Blog tour #bookreview An Escape to Provence by Sophie Claire @sclairewriter #romance #arc

I’m really excited to be part of the blog tour for the excellent book – An Escape to Provence. The paperback published 21st July 2022. I assure you, you don’t want to miss this warm and addictive read!

Blurb

Where there’s a will, can love find a way?

When cynical divorce lawyer Daisy Jackson unexpectedly inherits a ramshackle farmhouse in Provence, she sets off for the French countryside to oversee renovations herself.

But Gabriel Laforet has other ideas. A local builder with ties to the property, Gabriel is determined to see Daisy off and preserve the characterful, charming farmhouse – which, but for a missing will, he knows is rightfully his.

When the two meet, it’s clear they couldn’t be more different: Gabriel has lived in the small country village all his life; Daisy is a city girl whose career means everything. He is laid-back and messy; she is used to being in control. As they begin to work together, sparks fly. Yet they’re inexplicably drawn to each other and, in the heat of the Provence sun, secrets begin to spill. Perhaps Daisy can trust him with her carefully guarded heart after all?

But Gabriel is still searching for the missing will that proves the farmhouse belongs to him – and in doing so, risks upturning everything he and Daisy have started to build together . . . 

My Review

I love the tag line – Where there’s a will, can love find a way?

It sums up the story perfectly and gives a hint at the troubles to come. As soon as Daisy and Gabriel meet, it’s clear there’s chemistry between them but they are from different worlds and are wildly different people. Daisy is a cynical workaholic and Gabriel is a romantic who enjoys a slower pace of life. Neither of them have plans to change their views of the world and seem so incompatible despite the obvious attraction between them.

Daisy is completely single-minded in her ambition to modernise the farmhouse she’s inherited, desperate to turn it into a holiday let and return to her job in London. Gab applies underhand tactics to see her off, wanting to retain the memories of the old farmhouse which he believes should be his.

The issue of the will hangs over any budding relationship and they have other hurts that must be overcome if anything meaningful is to develop between them. I loved the slow reveals, the steamy passion, and the developing romance between them. They are perfect for each other, if only they could see it too! But they are also as stubborn as each other and refuse to acknowledge the truth even to themselves.

Gab is a swoon worthy hero and Daisy is a feisty heroine. As a reader you’re behind them all the way, willing them to see beyond their differences and grab the chance of happiness even if it means changing the future they’d originally envisaged for themselves. So much stands in the way of love, at times it seems impossible for them to reach the happy ever after they deserve.

I loved the setting in Provence, the village and the people, and inheriting an old farmhouse is on top of my wish list!

It’s an entertaining, emotional journey of self discovery and learning to open hearts and minds to others. I enjoyed every page and didn’t want the story to end. It’s a book I can’t wait to revisit and one I will be recommending to all the romance readers I know.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the bloggers on the tour. And you can see the book for yourself on Goodreads or Amazon

Thanks to the publisher for my copy of An Escape to Provence and for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance

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#BookReview The Cornish Hideaway by Jennifer Bibby #romance #netgalley #newrelease

I’m so pleased I tried out this new author – Jennifer Bibby is right up there with my fav romance authors!

Blurb

A beautiful village. An artist who’s lost her spark. And a community who help her find it again.

All Freya has ever wanted to do is paint. So when she fails her Master’s Degree in Art, on the same day that her boyfriend decides he needs a ‘more serious’ partner, to Freya it feels like the end of the world.
 
Luckily, she has a saviour in the shape of best friend Lola, who invites her to the sleepy Cornish village of Polcarrow, to work in her café. With nothing keeping her in London, Freya jumps at the chance of a summer by the sea.
 
Freya needs time to focus on herself. But then dark and mysterious biker Angelo blows into town on a stormy afternoon, with his own artistic dreams and a secretive past, and Freya’s plans of a romance-free summer fly straight out of the window…

Heart-warming, heartfelt and romantic, The Cornish Hideaway is a novel of community, friendship and learning to love again, for fans of Jenny Colgan, Cathy Bramley and Heidi Swain. 

My Review

I was lucky enough to have been given an ARC of The Cornish Hideaway via Netgalley.

I was originally attracted to the storyline – a struggling artist running off to Cornwall for the summer to re-evaluate her life while she works at her friend’s cafe. What better way to get over a failed degree and the ending of a long term relationship? We all need a saviour in our lives like Freya’s friend Lola who is kind-hearted and an excellent baker!

I flew through the book, reading it in just a few days because I fell in love with Polcarrow and the locals. It seems the perfect place for Freya to make some life affirming decisions that doesn’t include men. That is until Angelo turns up, signalling a change in the suddenly stormy air and hopefully something more for Freya!

Both Freya and Angelo have their troubles, but it’s clear they are the antidote to each other’s problems, if only they can put those troubles behind them.

Some real highlights for me are the painting of the mural at the church and Angelo helping an old fisherman, Alf, restore his fishing boat for the summer fair.

The story of Freya rediscovering her passion for painting and love, gripped me and I was sad to finish reading.

I feel as though Polcarrow could be the setting of many future stories – I certainly hope so.

Thanks to Netgalley for my ARC copy. The book is out today – 22nd March 2022.

See more info on Goodreads and Amazon UK.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance

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#Bookreview A Match Made in Devon by Cathy Bramley #Romance #5star

Wonderful book. Nina is one of the nicest characters I’ve ever read about.

Blurb

Sometimes you have to play a part to realise who you really are…

Nina has always dreamed of being a star. Unfortunately her agent thinks she’s more girl-next-door than leading lady and her acting career isn’t going quite as planned. Then, after a series of very public blunders and to escape a gathering storm of paparazzi, Nina is forced to flee from London.

Her plan is to lay low with a friend in Devon, in beautiful Brightside Cove. But soon Nina learns that more drama can be found in a small village than on a hectic television set.

And when a gorgeous man (and his adorable dog) catch her eye, it’s not long before London and showbiz start to lose their appeal. Will Nina choose to return to the bright lights or has she met her match in Brightside Cove?

My Quick Review

This book does not fit with the traditional romance format i.e. Nina doesn’t meet ‘the one’ right at the beginning of the story and take forever to get with him. In fact, she has to wait quite a while for her man, but there are plenty of other opportunities for love and plenty of ‘matches made in Devon’ to satisfy any romance reader!

Friendship, family and community are important in this book and the theme of following your dreams show up a lot. There are lots of interesting storylines, some heart-breaking, and lots of quirky characters to follow.

I loved the mermaid school idea and running a holiday cottage business.

This is just a lovely, lovely book to read. Nina is such a sweet, lovely character that you want her to find her happy ever after from the start.

Cathy Bramley is an author I plan to read a lot more of – lucky for me there are plenty of books to choose from.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance

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#Bookreview The Christmas Holiday by Sophie Claire #romance #greatread @SClaireWriter

I won this book in a twitter competition held by Whispering Stories along with some lovely goodies. I’m very grateful as this turned out to be one of my favourite reads of 2021.

Blurb

Can a trip away lead you home?

After a bad break-up, eternal optimist Evie Miller has moved to the small village of Willowbrook to finally pursue her dream of opening a craft shop. Unfortunately, with money worries and an ex-boyfriend determined to track her down, her fresh start isn’t going entirely to plan.

Jake Hartwood is also looking to escape his past. Haunted by the loss of his wife, he’s determined not to get close to anyone again – and the last thing he wants is to be celebrating this December.

Hoping to avoid the festivities, Evie and Jake arrange to escape Christmas together as friends in Provence. But will the magic of the season change things between them?

And what happens if one of them starts to feel something more?

My Review

I really loved this book and I’m so happy to have discovered a new author by winning this prize. I read The Christmas Holiday in a few days because I just couldn’t put it down.

As well as being an addictive, entertaining read, the book also has an emotional storyline. Grief is a central issue creating a barrier between the two protagonists.

I loved Evie and her story of opening her own craft shop in what sounds like a wonderful little village, Willowbrook. She has lots of insecurities and money troubles, but she’s determined to follow her dream and make the business a success even if others don’t believe in her.

I also loved Jake’s storyline and felt for his difficult situation. He is a brooding, handsome, hurting lead man with a heart in need of healing. His dog won my heart from the start of the story too.

I became invested in the two main characters straight away and read with increasing speed, desperate to follow Evie and Jake’s journey. It was a satisfying read, one that has stayed with me even two weeks after finishing it.

It’s a book I want to shout about, recommend to everyone and it is one I will read again! I can’t wait to discover more of Sophie Claire’s books.

Goodreads

Here’s a look at those goodies I received from Whispering Stories. Only the Pud in a mug and Christmas cake to go!

If you want to see my other favourite reads of 2021, check out this post Favourite reads of 2021

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance

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Goodreads Challenge and planned reads for 2022 #amreading #bookchallenge

I love the start of the year where I look at the books I own, check my TBR list and decide what to read throughout 2022.

I aim to read 25 books and have set my Goodreads challenge accordingly. I want to focus on writing more this year, but I do love escaping into a good book so I’m hoping that figure is not too ambitious.

Here are some books I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into though I’m not sure what order I will read them:

Fantasy and Urban fantasy

Revenge de los Muertos by Talis Jones – I won this in a competition and I’m currently reading it. I’m 40% in and it’s very intriguing. I’ve also pre-ordered bk 2 which comes out in a few days.

Nightborn by Jessica Thorne – I loved book one last year. It was one of my fav fantasy reads. See my post about them here.

Echo Murder by Laura Laakso – I really loved book 1 and keep meaning to catch up with the rest of the series.

Shadow and Bone trilogy – Christmas present I can’t wait to read. I loved the Netflix show and have already started the first book.

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman in audio – This was on my list in 2021 so I really need to give it a listen.

Romance

New Hope for the Little Cornish Farmhouse – Nancy Barone. I love the premise of this book.

The Summer Island Festival – Rachel Burton – another book premise that drew me in.

Tanglewood Flower Shop and The Tanglewood Wedding Shop – Lilac Mills

I have loads of romance paperbacks to choose from so I expect there to be plenty of mood reads coming up in 2022.

Classics

Dracula Bram Stoker – my daughter loves this book and says I should read it.

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Are any of these books on your radar? Have you made a reading list for 2022?

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance

You can follow me on

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Goodreads Challenge 2021 complete #fantasy #romance #netgalley

In 2021 I set a target of reading 20 books. I’m pleased to say at the time of writing this I have read 32 and will hopefully get the chance to finish another by the end of the year.

Since deciding to write a romance series I’ve been devouring romance books, especially those by my fav authors in the genre Sue Moorcroft, Jo Thomas and Jill Mansell. I’ve also discovered some new authors I can’t wait to read more of. I’ve read a lot of books through Netgalley this year, which is a wonderful way to read new books, but not great at clearing my TBR pile.

I’m disappointed to see that I haven’t read much fantasy, but those I have read have been brilliant.

I read a few non-fiction about writing and nature and I’ve tried a classic which I had to DNF because I just didn’t care at all about the characters. I might go back and try to read the end at some point.

So here is my list of books split into genres for easy reference and links to my reviews where available.

Fantasy

Romance

Sue Moorcroft

Jo Thomas

Jill Mansell

Lilac Mills

Jenny Colegan

Other great authors

Writing Guide

Other Genres

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I’ll share my favourite books of 2021 in another post.

Have you beat your Goodreads challenge? Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you think.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance

You can follow me on

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My TBR for the rest of 2021 #amreading #tbr #fantasy #romance

Over the last few days I’ve been sharing mini book reviews of the books I’ve read this year. Having already completed my 20 book Goodreads challenge, I want to keep up the reading momentum.

I still have quite a few books I want to read this year and, although I’m a mood reader, I try to stick to a sort of plan when it comes to thinking about what to read next.

So this is my checklist of books to complete by the end of 2021. I love seeing them all set out with their beautiful covers on display rather than just my scribbled list!

I still have a few ARC’s from Netgalley

Fantasy books

Thunderhead is my only audiobook on the list this year.

Romance

Writing How To books

I know this is an ambitious list of 12 books considering there are only 4 months left in 2021, but who knows if I will achieve it. It’s good to try!

What are your reading plans for the rest of the year? Are you on target and do you plan, or just pick whatever you fancy?

If you missed it, here’s the link to my Goodreads challenge post showcasing the books I’ve read so far in 2021.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance

You can follow me on

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#Bookreview Raven Storm by @EmmaMilesShadow #fantasy #indieaugust #tuesdaybookblog

Raven Storm is book 3 in the Fire Walker series, a series I have loved since the first book Raven Tower.

Blurb

Fear walks with those in power.

Divided, the land of Chem hangs in the balance. In the west the Ravens seek to bring safety to women, and an end to slavery. In the east the remaining covens cling to their power, refusing to give up their way of life to foreign invaders. Across both lands the priests whisper and plot, their gods a shadowy threat hanging over them all.
To protect their young family, Kesta and Jorrun have made their home in the Raven Tower of Elden. Unable to abandon their responsibility or friends, they remain embroiled in the fight to the north. Whilst peace and friendship blossom between the Fulmers, Borrows and Elden, the arrival of strangers turns the court of Taurmaline upside down.

The history of the Fire-walkers is about to catch up with them, and the Fire-spirit’s truth will be revealed.

Check it on Goodreads.

My Mini Review (as previously shared on Goodreads)

I’m so happy I discovered this wonderful fantasy series. The cast of characters continues to grow and I find myself caring about them all. The world building is executed with great skill and I loved the magical battles. The enemies Kesta and Jorrun face are even more deadly than in the previous books and kept me turning the pages desperate to find out what happened next. As always it was full of surprises, I cannot wait to see what happens in book Four!

My Review of Book One – The Raven Tower and Book Two The Raven Coven

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance

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I’ve completed my Goodreads challenge! #amreading #booklist #bookreview

So I didn’t set myself a huge target this year, but I didn’t expect to have completed it by August either. That makes me very happy.

Some people might read 20 books in a few months but I’m still pleased with this figure and hope to read quite a few more books by the end of the year.

Netgalley has been responsible for quite a few of my recent reads and I have 4 more accepted requests lined up that I will post about later.

Here is my list and links to reviews or a brief summary of my feelings for the books.

Netgalley Reads

The Hotel at Honeymoon Station – Tilly Tennant. An enjoyable and gentle romance. My 4 star Review

Chasing the Italian Dream – Jo Thomas. Brilliant summer read, I still miss the characters. My 4.5 star review

The River Between Us – Liz Fenwick. Enjoyable dual timeline though maybe not Liz Fenwick’s best work. My 4 star Review

Waste Not. Want Not – Lilac Mills. A surprising and enjoyable romance. My 5 star Review

Under the Italian Sun – Sue Moorcroft. I loved this hot romance right from the first page (not just hot because of the weather!) My 5 star review.

Writing Resourses

200 boosts for Indie Authors – Rayne Hall. A great book of tips to work through to improve your books and author career. Better for those starting out I think. 4 star

Save the cat! Writes a Novel – Jessica Brody. Very interesting way of looking at writing which I hope to try out on a new WIP very soon. 4.5 star.

Romance your brand – Zoe York. Helpful guide that makes you rethink how you should be writing a series. 4 stars

Romance books

An Island Christmas – Jenny Colgan. Enjoyable and emotional read.

Summer Kisses at Mermaid Point – Sarah Bennett. Enjoyable and heartwarming. Looking forward to revisiting soon.

The Tanglewood Teashop – Lilac Mills. Loved it so much I bought the next books straight away. Can’t wait to dive in again.

Perfect Timing – Jill Mansell. Perfect feel-good read. 5 stars.

Unpredictable Consequences of Love – Jill Mansell. Loved this book and thought about the characters long after I finished it. My review

Winter Beneath The Stars – Jo Thomas. Despite a shaky start for me I ended up loving the characters and the location was wonderful. See my review.

Christmas Wishes – Sue Moorcroft. A heart-warming Christmas read I absolutely fell in love with. My big fat 5 star review.

(I started Christmas Wishes at the end of 2020 and finished it in early 2021. I considered it one of my fav reads of 2020 but it could also be a contender for the best of 2021 reads too!)

Fantasy

Raven Storm (book 3) – Emma Miles. My only fantasy read so far this year (shocking)!

I loved this third book just as much as the first 2. Emma Miles is such an accomplished fantasy writer and I love the world and characters she has created in this series. I must review this book and get on with reading book 4 which came out a few months ago. My Review of the series so far (books 1 and 2)

Other Reads

Beginning of The End – GJ Stevens. Gripping with non-stop action and a surprising twist end. My 5 star review.

Capital Action – GJ Stevens. Entertaining thriller of a read. My 5 star review.

Wolf Hollow – Lauren Wolk. Very emotional, evocative and immersive 5 star mid-grade read.

The Circling Sky – Neil Ansell. This cover is beautiful and I love the title which reminds me of the Pink Floyd song ‘Learning to Fly’. I love the New Forest and this book helped to transport me back there. I’m grateful a fellow reviewer sent me her ARC copy once she’d finished reading it – thanks Hannah at Echoes in an Empty Room. This is a relaxing 4 star read.

My only DNF

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte. I just couldn’t get on with this classic. I got half way through but I just didn’t care enough to keep reading. More of a frustrating read than entertaining for me.

The whole reason I decided to read this was because a character in my new romance series is an English Literature Professor and he said Wuthering Heights is one of his favourite reads. Having attempted to read in myself, I’m going to have to have a chat with him as to why he chose it!

What are your views on this classic or classics in general? I just can’t seem to get on with them.

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It has been great to escape into books this year and I have enjoyed being forced to start reviewing again mainly due to my Netgalley reads. There are some books here I would still like to review, especially by indie authors as I know how important it is to get those precious reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

I’ll be back soon with a list of the books I want to read during the rest of the year including the books I still have outstanding on Netgalley.

What are your reading plans and how close are you to completing your 2021 Goodreads Challenge?

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P.S.

Talking of reviewing books, my Goodreads, Amazon and Audible book pages seem to have hit a bit of a slump. If you have read any of my books would you consider helping me out by posting a quick review? I love to read your thoughts and even a short review will really make my day. Thanks very much.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance

You can follow me on

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You can also join my Newsletter for writing updates and news of promotions.

Book Review Chasing the Italian Dream by Jo Thomas #romance #netgalley

I received an ARC via Netgalley and enjoyed this book so much.

Blurb

A summer escape she’ll never forget . . .

Lucia has worked hard as a lawyer in Wales, aiming for a big promotion she hopes will shortly come her way. Finally taking a well-earned break at her grandparents’ house in southern Italy, the sunshine, lemon trees and her nonna’s mouth-watering cooking make her instantly feel at home.

But she’s shocked to learn that her grandfather is retiring from the beloved family pizzeria and will need to sell. Lucia can’t bear the thought of the place changing hands – especially when she discovers her not-quite-ex-husband Giacomo wants to take it over!

Then bad news from home forces Lucia to re-evaluate what she wants from life. Is this her chance to carry on the family tradition and finally follow her dreams?

My Review

I enjoyed this book from the very first page and spent many nights staying up too late reading it. The location comes alive and as always the descriptions of food and wine are perfect and make you long to share in the whole pizzeria experience (especially as I’ve eaten out once in almost a year and a half!).

The main characters in this book have their flaws – Lucia is very single-minded and can’t see what’s truly going on around her and her ex, Giacomo, shuts up and retreats when faced with problems instead of stating how he feels. At times this would irritate me, but I think that’s because it was obvious they were meant to be together and I just wanted that happy ever after moment for them to come asap.

The cast of characters were like good friends, especially Nonna and Nonno, and I shall miss reading about them.

This book is the perfect way to escape for a few hours, who can resist a romantic retreat to Italy?

You can pick up your copy now for just 99p ebook on Amazon

I have loved all of Jo Thomas’ books so far. Here are some more of my reviews if you need any persuading to give this author a try.

The Olive Branch

Late Summer in the vineyard

Escape to the French Farmhouse

Double review – Finding Love at The Christmas Market and Winter Beneath the Stars

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance

You can follow me on

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