The Definition of Icing by Aven Ellis

The Definition of Icing

Published in May 2015.

“Kenley Hunter finally has everything sorted out. Fresh from studying chocolate making in Europe, she’s gambling everything on her new business, Confection Consultations.
All Kenley wants in life is people to take her seriously, to see the person on the inside rather than the blond beauty on the outside. While pursuing her passion of chocolate, Kenley discovered people seek her knowledge. They see past the exterior and fall for the chocolate delights in front of them.
So with work as her focus, Kenley is ready to start her career in Dallas. Men are out of her recipe, because she fears that once they get past her looks, they’ll be disappointed in what they find. Kenley decides she’s all about the chocolate now.
Or is she?
Because a chance meeting with new Dallas Demon hockey star Nate Johansson might change everything. Sent to Dallas in a blockbuster trade, Nate is somewhere he doesn’t want to be, for reasons that have caused him heartbreak on multiple levels. Nate knows he will never trust a woman again after what happened to him in Minnesota.
But when he meets a woman with an intriguing name and a passion for chocolate, Nate isn’t so sure about his theory. And he might just learn a definition of icing other than the one used in hockey with Kenley as his guide…”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and give an honest review. I’ve always enjoyed Aven’s books (reviews here) so I was keen to get started, especially as this one contained a sexy ice hockey player!

I wasn’t too sure about Kenley to begin with, I guess I found the whole ‘I’m too pretty to be taken seriously’ thing slightly annoying. Nate on the other hand was an instant hit and not just because he was hot but because he had a heart as well. He arrived on the scene at a crucial moment and pretty much saved the day like a true hero.

Kenley ended up being a character who I grew to care about as the story progressed. When she made an embarrassing messaging mistake I couldn’t help but cringe on her behalf – the first sign that I was beginning to warm to her.

Sometimes I felt Nate was a little too perfect and I found myself waiting for something bad to happen, something that would throw everything up in the air and cause some chaos. Both Kenley and Nate were on a journey, they needed to learn to trust again and take a risk with love. The author captured their feelings and hesitance beautifully, creating a story which was as emotional as it was sexy.

CiCi (Kenley’s mum) was actually my favourite character and made me laugh in every scene she was involved with, she definitely added the comedy factor to this book!

WARNING: The Definition of Icing contains talk of delicious chocolate. Being on a diet whilst reading this book meant that I was practically dribbling all over my Kindle as I read the descriptions of all the wonderful chocolates and goodies – yes, even the curry flavour! My name is Kate and I’m a chocoholic.

A lovely ending finished the story off nicely, it wasn’t my favourite from this author but still a great read.

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A Cottage In The Country by Linn B Halton | Cover Reveal And Review

I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be the very first book blogger to reveal the gorgeous covers (a summer and winter version) for Linn B Halton’s latest book – A Cottage in the Country, which is due to be published by Harper Impulse on 16 July 2015.

I think they’re both stunning and capture the atmosphere of the book perfectly!

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“What do you do when your best friend has an affair with your husband of twenty-five years? The father of your two children and the person you trusted with your heart?

Well, you pack your bags, grab half of the equity in the house you’ve both lovingly restored and run away to an idyllic little cottage in the country.

Only, it’s not quite so idyllic when

1) the survey comes back to reveal ‘rustic charm’ actually means rundown.

2) The heavens decide to open on moving day and the rain just keeps on coming.

Maddie Brooks grits her teeth and hires the highly recommended ‘man who can’, ex-soldier, Lewis Hart. As he rips out the very shabby, and decidedly not-so-chic kitchen, reality sets in. Not only is he the most abrupt person she’s ever met, but the man is a Neanderthal!

As the flood waters rise, and the village is cut off, everything that could possibly go wrong, does.

Hitting the big five-o is the final straw. No presents, family or friends—just infuriating Lewis, who can’t leave because the flood has now cut off his exit. How on earth is she going to get through this and put her life back together?

Can Maddie Brooks become that ‘fifty-and-fabulous’ woman of her dreams?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and share my honest review. You should know by now that I’m a big fan of Linn’s writing so it’s fairly obvious that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her latest book.

Once again I was hit by the personal touch that this author always seems to express in her writing. It made me feel like I already knew Maddie and, as she yelled at her sat nav in the opening chapter (something I’ve done many times), I knew she would be a character I took to heart. As each disaster happened, Maddie’s exasperation was palpable. I really felt for her as, one by one, her plans went all wrong.

Lewis was certainly a feisty character, he was a bit of a grump at times but for me that just made him more interesting because I wanted to know why he behaved like that. His moodiness around Maddie created such a tense atmosphere, so much so that I could almost feel the awkwardness sparking off the page at me.

The military element was fascinating, it gave some parts of the storyline a gritty, edgy feel – I liked the combination of a beautiful country cottage with images of war and all the suffering that goes alongside it. The cottage itself sounded wonderful to me, as I was reading I found myself picturing the views so vividly thanks to the clear descriptions. This book has a strong visual side – you just can’t help but see everything playing out in your mind.

Towards the end the storyline took an unexpected direction and this totally threw all my predictions out of the window. I found myself frowning at my Kindle because what was happening in front of me just wasn’t what I had hoped for! Then came another twist that I hadn’t seen coming so at that point I decided to give up trying to guess the ending.

This was a picturesque read with an edgy twist and plenty of surprises to keep you on your toes!

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Website | Twitter: @LinnBHalton | Facebook:  Linn B Halton and Author Linn B Halton | Pinterest | HarperImpulse author page | Romantic Novelists’ Association page | Editor of Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine

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Under The Stars by Linn B Halton

For those of you who don’t already know, The Quintessential Gemini by Linn B Halton has had a stunning makeover by Endeavour Press and has been born again as Under The Stars.

I wanted to re-share my thoughts on it and show you how it looks now because I just adore this new cover, it’s so pretty!

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“Katherine Dale lives her life according to her horoscope. When Katherine finds James has been writing her daily horoscopes rather than Mark, Katherine’s life explodes in confusion as the three lives become inextricably tangled. 

Now Katherine has to learn that the stars might be telling her that love is going to feature in her life

None of the men in her life are love interests – so what exactly does fate have in store?”

MY REVIEW

I was lucky enough to win this eBook from a giveaway on Jera’s Jamboree, I loved the sound of it and was looking forward to getting stuck in especially after reading and enjoying The Restaurant @ The Mill by the same author.

Immediately upon starting this book my mind was filled with questions – Why was it day one of the rest of Katherine’s life? How did she fall over? Why was the cat called No.4? and so on. Obviously I had to find out the answers so I kept on turning those pages and found the explanations I required.

The astrology side of the book was fascinating for me, as was Katherine’s addiction to reading her horoscopes – I couldn’t imagine making any decisions based on my horoscope let alone an important one!  One particular sentence summed up her feelings nicely:

“It’s not that I can’t make a decision; it’s more that I’m scared of making the wrong decision.”

The writing style was comfortable and there were many fun, laugh out loud moments, a few of my favourites being an awkward dinner party, some heated emails and a journey into writing that led to unexpected and, at times, unwanted attention!

James was wonderful, his thoughtfulness and romantic nervousness endeared him to me and the things he did for Jake, his elderly neighbour, were truly lovely to read about.

And now I move on to No.4, Katherine’s cat, and I have to say that for me he was the star of the book! The relationship between him and Katherine was brilliant and something I could totally relate to because I’m just the same with my pets.

A lot of major things happened all at once towards the end so that when I put the book down it took a minute for my brain to catch up!  A sad event made my heart sink, followed by an unexpected announcement that made it lift again and finally a big question which didn’t quite happen because this was when the story ended (my heart didn’t know what to do at this point).

So, after drawing my own conclusions, all in all this was an enjoyable and entertaining read.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Website | Twitter: @LinnBHalton | Facebook:  Linn B Halton and Author Linn B Halton | Pinterest | HarperImpulse author page | Romantic Novelists’ Association page | Editor of Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine

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Truly Madly Greekly by Mandy Baggot

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                  Published in May 2015

“Capable, confident and career-driven, Ellen had her dream job and a marriage proposal from boyfriend Ross. Life was good, her future set. Until it wasn’t and everything fell apart…

Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey’s big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help clear her head and heal her heart. But letting go of her past is not going to be easy.

With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive treats on offer at hotel Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis – Yan – Ellen finds him difficult to resist.

But Ellen isn’t looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo…or is she?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and give an honest review. If you’re a regular reader of Me, My Books and I then you’ll know how much I enjoy Mandy’s books – I was really looking forward to getting stuck into her latest offering!

An intriguing start filled my mind with questions. I was so curious about Ellen and Yan because they both seemed to be harbouring secrets and the mystery surrounding them was something that kept me coming back for more. Their interactions with each other were sometimes quite hostile and I loved this, I think I’ve mentioned before that I love a couple who don’t get on but deep down they actually like each other – kinda romantic isn’t it.

I can’t write this review without mentioning Lacey, what a character, I LOVED her! She pretty much said whatever was going through her mind at the time and this made her super entertaining for me. I would love to read a Lacey-inspired story. The bond between Ellen and Lacey was beautifully written and oh so real. There was no pretending they had the perfect relationship, it was all about capturing the best and worst sisterly moments that made it feel so genuine and such a pleasure to read.

The descriptions of Corfu were wonderful, I could practically feel the sun shining through the words. There was plenty of fun in the sun and lots of laugh out loud moments – my absolute favourite words were “keyboard buttons for breasts”, make of that what you will but it certainly made me choke on my Slim Fast shake!

The epilogue brought a mixture of smiles and happy tears. I also took away an important message from the story – a problem shared is a problem halved, bottling things up doesn’t help anyone.

This was a fun read with plenty of drama and sunshine, perfect material to brighten up a dull day.

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7 Years Bad Sex by Nicky Wells

7 Years Bad Sex Nicky Wells

“One wedding. One curse? Disaster ever after…

A seven-years-bad-sex curse? Surely not! Yet something went wrong when rock singer Casey and drummer Alex got married on that beautiful yacht anchored off St Tropez in the south of France. Something went badly wrong. For even on their wedding night, the young couple discovers a complete and somewhat surprising inability to make love. Muddling through their honeymoon with a string of thin excuses for their predicament, the lovers defer finding a solution (and panicking) until the return to their home in London. After all, they married for life and to make rock music, not for the love of sex. Right?

But when they resume life as normal in London, all hell breaks loose. Increasingly frantic in their quest for release, the unhappy newlyweds embark on a string of hilarious and occasionally harmful antics that drives them, their band, and an assortment of random strangers to the brink of despair. But it ain’t over ‘til it’s over or, in this case… it ain’t over ‘til the newlyweds sing.” 

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and share my honest opinion. How could I not be looking forward to this book? I love Nicky’s writing (my previous reviews can be found here) and the title of this one just screamed ‘you must read me’! I admit I had high expectations for 7 Years Bad Sex and I’m glad it didn’t disappoint.

Giggling like a schoolgirl was pretty much the ongoing theme for me whilst reading this book. Picturing each scene, each predicament just gave me the giggles, especially as Nicky’s fabulous writing made me feel like I was there in the room with them, awkward!

During some of the more embarrassing moments I cringed on behalf of Casey and Alex, their mortification was palpable and I wanted to erase those moments for them because they were such an adorable couple. I was basically willing the two of them to get down to it – I never thought I’d be so wrapped up in someone else’s sex life!

The writing really was engaging, it completely pulled me into the storyline and made me think of it even when I wasn’t reading. I couldn’t stop turning the Kindle pages to find out what crazy, embarrassing thing would happen next and I found myself still reading at midnight on a couple of occasions.

There were a few surprising turns, Casey and Alex made some really odd decisions but I guess desperation (and a lack of communication) can make a person do strange things. Amongst all the funny parts were a few sparkles of tender moments which I really liked because it gave me the chance to see the ‘real’ side of the couple.

I’d like to share some of my favourite parts of the book with you, the parts that really stick out in my mind:

  • A bad breath problem.
  • An embarrassing incident involving workmen.
  • An interesting new bowling game!
  • An urgent 999 call.
  • A jaw dropping relationship counselling session.
  • Last but not least, two words – James and Rodge! Read the book and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

7 Years Bad Sex was a fabulously funny page-turner, I enjoyed every moment.

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Castaway in the Caribbean by Janice Horton

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“Vacationing on the beautiful Caribbean island of Antigua, Janey Sinclair is persuaded by her magazine editor boss to do a quick island hop in order to supervise an impromptu photo-shoot for the front cover. With no flights immediately available, Janey is directed to the harbour.

Captain Travis Mathews hates tourists, although he’s not above making a bit of money off a prissy and sharp tongued young British girl when she’s desperate to get to the neighbouring island of Tortola. After striking a deal, they set off together in Travis’s weather-beaten old boat. When the vessel comes to a sudden full stop in the sea, the mismatched pair end up as castaways on an uninhabited island.

In this fast moving romantic adventure about a vacation that turns into a tropical nightmare there’s more fun than you’ll find in any travel brochure.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and share my honest review. The blurb on this one really caught my attention and I couldn’t wait to start reading.

By the time I reached the end of chapter one I was captivated. Janey’s relationship with her boyfriend seemed a little off but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was that bothered me about it. Janey was soon sent off on work business so I didn’t really get the chance to explore their relationship fully but I soon realised that my sense of unease was justified.

I thoroughly enjoyed the moment Janey first met Travis – I just love it when characters don’t get on, I think it makes the storyline more entertaining. Reading from Travis’ point of view was great because he was just so charming, I wanted to know exactly what was going through his mind when he was laying on that charm. Janey was a wonderful character, she seemed to blossom before my eyes and I loved that about her. Apparently danger was the key to her finding her own strength.

Unusually for me I actually chose to read this book at a slower pace purely because I wanted to savour it for a bit longer – I was enjoying it so much, I didn’t want it to finish. There was a point in the storyline where I thought the end was just around the corner, but to my delight the full adventure was only beginning!

If you’re tired of the dull, damp weather outside then this book is just what you need. The authors words will transport you to the beautifully sunny and warm Caribbean where a tray of ice-cold refreshments (and maybe the odd pirate or two) are waiting for you. But then you stop reading and realise its raining outside again. Oh well, back to the book then – it truly is the perfect book to escape with.

Castaway in the Caribbean is an exciting adventure which takes you on a rollercoaster ride of pirates, danger, treasure, kidnapping and even explosions – utter mayhem in beautiful surroundings!

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Sweet Occasions by Linn B. Halton

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“Katie’s relationship has had more than its fair share of problems. After a difficult few years things begin to pick up and Katie finally realises her dream of opening up a bakery. Sweet Occasions specialises in novelty and celebration cakes, plus the most inspiring range of cupcakes anyone could possibly ask for!

Utilising her passion and skill helps to inject happiness back into her life, but it’s short-lived as things begin to fall apart. The reality is that you need to run a business with your heart AND your head. Help is at hand in the shape of her partner, Steve. He has the necessary experience, but does Katie want to tie herself to him financially, as well as personally?

Then one rainy, wintry day a bedraggled customer steps inside the door to order a cake …

Sometimes a turning point centres around one single moment in time: sometimes it takes two Christmases and three birthdays …”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and share my honest review. I’m a big fan of Linn’s writing so I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. You can read my reviews of Linn’s previous books here.

An intriguing start pulled me into the storyline quickly, I was curious about the mysterious, dripping wet stranger and wanted to know more. I was also keen to find out more about Katie’s business which sounded yummy, especially to someone who is currently on a diet!

If you’re a regular Me, My Books and I reader you’ll know that I love to read from the male point of view, well Sweet Occasions ticked that box beautifully for me as I was regularly treated to Adam’s thoughts on what was going on around him. I also got to read from the perspective of a few other characters giving me an all round feeling of knowledge (something that doesn’t happen every day) and the sense that I was truly involved in their lives.

The romantic tension was interesting and built up as the storyline progressed, I liked that it kept me guessing throughout. Something else I particularly enjoyed were the unexpected touching moments which highlighted the importance of family and the small things that can mean so much to a person.

For me the writing style created a warm, emotional atmosphere and this made it an absolute pleasure to read. The scenes with Adam and Grace oozed that homely feeling you only get when you’re around the ones you love most in the world. While I’m on the subject of Grace, she was definitely a favourite of mine, she was such a powerful character who genuinely touched my heart with her courage and strength. The Epilogue was incredible, it actually gave me goosebumps, it just couldn’t have been more perfect for this story.

Sweet Occasions made me laugh, smile and cry (a lot). A fabulous addition to anyone’s library!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Website

Twitter: @LinnBHalton

Facebook:  Linn B Halton and Author Linn B Halton

Pinterest

HarperImpulse author page

Romantic Novelists’ Association page

Editor of Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine

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