Okay, I’m going to hold my hands up here and admit that this is the first historical romance that I’ve read, or remember reading, I should say. I read that many Mills & Boon books when I was growing up, that it’s possible a few could have slipped in!
I spent a while reading psychological thrillers and I really enjoy that genre. Why am I mentioning this, I hear you ask? Well, THIS book right here is a historical romance and a thriller! Who’d have thunk it! It is brilliant!
I listened to this book on Audible for every spare second of my life over the past few weeks, and for the love of all that is holy I truly wished everyone in my house whole just STFU and I would have raced through it much quicker.
The story is set in Regency London where Aria Whitney has been sent to reside with her pregnant step-mother, much to her annoyance. Aria spent her youth travelling with her treasure hunting father, Gideon, following the tragic death of her mother. But when her father’s partner, John, arrives back in London half dead after something went terribly wrong Aria is determined to discover what has become of him.
The story unfolds that Gideon went missing after a discovery of a lifetime in Egypt, the finding of Cleopatra’s jewellery. Aria has a list of suspects within high-society and begins mingling in those circles in the hope of finding her father. She is wild and unruly, finding it difficult to fit in, also she is branded a ‘title hunter’ by the other women.
During her investigation, one of her suspects is Adam Willoughby, the Earl of Merewood. He’s handsome, rich and dominant. The dynamic between Aria and Adam is breathtaking!
I won’t spoil anything for you, but lets just say something goes terribly wrong, okay, lots of things go terribly wrong that will have you turning pages into the wee small hours of the night or, in my case, gaging your family and tying their arms behind their back! This historical romance is packed with mystery, excitement, romance, action and even mental health issues. I’m really not sure what more you could want from a book?
I listened to both of these books from audible. Unfortunately, I read them out of order, which is part of the reason I’m doing a joint review of both titles because the thing is, I don’t have too much different to say about either of them! This may instantly put you off, however if you’re a mother please read on!
Why Mummy Drinks is the first in the series. Each title begins with the absolute optimism and determination every parent starts the month of September with. The joy of seeing your children embark on another school year sends each mother into a fit of renewed hope that the year ahead will provide fruit from your super organisation skills, all of their homework will be completed and handed in on time, they will skip through the school gates, on time of course, and be delighted to be educated. Your precious little moppets will rise each morning with an enthusiasm matching your own and everything will be just perfect this year…I swear, it will be nothing like the disaster of last year! Well, if you’re anything like me you will fail miserably in the first week, though it’s not for lack of trying!
Ellen works part time, in what appears to be a ‘money for old rope’ job. This comes with the perk of being able to work on an idea she has for an app game based on her feelings of inferiority in the playground and the ‘perfect mummies.’ Again, something I can totally relate to. I’ve never been a joiner and I can’t think of anything less I’d rather do than attend a PTA meeting or ‘coffee morning.’ I’d go as far as to proffer that I’d enjoy dousing myself with petrol before setting myself alight much more!
Ellen keeps her ideas quiet from her husband and goes ahead, builds and publishes her app. Of course she experiences ups and downs of self doubt and hope. Alas, she makes a mint and I was cheering her on! That’s not really a spoiler, because the reader suspects it anyway, I guess.
As with the second title, the book ends as the school year ends. Poor Ellen has had to put up with a lot throughout the book, but in my eyes she handles it in a hilarious way that had me in stitches throughout.
The second book of the series sees Ellen, having been made redundant apply for a full-time job, much to her husbands dismay and discouragement. Simon displays an attitude toward his children which I have heard escape the mouths of many women’s strangled cries of injustice; ‘It’s not babysitting! They’re your children, too!’ For those of you that do not possess a partner that sees the woman as being responsible for childcare, maybe it’s just the people I know and we have a predilection for arseholes! Oh, and the cooking and cleaning despite the fact you both work! I still think it’s hilarious how Ellen’s irksome husband, Simon, thinks lasagne is such an easy meal to prepare!
Anyhow, despite a second interview over the telephone taking place with the precious little moppets almost killing each other outside the bedroom door because, Simon who was meant to ensure their silence during the meeting, had a touch of ‘man flu’ and couldn’t possibly cope alone for ten minutes!
Ellen arrives at the swanky office block and quickly catches on to the fact that one of her colleagues is a mother and faces constant criticism for having time off. Although, this is played out with wit and hilarity it touches a deep rooted nerve with me. Her colleagues assume that Ellen is single and childless, she decides not to correct them. She manages perfectly with school commitments, such as the many dratted plays and school engagements bestowed unkindly on us working mothers, with many doctors and dentist appointments. She grows more and more of a guilty conscience for her colleague, who frankly works her arse off in order to get time off to attend such engagements and meets anger and disappointment from her when the truth finally surfaces. This scenario is delivered with such scathing accuracy. Bravo, Ms Sims!
Obviously, there’s plenty more story line covering Ellen’s antics as well!
Overall, what I must say about this series is that it resonated with me in so many different ways. The comical aspect of serious situations and stumbling blindly through motherhood felt effortlessly lighthearted. I can’t thank Gill Sims enough for her offerings!
I award FIVE easily given stars to both of these books!
Both books can be found on Gill Sims Amazon author page, she also has just released another in the series! Both links will open in a new page:
Katie’s back and she’s SEXIER than ever with her gorgeous new cover 🙂
She’s available for pre-order on Amazon the pre-order price of 99p/99c, so don’t delay! Keep reading and I’ll give five lucky readers the chance to get a e-book kindle copy a day before the release for FREE! 🙂
Katie is an Iraq war widow and single mother to Jessica. Relationships were the last thing on her mind when she met up and coming rock star, Evan Waters on the London underground. But, Evan refuses to give up his pursuit.
Evan isn’t the kind of guy that a gal just walks away from though and she finally gives into his advances. Katie, eight years his senior, isn’t a stranger to heartbreak and makes a promise to herself not to hold him back after all, Evan is headed in a life direction that’s beyond even his wildest dreams.
Will Katie stick to her word and let him go when the time is right?
Iraq war widow Katie Simmons hasn’t considered giving love another chance since the devastating loss of her husband. She’s happy sharing her love with her six-year-old daughter, Jessica. What more could she want from life?
Evan Waters is headed for the big time. He’s plowing his time, money and energy into recording Spires’ debut album. Following on in his British rock legend father’s footsteps, he has big shoes to fill, a mission made more difficult by his alcoholic mother.
When Katie and Evan meet on the London Underground, she denies his advances. Evan must find a way to demolish the walls she’s built around her heart. But even if he’s successful, will he be able to provide her with the commitment she deserves and still fulfill his ambitions?
Simply share this blog post on Facebook and/or Twitter for your chance to WIN a copy of Kissing Katie. Then please comment on the blog with a link or screen shot of your post, if you’re the shy type feel free to head to my Facebook page and send me a message :)! (https://www.facebook.com/authorltkelly/ ) Basically, I’m happy with anything that proves you shared the post! The competition will end at 6pm GMT on 14th February! Prizes will be sent by 7pm!
If you’re too late for the competition, or you don’t want to miss out on the pre-order price, here’s the links! Please be sure to like my Facebook page and look out for competitions! Thanks for reading 🙂
Today, I’m welcoming fellow RNA author, Chrissie onto my blog. I met Chrissie at the 2016 RNA annual conference. I seem to recall her being green with envy when she spotted me outside stylishly sporting leopard print silky pyjamas and rocking heated rollers…Bet Lynch eat your heart out!
Paws in books
I like it when a pet is a minor character in a novel I’m reading. Animals sneak into my own writing too. I suppose including them depends on whether paws tread over your everyday life or not.
In ‘ A Jarful of Moondreams’, the Moon family have an Egyptian Mau with a huge personality that can’t be ignored. Did I mention that I once had a wonderful Egyptian Mau? We really do write from experience.
I needed a fiesty little dog who would win the heart of an old lady in ‘The Barn of Buried Dreams’. Before I knew it, I was writing about a Welsh terrier. Did I mention that a Welsh terrier is the bane of my life? At least I could make my fictional Welshie, Bracken a well-behaved little fella.
My own little terror has been through enough adventures to merit his own novel. For instance, one day I wanted a sundrenched stroll and I got a drenched Sunday stroll! It was quite a day and Oscar almost drowned.
Oscar and I were walking on the beach with my friend and her lab, Ruby before lunch and the beach was really busy so we decided to walk around the old outdoor swimming pool as it was deserted at that end.
The pool runs alongside the beach and the sea at the other side of the pool is deep when the tide is medium to high but the barrier is waist height with railings after that so it seems safe and I wasn’t worried about Oscar, who detests water.
After a couple of minutes of walking along and watching the dogs race around the inner well where the pool had once been, I couldn’t see him and thought he must have hightailed it back onto the beach. I called him and a man from high up on the top prom called back, ‘Your dog’s slipped into the water!’
I just couldn’t believe it and ran to look over the high wall where he was pointing to see a drop of at least 10 foot and deep choppy sea water ( there are rip tide signs around this bit of the beach) I verged on hysterics because I couldn’t see Oscar.
The man called out, ‘He’s scrabbling to try to get back up the wall!’ But Oscar was so far below I couldn’t see him.
We all sprinted back to the beach and I waded in to the ice cold sea up to waist height but then the sea bed fell away to rocks and deeper. The lovely man had run down to us and came into the sea too. He had the foresight to remove his jacket (I was just in there quilted coat and all) and he told me to stay put and he’d swim around to find him. I was frantic in case he’d drowned and worried in case he barky-faced the swimmer away. After a lifetime, the man swam back with Oscar under his arm and I gave them both the biggest hug! Our hero just shook off the water and picked up his coat and went back to his friends soaking wet! What if he hadn’t been around?
Some day, that scene might just appear as a first encounter of the hero in one of my novels. I much prefer my pet drama to be contained in my books where I can control the outcome.
Chrissie, 2016 winner of the Romantic Novelist’s Elizabeth Goudge writing trophy, is a seasoned tea drinker and a tenacious trainer of her welsh terrier, Oscar. A JARFUL of MOONDREAMS, a contemporary story about family relationships, secrets and how dreams can come true, is her first novel. THE BARN OF BURIED DREAMS, a contemporary story about two sisters who are struggling after the death of their mother, is out now as an ebook and a paperback. Chrissie has always loved match-making a book to a reader. Writing the kind of book she loves to read takes this a step further. When Chrissie is not writing or reading, you will find her walking Oscar on the beach, trying to avoid the gym and spending time with her family and friends. Chrissie enjoys tweeting to readers on @ChrissieBeee Her instagram account is chrissie_bradshaw_author Her blog is http://www.chrissiebradshaw.com and she has a Chrissie Bradshaw author page on Facebook. She would love to hear from readers.
Buried Dreams by Chrissie Bradshaw
Erin and Heather Douglas are struggling. Their mother’s death has left a void in their family and everyday life has side-lined their dreams.
Erinhas buried herself away in the family home and left her stage career. By hiding away, she is avoiding the pain of returning to London and the acting world where her ex-fiancé is enjoying success and a new relationship. When she meets charismatic Texan Jackson McGee, she wrestles with her feelings for him. Should she trust another man?
Heather is juggling babies, work, a rocky marriage and running on wine. An overheard conversation makes her ask, would Mark cheat on her?
Can the sisters help one another to face their fears, dust off and revive those dreams and find joy in life?
‘As soon as I started talking to the characters, I knew I was hooked.’ 5 star review
‘This is a book with a number of serious threads running through it that make the whole so much more than the sum of it’s parts… a very well written story and the characters are so well rounded that you really feel for them and hope that everything will turn out right for them all.’ 5 star review
‘This is the second book I’ve read by this author and it didn’t disappoint. Like the first book, the characters are believable and have you involved in their lives from the start.’ 5 star review
Thanks for doing me, Chrissie! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us 🙂
I’m back with a gift for all of my followers. It occurred to me, once back on the writing train that I haven’t run a promotion on my first book since 2016! I’m such a bad person! So, if you’re looking for a gritty, tense, paranormal read this weekend, look no further!
For just 99 of your pennies or cents for an almost 5 star read, I mean, what’s half a star between friends? Or if you are the proud owner of an Amazon Prime membership it’s completely FREE!
Falling to Pieces by L.T. Kelly
When Teagan Lewis moves from rural Montana to the bright lights of London with her maker Thomas, she expects to live as harmoniously as she has for the last one hundred-fifty years. Teagan didn’t know she had a heart or soul until she met Marc Romano. However, it quickly becomes clear that Marc is forbidden fruit. All the signs that he isn’t human were there from the beginning, but she chose to ignore them…to her peril. Can she simply walk away from this mesmerising stranger? Or should she risk her immortality to be with the man she has fallen in love with?
Who doesn’t love a little tasty erotica? Lick your lips and prepare yourself for a sensory feast!
The first in a series, A Slice of Sin is an anthology of savory stories guaranteed to make your mouth water and leave you needing a little privacy… or an audience.
Women drive these stories, taking the lead in sex, pushing the boundaries of their experience, and always enjoying themselves. From stories of casual sex to stories of the intimacy and enduring passion of established couples, these are stories that will whet your appetite and satisfy your cravings (and maybe leave you with some new ones…).
Act out a dirty little fantasy in Chase Morgan’s “The Stand In,” satisfy your late-night sweet tooth in Alegra Verde’s “The Bakery Boy,” or enjoy a night of romantic generosity in Autmn Tooley’s “Tonight Is For You.” Or step back to a time of long boats and Vikings in Michael Bracken’s “Saga of the Sailmaker’s Widow.”
From the romantic to the kinky, the suggestive to the explicit, this collection is sure to satisfy and keep you coming back for more and more.
This year’s contributors include:
I really needed something like this to get my reading groove back on. Which you’ll be glad to know I have! It’s just taken me longer than I expected to get on with writing this review meaning I’m halfway through a new read :).
This saucy anthology has something sliced between the pages for every reader imaginable. Some stories leave a lot to the hot under the collar readers imagination whilst others leave literally nothing, and I mean nothing for them to wonder.
As with every anthology out there, not every story provides sustenance for every reader. I reached the end of one or two works thinking, bloody hell, is that it? Whilst others truly fulfilled my appetite. I throughly enjoyed the vast majority of the work, even the tamer stories.
I devoured this gorgeous little book whole, though as I mentioned, some stories I knew wouldn’t be for me, so I skipped. I firmly believe that one readers trash would be another readers treasure in this case, making it a versatile and eclectic collection.
I award A Slice Of Sin:
Four glasses of fruity champagne and a banana (use your imagination 😉 )
This juicy new release came out today! It looks delicious! 🙂 ❤
Bright wishes he wasn’t the god of the suns.
Every day is the same: he makes the suns rise and then they set. He looks down at humanity’s corruption. He watches wars, people starving, and thieves stealing.
He can’t help. Every time he tries, the humans take something from him. They’ve destroyed his family and he has no doubt that they’d like to destroy him, too.
Adonya is a raven-haired witch with powers that make her as close to a goddess as a human can be. He’s wondered what it was like to be with a woman, but all the goddesses are dead.
He can feel it when he touches her—she’s as dangerous as all the rest of the humans. Can the power of love join their races together? Or will one of them wind up dead in the end?
Bright bent his head down to whisper in her ear. “I want you to picture the power inside you.”
Adonya stiffened and her breathing quickened.
“Calm down,” Bright said. “Let go of your fear. Look into your heart and believe you are a good person.”
“I don’t know if I am.” Her voice sounded tortured.
“Of course you are,” Bright said. “That’s why you’re always caring for your mother and the villagers. You’ve had this power inside you the whole time. It hasn’t changed your kindness.”
Her shoulders eased down.
“I want you to see that fire that burns inside,” he continued. “You are those flames. That heat is part of your soul.”
Adonya shivered. “It can’t be.”
“The fire isn’t deadly. It’s there to protect you.”
“Then why has it hurt me so many times? Why has it attacked the people I love? It wants to kill; I can’t let it.” Adonya shook violently. “What’s happening to me? Please, make it stop.” Her eyes burst open as she fell to her knees.
“You’re resisting it. As long as you treat it like an enemy, it will treat you the same.”
She clutched her head, rocking back and forth. “I want it to go away.”
“You have to gain control over yourself. When you give in to the fear, you make it worse.”
She lowered her hands until they were clenched into fists on the ground.
Adonya’s fingertips burst into flames. At first she didn’t feel it. It spread up her hand with no reaction, until it reached her wrists. She looked down in shock at them, until the grass beneath her lit on fire. Suddenly, she felt the heat. She jumped up and screamed.
Bright tackled her to the ground. He pinned her arms as she kicked and thrashed. The fire didn’t hurt him. He was immune to heat. But he could see by the way her forehead wrinkled that it was painful for her.
His face was an inch from hers. “You must accept what is happening to you or it will consume you.”
She continued to shout and ignore his directions. He’d have to do something drastic or she might kill herself.
So he did the first thing that came to his mind…he leaned down and kissed her. He grabbed her by the hair as he mashed his lips against hers. There would be no gentle caresses of his mouth to start with: he had to be rough and hard to snap her out of it. Even if she hated it, at least it would distract her. He expected to be slapped, but to his surprise, her mouth responded to his. Their lips fought as their bodies tangled together. Tongues explored and tasted. Smoke surrounded them as her flames extinguished themselves, but the heat between them continued to turn up. They rolled around and gasped with pleasure.
Bright needed to stop. But she tasted like heaven, which was something he hadn’t even believed in until this day.
E.B. Black is the annoying author who lives in the head of a nerdy housewife named Elizabeth. Elizabeth tries to live out her days by walking her dog, spending time with her husband, doing housework, and watching television, but E.B. Black makes her drop everything to type out weird fantasy stories. Elizabeth is asking anyone who read this to please send help.