Tag Archives: review

Taming My Christmas Rogue by Tammy Andresen

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

I have received a free e-copy of the book Taming My Christmas Rogue by Tammy Andresen to review. And I have also received a free e-copy of the book A Lady’s Christmas Rake which is a collection of 6 romantic seasonal stories by various authors including Taming My Christmas Rogue.

Taming My Christmas Rogue by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb for Taming My Christmas Rogue.

A roguish lord and an innocent lady…

Lord Andrew Maddox is a rogue of the first order…he’s the last man Dani should want. Yet her eyes are drawn to Drew every time he enters the same room as her, which is often since her family and his are spending Christmastide together. Dani just has to avoid him for a week and then she can go back to her orderly life and her almost husband hunt. Being shy does make it difficult to search. Except for her rakish rogue has other ideas.

Miss Danielle Frazier is far too virtuous for his tastes… so why can’t he stop thinking about her? He must take drastic measures. His plan? Steal one kiss. He likes a woman with a certain amount of knowledge and Dani clearly has none. One botched kiss and he’ll be over this ridiculous infatuation. Except for from the moment their lips touch, nothing goes the way it’s supposed to and kisses under the mistletoe rarely end romantic fantasy. Now Drew has a new problem entirely… for the first time in his life, he might be falling in love.

I already knew when I agreed to review this book, that it was book 11 of the “Taming a Duke’s Heart” series of which I’ve previously read and enjoyed several other titles, books 5, 8 & 10, but when I looked on Amazon, I also discovered that it is book 2 in the Miracle Express series. These are romantic Christmas titles, each written by a different author. This is not the first time that Tammy has been included in a series with other authors. This was also the case with the Wicked Earls Club series.

Lord Andrew Maddox, Drew has been infatuated with Miss Danielle Frazier since the day he first met her the previous spring. He could hardly take his eyes off her, whilst she always looked away and frowned, although she was so kind to everyone else. But now he is going to have see her again for over a week at Christmastide.

Meanwhile Danielle prefers to sit quietly in a corner. She would rather men like Drew didn’t pay attention to her. Those gazes make her feel very uncomfortable. And other eligible bachelors have been invited too. There are Lord Christian Marks and Mr George Keene, both looking for a wife, something Drew certainly isn’t after.

So Drew comes up with a plan of a kiss under the mistletoe. That will surely cure him of this lust, so he can get back to his usual roguish behaviour won’t it?

Taming My Christmas Rogue is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.34 in Kindle format. A nice Christmas romance from Tammy.

Here are the links to the other titles I’ve read in the Taming A Duke’s Heart series.
book 5 – Taming a Savage Gentleman
book 8 – Taming a Defiant Duke
book 10 – Taming an Unrepentant Earl


I haven’t had time to read any of the other stories in A Lady’s Christmas Rake yet, but I wanted to share the details with you now, in order to give you the opportunity to check it out yourselves before Christmas.

A Lady's Christmas Rake

Here is the book blurb for A Lady’s Christmas Rake.

From USA Today and Bestselling authors comes a hotter than hot historical romance anthology guaranteed to keep you warm and jolly this holiday season.

Taming my Christmas Rogue by Tammy Andresen
Miss Danielle Frazier is far too virtuous for his tastes… so why can’t he stop thinking about her? He must take drastic measures. His plan? Steal one kiss. Except for from the moment their lips touch, nothing goes the way it’s supposed to and kisses under the mistletoe rarely end romantic fantasy. Now Drew has a new problem entirely… for the first time in his life, he might be falling in love.

His Lady Smuggler – by Tamara Gill
May Stanford, lady smuggler is forced to go up against the Earl of Grandison, her father’s guest for Christmas and a man who’s determined to see her and her merry bandits brought to justice.

Christmas Seduction by Samantha Holt
In a time when arranged marriages had little to do with love, Alexander
never expected a love match. Neither did Emma–but she had hoped for more
than being abandoned instantly! However, Alexander is back and if there is
ever a time for romance and second chances, it’s Christmas.

Winter Wishes by Scarlett Scott
A duke in need of a bride meets his match in a lady who has no intention of becoming his duchess. Will their hearts find love before Christmas?

Devil at the Gates by Lauren Smith
A duke with a dark past rescues a the daughter of a fencing master. What begins as a battle of wills becomes a battle of heart as Christmas works its magic.

An Unwelcome Proposal by Bree Wolf

A chance encounter. An unexpected proposal. And an undeniable love.
All his life, WESLEY EVERETT has watched other men fall in love. Now, when he finally does find a woman who brings a flutter to his heart, she could not be less interested. Will Wesley take ‘no’ for an answer? Or will he be able to convince Christine that marriage is far from boring?

A Lady’s Christmas Rake is newly published today on Amazon, currently priced at £3.24 in Kindle format. I notice that it also includes a title by Scarlett Scott. I’ve previously enjoyed reading Her Deceptive Duke by this author. The other four authors will be new to me.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

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Too Wicked to Woo by Tammy Andresen

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

I have received a free e-copy of the book Too Wicked to Woo by Tammy Andresen to review.

Too Wicked to Woo by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

He’s dark and dangerous and so delicious, how can she resist…

Miss Penny Clearwater considers herself a sensible woman. After all, she’s navigated her mother’s death, her father’s financial ruin, and her own fall from society with all the grace she could muster. So when her friend, Lady Chloe Dryden suggests they make a chronicle teaching young ladies of London all about the elusive rake, Penny refuses. It’s a silly idea that could end in absolute disaster. Except, she’s almost nothing left to lose. And when the perfect rake crosses her path, why not do a little research on Lord Preston? So he’s handsome and dashing… she’s only interested in the book, of course. Isn’t she?

Lord Wesley Preston hasn’t had much by the way of successes since he left the military. A failing earldom, a bad accountant, and a drinking habit have left him in tatters. He desperately needs a break. And when Miss Clearwater stumbles into his life, he discovers that she had just inherited a large piece of land perfect for farming, if only she had someone to help her do the work. Wes makes her a proposition he hopes she can’t refuse. Accept his proposal of marriage, become a countess, and make both their lives better.

The problem? Penny takes one look at him and declares him the worst sort of rake. She’s right of course. But how far will he go to prove to her that he can change?

Although this is book 1 in the Chronicles of a Bluestocking series, Penny is a friend of Chloe, heroine of The Earl of Dryden which I read recently. And I have to say that, it felt like a continuation, as its starts with Chloe trying to convince her friends that they should make a chronicle about rakes. However it is perfect as a stand-alone read too.

Miss Penny Clearwater has been ruined by her father gambling away all their money. Meanwhile Wes, the Earl of Preston, too has fallen on hard times, also due to gambling the remainder of his cash away after a series of investment and farming misfortunes. As a last resort he calls on his old friend The Earl of Dryden for help. By chance, this is at the same time as Penny is visiting Chloe, Lady Dryden.

Lord Dryden has some good news for Penny. When Penny’s mother died, she left Penny’s childhood home directly to Penny, so it has escaped her father’s debts. But it will need a lot of work as it has now been uninhabited for many years. Lord Preston overhears and offers to fix the house and land, suggesting they marry and split the proceeds.

What should Penny do? Lord Preston is clearly a rogue, like her father, isn’t he?

Too Wicked to Woo is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.26 in Kindle format. As usual, another nice light romantic story from Tammy.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

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Brushd ecofriendly dental review and giveaway

Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Brushd dental care

I started trying to address the amount of plastic in the bathroom earlier this year including dental products, but it did feel a little hit and miss regarding where to locate alternative products and would I like them. For instance the first plastic-free toothpaste I purchased, a Georganics jar of paste tasted horrid. So I was pleased to discover the dental care brand Brushd via the Ethical Influencers network, as they seem to have a wide choice of eco-friendly oral care products. Brushd are aiming to help reduce plastic pollution without compromising on good oral health, and they are dentist approved.

So I received the following products free to review.

1. Bamboo toothbrush with charcoal infused bristles.
2. Toothpaste Tablets (Fluoride-free)
3. Dental Supplements
4. Mouthwash tablets
5. Interdental Brushes
6. Electric toothbrush heads.
7. Natural Corn Dental Floss

The charcoal bamboo toothbrush was fine. The bamboo handle is biodegradable and can be composted or put in your food waste bin, but you would have to break off the bristles first. I won’t know how easy or difficult that is until the toothbrush comes to the end of its life. And Brushd do say that they are working on a solution for the bristles. But I do have a question. I couldn’t find any mention of why the bristles are charcoal infused. I’d love to know what benefits does that give?

Toothpaste tablets is a swap that I successfully made earlier this year. These are the third type of toothpaste tablets that I have tried, but I have to say unfortunately these are the ones I like least. A toothpaste tablet works on the principle of you chewing the tablet before brushing. These had a rather unpleasant taste as I chewed, although less noticeable once brushing. A shame as I have really enjoyed using toothpaste tablets until now. I don’t know if it is because these fluoride free and I have always chosen to purchase ones containing fluoride. Brushd do also sell a fluoride version, but I didn’t receive this. There are 62 tablets in the jar which is a nice touch, since it means there is enough for a 31 day month. This product was almost entirely plastic free apart from a “sealed for your protection” disc inside the lid. I’m not convinced that this was entirely necessary as the similar mouthwash tablet jar did not have one. And there was also one of these discs inside the dental supplements jar too.

Which brings me on to discussing the dental supplements. Do you know that although I’ve taken multi-vitamins for years, I never realised that you could purchase vitamins and minerals specifically targeted at healthier teeth and gums, which is the purpose of these daily dental supplements. They are suitable for vegans and contain calcium and potassium along with vitamins A, C, D3 and K. Simply take one a day with water. Perfect. 60 tablets in the jar.

Mouthwash tablets is a swap that I successfully made back in January. And these ones were just as good. In fact, they seemed to dissolve even better than my existing brand. Just pop a tablet in about 20ml of water at the start of your dental routine and it will be dissolved by the time you reach the mouthwash stage. Then gargle for about 30 seconds before spitting out. Easy. 120 tablets in the jar.

The Interdental brushes come in packets of 5. The ones I received were 1mm brush width, but they also come in a 0.8mm size. Personally I would like to see some even narrower widths added to the range, as although this size was great for my back teeth, I struggled to insert the brush between my front teeth, which are very tight together. Perhaps down to 0.6mm would be good. However I was very pleased with the short handle length and how flexible the brush head was, making it much easier to reach the inside of my teeth. The handles are bamboo, but I’m not sure whether the bristles are still plastic. I assume they are. Also personally I do like a little paste on an interdental brush which I haven’t come up with a solution for yet. Since swapping to toothpaste tablets, I’ve been using the kids toothpaste for this purpose, as they have refused to give tablets a try. The box states that these are recommended by dentists, are BPA-free, vegan and 100% recyclable. However it doesn’t say how to recycle them, as presumably it will be different for the bristles to the handle? I would like to see more information on how to recycle them. Also this product is not suitable for children under 8, but I think you would be hard-pressed to get kids to do more than just brush their teeth anyhow.

I was very excited about the idea of recyclable electric toothbrush heads, as I expect that a large proportion of the population, myself included, already possess an electric toothbrush. I was envisaging that this would also be bamboo, but sadly not. Also there is no indication of whether they have perhaps been made from recycled plastic, so I’m guessing not. It seems to just be that they have their own recycling scheme, so not really any different from TerraCycle. The heads are compatible with OralB electric toothbrushes but not with Colgate ones. It also mentions that the bristles are charcoal infused, but as already mentioned I have no idea what that does. But why have the toothbrush heads got individual plastic covers over each one? Those seem totally unnecessary. I’ve certainly never seen anything similar previously. And apparently every order comes with a pre-paid compostable mailer bag so that when the brushes come to the end of their life, they can be sent back for recycling. Sounds great but I didn’t receive one of these bags, so can’t comment further. Again not suitable for children under 8.

The corn dental floss is 100% biodegradable so can go in your home compost. It does seem slightly thicker than standard floss, so although it was perfect for my back teeth, again I did find it a struggle to get between my tightly packed front teeth. This meant it did seem to break more easily too. It comes in a handy jar, but there doesn’t seem to be an option to purchase a refill. That would be a logical addition to the range in my opinion.

brushd dental care

Oral hygiene is very important. So it was great to read that not only are Brushd focussed on helping to reduce plastic pollution, but that each time you buy a toothbrush from them, they gift one to someone in need on your behalf. This is via two charities – A Reason To Smile and Dentaid.

And I also read that they plant a tree for every subscription via Tree-Nation. I’ll be investigating this site myself, as I wish to offset CO2. By subscribing, you would save 25-30% on tablets and toothbrushes. The products would be sent to you every 4 months.

It would be fabulous to see these products in my local zero waste store, but I can’t find any mention of stockists on the website. A great range and hopefully they will address my few concerns.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition courtesy of Brushd to giveaway 6 months supply of toothpaste tablets to one lucky winner.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear what is your favourite product from Brushd or your suggestions for additions to the range. I’d particularly like to see them branch out from just dental supplements to a much broader range of vitamins. For instance I’m still searching for a plastic-free multi-vitamin and mineral tablet including iron.

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The Meerkat Murders by R J Corgan

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

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Meerkat Murders by R J Corgan to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.

Meerkat Murders by R J Corgan

Here is the book blurb.

After an old friend calls in a favor, geologist Kea Wright joins a team of biologists studying meerkats in the Kalahari.

Seduced by the expedition’s luxurious accommodations, state-of-the-art equipment, and daily baskets of fresh muffins, Kea begins to wonder if she picked the wrong field of research. Until people start dying…

This is the sequel to Cold Flood which I reviewed last year, again with Kea Wright as the central character, but works as a stand-alone read too.

In the previous book, she was in Iceland. Now she is in Botswana in the Kalahari desert at a meerkat colony. Her friend Tamaya and husband Addi, who are in charge of a team of biologists studying the meerkats, had invited her to join them. It will be their last season in the field before Addi retires.

But middle of the next night there is a scream. Addi has been bitten. Is it a snake? Scorpion? Whilst three of the team drive Addi to the hospital, Kea, Katherine and Gwen search for the creature. Kea succeeds in capturing a furry spider, which they identify online as a sand spider, the deadliest spider in the world. But no details of an anti-venom.

Kea is immediately suspicious that it is no accident. Even before they hear that Addi is dead, she is playing detective and coming up with motives.

Meanwhile rhino poachers keep knocking out the camera feeds, and then kill one of the meerkat colonies. Why would they do that?

And then another of the team dies. What is going on?

As well as being an entertaining read, the story is also educational as regards meerkats, a species I certainly didn’t know much about.

The Meerkat Murders is available on Amazon, currently priced at £12.21 in paperback or 97p in Kindle format. An interesting premise for a story.

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The Earl of Dryden by Tammy Andresen

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Earl of Dryden by Tammy Andresen to review.

The Earl of Dryden by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

A dangerous lord and a desperate debutante…

The Earl of Dryden knows all about the debutante who refuses to speak a word to anyone but he never expected she’d be so lovely, nor did he anticipate that he’d catch her confiding her secrets to a marble statue. Even more surprising, he wants to help her. Which is a mistake. A man like him shouldn’t go anywhere near a woman as lovely as Miss Chloe Finch. She’s too alluring by half and his soul holds real darkness, the kind that would swallow such a lovely creature whole.

Miss Chloe Finch is in grave need of a hero. But when The Earl of Dryden offers his assistance from behind a statue while she is attending a ball, she is well aware she shouldn’t accept. His darkly handsome looks make him look more like a pirate than a lord and his reputation is even worse. Still, she can’t deny the heat that scorches her skin with a single sweep of his mysterious gaze. Nor can she deny that despite everything inside her screaming that she shouldn’t trust him, a tiny bit of her is tempted. So very tempted.

The Wicked Earls Club series is different to most, in that the titles are written by different authors. The common theme is that each is about a Wicked Regency Earl. Initially it was going to be one book per author, but this is actually the second title from Tammy and of course, I’ve already read her original book The Earl of Sussex. I haven’t read any from the other authors though.

This story only seems to have a very tenuous connection to the Wicked Earls Club as the Earl of Dryden is now reformed. It certainly works well as a stand-alone read.

Shy Chloe who refuses to speak is hoping to stay hidden at the dance between a fern and a statue. Meanwhile, Fin the Earl of Dryden ducks behind the statue to avoid Lady Angela Stark and overhears Chloe actually talk to the statue.

Fin escorts Chloe onto the dance-floor and for once she finds her tongue, until horrid Lord Parks appears leering at her. But Dryden saves her from Lord Parks’ request for the next dance. They go outside where Dryden persuades Chloe to explain her fear of Lord Parks, in exchange for the tale of his own dark opium filled past.

Is Chloe actually talking? Why and when did she previously stop speaking? How is Fin a trigger?

Fin, the Earl of Dryden is the cousin of Tricia, heroine in another of Tammy’s books which I have also read, My Duke’s Seduction.

The Earl of Dryden is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.46 in Kindle format. Another short light romantic read from Tammy.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

Website – http://www.tammyandresen.com

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MamaMummyMum

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

Blindsided by Narc Narcisse

I have received a free e-copy of the book Blindsided by Narc Narcisse to review. To find out more about the author, you may see his Goodreads page.

Blindsided by Narc Narcisse

Here is the book blurb.

“I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m curious. What will he be like? What will he look like? How tall will he be?” Tonight, Emma embarks on her first-ever blind date. Mark’s not what she expected. Emma’s not what he expected. Whoever set these two up knew this beforehand…1-Tattoos. 2-Wine. 3-Pills. 4-Blindfolds. 5-Handcuffs. 6-Sex. In twenty-four hours, Emma experiences five of the six; Mark, two. This innocent rendezvous has guilt written all over it!

I wasn’t sure whether I would like this book as the blurb makes it sound a bit kinky, but as the author had assured me it was not an erotica genre read, I decided to give it a go. And so pleased that I did.

The story starts with a blind date between Emma and Mark arranged through the secretive referral only BlindSided dating company (BSD). Neither of them is what the other expected, as BSD deliberately blindside their clients, which they twigged once they met, but the two of them certainly clicked.

However they are only two of a larger number of characters, all central to the story, which encompasses death and rape, not graphic through. So many suspense filled twists and turns throughout, with plenty of sub-plots too. What a page turner.

But I wasn’t entirely sure I liked the style in which this book was written with narrative and flashbacks interspersed, but luckily it didn’t detract too much.

Blindsided is available on Amazon currently priced at £7.86 in Kindle format and is also available in paperback. A gripping read. Highly recommended.

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

Move over hot dog, introducing the Chickfurter

I’ve been buying sausages from the local butcher this year, as I can take my own container to avoid any packaging, but I have previously purchased HECK sausages from the supermarket. Both the boys enjoy sausages. So when I heard that HECK were launching a new product, the Chickfurter, I was interested in the concept. Son1 is quite a hotdog fan, but it is a treat that he doesn’t often get the opportunity to try. Meanwhile son2 does not like hot dogs.

HECK Chickfurters

So I received two free packs of HECK Chickfurters to review. How would these go down with the boys?

First the nutritional side. They are gluten free like all the rest of the HECK range and contain 97% British chicken. Apparently the HECK Chickfurter is the only frankfurter on the market currently made of chicken breast, rather than mechanically reclaimed meat. That sounds good. I was also pleased to note that they had 9 days until the use by date, which is pretty impressive for a refrigerated product. Plus they are suitable for home freezing.

HECK Chickfurters

Each 320g pack contains 4 large chickfurters. I’m used to the method of cooking hot dogs in water, but the packet said to pan-fry for best results or to grill. So I opted to pan-fry them, serving them in traditional long rolls with ketchup and optional fried onion.

HECK Chickfurters

HECK Chickfurters

Son1 loved them and wanted two which at 72g each was a huge meat hit. I certainly couldn’t have eaten a second in one sitting. But son2 lived upto expectation and did not like them. He was in the minority though as the rest of us enjoyed them. I loved that smoky flavour.

HECK Chickfurters

And now to discuss the packaging. I knew that I would be compromising my ideal by receiving a packaged product but what type of packaging? It was a plastic tray covered with film in a cardboard sleeve. And at least the tray was not black plastic, as sorting equipment cannot detect the colour black. So all recyclable apart from the film, which could be eco-bricked, but it would be preferable to swap the tray and film to a more sustainable material. For instance when I buy frozen vegetarian sausages, those are just sold in cardboard.

Also by receiving the product via post, there was a lot of additional packaging in order to keep the product chilled during transit. So I would recommend purchasing in-store rather than online, although currently, the chickfurter has only been launched in Morrisons.

HECK Chickfurters

Do take a look at the HECK website to see the rest of their range. I was particularly interested to see they make a wide range of vegan sausages too. I was unaware of these previously. I’ve been eating meat-free more regularly recently and often adapt a sausage recipe to be veggie sausages for me, whilst the rest of the family have butchers sausages.

And I’d love to hear your recipe ideas for chickfurters.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Exercise is Murder by Carolyn Arnold

I have received a free e-copy of the book Exercise is Murder by bestselling author Carolyn Arnold to review. I’ve enjoyed several of Carolyn’s books, so I was looking forward to reading this one too. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Exercise is Murder by Carolyn Arnold

Here is the book blurb.

Getting in shape isn’t an easy walk in the park…

Running junkie Katie Carpenter takes a tumble down a ravine and ends up facedown in the Hudson River. The police conclude her death was an accident, but those who were close to Katie aren’t buying that she just tripped and fell—including her pro-athlete boyfriend. But it’s Katie’s fitness trainer and friend who hires the McKinleys to investigate.

Anything but an easy case to solve, Sean and Sara will break a sweat trying to figure out who had the most to gain from the young woman’s death. Sadly for Sean most of the evidence seems stacked against Katie’s boyfriend—a man Sean idolizes. Can he put aside being starstruck long enough to view things objectively? If Katie’s killer is going to be caught, he and Sara will need to remain flexible and it might require bending the rules a bit.

This is book 12 in the McKinley Mysteries: Short & Sweet Cozies, but I found it worked very well as a stand-alone read. Also a different genre to the other titles I’ve read by Carolyn, as they have mostly been thrillers.

Married couple Sean and Sara McKinley used to work for the police but are now private investigators, with a small team. Sara’s personal trainer Mirela asks them to investigate the death of Katie Carpenter, another of her fitness clients and friend. Katie was out running and ended up in the Hudson River. Police say it was an accident but Mirela believes Katie, a keen runner, was pushed.

They start the case by getting Jimmy to visit the morgue and Adam, their tech wizard to check out Katie’s social media. Is it murder? Suspects, motives, clues.

I was particularly drawn to this story as I enjoy running myself. And I love the classification of short & sweet cozies. It sums the book up brilliantly. A real page turner of a mystery that I didn’t want to put down. And although thoroughly modern, made me think back to the days of the golden greats. I would certainly like to read some of the other titles in this series.

Exercise is Murder is available on Amazon, currently priced at £11.99 in paperback or £2.76 in Kindle format. Another gripping story as per usual from best-selling author Carolyn Arnold. I can highly recommend you grab a cup of tea and put your feet up to read this book.

Here are the links to my reviews of other books by Carolyn Arnold.
Remnants
Power Struggle
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh
On the Count of Three
Shades of Justice

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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 new way to drink Coffee plus giveaway

I’ve always thought that are basically two ways to make coffee at home, either using ground or instant. Of course there is a lot more choices to the ground method. Are you going to grind your own beans? Do you have a coffee machine, a percolator or a cafetière? We’ve always kept it simple by just having a cafetière, but it broke last year. I’ve been trying to see if we can get by without replacing it, since we usually only got it out when we had guests. And I certainly wouldn’t wish to upgrade to a coffee machine, as I imagine there must be a lot of waste with all those pods.

Therefore I was very interested to find out more when I heard via the Ethical Influencers network that there was such a thing as coffee bags. These passed my deal-breaker test with no plastic in the bags, so I put my name forward to review New Kings Coffee gourmet coffee bags. I had been putting teabags in the food waste bin for years when I first heard that most brands of teabags contain plastic. Now I either buy loose tea or better still, cut a sprig of fresh mint from my garden, and then compost the waste.

New Kings Coffee gourmet coffee bags

I didn’t even know coffee bags existed, but they definitely sound the way forward, being biodegradable. I was pleased to receive 3 free boxes of New Kings Coffee gourmet coffee bags to review, each containing 10 bags. These currently retail at £6.99 for a box of 10. There was a dark roast from Indonesia, a medium roast from Guatemala and a light roast from Ethiopia. They also do a decaffeinated roast from Peru, which unfortunately I didn’t get to try. Slightly ironic since my coffee of choice whenever I’m in a coffee shop would be a decaf skinny latte.

Plus points for the packaging they used to post me the coffee. The box had been sealed with paper tape. No sellotape in sight. I think this is the first time I’ve received a delivery using paper tape. So no need to remove the tape for recycling. Ideal since it can be so frustrating trying to pull plastic tape off parcels before the boxes can be recycled.

New Kings Coffee gourmet coffee bags

Their coffee is organic and fair-trade, two more ticks. The coffee bags are made from Bioweb, which is a 100% biodegradable product made from a totally renewable and sustainable source of corn starch. These can go in your food waste bin. Or home composting is possible for the bags but the temperature required to fully decompose them is not always sustained in home composters, especially as we enter the colder months.

But they are currently using individual sachets made from a mixed foil and plastic laminate to help keep the coffee fresh for longer. I’m not so happy whenever I hear about mixed materials like this. However they have taken the initiative to team up with TerraCycle, so that these can be recycled by sending them back. As they are a fairly new start-up company, I don’t believe there are any local drop-off points yet, like the way I take my old pens to our library. Plus the outer boxes are made of 75% recycled cardboard. And since they are currently working with their suppliers to find a more environmentally friendly alternative to the foil sachets,  I’d say that still adds upto 9.5/10 on the environmentally friendly front. So well done.

Hopefully they will come up with an alternative idea to the foil sachets soon, which doesn’t compromise on freshness. Perhaps the bags could be sold loose in a jar, as there is always plenty of reuse options for jars.

New Kings Coffee gourmet coffee bags

Simple to make. Pop a bag in your cup. Add hot water, stir, leave for 3-5 minutes, stir again, squeeze and remove bag, add milk if desired. And of course, you have been waiting for a verdict on the taste test. I enjoyed all three varieties, but I’m not a connoisseur of coffee, so although each pack describes what notes the flavour comprises, I personally couldn’t pick those out. I’m similar when it comes to wine.

However I experimented and came up with a variant that I absolutely loved. I tried adding one of the light roast bags to a cup of very hot milk instead of water. For me this was perfection, a real comfort drink. I’m also planning to try the same with both the medium roast and dark roast for comparison.

New Kings Coffee gourmet coffee bags

You can purchase the bags in varying quantities from 4-100, either on a one-off basis or with 10% off via a monthly subscription. The boxes I received have varying best before dates ranging between June 2020 to October 2020, so again thinking about those pesky foil sachets, even if they are needed for keeping the larger quantity boxes fresh, a box of 10 is going to be drunk relatively quickly. Even one foil inner packet containing all the bags which the consumer clips shut after opening would be a step in the right direction, rather than individual sachets.

New Kings Coffee gourmet coffee bags

Also I was very pleased to read that New Kings Coffee support the people and communities in the coffee growing regions, by making a donation to the charity, Grounds for Health, who provide screening, treatment and training to support cervical cancer patients in developing countries.

And I have an offer to pass on to my readers – 20% off any order at New Kings Coffee with discount code: YABM20.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway 3 boxes of coffee courtesy of New Kings Coffee to one lucky winner. That is one each of dark roast, medium roast and light roast, each box containing 10 bags.

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

And you may see my other giveaways here.

Now to enjoy my next cup of coffee whilst I browse online to find some environmental projects which I could consider contributing towards to help offset the carbon footprint of coffee being flown halfway across the world for my consumption. Coffee is not a plant that can be grown here in the UK.

I’d love to hear about your favourite cup of coffee.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Taming an Unrepentant Earl by Tammy Andresen

I have received a free e-copy of the book Taming an Unrepentant Earl by Tammy Andresen to review.

Taming an Unrepentant Earl by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

A scarred lord and a ruined lady…

Thanks to his bravery, and subsequent injury on the battlefield, Harold Maddox has been given an earldom and a leave of absence as commander in order to heal. While he doesn’t give a bullocks about the title, he’ll take the leave to settle a personal matter. After the loss of his best friend, he’s promised to care for Chesterfield’s sister, Miss Sophia Chesterfield. And he’s promised himself once he’s healed, he’ll avenge his friend’s death. The problem is that Sophie is far too beautiful for him to remain indifferent and her sharp tongue riles him in all sorts of interesting ways. He needs to return to the war and he can’t afford distractions now.

Sophie Chesterfield wouldn’t marry at all except that she can’t very well have a baby without a husband. What she needs is a nice quiet man who causes little interruption in her orderly life. And that man is definitely not Lord Ridgeby. From the moment the man enters her house is a force of destruction on her quiet life. What’s more, he heats her blood and sets fire to everything she thought she wanted. Not that it matters. He’s made it clear he’s leaving and she doesn’t want an overbearing beast like him anyway. Does she?

This is book 10 in the Taming a Duke’s Heart series. These stories are all suitable as stand-alone reads. I’ve previously read and enjoyed book 5 – Taming a Savage Gentleman and book 8 – Taming a Defiant Duke.

The story starts with army Captain Harry Maddox recovering from a hip injury sustained on the battlefield when his best friend Alfred Chesterfield died saving Harry. He is keen to return to the field to avenge his friend’s death, but in the meantime he is travelling to Alfred’s former home to fulfil Alfred’s request to make provision for his only living family member, his sister Sophie. He plans  to take her to a home for destitute women, run by his own sister.

On arrival, he finds not one, but two women in need of assistance, Sophie and her cousin Miss Danielle Frazier. Sophie thinks he has come to be their guardian, so that suitors can then call. So she is not happy when she hears his plan. And what about the sparks of attraction that have been sizzling since they met?

Meanwhile Harry visits Alfred’s barrister and discovers that Alfred has actually requested him to be Sophie’s guardian until she is 25, to manage her funds and house and to introduce her into society. He returns to tell her, but she is still not pleased, finding him overbearing. She does not want to be told what to do. She just wanted a puppet guardian.

The sooner this is all sorted and he can return to the army the better isn’t it? So the introductions to suitors begin.

Taming an Unrepentant Earl is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.28 in Kindle format. Another nice light romantic story from Tammy.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

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