#AllAboutUs

An unforgettable and heart-stoppingly romantic story of love, loss and second chances, perfect for fans of One Day and Me Before You.

***

If you could turn back the clock, would you choose a different life?

Ben’s always loved the month of December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. And then his old friend Alice gets back in touch. Ben’s always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can’t help but wonder: what if he’d done things differently all those years ago?

He never imagines he might get to find out… but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.

Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?

Two loves. Two lives. One destiny…

This is an enchanting and modern re-telling of a Christmas Carol which I thoroughly enjoyed. It is the perfect seasonal romance. The book isn’t about Christmas so could easily be read at any time of year but, the majority of the events happen around Christmas, so it gives you that warm happy feeling to read it at that time of year.

I was annoyed by the main character to begin with, he was whinny and selfish but upon finishing the book you know that’s how he needed to be written for this plot to work. I also enjoyed this was written from the male perspective as it is keeping with the classic and so many romances are from the woman’s viewpoint.

It is beautiful story that shows us that our memories are completely subjective to the emotions we are feeling at the time and reminds us that we need to apricate what we have instead of taking it for granted.

I will be buying this for my friends to read in December.

Thank you @HQstories for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

#ThisGreen&PleasantLand

Everyone has a place they call home. But who gets to decide where you belong?

For years Bilal Hasham and his wife Mariam have lived contented, quiet lives in the sleepy rural village of Babbel’s End. Now all that is about to change.

On her deathbed, Bilal’s mother reaches for his hand. Instead of whispering her final prayers, she gives him a task: build a mosque in his country village. Mariam is horrified by Bilal’s plan. His friends and neighbours are unnerved. As outrage sweeps Babbel’s End, battle lines are drawn. His mother’s dying wish reveals deeper divisions in their village than Bilal had ever imagined. Soon Bilal is forced to choose between community and identity, between faith and friendship, between honouring his beloved mother’s last wish and preserving what is held dear in the place that he calls home. 

This is the story of Bilal, who mothers dying wish was for him to build a mosque. A once central and included member of the community, Bilal becomes ostrisized and the target or hate crimes by people he thought were his friends. Spurred on by his wife he becomes more determined to for-fill his mothers dream despite the negativity from the community.

This is a great story of a community that on the surface appears inclusive but actually only wants to be inclusive if it works out in the direction they have planned. This is a very clever story and once I wish didn’t ring true but after all I have seen this year I fear is truer than ever and it makes me so angry.

I did feel the first half was a little slow as it set the scene but Malik really knows how to write to get you emotionally invested so be prepared!

My favourite character was definitely Rukhsana, she warmed my heart throughout and I just wanted to give her a great big cuddle! I loved that the most unlikely of characters brought them all together.

Thank you to Compulsive Reads Blog Tours and Zaffre Books for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

Ayisha Malik is a writer and editor, living in South London. She holds a BA in English Literature and a First Class MA in Creative Writing. Her novels Sofia Khan is Not Obliged and The Other Half of Happiness, starring ‘the Muslim Bridget Jones’, were met with great critical acclaim, and Sofia Khan is Not Obliged was chosen as 2019’s Cityread book. Ayisha was a WHSmith Fresh Talent Pick, shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement Award and Marie Claire’s Future Shapers Awards. Ayisha is also the ghost writer for The Great British Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussain.

#OddBird

Simon Selwood is an academic expert on the monogamous sexual behaviour of birds, but hopeless at finding human love. Then he meets Kim, and at last something is more important to him than ornithology.

Kim doesn’t give a hoot about birds. And at first she isn’t very interested in Simon either. Relying on what he has gleaned from observing the opportunistic pied flycatcher and other species, plus the unorthodox advice of old friend Phil, Simon sets out on a mission to discover love for himself.

But will he make the right choice?

Odd Bird takes a light-hearted look at the battle of the sexes, drawing on the surprising parallels between the courtship behaviours of humans and birds.

This is the story of Simon who has only had one relationship in his life and when that comes to an end he starts to question his ability to find love. He then meets Kim and focus’s all his attention on her, confident that she is the one for him but what if his focus on Kim stops him seeing who would really be perfect for him?

Simon is a brilliant, likeable character and you just want to see a happy end for him. I liked the humour and loved his friendship with Phil and Penny but at times I do think that there was a little too much in-depth bird terminology/ descriptions.

This is definitely one for fans of the Rosie Project or any bird lover!

Thank you to @farragobooks and @leefarniefarns for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

#LoveSongsforSceptics

My brother’s getting married in a few weeks and asked for help picking a song for his first dance. I suggested Kiss’s ‘Love’s a Slap in the Face’.

It didn’t go down well.

When she was a teenager, Zoë Frixos fell in love with Simon Baxter, her best friend and the boy next door. But his family moved to America before she could tell him how she felt and, like a scratched record, she’s never quite moved on. Now, almost twenty years later, Simon is heading back to London, newly single and as charming as ever . . .
But as obstacles continue to get in her way – Simon’s perfect ex-girlfriend, her brother’s big(ish) fat(ish) Greek wedding, and an obnoxious publicist determined to run Zoë – Zoë begins to wonder whether, after all these years, she and Simon just aren’t meant to be.

What if, despite what all the songs and movies say, your first love isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be? What if, instead Zoë and Simon are forever destined to shuffle around their feelings for each other, never quite getting the steps right . . .

Love Songs for Sceptics is perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lucy Vine and Lindsey Kelk.


Zoe is is the editor of a music magazine which is heading for failure unless she can pull off an interview with her musical icon, Marcie Tyler, who hasn’t spoken to the press in ten years. Add to that the reintroduction of Simon, her life long crush and an annoying publicist and you have a great, upbeat read revolving around the music world.⁠



This book had an unexpected enemies to lovers trope which I absolutely love and definitely made this book for me (that and that the fact that the chapters are all song titles!!) Definitely one for the feel-good fiction fans out there!⁠

Thank you to @randomttours and @simonschusteruk for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

Christina Pishiris was born in London to Greek Cypriot parents, who used to bribe her to go to family weddings by promising that George Michael might be there. To deal with the inevitable disappointment, she began scribbling stories on napkins and has been writing ever since. She started her career as a journalist, specialising in the TV industry, before going freelance. Since meeting her film-maker husband she’s also
moved into production, working on music documentaries.

Her hobbies include compiling cheesy 80s playlists, coveting the neighbour’s cat and writing protest letters to Guerlain after they discontinued her favourite perfume.

#TheHighMoments

New Year’s Day is the ultimate cliché for Scarlett:

hangover, check

feeling weepy, check

broken sense of self, check check check

Jobless and stuck living at home with an academic mother who has no time for pep-talks, the one saving grace for Scarlett is that her friend, Billie, still works at the pub down the road. But even the pub is losing its appeal. Desperate to do something, she moves to London with no plan, no money and nowhere to stay. Unsurprisingly, she finds herself crashing on her ex-boyfriend’s sofa with all of her terrible life choices for company.

It’s after Scarlett starts interning at a modelling agency that she takes her first step to becoming something – but it’s also her first step to becoming something else. Each terrible decision she makes leads to another and her life begins to spiral. But people are starting to know her; she’s starting to become someone. And surely it’s better to be someone – even if it’s someone you hate?

With a vein of dark humour at its core, The High Moments offers an astute, often stark look at the fashion industry and the issues you can face as a woman in your twenties – fans of Girls and Emma Jane Unsworth’s Animals will love this.

This is the story of Scarlett who has finished Uni and is jobless and back in a hometown that she hates. She dreams of being a fashion designer even though she hasn’t studied it at University and has only ever made one dress for her A Level Art. After another argument with her Mum she sets off to London and by some miracle lands herself a job at a model agency. It is the story of what she will do to get ahead and be liked and popular on social media.

This book is a read for a Summer afternoon in the garden or to take to a beach. I didn’t like the main character Scarlett at all, she wasn’t a nice person. She wasn’t a good friend, she wasn’t a good daughter and she used people in a terrible manner. I have a feeling that we are supposed to empathise with her slightly but I just didn’t. What it did show was the pressure of life in the modern world for young impressionable women who regard popularity as validation of who they are and where followers are more important than people. Of course the main character realises the error of her ways and takes steps to transform her life so there is a positive message in the end.

Thank you to @simonschusteruk & @randomttours for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

Sara-Ella Ozbek is a London-bred author of South African and Turkish descent. After graduating from the University of Exeter with a BA in English Literature, she interned at Vogue magazine and subsequently fell into a job at a modelling agency.

After six exciting, if somewhat draining, years as an agent, she left to pursue a career in writing. She attended the New York Film Academy screenwriting programme then went to Los Angeles where she joined the hustle of the screenwriters. Out of the frustration and misery came her first novel, The High Moments.

Aside from the novel, she has written non-fiction for titles including Because Magazine, Suitcase, Tatler, Drugstore Culture, Voyage D’Etudes and Soho House Notes.

#CityOfSpies

The stunning debut from the new name to watch in espionage thrillers. For fans of Charlotte Philby, and The Bletchley Circle, this is perfect Sunday night drama. 

LISBON, 1943.

When her cover is blown, SOE agent Elisabeth de Mornay flees Paris. Pursued by the Gestapo, she makes her way to neutral Lisbon, where Europe’s elite rub shoulders with diplomats, businessmen, smugglers, and spies. There she receives new orders – and a new identity.

Posing as wealthy French widow Solange Verin, Elisabeth must infiltrate a German espionage ring targeting Allied ships, before more British servicemen are killed.

The closer Elisabeth comes to discovering the truth, the greater the risk grows. With a German officer watching her every step, it will take all of Elisabeth’s resourcefulness and determination to complete her mission.

But in a city where no one is who they claim to be, who can she trust?

City of Spies is a spy thriller that had me hooked from page one. The story starts in France with our main character Elizabeth De Moray who is a trained SOE (Special Operations Executive) SOE agents purpose was to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe against the Axis powers, and to aid local resistance movements during the second World War.

Unfortunately, Elizabeth’s cover is blown, and she must leave Paris and the first part of the book follows her across France as she endeavours to contact London to receive new orders. When she does receive help, she is moved to Lisbon to start anew undercover assignment as Solange Verin, a wealthy French Widow mixing with high society to Spy on the Germans.

I actually had no idea that Portugal was neutral in the WW2 and to find out that there was a country where in the Capital City the British Embassy was across from the German Embassy and citizens of these countries mixed socially was a complete eye opener and had me reaching for google to read all about it. I enjoyed learning something new.

I very much liked that the main character was a strong and independent, intelligent woman who could very much hold her own against the male characters. Normally when a female lead shows these characteristics she is shown as a hard-facedball breaker, but I did not feel Elisabeth was. I would have liked her past to have been a explained in a bit more detail as we find out that she was shunned by her family for a bad marriage but we didn’t find out why the marriage was unacceptable. Also references to her family go unexplained but I believe this is done deliberately so it can be explored in future novels. This book had the terror of being in occupied France and trying to escape the Germans to the glamour of the 1940’s jet set in Lisbon with all the underlying twists and turns of espionage. Mara Timon sets the scene of both beautifully.

I was really enjoying the book and even before I had finished it was recommending it to people that is right up until the last page. I was disappointed that it just finished. Literally just stopped. I understand that this is so a follow up book can be written but I would have liked more of this book to be wrapped up and I was left feeling a little bit conned.

I would still recommend the book and will look out for the next instalment. It was cleverly written and very well researched and opened a chapter of WW2 that I knew nothing about.

Thank you to zaffrebooks and compulsivereads for my spot on the blog tour!

#LongHand

Malcolm George Galbraith is a large, somewhat clumsy, Scotsman. He’s being forced to leave the woman he loves behind and needs to explain why.

So he leaves her a handwritten note on the kitchen table (well, more a 300-page letter than a note). In it, Malcolm decides to start from the beginning and tell the whole story of his long life, something he’s never dared do before.

Because Malcolm isn’t what he seems: he’s had other names and lived in other places. A lot of other places. As it gathers pace, Malcolm’s story combines tragedy, comedy, mystery, a touch of leprosy, several murders, a massacre, a ritual sacrifice, an insane tyrant, two great romances, a landslide, a fire, and a talking fish.

First of all lets start with what an amazing achievement Andy Hamilton has made by is handwriting every page of this book in neat italics in a bid to save handwriting, It really added to my reading experience and was definitely worth the 43 pens it took him to do!

On to the story line, I have to say it was not at all what I was expecting at all but I was pleasantly surprised at the story that unfolded. From this synopsis I expected this to be a modern day murder mystery type trail but it was actually the story of Heracles, written in first person, as a goodbye/explanation letter to his wife. Had I been up on my historical references. like my friend Jes, then apparently its very obvious as each of the events in the synopsis denote an famous story about Heracles!

This was a humours look into the life of a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus, know for his strength and his numerous far-ranging adventures. I really liked the aspect of him writing this to his wife as you get little apologies and reasoning’s for his behaviour through out and particularly enjoyed the ‘nearest English equivalent translations’, my favourite being ‘penis-harbour’.

Overall I think this is a fun spin on the antics of Heracles and will hopefully encourage people to learn more and re-invoke the love of handwriting!

Thank you to @unbounders & @randomttours for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

Andy Hamilton is a comedy writer, performer and director. He regularly appears on the BBC TV panel shows Have I Got News for You and on Radio 4’s News Quiz and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. His television writing credits include Outnumbered, Drop the Dead Donkey, Not the Nine O’Clock News, Trevor’s World of Sport, Ballot Monkeys, Power Monkeys and many others. He also cocreated the movie What We Did On Our Holiday. For twenty years he has played Satan in the Radio 4 comedy Old Harry’s Game, which he also writes.

#TheLostLoveSong

Arie and Diana were destined to be together.

Arie falls for Diana in a heartbeat. Their love creates a life for them, a marriage and a home. Pianist Diana wants to capture this in a song for Arie.

But that’s not where the story ends…

After Diana debuts their song to a room full of strangers, tragedy strikes and Arie never gets to hear it.

There’s still a verse to come.

Diana’s melody lives beyond her and the lost love song begins to find its way back home. Can it help Arie to find new hope, and a new love?

The story starts out with the tragic loss of a famous pianist before her  fiancé hears the end of the long song she has written for him. We then meet Bene and his daughter, Beatrix. Finally we are introduced to Evie who has spent years travelling and never managed to find a place to settle.

This story follows three seemingly unconnected lives to culminate in a beautiful ballad to how music can bring people together. I absolutely adored how the characters lives intersected through out and the constant base line of music and poetry. I know that this gets said a lot about books but this one truly is lyrical and I encourage you to pick up a copy and see for yourself!

Thank you to @RandomTTours and @TransworldBooks for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

Head over to my Twitter to be in a chance of winning your own copy of this stunning book!

Minnie Darke lives in Hobart, Tasmania with her husband and three children. Her first novel Star-crossed has now been sold to over 30 territories across the world, and is about to be made into a six-part limited TV series.

Why not check out some of the other bloggers thoughts on the tour…

#TheBeautyOfYourFace

Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter―radicalized by the online alt-right―attacks the school.

As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother’s dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father’s oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam.

The Beauty of Your Face is a profound and poignant exploration of one woman’s life in a nation at odds with its ideals.

This book tells two stories, the first being the ruthless shooting in a school and the second tells the struggles of a Palestinian American Girl as she grows up. The main focus of the book is on Afaf, her life from childhood to what lead her to be in the school where the shooting is taking place with the shooting as almost a short story woven through.

I started this on Sunday morning and finished it the same day, I just couldn’t put it down! Mustafah’s effortlessly brings the characters to life and her writing is just remarkable. It touches on so many important topics and handles them all with grace and dignity that I was just blown away.

It was fascinating to have such a deep look into Afaf’s life and the prejudices she face from both her own community and the wider community.

Head over to my Twitter to be in with a chance of winning your own copy!https://twitter.com/bookleap/status/1293064964559831045?s=21

Thank you to @Legend_Press and @SaharMustafah for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.

#DearEmmieBlue

Emmie Blue has a secret…

A long time ago, Emmie Blue released a red balloon with a secret message hidden inside – and against all odds, across hundreds of miles of ocean, it was found on a beach in France by a boy called Lucas.

Fourteen years later, on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, Emmie hopes that Lucas is finally about to kiss her. She never expected him to announce that he was marrying someone else!

Suddenly Emmie’s dreams are shattered and the one person in her life she can rely on is slipping through her fingers. But what if Lucas isn’t her forever? What if her love story is only just beginning…

Emmie is in love with her best friend but he announces he is marrying someone else. We follow Emmie as she struggles with being a good friend whilst harbouring what she believes are feeling for her best friend. I had my suspicions of what was going on at about 2/3 of the way through and it still felt like an emotional sucker punch when I got to the end!

I have all the love for this book! Do you ever scroll through Netflix find what you think is a cheesy rom-com and then absolutely fall in love with it? That is what happened to me with this book, I didn’t think it was going to be cheesy, but I did think it was going to be a typical love story but was so pleasantly surprised at what lay between the pages. It had friendship, heartache, music and yet also touched on some very serious issues and how they can have a huge impact on a person’s life.

After finishing this I knew  I need more Lia Louis in my life so went straight on to somewhere close to happy and now I NEED book three (no pressure Lia 🤣)

This is a perfect summer romance that follows in the footsteps of great books like the Flatshare and Beach Read.

Thank you to @TrapezeBooks @orionbooks @alexxlayt and @LisforLia for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.





Lia Louis is a writer from Hertfordshire, where she lives with her partner and three children. She has written two novels to date – Somewhere Close to Happy and Dear Emmie Blue – and her work has been translated into 11 languages. In 2015, she won ELLE magazine’s annual talent competition with her contemporary love letter, #RelationshipGoals. Lia can be found tweeting at @LisforLia.