Book Review: Stuck With You.

stuckWhile the idea of being trapped in a lift fills me with terror (hello, claustrophobia), in her new book Carla Burgess has some how managed to make it seem a little less frightening – possibly even ever so slightly appealing.

Stuck With You sees Elena come face to face with her unrequited teenage love, Daniel, for the first time in years, in just this situation.

After getting over the initial shock and embarrassment, they spend the time waiting to be rescued getting reacquainted – and it’s clear she still has feelings for him (and it’s not all one sided).

Carla has hit the nostalgia jackpot with this book, which had me laughing out loud – and slightly cringing – at times because it sailed so close to some of my own experiences of unrequited young lust.

It is oh-so-romantic in places and makes me believe in second chances and true love.

Here’s the blurb:

One lift. Two strangers. Anything could happen!

Elena thought that today would be just like any other day…until the supermarket lift jams and she realises she’s stuck.

And not just stuck in the lift. Stuck with her childhood crush, Daniel Moore, who unfortunately seems to be just as gorgeous as she remembered…

While I might not have saved any chewed pen lids or written poetry about my teenage crush (I did walk by his house several (million) times), I totally remember moping about just the way she describes because he failed to acknowledge my existence.

When you read a story like this, it’s hard not to think ‘what if?’ and that made me smile long after the book was finished.

I so wanted it to work out for Elena and Daniel even though, like Elena’s best friend Rachel, I did wonder whether he was too good to be true.

I think this one is even better than Carla’s first book, Marry Me Tomorrow, which I also loved (and I was delighted to see Sam and Emily make a brief appearance in her second novel).

Carla has such a warm, easy to read style that I didn’t really want this book to end while at the same time I was desperate to know if it all worked out.

On those occasions when I can’t avoid a lift, I’m going to think about this story and hope it takes my mind off things.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £1.99.

My rating: Five stars.

My thanks to HQ Digital for the ARC in return for my honest opinion.

Book Review: Spring At Blueberry Bay.

blueberryWhen one of my favourite authors starts a new series I always do a little happy dance – and some shapes were definitely being thrown (people still do that, right?) when Holly Martin announced her latest book.

Spring At Blueberry Bay wastes no time in getting into the story. Within the first few pages we are introduced to the main characters, Bella and Isaac, and I really loved the unique way they met.

With her usual skill, Holly creates believable, likeable characters and a plot that is gripping from the beginning – I couldn’t wait to see how this heartwarming tale panned out.

Here’s the blurb:

Bella has always had a sunny outlook and caring nature, despite recently falling on hard times. When she finds a handsome homeless man on her doorstep, her kind heart tells her she must help him. So, she invites Isaac into her cottage and into her life in ways she could never have imagined…

But Isaac is not what he seems. He’s keeping a huge secret from Bella, yet he never expected to fall for this open, generous and charming woman.

Bella can’t ignore the chemistry between her and Isaac, but she’s had her trust badly broken in her past. Will she run when she learns the truth about Isaac, or will he be the one man who can help Bella believe in love again?

While Bella seems like an open book at first, it becomes clear that there is much more to her than meets the eye and discovering what makes her tick creates some really emotional scenes (tissues at the ready).

Isaac is a perfect hero; handsome, sexy, generous and romantic but with his own flaws, meaning you can still relate to him (and I really related to him).

As always there is an excellent supporting cast, including Bella’s cousins, Eden and Rome, although they are more like her brother and sister, who I really hope are the subjects of future books.

Spring At Blueberry Bay has got the series off to a fabulous start – roll on the next one.

Format: Kindle.

Price: £1.99.

My rating: Four and a half stars.

With many thanks to Bookouture (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest review.

Book Review: Mistletoe on 34th Street.

cover97209-mediumSnorting with laughter might not the most attractive quality in a person but it is, in my opinion, the sign that you’re reading a great book – and Mistletoe On 34th Street, by Lisa Dickenson, is a fabulous book.

Written in the first person, it felt like my witty, adored, best-friend, Olivia, was retelling her festive tale directly to me – warts (hence the snorting) and all.

When I wasn’t laughing or shedding a tear or two, I had a big smile on my face; it’s such a feel good book.

The story follows Olivia to New York where she’s leading a small team hoping to make a big impression at an important conference just before Christmas.

Coming from a family who always “chose winter sun over decking the halls”, Olivia is not exactly fussed about the festive season – and is planning to slump in front of the TV back at her London flat, alone (and happy about it).

When she and her colleagues find themselves stranded in the Big Apple, along with her charming friend Jon, she allows him to show her exactly what she’s missing by not getting into the Christmas spirit – and that includes him.

Throw in a handsome New Yorker by the name of Elijah and, as Christmas Day approaches, Olivia finds herself with a choice on her hands – just who should she kiss under the mistletoe?

The book moves along at a cracking pace, making it very hard to put down.

The motley crew of characters are wonderfully written and almost as vibrant as the New York she depicts.

I was buzzing so much after I finished that I couldn’t resist wearing my “I heart NY” t-shirt (a gift from my brother) that day.

It’s a perfect read whatever the time of year. Plus, how could you not love a book that includes a dedication to the TV series Friends at the beginning?

Format: Kindle (out today!).

Price: £2.99 (on Amazon).

My rating: 4.5 stars.

With thanks to the Little, Brown Books Group who provided the ARC Kindle edition, via NetGalley, in return for an honest review.