Book review: Warwick’s Mermaid by Ellie Gray

Warwick's MermaidWarwick’s Mermaid by Ellie Gray

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a sweet romance set in Whitby. Chloe is recovering after escaping an abusive relationship. Arguably, her relationship with her mother is also bordering on abusive, but in a very different way. She’s rented a cottage on one side of an isolated bay.
Luke has rented the cottage on the other side of the bay.
There’s a good amount of intrigue and angst and romance. It’s a gentle, sweet read.
[And I love the title!]

Buy Link UK: Warwick’s Mermaid
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Book review: Emma Ever After by Brigid Coady

Emma Ever AfterEmma Ever After by Brigid Coady

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a modern adaptation of Emma, not the easiest of stories to adapt because not a lot happens and Emma is so, well, Clueless.
In this version Emma works for a PR firm, coming up with faux-mances between celebrities for PR purposes. She lives with Gee Knightly, former boy band superstar.
Gee was a really interesting character. Emma was well meaning but a bit of an idiot. The supporting cast were interesting and varied.
I enjoyed the stuff about the Breach of The Peace fandom very much. I also found the discussion of the popular perception of bi-sexual people thought provoking. It was nice to see a bi-sexual hero in a mainstream romance novel.
A great adaptation of a classic.

Buy link UK: Emma Ever After
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Book Review: Heath’s Hope by Alicia Hunter Pace

Heath's HopeHeath’s Hope by Alicia Hunter Pace

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a novella set in the small town of Beauford Bend. I bought it was part of a box set of beta hero books by Crimson Romance.

Hope is back in town to help look after her father. She’s a banker. She left town after splitting up with Heath broke her heart and is surprised to see him there.
Heath is a specialist stained glass artist. He moved his business back to town after his first wife died.

Both the main characters are adorable and had real depth to them. The secondary characters who lived in the town were vivid and believable, especially the two sisters who run the knitting shop.

If you want warm and fuzzy feels, this is a good book for that.

Buy link Amazon UK Heath’s Hope: A Beauford Bend Novella
Buy link Amazon US Heath’s Hope: A Beauford Bend Novella

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Book review: The Professor’s Secret by Peggy Bird

The Professor's SecretThe Professor’s Secret by Peggy Bird

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I bought this book as a box set of beta hero books from Crimson Romance.

Claudia Manchester, English Lit professor, writes sizzling erotica under the pen name April Mayes. If her colleagues found out, she’ll never get tenure.
Brad Davis falls in love with Claudia, but she won’t tell him her real name. He knows her by yet another name – Claire Mason.

I really liked the characters in this book. Especially Claudia. Brad was a bit of a insensitive arse at one point and the resolution dragged a bit, but I cared about Claudia and wanted to see her have her happy ending.
There was some interesting discussion about the perceptions of the romance genre in there (all in context, obviously, because Claudia is an English Lit professor) and a rather excellent put down when someone asks her if she’s done all the things she writes about.

This book was rather hotter than the books I normally read (sex in a kitchen sounds unhygienic to me, but then, I’m British and we can be weird about these things).

Buy link: Amazon UK The Professor’s Secret

Buy link: Amazon US The Professor’s Secret

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Book review: The Framley Examiner by Robin Halstead

The Framley ExaminerThe Framley Examiner by Robin Halstead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A friend lent this book to me many years ago and I loved it so much that I bought a copy. It is completely bonkers and fun. There is absolutely NOTHING serious about it.
I like to dip into it every so often when I need cheering up. I love the small ads pages. The ad for ‘Can’t you Breathe Little Bear’ had me in stitches. I love the town names too, especially Effing Sodbury.
This is very British and very, very silly. Sometimes you need that.

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Book Review: Max Seventeen: Firebrand by Kate Johnson

Max Seventeen: FirebrandMax Seventeen: Firebrand by Kate Johnson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I read the first Max Seventeen book, I raved about it for days. It took me a while to get around to reading this one because… well, it’s a sequel and you know what they say about sequels. On the other hand, I LOVED Max. Plus, Space pirates.
I picked up the book and within the first few pages I was completely sucked back into the world of Max, Riley and the crew of the Eurydice. This second book has the same breakneck pace and energy as the first. There’s a ton of violence, cool space tech, a fair bit of sex (off page) and giant spiders. Max is still Max and in this book you get to see a bit more of her sister Priti and a lot more of Captain Orpheus (hooray!).

It’s a glorious, fast and fun space romp. If you like things like Firefly or Killjoys, you’ll love this.

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Buy link UK:Max Seventeen: Firebrand

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Book review: Christmas at the Little Village School by Jane Lovering

Christmas at the Little Village School (Choc Lit)Christmas at the Little Village School by Jane Lovering

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This arrived on my Kindle yesterday and I read it as fast as I could. Jane Lovering’s books are an auto buy for me.
Lydia teaches at a school in a tiny village, alongside her fellow teacher Jake. She’s prickly and sharp edged, especially when it comes to Jake. Jake is big and kind without being a pushover. They’ve been tasked with organising the school play at short notice. Given the kids, Christmas, plaster of Paris decorations, an old people’s home and a mysterious man called Gareth, things take a turn for the interesting.
There’s a twist. You find out why Lydia is so prickly part way through the book. It’s kinda hard to tell you about it without giving things away, so I won’t. You’ll just have to read it and find out.

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Amazon US buy link for Christmas at the Little Village School
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Book review: The Little Village Christmas by Sue Moorcroft

The Little Village ChristmasThe Little Village Christmas by Sue Moorcroft

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wanted a nice, Christmassy read and this book delivered exactly that.
Alexia is an interior designer working on a community project in the village. When disaster strikes the project, she rolls up her sleeves and gets on with salvaging what she can.
Ben had been very badly hurt (emotionally) and is going through a messy divorce. He’s been a little reclusive, but has stepped into village life in order to help with the community project. I especially liked Ben because he’s a beta male. Hooray for beta males. He does act like a prat at times, but it’s always understandable in context.

There are lots of animals in this book, including an injured owl called Barney (who is quite a character).
It’s a fabulous way to return to Middledip.

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Book Review: Back To Reality by Mark Stay and Mark Oliver

Back to Reality: The feel-good novel of the year!Back to Reality: The feel-good novel of the year! by Mark Stay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve listened to the Marks’ podcast (The Bestseller Experiment) for a year and I was keen to read the book to see if it was any good. And it was!
It’s a fast and funny time slip type story. 42 year old Jo (with her unhappy life) suddenly finds that she’s swapped bodies with 24 year old Yohanna who is really Jo from an alternate reality. They have to get back into each other’s bodies before their time runs out and one of them dies.

Having listened to the podcast I felt weirdly affectionate towards this book even before I started it, like I’d watched this story grow up, and there are certain bits (like the character names) that popped out as Easter eggs. This added an extra dimension to the story for me.

This is a nice, feel good story with the right balance between fantasy and realism. Also, there is, as promised, a funny bit with a cow.

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