Thursday, 25 October 2018

Book review: A Christmas Date - Camilla Isley (First Comes Love #3)

No one wants to be single at the holidays. 

Even Little Miss Grinch, Nikki, a successful and independent woman, must face her bachelorette status at the most horrible time of the year. 

December is her personal version of holly-jolly hell: a merry torture made of couples kissing at every corner, forced vacation days, and an inescapable family reunion. 

And when her baby sister announces she’s engaged—to Paul, the man Nikki is secretly in love with—and that he’s spending the holidays with them, Christmas starts looking bluer than ever. 

Nikki can’t possibly survive an entire week trapped home as the family’s spinster. But she has no time to meet men or to try the newest dating app, she’s too busy working as a video producer for an advertising agency. 

So what’s a girl to do? 

Nikki has the perfect solution: to hire a fake boyfriend. 

Luckily, her job gives her access to an endless catalog of gorgeous actors to choose from. 

But Nikki will soon discover that keeping business and pleasure from mixing isn’t so easy, and that she might not be immune to a little mistletoe magic. Especially not when she picked out the perfect man as her Christmas date... 

A fun, festive romantic comedy with lots of bad behavior and Christmas spirit. Like a creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows, you won’t want to put this deliciously hilarious novel down. Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Sally Thorne, and Jo Watson. 

First Comes Love is a series of interconnected romantic novels. However, each book in the series can be read as a standalone. 

My opinion.
What an absolute must-read this holiday season! 'A Christmas Date' is the third installment in Camilla Isley's 'First Comes Love' series, but not having read the previous two myself, I can honestly say it can easily be read as a stand alone novel. Although, like me, I'm sure you'll be wanting to read those previous two the second you finish this one.
Starting the story off with a hired fake boyfriend, this could have gone very cheesy and predictable very soon. But Nikki and Diego took me by surprise. I ended up loving them, and their... 'adventure' much more than I would have thought. Christmas time and all the excitement and drama it brings with it, some disastrous cooking and a sexy romance, I absolutely loved every page.
Highly addictive and entertaining, Camilla Isley will bring a smile to your face and will have you humming Christmas songs all day long, holiday season or not!

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Book tour: A Christmas Gift - Sue Moorcroft


Georgine loves Christmas. The festive season always brings the little village of Middledip to life. But since her ex-boyfriend walked out, leaving her with crippling debts, Georgine’s struggled to make ends meet.
To keep her mind off her worries, she throws herself into organising the Christmas show at the local school. And when handsome Joe Blackthorn becomes her assistant, Georgine’s grateful for the help. But there’s something about Joe she can’t quite put her finger on. Could there be more to him than meets the eye?
Georgine’s past is going to catch up with her in ways she never expected. But can the help of friends new and old make this a Christmas to remember after all?

My opinion.
Get into the holiday spirit with this gorgeous novel by Sue Moorcroft!
Georgine loves Christmas. Well, so do I. And I love nothing more than a great "Christmassy" read in the countdown to Christmas. But what Sue Moorcroft did here, for me, was reinvent the cozy Christmas novel. Her story, its setting, characters and their issues are unexpected and original.  [ * I am now adding all her previous Christmas novels to my wish list * ]
Her characters, Georgine and Joe, both have some skeletons in their closet (maybe 1 too many?) and some fears to overcome. Their issues, however, run so much deeper than the obvious "bad break-up" most fictional characters seem to suffer from in their hesitation to fall in love. Sue Moorcroft isn't afraid to dig deep and touch on some pretty harsh truths about living in poverty, dealing with neglect and abuse, but also living with disappointment and changed circumstances. And the fear of not being able to keep a roof over your head, or a meal on the table.
Georgine's and Joe's struggles, both past and present, really hit you hard as a reader. Despite these issues, they're able to find love and passion in their lives... and maybe with each other. 'A Christmas Gift' is a heartwarming story you won't be able to let go. 



Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Book review: The Bottom Line - Aven Ellis (Chicago On Ice #4)

After landing her dream job as an assistant buyer for a luxury fashion retailer in Minneapolis, Taylor Hartigan’s life becomes a nightmare. Performing mundane tasks and catering to the ridiculous whims of the boss from hell, she sees no opportunity for advancement. Though she’s never quit anything in her life, Taylor walks out and heads home to Chicago, the city that holds her heart. With her confidence shaken and no job on the horizon, she knows she has to find herself again.

Once she arrives, she’s shocked to learn hockey player Hunter Riley has been traded to the Chicago Buffaloes. Taylor met Hunter the previous season when his hard-hitting play broke the glass in front of her. Meeting him after the game, something passed between them—and has stayed with her ever since. Since she’s followed his career, she knows he’s coming off a disastrous season in Houston and must rediscover his game in Chicago—or face losing his hockey dream.

The timing couldn’t be worse for the pair to become involved since they’re both at a crossroads but the chemistry between them can’t be denied. Taylor worries that their budding relationship won’t survive the challenges of rebuilding two broken careers. Can the new versions of themselves fit together? Or tear them apart?

Or will love be the bottom line, after all?

My opinion
American ice hokey must be the place to be for all the single ladies. In 'The Bottom Line', Aven Ellis treats her readers to yet another dreamy, perfect book boyfriend with hockey player Hunter Riley. It's the 4th installment in the Chicago on Ice series, but can be read as a stand alone novel. However, if you've been with the Chicago Buffaloes from the start, reading this book feels like adding to the family. 
Our main characters in 'The Bottom Line' start out a little different than the other Buffaloes did. They had their 'meet cute' a year before finally being able to catch up. Having had 12 months of day dreaming and Instagram-stalking, their relationship picks up fast. From the start, Hunter and Taylor make a great team. Very early on, they find a way to understand what the other person needs; and so supporting each other in their doubts and struggles.
The story had some laugh-out-loud moments and, of course, had me swooning over that gorgeous book boyfriend of a man, Hunter Riley.
For me however, the inner-monologues of self-doubt and hesitations were a bit much. They felt repetitive and unnecessary. Aven Ellis' characters are easy to relate to. Because of how well thought-out they are and the way they are introduced, you as a reader "get" them - without having to read a detailed thought process every step of the way. And sometimes there's just too much over-thinking. Maybe realistic, but not particularly "fun" for a lighthearted romance novel. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR. I live in the Dallas area with my family. I enjoy clipping out recipes I will never get around to trying, working out, and chatting with friends on social media. I’m a hockey nut (Go Stars!) and watch as much as humanly possible. I also love shopping and fashion and admit to being obsessed with whatever the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing. In addition to be obsessed with the Duchess, I’m equally obsessed with any show or cookbook featuring Gordon Ramsay.

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