Blog Tour: Spring at Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett

Blog Tour

Spring at Lavender Bay (Lavender Bay, Book 1) by [Bennett, Sarah]

Spring At Lavender Bay (Lavender Bay, Book 1) by Sarah Bennett

Published: 22nd February 2018
Publisher: HQ Digital
Format: Ebook

Amazon UK



Beth Reynolds couldn’t wait to get away from boring, provincial Lavender Bay. With a good degree under her belt and a gorgeous, rich boyfriend in tow, she headed to London ready to conquer life. Sadly, life decided to fight back, and six years later she’s on her own in a bedsit-shaped rut.
When an unexpected legacy offers her the chance to take the money and run, no one is more surprised than Beth to find herself back behind the counter at Eleanor’s Emporium, the Aladdin’s cave of a shop she used to work in as a Saturday girl.
Sam Barnes has been in love with his sister’s best friend since she was all gangly-limbs and skinned knees. When fate brings her back into his life, and to the shop next door to his family’s pub, he vows she won’t slip through his fingers again. Will a new start in Lavender Bay offer Beth the future she never knew she needed?

My Review

Thank you to Jenny over at Neverland Blog Tours and the author for the chance of reading this book, and for taking part in the blog tour.

I did not want this book to end. I really enjoyed it. I loved the idea of Lavender Bay and could imagine everything about it. The cover of this book really works for this book. It’s bright, promising, and exactly what I’d imagine a little seaside town to be like. It’s beautiful.

The characters were fantastic, and the chemistry between Beth and Sam is exactly what we’re promised. Libby and Eliza were great additions and I’m excited to see if we hear their stories in the next two books. I think the character that stood out for me, strangely, was Pops. He made me chuckle and think of my own grandfather. He would probably have a story or two to share.

My favourite character? It would have to be Sam. He was smart, witty, handsome, and romantic. I did like Beth, the way that she bounced off Sam was perfect and it made the book more enjoyable to read. I loved seeing her come from a bit of an underdog situation to this blossoming, vibrant woman.

I will safely say that I have never chuckled so much at an inflatables situation. Hilarious! It was definitely a comical moment, with a steamy moment of it’s own as well. It was written wonderfully and has definitely put Sarah Bennett on my radar, this is my first book written by her that I have read and I don’t think I will miss any more of them!

This book is the perfect story to get you ready for spring. It’s full of hope, blossoming love. It’s uplifting, comical, and has the most loving friendships and relationships. With beautiful moments, along with comical, touching and downright romantic moments, I highly recommend this book to everyone in need of cheering up!!

I do have one question though, how did she find out that Sam had used his money? There’s no mention of her finding it out and I would have loved to have seen that conversation!!

I’m giving this book a big, fat 4/5. Check out the details below for a giveaway!!!

About Sarah Bennett

Sarah Bennett has been reading for as long as she can remember. Raised in a family of bookworms, her love affair with books of all genres has culminated in the ultimate Happy Ever After – getting to write her own stories to share with others. Born and raised in a military family, she is happily married to her own Officer (who is sometimes even A Gentleman). Home is wherever he lays his hat, and life has taught them both that the best family is the one you create from friends as well as relatives. When not reading or writing, Sarah is a devotee of afternoon naps and sailing the high seas, but only on vessels large enough to accommodate a casino and a choice of restaurants. Sarah is the author of the Butterfly Cove trilogy, published by HQ Digital UK.

Her new series is set in the beautiful seaside town of Lavender Bay, and will follow the lives of three best friends – Beth, Eliza and Libby.


Spring at Lavender Bay Blog Tour Giveaway

Prize: Kindle Fire 7, Room Diffuser & L’Occitne Hand Cream Set

UK Only

WordPress Users:

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Book Review: The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach by Kat French


The Bed and Breakfast on the BeachThe Bed and Breakfast on the Beach by Kat French

Published: June 2017
Publisher: Avon Books UK
Format: Ebook
ISBN: 9780008236762

Amazon UK


A Greek island solves all life’s problems…doesn’t it?

Winnie, Stella and Frankie have been best friends forever.

When their lives unexpectedly unravel, they spontaneously decide to buy a gorgeous B&B on a remote Greek island. Drenched in hot sun, Villa Valentina is the perfect escape from reality. But when Winnie meets Jesse, their brooding neighbour, she finds that Greece is full of its own complications – not least how attractive he is…

Meanwhile, Frankie and Stella are discovering that Villa Valentina has its own secrets – starting with the large supply of gin in the cellar and the arrival of a famous rock band. A band with one very good-looking member who just might distract Frankie from thoughts of her husband…

My Review

Kat French knows how to write incredible men (and books), I’ll give her that. Robinson in One Hot Summer, Gabriel in Love Your Neighbour (previously published as Undertaking Love), and Hal in My Perfect Stranger (previously published as The Piano Man Project). Now we have Jesse in this book. Good god he was amazing. He’s up there with my obsession with Robinson. Just yummy.

Anyway, I loved Winnie, Stella and Frankie. They were feisty, determined, witty, and in need of a good turn in the lives. My favourite would probably have to be Winnie, going from an awful time in her life to gaining her confidence, and becoming a brave (very brave), independent woman. Willing to open up to the possibilities of life.  I liked her witty come backs, her sense of adventure and just her in general. Her chemistry with Jesse was perfect,with it bouncing from the pages instantly. Stella also had great, steamy chemistry with Angelo, and in a strange way, I’m glad things worked out for Frankie with her husband Gavin.

The writing style was very easy to get into, with you instantly wrapped up in their lives. I instantly clicked with all of the women and liked everything about them. I wanted them to succeed with the B&B, to get the happiness they all deserved.

This book was fun, romantic, steamy, and just fabulous. The island’s residents made me chuckle with how faith they put into something so… strange? No, not strange. Something so normal. It was normal, and it was a fantastic addition to the story.

I’ve given this a 4/5. With Jesse, the girls, the B&B and the magical island of Skelios I was hooked.


Book Review: Mistletoe on 34th Street by Lisa Dickenson

Mistletoe on 34th Street by Lisa Dickenson

Publication: 3rd October 2016
Publisher: Sphere
Format: Ebook
Pages: 432
ISBN: 9780751563092


Amazon UK


Olivia has never experienced a snow-covered, ‘traditional’ Christmas before. Having grown up in a family that chose winter sun over decking the halls, she’s not sure what all the fuss is about. So when she and her co-workers are stranded in New York after a work trip, Olivia is perfectly happy spending the holiday season in The Big Apple.

John, Olivia’s friend, on the other hand is so upset and is desperate to get home in time for his big family get-together. Nevertheless, determined to make the best out of the situation he sets out to show Olivia how enchanting Christmas in New York can be. And when she adds handsome New Yorker Elijah into the mix, could the magic of the season finally be working its charm on Olivia? As December 25th draws closer, Olivia suddenly finds herself with a decision to make: who does she really want to kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas?

Full of romance and festive magic, Mistletoe on 34th Street is the funniest and most charming love story you will read this Christmas!

My Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my copy – I apologise it’s taken me so long to get to it but here it is!!!!

I’ve had this book on my shelf since last year, and I fancied some romance, Christmas, and a feel-good read. I’ve had Christmas on my brain since reading The Christmas Holiday and this book was everything I needed!

A bit slow to get going but when it did, I loved every moment of it.  I’m a huge sucker for Christmas books, set in New York.  This book was written well, it was funny, witty, and a has a fantastic plot.  Every Chapter is a step closer to Christmas and it works really well.  It made it feel like that it was building up to something amazing, magical, and a sense of purpose.

All of the characters were great.  Olivia was a brilliant leading lady.  She is definitely my sort of character.  She’s practical, independent, strong-willed and sure of what she wants. Or is she? John, Olivia’s friend, comes across as charming, a good man and is again, a great character. All of the secondary characters are fantastic, all with their own little stories.  They could all easily be someone you know. Or be you. They all work well together, except for the addition of Elijah but let’s not go there.  Excuse the language, but he was a Dick.

Any book set in the build up, or at actual Christmas time works wonderfully for me.  Everything always seems right within the world at Christmas and this book has that feeling.  It made everything seem right when everything was feeling wrong.  Everyone needs to believe in magic at Christmas time and I think this is the book to help people see that. Just brilliant – I know I’ve said that word a lot within this review but hey, I don’t see the problem!!!! 5/5 for me!!


Blog Tour: It Was Only Ever You by Kate Kerrigan

It Was Only Ever You

It Was Only Ever You by Kate Kerrigan
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Published: 13th July 2017
Format: Paperback & Ebook
Pages: 448
ISBN13: 9781784082420


Amazon UK

Amazon US

Head of Zeus Link

Set in late 1950s Ireland and New York, the story of three women and the charismatic man with whom their lives are interwoven.
Set, like Maeve Binchy’s early bestsellers, in late 1950s Ireland and New York, this is the story of three women and the charismatic man with whom their lives are interwoven.
Patrick Murphy has charm to burn and a singing voice to die for. Many people will recognise his talent. Many women will love him. Rose, the sweetheart he leaves behind in Ireland, can never forget him and will move heaven and earth to find him again, long after he has married another woman. Ava, the heiress with no self-confidence except on the dance floor, falls under his spell. And tough Sheila Klein, orphaned by the Holocaust and hungry for success as a music manager, she will be ruthless in her determination to unlock his extraordinary star quality.

But in the end, Patrick Murphy’s heart belongs to only one of them. Which one will it be?

My Review

Thank you to the publishers and Kate Kerrigan for the chance to read this book and to be involved in the blog tour.

This book started slow to begin with, and it does jump around a bit between the women and with time, but it all slowly comes together in the end.  The way it is all done works well, there is a lot of path crossing and potentially big what ifs, but it does work.  It did get confusing with how quickly the time did move, and it made me question whether things were all moving at the same pace with all the people when it came to their chapters, or paragraphs.

The one person everyone has in common is Patrick, and it works perfectly.  All the women add something to the book, and all have their own parts to play when it came to him.  Of the 3 women, I felt more of a connection with Ava or Sheila.  I wasn’t really keen on Rose though, whether that was her naivety or her innocence, she just didn’t click with me.  Ava knew exactly what was expected of her, but she still bit the bullet and went for what she truly wanted.  Girl after my own heart.  Sheila had a sense of purpose, maturity, and a feeling of toughness that the other girls lacked.  I would say that Patrick is full of regrets, but does what is right and does what is for the best.  He loves Rose, and he does love Ava.  But his heart will always go to his music first, but he does finally realise who is love is.

Kate Kerrigan has a unique writing style, I enjoyed it, I felt for the characters and their love, their heartache, their losses.  This book was beautifully written, but it took me a long time to get into it.  While I enjoyed it, and did feel for the characters, I felt it was a little rushed and was missing something to make it spectacular.  I can’t pinpoint what I thought it was lacking though.  The ending was a sudden thing, I would have loved to have known if everyone was happy with their choices, and if it worked out well for them. It leftbtoo many what ifs and do they/don’t they for me, I would have liked things to be wrapped up neatly.

I give this book 3/5.  I liked the majority of characters, I liked the romance, loved the setting (who doesn’t love a New York story?!), the music references, it was written beautifully, but as I said, I felt it was missing a spark.  Something to make it so much better and mind-blowing. 

ARC Review: The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara

The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara
Published: July 2017
Publisher: Sphere (Little, Brown Book Group UK)
Format: Ebook
Pages: 368
ISBN13: 9780751566215

Amazon UK


My Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for copy, in exchange for my honest review.  I’m so glad I got to read this, I’ve loved other books by Ali McNamara and this one does not disappoint.

I found this to be a magical story, full of folklore, history, mysteries and romance.  It was interesting to read the different legends.  I know it’s a fictional place, but it made me realise that everywhere has these little stories, legends, rumours, whatever you want to call it.  They all stem from somewhere don’t they?

Written well, as always for Ali McNamara. The characters all had feeling, depth, and a likeability that touches you.  There is a lot of eye-rolling though, and winking. What’s that all about? Anyway, I liked all of the characters.  The setting was beautiful, as is all of Ireland.

Ren is determined, stubborn, but a very likeable woman.  Kiki plays well against Ren. For Ren’s matureness, Kiki is the opposite. She’s ditzy, doesn’t get a lot of Ren’s references, but she’s still very likeable.  Finn.  I’ve been trying to find the right words for Finn but I’m struggling.  He’s likeable, you get to see a little of his history, his backstory but on the other hand I don’t know…  I felt like I didn’t get a lot from him.  I don’t know.  All the characters worked well together, there is chemistry between all the characters, a fondness between them.  Kiki and Ren found their home in Ballykiltara and it shows.

It makes a nice change that the loss that a character’s suffers is an animal.  Many stories centre around the loss of a person, not an animal.  People’s lives are affected by the loss of a pet or like Finn, a business.  it shows that it does change the way people are.

This book was just great.  I loved how it was written, I loved the majority of the characters, and I just really enjoyed it.  I give it 4/5.


Blog Tour: The Little Cafe of Second Chances by J. D. Barrett

The Little Café of Second Chances
The Little Cafe of Second Chances by J. D. Barrett
Publisher: Piatkus
Published: 2nd February 2017
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
ISBN13: 978-0349414362
Amazon UK
Amazon US


Lucy Muir is leaving her husband. It’s complicated.
As joint owners and chefs at one of the best restaurants in town making a clean break is tough. But, let’s face it, a woman can only take so much cheating, recipe stealing and lack of good grace.
Then Lucy happens upon an old, empty terrace that was once the city’s hottest restaurant: Fortune. One minute she’s peering through grimy windows into an abandoned space, the next she’s planning a pop-up bistro.
When Lucy fires up Fortune’s old kitchen she discovers a little red recipe book that belonged to the former chef, the infamous Frankie Summers. As Lucy cooks her way through Frankie’s recipes, customers come flocking and slowly Lucy begins to regain her confidence. It turns out that courage, passion and just a tiny bit of magic might be the secret recipe for a better life . . .

A deliciously entertaining debut from an exciting new voice in women’s fiction, this is a smart, charming novel about food, the perfect recipes for romance and the courage it takes to find a second chance at happiness

My Review:

Firstly, Thank You to Beth Wright from Little Brown for contacting me and offering me the chance to review this delicious book, and to be a part of the blog tour.  The cover for this book is just amazingly pretty, I put it straight to the top of the never-ending TBR pile and had it finished within a day.  But whatever you do, do not judge this book by the cover.  I was expecting the normal woman goes through a crisis, turns to baking blah blah blah… How very, very, wrong was I?? This book is going to be a romance to remember.

This book, as I said above, is delicious.  God, it made me so blooming hungry reading it!!!! It also made me want to get into my teeny kitchen and cook up a storm!! I’ve been re-inspired by the recipes inserted throughout the book.  I will definitely be trying one or two, if not all of them!!

I can’t really go into the storyline without giving any spoilers out, which I really don’t want to do.  Lucy is a chef, who opens up a new pop-up restaurant with the help of her friends, her family, her employee and a retired sous chef. And… well, let’s just some somebody else.  Oh, and the homeless man from outside the building.  It seems as though it won’t go to plan, but it does.

There is a sort of “whodunit” plot line, which adds to the feel of the characters, it adds depth to one main character but again, I can’t really go into it.  You’ll have to trust me when I say that this book just works.  It works on so many levels, it’s just… Delicious. The chemistry  between Lucy and the others works well, and you get a feeling for their love for her.  She grows in strength, confidence and herself.

For a debut novel, this definitely deserves to be put on to every romance lovers bookcase, kindle, whatever format you want to read (or listen to) it in.  It’s witty, delicious (that word again!), loving, and feels like it will turn into one of my favourites this year.

This book will definitely be a favourite for many, being romantics or food lovers.  I give it a huge 5/5!!

ARC Review: All She Ever Wished For by Claudia Carroll

All She Ever Wished For by Claudia Carroll
Published: 6th October 2016
Publisher: Avon
Format: EBook
Pages: 496
ISBN13: 9780008174750

Available to Purchase
Amazon UK
Amazon US


A gorgeous story of chance meetings and unexpected friendships . . . because sometimes what you’ve always wished for isn’t necessarily what life has in store . . .
Marriage. It’s a dream come true. Isn’t it?
One wet winter night, two women meet on a bridge. One is Tess Taylor, a personal trainer on the way to meet her boyfriend for date night. The other is Kate King, a celebrity married to a handsome billionaire who just happens to make her cry. In the cold dark evening, there is nothing to link them together but the bridge they shiver on. Little do they know they’ll both hold the key to each other’s future marriage…
All She Ever Wished For tells the story of what happens when your dream is about to come true. And what happens when that dream turns into a bit of a nightmare…

My Thoughts

Firstly, thank you to Netgalley and the publishers, Avon, for my copy in exchange for my honest review.

I’ve had to sit and think about this book, and how I feel about it.  This is the second Claudia Carroll book I’ve read this year, and while I thoroughly enjoyed the other, I’m not sure where I sit with this one.  It wasn’t what I was exactly expecting, but then it wasn’t like I knew what to expect anyway.  The description for this book gave literally nothing away about it. It doesn’t say you’re going to be sat in a courtroom with Tess and Kate, it doesn’t say that you’re going to be in Kate’s last 15 years or in Tess’s daily struggle with wedding plans – or whether he’e the one for her.

Tess is a likeable character, she starts off being your very typical stressed bride-to-be, planning all the last minute touches.  Then she’s summoned for jury service, and everything changes.  She begins to doubt whether her fiance, Bernard, is the right man.  Her family have their own opinions on her, and so does his family about her.  Tess is oblivious to everything they are saying and has to find her own way to the same conclusions.  I found myself relating to things that Tess was thinking, and how she felt about things.

Kate again is another likeable character, although she is going through a rough time, she remains strong, able to beat an addiction, and comes out the other side of it.  Although she is supposed to be this perfect billionaires wife, she comes across as independent, strong, determined and just, well, down to earth.

Other characters that are pivotal in the book are great people.  I don’t want to obviously say much but in a way, I’m glad the whole thing ended the way it did.  We got a happy ending, and a great romantic line throughout the book.  The court case wasn’t what I imagined would happen in the book, but looking back it was a great setting for the majority of the story.  It was a wonderful change from the normal settings you get in books even remotely similar to this.

As I said, I still don’t how I feel about this book.  It was good to read about it all happening in a different setting, compared to seaside villages, beaches or something like that.  It was also a great story, with a sort of dramatic courtroom twist.  But.. On the other hand, it felt a little strained in places.  I felt there was no chemistry between some characters, there was no spark between others.  I didn’t particularly like either Tess’s family, or Bernard’s, and some characters didn’t add anything at all.

Overall, I did like this book.  But I didn’t love it like I was sort of expecting. I’m admitting I’m a little disappointed but I really don’t mind.  It was a good story, and it was a wonderful ending.  Will Tess and Will be a happy every after or will they not? Who knows? Will Kate finally find her place, or will she carry on where she is?

My Rating: This is where I am struggling.  Is it a 4 star? Or 4.5? Or even just a 3? I’m not sure… I’m going to give it a 4, for now.  It may change but I highly doubt it.