Thursday, 31 December 2020

Publication Day Review: Waiting on the Rain by Claudia Connor

WAITING ON THE RAIN  by Claudia Connor

Release 12.31.2020

Contemporary Romance

Blind heroine

Former Army Ranger hero

Stand alone

Series, The Walker Brothers 3

No cliff hanger

Kindle Amazon:



Being blind doesnt hold Ava Bennet back in the least. With her work, her shopping, and public transportation within walking distance, shes totally at home in the big city. But shes not in the city now. Temporarily back in her small home town to help her father has her struggling in a big way.

Luke Walker is finished running from his troubled past. Finally home after years in the military, hes ready to make amends with his family and set down some roots. But adapting to civilian life is a lot harder than he ever expected.

She has no intention of sticking around. He has no plans to run again. All they have is one month together. Will it be enough for Luke to prove hes everything Ava needs—in light, in darkness, and most importantly, even in the rain?   

Thought provoking!

Luke Walker is back after twenty years. The former Army Ranger is adjusting to civilian life and wondering if he made the right decision by leaving the military. A distraction comes from attending his brother, Zack's wedding... it's a perfect backdrop to begin the slow process of reconnecting with his family and meet other guests.

United Nations interpreter, Ava Lane is on extended leave from her job to provide care for her father. An invitation to a friend's wedding is an unexpected chance to spend some time away from her overprotective family and in doing so, meets the brother of the groom.

This novel is full of surprises and a delight to read. It emphasises the importance of family and trust. It's a story of new beginnings. The emotions tug at the heartstrings as Luke and Ava's story unfolds. We learn about the struggles and challenges both the protagonists are dealing with. Then comes the satisfying and heartwarming romance.

The author plays on the strengths of her characters… Ava, despite her disability is a strong, independent woman who isn't afraid to fight for her right to live her life how she sees fit. Luke overcomes his stubbornness to find a new purpose in life. Both come to terms with the past to build a new normal in the future… filled with unconditional love… a force to be reckoned with.

Overall an insightful and heartfelt novel. I've been a fan of Ms Connor's books since reading her debut novel and her latest; Waiting on the Rain is a fabulous addition to the McKinney/Walker Brothers series and can be enjoyed as standalone.

***arc generously received courtesy of the publisher***

Claudia Connor is an award winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance, including the beloved McKinney Brothers series. Claudia writes, warm, heartfelt romances with a bit of steam, a lot of family and always a happily ever after. Claudia attended Auburn University, where she received her undergraduate and masters degrees in early childhood education. When she's not writing, she enjoys movies, reading, and travel, with a heavy dose of daydreaming during all three. Claudia lives near Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband and three daughters, two dogs, one cat, seven chickens.

You can find out more about Claudias books on her website.

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Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Publication Day Book Review: The Princess and the Rogue by Kate Bateman

From the #1 bestselling author of historical romances, Kate Bateman, comes the third book and final book in the Bow Street Bachelors series, THE PRINCESS AND THE ROGUE (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, December 29, 2020, $7.99). A princess in disguise is forced to live with a rogue in order to protect her from danger in this fun, sexy regency romance.

Bow Street agent Sebastien Wolff, Earl of Mowbray, doesn’t believe in love—until a passionate kiss with a beautiful stranger in a brothel forces him to reconsider. When the mysterious woman is linked to an intrigue involving a missing Russian princess, however, Seb realizes her air of innocence was too good to be true.

Princess Anastasia Denisova has been hiding in London as plain ‘Anna Brown’. With a dangerous traitor hot on her trail, her best option is to accept Wolff’s offer of protection—and accommodation—at his gambling hell. But living in such close quarters, and aiding Wolff in his Bow Street cases, fans the flames of their mutual attraction. If Anya’s true identity is revealed, does their romance stand a chance? Could a princess ever marry a rogue?


Ah, finally, it's Sebastien Wolff, Earl of Mowbray's time to follow, albeit reluctantly in his friends' footsteps; to find a wife. Eagerly anticipated doesn't convey my excitement to read more about the Bow Street Bachelors. 

Sebastien has lost his motivation. His friends have moved out of The Tricorn to live with their new wives and he's all alone… lonely. To occupy his time, he focuses on his work as one of the Bow Street agents. On this occasion, it leads him to a collision course with a missing Russian princess.  

Anastasia "Anya" Denisova is living as plain Anna Brown in London after escaping from Paris. That's until she crosses paths with Sebastien Wolff in a brothel!  

For those familiar with the author's novels, you'll know how she crafts fascinating backgrounds around her characters intertwined with intriguing plot-lines, laced with historical details. With a London backdrop, they are fast-paced, page-turners. The Princess and the Rogue are no exception. There's the romance between the protagonists but also a strong thread of camaraderie as we keep abreast of how the other previous bachelors are getting along as married men. There's much humour as well as sizzling chemistry between Sebastien and Anya as they move towards a happy ending. 

Overall, a fabulous finale to an equally wonderful series. I've loved following the Bow Street Bachelors find their true loves and their intriguing investigations to find them. Ms Bateman is now one of my favourite author's for historical romances and this series comes highly recommended.  

***arc generously received courtesy of St Martin's Paperbacks via NetGalley***

Kate Bateman, (also writing as K. C. Bateman), is the #1 bestselling author of historical romances, including her RITA® nominated Renaissance romp, The Devil To Pay, and the novels in the Secrets & Spies series To Steal a HeartA Raven’s Heart, and A Counterfeit Heart. When not writing novels that feature feisty, intelligent heroines and sexy, snarky heroes you want to both strangle and kiss, Kate works as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several popular TV shows in the UK. She splits her time between Illinois and her native England. Follow her on Twitter to learn more.

Thursday, 17 December 2020

New Book Release Spotlight and Extract: The Viscount's Convenient Bride by Josie Bonham

The Viscount’s Convenient Bride by Josie Bonham

Luke, Viscount Enstone’s, resolve to avoid a love match is tested to its limit when he accepts responsibility for the Davenport family.

Luke has found it hard to sort out his late father’s affairs. A dishonest secretary and ailing land agent have left the family estates in disorder. With new people in place, he sets off to one of his smaller properties to discover the extent of an obligation that seems out of keeping with the cold-hearted father he remembers. Who is the young woman living at Shepley Hall and what was her connection to his father?

Miss Kitty Davenport has waited for a long time to find out if the new Viscount Enstone will continue the support his father gave to her family and her patience is wearing thin. Will he carry on paying for her young brother’s education and even assist him in finding a career? For herself, all she needs is help to find a suitable position as a companion and to escape from the unwanted attentions of a persistent suitor.

Luke, Viscount Enstone, feels it’s his duty to carry on the support his father gave to the impoverished Davenports. Luke lost his mother when he was young and had a problematical relationship with his father. He is determined to steer clear of emotional relationships and has been supressing his feelings towards Kitty Davenport ever since he escorted her to London to live with his aunt. When an unwanted suitor, Sir Walter Greenough, follows Kitty to London Luke’s instinctive reaction to the man’s insults to her reveal a lot about his true state of mind. He has a long journey to follow before he embraces his feelings.

Sir Walter Greenough jumped to his feet and strode towards her with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “My dear, I have missed you so much.”

How dare he talk to her in that honeysweet tone as if he owned her? She backed away from him but he was too quick for her. He grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her towards him. The familiar smell of snuff and stale wine assailed her before his lips fastened on hers with a sickening thud. Kitty drew back her right hand and thumped him so hard on the side of his face that he staggered. Kitty stepped out of his reach before he could right himself.

How dare you follow me here? I made it plain I wanted nothing to do with you.”

Greenough leered at her. “You will soon be begging me to marry you, my fine lady. The tales I can tell will have you thrown out of this house immediately. Why don’t you explain to your society friends here what you have been doing since your aunt died?”

Kitty had herself well in hand but a cold fury gripped her. “How dare you. I have spent the last few months avoiding you to the point of having my servant throw you out. I see you still bear the bruises where he hit you.”

Don’t think I have forgotten that. A lover’s disagreement, nothing more.” His nostrils flared and his hands balled into fists. “Spencer will suffer for it when I get back.”

Kitty felt a dark-clad shape brushing past her. Greenough was lifted off his feet and carried by his lapels to the wall adjacent to the door. Lord Enstone held him against the wall, his feet still dangling.

You are the one who will suffer for that. He was protecting his employer’s betrothed. Now get your snivelling hide out of my sight before I forget there are ladies present.”

He let go so that a trembling Greenough slid down the wall. Greenough got to his feet and threw a look of such venom at Lord Enstone that Kitty gasped.

You will regret this, my lord. I will make sure that every gossip in Town knows that she was alone at Shepley Hall for months and worked her way through the local men.”

Why would anyone take your word against that of Viscountess Enstone? Harvey, throw him out before I kill him.”

Sir Walter Greenough was ushered out, breathing heavily. He glared at Kitty as he passed her. “You haven’t heard the last of me.”

Kitty’s legs started trembling again. It had nothing to do with Sir Walter. Lord Enstone had said she was his betrothed and referred to her as Viscountess Enstone.

Josie Bonham November 2020

Amazon UK                Amazon US 

Josie lives in the English midlands, surrounded by towns full of history such as Evesham, Stratford-Upon- Avon, Warwick and Worcester. Which is perhaps why her favourite reads are historical. Out of all the periods to choose from the Regency Era stirs her imagination the most. The true Regency lasted from 1811 until 1820 but dates as wide as 1789 to 1837 have been included in the extended Regency period. For Josie the true flavour of this period emerges after the iniquitous hair powder tax of 1795, unsurprisingly, scuppered the fashion for hair powder almost overnight.

Josie has always dabbled in stories but it took the combined efforts of her sister and eldest niece to set her on the path to writing novels. Her Regency romances, with a dash of adventure and intrigue, are the result.

There is more information on her website at

Twitter @BonhamJosie


Friday, 11 December 2020

Publication Day Push: Sleepless by Louise Mumford

Sleepless by Louise Mumford

Don’t close your eyes. Don’t fall asleep. Don’t let them in.

Thea is an insomniac; she hasn’t slept more than three hours a night for years.

So when an ad for a sleep trial that promises to change her life pops up on her phone, Thea knows this is her last chance at finding any kind of normal life.

Soon Thea’s sleeping for longer than she has in a decade, and awakes feeling transformed. So much so that at first she’s willing to overlook the oddities of the trial – the lack of any phone signal; the way she can’t leave her bedroom without permission; the fact that all her personal possessions are locked away, even her shoes. 

But it soon becomes clear that the trial doesn’t just want to help Thea sleep. It wants to control her sleep…

An unputdownable, gripping psychological thriller for fans of The OneBehind Her Eyes and Girl A!

Amazon UK                Amazon US  

Louise was born and lives in South Wales. From a young age she loved books and dancing, but hated having to go to sleep, convinced that she might miss out on something interesting happening in the world whilst she dozed – much to her mother’s frustration! Insomnia has been a part of her life ever since.

She studied English Literature at university and graduated with first class honours. As a teacher she tried to pass on her love of reading to her students (and discovered that the secret to successful teaching is… stickers! She is aware that that is, essentially, bribery.)

In the summer of 2019 Louise experienced a once-in-a-lifetime moment: she was discovered as a new writer by her publisher at the Primadonna Festival. Everything has been a bit of a whirlwind since then.

Louise lives in Cardiff with her husband and spends her time trying to get down on paper all the marvellous and frightening things that happen in her head.

Her debut thriller, SLEEPLESS, will be published by HQ on 11th Dec 2020.

Twitter @louise_mumford

Instagram @louisemumfordauthor

Facebook Louise Mumford Author

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Publication Day Push: Tempted by the Tycoon's Proposal by Rachael Stewart

Tempted by the Tycoon’s Proposal by Racheal Stewart

A second chance…
With the single dad?

When hotelier Sophia Lambert finds billionaire Jack McGregor’s runaway daughter, a thank you dinner sounds harmless. Until Sophia finds herself tantalizingly attracted to Jack… The deeply desirable single dad re-awakens long-buried emotions in Sophia, but his jet-set life is beckoning. Unless Sophia can tempt him with her own proposal: to keep his feet on the ground…

A feel-good romance, perfect for Christmas!

Single dad and high flying businessman, Jack McGregor's daughter, Lily goes missing while staying at a hotel. Hotelier, Sophie Lambert finds the little girl hidden away,...out of sight but safe.

Lots of satisfying, warmth and emotions are visible within this romance. Jack and Sophie have much in common… notably, they are workaholics and each carries the burden of grief. It's a story of two people thrown together by an avoidable incidence, which sparks an attraction neither would have noticed if Lily hadn't run away from her nanny.

With contrasting backdrops of London and Iceland, both protagonists not only have to deal with events from their past but to learn to trust each other and those close to them. It's a time to evaluate what is important to them not only as individuals but as a new couple too… to begin cementing the foundations for a new kind of normalcy for them all, including Lily.

Overall, an enjoyable and heartfelt novel with delightful characters and the northern lights wrapped up in a heart-warming romance.

***arc generously received courtesy of the publisher Mills and Boon***

Rachael Stewart adores conjuring up stories for the readers of Harlequin Mills & Boon and Deep Desires Press, with tales varying from the heartwarmingly romantic to the wildly erotic.

She's been writing since she could put pen to paper as the stacks of scrawled on A4 sheets in her loft will attest to, and the lovingly bound short stories that her father would run off at work and proudly share out with his colleagues. Thinking it was a pipe dream to be published one day, she pursued a sensible career in business but she was really play-acting, achieving the appropriate degree and spending many years in the corporate world where she never truly belonged. Always happiest when she was sat at her laptop in the quiet hours tapping out a story or two. And so here she is, a published author, her full-time pleasure, a dream come true.

A Welsh lass at heart, she now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and three children, and if she's not glued to her laptop, she's wrapped up in them or enjoying the great outdoors seeking out inspiration.


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Giveaway to Win an e-copy of Tempted by the Tycoons Proposal Rachael Stewart (Open INT)

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Monday, 7 December 2020

Book Spotlight and Extract: Becoming Alfie by Neil Patterson

Becoming Alfie by Neil Patterson

Alfie Norrington was born into poverty in London’s East End in the first minute of the twentieth century. His life was a battle. From the Brick Lane markets where young Alfie pilfered and pickpocketed, to the trenches of Flanders, Alfie fought every step of the way.

Almost killed by a trench bomb he battled to recover and while in a military hospital Alfie made a promise that dramatically change’s his life. A true East End hero, Alfie begins his journey away from poverty armed with a robust moral compass and an open heart.

Becoming Alfie is the first in the Alfie Norrington series. It follows the life of a man who positively influenced thousands of people. The world needs more individuals like Alfie Norrington, that give much more than they take.

It is from chapter 3 and set in November 1913 in the tenement where Alfie grew up, in Mile End. His alcoholic father died some months earlier and contains a couple of revealing disclosures from family members.

I’ve met a man and I am quite taken by him,” Elsie continued.

The room exploded in questions and disbelief until Jack quietened the family down.

Shh, you lot, keep quiet, give Mum her time to tell the story. Go on, Mum.”

Well, his name is Tommy Smith. He has no children and his wife passed away about ten years ago. I met him at the match factory and we have been friendly for some time. I like him and he likes me and I’ve invited him to ’ave Christmas with us all. What d’ya fink?”

Again, the table erupted in opinions and questions, with no one listening to anyone else. Jack was just as noisy as the others at this declaration. Once the din died down, Elsie spoke again.

Right, you lot, bloody well hear me and hear me good. I have spent twenty-two years giving birth to you kids, wiping your arses, wiping your noses; feeding you, sometimes even I don’t know how; washing your clothes, making your beds, loving you in every possible way. Now I want a little love, and Tommy Smith offers me that. He is coming over ’ere at Christmas and by Christ, I expect you all to welcome him with open arms – particularly you, Fred. And try not to get too pissed on the day, please.”

Well, Mum, I for one am well pleased for you,” said Alfie. “Will he be staying the night?”

Spontaneous laughter spilled around the room. Elsie couldn’t help but smile.

No, my gentlemen friend won’t be staying, as we are going back to his flat to sleep.”

Ooh, Mum, how exciting for you! Do you remember how to do it?” giggled Lily.

“’Cause when you find out, can you tell Lily? She needs all the help she can get,” replied Rose.

By this time the room was full of laughter and leg-pulling. Jack stood up, tapped his beer glass with his teaspoon, and said, “Mum, you deserve all the happiness in the world and then some. So, speaking for us all, but particularly for me, we welcome Tommy Smith into our house and will take the piss out of the pair of you for most of the day.”

Hear, hear” was the cry from the table. Only Fred looked less than enthused by the concept. He downed his beer in one draught and left the table to refill his glass from the dark bottle on the sideboard.

There was more laughter, then more questions about Elsie’s relationship with Tommy. Everyone seemed happy about it except Fred.

“’Scuse me, everyone.” Fred jumped up from his chair, looking nervous. “I have a little somefing to tell you all, too.”

Don’t tell me you’re in the family way?” chided Alfie.

Fred scowled. “No, little bruvver, I ain’t up the duff. But…” He took what seemed like minutes to say, “I… I… I’ve signed up with the army and am off to training camp next week.”

After more silence, a rare commodity in the Norrington house, Elsie spoke through the tears welling up in her eyes.

Well, I’ll be. My luverly is going to war to fight for King and country.” She got up from the table and wrapped her whole body around her second-born. “May God take care of you and bring you ’ome to your family when this ’orrible war is over, my brave, brave boy.”

At this the family surrounded Fred, the girls crying and the boys pumping his hands in manly shakes. They were too tough, or too well-rehearsed, to cry.

Well, mate, I wish you all the very best. You know my views on the fucking war,” said Jack.

Watch your language, Jack!”

Sorry, Mum. But come ’ome quickly, Fred, and come ’ome complete in every way. Let’s toast our bruvver for his bravery and his courage.”

Once the shock wore off, many questions were fired towards Fred at the same time – mainly by Alfie, who was interested in the process of joining up.

Alright, alright, alright,” Fred said. “I am joining the 1/17th London Battalion, known as the East End Regiment. Some of me mates have joined up as well, so I’ll ’ave familiar faces with me. We go down to Devizes for training – that’s in Wiltshire, wherever that is. I leave from Paddington station at eight o’clock on Fursday mornin’. I ain’t certain as to where I’ll be once the training is over – it takes twelve weeks. Me mates fink we’ll be in Flanders, as that’s where the Jerries are givin’ us a bit of a nosebleed, but I’ll write to Mum every week so she can let you all know what’s what.”

The shock of Fred’s impending departure for the Western Front got Alfie thinking. He had felt a burgeoning desire to protect his country. He knew this was a silly idea, as the age for volunteering was eighteen. Although he looked older than his years, he was still only fourteen. His birth certificate demonstrated that, and he had no other formal documents that may be easy to adapt to make him seem older. He pushed those thoughts to the back of his mind as the family gathered around Fred, hugging him, slapping him on the back, and in the case of the girls, crying uncontrollably.

Born in South Essex close to the River Thames and directly East of London, my childhood was peppered with memories of the mighty river itself.

We would swim, fish and discover hidden treasure in the tidal mudflats with the fragments of clay pipes we found taking us back to another era. It was here that my inspiration for writing was born. I began to keep a diary of my observations from life and documented my feelings and thoughts.

My wife was twenty two and I was twenty four when we migrated to Australia with a glorious expectation. The sun was shining, the people were friendly and Sydney Harbour simply magnificent. Together we were committed to making the most of this opportunity beginning the next step in our lives. Everything was new which gave me endless writing opportunities that I recorded in my diary which had spilled over into a number of books. We travelled around this incredible country meeting people from all walks of life and from many nationalities. We lived and worked in a variety of capital cities enjoying each and every experience. All this was tremendous fodder for my writing.

I began to write short stories and poetry, none of which I sought to publish. By my fifty second birthday I was able to finish working and focus full time on my writing, the results so far are The Alfie Norrington Series with Becoming Alfie the first in the series of four. I hope that you enjoy reading Becoming Alfie as much as I did writing it.

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