‘My Unexpected Forever’ by Heidi McLaughlin ~ Cover Reveal!

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‘My Unexpected Forever’ by Heidi McLaughlin.

Expected publication: September 2, 2013.

Publisher: Bandit Publishing Company.

My Unexpected Forever by Heidi McLaughlin - Full Jacket

 

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I expected a life of music.

I expected to raise my son.

It took one look to make everything change.

I never expected happiness.

I never expected to find her.

I never expected to feel desire.

I never expected I’d be a family man.

I never expected to be loved.

I never expected to fall in love.

They say you should expect the unexpected.

I didn’t realize my unexpected would be the forever kind.

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Heidi McLaughling is offering My Unexpected Forever up for pre-buy for those attending the Naughty Mafia Rocks Vegas 2013. Pre-buy: http://bit.ly/11JRWEP

Pre-buy My Unexpected Forever for August delivery:
http://heidimclaughlin.com/buy-books/

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heidi mclaughlin

Heidi is the author of USA Today, Digital Book World, Amazon and Barnes & Noble  Bestselling novel, Forever My Girl.

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with  her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell and two Parakeets.

During the day Heidi is behind a desk talking about Land Use. At night, she’s writing one of the many stories planned for release or sitting court-side during either daughter’s basketball games.

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~ Website ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Pinterest ~ Tumblr ~ Facebook ~ Blog ~

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Book Review – ‘Freelance Love’ by Barbara Alvarez.

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`Freelance Love by Barbara Alvarez
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
A Standalone

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SYNOPSIS

Freelance Love is the story of Morgan Adams, who worked to achieve her lifelong dream of becoming a writer, despite the naysayers in her life, like her former boss, John Mack.

John would do anything to get Morgan back into his country clothing store. He would even lie about her honesty and ethics, as long as it means he wins. When Morgan finds out what John has done, she goes into action to protect her reputation and her career as a freelance writer.

Among those helping her is her editor, Ian, an easy-on-the-eyes stickler for good grammar and a well-turned sentence. When Ian finds out what Morgan is dealing with, he lets her know that she can count on him for support, both professional and personal – very personal.

Morgan’s English professor friend at the university puts her in touch with a tenacious bulldog attorney who pins John to the wall on his allegations of outsourcing. As John realizes that Morgan is serious about protecting her reputation, he lawyers up.

While Morgan is battling John in the legal system, she is slowly coming to realize that Ian is more than “just” her editor – and this scares her, because she doesn’t want to lose their good professional rapport. Ian will have to work hard and kiss gently to convince Morgan that they won’t lose their writing and editing edges if they become a couple.

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Book Review – ‘Freelance Love’ by Barbara Alvarez ~ 2 Stars!

I really hate rating books at less than 3 stars, as all books have the potential to be five stars, but oh dear, this book is the perfect example of why authors who self-publish really need to hold fire with putting their books up for sale, and have somebody proof-read and beta it.

Freelance Love had so much potential, it had a great storyline that could have been given the respect it deserved should there not have been so many spelling and grammar errors. In the first three pages (Kindle edition) I highlighted at least eight issues with the writing. The conversations between the characters seemed extremely forced due to poor turn-taking with speech.

Here is an example;

“Hey, Grace, how’s it going? Me, I’m loving writing at home. I can set my own schedule and I am bringing a decent income in. I’m looking for ways of refining my schedule so I can add another client to my schedule.”

As well as grammatical errors, this kind of sentence is in desperate need of polishing and should have been one of the first things to do when you edit your work. This reads very much like a first draft. An issue that also presents itself is turn-taking. The line before it had been explained that main character Morgan was the one who received the phone call from her friend Grace. For one, it seems unrealistic for Morgan to start talking about herself and her own life when Grace was the one who phoned her, and hadn’t even spoken to her yet. Secondly,turn-taking is a must. This conversation would read so much better if this speech was cut up into chunks. For example;

“Hey Grace, how’s it going?”

“Great thanks. How are you enjoying working from home?”

That would have given an opening for Morgan to then talk about her enjoyment of her writing and how she is bringing in a decent income.

Thirdly, why is the word schedule used three times? I know a big no-no in writing is making overly enthusiastic use a thesaurus, but in cases like this using an alternative word is a must. For example;

Instead of;

“I’m looking for ways of refining my schedule so I can add another client to my schedule.”

why not use;

“I’m looking for ways of refining my timetable so that I can add in another client.”

This kind of thing continues on throughout the novel.

The passage of time in this story was also very strange. There were many occasions when Morgan made plans to see someone, a meeting which held potential promise for character and story development, only for the next paragraph or chapter to be set a week later with the meeting only briefly mentioned. If this was how the author wished to set out the story, that is completely fine, but I felt there should have been a mention of the event at the beginning of the paragraph or chapter and a clear indication of how much time had passed. As I found myself waiting for a meeting or event to occur only to find out much later that it had already happened and there had been a gap in time.

I really hate giving bad reviews but this book could have been so great. There was a really interesting and inventive storyline yet the writing read like a first draft and could have been improved so much with another proof-read and edit.

My own suggestion to the author would be that they take the book down from online suppliers, and have two or three people give it a proof-read and then edit accordingly.

2 Stars.


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~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~


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~ Goodreads ~


Blog Stop + Review ~ ‘Illicit Love (Marlow Intrigues #1)’ by Jane Lark.

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‘Illicit Love (Marlow Intrigues #1)’ by Jane Lark Blog Tour!

Welcome to Stop One on the Illicit Love blog tour! Jane Lark is celebrating her first instalment in the Marlow Intrigues series with a HUGE giveaway – including a one night stay in London’s Regency Hotel, a novella, Amazon gift voucher, signed copies of Illicit Love and plenty of swag!


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SYNOPSIS

‘Ellen Harding longs to be free of the life she is trapped in – her husband died at the battle of Waterloo and her family disowned her and now she lives under the reign of a cruel protector. When her eyes are drawn to a beautiful man for no other reason than his looks, she imagines escaping her chains for a night by giving her body to him – to a man of her choosing – even if only to infuriate her captor.

But Edward Marlow is kind and gentle when he touches her and her subconscious whispers that this man could save her. Yet how can he help her when she has secrets which prevent her ever being free. She has too many battles to fight.

Edward is restless, lonely and a little angry with his lot in life – it is his only excuse for being drawn to another man’s mistress. The woman’s dark hair and pale eyes are striking and he cannot take his gaze off of her while she watches him over the top of a fan with an illicit intent in her eyes. But once he’s known her he cannot forget her – and once he’s seen how brutal her protector is, how can leave her with the man? But she will not run anymore than she will speak of her past, so how can he help her…’


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Book Review – ‘Illicit Love (Marlow Intrigues #1)’ by Jane Lark ~ 5 Stars!

A wonderful break from the real world, ‘Illicit Love’ is a beautiful story of the strength of love in the face of adversity and the importance of the bond of family. There is so much that I love about this story but can’t talk about in case it spoils the story development for potential readers, but I will say that this is a superbly written book. I absolutely adored Jane Lark’s writing style, and I am in awe at how beautifully the descriptive prose flowed throughout the novel.

‘Illicit Love’ is very different to a lot of books in the ‘Historical Romance’ genre, and with its very real characters, I feel it gave a more realistic view of life in an era which most of us tend to think of as extremely romantic. Whilst we all tend to swoon at characters such as Mr. Darcy for their respectful and appropriate treatment of women, I really loved the way that hero Edward Marlow was depicted and particularly how he acts with Ellen during their first meeting. Whilst he abhors the treatment young mistresses receive from their ‘owners’, the author is clear to show that above all else, he is still a man, and despite his virtues he still engages in a sexual relationship with heroine Ellen during their first encounter, even if he later regrets his actions. I think a lot of us tend to forget when reading historical romances that men are still men, no matter what era they were born into, and I loved seeing this different side to a romantic hero.

From this I loved everything about Edward and Ellen’s relationship, especially how Ellen blossomed when she was in Edward’s company, but also how she feared that he was too good for her. I liked how despite Edward being a few years younger than Ellen, he seemed wiser than his years, and his experience of the real world therefore didn’t make him seem too young for her.

Despite being at risk of being attacked by feminists everywhere, my favourite character was Edward’s brother Robert. From our first glimpse of Robert I found myself so intrigued with his character, and the obvious pain and heartbreak he was hiding behind a mask of disinterest and sarcasm. Whilst I felt furious at his behaviour towards Ellen during their first meetings, I always had hope that his actions were all due to his desire to protect his brother from harm, and I loved how his character developed throughout the course of the story.

The pace of the novel was so different to many novels, and I really loved it. In many novels you have a huge build-up to the main drama at the end part of the novel, however in ‘Illicit Love’, the story has many peaks and falls in the intensity of the drama, starting well before the mid-way point of the book. It was a brilliant way of keeping the reader’s attention and also giving little snippets of new information that is uncovered from each crisis that is then added together in a stunning conclusion where we finally understand the feelings and actions of the different characters.

The historical context of the novel was well depicted, and I loved the brilliant descriptions of the clothing of both the men and women. I loved how attention was given to the fashion of the time, as it really helped me to integrate myself into the story and feel myself as part of it, rather than merely reading about it from the outside.

This was a fantastic read which I highly recommend to all lovers of romance. A superbly written tale of love, loss, family and bravery, this is one not to be missed. 5 Stars!


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~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~


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Check Out Jane’s New Novella Available At Amazon:

Captured Love – What they say:

‘Rupert Stanforth, Earl of Morton, is missing his cousin’s company. He has too many burdens weighing down his shoulders, including the task of finding his sister, Rowena, a husband.

Meredith Divine has one friend in all the world, Lady Rowena Stanforth. She clings to their friendship as though it is a rope, when she is drowning in a lake of social isolation. Even Rowena’s elder brother cannot stand Meredith. Everyone judges her poorly, simply because her father is in trade. But despite Lord Morton’s constant rejection, Meredith’s heart still favors Rowena’s proud, judgmental brother.

Lord Morton would break the friendship his sister has with Miss Divine if he could, but the more he disparages Miss Divine, the more Rowena favors the girl. He’s ceased his complaints, in the hope the friendship would wither and die, believing the girl would make a wrong step soon. He just did not anticipate what that step might be…’


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Want To Win A Night In London’s Regency Hotel?

The Regency Hotel has been kind enough to support the Illicit Love blog tour by donating a one night stay for two lucky winners this August! Located in the Royal Borough of Chelsea and Kensington, you could find yourself relaxing in one of hotel’s plush new bedrooms or sampling the delights of their incredible traditional afternoon teas.

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Readers have plenty of chances to win:

Either entry via the Rafflecopter below AND/OR add your review of Illicit Love to Amazon and Goodreads and email the review link to Charlotte@BestChickLit.com.

The winner will be emailed a voucher, which can be redeemed for stays during August 2013 only. Giveaway closes 19th July 2013.

 A Rafflecopter Giveaway ~

images-167Win £30 (or $40) Amazon Gift Voucher! Entry via the Rafflecopter below AND/OR add your review of Illicit Love to Amazon and Goodreads and email the review link to Charlotte@BestChickLit.com. a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway closes 19th July 2013 and is open to UK and USA residents only. Win One Of Three Swag Packs With Signed Paperback Copy of Illicit Love Entry via the Rafflecopter below AND/OR add your review of Illicit Love to Amazon and Goodreads and email the review link to Charlotte@BestChickLit.com.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway ~

Giveaway closes 19th July.

Illicit Love giveaways


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Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional love stories. She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis. When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write. You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane’s favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book that drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was ‘Katherine’ a story crafted from reality. Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses them to create more realistic plots. ‘Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it’s wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.’ Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life. Check out Jane’s musical inspirations HERE and HERE.


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Jane Lark

~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Website ~


Spotlight & Review for ‘Killing Sarai’ by J.A. Redmerski

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Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski
(In the Company of Killers #1)
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: 20th June 2013


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SYNOPSIS

From the author of the New York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal bestselling novel, THE EDGE OF NEVER, comes a story of passion and survival…

Sarai was only fourteen when her mother uprooted her to live in Mexico with a notorious drug lord. Over time she forgot what it was like to live a normal life, but she never let go of her hope to escape the compound where she has been held for the past nine years.

Victor is a cold-blooded assassin who, like Sarai, has known only death and violence since he was a young boy. When Victor arrives at the compound to collect details and payment for a hit, Sarai sees him as her only opportunity for escape. But things don’t go as planned and instead of finding transport back to Tucson, she finds herself free from one dangerous man and caught in the clutches of another.

While on the run, Victor strays from his primal nature as he succumbs to his conscience and resolves to help Sarai. As they grow closer, he finds himself willing to risk everything to keep her alive; even his relationship with his devoted brother and liaison, Niklas, who now like everyone else wants Sarai dead.

As Victor and Sarai slowly build a trust, the differences between them seem to lessen, and an unlikely attraction intensifies. But Victor’s brutal skills and experience may not be enough in the end to save her, as the power she unknowingly holds over him may ultimately be what gets her killed.

This is their story…

Age Group: General Adult 17+


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I raise the gun a little higher, settling the barrel at the back of her head, but not touching it. I don’t want her to be afraid before she dies and although I know she fears nothing, death is something we all fear in our final moment even if only the smallest part of us is conscious of it. I don’t want her to fear it at all and she can’t if she doesn’t know that it’s happening.

“How old were you when you became what you are?” she asks.

Caught off guard by the question and maybe more-so by the shifting of the mood, I hesitate before answering.

“I was nine.”

She sniffles and wipes her eyes with the hand near her cheek.

“You were very young,” she goes on. “I guess in a way like me, you never had a chance to live a life of your choosing. I guess maybe we aren’t really so different from each other.” She pauses. “Except I might be more like your brother than I care to admit. He’s as angry as I am.”

I release my finger from the trigger and slowly, so she doesn’t know, move the barrel away from the back of her head.

“It must’ve been hard growing up with Niklas,” she says.

I set the gun back on the bed next to me and before I know what I’m doing I’m cradling the back of her head in my hand again.


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~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~


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My Review ~ ‘Killing Sarai’ by J.A. Redmerski ~ 5 Stars

I’ve spent the last few hours since I finished this book struggling to write a review, as all I seem to be typing is ‘wow’. ‘Killing Sarai’ is a phenomenal book, and is one of those stories that has you on tenterhooks from beginning to end.

I’m not usually one for gangster/mob type stories, and have only recently begun to really enjoy this type of genre, and I am so glad that I have branched out to reading this type of story, otherwise I’d never have read this incredible book.

I loved how the characters were depicted in this book, especially since in a lot of these types of books, the hero tends to be a bit romanticised. I loved that there were no false impressions given of the characters. Nobody apologised for who they were, or tried to make excuses for their behaviour, they accepted their load in life and got on with it, and this was such a refreshing change, and really made me connect to the characters so easily.

The development of the characters in this book, in particular Sarai, was stunning to read. There was a real transition between the girl we see at the beginning of the book, and the more hardened girl who we see at the end. I loved that there was a real question that resonated within me as a reader as to the question of nature versus nurture. By having witnessed all of the things that they have in their lives, does this mean that there is no hope for Sarai and Victor to leave this life behind them, or are they permanently scarred by their experiences.

The way the importance of family runs through the story and between the characters was a beautiful addition to a wonderful love story. We question whether the bond between brothers is stronger than the bond between a man and a woman he has sworn to himself to protect. Niklas’ character was one that I imagine a lot of people will dislike, but I instead found myself sympathising with him, despite being afraid of his actions. Sarai has never had a proper family, and has grown up only with those who she has then lost. For Victor and Niklas, through all the losses in their lives, they have always stood by each other, even when they had to stand against powerful people to do so. Their loyalty and devotion to each other was beautiful and I really admired Sarai for telling Victor that she wished she had a similar sibling relationship.

Overall this was an amazing novel, that really question’s what to be innocent is. A heartwarming and heartbreaking story of love, loss, betrayal and destiny.

5 Stars


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J.A. Redmerski

J.A. Redmerski, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of THE EDGE OF NEVER lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead.


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~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Website ~


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Zombified Release Party!

Zombified Release Party!!

Join us on Friday, June 21, for the release of Zombie War: Zombified, the final in the Zombie War Trilogy by Jean Booth!

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Zombie War: Zombified

Supporting her brother during his experimental treatments, Jessica finds herself betrayed by the one person she loves more than anything. Now she’s forced to either give up, or find a way to survive with what he’s done to her. Craving things she never imagined, her body has transformed into a killing machine, bent on consuming the one thing she can’t live without – brains.

After months of killing, Jessica searches for a way to either end her existence or continue on without having to constantly kill others. She hears of a group of survivors and knows this is her chance. Now she’ll either live or die. The choice would be Sarah’s, the leader of this band of survivors.

Wounded from the fighting, infected blood mixing with hers from the slaughter, Sarah finds herself fighting for her life. Will her boyfriend, Matt, help her end it all, or will she become the monster they’ve been fighting against and devour all those she’d come to protect?

While watching Sarah struggle with the infection, Matt wonders, “Could I kill the one I love, to survive?”

On Friday, June 21, there’ll be a crazy fun blog party going on – The Zombified Release Party!  Jean will be hosting on her blog that day and is inviting anyone who’d like to participate, to join.

Here’s all you need to do –

Stop by Jean’s blog on Friday, June 21 and leave a comment – this’ll enter you in the drawing for signed copies of any two of Jean’s books – your choice!

Post a picture on your blog of you dressed up for Halloween and tell us a little about that fun time in your life, link it to Jean’s blog and you’ll be entered into the drawing for signed copies of any three of Jean’s books – your choice!

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On Friday, June 21 post a review of any of the Zombie War books (Zombie War: The Beginning, Zombie War: Little Apocalypse on the Prairie, or Zombie War: Zombified) or an interview of Jean on your blog and get entered into the grand prize drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card!

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As a nurse in the genetics department, Sarah witnessed firsthand the mutation of the AIDS vaccine. The affected patients attacked other people, craving the power of the human brain. The vaccine turned viral, spreading quickly. Sarah was among the few survivors of the initial attack, quickly learning how to defend against the undead horde. Would she make it in time to save those she loved? Even if she did, how would they survive in this horrific new world?

It’s been six months since the vaccine went bad and introduced zombies into the world. Matt and Sarah have gathered all the survivors they could find, protecting and teaching them how to survive in this post-infected world. They’ve arranged for one last raid into town to try and survive through the oncoming winter. Trouble is, no one could truly prepare them for what they encounter once they arrive.

Those remaining on the farm have been trained and organized into a cohesive unit. Would they be strong enough together when it really matters? Would any of them survive the Little Apocalypse on the Prairie?

 About the Author

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Jean Booth was born in the sweltering Vegas desert. She moved about during her childhood until returning to her roots in Northern Nevada. She’s happily married with 9 cats as her children. For the entirety of her adult life, she’s worked in healthcare, battling insurances and poor staffing to provide great care to those who need it. Her greatest escapes are the stories found in books and in her head that she’s finally decided to share. She can be found at http://www.JeanBooth.com

Connect with Jean on:

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Book Review – ‘Down London Road (On Dublin Street #2)’ by Samantha Young.

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Down London Road by Samantha Young
(On Dublin Street #2)
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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SYNOPSIS

Johanna Walker knows what she wants. And that’s a strong, steady, financially secure man who will treat her well and look after her and her little brother, Cole – something her parents have never done.

But when she meets the gorgeous Cameron MacCabe, a new bartender at work, Jo can’t deny the instant and undeniable attraction she feels. Cam doesn’t fit into her strict specifications of her perfect partner at all – but for once she is tempted to let her heart rule her head.

And as their intense connection grows, Jo has to stop hiding the truth about herself and her family. Is Cam prepared to accept Jo for who she really is? And is Jo willing to let someone into her life for keeps?

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Book Review – ‘Down London Road (On Dublin Street #2)’ by Samantha Young.

Another fantabulous book in the ‘On Dublin Street’ verse, and another 5 amazing brilliant stars! The writing was, as always, technically flawless, and the writing style was beautiful and heartfelt, which always helps me to see the characters as real people rather than just characters on a page. This is something that Samantha Young’s writing always brings to me.

In ‘Down London Road’ some brilliant characters are introduced  that I really connected to. I loved reading about Jo and her parental protectiveness of her younger brother Cole, as it really added another dimension to the story that I was so excited to read. I really loved seeing how protective Jo was of him and how her whole life and the choices she makes revolve around her looking after her brother and making his future as secure as she can. Jo’s storyline brilliantly highlights the importance of not judging people by first impressions. When I realised that the main character of ‘Down London Road’ Johanna Walker was in fact the same girl who blatantly threw herself at Braden in ‘On Dublin Street’, I was a little bit worried about whether I’d connect to her character. My love for Braden and Joss as a couple had me cautious to see one of Braden’s other admirers close up. I really shouldn’t have worried as I connected so deeply to Jo’s character, and within the first few pages I was shown a whole other side to her character which you realise she had hidden in the past, and her story was written with such grace that I felt like I was experiencing every emotion of Jo’s as I read her story.

Cam was the perfect match for Jo. I loved the development of his and Jo’s relationship, as in some ways, it started in the same way that the reader’s relationship with Jo started. We had first impressions of her that were proved to be nothing but false, and Cam held the same bad opinion of Jo from their first encounter, which he held on to like a dog with a bone out of loyalty for his Uncle who had been whisked away from him by another gold digger woman. The development of Jo and Cam’s relationship was wonderful as it really coincided beautifully with Cam beginning to see just how different Jo was to what he expected and he also became closer to Cole. Whilst Cam couldn’t quite replace Braden in my heart, I absolutely reading his and Jo’s story, and it was made all the better by the little glimpses we see from Jo of how important Joss and Braden are to her, and how they are all there for each other when they need each other.

I’m always stunned by Samantha Young’s heartfelt writing, and I can’t recommend this book enough. A wonderful read and five dazzling shiny stars.


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~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~


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Samantha Young

~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Website ~