How To Fail At Flirting by Denise Williams **Book Review** @berkleypub

happy Friday y’all!
delighted to share with you today in my review for this wonderful story the perfect blend of humor and tough subject matter. A love story that will steal your heart!🍷

My Thoughts

sweet and steamy. Humorous and cathartic. Authentic and raw. Denise Williams hit me right in the feels and the funnybone with this evocative story. Naya is a survivor of an emotionally abusive relationship learning to flirt and trust again. Armed with a list full of things to do to reclaim herself Naya meats Jake at a local bar. she flirts, she lets him buy her a drink, she gets kissed and she’s determined to have a one night fling. However, the fates seem to have other plans for Naya and Jake. There is a lot of chemistry between these two and they are both thinking this could be something more. But, there is a big unexpected roadblock that could change everything. Is Naya willing to risk her career that she has worked so hard at, the one thing she feels confident about for love?

This was the perfect blend of humor and heavy subject matter. Naya was a likable relatable character I felt a connection to. Jake was a genuinely good guy, nice but not clingy. The corny puns between these two were hilarious and cringy. i’m not often a fan of Instalove, but it worked with these two. Jake really new how to reassure Naya, intuitively. as a survivor of an emotionally abusive marriage myself I thought the subject matter was handled extremely well. The gaslighting, the manipulation, the undermining, hard things to get over. Naya is an intelligent, confident, strong woman who found herself in a bad situation. It always is very cathartic for me to read about characters like this in books takes away the stigma of being a victim of abuse. Jake was such a safe place for Naya. I kept thinking please please do not let our girl down. Now I will say Jake was not perfect and there are some hiccups, but I think those hiccups helped Naya grow even stronger. A beautiful love story that tugged at my heart.

this book in emojis 👩‍🏫 🍷 🍦 🎂 🥋 🏀 🧀

*** Big thank you to Berkley for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

One daring to-do list and a crash course in flirtation turn a Type A overachiever’s world upside down.

When her flailing department lands on the university’s chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, he presents the perfect opportunity to check off the items on her list. Let the guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hookup.  Check…almost.

Jake makes her laugh and challenges Naya to rebuild her confidence, which was left toppled by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Soon she’s flirting with the chance at a more serious romantic relationship—except nothing can be that easy. The complicated strings around her dating Jake might destroy her career.

Naya has two options. She can protect her professional reputation and return to her old life or she can flirt with the unknown and stay with the person who makes her feel like she’s finally living again.

 

Denise Williams wrote her first book in the 2nd grade. I Hate You and its sequel, I Still Hate You, featured a tough, funny heroine, a quirky hero, witty banter, and a dragon. Minus the dragons, these are still the books she likes to write. After penning those early works, she finished second grade and eventually earned a PhD in education, going on to work in higher education. After growing up a military brat around the world and across the country, Denise now lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, son, and two ornery shih-tzus who think they own the house.

 

Author Q&A

Hi, there! I’m thrilled to talk with you today.

 

  1. Tell us about HOW TO FAIL AT FLIRTING!

How to Fail at Flirting is about a professor who decides to push herself out of her rut. After an abusive relationship, she closed herself off and focused on work. Now, years later, she decides a to-do list is the way to stay accountable to her plans to try new things. When she meets a handsome stranger in town on business, he’s the perfect fling. The only problem is that despite numerous flirting fails, Jake turns out to be the person who makes her want to keep trying and she ends up flirting with falling in love. Oh, did I mention he has a few secrets including that he might be a threat to her career? It’s a story about love and healing and finding that person who makes you realize you’re capable of anything.

 

  1. What inspired you to write this novel?

When I first sat down to write, my son was an infant and I felt buried in momming and work—I needed a creative outlet. I ran into an ex on Facebook and it got me thinking about how past relationships shape us. The book evolved a lot since those first fledgling sentences, but the core ideas about how past relationships shape us and that happily ever after can be on the horizon after a broken heart is what you’ll read in the finished version.

 

  1. Do you relate to the heroine, Naya, in any way?

Yes! I am a list-maker and a planner. I think I mastered drawing squares as a child so I could make check boxes! Naya’s sense of humor is very in-line with mine, too and, I’ll admit, I share her fear of butterflies. On a more serious note, Naya is an adult woman who hadn’t spent a lot of time prioritizing her own sexual pleasure. Like so many, I found myself in that place at one point. There are a stack of other ways in which I relate to Naya but the biggest is her inner voice. Throughout the book, she questions herself and hypes herself up and ultimately learns to trust herself. I’m not sure I’ll never not relate to that!

 

  1. What was your favorite part of writing the book? What was your biggest challenge?

I geek out over writing love scenes. I’ll admit, there are several deleted love scenes sitting in my DropBox. Whether it’s a physically intimate scene or a scene to build sexual tension, those are the scenes I walk away from whistling a tune.

The biggest challenge for me is editing. I love these characters so much and I want you to know them as well as I do, so I tend to overwrite. In the end, it helps me know the story better, but along with those deleted love scenes is lots of Jake and Naya Trivia!

  1. What do you hope readers will take away from reading HOW TO FAIL AT FLIRTING?

I hope readers will take away three main things. First, “That Denise Williams writes good books!” Just kidding… or not! More seriously, I hope readers walk away from HOW TO FAIL AT FLIRTING knowing heartbreak and trauma don’t preclude you from enjoying humor, affection, good sex, and love…that someone working to heal can still get their happily ever after. 

 

Is there anything readers should know?

I mentioned Naya is a survivor of relationship violence with an ex co-worker. I hope readers who might have personal experience or be otherwise triggered by that take care of themselves by reading reviews or visiting my website to review the content warning.

Is Jake based on someone specific?

Jake isn’t based on one person, but I borrowed traits from some of my favorite men. Jake can be silly and playful like my husband, is patient and a good dancer like my dad, he’s protective like my brother, unconcerned with external pressure to exhibit toxic masculinity like so many close friends, and I think he looks like Henry Cavill, who I don’t know personally…but I’m up for the introduction.

A Christmas Wedding at the Castle by Eliza Scott **Book Review** @rararesources

happy Friday all!

A Christmas Wedding At The Castle (Life on the Moors Book 5)

Do you believe in fate? Livvie Weatherill does…

This time last year, if anyone had told Livvie Weatherill she’d have fallen in love and would be making plans for her Christmas wedding to Zander Gillespie, she would have laughed in their face. If they’d gone on to say they’d be planning to have their wedding at the imposing Danskelfe Castle, she’d have laughed even louder!

But it would seem fate had plans for her…

Since moving to the pretty moorland village of Lytell Stangdale Livvie is happier than she’s ever been. She’s living with Zander and she’s working at her dream job as a wedding dress designer at Romantique with her friends, Kitty and Violet. It’s fair to say, she’s enjoying immersing herself in village life, from romantic walks in the countryside, to meeting friends at the quaint Sunne Inne. And she can’t think of anything better than rounding off the day cosying up with Zander.

Life is sweet.

Her blossoming friendship with Freda Easton, the endearing but reclusive elderly lady who lives down the lane, has taken everyone by surprise. But Freda has a secret and, in a turn of events no one could predict, she finds herself grateful for Livvie’s fierce loyalty, cementing their friendship further.

Just when things seem to be running smoothly, a face from the past arrives on the doorstep casting a shadow over Livvie’s wedding plans. Adding to the drama, an icy blast of Arctic air brings heavy snowfall to the village, covering the moors in a thick blanket of snow.

Is their love strong enough to withstand the challenges thrown at them? Will they get their magical Christmas wedding?

Join Livvie and Zander – and all the usual characters – for a sparkling Christmas full of love and laughter in Lytell Stangdale.

My Thoughts

A castle, Christmas, and a wedding dress. Eliza J. Scott swept me away to Lytell Stangdale with her festive storytelling. Last Christmas Miss Scott introduced us to Livvie and Zander, this Christmas she is inviting us to their wedding. It was fun getting reacquainted with this couple along with multiple other residence of this charming village. But not going to lie I was most excited to see Alf the dog again. Livvie is excitedly planning her wedding, so thrilled to have it at the local castle. But Zander is acting strangely and she is beginning to think he’s hiding something from her. But Zander is not the only person with secrets. Frita The village recluse who has become more friendly with Livvie has a story to tell. Secrets… wedding plans… a hen do… a tiara… cheeky beef… chocolate…

this book was so much fun! I just love all these characters! Even though the story is set at Christmas time it really was friendship heavy and Christmas light. I love the camaraderie and support between the females in this book. I would have loved to join them at this hen do/bachelorette party, the theme was right in my wheelhouse. also really liked the little bit of mystery in the book and how that all played out. this was another delightful installment in the series and I cannot wait to visit Lytell Stangdale again.

this book in emojis 🐶 👰🏻‍♀️ 🍫 🍷 ❄️

*** Big thank you to the author for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

Purchase Links 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Wedding-Castle-heartwarming-feel-good-ebook/dp/B08M48P9BB 

US – https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Wedding-Castle-heartwarming-feel-good-ebook/dp/B08M48P9BB

Author Bio – 

Eliza is proud to be a member of the RNA. She lives in a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden, fighting a losing battle against the weeds.

When she’s not reading or gardening, Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Her biggest weakness is ginger biscuits dunked in tea.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heartwarming romance stories with relatable female characters. She enjoys exploring the dynamics of female friendship, with a key feature of her books being how women pull together and support one another when things get tough.

Eliza’s novels will always have happy endings.

Social Media Links – 

Twitter: Eliza J Scott@ElizaJScott1

Instagram: Eliza J Scott@elizajscott

Facebook: Eliza J Scott@elizajscottauthor

Blog: www.elizajscott.com

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/authors/eliza-j-scott

Amazon Author Page: UK:  www.amazon.co.uk/Eliza-J-Scott/e/B07DMQWPMH

                                        US: www.amazon.com/Eliza-J-Scott/e/B07DMQWPMH

Unfaithful by Natalie Barelli **Book/Audiobook Review** @bookouture @dreamscapeaudio

happy Thursday all!

Have you ever read a book by Natalie Barelli? Do you like twisted unreliable unhinged characters? If the answer is yes then you have got to pick one of her books up STAT!

My Thoughts

yes yes yes I loved it! Natalie Barelli not going to lie whatever goes on in that imagination of yours scares me a little. Seriously Natalie has written some of the most unreliable unhinged characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Meet Anna. mathematician, loyal colleague, devoted wife, adoring mother, faithful friend… maybe? No need to mention any of the plot here you get more information than you need from the blurb and truly that is not the highlight of this book. This Book takes you on a fast paced addictive wild and crazy ride in Anna‘s brain through her inner dialogue. I kept thinking… Is she delusional? A master manipulator? does she have the worst luck ever or is this all by design? As The story progresses things spiral more and more out of control. Miss Anna does and says things that wil leave your jaw dropped open. #nofilter there were so many times I was thinking, oh no she didn’t, but yes yes, she did. The ending to this book was so twisted and brilliant all I can say is bravo Natalie Barelli! The audiobook was narrated by Emily Rankin Who did a stellar job. She gave the perfect voice and tone to off the chains narrator Anna. cannot wait to see what comes next from the imagination of this remarkable author.

This book in emojis 👩‍🏫 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 📓 📱 🍷

*** Big thank you to Bookouture & Dreamscape Nedia for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

“Thank you,” I say sweetly when she tells me I’m lucky to have such a beautiful family. But I want to tell her it’s not just luck. A family is like a fortress you have to defend all the time. You can’t relax because there’s always someone looking for a breach, always someone trying to get in. Someone just like her

When I arrive unannounced at my husband’s studio in need of a shoulder to cry on after hearing that my best student, Alex, has died, I see a pair of wine glasses drying by the sink and my deepest fear is confirmed: my husband is having an affair.

Most women would fall to their knees in tears and throw him out of the house–but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

Instead, I go home and cook a healthy dinner for our children, walk the dog and unload the dishwasher without complaint. I will make him see that I’m still the woman he married; attractive, successful, the glue that holds our perfect family together. I need this marriage to work to protect a terrible secret of my own, something that would destroy everything I’ve already sacrificed so much for.

But when the police arrive at my door asking questions about Alex’s death that I can’t answer, and threatening text messages start appearing on my phone, I know that someone close has been watching me very carefully.

The truth is, there are three people in my marriage, but only one of them is deadly…

An absolutely gripping psychological thriller with a twist that will knock you sideways, perfect for anyone left hungry for more after The Girl on the TrainThe Wife Between Us or The Other Wife.

 

Author Bio: 

Natalie Barelli can usually be found reading a book, and that book will more likely than not be a psychological thriller. When not absorbed in the latest gripping page-turner, Natalie loves cooking, enjoys riding her Vespa around town and otherwise spends far too much time at the computer. She lives in Australia, with her family.


Author Social Media Links: 

Website: www.nataliebarelli.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NatalieBarelliBooks

have a wonderful day! XOXO Berit

❄️ Christmas Cookie Cozies: A Holiday Cozy Mystery Anthology #ChristmasCookiesCozies2020 @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours 🍪

Happy December!

Christmas, cozies, and cookies… oh my! this was the perfect festive sampler of Christmas cozies. Perfect for any cozy mystery lover.🍪

Book Blurb:

2020 is going to be the coziest holiday season yet with cozy mysteries from Ava Mallory, Summer Prescott, Jenna St. James, Laina Turner, Gretchen Allen, Laina Turner, Joanna Campbell Slan, S. C. Merritt, Minnie Crockwell, Mona Marple, Rachael Stapleton and Loraine Hudson – along with their favorite holiday cookie recipe!


Gretchen Allen – Lost Claus
Charlotte Moss is one tough cookie, but her new job as Mrs. Claus isn’t what she expected. When Santa goes missing and a body is found, the most wonderful time of the year looks bleak.
Joanna Campbell Slan – How the Cookie Crumbles
Cara Mia Delgatto never met her maternal grandmother. But Nonie Josephina reaches out from the grave with a message for Cara: I left behind a treasure! Can Cara Mia find it before Santa comes to town?
S.C. Merritt – Caramelized Casualty
With the annual holiday unveiling of a giant gingerbread village quickly approaching, Kate Kennedy’s stress level is sky high. When one of the event’s diva celebrity chefs turns up dead, Kate decides she has no choice but to team up with the town’s newest detective if she’s going to pull off the big event. Can she expose the killer in time to save the event?
Minnie Crockwell – Death By Cookie
Widow Sallie Chilcoat decides to get into the holiday spirit by baking up a batch of cookies for her lakeside condominium neighbors only to have one of them turn up dead – with the remains of her cookies! Did Sallie kill her neighbor with her vegan cookies?
Ava Mallory – Christmas Cookie Catastrophe
When Consuelo “Cookie” Alvarez inherits a bakery from her aunt Birdie, she doesn’t expect to take her late aunt’s place in the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off. Now she has two weeks to perfect the super-secret recipe, but there are major obstacles in her way: she can’t bake, the recipe is missing, and her competitors are a who’s who of shady characters.
Summer Prescott – Hang Out The Stalkings
Someone is stealing Nancy’s cookies…will they steal her holiday spirit too?
Jenna St. James – Christmas Cookie Caper
When Ivy O’Brien learns her mother has been injured at the annual Couples Christmas Cookie Contest, she runs to the rescue. Looks like she needs to fill in for her mother and hunky policeman Anthony Romano has to help bake the cookie and question the suspects. Between dough-making disasters, nips of peppermint Schnapps, and rolling pin thefts, the pair slowly whittle down their suspect list.
Mona Marple – The Santa Run Is Murderous Fun
Emily Monk’s run out of excuses not to take part in the annual Santa run, but the festivities are threatened when the long-running Santa Run champ is found dead the day before the race.
With a killer to be caught, and a Christmas dinner to be bought, Emily needs to think fast if she’s going to solve this case before Santa comes.
Rachael Stapleton – Christmas, Corpses & the Gingerdead Flip-Flop
When house flippers Jack Young and Juniper Palmer purchase a colorful Queen Anne home, Juniper assumes the exterior gingerbread trim will be the most outlandish thing to see. That is until a prominent wine merchant dressed as Santa is murdered, and Jack’s mother is caught on the naughty list.
Loraine Hudson – Holly, Jolly Misdeeds
First, it’s a thieving Santa. Next, it’s a prowler that threatens Jenny’s peace. It all seems to revolve around a box of cookies.  Why? And what’s next?  
Laina Turner – Cookies and Crime
What is supposed to be a joy-filled awards ceremony for the Romero Boy Scouts turns out to be anything but when Jean Sartor, Scout co-leader, drops dead on stage.
Trixie lands herself on the suspect list since she baked Christmas cookies for the ceremony. She knows she didn’t poison Jean, but who did?

My Thoughts

This charming compilation of Christmas cozies was like a plate of Christmas cookies… there is a little something for everyone. And just like that cookie plate you get a little taste of each authors work in this anthology. Some of the cozies I liked more than others but each of them gave me a little Christmas cheer. Dogs…Santa Claus…gingerbread… murder… mayhem… and lots and lots of cookies. Best of all each story is accompanied by a delicious cookie recipe all that looked equally yummy. This was the perfect book to pick up on a lazy afternoon when you just need a little break from reality. Each novella was approximately 100 pages perfect for one sitting reading. Each author brought a little something different to the table. Some novellas were filled with whimsy, some were a little darker and some were filled with humor. The perfect little festive sampling of cozy Christmas cheer.

This book in emojis 🍪 🎅🏻 🐶 🎄

*** Big thank you for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

Purchase Links:

US Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08K97KLJ9

UK Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08K97KLJ9

Publishing Information:

Published in digital format on 10th November 2020

❄️ Just Christmas by Emily Harvale **Book Review** @rararesources

happy happy Tuesday!

excited to share today a book from one of my absolute favorite authors! cannot wait to get my hands on this festive read!❄️

Just for Christmas

Could this be true love? Or is it just for Christmas?

Finding an abandoned dog beside the road isn’t the Christmas surprise interior designer, Molly Ford is hoping for. But when the local vet can’t find a space for the bedraggled dog, Molly makes a rash decision. 

The problem is, she’s spending Christmas with her brother, Terence, and his girlfriend is allergic to dogs, so the bundle of wet fur, which Molly has named Miracle, might not be the only one needing a home this Christmas.

And Miracle causes chaos wherever he puts his paws. He pees on the Christmas tree, shreds the Christmas presents and eats the honeyed ham. That’s just the first night. 

When Terence’s best friend, Chance offers Molly and Miracle a place to stay for Christmas, Molly is ecstatic. She doesn’t mind at all when he informs her there are strings attached. She’d rather like a festive fling with gorgeous Chance.

Now Molly’s in for another surprise. Chance is about to pop the question. Except it’s not to Molly. In fact, he needs her help to get the dilapidated cottage he’s bought, all clean and sparkly in time for his girlfriend’s impending arrival on New Year’s Eve.

But as Molly and Chance grow closer, spending time together beneath the stars in a winter wonderland and enjoying the Christmas festivities, they realise they have feelings for each other.

Could this be true love? Or is it just for Christmas?

Purchase Links 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Emily-Harvale/e/B007BKQ1SW

US – https://www.amazon.com/Emily-Harvale/e/B007BKQ1SW

Author Bio – 

Emily writes novels, novellas and short stories about friendship, family and falling in love. She loves a happy ending but knows that life doesn’t always go to plan. Her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily loves to connect with her readers and has a readers’ group in which many have become good friends. To catch up with Emily, find out about the group, or connect with her on social media, go to her website at www.emilyharvale.com.

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now writes full-time. She’s a member of the SoA, an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. When not writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both. Emily has two mischievous rescue cats that like to sprawl across her keyboard, regardless of whether Emily is typing on it, or not.

Social Media Links –  https://www.facebook.com/emilyharvalewriter

https://www.twitter.com/emilyharvale

https://www.instagram.com/emilyharvale