Exciting News

I have signed a new contract with HQ Stories to write two more book for them. These will both be romcoms (written as Jeevani Charika), set in the same ‘world’ as Playing For Love and Picture Perfect. If you’ve read those two books, you’ll recognise some of the background characters.

Here’s a link to the tweet announcing the deal (with apologies for my giant face).

I guess I should get back to writing now!

Book review: Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron

This book made me so hungry!
Reena loves to bake. She doesn’t particularly love being out of work though, or the fact that her parents are trying to set her up with a husband. Again. Only this time, he lives across the landing from her and the first time she met him (before she knew her parents were intending for her to marry him), she liked him.
Nadim likes a lot of things. Reena, for one. Also, bread. He really likes food.
When Reena’s career hits a snag, she spots a cooking competition that would let her fulfill her dream of becoming a baker. But you need to be a couple to do it. After a night with too much beer, she and Nadim film an entry and send it in. When they get through to the next round, they agree to pretend to be engaged for the duration of competition.

There’s so much food in this book. I kept having to get up to have a snack.
I liked that they discussed the Afro-Indian diaspora and Afro-Indian food in particular. I also liked that, during the course of the book, Reena healed her relationships with her family too.

Overall, this was a tremendously fun book to read. Just expect to need to eat while reading.

Buy link*

Book review: The Library at Wagtail Ridge by Janet Gover

Lou was happy living in Sydney with the adopted parents. She rarely gave a thought to the birth mother who gave her up. Until her mother, Luca, dies and leaves Lou an unusual inheritance. A small cottage in the rural village of Wagtail Ridge and a mobile library.
Luca also left her friends, particularly handsome and kind Jake, instructions. A set of letters which force Lou to take the library out to the rural towns and villages. As Lou learns more about the library and the people it serves, she also learns about who she is.
Jake is lovely. Kind to a fault and torn between keeping his promise to his dying friend and doing the right thing by Lou, who is his new friend.
There’s also a dog in it and no one dies. Both of which are Good Things as far as I’m concerned.
As always, the background characters are tremendous fun. Because the story centres around a library there’s a lot of discussion about books – most of which are Australian classics, so were unfamiliar to me, but I don’t mind that. Discovering new books is always good.
I might have cried a little at the end.
I hope there are more Wagtail Ridge books.

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Book review: A Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

I’ve really enjoyed every book in this series so far, so when I spotted this on Netgalley I pounced on it immediately.

Colton Wheeler is a very handsome and very famous country and western star. Gretchen Winthrop is human rights lawyer who defends people who are being deported and separated from their families. She’s the grumpy one, he’s the sunshiney one. Opposites attract etc.

I enjoyed this book a lot. Colton’s not my favourite of the bros – that’s Vlad – but he’s fun. It was nice to see how he got his music back when he met his muse. I loved that when the muse took him, he had to ask Gretchen to leave him alone so that he could write!
Gretchen’s past is quite horrible. There were a few times when I wanted to shake her, but it all worked out in the end.

I love this series so much. The blokes are so blokey and realistic. The books are funny too. If you haven’t read any yet, you really should pick one up! You can read my other reviews of the books in the series below.

Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for the review copy.

#1 Book review: The Bromance Book CLub by Lyssa Kay Adams

#2 Book review: Crazy, Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

#3 Book review: Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams (Nerdy genius hero)

#4 Book review: Isn’t it Bromantic by Lyssa Kay Adams (Yay Vlad!)

Buy Link for A Very Merry Bromance: *

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Book review: Becoming Crone by Lydia M Hawke

I spotted this on Netgalley and requested it out of sheer curiosity. (‘The Crone Wars’ – how could I resist?!)

Claire has spent her life making herself small and fitting in around her husband and son. But turning sixty coincides with the dawning of her powers.

I enjoyed finding out about Claire’s powers (although, I got a bit impatient with her standing around going ‘what?’ at key moments). The magical aspects were entertaining and interesting. The gargoyle and the wolf-shifter were great side characters. All in all it was really good fun. I liked that she was an older and (arguably) wiser ‘chosen one’.

I will keep an eye out for the rest of the series.

I read an ARC through Netgalley (thank you!). This is my honest review.

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Would you like your name to be in a book?

Rather short notice, but if you hurry, you can bid in a book auction that I’m helping to run. We’re raising money for the East Yorkshire Food Bank. There are a whole bunch of things you can bid on to win – signed books (lots of different genres – romance, crime, fantasy, saga, women’s fiction, even colouring books), feedback on your writing from published authors, even … the chance to have your name given to a character in a romcom. Whoever bids the highest, gets the item. The books are mostly open to UK bidders only, but the manuscript critiques, the Zoom chat with a bestselling author and the character name are open to anyone.

Go check it out here: https://auctionofpromises.com/BookAuctionEYFB2022

Book review: Hex Appeal by Kate Johnson

I absolutely loved this book! I raced through it in a day (which isn’t something that happens often). It’s the sort of book where I read it while I was cooking, read it while I was waiting in line, just to keep reading.

Essie is a witch and lives in Beldam house with a coven of other witches – There’s Blessing who is a fertility witch and qualified midwife, Avery who helps manifest people’s desires (and makes medicines), Prudence who is a ghost and Maude who knits the future (maybe affects it, or maybe just predicts it) and Lilith who … well, they don’t talk about her.
Josh inherits a decaying farm house and finds he owns some Beldam house and they owe him rent. Except he can’t find the house. If he finds it, he promptly forgets it. He meets Essie outside of the house and he’s not about to forget her. Except of course, that she wants him to forget about the back rent…
And then to make matters worse, there’s a evil stirring.

This is a romcom with witches. These are very practical witches – like Terry Pratchett’s ones (more Tiffancy Aching and Granny than Nanny). Some of the things about the house are completely bananapants, but it totally works and it’s very funny in places.

I enjoyed this book a LOT.

Buy Link – to get your own copy*

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Book review: The Breakup Agency by Sheila McClure

This book was so adorable! I LOVE Gus! American Dan is an absolute gem, too, but Gus the dog really stole the show for me. In my head, American Dan looked like Chris Evans, so that’s saying something.

Ellie runs Softer Landings – a service for gently breaking up relationships so that the dumpee is not destroyed. This all started when she had to let down lovely American Dan, who was dating her friend Thea. Then Dan left, leaving Gus the dog with Ellie. And now he’s back … which means Ellie could lost both her dog and her heart…

I liked how Ellie was kind and capable, but vulnerable as well. come to think of it, I would say the same about American Dan. What a ray of sunshine he is!

I really loved this book. It was such a feel-good read, it left me with a big smile on my face.

I received an ARC from Netgalley. This is my honest review.

Buy yourself a copy*

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Book review: Killers of a certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

This book was a hoot! I kept reading well past my bedtime to find out what happened.

Four elite assassins – all part of the all-female team Project Sphinx – are on a cruise to celebrate their retirement, when they realise they are now the target of the same company they used to work for. They can run and hide, for a while, but there’s only one way to really get the target off their backs. Kill or be killed.

I love how the four women are so different to each other. They are all super competent at what they do, despite their bodies being slower than they were when they were young. The men consistently underestimate them – which they often use to their advantage.

I really enjoyed this book. I got a free ARC from the publisher via Netgalley (thank you!)

Buy link *

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