Blog Tour: The Summer of Chasing Dreams – Holly Martin

Blog Tour: The Summer of Chasing Dreams – Holly Martin

Holly Martin is back with another outstanding summer feel good read. This time we meet Eva and Thor, the man of any woman’s dreams. Following the death of her mum, Eva comes across a box in her mother’s loft, full of dreams. Eva decides to use the money left to her by her Mum, to fulfill the dreams her Mum never got to experience, taking Eva out of her comfort zone. In order to to make her Mother’s dreams come true, Eva enlists the help of a guide to help her plan and travel the world. But at the last minute her guide changes, leaving Eva with Thor as her guide.

Now I don’t want to give too much away, but Thor is the one person Eva definitely did not want to be stuck with on a round the world trip. But as they spend time together, Eva begins to see another side to Thor.

The Summer of Chasing Dreams is a real feel good read, I literally could not put it down. The words flowed and I was whisked away in to Eva’s world. Eva was an easy to love character, there was no part of her I didn’t like. She is kind, caring and brave and I loved joining her on this adventure of a lifetime, with all the ups and downs this involved. It was fascinating learning more about her back story and discovering with her secrets kept by her Mum.

Then there is Thor. There is so much to Thor than there first appears. Other than his Godly name and body, there is this fun loving and sensitive guy. I loved the dual narrative of the story, enabling me as a reader to learn things about Thor and his perspective of events and Eva. Thor is a strong and compelling character, whom I couldn’t help but fall in love with.

The whole story worked superbly, I loved the use of the postcards from Eva, this really added to the story for me and brought a new insight in to Eva’s thoughts and experiences.

As for the experiences and countries visited by Thor and Eva,WOW! Holly really managed to capture my imagination with these. The detailed descriptions and little facts, added a whole other dimension to an already awesome book. I could picture vividly the scenes as if I were experiencing them myself. I was literally blown away and really would like to visit some of these places.

So Holly, thank you for once again giving us a cracker of a book. This is an awesome feel good, romantic read. I loved every single second of this book, my only regret is that I devoured it so quickly. I would so love to meet these characters again. I think Eva and Thor may be my favourite book characters to date.

So for those looking for a book to lose yourself in that will leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling. This is the book for you. What are you waiting for?

The Summer of Chasing Dreams Book Cover The Summer of Chasing Dreams
Holly Martin

The stunning new story from the bestselling author of The Cottage on Sunshine Beach. A joyously romantic, feel-good summer read. Eva Blue is about to go on a trip of a lifetime, but one adventure she didn't count on was falling in love...

Eva is quite content with her life in London. In her job as a cover designer, she works at home, and often in her cosy pyjamas. She's happy to stay in her safe little world and not explore much outside of it.

She is the opposite of her mum, a free spirit who craved finding adventure and thrills in all corners of the world. But on the day her mum’s will is finalised, Eva finds a list of all the dreams her mum wanted to achieve in her life. Things she never did because she fell pregnant with Eva.

Eva decides these dreams will not go unfulfilled - she is going to be brave and complete them for her mum. As Eva has no experience travelling the world, she hires a guide to go with her on this holiday.

Gorgeous but rude Thor Anderson is not the person she would choose to accompany her on this journey, but somehow she gets stuck with him. As they discover the world together Eva starts to think he might not be as bad as she first thought. She is swept away by Thor's kindness and mischievous sense of humour. But will it be a simple holiday romance or could this wonderful adventure lead to so much more?

Discover an unforgettable romance this summer. If you enjoy reading Sarah Morgan, Miranda Dickinson and Jill Mansell, this book is for you.

Chapter One exclusive: Surviving The Rachel – Aven Ellis

Chapter One exclusive: Surviving The Rachel – Aven Ellis

Drastic times call for drastic measures.
I wrinkle my nose as I stare at my reflection in my mirror. Okay, so that might be a wee bit dramatic on my part, but I do feel the need for a change.
Like a haircut.
A serious haircut.
I remove the rubber band holding my long, jet-black locks in place and shake out my hair, which I haven’t changed since college.
Nothing screams “I’m a woman ready for change” like an entirely new hairstyle.
And if anyone needs a change, it’s me, Bree Logan.
I study myself in the mirror. My green eyes stare back at me, and I think of how my summer can be recapped into three major events. First, I graduated with honors from the University of Arizona, but I can’t find an entry-level job in advertising. Next, my boyfriend Alex—who I thought was The One—dumped me after graduation and bailed on our apartment in Chicago. And due to lack of gainful employment and my stupid ex-boyfriend not giving me any money toward breaking the lease, I had to move back home with my mom and dad.
I bite my lip for a moment. Okay, yes, that’s my crappy summer. So if anyone needs a haircut to signal change, it’s me.
I’m ready to start over.
I’ll keep looking for a break in advertising while working as a cocktail server at the Bradley Scott Hotel downtown. I’ll pay off the money I borrowed from my best friend, Avery Andrews, to break the lease of the apartment in Lincoln Park. Then I’ll save up so I can move back to the city and have that post-graduate life I dreamed of and planned for.
Suddenly there’s a rap on my doorframe. I turn and see my mom standing there with a bottle of water.
“I thought you might need another one after unpacking these boxes,” Mom says, stepping around the boxes that I have piled in my room.
I turn and smile gratefully at her. “Thank you.”
Diva, my mom’s toy Pomeranian, is right on her heels and begins barking and growling at me.
“Now, Diva, Bree isn’t a guest, she’s home now,” Mom says soothingly, picking her dog up and cradling her to her chest. “You need to get used to that, Precious.”
I almost laugh. Leave it to the dog to remind me of my inability to pay rent and land a professional job.
“I’m thinking of cutting my hair,” I announce, unscrewing the cap on the bottle of water and taking a sip. “Maybe go into the city this afternoon and get it done by some cool professional.”
“Oh, Bree, are you sure, sweetheart? Maybe you should start with more layers or something? I don’t want you to do anything you’ll regret.”
“No, I’m ready for change in my life,” I say honestly. “I feel like this is symbolic of that change, you know?”
Mom sits down on my bed, next to a box of pictures. She puts Diva down and begins to sift through them.
“I can understand that,” Mom says. “Oh, I love this picture of you and your friends.”
I smile as Mom shows me a picture taken in July at Wrigley Field. It’s me and Avery, my best friend since middle school, our mutual friend, Emma Davenport, Avery’s boyfriend, Deacon Ryan, and his brother, Zach.
“That was a fun afternoon,” I say, smiling at the memory.
Mom sifts through a few more and then glances up at me. “I notice there are no pictures of Alex in here.”
I sit down on the other side of the box and frown. “I got rid of all of them,” I admit. “Looking at them was like being reminded how stupid I was to even think he could have been The One.”
“Sweetie, you were a young girl in love for the first time,” Mom says soothingly. “Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
I flop backward on my bed and groan. “Oh, but Mom, I was so blind. There were so many red flags. Like how he never wanted to do anything I wanted to do, we always did what Alex wanted to do. He was never interested in what I had to say. We always had to party when I wanted to go get a Starbucks some nights. And I was always driving him around because he got so drunk all the time. What did I see in him? How could I ignore all that?”
Mom drops the pictures back into the box. “You were in love with him. And sometimes that can make you blind, Bree. But you’ve learned from this, and that’s a good thing.”
I sit back up. “Oh, yes, I’ve learned all right. My next boyfriend isn’t going to be a selfish partying jerk.”
“So are you ready to date again?” Mom asks in a hopeful tone.
I see she’s grinning at the prospect, no doubt eager to start finding potential men for me.
“No. The last thing I need is to be dealing with dating when I’m trying to get my career off the ground.”
“Are you sure? Have you seen the Cheltens’ grandsons, Jack and Eric, yet? I keep telling you to go over next door and introduce yourself. They are such nice boys and they are your age, Jack is the older one, he’s twenty-five, and Eric is—”
“Oh no. No, no, no. I know what you’re thinking. No.”
“What am I thinking?”
“That I’ll end up dating one of them,” I say, giving my mom the suspicious eye.
“Well, Eric is very charming and available,” Mom declares.
I furrow my brow. “How do you know?”
“I asked.”
“Gah, Mom,” I wail, putting my hands over my face. “Please tell me you didn’t.”
“Of course I did,” she explains. “It’s called making conversation.”
No, it’s called scouting the field for your daughter.
“Well, I’m not interested. I’m not ready.”
“That’s too bad, because that Eric is so cute. Jack is, too, but Eric is just charming,” she says as she stands up. “Well, I’m going out to the garden. Lots of work to do. Oh, by the way, your father and I have plans for a movie and dinner tonight. If you are home by five, you can join us.”
Good lord. I thought being a third wheel with Avery and Deke was bad enough, but resorting to being a third wheel on my parents’ date?
That is a whole new level of hideousness I do not want to experience.
“Um, thanks, but I think I’ll just stay in tonight,” I say honestly. Which appeals to me. I haven’t had a Saturday night off in forever, and I want to order a pizza and have a movie marathon.
“All right,” Mom says. “Come on, Diva, let’s go outside.”
Diva barks happily and follows my mom out the door. I pick up my phone and do a search for some modern, hip, downtown Chicago salon. City chic, that’s what I want. I scroll through suggestions from Google until I see this:
Fringe Chic Spa & Salon—Modern Hair for Chicago’s Modern Woman
I call the salon, hoping against hope there might be a cancellation or opening today.
“Fringe Chic Spa & Salon, how can I help you?” says an utterly bored-sounding woman.
“Erm, yes, I’m calling to see if it is possible to get a haircut today?” I ask hopefully.
“Frederic is booked solid for months. So are Javier and Orlando,” she says as I hear keystrokes on her keyboard. “But you can have an appointment with Marcolo if you can get here in one hour.”
One hour? It takes about 45 minutes to drive there if traffic is awesome.
“Okay,” I say as if suddenly this haircut is the most important thing ever. “Um, how much is a haircut?” I ask as I realize I neglected to look at the prices on the website.
Wow? That’s not bad at all for a downtown salon.
“For the cut,” the receptionist says haughtily, interrupting my thoughts. “If you want it dried and styled, as I am sure you do, that will be an additional $120.”
“Of course,” I say, mentally calculating cut + style + tip + parking downtown and the slim availability left on my MasterCard . . . and I’ll just make it.
By five dollars.
The receptionist takes my name, says they’ll see me at two o’clock, and hangs up. I frantically toss on a coral-colored maxi dress. I slide into my flip-flops and hesitate as I glance down at my toes. Crap, my pedicure looks like hell. I ditch those shoes and put on some espadrilles instead. Better.
I grab my purse and dash down the stairs. I slide the patio door open and pop my head out. As soon as I do, Diva begins barking and growling at me again.
“Mom,” I say over the barking, “I’m going into the city to get my hair cut.”
My mom glances up from the rose bush she’s pruning. “Okay, good luck.”
“All the way to the city for a haircut?” my dad asks. “That sounds extreme.”
“I want it to be chic,” I explain.
“They can’t cut chic hair in the suburbs?”
“Dad, I want it done in the city. So I’m going now,” I yell over Diva’s yip-yap-yip-yapping. “See you later.” And with those words, I bolt out the door.
Luckily traffic into the city isn’t bad, and I pull up to the valet stand with a few minutes to spare. After I hand over my keys, I step inside the posh salon. It’s all black and white and silver, with funky light fixtures hanging down from the ceiling. I see Chicago’s elite drinking champagne and being fussed over by stylists all dressed in black. The music is edgy sounding. Everything, in one word, is incredibly hip.
Hip. That is who the new Bree is going to be. Edgy and hip and ready to reclaim her life.
I approach the receptionist, who appears just as bored in person as she sounded on the phone. She is texting on her iPhone and only looks up after I clear my throat.
“Hello, I’m Bree. I have an appointment with Marcolo,” I say.
The girl nods. She punches a button on her headset and speaks into her mic. “Marcolo, your appointment is here.” She disconnects and shifts her attention back to her iPhone, not even glancing at me. “He will be right up.”
Alrighty then.
I take a seat in a sleek black and chrome chair and restlessly tap my foot. I’m excited about this. I haven’t deviated from my style much since college, and this will give me just the boost of confidence I need to go out and attack the advertising job front again.
I see a young man with a bright pink Mohawk approaching me. He’s very tall—about 6’4—and rail thin. He is wearing all black, of course, and has piercings in his nose. And tattoo sleeves.
Perfect, I think happily. He’s cool and young and will totally be able to give me an awesome new hairstyle.
“Bree?” he asks in a high-pitch feminine-sounding voice.
I stand up and smile. “I’m Bree.”
“Hello, I’m Marcolo,” he says, extending his hand. “Pleased to meet you, Bree. Come on back.”
I nod and follow Marcolo to his station. I slide into the chair, and he lifts up my hair. “What can I do for you today?”
“I need a change,” I say. In more ways than one. “I’m open to anything.”
“Ooooh, I love that,” Marcolo says excitedly. “Tell me about yourself. Your interests, what you do, so I can create a vision for you.”
Wow, Marcolo is going to create a vision? I totally lucked out getting in to see him today!
“Well, I recently graduated from the University of Arizona,” I start out, meeting Marcolo’s eyes in the mirror. “I want to work in advertising, as an account representative.”
“Mmmmmmm, what about your interests?” Marcolo says, playing with my hair.
“I like being outside,” I say. “I like taking nature walks. I love good conversations, whether over a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. I love shopping. And I’m obsessed with the show Friends. I know every episode by heart.”
Marcolo stops playing with my hair. “Interesting. Who is your favorite Friends character?”
“Oh, easy. Rachel. I love Rachel Green.”
Marcolo spins the chair around, so I’m facing him. “I’m inspired. I have a brilliant idea.”
Yes! I’m going to look fabulous when he’s finished; I can just tell.
“Really?” I ask, smiling at him.
“Let’s give you a modified Rachel cut.”
I pause. “Do you mean The Rachel?” I say, referring to the haircut that exploded during the 90’s when Friends came on the scene.
“Yes. But with an edge.”
I bite my lip. “But . . . that cut was popular a long time ago. I’m not sure about all those layers.”
“This is not going to be that cut,” Marcolo explains excitedly. “Fewer layers, some bangs. It will be fresh and sexy.”
“I don’t know.”
“Bree, you said you wanted a change. I’m offering you something fresh and familiar at the same time. What do you think?
​Marcolo works at one of the best salons in Chicago. He wouldn’t lead me wrong, right?
I take a deep breath and nod excitedly. “Let’s do it. Give me the modern Rachel.”
And with those words, I put my faith in Marcolo’s vision—and his scissors.
I sit in my car and stare at my reflection in the mirror on the driver’s side visor.
My hair does not look like a fresh, modern, version of The Rachel.
It looks exactly like The Rachel.
Which might be awesome if it were 1994.
But it’s not.
Arrrrrrrrrrrgh! Oh, but I don’t just have The Rachel. I have one with heavy bangs cut in, Marcolo’s “modern” twist.
My beautiful black hair is now in that infamous, choppy cut. Looking incredibly old and dated. And the bangs make it extra hideous.
Why, why, why, did I agree to this? Why?
I slam my visor up. I hear a driver leaning on the horn behind me, so I need to focus and move.
Anger fills me as I think about my hideous new hair. New, hip, edgy woman, my ass! If I were to slap a denim vest on over a floral dress, I’d be a perfect specimen from the Central Perk set on Friends in the 90’s.
I groan aloud. Of course, I want to work in “Image is everything” advertising. Who the hell is going to hire me with this outdated haircut?
Hmmm, let’s see . . . Nobody!
I fume as I navigate my way toward the expressway. And not that I’m remotely ready to think about dating, but no guy is going to ask me out with this shitty hair either.
A bit of my anger dissipates with that thought. I guess that’s a bonus. Maybe by the time all these freaking layers have grown out, I’ll be ready to go on a date.
There is more traffic on the way back, but I don’t care. I have no plans for tonight, other than to sit around with hair clips and try to figure out if there is any way to fix Marcolo’s disaster of a haircut. Oh, yes. And maybe I’ll get a bottle of wine and down a few glasses. Along with a box of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies that my mother keeps stashed in the freezer. Crappy haircuts call for a crappy dinner.
I park in front of the garage, then I make my way up the front steps and thrust the key into the lock. Diva is already growling and yipping at the door. Ah, yes, the perfect ender to the evening. Diva will probably bark more now because I look scary with this stupid outdated hair, too.
I open the door, and before I know it, Diva shoots in between my legs and down the steps, and across the lawn to the Cheltens’ house.
“Diva!” I scream, taking off after her. “Diva, come back here!”
I watch in horror as she runs up to the neighbor’s porch. A young man is coming outside and stops when Diva moves straight toward him.
“Stop her,” I plead.
The guy goes to shut his door, but Diva shoots right past him—and into his house.
“Hey, hey, come back here,” he says, heading back inside after Diva.
I sprint up the steps and bound into his house after him, only to find Diva running around in circles around his living room.
“What is wrong with her?” he asks.
“She’s insane,” I cry. “Diva, stop!”
Diva jumps on a chintz couch to avoid me. I dive toward her, but she leaps down onto the floor and under a dark, cherry-wood table. Now the guy is trying to catch her, but he misses as she dodges around a white Queen Anne style chair to avoid his grasp. Finally, she stops. And pees all over his hardwood floor, narrowly avoiding the floral rug that is the centerpiece of the living room.
“Oh no,” I gasp, my hand flying over my mouth. “I’m so sorry!”
I turn to the guy, who is gazing back at me. For a brief second, I’m distracted from the disaster at hand. His dark-blue eyes flicker at me, and I stare back into his face, one filled with freckles. It’s an interesting combination—the reddish-brown hair, tousled with gel, the dark-blue eyes, and the freckled face . . .
Then I realize I need to clean up after Diva.
“Please, let me get some paper towels so I can blot it up,” I say in an embarrassed rush. “Then I’ll take Diva home, and I’ll come back to clean the floor for you.”
He’s silent for a moment. I’m waiting for him to explode, but then he simply clears his throat.
“So is this,” he says, sweeping his arm out toward Diva and her puddle, “how you planned to introduce yourself to me, Breanna Logan?”

Surviving The Rachel Book Cover

Surviving The Rachel

Aven Ellis

Soul Mate Publishing


Life after college graduation is not at all what twenty-one-year-old Bree Logan expected. Unable to find a professional communications job, dumped by the guy who was THE ONE, and stuck with a pricey city apartment she can’t afford, Bree ends up moving back home with her parents in the suburbs and working as a cocktail waitress at a posh Chicago hotel.

In a desperate attempt to get a fresh start, Bree goes to a hip salon and requests that the first available stylist chop off her long dark hair. Alarmed when the stylist suggests “The Rachel,” after the famous haircut from the show Friends, Bree is hesitant, but decides to go for it when she is assured it will be a “fresh, modern adaptation” of the infamous 90’s cut. Unfortunately for Bree, it turns out to be exactly the same cut, but with horrific heavy bangs added to it. Hideous doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Bree is convinced nothing will ever go right when she meets neighbor Jack Chelten, a twenty-five-year-old German translator. Not that Bree is looking to date anyone, but there's something quirky and intriguing about his freckle-splashed face and blue eyes. And suddenly Bree finds herself seeking out different opportunities and challenges . . . as well as the boy next door.

In her new adult life, Bree learns that sometimes you have to go through crises to get to where you need to be. And if you can survive The Rachel, you can survive anything, right?

How Not To Be Starstruck – Portia MacIntosh

How Not To Be Starstruck – Portia MacIntosh

How Not To Be Starstruck follows on from Portia’s novella Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place and follows Nicole and her party life style as she rubs shoulders with celebs. However, Nicole’s drunken antics and partying ways soon land her in hot water and jepardises everything she has worked so hard for. Nicole has no choice but to take a step back and re evaluate her life, with some surprising results.

I would like to thank Portia and the Gosling Girls for providing me win an e copy of this book for review.

I had been eagerly awaiting this book after reviewing Portia’s novella earlier this year, as I was desperate to find out more about Nicole and her world. I was quickly immersed within the pages of this novel and I just could not put it down, I devoured this book in one sitting. Portia has an addictive and light hearted writing style that hooks you from page one and drags you in to the whirl wind life of her characters. Each character was finely developed and each had their own quirks and personalities, which were not only amusing but really added depth and humour to this novel.

I loved this book from page one and was fascinated to have this insight in to the celeb world. There were so many twists and turns, that I was never sure what would happen next, this kept the plot fresh and interesting and completely unpredictable. HNTBSS is a fast paced and comical read from start to finish, it is a fabulously easy read and I found it to be a brilliant escape from reality.

I can not recommend this book highly enough, it is a must read for any one fancying a light hearted and humorous read, which can be devoured in one sitting. I am desperate for Portia to write another novel about Nicole and her celeb friends Luke and Dylan, I need to know what happens next and what happens in the next chapter of their lives.

How Not To Be Starstruck Book Cover

How Not To Be Starstruck

Portia MacIntosh





Nicole Wilde’s life is one of sell-out gigs, bunking on tour buses, trashing hotels and partying with the band all night long. But she’s not in the band. She is a music journalist, paid to be the world’s greatest groupie– and she loves it!

Nicole has the party lifestyle – and the hangovers to prove it – but no one stops her in the supermarket on a bad hair day. Until she is papped in an incriminating position with recently married mega-star Dylan King of The Burnouts and the tabloids start hounding her. This isn’t so fun. Especially when her make-up is a mess and she hasn’t yet had a chance to clean her teeth. 
Dylan accuses her of ruining his marriage. His handsome PR agent, Charles, calls her a tart. She has to take gorgeous Luke from Two For the Road to hospital after a drug incident. And she’s dropped her mobile phone in the bath! Too much celebrity lifestyle for one week? Time to slow down and take stock? Maybe for somebody else. But Nicole Wilde is going to come out fighting!
Don't miss Portia MacIntosh's linked novella Between a Rockstar and a Hardplace to see where Nicole started out!

How To Get A (Love) Life – Rosie Blake

How To Get A (Love) Life – Rosie Blake

I would firstly like to thank Kerry at Novelicious for sending me an E copy of How To Get A (Love) Life for review.

How To Get A (Love) Life is the story of Nicole, a single woman in her 30s who has never had a date for Valentine’s day. Following her heartbreak after the break up of her relationship a few years back, Nicole with her OCD tendencies, has locked up her heart to avoid being hurt again. But of course, Nicole’s colleague Caroline, upon discovering this, decides that what Nicole needs is to find a date for Valentine’s and so Nicole is once again thrown into the world of dating. But will she find a date in time? And will it be someone she least expected who has been there all along?

Its taken me a while to get round to writing this review *slaps hand*, but I was thrilled when my copy arrived in my inbox and after seeing all the hype on Twitter, I had to get stuck in straight away. I absolutely loved the sound of this book after reading the blurb and the cover is gorgeous too, it’s certainly eye catching. But the first thing that really struck me as I started reading was the ability of Rosie to make me giggle. Now I expected I was in for a brilliant read just from the beginning blurb “All characters in this book are fictitious and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Except for Chris, who is as big a knob in real life as he is in this book”. I mean, what a way to start a book! And this book certainly delivered. How To Get A (Love) Life is full of so many brilliant anecdotes and dating disasters, the characters are all interesting and kooky and all add to the humour of the book, all of which make this a compelling read.

I found myself easily immersed in the plot, it had a lovely flow and pace which drew me in and kept me up reading into the small hours. I loved how at the start of the chapters there were interest dating descriptions, most of which referenced events from the previous chapter – they were quite simple an ingenious move by Rosie. While laughing along at each of Nicole’s dating disaster, I could not help but hope that she would find her dream guy. After her courage at accepting Caroline’s dating dare and putting herself back out there, it was only fair that she should find her Mr Right. I had almost given up hope that she would in time for Valentine’s (I won’t spoil what happens) and then Rosie throws in the show stopper of endings and all was happy and fantastic again. I certainly had not seen such an ending but I was so pleased, I had secretly hoped they would get to together!

Overall this is a fabulous debut from Rosie and is one which will have you doubled over with tears streaming down your face. Now what more could you ask for?

How To Get A (Love) Life Book Cover

How To Get A (Love) Life

Rosie Blake

Novelicious Books




Some people book last-minute holidays, walk barefoot in the grass or party on a week night. Not Nicola Brown. Nicola is the kind of girl who double-locks the front door, leaves the plastic covering on new furniture, sticks to a super-strict diet and definitely, absolutely Does Not Date.

Her colleague Caroline – loopy, warm and exasperated by her, knows that Nicola’s reluctance to lose control means she’s living only half a life. And so she lays down the gauntlet: Nicola must cast aside her hang ups and go on as many dates as it takes to find true love in time for Valentine’s Day.

The pick of local men is, quite frankly, a bit rubbish. And there are only three months until February 14th. Surely it’s an impossible task? But, as Nicola is about to find out on her dodgy dates, letting go isn’t quite as scary as she imagined. In fact, it’s rather a lot of fun…

Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place – Portia Macintosh

Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place – Portia Macintosh


First of all I would like to thank the Gosling Girls and Netgalley for sending me an E copy of this book for review. I am even more delighted to be a part of the blog tour!

Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place is the prequel to How Not to be Starstruck which is due to be published shortly. It tells the story of the rockstar Dylan and his long suffering friend and music journalist Nicole as she battles to keep his behaviour under control and make sure he is in the right places at the right times – i.e. on a tour bus on his way to an important charity gig. But of course when dealing with a rockstar and his ego, this is easier said than done…

When I first read the blurb for this novella, I knew this was a book I had to read as it sounded exactly like the type of story I love to read. And it didn’t disappoint! This novella is well paced and flows nicely from one event to the next, with lots of twists and turns so you are never quite sure what to expect next from Dylan. I found myself drawn quickly into the plot of this book and the lives of each of the characters. I feel as though the characters could do with some more development so as to make them feel more real and relatable, but as this is only a prequel I am sure they will each develop more fully in the next book – something which I look forward to discovering. I just hope that Dylan doesn’t continue to be as frustrating as I found him to be in this book.

As for the plot, I can not fault it. Its well thought out and had me giggling along and sighing with exasperation as time runs out in the search for Dylan. Portia managed to fit such a lot of drama in so few pages, it only gives credit to her writing ability. I found this book an easy read and managed to read it fairly quick, I just had to find out what could possibly happen next. Although at times I did get slightly frustrated with just how arrogant and irresponsible Dylan is and some of the things he managed to get up to overnight. I certainly hadn’t expected it to finish how it did, and although I was left slightly annoyed by the ending, I think it was a good choice by Portia (it worked!).

So for anyone looking for a quick and easy read that will leave you doubled over with laughter then this is for you. Its a nice short read which can easily be devoured in one sitting.  I look forward to reading How Not to be Starstruck and discovering just what happens next…..

Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place Book Cover

Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place

Portia Macintosh



Kindle edition


Behind the music…

Being best friends with a mega-star has its perks and Nicole Wilde, music journalist, laps them up. But when said friend, Dylan King, gorgeous lead singer of The Burnouts, has zero sense of self-preservation – once a drop of alcohol hits his blood stream ? and an inability to keep ‘little Dylan’ in his pants, it also comes with responsibilities.

Now, Nicole has to track down Dylan in time to play a charity gig tomorrow. Half a dozen groupies, a haunted hotel, a tattoo parlour, a reality show runner-up and a crazy bed-hopping, sleepless night later – will she find him before the tour bus leaves town? And when she does, is it time to head home? Or to jump on the tour bus and go along for the ride!

Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place is the fun and fabulous prequel to Portia MacIntosh’s How Not to be Starstruck. Look out for it March 2014.

The First Christmas Without You – Michelle Betham

The First Christmas Without You – Michelle Betham

This festive novella is the story of Jessie, a widow who has always dreamt of visiting Lapland at Christmas. This Christmas, Jessie feels she must make this trip of a lifetime in order to come to terms with her life and the cards she has been dealt. This novella is full of hope and love, taking Jessie on a journey of discovery following the death of her husband the previous Christmas, will this enable her to move on and find happiness and love again. With some help and advice from the mysterious Mikku, her guardian angel, Jessie meets Zac…. Will she find happiness again? And more importantly will she find love?

This poignant and moving festive novella will have you gripped from start to finish, tugging at the heartstrings and leaving you wanting more. This book really got to me and at times I felt myself welling up as the pure heart felt emotions of Jessie and her loss really got to me. The first Christmas without you is so beautifully written and so full of emotion, drawing the reader in and allowing them to experience all of the raw emotions as experienced by Jessie. Michelle manages to weave magic within the pages of this novella, describing beautifully Lapland and the relationships and connections of all of the characters.

Jessie, as with all of the characters within this novella are well developed, focused and relatable. I felt I could connect with them on such a personal level, almost as though they were real. Michelle managed to enable the reader to connect with each of the characters with her easy and emotive writing style, especially Jessie and Zac.

My heart ached for Jessie as she made this journey of discovery and dealt with the grief and guilt she felt at being the one left behind and having to make the decision to move on with her life and once again find happiness and love. The plot was well paced and well written, with some interesting twists thrown in to shake things up. All while wrapped up in the beautiful time of year, which is Christmas, making this novella even more poignant and Jessie’s loss all the more heartbreaking.

For anyone looking for a quick and festive read, this is definitely the novella for you. But be warned, keep the tissues handy, as this will have you sobbing with the sheer beauty of love and loss, and finding happiness again. I know I will be giving my loved ones an extra kiss tonight.

Thankyou to Harper Impulse and Netgalley for providing a review copy in order for an impartial and honest review.

The First Christmas Without You Book Cover

The First Christmas Without You

Michelle Betham

HarperCollins UK, HarperImpulse




A story of love and hope at Christmas, The First Christmas Without You is an emotional and poignant novella. A truly magical Lapland fairytale…

Jessie Collins has always wanted to visit Lapland. But this Christmas, more than any other, it’s the place she feels she really needs to be as she tries to come to terms with a future she really needs to start living.

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