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

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#Bookreview The River Between Us by Liz Fenwick #romance #netgalley

I received an ARC of The River Between Us via Netgalley. It is due for publication next month – 10th June 2021.

Following the breakdown of her marriage, Theo has bought a tumbledown cottage on the banks of the river Tamar which divides Cornwall and Devon. The peace and tranquillity of Boatman’s Cottage, nestled by the water, is just what she needs to heal.

Yet soon after her arrival, Theo discovers a stash of hidden letters tied with a ribbon, untouched for more than a century. The letters – sent from the battlefields of France during WW1 – tell of a young servant from the nearby manor house, Abbotswood, and his love for a woman he was destined to lose.

As she begins to bring Boatman’s Cottage and its gardens back to life, Theo pieces together a story of star-crossed lovers played out against the river, while finding her own new path to happiness.

The River Between Us beautifully explores the mystery and secrets of a long-forgotten love affair, and will be loved by fans of Kate Morton.

My Review

I’ve read a few of Liz Fenwick’s books and enjoy her style of storytelling. I really liked how The River Between Us is split between modern day and goes back to a historical love affair set around the time of WW1. Reading the book it often felt as much a mystery as a romance. Both timelines are captured beautifully on the page. I found myself drawn to the modern day heroine, Theo, and the characters from the past. It was so interesting to unravel the story and see how people and events have some bearing on Theo’s life.

At times it did feel strange that the love element was firmly in the past. However, Theo has plenty going on in her life including a horrible ex and a mystery love affair in her own distant past.

This was a very enjoyable read. I recommend this book to those who’ve enjoyed Liz Fenwick’s unique storytelling style of mixing past and present, and those who love to unravel a mystery or two alongside their romance.

Add to your goodreads shelf

Pre-order on Amazon

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

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#Bookreview Waste Not, Want Not in Applewell by Lilac Mills #romance #Netgalley

I was surprised how much I loved this story, though seeing as it’s a Lilac Mills book I should have known it would be good!

Blurb

George can’t throw anything away. But he’s in danger of throwing away this opportunity to be loved…

George Nightingale is a hoarder with a house full of junk. For years he’s kept it a secret, rarely leaving his house and keeping social interactions to a minimum, but his carefully balanced system is now under threat…

Nessa Millbrook can’t wait to get settled into her new home in quaint, rural Applewell. Everyone in the village is so friendly – except her neighbour, George, who wants nothing to do with her. But Nessa isn’t one to back down from a challenge and she’s determined to win George over.

The years have taught George to shield his heart and trust no one. Yet Nessa keeps reaching out to him – does he have the courage to take a chance, and reach back?

My review

I really enjoyed Waste Not, Want Not in Applewell. It’s refreshing to read a story where the main characters are older and proves love and lust is not just for the young. I wasn’t sure how well a book whose hero is a reclusive hoarder would work, but I was happily surprised by the story and my depth of feelings towards these two lonely people.

Both George and Nessa are well-rounded and believable main characters and their kept me turning the pages. There were plenty of emotional and heart-warming moments and the ending was perfect.

The supporting cast of Applewell village are a friendly bunch and, as this is the first book in the Applewell Village Series, I’m looking forward to many more stories set there. Lilac Mills is right up there as one of my favourite romance authors.

A special mention for Sylvia the cat – she always managed to bring a smile to my face. I do love it when a character has a furry friend.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this advance review copy.

The book is available for pre-order now on Amazon etc. Publication date 6th May 2021.

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

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#Bookreview Under the Italian Sun by @SueMoorcroft #romance #Netgalley

I received this book prior to publication via Netgalley and am grateful to have been given the chance to read this immersive summer read. Publication date is set as 13th May 2021.

Blurb

A warm, sun-baked terrace.

The rustle of verdant green vines.

The sun slowly dipping behind the Umbrian mountains.

And the chink of wine glasses as the first cork of the evening is popped…

Welcome to Italy. A place that holds the answer to Zia-Lucia Costa Chalmers’ many questions. Not least, how she ended up with such a mouthful of a name.

When Zia discovers that her mother wasn’t who she thought she was, she realises the time has come to search out the Italian family she’s never known.

However, as she delves into the secrets of her past, she doesn’t bargain on having to think about her future too. But with local vineyard owner, Piero, living next door, Zia knows she has a serious distraction who may prove difficult to ignore…

This summer, join Zia as she sets out to uncover her past. But can she find the future she’s always dreamed of along the way?

My Review

As soon as I started reading about Zia, I got lost in her story and was desperate to unravel the mystery of her past. I gladly followed her journey from Brighton to Italy and rejoiced when she met the delectable Italian, Piero. They were made to be together but scheming ex’s and shady family dealings threaten any future happiness before it can begin.

I loved the setting, the Italian family Zia is desperate to connect with and the sense of place you get in this book. On a grim, grey days in the UK, there is no better place to be than the Umbrian Mountains ‘Under the Italian Sun’.

An immersive romance, with plenty of emotional impact and scorching moments that have little to do with the weather!

Highly recommended read.

Pre-order from amazon now so you don’t forget!

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

You can follow me on

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June Book haul and books I’m currently reading #amreading

I’ve been on a bit of a buying spree so I wanted to share some of the books I’ve picked up recently.

Jo Thomas – Escape to the French Farmhouse

Jo Thomas writes great fiction for escaping. Here’s my reviews of her previous books The Olive Branch and Late Summer in the Vineyard.

Luanne G Smith – The Vine Witch.

This is an impulse buy as I love the cover and the title.

Emma Miles – Hall of Pillars and Hall of the Night.

I loved Emma’s Fire Walker books so thought I’d give this series a go. Review of Fire Walker Series.

Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol

My son is studying this in English so I thought I would have a go at reading it with him (already beginning to wish I didn’t bother!).

Neal Shusterman – Thunderhead (book 2).

I read Scythe book 1 last year and loved it so I’ve been looking forward to catching up with the rest of the trilogy. Here’s my mini review of Scythe.

Patrick Moore Astronomy for Beginners

This is research for my current WIP The Starlight Prophecy. Even though it’s a fantasy, I like to base my story on facts and real life where possible.

Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games

I loved the films and have been trying to get the kids to agree to read the books. I finally bought a copy and would love to find the time to read it as well, especially with the prequel coming out this month.

GJ Stevens – Lessons Learned – (Carrie Harris Book 2)

This book has just been released this month so I snapped up a copy, especially as I’ve been reading book 1 this month. See below. You can get your copy of Lessons Learned here.

S.A Chakraborty – The Empire of Gold (book 3 Daevabad trilogy).

I was really excited to be given a copy of this from the publisher via Netgalley. I can’t wait to read book 2 The Kingdom of Copper so I can get onto this one.

Ian Gregoire – The Apprentice in The Master’s Shadow (Book 2 Legends of the Order)

This came out in May but I’d thought I’d share it here as I’m looking forward to reading it. Another gorgeous cover too! Here’s my review of book 1.

Claire Huston – Art and Soul

I love all the cake recipes on Claire’s blog so I had to give her debut book a go.

Currently reading

Laura Laakso – Infallible Justice.

I’m enjoying this book very much. It’s a modern day London with magic. I hope to post a review very soon.

GJ Stevens – Operation Dawn Wolf Book 1 Agent Carrie Harris

I plan to review this book asap so don’t want to say too much right now apart from the fact that it’s very good! But if you’re interested in reading it you can get a free copy of the book by joining GJ Stevens newsletter. That’s how I got my copy.

That’s about it for my recent purchases. I’m hoping to get lots of reading done over the summer so look out for reviews of the above.

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Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy

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A quick round up for The Lost Sentinel #Netgalley #fantasy

The Lost Sentinel has a few things going on at the moment and I thought I’d do a quick round-up for you.

It’s available to request on Netgalley for the next few days only. Please check it out here and request an ARC if it sounds like your kind of fantasy.

Tomorrow begins a new 99p Kindle Countdown Deal. So if you aren’t on Netgalley, you can pick it up for the bargain price of 99p 1st – 8th August. This is to coincide with the start of ‘Self Published Fantasy Blog Off’ as detailed below…

On the 1 year anniversary of publication (16th June) I entered The Lost Sentinel into the very popular SPFBO competition, set up by the great Mark Lawrence. In it’s forth year, the competition for 300 authors was full within 48 hours, so I was lucky to grab the opportunity when I did. The judging rounds open tomorrow, meaning reviewers will start posting their reviews and a winner from each group (30 authors to 1 reviewer/review team) will eventually be chosen and put into the final 10. There have been some huge success stories because of this competition, so it’ll be exciting to find out who wins big this year.

Another really exciting thing for me is that a whole group of authors who are entered into SPFBO will be reducing their books to 99p for 5 days. At last count there were well over 100 authors taking part. I shall post more about this tomorrow along with the links on where to buy etc. If you are a fantasy reader, this could be your chance to pick up some great bargains. I can’t wait to get some discounted books myself and help my fellow indie authors get some sales!

The last piece of news I’ll share is that I’ve requested a Book Bub placement for The Lost Sentinel. It was a last minute decision and I don’t expect to get anywhere this time but the good thing is I know how easy it is to send a request now. Hopefully over the next few months I’ll get some more reviews and one day I might get lucky enough to be accepted on Book Bub. It is a huge cost I can’t really afford, but sometimes you have to invest in yourself if you want to succeed.

Don’t forget to check out the big sale tomorrow.

And here’s the link to my Goodreads book page if you wanted to find out more about The Lost Sentinel and see some reviews. As always a free sample is available on Amazon and it is free to read if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.