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26 August 2016

Exciting Release: 'A Wedding in Cornwall' by Laura Briggs

It’s the career move of a lifetime, and Julianne can’t believe it’s hers: a position as an event planner at a country house in Cornwall, England, beginning with the wedding of a celebrity! If her old firm's senior planner back in the States hadn't fallen suddenly sick with the chicken pox, Julianne would never have found herself chosen for a life in one of England's most beautiful coastal counties, surrounded by rugged shores, quaint cottages, elegant gardens and a house to die for. 

But life in Cornwall isn't exactly as Julianne imagined it. Her first bride-to-be is a resentful, petted snob, the groom is immature and bored, and the Cornish staff of Cliffs House has a difficult time believing that an event planner from a mid-level position can handle a wedding this big. And then there's a personal matter -- the handsome, sometimes charming, sometimes standoffish gardener Matthew Rose. He and Julianne have a strangely complicated relationship somewhere between friendship and attraction. But with a secret in his past, and a scheming bridesmaid plotting to have Matthew all to herself, will Julianne find a way to untangle her feelings and the problems of planning a perfect Cornish wedding?

Today I've got a short excerpt from an exciting release to share with all of you, namely Laura Briggs' novel 'A Wedding in Cornwall'. The book promises to be an enjoyable romantic read, perfect for these warm summer days, and I look forward to reading the book myself as well!

Short Excerpt:

One of Cornwall's milder breezes swept across me as I found my way past the formal hedgerows to the winding little path to the sea. I buttoned my green pea coat as I climbed down, gradually moving from the craggy slate walkway carefully built like a natural stair to the soft, wild grass growing alongside it. I angled my way towards the view of the water below, hearing it surge and crash against the cliff's walls.

The wind rose and batted my hair across my face. I could see the Channel below, washing its way between the shores. I could see the beach, the stones and sand lost along the shallow edge whenever water rushed up from the sea. I sucked in my breath, imagining the power of the waves if I were below, walking along the strip of white foam instead of the soft grass and delicate purplish flowers around me.

That's when I noticed I wasn't alone. A man was kneeling near the edge of the cliff a few yards away at the foot of the stone path, watching the water also. Wind swept his dark, unruly hair back from his brow, and fanned the edges of his worn brown canvas jacket. Between his fingers was a sprig of something dark green, a plant or a leaf of some kind.

Sensing my gaze, he turned towards me. I felt my breath catch. He was attractive. But more than that, he was… familiar.

The handsome stranger from the railway station, his dark good looks even more impressive against the stunning backdrop of the cliffs and water below. A day’s worth of stubble made his well-formed features even more pleasing:  features that were accented by eyes that I imagined as dark as coffee beneath those perfect lashes and sculpted brow. For a moment, we stared at each other. Then he spoke.

"Do you mind getting off the heath?" A gruff, commanding voice that was filled with disgust — even though he was practically shouting over the ripple of wind and tide, I could detect that much.

I gaped at him. "What?" I asked. His manners weren’t as pretty as his looks, apparently. I felt a surge of annoyance along with my confusion for the accusation in his voice. Why was he talking this way to a perfect stranger? Who did he think he was anyway? Besides a good-looking…but no. That wasn’t enough to justify the rudeness etched in his perfect face, or the scowl he offered my shoes. 

"You're standing on it," he said. "The heath. What are you doing off the footpath? Can't you see you're trampling it with those spiky shoes of yours?"
Author Bio:
Laura Briggs’ first stories were written in crayon about a rooster named Henry–but she was pretty young at the time, so it’s understandable. She eventually graduated to writing more complex plot lines and characters and writing her stories on a laptop. She tends to write stories with a romance theme, but as a reader she has a soft spot for mysteries, including those by Agatha Christie and Mary Roberts Rinehart. She also enjoys books by Jane Austen, Anne Tyler, Amy Tan, and too many others to name. In her free time, she likes to experiment with new recipes and tries to landscape her yard (a never-ending project).

25 August 2016

Review: 'The Trouble with Henry and Zoe' by Andy Jones (2016)

Henry and Zoe have more in common than they realise. For a start, they both have pasts they'd rather leave behind.

After jilting his childhood sweetheart on the eve of their wedding in the small town where they both grew up, Henry runs away to London, planning to reinvent himself and start afresh.

Zoe has her own healing to do and so she plans to leave London, travel the world, and figure out just what it is she wants out of life. She doesn't know where she's going, but she is determined to go there alone.

If Henry and Zoe had met one year ago, perhaps things could have worked out differently. But that's not the way it works; they meet seven months after their worlds have been turned upside down. And four months before Zoe is due to climb on a plane...

I hardly ever read books written by male authors. I guess this probably has to do with the genres I enjoy the most, particularly chick lit, so whenever I do stumble upon a male author whose books I enjoy I always keep an eye out for them. So, when Andy Jones' second novel 'The Trouble with Henry and Zoe' was released on the 28th of July by Simon and Schuster UK, I straight away added the book to my TBR-list. I read and reviewed Andy's debut novel 'The Two of Us' last year and really enjoyed it, so was definitely curious to see what this new novel would be like!

Henry never planned on leaving the small town he grew up in. Yet, when he decides to leave his childhood sweetheart April the day before their wedding because he's afraid he doesn't love her enough, he doesn't see any other choice than to go to London and start over. Zoe is content with her life with her boyfriend Alex, even though she can't help but have some doubts every now and again. Then her life is unexpectedly turned upside down, which eventually leads to Zoe deciding to go and book that trip around the world she always wanted to make. But then Henry and Zoe meet...

Andy Jones is one of those authors with a distinctive and own writing style and I'm very happy it's a writing style I personally really enjoy. His debut novel 'The Two of Us' told the story of a couple and 'The Trouble with Henry and Zoe' follows that same pattern, with a main focus on both a male and female character that are linked to each other in a specific way. While I love a good dose of romance and happy-ever-afters, I can also really appreciate the realism of Andy's novels and the familiar portrayal of relationships/dating in his books. I liked both Henry and Zoe (even though I definitely warmed to Henry a bit more), and was curious to read about their lives and see how their paths would eventually cross.

While I really enjoyed reading this novel I have to admit I did miss something, namely the spark between Henry and Zoe. I just didn't feel the chemistry between them and while I hoped this would change as the story progressed, it unfortunately didn't. That being said, I want to stress I did really enjoy this read and have become an even bigger fan of Andy Jones, particularly his comfortable writing style. Overall, 'The Trouble with Henry and Zoe' is a well-written and enjoyable realistic portrayal of our modern-day world of relationships and dating; a great second novel by Andy Jones and I'm already looking forward to his next one!
Rating:8,5/10
 
For more information about this book: Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

24 August 2016

Upcoming Release: 'Return to the Little French Guesthouse' by Helen Pollard


When Emmy Jamieson leaves her life behind and moves to La Cour des Roses, a gorgeous guesthouse amidst vineyards in France, everything is resting on her success as the new guesthouse manager. 

Looming in the calendar is the biggest booking ever, when the entire eccentric, demanding Thomson family will descend for a golden wedding anniversary. With airbeds on the floor and caravans in the garden, La Cour des Roses will be bursting at the seams. 

Emmy knows she’s up to the challenge, especially with the support of the gorgeous Alain, the half-French, half-English, caramel-eyed accountant. But she hadn’t counted on a naked, sleepwalking travel blogger, or the return of owner Rupert’s venomous ex-wife Gloria. 

Gloria has a few things to say about Emmy’s new role, Rupert’s finances, and the unsuspecting Alain, which send everybody reeling. Just when Emmy can see a future for herself of endless sunshine, true love and laughter, are her dreams about to be ripped at the seams? 

I'm probably not the only one who has already gone on holiday and now has to face everyday life again...! Luckily we've got some great summer reads to keep us distracted and I think Helen Pollard's new novel 'Return to the Little French Guesthouse' will do just that. The book will be released on August 26th and is the sequel to 'The Little French Guesthouse', which was a great read. I can't wait to join Emmy once again in the French countryside and be transported to a lovely holiday destination, even if it's just in my mind...!