couple of the secondary characters, Everly’s sister Amy and her friend Tilly, rather annoying. However, despite this it didn’t detract from how much I enjoyed the book.

This was the first of Carrie Stone’s books that I have come across, and I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more.

This is a great summer read especially if you have a case of wanderlust.

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Love Heart Lane – Christie Barlow

Love Heart Lane
Christie Barlow

Welcome to Love Heart Lane…

When Flick Simons returns to the small village of Heartcross she only expected to stay for a few days. The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.

When a winter storm sweeps in, the only bridge connecting the village to the main land is swept away! As the villagers pull together, Flick finds herself welcomed back by the friends she once left behind. And as the snow begins to melt, maybe there is a chance that Fergus’s heart will thaw too….

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Christie Barlow was a new author discovery of mine when I picked this book up in my local library. I was drawn to it by the title and cover.

Flick returns home to the Scottish village of Heartcross after eight years away. Only returning for a few days she doesn’t expect to be stranded in the worst snow storm the village has seen. The only route in and out, the bridge, is washed away and Flick only has the option to stay, face her past, rekindle her former friendships and connect with the community.

Heartcross is full of wonderful characters that after so long away Flick rediscovers, including her friends Allie, Isla and Drew. Then there is the mysterious Fergus, the reason why Flick has stayed away so long.

Throughout the story Flick looks to make amends with those nearest to her for running away to eight years before, any we find out the heartbreaking reason why she ran away.

Love Heart Lane is a wonderfully warm (even in the middle of a snow storm) story of love, hope and second chances.

Love Heart Lane was one of those books that you want to get to the end of but you don’t want the story to be over. Thankfully there is going to be another visit to Heartcross, with Foxglove Farm which is released at the end of June this year.

Edie Browne’s Cottage by the Sea – Jane Linfoot

Edie Browne’s Cottage by the Sea
Jane Linfoot

Those who don’t jump will never fly…

Hurtling through the sky was supposed to be Edie Browne’s flight of independence. But when she falls head over champagne bucket while celebrating her successful landing, her life is changed in an instant.

But starting over has its benefits, and as Edie relearns the basics under the watchful eye of her Aunty Josie and an entire Cornish village of new friends and neighbours, she finds love and joy she never could have imagined in the unlikeliest of places…

Come home to St Aidan and Periwinkle Cottage for a romance full of love, laughter and friends for life!

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I absolutely loved this book! I fell in love with Edie and St Aidan’s and felt like I was wrapped up in their bubble. As it says on the blurb ‘Come home to St Aidan and Periwinkle Cottage for a romance full of love, laughter and friends for life!’ This could not have summed it up any better. And just look at that cover!

Thank you to Rachel at Rach RandomResources, Jane Linfoot and Harper Impulse for allowing me to take part on the blog tour for this wonderful book.

Edie Browne’s life has been turned upside down and she goes to stay with her Auntie Josie to recover. Here she has to relearn the basics of life, and to fall in love with it all over again.

Why this book is so great is because you get absolutely lost in Edie’s world in St Aidan’s. Not only that but the characters are all loveable and they feel like they are your friends through the pages, especially Edie, Auntie Josie, Barney and Cam.

The story is enhanced by the characters of Barney and Cam, and how they open up Edie’s eyes in her own self-discovery.

Not only is this book a great read it also teaches you through Edie’s recovery that we take too much for granted, and that we should appreciate the simple things in life so much more.

This is the first of Jane Linfoot’s books that I’ve read, but I will be definitely be keeping my eye out for more.

This book is perfect for summer, it’s full of warmth, love, laughter and friendship. I would highly recommend reading it, and it is available now.

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Second Chances for Lottie Botte – Katy Lilley

Second Chances for Lottie Botte
Katy Lilley

Unhappy, friendless and dissatisfied with life in general, Lottie Botte isn’t afraid to let people know how she really feels.

When her husband Donald comes home and drops a bombshell, Lottie realises she is about to lose everything. Now is her chance to make some changes.

Second chances don’t come along very often, and Lottie must grab her opportunity with both hands, even if it means negotiating with the mysterious hot guy who is moving into her house…

Can Lottie become someone else – a less grotty, snotty Lottie?

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Today is my turn on the blog tour for Second Chances for Lottie Botte by Katy Lilley. Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Manatee Books.

Lottie Botte is dissatisfied with her life, feeling like she has just settled, then her husband tells her that their marriage is over and that he has sold the house. This is Lottie’s opportunity to turn her life around.

First Lottie has to get over her nasty streak to be able to make the right steps forward and make amends with those that she wronged in the past including her current and ex sister in laws.

This book is all about Lottie rebuilding her life and discovering her true self.

To start with I found this book quite difficult to get into, but it wasn’t long before I was enjoying it and laughing out loud at times.

There are many funny moments throughout the book, which are supported by some fun characters, namely Bryony and Maddie. And then there is a love interest for Lottie in the form of Gibb, the man who moves into her house, another character who adds humour to this book.

This is a great holiday read, and is published tomorrow, 23rd May.

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Swallowtail Summer – Erica James

Swallowtail Summer
A cherished home, a circle of friends and a summer that will change everything…
Erica James

A captivating story about friendship, making changes, and learning to live life to the fullest from Sunday Times bestseller Erica James.

They thought they were friends for life – until one summer, everything changed…

Linston End on the Norfolk Broads has been the holiday home to three families for many years. The memories of their time there are ingrained in their hearts: picnics on the river, gin and tonics in the pavilion at dusk, hours spent seeking out the local swallowtail butterflies. Everyone together.

But widower Alastair has been faced with a few of life’s surprises recently. Now, he is about to shock his circle of friends with the decisions he has made – and the changes it will mean for them all. For some, it feels like the end. For others, it might just be the beginning….

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Today is my turn on the Swallowtail Summer blog tour. This is the first book by Erica James that I have read, but have heard lots of great things about her work so when the opportunity to take part in this blog tour came up I snatched it up. Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Orion for the opportunity to read this book and take part in the tour.

The start of the book felt a bit hard to get into because you were introduced to lots of characters very quickly from each of their points of view. However, once I got used to the different characters, which happened quite quickly, I was completely caught up in the story.

A group of life-long friends are all settled into their lives and are happy to plod along as they are, that is until Alastair throws a spanner in the works, impacting on all of their lives.

What I loved about this book was the relationship between the characters and the effect that Alastair’s news has on these relationships as well as how it affects each character individually. They have been friends for so long that the news opens their eyes to how their relationships have been and that things may not have been quite as they thought.

Not only were the characters great, the plot absorbing but the setting of the book gave an extra level to the story. The Norfolk Broads, and particularly Linston End hold a vital role in the story, almost like they were another character.

I highly recommend that you read this book, whether you are a fan of Erica James or new to her work.

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Probably the Best Kiss in the World – Pernille Hughes

Probably the Best Kiss in the World
Pernille Hughes

If you loved Sophie Ranald’s Sorry Not Sorry then this is the hilariously feel-good novel for you!

Jen Attison likes her life Just So. But being fished out of a canal in Copenhagen by her knickers is definitely NOT on her to do list.

From cinnamon swirls to a spontaneous night of laughter and fireworks. Jen’s city break with the girls takes a turn for the unexpected because of her gorgeous, mystery rescuer.

Back home, Jen faces a choice. A surprise proposal from her boyfriend, ‘boring’ Robert has offered Jen the safety net she always thought she wanted. But with the memories of her Danish adventure proving hard to forget, maybe it’s time for Jen to stop listening to her head and start following her heart…

A fabulously feel-good rom-com that will make you laugh till you cry and fall in love with the romance! This is a must read if you love romantic comedies by Sophie Kinsella, Lindsey Kelk or Mhairi McFarlane!

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This book is a true rom-com and I absolutely loved it!

After a trip to Copenhagen, Jen is caught between the classic battle of heart and head. Prior to Copenhagen Jen was comfortable with her life, newly engaged to long-term boyfriend Robert and in control, then she met Jakob.

What I liked about this book were the aspects that ran underneath the overall love story. A big part of the book was Jen’s passion for craft beer and throughout the story, we learn a lot about the process of brewing. Another underlying story that I think brings another element to the book is that of Jen’s sister Lydia. Lydia faces her own battles and throughout this book, she becomes an inspiration with the things that she is achieving (I’m not going to give spoilers) as well as trying to open older sister, Jen’s, eyes to the possibilities of life.

From the very beginning of the book, there are laugh out loud moments and I just wanted to keep reading.

This is the first of Pernille’s books but I will be keeping my eyes peeled for more in the future.

HIM – Clare Empson

HIM
He was the love of my life, until I destroyed….HIM
Clare Empson

‘You’re stuck here, aren’t you? Right at the end. And I wonder if it might help to go back to the beginning, to put everything in some kind of order.’

Catherine has witnessed, something so traumatic that she can’t speak. Or won’t speak. The doctors say the only way forward is to look into her past.

Catherine needs to start with HIM.

Fifteen years ago she met Lucian at university and fell into a passionate love affair. They were meant to be together forever. But something happened. Something that destroyed them.

Catherine married someone else. Had two children. She moved on – or so she thought. Now Lucian is back, showing her how different life could have been.

But going back to the beginning won’t change the ending. In fact, it might be the thing that finally breaks her….

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Today is my turn on the blog tour for HIM, the debut novel of Clare Empson, thanks to Tracy Fenton and Orion.

Although I haven’t quite got the end of the book, I am loving it and am completely hooked.

When I first saw this book I thought it was going to be a dark psychological thriller, not something that I would normally be drawn to, but this had me intrigued. However, the story feels more like a dark love story.

At the start of this book the lead character, Catherine, is in hospital, unable to speak, due to witnessing something traumatic. To find out what this event is the story is told from the past leading up to this moment. And it is this that pulls the story forward, the suspense to find out what it is that has traumatised Catherine so much. And you can sense almost instantly that what will unfold will be heart-breaking.

Throughout the story we can see that Catherine is stuck between her life now, married to Sam with their two children, and her life before, the one she wishes was her reality.

A story about love, death, loss, friendship, relationships obsession and guilt.

I am impressed with this debut and I will be keeping my eye out for future work from Clare.

I can’t wait to find out how this ends and I will update this post with my final thoughts later.

UPDATE: I have now completed HIM and all I have to say is wow! The latter part of the book stepped up a gear (and I was loving it from the beginning) taking more twists and turns than I was ever expecting.

I highly recommend this book, the characters and the plot keep you hooked from the very beginning. The unfolding of the past to find out what has caused Catherine’s mutism reveals many secrets, some may be predictable but there were certainly some that I was not expecting.

You must read this book!

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