Sunday, January 31, 2021

Reviews at Amazon-January 2021

We're posting some reviews at our Amazon accounts, as either they've been sitting in queue for a while and deserve their time in the sun, fall under our featuring policy, or they're new reads that we couldn't wait to post at the blog. You can check them out at the links below. Hope we can help you find your next favorite book!







Friday, January 29, 2021

Book Review: Faking It

By Sara Steven

The perfect house, the perfect husband and the perfect life... or is she just faking it?

Life has been a bit of a rollercoaster for Ella. Growing up as the 'less successful' identical twin to her 'perfectly successful' sister, Emma, has left her feeling isolated, inadequate and let's face it.. a little bitter.

When Emma unexpectedly reaches out to Ella in a time of need, Ella suddenly finds herself with the opportunity to fill in for her sister and experience how the other half live.

But as Ella navigates the world of gossiping mothers, rebellious teens and trying to play the model housewife (not to mention avoiding the temptation of attractive men at the school gates...) will she discover that all is not always as it seems on the other side?
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

This was such a fun and unique experience. Ella and Emma are two entirely different people, even though they are identical twins, and the differences really added to the level of fun. Ella has always been seen as the troublemaker of the two, while Emma, as witnessed in various scenes with characters who have known the two women since they were children, was always seen as the quintessential “perfect angel.” But as the story progresses, it’s apparent that there is always more going on behind the scenes, and the supposed labels placed on someone years ago really doesn’t apply. Not anymore. 

As mentioned in the synopsis, Ella is suddenly thrust into a completely different way of living. The gossiping mothers, or “yummy mummies,” reminded me of some of the women I’ve encountered over the years who felt it was their place to try to coax me into being more like them, and less like myself. Given the fact that Ella doesn’t have children of her own, I felt the way MacIntosh showed Ella off kilter and out of her element was spot on, along with the awkwardness of living, as Ella says, “like a Stepford wife.” The fact that she is trying so hard to help her sister, someone she’s been at odds with for over a decade, speaks volumes on the type of person Ella is. 

There was a definite Uncle Buck vibe to Faking It, particularly where Ella’s relationship with her niece and nephew are concerned. There’s even a scene within Faking It that reminded me of the time when Buck, played by John Candy, had gone to a party to save his niece from potential disaster. In many ways, Ella can be seen as the female Buck; unpolished, moves to the beat of her own drum, but has an obvious heart of gold.

Along for the ride are potential romances for Ella that she knows isn’t safe to pursue, but given the options, it’s hard not to. And while it was fun to see that all go down, what I loved the most were the familial relationships we get to see Ella gain over time. It was heartwarming to see, for this five-star read.

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK * Amazon US

Portia MacIntosh is a bestselling romantic comedy author of over 15 novels, including My Great Ex-Scape and Honeymoon For One. Previously a music journalist, Portia writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real life experiences.

Visit Portia online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Sign up for Portia's newsletter.

Visit all the stops on Portia's blog tour:

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Book Review: Invisible Girl

By Jami Denison

Voracious readers have many authors for whom they will read anything the writer publishes. For me, Lisa Jewell is a first among equals. But I have to confess that when I read the Amazon summary of her latest book, Invisible Girl, I wasn’t excited. Centering on a socially awkward 33-year-old virgin male who gets sucked into the incel world, the blurb made the book seem dark and inaccessible.  But I had the opportunity to read it to review, and I’m so glad I did. The Amazon blurb emphasizes the wrong character and wrong elements. Invisible Girl is another compelling domestic thriller featuring relatable characters trapped in modern dilemmas. Jewell fans will be pleased.

The invisible girl is Saffyre Maddox; she’s a 17-year-old in a hoodie that no one seems to care about until she disappears. When she does, from a London street that already has had several sexual assaults, the prime suspect is Owen Pick. The would-be incel was the last person to see Saffyre, across the street from his home. Unbeknownst to police, Saffyre was stalking her former psychologist, Roan Fours, and his family. While all the evidence points to Owen, could the Fours family have more to do with Saffyre’s disappearance than it seems? 

Thankfully, this is not a story about a man being drawn into the incel community and the evil he commits; Owen is a socially awkward loner with a drinking problem but a good heart. His is not the only point of view; readers also get Saffyre’s story as well as Roan’s wife’s, Cate. While the three characters get equal playing time, Cate is the more traditional Jewell lead role, and she feels like the true center of the novel. A home renovation prompted Cate to temporarily move her family—Roan and teenagers Georgia and Josh—to an apartment in the city. She thought it was be a fun adventure, but the sexual assaults have her on edge, especially after one of Georgia’s friends was attacked. Previously suspicious of Roan’s relationship with Saffyre when she was his patient, the girl’s disappearance has her rethinking everything she believed about her family and the man across the street.

Jewell does a masterful job creating and developing these characters. Even Owen is surprisingly sympathetic on his worst days. The action marches along at a good pace, with Saffyre’s point of view describing the events that lead up to her Valentine’s Day disappearance, while Cate and Owen give before and after accounts. The only flaw in the storytelling I found was that a character who doesn’t appear until late in the drama (but is casually alluded to early on) turns out to play an important role.

Despite its Amazon description, Invisible Girl is not about a woman-hating incel and his victim. Another crown for Jewell, the novel will entertain fans with its heart-felt mystery and emotionally satisfying ending.  

Thanks to Atria for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Lisa Jewell:

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Book Review: The Little Swiss Ski Chalet

By Sara Steven

It’s time to pack your bags and head to the breathtaking, snow-covered peaks of the Swiss Alps for velvety hot chocolates, delicious cheeses and a gorgeous love story…

Food technician Mina has always believed that chocolate will solve everything – and it’s just what she needs when her latest relationship mishap goes viral!

So with her bags packed and a new determination to sort her life out, Minna decides to drown her sorrows with the best hot chocolate in the world at her godmother’s cosy Swiss chalet. Chocolate: yes. Romance: no. Until she has a run in on an Alpine train with a mysterious but oh-so-gorgeous stranger… 
(Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Mina’s story is a reminder that life shouldn’t be about trying to find a way to fit in; it’s about making life fit around who you are. After Mina travels out to the Swiss Alps in order to escape from a recent break up gone sour and to reconnect with her godmother Amelie, over time she starts to question the job she has as a food technician and the relationships she’s had with family members and friends. It seems that Mina has always attempted to try to be the type of person everyone expects her to be, and it’s been a difficult road for her. But it also seems that the person she’d like to be, the things that interest her, don’t fit in with her life in England. 

The gorgeous stranger mentioned in the synopsis is Luke, and it is serendipitous that he is also a guest at the bed and breakfast that Amelie runs out of her chalet. But with Mina continually attempting to live the type of life others want her to live, she wonders if Luke would be the type of guy she should be interested in, considering how much of a free spirit he is. He is too much like her, and the push and pull between them was riveting. 

There are other guests at the chalet, potential friendships for Mina, a gateway into new adventures and potentially a new way of living. She can begin to see other options out there, and just when she thinks it might be possible with Luke, there are obstacles from his own past that throw a wrench into things and make her question everything. 

I loved Mina’s story. She’s trying to find herself, while living in what I imagine to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I wish I could be one of the friends who stays at the chalet, enjoying hot chocolates and comfort foods that made me yearn for the snow-covered peaks of the Swiss Alps. The backdrop to The Little Swiss Ski Chalet felt like another important character, only adding to the ambiance. Much like I’d imagine a stay in the chalet would be, this was a definite five-star experience!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK * Amazon US

Julie Caplin, formerly a PR director, swanned around Europe for many years taking top food and drink writers on press trips (junkets) sampling the gastronomic delights of various cities in Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Copenhagen and Switzerland. It was a tough job but someone had to do it. 

These trips have provided the inspiration and settings for her Romantic Escapes series which have been translated into fifteen different languages.

The first book in the seven strong series, The Little Café in Copenhagen, was shortlisted for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Visit Julie online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Visit all the stops on Julie's blog tour:

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

A taste of paradise from Melissa special giveaway

Today we are pleased to have Melissa Baldwin back at CLC to feature Love and Ohana Drama. Check out Sara's review from last summer. As part of Melissa's blog tour, Rachel's Random Resources has a $20 Amazon gift card to give away!

Melissa Baldwin is a planner-obsessed Disney fan who still watches Beverly Hills 90210 reruns and General Hospital

She’s a wife, mother, and journal keeper, who finally decided to write the book she talked about for years. She took her dream to the next level, and is now an award-winning, bestselling author of nineteen Romantic Comedy and Cozy Mystery novels and novellas. Melissa writes about charming, ambitious, and real women, and she considers these leading ladies to be part of her tribe.

When she isn't deep in the writing zone, this multitasking master organizer keeps busy by spending time with her family, chauffeuring her daughter, traveling, attempting yoga poses, and going on rides at Disney World.

Visit Melissa online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Love and Ohana Drama is a romantic comedy that explores the challenges of family dynamics and reminds readers that there is always hope for a second chance. Sometimes the most challenging situations bring the most happiness . . .

Twenty-something Cora Fletcher is a book-loving public relations executive who lives with her overly Zen best friend and attention-loving cat. Newly single and focusing on her exciting career, she feels like she’s in a good place. She's even been invited on an all-expenses-paid Hawaiian vacation! The only catch—it’s a family reunion . . . and her family can be a lot to handle.

Cora vows to not let that get in the way, but even before the family has boarded the plane, the ohana drama begins. As usual, there's the sister-in-law who is bent on causing friction, the self-centered cousins, and the aunt who loves to party a bit too much. Her mother has filled the itinerary with endless activities, and she's even invited Cora’s ex-boyfriend in an attempt to get them back together.

Although she feels overwhelmed, Cora gets a blast from her past that could impact her life forever. This is one welcome reunion she did not expect . . .

Will Cora make it through a week of family togetherness? And will she be able to say aloha to someone she thought was out of her life forever?

Puchase Links:

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing? 
I love hearing from my readers. One of the compliments that made me smile recently-- "Melissa Baldwin never lets me down. Her writing is witty, hilarious and always totally and completely swoon worthy!”

How is Cora similar to or different from you? 
Like me-- Cora loves to read, she’s low maintenance and loyal. 
Different from me—Cora is a cat person, she considers skipping a trip to Hawaii—something I would never do. ☺ 

If Love and Ohana Drama were made into a movie, what songs would be on the soundtrack? 
"Hawaii," "We are Family," "Family Affair," "Over the Rainbow," "Hawaiian Wedding Song," "I Could Fall in Love," "Love Story," "Crazy in Love."

What TV series are you currently binge watching? 

 My husband and I just binged Cobra Kai. So good.

What is something you learned about yourself during the pandemic? 
Hmmm… I learned that I need to see people more than I thought I would. HAHA! 

What is your go-to breakfast item? 

Oh, I love breakfast! Pancakes or Avocado Toast

Thanks to Melissa for visiting with us and to Rachel's Random Resources for coordinating the interview.

Giveaway to Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card 
(Open INT)

*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 seven 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 organizer and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  We are not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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Giveaway ends February 5th.

Visit all the stops on the blog tour:

Monday, January 25, 2021

Helen Fisher is ahead of her a book giveaway

Photo by Johnny Ring
We're pleased to welcome Helen Fisher to CLC today. Her debut novel, Faye, Faraway, publishes tomorrow. (Titled Space Hopper in the UK; publishes in early February.) Melissa enjoyed this novel and will be reviewing it soon. You can see her preliminary thoughts on Instagram though! She's here to talk about it, and share some other fun things about herself. Thanks to Gallery, we have THREE copies of Faye, Faraway for some lucky readers!

Helen Fisher spent her early life in America but grew up mainly in Suffolk, England, where she now lives with her two children. She studied psychology at Westminster University and ergonomics at University College London, and worked as a senior evaluator in research at the Royal National Institute of Blind People. She is now a full-time author; Faye, Faraway is her first novel. She is currently working on her second.

Visit Helen on Twitter and Instagram.

Faye is a thirty-seven-year-old happily married mother of two young daughters. Every night, before she puts them to bed, she whispers to them: “You are good, you are kind, you are clever, you are funny.” She’s determined that they never doubt for a minute that their mother loves them unconditionally. After all, her own mother Jeanie had died when she was only seven years old and Faye has never gotten over that intense pain of losing her.

But one day, her life is turned upside down when she finds herself in 1977, the year before her mother died. Suddenly, she has the chance to reconnect with her long-lost mother, and even meets her own younger self, a little girl she can barely remember. Jeanie doesn’t recognize Faye as her daughter, of course, even though there is something eerily familiar about her...

As the two women become close friends, they share many secrets—but Faye is terrified of revealing the truth about her identity. Will it prevent her from returning to her own time and her beloved husband and daughters? What if she’s doomed to remain in the past forever? Faye knows that eventually she will have to choose between those she loves in the past and those she loves in the here and now, and that knowledge presents her with an impossible choice.

Emotionally gripping and ineffably sweet Faye, Faraway is a brilliant exploration of the grief associated with unimaginable loss and the magic of being healed by love. (Courtesy of Amazon.)

In one sentence, tell us what the road to publishing was like for you?
Full of clichés: loads of rejections and loads of tears, followed by a twist of fate that led me to my wonderful agent and subsequently a bidding auction between publishers.

How are you similar to or different from Faye?
Faye is essentially me, so if you find her annoying, you’ll find me annoying! Like Faye, I have two children and she has the same job I used to have when I worked at the RNIB, but I don’t have a husband and Faye is about ten years younger than me. Louis is Faye’s closest friends and confidant in the book; he’s an amalgamation of a few friends I had at the RNIB. All the toys Faye had as a child in the 1970s were toys I had, or that I wished I had. All the food she cooks and a lot of the things she says and does (apart from the time-travel!) are things that I say and do. My parents and close friends have said they can hear my voice when they read the book, and think it’s obvious that Faye is me. But my son, who’s ten, read it, and says I’m more like Jeanie.

If Faye, Faraway were made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
I can picture Reese Witherspoon as Faye, and when I was writing Jeanie, I always imagined her as a younger Julia Roberts, but of course, Jeanie is in her twenties (younger than Faye) so someone with a soft face and a wide smile, like Alicia Vikander. I can see Paul Rudd as Louis. And anybody drop-dead gorgeous for Eddie.
Since a lot of the story takes place in the 1970s, tell us something you love about or from that time period.
As a child, Faye receives a pair of roller skates, the kind that strapped over your shoes and had metal wheels that made a lot of noise on the sidewalk. I had skates just like that, and I loved them. Also, just like Faye when she is with Em and Henry, on Sunday nights we used to have soup in cup-a-soup cups and toast, and eat in the lounge watching gameshows on TV. My favourite TV shows in the seventies were The Dukes of Hazzard and Happy Days.

What is the last book you read that you would recommend?
Am I allowed two? For anyone who writes or wants to write, I am reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, which is making me feel so much better. It was recommended to me by a writer friend when I was having a writing crisis recently, and I’m reading it like I’m taking medicine. A book I have loved and recommend is Leonard and Hungry Paul, by Ronan Hessian. I love the way it’s written, and how it follows two men in their thirties who live with their parents, play board games, enjoy their work and are kind. And as ordinary as that sounds, it’s not “normal”. Beautifully written and bursting with heart, I needed both Leonard and Hungry Paul in Lockdown.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
The other evening my children called out for me in voices usually reserved for something a bit spooky on TV. I found them wide-eyed, clutching each other, on top of my daughter’s bed and they whispered that there was an animal underneath it. I’m used to their pranks so I casually got the torch and – not the least bit nervous – I laid on the bedroom floor and shone the light under the bed. They were right! Something furry and about the size of a large rat was crouched underneath between two boxes. I leapt up on to the bed with the kids and we stayed there for half an hour, terrified, trying to decide if it was dead or not. We agreed it must be an animal that Bear - our cat - had dragged in from outside (although he is not a good hunter). So, we called and called for Bear, and eventually he joined us in the bedroom, sat on the floor, licked a paw and looked at us like we were idiots. We held our breath as he disappeared under the bed, wondering who would win the fight under there. He reappeared a minute later, victorious, with the culprit in his teeth: a large furry bobble from a bobble hat, which he must have torn off at some point. The imagination is a powerful thing!

Thanks to Helen for chatting with us and to Gallery for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.

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Giveaway ends January 31st at midnight EST.

Friday, January 22, 2021

What's in the mail

The Mothers by Genevieve Gannon from William Morrow (e-book via NetGalley)
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid from Ballantine (e-book via NetGalley)
Better Together by Christine Riccio from St. Martin's Press (e-book via NetGalley)
Just Like in the Movies by Heidi Rice from HarperCollins UK (e-book via NetGalley)
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo from Lola's Book Tours (won in a giveaway)
The People We Keep by Allison Larkin from Gallery (e-book via NetGalley)
Milk Fed by Melissa Broder from Scribner (e-book via NetGalley)

The Things We Leave Unfinished by Rebecca Yarros from Entangled Publishing (e-book via NetGalley)
Seven Perfect Things by Catherine Ryan Hyde from Lake Union (e-book via NetGalley)
Project Kaitlyn by Grayson Avery from Rachel's Random Resources (e-book via NetGalley)
All You Need is Love by Jessica Redland from Rachel's Random Resources (e-book via NetGalley)
Love for Beginners by Jill Shalvis from William Morrow (e-book via NetGalley)

A Girl Like You by Cari Scribner from Mindbuck Media (e-book)
The Secret Stealers by Jane Healey from Get Red PR (e-book via NetGalley)

Book Review: The Narrowboat Summer

By Cindy Roesel

Author, Anne Youngson continues to delight readers with stories about women’s friendships in her sophomore novel, THE NARROWBOAT SUMMER (Flatiron Books). It’s the story about three very different women who are brought together by what can only be called a serendipitous encounter. The thing that really tickled me about THE NARROWBOAT SUMMER was it’s about middle age women looking to begin the next chapter of their lives. Anastasia, Eve and Sally have already had careers and families and now it’s time to explore what they want to do, not what’s expected or has been traditionally done in the past.

Eve has just been fired from a job she’s had for many years and Sally has left a stale marriage she’s also had for many years. They are both walking along the towpath next to the river and hear a noise from one of the narrowboats.

“Was that human?”

After deliberating, they go on board to find a dog hollowing. Soon a woman named Anastasia arrives to find Sally and Eve on her boat and she’s not happy. But the three strike up a conversation about Noah, the dog and one thing leads to another. Anastasia needs to leave the boat for a medical treatment and at the same time, she needs someone to take the boat to a site which will take at least two months. Eve and Sally are intrigued, take ten days to think it over and soon they’re on a canal riverboat with absolutely no experience.

Life on the boat isn’t all fun and thrills. Eve and Sally settle into a routine, begin to know the canal community and eventually find themselves becoming different women. Their children come to visit, Sally’s husband, Duncan shows up thinking he can win her back, plus there are numerous quirky people who know the boat, Anastasia and Noah who pop in. There’s a lot to think about on a boat for a couple of months.

I love travel stories. The characters get to know themselves better and make changes to the way they’ve “always been.” The three women are so different and colorful, it’s not surprising for them to annoy or get prickly with the other. But there’s a lovely tenderness which comes through.

I didn’t know anything about the narrowboat community in England or about the history of living on canals. You can check out the book BARGING AROUND BRITAIN or the website to learn more. I think you’ll enjoy THE NARROWBOAT SUMMER.

Thanks to Flatiron for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Photo by Lisa Hill
Anne Youngson
worked for many years in senior management in the car industry before embarking on a creative career as a writer. She has supported many charities in governance roles, including Chair of the Writers in Prison Network, which provided residencies in prisons for writers. She lives in Oxfordshire and is married with two children and three grandchildren to date. Meet Me at the Museum, her debut, was short-listed for the Costa First Novel Award and has been published around the world.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Jennifer Probst is young at a book giveaway

Today we welcome Jennifer Probst to CLC. Her latest novel, Our Italian Summer, published last week. She's here today to talk about it and share some other fun information about herself. Thanks to Berkley, we have one e-book (via NetGalley) to give away!

Jennifer Probst is the New York Times bestselling author of the Billionaire Builders series, the Searching For . . . series, the Marriage to a Billionaire series, the Steele Brothers series, the Stay series, and the Sunshine Sisters series. Probst, along with her husband and two sons, calls New York’s Hudson Valley home. When she isn’t traveling to meet readers, she enjoys reading, watching “shameful reality television,” and visiting a local Hudson Valley animal shelter. 

Visit Jennifer online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest


Workaholic and single mother Francesca Ferrari is one step away from a nervous breakdown when her studious, straight-laced, 17-year-old daughter Allegra is caught with illicit drugs. Allegra is sick of being ignored by her uptight mother whose one true love is her work. And Francesca’s mother, Sophia, knows that they’re all in trouble. Sophia is concerned that her family is falling apart in front of her eyes, and she also can’t seem to shake the feeling that her health is failing, fast. Sophia declares that a summer in Italy might just be the heart-mending cure they all need to keep their family from ripping apart at the seams.

What comes next is an adventure of a lifetime as the three women embark on a journey they’ll never forget. Filled with funny family bonding moments (that may or may not include a tumble down the Spanish Steps), a gorgeous Italian backdrop, and more than a few moments of sparkling romantic chemistry, OUR ITALIAN SUMMER is a dazzling escape to Italy with surprises around every turn.

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?
One reader emailed me to thank me for keeping her company in a dark time in her life. She sat by her dying mother’s bedside reading my books and felt she had a friend with her. That gave me all the feels. It made me realize how important stories are in this world.
Which of the three lead characters in Our Italian Summer can you relate to the most?
All three of them are so different – Allegra is 18, Francesca in her forties, and Sophia is 70. I loved getting into each of the woman’s mindsets to really explore but I probably relate to Allegra the most because I remember how it was to be 18 and want your life to begin. How hard it is to balance family and school/friend relationships. How love feels so intense and passionate and painful. It was fun to go back to that age and allow myself to feel everything for the book.
If Our Italian Summer were made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
This is very difficult! Well, Meryl Streep for Sophia of course! How cool would that be! For Allegra I’d say Hailee Steinfeld  and for Francesca I’d say Rachel McAdams.
What TV series are you currently binge watching?
I just finished up The Boys on Prime which was so deliciously entertaining! Then I watched season three of Cobra Kai with my boys –teens—and it was a blast. Currently, I’m binging on what the rest of the world is: Bridgerton!
What is something you learned about yourself during the pandemic?
Having so much of the outside world shut down allowed me to realize I needed to work on my self-care. I’d gotten sloppy with food, not exercising or not doing anything for my mental health. I took the opportunity to make a positive change and began to exercise daily and do meditation. I ended up losing weight and gaining energy and peace of mind. In a way, the pandemic gave me a better outlook on what I needed to do to feel healthier and more vital in my work.
Did you make any resolutions that you hope to keep this year?
Yes, I want to build on all the work I did this past year and keep going. Mental, spiritual, and physical. Keep exercising, eating well and meditating. This has been the core. I also decided to write less books during the year and take more time in between projects to really dig into my creativity. I want quality to always rise over quantity for my own personal writing career and for me, I need a bit more time to create than many others.

Thanks to Jennifer for chatting with us and to Berkley for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

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Giveaway ends January 26th at midnight EST.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Book Review: My Way to You


Title: My Way to You

Series: Love in Everton, 7

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Trope: Small town, second chance

Free with Kindle Unlimited
Add to your TBR: Goodreads
#LoveInEverton #FabiolaFrancisco #MyWayToYou #LIVE  

Review by Sara Steven:

At fifteen, I knew I had found the girl I would one day marry.

At seventeen, I was forced to move across the country and leave her behind, breaking both of our hearts.

Now, I'm back in Everton and ready to live the life I always wanted. I only hope that after so much time, Faith is willing to give me a second chance.

She still takes my breath away, and I’m going to prove to her that things are different this time around. She has always been the one who got away, and nothing will stand in our way. I’ll make sure of it.

Until my family needs me, and I have to choose between them and the woman I love.  (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

I’m sad that this will be my last trip to Everton, but ending on the story of Easton and Faith had been the perfect way for Francisco to say goodbye.

Who doesn’t want a second chance at love, particularly when it involves a first love? That’s where Easton finds himself, when he finally has the opportunity to move back to Everton. Having been born and raised there before moving away to big city life when he was a teen, the hardest part for him in those days was parting ways with Faith, a girl who he felt he’d given his heart to. I really enjoyed the premise behind a long-lost love that hasn’t been seen in several years, suddenly reappearing. 

For Faith, that’s what it is for her; a long lost love suddenly reappearing out of the blue. It’s obvious that she has had a very hard time forgetting Easton, so much so that it has dictated her love life, or lack thereof. It seems most of her friends in Everton have somebody, and she’s often been the odd man out. Yet with Easton back, it’s hard not to have the old feelings she’d had back when they were teenagers, yet at the same time, she’s cautious. So much time has passed, not to mention that they are both adults now. Are they two entirely different people, and too different, to even consider making a go of things?

As with the rest of the Love in Everton crew and their own stories, we get to see struggles surface between Easton and Faith, particularly when it comes to Faith’s trust in Easton, and Easton’s need to protect his family, at all cost. So much so, it could be a detriment for him and for the life he wants to live in Everton and with Faith. I thought Francisco did a great job of showing those issues, in a way that felt honest and real, careful to show it in a way that makes sense and is fitting for both characters. And, this wouldn’t be a Francisco experience, if there weren't amazingly written steamy scenes sprinkled throughout. If readers have only scratched the surface with one or two books from this series, I highly recommend diving head first into all of them. And if you’ve never read one yet? You really should. All good things must come to an end, and I’ve enjoyed every single one of the Love in Everton books. So long, wonderful Everton!

Thanks to Bare Naked Words for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Check out the whole 'Love in Everton' series here.

Meet the Author

Fabiola Francisco loves the simplicity—and kick—of scotch on the rocks. She follows Hemingway’s philosophy—write drunk, edit sober. She writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance, dipping her pen into new adult and young adult. Her moods guide her writing, taking her anywhere from sassy and sexy romances to dark and emotion-filled love stories.

Writing has always been a part of her life, penning her own life struggles as a form of therapy through poetry. She still stays true to her first love, poems, while weaving longer stories with strong heroines and honest heroes. She aims to get readers thinking about life and love while experiencing her characters’ journeys.

She is continuously creating stories as she daydreams. Her other loves are country music, exploring the outdoors, and reading.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Suzanne Redfearn's worry-free a book giveaway

We're pleased to have Suzanne Redfearn back at CLC today. Her latest novel, Hadley and Grace, is publishing soon and she has TWO copies for some lucky readers!

Suzanne is the bestselling author of four novels: Hush Little Baby, No Ordinary Life, In An Instant, and Hadley & Grace.

Born and raised on the east coast, Suzanne moved to California when she was fifteen. She currently lives in Laguna Beach with her husband where they own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza & Beer.

In addition to being an author, Suzanne is an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. When not writing, Suzanne enjoys doing anything and everything with her family—skiing, golf, tennis, pickleball, hiking, board games, and reality TV. She is an avid baseball fan. Her team is the Angels. (Bio courtesy of Suzanne's website.)

Visit Suzanne online:

Needing to escape her abusive marriage, Hadley flees with her two kids, knowing it might be her only chance. A woman who can’t even kill a spider, Hadley soon finds herself pushed to the limits as she fights to protect her family.

Grace, new mother of baby Miles, desperately wants to put her rough past behind her for good, but she finds it impossible when her path crosses with Hadley’s, and her quest for a new start quickly spirals out of control and turns into a terrifying flight for survival.
Stronger together than apart, the two find their fates inextricably entwined, and as the danger closes in, each must decide how much she is willing to risk for the other.

A powerful story of self-discovery, Hadley and Grace is the heart-racing tale of two women facing insurmountable odds, racing to stay one step ahead of the trouble that is chasing them, and discovering new kinds of love and family along the way.
(Courtesy of Amazon.)

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?
I think whenever I hear one of my stories has moved someone in a meaningful way I am deeply affected. C.S. Lewis said, “We read to know we are not alone.” I think that is also the reason we write, to connect with people on a deeper level and share our experience.

Which character is more similar to you: Hadley or Grace?
On the surface, at this point in my life, I would appear to be much more like Hadley, but without question, I am much more like Grace. When I was young, I needed to make my way on grit and wiles. She might be the closest character to myself I’ve ever written. 

If Hadley and Grace were made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
Salma Hayek for Hadley. Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit star) for Grace. 

What is the last movie you saw that you would recommend?
My Octopus Teacher. Mesmerizing, fascinating, and spoke to the incredible shared spirit of man and animal. I will never eat octopus again!

What is a new year's resolution that you hope to keep this year?
I don’t really do resolutions, but I am very glad to be moving on from 2020 and find myself counting my blessings more often these days. A constant resolution I keep regardless of the moment is to not take myself too seriously. 

What is your theme song?
"Hakuna Matata" (from The Lion King

Thanks to Suzanne for visiting with us and for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

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Giveaway ends January 24th at midnight EST.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Book Review: The Perfect Guests

By Jami Denison

As a real estate agent working in one of the most competitive sellers’ markets in history, I’m well aware of the lengths people can go to acquire the house of their dreams. Luckily, I’ve never been in the situations faced by the characters in The Perfect Guests, British writer Emma Rous’s sophomore thriller. The piece of real estate here is Raven Hall, a majestic manor in the isolated East Anglian Fens area in eastern England. The pull of this home has obsessed its residents for generations.

There are three distinct timelines in the book: 1988’s Beth, a 14-year-old orphan who stays at Raven Hall to be a companion to the daughter of the house, 14-year-old Nina; 2019’s Sadie, a struggling actress who’s hired for a murder mystery dinner party at a Raven Hall going under refurbishment after a long-ago fire and family tragedy; and an unnamed woman stalking Raven Hall’s residents, vowing to return to the home where she was forced out. Each of these characters is mesmerizing on their own, and the reader eagerly devours the pages, anticipating how the three timelines will converge. Beth, however, is the emotional heart of the book, a bewildered teen rejected by her aunt after the car crash death of her parents and older brother, so vulnerable that she agrees to go along with the machinations of Nina’s parents. Her circumstances are so compelling that Sadie unfortunately seems shallow by comparison.  

The plotting and pacing of the book is fantastic, as Rous expertly weaves the three timelines together. As Sadie faces real mystery and danger during the pretend dinner party, Beth struggles to comprehend the reasons for Nina’s parents’ bizarre behavior. The third timeline is arguably less compelling; without a year associated with the action, the biggest puzzle is trying to figure out when these events are taking place in relation to the other characters’ lives.

I gobbled up the book in a few hours the day after Christmas, forgoing the movie I had planned to watch in favor of getting to the end. And while the ending was both fitting and satisfying, it was also a bit too coincidental and convoluted for my taste. After finishing it, I felt there were a few ways Rous could have streamlined the book to make the ending seem less like a soap opera. 

Still, it’s a fabulous read, and fans of Ruth Ware, Agatha Christie, and other British house mysteries will be enthralled. With all its coincidences, The Perfect Guests is a natural heir to Christie’s work, and I hope Rous will turn out to be as prolific as Christie was. 

Thanks to Berkley for the book in exchange for an honest review. 

More by Emma Rous:

Friday, January 15, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway: The Forever Girl

By Sara Steven

When Maze returns to Wildstone for the wedding of her estranged bff and the sister of her heart, it’s also a reunion of a once ragtag team of teenagers who had only each other until a tragedy tore them apart and scattered them wide.

Now as adults together again in the lake house, there are secrets and resentments mixed up in all the amazing childhood memories. Unexpectedly, they instantly fall back into their roles: Maze their reckless leader, Cat the den mother, Heather the beloved baby sister, and Walker, a man of mystery. 

Life has changed all four of them in immeasurable ways. Maze and Cat must decide if they can rebuild their friendship, and Maze discovers her long-held attraction to Walker hasn’t faded with the years but has only grown stronger. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

Out of the Wildstone series, The Forever Girl was my absolute favorite, hands down. And granted, it’s only my third time back to the small town, but I really couldn’t get enough of all of the special characters that made this book an absolute five-star experience.

I really love Maze. From the get go, there is no misreading who she is, an impetuous woman who used to go by the nickname, “Mayhem Maze.” So much of that is tied into her past and what she had to deal with for most of her childhood, and it has made it difficult for anyone to get close to her. The only people she allows in are the ones she had spent so much time with when she was a teen, and even that is debatable. It’s always been easier to remain at arm’s length, because there is less chance of getting hurt that way. She also carries around massive amounts of guilt that has eaten away at her over the years, making her blind to what is in front of her, and more importantly, who wants to be there for her.

Her support system, as mentioned in the synopsis, all have their own hurdles to overcome. Cat has potential relationship woes, while Heather hasn’t been forthcoming about immense changes that have occurred in her life since the last time the four of them had been together. Walker faces the same sort of past that Maze does, and while he’s more prone to accepting love from others, there is still a lot of baggage he carries around with him, past hurts that feel daunting. Walker is Maze’s Achilles heel, the one person she feels completely herself around, but at a cost. It made for an interesting dynamic. 

To shed some perspective on how much I loved The Forever Girl; I finished it within a twenty-four hour period. And I’m not prone to feeling overly emotional when I read books, yet there were certain moments that really got to me with this one, particularly when Maze comes face to face with one of her deepest regrets in life. That moment really had this reader all sorts of teary-eyed. This experience really had everything I look for in a good book. An amazingly flawed protagonist. Great characterization. Not to mention the friendships and sizzling hot moments that had the perfect build up and didn’t rush into anything. I was definitely a goner during my stay in Wildstone, totally and completely hooked!

Thanks to William Morrow for the book in exchange for an honest review. They have one copy for a lucky reader!

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

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Giveaway ends January 19th at midnight EST.

More by Jill Shalvis: