Book Review And Blog Tour: Another Day In Winter.

ARIA_LOW_ANOTHER DAY IN WINTER_EIn her latest book, Another Day In Winter, Shari Low gives a masterclass in how to seamlessly weave multiple plot lines into one exciting, charming and emotional story.

Just as she did in the first book in this series, One Day In December, she takes four characters, in this case Shauna, Tom, Chrissie and George, and tells their stories over a 24 hour period.

Opening the book is like being pulled into a whirlwind; once the words start spinning around you, there’s no way out of the vortex – at least until you reach the end, feeling slightly windblown but very happy.

Here’s the blurb:

One day, four lives, and a wintery web of secrets and lies.

On a chilly morning in December forever friends Shauna and Lulu touch down at Glasgow Airport on a quest to find answers from the past.

George knows his time is nearing the end, but is it too late to come to terms with his two greatest regrets?

His grandson Tom uncovers a betrayal that rocks his world as he finally tracks down the one that got away.

And single mum Chrissie is ready to force her love-life out of hibernation, but can anyone compare to the man who broke her heart?

It again starts with a long cast list but I’ve learnt not to be daunted by this and to put my faith in Shari’s skills as a storyteller. She’s never let me down. I would love to see how she plans her books. I imagine something like the police investigation boards you see on TV sometimes, with little photographs of suspects and lots of red squiggly lines which eventually all point toward the same conclusion. And that’s what ultimately happens, the individual tales nearly touch, converge, pull away again but the reader knows where it is heading – or at least they hope they do. The only trouble is, it creates a battle between wanting to read it as quickly as possible to find out the ending and slowly savouring every page.

Her characters feel real, which means I laughed and cried along with them. While the main four are all new, it was lovely to see some familiar faces from book one return – a bit like meeting old, cherished friends again.

Not to jinx anything but this engrossing tale has all the makings of a best-seller. I really hope there is at least one more in this series (and then spring, autumn and summer follow). That’s not asking too much, is it?

Format: Kindle.

Price: £2.48 (via Amazon).

My rating: Five stars.

To find out more about Shari please visit her Facebook page , website or follow her on Twitter.

With thanks to Aria (via NetGalley) for the ARC and the opportunity to be part of the tour.

Also, don’t just take my word for it, find out what the other fabulous bloggers on the tour thought.

Another Day in Winter blog tour poster (2)

 

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Book Review: Coming Home To Maple Cottage.

maplecottageComing Home To Maple Cottage is the final book in the latest series by Holly Martin – and definitely the one I’ve been waiting for.

I bought the first two but simply couldn’t wait until publication day to find out Isla and Leo’s story so turned to NetGalley to get an early fix.

The story is just as good as I hoped it would be; a rollercoaster of a tale full of heart and humour – and exactly what I’ve come to expect from Holly, who writes with such wonderful warmth.

Here’s the blurb:

Isla Rosewood is creating a new life for herself and her sweet nephew Elliot in their cosy, yellow-brick family cottage, brimming with special memories. Living in Sandcastle Bay was never part of Isla’s plan but, after her brother Matthew’s tragic accident, her whole world changed as she unexpectedly became a mother to the little boy she adores so much.

Leo Jackson was always known as Matthew’s fun-loving and wild best friend. But now Matthew is gone, it’s time to put his colourful past behind him. His role as Elliot’s godfather is the most important thing to him. And even though Leo and Isla are two very different people, they both want to give Elliot the childhood he deserves.

As the three of them enjoy time together watching fireworks, baking cakes and collecting conkers, Isla begins to see a softer side to charming Leo, with his twinkling eyes and mischievous sense of humour. And, despite herself, she begins to fall for him.

But does Leo feel the same way? Isla knows their situation is complicated but is it too complicated for true love… or will the year end with a happy new beginning for them all?

While I think this book would work as a standalone, I definitely felt more connected to all of the characters knowing a bit more of their backstory from The Holiday Cottage By The Sea and The Cottage On Sunshine Beach. While I enjoyed all three, I think because Isla and Leo’s story had been teased in the other two, this was the one I was most looking forward to.

As always, Holly creates a cast of eclectic, likeable characters who can all see how much Isla and Leo belong together – and do their best to help them along.

Little Elliot provides a fair few comedy moments – along with the indomitable Agatha –  as well as provoking a few tears too.

While I’m happy to know how Isla and Leo’s story concludes, I’m sad that there are no more books in the series.

The only consolation is that hopefully, even as I type, Holly is hard at work on her next book.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £1.99 (via Amazon).

My rating: Five stars.

With thanks to Bookouture for making me very happy by letting me read the ARC (via NetGalley) in return for an honest review.

Book Review: One Day In December.

onedayDecIt was just a moment. Our eyes met, no, not met, more like collided, and something just…clicked – or at least it did for me.

Maybe he didn’t give me another thought. Maybe I only noticed him because he was wearing a tuxedo at 10.30am? Or maybe it was because he practically fell out of a BHS in his hurry but, whatever it was, even now, many, many years later, I remember him. I remember that feeling. It was a proper Mills and Boon moment.

And that little story is why I was instantly hooked by Josie Silvers far longer one.

It’s a page turner, that’s for sure. There are many twists and turns but I don’t think I ever actually guessed how it would end, not really – although I hoped it would play out the way I wanted.

Here’s the blurb:

Two people.

Ten chances.

One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist. After all, life isn’t a scene from the movies, is it?

But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.

Laurie thinks she’ll never see the boy from the bus again. But at their Christmas party a year later, her best friend Sarah introduces her to the new love of her life. Who is, of course, the boy from the bus.

Determined to let him go, Laurie gets on with her life. But what if fate has other plans?

Beautifully written, it captures the normal, messy lives of its engaging characters over a decade in a way that makes you want to keep reading. In fact, it felt like I was living the story with them.

At the start my heart was willing Laurie to tell Sarah the truth about Jack but my head was completely with the storyline. Why would you spoil your best friends relationship on the basis of just a look? Of course, it didn’t stop my heart aching for Laurie.

Josie Silver describes herself as a “unashamed romantic” and I think that comes across in the book, particularly the rather epic ending, which had me swooning.

I’ve seen it said in other reviews that this book would make a wonderful film and I wholeheartedly agree but it should be law that you must read the book first.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £4.99 (from Amazon).

My rating: Five stars.

With thanks to Penguin Books (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for my honest opinion.