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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
Jessica Bradley has it all: the perfect boyfriend; influential healthy-eating blog; successful PR company and wonderful daughter, Anna. Or at least that is what her thousands of followers believe.
The truth is, her boyfriend just broke up with her in four words on a post-it; her zest for healthy-eating has all but disappeared; her PR success is all reliant on her now not-so-honest online-life and she just got caught eating her daughter’s Coco-Pops.
So as they say: fake it ’til you make it. A few little white lies and phoney smiling selfies and Jess can keep up appearances. But when her real-life starts to spiral out of control how can Jess tell the truth from the lies? And will she be able to seize real happiness when it is right in front of her?
Published by Orion, 28th May 2020, 384 Pages
Jess is trying to do it all whilst promoting her picture perfect life to the world via her blog and Instagram, only it’s all fake. Everything that built her following, like workouts and healthy eating, have fallen at the wayside and Dave, whose abs gain her more likes than anything else she posts, has left her. Yet determined not to let anyone see what’s happening she continues to post perfect life pictures and tweets and builds up a web of lies, each leading to disastrously funny consequences.
This is an easy, light-hearted, modern read that had me laughing out loud. I like the use of different medias such as tweets, emails and newspaper articles and thought that the use of social media through out was written really well. As someone who blogs and uses Instagram/twitter I found a lot of it very relatable, we have all thought about how many followers we have or how many likes and I pretty sure we have all made a coffee specifically for use in a photo…
My only qualm with the book is that she didn’t seem to care about her daughter at all, the author wrote that she cared but it wasn’t believable as she barely spoke to her through out the whole book!
Thanks to @alexxlayt at @orionbooks for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.
**Listed Today**: Fun and friendly professional just arrived from London seeks room in central location, double bed preferred, ex-boyfriend optional extra.
Armed with a super-sized backpack full of optimism, Jess sets off in search of sun, sea and a much-needed new beginning.
Things don’t get off to a good start.
Instead of sunshine, she’s met with torrential rain. Her job prospects are as dismal as the weather and that friend-of-a-friend she was meant to stay with has fallen through. Just as Jess is homeless, jobless and wishing she’d gone for the waterproof mascara, she runs into the last person she expected to see. Sam. The ex she never got over. Jess always believed that one day fate would bring them back together. Now he’s here, more gorgeous than ever.
Before she knows it, Jess is accepting Sam’s offer to stay in his spare room. But while she may have been less than truthful about the mess she’s in, there is also one rather important thing Sam has neglected to mention.
Suddenly Jess isn’t just living with her ex, but with his new girlfriend too. All of that baggage she thought she left behind may have caught up with her…
A touching, funny and uplifting look at how finding and losing love can lead you to discover yourself along the way. Fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Sophie Kinsella and classic rom coms like My Best Friend’s Wedding will love Elizabeth Neep’s wit and warmth.
Hair soaked, mascara-stained, broken umbrella clutched in my hand – this was Sydney. Sydney. It wasn’t supposed to rain. Where was my golden tan? Where was my I’m-not-a-tourist-I-actually-live-here glow? Where was my boundless energy and newfound talent for volleyball? I’d been holding it together, pinning on a smile, but it was time to call a spade a flipping spade. So far, Sydney was crap.
Since the second I had hopped off the plane it had been non-stop rain, relentless rudeness and now this. Kicked out of my ‘you can stay for three months until you get settled’ accommodation onto the rainy streets of Coogee with nothing but my two-tonne rucksack, a broken umbrella and a deep suspicion that I was still saying Coogee wrong. Coo-geeeee? Cudgey? Cude-I care any less?
Trudging round Woolworths (a bog-standard supermarket in Sydney, not a pick-and-mix or tiny Coke can in sight), I left puddles behind me as I went. I didn’t even need anything. I was just trying to get dry. In fact, I did need something. I needed a lot of things. I needed sunshine, a job, rent money and somewhere to stay until I could get the above figured out. I turned down the next aisle. No, no rent-free accommodation down this one. Did I really leave my steady life in England for this? This was meant to be my do-over. My chance to rewrite a happily ever after that had somehow gone so wrong – one that everyone else seemed to be getting right. Even my forever-young best friend had drifted into adulthood, buying a two-bedroom house with her partner. Zoe would have a fit if she knew my ‘sure thing’ accommodation was about as sure as everything else in my life right now. I turned down the next aisle. Wine. Well, it couldn’t hurt, right? I grabbed the first bottle of red I saw, then realised it was twenty-six dollars and went to put it back quicker than you could say—
I froze, hand refusing to release the red. It couldn’t be. No one knew me here. That was the point in coming, after all. A fresh start, a fresh chance to salvage my twenties − before they slid into a decade demanding more milestones than I’d manage to reach.
‘Jess? Is that you?’
It just couldn’t be. There was no way. But then, Zoe had made me delete him, unfollow him, block him, erase him years ago, severing the ties of our ‘connection’ even though by then we hadn’t spoken in weeks. I had put up a fight at first, hooked to my digital self-harm, reminding every inch of me what we used to be. Then I had surrendered, bruised by her final blow: no amount of watching his stories is going to change yours…
‘Jess?’ the all-too familiar voice rang out again. It wasn’t. It couldn’t be. But in my down and out state, I could have sworn the voice sounded suspiciously like my…
Ever so slowly I unclutched the bottle. Even more slowly I turned. And finally came face to face with someone I had spent the last three years trying to forget. Sam. My ex-boyfriend.
‘Jess? What the…’ The words spilled from his stubble-framed mouth, rough hands reaching to rub his disbelieving eyes. I stared on, frozen to the spot. I had been ready to give someone – anyone – a mouthful but had all of a sudden lost the ability to speak. Against a backdrop of white wine, Sam’s tanned figure looked like a mirage.
‘What are you…’ His second sentence trailed off like his first. I shook my head, still and silent, my heart making enough noise for both of us. His wide eyes met mine as he began to shake his head too, no doubt hoping he’d wake up soon. If there were other people around, I didn’t notice them. Sam demanded my full attention. I watched his face spread into a smile as he looked me up and down – and not in a good way, not like the first time all those years ago. Heart beating, hands sweating, I said nothing. I held my breath. Maybe if I held it for long enough I’d die right here, right now. Why was he here? In Sydney? On the other side of the world? And why was I here – mascara-stained with the remains of a crappy umbrella that looked like a flipping stick?
‘Jess, you’re here.’ He reached a hand further towards me, as if wanting to touch me to see that I was real. I flinched, torn between wanting to run and hide or shelter in the warmth of his arms. It was Sam. Sam.
‘I am,’ I confirmed, not knowing whether I was convincing him or me. It wouldn’t be the first time I’d dreamt of such a run-in, but never once here, never once like this. Of all the places I’d imagined him being, all the rooms I’d scanned hoping, dreading, that he’d be in them, all the times I almost risked finding him again, friending him again, I could never have imagined this, here, now. My eyes darted to his basket – avocados, chia seeds, blueberries: the ingredients of a grown-up – to the shelves, stacked with unfamiliar brands, trying to make sense of our surroundings. Sam cleared his throat and asked the one question I’d been trying not to ask myself ever since I’d arrived in Australia: ‘Why?’
For a fresh start, for a chance to…
For me? his eyes seemed to ask. No, Sam, not for you. It’s not all about you.
He hadn’t changed a bit, not really. Older, more refined, getting better with age. And lighter somehow – whilst I felt the weight of my rucksack rest heavy on my back.
‘For work?’ he asked with momentary confusion as he looked from my rucksack to my sopping hair and down to my lips, lingering on the latter just a little too long.
No, I thought as my eyes started to well with tears. Stop it, eyes, stop it. I had to keep it together. I could just tell him the truth. That I’d come to Sydney to escape the nothingness and noise of London only to find Australia was the same. Just this time with tans and accents.
His free hand reached towards me for a second time, still wanting to hold me together after all these years. He looked so composed, sorted. For once, it would be nice for him to see me the same. In just a moment we’d both move on again and Sam would never need to know I needed a job, rent money…
‘You look like you need a drink,’ he said before I could say anything. Did I? Did I really? What gave him that bloody impression? The fact I had just been clutching a bottle of red for dear life? Or that I had near enough cried when I saw the price? Perhaps it was the way my pasty white legs were caving under the strain of a backpack bigger than both of us put together. I looked like I needed a drink? This one was a genius.
‘Hmmm,’ I said as my mind berated me for even considering it. This was my blank slate, my do-over. But at the risk of coming across like a crazy ex-girlfriend totally ‘not cool’ with bumping into her drop-dead ex for the first time in forever in the last place either one of us would expect…
I forced a smile and said, ‘That would be nice.’ For a moment Sam looked stunned; was he just asking to be polite? Like that’s just what grown-up ex-boyfriends should do. If only I knew how grown-up ex-girlfriends should act in return. I studied his face as he smiled again. I guess he was just thrown by this whole scenario, though judging from his smile, it didn’t seem like a totally unwelcome surprise.
Elizabeth Neep was born in 1990 in Derbyshire and now lives in London Bridge. After studying Law at the University of Nottingham and the University of New South Wales, she worked in magazine journalism, most noticeably writing for Dazed and Confused and PETRIe. Elizabeth now works as a non-fiction Senior Commissioning Editor and writes and paints in her spare time. https://www.elizabethneep.com/ https://www.instagram.com/elizabeth_neep/?hl=en @elizabeth_neep
Written in his own words, and guided by a man who collects glasses in a local pub, this is the story of Herod ‘Rod’ Pinkney’s search for Daisy Lamprich, a young woman he first sees on a decade-old episode of the Judge Judy Show, and who he now intends to marry.
When Daisy is located in the coastal city of Huntington Beach, California, he travels there with his good friend and next-door neighbour, Donald, a man who once fought in the tunnels of Cu Chi during the Vietnam War and who now spends most of his time in Herod’s basement.
Herod is confident that the outcome will be favourable, but there’s a problem… Will the course of true love ever run smoothly for this unlikely hero?
A funny and touching story of an improbable and heart-warming quest to find true love, Daisy is perfect for fans of The Rosie Project and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Published by No Exit Press on 23 April 2020, 304 pages
This is the story of Herod, his life and the moments up to when he meets Daisy. Herod, or Rod as he prefers to be called hasn’t had the most loving of childhoods but he is now a very wealthy man who doesn’t need to work and so the plot is allowed to go anywhere it wants without the restraints of the normal, everyday affairs.
This book was fun, quick and easy to read, it reminded me of The Hundred Year Old Man combined with The Rosie Project, it had me laughing out loud. Rod, the main character was a jovial, eccentric character who I warmed to immediately and the supporting characters where well developed and added an extra touch to the story. I really enjoyed the little twist at the end that I didn’t see coming!
Thanks to @annecater and @noexitpress for my #gifted copy
J P HENDERSON is the author of three previous novels including Last Bus to Coffeeville, which was selected for World Book Night and longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award. By nature an internationalist, he lives in a cul-de-sac in West Yorkshire for practical reasons.
The drinks are flowing. The music is playing. But the party can’t last.
With the Blitz over and London reeling from war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for help. Fresh off the Empire Windrush, he’s taken a tiny room in south London lodgings, and has fallen in love with the girl next door.
Touring Soho’s music halls by night, pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home – and it’s alive with possibility. Until, one morning, he makes a terrible discovery.
As the local community rallies, fingers of blame are pointed at those who had recently been welcomed with open arms. And, before long, the newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart.
Published by on the Harper Collins on the 12th March 2020, 400 pages, approx 14 Hours
Laurie has come over to England from Jamaica thinking he would be able to make his fortune only to find that the county that claimed to be so desperate for workers, in fact, only wanted white men. Evie, who has been the only person of colour in her area for as long as she can remember, is excited by the arrival of windrush as ‘she was no longer the odd one out’. The two meet and fall in love but as always things are never straight forward…
I found this utterly captivating, moving and thought provoking. In essence it is a post war murder mystery with a romantic element. The setting was described in such vivid detail that I could really picture it and I found the dual perspective engaging. Some parts were hard to listen to as it was upsetting think of how badly people were treated when they had just come here in the hope of making a better life for themselves.
The audio was brilliantly done and I would listen to more books narrated by Theo Solomon, Karise Yansen and there was beautiful jazz music played between each chapter which really added to the time.
This author is definitely one to watch and one I will be adding to my auto-buy list.
Thanks to @LouRHare, @Joe_thomas25 and @HQStories
Louise Hare is a London-based writer and has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck University of London. Originally from Warrington, the capital is the inspiration for much of her work, including this lovely city, which began after a trip to the deep level shelter below Clapham Common.
For fans of THE TIME TRAVELLER’S WIFE, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND and HOW TO STOP TIME, meet Oona: every year, at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, she wakes up in a different year of her life, never knowing how old she’ll be on the outside…
What would you do if you woke up thirty years older than you were yesterday?
Brooklyn, 1982. Oona Lockhart and her boyfriend are about to ring in the New Year and Oona’s 19th birthday. But seconds after the New Year begins, Oona is torn from her life and everyone she loves, finding herself in her fifty-one-year-old body thirty-three years into the future. The life she had is gone, and all she is a letter from herself from the previous year to guide her.
Each year on the stroke of midnight she finds herself resurfacing in a different year of her own adulthood. Still a young woman on the inside, but ever changing on the outside, who will she be next year? Wealthy philanthropist? Club kid? World traveller? Wife to a man she’s never met?
The Rearranged Life of Oona Lockhart is an uplifting joyride through an ever-changing world that shows us what it means to accept your fate and truly live in the moment.
Praise for Margarita Montimore
‘A fascinating, ambitious Rubix Cube of a novel. This clever time-jumping debut may be a wild ride through pop culture but is ultimately a tender coming of age. Great book club read!’ – Georgia Clark, author of The Bucket List
‘A delightfully freewheeling romp’ Booklist (starred review)
Modern, emotional, funny, ferocious, and spun with enough light and magic to fire up the Vegas strip . . . lands like a meteor.’ – Adriana Trigiani, author Tony’s Wife
The premise of this book is a young woman who every year at the stroke of midnight on December 31st, wakes up into a different year of her life. She can wake up in the future or the past and has to live her life for that year without any choice. The first time she jumps she goes from her 19 year old body to her 51 year old body but mentally she is only 20 and does not have any recollection of the skipped years.
I really enjoyed seeing the flip between years, the way her opinion changed as she got older and the and the cruel twists of fate that sneak up on you like nasty ninjas.
I thought it was written really well and it had helpful pages between chapters that had the year she had skipped to with her physical age/mental age to help you keep track. There is also a clever use of music throughout the book to help the reader really throw back to the time she is describing and adds a nostalgic element.
I thought this book was brilliant, I haven’t read many time travel books but I feel like now I might and if Montimore wants to right a sequel where we see more of Oona’s jumps I would be all over that!!
Thanks to @Tr4cyF3nt0n and @orionbooks
MARGARITA MONTIMORE has a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. She worked for over a decade in publishing and social media before deciding to focus on the writing dream full-time. She has blogged for Marvel, Google, Quirk Books, and XOJane.com. When not writing, she freelances as a book coach and editor. She grew up in Brooklyn but currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and their dog.