Isla Winters' life revolves around her younger sister Hannah who, following an accident in which their parents died, is now in a wheelchair. Isla goes from her work for an international construction company to her home in Notting Hill where she takes care of her sister, without much of a social or dating life - if you don't count the 5am coffee visits from the postman and the old woman living next to her. Her already busy work schedule, that includes preparing for the office Christmas party, is disrupted by the arrival in London of the company's CEO, Chase Bryan. Suddenly she finds herself in the role of his secretary, or Go-To girl, helping him with a new project she doesn't approve of and taking him and his daughters for beautiful tours around London. And as her feelings for Chase move from professional to something more, Isla discovers that his interest in Notting Hill is not just as a visitor.
At the beginning, I didn't really like the characters of Isla and Chase, she was too overprotective towards her sister, and he was too focused on his job and still licking his wounds from his divorce, and I couldn't really connect with them. But the more I read, the more their characters developed, and in the end I couldn't help liking them and wanted to read more. I also really enjoyed Chase's daughters, Brooke and Maddie, whose interactions added hilarity to the novel. It’s an entertaining, romantic, and engaging read and Notting Hill at Christmas time is the perfect setting to frame it all. (NP)
When Imogen discovers her brother Harry has impulsively decided to buy a Greek restaurant in Corfu that is in desperate need of some TLC, she decides she can’t possibly let him take on this adventure by himself. Besides, who would say no to a few weeks in sunny Greece? However, the restaurant is in an even worse condition than first thought and Harry is quite adamant on opening the place within two weeks. Imogen meets property developer Panos Dimitriou, who is keen on buying back his grandmother’s restaurant and is willing to do whatever is needed to get the property. The sparks between Imogen and Panos are difficult to ignore, but Imogen knows she can’t betray her brother who seems determined on making the restaurant a success. Suddenly, Corfu offers a lot more excitement than Imogen expected; excitement that forces her to make some pretty big life-altering decisions.
Mandy Baggot has once again treated us to a lovely summer romance read that I enjoyed from start to finish. While getting the place ready for business, Imogen and Harry meet several people including previous owner Elpida, who is the star of every scene she appears in, and Panos, her handsome grandson and also a businessman who has different plans for the local restaurants. While I straight away liked Imogen, it took me a bit of time to warm to Panos, who seems to be solely focused on making money, but as the story progresses we also, luckily, get to see a different side of him. While I enjoyed both the romance storyline between Imogen and Panos and the storyline focusing on Harry and his restaurant, I couldn't help but sometimes feel something was missing. Here and there I felt it was a bit too slow-paced or could have used another storyline to keep the reader entertained. I do want to applaud the author, though, for her descriptive writing style that made it so easy to almost see, feel and smell Greece, which definitely added to the reading experience. (JoH)
Honor Blackwood was a revered country music star before an on-stage assault effectively ended her career. Now 10 years on, Honor is considering returning to the stage. When country music star and bad boy Jed Marshall sets his sights on Honor to support him on his upcoming tour, the attraction between the two is undeniable. But Jed's past is about to catch up with him. Can Honor see past it to find the man she loves, and get her career restarted at the same time?
I'm not really a country music fan but this book may make me rethink that! The Nashville music scene is portrayed so vividly that I could almost hear the guitars strumming. Jed Marshall is a charming and charismatic romantic hero, a sweet Southern boy with a dark and mysterious past, and Honor is so humble and relatable I couldn't help but connect with her. These two damaged individuals are drawn to each other, and help each other heal, in a real-feel good story with plenty of juicy plot twists to keep you hooked to the last page. (LO)
Robyn Matthers is back in America after spending nine years in the UK. She flies back to meet her ill father, to deal with his punk girlfriend, to restore their roadhouse to its former glory and to take the charge of a community ice-hockey team. She not only meets charming Cole Ryan, a former ice-hockey player who could be a new member of her team much to the dismay of other members, she also unexpectedly bumps into the man who was the reason why she left America in the first place. Things take a turn for the worse when she is forced to leave her aunt's house because of her cunning twin sisters and has left no place to go but Cole's. Is it possible that she could fall in love with him in just three days while her ex-boyfriend Brad wants nothing from her but a second chance? This book is fast and bubbly.
A perfect read for those who believe that love can happen when you least expect it. (SS)
When single mother Kate is forced to employ Joel, a male escort, to accompany her to a business dinner, they end up competing in a relationship contest, with a 100,000-pound prize. Kate is desperate to win and save face, despite the fact that she and Joel barely know each other. With her ex-husband back on the scene, and a two-year-old to raise alone, with Kate be able to juggle every aspect of her life and still learn enough about Joel to win the contest?
I instantly liked the main character Kate, she was so relatable and easy to warm to. I couldn't help but think I'd like to be her friend, which is always a good thing as I genuinely cared about her throughout. Her evolving relationship with Joel was interesting and I absolutely loved the whole Knowing Me Knowing You contest! From the Love Dove to the stereotypically sparkly and upbeat host, it was all so well written and entertaining! Despite the fact that I had the Abba song stuck in my head the whole time while reading, this was a very funny and entertaining read. (LO)
When Freya overhears her boyfriend calling her large and plain, she does what she does best - she runs away. She hops on the next plane to Corfu and her best friend Emma, the one constant in her life. There she meets Hollywood actor Nicholas Kaden who is on location shooting a film, and an unlikely romance begins. But when secrets are revealed by both parties, will the relationship survive?
This was such an enjoyable read. Freya is a really relatable character, and I liked her from the start. I liked how more and more of her character and her life was revealed piece by piece, and even her revelation about her past didn't change my opinion of her. Nick is also a great character, genuine and likeable, when at first I felt he might be pompous. I thought the ending was maybe a bit rushed but overall I really liked this book. (LO)