Blog Tour – A Christmas Caroline by Camilla Isley

A modern-day retelling of A Christmas Carol…

Caroline is a cynic career woman living the high life in Manhattan where love and relationships are but a distant memory of the past.

But after a freak accident on Christmas Eve, Caroline receives a visit from a cheeky spirit of Christmas Past, Present, Yet to Come, and—most importantly—Christmas That Could Have Been. When she wakes up on Christmas Day suddenly married with three kids and living two doors down from her parents in New Jersey, Caroline has a chance to experience the life she would’ve had if she’d made a different choice.

Will small-town life as a mother and a wife make her rediscover what’s really important in life?

Purchase links


Amazon UK

Amazon US


I received a digital ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second Christmas book that I have reviewed from this author, and I have enjoyed them both.  As the synopsis explains, this is a modern retelling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  Career driven and money-orientated Caroline is determined not to let the Season of Joy affect her.  Begrudgingly, she visits her family home and leaves as soon as she can.  Determined to return to the bright lights of New York, she hurries out of her childhood home and winds up in a coma.

At this point, we meet Melodie who is Caroline’s chosen guide through the familiar ghostly visits.  Everything feels very similar to the original text, until Caroline is shown the Christmas that could have been.  An excellent development which made me think.  Caroline finds herself in an alternative reality where she is married with 3 children. 

The pace of this story is good, moving at an appropriate speed for the reader to share Caroline’s discomfort, such as finding herself breastfeeding a new-born whilst caring for two other children.  In real life, Caroline is a partner in a hugely successful publishing house which specialises in celebrity, ghost-written books and nothing of any substance.  In ‘what could have been, Caroline has followed her dream, and has become successful in a different way.  In this alternative life, she is happily married to her one who got away. 

This book was a tremendous amount of fun and I read it at full tilt.  My favourite character had to be Jo, alternative Caroline’s daughter, who is named after her favourite character from Little Women.  Jo has all Caroline’s drive, but her edges are softer as she’s not yet been jaded by life’s disappointment.  Her ability to drive a hard bargain is definitely a trait inherited from her mother.

Of course, the alternative reality is simply a figment, how can Caroline escape from her nightmare and find what makes her truly happy?  There are no spoilers from me, but rest assured, like the original tale, there is a happy ending.

Author Bio

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband on an adventure abroad.
She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading–duh!–cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies–popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

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Giveaway to win one of 3 e-copies of A Christmas Date by Camilla Isley (Open Int)

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Blog Tour – The Post Box at the North Pole by Jaimie Admans

Dear Santa,

I wish I could believe in magic again.

From, Sasha.

Sasha Hansley hates Christmas. As a child, it was her favourite time of year, but ever since the tragic death of her mother, it has completely lost its magic.

But when she gets an unexpected phone call from her eccentric estranged father, she’s forced to dust off her snow boots.

He has been running a Lapland-style Christmas village in Norway and after suffering a heart attack, he is on strict doctor’s orders to slow down. Eager to reconnect with her dad, Sasha books the next flight out there. Only she has never actually been on a plane before, let alone to the Arctic Circle.

 Met at the runway by drop-dead-gorgeous Taavi Salvesen, they sleigh ride through the snow with the Northern Lights guiding their way.

 When Sasha uncovers sacks of unopened Santa mail – letters that children and adults from all over the world write to Santa every year – she realises that she can send a little bit of magic out into the world by replying to some of them.

 With Taavi on hand to help, will Sasha rediscover her own excitement for Christmas and find love among the letters?

The Post Box at the North Pole is like one big romantic mug of hot chocolate with extra whipped cream and a splash of Christmas magic! Fans of Holly Martin, Sarah Morgan and Heidi Swain will love this novel!

Purchase links

Amazon UK

Amazon US


I received a digital ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

I’m just loving all of the Christmas books coming through.  So many cosy tales to enjoy, and this was an absolute corker.  I’ve enjoyed Jaimie’s previous books, but this one hit me in proverbial ‘feels’.  I laughed and teared up at several points and fell in love with the wonderful Tav.

I have a habit of casting the characters in some books, it’s fun and helps me to imagine how they may look.  I may have been following typecasting, but Tav would be well played by Jason Momoa.  The was he was described on looks and personality had me from the first yap of the sleigh dogs. Sasha’s Dad may be trickier as he made me think of Richard Attenborough in Miracle on 34th Street.  May need to go back to the drawing board if this ever makes it to the silver screen.  Strangely, I rarely cast the female characters, so she will have to be played by an unknown actor.  I digress…

This book is utterly enchanting and literally couldn’t put it down, it was past 1 a.m. when I finally turned to the end.  From imagining seeing the Northern Lights to picturing a snow-covered field of Reindeer, I couldn’t get enough of this story.

The poignancy of some of the letters to Santa had me moved to tears, several times.  For me, the killer letter involved a dog and a bridge.  No spoilers, but you’ll know when you read it. The exchanges between Tav and Sasha were gorgeous and the way that they both revealed their darkest secrets was perfectly paced. 

I’m happy to say that I have more Christmas stories to read, but know that The Post Box at the North Pole will figure in my favourites for this year

Author Bio

Jaimie is a 36-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, watching horror movies, and drinking tea, although she’s seriously considering marrying her coffee machine. She loves autumn and winter, and singing songs from musicals despite the fact she’s got the voice of a dying hyena. She hates spiders, hot weather, and cheese & onion crisps. She spends far too much time on Twitter and owns too many pairs of boots.
She will never have time to read all the books she wants to read.

She is the author of several romantic comedies for HarperCollins – The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters, The Little Wedding Island, It’s a Wonderful Night, The Little Vintage Carousel by the Sea, Snowflakes at the Little Christmas Tree Farm, The Little Bookshop of Love Stories, The Wishing Tree Beside the Shore, The Little Christmas Shop on Nutcracker Lane, and The Post Box at the North Pole.

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Blog Tour – The Perfect Christmas Gift by Katie Ginger

Can neighbours become more than just good friends this Christmas?

Bella Moore is excitedly counting down the days to Christmas. That is until she arrives home one evening to find her boyfriend leaving her for another woman. Completely heartbroken, Bella is left wondering if Christmas can still be the same this year.

Next door, Bella’s neighbour Nick is facing his first Christmas as a single dad and doubting whether he can make it the magical time his son Freddie deserves.

Determined to fix both Christmas and their broken hearts, Bella comes up with an idea: a Christmas giving tree for the whole village, where the community can unite and secretly give each other the Christmas presents they truly need.

As Bella becomes chief elf, taking donations and delivering gifts with much-needed help from Nick and Freddie, the two neighbours grow closer and start seeing each other in a whole new light.

But when Nick’s estranged wife returns just before Christmas, is their budding romance over before it’s begun? Or will love be Nick and Bella’s perfect gift this Christmas?

Purchase here  


I received a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I have read and enjoyed a few books from Katie Ginger and so I was delighted to be offered a place on this HQ Digital Blog Tour.  I am grateful for the ARC copy and to be included.

Returning to the village of Meadowbank where we met Amelia and Adam last Spring,  review here, we now meet Junior school teacher Bella.  As soon as I started reading about her, I found Bella to be truly lovely and the kind of teacher I would wish for all children.  Once she was hit by her boyfriend’s bombshell, I was gutted for her and willing her to dust herself down and find a new focus.

When we first meet neighbour, Nick, I hoped that he would be one of the stars of the story.  I was thrilled as their stories combined and, along with the adorable Freddie, they started to grow closer.  That was until the shock return of Nick’s ex!

I loved the idea of the Giving Tree and have got involved in similar schemes which are aimed at children in my local community.  Bella’s plan goes a lot further, and I found some of the requests to be either touching or heart-breaking.  As the scheme takes shape, it’s impossible not to get caught up in the spirit of the coming season. 

One of the joys of Katie Ginger’s writing is the beautiful way she constructs her characters.  They are all thoroughly developed and completely believable.  I always feel invested in the outcome of her stories. Of course, in any lovely story, there always seems to be a villain of the piece.  I don’t include spoilers but watch out for a loathsome chap named Seymour!

I’m already looking forward to returning to Meadowbank and meeting some more of Katie’s gorgeous villagers.

Learn more about Katie Ginger here.

Follow Katie on Twitter.

Blog Tour – The Wedding Cake Wish (Little Duck Pond Café) by Rosie Green

Wedding excitement is in the air! With their big day approaching, Fen has her heart set on a gorgeous, intimate celebration with not much fuss at all. But strong-minded mother-of-the-bride Marjery seems to have considerably grander plans. There’s also the small problem of a missing best man, and when Fen tasks Hudson Holmes and Ruby Watkiss with the job of tracking him down, their investigations unearth far more secrets than they bargained for. Will the Big Day go ahead in the light of such dramatic revelations? Can a wedding cake wish save the day? One thing’s for sure – this will definitely be a wedding to remember!

Purchase link


I received a digital ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

Carrying on with Rosie’s new writing style, for the Little Duck Pond Café series, this was another cosy mystery. It was also a chance to see if Rob and Fen would make it to the altar.  After all, Fen is battling with her strong-minded mother and the plans are taking on a life of their own.

When Rob’s best man goes missing, it’s time to call on the services of Hudson Holmes and Ruby Watkiss, the mystery solving partnership where there’s a huge question mark over whether, or not, their relationship is business only.

I do slightly miss the original style of this series, but I realise that it’s difficult to sustain without adding new themes.  The mystery element definitely works, and I did enjoy catching up with Hudson and Ruby.  There is definitely a strong chemistry between the pair, and I hope that it is resolved before too long.  I’m becoming quite fond of the crime busting duo and the romantic in me wants their happy-ever-after.

This book mainly focuses on the wedding and the mystery, but a few regular characters do get a mention.  One of my favourite elements of this series is the recurring characters and their friendships.  We even caught-up with another Duck Pond Café!

One of the main characters in this book is Marjery, Fen’s mother.  She has featured before, but this story revolved around her, and it worked really well.  As secrets from her past emerged, it was easy to see where her personality had evolved from.  It was touching to see that she’s maybe got more in common with Fen than the earlier books suggested.

I would imagine that this book could be enjoyed as a standalone story, but I’m sure that it’s worth investing in the series.

Author Bio

Rosie’s series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘A Summer of Surprises’, is out now.

Look out for ‘Snow Falls over Sunnybrook’, a heart-warming Christmas delight, out in November 2021. As snow drifts down over the village, will romance finally blossom for one very special pair?

Follow Rosie on Twitter

Blog Tour – Starting Over at Sunset Cottage by Lisa Hobman

Do you love someone enough to let them go?

It was love at first sight when talented art student Felicity “Flick” Johnston-Hart and Jim MacDuff’s worlds collided at Oxford University.

However, after years of blissful marriage, everything crashes down when their marriage comes to a painful and abrupt end, thanks to Flick’s interfering mother Penelope.

Finally succumbing to maternal pressure, Flick falls into the high-flying career her mother believed she was destined for.

However, she soon realises life without Jim isn’t all she’d hoped, and that some decisions, once made, cannot be undone.

Meanwhile, Jim is settling back into life as a single man in the beautiful Highland village of Shieldaig, when an unexpected visitor brings painful news. A letter from beyond the grave leads him to do something he never imagined and takes him on a journey he didn’t anticipate.

Can either of them heal and truly move on?

Or is it true that a broken heart can never be a blank canvas?

This book was previously published as Through the Glass.

Purchase link


I received a digital ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

I just loved this book.  Not just the story, but the way it was put together.  Historical conversations were presented as ‘flashbacks’ and not just as memories.  I found myself almost immediately invested in this love story, despite the fact that it had come to an end.

Jim and Flick, when viewed historically, are the perfect match and their relationship is enviable.  However, there would be no story without the introduction of heartache.  The result of a meddlesome mother leaves them both devastated and struggling to repair their damaged lives.  It was hard, for me, to understand how Flick could have been so easily swayed by her mother’s influence, but it’s part of the story and I was able to accept it.

As usual, we head to the Scottish Highlands to see how the story evolves.  Jim returns to the beautiful village of his childhood holidays and starts to slowly heal.  Of course, the story can’t end there, and devastating news starts to unravel the progress that they have both made on the road to recovery. The story picks up the pace and heads to a thrilling conclusion on all accounts.

I enjoyed this story, in particular, I loved Jim and his unwavering loyalty to his relationship.  His relationships with his former employer and his ex-father-in-law speak volumes about his character and I found it frustrating that he had to endure so much pain because of an interfering mother.        

I was awake until the wee small hours, again, reading this story because I simply had to know what would happen next.  This book took me from London to Scotland and then to Chicago.  It was a wonderful escape which I would highly recommend.

Author Bio

Lisa Hobman has written many brilliantly reviewed women’s fiction titles – the first of which was shortlisted by the RNA for their debut novel award. In 2012 Lisa relocated her family from Yorkshire to a village in Scotland and this beautiful backdrop now inspires her uplifting and romantic stories.

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Blog Tour – One More Christmas at the Castle by Trisha Ashley

An uplifting new Christmas novel from the Sunday Times bestseller

Elderly widow Sabine knows this will be her last Christmas in her beloved home,

Mitras Castle. Determined to make it just like the ones she remembers from her

childhood, she employs Dido Jones of Heavenly Houseparties to help with the big


Dido is enchanted by the castle as soon as she steps through the imposing front

door. And as Christmas day approaches, her feeling of connection to the old house

runs deeper than she first thought. But when the snow begins to fall and Sabine’s

family arrive at the house – including Dido’s teenage crush Xan – tensions rise around

the castle’s future and long-buried mysteries begin to unravel…

As past secrets come to light, can this still be a magical Christmas to remember?

Praise for Trisha Ashley:

‘One of the best writers around’ Katie Fforde

‘A warm-hearted and comforting read’ Carole Matthews

‘Full of down-to-earth humour’ Sophie Kinsella

Praise for Trisha’s previous Christmas bestseller, The Christmas Invitation:

‘Like a nice mug of mulled wine in book form!’’ Good Housekeeping

‘Romance, friendship, love, humour and a generous dose of Christmas spirit’ Woman & Home

‘Engrossingly written and packed with wonderful characters, it’s a heart-warming, feel-good read’ Choice

Purchase link

11th November | Hardback | £14.99 | Bantam Press


I received a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This was my first Trisha Ashley book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I follow Trisha on Twitter and always look out for her delicious descriptions of the morning sky.  I was thrilled to discover that the same beautiful observations were the key style to her writing.  I was able to immerse myself in the sights and sounds of the Castle, the Winter Garden and the outlying lands.  This is a book that requires your full attention, or you risk missing some of the exquisite details.

Sabine is not the easiest character to get along with, but as the story unfolds, the reader gains a better understanding of her life and the challenges that she has faced.  Slowly, her softer side becomes more evident. Sabine’s saving grace is the arrival of her best friend, Nancy, who’s ability to gently persuade Sabine to reconsider her harsher opinions is a key element to the story.

Conversely, Dido is a joy and is bursting with kindness and goodwill.  Her friendship with Henry is enviable as their shared work ethic and attention to detail is the backbone for Heavenly Houseparties. The arrival of her former crush, Xan, brings all her old feelings back to the fore.

As the story progresses, secrets are revealed, and some old wounds start to heal.  More importantly we are treated to a wonderful Christmas gathering with the same distinctive descriptions which not only bring the celebrations to life, but also create a flavour of the wonderful dishes which are served.

This is a Christmas story which needs to be enjoyed and not rushed.  The descriptions are immersive, and the concept is heart-warming.  The comedy is gentle, and the justice is rather well served. I recommend that you find a quiet corner and indulge in traditional Christmas.

Author Bio

Trisha Ashley’s Sunday Times bestselling novels have sold over one million

copies in the UK and have twice been shortlisted for the Melissa Nathan award for

Romantic Comedy. Every Woman for Herself was nominated by magazine readers as

one of the top three romantic novels in the last fifty years. Trisha lives in North Wales.

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Christmas at the Village Sewing Shop by Helen Rolfe

Can three sisters stitch their family back together?

Loretta loves running the little village sewing shop in Butterbury. Some of her most precious memories are sitting with her three daughters Daisy, Ginny and Fern, stitching together pieces of material – and their hopes and dreams.

But this Christmas the family is coming apart at the seams: Fern feels like she’s failing at motherhood and marriage, Ginny’s passion for her job as a midwife is fading, Daisy is desperate to prove she’s changed since her wild younger years – and most of all, Loretta seems to be hiding something…

As they come together to create a new festive quilt, the bond between the sisters begins to heal. But when Loretta reveals the real reason she’s brought them all home, can the sisters mend the quilt, and their family, in time for Christmas?

Purchase here  


I received a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve long been a fan of this author and have read and enjoyed many of her books.  They are always filled with great stories and plenty of romance.  Naturally, I expected more of the same, but was pleasantly surprised.  For this story, romance took a back seat and let family ties be the main focus.

I loved all the characters in this story but felt drawn to Daisy.  The three sisters are all quite different, Fern is married with a couple of children, Ginny is an adventurer and Daisy seems to be a homebird.  At least, those are the impressions from the opening chapters.  As the story unfolds, we learn that those assumptions are wrong and that the sisters have also judged each other unfairly. Their common bond, beside an historic love of sewing, is their love for their mother and their ageing grandfather.

I read this book in a single session and enjoyed every minute of it.  I kept second guessing which way the story would go, but with less emphasis on romance, it was difficult to guess what was coming next.  There are some huge surprises for the family to deal with and they each are faced with accepting the results of their actions.  Whilst romance may be lower down the list, there is a very happy ending.

This is a Christmas book with a difference.  It brings the focus back to the joy of family and revisits the secrets of years gone by.  As each secret is revealed, there is a chance for the family bonds to become a little stronger.  I am now left wishing that I could sew, as I would love a Christmas Quilt.

Author Bio (borrowed from a Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources).

Helen J Rolfe writes romantic fiction and contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries where she thinks her readers might like to escape to.

Social Media and Web links





Blog Tour – Christmas Wishes at The Chocolate Shop by Jessica Redland

Sometimes you just need a little Christmas magic to make your wishes come true…

When master chocolatier, Charlee, takes the leap to move to the picturesque seaside town of

Whitsborough Bay, she is determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and set up a chocolate


Luckily, she finds the perfect location for Charlee’s Chocolates on beautiful Castle Street… Now she

just has to refurbish it in time for Christmas!

With a useless boyfriend and countless DIY disasters, Charlee doesn’t know if she’ll make it in time.

With no ‘traditional’ family to support her, she feels lost in her new surroundings and the secrets of

the past are weighing her down.

But the warmth and festive spirit of the Whitsborough Bay community will surprise her, and when

plumber, Matt, comes to the rescue, it might be that all of Charlee’s dreams could come true this

Christmas, and she could learn what family really means…

Escape to Castle Street for the perfect uplifting, festive read from top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland.

Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate Shop was originally released as Charlee and the Chocolate Shop.

Now re-released with a new title and new cover, this version has been freshly edited and features

several new chapters.

Purchase link


I received a digital ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

Christmas Wishes at the Chocolate shop is another reworked title from Jessica Redland’s back catalogue.  I discovered Jessica at just the right time, as I’ve read so many of her books, but been able to resist the previous titles, as I knew it was receiving the ‘Boldwood Touch’.

Once again, the characters and story, in this gorgeous book, captured my imagination. As we’re back on Castle Street, there are some familiar faces, but don’t worry if you’ve not been before, you’ll still enjoy this visit. Charlee is the kind of person that I would welcome as a friend.  Kind-hearted and willing to go the extra mile, despite a history of heartache.  Let’s face it, there aren’t many of us who reach 30 without carrying a fair share of emotional baggage.

Charlee’s background is perfectly developed to reveal both joy and heartache in her past.  It was impossible not to hope that she would see the light over her ‘useless boyfriend’, I spent several chapters waiting for the penny to drop and for her to see him in his true colours.

Jessica had obviously carried out thorough research into the life of a chocolatier.  I found myself craving a taste of some of the confections mentioned in this story.  The development of the chocolate shop was a joy to follow, and like Charlee’s love-life, it wasn’t without the odd hiccup.  It was wonderful to see that with the right people and support, even the most hopeless of situations can prove to be the answer to our hopes and prayers.

This story is about chocolate, friendship, family and forgiveness.  It looks at the damage we do to ourselves when we put loyalty above our instincts and tolerate behaviour that should be unacceptable.  It also shines a light on the problems caused by making assumptions!

Author Bio

Jessica Redland writes uplifting stories of love, friendship, family and community set in Yorkshire where she lives. Her Whitsborough Bay books transport readers to the stunning North Yorkshire Coast and her Hedgehog Hollow series takes them into beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds.

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Blog Tour – The Sister Pact by Lisa Swift

Thirty-year-old Brooke Padgett is the landlady of The Highwayman’s Drop in the beautiful Yorkshire village of Leyholme. Commitment-averse and obsessed with work, she isn’t looking for anything serious – and she certainly isn’t interested in the pub’s new barman, gorgeous single dad Hayden. Or is she?

Older sister Rhianna Garrett has fled wealthy husband James after discovering his infidelity. As she moves back to the pub with her children in tow, it’s clear that living together will be tricky for these two very different sisters…

Meanwhile, their widowed mum Janey is keen to rejoin the dating scene. But a lot has changed since her youth in the seventies – and she’ll need the help of her girls.

As the sisters join forces to help Janey, as well as fight off the chain circling the pub, their relationship becomes close once again. Until Brooke discovers Rhianna is hiding a secret that could drive a wedge between them all…

Can the two sisters come together to save The Highwayman’s Drop, their mum’s love life – and their relationship?

Purchase links





I received a digital ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

When I agreed to join this tour, I based my decision purely on the book cover, I didn’t read the blurb, so I went in blind.  I could not be happier with what I found as the story was right up my proverbial street.  This is another book which I finished in one sitting.  The story flowed perfectly, and I just couldn’t find a spot where I could take a break. 

Sisters Brooke and Rhianna are strangers to one another since Rhianna married and fell under the spell of her husband.  She rarely visits the family pub and her children have been brought up with some serious airs and graces.  However, Rhianna comes back to earth with a bang, when she leaves her cheating husband and moves back home to be with her sister Brooke and mother Janey.  Brooke is desperately trying to save the family pub from being taken over by a faceless chain and Janey is hoping to keep the peace. 

The trio of women all have differing priorities, Rhianna wants to be financially independent from her adulterous husband.  Brooke wants to hold onto the family business, as she sees it as her only connection to her deceased Dad.  Janey, well she wants a man!

This is a story which sees difficult scenarios from all aspects.  What one sister finds to be fair and reasonable, the other finds to be cold and callous.  I was particularly interested in the differing viewpoints and seeing how both options seemed completely reasonable, until viewed from the alternative perspective. 

Joining forces to help Janey, the sisters begin working together to save the pub, a surprising change of plan from Rhianna, who throws herself into the post of helping find new and diverse marketing ideas.

As the synopsis mentions, single dad Hayden is another kink in the plan.  Brooke is not in the market for a boyfriend and living with her niece and nephew has convinced her that she definitely doesn’t want any children.  In particular, I enjoyed reading the exchanges between Brooke and Hayden, I could understand her reluctance, but could equally see Hayden’s point of view.

All of the characters were well developed, including the children who played pivotal roles in several of the decisions that were made.  I understand that this is part of a series, but I read it as a standalone and don’t feel that I missed anything.

If you fancy escaping to a family run pub, this is a terrific opportunity.

Author Bio

Lisa   is a romance author from West Yorkshire in the UK. She is represented by Laura Longrigg at MBA Literary Agents. Her first book is due to be published by Hera Books in August 2019.

As Mary Jayne Baker, Lisa also writes romantic comedies for Aria Fiction.

Lisa is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

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ARC Review – Next in Line by Marion Todd

A murder victim with celebrity connections spells trouble for DI Clare Mackay…

Gaby Fox is known to many due to her successful TV career, so when her brother and his pals hire the salubrious Lamond Lodge for his birthday celebrations, it is noted by the St Andrews locals. A ripple of shock goes round the town when Russell Fox is gunned down on the premises.

DI Clare Mackay is attending a wedding when she sees Gabrielle receive a phone call then flee. Soon after, Clare learns why when the news of the shooting reaches her. Instead of trying to enjoy the day – not easy when the groom is her ex-boyfriend – Clare is preoccupied.

Clare gets to work on uncovering the facts surrounding Russell Fox’s death. The guests at the lodge have secrets to hide, but even when Clare begins to unravel the deceit, it doesn’t bring the answers. The detective can’t help but wonder why no one who knew Russell seems capable of telling the truth, and whether there is more than one person with a reason to want him dead…

A thrilling addition to the much-loved and bestselling detective fiction series from a rising star in Scottish crime fiction. Ideal for fans of Alex Gray, D. K. Hood and Rachel Amphlett.

Publishing on 21st October 2021

Pre-order here


I received a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I have to rein myself in, for this review.  I mainly read romantic fiction, but enjoy certain thriller writers, and Marion Todd is in my all time top five.  I have waited, impatiently, to read this book, and I haven’t been disappointed.

As the synopsis explains, the scene is set when the brother of a high-profile television personality, Gaby Fox, is gunned down whilst enjoying a weekend away at a house near St. Andrews.  DI Clare Mackay is attending a wedding where Gaby Fox is also on the guest list.

Feeling at a disadvantage, because she wasn’t first on the scene, Clare is determined to work her way through the twisted tales of the other house guests to discover who murdered Russell Fox. Slowly, the odd word here and the occasional misstep there, helps Clare and her team to build a picture of what happened, and it’s not as straightforward as any of them hoped.

The tension builds steadily, until it’s impossible to take a break.  The story picks up speed and rockets to a shocking conclusion.  There are a couple of characters from previous books, and it was great to see that Clare and Al have gone from strength to strength.

One of the traits that I really enjoy, with Marion’s writing, is that the reader keeps apace with the case.  There’s no element from the culprit’s point of view, we are kept in the dark and guessing.  Marion’s characters are wonderfully three dimensional.  Fully developed and robust.

The way the storyline unfurled, revealing each new morsel of information, kept me hooked through to the final pages.  Marion has crafted a fine cast of characters who simply work.  From Admin Assistant, Zoe to the return of DCI Tony McAvettie, there’s plenty going on, with heroes and villains aplenty.

Learn more about Marion Todd here.   Follow Author on Twitter.