Book Review: Charlee And The Chocolate Shop.

Charlee“Why has that shop got its Christmas tree up when its barely October?” I raged to Mark last week.

That was before I read Jessica Redland’s new festive treat (one of two she has released this month!), Charlee And The Chocolate Shop.

Afterwards, I was tempted to head into the loft and get all our decorations down. The only thing stopping me was the thought of (continuously) explaining to Freya that we still have MONTHS until the Big Day.

This book is full of Christmas magic, though, and you’d have to be pretty hardhearted not to be moved by it.

I’m a big fan of Jessica’s work and, as always, it’s beautifully written with a natural warmth and good humour that just seems part of her style.

Her heroine, Charlee, is both strong and at times vulnerable while her hero, Matt, is absolutely perfect – apart from having a fiancee, of course. Oh wait, you didn’t know that last bit.

Here’s the blurb:

Master chocolatier, Charlee Chambers, has plenty to be excited about as Christmas approaches. She’s moved in with her boyfriend, Darren, and she’s about to open a chocolate shop, following in her late granddad’s footsteps. If only Darren would show more interest in helping her refurbish Charlee’s Chocolates ready for a December opening.

When water starts pouring through the shop ceiling, and Darren can’t be contacted to help, emergency plumber Matt comes to the rescue. From that moment on, Matt does more to support Charlee in achieving her dreams than Darren ever has, and she finds herself drawn to him. But Matt’s engaged and Charlee loves Darren … doesn’t she? And Darren loves her … or at least, she thinks he does, but he’s been behaving a little strangely recently.

Then Charlee discovers that Darren has a secret. But so does Matt. And so, it seems, does the woman who abandoned her at birth …

Not only are her main characters always really well developed but the supporting cast also add colour and excitement. If you’ve read any of her other books you’ll be pleased to see some familiar faces pop up.

There are some wonderful, really did not see that coming, surprises in this book, which must have taken a lot of planning but it all comes together like a perfect jigsaw.

There are also some truly gorgeous scenes, including one involving a Christmas light switch on (I won’t spoil anything) that had me swooning. Her fictional creation of Whitsborough Bay sounds like a fabulous place to live at any time of year but at Christmas it truly transforms into a winter wonderland.

A warning though; I wanted to eat a bit of chocolate – specifically Christmas chocolate – approximately every other page. If you have no will power, like me, I’d stock up before you start so you don’t have to interrupt the story to pop to the shops.

Format: Kindle.

Price: 99p.

My rating: Five stars.

I was lucky enough to interview Jessica for my Behind The Book series, which you can read here. Don’t forget to check out her other new book, Christmas At Carly’s Cupcakes, which I have waiting for me next.

 

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My Sunday Photo – October 8th, 2017.

eaton park 1 2

I’ve been cracking on with decorating the living room this week so chances to get out with my camera have been few and far between. It’s nearly done now, thankfully.

This shot was taken last Sunday on a dull, grey day at Eaton Park in Norwich. Years ago my running buddy spotted a heron at the pond but we have never seen once since and it’s become a long standing joke. I even mentioned it this time but as we jogged by I noticed a head below the wall and emergency stopped mid-run to grab a photo on my phone. I snapped it quickly just in case it flew away but also because I didn’t want to interrupt our run for too long. I like the fact it’s standing next to the “no fishing” sign.

To see what other people have submitted for Darren’s My Sunday Photo please click on the camera below.

Wishing you an enjoyable week ahead.

Photalife

 

Book Review: Moonlight Over Manhattan.

cover119479-mediumIt’s like Sarah Morgan has been inside my head.

She’s had a rummage about, moved some tumbleweed aside, picked out every single thing I like in a romance and then put them all in her latest book, Moonlight Over Manhattan.

It has the brave yet troubled heroine, the handsome, hot, brooding hero (who also happens to be an ER doctor), chemistry between the two that’s almost palpable, a charming supporting cast, a storyline which keeps you engaged from page one, and, as an added extra, a cute dog.

Tick, tick and tick.

Here’s the blurb.

She’ll risk everything for her own Christmas miracle…

Determined to conquer a lifetime of shyness, Harriet Knight challenges herself to do one thing a day in December that scares her, including celebrating Christmas without her family.

But when dog-walker Harriet meets her newest client, exuberant spaniel Madi, she adds an extra challenge to her list – dealing with Madi’s temporary dog-sitter, gruff doctor Ethan Black, and their very unexpected chemistry.

Ethan thought he was used to chaos, until he met Madi – how can one tiny dog cause such mayhem? To Ethan, the solution is simple – he will pay Harriet to share his New York apartment and provide 24-hour care. But there’s nothing simple about how Harriet makes him feel.

Ethan’s kisses make Harriet shine brighter than the stars over moonlit Manhattan. But when his dog-sitting duties are over, and Harriet returns to her own home, will she dare to take the biggest challenge of all – letting Ethan know he has her heart for life, not just for Christmas?

I’m no stranger to Sarah’s books (this is book six in this series alone, although they can all be read as individual novels) and they would automatically be on my must read pile but I’ve really been looking forward to Harriet’s story ever since her first mention.

Sarah has really delivered with this one, it’s a lovely warm story with plenty of emotion and the romance between them is so well written.

I felt instantly connected to shy Harriet and loved the way she tried to overcome her difficulties. In fact, Harriet and Ethan both seem very real which meant I was invested in their tale and stayed up later than I should have done for several nights while trying to finish it.

A well deserved five stars.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £4.49.

My rating: Five stars.

With thanks to HQ via NetGalley for the ARC in return for my honest opinion.