New blog feature ~ Meet Me Mondays!

Hello there my lovely book-bloggers! I hope you are all well? 

I had a brilliant idea yesterday. An idea that I hope those involved will love taking part in. It's going to be a brand new feature on Becca's Books called Meet Me Mondays. Each Monday, beginning on the 7th of April, a book blogger will be making an appearance and answering some weird and wonderful questions for me!

Basically, what I'm hoping to do, is bring the book-blogging community to the surface and introduce them all to you in one way or another. I'm very excited about it and you should be too! 

The book blogging community is absolutely fantastic. I have never met such a brilliant bunch of people in all my life. They're all so friendly and open, and they're such a joy to be around. 
I cannot wait for you all to meet them. So keep your eyes peeled for my first guest on Monday the 7th of April, it will be awesome :)

Beautiful book news ~ Rebecca Raisin's The Bookshop on the Corner

Are you all ready for some fabulous books news?! Rebecca Raisin, author of The Gingerbread Cafe series, is set to release her newest novella The Bookshop on the Corner June 2014. If that's not enough to excite you, then here's a look at the blurb, enjoy...

Who said that only real heroes could be found in fiction? 

Sarah Smith had an addiction - she was addicted to romance novels. The meet-cute, the passion, the drama and the gorgeous men! Now this wouldn't have been such an issue if she hadn't been the owner of the only bookshop in Ashford, Connecticut. 

Ever since her close friend Lil, from The Gingerbread Cafe, had become engaged she had been yearning for a little love to turn up in her life. Except Sarah knew a good man was hard to find - especially in a tiny town like Ashford. That was until New York journalist, Ridge Warner stepped into her bookshop... 

Love could be just around the corner for Sarah, but will she be able to truly believe that happy-ever-after can happen in real-life too! 

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What can possibly be better than Rebecca Raisin, romance and a bookshop? 

Here's Looking at You by Mhairi McFarlane

Things you took a little longer to like, you liked longer, Anna had observed before. 

Title - Here's Looking at You
Author - Mhairi McFarlane 
Publication Date - December 5th 2013
Publisher - Avon
Format - Kindle Edition 
Pages - 400

The blurb

Our heroine Aureliana returns to school after fifteen years for a reunion. School doesn't hold happy memories for her, as being a roly-poly Italian (known as the Italian Galleon), and always armed with a Tupperware full of pungent Mediterranean food, she was bullied incessantly for throughout her years there. Now in her 30s, Aureliana wants to put the past behind her once and for all and face up to the bullies who made her life hell. But she is much-changed from the girl she once was - all curves and because I'm worth it hair - and no one recognises her when she arrives. Losing her bottle, she backs out on her plan for revenge and slinks off, hoping never to be reminded of her years at school again. But fate gets in the way, and after the reunion her path keeps crossing with James - major hunk and Aureliana's major crush back at school. But alas, as a cronie to the bullies, Aureliana to this day believes that his beautiful exterior hides an ugly interior. As they continue to cross paths a love/hate relationship ensues until eventually, something shifts, and they both start to discover what the person underneath is really like.  

Becca's thoughts

Oh! How I adored Here's Looking at You! Absolutely adored it. This is pure chick-lit, a beautiful story about second chance love, letting go of the past and smiling towards the future. I would re-read this again and again just to stupidly grin at the events that take place within the pages. 

Mhairi McFarlane begins her story with a blast from the past. She tugs the reader back in time, to Rise Park Comprehensive in East London, to the last day of term for Aureliana in 1997. I loved the name of Mhairi's main female character. It was pretty, sounded rather like some sort of flower, and I guess it sounded quite old-fashioned too, in my mind. The opening scene of the prologue drops you straight into the leaver's Mock Rock, an event for all pupils to get dressed up as their favourite pop stars and mime the words to the songs. From this moment on, I knew I was going to love Aureliana. She was shy and bullied an awful lot, but when her crush, James Fraser, makes an appearance it's as if she lights up from within. What follows from the Mock Rock is a horrible, embarrassing moment. One that she will never forgive James Fraser for. For just a second, she really, truly believed that he had actually noticed her, but unfortunately for Aureliana, it was not to be. From that moment on, the name James Fraser caused a storm inside of Aueliana, a storm that would last for years. 

Mhairi opens Chapter One by bringing the reader back to the present day. Anna, now a grown-woman and without her puppy-fat, is storming ahead in her career. Trying her hand at online-dating and dragging herself along to one disastrous date after another, she's beginning to wonder where all the good men have gone. I loved that the whole speed-dating aspect was included, it made it such an entertaining read and very giggle-worthy. What also caught my attention was how Anna would sit herself down at the dinner table with her latest date-ee, and imagine how her wedding speech would play out. It was hilarious and added such a playful side to her character. As the story goes on, Anna begins to find herself in a very surreal predicament. She comes face to face with her arch-nemesis, Mr James Fraser himself, all grown up and still, she thinks, the little pig that he was all those years ago when they were at school. 

I really, really enjoyed reading this book. It was a romantic, funny story that held me captivated from start to finish. Mhairi's characters were perfectly put-together and each had a wonderful personality all of their own. Watching two characters be re-united after a terrible past was incredibly intriguing and I enjoyed reading how it all played out, from not only Anna's point of view, but James's too. It was exciting, the chapters weren't a million miles long which made it seem more fast-paced. It didn't drag out any needless parts which I find some stories tend to do, and it was utterly impossible to put down. Each chapter held me captivated and I adored how easy it was to lose myself in the story. 

Becca's Books is giving Here's Looking at You a very worthy rating of five stars! I would recommend this book to everybody. Chick-lit lover or not. It was sensational, and I cannot wait to read more of this brilliant author's work. 

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Connectivity by Aven Ellis

My timing for the first big jump in my television career is a freaking fabulous fail of epic proportions.

Title - Connectivity 
Author - Aven Ellis 
Publication Date - October 14th 2013
Publisher - Soul Mate Publishing 
Format - Kindle Edition
Pages - 259

The blurb

Overachiever Mary-Kate Grant (who is indeed named after an Olsen Twin) has followed every rule to the letter to pursue her dream of working in TV programming. Ripping a page from the "hard work pays off" playbook, she takes an assistant level job at a Chicago sports network to break into the industry. MK has no time or desire for a relationship right now - she is totally focused on her career and being independent, unlike the other women in her family. 

But MK's plans are run through the shredder when she finds herself working for William Cumberland, a British media mogul who made his fortune with Connectivity, a social media site. William blows into Chicago just like the winds off Lake Michigan and purchases the group of networks MK works for - and makes her his personal assistant in the process. 

Suddenly MK finds her career plans in jeopardy. William makes her question everything she has ever thought and has the uncanny ability to see right through her. And for the first time in her life, MK finds herself not only questioning what she wants for her career but for her personal life as well...

Becca's thoughts

Oh my actual freaking good love of books!
I have no idea of where to even start with this review. I just know, before I've even started, that I will not be able to do Connectivity justice, but I'm going to try my damned hardest because THIS is why I love reading romance. 

To begin with, I would like to say a massive thank you to the fabulous +Aven Ellis for sending me a copy of her book Connectivity in exchange for an honest review. If it wasn't for authors wanting to send me their stories my little blog Becca's Books wouldn't be able to continue growing, so thank you so much Aven! 

As usual, I'm going to *cover-swoon* for a few moments...- - -
Okay, I'm back. I absolutely love Aven's cover for Connectivity. I think it's perfect for her story. It's romantic, London's Big Ben is in the background, it's a gorgeous setting, the characters are clearly in love. I mean, it is beautiful. So top marks for the cover from me. 

The plot-line for Connectivity just sang to my inner hopeless-romantic self. I loved it. Loved, loved, loved it. MK was a superb character in this story. She was completely career driven, unlike her mother and sister, who drove MK wild with constant wedding emails and nonsense of the like. MK has never seen the attractiveness of depending on a man for the rest of your life. She was completely independent, she knew exactly what she wanted, and she knew precisely what steps that she had to take to get there. I admired this about MK a hell of a lot, it was refreshing to read about a woman who was focused on her own life and happiness, and not bending over backwards to please anybody else's needs. She was hard-working, someone you could trust and an absolute pleasure to share the journey of her story with. 
Aven's male character, Mr William Cumberland, was one HOT piece of bad-ass mogul book candy. I mean, just his mere presence stunned a room into silence. His suits, his tallness, his intense blue eyes. Just urghhh. He was so swoon-worthy and handsome and delectable and... Yeah. You get the picture. I suppose Mr Cumberland was MK's male version of herself. He was always immersed in work, always busy, always speaking into his phone. Just basically a full-on business man with no time for silly things such as love and dating etc... 

One aspect that I thought was brilliant was the switching between the two main settings, London and America. There were many times when William and MK would laugh and joke about the different ways they would say words due to their differences in where they were from. William also referred to MK as a 'bossy, American woman' now and again, which really made me smile. Aven managed to really capture the heart of both places and she brought it to life for me. I loved the travelling to and fro, the restaurants, William's penthouse, and MK's amazing interior design talent. Everything was perfectly painted into an clear and vivid image in my mind and it was sensational. 

The chemistry between the two main characters was absolutely brilliant. There were moments whilst reading when I had to physically hold my breath. What I loved the most was the fact that Aven waited. In a lot of novels that I read these days, sex crops up right away. There's no waiting, no sizzling chemistry. The characters just jump right into bed together and the bubble is popped. But with MK and William, it was perfect. Hell, there wasn't even talk of a kiss for ages! But you see, that's one of the biggest reasons why I enjoyed it so bloody much! 

Connectivity by Aven Ellis was a gorgeously written romantic story that was pure chick-lit and romance. It was brilliant and I absolutely loved it. I would gladly re-read this one again and again, just for the romantic suspense and wonderful storyline. Absolutely fantastic. HUGE round of applause to the lovely Aven Ellis for this delicious slice of love. I adored it. 

Becca's Books is giving Connectivity by Aven Ellis a fabulous five out of five twinkling gold stars! 

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Q&A time with Rebecca Raisin

Happy Monday book lovers! 
Today, I am so excited to have the fantastic Rebecca Raisin on Becca's Books for some Q&A time! 

~A little bit about Rebecca Raisin ~
Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She's been widely published in short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines. And now she is focusing on writing romance. 

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true love. 

~Q&A time~
Firstly, thank you so much, Rebecca! I am delighted to be interviewing you on Becca's Books. You're a sensational author, and your stories are just delicious. Let's get started!  

1.) The typical interview question for an author: What inspired you to begin writing? How long have you been writing for now? 

I began writing on the advice of a friend and fellow author. I was a fan of his work, and we conversed about his books, and he suggested I try and write! Secretly I'd always dreamed of writing but thought of myself as a reader. I'd written some terribly angst-y poems in high school but that was it. I took a creative writing class, and absolutely loved it. It was like I'd found my true passion. That was almost six years ago now, and I am so grateful for that first initial push! Having someone believe in you, and inspire you is an amazing thing. 

2.) Did you read a lot before you began writing? Do you have any particular favourite childhood books? 

I've always been a voracious reader. My pocket money as a child all went on books. I read all of the Sweet Valley High books and The Babysitters Club books, but one particular book that has stayed with me was a book called Melissa's Ghost by Michael Dugan. I reread countless times as a child. I have since found two copies so that when my boys are older they can read it too. The one hope I have for my children is that they develop a love of reading that lasts forever. 

3.) I've always imagined authors having glam, fabulous lives! What does your daily life involve? 

Oh, wow, well for the sake of not ruining your fantasy, I wake up and drink a glass of champagne for breakfast and eat some freshly picked strawberries...

Okay, that's not quite true...

I am a mum of twin boys, so I spend a lot of time picking up Lego. Or standing on it. I have some great Lego scars. I do feel triumphant when I suck the Lego up the vacuum cleaner. I'll stop talking about Lego now. 

I write every day, it's my escape from the real world, and I like nothing better than hanging out with people I've created. I usually write after school drop off for four or five hours, and then switch back into Mummy-mode. After school is family time, and once the boys are in bed, I spend a lot of time on social media, hanging out with my other friends, book bloggers, writers, and readers! I am constantly amazed with the support by people online, and I count so many of these people as friends, though we haven't actually met. 

4.) Referring to your Gingerbread Cafe series, would you ever consider running your own, real-life Gingerbread Cafe? 

Actually, hubby and I did discuss this at one point just after the first book came out. We both love cooking, our whole family does, and he's always wanted me to open up some kind of foodie venture. It's something I would have loved to do if I didn't write. I think you'd have to be 110% committed to a cafe to make it work, and I wouldn't have time. Though, I would dearly love someone else to do it, preferably where I live so I could go hang out there and write!

5.) We all have a celebrity crush, don't we? Who's yours? 

Whoa. I have WAY too many! 
I love Chris Hemsworth, too much. Jude Law. Emile Hirsch. Oops, I can't choose between them! 

6.) Have you many plans for your future writing? Any upcoming books that you're planning on working on, besides your Gingerbread Cafe series? 

I'm working on another novella which is set in Ashford, where the Gingerbread Cafe is, but it is from Sarah's point of view. You'll meet Sarah in briefly in Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Cafe. I think it's a way I can still keep my eye on Lil and Cee as they make appearances in Sarah's story too! Then I have another from Missy's point of view, who you'll meet later! And then of course, the last Gingerbread book at Christmas-time. 

7.) Are you a coffee or tea lover? 

Coffee! Though I do like Earl Grey tea too. 

8.) With summer slowly creeping up on us, what are your plans for this years sunshine? 

I'm in Australia, so we're about to say goodbye to summer! It's been a very long, and hot season for us, so I'm really looking forward to some rain, and the perfect excuse to stay in bed and read!

9.) The 20th of March was publication day for your second novella in The Gingerbread Cafe series, Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Cafe! Congratulations! Do you think you could describe in less than ten words the feeling you get when you're book is just about to be published? 

Extreme nervousness coupled with excitement and a sense of achievement. 

10.) If you had to choose your favourite author, who would it be? Is there a genre that you just love? 

Oh, so tricky to pick one! I love Joanne Harris! Adore her writing! I love all genres, but my favourites are contemporary romance, and chick lit. 

11.) When writing, do you have any bad habits? 

Well, since I've been writing about gingerbread and chocolate I've had to have a ready supply on hand so I can focus. Not good at all! And I am terribly disorganised! I have post it notes somewhere, and a to-do list, with some great ideas, I just can't find them! 

12.) How do you feel when you sit back and look upon your finished work? 

Once it's finished I am usually very excited to have completed it, but I am also at the point I don't want to read it again for a very long time! By then, I've read it so many times the words blur! 

Well, thank you very much Rebecca! I am so glad I had the chance to chat with you, and it's been an absolute pleasure having you here on Becca's Books! 

Thanks so much for having me, Bec! Your questions were fabulous! And I hope you get that sunshine soon! xx 

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~ You can find Rebecca Raisin on the following social media platforms ~ 

~ Rebecca's novellas can also be found on Amazon ~


Caedmon's Curse by A.J. Nuest

Hello, stranger. Care to dance? 

Title - Caedmon's Curse
Author - A.J. Nuest
Publication Date - January 9th 2014
Publisher - HarperImpulseUK
Format - Kindle Edition

The blurb

The two years Prince Caedmon suffered in the dungeons of Seviere's keep left him with more than just lash marks lacing his back. He now retains the secret behind the key, and is the only one who understands its grim connection to his beloved Rowena. Torn between telling her the truth and risking their future, he agrees to join her perilous quest. But their enemies to the north are not the only menace determined to see them fail and, to prove his love, he must conquer the demons of his past. 

Join Caedmon and Rowena as they rediscover a love bound by fate, and struggle to unravel the significance behind Caedmon's Curse, book III in The Golden Key Chronicles. 

Becca's thoughts

Here I am again, with the third instalment in The Golden Key Chronicles buzzing around my head. I need to first say a huge thank you to the fabulous author, +AJ Nuest for sending me a copy of Caedmon's Curse in return for an honest review. +AJ Nuest, you have no idea of the spell that you have put me under with your magical series. I am now absolutely obsessed with the gorgeous Rowena, the hunk Prince Caedmon, and their journey together to find freedom and love. So thank you, thank you, thank you!

In Caedmon's Curse, you are reunited with Rowena and Prince Caedmon. The story picks up exactly where it left off in Candra's Freedom. There was no messing around, no dilly-daddling, A.J. took you right back to where she ended in the previous story. Caedmon had followed Rowena in her quest for freedom and it begins with them meeting once again. What followed was a sizzling re-connection between A.J's two main characters and I couldn't take my eyes away for a single second. 

Rowena and Caedmon were a lot closer in A.J.'s third instalment. There were more glances, touches and Rowena felt incredibly attracted to Prince Caedmon, which was completely understandable. I loved the bubbling chemistry between them. It was intense, pulling me in, and it made the two of them seem compatible once again. I enjoyed watching their relationship blossom into something so much more than friendship, it made me smile one of those big, stupid grins that last for what seems like forever. 

Rowena was still a little feisty in this one which I freaking loved! I think this side of her character is insanely entertaining. She knows what she wants and she is willing to do anything to gain it. In the previous novel, she didn't really pay much attention to Prince Caedmon it seemed, but in Caedmon's Curse, she's beginning to notice just how attractive he truly is. It was like watching a female admire a man for the first time in her life. It sent chills down my spine when he would accidentally touch her, and that's because of the power of A.J.'s writing. She manages to include every single little detail in their exchanges and it made all the difference. It made reading a complete and utter joy. Prince Caedmon is his usually sexy self in this one, finally beginning to unravel the mystery that is Rowena. He begins to break her down, bit by bit, and it was heart-warming to watch them come together and spark off the feelings between them. 

Caedmon's Curse was sensational. I cannot get enough of these two, I really can't. I am just loving their journey together, and what's even better, A.J. has managed to hook me in with the next in the series by ending Caedmon's Curse at a very exciting moment. Literally, I am ITCHING to begin reading the fourth and final instalment, Braedric's Bane. 

A.J, you don't even need to ask what my rating is. 5/5. Without a doubt. A magical, mystifying story that has held me spell-bound since the second I started reading The Golden Key Chronicles. 

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Check out A.J. Nuest's website            

The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

"What is the space for if you don't fill it with books?"

Title - The Bookstore
Author - Deborah Meyler
Publication Date - April 24th 2014
Publisher - Bloomsbury Reader
Format - eBook
Pages - 352

The blurb

Impressionable and idealistic, Esme Garland is a young British woman who finds herself studying art history in New York. She loves her apartment and is passionate about the city and her boyfriend ; her future couldn't look brighter. Until she finds out that she's pregnant. 

Esme's boyfriend, Mitchell van Leuven, is old-money rich, handsome, successful, and irretrievably damaged. When he dumps Esme - just before she tries to tell him about the baby - she resolves to manage alone. she will keep the child and her scholarship, while finding a part-time job to make ends meet. But that is easier said than done, especially on a student visa. 

The Owl is a shabby, second-hand bookstore on the Upper West Side, an all-day, all-night haven for a colourful crew of characters; handsome and taciturn guitar player Luke; Chester, who hyperventilates at the mention of Lolita; George, the owner, who lives on protein shakes and idealism; and a motley company of the timeless, the tactless, and the homeless. The Owl becomes a nexus of good in a difficult world for Esme - but will it be enough to sustain her? Even when Mitchell, repentant and charming, comes back on the scene? 

A rousing celebration of books, of the shops where they are sold, and of the people who work, read, and live in them, The Bookstore is also a story about emotional discovery, the complex choices we all face, and the accidental inspirations that make life worth the reading. 

Becca's thoughts
(I received an eBook copy of The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)

I don't think that I have read a book this cleverly written in a while. It seemed a world away from my usual comical, girly chick-lit but nevertheless, I was hooked right from the start. 

The first two things that caught my attention about The Bookstore were obviously the cover and the title itself. I love books, and I know it sounds completely judgemental of me, but if a book is going to be titled The Bookstore, then nine times out of ten, I'm gonna' read it. Yes, my love for books reaches that far. The cover itself is just gorgeous. Again, the element of books, but more importantly, the lone woman standing in the middle of New York city. That captured my attention immediately. It's eye-catching, I love the font that has been used and the colours too. All in all, a fabulous cover for The Bookstore. 

Returning to my previous comment about The Bookstore being a world away from my normal type of read, there were still moments whilst reading that I choked on my laughter. Although the atmosphere of Meyler's writing is continuously sad, grey and dismal, she injected small doses of humour at just the right moments to make me laugh. I love when a book makes me laugh. I'm not 100% sure if that was the intended reaction, but I laughed anyway. The tone of The Bookstore is rather serious at times, but it does loosen up now and again to allow the reader to take it all in. 

The main character in The Bookstore, Esme Garland, was very submissive. Her "boyfriend" Mitchell really made my blood boil, but Esme was a complete pushover when it came to him. She was weak, stupidly agreeable, but I found her endearing all at the same time. Mitchell had her wrapped right around his little finger and I really wanted to slap him upside the head. He was an absolute pig to her but she was besotted with him. I grew frustrated with Esme's character at some points during reading, because she would bow down to his every command. I'm not sure whether I believed that she loved him. Esme told herself that a lot in the book, but I was just not convinced that it was true love. I think she was very infatuated with him, yes, but I'm not sure if love was the right term for her to use. How could she love someone that treated her that badly? But, I guess that's just what love is. Loving beyond reason. Anyway, I felt incredibly connected with Esme and her emotions were made evident in the writing at every point. I loved her personality, the way her mind worked. She was a charming character with a lot of potential, which Deborah Meyler used perfectly. 

The character of Esme's "boyfriend" Mitchell was one of those characters that you'd love to get a shovel too. I didn't quite understand him. One minute he wanted to be in a relationship with Esme, the next they never had a relationship to start with. He really angered me with his immature ways of life when Esme really needed his support and love. I found him to be very conniving, a game-player of emotions and just generally an absolute jerk. What Esme ever saw in him is a complete mystery to me. He may have been very attractive and kind and attentive when he chose to be, but underneath that fake surface, he had an ugly spirit that I hated immediately. I think the "thing" with Mitchell was that he had no idea who he truly was and what he really wanted from life. He was up and down all the time and drove me freaking insane. He was just a waste of a man that had a TON, and I mean a TON, of growing up to do. 

The Bookstore, named The Owl, where Esme ended up working was the most adorable little bookstore that I have read about. It was messy, books were everywhere, piled up and two-books-deep in shelves, but I imagine it perfectly in my mind. Luke works here, who I instantly fell in book-love with. There's a multitude of characters that warmed my heart completely, and I felt an instant connection with each and every one of them. The Owl was more like a second home to them all. They'd stay there until after midnight, drinking beer, chatting, and Luke would be strumming away on his guitar. It was cosy and I would have loved to have joined them. It was a friendly, warm atmosphere, and it added an element of positivity to the story. 

Overall, The Bookstore was an extremely enjoyable read from start to finish. I have to say that I am glad I have the dictionary on my Kindle because there were a ton of "big" words that I have never even heard of before, as well as artists names etc. Once I was past the intellectuality of the story, I really began to take it all in and realised the importance of it all. It was superb, a real masterpiece. 

Becca's Books is rating The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler with a fantastic 5/5 stars! I loved it. From The Owl to the colourful characters and the bonds that are made, it had me smiling and laughing and feeling quite depressed. Every element of life was superbly touched upon. It was one of those books that made me sit back and think about the universe. Very philosophical too. 

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The Summer Guest by Emma Hannigan

Lexie took Sam's hand and led him back into the kitchen. 
"Sam, I can see us living here," she whispered. "I've totally fallen in love with it."

Title - The Summer Guest
Author - Emma Hannigan
Publication Date - March 27th 2014
Publisher - Headline Review 
Format - Kindle Edition
Pages - 384

The blurb

Lexi and her husband Sam have put their heart and soul into renovating No.3 Cashel Square. Lexi's mother thinks it's high time they had a baby, but Lexi's thriving art gallery keeps her more than busy. Plus her headstrong niece Amelie seems to have practically moved in. And then, just as summer arrives, a mysterious stranger knocks on the door. Kathleen Williams has come from America, longing to see the house in Cashel Square where she was born, over sixty years ago. Kathleen's visit is tinged with sadness but she finds comfort and laughter with Lexie and Amelie. Soon the three women are sharing their hearts, tears and secrets, little knowing their unexpected friendship will touch them all in more ways than they can imagine... 

Becca's thoughts

As usual, I'm going to begin my review by swooning over Emma's stunning cover for The Summer Guest. Take a look, readers. Isn't it just sublime? Everything about that cover is what I LOVE. The gorgeous blue sky, the pretty garden seats. It reminds me of beautiful summers spent sitting in the garden, with the sun shining down, laughing, eating and drinking wine. I can't swoon over this cover more, even if I tried. It is such an eye-catcher. 

I found The Summer Guest to be a smooth, easy read, but Emma still managed to slip in some real-life issue that really gave the story a bit of "oopmh!" Some dramatic, some happy and some just plain sob-inducing. With these real-life issues added to the mix, as well the warm, homely undertone that rolled through it too, I was hooked. 

Emma's characters were wonderfully put together, and I found them all to be true delight. I became so involved with them that I was quite concerned about what Emma had planned for them. You have Lexie and Sam, the young, gorgeous couple who are living happily in their newly renovated home, No.3 Cashel Square. You have Kathleen, who travels all the way from America to visit her childhood home. There's a real sense of nostalgia when it comes to Kathleen, which at times made me teary eye but then at other times made me smile in happiness. As well as those fantastic characters, there's also Lexie's hormone-charged teenage niece, Amelie, who reminded me so much of my own sister. At a time in her life where exams are taking over, stress is ruling and friends have a huge influence, it's a good job Amelie has her auntie Lexie to try and keep control of things. I adored the relationship between Amelie and Lexie, it was so lovely to witness. There's a wonderful mix of people involved in this adorable story and it was just an absolute pleasure to read. 

Emma Hannigan creates such cosy and picturesque settings, I just wanted to live in this story and meet all of these fabulous characters. Perfectly written with a twisting story-line that will grab hold of your heart in its hands. 

The Summer Guest by Emma Hannigan is receiving a rating of 5/5 from Becca's Books - this is going to be a MUST to read during the summer, sitting in the garden and sipping a glass of wine.

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Bad Brides by Rebecca Chance

Good brides promise to obey. Bad brides wouldn't dream of it... 

Title - Bad Brides
Author - Rebecca Chance
Publication Date - March 27th 2014
Publisher - Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format - Kindle Edition 
Pages - 396 

The blurb

Mill Gamble is an up-and-coming actress, and the perfect English flower child. At 23, she's always been cast as the innocent heroine. But looks can deceive. Calculating and fiercely ambitious, Milly is determined to be the most famous star in England. And how better to achieve her goal than by dating Tarquin Ormond, lead singer of the biggest folk band of the moment? Tarquin is madly in love with Milly; Milly is only in love with herself. 

Brianna Jade is an all-American pageant girl. The daughter of Tamra Maloney, a stunning billionairess, Brianna is a sweet, pretty girl who is more than happy to go along with her mother's ambitious plans for her. Now Tamra's brought her to the UK and hooked her up with an Earl. He has a crumbling stately home and needs a rich wife to help restore it to its former glory. Tamra is as ambitious and determined  to as Brianna is sweet and innocent - is this more a case of mother-in-law-zilla than bridezilla? 

Both Milly and Brianna's upcoming weddings will be huge, lavish events that garner national press. But with the cover of the biggest magazine in the country to be won, things are about to get very dirty...

Becca's thoughts

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would enjoy Bad Brides as much as I did. I don't know why, but I absolutely freaking' LOVED this and I now want to read all of Rebecca Chance's previous books to make up for lost time. 

The plot of Bad Brides was incredibly easy to follow. Rebecca wrote smoothly, her sentences neatly strung together, and there were many moments within the story where my cheeks had no option but to blush. Now, I love a steamy novel, but this was just something else. Outrageously filthy, dirty scenarios and circumstances that caused my mouth to instantly drop open in shock. Honestly, Miss Chance does not hold back, and I absolutely loved it. Another thing that was apparent when I was reading Bad Brides was Rebecca's eye to detail. She brought the story to life in my mind and I was able to picture every single little thing that she wrote about. Character's outfits, their hair, their make-up, and then of course, the huge stately home that Brianna Jade finds herself in. I love it when authors highlight details. It's like a HD film playing in my head. 

Rebecca's characters in Bad Brides were brilliant. Each of their personalities brought the story to life. Bitchiness, spitefulness, revenge and playing dirty. It was incredibly entertaining, a bit like watching a more grown up version of Mean Girls I suppose ;) 

My favourite character, by far, was Brianna Jade. I absolutely adored the girl. A real American beauty with her curvaceous body and beautiful blonde hair, she seemed like the most down to earth one out of all them. Coming from a not-so-glitzy background, Brianna Jade found herself living in a huge, stately home with a man that she was prepared to learn to love. I felt so sorry for her at times. I didn't feel like there was a nasty bone in her body. She was easily led by her mother, and I found that she really didn't want to be there, living in such a massive home and about to be wed to man that she, in all honesty, didn't really know.

As much as I loved Tamra, Brianna's mother, I found her to be a little overbearing at times. I had tiny urges to place my hand over her mouth and say "Shh." Rebecca never forgot to solidify the fact that Tamra was absolutely stunning, goddess-like even. She was referred to as a MILF once or twice and she absolutely loved the attention. Tamra was incredibly glamorous and money meant nothing when it came to her daughter. Besides that, there was an amazing mother/daughter relationship between Tamra and her daughter, and it reminded me of my own mother and I. I got the feeling that it was Tamra and Brianna Jade against the world and it was adorable. Tamra was obviously steering the wheel of that ship though. 

Brianna's wedding rival, Milly, was a complete and utter spoiled little brat! Urgh, she really ground my gears and I just couldn't stand her materialistic view of the world. Everything had to be about her, including her wedding. I felt so sorry for her significant other, Tarquin. He was besotted with Milly but quite rightly, as the blurb said, Milly was besotted with herself. She would do anything to gain a step on the career ladder, and I mean anything. I really disliked Milly. End of discussion. 

There was a whole multitude of characters in Bad Brides - all glitzy and shiny and it made the whole story absolutely scandalous. It was bloody brilliant and I'm definitely up for reading more of Rebecca's books. It would be silly for me to rate Bad Brides by Rebecca Chance with anything less than five outta' five stars. An amazing novel that brought the how the other side live right to the forefront of my mind. 

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Waiting for Prince Harry by Aven Ellis

Sometimes you have to have courage. Sometimes you have to take a chance. You have to live in the now, not the future. 

Title - Waiting for Prince Harry
Author - Aven Ellis
Publication Date - April 2nd 2014
Publisher - Soul Mate 
Format - Kindle Edition

The blurb

Twenty-four-year-old Kylie Reed has always been a rule follower. Organized and cautious to a fault, her dreams for life are often filed away for future use - when she has a house, when she meets her future husband, when she has been at her visual display job at chic Dallas boutique longer... Kylie always has a reason for living her life in the future, not in the present, and not living her life to the fullest and reaching her dream of becoming a fashion designer. 

The only exception to rules, of course, would be running away with Prince Harry - Kylie's ideal man. A hot, fun ginger boy would be worth breaking all the rules for, of course. And Kylie is sure Harry just needs the right, centering woman to settle him down. But living in Dallas and not knowing Prince Harry makes this a non-option. 

Or does it? 

Because when Kylie accidentally falls into the lap of a gorgeous ginger boy - yes, even more gorgeous than the real Prince Harry - all bets are off. Could this stranger be the Prince Harry that she has been waiting for? Kylie's life takes some unexpected twists and turns thanks to this chance encounter, and she knows her life will never be the same because of it...

Becca's thoughts

*I received Waiting for Prince Harry from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Wow, wow and just WOW. 
I have just finished reading Waiting for Prince Harry by +Aven Ellis and I have to say I am in love! The characters, the story-line, the entire package of Aven Ellis's writing has left me with a huge smile plastered across my face. 

What I loved the most about Waiting for Prince Harry was the chick-lit feel of the story. Everything you would want to find in a true chick-lit book, you will find in here. It was just fabulous. Romance, drama and a whole lot of hotness. I was in book heaven. 

The plot of Waiting for Prince Harry was well thought-out and put together. There was no confusion as to where the story was heading, and it was all neatly tied up at the end, which I love. Plus, you know that you've found a gooden' when you really don't want the book to end, and I didn't. I wanted to read well over the last page and I was gutted that I had to say goodbye to the two main characters that I had quickly fallen in love with. So not fair! Something that really kept me entertained was the gorgeous little addition that the author added in at the beginning of each chapter. For example - 
The Pop Quiz Question: You are at a crowded bar. The odds of finding your soul mate are:
A) I am open to the idea of meeting Mr.Right anywhere. 
B) Probably not good, but a possibility.
C) I might as well be waiting for Prince Harry to come rescue me. 
Yes, at the beginning of each chapter a question from the Pop Quiz would appear and I absolutely LOVED it. It spoke directly to the girly, feminine side of me and I found it incredibly entertaining and fun! It completely totalled the chick-lit element of the book. I found Waiting for Prince Harry to be the perfect length too. It didn't drag on forever, it wasn't too short, it was just perfect. I really, really enjoyed reading it. 

Aven Ellis's characters in Waiting for Prince Harry were just awesome. I adored her main character, Kylie Reed, to an extent where I wanted to meet her for a drink and a chat! Written in first person, everything was from Kylie's POV. She was superb and I could totally relate to her way of filing everything away, to deal with at a later date. Rather than living in the present, Kylie preferred to wait until another day when she'd sort it out. I kinda' do that too, but after reading Waiting for Prince Harry, I realised that actually, it's not good to live life that way. Kylie was a bit of a dreamer, obsessing over Prince Harry. She wanted that gorgeous, ginger Prince all to herself. Everything about her was lovable and I admired her so much.She takes a lot of crap off people and hides away from confrontation, but deep inside, she has a dream that she's dying to make come true. I guess all she needs is a little push from the right person ;)
Harrison Flynn was a bit of a hottie in this one, to say the least! Ginger doesn't normally do anything for me (dark haired males are more my sort of thing) but I found myself falling head over heels for him. Harrison is the team captain of Dallas Demons ice hockey team, and he is a GOD in every sense of the word. With a powerful body and insanely handsome good looks to match, it was hard to not drool a little when he was involved. Harrison is crazy famous and is noticed everywhere. He has tons of groupies falling over their own feet for him, women offering their chests to be signed and a constant crowd of paparazzi following him. As well as that, Harrison is incredibly rich, and gifted and talented in more fields than just the physical one. What I truly admired about Harrison was his need to be noticed not just as a celebrity, but as his own person. Harrison was searching for somebody to see beyond the money, the fame and the title, but to see the real him. The side of him that is caring, playful and ultimately charming. He was a beautiful person, inside and out, and I could see right from the beginning he was going to have a pure soul. 

There is so much to look forward to in Waiting for Prince Harry, particularly if you're a lover of chick-lit and romance. This story filled me with delight and warmth, and it was an absolute pleasure to read and review it for the fabulous author +Aven Ellis. Not only did I love it, but I'm going to beg her to write a sequel because I just need MORE! Becca's Books is rating Waiting for Prince Harry by Aven Ellis with an amazing five stars! Anything less would be ridiculous. I had a wonderful time reading it and I can't wait to discover more by this author, I truly can't. 

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Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Cafe by Rebecca Raisin

"Life doesn't always have a happy ending, and that makes it even more important to love and cherish what you got."

Title - Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Cafe
Author - Rebecca Raisin 
Publication Date - March 20th 2014
Publisher - Carina UK (Harlequin)
Format - Kindle Edition
Pages - 72

The blurb

Chocolate... the most irresistible temptation?

The Gingerbread Cafe is all a buzz! This Easter, Lily and the rest of the team of Ashford, Connecticut are planning a truly decadent Chocolate Festival. Cooking up a storm, CeeCee and Lily are not just baking a batch of their sinfully delicious chocolate-dipped gingerbread men, but an excess of chocolate truffles, squidgy, cinnamon hot-cross buns and melt in your mouth chocolate eggs. The Gingerbread Cafe staff have definitely enjoyed the tasting process!

Add in Damon's cute-as-a-button seven year old daughter, Charlie, up for a visit and Lily's perfect Easter may be around the corner. Until her ex-husband Joel turns up demanding twenty-thousand dollars... Suddenly the future of Gingerbread Cafe is not so clear... and Lily finds herself eating far more of the Gingerbread Cafe's treats than her skinny jeans allow...

Can Lily concoct a brilliant plan to save her beloved cafe, convince Damon she she has no feelings for Joel and still throw a Chocolate Festival the town will be talking about for years? There's only one way to find out... 

Welcome back to the warmth, cupcakes and hot chocolate of The Gingerbread Cafe - your home away from home. 

Becca's thoughts 

(Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Cafe is the second in the Gingerbread Cafe series) 

Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Cafe was a gorgeous little read that I devoured (as well as the constant presence of chocolately goodness) in less than a couple of hours. It is a short story, but Rebecca Raisin managed to fit everything in perfectly. It didn't seem too squished together which I have sometimes found with short stories. It was just right. 

If you follow me on Twitter (@beccasbooooks) you've probably seen the cover of this one constantly being tweeted from me, and that's because I'm a sucker for a pretty cover. I absolutely adore the cover for Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Cafe, it is just gorgeous, and the pink and the little cupcakes just sang to me! It's cute, it's feminine and it depicts everything that is involved in the story. Top marks from Becca's Books for your cover, Rebecca. 

The plot for Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Cafe was brilliant. It kept me hooked and I couldn't bear to put it down. There was the perfect amount of drama and good times which made it an incredibly pleasurable read. I really wanted to nip down to the Gingerbread Cafe and grab myself some yummy treats. 

The characters were all amazing, and I especially loved Rebecca's main character, Lily. She was a wonderful creation who put her all into the Gingerbread Cafe and the delights that it offers. She also has her faithful friend by her side, CeeCee, who was sassy and laughed a lot, which I loved! This short story was absolutely perfect for me and I couldn't get enough. I really would love nothing more than for Rebecca Raisin to write a full-length novel about the Gingerbread Cafe, it would be amazing! 

I'm rating Chocolate Dreams at the Gingerbread Cafe with a wonderful rating of 5/5! Everything was superb, from the friendship of the town where the story is set, to the drama that bounces into Lily's life, to the chocolate delights and Easter eggs that are being made for the Chocolate Festival. It was a pleasure to read and I really hope there's more to come!  

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Candra's Freedom by A.J. Nuest

She'd long since learned how to fend for herself, make her own rules and forge ahead regardless of the consequences. 

Title - Candra's Freedome
Author - A.J. Nuest
Publication Date - December 12th 2013
Publisher - HarperImpulseUK
Format - Kindle Edition
Pages - 88

The blurb

The key would unlock his future and the safety of his kingdom, but he never imagined the sorceress would unlock his heart...

Lost in a world she doesn't recognize, Rowena struggles to find her place. 

Yet her abilities with a blade and the loyalty of a fierce falcon don't discourage the heated advances of the handsome Prince Caedmon, and the connection between them seems much deeper than her troubled heart can recall. 

Becca's thoughts

I absolutely freaking loved the return of Rowena! She's back, and she's now a bad-ass b***h with an attitude to go with it. Not forgetting her new-found skill with a pair of blades. Damn, I was sitting back, fist-pumping the air, yelling, "Go girl!" 

After reading +AJ Nuest's first instalment in The Golden Key Chronicles series Rowena's Key, I genuinely could not wait to get my hands on Candra's Freedom. I stated in my review that fantasy wasn't my thing, but I am all over this series and I'm already dying to read #3! 

In Candra's Freedom, we are re-introduced to Rowena, A.J.'s main female character in the series. After ending Rowena's Key with Prince Caedmon being dragged away and Rowena being left on her lonesome in a strange kingdom and with no idea how the hell she got there, I was dying with curiosity as to what was going to happen next. As Candra's Freedom begins, Rowena is presented to the reader as an independent woman with a hardcore skill for battle and a sharp tongue. I absolutely loved this side of Rowena. It was such a huge contrast to how I first perceived her and I really enjoyed watching her fight for her freedom. 

As soon as Prince Caedmon re-entered the story, I was completely ready for the sparks to fly. He was just as swoon-worthy as he was in the first book, with his hard muscles and manly build. Unfortunately for him, Rowena didn't take too kindly to his return. Having been used to doing her own thing, and unable to remember anything before ending up in his kingdom (including their steamy love-making sessions) Rowena is rather confused as to what is expected of her. Prince Caedmon, on the other hand, is utterly enchanted by her, even if she is a little feisty, and I just adored how he looked at her, always lustful and in wonderment. It was truly romantic, and the fact that Rowena knocked away any of his advances made it all the more entertaining to read. 

What transpires between them had me completely hooked. Rowena fighting for her freedom and Prince Caedmon fighting for her heart. It was a battle of wits, winner takes all, and I just couldn't admit defeat by taking my eyes away from the story for a single moment. 

As was the case when I was reading Rowena's Key, I was completely enveloped within this magical, fantasy world containing wizards and romance and old-fashioned dialogue. It was a pleasure to be reunited with the endearing Rowena and her heart-throb of a Prince! The chemistry was amazing, the plot never letting my attention crawl away and I am left hanging onto reality by a single thread. What I would give to join them both in their gorgeous kingdom. 

Becca's Books will be rating Candra's Freedom by A.J. Nuest with a fabulous five out of five shiny stars! This is the only fantasy novel that has held my imagination for this long. Bring on book #3! I cannot wait to see where A.J. takes my favourite fantasy couple next. 

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