Cocktails and Dreams by A.L. Michael – #BlogTour/Giveaway

Hi guys! Today is my second (!) stop on A.L. Michael’s blog tour celebrating the release of her newest novel, and the first in the series, “Cocktails and Dreams”. Here you can read the brilliant guest post that the lovely author has written for me, and today you can also read my review of the novel. There is also a giveaway, and all you have to do is to enter the Rafflecopter and have some luck!

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Cocktails and Dreams by A.L. Michael

35603653Publisher: Canelo

Publishing Date: 24th July 2017

Series: Martini Club #1

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review!

Number of pages: 209

Genre:   Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

A heart-warming novel with characters you’ll love, don’t miss this first in a new series for romance, laugh-out-loud comedy and a feel-good ending. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Lindsey Kelk.

I was seven years old when I realized my mother was not a great person…

Since Savvy was abandoned by her rockstar mother, she has craved a normal life. But after years of financing her boyfriend’s lacklustre career, he leaves her when he hits the bigtime.

Savvy’s friends at the burlesque club where she serves elaborate cocktails encourage her to make bold changes in her life. She soon meets handsome bartender Milo, and begins to plan a future she can be excited about.

But when Savvy’s estranged mother crashes back into her life, her newfound happiness is under threat… will Savvy have the courage to pursue her dreams?

Rating: four-stars

I am not so into cocktails. Heck, I am not so into alcohol, except maybe for a glass or two of Prosecco. So I can hear you asking, duh, what did you want from a book titled “Cocktails and Dreams”? True – but it was again the synopsis and the lovely bright yellow cover that captured my attention and I just wanted to read this story that turned out to be a great journey of discovering your own dreams and following them.
Though, I must admit, when I started reading the book I started to have this very unsettling feeling that this story is going to be much heavier than I thought it’s going to be and while the serious tone stayed, the writing style has loosen it and there were some funny moments as well.

The story introduces us to Savvy, who is a daughter of a very famous pop star, but also they haven’t been in touch for a very long time and Savvy was brought up by her aunt. But now she’s an adult, moreover, an adult dumped by her boyfriend, and it’s time for her to realize what it is she wants to do with her life. Well, there is a thing she’s really good at – making cocktails, as well as her cooking skills and tastes, which leads to her writing reviews of restaurants – but not normal reviews, oh no! There is a special club…

I really liked the descriptions of the Martini Club where Savvy was working her magic with cocktails. Let’s be honest, it is an unusual place for a heroine to work at, no? But it sounded great, and the group of people working there, especially the boss, were brilliantly supporting. Actually, all the characters were very well portrayed, and I especially liked Savvy’s father and the relationship they had. Savvy herself was down – to – earth girl from your neighbourhood. She loved her job in the bar and she loved creating cocktails and some of them sounded really interesting – even though I am not into cocktails, I’d make exception to try them.

The romance in the story was absolutely believable and I liked how it developed – not too quickly, not too slowly, and it just sounded realistic, with the ups and downs and troubles in paradise. The writing style is also a great advantage, it is sharp and quick and I really enjoyed it.

Altogether, “Cocktails and Dreams” was a fast – paced and multi – layered story describing a journey to self – realisation. It tackled many different aspects and issues, of fame, family and secrets. Fast – paced, with interesting characters that blended well into the scenes and events and were jumping off the pages. It is also the first book in the series and I will be for sure reading the next one. In the meantime, I do recommend this book to you.

GIVEAWAY:

This giveaway is to win a cocktail making giftset and an eCopy of the book. UK only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Nice Day for a White Wedding by A.L. Michael – Blog Tour

Hi guys, good morning! We are starting early today with a review of “Nice Day for a White Wedding” by A.L. Michael as a part of a great blog tour. There is also a brilliant giveaway to enter – good luck!

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Nice Day for a White Wedding by A.L. Michael

 

29912901Publisher: Carina

Publishing Date: 22nd August 2016

Series: The House on Camden Square #2

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 187

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

Sometimes, Happy Ever After is where the real trouble begins…

Chelsea Donnolly wasn’t supposed to amount to anything. But if there’s one thing the bad girl from the estate liked better than trouble, it was a challenge. So, to the amusement of her best friends Evie, Mollie and Ruby – and the disbelief of her teachers – this bad girl turned good.

These days, Chelsea is the kind of girl people are proud to know – and, after a surprise trip to Venice, she has a ring on her finger to prove it. But to get there, she’s had to learn to keep her deepest secrets from everyone – even her fiancé. And when wedding preparations threaten to blow her cover, Chelsea can’t help but wonder: in her battle to the top, might she have left the best parts of herself behind?

 

Rating: 4/5

“Nice Day for a White Wedding” is a second book in The House on Camden Square series, and even though I haven’t read the first book, I didn’t have any problems to get directly into the heart of this story – I’d say it could easily be read as a standalone book. There were some flashbacks into the past but to be honest they only roused my curiosity what happened then, so I’ll be for sure reading “Goodbye Ruby Tuesday” sooner rather than later.

The story follows Chelsea. It very quickly becomes clear that she’s broken free from a very bad background and has made a success out of her life. She’s escaped the estate and now lives in London, has a great job and a successful boyfriend, and she wants very much to forget about her past – so much that she keeps it a secret whenever she can, even from her boyfriend. However, it is not only the estate that she’s left but her two younger brothers who need her, so will she be able to keep her past always a secret? Especially as Kit, her boyfriend, has just proposed and it’s time to get to know the families… With this end in view the two travel to Lake Garda to meet Kit’s family and it is so clear from the very beginning that there is a huge difference between their backgrounds and life styles and the question is, will this engagement, that was off to such a rocky start, survive?

I didn’t have problems to warm to Chelsea. Sure, she was stubborn but she had her reasons and I really admired her for the fact that she was consequent and when she had a goal she worked toward achieving it. Thanks to the flashbacks into the past we quickly learn what it was that made Chelsea to be like she was and what happened to make her change her mind. She worked hard for what she has now and it was really not a wonder to me that she wanted to keep her independence for herself. Even though her mother was not the easiest person and didn’t make it light for her daughter, Chelsea still supported her family, not only financially, and seeing how much she cared of her brothers was really touching.
On the other hand, I wasn’t so sure about Kit. At the beginning he seemed OK, but then it is amazing how some people and different surrounding can change a person, no? I really wasn’t sure which face of his is the real one, and probably this was my biggest problem with him, because I wasn’t sure if I can trust him. As long as Chelsea and Kit were alone together, everything was perfect, it only changed when the lovely (NOT) Jemima entered the scenes. This relationship seemed so real and so genuine, and then they went to Lake Garda and well, it wasn’t like this anymore. And I partly blamed Kit for this. But it was interesting to make the relationship between Chelsea and Kit so different because of their backgrounds. It was not only bed of roses, it was full of problems, especially when Kit’s family, and his dragon mother, entered the scenes. But it made a difference from all the other bookish romances and it was not so straightforward, which only added tons of meaning to the story, and it sounded really realistic.

It is a story about family bonds, asking if blood is really thicker than water. A story about growing up and seeing what’s important and what’s not. Story about differences and how to overcome them. It was a funny read with many poignant moments, touching upon some important issues. It shows how secrets and lies can affect our lives. Judging on a title I’ve expected a light – hearted romance, however this book is much more emotional and there is much more depth to it than I expected. It moved at a good pace and there were some beautiful settings, which only made the book even more enjoyable and vivid.

GIVEAWAY!

This giveaway is for an Italian themed goodie bag that Andi is preparing herself which has lots of goodies in it – like processo, biscotti and other italian themed yummies!YAY!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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