Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl
This week’s theme is Love
This week’s theme is Love
Today’s team book review comes from Barb, she blogs at http://barbtaub.com/
Barb has been reading Scotch On The Rocks by Lizzie Lamb
My Review: 5 stars out of 5
When I want to read a good romance, it simply makes sense to reach for one of Lizzie Lamb’s books. Not only are her heroines strong, snarky women, her heroes appropriately gorgeous and misguided, but… Scotland!
Since moving to Scotland, I’ve come to appreciate the beauty, color, and rugged appeal of the country. (Yes…the scenery. What did you think I was talking about? Oh. Well…that too!) So Lizzie’s books full of kilts and bagpipes and whisky are incredibly fun.
Her latest release, Scotch on the Rocks, certainly doesn’t disappoint. From heroine Issy’s first exhilarating dash across a fast-flooding causeway to reach her island home, the pace and story never falter. And how could it? The author subtly channels Emma, one of trope-defining Miss Austen’s most enchanting characters. Like Emma, strangers might have said Issy was “handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence…” (Emma by Jane Austen, 1815) As Emma might have done had she lived now, Issy had a successful career as an interior designer, her success due to her matchmaking abilities to produce dream interiors for her delighted clients.
Unlike Emma, however, as Issy flees back to her home with her father’s ashes strapped into her backseat, she is escaping a life whose appearances never matched reality. Her dysfunctional family—the rich father and famous mother who left her with neither love nor any of their wealth—her cheating fiance, even her job were left behind as Issy heads back to the only love and home she’s ever known, her Aunt Esme and her beloved Cormorant Island off the coast of Scotland.
Like Emma, Issy is bright, strong-willed, and painfully clueless. She has no concept of how to treat her attraction to and distrust of Brodie, no idea what secrets those around her hold.
“She felt as if she’d fallen asleep during a blockbuster movie, and had woken to find that she’d missed a pivotal scene; the one where the hero gets the girl, or the murderer is revealed. The scene which explains what the movie is really about. ‘Why are you all looking at me like that? Anyone want to tell me what’s going on?’”
If you’ve ever lived in a small village—and especially if you haven’t!—I think you’ll enjoy the way everyone casually assumes ownership rights to everyone else’s business. Chief among them is the adorable Lindy, whose drive to escape her island heritage has her showing up in completely different persona almost every day.
Poor Issy is often lost among the strong personalities around her. And, more often than not, she acts first and regrets her actions later. In another homage to Emma, she is then left to berate herself with an update of Mr. Knightley’s famous line— “Badly done, Ishabel Stuart. Badly done.”
Author Lizzie Lamb’s gift for dialog lets the reader hear the lilt of Scottish voices without overwhelming us with over concentration on syntax and grammar. I absolutely loved hearing the phrases I hear around me here in Glasgow, where a woman is affectionately called hen, everything from the dog to the chippy shop is wee, and health is toasted with a slainte mhath. And who wouldn’t love a heilan’ coo (Highland Cow)?
Of course, for American readers, it also holds a few surprises. For example, I was laughing out loud at Issy’s plans to renovate “outhouses” into artists studios. (My fellow Americans are used to picturing outhouses as Appalachian one-holer conveniences, perhaps with a little moon-shaped window cut into the door.) Or the way All-American Brodie’s university degree mentions taking a “first degree”, which is certainly not available from an American university.
For the beautiful pacing, character development, and that all-important HEA, I would give Scotch On The Rocks 5 out of 5 stars and would be the first in line to pick up any future books by this accomplished author.
Scotch On The Rocks has been shortlisted for the Exeter Novel prize.
A Valentine’s Special review for you today from Sterna from the review team, she blogs at https://sternakruger.wordpress.com/
Sterna chose to read and review Dreaming Of Love by Melissa Foster in conjunction with Brook Cottage Books
My Thoughts 5 Stars
Welcome back to the Braden family, always feels like home. If you have not met them yet, you’re missing out! There is a whole family of sexy men and woman finding love.
We finally get to share in Emily’s amazing story of finding love.
Emily Braden has it all. A successful career she is passionate about and an amazing family that love and support each other unconditionally. She has everything, except the amazing forever-love that she so deeply wants in her life. She’s looking forward to her trip to Tuscany – a gift from her brother – with a detailed itinerary for every day so she doesn’t miss a thing.
Dae Bray has happily let his life revolve around his work, going wherever he’s needed with no thought of putting down permanent roots. His trip to Tuscany is supposed to be simple; review a property for demolition and go home. But there is nothing simple about his encounter with the sassy and head strong Emily, and Dae finds himself second guessing his life choices.
Their first encounter is on the covered balcony of the villa in Tuscany they are both staying at, and Emily is admiring the view for the first time … all six feet of deeply tanned and deliciously muscled male … and the scenic countryside of Tuscany as well, of course 😉
“Awestruck. I hear Italy has that effect on people.” Um … Italy. Right.
From the moment they lay eyes on each other the air sizzles between them and their playful banter continues throughout the book, as they discover a side to themselves they didn’t know existed.
Dae convinces workaholic Emily to forget about her work for a while and spend a day with him. And as Emily’s carefully planned itinerary goes out the window, her heart starts to open to other possibilities.
“Life’s too short to miss out on the things you really want to do.” – Dae
They’re relationship is so romantic and dreamy, and super sexy and steamy all at the same time.
Oh lordilord, yes again please! You know what we’re all going to be thinking every time someone says oh … sigh.
The almost magical tree that is growing through a house, has Emily mesmerised. And once the history of the tree and its importance of it to the community of woman who live there is revealed to her, she is as attached to the property and the tree as she could be. The only problem is Dae is there to demolish it.
Can stubborn Emily accept what Dae does for living, in the name of love?
A great story about falling hard and fast that will wipe away any doubts you might have had about true love concurring all.
“Hand, arm, heart and soul. Forever and always.”
Perfection, as always Melissa. Thank you for sharing this amazing family with us!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I can’t wait to write this review, all though the reading of the book I’ve had lots of little bodily shivers, I’m not ill! I have just loved the book from start to finish, I love a book that has anything to do with the spirit world and add in Angels and it’s a real delight.
Rose O’Carroll lives in Australia, she comes form a large family. We meet her just before her fortieth birthday when she decides she’s going to spread her wings and move to London. Rose believes in Angels, Spirit Guides and Guardian Angels. She’s always spoken to her Angels and firmly believes that everything happens for a reason.
The book is narrated by Rose in a chatty format which made me feel like one of her girlfriends, I was there with her through all the trauma and the love. This book is about faith, love and friendship. Rose has yet to be seriously in love and over the next ten years of her life we are taken on a spiritual roller-coaster as Rose finds her twin soul and her soul mate. She pushes her own boundaries of self discovery and becomes a better person for it.
I can’t wait to read the next book. This book is for all those who believe in their Angels and those who love a good love story, a treat any day and definitely one for Valentine’s Day.
View all my reviews on Goodreads
Rose O’Carroll is the eternal optimist and never stops believing that she will one day find’ her one’ even though she’s still single and hitting 40. In her search for love, she bravely decides to pack up her comfortable life in Australia and move to London. Guided by her special friends — her angels — she quickly settles in her new life; lands a great job; makes new friendships and begins her spiritual journey.
It didn’t take long until Joe DeMarco, the handsome American business man turns Rose’s world upside down and changes it forever. Rose intuitively knows she has met her twin soulmate. But how does she cope when he tells her it’s just the wrong time?
Everything happens for a reason and soon Rose discovers why she had to meet Joe DeMarco when the timing was wrong. She had someone else to meet first…and it wasn’t only the dishy Dr St Claire.
Rosemary Gallagher is an author, tarot reader/angel intuitive and lyricist. She was born in Melbourne, Australia and spent most of her life there until moving to London in 2000.
For most of her professional career she worked as a Receptionist in various high profile companies. She recently left her day job to concentrate on her writing and spiritual endeavours. Rosemary has always held a strong interest in the metaphysical, especially the tarot cards and the angelic realm. After settling into her new life in London she began formal tarot studies at the Psychic College of London and has been reading the tarot professionally ever since.
Rosemary discovered her creative voice a few years ago after an emotional encounter turned her life upside down; I Listened to My Heart is Rosemary’s debut novel and although fictional, is inspired by a real life experience. It is an uplifting and light-hearted story of faith, love and friendship. Rosemary is passionate about life and all things spiritual, with a strong interest in twin soul connections.
The giveaway on this tour is a signed copy of the book and this competition is open internationally.
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