Write For Me by Michelle Holt

Title - Write For Me
Author - Michelle Holt
Publication Date - July 24th 2015
Publisher - Self-published
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via author)
Pages - 242

My name is Bently Young. I wouldn't say I'm an angry person. In fact my life had been like a bubble gum infused sundae topped with happiness sprinkles up until the age of when I could date. And I started to date a lot. Guys were fun at first, a nice dinner, someone to tell me I was pretty and laugh at my sarcastic jokes. But then the little creeps started showing their true colours. And they were not my favourite colours. They were like barf green and overripe fungus tangerine. And it made me angry.

Swearing off dating all together was too drastic, but I sure wanted to not do it for a while. I had my family and friends to keep me occupied. I didn't need a man to take me to cheesy restaurants. One could only eat so much free bread and butter. Life could keep zooming along without the necessity of someone with chest hair being around.

Oh but then I met Josh. If I could have just never known he existed, all would have been fine. Of course, I don't mean that because if I never knew he was in the world, my own world would have been an awful place. He makes me want to dance under a happiness sprinkle hail storm. Pretty much he is gorgeous and has the insane ability to use his words to make my heart float out of my chest. That made things a lot better when everything else I knew in my life decided to implode. But we weren't immune to the black hole of horribleness either. 

Ours is an epic love story and I just happened to write it down for you...

Oh, this was a lot of fun to read, sprinkled with highly-entertaining sarcasm, witty dialogue and one girl with an attitude that cannot be beaten. 

In Michelle Holt's Write For Me, readers are introduced to Bently Young, college student and avoider of the male species. As soon as Bently opened her mouth, I loved her. She was fluent in sarcasm, hilarious in wit, and I took to her character like a duck to water. It's been such a long time since I've spent time with young-ish characters, so it felt fantastic to be strolling down those corridors filled with noisy, chatting students alongside Bently. After a disastrous past dating wise, young Bently decides to take a step away from males for a while and just let life carry her along. Until Josh steps on the scene and completely knocks Bently off of her feet...

As love stories go, I thoroughly enjoyed Bently and Josh's. As I mentioned above, it's been a while since I dipped into a story focusing on young-ish characters and so, I found this completely refreshing. Taking into account Bently's rule to not get involved, the tale of she and Josh meeting and falling for each other was an entertaining one to say the least. It was a whirlwind of emotions and angst, worries and doubts, but enjoyable all the same. Not only does the author have this new blossoming romance to keep under control, but there were a ton of characters and sub-plots for me to sink into. I loved Bently's best-friend Taylor. The relationship between she and Bently was an amusing one, but one which I could tell meant a lot to the both of them, therefore felt all the more real to me. The dialogue and narrative was spot-on, although at times, I did feel like the pace was a little slower than necessary. Thankfully, Holt's characters were enough to keep me turning those pages, and when Bently's life takes a life-changing tumble, I really didn't want to turn away.

What I found exciting was that throughout Write For Me, the characters' circumstances were almost constantly changing. There was always something going on in Bently's life, something that I wanted to see the outcome of and watch how she reacted to it. There were ups and downs within the plot, as well as in Bently's life, and all the while, I couldn't help wondering where the author would take Bently next. There were moments of tenderness, of that all-consuming 'first real love' that I loved reading about time and time again. There was the girlish banter between two friends which really made me giggle, and in keeping with the title, the essence of note-writing in class (and out of class) that takes me right back to my own years in school. It was fun and flirty to an extent, until the plot twisted Bently's life completely around and suddenly, she had to do a lot of growing up. 

What I adored most about this novel though, was how Bently's character developed from beginning to end. It was wonderful, although tragic at times, and with the help of Josh, made this story all the more pleasing. Becca's Books is awarding Write For Me by Michelle Holt with four gorgeous cupcakes! It was a pleasure to read and I'd like to thank Michelle Holt for getting in touch with me via Becca's Books in regards to reading and reviewing Write For Me.

COVER REVEAL! ~ Michelle Scott's Straight by the Rules

Today on Becca's Books, I'm thrilled to be helping in the cover reveal of Michelle Scott's upcoming release with Carina Straight by the Rules. I absolutely love this cover. It's playful and cheeky, and the blurb sounds fantastic!

Revealing the cover of Michelle Scott's Straight by the Rules...

Straight by the Rules
Michelle Scott
Publication date ~ October 13th 2015
Published by Carina

I'm Lilith Straight, the Devil's servant. You'd think that it would be straightforward, wouldn't you? Carry out Devil's work, that's all: wreak havoc and cause carnage on earth...

The problem is, I still have a conscience. Which makes life just a little bit tricky in Hell, as you might imagine. And when your sister actually belongs in heaven, the hot man in your life has his own devilish agenda and the rest of your family won't stop meddling in your unfinished business... well, let's just say it's complicated!

No one ever plays by the rules in Hell, so maybe it's time to make up my own!

Something Only We Know by Kate Long

Title - Something Only We Know
Author - Kate Long
Publication Date - August 13th 2015
Publisher - Simon & Schuster UK
Format - (Provided via author)
Pages - 448

Sometimes a secret is too big to hide...

Jen is a trainee journalist working on Chester's local paper, dreaming of something bigger. Her sister, Helen, is beautiful but damaged, and hides a secret that has affected the whole family, one they cannot escape but one she is trying to move on from.

As Helen learns to become a whole person once again, her family struggles with the past, and how they will move forward together. And Jen realises that the one person she needs to help her through is the one person she cannot have - Helen's boyfriend, Ned...

Something Only We Know by Kate Long was a somewhat unsettling read, raw with reality and thick with emotion. Bringing anorexia into focus and slicing open the dynamics of family and friendship, at times I found this novel hard to read, but at the same time, utterly compelling. The plot drew me in like bee to bud and I became absolutely swamped in the unravelling of this story...

Within Something Only We Know, Kate Long introduces readers to Jen and Helen, sisters who have lived side by side but both tripped down different paths of circumstance. Being a big family girl myself, the focus on sisters appealed to me because I'm always interested to see how different or alike sisters can be, how distant or close they can become. The author achieved such a brilliant contrast between Jen and Helen, and it was made immediately evident in the very first chapter of the novel, during Jen's birthday meal at the pub. As soon as I began reading, just from the tone of Jen's first person narrative, I was aware of an intruder of sorts, hiding in the shadows, watching the family's every move. Kate Long created such a tense and solid atmosphere to begin her novel with, and it truly set the tone for the remainder of the novel for me. It was interesting to see the way in which the beautiful Helen would commandeer any given situation, without even meaning to sometimes, and I found her character and personality so incredibly interesting to study as I read. It was almost as if people would tiptoe around Helen, but as her and Jen's past began to become clear, I was able to understand why. 

Kate Long presented her characters to me beautifully. Helen and Jen were so different in so many ways which only added to this invisible forcefield that I felt Helen had structured around herself. There were moments of tenderness between the sisters that seemed to take Jen by surprise almost as much as they did me, but I adored these moments. At times, I could feel myself growing frustrated because, despite this novel being told with only Jen's narrative, Helen was a constant presence throughout. Her history, her personality, even her appearance seemed to stop time. I found Kate's descriptions to be overwhelming in a way, yet I can't deny she hit the nail on the head in terms of providing me an insight into the topics which arose. It felt dark at times, suffocating almost, yet I was itching to continue, to see where the author would lead me next.

Alongside the thread of Jen's progress in her career at Chester's local paper, issues with her partner Owen and surprising circumstances with follow, we're invited into the deepest depths of Jen and Helen's family, where more secrets are hidden. Kate Long took me on a very twisting, turning journey, full of bumps and dips in the road that I had no idea were coming. It was surprising, but in a very good way for a novel this full of grief and trepidation. Each character intrigued me and I found their different reactions towards Helen interesting, as those reactions told me more about them themselves than Helen and her past. Kate tackled these incredibly sensitive subjects with knowledge and care, raising awareness and at the same time, using Helen's characteristics to shine a spotlight on the other issues which cropped up within the plot. There was so much for me to sink my teeth into as a reader, so much to keep me turning those pages. Kate's dissection of Jen's family, as well as her relationship with Owen and Helen was fascinating to say the least and it provided me with an insane amount of food for thought once I'd finished. 

Overall, Something Only We Know by Kate Long was a fantastically written novel, throwing up all sorts of questions and leaving me longing for the answers, which the author thankfully provided me with. I'd say it was a complete pleasure to read, but the topics addressed were nowhere near being of the light-hearted, cheery kind. It was a novel which had been worked at furiously, and that shone through in Kate Long's style and effortless flowing of pace. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, a teaching within itself. This is receiving the highest rating from me, five out of five cupcakes no less. I'd also like to say a huge thank you to the author for getting in touch with me via Becca's Books in regards to reading and reviewing her novel. Thank you, Kate.


COVER REVEAL! ~ Julia Williams' Make A Christmas Wish

This evening on Becca's Books, I'm utterly delighted to be taking part in the super-exciting cover reveal for Julia Williams' upcoming Christmas release, Make A Christmas Wish, which is first being published as an eBook on October 1st, followed by its paperback on November 5th. The blurb sounds positively magical and I've already added this one to my Christmas to-read list. I've also added the link to take you straight this book's Goodreads page, as well as Amazon links for that good-old preorder option. I'm teaming up with the lovely folk over at Avon Books to help spread the word, so do let me know what you think! You know me, I do love a good cover reveal, and a Christmassy one even more so...

So, without further ado, here is the gorgeously festive cover of Make A Christmas Wish by Julia Williams! Isn't it beauuuuutiful?

Make A Christmas Wish
Julia Williams
Publication date - October 1st eBook, November 5th paperback.
Published by Avon

Last Christmas, when Livvy was knocked down in the supermarket car park she certainly wasn't ready to actually be dead! For months now she's floated around on the edge of the afterlife, generally making a nuisance of herself.

And she's not ready to go just yet! She's furious about the new woman in her husband's life and she's worried about her beloved son who doesn't seem to be adjusting to life without her at all.

This Christmas, Livvy is given one last magical chance to make everything right. Will she take it and give her family the perfect Christmas?

Julia has always made up stories in her head, and until recently she thought everyone else did too. She grew up in London, one of eight children, including a twin sister. She married Dave, a dentist, in 1989, and they have four daughters. After the birth of the second Julia decided to try her hand at writing. Since then she has written 8 hugely popular novels, selling over a quarter of a million copies in the UK alone, and hitting the Sunday Times bestseller list. 

BLOG TOUR ~ Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

Title - Christmas at Lilac Cottage
Author - Holly Martin
Publication Date - September 25th 2015
Publisher - Bookouture
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via NetGalley)
Pages - 289

Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air...

Penny Meadows loves her home - a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver creating breathtaking sculptures.Yet her personal life seems frozen.

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded.

As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore.

While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she's been dreaming of?

Like a creamy hot chocolate with marshmallows, you won't want to put this deliciously heartwarming novel down. 

Spend the perfect Christmas in White Cliff Bay this year.

First of all, I'd like to say a massive, huge, flappy-happy excited THANK YOU to the wonderful Holly Martin and her fabulous publishers Bookouture for inviting me along to be a part of the blog tour for Christmas at Lilac Cottage. I've been a major fan of Holly Martin's novels for so long now, I feel like she writes her books for me (which is ridiculous I know, seeing as she has hundreds of other fans out there, understandably), but Holly delivers each and every time, singing straight to the centre of my old, romantic heart, leaving me satisfied every time I reach 'the end'. I'm sure I've said this before, but I really do try not to heap my expectations upon an author. After all, because you enjoyed one novel of theirs, it doesn't necessarily mean that you'll enjoy their next, does it? But, at this point, I've read countless novels by Holly Martin and fallen in love with each and every one of them, so it's kind of impossible for me not to eye Holly's books while thinking to myself, "Yep. I know I'm going to love that. I just know it." The funny thing is, with Holly Martin, I always end up being right.

Christmas at Lilac Cottage is Holly Martin's second novel with Bookouture, Fairytale Beginnings being her first. I don't know what it is but Holly has such a whimsical way of storytelling, without taking it too far over the top. Sort of like modern fairytale-esque. And that's one of the reasons why I love her novels so freaking much. I'm a tad whimsical myself, loving nothing more than a dreamy setting, a swoon-worthy hero, and a grin-inducing love story. In Christmas at Lilac Cottage, each of those aspects come into play and they completely stole my heart away. 

I understand not everybody enjoys having Christmas forced upon them in September, but I've always been a Christmas fanatic and couldn't wait to begin reading this book. So, when I was contacted about the blog tour, and given access to the title itself, I almost burst at the seams with my impatience to reach it. For me, Christmas is never too early, and that goes for books too. It's beginning to grow chillier outside now, so curling up with Christmas at Lilac Cottage was just perfect. Holly's charmingly classic imagery and descriptions brought the setting of White Cliff Bay beautifully to life for me, and it didn't take long for me to build up the image of this adorable seaside town in my mind. I loved it even more when the snow began to fall, covering everything in a blanket of smooth white, making Holly's characters, Penny and Henry, seem even more secluded up in Penny's cottage. Throughout the unravelling of this novel, Holly introduced me to the residents of White Cliff Bay, while at the same time Penny and Henry's story began to take shape. There was a real sense of community and support in White Cliff Bay, leaving me feeling cosy and snug as I carried on reading.

As always, Holly's characters were spot-on. When I first met Penny, her flurry of excitement at having guests renting the annexe of the cottage was almost overwhelming. It was endearing, to read of how excited she was to meet her new neighbours and I was just as excited for her. It became clear that she'd gone to a lot of effort to ensure that everything was perfect, so her bubble well and truly burst when she came face to face with Henry for the first time. Henry's demeanour was a stark contrast to Penny's almost childlike glee, and immediately I was aware of the sparks crackling between them both. Alongside Henry was Daisy, who Penny wasn't too sure about at first, but without saying too much on that matter, all becomes clear in the end. Holly, as well as being brilliant with her settings and descriptions, is also fabulous when it comes to the leading couple in her novels, and that was the case with Henry and Penny too. Holly's heroine is never typical either, always ending up being someone who you'd love to get to know in real life. What Penny did for her job fascinated me, as its not everyday you come across an ice-carver, and I loved the moments where we were able to see Penny working. Holly had clearly done her research and the details she provided me with allowed me a clear-as-day image of Penny's work. It was fantastic, and such a breath of fresh air to find a character who was so unique in this way! When Henry arrives on the scene, I had a feeling sparks would fly. The differences between he and Penny were so blatantly obvious they were difficult to ignore, but those differences had me excited about the prospect of what the future could hold for me. Henry had that moody/sexy thing going and worked it perfectly, whereas Penny was bouncy and excitable and just all round, one gorgeous person inside and out. I loved these two so much, and I couldn't wait to see what Holly had in store for them as the novel progressed.   

As always, Holly's writing was indescribably magical, whisking me right away to the gorgeous location of White Cliff Bay, where the snow had begun to fall and the romance was heating up a notch. Not only are we faced with romantic dilemmas and worries about the past, but there was a real family-feel that added so much warmth and feeling to this book. I felt completely enveloped with the world of White Cliff Bay, snug and cosy and wrapped up within Penny and Henry's story. There was always something happening, or something to look forward to, and the development of the relationships were just spot on. Not only that, but it was beautiful to watch how Henry and Penny, compared to the beginning of the novel, developed throughout and were different in more ways than one by the end of the novel. It was everything that I could have for from this author, and incredibly Christmassy (which I loved), with tree-shopping, Christmas decoration-hanging and the deep, rich scent of mince pies emanating from the pages. 

Overall, Christmas at Lilac Cottage was the perfect way for me to be introduced to White Cliff Bay. Henry and Penny's story was gorgeous, as was the setting which it was placed in, and I'm already looking forward to revisiting White Cliff Bay in Holly's second book based here, Snowflakes on Silver Cove. I just can't wait to see what Holly has up her sleeve next for us, although I have a feeling it will be just as glitteringly pretty as this! Becca's Books is awarding Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin with FIVE GORGEOUS CUPCAKES! An absolute sparkler of a novel, one that you'll definitely want to snuggle up with when the autumn/winter chills begin to settle in!

Don't forget to keep up with the rest of the blog tour!

High Tide by Veronica Henry

Title - High Tide
Author - Veronica Henry
Publication Date - September 24th 2015
Publisher - Orion
Format - Paperback (Provided via publisher)
Pages - 328

Pennfleet might be a small town, but there's never a dull moment in its narrow winding streets... 

Kate has only planned a flying visit to clear out the family home after the death of her mother. When she finds an anonymous letter, she is drawn back into her own past.

Single dad Sam is juggling his deli and two lively teenagers, so romance is the last thing on his mind. The Cupid fires an unexpected arrow - but what will his children think? 

Nathan Fisher is happy with his lot, running picnic cruises up and down the river, but kissing the widow of the richest man in Pennfleet is has disastrous consequences.

Vanessa knows what she has done is unseemly for a widow, but it's the most fun she's had for years. Must she always be on her best behaviour?

As autumn draws in and the nights grow longer, there are sure to be fireworks in this gloriously engaging novel from Veronica Henry, author of A Night on the Orient Express.

This is the first novel which I've had the pleasure of reading by Veronica Henry and oh, what a novel to begin with! High Tide was everything that the gorgeous cover would suggest; an agreeable number of engaging characters whose lives begin to intermingle within the charming setting of Pennfleet, which was brought to life beautifully for me.

The first thing that became apparent to me when I began reading High Tide was the author's style. There's something comforting about it, which draws you in and allows you to settle down and feel right at home. Despite having never met Veronica's characters in High Tide previously, it didn't take long for me to become familiar with them. Veronica's cosy descriptions and winning way with words, as well as her neat rounding up of her characters' lives and personalities, meant I didn't once find myself struggling to pin-point who was who, which has happened to me many times before now when reading a multi-narrative novel. 

With each chapter change, I was moved on to a new character and the excitement of doing so didn't lessen throughout the entirety of this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed being introduced to Kate, Sam, Nathan, Vanessa and Mary, as well as Sam's children! Each character brought their own unique sense of warmth and colour to the plot, bringing this novel completely to life before my very eyes. The separate stories for each character held me captive, especially Vanessa's which I couldn't wait to see the consequences of. Each time the author whisked me away to a new character, it was incredibly easy to pick up from where I'd left them last, making my reading of High Tide all the more enjoyable.

What also appealed to me was the setting of Pennfleet. If, like me, you adore seaside towns which are positively bursting at the seams with charm and character then you, too, will love Pennfleet. Veronica's imagery and skill at teasing my senses brought the setting beautifully to life for me. I felt as if I was skipping down those streets myself, breathing in the salty sea air and gazing lovingly at my surroundings. It truly was the perfect place for a story like High Tide to be set. A novel full of heart and feeling, chance and new beginnings, and not forgetting friendship. I loved watching the separate lives unfold within this book, even more so when they began to leak into each other like run-away ink. It was exciting, to see how the characters would affect each other when they finally crossed paths and I found myself hurrying through to see where they eventually ended up, and with who.

Overall, High Tide by Veronica Henry was a gorgeously addictive read, set in Pennfleet which I fell in love with completely. The characters were wonderful, their paths even more so, and I wouldn't mind in the slightest if I were to return to Pennfleet in the future to catch up with these characters again. In just a small amount of time, the author manages to include every aspect of these characters' most life-changing moments and it was beautiful. Becca's Books is awarding High Tide by Veronica Henry with FOUR GORGEOUS CUPAKES! Warm, captivating, and oozing with coastal charm.

The Square by Rosie Millard

Title - The Square 
Author - Rosie Millard
Publication Date - August 1st 2015
Publisher - Legend Press
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via NetGalley)
Pages - 256

Jane has the ideal life: loving husband, beautiful house and delightful son. Her fashionable dinner parties are perfect - and so are her secret assignations with her neighbour's husband, Jay. 

From Tracey and her 'New Money' lottery winnings to eccentric artist Philip and his pornographic portraits, the residents of North London's most privileged enclave The Square are a very satisfied bunch. 

To raise money for communal fencing, the Residents' Association decides to hold a Talent Show, produced by Jane and hosted by TV celebrity Alan Makin. But when the show lurches into public disarray, reputations are shattered and everyone has to learn to live with a far less glossy reality than before.

Well, this was fantastic. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but once I'd had a gander at the blurb on NetGalley, and marvelled at how fabulous the cover image was, I just had to request it because it sounded brilliant and, thankfully, my assumptions turned out to be right. The Square by Rosie Millard was such fun, humorous and entertaining novel, and one which I read rather rapidly due to my sheer enjoyment of it.

In The Square by Rosie Millard, we're introduced to a handful of characters who are completely different to each other in their circumstances, as well as their characteristics. I think that's where the fun began for me, and I also think it's fair to say that Rosie opened her novel with a rather naughty bang too, quite literally! *giggle* As the first couple of chapters went by, Rosie brought forward a single character for the reader to focus on for the duration of said chapter. Despite there being quite a few characters to get to grips with, I found it fantastically easy to set each one apart from the other, and as the different lives of these characters began to take shape and form in front of me, I found myself incredibly eager to get back to each one, each time a chapter change took me away from them.

The Square, as the novel is so aptly titled, focuses on a small community gated away from the rest of humanity (okay, slight exaggeration on my part), but the people within the square appear to set themselves apart from the surrounding council estates and so on. It's a very tight-knit community, some living very luxurious lives with au pairs and children who take piano lessons, with one family having gained entry into The Square due to a lottery win! I adored the diversity of Rosie's characters, who each brought something different and unique to the cluster of people within The Square. What really gets the wheels spinning on this novel though, is the problem of the gate surrounding the square. It's in a state of disrepair and because of this, the inhabitants of The Square need to raise money to have it replaced. And so, during a meeting where everyone from The Square is present, the idea of holding a talent show is brought forward and begins to take place as the novel progresses.

Although the build-up to the talent show provided the plot with some thickness, it was the inhabitants of The Square that held my interest the most. There was so much going on within The Square, and I loved how the appearance of the place hid what went on behind closed doors so well! The houses on The Square were all so neat and proper, yet behind those pretty doors, disaster was taking place and there was nothing that could stop it. Affairs, deceit, lies and upcoming fame. Rosie Millard displayed her characters and their lives so fantastically to me, I felt like I was not just a reader, but a participant in the plot too. The author's choice of words and descriptions were witty and humorous to say the least, commenting on the snobbery and the battle of the classes. Rosie Millard put such a hilarious turn onto everything she wrote, it was a pure pleasure and joy to read. I was dying to see where each character would be by the end of the novel, and couldn't wait to reach that point! There were so many secrets, so much hidden from the other inhabitants of The Square that I was waiting for that moment of reveal with baited breath. Behind each closed door, a different story was waiting to unfold and it was truly brilliant, so unique and fresh and a fantastically enjoyable way to tell a story like this one.

Becca's Books is awarding The Square by Rosie Millard with four gorgeous cupcakes! A refreshingly different telling of a cluster of homes and families that reeled me in right in and had me racing through the pages with delight. A thoroughly enjoyable novel which I'd recommend to everyone who loves a good giggle!