#Review Castaways by Lily Harlem @lily_harlem

Description

Olivia Bailey is up for The Challenge. Why the heck wouldn’t she be? With mariner qualifications piled high, engineering experience to rival someone twice her age, she’s ready to take on the mighty Pacific Ocean and win. 

But what about her fellow crew? Five guys, four nationalities. A billionaire’s heir who likes to take charge in every aspect of life, an outback expert with a heart-stopping smile, a Spanish chef with mouthwatering moves and sexy twins who reveal themselves slowly, until it matters, then they act fast. 

An adventure was what Olivia wanted, it’s certainly what she gets. Because things at sea happen in a heartbeat, friendships grow, tempers heat and desire flares. But what about when it all upends? When the unexpected happens? Will they pull together, or will fear drag the crew of Temptress apart? 

Review

What a stonking read from Lily Harlem. The first book in The Challenge series, Castaways takes us on a sea bound adventure with Olivia and her five sexy crew mates.

What I loved most about this book was how different it was to other Reverse Harem’s I’ve read, the settings being completely new and different completely testing the characters mentally and physically.

Olivia is a likeable character who is smart, sexy and keeps her cool in a crisis and boy do these guys have a crisis. The men in her life have very distinct personalities which is something I love in these books.

The book ends setting up nicely for book two which I’m eager to read and already have ready to go.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleCastaways
SeriesThe Challenge #1
AuthorLily Harlem
Genre: Romance | Reverse Harem | Travel
Publisher: N/A
Publication Date: 15 October 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Audio
Pages: 203
Buybooks2read.com/u/3yD5Ln

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#Review: The Little Theatre by the Sea by Rosanna Ley @RosannaLey @QuercusBooks

Description

Faye has just completed her degree in interior design when she finds herself jobless and boyfriend-less. While debating what to do next she receives a surprise phone call from her old college friend Charlotte who now lives in Sardinia and is married to Italian hotelier, Fabio.

When Charlotte suggests that Faye relocate for a month to house-sit, Faye wonders if a summer break in sunny Sardinia might be the perfect way to recharge her batteries and think about her future.

But then Charlotte tells Faye that there’s something more behind the sudden invitation: her friends Marisa and Alessandro are looking for a designer to renovate a crumbling old theatre they own in the scenic village of Deriu.

The idea certainly sounds appealing to Faye, but little does she know what she’s letting herself in for if she accepts this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity . . .

Review

Faye has taken a chance and changed career directions, having been back to university to complete an interior design degree which she has just completed she is ready to get started in her new career, the only snag she has no work. Her boyfriend left her while she was studying and she is stone cold broke.

When her close friend Charlotte invites her to Sardinia to stay with her and her husband it all sounds too good to be true, so when it turns out the invite comes with strings, house sitting and consulting for some friends who are refurbishing a local theatre style strings Faye has to decide if she is ready to jump into a fire of this size.

I enjoyed the style that Rosanna Ley used to tell the story, Faye’s story being the central string with other characters taking the lead for a chapter here and there, Faye’s parents and characters within the Sardinian village as well. there was a lot of emotional drama and a mystery which slowly unravelled and romance which for me was far too slow to burn and didn’t really fulfil my need to see romance in a novel.

I didn’t really like Faye either, now I know liking a character isn’t essential for enjoying a novel, and for the most part I did enjoy this novel. But I just found Faye really immature, and hard to relate to. I despised her parents, honestly, I couldn’t understand how they got into the mess they did…communication people! I loved our Sardinian characters though, their feisty blunt approach to everything was really refreshing and I had a real soft spot for them particularly Alessandro.

Overall, an enjoyable but slightly slow read with not enough on the romantic side for my liking and a really disagreeable main character.

I have to thank Rosanna Ley and Quercus for the eARC via NetGalley so that I could read and provide my honest opinion.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Little Theatre by the Sea
Series: N/A
Author: Rosanna Ley
Genre: Contemporary Fiction | Travel | Romance | Romantic Suspense | Mystery
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: 9 March 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsHardcover | Paperback | Audio
Pages: 464
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen | Wordery | Audible

#Review: The Place We Met by Isabelle Broom @Isabelle_Broom @MichaelJBooks

Description

Taggie is only a few months into her job as a tour guide in Lake Como. She’s rushed off her feet, but distraction is what she needs to forget why she left England.

Lucy arrives at Lake Como with her perfect new boyfriend, Pete. Falling fast in love, she’s sure that life is about to start for her, it feels so right with him.

But as New Year’s Eve approaches and the women meet by chance, it becomes clear this isn’t the perfect place of new beginnings. While Lucy is willing to do anything to keep hold of Pete, the past Taggie so desperately wanted to escape is catching up with her . . .

Review

This time we are whisked away to Lake Como in Italy, as always Isabelle Broom spends as much time making sure that we are acquainted with our surroundings the sights, smells, tastes of the area as we are with the characters ensuring that when we close the final page we feel like we have been to the location, that reading the book was a fully immersive experience.

In The Place We Met Taggie takes centre stage, she’s been working in Lake Como for a few months as a hotel tour guide, she’s got some tragedy in her past she’s running from but we don’t know what it is. Even when she catches the eye of the rather delicious Marco, a local waiter, she completely ignores him and his attention.

Marco is a local man with a dream and it’s clear he wants to get to know Taggie even though she is making it very difficult for him. He’s a wonderful character the epitome of a strong, clever, Mediterranean man.

Lucy is a nurse who has a need to please and help people in all areas of her life, including her boyfriend, Pete. She finds herself agreeing to things and not standing up for herself and saying what she wants over what he wants. I found myself getting consistently annoyed with her for being such a doormat.

Pete on the other hand, is a man who is clearly tortured about something, but because of how “nice” Lucy is he will never talk about it because she will never push him about it. I spent so much of my time reading thinking what a terrible match they were.

As things came together in Lake Como and the story pieces together there are some shocking revelations as these four people’s lives crash into each other, which had me reaching for the tissues.

All I can really say is Isabelle Broom not only does it again but she does it even better because this is easily my favourite of her books so far, a deeply emotional novel about betrayal, loss, forgiveness, and love.

A huge thanks to Isabelle Broom and Michael Joseph for the eARC for me to read and give my honest opinion!

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Place We Met
Series: N/A
Author: Isabelle Broom
Genre: Romance | Contemporary | Travel
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Publication Date: 30 November 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other FormatsPaperback
Pages: 416
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | Speedy Hen | Wordery

#Review: Then. Now. Always. by Isabelle Broom @Isabelle_Broom @MichaelJBooks

Description

Twenty-eight year old Hannah is ready for an adventure. She and her colleagues are in Spain for a month to film a documentary, and it’s a dream come true. Not least because Hannah will get to spend long summer days with Theo, her boss (and gorgeous crush). It couldn’t be a more perfect setting to fall in love…

If only Tom (Hannah’s best friend and cameramen) and Claudette (the presenter) would stop getting in the way…

Then things become even more complicated when Nancy, Hannah’s half-sister arrives. What on earth is she doing here?

For just once in her life, can’t Hannah have one perfect summer, free of any drama?

Calling all escapists! Prepare to be whisked away to the Spanish sun in this completely absorbing page-turner.

‘So evocative you can practically smell the paella and sangria’ Closer

Review

Like so many others I’m a huge fan of Isabelle Broom’s, her ability to bring a location to life on the page is unlike anybody else and this, her third novel didn’t disappoint in this regard. This time taking us to Spain and the village of Mojacar. Her descriptions of the village had me there with our characters, breathing the air and walking the streets. So much so that I ended up looking it up and flicking through pictures for over an hour!

Our protagonist Hannah is researcher for a media production company and filming in Mojacar was her idea having been somewhere she visited as a teenager and always been special to her. Because of her connection her boss (and long time crush) Theo says she can go on the production trip and so the story begins.

What I found interesting about this book over Isabelle Broom’s previous books was that I didn’t feel a connection to the characters in this one. I absolutely hated Hannah, if she was somebody I knew in real life I wouldn’t have the time of day for her, if I worked with her, I’d interact with her as little as possible. I really found very little about her that was likeable. Yet despite this I couldn’t stop reading.

Hannah is one of those people who acts like the whole world is against her. She doesn’t use her brain and when people try to talk to her like an adult she behaves like a child. For a 28 year old she’s incredibly immature.

Her half-sister Nancy turns up and she doesn’t give her the time of day. It becomes clear as the reader quite quickly why Nancy is there but Hannah behaves like a ten year old throwing a tantrum. If I was her Sister I think I would have just gone home!

Tom her best friend and the cameraman within the crew is the only person who tries to tell Hannah where she’s going wrong but she doesn’t listen and he doesn’t quite have the strength of character to stand up against her. I found him quite a weak character.

Hannah meets a local called Elaine during her trip who she interviews for the film and builds a friendship with her. I had an idea how this was going to work out by the end of the book and although I was half right I was also half wrong! I had a lot of suspicions around Elaine aswell, I never fully trusted her, I’m not sure what it was about her, or if I’m just a suspicious person but I couldn’t get fully on board with the friendship.

The only character I really liked, and I’ll probably get shot down for this was Theo, he reminded me of one of my Greek friends with his no fuss attitude, the way he knows what he wants and he goes for it no questions asked. He also has a sensitive side but he’s not big on showing it and he’s very ambitious. I would actually love to read a whole book about Theo!

Overall, despite not liking most of the cast in this novel I still thoroughly enjoyed it. I kind of saw my reaction to the characters as personality clashes and I think it still takes a lot of talent to keep you riveted to the page when you’re not getting on with the characters on that page! I’m also desperate to visit Mojacar after reading about it and all those pictures I went through!

A huge thanks to Isabelle Broom and Penguin Michael Joseph for the eARC so that I could read and honestly review this novel.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleThen. Now. Always.
Series: N/A
Author: Isabelle Broom
Genre: Women’s Fiction | Chick Lit | Travel
Publisher: Penguin Michael Joseph
Publication Date: 20 April 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 434
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen

#Review: A Year and a Day by Isabelle Broom #Giveaway @Isabelle_Broom @MichaelJBooks

This is my final review of the year and I think it’s a corker to end on. As an extra special treat I’m offering a paperback copy of the book to a lucky winner as a New Year’s treat. See the giveaway at the end of the post.

Description:
Welcome to a city where wishes are everywhere

For Megan, a winter escape to Prague with her friend Ollie is a chance to find some inspiration for her upcoming photography exhibition. But she’s determined to keep their friendship from becoming anything more. Because if Megan lets Ollie find out about her past, she risks losing everything – and she won’t let that happen again . . .

Continue reading #Review: A Year and a Day by Isabelle Broom #Giveaway @Isabelle_Broom @MichaelJBooks

Guest Post: Cruising Writers – Write the World on a Writing Retreat

I’m very pleased to welcome Christina Delay to the blog today. Christina is the Host of Cruising Writers, a writing retreat for authors which has various locations around the world and fabulous guest coaches.

A big, Texas-sized thank you to BrizzleLass Books for having me on today!

Emeril Lagasse has a wonderful show on Amazon Video called “Eat the World.” If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend! For foodies and creatives, the show is addictive. Not because of the cooking and the food—which is mouth-watering—but because of the shared passion for creating beautiful works of art.

A writer is no different from a chef. Their medium is food. Ours, words.

Continue reading Guest Post: Cruising Writers – Write the World on a Writing Retreat

Review: The Art of Postcard Writing by Leticia Supple

Description:

Sending postcards is an expected part of travelling. So you collect addresses and make promises, and leave. But writing postcards is tricky: what do you write? How do you fill that space? Oh whoops, now the space is too small. Is it ok to write about the weather??

Continue reading Review: The Art of Postcard Writing by Leticia Supple