Blog Tour Review: Love Offline by Olivia Spring

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An incredibly cute and funny story about living life to the fullest

Foreword

Thank you so much to Rachel at https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/ and Olivia Spring for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy and blog tour media kit!

About the Author

Olivia Spring is a British, London-based writer of contemporary women’s fiction, sexy chick lit and romantic comedy. Her uplifting debut novel ‘The Middle-Aged Virgin’, which was released in July 2018, deals with being newly single in your thirties and beyond, dating, relationships, love, sex and living life to the full.

Olivia published three novels in 2019: ‘Only When It’s Love’, ‘Losing My Inhibitions’ and ‘Love Offline’. ‘The Middle-Aged Virgin in Italy’, the hotly anticipated sequel to ‘The Middle-Aged Virgin’ and Olivia’s fifth novel, was published in July 2020.

When she’s not writing, Olivia can be found making regular trips to Italy to indulge in pasta, pizza and gelato and of course, seeking inspiration for her next book!

Find her at the links below!

Review

Book CWs: For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

Emily’s Struggling To Find Romance Online. Will Ditching The Dating Apps Lead To True Love?

Online dating isn’t working for introvert Emily. Although she’s comfortable swiping right at home in her PJs, the idea of going out to meet a guy in person fills her with dread.

So when her best friend challenges her to ditch the apps, attend a load of awkward singles’ events and find love in real life, Emily wants to run for the hills.

Then she meets Josh. He’s handsome, kind and funny, but Emily’s had her heart crushed before and knows he’s hiding something…

Is Josh too good to be true? Can Emily learn to trust again and if she does, will it lead to love or more heartache?

Love Offline is a fun, sexy, entertaining story about friendship, stepping outside of your comfort zone and falling in love the old-fashioned way. Ideal for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Lindsey Kelk and Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare.

Review (No Spoilers)

If you know me or follow my blog, you know that I read a lot of romance novels. In fact, I can often predict the plot pretty well because most romance novels follow similar paths. Love Offline does have its predictable elements, but it somehow still managed to surprise me in a lot of fun ways–granted I didn’t read the blurb before I started reading the book so I probably should have done that.

At the heart of its story, Love Offline, is a book about learning what it means to love yourself. Many of us are exactly like Emily–we are online often and constantly compare ourselves to people we don’t even know. We probably even all have people who say they care for us while constantly tearing us down. This is exactly why I found Emily to be the perfect protagonist. The ability to identify with a protagonist makes cheering for a them a kind of escapist form of self-care. You want to see Emily succeed because it means that maybe you could too.

One major aspect of self-love is learning a proper balance when it comes to loving yourself and loving others. I was extremely happy that this book decided to dive into this question because it’s a topic that I think most people struggle with. When it comes to love, both romantic and platonic, you have to learn what it means to respect other people’s wants/needs while also respecting your own. I want more people to read Emily’s journey to not only learn from her mistakes, but to also grow with her as the story progresses.

On top of having a powerful protagonist, I also very much the several side characters along with the humor that is sprinkled throughout the novel. I absolutely adored Chloe and I think everyone deserves to have a friend like her. This book has one of my least favorite tropes in it, but the inclusion of Chloe helped subvert it enough to actually make me laugh while it was happening. A lot of romance novels would benefit from having a character like her in their books.

If you’re looking for a funny, but powerful romance novel about learning what it means to love yourself and live life to the fullest, I’d definitely recommend checking out Love Offline. If you’re interested in purchasing your own copy, you can find it on Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Book Review: The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

I’m not sure how to describe this book.

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings for this book, along with tropes and representation, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

Premise (from Goodreads)

The Doll Factory, the debut novel by Elizabeth Macneal, is an intoxicating story of art, obsession and possession.

London. 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among the crowd watching the spectacle two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment – forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning.

When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love.

But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening…

Review (No Spoilers)

Hello everyone! This is my first non-requested/non-blog tour review in a while (long story short, I moved and spent the past two months panicking instead of writing) so I’m happy to be back to my old blogging ways, even if it’s temporary.

The Doll Factory was the first chosen book for a new book club I’m in, and I couldn’t be more happy about that fact because I honestly think I would have DNFed it otherwise. I wouldn’t say that this book is bad or anything like that, I just couldn’t get into it at any real point. It was only in the last 50 pages that I started to feel the pull to not put it down.

My main issue with The Doll Factory was that I basically never understood what story I was reading. I have a theory that that was kind of the whole point of the book, but for me, it just made it harder for me to enjoy. Every time I told my partner what was happening in the book, he would respond, “Um, what kind of book is this??”

We chose this book as our pick for Historical Fiction, which is how it started off, but it seemed to constantly be changing between historical fiction, thriller, and romance. There are several “narrators” (each chapter is written in 3rd person but the POV changes) and I ultimately feel like the book suffered from having too many interconnected strands. There were times when my fellow members and I would wonder why certain characters and plot points were introduced. In many cases, these people and arcs disappeared almost completely from the story.

In the end, I feel like this book had a lot of potential as a thriller, or even a romance. The author has a real talent for writing suspense, drama, and humor. I just ultimately felt like I was reading three different novels taking place in the same town at the same time. I found it more fun to discuss the book than to actually read it.

Blog Tour Review: The 12 Christmases of You & Me by Jennifer Joyce

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The story had me hooked and absolutely praying for a Happily Ever After

Foreword

Thank you so much to Rachel at https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/ and Jennifer Joyce for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy and blog tour media kit!

About the Author

Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. She’s been scribbling down bits of stories for as long as she can remember, graduating from a pen to a typewriter and then an electronic typewriter. And she felt like the bee’s knees typing on THAT. She now writes her books on a laptop (which has a proper delete button and everything).

Follow her at the links listed to the left!

Review

Book CWs: For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

What if you could go back in time and fix the biggest mistake of your life?

Two years ago, Maisie’s best friend walked out of her life and she hasn’t heard from him since. When she wakes up in 1994, she naturally assumes she’s dreaming. But when she finds herself in the past again the next night and her actions in the dream alter her present-day life, she begins to wonder if she’s somehow hopping back in time. And if she is time-travelling, can she save her friendship with Jonas?

When Maisie is forced to relive Christmases of the past, will she face up to her mistakes, or make them all over again?

The 12 Christmases of You & Me is a magical tale of friendship, first loves, and learning to live in the present.

Review (No Spoilers)

Wow, I definitely did not expect to love this book as much as I did but it was absolutely amazing. I had no issue relating to Maisie throughout all moments of her life, past and present. She was one of the most reasonable narrators I’ve ever seen in a novel and I couldn’t help but empathize with her as she struggled to make things right.

On top of my absolute adoration of Maisie and her characterization, I also felt like this book was written extremely well. There were several times where I was afraid it would fall into specific tropes that I absolutely hate in romance/contemporary novels but it somehow managed to side step all of my fears.

While I admittedly struggled a bit in the beginning to get into the story, by the time I got half-way, I was practically begging for things to work out between Maisie and Jonas–I didn’t even care how. The only reason I rated this 4 stars instead of 5 is because as with basically any time travel book I’ve ever read, the conclusion didn’t wrap up or explain things as much as I would have liked.

Would I reread this book in the future? 100% yes!

The 12 Christmases of You & Me is out today! To follow along on with the rest of the blog tour, check out the schedule posted below. If you’re interested in purchasing your own copy, you can find it on Amazon UK or Amazon US.

#TheWriteReads #BlogTour Review: Legends Rise by Devri Walls (Venators #3)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

So much information but somehow you end up wanting to know even more

Thank you so much to The Write Reads and Devri Walls for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy!

Review

Book CWs

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

In the third installment of the Venators series, Rune, Grey, and their companions Beltran and Verida have set off together to save their mentor Tate from the gladiator games. As their group struggles to stay together under the strain of their situation, Rune’s twin brother Ryker is falling more surely into the clutches of Zio the sorceress, who has her own plots for the future of Eon, and the Venators.

The path will be forged in sweat and blood.

Rune, Grey, the shape-shifter Beltran, and willful vampire, Verida, set out to rescue their friend and mentor, Tate, from the gladiator games. But first they must navigate the perils of Eon and its warring factions. Each of this band of four carries with them a secret that threatens to tear their group apart from within. Rune now bears the mark of the promise she made to save Grey’s life-a nixie bubble lodged in her arm that could call her away to do their bidding or spell her death.
Even as their loyalty to their cause and to one another faces its greatest test, Rune’s twin brother Ryker is forging an alliance with their mortal enemy, the powerful sorceress Zio, who has plans of her own for the Venators and Eon. Hearts will be bared, secrets unveiled, and relationships made and destroyed in this stunning new installment of the Venators series. 

Review (No Spoilers)

If you want to read my reviews for the first two books, you can click here for book 1 and here for book 2.

As with the previous installments, Legends Rise is full of action, excitement, and twists. Devri Walls has no problem catching my interest in her novels and making me wish I could read faster. She is very talented when it comes to writing action sequences and there’s so much to consume that you can’t help but feel the temptation to flip through pages and skip to the end.

Something I should warn you about is that if you plan on reading Venators, I’d recommend reading all of the novels back-to-back. Each book kind of just ends without much of a conclusion so the next book picks right back up where the previous started. This style is probably what founded my biggest complaint when reading this book: sometimes I felt like too much information was being thrown at me. In the beginning, I would often get lost trying to remember what had already happened and if I was supposed to be recognizing certain names and histories. If you read the books shortly after each other (or if you have a better memory), you should have a much easier time than I did.

Usually I prefer to read series of 3 books or less but I can’t wait to see what the next installment has in store.

Blog Tour Review: Christmas Reunion in Paris by Liz Fielding

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A short but emotional love story that will pull all of your heart strings

Foreword

Thank you so much to Rachel at https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/ and Liz Fielding for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy and blog tour media kit!

About the Author

Find her at the above links!

Best selling author, Liz Fielding worked as a secretary in Africa, the Middle East and the UK before writing full time. Her award winning books are published worldwide in multiple languages and she has more than 15 million books in print.

Katie Fforde wrote, when honouring her with the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2019 said – “Liz Fielding’s books, with their warmth, humour and emotion, have charmed millions of readers. She is a true star of the romantic fiction genre…”

Review

Book CWs: This book contains some content that may be upsetting for some readers. For a list of warnings for this book (along with featured tropes), check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

Parisian reunion
With the one that got away!

Celebrity chef James Harrington never expected to find himself face-to-face with Chloe, his first love, again… Especially, with her working as a chambermaid at his luxury hotel! Their chemistry’s as strong as ever, but she’s hiding a secret. Can James convince Chloe that their love is worth taking a chance on – again?

Katie Fforde wrote, when honouring her with the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2019 said – “Liz Fielding’s books, with their warmth, humour and emotion, have charmed millions of readers. She is a true star of the romantic fiction genre.”

Review (No Spoilers)

If you’re looking for a short, cute, and emotional love story, Christmas Reunion in Paris is for you! The book itself is about 190 pages but features a surprising amount of twists and turns that are sure to pull on your heart strings.

This being my first experience with a short romance novel, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. What I imagined was a story about a romantic reunion over a short weekend and what I got was so much more. Christmas Reunion in Paris managed to cover years worth of trauma, drama, and emotion in such a short amount of pages, something I didn’t even know was possible.

That being said, there were a few times where I felt like new information was being consistently thrown at us in a way that often got me mixed up between what was currently happening and what was a recollection of previous events. Throughout the book I was often getting sneak peeks into past events that I wanted to know so much more about. I would love to see this book evolve into either a 300-400 page novel or a 2-hour movie that I would definitely binge watch every Christmas.

If you’re interested in reading Christmas Reunion in Paris, you can purchase it at the following links. You can also feel free to check out the other reviews in this blog tour listed in the graphic to the left!

Purchase Links: