Monday 23 October 2023

A Winter In New York by Josie Silver | Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

A Winter In New York by Josie Silver
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Viking Books 
Publication date: 12th October 2023

Blurb:
Where better to start again than New York?

Iris arrives in the city of dreams, intent on restarting her culinary career, and leaving her recent heartache behind.

Wandering the streets at a famous food festival, Iris feels like she's living in a movie. Then she stumbles upon a gelateria that looks strangely familiar. Inside, she meets Gio: a perfect leading man with an irresistible smile - and a crisis of his own.

As fate would have it, Iris is the one person with the answer to his problem. She just can't tell him that...

So, can Iris finally let go of the past - and let herself fall in love?

Review:
Josie Silver writes the most beautiful novels and the combination of the backdrop, plot and characters made this feel super special.

Iris is in her early thirties and after fleeing from her toxic ex-boyfriend in London, she moves to New York. It was her late mother Vivien's favourite place and as she misses her greatly, she wants to feel closer to her.

Iris stumbles across a gelateria in Mulberry Street and recognises the outside from one of her mother's photographs. After plucking up the courage to enter, she meets Gio Belotti and the two develop a relationship. We learn that Vivien and Gio's family go back a long way but are not aware. As time goes by, Iris holds onto this secret but knows it will get worse as time goes on and the deeper in love she and Gio fall.

This book is just gorgeous. I loved every single character and the found family aspect was done beautifully. Definitely one to read around the festive season!



Friday 20 October 2023

Supper For Six by Fiona Sherlock | Blog Tour Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

Supper For Six by Fiona Sherlock
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Hodder 
Publication date: 19th October 2023

Blurb:
Supper for Six... but murder is on the menu.

The mystery of Bruton Square has never been solved. On that infamous night in 1977, six strangers were invited for dinner at Lady Sybil Anderson's Mayfair apartment. Only five made it out alive.

Welcome to Supper for Six, the true crime podcast. I'm your host, Felix.

Together, we'll uncover what really happened that night... Let's dig in.

Review:
I love crime fiction and mystery novels but I didn't know what to expect with Supper For Six.

Supper For Six is told as though it is a podcast and is split into episodes. In 1977, Sybil Anderson hosts a dinner party, inviting six specific people there, under the pretence that her husband, Lord Anthony Anderson, had disappeared. Whilst at the party, there are air raid sirens and the radio announces that everyone must stay inside but soon enough, one member of the party is dead. The killer must be amongst the guests.

It is now 2023 and Felix Caerphilly is looking back into the case on his podcast, Supper For Six.

I really enjoyed the format of this novel, the podcast aspect plus tape recording transcripts from an investigator who was in attendance at the dinner party. There were a lot of twists with everyone harbouring secrets. I did find a few bits unbelievable but they made for an entertaining read that had me glued until the very end.

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A massive thank you to Hodder for having my on the blog tour. You can find information about the other bloggers taking part in the tour in the graphic below.

Wednesday 18 October 2023

The Pumpkin Spice Cafe by Laurie Gilmore | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

The Pumpkin Spice Café by Laurie Gilmore
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: One More Chapter (HarperCollins)
Publication date: 31st August 2023

Blurb:
When Jeanie's aunt gifts her the beloved Pumpkin Spice Cafe in the small town of Dream Harbor, Jeanie jumps at the chance for a fresh start away from her very dull desk job.

Logan is a local farmer who avoids Dream Harbor's gossip at all costs. But Jeanie's arrival disrupts Logan's routine and he wants nothing to do with the irritatingly upbeat new girl, except that he finds himself inexplicably drawn to her. 

Will Jeanie's happy-go-lucky attitude win over the grumpy-but-gorgeous Logan, or has this city girl found the one person in town who won't fall for her charm, or her pumpkin spice lattes...

Review:
This book is just the absolute cutest and if you are a Gilmore Girls fan, this is for you. Jeanie has taken over The Pumpkin Spice Cafe, her aunt's cafe in the town of Dream Harbor. She has her own reasons for wanting to move from her fast-paced city job to a small town.

She instantly hits it off with farmer Logan but in this small town, everyone knows his past and they really look out for him after everything he has been through. I love the depth of the characters for a relatively short book and it has a good amount of spice too!

This is such a cosy romance and I'd recommend reading if you are into the "he falls first" and "grumpy x sunshine" tropes. I am excited to hear that there will be a second book in the series focusing on Hazel and Noah! 

Thursday 12 October 2023

Icebreaker by Hannah Grace | Book Review

[This post contains affiliate links.]

Icebreaker by Hannah Grace
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Publication date: 19th January 2023

Blurb:
Anastasia Allen has worked her entire life for a shot at Team USA. It looks like everything is going according to plan when she gets a full scholarship to the University of California, Maple Hills and lands a place on their competitive figure skating team.
 
Nothing will stand in her way, not even the captain of the hockey team, Nate Hawkins.
 
Nate’s focus as team captain is on keeping his team on the ice. Which is tricky when a facilities mishap means they are forced to share a rink with the figure skating team—including Anastasia, who clearly can’t stand him. 
 
But when Anastasia’s skating partner faces an uncertain future, she may have to look to Nate to take her shot. 

Sparks fly, but Anastasia isn’t worried… because she could never like a hockey player, right?

Review: 
This was definitely a 'Booktok made me do it' read. When will I learn that cartoon covers are where the spice is at? 

Anastacia "Stassie" Allen is a figure skater and Nate Hawkins is a hockey player. Following damage to one of the ice rinks, both the skaters and hockey players need to share the one rink for practices and Stassie and Nate's relationship develops. 

I have said this a million times before, I don't mind a good amount of spice but what I don't like is gratuitous spice with no plot to keep it flowing. For me, the plot was pretty thin in this one with too much of a cutesy ending but there were also a whole lot of positives.

1. The spice in this book was top notch. Honestly, some of the best steamy scenes I've read. Page 76/77(?) in Nate's bedroom for the first time and the Uber scene. Sweet Jesus.

2. Henry was an absolute gem. Best supporting character ever. 

3. The miscommunication trope is one of my most hated so it was so refreshing to read about a relationship where communication is so open and free flowing.

4. Anastacia's character development with regards to her relationship with skating partner Aaron, her relationship with food and her planning was handled very well.

5. Nate Hawkins. Men written by women are just the best. If you're looking for a book boyfriend, he's the one.

Friday 6 October 2023

The Takedown by Carlie Walker | Blog Tour Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

The Takedown by Carlie Walker
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Orion
Publication date: 3rd October 2023

Blurb:
Sydney's mission is simple:
1. Stop her little sister from marrying a notorious criminal
2. Seduce his bodyguard to gather intel for the FBI
3. Definitely do not fall in love...

Agent Sydney Swift is going home for the holidays. She's just discovered that her younger sister, Calla, is engaged to Johnny Jones - the heir to the nation's most notorious crime dynasty - and she's determined to stop their perfect winter wedding at any cost.

But gathering incriminating evidence on Johnny isn't as easy as she'd hoped, especially as her biggest obstacle is Nick, his infuriatingly handsome and charming bodyguard!

As Sydney spends more time with Nick, lines begin to blur, and while seducing him to gather intel was bad enough, falling for him is even worse.

Soon Sydney is faced with a difficult decision - one that certainly wasn't covered in her training...

Review:
This was a fun little book that really surprised me!

The Takedown is the authors first adult novel, having previously written children's and young adult novels and I absolutely loved it.

Sydney is in the CIA but her family is unaware. The FBI seek her out to gather intel on a crime lord, the reason she has been chosen? Johnny Jones is engaged to Sydney's sister and will be at their home for the Christmas holidays. When tasked to get the lowdown by seducing his bodyguard Nick, she tells herself she absolutely must not fall for him.

I know the plot sounds ridiculously cheesy and clichĂ© but it was cute, had the festive vibes and even threw a few twists in there too. The characters were well developed and you really got a feel for their family dynamics. I loved Grandma Ruby! 

As a reader who loves both crime fiction and romance, it felt like the perfect mix of both. Oh, and the little bit of spice made it even better.

Highly recommended if you want a fun, Christmassy read! 

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A massive thank you to Orion for having me on the blog tour. You can find information about the other bloggers taking part in the tour in the graphic below.