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.

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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.

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#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

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT GOOGLE YOUR HUSBAND BACK by Julie Butterfield #SundayBlogShare

Today’s second Team review is from Luccia, she blogs at http://lucciagray.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Luccia has been reading Google You Husband Back by Julie Butterfield

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Humorous and feel good contemporary women’s fiction.

Kate is a busy, young mother. Her daughter, Millie, takes up all her time and energy. She neglects her own need and her husband’s too. Alex feels ignored and unloved by his wife, so he falls into the arms of a colleague and leaves a devastated Kate, without any type of explanation.

As her life falls to pieces, Kate spends most of the novel figuring out why he left, because her only aim is to get him back, in spite of the reason and the way in which he left. She has the help of Google’s search engine for suggestions, as well as her friend Fiona and her mother’s advice. Kate gradually gets her life back on track thanks to their support, her salsa classes, and Josh, her salsa partner.

Fortunately, Kate meets Josh, another, more mature type of man. We’ve all come across immature and selfish men like Alex and sensitive and understanding men like Josh, although both extremes did seem at times a little stereotyped.

Kate eventually realises she needs to take charge of her life, get a job, ask her mother for help and support with Millie, and stand on her own two feet before she can decide what she really wants out of life. Does she want her husband back, does she need to move forward into another relationship, or does she need to get on with her life on her own?

Kate’s story is narrated in the third person, mostly from her point of view. It’s told with a great deal of humour and feeling. It’s a well written, easy and quick to read. I’m sure most women can relate to Kate and her predicament. I enjoyed reading this novel very much. It was mostly funny and poignant a times. The ending is satisfactory and hopeful, although the best part of the conclusion is Kate’s own journey to empowerment and self-discovery.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com available free from Kindle Unlimited

COUNTRY RIVALS by @ZaraStoneley #RomCom #BookReview #TuesdayBookBlog

Country RivalsCountry Rivals by Zara Stoneley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Star Rating four point five stars.

Country Rivals is the third book in this Rom Com series and moves slightly away from the style of Jilly Cooper writing and into a more serious issue of family and relations than the first two books. This could be read as a stand alone book but readers will get much more enjoyment if they start with book 1.

Set in Cheshire at the Tipping House Estate and Equestrian centre and next to Kitterly Heath home to rich and famous celebrities such as an England goalie, this book continues with the the life of Lottie, horse-mad heiress to the Stanthorpe estate, daughter of Billy Brinkley former show-jumper and wife of Rory Steel a top 3 day eventer.

After a fire during a wedding Lottie was running, the estate is running out of money while they wait for the insurance money to come through. With money tight they decide to allow a film producer to use the front lawns for his new film.

With Seb and Pandora Drakelow come a film crew and chaos upsetting the villagers of Tippermere with the traffic and the media attention. Champion Polo player Xander Rossi arrives to supervise the Polo ponies and their safety during filming and turns more than one head in the stable yard.

Lottie is feeling the pressure as she tries to please everyone and finds old enemies come back with vendettas to settle.

There are some fantastic characters in this series and Lady Elizabeth is one of my favourites as is Sam Simcock. I’ve enjoyed all three of the books and recommend them to those who like to see how the other half live with their RomCom.

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

Click for My review of Book 1 Stable Mates

Click for My review of Book 2 Country Affairs

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