Tag Archives: romance

Hannah’s Moon by John A Heldt

Regular readers of my blog may remember that I really enjoyed a couple of books by John Heldt last year. You may see my reviews of The Mine here and Indiana Belle here. So I was pleased when John asked me to review his latest book, Hannah’s Moon. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

Hannah's Moon by John A Heldt

 

Here is the book blurb.

After struggling for years to have a child, Claire Rasmussen, 34, turns to adoption, only to find new obstacles on the path to motherhood. Then she gets an unlikely phone call and soon learns that a distant uncle possesses the secrets of time travel.

Within weeks, Claire, husband Ron, and brother David find themselves on a train to Tennessee and 1945, where adoptable infants are plentiful and red tape is short. For a time, they find what they seek. Then a beautiful stranger enters their lives, the Navy calls, and a simple, straightforward mission becomes a race for survival.

Filled with suspense, romance, and heartbreak, HANNAH’S MOON, the epic conclusion of the American Journey series, follows the lives of four spirited adults as they confront danger, choices, and change in the tense final months of World War II.

This book starts in the present day (or a few months hence to be precise) when Claire and Ron’s son is stillborn. A couple of months later they decide to try to adopt, but discover the average wait time is 6 years and that they will need a hefty loan to afford the fee.

When Claire’s brother David comes to visit, he brings far-fetched news from their Aunt Jeanette and Uncle Geoffrey Bell. They have a time-travel tunnel in their basement and David has been through it back to 2001 and retrieved Claire’s lost diary. The Bells are offering Claire and Ron the chance to time-travel back to 1945, when it should be easy to adopt.

So a few weeks later with falsified documents, Claire, Ron and David head back to 1945 at the same time as the Bells, Uncle Geoffrey has set them up with a $10,000 savings account and rented them a house. They say their goodbyes to the Bells who are heading to Latin America and board a train to Tennessee.

There they get very friendly with neighbour Margaret and begin the process to adopt 10 month old Hannah. They are on a 3 month parent probation period before the adoption will be finalised, so can’t return to the modern day as soon as they hoped. But when Ron intervenes to save a black man from a beating, things start to get more tricky initially and then very scary indeed.

That’s all I’m going to say about the storyline. However it is interesting to note that this is the final story in the American Journey series, as I saw scope for at least a couple more books featuring Geoffrey Bell. I’ve only read two out of the five, but I liked how those two are linked by his character, yet they work brilliantly as stand-alone stories.

Hannah’s Moon is available on Amazon, currently priced at £4.10 in Kindle format. I loved this book. A really great read which certainly lived up to my expectations of a John Heldt novel, As always I highly recommend this author.

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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 Frog Theory by Fiona Mordaunt

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Frog Theory by Fiona Mordaunt to review.

The Frog Theory by Fiona Mordaunt

Here is the book blurb.

Tragedy and comedy in perfect proportion.

Kim and Flow are the best of friends, living on a council estate, making money selling drugs.

Just around the corner in a smarter part of Fulham is Clea, a well-heeled young woman coping with a violent home life at the hands of her twisted step-father.
The Principal runs a famous college for problem teens. Fostering guilty secrets which distance her from her own children, she resists the advances of a man she sees on the train every day.

When Kim and Clea meet by chance, Kim is smitten but worried about her. Using the anecdote of the frog theory – that it will jump straight out of boiling water and live, but stay in and die if heated slowly from cold – he wakes her up to the dangerous situation she’s in at home.

Serendipity and a cake-fuelled food fight that goes viral will bring Kim, Clea, Flow and The Principal together in weird and wonderful ways in this frenetic, laugh-out-loud story about love, conscience and lion-hearted nerve.

The book starts by introducing the four main characters – Kim, Clate, the principal and Flow. Kim and Flow who live on a council estate in Fulham are best friends, but none of the others have crossed paths yet. Middle-class 18yr old Clate has a violent step-father Hugo and is still at school. We never get to know the name of the principal, but she is a single mother, who is principal at one of the roughest colleges in London.

Clate is grounded but is allowed to go to cleaner Maureen’s 70th birthday. There she meets Kim and Maureen’s grandson Flow. Shortly afterwards when Clate with a split lip, coutesy of Hugo, bumps into Flow, he invites her to go out with them next Friday. However Flow had “forgotten” that it was his and Jackie’s engagement dinner, so asks Kim to go round and let Clate know.

Clate opens up about her home life to Kim and questions herself as to why she doesn’t leave. Kim tells her it is “The Frog Theory” – when you put a frog in boiling water, it jumps out and lives, but if you put it in cold water, then gently heat up, it stays in and dies. They talk for hours and then Clate asks Kim to kiss her, but he is too loyal to Flow.

Shortly afterwards Clate inherits a large sum of money from her biological father. She reverts from her nickname Clate back to her real name Clea and plucks up courage to leave home. Meanwhile Kim has realised that Flow is staying with girlfriend Jackie, so as he doesn’t have Clate’s number, he leaves a note in a beer bottle, hidden in the ivy outside Clate’s bedroom window, not realising she has already left.

Kim’s probation officer suggests he apply for college, and this is how we are introduced to the principal, when he signs up for a business planning course. He and Flow set up their own business.

There is lots more to come in the story, such as how does the principal feature and Flow bumping into Clea when she returns to England and asking her to join him and Kim for dinner. But I shall say no more.

The Frog Theory will be published on 14th February and is available for pre-order on Amazon, currently priced at £6.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A great story which I highly recommend.


Here is an extract from the book for you to read.
Excerpt from The PartyThe moment Kim sees Clea for the first time, known for the moment by her nickname, Clate.

Kim looked Clate up and down. She was medium height and dying of embarrassment. She had long, blondish hair, which was covering most of her face, and she was wearing a shapeless dress, which didn’t give any clue as to what her future might be like.
‘You look like Cousin Itt off The Munsters under all that hair,’ said Kim, as an ill-chosen icebreaker.
‘I think you’ll find that Cousin Itt featured in The Addams Family, actually,’ she replied tartly.
La di da! Thought Kim, Jackie and Flow simultaneously.
‘He was only kidding,’ said Flow, trying to save the day ‘Can I get you a drink?’
‘Sauvignon blanc, please,’ said Clate, without thinking much. It was the only white wine she had heard of.
‘Errrrr…’ said Flow, exchanging glances with Kim. ‘I’m not sure they’ll feature any of that at this bar! It’s a white wine, isn’t it?’
‘Actually, I’ll have whatever you’re drinking,’ she said, eager to get the attention away from herself as soon as possible.
‘A pint of lager?’
‘No… not that…’ She looked at Jackie’s drink. ‘What are you drinking?’ she asked shyly, in a glazed millisecond taking in Jackie’s dark good looks and beautifully fitted top and skirt combo, complementing her curly, compact figure. Her bra strap was showing and it was red. Clate had never owned red underwear.
‘Vodka and lemonade,’ said Jackie, still looking her up and down.
‘I’ll have one of those, then,’ she said, going red again as Flow beckoned for the barman.
They stood in embarrassed silence and Clate stared downwards at Jackie’s shapely legs, black strappy high sandals wrapped around neat feet sporting immaculately polished red toenails, Flow’s well-worn trainers that looked loved and comfortable below some sort of dark trousers.
‘So… What brings you here?’ said Jackie at last. Clate look up, flicking her hair out of her face.
Kim couldn’t work out whether she was beautiful or ugly; she had the kind of looks that needed a second opinion.


About the author

After attending school for model-making, Mordaunt started Image Casting in 1998, specialising in customised body castings. Over the course of 13 years, she worked on such films as Atonement and The Wildest Dream, as well as for personal clients like Lionel Richie. In 2012, she relocated to Botswana with her husband and daughter where she currently resides.

http://www.fionamordaunt.com/


I’m participating in the blogtour. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts.

The Frog Theory by Fiona Mordaunt

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

Indiana Belle by John A Heldt

Regular readers of my blog may remember that I recently received free e-copies of two books by John Heldt to review. You may see my review of the first one, The Mine here. And now we have Indiana Belle, which is the stand-alone third book in the American Journey time-travel series. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

Indiana Belle by John A Heldt

 

Here is the book blurb.

Providence, Rhode Island, 2017. When doctoral student Cameron Coelho, 28, opens a package from Indiana, he finds more than private papers that will help him with his dissertation. He finds a photograph of a beautiful society editor murdered in 1925 and clues to a century-old mystery. Within days, he meets Geoffrey Bell, the “time-travel professor,” and begins an unlikely journey through the Roaring Twenties. Filled with history, romance, and intrigue, INDIANA BELLE follows a lonely soul on the adventure of a lifetime as he searches for love and answers in the age of Prohibition, flappers, and jazz.

This book starts in the present day (or next year to be precise) with Cameron looking through historical papers he had purchased from the 1920s including the diary and photograph of journalist, Candice Bell. He is intrigued by several references in the diary to Candice’s father and uncle having discovered a formula for time-travel. And he is fixated on Candice’s photo but discovers she was murdered in 1925.

He meets with Professor Geoffrey Bell, who is the great grandson of Candice’s uncle. Geoffrey reveals that both he and his wife Jeanette have time-travelled many times. Geoffrey reluctantly agrees to a deal to send Cameron back to 1925 in exchange for Cameron finding and bringing back some of the crystals needed to power his time-travel tunnel. He also insists that Cameron does nothing to alter the timeline.

So Cameron heads back in time to early 1925, several months before the date of the murder and takes a train to Evansville, Indiana where Candice lives. However when he arrives, he finds Candice is out of town on leave for a couple of weeks visiting her mother. He goes to visit her there and as the sky darkens, his future memories realise that a serious tornado is about to strike. He convinces them to hide in the cellar just in time before the tornado destroys the house. Afterwards amongst the debris, he finds the missing journal of Candice’s late father.

Candice invites Cameron out to dinner and things gradually progress from there. I will leave you to read the rest as I’m sure you’re wondering what happens next. I was also interested to see that the story encompassed tales of the Klu Klux Klan.

Indiana Belle is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.76 in Kindle format. I loved this book. A really great read and having now read two John Heldt novels, I can say I highly recommend this author.

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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 Mine by John A Heldt

I have received free e-copies of two books by John Heldt to review. The first one up is The Mine, which is book one in the five-volume Northwest Passage time-travel series. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

The Mine by John A Heldt

Here is the book blurb.

In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

I wasn’t entirely convinced by this book in the first few chapters set in modern-day, but once Joel time-travelled back to 1941, I started enjoying it more and was hooked by the point Joel relocated to Seattle and helped Tom, who was being attacked. One favour deserves another, so destitute Joel (since modern credit cards are no use at all) gets to stay in the trailer outside Tom’s house. From there he progresses to a job as a salesman working for Tom’s Dad and gets to meet Tom’s circle of close friends. This includes Tom’s girlfriend Ginny, who Joel soon realises is his own Grandma.

From this point on, the reader is constantly wondering whether the course of history is going to be permanently changed, as Tom is obviously not Joel’s Grandpa Joe. And will Joel ever get back to his own time?

Meanwhile Joel falls in love with one of Ginny’s house-mates Grace. And in wartime 1941 he is very conscious of pending historical events. When a chance arises to potentially return to the present day, what should Joel do? Leave Grace or risk changing the timeline for ever? You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens.

The Mine is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3 in Kindle format. Reading this story has definitely whet my appetite for the rest of the series. Highly recommended. I also enjoyed Joel’s humorous personal thoughts interspersed throughout the book. I’m certainly looking forward to reading Indiana Belle, the other John Heldt novel that I received. Watch out for my review of that sometime next month.

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

If I Forget You by T C Greene – book review and giveaway

Always a nice surprise when you receive an unexpected parcel. This time it was a free copy of the book “If I Forget You” by T C Greene.

If I Forget You by T C Greene

This is what it says inside the front cover.

When Margot and Henry meet, they fall deeply in love.

And then they lose each other.

But Henry can’t forget Margot and Margot is haunted by her memories of Henry. They live in each other’s minds.

Twenty-one years later, they meet, by chance, on a Manhattan street. And that’s where their story truly begins…

If I Forget You is a beautiful exploration of what it means to find the person you are destined to be with, but then spend a lifetime apart.

And on the back cover it says.

For a time that feels like forever, their eyes meet. There is no question now. It is Margot. And in her face Henry sees that she recognises him too. Henry starts to walk toward her and as soon as he does she gets to her feet and moves into the roiling rush-hour crowd.

“Margot” he shouts, but she doesn’t stop.

This book starts in 2012 when by chance Henry spots Margot in New York. She sees him too, but not knowing what else to do, she jumps into a taxi before he reaches her. When she gets home, we see her look at Henry’s online profile and reminisce about his poems hidden in her closet. The book moves back to 1991 when Henry and Margot both start at Bannister College, Henry from a working class background and Margot from the upper class. The book continues throughout to swap back and forth between 1991 and 2012 and also to swap between Henry’s perspective and Margot’s. We discover how they fell in love, how they parted and the memories they are carrying.

Although she fled initially, the chance encounter prompts Margot to discover where Henry lives. She watches his apartment block and follows Henry and his young daughter at a distance. When Henry spots her outside the burger restaurant, this time she waves and waits.

A couple of days later they meet for dinner and the following day for lunch. Henry asks Margot to come with him to his Vermont cabin for a few days, but whilst there, a hurtful secret is revealed. To avoid spoilers, that is all I’m going to say.

if I Forget You is currently retailing on Amazon at £9.99 in paperback and is also available in hardback and Kindle formats. It is published by Corvus, an imprint of Atlantic Books. I really enjoyed this book. A touching love story. Highly recommended.

I certainly plan to add some of T C Greene’s previous titles to my wishlist.

I had to look up the word loon which crops up several times and found out it is an aquatic bird, not too dissimilar to a duck or goose.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a copy of “If I Forget You” to 3 lucky winners.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.
E:1/10 Win a bundle of footcare products
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E:21/9 Win books (various titles for 16 prizewinners) – open worldwide
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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Summer at Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain

Well NetGalley has most definitely been added to my list of website favourites. This time, I chose what looked a light hearted romance to download, with a gorgeous title, Summer at Skylark Farm.

Summer at Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain

Here is the book blurb.

Amber is a city girl at heart. So when her boyfriend Jake Somerville suggests they move to the countryside to help out at his family farm, she doesn’t quite know how to react. But work has been hectic and she needs a break so she decides to grasp the opportunity and make the best of it.

Dreaming of organic orchards, paddling in streams and frolicking in fields, Amber packs up her things and moves to Skylark Farm. But life is not quite how she imagined – it’s cold and dirty and the farm buildings are dilapidated and crumbling.

But Amber is determined to make the best of it and throws herself into farm life. But can she really fit in here? And can she and Jake stay together when they are so different?

I really loved this chick-lit story. It starts with city girl Amber realising that she is spending too much time on her job. She needs to refocus her work / life balance. So when her boyfriend Jake says he is moving to Skylark Farm in Norfolk to help his aged Aunt Annie, she eventually agrees to go too, even though her boss offers her a new job in Dubai. A tempting offer, but he says he will keep the offer open for 6 months, so perhaps a fallback plan if farm life doesn’t work out.

Amber takes out a subscription to “Country Living” and buys her new country wardrobe. She has a lot to learn about farm life, even burning her hand on the first day, picking the kettle up from the range. But she soon makes new friends and starts coming up with some great ideas for the farm herself. It is not all smooth sailing though and then Jake’s previous girlfriend shows up in town. You’ll have to read the book to find out what else happens.

Summer at Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain is available on Amazon, at £2.99 for Kindle and is published by Simon & Schuster. I highly recommend this book and have already added Heidi’s first novel, The Cherry Tree Cafe to my reading wishlist. I just know I’ll love it, having mentally sat enjoying cake there with Amber on several occasions.

And you can find out more about the author Heidi Swain on her blog.

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