blog tour · book review · Contemporary Romance · women's fiction

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Borrow-a-Bookshop Holiday

Every book lover’s dream holiday!

The Borrow-A-Bookshop Holiday

The Fully Booked Bookshop Café invites literature lovers to run their very own bookshop … for a fortnight.

Spend your days talking books with customers in your own charming bookshop and serving up delicious cream teas in the cosy café.

Bookworms, what are you waiting for? Your holiday is going to be LIT(erary).

Apply to: The Fully Booked Bookshop, Down-a-long, Clove Lore, Devon.

Jude Crawley should be on top of the world. She’s just graduated as a mature student, so can finally go public about her relationship with Philosophy professor, Mack.

Until she sees Mack kissing another girl, and her dreams crumble. And worse, their dream holiday – running a tiny bookshop in the harbour village of Clove Lore for two weeks – is non-refundable.

Throwing caution to the winds, Jude heads down to Devon, eager to immerse herself in literature and heal her broken heart.

But there’s one problem – six foot tall, brooding (but gorgeous) Elliot, who’s also reserved the bookshop holiday for two weeks…

As Jude and Elliot put their differences aside to run the bookshop, it seems that Jude might be falling in love with more than just words. Until she discovers what Elliot is running from – and why he’s hiding out in Clove Lore.

Can Jude find her own happy ending in a tiny, tumbledown bookshop? Or is she about to find out that her bookish holiday might have an unexpected twist in the tale…

Love this cover!

Purchase Links

AMZ: https://amzn.to/30a8F8w

Kobo: http://bit.ly/308giMP

Apple: http://apple.co/3q8A4Ch

Author Bio

Kiley Dunbar writes heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places.

Kiley also works as a senior lecturer, teaching creative writing at the Manchester Writing School.

One Winter’s Night is shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel Award 2021.

Social Media Links

‘Kiley Dunbar Author Book Page’ on Facebook website and newsletter: http://www.kileydunbar.co.uk/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI8wM4Fmkbyg4S_XGSnfUCA

https://twitter.com/kileydunbar

https://www.facebook.com/KileyDunbarAuthor/

My Review

If ever a book were to attract a reader’s attention by its title, this would be it. A bookshop by the sea to run yourself for two weeks with a café on the side … what’s not to love?

Jude’s life is about as “up in the air” as it can be. At 29, she hasn’t really chosen her own path yet but rather has been helping out as her gran’s carer, still living at home with her baker parents. (Baker, not biker … that would be a whole other story!)

So when her parents decide to sell the bakery and her gran asks to move into the new retirement village, Jude is at a loss with what to do with her life. Together with her boyfriend, she had booked a place on the Borrow A Bookshop Holiday website and after a long wait her turn has finally arrived. The former mature student of literature cannot wait to be surrounded by books. Problem is her boyfriend is no longer in the picture, so Jude decides to go it alone. It could be just what she needs: two weeks in a different setting where she can consider her future and “play” at owning a bookshop. So, armed with her family’s recipe book to wow the café’s customers, she makes the long journey south in the worst weather ever … but it’ll all be worth it (she tells herself)

This backstory element of the book is quite drawn-out and paints Jude as a people pleaser, always putting others first, so it was good to see her take charge of her life and do something she really wanted to. The pace picks up from hereon, with both an exhausting journey to deal with and a surprise “partner” (Elliot) to ruin her plans of running the bookshop alone.

Clove Lore sounds like a wonderful place with colourful characters with charming and heartwarming stories to tell. These stories drive the plot in all sorts of directions which come together seamlessly by the end. Jude’s holiday is far from tranquil, but it is most definitively eventful. She and Elliot clash from the start, but it’s not long before secrets from their past reveal they have much more in common than they realise. Watch out for Aldous the dog whose story will break your heart and then mend it perfectly.

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Amazon Reviewer Name
Amazon reviews written as Meandthemutts
cover reveal · psychological suspense · romance · women's fiction

Cover Reveal – Between You and Me

Between You and Me

Is her new husband really who she thinks he is?

When young doctor Lauren Matheson meets Joe, an older divorced businessman, at a glittering poolside in California, it’s a chance encounter that seems life-changing for them both. Back home in London, their feelings only strengthen. But Lauren soon discovers that building a happy future with Joe is going to be an uphill struggle…

She’s determined to be a good stepmother to his children, four-year-old Toby and complicated teen Grace. But under the watchful eye of Meredith, Joe’s intimidating ex-wife, Lauren can’t seem to do a thing right. Why won’t Joe ever take her side against Grace? And what really happened between him and Meredith?

As her husband retreats into a cold, secretive version of the dashing man she met in California, Lauren starts to wonder if she’s made a costly mistake. Was Joe ever the man she thought she married?

Pre-order Link – https://amzn.to/2Pu9BCM

Publication Date – 22nd June 2021

Author Bio

Carol Mason is the Amazon Charts and Kindle #1 bestselling author After You Left (more than 300,000 copies sold), The Secrets of Married Women, The Last Time We Met, The Shadow Between Us, Send Me A Lover and Little White Secrets which hit the Bookstat digital bestsellers list top 3 in the week of its launch.

She was born in the North East of England where most of her novels are set. She now lives in Canada with her Canadian husband, a rescue dog from Kuwait and a three-legged cat.

When not writing, Carol loves to read, cook and binge watch Netflix. 

Social Media Links https://www.facebook.com/CarolMasonAuthor

https://twitter.com/CarolMasonBooks

https://www.instagram.com/carolmasonauthor/

As always,

PS – I’ll be reviewing this one on publication day … and I can’t wait to get started. See you again then.

book review · family · there's a dog · women's fiction

Book Review – Seven Perfect Things

by Catherine Ryan Hyde

You just know this is going to be good!

A heart-stirring novel about the joy that comes from finding love in unexpected places by the New York Times and #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author.

Thirteen-year-old Abby Hubble lives in an unhappy home in the Sierra Nevada foothills where her father makes life miserable for her and her mother, Mary. One day Abby witnesses a man dump a litter of puppies into the nearby river. Diving in to rescue all seven, she knows she won’t be able to bring them home. Afraid for their fate at the pound, she takes them to an abandoned cabin, where all she can offer is a promise that she’ll be back the next day.

To grieving widower Elliot Colvin, life has lost meaning. Looking for solace, he retreats to the hunting cabin he last visited years ago, before his wife’s illness. What he discovers is not at all what he expected: seven puppies and one determined girl with an indomitable heart.

As Abby and Elliot’s friendship deepens, Abby imagines how much better her life—and the puppies’ lives—would be if her mother were married to Elliot instead of her father. But when Abby’s father moves the family hundreds of miles away, Abby and her mother must decide how long they’re willing to defer happiness.

Seven Perfect Things is a story about joy, where to find it, how to know it when you see it, and the courage it takes to hang on to it once you have it.

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My Review

Can you guess where this is going? I mean, it has not one dog but seven delightful, cute as a button puppies in it – which makes it a must-read in my eyes.

4 paws from me!

If the current pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our pets are as much part of the family as their human counterparts, and as this story shows, the dogs are a great deal better behaved! The blurb tells us from the start that the puppies have been dumped in a sack in the river (can I get a boo hiss for the hoomans that did this!!!), so we have to be prepared for a tale of survival, a battle against the odds and a whole lot of love, bemusement and shenanigans to follow.

So, to the story …

After rescuing seven puppies from the river, refusing to leave them at the pound where their future is more than uncertain, and knowing her father will not allow her to take them home, Abby traipses up to a unoccupied cabin nearby to care for them. Buying food and water for them with what little money she has, Abby is determined her puppies will survive. She rushes out of the house each morning to check on them, and again after school, keeping them secret from her dad, although she did tell her mum about them … just maybe not all the facts.

Since school is about to break for summer, she reckons she can spend more time with them while looking for new homes to take them in (she does this with the best of intentions not realising how much she has already grown to love the puppers).

For a couple of days, she copes – helped by some money from her mum (who has guessed from the paw prints on her clothes and her late hours that Abby still has the dogs somewhere). Abby and her mother live in fear of upsetting her father, which makes her mum all the more determined to let Abby have her secret knowing that she is of an age where being responsible for something other than herself will be a valuable lesson.

But, then the owner of the cabin arrives …

Recently widowed, Elliot arrives at his cabin for some alone time, only to find the cabin has been broken into and much of his stuff stolen( not by Abby, I hasten to add). Added to that, when checking out his generator – no longer there – in the shed, he finds Abby’s puppies and a pile of smelly newspaper.

When he takes the same trip as Abby to the pound, the staff member recognises the pups and is sorry to see them again. Elliot cannot leave them to their fate, so he returns to his cabin to find a distressed Abby looking for her dogs. And so begins their relationship which, while it has a rocky start, soon becomes focused on the puppies’ wellbeing. If anything, Abby’s presence stops Elliot from sinking into depression, and instead he is cheered by the antics of the playful seven.

But it can’t go on like that. Elliot will have to leave his cabin eventually, and Abby needs to find homes for the dogs. However, by then the two are firm friends and come up with a plan to look after the puppies which just so happens to also take into consideration Abby’s home life and her mother’s unhappy marriage.

The struggle is real and their plan falls apart early on when Abby’s father decides he’s in charge of his family and “takes” them away. With no way of contacting Elliot, it seems Abby may never see her puppies or Elliot again.

An emotionally-charged story that will keep you reading through to the end to see how things work out.

As always,

blog tour · book review · coming of age · women's fiction

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Charity of Strangers

The Charity of Strangers

You can find almost anything in a charity shop, but can you find love?

            You can certainly find friendship and there is both laughter and tears ahead when 19yr old Zaffron, lonely, anxious and without direction, meets Blaire Daintry, good-looking, charming, and gay.

            Both volunteers in the charity shop, he has a hidden agenda, she has secrets,  but they are friends from the start, despite Blaire’s constant sparring with Ida, the stern, good-hearted older volunteer who Zaffron admires. And perhaps Ida has secrets too.

            Together with other victims of the city’s housing crisis, Blaire and Zaffron set up a safe and happy home.  Secure at last, she tells him of the dreadful incident in her childhood that has marred her life, but not even his total acceptance gives her the confidence to start a relationship with an attractive and decent young army sergeant who falls in love with her.

            Is it fear of the truth coming out that holds her back? Or is there some other reason, buried too deep in her heart for her to recognise?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charity-Strangers-friends-secrets-lies-ebook/dp/B08NXHTG2B/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Charity-Strangers-friends-secrets-lies-ebook/dp/B08NXHTG2B/

Author Bio

I was born and grew up in Lancashire, gained several nursing qualifications and had the privilege of a long and varied nursing career, briefly in the Royal Army Nursing Service abroad, mainly in the NHS in UK.

True love and a happy family came my way and now I have the time to read, write and remember.

Social Media Links

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/lilydaleco

 Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lily_dale_companies/

 Website https://www.alisonburkefictionwriter.com/

My Review

The Charity of Strangers couldn’t be a more apt title for this story as it centres on a group of individuals who meet through volunteer work at a charity shop. They start as strangers but end as good friends, and have a unique bond that unites them from that point onwards.

Zaffron is the principal character who wants more from life but doesn’t know how she might achieve it – living in a squat in fear of her life does not inspire her with much confidence to break out of the comfort zone. With a job interview lined up, she plans to “take” a coat from the charity stop but instead gets caught up in a conversation with the ladies running the store and can’t bring herself to steal from them. Instead she contemplates working there as a volunteer which she hopes might look good when she is really ready to find paid work.

The shop soon begins to mean more to her and she grows in confidence. When Blaire joins the workforce, she loves it even more. He’s closer to her age and a lot of fun. Life is picking up.

However, what Zaffy doesn’t realise is that Blaire is also keeping a secret. As their friendship blossoms, their lives becomes more intricately involved. Blaire moves into the squat and soon things change there for the better. In fact, as far as Zaffron is concerned, when Blaire is around everything seems better.

As time passes, Zaffy’s expectations of her future change – she applies for the assistant manager role at the shop with high hopes while also taking classes at night school for GCSE English. Suddenly she has prospects, she is more independent and with things changing at the squat (including the reason for her being so scared now gone) she is even open to a little romance. Unfortunately, this is where things begin to unravel. But there is a silver lining which I won’t reveal here 😉

I enjoyed reading this; a true slice of life drama that touches upon issues that are often side-lined – homelessness and the housing crisis, abuse and poverty – while also looking at the positive elements of life through friendship, having a purpose in life and caring about others. There are moments of sadness and hurt balanced with joy, hope and love.

Definitely a book I’d recommend to readers of coming of age and women’s fiction. It has a strong core of optimism and friendship wrapped in a shell of harsh reality.

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blog tour · book review · romance · starting over · women's fiction

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Villa of Dreams

The Villa of Dreams

‘Beautifully written, comforting and utterly uplifting, Lucy Coleman’s stories are the perfect tonic when life is a little grey.’ Holly Martin

Seren Maddison left behind a rainy Britain to follow her dreams and live and work in Lisbon. The vibrancy, the beautiful scenery and the sunshine, made her fall in love and she knew, instantly, that it would be her forever home.

International artist Reid Henderson has homes in Lisbon and London. Following his painful divorce, his dream is to turn his luxurious home into an art school and gallery.

When Seren and Reid first meet there is an instant attraction, but they are both people who have been hurt, and each have dreams that are so far apart, they aren’t even on the same page. 

Can they enjoy one summer of happiness together, as life bestows a gift of memories to cherish for the rest of their lives? Or is their destiny to chart a path into the future, in a home where dreams can come true?

Seren and Reid may be about to discover that love is as much about what you are prepared to give up, as what you are prepared to keep hold of.

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to sun-drenched Portugal where true love really can conquer all, and home is where the heart is. Perfect for all fans of Trisha Ashley, Holly Martin and Sue Moorcroft.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3hIk99I

Author Bio

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Summer in Provence and Snowflakes over Holly Cove.

She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton.

She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

 

 

Social Media Links 

My Review

4/5 stars

I always enjoy reading about characters who have packed up and moved away to another country where both the language and culture are so very different to what they are used to. As an immigrant myself, I find myself smiling and nodding along as the character gets to grips with their new life. The author paints such a beautiful picture of Lisbon, invoking memories of visiting there as a child and being overwhelmed by the hugeness of the Cristo Rei.  Admittedly, while I appreciated the attention to detail, it did have the effect of slowing the story down at the beginning. That said, the scene where she has her first Pastéis de nata with her colleagues had me salivating! 🙂 

The core theme of the novel is the exhibition Seren has proposed to her new bosses; ambitious it may be, but she is convinced she can pull it off – in spite of Rafael, one of the big draws to the event, who isn’t as involved or as enthusiastic as she is. Luckily, she has another one of the main artists, Reid, on her side. He has his own family issues to contend with – divorce, his daughter, and an ex-wife who is still involved in his business.  he and Seren have very different goals, and their slow-burn of a romance sometimes looks as though it might never get off the ground despite the very obvious spark between them. 

Seren’s own artistic streak is enjoyably original, creating sculptures from metal. It’s demonstrative of her need to break free from the family business back in the UK, where her father had been over-domineering. Both she and Reid have baggage to deal with, and hopes and dreams that don’t align, but can they find a way through? 

This is such a lovely story, combining travel, art and new starts with a gentle, easy to read style – what’s not to love about it? 
With thanks to Boldwood Books, NetGalley and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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blog tour · book review · family · friendship · fun · romance · romantic comedy · women's fiction

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – This Year, Maybe

This Year Maybe

Alison and David have been engaged for so long that even Alison’s mother has given up asking when, but it’s second time around for both of them and they’re not in any particular hurry.
That said, Alison is beginning to wonder if living with her has put David off the idea of marriage so when he suggests they set a date she is delighted. But that date is six months’ away and a lot can happen in six months – especially if you’re Alison!

‘My son’s been arrested, Great-aunt Millie’s fallen in love, my best friend suspects her husband of having an affair, and I still need to lose weight. How on earth can I think about getting married?’

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Year-Maybe-Alisss-Adventures-ebook/dp/B08LLDZ9NP/

US – https://www.amazon.com/This-Year-Maybe-Alisss-Adventures-ebook/dp/B08LLDZ9NP/

Author Bio – I’m a golden-retriever-loving granny, who enjoys walking by the sea or in the woods, who eats too much chocolate, and who gets over-excited when the Welsh team plays rugby.

I have self-published two novels, This Time Last Year, and The Dog-walking Club, but I’m also an experienced freelance writer and author of several non-fiction books published by Hodder & Stoughton, Scripture Union and Kevin Mayhew.

Social Media Links

Facebook – LizHindsAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LizHindsAuthor

Website – http://lizhinds.online

My Review

4/5 stars

This was not my first book by this author because I know I can rely on her to make the world a better place for a few hours. You simply cannot read This Year, Maybe without smiling, and frequently laughing both with and at the characters. Talking of characters, there are a lot of them … an awful lot, because Alison has a busy if rather quirky life. I don’t imagine anything is ever straightforward for her, because if something can go wrong, it will. Sod’s Law (aka Murphy’s Law) was written for people like Alison. At times, I did feel as though I had to suspend belief at events that “happened” to her – the kidnapping during her Hen week being a prime example, and how her sister-in-law, Trish, always seemed to have the right skills at exactly the right time.

There’s a plethora of side stories that build to create even more problems for Alison. If she were ever to write her memoirs, be prepared for a War & Peace sized tome. I felt the overall story could have been shorter; it seemed to run out of steam towards the end, but I guess even Alison’s life has to allow for a breather now and then. That said, there was more than enough fun and humour to keep me reading. Writing comedy is no easy task, but the laughs roll off the page with a natural ease, so much so it feels as though you’re in the scene with the characters. I also love the author’s use of realistic dialogue; it glued me to my Kindle because these were real people in extraordinary , if somewhat chaotic, situations. The essence of the story centres on love, family and friendships, and the humour and mayhem are extra bonuses.

I’ll definitely be reading more from this author, and I love the cover: it’s bright and breezy and certain to lift the mood on a wintery day. Enjoy a few hours of chaos and fun – you’ll feel better for it!

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blog blitz · book blitz · dystopian · Giveaways · R&R Book Tour stop · thriller · women's fiction

Book Blitz – In Our Bones (plus giveaway)

InOurBones

Congratulations to Pernell Plath Meier on the release of In Our Bones! Read on for a little sneak peek and book details! There’s also a fabulous giveaway!

Bones - Digital Cover

In Our BonesPublication Date: October 6th, 2020 Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Trump Era – Dystopian Thriller

Lauren’s happy childhood on a farm in Minnesota is shattered after an assault during her teen years, and she retreats into her own world as America falls apart. Hers was the last generation to grow up before the economic collapse that followed the Corona pandemic. Amidst roiling climate chaos, the government has been taken over by extremists, incompetents, and con-men who tear the country apart while clinging to power. Lauren is swept up in the madness when she falls for the wrong man. She’s looking for love and safety, but Bryan becomes distant and abusive as he obsesses over White Sharia and deepens his ties to the racist patriot militia group. Lauren worries about the safety of her sister and nephew, who is mixed-race. Will Lauren escape from Bryan and keep her nephew safe from danger? In a world where values are tested and morality is unsettlingly murky, Lauren must break free from the constraints in her mind to protect her family.

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Excerpt

She heard a whimper that brought her back to the moment, and peered at Craig as grief wracked his body. He started whispering, “It’s not coming back. None of it. The old world will never come back.” His chest quivered with small spasms and quiet tears flowed down his face and into his curly hair. Lauren instinctually wanted to turn away from him, to give him privacy. She scarcely knew him, and the depths of his grief sent fear rippling through her chest. She pushed herself to remain present. She may have been cool at times, but she refused to be an ice queen like her mom. She reached out a clumsy hand and rubbed his head, trying to soothe him.

Available on AmazonAbout the Author

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Pernell Plath Meier grew up on the Iowa side of the Mississippi in the Quad Cities. She left behind a life of traumatic chaos to move out on her own at fifteen. She earned undergraduate science degrees with honors in biology, anthropology, and environmental studies, followed by graduate degrees in sustainable agriculture and anthropology at Iowa State University. She’s worked and traveled in ten countries, including a long-ago trip to see the Grateful Dead in Canada. After college, she worked in Kentucky helping farmers transition from tobacco production to local foods. She found her way to Southeast Minnesota and spent nearly twenty years raising gardens, chickens, dogs and cats, while homeschooling her five adopted children. Today Pernell juggles day to day life as a single mom with three kids still at home, a smaller flock of chickens and a new puppy, Buddy. Prior writings have centered on adoption and gardening. In Our Bones is her first quest as a novelist.

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Giveaway Time!!!

Grand Prize: Signed Copy of In Our Bones & Swag

Second Place: Digital Copy of In Our Bones

Giveaway will run from today until October 17th! Click on the link below to enter!

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blog tour · book launch · women's fiction

Book Blitz – The Window


Women’s Fiction

Date Published: 10/12/20

Publisher: TouchPoint Press


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After making the biggest mistake of her life, Olivia wasn’t comfortable anywhere — ever. Except in her dreams.

 

Is he really real? For so many years, I’ve wondered if I imagined him. I’ve lived too many years in fear of never being free. It wasn’t even about happiness. Everyone always asks, “Are you happy?” Does anyone really want happiness? We all just want to be able to breathe. We all just want to be comfortable in our own skin. I was completely comfortable in mine, until I married Christopher Brewer. After making the biggest mistake of my life, I wasn’t comfortable anywhere, ever. Well, except in my dreams.

 

Rarely do you find a book that deals with alcoholism/addiction and a fantasy element.

About the Author

Kellista Keaton has been writing fiction since she was nine years old. She prides herself on having taken creative writing classes across the nation. She holds a BA in film studies from UNC-Wilmington and an elementary teaching license. She resides in Kansas with her husband and two children. Her secret is that she was lucky enough to work on the set of Dawson’s Creek.

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Goodreads: @kellista

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book review · historical fiction · NetGalley · spies · women's fiction · WWII

Book Review – Her Patriotic Duty

In a world of secrets, can Esme find the courage to be her true self?

Happily in love, Esme Colborne is about to marry Richard Trevannion, descendant of one of the oldest families in England. But when Esme learns she is adopted – from a working class family – she cannot allow Richard to marry so far beneath his station.

Fleeing the life she knew, a chance encounter leads Esme to work as a ‘decoy woman’, testing British undercover operatives who may otherwise reveal secrets in a moment of weakness. As dangerous as it is thrilling, she is soon captivated by this world of subterfuge – one wrong move, however, and Esme could lose everything.

With her feelings for Richard as strong as ever, should she go back to him and reveal the truth of her birth? Is she brave enough to risk having her heart broken again?

An enthralling Second World War saga for fans of Rosie Archer and Annie Murray.

My Review

4/5 stars

I’m a huge fan of books set in this era, so it was hardly surprising that the theme of Decoy Women would grab my attention. 

When Esme Colborne learns her true identity only days before she’s due to marry Richard Trevannion, she suffers a huge crisis of conscience. Convinced that her real background makes her no longer “suited” to Richard (his family is one of the oldest and wealthiest in England) she packs up her things and leaves home with no plans or destination in mind.

She finds a place to live but has no idea what to do to earn a living since her own savings won’t last forever. When, by chance, she spots a distraught woman with her son speaking in French at the station, Esme asks if she can help, assuming the woman is lost and needs directions. Having been to finishing school herself, Esme is fluent in French but soon realises the woman’s husband is coming to meet them. 

That conversation, no matter how brief, is the catalyst of her story from thereon. Someone overheard her speaking French and suggests she call the number on a business card where the opportunity to serve her country awaits.

And so she is recruited as a decoy woman. Her job is to test men who have recently completed their training as Special OperationS Executives before they are sent to France. Esme is set up at the Hotel Aurelian where she is to meet these men and see if they hold up to scrutiny, albeit done in the most subtle and seductive way. If they fall foul of her methods and blow their cover stories, then her report will deem them as unsuitable. If, however, they pass her test, then they are sent onwards to fight the good fight in France as spies.

Esme excels at her job, but she also gets too close to some of those she is supposed to be testing, in particular to Marcus. As the bombs are dropped more frequently, Esme suffers the loss of her closest friends, and it makes her reevaluate her life. What will become of her once the war ends – she’ll have no job, and has lost the only true friends she  has made since leaving home. Can she pick up the threads with her family, and maybe even with Richard, or should she hope for a new life with Marcus?

This is an interesting and enjoyable read with an original plotline centring around the decoy women. My thanks go to Netgalley and Canelo for the advanced reader copy. 

As always, 

blog tour · Giveaways · historical fiction · love · women's fiction · WWII

Blog Tour – A Guest Post for “Blooms of War”

Blooms of War

In war, she fell in love.

Vera Betts shouldn’t be falling in love with the enigmatic doctor she suspects of espionage. Reeling from her family’s betrayal, she’s faked her nursing credentials, invented a new name, and run away to the frontlines of the French battlefield. Four years into the Great War and she knows who she is and what she’s meant for—to save the living and sit vigil by the dying. When the cagey-yet-earnest Dr. Nicholas Wallace arrives, so do mysterious explosions destroying hospitals. Even as Nick raises her suspicions, he lowers her defenses. He wants the war to end. Are his acts of sabotage politically motivated or a desperate attempt at peace?

In peace, she fell apart.

A year later, Vera is back with her oppressive family, living under her real name, and Nick is on trial for murder. Trapped in grief and guilt, she cannot speak about the past and does not believe in the future. With Nick refusing to defend himself, she ventures to London to understand why he is so willing to embrace the hangman’s noose. Who is he trying to protect? What secrets does he plan to carry to his grave? And why does Nick insist upon hiding her true identity? To save the man she loves, Vera must tear open the past and confront the tragic price for peace.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blooms-War-Evocative-Emotional-Story-ebook/dp/B08CY87LW9/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Blooms-War-Evocative-Emotional-Story-ebook/dp/B08CY87LW9/

From the author:

LOVERS ALONG A POCKMARKED SEA

Blooms of War is set during WWI and in the year after. While there is mystery, espionage, gruesome medical scenes, courtroom drama, family secrets, and betrayal, most importantly, there is love. Because love is what transforms the heroine, a war-exhausted, too-young-to-be on the frontlines nurse into a woman who grows, transforms, learns to trust, discovers how to hope, and thrives.

But given the backdrop, I struggled with the first kiss between the heroine, Vera, and the hero, Nick. The war is at world. People are dying. Nick and Vera treat the severely injured. Is there really room for light moments? How do you give these two dedicated professionals the quiet space to let their love bloom? And how do you do it without belittling the toll war takes?

If you’re a writer, you have to capture the mood and turn off the inner critic and the only way I know how to do that is to find a song that encapsulates the moment and put it on repeat until the scene is done. I am not exaggerating when I confess that I cannot write if I don’t have the perfect song playing. Without the song, I’m better off mopping the floor.

For the first kiss, I needed something playful, innocent, refreshing, and a touch melancholy. It had to reflect the joy of the moment, and also acknowledge that these are just moments on a larger stage. And yet, it’s the small moments that define us.

So the song I finally found was, “Sweet Disposition” by Temper Trap. With its upbeat tempo and nostalgic feel, it carries just the right amount of earnestness and sweetness for the scene. And the lyrics:

A moment, a love
A dream aloud
A kiss, a cry
Our rights, our wrongs

Leading up to their first Kiss, Nick and Vera meet by coincidence (FATE says the author) on the beach. They flirt, chase the windswept pages of a letter that has fallen from her pocket, joke, argue about the politics of war, and at last…

Do my lips reach his first? Or his mine? Does it matter? We mold ourselves to each other so our tongues can meet, drifting and sliding, touching and tangling in the chop and wave of desire. I flick my tongue to the silver-white scar above his mouth. It’s in the wounds that one divines a man’s secrets. It’s in my sigh that I confess mine.

With the water lapping at our ankles, time is suspended. Sopwith Camels and white crosses and war be damned. There is a we. Only us two, searching and finding room to breathe, a place beyond the floating death cans and drowned sailors, beyond the pockmarks of the scarred sea.

So, if you happen to be browsing for a song that makes you dance even though you know you’ll be sad when the dance is over, may I suggest “Sweet Disposition”?

If you’re interested, I’ve compiled the songs behind Blooms of War into a Youtube Playlist for your listening pleasure: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZAQzR8c7tFQOGTMCkrrNWrAt7yC5qoFh

 

Author Bio 

Writer of lush, historical happily-ever-after tales, Suzanne Tierney believes in true love. But she takes delicious pleasure in making her characters fight, flutter, and find their way to each other. Her books have won numerous awards and she has twice been a Golden Heart Finalist® with the Romance Writers of America.

Suzanne grew up in Oregon, adulted in the San Francisco Bay Area, and somehow ended up in Florida, where she is very much a cold-water fish learning to navigate humid, salty seas. She loves chatting with readers.

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