Friday, 22 May 2015

Review: Truly Madly Greekly by Mandy Baggot

What’s your tipple? Ouzo? Metaxa? Well, grab a glass, spread out your beach towel and dive into Truly Madly Greekly. Mandy Baggott’s fab, summery read is out today.

Ellen is career driven, practical and unflappable. Or at least she was until her ex proved even more-so and she became the collateral damage of his unstoppable ambition. Escaping to Corfu on a pre-wedding recce with her Bridzilla of a sister should be enough to distract her from her woes. But when sexy Yan comes on the scene to confuse things and Bridezilla-Lacey gets tempted by the resort’s extra-curricular activities, her problems seem to grow exponentially!

Yan is the perfect hero to help Ellen unwind, unafraid of challenging her unfriendly exterior, he's sexy, caring, and damaged too – turning the attraction into something much deeper. Corfu and the cast of supporting characters make a gorgeous backdrop the this sweet summer romance.

Truly Madly Greekly is a lot of fun. Full of sunshine and sand, it should come with a warning- it’ll have you Googling flights to Corfu in seconds, searching for your own summer happy-ever-after.

Grab your copy here  

The Blurb:
Sun, sea and a sexy stranger - a whole lot of fun just got a whole lot more complicated... Capable, confident and career-driven, Ellen had her dream job and a marriage proposal from boyfriend Ross. Life was good, her future set. Until it wasn't and everything fell apart... Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey's big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help clear her head and heal her heart. But letting go of her past is not going to be easy. With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive treats on offer at hotel Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis - Yan - Ellen finds him difficult to resist. But Ellen isn't looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo...or is she?

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Review: Coming Up Roses by Rachael Lucas

Happy publication day to Rachael Lucas for the fab Coming Up Roses which is out from Pan Macmillan today. I have to say that I was absolutely over the moon to receive a review copy… not only is this one beautiful book but I'm also a complete gardening nut… I don’t know much about it but throw myself at it with gusto☺. So, for me, there’s nothing better than being faced with a book featuring a heroine who is a professional gardener.

I’ve not read any Rachael Lucas before, so it was a real treat to be unexpectedly introduced to an author like this- and I have to say that it was love-at-first-read for me. I devoured this book practically overnight.

Daisy is licking her wounds from a particularly nasty break-up that seems to have shattered her world, so she is thrilled to be left in charge of her parents’ house as they go off on a round-the-world gap year. Actually, it’s not the house she’s thrilled about- it’s their extremely unkempt garden. As a professional gardener, she’s relishing the challenge of bringing the garden back to its former glory whilst nursing her broken heart and keeping herself to herself.

But the little village has very different plans for her. First, she makes friends with elderly Thomas Broughton, who just happens to know the history of her garden inside out. Then she makes friends with Jo and Elaine, forming an unlikely but loveable trio. And then she suddenly finds that, against her wishes (and almost without her knowledge), she is at the very heart of this tight-knit community.

It might not be the mind-your-own-business quiet life she was wishing for, but Daisy blossoms (‘scuse the pun!) and anything that disturbs her new-found friends and community is very much her business.

…and I haven’t even mentioned the men yet. Because, yes, there are men – plural, and boy, what hot men they are. But that's enough of that- you'll just have to read it and find out for yourselves, won't you?!

This is a lovely, light, heartwarming book full of community spirit, new beginnings, true friendship and the first buds of new love. Absolutely gorgeous.

Grab your copy here

The Blurb:
Country air, cowslips and a charismatic rogue . . .

Would-be gardener Daisy can't believe her luck when her parents announce they're off on a midlife-crisis gap year, leaving her in charge of their gorgeous garden. After a turbulent few months, a spell of quiet in the countryside is just what she needs.

A shoulder to cry on wouldn't go amiss either - so when Daisy comes across Elaine and Jo, she breathes a sigh of relief. But her new friends are dealing with dramas of their own . . .

As Daisy wrestles the garden into something resembling order, her feelings for handsome Irishman George, begin to take root. But Daisy's heart's desire - her parent's garden - is under threat, and she is forced to confront nosey neighbours and fight greedy developers. Village life is turning out to be far from peaceful.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Review: From Italy With Love by Jules Wake

First of all, huge congratulations to Jules Wake on publication day- From Italy With Love is out today!

Who fancies a drive across France, Switzerland and Italy in a rare, vintage Ferrari, sat next to a hero is the epitome of good-looks, charm and trouble, whilst breaking the journey only in the most luxurious of spots? Yeah – me too!

The thing is, our heroine, Laurie, doesn’t know the reality of her trip before she sets off. All she knows is that her uncle has left her the Ferrari in his will- with the stipulation that it will only become hers once she has completed the journey, exactly as it has been set out by him. If she doesn’t manage it, she forfeits the car to her estranged mother. Laurie and her boyfriend, Robert, may initially see the whole thing as an inconvenient necessity to get their hands on the goods, but the unique and eccentric Uncle Miles proves from beyond the grave that he knew his niece better then she currently knows herself- and he certainly wasn't afraid to shake things up a little to get her thinking straight!

Laurie is one of life’s good girls. She’s cautious and practical to-a-fault- and this enforced road-trip throws her neatly packaged existence into turmoil. What follows is one of the most magical, funny and touching journeys of self re-discovery I’ve read in years. Laurie is a complex character, drawn to perfection, and an absolute gem to spend time with. She’s one of those characters you believe in, root for and laugh with. She’ll certainly stay with me for a long time.

Oh – and who out there loves a bad-boy hero who can’t help but come to the rescue, whether he means to or not? Well, Cam may just be your perfect leading man. Not that Laurie really needs rescuing… she’s pretty good at doing that for herself… she’s just a little bit out of practice, that’s all…

This epic road-trip is full of glamour, romance and sizzling sexual tension, but at its heart is a truly heart-warming tale of self discovery- you’ll not want to miss a moment of it.

Grab your copy here

The Blurb:
‘To my niece I leave the Ferrari GT250… On the proviso that she takes it across Europe to Maranello within the next three weeks. Only on successful completion of the journey to a prescribed route, will the car be hers…’

Home-loving Laurie thinks she’s happy – she has a safe, reliable boyfriend and working in her local library is what she thought she always wanted. That is until she inherits a vintage Ferrari from her eccentric Uncle Miles and the conditions of the inheritance are far from simple. To keep the car Laurie will have to drive across Europe with the gorgeous but unreliable Cameron Matthews as her guide… and Cam’s motives for helping are not all that altruistic.

Cam isn’t particularly thrilled about escorting his late pal Miles’ dull mouse of a niece on this wild goose chase but all he has to do is get Laurie safely to Italy and he’s sure the Ferrari is his.

But Uncle Miles had a few tricks up his sleeve and the route he’s planned takes Cam and Laurie on a road trip they’ll never forget. From sampling the delights of the Loire Valley to the breathtaking beauty of Lake Garda, this is one journey that has more twists and turns than either of them could ever have imagined…

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Interview with the Editor: Charlotte Ledger for #HIFortnight

I'm so excited to welcome the one and only Charlotte Ledger to the blog today. Editor extraordinaire and keeper of the keys at HarperImpulse, I'm thrilled to have had to opportunity to grill her with five quick questions...

1. I’m stranding you on an island off the Scottish coast. You get a cosy little cottage and the choice of one literary hero to hang out with– who’s he going to be? (you can add a ‘played by’ actor if you fancy…)

It's so hard to pick just one but think it has to be Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings trilogy (definitely as played by Viggo Mortensen). He's the ultimate hero - brave, honourable, loyal to his friends, adventurous... And he can whisper sweet nothings in Elvish!

2. What’s your all-time favourite romance book?

Honestly it's so hard to pick just one! At a push, I'd say The Far Pavilions by MM.Kaye Yes definitely The Far Pavilions! Sweeping, romantic epic. Set in British raj, you'll not only fall in love with the hero and heroine, you'll fall in love with the beautifully evocative world the author has created.

3. If you could swap lives with a heroine from one of the HarperImpulse titles for a day, who would she be and why?

Obviously I'd swap places with most of our HarperImpulse heroines because
our authors create the most gorgeous heroes but I'd definitely love to swap with Lottie from Zara Stoneley's Stable Mates and Country Affairs...super glam, loveable, a little bit scatty- with not one but three gorgeous men to choose from, including hunky Irish Mick and ultimate cad Rory! Plus you get all the glitz and glamour, and champagne of the Cheshire set! Actually, I wouldn't mind swapping with Laurie (from Jules Wake’s From Italy With Love) either to be honest...vintage Ferrari, hunky ex racing driver to accompany her across the south of France and Italy on the ultimate road trip! Can I have two answers for this question?? ☺

4(a).  What would your fantasy romantic moment be?

My favourite film is Lost in Translation and that ending is one of the best- so romantic! Not sure it could be recreated though?! I love the fact that you never know what Bill Murray whispers to Scarlet Johansson and that it's not the classic cookie-cutter romance you see in a lot of films. But yeah... not sure it could work in real life? It would probably be more pervy old man drunkenly slurring in my ear!
4(b).   …and what would the soundtrack be?

Romeo & Juliet by Dire Straits. Or anything by Taylor swift!

5.     What’s the most romantic gift someone could give you?

Most romantic gift? I recently watched the movie version of Suite Francaise. In it the hero (who's a Nazi officer) gives the married French woman he is staying with (& who he is in love with) a present... It's a box tied with a beautiful ribbon, wrapped up to look so special and romantic. But inside, underneath the layers of tissue, she finds a simple piece of parchment with a few bars of music written on that he'd composed for her. You could hear all the girls in the cinema swooning! So probably something like that. Or a round the world plane ticket!!!

Charlotte, thank you so much for taking the time out of your editing cave to answer my questions!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Review: Access All Areas by Charlotte Phillips #HIFortnight

I’ve got a new book boyfriend- oh yes I have! The completely swoon-worthy Joe Marshall. Sigh…

Anna, our heroine, is the perfect foil to Joe’s unsettled and unsettling personality. Her love and loyalty to her family, and the life and home they had together, is very real and moving, and throws Joe’s untethered existence into sharp relief.

Having lost both of her parents in quick succession, Anna should be a broken husk, but rather than giving in to her grief, she is tirelessly working towards saving her family home- the last thing that is anchoring her to the life she knows and holds so dear. This throws her in the path of Joe- Joe who has never felt such family ties, whose unsettled childhood has led to a rootless adulthood. As Anna battles to save her home, Joe tries to create one for the very first time.

The dialogue between Anna and Joe is fantastic- it crackles with electricity and despite the differences between them, the attraction they share is real, believable and I found myself cheering the pair of them on!

The author, Charlotte Phillips, has a wonderful voice – the writing is fast, fluid and funny – and the depth to her characters really packs a punch. This might be a short read- but it’s going to stay with me for a long time.

Access All Areas is a fantastic, fast-paced quick-read, due out on the 21st of May. Perfect timing- if you pre-order it now- it’ll be gracing your Kindle just in time for you to devour it over the next bank holiday weekend!

Pre-order your copy here

The Blurb:
Sexy, addictive and just pure fun, don’t miss the next instalment in the Do Not Disturb series!

After losing her elderly parents, portrait photographer Anna will do anything to avoid losing the family home – the only thing she has left of her perfect childhood.

When a friend who works at the exclusive boutique hotel, The Lavington, provides a hot tip – an A list film star is staying there with her rumoured toyboy lover – Anna comes up with a plan. A photo of them together could be the answer to all Anna’s money problems.

Unfortunately, she’s the worst paparazzi photographer on the planet and Joe, the hotel’s new head of security, back in England after globetrotting as bodyguard to the stars, isn’t about to allow a picture on his watch. No matter how cute the photographer might be…