Unleashed – Colours of Love – Kathryn Taylor

Unleashed – Colours of Love – Kathryn Taylor

With thanks to ED PR and Netgalley for our copies of this book to review.  We’ve read and enjoyed the earlier 2 books in this set at Compelling Reads so it was a no-brainer when we were offered this one.

Grace has now been married to Jonathan for a year so we get an insight into their marriage.  However things are perhaps not quite as happy as they could be, Jonathan is working away a lot and when Grace makes a surprising discovery she’s not sure how to discuss it with him.

I was expecting a full long novel, so I was bit surprised when this ended after only a few pages as just with the other books it’s a read that pulls you in and makes you want to read on.

Because it’s such a short story i can’t say too much without major spoilers, ideally with this one you’ll need to have read the earlier books to understand the back story, and it again still leaves you with questions about the mysterious Yuuto.  I hope there is more coming in this series

unleashed, Colours of Love 3 Book Cover unleashed, Colours of Love 3
Kathryn Taylor
Bastei Entertainment
30th November 2015

Like a fairy-tale, it should have been so wonderful: after a year of marriage, Grace Huntington still experiences undreamt-of passionate bliss. But stubborn doubts keep eating away at her. Despite the many happy moments when she feels close to Jonathan, sometimes he seems just as inscrutable as he did at the start. And now she has something to confess, something she knows will put an enormous strain on their relationship.

Finally, it's what all the COLOURS OF LOVE fans have been waiting for: the continuation of Jonathan and Grace's captivating love story.

Curvy Girls Baby Club – Michele Gorman

Curvy Girls Baby Club – Michele Gorman

Thanks to Notting Hill Press for allowing us a copy of Michele Gorman’s novella in exchange for a review.

We previously read and reviewed her earlier novel The Curvy Girls Club back at the beginning of the year (where has the time gone?) – you can check out that review here: http://compellingreads.co.uk/curvy-girls-club-michele-gorman/

Having thoroughly enjoyed that book I was eager to check out this latest offering and catch up with the characters we met.  The Baby Club finds us back with Jane, Ellie and of course Katie.  Ellie has just returned from Honeymoon and has some exciting news to share with her friends, she is pregnant, but wait Jane is pregnant too!  What could be more fun then sharing the pregnancy ups and downs together, and when Katie finds a bit later she is expecting too it really is a curvy girls baby club.

Although yes this is a book about the girls pregnancies it was nice that this was not all that the book was about, it did feature the insecurities as the girls got bigger again (albeit for different reasons then in the first book), but it also reflects on for Ellie her relationship with her new mother in law and learning how to fit in, in the relationship she has with her husband and herself and being able to untie the apron strings.

We also see Jane’s story as she struggles with ratings for her TV show and is made to feel at fault for being pregnant / bigger.  It’s great to see how the stories arc and the girls once again come out fighting and on top, complete with happy endings.

As a novella this is a short and easy read and definitely one you should add to your reading piles!

Curvy Girls Baby Club Book Cover Curvy Girls Baby Club
Michele Gorman
Notting Hill Press
20th August 2015

Life, love and a Christmas due date

Ellie is fresh back from her honeymoon and can’t wait to share her news with her best friends Katie and Jane. To everyone’s surprise, mother-of-two Jane has news of her own… The women are due a day apart and Katie can’t wait to be an honorary auntie to the babies.

But it’s hard to keep your sense of humour, not to mention your self-esteem, in the face of hemorrhoids and elasticated waistbands. Add a clingy mother-in-law, a career in cardiac arrest and a sex life that makes Mother Theresa look lusty, and soon their lives are as out of control as their bodies.

As the co-founders of The Curvy Girls Club, where loving yourself is the only rule, will the friends be able to practice what they preach?

Jenny Lopez Saves Christmas: An I Heart Short Story – Lindsey Kelk

Jenny Lopez Saves Christmas: An I Heart Short Story – Lindsey Kelk

When I saw this pop up on Amazon over Christmas, I knew I just had to read this novella. I have loved the I Heart Series and it was brilliant to be able to catch up with some of the much loved characters from the series. I can only apologise for the belated review.

In Jenny Lopez saves Christmas, Jenny tackles Christmas with her usual style and attention to detail. Determined to make this the best Christmas ever for her friends, they head up to snowy Vermont with the worlds largest Christmas tree, with Jenny hoping to fix her friendship with Angela. But as to be expected, things never go to plan and this Christmas looks as though it is heading for disaster.

This was a lovely festive read which was easily consumed in a single sitting. With the usual disasters I’ve come to expect from any tale involving Jenny, this novella had me doubled over laughing at times but also on the edge of tears. This had everything you could hope for in a festive tale, snow, Christmas trees, friendship and love. Not to mention our old favourites; Jenny, Angela and a brief glimpse of the dashing Alex, to name a few. Oh and a few gorgeous new faces 😉

I do not want to say too much as I think this is a novella to be enjoyed, don’t worry that Christmas is over, download it now and get caught up once again with some old favourites and see where their lives are heading now. You won’t be disappointed, I just hope we aren’t kept waiting too long to meet up with them again.

Jenny Lopez Saves Christmas: An I Heart Short Story
I Heart
Lindsey Kelk

I Heart short story: a new story starring Jenny Lopez. From the bestselling author of What a Girl Wants and I Heart Christmas.

Sleighbells ring, are you listening…

Who wouldn’t want to escape to a cabin in snowy Vermont for Christmas? Jenny Lopez’s year has gone wrong, and Vermont with champagne and a sparkly Christmas tree is going to mend everything, along with her best friend Angela.

She hits a few obstacles along the way, including a major work crisis and some unexpected Christmas companions. But this is Jenny Lopez. She’s determined to have the best Christmas known to man, even if it means dragging a turkey three miles in the snow. Single-handedly and in a Santa outfit Jenny Lopez is going to save Christmas - and have the best holiday season ever.

All I Want For Christmas: A festive short story – Claudia Carroll

All I Want For Christmas: A festive short story – Claudia Carroll

Thanks to Avon for letting us have a copy of this for review, having read Love me or Leave me I was looking forward to this.

All I want for Christmas is a sweet little stocking filler that gives a glimpse into the couples that we met in Love Me or Leave me before it all fell apart and lead them to their visit to the divorce hotel.

Dawn & Kirk (well Dawn) is trying to impress her mum and sister with a veggie feast and prove just her secure her marriage is.

Meanwhile Lucy is preparing for her wedding, but her step children are busy preparing her downfall.

Jo has her Xmas sorted, but it’s missing just one thing her husband Dave has disappeared.

This little short story will leave you wanting more!  In which case if you haven’t already grab yourselves a copy of Love me or leave me!



All I Want For Christmas: A festive short story Book Cover All I Want For Christmas: A festive short story
Claudia Carroll
25th November 2014

Dreams come true on Christmas day … don’t they?

It’s three days until Lucy and Andrew’s perfect winter wedding. Over Christmas dinner the two families will meet for the first time.
What could possibly go wrong?!

Jo has planned her first Christmas as a married woman with military precision. But it seems her new husband Dave has gone missing …

Strict vegans Dawn and Kirk slave away over a unique Christmas feast, but Dawn’s mum doesn’t like mung beans. And she certainly doesn’t like Kirk …

Will these couples survive the Christmas madness and get the day they dreamed of?

Treat yourself with this GORGEOUS FESTIVE SHORT STORY by the BRILLIANTLY FUNNY Sunday Times top ten BESTSELLING author Claudia Carroll!

BLOG TOUR: A Pear Shaped Christmas – Stella Newman : Christmas Ads

BLOG TOUR: A Pear Shaped Christmas – Stella Newman : Christmas Ads

Today is our stop on the blog tour for A Pear Shaped Christmas, with Stella Newman discussing Christmas Ads.

Christmas ads

Before I became a writer I used to work in advertising, for ten long years. Ad agencies are often dysfunctional workplaces, because they’re staffed with creative types – many of whom, whilst talented, believe they should be doing something far more high-profile and glamorous than writing ads for panty liners. This makes them occasionally ‘act out’ in ways that would make your hair curl. When I wrote A Pear Shaped Christmas and Leftovers – both set in agencies – I found myself censoring some of the worst excesses I’d witnessed, because, honestly, you just wouldn’t believe the shenanigans that went on.

It’s fair to say that nowadays I have a fairly low tolerance for most ads – they just aren’t as good as they were in the good ole’ days of Boddingtons, Levis, etc. When I look at an ad, I tend to see the pain and money that went into it – and at no point is there more pain inflicted, or more expense incurred than in the making of a retailer’s Christmas campaign.

Nowadays I don’t watch nearly enough telly – a blessing when it comes to this time of year – as there are very few Christmas ads I can sit through without breaking out in a rash. Most are a generic mix of cloying sentiment, catalogue-cute kids and clichés, which leave a worse taste in the mouth than a Turducken (it’s in A Pear-Shaped Christmas, 98p, it’s not a romance.) You could take the logo off the end frame of one commercial, happily stick it on the end of another, then happily stick them both in the bin.

The obvious exception is of course John Lewis. The John Lewis ad has, rightly, become a hugely anticipated, much-loved, national talking point. I entirely love this year’s ad – partly due to the fact that man hath no greater love than my love for penguins. But also because John Lewis just nails it every time: they seem to have a direct line to one’s heartstrings. There’s always a bit of sadness mixed in with the joy, so quite true to life – plus they don’t try to ram lots of product down your throat, unlike almost every other retailer. As far as I’m concerned, John Lewis can do no wrong. How will they possibly manage to out-endear themselves next year? How can you top that penguin jumping up and down on the trampoline? I can’t wait to find out!

As for the rest of what’s out there this year – I honestly couldn’t find five ads that I genuinely liked, so here are two more I did, and a couple I didn’t. If you haven’t already seen them, you can judge for yourself here:


Waitrose (the one with the girl baking gingerbread, not the Heston one.)

This ad actually made me cry, though I think it was probably a hangover. In fact it was almost definitely a hangover, but still, having watched it subsequently, sober, I still found it extremely moving. It’s based on a very sweet idea – a girl trying to perfect her baking for the school gingerbread stall – and is entirely simple and charming. The casting is amazing – watch that girl, I reckon she’s a

future star in the making. Utterly heart-warming.


A lovely ad this year, again with great music and casting and excellent direction – lots of small, subtle touches add to its charm. Also they’ve really restrained themselves on the product front, again not shoving it in your face. I could watch this at least three times before getting a bit bored.


These guys deserve a little bit of credit for trying to be funny and for the waving puppy, but this ad does little to dispel the theory that £895 handbags are largely the preserve of spoilt brats.


Personally I’m not in the market for a very expensive trench coat. If I were, I’m not convinced Romeo Beckham would be the person to best persuade me to part with £1,295. I guess Burberry knows their target audience and I’m pretty sure it’s not me.


blog tour poster

A Pear Shaped Christmas Book Cover A Pear Shaped Christmas
Stella Newman
Headline Review

Did you love Stella Newman's Pear Shaped and Leftovers? In A Pear Shaped Christmas, her characters return to delight fans and newcomers alike with a snortingly hilarious tale of how one high profile Christmas ad for a supermarket chain can go so horribly wrong in the course of a year. A treat if you can't get enough of Jill Mansell, Jenny Colgan and Lucy Diamond.
'I want a TV ad just like John Lewis's - only better!'
That's what Devron, the head of marketing at Fletchers supermarket wants - and what Devron wants, Devron gets - or else. It'll be fine, though. Vicky has eleven months to make the nation's new favourite Christmas ad, that's more than enough time.
Unless something, or someone, gets in her way...
A tale of turkey and tears, mince pies and mayhem.

Mishaps and Mistletoe – Tilly Tennant

Mishaps and Mistletoe – Tilly Tennant

I am a massive fan of Tilly’s writing following Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn. I was thrilled when I saw this available on Amazon and knew I just had to download this festive treat immediately.

Mishaps and Mistletoe follows Phoebe as she takes a job as a Christmas Elf in the local toy shop. Phoebe has had an awful year and things don’t seem to be getting any better, but then comes along a mysterious man and his daughter Maria. Phoebe is instantly won over by Maria, leading to changes in her life Phoebe could never have imagined.

This was a delightful read, oozing festive cheer and promises from start to finish. It was a beautiful, short read which I devoured in one sitting. Tilly’s words flowed with ease and elegance, creating a beautiful and magical story which left me with a wonderful festive feeling long after I finished. This is definitely what Christmas books should be about and if you are wanting a quick and easy to read festive tale this should definitely be on your wish list this Christmas.

The characters are easy to relate to and are portrayed vividly, all with a classic festive plot which keeps you guessing and warms the heart. All for the bargain price of 99p (free if you have Kindle Unlimited). What more could you ask for?

I am eagerly anticipating Tilly’s next full length novel and the magic she weaves.

Check out my review of Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn.

Mishaps and Mistletoe Book Cover Mishaps and Mistletoe
TIlly Tennant

Treat yourself this Christmas with a meltingly romantic short story from Tilly Tennant 

Phoebe has had a terrible year, starting with the death of her boyfriend and ending, three weeks before Christmas, when she’s sacked from her job. The bills are piling up and she’s desperate enough to find herself working as a Christmas elf in the grotto of Hendrick’s Toy Store. As if the job description isn’t bad enough, Phoebe doesn’t like children. There’s nothing wrong with them, they’re just not for her. Neither is there any escape from a boss whose only language is sarcasm, and an alcoholic Santa. 

Then one morning Maria comes into the grotto – a little girl unlike any she has met before. Phoebe doesn’t know it yet, but Maria and her dad are about to shake her life up in ways she could never have imagined… 

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