Blog Tour: Book Review - Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Cecelia Ahern's brand new novel Lyrebird, publishing on November 3rd in Hardback and eBook.

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US 
Title - Lyrebird
Author - Cecelia Ahern
Publication Date - November 3rd 2016
Publisher - HarperCollins
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher)
Pages - 432

Blurb
She will change your life forever...

In the south-west of Ireland, rugged mountains meet bright blue lakes and thick forests. Deep in the woods, a young woman lives alone, forever secluded from the world, her life a well-kept secret. She possesses an extraordinary talent, the likes of which no-one has seen before: a gift that will earn her the nickname Lyrebird.

When Solomon stumbles into Laura's solitary existence, her life is turned on its head. Pulled from her peaceful landscape to the cacophony of Dublin, she is confronted by a world desperate to understand her.

But while Solomon knows the world will embrace Laura, will it free her to spread her wings - or will it trap her in a gilded cage? Like all wild birds, she needs to fly free...

Review
Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern was an enchanting, unusual yet utterly compelling novel set in the beautiful landscape of Ireland. I've read and loved plenty of Ahern's novels over the years, adoring her style and magical way with words, so I absolutely could not wait to get stuck into this one. I was interested to see how Ahern would include the aspect of the Lyrebird within the story and, now that I'm finished, I'm blown away by the significance and power it held amongst the characters, and how much it moved me emotionally. It was stunning.

In Cecelia Ahern's Lyrebird, readers are introduced not only to Laura Button, the star of the show, but also to Solomon and the rest of the documentary-making crew, including his girlfriend Bo. Having recorded a documentary once before following the closely-linked lives of two brothers, the crew are back but, this time, they stumble upon something quite unexpected and truly special during their trip. Laura Button. At first, they know nothing about this strange and quiet woman, but Solomon is hypnotised by her at first glance and Laura, too, seems to be just as hypnotised by Solomon. It quickly transpires that the woman they find is like no-one they have ever met before. She holds extraordinary talents. Talents that the world will no doubt be in awe of, but closed away in the tiny cottage that she calls home, it begins to dawn on Solomon and the crew that it's not going to be easy to tempt her away from the only life she's ever known, to something much more chaotic and wild. And although he keeps it to himself, Solomon isn't even sure that he wants to.

Taking Laura Button from her lonely existence, Ahern thrusts her character into what we know as the world of stardom. It's a life-changing shift for Laura, and as the tale continues to be told, we're given a wonderfully descriptive and vivid insight into how she came to live at the cottage and many more secrets behind her upbringing that not another soul knows besides those involved. Alongside the documentary crew, Laura ventures into the big, bright world beyond the one she inhabits at the cottage, while Bo interviews her, bringing to life the real Laura Button and everything that she has experienced so far in her solitary life. As her remarkable talent is shared around the globe, Laura becomes more well-known than she'd ever thought imaginable. But as fantastic as that may sound, this is where the problems truly begin.

Not only is this an extraordinary story about courage and finding the ability to spread your wings, but it's a tale of love and sacrifice too. The relationships within the book are explored on a deep and magnificent level, so much so I couldn't shake these characters and their circumstances from my mind whenever I put the book down. They were each vivid and real, coming to life on the page in front of me. The dynamics between them were beautifully crafted, and I thoroughly enjoyed the part that each of them played in Laura Button's story.

Becca's Books is awarding Lyrebird with five of my bookish cupcakes. I've fallen in love with Ahern's writing all over again. This was such a special and beautifully written novel, with a mystical and magical creature right at its heart.


About the author
Before embarking on her writing career, Cecelia Ahern completed a degree in journalism and media studies. Her first novel, PS, I Love You was one of the biggest-selling debut novels of 2004 and a number one bestseller. Her successive bestselling novels are Where Rainbows End, If You Could See Me Now, A Place Called Here, Thanks for the Memories, The Gift and The Book of Tomorrow. PS, I Love You became an International box office success, starring Hilary Swank, was a box office hit. Cecelia has also co-created the hit American television comedy series Samantha Who? In 2008 Cecelia won the award for Best New Writer at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards. Cecelia lives in County Dublin.

You can find Cecelia Ahern on Facebook | Twitter | cecelia-ahern.com

Be sure to keep up with the rest of the fabulous #Lyrebird blog tour!

Blitz Tour: Review & Giveaway - The Deadline by Jackie Kabler

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be taking part in the Blitz Tour, organised by Jenny over at Neverland Blog Tours, and sharing my review of Jackie Kabler's The Deadline as well as the chance to WIN not one but TWO signed copies of Jackie Kabler's books, a Nails Inc. set and a cosmetics bag! Fabulous, right? The giveaway is open internationally, so get entering lovelies!

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Title - The Deadline
Author - Jackie Kabler
Series - The Cora Baxter Mysteries #2
Publication Date - October 20th 2016
Publisher - Accent Press
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by tour host)
Pages - 244

Blurb
Cora Baxter is back - and this time, she's facing the most important deadline of her career...

When TV reporter Cora Baxter attends the scene of a murder in a London park, she's horrified to discover the victim is someone she knows - and devastated when one of her best friends is charged with the crime. Suddenly the fun-filled life of Cora and her eccentric camera crew takes a darker turn. Cora is convinced that her friend is innocent, but with seemingly solid evidence, the police investigation team - reluctantly led by Cora's boyfriend DCI Adam Bradberry - believe the case is closed. With a trail of clues that leads all the way to New York, can Cora find out the truth before the trail begins - or is it already too late?

Review
This is the first book I've had the pleasure of reading by Jackie Kabler and I'm pleased to say that it certainly won't be the last. I couldn't wait to begin The Deadline, having seen plenty of positive reviews for the first in this series, The Dead Dog Day. Despite the books in The Cora Baxter Mysteries being clearly linked, I was able to read this one as a standalone quite happily, not once feeling as if I'd missed out due to not having read the first.

In Jackie Kabler's The Deadline, we're introduced to Cora Baxter, who readers first meet in The Dead Dog Day. Alongside her colleagues who also double up as some of her closest friends, Cora Baxter is a strong and determined woman who I loved from the get-go. Everything seems to be going grand for Cora, that is until a shocking murder takes place and the person behind the crime turns out to be a little too close to home. As the investigation begins and numerous clues are unearthed in the process, Jackie Kabler hooks her readers and ensures they remain hooked throughout the remainder of the novel with twists and turns and red herrings aplenty.

What I loved first and foremost about this book was how easy and enjoyable it was to get into. Kabler's style is entirely welcoming, despite the dark and mysterious circumstances that arise, and once started, I found it almost impossible to put down. The characters came to life immediately with Kabler's fantastic descriptions, even more so with the flawless dialogue that took place between them. I felt as if I was part of the conversations myself. From Cora and Sam, to Adam and the rest of the investigation team, they were each crafted uniquely and entertaining in their own ways which made it all the more enjoyable for me and easier to connect with them too.

I would definitely call The Deadline by Jackie Kabler a 'cosy mystery', because for me, that's exactly what it was. I felt totally wrapped up in Cora Baxter's world and the events that unravelled as she got closer and closer to the investigation. It was such a tough position for Cora to be in though, considering the circumstances of the murder and those involved, and Kabler portrayed this brilliantly. It was perfectly paced and, dare I say it, addictive. Once I became involved, I couldn't wait to find out the truth behind it all, and loved the moments of anticipation that cropped up regularly.

For me, this was a fantastic introduction to Cora Baxter and her world. I completely adored Kabler's style and already can't wait to read more from Jackie. A proper 'sit down with a cuppa and get stuck in' type of novel, complete with a cast of characters it's impossible not to like.

Becca's Books is awarding The Deadline by Jackie Kabler with five of my bookish cupcakes. Roll on the next Cora Baxter Mystery! I, for one, will certainly be looking forward to it!


Giveaway

About the author
Jackie Kabler worked as a newspaper reporter and then in television news for twenty years, including nearly a decade on GMTV. She later appeared on BBC and ITV News, presented a property show for Sky, hosted sports programmes on Setanta Sports News and worked as a media trainer for the Armed Forces. She is now a presenter on shopping channel QVC and has a three-book deal with Accent Press for her Cora Baxter Mysteries, a series of murder mysteries set in a television newsroom.

You can find Jackie Kabler on Facebook | Twitter | jackiekabler.com

Blog Tour: Book Review - Christmas Under a Starlit Sky by Holly Martin

Today on Becca's Books, I'm thrilled to be sharing my review of Holly Martin's gorgeously Christmassy novel Christmas Under a Starlit Sky. I fell head over heels in love with the first book in Martin's A Town Called Christmas series and couldn't wait to get started on the second, which follows Neve's story. As soon as I was able to do, I dived right in and lost myself to this author's magical written word.

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Title - Christmas Under a Starlit Sky
Author - Holly Martin
Series - A Town Called Christmas
Publication Date - October 19th 2016
Publisher - Bookouture
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher via NetGalley)
Pages - 302

Blurb
Neve Whitaker loves managing the Stardust Lake Hotel. She gets to work alongside her wonderful family and she's spending Christmas on the most enchanting, snow-covered island in Scotland. So why is her heart so heavy this festive season?

It might have something to do with the gorgeous actor Oakley Rey, the man she finished with before he left for California and the man she loves more than anything. With Oakley's career in Hollywood soaring, Neve is convinced she'd only hold him back. She had to end it with him - at least that's what she keeps telling herself.

But now she has a secret she's struggling to keep, and when Oakley arrives on Juniper Island determined to win her back, Neve is thrown off balance. Will Neve's fear of having her heart broken again push Oakley away for good, or is it time for her to take a leap of faith?

Review
HOW DOES HOLLY MARTIN CONTINUE TO JUST KEEP GETTING BETTER? I mean obviously she's fabulously talented, but for god sake, I can't handle how perfect her books are. Always. Without fail. And Christmas Under a Starlit Sky was no exception to that rule. It was beautifully evocative, bringing to mind all of those feelings I adore so much that Christmas time brings with it, and addictive too. I couldn't bear to put this down once I got started, but then, I'm sure I've been the same with all of Martin's previous releases too. Suffice to say, I'm a massive, massive fan.

In Holly Martin's Christmas Under a Starlit Sky, we're introduced to the wonderful Neve Whitaker who we originally meet in the first story set on Juniper Island. She's manager of the Stardust Lake Hotel and adores her job. She works alongside her family, overseeing the running of the establishment with huge amounts of passion. This job, too, keeps Neve busy and ensures she doesn't focus too much on her broken heart. Rather than keeping her readers hanging, Martin gets straight into it as the novel opens with the reappearance of Neve's one true love Oakley Rey. Confident and straight-up but with eyes only for Neve, it was impossible for me not to fall beneath his spell, as Neve had once done too. He was made of that delectable concoction of hard and soft that I find addictive in fictional heroes. It was clear from the get-go that Oakley was there for one thing and one thing only. To win his love back. But with huge secrets between them, it's not going to be easy.

Martin's characters are always so enjoyable and entertaining. Created with love and warmth, each of them, the characters secondary to Neve and Oakley's story included, are impossible not to love. From the dialogue that passes between them, to their own inner thoughts and secrets, it's addictive watching their layers unravel as their stories unfold. From the moment Neve sets eyes on Oakley again, it's obvious that she's shaken up. The chemistry between them is blinding, and this is something else that Martin is continuing to excel at with each book. Breath-taking, heart-stopping and toe-tingling romance that has you sighing wistfully because it's just so damn stunning. I adored reading of their relationship as the story progressed, as Martin took me right back to when they first set eyes on each other. Having the author take you back in time in such a way really gives you a history between the characters to cling onto. It provides you with a past to them that makes them all the more believable. Not only are we treated to Neve and Oakley's story though. In Christmas Under a Starlit Sky, Martin intertwines Adam and Ivy's story, and it was utterly adorable. There was so much to take into consideration within this book which gave me a huge amount to sink my teeth into. With small mysteries aplenty and revelations too, Martin certainly ensured that the pages were kept turning with hardly a pause between them.

If Christmas and romance and deliciously popping chemistry is what you're after, then look no further. Christmas Under a Starlit Sky by Holly Martin has it all. The relationships. The boundaries. The issues and problems in need of being resolved. Those moments of pure tenderness that have you swooning repeatedly. It was perfect in every way imaginable and I just couldn't get enough. I already want to be on Juniper Island and stomping through the snow with these characters. They're lovable and memorable and their stories weave their own special place into your heart.

Becca's Books is awarding Christmas Under a Starlit Sky by Holly Martin with five of my bookish cupcakes. Take me back already!


About the author
Holly lives in sunny Devon in a little white cottage by the sea. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 7 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014.

You can find Holly Martin on Facebook | Twitter

Blog Tour: Book Review - Celebrations and Confetti At Cedarwood Lodge by Rebecca Raisin

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be sharing my review of the first book Celebrations and Confetti At Cedarwood Lodge in Rebecca Raisin's brand-new, three-part series At Cedarwood Lodge. I can't begin to tell you how excited I was when this series was announced. Sadly, I've missed out on a few of Rebecca's previous releases, so I was thrilled when I managed to catch the blog tour organised by Love Reading Romance Tours before it filled up completely! It feels like it has been forever since I last enjoyed one of Raisin's novels.

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Title - Celebrations and Confetti at Cedarwood Lodge
Author - Rebecca Raisin
Series - At Cedarwood Lodge #1
Publication Date - October 24th 2016
Publisher - Carina UK
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by tour host)
Pages - 114

Blurb
Clio Winters is finally fulfilling her childhood dream of renovating the gorgeous old Cedarwood Lodge in Evergreen. Turning it into the perfect destination for big celebrations, weddings and parties has brought her back home, but Cedarwood Lodge is in need of a lot of tender loving care.

Perhaps all the work will be the perfect distraction from the real reason she had to leave her glamorous New York life behind.

Will coming home be the best decision of her life... or her biggest regret?

Review
Oh, what a wonderful beginning to what feels like a gorgeous new series from Rebecca Raisin. Utterly delightful and completely charming, I could have stepped right into this story and lent a helping hand to Clio and the rest of the team in the up-doing of Cedarwood Lodge. As is always the case with Raisin's novels, Celebrations and Confetti was infused with warmth and heart. It was a steamy mug of sweet and delicious hot chocolate to warm you up from the inside out.

In Rebecca Raisin's Celebrations and Confetti, we're introduced to Clio Winters. She's left her career in New York behind and has captured her childhood dream of owning Cedarwood Lodge. Here, she will host the most magnificent parties and celebrations! Or, she will, once it's up and running and ready to welcome the guests. It's a lot to take on but Clio is sure that she has done the right thing, even if she does feel a little wobbly about her decision at times. With the help of a few good friends, she hopes to pop the party poppers sooner rather than later!

Raisin's style is as cosy as it always has been. From the beginning, I knew I was going to feel totally involved in Clio's story, and I was right. It's impossible not to become wrapped up entirely in the characters' circumstances. Evergreen itself was a desirable location with Cedarwood Lodge right at its heart. There were some truly wonderful and entertaining characters to be introduced to, each with their own set of problems to work through as Clio works through her own alongside them. These smaller secondary stories were delightful and so very easy to follow, adding something very special to the overall effect. Clio Winters herself was such a likeable woman, although harbouring some secrets of her own too. I loved getting to know about her past in New York and couldn't help noticing how very different Evergreen was to her old life, yet she seemed to utterly love it there, the place making her feel more alive than ever. With her sweetheart from years ago still around, Clio has a lot of decisions to make as this story unravels, not only ones to do with Cedarwood Lodge.

Overall, Celebrations and Confetti was an absolutely wonderful beginning to what is sure to be a magical series from Rebecca Raisin. I adored it, and the characters were a joy to meet. I already can't wait to meet up with them again in the next instalment. Becca's Books is awarding Celebrations and Confetti with four of my bookish cupcakes.


About the author
Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She's been widely published in short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines. And now she is focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true love.

You can find Rebecca Raisin on Facebook | Twitter

Blog Tour: Book Review - A Suitable Lie by Michael J. Malone

Today on Becca's Books, I'm thrilled to be sharing my book review of the incredible novel that is A Suitable Lie by Michael J. Malone, as part of the blog tour.

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Title - A Suitable Lie
Author - Michael J. Malone
Publication Date - August 5th 2016
Publisher - Orenda Books
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher)
Pages - 300

Blurb
Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she's his perfect match... And she loves his son, too.

When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. He ignores it; a dangerous mistake that could cost him everything.

A brave, deeply moving psychological thriller which marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland's top crime writers.

Blog Tour: Book Review - Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

This afternoon on Becca's Books, I'm deeeelighted to be sharing my review of Miracle on 5th Avenue, the third novel in Morgan's utterly enchanting series From Manhattan With Love.

Available on Amazon UK
Title - Miracle on 5th Avenue
Author - Sarah Morgan
Publication Date - October 20th 2016
Publisher - MIRA
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher via NetGalley)
Pages - 384

Blurb
Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. Even if she is spending it alone housesitting a spectacular Fifth Avenue apartment. What she didn't expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous - and mysterious - owner.

Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife's death looming, he's isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings...

This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

Review
Oh gosh, I think this is possibly my favourite of Morgan's novels to date. So far, the From Manhattan With Love series has been nothing but treat after treat after treat, and I've no doubt any further novels from Sarah will continue in much the same way, but in regards to this one, Morgan captures Christmas, romance and the unbreakable bond between the Urban Genie women perfectly. A winning combo, if I do say so myself!

In Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan, readers are finally wrapped within Eva Jordan's warm and whimsical world. A relentless believer in happy-ever-after and true love, Eva is a woman after my own heart with her endless optimism and bright, sunny nature, always believing in the good, and spending hardly any time at all on the bad. Sent on an assignment which involves taking care of the day to day duties in a stunning Fifth Avenue apartment, Eva is more than happy to get down to business. Except... there's just one problem. The owner of said apartment, Lucas Blade, well-known crime writer, is still in situ.

With a clashing and smashing of personalities, and that classic sizzling chemistry that I've come to expect and adore from Morgan, this was a truly romantic, snow-covered treat that simply delivered again and again. There's something completely addictive about the characters and stories that Morgan creates, and that was certainly the case in Miracle on 5th Avenue. I've loved Eva's character right from the introduction of this gorgeous series, and Lucas Blade was utterly delicious! Not only is he a crime writer (yay for book lovers everywhere!), but he's nursing some incredibly deep wounds and grieving for a lost love. I'm a sucker for a damaged hero, but I couldn't help thinking of what a perfect couple he and Eva would turn out to be, and what a wonderful medicine Eva would be for him too, with her cheery disposition and outlook on life.

It's a tale of understanding, of love and loss, of friendship and healing wounds, and it was as unputdownable as the previous novels in this series. For lovers of romance novels everywhere, this is the ultimate story to curl up with as the cold begins to creep in this autumn/winter. I'm such a huge fan of this author and truly believe she is at the top of her writing game with every book she produces. Morgan writes sublime and sweet stories that will wrap you up like a warm and loving hug. I honestly can't get enough.

Becca's Books is awarding Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan with five of my bookish cupcakes. BRING ON THE NEXT ONE! But only when you're ready, of course, Sarah ;)



About the author
USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe.

Described as 'a magician with words' by RT Book Reviews, she has been nominated four years in succession for the prestigious RITA© Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award twice; in 2012 for her book 'Doukakis's Apprentice' and 2013 for 'A Night of No Return'. She also won the RT Reviewers' Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their 'Top Pick' slot.

Sarah lives near London with her husband and children, and when she isn't reading or writing she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying. 

You can find Sarah Morgan on Facebook | Twitter | sarahmorgan.com

Book Review: Tell Me No Lies by Lisa Hall

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Title - Tell Me No Lies
Author - Lisa Hall
Publication Date - October 20th 2016
Publisher - Carina
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher via NetGalley)

Blurb
Don't. Trust. Anyone.

It was supposed to be a fresh start.

A change to forget the past and embrace the future.

But can you ever really start again?

Or does the past follow you wherever you go...

Review
It's no secret that Lisa Hall's debut thriller with Carina UK Between You and Me was an absolute knock-out, hitting the top spot in numerous charts not only following its release but in the run-up too. Sneaky, sly and sumptuously twisting, it was one hell of a novel with a twist that completely knocked my socks off, so you can imagine how incredibly excited I was when contacted about reading and reviewing Hall's second novel Tell Me No Lies. I couldn't wait to be delivered back into one of Hall's dark, dangerous and menacing worlds, where the characters are never what they seem and the plot is capable of veering off into any direction at any given time.

In Lisa Hall's Tell Me No Lies, the novel begins as pregnant Steph Gordon, husband Mark and son Henry are about to embark upon a brand-new start. They've just arrived at their beautiful new home in Blackheath, where the Victorian townhouse is waiting to receive them and their many boxes of belongings ready to be unpacked. After a draining year, following the discovery of her husband's affair, Steph sees this as a real opportunity to begin again. To let go of what happened before and truly be at peace with her life. Once settled, and while Mark is away due to his career, Steph begins to become acquainted with her new neighbours. One, the handsome Laurence. Two, the bubbly, sweet-natured Lila who lives just across the way. Letting people into her life has never been easy for Steph, but she knows that, while Mark remains away, what she needs are friends and so, for the first time in a long time, she allows herself to experience what it's like to have people around her who she can trust and turn to when problems arise. It's a tricky hurdle for Steph to overcome, especially considering what happened when she was younger, so it's completely understandable for her to feel so nervous about allowing new people into her life. Along with her appointments with Dr Bradshaw to keep her in check and her journal to jot down her thoughts and feelings, Steph is sure everything that happened previously is firmly behind her and she's ready to embrace her new life, her new friends included.

But of course, things are never as simple as they first appear to be. Just when everything seems to be going well for Steph, her life slowly but surely begins to become infiltrated by a menacing presence she's unable to pinpoint and, paranoid or not, she's sure that someone is playing games with her. From the grim, decaying posies being left in her front porch to the threatening notes and emails from untraceable sources, her new life suddenly doesn't feel as safe and secure as she hoped it would be. Something definitely isn't right, but is she imagining things? She's worked so hard to get herself to where she is today. Is she suddenly backtracking? At first, she's sure that she can handle whatever it is that's going on, but as the novel progresses and things begins to spiral out of control, Steph begins to feel way out of her depth and turns to those close to her for help, support and guidance.

Once again, Hall has hit the nail on the head. Tell Me No Lies checked all of the boxes in terms of what makes a knock-out thriller and I was absolutely hooked from beginning to end. With Steph's background to consider I did, at times, wonder whether the past was coming back to haunt her but at the same time, I wanted to believe so keenly that she was correct in her assumptions later on in the novel. She was such a compelling character, with such a whirlwind of a past, and Hall couldn't have made her any more interesting if she'd tried. It was a constant guessing game for me. With each new character that was introduced to the plot, I wondered exactly what role they would play in this story and couldn't wait for them to reveal themselves. Would they be good or bad? Would they make things easier or harder for Steph? The more involved I became in Steph's story, the quicker the pages turned as I raced through and tumbled down the rabbit hole of twists and turns that were delivered exceptionally by the author, making this a book that I just couldn't get enough of.

There was a real essence of danger within this novel. It constantly simmered beneath the surface, just waiting to rear its ugly head and, when it did, I felt the blow like something physical. Hall writes with sharp-as-a-blade precision, yet still manages to ensure that her novels are rich with real and raw emotion that reaches you on another level. Not only are we witness to Steph's new life unravelling within this story, but we also see the threads of a relationship being pulled apart to their very limits in the most beguiling and testing of ways. It's hard to know who to trust, who to turn to and who to run from, and Hall captures that panic and hysteria divinely in Tell Me No Lies. It was all-consuming. Addictive. Frightening. After all, you never truly know who you're dealing with, do you?

Becca's Books is awarding Tell Me No Lies by Lisa Hall with five of my bookish cupcakes. An absolute belter of a thriller that will have your heart in your throat. Be prepared to be led down paths you never saw coming. Hall is such an impeccable writer in this genre and I, for one, am already excited to see what she has for us next.


About the author
Lisa loves words, reading and everything there is to love about books. She has dreamed of being a writer since she was a little girl – either that or a librarian - and after years of talking about it, was finally brave enough to put pen to paper (and let people actually read it). Lisa lives in a small village in Kent, surrounded by her towering TBR pile, a rather large brood of children, dogs, chickens and ponies and her long-suffering husband. She is also rather partial to eating cheese and drinking wine.

You can find Lisa Hall on Facebook | Twitter | lisahallauthor.co.uk



Book Review: My Husband's Son by Deborah O'Connor

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Title - My Husband's Son
Author - Deborah O'Connor
Publication Date - June 16th 2016
Publisher - twenty7
Format - Kindle Edition
Pages - 280

Blurb
Heidi and Jason aren't like other couples. Six years ago, Heidi's daughter was murdered. A year later, Jason's son Barney disappeared. Their shared loss brought them together.

By chance, Heidi meets a boy she's certain is her husband's long-missing son - but Jason is equally convinced it's not him.

Is Heidi mad? Or is Jason hiding something? And can their fragile marriage survive Heidi's search for the truth...

A Cotswold Christmas: Weekend Blitz - My Favourite Hero by Kate Hewitt

Happy weekend, bookish lovelies. Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be welcoming author Kate Hewitt to the blog to share with you her favourite hero.

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Blurb
Welcome to Wychwood-on-Lea… a not-too-quaint village where frosty evenings, welcoming fires, and second chances will make this a Christmas you’ll never forget.

Anna Vere has escaped to the Cotswolds for Christmas to try to heal from her broken engagement and, far worse, her broken dreams. When her reserved room at a bed & breakfast is flooded, she takes up the offer of camping out in Willoughby Close, the converted stables of the nearby manor house… and is taken under the wing of sexy local carpenter Colin Heath.

What starts out as merely helping a neighbor in need turns into far more as Colin and Anna share a surprisingly intense and emotional connection, weaving their own Christmas magic as they spend the holiday together. But Anna has a secret she’s scared to reveal, something that could destroy the fragile bond they’ve just created, and Colin knows she’s only in England for a short time. Can these two sudden soul mates risk their hearts for a love that has yet to be tried and tested?

Get swept away by this poignant and heartwarming story, set in beautiful Wychwood-on-Lea, in the English Cotswolds. And look forward to four more books set in Willoughby Close, where everyday miracles and happily-ever-afters are guaranteed.

My Favourite Hero
By Kate Hewitt
I’ve written over 50 romances in the last nine years. That’s a lot of heroes to dream up—and about. But I have to say, the hero of A Cotswold Christmas, Colin Heath, is my favourite hero so far.

Some characters land on your page fully formed and that’s how Colin was. I knew him so well I half-expected him to walk in the door (I wish!). I knew what he’d say and how he’d say it and I could picture him easily, along with his dog, his house, his messy Land Rover. He’s everything I love in a hero: sexy but also a little bit bumbling,  eminently capable (he works as a builder, after all!) but also emotionally sensitive, even if he doesn’t realize it. To whet your appetite (and love of Colin), here is a little excerpt:

Seconds later a man appeared in the doorway, seeming to take up all the space and making Anna blink. He wasn’t what she’d been expecting, which was the male version of Frances—well into his sixties, with an affable, chatty manner, a shock of white hair, and lots of wrinkles. Colin Heath didn’t have any of those things.
 He was built like a rugby player, big and muscular, his shoulders nearly spanning the doorframe, his movements easy yet powerful. He wore an old flannel shirt and faded jeans stuck into battered work boots, and his eyes were a light, startling blue in a face tanned by working outdoors, Anna suspected, rather than sitting in the sun. Short, light brown hair stuck up as if he’d thoughtlessly raked his fingers through it. He couldn’t be much more than Anna’s own thirty-five.
 His blue eyes fastened on hers and his mouth turned up in a friendly, easy smile; two dimples appeared in his craggy cheeks. “You must be Anna.”

What kind of hero is your favourite? What is a turn-off? I’d love to know!

About the author
Kate is the USA Today-bestselling author of over 40 books of women's fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England's Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women's fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.

You can find Kate Hewitt on Facebook | Twitter | kate-hewitt.com

Book Review: We Were On a Break by Lindsey Kelk

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Title - We Were On a Break
Author - Lindsey Kelk
Publication Date - October 6th 2016
Publisher - Harper
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher via NetGalley)
Pages - 400

Blurb
Is it a break? Or is it a blip?

LIV and ADAM are in love.
LIV and ADAM are supposed to be getting engaged.
Until ADAM accidentally suggests they take a break.
And LIV starts thinking...

Friends, family and bystanders all have an opinion and one complication leads to another as Adam and Liv try to muddle through in this hilarious, heartwarming comedy.

Are they split up - or are they on a break? What exactly are they allowed to get away with? And, most importantly, what do Liv and Adam really want?

Review
It has been such a long, long time since I last read and reviewed anything by Lindsey Kelk, so I positively leapt at the chance to read and review Lindsey's brand-new novel We Were On a Break when I spotted it as available to request on NetGalley. There's something completely and utterly charming about Kelk's voice and style, about the characters she creates who win you over again and again. Kelk's novels are always memorable and always, without fail, the type you want to keep nestled on your bookshelf once finished, safe in the knowledge that you can return to that particular world again, whenever you feel like doing so. Kelk provides a certain sense of comfort with her novels. It is just sort of (really) brilliant to know this author and her books are out there in the world.

In Lindsey Kelk's We Were On a Break, readers follow the aftermath of a failed proposal. In fact, not only is it a failed proposal, but rather than correcting oneself and righting the mistake, Liv's boyfriend Adam decides to suggest that they 'take a break'. I know! What starts off as a dreamy beginning to this novel quickly turns sour and, with Kelk's finely-tuned wit and humour, things begin to take a downward slide for Liv, as she and Adam return home and she's unceremoniously dropped off at her flat above the vet's where she works, unsure of what to do and confused about everything she thought she'd always known for certain. Who can blame the woman? It's pretty much from one extreme to the other in this scenario. Poor Liv, and poor Adam!

What I absolutely loved about We Were On a Break by Lindsey Kelk was that in this novel, the author provides us with both points of view, so not only are we experiencing everything from Liv's side of the pond, but from Adam's too. It definitely made this all the more exciting to read, and opened up a whole new dimension in terms of revealing her characters true selves to the reader. It felt sort of sneaky, spending time with Adam when Liv was off doing her own thing, and vice versa, and made this story such a pleasure to read. It was entertaining and heart-warming, and absolutely rammed with Kelk's trademark warmth that seems to shine through from every page. I was lost to this story possibly after reading just the first chapter. From beginning to end, there was a whole host of fabulously entertaining characters, from friends to family, trying to stick their oar in and have the last say. Not forgetting the hilarious antics that Liv and Adam both get up to during their 'break', adding heaps of laughter and grinning to the entire reading experience gained from picking up this book. It was exactly what I hoped it would be and more. With such a gorgeous focus on friendship, love and all of those little yet might important things in-between, this novel warmed my soul completely.

Becca's Books is awarding We Were On a Break by Lindsey Kelk with five of my bookish cupcakes. You really can't go wrong with Lindsey Kelk. Like, ever. Special thanks to Harper for providing me with a copy of this book for review purposes.

Blog Tour: Author Guest Post: My Favourite Romantic Comedies by Jon Rance

Today on Becca's Books, I'm delighted to be welcoming Jon Rance to the blog to share with readers his favourite romantic comedies as part of the blog tour, to celebrate the recently released Dan And Nat Got Married.

Blurb
The British romantic comedy you need to read this year.

Marriage can be difficult. Especially when you've only just met. Meet Dan Fox, 34, an online marketing manager from Clapham, who was jilted at the altar two years ago by the love of his life and hasn't dated since.

Nat Howard, 32, is living back at home with her parents in Dorking after her perfect boyfriend dumper her and she had to move out of his bespoke flat in Putney.

On separate Stag and Hen weekends in Las Vegas, Dan and Nat wake up married. Both too drunk to remember what happened, they return to England and try to get on with their lives. But there was something about Nat that makes the usually cautious Dan think they should give their marriage a go. Nat's still in love with her Ex, but maybe Dan can help mend her broken heart.

Can marriage between two relative strangers really work? And when Nat's ex-boyfriend - the gorgeous Charlie - comes back into her life, she must decide - something old or something new?

Set in London, Dan and Nat Get Married, is a funny and full of heart modern romantic comedy about marriage, relationships, and giving love a second chance.

My Favourite Romantic Comedies
By Jon Rance

Hello! Thank you so much for having me on your blog today and for letting me introduce my new romantic comedy novel, Dan And Nat Got Married. It's out now on Amazon! Very exciting times indeed. So having just attempted to write a great British romantic comedy, I thought it would be good to let you know my favourite British rom coms. For the purposes of this blog I'm going to include television, film, and books. So let's crack on!

Four Weddings and a Funeral
I mean what can I say about it? It's the Daddy of British romantic comedies. It's the quintessential English film that introduced the world to Hugh Grant, gave us one of the greatest best man speeches ever, and of course, ignited the film career of Richard Curtis. But most importantly, I think it's a timeless comedy that's funny, romantic, sincere, honest, and just very, very English. In the same way that 'When Harry Met Sally' is uniquely American, Four Weddings and a Funeral put Britain on the international rom com map.

High Fidelity/About A Boy - Nick Hornby
If you ask any male writer post 2000 writing in the commercial fiction genre and I bet they'll say they were inspired by Nick Hornby. How can you not be? His books are brilliant and don't follow the normal romantic comedy format and you might argue that they aren't really rom coms, but they're funny and about love. What Hornby does though that takes them above and beyond the usual romantic comedy is write them superbly and squeeze in darker themes while still somehow managing to keep them as romantic comedies. 'High Fidelity' is still the benchmark against which I will undoubtedly always fail. 'About A Boy' was also a great film adaptation.

Gavin and Stacey
In my opinion, the best romantic comedy show on television ever. It works so well because the characters are just incredible. If you go through the list of characters in Gavin and Stacey, so many of them could have their own show. Smithy, Bryn, Ness, Pam, Pete and Dawn, Deano, Dave Coaches and the list goes on. The central love story between Gavin and Stacey is brilliantly written and is the heart of the show, but it's the extra characters that elevate this comedy to something special.

Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
I mean what can I say about Bridget Jones? Helen Fielding has created one of the best characters in fiction history. Bridget is everything you'd want in a main character. She's funny, flawed, sensitive, insensitive, tries so hard to be better but always fails miserably, awkward, but always sort of positive and hopeful that things will turn out OK in the end. Bridget defined a generation and looks set to continue that with the new film and book. I think Helen Fielding is a genius because she did something so simply but so well that it almost seemed impossibly difficult. It's the same thing with David Nicholls and One Day, such a simple idea, but so brilliant that every writer is kicking themselves for not thinking about it first.

You Had Me At Hello - Mhairi McFarlane
Every now and again a book comes along that blows you away. McFarlane's debut, 'You Had Me At Hello', is so well written, so funny, and just the perfect romantic comedy. I didn't know about her when I read this, but I was gripped from the first page and have read all of her books since. What puts Mhairi's books above others is that she writes so effortlessly and creates such engaging characters that from the outset you're engaged in the story. She's also one of the funniest writers out there. I can't believe this isn't a film yet. I mean, seriously, this would make a great movie.

Catastrophe
If you haven't seen this sitcom yet you must. Right now, stop reading this, go online and watch it. It's incredible. It's just the most real, uncomfortable, honest, hilarious, sad, and perfectly written show about love and relationships you'll ever see. Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney have created a modern masterpiece.

About Time - Richard Curtis
Richard Curtis's directorial and writing swansong if you believe him and what a swansong it is. I've read some bad reviews of this film that go on about the time travel being wrong and so on, but for me it isn't about that. He uses time travel as a device to tell a love story. I think it's a romantic, funny, and inspiring film about love, life, family, friendship and the importance of living every day as if it's your last. It's not a typical romantic comedy because it does deal with some deeper and more emotional issues, but at its core it's still Richard Curtis doing what he does best, making us laugh and making us think.

And lastly, I just have to mention one last film. I met my wife in 2003 in Sydney, Australia, while we were backpacking and one of our first dates was to watch, 'Love, Actually'. It's remained one of my favourite films ever since because it's a brilliant, feel-good rom com, but also because it means so much to me personally. That's three Richard Curtis things on the list!

Dan And Nat Got Married is my attempt at the perfect British romantic comedy and it's out now. I think it's somewhere between Gavin and Stacey, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Catastrophe, and High Fidelity. It's a mix of all my favourites thrown together in my brain and this is what came out. I tried to write something really original, but hopefully like the very best pieces, it also somehow feels very familiar. Thanks so much for having me, it's been an absolute pleasure!

About the author
Jon Rance is the author of four novels: the Kindle top ten bestseller, This Thirtysomething Life, Happy Endings (both published by Hodder and Stoughton), This Family Life and Sunday Dinners. He's also the author of the short story prequel, This Twentysomething Life and the Christmas novella, A Notting Hill Christmas. His fifth novel, Dan And Nat Got Married, will be out this October!

Jon studied English Literature at Middlesex University, London, before going travelling and meeting his American wife in Australia. Jon loves comedy (especially sitcoms), the films of Richard Curtis, travelling and tea. He just turned forty, which is a terrifying time, so his books might get a bit edgier and possibly angrier as a result.

Jon writes dramatic, romantic, comedy fiction similar to the work of Mike Gayle, Matt Dunn, Nick Spalding and David Nicholls.

You can find Jon Rance on Facebook | Twitter | jonrance.co.uk

Book Review: Comfort and Joy: A Christmas Short Story by Cathy Bramley

Available on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US
Title - Comfort and Joy
Author - Cathy Bramley
Publication Date - October 13th 2016
Publisher - Transworld Digital
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher via NetGalley)
Pages - 120

Blurb
Curl up with this feel-good short story, full of romance, surprises and a sprinkling of Christmas magic...!

It's been a busy year for Verity Bloom at the Plumberry School of Comfort Food, but Christmas Eve is finally here. With delicious treats all wrapped up and the ingredients packed away, Verity is looking forward to a relaxing few days with her new boyfriend.

Good food, family and friends - it's a simple recipe for true comfort and joy, and all Verity's friends in the village are full of excitement about the holidays too.

But the weather has other plans in store... Relentless rain leads to a power cut that spells disaster for many of Plumberry's residents. It's starting to look like this year's celebrations could be a total washout.

With dreams of a perfect Christmas dashed, will the last of the festive cheer be swept away in the downpour? Or can the cookery school create a Christmas miracle for everyone Verity holds dear?

Review
How the wonderful Cathy Bramley has managed to cram so much Chrismassy delight into only 120 pages is beyond me, but boy was it impossible to not let the cheer seep into my bones and truly take hold. Comfort and Joy by Cathy Bramley is a short but incredibly sweet festive story that takes readers back to Plumberry, alongside Verity Bloom and a handful of residents. For me, having not yet had the opportunity to read Cathy's previous release The Plumberry School of Comfort Food, it was such a joy to be introduced to these characters for the first time, and I was thrilled that not having read the full novel set in Plumberry, my enjoyment wasn't hindered at all. It's Christmas time and Verity is about to close up the Plumberry School to head back to her brand new home with boyfriend Tom, to enjoy Christmas Day alongside her love. It's been a busy and productive year for this lady and so, the prospect of snuggling up in front of a crackling fire, cuddled into Tom's side, is more than she could hope for. She can hardly wait!

But of course, as is so often the case in life, things do not go to plan. The rain has been relentless during the lead-up to Christmas, and many areas surrounding, or near-to Plumberry, have been struck by horrendous, potentially dangerous floods. With water levels rising, there's no telling how much higher they'll end up reaching, and Verity is right to feel worried. One by one, she witnesses the other residents' plans get cancelled due to the awful weather and, before she knows it, the quiet and cosy Christmas she and Tom had planned together is slowly slipping away. It's up to Verity and a few good friends to ensure that everyone still gets the Christmas they were hoping for. If The Plumberry School thought it was getting a rest for Christmas, it was wrong.

I cannot tell you how fantastic it felt to be delving back into Cathy Bramley's world, short story or not. The comfort oozing from this author's style is warm, cosy and deliciously intoxicating, and Bramley's descriptions of Plumberry dressed up for Christmas were utterly charming. So much so, I was tempted to stick my Christmas tree up right there and then. I've said it before and I'll say it again, reading anything written by Cathy Bramley is a treat for the soul. Your senses are teased and brought to life, you're introduced to some of the most loveliest characters around, and you're always left feeling happy and light and as if the world makes sense once more.

The themes of friendship and community are focused on beautifully within this short story. When push comes to shove, we're witness to the residents of Plumberry coming together to help one another out. Each resident seems to have a problem of their own to figure out but with the help of a few good friends, it's easily done. Bramley's main character, Verity Bloom, tackles the longing she feels to be with her family back in Canada. Jack is left heartbroken after the terrible floods ruin his plans for Christmas with his children. It's all a mess thanks to the weather, but together, the residents are able to overcome the issues sent their way and manage to pull off Christmas dinner in the most fabulous of ways.

All in all, though it be short, Comfort and Joy is an uplifting, heartwarming and completely cosy story that captures perfectly what Christmas is truly about. From the twinkling fairy lights to the turkeys roasting, I was transported straight to Plumberry and enveloped safely within a Christmassy wonderland full of wonderful characters, warmth and heart. This will have you smiling from ear to ear and yearning for your Christmas dinner! Becca's Books is awarding Comfort and Joy by Cathy Bramley with four of my bookish cupcakes. A delightful little gem to add to your Christmas reading lists!


About the author
Cathy Bramley is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Ivy Lane, Appleby Farm, Wickham Hall, Conditional Love and The Plumberry School of Comfort Food. She lives in a Nottinghamshire village with her family and a dog.

Her recent career as a full-time writer of light-hearted, romantic fiction has come as somewhat of a lovely surprise after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. However, she has been always an avid reader, never without a book on the go and now thinks she may have found her dream job!

You can find Cathy Bramley on Facebook | Twitter | cathybramley.co.uk