Save The Date is the latest instalment in Aven Ellis’ Chicago on Ice hockey series and is my favourite to date. As always Aven delivers us real and likeable characters which you grow to love as you uncover their stories. With every book I grow to love the characters more and more and this is no exception, Luca; need I say more?
Aven has a way with words which is quite literally mesmerising enabling her to form such beautifully description characters full of personality and with such full and intricate life stories it literally leaves me breathless. I love how she manages to entwine their lives and their backstories to create plot which are warm, funny and full of love and romance. I always know a book by Aven will leave me with a smile on my face and a warm fuzzy feeling and I am always eagerly awaiting the next instalment to catch glimpses of old favourites.
This is a sweet, warm and beautiful tale about Luca, a gorgeous, sexy hockey player who is so much more than meets the eye and is certainly my idea of the perfect man. I could literally weep that this man is not real 🙁 and Collin’s, as always we are left with the female I can’t help but love and hope for all her dreams to come true, and to share her journey to her happy ever after.
As always Aven has delivered the perfect read, one I devoured and was left bereft when I finished as I wanted to much to be back in this warm and fuzzy world where all is good. As always the hockey is on point and really adds to the drama and sexiness of this book.
Save The Date is a book which doesn’t disappoint and delivers on every level. So stop what you are doing right now and slip in to this beautiful story and enjoy the pure escapism.
About the author:
I live in the Dallas area with my family. I enjoy clipping out recipes I will never get around
to trying, working out, and chatting with friends on social media. I’m a hockey nut (Go
Stars!) and watch as much as humanly possible. I also love shopping and fashion and admit
to being obsessed with whatever the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing. In addition to be
obsessed with the Duchess, I’m equally obsessed with any show or cookbook featuring
Save The Date
Chicago on Ice Series Book 3
Soul Mate Publishing
Chicago event planner Collins Brady knows how to make the magic happen for her clients. From elaborate weddings to cute baby showers, Collins knows what to do to make an experience breathtakingly perfect. In her mind, she adds the sparkle that makes everything shine.
If only she had that same sparkle in her personal life.
While she’s good at her job, her true career dreams lie elsewhere. If she could do anything, it would be to become an equestrian riding instructor. That dream, however, is shelved due to practicality. And that’s not the only thing Collins has shelved. After ending a relationship with her college sweetheart, Collins has taken her heart out of the game, too. She wonders if that magical kind of love can exist. But maybe it’s only a fantasy.
Or is it? All of that changes the night she meets Luca Ballerini, the rookie goalie for the Chicago Buffaloes. Passionate and fiercely determined, Luca has only made time for hockey in his life—until he meets Collins. Her spark hasn’t escaped him, and now Luca wants something other than his hockey career.
But following their dreams and hearts isn’t always easy. Can Collins and Luca find a way to live their dreams with each other?
Will love get past them? Or will this goalie make a perfect save of Collins’ heart?
Dead Woman Walking is the latest book from best selling author Sharon Bolton and boy was I not disappointed. Dead Woman Walking is an astonishing dark and thrilling read, with plenty of twists and a fantastic plot to make this a truly compelling read.
We follow sisters Isabel and Jessica, two strong and interesting woman. We discover early on that Isabel is a nun. Isabel and Jessica have a history and issues through which they must work through, The story was not told from the perspective of one character; all main characters had their voice and their perspective of the events as they unfolded. This allowed for me to view the situation from many different angles and view points; making the book more intriguing, and more enjoyable to read. I felt like I developed a real in depth understanding and picture of the main characters and their role within the plot.
Dead Woman Walking is a cleverly and well written novel which travels effortlessly between the past and present. Twists and turns in the plot kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat. The characters are developed and built throughout the book in a descriptive and intricate way which I really enjoyed and really added to the depth of the plot and the circumstances. All the stories and character view points come together and everything ties up nicely leaving me feeling satisfied.
The short and suspense filled chapters made this an extraordinary and compelling page turner. Sharon Bolton has an easy to read writing style which made this an enjoyable and easy read. Dead Woman Walking is a mind blowing complex crime thriller, with an exceptional plot and incredibly detailed characters. This is a book not to be missed, I was on the edge of my seat, second guessing but never really knowing where the plot was going thanks to the twists and suspense, Bolton has weaved effortlessly throughout.
An enjoyable and compelling, dark and twisty novel which left me feeling at times slightly spooked.
Dead Woman Walking
'Bolton is a gripping storyteller with fine, haunted characters' Peter James
Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.
She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.
Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all . . .
Spring at Blueberry Bay takes us to Hope Island where we meet Bella. Bella is having a tough time since losing her job a few months earlier following a huge scandal with her bosses and is only just making ends meet. Too proud to ask for help, Bella keeps her financial difficulties hidden from her family as she feels they have done so much for her after taking her in as a child. Then Bella meets Isaac, a homeless man who is camped outside her door, but all is not as it seems and Bella’s life will never be the same again.
Spring at Blueberry Bay is a book which had me hooked from page one. I was instantly drawn in to Bella’s world and her life, eager to discover more and get to the bottom of the issues which had led to Bella guarding her heart so fiercely and avoiding love. Bella was a character which I could’t help but fall in love with immediately; she is a character whose love and kindness oozes from the page and left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling. My heart broke with hers as I discovered more about her past and the deep rooted sense of abandonment which she carries in her heart. Bella is the sort of girl you would wish to be your best friend.
Then we meet Isaac. At first I wasn’t sure about him, with his deception and need to test people. But as I came to learn more about him and see the feelings and relationship he developed with Bella, I couldn’t help but like him. By the end I literally wanted to marry him myself.
Holly has a way of portraying characters which makes them so realistic, all of her characters are exceptionally well described and realistic. I love how I have an insight into each of them and the way they are all connected and how their relationships work and develop.
Spring at Blueberry Bay is Holly Martin at her best. I always love Holly’s books, but somehow she seems to get better and better with each new novel. Her writing ability is exceptional and literally have me spell bound, it is truly magical. The depth of descriptions of both the settings and the characters allows me to vividly image the scene as though I am living it myself, something which I find amazing.
But Holly you are not helping with my sleep. Once I made the mistake of picking up this book I literally could not put it down and found myself reading into the early hours. The words just flow with ease and grace from the page, painting this amazing world and life before my eyes of which I just can not get enough. My only criticism is that it had to end. I need more!!!!!!
Spring at Blueberry Bay
Welcome to beautiful Hope Island where the sea sparkles, the daffodils are blooming and a blossoming romance is just around the corner…
Bella has always had a sunny outlook and caring nature, despite recently falling on hard times. When she finds a handsome homeless man on her doorstep, her kind heart tells her she must help him. So, she invites Isaac into her cottage and into her life in ways she could never have imagined…
But Isaac is not what he seems. He’s keeping a huge secret from Bella, yet he never expected to fall for this open, generous and charming woman.
Bella can’t ignore the chemistry between her and Isaac, but she’s had her trust badly broken in her past. Will she run when she learns the truth about Isaac, or will he be the one man who can help Bella believe in love again?
**This article contains spoilers about Flawed, the prequel to Perfect.**
Thanks to the publishers for allowing us an advanced copy of the sequel to Cecelia Ahern’s Flawed Series – Celeste is back in Perfect.
Having enjoyed the first book in the series (Flawed – check out our review for that here: http://compellingreads.co.uk/flawed-cecelia-ahern/), we were excited to get our book wormy hands on the sequel we were so excited for.
In Flawed we left Celeste branded flawed – the most flawed person ever in fact and now having been forced away from her family. In Perfect we pick up with Celeste as an evader, in hiding from the Whilstleblowers and Judge Crevan who are desperate to locate her and bring her under control, for Celeste has become a light of hope to flawed everywhere and she has dangerous information against Crevan himself, which he is desperate to prevent becoming public knowledge.
As Celeste faces challenges in keeping away from those desperate to bring her into line, combined with her determination to bring to light the truth about the Guild and the system that itself is flawed. Can Celeste trust anyone? And will she be able to reveal the truth of her brands and Crevan’s part in them?
In Perfect we see a more grown up Celeste and her relationship with other flawed, especially Carrick. While to some she is a hero, it is a role she is unsure of, one which is forced upon her but due to her nature she can see the ‘flaws’ in the system that is running her society. She herself knows that it is mistakes that people learn from, but in this time it is mistakes that make the flawed outcasts. When those hold up to be perfect seem to be the most flawed in their hatred of difference and selfish motives.
We see Celeste torn between Carrick and Art, who she still believes to have a good heart despite being the son of the person who has changed her life forever. It’s easy again to become lost in this book and I read it within a few hours as it’s simply impossible to put down.
I enjoy Cecelia Ahern’s adult books but I’m in love with this Young Adult series, which is by name and in reality Perfect.
The book highlights very serious issues in an easy to follow way, Celeste acknowledges that no-one is perfect and it is flaws that make people unique and allow people to learn. My favourite quote which sums up this central idea is in chapter 81 which I’d like to end this post with:
“For someone one win, somebody else must lose. For that person to have won they must have lost something in the first place.
The irony of justice is that the feelings that precede it and those which fruit from it are never fair and balance,
Not even justice itself is perfect”
If that wasn’t enough for you, we also have an exclusive extract from the book for you to read – just click the link below:
6th April 2017
The thrilling, shocking and romantic sequel to the bestselling YA debut FLAWED is finally here. When we embrace all our flaws, that’s when we can finally become PERFECT…
Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine's life has completely fractured – all her freedoms gone.
Since Judge Crevan has declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with the complicated, powerfully attractive Carrick, the only person she can trust. But Celestine has a secret – one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground.
Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save only herself, or risk her life to save all the Flawed. And, most important of all, can she prove that to be human in itself is to be Flawed…?
We’re really enjoying reading Dinah Jefferies at Compelling reads so were thrilled to be asked again to take part in the Blog Tour for her latest novel Before The Rains.
This time Dinah takes us on a journey to India – Eliza is an aspiring photographer, who is widowed but determined to forge ahead in her career. She has connections with India from her childhood, where she tragically witnessed the death of her father, murdered by a bomb from a freedom group. This sets up the political undercurrent of the story, as old traditions struggle against British rule and the fight for freedom from it.
Eliza has returned to photograph the royal family of Rajputana where she meets and is attracted to Prince Jay, second in line to the throne, while he teaches Eliza about Indian culture she shows him the true poverty of his country and inspires him to take up a project of water irrigation. As Eliza grows closer to Jay it isn’t unnoticed by those around and she is discouraged from getting close to him as he is destined to marry well. British diplomat Clifford also has designs on her and in using her to spy on the Royal family.
It’s a complex love story which is cleverly played out to highlight the politics of the time – both sides end up making sacrifices for love and in Eliza’s case she makes a few discoveries about her own identity, as a woman post widowhood and her family history.
It’s a novel which again blends history, romance and the exotic Indian landscape into a captivating story, it’s Dinah’s signature style which works so well and keeps us returning to her stories.
See our other Dinah Jefferies reviews and posts here: http://compellingreads.co.uk/?s=dinah+jefferies
Before The Rains
23rd February 2017
1930, Rajputana, India. Since her husband's death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza's only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she's determined to make a name for herself.
But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince's handsome, brooding brother. While Eliza awakens Jay to the poverty of his people, he awakens her to the injustices of British rule. Soon Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families - and society - think otherwise. Eventually they will have to make a choice between doing what's expected, or following their hearts. . .
Creating the perfect man… isn’t this most women’s dream? You can design what he looks like (tall, dark and handsome), how funny he is (very), what he does for a living (tax inspectors need not apply), how romantic he is (runs the bath for you, and pours you a wine), you can essentially devise a wish list and watch as every box gets a big tick put in it. But perfection is boring. I wouldn’t want to share my life with a walking talking demigod – because I know that by comparison I’d never match up, so you have to throw a few flaws in there too, but nothing that can’t be overcome. We’re talking about a little bit moody (Fitzwilliam Darcy), a bit bumbling (Mark Darcy), or in the case of Will Scarlet, my loveable, gorgeous hero in Me, You and Tiramisu, a little bit famous. For Jayne, watching on the side-lines as Will rises in popularity, his charisma and killer cheekbones are swiftly becoming the biggest obstacle to their happiness. Jayne loved him when they were spotty teenagers drinking cheap cider from plastic cups in the park, this new Will is now public property and suddenly perfection seems very overrated indeed.
If you think about all the best romantic comedy heroes, they’re all quite charming (usually in a floppy-haired sort of way – Hugh Grant, I’m looking at you) but also, they’ve all got their foibles. Will, my hero, is undeniably gorgeous, but he also has a pair of grotty tracksuit bottoms that he insists on wearing when he has man-flu. He can cook a delicious feast, but also makes the kitchen look like a tornado ripped through it.
For me to want my characters to succeed, for them to get their happy-ever-after, I need to love them both, I need to want to root for them, and I want my readers to as well. I want them to fall in love with my hero, and I want them to like my heroine, and I want them to feel sad when it’s all going wrong and cheer when it turns the corner (for those who haven’t read the book, this may or may not happen, who knows?!) Will Scarlet is my first fictional hero, and he and his tiramisu will always have a special place in my heart…
Me, You and Tiramisu
23rd February 2017
Fall in love with the perfect feel-good romance for fans of Katie Fforde, Jill Mansell and Carole Matthews.
It all started with a table for two…
Life for self-confessed bookworm Jayne Brady couldn’t be better – she has a twin sister she adores, a cosy little flat above a deli and now she’s found love with her childhood crush, gorgeous chef Will.
But when Will becomes a Youtube sensation, thanks to his delicious cookery demos (both the food and his smile!), their life of contentment come crashing down around them. Can Jayne have her Tiramisu and eat it?