Tag Archives: chick lit

Clutch by Lisa Becker

I have received a free e-copy of the book Clutch by Lisa Becker to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Clutch by Lisa Becker

Here is the book blurb.

Clutch: a novel is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc. With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks a lot of Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to discover the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.

If you page down, you’ll see an extract of the first few pages from the book. This is where we are introduced to Caroline Johnson, who gained her love of handbags as a child from her Great Aunt Mimi. Caroline meets her new best friend Mike at Harvard business school. They do sleep together once but agree it was a big mistake. After college, they both set up their new businesses in LA, where Caroline creates her own handbag line, Clutch and Mike opens a bar, The Last Drop.

We then follow Caroline through a series of 12 unsuccessful romances, where she compares each one to a style of bag before she finally finds someone she wants to Clutch and hold onto. First up is like a Hobo bag. This is Jason, a homeless artist, who quickly moves into Caroline’s apartment, sponges off her and even steals her money, before she plucks up the courage to order him to leave.

Each time Mike is there for Caroline. After Hobo, we meet Demi-Bag, Coin Purse, Messenger, Doctor Bag, Baguette, Diaper Bag, Fanny Pack, Briefcase, Wallet, Cosmetic Bag, Backpack and lastly Clutch.

All very humorous and I’ve certainly learnt some handbag types that I’d never heard of before. I loved this book, just as much as when I read Links, another of Lisa’s titles.

Clutch is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.00 in Kindle format and is also available in paperback. A nice romantic comedy.


Here is an extract of the first few pages of the book for you to read.

Mimi Johnson was casually dressed in a brightly-colored blouse with enormous turquoise jewelry and equally-oversized glasses. Despite that largesse, the only thing truly bigger than her personality (and her bosom) was her handbag. Always perfectly matched to her clothing, shoes, and jewelry, she was like a walking Chico’s advertisement, if you added forty years, forty pounds, and a Virginia Slims cigarette. From her Mary Poppins-like bag, she pulled out a box, impeccably-wrapped in glossy pink paper with a white grosgrain ribbon bow. A cigarette teetered between her two fingers while she produced a lung-hacking cough.

“Open it… <cough, cough> …sweetie. Open it,” she said to her seven-year-old great niece, Caroline, a beautiful and vibrant girl with long blonde hair and oversized blue eyes.

Alive with anticipation, sweet young Caroline eagerly took the box and smiled up at Mimi. She gingerly removed the ribbon, planning to save it for later. The glossy paper was of less interest and she ripped through it quickly. She opened the box and gently lifted out a hot pink purse, adorned with pale pink flowers and rhinestones. An enormous smile overcame her. Caroline nearly set her own hair on fire from Mimi’s cigarette as she bounded into her aunt’s arms.

“Oh, thank you, Aunt Mimi. It’s lovely.”

And that was when Caroline’s love of handbags began. From big and loud ones that would make Mimi proud to unimposing wristlets, from bowler bags to satchels; it didn’t matter if they were made of canvas or calf-skin leather, were distressed or embellished with metal studs. Hell, she didn’t care if you called them pocketbooks or purses. She just loved them all – almost as much as she loved Mimi.

By the time she was a junior in high school and well on her way to being class valedictorian, it was the hundreds of bags Caroline owned that helped her conceptualize her ticket out of her suffocating small Georgian town. She would design handbags. And it was Mimi who was her steadfast cheerleader.

“Caroline, sweetie… <cough, cough> …you find something you love and you just hold onto it.” It had never mattered if Caroline was asking Mimi’s advice about a friend, lover, or career. The advice was always the same: “Find something you love and hold onto it.”

Mimi’s words ever-present in her mind, Caroline headed to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and spent four years in Los Angeles learning everything there was to know to pursue her passion. Then, right out of college, she spent three years working in the design and marketing departments of two of the world’s leading, high-end handbag designers.

She was schooled in beauty and how to accessorize the perfectly-coiffed women on the way to their Botox appointments. But Caroline was pulled by the nagging feeling that the very person who had inspired her career, Mimi, could never afford the bags she designed, even if Caroline used her generous employee discount on Mimi’s behalf. And God forbid Mimi would ever accept one as a gift, always preferring to give rather than receive. But Caroline believed there was no reason for anyone to be denied the ultimate in accessories. She saw an untapped market of designing beautiful and affordable bags, but she just wasn’t sure she was start-up potential. Again, it was Mimi who nudged her to learn the business side of things and apply to MBA programs. When Caroline was accepted to Harvard Business School, Mimi, of course, encouraged her.

“You’ve got this, sweetie. <cough, cough>,” she said. “It’s in the bag.”

•••

Caroline was sitting in Financial Reporting and Control on her first day of Harvard classes (and yes, the class turned out to be as boring as it sounded). That’s when she first eyed Mike, who was wearing a faded pair of Levi jeans, a washed-out vintage Rolling Stones T-shirt, and Converse sneakers. He oozed charisma. Turning her head away from him and back toward the front of the lecture hall, Caroline thought that if he were a handbag, he would be a grey leather tote – confident and dependable, but not trying too hard.

Mike surveyed the large lecture hall as he walked in, a Starbucks coffee cup in each hand. After descending the steps slowly, he took a seat next to Caroline and planted one of the white and green cups on her desk.

Flashing a wide, dimpled smile, which she mused he reserved for getting girls to drop their panties, he said, “Here. You look like you’re going to need this.”

“Thanks,” she replied in a suspicious tone, turning her head sideways to look at him and raising an eyebrow.

“I’m Mike,” he said, again flashing a smile and reaching out for a handshake.

“I’m Caroline. Thanks for the…”

“Latte.”

“Latte,” she confirmed. “Thanks. But just so you know, I’m not gonna sleep with you,” she said in an apparent attempt to establish up front she wasn’t taken in by his obvious charm.

“I know,” he replied matter-of-fact.

Before she could respond, Professor Beauregard, a stout man with excessive eyebrows, spoke up. “Please take note of where you are seated. I will send around a seating chart for you to mark your spot. This will be your seat for the remainder of the semester.”

“Looks like we’ll be seatmates,” Mike said, grinning at her.

“Looks like it.”

•••

About three months into the first semester, Caroline learned that her fun-loving, easy-going, new best buddy Mike wasn’t exactly who he appeared to be.

A blanket of white snow dusted the Harvard grounds and it was a particularly slow day in another mutual class, LEAD – Leadership and Organizational Behavior. Professor Moss, a frail man who weighed less than his years, was droning on and on about establishing productive relationships with subordinates or something to that effect. He initiated a discussion about what works better – the carrot or stick approach.

“Mr. Barnsworth,” he called, referring to his seating chart and scanning the room until he found Mike in the fifth row. “What are your thoughts?”

“Well, it seems to me that good management is all about empathy and being able to enthuse and inspire your staff. You know, appreciating them and respecting them. Showing you care,” he said, placing his hand over his heart in a gesture of true compassion and concern. “And if they can’t get that through their thick skulls, you fire ‘em,” he continued, drawing his finger across his throat.

Several students sitting around them started to chuckle while Caroline stifled a laugh. Mike looked around the room and nodded his head, soaking in the appreciation of his sense of humor.

“Mr. Barnsworth,” said Professor Moss in a menacing tone, “I would have expected a better answer from you, considering your family history.”

Confused by the conversation unfolding before her, Caroline leaned over and whispered to Mike, “What is he talkin’ about?” Mike put up a hand to quiet her.

“Later,” he hissed.

Twenty minutes later, the two shared a bench outside Baker Library, the chill of winter causing Caroline to pull her scarf closer around her neck.

“What was that all about?” she asked, scrunching up her nose in confusion.
Reluctantly, Mike began to speak. “My full name is Michael Frederick Barnsworth the Third. My family owns a large brokerage firm in New York,” he confessed, unsure of how Caroline would react.

Caroline listened as she took in just how old money his family really was. Mike’s great, great, great, great – actually it was hard to keep track of how many “greats” it went back – grandfather ran the first Bank of the United States, which Congress chartered in the early 1800s. His family had advised presidents, dined with royalty, and amassed a fortune that continued today through the Barnsworth Brokerage Firm.

“I’m the seventh person in my family to attend Harvard including my father, uncle, three cousins, and grandfather, who was a classmate of Professor Moss,” he continued.

Surprised by this unexpected news, she joked, “So you’re just slummin’ with a simple Southern girl like me – and makin’ me pay for drinks, mind you – until you go join the family business and marry someone named Muffy…”

“That’s my family’s plan,” Mike laughed. “There’s even an office in the Woolworth Building owned by my family, sitting empty, until I finish business school,” he said reluctantly.

“But…” she pressed, touching his hand gently, sensing the family plan may not actually be Mike’s plan – though they had never discussed his plans before.

“I want to open a bar,” he said, matter of fact and looking her square in the eye.

Caroline’s head leaned back as she let out a raucous laugh. “You want to own a bar?” she questioned, her shoulders shaking from laughter. “Now I get your goal to drink at every one of the six hundred bars in Boston before you graduate.”

“Yup, it’s research,” he said emphatically.

“Research?”

“Yeah. Every time my parents call, which isn’t very often – they are usually off with their snobby society friends or at Met Balls – I tell them I’m working hard and doing research.”

“Gotta give you credit. That’s pretty clever,” she replied, nodding her head.

“And true. If I’m going to open the best bar ever, I need to know what works and what doesn’t.”

“Okay. I get why you don’t want to be a wizard of Wall Street. But why a bar?” she asked, not understanding his desire for the life of a bar back.

“My parents weren’t around a lot growing up. My father spent more time in the office than my mother spent jetting between boutiques in Paris and ski chalets in Switzerland. And believe me, that was a lot,” he confessed. Caroline looked down in her lap, her heart sinking at the thought of the small boy with the winning smile being ignored by his family.

“I was pretty much raised by a series of au pairs. My favorite was Linnea who was nineteen when she came from Sweden to live with our family. She was obsessed with Tom Cruise movies and we would watch them all the time,” he explained, a wistful look on his face as he recalled fond memories.

“Cocktail!” Caroline exclaimed.

“Yup, I want to be the sole proprietor of a place where you can shake margaritas bare-chested,” Mike laughed. “It’s going to be called The Last Drop,” he stated, not looking for her approval.

“Great name,” she admitted, nodding her head. “Especially when your folks drop kick you out of the family.”

“I know. I’m preparing to be disowned, which is why I’m getting you used to buying the drinks,” he said, flashing her a smile.

“Well with any luck my business will allow me to continue payin’ for drinks.”

“The purse thing?”

“Yes. The purse thing,” she said, mocking him. “I aim to start a line called Clutch, because it’s one of my favorite handbag styles, and in honor of my aunt Mimi. She always says ‘Find somethin’ you love and just hold onto it.’”

“Sounds like a smart lady.”


About the author

Lisa Becker is a romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money – on books and margaritas.  In addition to Clutch: a novel, she is the author of the Click trilogy, a contemporary romance series about online dating and Links, a standalone, second chance romance readers.  As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.” Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach, California with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone! You can share your love stories with her at www.lisawbecker.com.


General Q&A with Lisa Becker

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

I’m a romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money – on margaritas and books. In addition to my romantic comedy novels, which reviewers call clever, hilarious, sexy and smart, I’ve written bylined articles and participated in interviews about relationships, online dating and romance for a range of media including Reader’s DigestMind Body Green, Cupid’s Pulse, The Perfect Soulmate and TV Grapevine. My grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.” I’m now happily married to a wonderful man I met online and live in Manhattan Beach, California with him and our two daughters. So, if it happened for me, there’s hope for anyone!

Tell us about your most recent release.

A light-hearted, second chance romance, Links explores what happens when nerdy girl Charlotte reconnects with her unrequited schoolgirl crush, star athlete Garrett, 15 years after high school.

Did you have an unrequited crush in high school?

I’m not too ashamed to admit I had such a fierce crush on a boy, I willingly sat with him in the bathroom at parties while he puked up wine coolers, just so I could spend time with him. Thankfully, that soul-crushing time in my life is over, but I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I came upon that secret crush today as a confident, successful woman.

One of your books is based on how you met your husband. Can you tell us more about that?

I’m most known for the Clicktrilogy comprised of Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click,which is loosely inspired by how I met my husbandThe series follows a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles with the entire series unfolding in emails between our heroine, her friends and her hilarious dates. Fraught with BCC’s, FWD’s and inadvertent Reply to All’s, readers will cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends. And ultimately, they will root for Renee to “click” with the right man.

What is next for you?

This spring, I will re-release a novel I published several years ago called Clutch. The re-release includes five new chapters, a new cover and audiobook.  It is a laugh-out-loud romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags (the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc.) as she searches for the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.

Is Clutch also inspired by your real life?

When I was writing the Click trilogy I was obsessed with NCIS re-runs and would have the show on in the background as I wrote. There was an episode where a character refers to a man as a “handbag husband,” or something useless you carry on your arm.  I started thinking about that, and the idea for Clutch grew from there. I believe that everyone deserves a happily ever after and would like to think there’s a “clutch,” or someone worth holding onto, out there for everyone.

If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?

I think Eloise Mumford, who played Kate in Fifty Shades of Grey, would make an outstanding Caroline. She has the right mixture of warmth, gumption, vulnerability, and beauty to bring this character to life. I still can’t decide who would play Mike, although I know I’d love to sit in on those casting sessions.  😉

At the end of your life, when it is all said and done, what would you want your tombstone to read?

Here lies Lisa Willet Becker – a great wife, mother, friend and citizen who wrote books and movies people loved.

How can readers connect with you?

I love hearing from readers, especially when I’ve brought some humor, heart or happiness into their worlds with my writing.

And you can find Lisa Becker on social media as follows:-

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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The Carmichaels by Charlotte Penn Clark

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Carmichaels Complete Series by Charlotte Penn Clark to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

The Carmichaels by Charlotte Penn Clark

Here is the book blurb.

The lives and loves of five privileged daughters of a Colorado political family….

Rich. Smart. Beautiful. Talented. And they even get along. Mostly.
The five Carmichael sisters lucked out in the game of life, but their privilege doesn’t protect them from heartbreak. Read all five contemporary romance novellas newly revised and together for the first time!

CORINNE wants her independence, but when tragedy strikes her family she relies on her new French boyfriend for support.
Headstrong DAISY goes after what she wants as a financial journalist, but the guy she wants keeps her at arm’s length.
VALERIE, still shaken by past trauma, is surprised when her feelings for her E.R. doctor grow beyond friendship.
MARIE is just getting started as a sportswriter so she really shouldn’t fall for her first subject, the newly-drafted quarterback.
SAMANTHA has crushed on her college advisor for a year but now that she’s about to graduate maybe she finally has a shot with him.

The box set has just been recently released, but all 5 individual novellas were published a couple of years ago. So far I have read Corinne.

Corinne is the eldest of 5 daughters of senator Roger Carmichael who is considering running for President. She is doing modelling jobs between studying at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) but she is battling against her father who wishes her to stop modelling because of the media interest. She insists on honouring a modelling job she has already secured in Hawaii but overall, feels she is losing her independence.

There she meets Paul, a French photographer, with whom there is a mutual attraction. After flying their separate ways, they text each other regularly and meet up a few months later one weekend in LA. But even then, the media capture some shots of them. They start a long distance relationship and she invites him to meet her family at Thanksgiving. They share an idyllic week in France followed by more family time at Christmas.

But a couple of months later tragedy strikes with a helicopter crash. Corinne relies on Paul during this difficult time. How will things pan out?

A lovely story. I’m about to start reading Daisy next, although I feel I already know a bit about all the family from the first story.

The Carmichaels Complete Series is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.54 in Kindle format and is also available in paperback. Five stories in one book. What a great bargain for lovers of romantic reads.


About the author

Charlotte Penn Clark writes sweet-sexy New Adult and contemporary novellas that take romance seriously. As an avid romance reader, she used to spin love stories in her head until she finally started to write them down two years ago. She has studied English literature and taught college composition, but now she enjoys playing matchmaker to friends and enemies, geeks and nerds, jocks and bookworms.

So far she’s published eight books in two series: the Carmichael series interweaves the lives and loves of five privileged sisters in a political family, while the Extra Credit series tells the stories of three unlikely couples thrown together on a college campus.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Heart Note by Cassandra O’Leary

I have received a free e-copy of the book “Heart Note” by Cassandra O’Leary to review.

Heart Note by Cassandra O'Leary

Here is the book blurb.

Love is like a fine perfume. The top note draws you in, an instant attraction, but the Heart Note is the true essence. Like true love – a great perfume should be a woman’s perfect match.

At least, that’s what perfume counter manager, Lily Lucas, tells her customers in one of Australia’s largest department stores.

It’s almost Christmas, the store is bedecked with baubles and Lily has about eleventy billion gifts to wrap and sell. She and her team of spritzer chicks are glamorous, professional and hoping they don’t have to wear the hideous red onesies and reindeer antlers the store manager has in mind.

The high point of Lily’s work life is Christos Cyriakos, ex-cop, security guard, possible Greek god. He’s a mystery box she’d love to unwrap. But can she trust him?

All Lily wants for Christmas is to kiss Christos (and more), catch a band of thieves running amok in the store, and live happily ever after. Is that too much to wish for?

This is a short Christmas romcom novella and is the first book in the Spritzer Chicks series, although written as a stand-alone read.

The story starts with Lily on a training course for her new job as perfume counter manager, where in an exercise, handsome Christos catches her as she falls. It turns out that he is the new security guard at the same department store. Unfortunately Lily hates the smell of the Christmas promotional Heart-mas scent that she has to spray on unsuspecting customers and is fed up hearing the Heart-mas ad played over and over again, even though it is only early November. As she redoes a gift box display, she steps on a ribbon and slips over. Once again, it is Christos to the rescue, who Lily is already fantasising about. But in contrast, she prays she won’t have to wear one of the hideous red onesie, gold antler outfits that the casual staff have been kitted out with. And she isn’t quite so impressed when Christos asks her if she can observe the shop floor for anything odd. He believes there may be an inside theft job going on under their noses.

Plenty of humour and will Lily get her man?

Heart Note is available on Amazon, currently priced at 99p in Kindle format or from any of these stores. A nice light funny romantic Christmas read, easily read in one day.

And the author is hosting a rafflecopter competition in conjunction with Rachel’s Random Resources to giveaway 5 e-copies of Heart Note. Open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.


About the author

**Winner of the We Heart New Talent contest, HarperCollins UK. Nominated for BEST NEW AUTHOR in the 2016 AusRom Today Reader’s Choice Awards for excellence in Australian romance fiction.**

Cassandra O’Leary is a romance and women’s fiction author, communications specialist, avid reader, film and TV fangirl and admirer of pretty, shiny things.

In 2015, Cassandra won the We Heart New Talent contest run by Avon Books/HarperCollins UK. Her debut romantic comedy novel, Girl on a Plane, was published in July 2016. Cassandra was also a 2015 finalist in the Lone Star writing contest, Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America, and a 2014 finalist in the First Kiss contest, Romance Writers of Australia.

Cassandra is a mother of two gorgeous, high-energy mini ninjas and wife to a spunky superhero. Living in Melbourne, Australia, she’s also travelled the world. If you want to send her to Italy or Spain on any food or wine tasting ‘research’ trips, that would be splendiferous. You’ll find Cassandra online, drinking coffee and possibly buying shoes. Oh, yes. And writing.

Social Media Links

Facebook – www.facebook.com/cassandraolearyauthor

Twitter – @cass_oleary

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/cassandissima/heart-note/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/cassandissima/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15272644.Cassandra_O_Leary

Website – http://cassandraolearyauthor.com/


I’m participating in the blog blitz and you may like to check out some of the other blogs on the blitz.

Heart Note by Cassandra O'Leary

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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I Wrote A Book About You by Amy Louise Ware

I have received a free e-copy of the book I Wrote A Book About You by Amy Louise Ware to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

I Wrote A Book About You by Amy Louise Ware

Here is the book blurb.

If you liked Bridget Jones, you’re going to fall in love with this story…

Meet Posy, a 26-year-old quirky blonde who’s left close to bankruptcy after a divorce from her cheating, childhood sweetheart, Hamilton. Following the implosion, a year ago, Posy’s brother Noah pushes her to go and live in a different culture in fear of her becoming a crazy cat lady if not. So, whilst staying for a short while in Barcelona, she meets Freddie on a hot, sweaty Friday evening – a guy with a dangerous sense of style and a heart of gold.
But a few weeks after meeting the man of her dreams, Posy has to pack up and leave Barcelona following the shocking and sudden near death of a loved one. She has to make the decision whether to stay in her home county of Kent, haunted by the unhappiness she had once left behind, or fight to find the one person that she had let fade away into the night.

‘I Wrote a Book About You’ is a story of friendship, family, loss and going back to something you knew you could never let go of…

Posy has divorced her cheating ex-husband Hamilton and has been travelling around Europe, currently in Barcelona, when her best friend Jodie turns up on a surprise visit. They go to see a gig by The Rainers and Posy really fancies Freddie the lead singer. The feeling is mutual and they start dating.

Between continuing the love story between Posy and Freddie, we also have chapters covering earlier events in both their lives and get introduced to family and other guys Posy has slept with. I bond more with Posy when I hear she had leukaemia as a child, an illness which my own son has fought.

Then halfway through the book after several wonderful weeks with Freddie, Posy gets a phone call that her beloved brother Noah is in a critical condition following a bad car accident. She dashes to the airport, telling Freddie not to follow. I’m in tears reading this part of the story.

Will Noah recover? Who else is in a relationship with who? Will Posy find Freddie again?

This lovely romantic story has as many twists and turns as you get in a thriller, plus plenty of humour too.

And the first line of the blurb is spot on. I loved this book as much as Bridget Jones.

I Wrote A Book About You is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. Highly recommended. A fab love story with loads of laughs too.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Dating Daisy by Daisy Mae

I have received a free e-copy of the book Dating Daisy by Daisy Mae to review.

Dating Daisy by Daisy Mae

Here is the book blurb.

Daisy Mae has finally left her horrible husband after decades of unfulfilling marriage. Ready to embark on a new liberated life of adventure and fun, it dawns on Daisy that the last time she was asked out on a date was in the 80s, long before Whatsapp, Tinder, Happn and Bumble arrived; all meaningless words to Daisy’s frankly middle-aged ears.

As a sexual health doctor Daisy Mae, more than most, has reason to be cautious about throwing herself headfirst into 21st century dating. With guidance and encouragement from her seventeen-year-old daughter Imogen, her surrogate parents with a swanky house and swimming pool known fondly as The Amigos, and her friends Pinky and Jeannie, a nonagenarian who sends her insightful relationship tips from her nursing home, Daisy joins an online dating site in the hope that romance will swiftly follow.

But dating in the age of selfies and social media isn’t easy, and what begins as an innocent foray soon unravels in spectacular fashion. Daisy had not expected that she’d have to decode tech-speak (did you know 531 meant sex?), endure mortifying first dates with men who look nothing like their profiles, and be on the receiving end of an unwanted barrage of explicit photographs.

Is the price of finding love online too high? Or can Daisy Mae swipe her way to success?

This book is set in 2014, when 52 year old Daisy signs on to an internet dating site after one divorce and another 18 month relationship, because she wants to find a lifetime mate. Daisy lives with her 17 year old daughter Imogen, but we hear how she refers to her ex-husband as Voldemort.

She puts a lot of effort into how she portrays herself in her profile and photo and is disappointed to find not one wink, smile or email the next day. So instead she does a search on the site for non-smoking men aged 50-60 within 20 miles of Brighton but there are only 3 matches. Even expanding to a 50 mile radius, it only increases to 12 and about a third of them haven’t included a photo.

We then follow Daisy’s online chats, her first dates which often turn out to be a complete disaster, especially when men are nothing like their profile. She signs on to more sites. And the story is interspersed with Daisy recounting comical tales from her career as a sexual health doctor, plus advice from the Amigos, her best friends.

How many dates will Daisy have and can she find true love? And how does Imogen react?

Dating Daisy is available on Amazon, currently priced at £10.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A funny light-hearted read, although I did get a bit fed up with the over-use of the phrase “Here’s the thing” throughout the book.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Links by Lisa Becker

I have received a free e-copy of the book Links by Lisa Becker to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Links by Lisa Becker

Here is the book blurb.

In high school, Charlotte Windham was a typical student going through an awkward phase — glasses and all. She harbored a crush on Garrett Stephens, the teen heartthrob everyone can’t help but fall for during that unfortunate ugly duckling phase of one’s teen years. Flash forward fifteen years later, and Charlotte and Garrett have a second chance encounter at a Los Angeles restaurant. However, this time around, Charlotte has leveled the playing field. She’s a bestselling novelist and no longer “Glasses,” the humiliating nickname Garrett called her in high school. In short, she’s a catch now and, thanks to corrective eye surgery, it’s not just her eyes that see better…so does her heart! Garrett hasn’t fared poorly either, transforming from teen heartbreaker to adult lothario. A now successful professional golfer, he’s recently suffered a major setback in the form of a possible career-ending injury. With the upper hand, can Charlotte forgive Garrett for his past ways, and for his more recent Don Juan lifestyle? Will she even want to? And, can Garrett change his ways for a second chance with Charlotte, who may just be the perfect fit for him?

The story starts with a prologue back in 1999 when 14 year old high school student Charlotte was tutoring twins Garrett and Marcus. She was very good friends with their sister Lindsay but had a secret crush on Garrett. We then move forward to the present day when they bump into each other in a restaurant. Charlotte is now a famous author and Garrett is an injured professional golfer, but Charlotte has carried a torch for Garrett all these years.

Garrett brings a takeaway a few days later and they catch up on news. Their paths cross again when Lindsay invites Charlotte for a weekend away at the family cabin. They enjoy each other’s company and agree to hang out as friends!

I’ll leave you to guess where this is heading.

Links is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.81 in Kindle format. A nice light feel-good happy read.


Here is an extract from the book for you to read.

I stand but hesitate when I see Tamika’s disapproving look. Fi notices as well. “It’s okay, T. I got this,” she says, motioning for me to follow her back. When we get to her small office, she closes the door and gestures for me to sit on a red vinyl chair, circa 1972. She stands in front of me, leaning against the desk, and crosses her arms in front of her chest. “Spill!”

“Where should I start?”

“At the beginning.” She walks around to her chair behind the desk and pulls out a yellow legal pad.

For the next half hour, I go over my encounter with Garrett, from the moment we bumped into each other and he didn’t recognize me, to the embarrassment of being called ‘Glasses.’

Fi takes notes furiously on her pad and grins, nods, and cringes at all the appropriate times. When I finish, she puts her pen down and asks, “Do you want the ‘best friend experience’ or the ‘brilliant legal mind experience’?”

I can’t help but laugh. “Are they mutually exclusive?”

“They are,” she says nodding.

“Okay. I want the best friend experience.”

She rushes around from behind the desk, wraps her arms around me soothingly. “I’m so sorry, hon. That sounds just awful. Let’s go get margaritas tomorrow and drown our sorrows in tequila and lime wedges.”

“Thanks, Fi. You’re the best.”

“Anytime,” she says, rubbing my back. She pulls away and walks around to the back of her desk. She sits down and puts the legal pad to the side. I can’t help but notice the writing scrawled across it.

“Just for kicks, what would you have said if I had asked for the ‘brilliant legal mind experience’?”

“You sure you want to know?” Her lips pull into a grim line. Honestly, I’m not sure I do want to know, but curiosity gets the better of me.

“Lay it on me,” I say.

“You need to get laid. Not the kind of bland, missionary style sex you had with Alex. You need hot heat, sweating up the sheets, crazy animal sex.”

I bust out laughing. “That’s your brilliant legal advice. Crazy animal sex?”

“Yes. That’s my brilliant legal advice,” she says with complete seriousness. “Listen, hon, it’s been a year since that insecure jerk Keane dumped you. I have no doubt it’s been even longer since you’ve, well, you know.” She wags her eyebrows up and down. “Before that, you only seriously dated Travis the cheater and Alex who, let’s face it, despite being completely gonzo for you, was a cold fish and a bore. It’s time to stop comparing every man to this fantasy of Garrett Stephens and just do it with him to get it out of your system. He asked you out for Saturday night. Go! Enjoy!”

“I don’t compare every man to Garrett,” I snap at her.

“Don’t you?” she asks, looking down at me sternly.  

“I’m offended you even suggested that.” She looks at me, her sharp eyes boring into me, like she can read my every thought and knows I’m full of it. I imagine this is how she bears down on witnesses on the stand. I don’t like being on the receiving end of that look.

“Even if that’s true,” I start and she nods her head, “and I’m not conceding it is.” I point my finger at her. “Even if he did mean to ask me out, there’s no way it’s a good idea. He’s a total player. It would only be one night of fun and I don’t think I could get over that kind of hurt.”

“Then you need to get over it now. Sorry for the tough love, hon, but you need to move past the fantasy of this man and find someone passionate and amazing who is deserving to love you for all of the great things you have to offer including your messed-up childhood and your incredible success today.”


About the author

Lisa Becker is a romance writer whose previous novels include Click: An Online Love StoryDouble Click and Right Click. The books, about a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles, have been called, “a fast read that will keep you entertained,” “a fun, quick read for fans of Sex and the City,” and “hard to put down.” The first in the series was optioned for a major motion picture.

Lisa’s writings about online dating have been featured in Cupid’s Pulse, GalTime.com, Single Edition, The Perfect Soulmate, Chick Lit Central and numerous other book blogs and websites.

As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a rush.” Lisa is now happily married to a man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!


General Q&A with Lisa Becker

Tell us about your newest release.

A light-hearted, second chance romance, Links explores what happens when nerdy girl Charlotte Windham reconnects with her unrequited schoolgirl crush, star athlete Garrett Stephens, 15 years after high school.

Did you have an unrequited crush in high school?

I’m not too ashamed to admit I had such a fierce crush on a boy, I willingly sat with him in the bathroom at parties while he puked up wine coolers, just so I could spend time with him. Thankfully, that soul-crushing time in my life in over, but I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I came upon that secret crush today as a confident, successful woman.

Can you tell us more about the main character(s)?

Charlotte Windham was a typical ugly duckling in high school — glasses and all. Highly intelligent and immensely talented, she’s become a breakout success with her best-selling novel, The Crossing Guard.  In school, she harbored an unrequited crush on Garrett Stephens, the teen heartthrob and star athlete who’s gone on to become a professional golfer suffering a possible career-ending injury. The book explores what happens when these two former classmates have a chance encounter in a Los Angeles restaurant, 15 years after high school. With the upper hand, can Charlotte forgive Garrett for his past ways, and for his more recent Don Juan lifestyle? Will she even want to? And, can Garrett change his ways for a second chance with Charlotte, who may just be the perfect fit for him?

Imagine Links would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?

I would love to see someone with the emotional range and depth of Maggie Gyllenhaal to play Charlotte. I think she could make her come across as vulnerable, successful, intelligent and passionate. For Garrett, we would need someone who is classically handsome and oozes charm. Matt Bomer, who pulled that off perfectly on White Collar comes to mind.  If he’s not available, let’s just say, I would love to be at the casting call for that role.

You have also published other books, can you tell us more about them?

I’m most known for the Click trilogy comprised of Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click.  The series follows a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles with the entire series unfolding in emails between our heroine, her friends and her hilarious dates. Fraught with BCC’s, FWD’s and inadvertent Reply to All’s, readers will cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends. And ultimately, they will root for Renee to “click” with the right man.

What do you have in the works?

I’ve just wrapped up a contemporary romance called Starfish, which examines the unlikely relationship between a regular girl and a touring guitarist in a band. When it comes to romance, you just can’t pass up the idea of falling in love with a rock star.


And you can find Lisa Becker on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land by Isabella Davidson

When fellow blogger Isabella from Notting Hill Yummy Mummy contacted me to ask if I would like to review her debut novel featuring a mummy blogger, I immediately said yes.

The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land by Isabella Davidson

Here is the book blurb.

When Sophie Bennett moves from a quiet sleepy suburb of Toronto to glitzy west London, she doesn’t know where she has landed: Venus or Mars. Her three-year-old daughter Kaya attends Cherry Blossoms, the most exclusive nursery in London, where Sophie finds herself adrift in a sea of Alpha Mums. These mothers are glamorous, gorgeous, competitive and super rich, especially Kelly, the blonde, beautiful and bitchy class rep.

Struggling to fit in and feeling increasingly isolated, Sophie starts ‘The Beta Mum’, an anonymous blog describing her struggles with the Alpha Mums. But when her blog goes viral, she risks ruining everything for herself and her daughter. How long will it be until they discover her true identity? Is her marriage strong enough to survive one of her follower’s advances? And will she ever fit in with the Alpha Mums?

Sophie, Michael and 3 year old Kaya relocate from Canada to London when Michael is offered a new job. Nursery consultant Edward helps them secure a place for Kaya at exclusive Cherry Blossoms nursery. But shy Sophie feels very isolated away from family and best friend Emma.

So first day of term sees Sophie and Kaya encountering a crowd of beautiful stylish yummy mummies waiting at the nursery gate. Sophie even recognises faces from magazine covers. Sophie plucks up the courage to introduce herself to one of the mums, Kelly but she is totally ignored.

A few weeks on and still Sophie hasn’t managed more than a quick hello with any of the other mums. And Kaya isn’t settling in well either. The nursery assistant suggests that Sophie organise a playdate. When Sophie tells Emma how she is struggling to fit in, Emma suggests that Sophie write a blog about it. And that is how Sophie started her blog The Beta Mum, all about her adventures in Alpha Land. She gets 28 views and a comment on her first post and is hooked on blogging. She keeps all her posts anonymous, but one night accidentally mentions Cherry Blossoms in her post. Her blog goes viral. Will Sophie be able to keep her identity secret from all the Alpha Mums? And who is Cyberdad – a Cherry Blossoms father who read her blog and is now frequently emailing her?

The Beta Mum is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.99 in paperback or £3.99 in Kindle format. I loved this book and could so relate to the storyline. I do hope that there will be a follow-up to The Beta Mum, but in the meantime, do check out some of the posts on Notting Hill Yummy Mummy.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

I have received a free advance PDF copy of the book “The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice” by Katarina West  to review. I was looking forward to this, having read Katarina’s previous novel “Absolute Truth For Beginners” back in 2015. To find out more about the author you may visit her website or blog.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

Here is the book blurb.

Meet Irene Nylander, a frumpy housewife from Finland… and a yo-yo dieter. She feels trapped in an unhappy marriage, looking after her domineering mother-in-law and living vicariously through romantic movies.

Meanwhile, in Florence, Mimi Kavanough’s star is rising. She has the body of a Barbie princess, the iron will of an army sergeant – and Hollywood in her sights.

On her fiftieth birthday, Irene discovers her husband is having an affair. Devastated, she prays for a way out: she wants to die.

In heaven, a mischievous angel called Aaron hears her prayers. He decides to make Irene and Mimi swap bodies.

How will the two women cope with their unexpected, and very different, second lives? And will Aaron’s meddling get him evicted from heaven?
What will happen if he has to transform into a human being and live on Earth?

This book is set over the course of a fortnight commencing 23 June. It starts with Irene heading to Helsinki for a night out to celebrate her 50th birthday with her best friend Saara after more rudeness from her mother-in-law Horrible Harriet. But Saara doesn’t show, giving an excuse about working late. Irene decides to go to the restaurant alone, but then she spots her husband Henrik, who is supposedly on business in Stockholm. Instead he is having a cosy intimate meal with Saara. Irene rushes out and back to her car, just praying to die, as her life is so unhappy.

Meanwhile up in Little Heaven, prankster punk angel Aaron has already caused havoc that day by pretending he spotted a demon. Now he realises Irene needs help and he says Jump as her car is just about to crash.

At the same time, Hollywood star and model Mimi is enjoying herself on a yacht near the Italian island of Monte Cristo when she hears a voice in her head saying Jump. It makes perfect sense to her, as she jumps into the sea.

And just like that Irene and Mimi swap bodies. But what will happen to Aaron, since angels are not permitted to meddle with humans like that. And how will Irene and Mimi get on in their new lives? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

This book is available on Amazon and is currently 99p in Kindle format. I loved this book with its mixture of fantasy and chick-lit. It is the first story in the Angel Aid series, so I’m really looking forward to book 2.

And the author is hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway 10 Amazon Kindle copies of The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice. Open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour.

13 June, Tuesday

Rocksprings Crafts

14 June, Wednesday

The Cosy Dragon

Creative Misfit

15 June, Thursday

Hall Ways

The Writing Desk

16 June, Friday

Joyful Antidotes

Mademoiselle Women

17 June, Saturday

Linda’s Book Bag

18 June, Sunday

Novel Gossip

19 June, Monday

Yet another blogging mummy!!!

20 June, Tuesday

Sarah Smiles

Leila’s Bookshelf

Kraftireader

22 June, Thursday

Hello Booklover

Katarina West

You can find Katarina West on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Never Eat Yellow Snow by Lior Blum

I have received a free e-copy of the book Never Eat Yellow Snow by Lior Blum to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

Never Eat Yellow Snow by Lior Blum

Here is the book blurb.

Never Eat Yellow Snow is a story about the bonds of friendship and forging true kinship in the most unlikely of settings.

As a recent divorcee Caesar should be sowing his seed but racked with guilt (a prerequisite for a young Jew) he is in the midst of an identity crisis, which may or may not be the reason for his impotence. Celeste can’t get enough. Her passion for the big ‘O’ has led her down a path of kink and perversion. Jaded, there is only one depravity left to try; a monogamous relationship but is she capable of fidelity? Alex on the other hand enjoys sex in the bosom of a relationship, trouble is all her partners end up cheating on her and now she is disillusioned. The Retreat specialising in psychosexual and group therapy is their last resort at a shot of ‘normality’.

This story is set at The Retreat, a spa in rural Canada for the dysfunctional with sexual hang-ups. Pretty much everything in it is to do with sex or genitals or nakedness. Even in the bedside drawers at The Retreat, you get a copy of the Kama Sutra rather than the Bible. The three main characters are Alex who reached the end of the line with cheating partners, when she realised her ex had another girl watching them having sex via his phone. Then there is Celeste who can’t get enough of orgasms and has kept a diary scoring everyone she has had sex with. She doesn’t recall how many partners she had – perhaps 800. And finally Caesar, who divorced his wife Sarah, but has been impotent since the divorce. What is causing his impotence and why does he keep having nightmares about castration?

Apart from the one-to-one and group sessions with the sexual therapists and bizarre evening entertainment, there is plenty of time to enjoy the spa and country surroundings. So we see friendships develop between attendees at The Retreat.

I have to say this book wasn’t for me. I don’t mind a few steamy sex scenes in a story, but the whole premise of this story is sex. And it was just too much as far as I was concerned, particularly the more kinky aspects. But I did enjoy the epilogue which drew the story to a very satisfactory conclusion.

Never Eat Yellow Snow, the debut novel from Lior Blum is available on Amazon, currently priced at 99p in Kindle format. Not for me, but if it sounds like your cup of tea, then give it a try.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Story of a Secret Heart by Cassi Ellen

I have received a free e-copy of the book “Story of a Secret Heart” by Cassi Ellen to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her blog.

I came across Cassi after she liked one of my recent book reviews. I do try to visit those who like / comment on my blog and when I popped over to Cassi’s blog, I discovered she was looking for reviewers for her book.

Story of a Secret Heart by Cassi Ellen

Here is the book blurb.

A broken heart hurts, but it can also be fun……

Ever been in a bad relationship? Ever discovered that you were being cheated on?
As Cassi, a 30-year old single woman, leaves a long-term, unhappy relationship, she struggles with the pain and anguish of a broken heart. When, by chance, she meets a handsome stranger, he introduces her to a world that she didn’t even know existed. As she begins to slowly forget all about her broken heart she learns to have fun again. It is then that her life starts to spiral out of control and all she can do is laugh and hang on tight. Through her trials and tribulations, Cassi has to find her inner strength and keep a smile on her face even in front of adversity.

Story of a Secret Heart is about breaking up . . . and breaking down. It’s about the roller-coaster ride of a breakup and all the dating and relationship stories in-between.

This is a true story. Cassi is 10,000 miles from home, and has been living in Australia for 5 years with Guy. One night she arrives home an hour early to an empty house, when expecting Guy to be home. She texts him, and he lies, saying he is at home. He continues to lie when he does get back, saying he popped out to the garage. Cassi is too heart-broken to listen to his lies and Guy moves out. After several weeks at rock-bottom, Cassi’s girl friends take her out but when she gets back very drunk in the middle of the night, the lift in the apartment block is broken, so she can’t get up to her flat because Guy had taken the emergency fire door key. Cassi bangs in desperation on what she thinks is the fire door, but by mistake it is actually someone’s apartment. The handsome stranger assists her back to her flat.

Cassi soon becomes friends with the stranger, Ben, but he is from a different world of gangsters, prostitutes and drugs, On the rebound, she has sex with Ben. She starts to discover Ben’s world, and finds herself doing things or being in places she would never have dreamed of, like a brothel. You’ll have to read it, to find out everything Cassi gets up to. I certainly found it hard to take it all in. What a fun read. Cassi was on a real rollercoaster.

Story of a Secret Heart is available on Amazon, currently priced at £1.99 in Kindle format. I enjoyed this book and recommend it.

Cassi is now writing Story of a Secret Heart – book2

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.