Category Archives: Reviews by Jenny

MYSTERY AT MAPLEMEAD CASTLE (The Chaplewick Mysteries #2) by KITTY FRENCH :: REVIEW

Rom-Com mystery supernatural elements series

SYNOPSIS

Welcome to Chapelwick, a leafy English town in the hills of Shropshire, where chocolate pecan cookies come with a helping of sabotage.

Maplemead Castle is crawling with ghosts, and the new owners need them gone. When Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency arrive on scene, they quickly identify the troublemakers swinging from the chandeliers… literally.

A century ago, stunning trapeze artist Britannia Lovell plunged to her death, and has done every night since. But did she really just fall, or was there something more to her demise?

Forced to work with Leo Dark, her scoundrel ex, and infuriating, irresistible reporter Fletcher Gunn, Melody’s investigative powers are under strain (i.e. lost in a pink mist of lust and confusion). She needs her team on top form, but best friend Marina’s cake pipeline goes AWOL, assistant Artie’s distracted by a giant sausage roll, and the pug is scared witless by a lion.

Somewhere, hidden in the castle, is a heart-breaking secret, but what will it take to find it? And is there a chance it could set Britannia free, or is she doomed to repeat her last fateful act forever?

Purchase MYSTERY AT MAPLEMEAD CASTLE below

          


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 stars

“I genuinely cannot fathom what goes on inside your head, ghostbuster,” he says. “You’re the most unusual person I’ve ever met.”

This series just gets better and better! Bravo Kitty French, this second instalment was just brilliant. What a fabulous time we spent back with characters that now feel like best friends, seeing their journey continue, revelling in how everyone is getting on and what’s happening with them, personally as well as their new ghost hunting shenanigans. Melody, Marina and Artie, we want to join your crew! Melody, we want to come drink champers round the kitchen table with your mum and gran.

“Gran, are you offering to lend me your gimp mask?”

“Don’t judge me, darling, I’ve been married for over sixty years, how else am I to keep the spice in our marriage?”

What we loved is how book two builds on the development of characters and their relationships. Book one felt like an introduction and the slow build has encouraged and solidified this deep connection we now feel. Kitty French has made us care deeply for all her characters whilst laughing our arses off and feeling the subtle vulnerability and emotional angst threaded through the story. We definitely saw a different side to the arrogant heart-breaker, Leo as well as journalist and sceptic, Fletch…

‘Needless to say, my mum and gran can’t abide him; he never misses a chance to take pot-shots at us and our industry in the press.’

This is pure British comedy with an ongoing romantic possibility that we yearn for, but for once the anticipation is just as delicious and addictive as a loving end, when and if that comes.

‘He’s offering to be my summer fling, but not my winter coat. My fair-weather lover. Can I do that? I worry that my heart cannot withstand him, but then I also worry that he will for ever be my missed regret.’

The supernatural elements are marvellous and we loved the mystery in this one, it was circus-fantastic, yet so sad and quite distressing too. A perfect blend. It’s fanciful, silly, sweet, funny, emotional and exciting. It’s eccentric and quintessentially British. We bloody love this series! This RomCom is without question a feel-good read that’ll have you smiling and laughing out loud, it’s so different to what’s out there at the moment and we’re loving that!

‘Fletch and I have an inexplicable connection and it’s bloody inconvenient for both of us.’

 


THE CHAPLEWICK MYSTERIES SERIES by KITTY FRENCH

The Skeletons of Scarborough House Book One

                    

Mystery at Maplemead Castle Book Two 

                    

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UP IN THE TREEHOUSE by K.K. ALLEN :: REVIEW

Standalone  Childhood friends to lovers

SYNOPSIS

I wanted to tell him all my secrets, but he became one of them instead.

Chloe Rivers never thought she would keep secrets from her best friend. Then again, she never imagined she would fall in love with him either. When she finally reveals her feelings, rejection shatters her, rendering her vulnerable and sending her straight into the destructive arms of the wrong guy.

Gavin Rhodes never saw the betrayal coming. It crushes him. Chloe has always been his forbidden fantasy–sweet, tempting, and beautiful. But when the opportunity finally presents itself, he makes the biggest mistake of all and denies her.

Now it’s too late . . .

Four years after a devastating tragedy, Chloe and Gavin find themselves crashing back into each other’s lives. Haunted by the past, they’re forced to come to terms with all that has transpired to find the peace they deserve. Except they can’t seem to get near each other without combatting an intense emotional connection that brings them right back to where it all started . . . their childhood treehouse.

Chloe still holds her secrets close, but this time she isn’t the only one with something to hide. Can their deep-rooted connection survive the destruction of innocence?

UP IN THE TREEHOUSE is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5 stars

‘The best kind of love is one that stems from friendship. One that grows, as it’s nurtured with patience and kindness, blossoming in just the time. All it has to do is withstand the forces of nature that threaten to drown it, pluck it, blow it, and burn it until it withers back into its soil. As if it never existed at all.’

And that is an apt prelude to sum up the anxious, dramatic, emotional, endearing, moving, frustrating, sweet and somewhat innocent story of friends, Chloe Rivers and her neighbours- twins, Devon and Gavin Rhodes. A friends to lovers, second chance story that broke our hearts, mended our hearts and ultimately stole our hearts completely.

Chloe was twelve when the Rhodes twins and their single Dad moved in next door. Despite their physical similarities it was clear the boys were polar opposites in temperament.   Devon, the broody more aggressive twin, who was like night to the Gavin’s calm, sweet gentler day. Gavin was the protector who always stuck up for Chloe at school when she was being bullied. An aspect that would bring them full circle in later years.

‘I wanted to follow my heart, but somehow along the way I lost my soul.’

Their young years were spent together, adventuring, getting up to mischief or spending time in the Rhodes’ treehouse doing their own thing. As the years passed, it would be Devon that Chloe would date, breaking something in Gavin that would deliver life changing, heartbreaking consequences for all involved, causing Chloe to flee her hometown, not to return until she was twenty two.

“Whoever holds that heart of yours is a lucky man. Just make sure you get it back soon.”

Gavin always had Chloe’s heart, so what made her choose Devon and what made her leave? Chloe’s return opens old wounds as repressed feelings are brought to the surface, and a love between two people that never faded, is tested time and time again.

K.K. Allen is a new to us author and we’re now eager to read her companion (Standalone) story, Beneath the Bleachers which follows a character we fell in love with during this book. This author really knows how to keep the reader’s heart in a vice with angst that knotted our stomachs.

‘When a girl gives you her heart and tells you to trust it, you don’t question it. You don’t waste a second. You just do it.’

We both said this book reminded us of those old favourites we loved when we purchased our first Kindles. Those stories we devoured that took us back to our youth, pounded our hearts and wooed us with their innocence. This book was so reminiscent of those feelings.

Told in dual POV, we were immediately captivated by the sweetness, angst and passion of Gavin and Chloe’s story. A story that perfectly captured the complication, complexities and confusing feelings and emotions Chloe and Gavin experience as they tried to navigate their way back to one another.

‘It was always him, even when it wasn’t.’

Up in the Treehouse certainly toyed with our emotions. There were times Chloe and Gavin’s story brought us to tears….and they were tears born of tenderness, love, loss, frustration and joy. We experienced it all. A beautiful story of loyalty, love, perseverance, about listening to, and following your heart. We were surprised a few times as events unfolded and we loved sharing this journey, even if our hearts did cop a hiding!

Unfortunately for me, when she left she took a piece of me with her – and it wasn’t until she returned that I realized just how big that piece was. ‘
‘I want it back. ‘

 

.


Also available UNDER THE BLEACHERS
Standalone companion novel

SYNOPSIS
One kiss can change everything.

Fun and flirty Monica Stevens lives for chocolate, fashion, and boys … in that order. And she doesn’t take life too seriously, especially when it comes to dating. When a night of innocent banter with Seattle’s hottest NFL quarterback turns passionate, she fears that everything she once managed to protect will soon be destroyed.

Seattle’s most eligible bachelor, Zachary Ryan, is a workaholic by nature, an undercover entrepreneur, and passionate about the organizations he supports. He’s also addicted to Monica, the curvy brunette with a sassy mouth—and not just because she tastes like strawberries and chocolate. She’s as challenging as she is decadent, as witty as she is charming, and she’s the perfect distraction from the daily grind.  

While Monica comes to a crossroads in her life, Zachary becomes an unavoidable obstacle, forcing her to stop hiding under the bleachers and confront the demons of her past. But as their connection grows stronger, she knows it only brings them closer to their end.

It’s time to let go.

To have a future, we must first deal with our pasts. But what if the two are connected?

Available to purchase below

          


 

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NEVER THE BRIDE (Dilbury Village #1) by CHARLOTTE FALLOWFIELD :: REVIEW

Standalone in a series : British Romantic comedy

SYNOPSIS

A laugh-out-loud novel from Charlotte Fallowfield, Amazon bestselling romantic comedy author of Until We Collide.

Abbie Carter felt doomed as she clutched her bouquet and started walking up the aisle. Again. She felt like she was stuck in some kind of Groundhog Day wedding nightmare. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Eight dresses, most of them hideous, were already stuffed in her attic space. She had more bridesmaid dresses than relationships. Was she really that unlucky in love? She despaired of ever finding her soul mate and was convinced that if she packed away dress thirteen in her attic, she’d never get to wear the coveted white one and have her happy ever after.

That was until she locked eyes with one of the handsome ushers, whose wink turned her elegant and well-practiced glide up the aisle into a flailing Bambi-on-ice spectacle. Miller Davis was the first man in forever to make her heart skip a beat, as well as her legs turn to jelly. And, for once, her interest in a man didn’t seem to be one-sided. It was just a shame that the Atlantic Ocean separated them. Abbie couldn’t even make a relationship with her elderly fat pooch, Sumo, work, so what chance did she have with a permanent New Yorker? Her best friend, Georgie, told her to ignore the miles that separated her from Miller and to go for it, saying that true love knew no bounds.

Was Abbie fated to always be the bridesmaid, or would her wish for the perfect day with the man of her dreams ever come true?

While Never The Bride will be a standalone story, it’s the first in the Dilbury Village series of romantic comedy novels. All of them will be set in the quaint fictitious English hamlet in the Shropshire countryside, but feature a different village couples’ story.

Warning, if you are of a sensitive disposition when it comes to toilet humour, then the Dilbury Village series may not be for you!

NEVER THE BRIDE is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4 Stars

“If you both love each other, that love bridges the fault and anchors you together through any storm. He doesn’t have to be perfect, and neither do you….”

We first sampled Charlotte Fallowfield’s Rom-Com talent in Collide last year, finding ourselves, immediately captivated with the warmth, classic British humour and sweetness of her writing, and were thrilled to bits to hear a new series, set in the quaint English village of Dilbury, was in the works, and here it is! Charlotte once again had us in stitches, laughing at – and with, her loveable, madcap characters, delivering a sweet heart-warming story, with friendship and community spirit at the forefront. We loved spending time with this group of piss taking prankster friends who we’d love to pack up and spend time with. These characters made us want to pull up a stool at the Cock n Bull, order a sneaky Voddy, and spend hours, laughing hysterically with this cast of quirky characters.

To summarise, Abbie is a 28 year old Accountant who’s pretty happy with her lot, she lives in her old family home in Dilbury, with her neighbours, best friend, Georgie, Daphne who is like a Mum to her, and the newly arrived Charlie, the erotic romance writer. She loves her work, her home and her friends and even has a soft spot for her cantankerous, farting, lazy bulldog Mr Sumo, who returns none of her affections.  The one thing missing is a man to share her life with. And, thanks to a silly pact she made with a group of ‘friends‘ in boarding school  12 years ago, she is committed to always being the bridesmaid never the bride, as she fulfils her promise after promise to perform bridesmaid duties  wearing hideous dresses at these weddings. Abbie is fast approaching the unlucky 13th wedding, believing that once this happens, she’ll be jinxed; forever being the bridesmaid, never the bride.

However, across the room at one of the receptions, she meets the gorgeous Miller Davis, who instantly grabs her heart, experiencing a connection the likes of which she has never felt before. He of the ‘soft, full, kissable lips, movie star teeth, dimpled chin, and square jaw‘…and that’s just the start of Mr Davis’ attributes. He was rather luscious! They both feel the connection, and we think we gasped right along with Abbie when their eyes first met ….sigh…

‘Wow, hot, sexy and chivalrous. I felt like I was in Vegas at the slot machines, and the jackpot just sounded the alarm.’

However, things don’t go as planned as there’s a great big ocean separating them with Millers life being firmly entrenched in New York, and Abbie in her homely little village of Dilbury.  Can they overcome the long distance? Can one make the choice to move? Is there more to Miller that Abbie doesn’t know? Can Abbie give it all up for love? All will be revealed when you pick up Never the Bride.

“The moment I saw you, it was like I was looking at a missing part of myself. Like I’ve been alone all of my life, and suddenly I wasn’t anymore.”

Charlotte Fallowfield has spot on comedic timing and certainly knows how to deliver those laugh out loud crazy moments. We had tears from laughing. The friendship connections, the riotous situations they find themselves in, and the zany, hilarious residents of this wonderful little community had us in stitches and her British humour is something we particularly enjoy and hope this never changes.

However, we found the comedy aspect overwhelmed the romance a little and as much as we loved Abbie and Miller, and did enjoy how it eventually played out, we didn’t feel or connect to them as a couple the way we had hoped. Comedy wise it delivered, romantically, sadly it just fell short for us. We needed more ‘Abbie and Miller time’ to allow us to fully connect and live their romance. We loved though how the author delivered some real and touching moments amid the humour ridden chaos.

Whilst we did adore this book, it didn’t quite win us over the way Until We Collide had previously. In saying that, we can’t wait to get back to this little village for some more rip-roaring fun when Georgie’s book releases in a few months, and we know this one will be a hoot! This time around, we absolutely felt the com, just not as much rom as we had hoped.

THE DILBURY SERIES


See MORE TBB RECS from CHARLOTTE


until we collide 21st Feb

UNTIL WE COLLIDE
5 Star Standalone British Romantic Comedy

SYNOPSIS

What do you do when the guy you’re in love with is seeing someone else?

That’s the dilemma facing Paige Taylor. All of her life she’s only ever had eyes for the gorgeous Alec Wright, but despite their undeniable chemistry, their timing has always been off. Fast approaching her thirtieth birthday, Paige despairs of ever finding love and a happy ever after. Her best friend Poppie tells her that she can either watch life pass her by, or grab it with both hands. She convinces Paige to throw herself back into the dating pool, or she could be waiting for Alec forever.

What Paige didn’t expect was the catalogue of dating disasters to follow. A neck brace, jelly fish, stitches, flashing and an encounter with a gorilla were some of the most memorable. Despite some downright hilarious, humiliating and cringe worthy dates, her biological clock is ticking and Paige is determined to keep trying until she finds the one. 

Was Alec Wright always her Mr. Right, or is he still out there waiting to be found?

Join Paige in her quest to find the ultimate prize. Love.

UNTIL WE COLLIDE is available to purchase below

                    


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UNFORGIVEN by RUTH CLAMPETT :: REVIEW

Standalone GFY/MM friends to lovers

SYNOPSIS

Would you live a lie to hold onto the one you love?

Dean and Jason are best friends, like brothers since boyhood, now architecture students and college roommates. They’ve always had each other’s back, but when one walks in on the other with another man, everything changes. How do you explain to your best friend that he’s the one you’ve always wanted, that until now your life has been a lie?

Desperation and shame are two dirty words that run through Jason’s veins. He carries the scars from a wayward priest who stole his innocence and left him shattered. Meanwhile for years he’s watched Dean pursuing woman after woman, as his own heart slowly breaks.

When their world blows apart, they learn the powerful bond between them has more fire than either understood. Can two broken souls find the light in their darkness and come together to make a whole, or will sins of the past be forever unforgiven?

This standalone is a M/M love story with graphic sex. Trigger warning.

UNFORGIVEN is available to purchase below

           


Review by Gitte & Jenny

4 Stars

‘I’m not sure that I can be strong enough for the both of us, but if he can find strength, together we may have a chance.’

When we heard Ruth Clampett was writing an MM story we jumped at the chance to read it as we’ve enjoyed previous books by this Author and love our MM books. We loved that she ventured into a new genre and the synopsis sounded fabulous.

‘There’s a part of me that wants to give up. I’m so tired of Earth’s gravity pulling me down when all I want to do is fly far away.’

Once again the writing was beautiful and the characters lovable and real. We have to say that this book is a story of two halves for us. The first half was a tad too sex oriented so early on, we felt that the emotional build up and character connection played second fiddle to nookie which is a bit of a contention for us, a personal pet peeve if you will. However what we did love about the first half was the way in which we felt Dean’s character and reactions to his discovery of Jason’s sexuality felt real and non-apologetic. Was his stereotypical behaviour correct, no! However, we very much feel that this came across as an instantaneous reactive portrayal in the sense of his hesitation, confusion and problematic acceptance of hidden secrets in a friendship that began in childhood. It may have made us angry and gotten our backs up, but it felt realistic. It also made our hearts bleed for Jason’s difficulty in making sense of himself and his place in this friendship.

‘Maybe this is the only man I’ll ever feel this way about, but I know it’s built on years of being best friends. That closeness allowed us to be vulnerable with each other and explore something I never would’ve imagined. I don’t need to overthink it and try to force myself into some kind of box just so society can pigeonhole me. We are simply Jason and Dean…best friends that got physical, and fell in love.’

Then came the real nitty gritty story and from about halfway we became completely engrossed and invested and admit to crying a few times as it all became so bloody sad and traumatic. Unforgiven completely turned around for us and became so much more than what it initially was. We fell in love, we felt a strong connection to the characters, their back story, their friendship and we just couldn’t put it down for love nor money.

‘There was never a reason to question anything about who we were to each other…we just were.’

The topics in Unforgiven broke our hearts, but the lads made us smile and laugh despite the ‘ugly cry’ tears. It felt real and we know it actually is, sadly. The dual POV worked well in ensuring we connected and understood where Dean and Jason were coming from and it made Jason’s past much more tangible which ultimately is why our hearts broke. Dean was a powerhouse of compassion, strength and protection despite having the rug completely pulled out from underneath him. There was one scene in particular that broke us and had us reaching for copious tissues.

“I feel like I’m going crazy, Dean. What if I’m never going to be okay?”

As far as gay for you stories go this one was a great read despite the fact that we initially thought it had too much sex and ‘sex talk’, which overshadowed the emotional aspect of the story at times. It was real, raw and very passionate. We felt the friendship and the intense bond between Dean and Jason. The world is still an un-accepting place full of obstacles, prejudices and hatred. But it is getting better, Love Is Love and hopefully one day soon everyone will accept that as a fact and a truth.

“Sometimes our minds and hearts wait until we’re ready.”

 

 


 

 

 

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KEPT FROM YOU (Tear Asunder #4) by NASHODA ROSE :: REVIEW

Standalone in series, sexy second chance romance
NB:  This book can be read as a standalone but has interconnecting stories and characters- we highly recommend reading the series in order.  

SYNOPSIS

A first kiss that changed everything.

Killian Kane.
He was the most feared guy in high-school.
Guarded. Angry. A fighter.
But when I caught him watching me with his captivating green eyes I saw something more. Something protective and kind.

He warned me to stay away from him.
I did.
Until I didn’t and he kissed me. A knee weakening, body tingling kiss that left me breathless. 
And scared the hell out of me.

And then…
He warned me never to come near him again or next time he wouldn’t let me go.

That was eleven years ago.
We aren’t teenagers anymore. He has probably forgotten me. 
He’s a famous rock star now. I’m a dance instructor with a broken dream and desperate for a job.
So, when we cross paths again I don’t expect him to remember me.
He does.
And his warning eleven years ago? I’m about to find out exactly what that meant.

KEPT FROM YOU is available to purchase below

         


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4.5  ‘ the good bits’ Stars

“Fight for me, damn it. Stop fighting everything else and fight for me. For us”

Nashoda Rose has done it again! We’ve We’ve loved everything we’ve read from this talented author and after finishing Kept from You, we’re convinced this is one of our favourite series. There’s suspense, grit, passion, emotion and alpha goodness galore, not to mention pierced tattooed rock stars…yummy!  What’s not to love…oh and this was bloody hot! And sweet! And a little intense!

We’ve been with the Tear Asunder guys’ right from the beginning. We’ve shared their difficult and painful pasts, we’ve shared their love and happiness as they each meet their soul mate, their missing piece. This group of rag tag rock stars prove family isn’t the blood that runs through your veins, but the loyalty, trust and love that runs through your hearts. They’ve been through so much and there’s nothing they wouldn’t do for each other.

“…Nothing wins against love. It wins every single fuckin’ time.”

We’ve been desperate for Killian ‘Kite’ Kane’s story, the drummer from Tear Asunder in what seems forever and finally, the gorgeous guy with the Irish lilt shared his painful story with us. Killian grew up quite privileged and was loved deeply by his Mum and brother. His father however was a different story. This man openly detested Killian, making his life miserable. Due to circumstances we later learn about through Killian’s POV, Killian has become an angry young man, needing to fight to relieve himself of the pent up guilt he carries with him.

We first meet Killian and Savvy when he is 16 and she is 15. Savvy (Savannah) feels drawn to Killian and believes there is a lot of ‘good bits’ beneath the anguish this young man elicits. Killian, in turn is drawn to Savvy’s innocence and sweetness, savouring the goodness that surrounds her.

‘Her goodness was my fuckin’ drug, drawing me to her. ‘

They part ways soon after, with Killian unleashing a first kiss on Savvy that really would change everything. For both of them.  We flash forward 11 years in Toronto, with Killian enjoying success with his band, and Savvy down on her luck, seeking out Killian for a favour. Old feelings are unleashed with Killian not wanting the girl who always had a place in his heart to slip through his fingers. And that’s where the story begins.

‘I had my issues and she’d had a taste of them, and I knew I’d have to give her more of me. The parts of me I kept hidden.’

Whilst Kept from You didn’t quite pack the intensity and grittiness of the previous books, Killian and Savvy’s story was no less emotional, no less painful. We adored these characters and upon learning the full extent of Killian’s sacrifice and feelings for Savvy over the ‘lost’ years, our hearts damn near burst from our chests and we applauded Nashoda Rose for taking this turn with him.

‘I realized that the anger he carried with him ate away all his beauty. ‘

We do love a second chance love story and this one certainly fit the bill. Killian is all sorts of kinky alpha possessive yummy, yet he’s sweet, vulnerable and romantic as well. Not to mention sexy as sin for good measure! Savvy was a sharp, witty relatable character. Whilst this can be read as a standalone, we would strongly recommend reading the series to fully grasp and experience the bond between these men, the relationships of which we feel are the glue that holds this series together.

“You were always meant to be mine, Savvy.”


THE TEAR ASUNDER SERIES

With You – Prequel (Free)

                     

Torn From You – Book One

                    

Overwhelmed by You – Book Two

                    

Shattered by You Book – Three

                   

Kept From You –  Book Four

                    


TBB also recommends this Spin off Series
THE UNYIELDING SERIES by NASHODA ROSE

Unyielding Series

Perfect Chaos Book #1 : our reviewamazon us | amazon uk
Perfect Ruin Book #2 : amazon us | amazon uk
 Perfect Rage Book #3 – amazon us | amazon uk


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