AN OFF-PISTE CHRISTMAS by @JulieHouston2 #RomCom #Christmas novella #TuesdayBookBlog

An Off-Piste ChristmasAn Off-Piste Christmas by Julie Houston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An Off-Piste Christmas is a light romcom style novella and should ideally be read as part of the author’s series of books surrounding the Westmoreland family and friends. For those familiar with the characters from other novels it will make much more sense, than for first time readers.

There is an epic cast of characters to get your head around, most introduced early on in the book. They have complex relationships which take a bit of getting used to. That said the style is fun and upbeat.

The storyline follows a post Christmas skiing trip to the Italian dolomite mountains for a group of twelve English-folk, all related to or who are friends with Harriet Westmoreland. The group is diverse; twin three year olds, tweens, teens and post teens, a couple with their own three year old, whose real father is dating Harriet’s student daughter and even a seventy year old Granny.

The accommodation is top of the range in a resort known for its celebs, but try as she might Harriet is not a skier and soon gives up in favour of taking in the sites. These include a face to face with a dead ex-lover. Throw in vile Vivian and one or two other incidents and this makes for a lively and exhausting read.

Probably recommended for those readers who have previously fallen in love with the Westmoreland tribe.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

The last thing Harriet Westmoreland wants is Christmas away from home, particularly when skiing, snow, heights and freezing her backside off are on the menu. While her own family, together with her best friend Grace’s, are soon whizzing down ridiculously high and scary mountains in the fashionable Italian resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, Harriet is stuck in the remedial class on the nursery slopes unable, it seems, to remain vertical. 

Tired of trying to stay upright in the dunces’ class, Harriet decides to overcome her fear of heights and take her bruised body off to explore the refugios in the magnificent Dolomites above Cortina. And maybe catch a glance of George Clooney, rumoured to be in town… But what happens next triggers a totally unexpected avalanche of events which proves that, for friends Harriet and Grace and all their families, Christmas really is a time for little miracles… 

About the author

An image posted by the author.

Julie Houston is Yorkshire born and bred. She lives in Huddersfield where her novels are set and her only claims to fame are that she taught at ‘Bridget Jones’ author Helen Fielding’s old school and she was rescued by Frank Bough when, many years ago, she was ‘working as a waitress in a cocktail bar’ at the Kensington Hilton in London.

After University, where she studied Education and English Literature, she taught for many years as a junior school teacher. As a newly qualified teacher, broke and paying off her first mortgage, she would spend every long summer holiday working on different Kibbutzim in Israel. After teaching for a few years she decided to go to New Zealand to work and taught in Auckland for a year before coming back to this country.

She now teaches just a couple of days a week but still loves the buzz of teaching junior-aged children. She has been a magistrate for the last fifteen years, and, when not distracted by ebay, genealogy (so time consuming but so interesting – she recently discovered her husband is descended from the poet Shelley and the Duke of Milan!!) and crosswords, she spends much of her time writing.

Julie is married, has a twenty-one-year-old son and eighteen-year-old daughter and a mad cockatoo called Lincoln. She runs and swims because she’s been told it’s good for her, but would really prefer a glass of wine, a sun lounger and a jolly good book.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

#NewRelease THE BOOKSHOP ON AUTUMN LANE by @CynthiaTennent #RomCom #TuesdayBookBlog

The Bookshop on Autumn Lane (Truhart #3)The Bookshop on Autumn Lane by Cynthia Tennent
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Bookshop on Autumn Lane is a fun #RomCom set in Truhart, Michigan. It opens with some of the inhabitants of Truhart waking Trudy from her sleep in her 1973 VW Beetle, concerned she is a vagrant of some sort. Instead they find the new owner of “Books From The Heart”.

Trudy has been left the shop by her namesake Gertrude, but instead of it being a delicious gift Trudy sees it as a millstone around her neck. Its only saving grace being that she might be able to sell it to fund her travel dreams.

It soon becomes apparent that Gertrude senior got a little carried away with her book obsession and Trudy accepts the help of visiting English Professor Kit Darlington to sort and clear the books. Kit’s English mannerisms are a hit with the local Truhart ladies who insist on calling him “My Lord” and he soon becomes more than friends with Trudy, but what is Kit hiding from? Will Trudy ever be able to sell the shop and make her travel dreams come true?

This was a fun read, I would be in heaven if a relative of mine left me a shop packed with books, I would want to read the lot. I loved all the parts for Lulu the VW Beetle, I’ve always been a fan ever since the TV days of “Herbie”. For animal lovers their is a lovely role for Moby, a loyal friend to Trudy and the amusing stereotype of Kit and the English ways and sayings were well presented in a tongue-in-cheek manner.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT French Kissing by Lynne Shelby #Romance #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review comes from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry chose to read and review French Kissing by Lynne Shelby

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FRENCH KISSING by Lynne Shelby

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me for Rosie Amber’s Review Team

Well, this was a pleasant and undemanding afternoon’s reading! Light romance/romcom is not a preferred genre of mine, but there was something about the blurb that appealed to me.

Anna Mitchel, London girl, has been writing to French penfriend Alexandre since she was eleven. Now, they’re in their late twenties, and Alex has come to visit. Anna’s boyfriend Nick is not pleased about the sudden appearance of this sexy Frenchman, and Anna is disturbed by the fact that all her friends fancy him. Then there’s the girl back home, who Alex is still in love with….

This book is very well written chick lit, with a bit more substance than your average zany-cupcake-and-kitten-heels type novel. I didn’t actually like Anna very much—I thought she was rather selfish and lacking in self-awareness, especially concerning the way she treated Nick, and her attitude towards Izzy and Beth. At the same time as being annoyed with her, though, I noticed how excellent the characterisation is; each character is clear and well-defined. Being annoyed with a character means that he/she has come alive, after all!

The last third of the book is set in France; there is much description of Paris, etc, but it is not intrusive and is artfully woven into the story. I guessed the outcome only about half way through, which is good for a chick lit book – in the past, I’ve guessed it in the first chapter! And there’s a nice unexpected turn of events at the end, too.

This is professionally presented and I’d have no hesitation in recommending it to lovers of the light romance; I haven’t got anything negative to say about it at all.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Would you BUY or PASS? #FridayFiveChallenge – Dan Taylor is Giving Up On Women by Neal Doran

Welcome to my Friday Five Challenge

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Get yourself a cuppa and give yourself 5 minutes.

In today’s online shopping age, readers often base their buying decisions from small postage stamp size book covers (Thumb-nails), a quick glance at the book description and the review. How much time do they really spend making that buying decision?

AUTHORS – You often only have seconds to get a reader to buy your book, is your book cover and book bio up to it?

My Friday Five Challenge is this….. IN ONLY FIVE MINUTES….

1) Go to any online book supplier,

2) Randomly choose a category,

3) Speed through the book covers, choose one which has instantly appealed to your eye,

4) Read the book Bio/ Description for this book,

5) If there are reviews, check out a couple,

6) Make an instant decision, would you BUY or PASS?

Here goes… this week my category is LAD LIT

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Did you even know this category existed?

This caught my eye because is basically CHICK LIT for men but I think women will enjoy it just at much and it looks fun

Book Price; £3.60 is pretty high for a competitive kindle price

Book Description

Dan Taylor is Giving Up on Women is witty, warm-hearted and achingly real. Neal Doran has created a love story for our times that will make you laugh, cry and fall in love with Dan Taylor. I loved it!’ – Miranda Dickinson, bestselling author of Take a Look at Me Now and I’ll Take New York

Perpetually single Dan Taylor is so terrible at meeting women his own mother suspects he might be gay. So best friends — and smug married couple — Hannah and Rob insist he needs some serious man management. Taking matters into their own hands, they decide to make him their ‘Project’ and set to work on finding him a girlfriend — one that might actually stick around long enough to meet his mother.

A new wardrobe, a better haircut and a slick online profile later and an unwitting Dan is ready to be launched on the London dating scene. But miracles don’t just happen, and when he does achieve some success with women, it’s not in the way anyone expected.

Number of pages; 268

Reviews; A mix of 37 reviews, 22 of them 5* on Amazon.co.uk, had time to skim a couple and they said it was funny.

Would I BUY or PASS?…….PASS

Analysis

Did that shock you? I like the sound of the book, I like fun books, the reviews make it sound good too, I liked the book description, but for me the price was key. The author may not have much say on price it looks like its from it got a Carina backing. If I saw it again on a price deal I would probably buy it. This book has the potential to grab the chicklit readers and younger male readers in their 20’s and early 30’s, so a double market potential.

 

Country Affairs by @ZaraStoneley @BrookCottageBks #bookreview

Country AffairsCountry Affairs by Zara Stoneley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Country Affairs is the second book set in Tippermere, Cheshire. Readers need to be aware that this is bubbling with sexual potential and edges just off the boil of a bonk buster style book. So if you choose to read this don’t be shocked to find hot sexy men and women who lust after them.

However this book is much more than that. The Stanthorpe’s are aristocracy, running equestrian centres and have the full stately home with leaking roof, gurgling water pipes and moth eaten carpets behind them. They live side-by-side with the rich and famous of the celebrity world who live in Kitterley Heath, to whom money is no object.

Lady Stanthorpe has decided it’s time to hand over the debt and the running of Tipping House Estate to her lovable but scatty grand-daughter. Lottie must come up with a money making plan to appease the bank manager and repair the roof. Lady Stanthorpe or Elizabeth to family and friends, is a wily old Lady who manipulates people whilst swigging her G&T. Always with an ulterior motive up her sleeve she is one of my favourite characters.

Poor Lottie is stretched between her love of Tipping House and her love for the sexy Rory and their relationship is put under intense strain when plans to launch Tipping House as a wedding venue get under way. With the help of Sam, Pip and Amanda the storyline romps through a wedding with an impromptu horse jump off, a celebrity charity cricket match, horse mishaps, ex boyfriends and girlfriends and the final celebrity wedding venue showcase.

I loved the continuation of the characters and the storyline from the first book “Stable Mates” and enjoyed the more humorous storyline and a move away from the Jilly Cooper style of the first book showing Zara’s own writing ability.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Country Affairs Tour Banner 1

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Humour/ChickLit

Release Date: e-book 7 May 2015, Paperback 16 July 2015

Publisher: HarperCollins (HarperImpulse)

 

COUNTRY AFFAIRS ‘A great treat for readers who love their books jam-packed with sexy men and horses.’ Bestselling author Fiona Walker It’s time to get back in the saddle with the follow up to the deliciously naughty Stable Mates!  Swapping her spurs for stilettoes and becoming Lady of the Manor is not on loveable, but scatty, Lottie’s life plan. Nor does she have the faintest idea how to rescue it from rack and ruin. But with footballer’s wife Sam on the case, determined to bring glamour to the manor, and fun-loving eventer Rory egging them on, nothing can possibly go wrong, can it? Todd never forgave himself for abandoning Lottie on a Barcelona beach, but now he’s tracked her down and he’s ready to kiss and make up. With a roving eye and his roguish grin he soon has more than one girl in Tippermere going weak at the knees, but why is he really there? With wedding plans going awry, unexpected pregnancies and relationships starting to look rocky, will Lottie ever be ready to accept her inheritance and help Tipping House Estate move into the 21st Century? Praise for Stable Mates – ‘A delightful romp peppered with humour, sadness, scandal and steamy sex.’ ‘…reminded me of Jilly Cooper whose books I grew up with. Stable Mates is up there with Riders and Rivals. If you loved these books then you will love this one’ ‘…the perfect mix of horsey shenanigans, Cheshire glamour and flirty fun.’ ‘…reminded me of the Tilly Bagshawe novels I love, with all the scandal and drama. I don’t think I’ve read another author who writes in that kind of style without finding negative comparisons but Zara Stoneley comes into her own’  ‘a really impressive read.’  ‘Fun, Frothy & a Good Weekend Read’ ‘An unexpected FUN read that should not be missed by anyone. I would say I laughed at almost every page! ‘
BUY LINKS

Amazon (UK)

Amazon (COM)

Amazon (paperback)

Foyles

Waterstones

iTunes

Google Play

Blackwells

ZaraStoneley_authorpic

Bestselling author Zara Stoneley lives in deepest Cheshire surrounded by horses, dogs, cats and amazing countryside. When she’s not visiting wine bars, artisan markets or admiring the scenery in her sexy high heels or green wellies, she can be found in flip flops on the beach in Barcelona, or more likely sampling the tapas! Zara writes hot romance and bonkbusters. Her latest novels, ‘Stable Mates’ and ‘Country Affairs’, are fun romps through the Cheshire countryside and combine some of her greatest loves – horses, dogs, hot men and strong women (and not forgetting champagne and fast cars)!  She writes for Harper Collins and Accent Press.

Find out more about Zara:

Website      Twitter        Facebook        Google+

Giveaway

signed paperback Stable Mates – UK only,

e-book Stable Mates – international
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Terry reviews What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan?

Today’s review is from team member Terry she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry chose to read and review What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan by Jill Knapp

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WHAT HAPPENS TO MEN WHEN THEY MOVE TO MANHATTAN by Jill Knapp

3.5 out of 5 stars

When I started to read this novel I realised that I am probably at least twice the age of its target audience, but, hey, some of all this stuff still seems like yesterday, so I’ll do my best!

It’s a book about which I kept changing my mind as I was reading. It’s nicely written, witty in places and easily readable; Jill Knapp’s got the right sort of voice for a book about young women in Manhattan. Some of it I liked very much and there were some good observations about relationships to which I reckon a lot of women, young and old, could relate. There’s an excellent confrontation with a two-timing douchebag at 68%, too! My main problem with it, though, was that it’s a bit light on plot.

Basically, graduate student Amalia is having a rough time with men/working out what she wants in life, and her friends aren’t faring much better. That’s kind of it.   I found some of the story a bit hard to get my head round; Amalia’s long term relationship with Nicholas has levelled off to the extent that she has the emotional headspace to fall in love with Michael, yet she is heartbroken when she and Nicholas part company, a situation for which there is not sufficient explanation for a novel that’s solely about romantic relationships, not to mention the fact that Nicholas metamorphoses into a completely different character later on in the book. I thought her ‘is it/isn’t it’ relationship with Michael was very real indeed, but there wasn’t enough actual drama in it to make the situation very compelling to read about. Not enough happened. Also, I kept getting mixed up between her friends, particularly Christina and Cassandra; one less of them might have been a good idea.

I liked the bits about her brother and the observations about New Yorkers, and think this book would be enjoyed by plenty of young women who like very current sort of chick lit/light romance. It’s set up for the sequel by there not being much end resolution, but that’s okay; it works. It’s worth getting if you are a fan of this genre; if I was 22 I’d probably have given it 4 stars!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

 

What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan? by Jill Knapp

What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan?What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan? by Jill Knapp

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What Happens To Men When They Move To Manhattan is quick chicklit read. Amalia Hastings lives in New York, she’s taking a masters degree in Biology and Behavioural Studies. She shares a flat with two other girls and has a long-term boyfriend called Nicholas and plenty of friends.

When her boyfriend suddenly breaks up with her on her birthday, she’s thrown into turmoil. Only dragging herself out of her misery to take an exam. Flat mate Liz makes Amalia attend a college dinner, but a close encounter with fellow student Michael leaves her confused.

With an on-off relationship and a will he / won’t he question constantly hanging over her head Amalia stumbles on for the next few months. Best friend Cassie tries to match her up with Hayden but Amalia just needs to find herself and it’s not helped by her ex begging forgiveness.

Stuck in a potential love triangle, should Amalia still go the Brazil as she intends at the end of college term or should she give one of the men in her life one more chance?

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

How To Bake The Perfect Pecan Pie by Gina Henning

 

How to Bake The Perfect Pecan PieHow To Bake The Perfect Pecan Pie by Gina Henning

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a lovely easy read romance most suitable to be read with a glass of wine over Thanksgiving or just as easily as a beach read. Lauren gets a letter from her Grandmother with instructions on how to bake the family secret recipe for Pecan pie ready for Thanksgiving.

The recipe calls for only the best Pecans and they must be bought from Tibor’s Pecan Farm. This is a humorous tale told by Lauren who happily pokes fun at herself and her bad luck, as she tries to persuade another customer to share his hoard of Pecan’s when she arrives in time to find just one small pack left on the shelf and certainly not enough for Grandma’s recipe.

With Lauren’s bad luck continuing on the return journey she is in need of a serious rescue. Who can resist a damsel in distress? A sweet little romance with it’s share of fun characters.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Pecan Pie BLOG TOUR2

The How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie Blog Tour runs from November 7th until November 18th, each day of the tour a different character will share their favorite recipe for Thanksgiving.

Stop by and see what’s cooking in the Hauser kitchen and be sure and enter the giveaway for a $50 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card, just in time for Thanksgiving!
Brian Forrester’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipe.
The back office at the Hauser home has been converted into a mini-video recording studio for each member of the Hauser family along with two special guests to share one of their favorite Thanksgiving recipes other than the pecan pie.
Hauser Family File: Brian Forrester is the husband of Megan and the brother-in-law of Lauren Hauser. Brian works in the insurance field but you would most likely find him roaming the aisles of Home Depot looking for inspiration on creating his latest gadget.
“Roll the tape.”
Brian meanders into the room. He’s wearing his Mr. Fix-it tool belt and has a hammer in his right hand. He squints his eyes at the camera and leans in to inspect the lens. He fiddles with a few of the buttons and makes his way to the couch.
“Here’s the thing, my mom used to always serve cranberry sauce from the can.” He bites his lip. “As a kid, this scared the crap out of me.” He throws open his hands. “I didn’t understand the lines of the sauce, it made no sense and I was afraid to eat it.” Brian blinks his eyes and shakes his head.
“My wife Megan is an excellent chef and like me she likes to improve things.” He nods his head. “My favorite recipe that she prepares for Thanksgiving is her cranberry relish.” Brian stands up and strides to the camera and turns it off.
Megan’s Cranberry Relish
2 pounds of fresh cranberries 1 cup sugar
¼ cup Grand Marnier liqueur 1 orange zested and juiced
Directions
Place all ingredients into pop and simmer on low heat until majority of cranberries have burst, stir continuously. Marinate in refrigerator for thirty minutes.
*Don’t miss the Hauser family Thanksgiving, available now from all these fine eBook Retailers:
Amazon US Amazon UK Nook US Nook GB Google Play Kobo

Williams-Sonoma $50 Gift Card Rafflecopter
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is also the link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d43499e02/
*Be sure to stop by these blogs for sneak peeks and secrets from the Hauser Family!
7th November – Candy’s Raves http://candysraves.com/2014/11/how-to-bake-the-perfect-pecan-pie-blog-tour-2014/

8th November – Avid Book Hoarder http://avidbookcollector.blogspot.com/

9th November – Krysten Lindsay http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

10th November – Aurelia Rowl http://www.aureliabrowl.com/

11th November – Rosie Amber https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/

12th November – Holly Martin http://hollymartinwriter.wordpress.com/

13th November – Karen Aldous http://www.karenaldous.co.uk/blog/

14th November – Rebecca Raisin http://rebeccaraisin.wordpress.com/

15th November – eBook Review Gal http://www.ebookreviewgal.com

16th November – Mika Jolie http://mikajolie.com/

17th November – Katie Oliverhttp://www.katieoliver.com/ko/blog

18th November – Gina Henning http://www.ginahenning.com/blog

Romancing September #RomancingSeptember – Day 20

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Welcome to Day 20 of Romancing September Across The World Tour. Today our guest is Susan Buchanan. Catch up with more from Susan in a few hours with the second part of our tour when Stephanie chats to her.

thedatinggame

Where is your home town?

Kilsyth, near Glasgow, although I don’t live there anymore. I live south of the city now.

How long have you been writing romance?

Well, it’s not pure romance, more chick lit, so let’s say 2 years, as my first novel was more drama-based, even though there’s lots of romance in Sign of the Times too.

What is your favourite sub-genre of romance?

Chicklit, without question, although I do like those with a bit of a moral to them and I am not a fan of those with Jimmy Choos and where everyone works in PR or Media.

Where does Gill work? 

She has her own recruitment company, based in Glasgow.

What does she do about her lack of a love life?

Initially she ignores it, but her friends keep trying to set her up on blind dates, which are awful. After a terrible date with a pumped-up gym bore, she joins Happy Ever After dating agency, after seeing an ad on a bus billboard.

How many men does she meet? 

5

Tell us a bit about some of the men?

Well, there’s Anton, the Russian research scientist, who is very sensitive to her needs and very thoughtful. There’s Sean, the Irishman who works in music (Gill has a thing for Irish accents). Then Charlie who’s separated and has a little girl. Seeing him in his flying jacket makes Gill think of Tom Cruise in Top Gun. And we’ll keep the others a secret for now!

Gill and her friends take a trip to Spain, who does she meet there?

She meets a man, in the unlikeliest of circumstances, just when she is taking a break from dating (even if it’s only over a long weekend). But it isn’t a romantic meeting, although he does save her.

Tell us what you are working on at the moment.

When I get time, I’m working on two books, a Christmas book , which unfortunately isn’t likely to be finished in time for this Christmas, and What If, the story of Cameron, a bit of a lad, a serial womanizer who at 45 has an epiphany which will change his life and question his sanity!

Where can readers find out more about you?

Susan Buchanan

Oh, even though I’m a lot busier these days, I am still often to be found on

Twitter susan_buchanan,

occasionally I nip over to Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/susan.buchanan.author ,

and, of course, there’s always my blog – http://www.susancbuchanan.blogspot.co.uk

Find a copy of The Dating Game here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Find out more about Susan from Stephanie Hurt’s blog and all our Romance writers http://stephanie-hurt.com/

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Today we have a review from Louise

I've Got Your Number

‘I’ve Got Your Number’ – by Sophie Kinsella

Rating: 5/5

Bride-to-be Poppy has lost two of the most important things in her life; her engagement ring and her phone. The engagement ring has been in her fiancés family for 3 generations, and her future parents-in-law won’t be happy to see it missing; or to not see it, as it happens. As for the phone, when she stumbles across an abandoned mobile in a bin, Poppy can’t believe her luck and thinks nothing of using it as her own. Except the phone’s mysterious and smouldering owner, businessman Sam Roxton, has other ideas, and the pair get unwillingly tangled up in one another’s chaotic lives; sharing an inbox isn’t for the faint hearted.

This book was genuinely laugh-out-loud funny, with the loveably jumbled main character, Poppy, being the hilarious heroine of the story. We follow Poppy through the unfortunate events that precede her wedding day, and can’t help but fall in love with her bubbly personality and her unique way of dealing with some sticky situations. However, amidst the chaos there is romance, drama and mystery, adding an unexpected depth to this chick-flick. The story is continually unfolding, with drama around every corner, yet Kinsella still manages to maintain a fun tone to keep us turning the pages. ‘I’ve Got Your Number’ is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching, whilst at the same time I’m spitting out my drink laughing; a perfect balance and entirely unexpected.’

See the book here on Amazon