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!

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The Chateau of Happily – Ever – Afters by Jaimie Admans – #BlogTour + Giveaway

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The Chateau of Happily – Ever – Afters by Jaimie Admans

34887937Publisher: HQ Digital

Publishing Date: 7th June 2017

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

Number of pages: 272

Genre:  Romance,  Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Escape to beautiful France this summer with this uplifting romantic comedy.

Where dreams come true…?

Wendy Clayton stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago. Instead, she has a ‘nice’ life. Nice job. Nice flat. Absolutely no men. Until her life is turned upside-down when her elderly neighbour, Eulalie, passes away and leaves her the Château of Happily Ever Afters!

But there’s a catch: she must share the sprawling French castle with Eulalie’s long-lost nephew, Julian. And no matter how gorgeous he is, or how easily she finds herself falling head over heels, Wendy needs to find a way to get rid of him…

Because surely happily ever afters don’t happen in real life?

Perfect for fans of Kat French, Caroline Roberts and Holly Martin.

Rating: four-stars

The Château of Happily – Ever – Afters is my first book by Jaimie Admans, but for sure not the last! It took me so positively by surprise, with a brilliant storytelling, larger than life characters that were almost jumping out of the pages and brilliant plot, and I found myself racing through the pages either laughing out loud or cringing with awkwardness, desperately wanting to know how things would turn out and how many snakes are we going to find in the kitchen.

I loved the characters in this book, all of them! OK, I must admit, at the beginning Julian was so, so annoying, did you have the feeling as well? Oooh, somehow he seemed so uptight and self – important, appearing out of the blue and pursuing Wendy to France, and so very well prepared! I don’t know, I just liked Wendy so much and I so wanted to box Julian on the ear, and I so wanted to encourage her to get her own back on him, however Wendy did disappoint me here a little, I was hoping for a funny open war here, and it was only Julian coming up with some annoying ideas. But whatever. But then, slowly, I started to warm to him so much, and the fact that he’s an incredibly handsome model with a six – pack had nothing to do with it. Really! I promise! So yes, together with Wendy we’ve been changing our mind about him – starting with thinking he’s a git and a cheat who only wants Wendy’s half of the château and ending with totally different feelings.

Wendy was somehow so funny with her being so serious and with the strong sense of responsibility, and so going to France was for her a real adventure, especially as she doesn’t speak French and didn’t have any experience when it comes to packing – but really, would YOU know what to take with you to a chateau that you a while ago didn’t believe exist at all? Exactly. However, our Wendy is determined to make the best of the chateau. Moreover, she can bake delicious things – really, guys, the descriptions of her creations were mouth – watering. She is accident – prone and often finds herself in awkward situations.

What both of them had in common was that they were both full of puzzles and secrets and many layers, and it was a great journey full of bumps and surprises while unpeeling all of them – and I really liked what emerged at the end. They were truly brilliant characters, full of fun and joy.

I loved the setting and the descriptions of the chateau, its rooms and gardens, the neighbourhood and French countryside, and especially I enjoyed the village market – it was so easy to imagine all those stands, friendly sellers, I could really easily picture every detail and smell not forget the descriptions of the lovely, delicious French baking – mmmmm!

The book really took off when the characters found themselves in France – it was then that it started to be hilariously funny and that I began to feel that I’m getting to know the characters. However, then, it started to slow down – don’t get me wrong, the writing style was brilliant, the dialogues were more than brilliant, it was so funny and sometimes also poignant, but there was just too much of nothing, in fact, happening. I loved the banter, or Wendy and Julian trying to first drive out each other from the house and then getting to know each other, it’s just that if felt too slow. I am also not sure how I felt about the château bringing people together, with it having secrets and treasures – somehow this part of the story felt for me too far – fetched and not completely finished. I personally couldn’t believe in the magical walls – call me a killjoy. But altogether, I totally adored this book. It was fresh, and funny, and surprising.

“The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters”  is a brilliant summer read, full of colours, smells, humour, this all brought to us in incredibly vivid way. It is sassy, charming and romantic and so easily transported me to the sunny Normandy – a really perfect read for the summer evening! Highly recommended!

GIVEAWAY

French-themed stationery goodie bag.  chateau2bof2bhappily2bever2bafters2bgiveaway

1 x Paperchase Paris notebook and pen

1 x The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters notebook

1 x little Eiffel Tower model

1 x Eiffel Tower bookmark

1 x The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters magnet

1 x Signed postcard

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Kiss Me At Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt / Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Kiss Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt

 

34609812Publisher: Tule Publishing

Publishing Date: 25th May  2017

Series: Willoughby Close #4 (find my review of part 1 here , part 2 here and part 3 here)

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

Number of pages: 206

Genre: Romance, General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

Synopsis:

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

After her husband unexpectedly dies, Ava moves to Willoughby Close, trying to keep her chin up and herself to herself as she’s always done—not answering questions, not making friends, and not seeing much of a future. Her marriage was far from perfect, but it offered her a much-needed security that has now been ripped away. She’s not sure what to do now that she’s thirty-five, widowed, penniless… and unexpectedly pregnant with her late husband’s child.

Jace Tucker is the over-the-top sexy caretaker of Willoughby Manor, and he can see beneath Ava’s glamor girl act to the hurt she’s been hiding for so long. She has secrets for a reason—and so does he. The last thing she needs right now is a fling with a man who hides a past as regrettable as her own.

But with a baby to think about, and neighbors determined to be her friends, Ava finds herself starting to change and even more alarmingly, beginning to hope. Can Willoughby Close work its everyday magic on a woman like her? And when the past comes calling for both her and Jace, will they have to answer for their previous mistakes?

Rating:  three-stars

“Kiss Me at Willoughby Close” is the fourth part in the series and it introduces us to Ava – of course, we’ve already got a chance to cursorily get to know her in the previous part and – as usually – the first impression was not too optimistic and encouraging, but the author has already got us used to the fact that at first the new characters seem to be not likeable and then explaining their circumstances, which usually make us change our mind about them – and it was the same here with Ava – she’s starting afresh, Willoughby Close is her second chance. I’d say you can read this novel as a stand alone, of course, but I think that there is now too much insider info to really get into the heart of the story without reading the previous parts, and I would recommend reading the stories in the right order.

Each part of Willoughby Close focuses on a new character, however “Kiss Me at Willoughby Close” introduces us not only to Ava, but also brings us much, much more of the mysterious caretaker Jace and gives us a lot of insight into Lady Stokeley’s life – which I found really brilliant, as I think that adding all of them, as well as Alice later on, made the story this little bit more interesting. I think that dedicating this novel only to Ava would make it too one – dimensional, so it was really a great move from the author – highly appreciated 🙂

Ava moves to Willoughby Close after just having lost her husband. He was much older than her and she admits that she was more of a trophy wife but that she married him being aware of this fact. She has experienced a lot in her life and she just wanted to live comfortably, without any troubles and problems any more. However, after his death, she realised that she was nothing more to her husband as the trophy wife, and she learns it in a very painful way, seeing that he has left her the same amount of money in his will as he left to their cleaner – ten thousand pounds.

As much as I liked Ava, it was Jace’s story that stole the show in my opinion. This time we really get to know him and his background, what happened in the past and why he ended up in Willoughby Close. While it was not life – changing, it added some pepper and the way Ava reacted to this story made her this lit bit more human, so it was a win – win situation really.
There were not many twists and turns in this book, and I often found myself skim – reading. It was a little on the flat side, but it was still a story that is easy to enjoy. It was about being open and about second chances, about not judging and always seeing two sides of the story. There is a convincing romance, troubles in paradise and Kate Hewitt has a real way with words, having created a lovely fictional community that I have no problems to picture. Already looking forward to the next part in the series.

GIVEAWAY!

The giveaway is for:

1st prize: £10 Amazon giftcard
2nd prize: paperback copy of Find Me at Willoughby Close

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Find Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt / Blog Tour + Giveaway

Hi there, and happy Thursday. A new day, a new blog tour  and today, guys, I have a review AND a giveaway for you. Hope you sit comfortably – enjoy!

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Find Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt

 

34113446Publisher: Tule Publishing

Publishing Date: 14th March  2017

Series: Willoughby Close #3 (find my review of part 1 here and part 2 here)

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

Number of pages: 399

Genre: Romance, General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

Harriet Lang had the perfect life, so she’s left reeling when everything is taken from her in one fell swoop. Suddenly, Harriet learns her beautiful farmhouse in the Cotswolds is double-mortgaged, her husband Richard’s been unceremoniously fired—and he’s become a little too close to his young, sexy assistant.

Harriet moves into Willoughby Close with her three children, trying to hold her head up high. With the help of her neighbor and newfound friend Ellie Matthews, Harriet starts to rebuild her life–but dipping a toe in the dating pool feels strange and meanwhile her children are struggling in different ways. She wonders if starting over is really possible…

Then Willoughby Close begins to weave its healing magic on both her and her children, and Harriet begins to see a way forward. But when Richard reappears in her life, wanting to make amends, Harriet must make the painful decision about how much of the past can be forgiven—and what kind of future she is fighting for.

Rating: four-stars

“Find Me at Willoughby Close” is the third and – in my opinion – the best yet part in the Willoughby Close series. Each part introduces us to new characters, so of course you can read the books as stand – alones, however all of the characters were usually already mentioned, and it was also the case with our Harriet Lang. The picture of Harriet that the author has painted was not so optimistic though, she was this kind of yummy – mummy driving a four by four, belonging to those who usually blank you out at the school gates, spoiling her three children with electric devices and ponies. You could think she has the perfect life, right? Well, as it turns out, sort of.

The author, in a very accessible and interesting way, showed in her story how it is to fall, put yourself together and start again. How to learn that money – even if important in our lives – are not everything. I found it really interesting to watch how Harriet’s family was starting to learn actually from the beginning, was given a chance to see that they’re going to survive, that down – sizing doesn’t mean the end of the world, even though it was not the most easier thing for them. I could imagine – you’re used to living in luxury and comfort and then suddenly you had to take a pass on literally all of the things that you took for granted, and it was especially difficult for the children.

Kate Hewitt’s writing style is lovely – it’s engaging, and this time the story was flowing effortlessly. She has written the characters in a brilliant way and I quickly warmed to them all and even though in the previous parts Harriet could appear inaccessible and arrogant, in this novel it was explained why she was like this and I think it was because she so quickly rearranged her train of thoughts and behaviour that made me keep everything crossed for her. It was not easy for her, there were some ups and downs, putting emphasis on downs here, and even when she had her weaker moments, she wasn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves. Yes, there were moments that I wanted to shake her very hard, as well, the way to finding what she really wants was rather bumpy, and she was mostly so negative, but nevertheless, she was a likeable character. The other characters fade a little in Harriet’s shadow, as the book was really centred around her, and I had a feeling we weren’t given a huge chance to get to know them properly. There are Harriet’s children and I think it’s Mallory that gets the most mentions, and the picture painted of her was not the most optimistic one and I can only hope that she’s smart enough. I was not sure what to think about Richard, to be honest. I could for sure see why he didn’t tell Harriet that they’re in troubles. He seemed backboneless to me, and I was happy that in the end Harriet showed him that they can be happy in a different way.

This story is about learning a lesson or two. It took Harriet some time but she eventually realized that money changed everything in her life, and also that it changed her. She stopped seeing what’s important in her life – she thought it’s popularity, pony club, yummy mummies meetings but then she realized that it’s something very different. A lovely novel about finding yourself again, about adjusting, about finding answers. There are lies, deceits, money and troubles in this novel, a read that I really enjoyed. The sexy vet may be misleading, as there is not a lot of romance in this story, as it is more of a personal development, but it worked for me. Already looking forward to the next part in the series!

GIVEAWAY!

The giveaway for this tour is 1 paperback copy of Meet Me at Willoughby Close, good luck!

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Meet Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt / Blog Tour + Giveaway

Hi there, and happy Thursday. I personally can’t wait for it to be Friday evening already, as tomorrow I have a very, very, VERY exhausting day. But today, guys, I have a review AND a giveaway for you, this all as a part of a blog tour. Hope you sit comfortably – enjoy!

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Meet Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt

 

32934017Publisher: Tule Publishing

Publishing Date: 31st January 2016

Series: Willoughby Close #2 (read my review of part 1 here)

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

Number of pages: 243

Genre: Romance,  General Fiction (Adults)

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 

Synopsis:

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

Ellie Matthews has come to Wychwood-on-Lea to find a new start for her and her daughter Abby. But, life there doesn’t start out as idyllic as she had hoped. While Ellie loves her cute cottage in Willoughby Close, the Yummy Mummies at the primary school seem intent on giving her the cold shoulder, Abby has trouble fitting in, and her boss, Oliver Venables, is both surprisingly sexy and irritatingly inscrutable.

But miracles can happen in the most unexpected places, and in small, yet wonderful ways. Slowly, Ellie and Abby find themselves making friends and experiencing the everyday magic of Willoughby Close. When Oliver’s nephew, Tobias, befriends Abby, the four of them start to feel like family… and Ellie begins to see the kindness and warmth beneath Oliver’s chilly exterior, which awakens both her longing and fear.

Ellie knows all about disappointment, and the pain of trying too hard for nothing, while Oliver has his own hurts and secrets to deal with. When the past comes rollicking back to remind both of them of their weaknesses and failings, will they be able to overcome their fears and find their own happy ending?

Discover the heartwarming magic of Willoughby Close… with four more stories of hope and happily-ever-afters to look forward to.

Rating: 3/5

“Meet Me at Willoughby Close” is the second book in the Willoughby Close series and I’d say you COULD read it as a stand – alone, however I’d suggest you to better read the previous novella as well – “A Cotswolds Christmas” introduces us to the general idea of the series and it gives a lot of background information that I feel you need to fully enjoy the next books.

“Meet Me at Willoughby Close” introduces us to new characters, although some of the old ones that we already know from “A Cotswolds Christmas” enter the scenes of this book as well. So we have Ellie and her daughter Abby who are now moving to Cotswolds to start afresh. Ellie is divorced, and Abby is an eleven – year – old girl who was bullied at her old school for being a bit of a nerd. She’s of course worried to start at new school and Ellie is worried about her. Also, Ellie’s biggest dream is to find a friend – for her and her daughter – at the new place.
I think the most colourful and believable character was Abby. She was just like a real 11 – year – old and it hurt so much to see how scared she is to start at new school, but also uplifting to see how brave she was. She had a great connection to her mum and I liked their interactions, she had kept her wits about her much better than her mother. I loved Ellie as a mother, because her daughter Abby was always first, no matter what, and maybe Ellie has forgotten she has her own life to live and concentrated too much on Abby, but she was a great mother in my opinion. I loved how she developed in this story, how she started to learn what it is she wants from life, proving that it’s never too late to pursue your own needs and also finally showing Nathan the doors. I also liked that Oliver was not your typical muscle – flexing alpha – male hero. So it was like this – I liked the main characters as people, even though their actions didn’t work for me so much. However, some of the background characters, I really wasn’t sure what their presence should make for.

Basically there was nothing wrong with this book. It is only, as I always read two books at the same time, I’ve read it when reading one of the most amazing, touching books ever, so “Meet Me at Willoughby Close” had a lot to live up to. I just had a feeling that actually not a lot is happening in this story. The blossoming romance between the characters was a little incomprehensible to me, there was no built – up to it, it felt too forced and I wasn’t sure if the male character is really as interested as the heroine. If you’re looking for the sparkles and sizzling chemistry than sorry, but it’s not there. It seems as if it is a blend of random situations for me, as if the author wanted to fill the pages. The majority of the story is about Ellie and Oliver wanting but not daring (or not wanting) to acknowledge that they have feelings towards each other – with more emphasis on Oliver, to be honest, so maybe this is why I had a feeling it is so forced, that Ellie somehow pushed him for those feelings and it just seemed like a one huge misunderstanding. They didn’t seem to know each other enough, they weren’t comfortable in each other’s company and they didn’t know how to talk to each other about what’s happening. And really, it was Abby (who’s eleven) who was the most mature in this relationship. It was also a rather predictable read and there were many clichéd situations and things were happening very conveniently for the characters – they always found babysitters/time/excuse.

But altogether, “Meet Me at Willoughby Close” was an enjoyable book and I am looking forward to the next part. It was about new beginnings and about letting the past go, about finding your own comfort zones and not those that others would like to see you in. The author touches upon some burning issues, such like bullying and , in general, difficult teenagers’ lives. I for sure liked it better than the first book in the series, however I am still missing this “something” that makes a book exceptional and that Kate Hewitt has already showed me she’s capable to put into her stories. But she managed to make this book very charming and believable, if we forget about some situations and the characters to develop – slowly but steadily. There were also elements of dramatic, melodramatic experiences but they so didn’t sit with me. They just looked over – dramatic, too forced and somehow unrealistic. However Kate Hewitt’s writing style is lovely, warm and inviting and her characters are down – to – earth. Maybe they are not the most complex ones but they have qualities and features that made them to stand out. I am
already looking to the next story in the series.

GIVEAWAY:

There are 3 paperback copies of “Meet Me at Willoughby Close” to be won (UK only)!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham // Blog Tour + Giveaway

Today I am über – excited to be a part of “Talking As Fast As I Can” by Lauren Graham blog tour.  This book is Lauren’s first non – fiction book, however in 2013 I read and absolutely loved her novel “Someday, Someday, Maybe”. Lauren Graham may be better knows as Lorelei Gilmore and yes, let us talk a bit about “The Gilmore Girls”!

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So guys, the fact is that I don’t watch TV. I just don’t have time for this and I’m too quickly bored and am not interested in spending my time sitting and doing nothing. But of course let’s not exaggerate – there are films that I LOVE or series that I DO watch. Like “Full House”, “ER”… oh gosh, can you remember then? I can, even though it was thousand years ago! or when I was very, very young series like “Melrose Place”… But of course you usually outgrow them and they’re not interesting anymore. However, there is series that I could watch and watch, over and over again, it’s timeless and it’s – yes, you got it! – “Gilmore Girls”! I simply love this series!

It is impossible to share my favourite Lorelei’s moment with you because there are just too many, so I’m going to tell you why I love the series so much:

– because of the actors.

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– because of the dialogues

– because of it being full of touching moments

– because it being so close to life

– because of the characters making mistakes and eating four Thanksgiving dinners

– because of the first dates

– because of the rendition of “Wind Beneath my Wings”

– because of Rory, after years of hard work at Chilton, not only getting into her dream school, Harvard but also Yale and Princeton. Hard work pays off!

– because of Rory’s graduation speech: “My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be.  She filled our house with love and fun and books and music, unflagging in her efforts to give me role models from Jane Austen to Eudora Welty to Patti Smith.  As she guided me through these incredible eighteen years, I don’t know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her.  Thank you, Mom: you are my guidepost for everything.”

– actually every scene with Luke. Lorelei/Luke relationship was just so genuine and honest, don’t you think? He was always there for Lorelei, no matter what!

So really, if you’re anything like me, then you just love “Gilmore Girls” and their come – back was a real highlight for me this year.

About the book:
 
Title: Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between
Author: Lauren Graham
Published: December 6th 2016 by Virago

Blurb: In her first work of nonfiction, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood recounts her experiences on Gilmore Girls—the first and second time—and shares stories about life, love, and working in Hollywood. This collection of essays is written in the intimate, hilarious, and down-to earth voice that made her novel, Someday Someday Maybe, a New York Times bestseller.

“This book contains some stories from my life: the awkward growing up years, the confusing dating years, the fulfilling working years, and what it was like to be asked to play one of my favorite characters again. You probably think I’m talking about my incredible achievement as Dolly in Hello, Dolly! as a Langley High School junior, a performance my dad called “you’re so much taller than the other kids.” But no! I’m talking about Lorelai Gilmore, who, back in 2008, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see again. Also included: tales of living on a houseboat, meeting guys at awards shows, and that time I was asked to be a butt model. A hint: all three made me seasick.”—Lauren Graham

GIVEAWAY!
You can win a copy of Lauren’s “Talking As Fast as I Can”! The only thing you need to do is to enter the Rafflecopter! Open for Europe/UK.

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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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