Celebrations at the Chateau by Jo Thomas #romance #bookreview #netgalley

This was the another Netgalley ARC, which I was very excited to read as its by one of my favourite romance writers, Jo Thomas.

Blurb

When their grandfather dies, Fliss and her sisters are astonished to inherit a French chateau! Travelling to Normandy to visit the beautiful if faded house, they excitedly make plans over delicious crepes and local cider in the town nearby.

But they soon discover the chateau needs major work, a huge tax bill is due . . . and there’s a sitting tenant to whom they owe a monthly allowance.

Unable to sell but strapped for cash, Fliss determines to spruce up the elegant old rooms and open a B&B. But, why is Jacques, the local mayor, so hostile? How did Fliss’s grandfather come to own the place anyway? And will Jacques and Fliss be able to put their differences aside to save the chateau?

Inspired by Escape to the Chateau, this cosy and uplifting novel to curl up with, from the author of Escape to the French Farmhouse and Finding Love at the Christmas Market.

My Review

I loved reading this story right from the start. Inheriting an old French Chateau is right up there on my wish list, but seeing as that is not going to happen I had to live the fantasy through Fliss and her sisters.

When the three sisters decide to turn the old, run down Chateau into a B&B before it bankrupts them, it doesn’t go as smoothly as they’d hoped. Much like the path to true love between Fliss and the broody mayor, Jacques. They are perfect for each other but ex’s and a difficult situation in the past threatens their happy ever after.

Fliss is a very capable heroine, but she still occasionally needs rescuing and the handsome farmer / mayor / next door neighbour, Jacques is never far away.

The supporting cast are great; from Fliss’ nephew Jason who comes to help restore the chateau and blossoms in France, to Clementine Jacques step-daughter, to the huge working horse Pegasus whose always sticking his head through the fences and causing havoc, and Cedrick the peacock whose sometimes turns up to delight the guests. I have to mention the sitting tenant too, the chatelaine. She holds the key to the mystery of how Fliss’ grandfather came to own the Chateau in the first place, if only she could overcome the events in the past to confide in Fliss.

At the heart of this novel is mystery, love and family relationships. And of course there’s plenty of Christmas magic and a New Year’s Eve wedding at the Chateau to look forward to. You can’t get much better than that.

***

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

You can follow me on

Twitter   Goodreads   BookBub   Amazon   Facebook

Instagram

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

A Bookshop Christmas by Rachel Burton #bookreview #romance #netgalley

Thanks to Netgalley I managed to bag an ARC of A Bookshop Christmas by Rachel Burton ahead of the publication date of 2nd September 2021. I didn’t manage to finish reading in time post on publication day, but here is my review – hopefully it’s better late than never.

Blurb

A snowstorm. A stranger. A spark. And it’s Christmas!
It should be the perfect start to the perfect love story.

But real life is far messier and more complicated than in the pages of the books in Megan Taylor’s family bookshop – the last few years have left this young widow in no doubt of that. Moving back home to York should have been a fresh start, but all it did was allow her to retreat from the world.

When prize-winning author Xander Stone rams his supermarket trolley into her ankles and then trashes her taste in books, Megan is abruptly awoken from her self-imposed hibernation. It’s time to start living again, and she’s going to start by putting this arrogant, superior – admittedly sexy – stranger in his place.

Just as she is beginning to enjoy life again, the worst happens and Megan begins to wonder if she should have stayed hidden away. Because it turns out that falling in love again is about more than just meeting under the mistletoe… 

See it on Goodreads

My Mini Review

A bookshop is the perfect setting for a magical Christmas story.

This heart-warming romance shows that life can eventually carry on after loss. Rachel Burton has taken a very difficult subject, the death of a spose at a young age, and treats it with sensitivity. She shows how it takes time to recover, and can often be overwhelming, but with the right person happiness is possible. This isn’t a sad or maudlin story, but one of hope.

I immediately connected to Megan the main character, and Zander has all the marks of a broody hero with a soft side to him. The challenges they face are believable and entertaining, and I was rooting for their budding relationship to develop despite all the set backs and misunderstandings.

The cast of characters were all well drawn and likeable and I especially liked the book group’s weekly meeting at the book shop and their extravagant plans for the Christmas party. Special shout out to Zander’s dog as featured on the cover.

I do love a bit of Christmas magic, though you can enjoy this story at any time of year.

***

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

You can follow me on

Twitter   Goodreads   BookBub   Amazon   Facebook

Instagram

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

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.

***

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

You can follow me on

Twitter   Goodreads   BookBub   Amazon   Facebook

Instagram

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

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.

***

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?

***

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.

***

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

You can follow me on

Twitter   Goodreads   BookBub   Amazon   Facebook Instagram

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