Friday, 11 August 2017

Double Review | Butterfly Cove Series ~ Sarah Bennet

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Sarah Bennett's book, Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove. It was only as I was preparing to read this book that I remembered I hadn't actually read the first in the series, Sunrise at Butterfly Cove.

Having now read both, you could read them as stand alone novels, but me being me - I like to read things in order and so in a mad dash 2 days ago, I switched of all distractions, made a jug of tea, grabbed few snacks and lost myself in this gorgeous idyllic world the author had created.

I therefore and bringing you a double review - what a treat eh!


           

Sunrise at Butterfly Cove
Butterfly Cove, Book 1
HQ Digital
Feb 2017
Rating 5/5


Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove
Butterfly Cove, Book 2
HQ Digital
June 2017
Rating 5/5



      

Sunrise at Butterfly Cove
A year of taking chances…
After a nightmare year, Mia Sutherland is hoping for a fresh start! She’s putting the past behind her and pouring all her savings into renovating a crumbling guesthouse in peaceful Butterfly Cove. Nothing will distract her from achieving her dreams!
That is, until her very first guest, Daniel Fitzwilliam arrives – quite possibly, the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen. He’s only here for a week, but already Daniel has turned her world upside-down. And as the tide turns, it’s clear that Butterfly Cove has more than one surprise in store for Mia…

    

I was instantly drawn initally to Sunrise at Butterfly Cove for the gorgeous cover is host - I mean just look at it, it screams peace and quiet and fabulous scenery - and the book didn't fault in that department either.

What I loved about this debut from Sarah Bennett was a brilliant and detailed prologue. We were immediately given some back story to both Daniel and Mia, our main characters to the story, and learnt that Daniel had lost both his parents, his Father passing just before Daniel made a name for himself as a world class photographer and his career launching. Whilst Mia is faced opening the front door to police officers informing her that her beloved husband Jamie had been killed in a road accident on his way home.

We move on then to the bulk of the book and Daniel has decided he needs to get away. His celebrity lifestyle of drink, drugs and a long stream of women - the latest being Giselle - has taken its toll on Fitz - his celeb name - and if he doesn't make the break now, he fears his life will spiral out of the little control he has left. So swiftly packing a bag, he jumps on a train and heads to the West Country.

Daniel has no plan, no direction, but fate is forced upon him when his train reaches the end of the line and he is brought to from his daydream by a kind stranger. Madeline, or Mads as she is known, takes Daniel under her wing, explaining that there is nowhere left to go on the train and that she can give him a lift to a place she knows that he can stay.

I just want to say at this point that I adored Mads and her husband Richard. We learn throughout the story that they were unable to have their own family and have pretty much taken Mia under their wing, supporting her in her grief but they have enough love for Daniel too plus other characters we meet a long the way. Mads is a meddling old bag but with the kindest of hearts whilst Richard just goes with the flow but adores his wife - honestly, these two could have a book of their own written!

Mia has purchased Butterfly House as an escape from the home and life she made with Jamie, but the building is run down and in dyer need of some TLC. Mia is far from impressed with Mads dumping Daniel on her doorstep but agrees to give him a week to sort himself out and in return for his board she gives him a list of chores to help get the house in shape.

Two broken hearts, both characters having their share of emotional outburst should be a recipe for disaster but this only draws them closer and a week turns to two, that in turn moving on to a month.
Daniel quickly realises his feelings for Mia but allows her to guide the time on this new relationship.

When Daniel offers Mia a propersition of converting the barn into studios and work spaces as an artists retreat, she agrees  - allowing him in to her life for the first time as permanent fixture.

Although Sunrise at Butterfly Cove is ultimately a love story, it is warm and romantic and has equal parts of humour and drama. 
We are introduced to Mia's difficult childhood and her sister Kiki plays an important role within one of the sub plots. Things between them, their youngest sister Nee, and their parents are very strained to say the least.
Likewise, Aaron (Daniels best friend) and his younger brother Luke also play important sub roles and altogether Sarah has created a delightful group of characters that you can't help but lose yourself to within their stories.

              

Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove
When Kiki Jackson’s marriage falls to pieces, there’s only one place that she knows she can escape to – her sister’s little guesthouse in Butterfly Cove.
But she’s worried that turning up on bride-to-be Mia’s doorstep, especially with her two adorable children in tow, will spoil her sister’s imminent wedding plans!
Luckily, handsome neighbour Aaron Spenser offers to share his new cottage with Kiki until she’s back on her feet. And as the wedding draws closer, Kiki realises that Butterfly Cove may be offering her little family more than just a new home…
Maybe this is where her new life begins…?

             
Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove is just as wonderful to read as Sunrise at Butterfly Cove was and I actually quite enjoyed reading them back to back - I'm sad that Christmas at Butterfly Cove isn't out yet as I would be diving straight into that once I'd finished typing!!

Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove still heavily features Daniel and Mia, the end of the last book was met with a proposal and now the barn conversion is almost complete and ready for their first bunch of guest to arrive.
Mia deep in thought thinks that along with the guest house and retreat, they could also offer bespoke wedding packages now that Mads and Richard have done wonders with the gardens. 
Although they would need to trail this first!

And so, the common theme of this section in the story is the build up to
Mia and Daniel getting hitched, there is so much more to enjoy reading along side.

Kiki is in a troubled relationship and when her husband Neil gets a 3 month work placement in Greece, she uses this oportunity to pack up her belongings and escape her unhappy life.
With two children in tow - six year old Matty who is very aware Daddy calls Kiki stupid and that she cries a lot, and his younger sister Charlie - the only place she feels she can escape to is Butterfly Cove.

When Neil is out of the way, Kiki rings and is met by Daniel's friend Aaron answering the phone, not knowing who is was he lets slip that the guest house is full. When Kiki breaks down and explains everything, Aaron offers her and the two children his cottage as a sacturary. Aaron has seen how wonderful the life in Butterfly Cove has treated Daniel that he waants some for himself and found, by chance, a gorgeous chocolate box cottage, but with four bedrooms, he was rattling around and with things in his life also being far from perfect, he welcomed the distractions.


As with Daniel and Mia, Mads knows best and can see that even though Kiki and Aaron are having troubled times, they are perfectly right for each other and during some alone time Kiki takes the chance to kiss Aaron and grabs it with both hands.

Something Luke, Aaron's younger half brother, recently said to him has stuck in his mind though and despite his feelings, he puts the breaks on any relationship before it gets going.

With Mia and Daniel's wedding looming, and Kiki having to return home to sort our her divorce and custody of Matty and Charlie, Aaron does some soul searching and reaches out to Luke's mum. his step mother, to find out why she's hated him for so long. Opening up makes him realise that life is too short and during his best man speech and the wedding, he has more to say than just the usual banter you normally hear.

I loved reading more about Kiki and Aaron and their back stories and they tied in nicely with the current plot and to the main characters Mia and Daniel. Aaron's relationship with Matty and Charlie was heart warming and there were often scenes where I found my eyes had misted over whilst reading - I am a sucker for sentimental moments!

What I didn't embark on in Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove though, was the little snippets Sarah gave us into Luke's life. 
I don't want to say to much but we discover when he is talking to Aaron that he fell in love at first sight but she upped and left without a word and broke is heart.
When the wedding day arrives so does the girl's youngest sister Nee, who had been living it up in New York - but at the station she comes face to face to Luke and he introduces her to Aaron as his wife... WHAT?!! 
Things are tense but they decide the wedding should go ahead and its left me seriously hoping that Christmas at Butterfly Cove see's Luke and Nee get their happy ever after just as Daniel found with Mia and Kiki, Matty and Charlie have found with Aaron.
Plus I can't wait to see what the meddling old bag Mads is up to next !!



Thursday, 10 August 2017

Blog Tour ~ Review | Love at the Italian Lake ~ Darcie Boleyn


Love at the Italian Lake
Darcie Boleyn
Canelo
July 2017
Rating 4/5


                
On the shores of Lake Garda, a beautiful romance unfolds. But is it

only for summer?

Don’t miss this gorgeous, heart-warming novel from Darcie Boleyn, bestselling

author of 2017 smash-hit ​Summer at Conwenna Cove.

Sophia Bertoni discovers her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and realizes her life is
going nowhere. Leaving her high-pressure job, she travels to Italy to stay with her

grandmother while she figures out her next move.

When Sophia –​ quite literally –​ bumps into devastatingly handsome Joe Lancaster her plans
are turned upside down. As the two realize they’re both spending the summer in the same

town, a love affair seems on the cards.
But Sophia and Joe are both burdened by family secrets.

Despite their attraction, will the sun set on Sophia and Joe’s romance – or will they

find love at the Italian lake?

               

Darcie Boleyn is fast becoming a favourite author of mine, its not been long since I read her last novel - Summer at Conwenna Cove - yet she is back already with another summer novel filled with romance.

As with Summer at Conwenna Cove being set in Cornwall, Darcie remains bang on trend with Love on the Italian Lake as this years holiday destination for books seems to be set in and round the idyllic location of Lake Garda - yes I have immediately added the small town of Malcesine to my bucket list!

Love at the Italian Lake features Sophia and Joe as the main characters. 
Sophia has fled to Italy to spend some time with her Grandmother after her world is turned upside down due to a cheating boyfriend and lack of job satisfaction causing her to quit - despite the healthy bank balance it has provided her with.

Her break away however gets off to to a flying start - quite literally, as she is knocked right off her feet by the ever so handsome Joe. Despite their being some instant attraction, Sophia decline's his offer to take her to where she is staying and Sophia opts for the long and uncomfortable coach journey to her Nonna's house.

The last thing she expects when spending time with her Nonna is to bump in to Joe again!

Sophia is loving finding herself, the weather, the coffee and the Italian food but after looking though some old photographs with her Nonna - something she discovers is troubling her and it is Joe that she opens up to.

Sophia and Joe get closer and closer and although she has opened up, Joe seems to be holding back despite his clear feelings for Sophia.

As time goes on and new opportunities arrive, I was sure Sophia and Joe were headed for the happy ever after that Darcie writes so well... and don't get me wrong, we got there eventually but once again Darcie has stepped up her writing abilities with lots of twists and turns in the sub plots.

With great characters, beautiful settings, hidden secrets and warm romantic moments, Love at the Italian Lake is another brilliant novel from Darcie that guarantees you will be unable to put down.


      
 Make sure you check out the rest of the 
Love at the Italian Lake
blog tour on the following stops!




Saturday, 29 July 2017

Blog Tour ~ Guest Post | The Little Cottage in the Country - Lottie Phillips

Today I'm delighted to be sharing a guest post from author Lottie Phillips as part of the blog tour for her novel, The Little Cottage in the Country.


The Little Cottage in the Country
 Lottie Phillips
Women Fiction/ Romantic Comedy
eBook only
HQ Digital 
 July 3, 2017


      Amazon |  Goodreads

                 
Anna Compton thought that moving to the countryside, leaving London and her past firmly behind
her was the perfect solution. Goodbye life of thirty-something, crazed single mum of two, hello
country glamour queen, domestic goddess and yummy-mummy extraordinaire.
But her new life at Primrose Cottage isn’t quite what she expected! Very soon she’s chasing pork
pies down hills, disguising her shop-bought cakes at the school bake sale – and trying to resist oh-
so-handsome Horatio Spencerville, who just so happens to be the Lord of the Manor…
Could moving to the country be the biggest mistake she’s ever made?

Guest Post

The Inspiration Behind the Twins in
The Little Cottage in the Country

When I started The Little Cottage in the Country I
knew that the role of Anna as mother would be of
utmost importance. Especially as her own mother,
Linda, would be coming to live with her.
Anna, just like me, wants to protect her children and
feels constant ‘mummy-guilt’. Am I doing the right
thing? Am I doing enough? Every mother has
experienced it; any mother will say it never goes
away.
So when Anna decides to leave London she is faced
with the biggest dilemma of all: ensuring that Freddie
and Antonia settle in.
The twins were such fun to write. They have big
personalities and provided so much of the humour.
Let’s not also forget how much comedy (and
embarrassment!) can come from taking children to
nursery or school. The fĂȘtes, the bake sales, the talent
competitions…
But whilst we’re squirming with the odd hierarchy of
yummy-mummies, the joy of children is they can
quite often see past the detail and enjoy the moment
for what it is. They make the most of whatever is
thrown their way.

My son can pick up any item – this morning’s being a
watering can – and it will suddenly become a rocket
or a car. Or I can be pulling my hair out over
something – spilt milk etc. – and he will start laughing
or do a funny dance, putting it all into perspective!
So here is a picture of my son in our laundry basket
going tobogganing… indoors. Yes, he was inside with
the radiator blaring but he thought, ‘This looks fun!’

About the Author

Charlie Phillips, writing under the pseudonym Lottie Phillips, worked as a teacher before turning
her hand to fiction. She was brought up in Africa and the Middle East and then - as an adult -
travelled extensively before moving to London and finally settling in the Cotswolds with her
partner and toddler. When she’s not writing, you will find her scouring interior design magazines
and shops, striving toward the distant dream of being a domestic goddess or having a glass of
wine with country music turned up loud. As a child, she always had her nose in a book and, in
particular, Nancy Drew.

The Little Cottage in the Country is Charlie's debut romantic comedy. She is very excited to be
sharing Anna Compton's hilarious story with you! She also writes psychological thrillers under the
pseudonym Louise Stone, including the best selling novel, S is for Stranger.

Readers can find Charlie Phillips on Twitter @writercharlie or at www.writercharlie.com or
www.writerlottiephillips.com.