Tuesday 20 February 2024


It's hard to believe but it was nine years ago that I went to my first ever Team Books and the City do and where I met both Milly Johnson and Heidi Swain for the first time, I remember it was called a Spring Blogger evening and I'd never blogged in my life but that night when I got home my daughter helped me set up a blog and since then I've never looked back. I've got the fabulous SJ Virtue to thank for all those brilliant events and really for all the lovely blogger and authors and general book loving people I've met since then who have now become great friends and it's always a pleasure to catch up with them.

The  #TeamBATC2024Showcase was just as spectacular with thirteen authors and over 100 guests including 70 who were there on zoom. The evening started with quick hellos to some of the fabulous friends I've met over the years and then we get to help ourselves to the incredible stash of books on a table which was also laden with food and drinks including some delicious book themed cupcakes. I would have taken a photo but my cupcake disappeared in seconds and was totally delish.

Once we had settled down we were introduced to all of the authors and they each described their book and then read a chapter from it. There was alot of intrigue as we were left hanging at the end of every chapter we heard knowing that we just wanted more. Some of the readings had us all in stitches as did SJ when she told us what she thought of Poldark's headwear...

It was such a lovely, fun and bubbly atmosphere and I was glad my husband met me afterwards to help me carry my books home.

Lovely Heidi Swain signing my book sample

From left to right, 
Dawn Crooks, Isabelle Broom, Me and Maureen Stapleton

I will do my best to link to every book that was discussed on the night and I would just like to say another huge thank you to Sara-Jade Virtue and the whole of the Books and the City Team for all their hard work and suffice to say we are in for another amazing year of books from S & S.


Alina Khawaja  

Beverly Kendall                                       


Eva Verde                                                

Heidi Swain

Helen Fisher

Holly Hepburn

Julie Haworth

Laura Wood

Lauren Bravo

Lucy Vine

Rachel Hore

Rebecca Ryan

Sharon Gosling

Thursday 15 February 2024

Every Smile You Fake by Dorothy Koomson

Please take care of my baby. But don't try to find me. You'll put him in danger. x

Profiler and therapist Kez Lanyon is shocked when she finds a baby on the backseat of her car, with an unsigned note asking her to take care of him.

Kez has a pretty good idea who the mother is - Brandee, a popular social media star with a troubled background, who once lived in Kez's house.

Brandee recently dropped out of the limelight and if the internet rumours are true, Kez knows Brandee's life is in danger.

Kez is torn. Should she simply take care of the baby as she's been asked, or should she risk her whole family by using contacts from her previous job to save this young woman?

Time is running out for Brandee. Can Kez find her before it's too late?


Title:  Every Smile You Fake
Author: Dorothy Koomson
Published By:  Headline Review
Publication Date:  15th February 2024
Links:  UK:   Amazon    US:   Amazon


Our Review

This book is completely unique in the clever way that it’s written and covers so many issues which interlock with each other. 

It’s so topical and highlights many of the negative effects that social media has had on society and the world around us. It shows how the internet has aided and abetted racism, sexism and misogyny and the detrimental affect that has on society and families. It’s actually terrifying how our young people can be manipulated into thinking whatever the heads of these organisations want them to think due to their unfettered access to them. 

The book begins with two points of view, Brandee with two e’s is an influencer, a young woman who was exploited by her mum as a child because her mum put every aspect of her life on the internet for likes. 

Kes is Brandee’s boyfriend’s step mum. Her background is extremely interesting, she is a trained profiler and can read people from their body language. 

The timeline goes from present to the past where Kes's life unfolds. For example in the past her job as a therapist is plodding along nicely until one particular couple come to her for marriage guidance and she recognises the husband from years before. Her life changes significantly from that point and she goes on to have a lovely family. 

But when Brandee leaves her baby in Kes’s car and goes missing, Kes tries to do as Brandee asks by not looking for her but eventually finds herself racing against the clock to find her again and her whole life begins to implode as her past catches up with her. 

Full of shocks and surprises, this raw, emotive and chilling book was another hard hitting, psychologically thrilling page turner from Dorothy Koomson which will have you outraged and desperate to know what will happen next. I guarantee you will be thinking about the issues raised in this book for a long time after you’ve finished. 

Book Angel x

About the Author
Dorothy Koomson is the award-winning author of 15 novels and has been making up stories since she was 13 when she used to share her stories with her convent school friends. Her published titles include: Tell Me Your Secret, The Brighton Mermaid, The Friend, When I Was Invisible, That Girl From Nowhere, The Flavours of Love, The Woman He Loved Before, Goodnight, Beautiful and The Chocolate Run.

Dorothy’s first novel, The Cupid Effect, was published in 2003 (when she was quite a bit older than 13). Her third book, My Best Friend’s Girl, was selected for the Richard & Judy Summer Reads of 2006 and went on to sell over 500,000 copies. While her fourth novel, Marshmallows For Breakfast, has sold in excess of 250,000 copies. Dorothy’s books, The Ice Cream Girls and The Rose Petal Beach were both shortlisted for the popular fiction category of the British Book Awards in 2010 and 2013, respectively.

Dorothy’s novels have been translated into over 30 languages, and a TV adaptation loosely based on The Ice Cream Girls was shown on ITV1 in 2013. After briefly living in Australia, Dorothy now lives in Brighton.

In 2019 Dorothy was awarded the Image Award by The Black British Business Awards to celebrate and honour her achievements.

For more information on Dorothy Koomson visit www.dorothykoomson.co.uk

Monday 30 October 2023

The Happiest Ever After by Milly Johnson


What if you could write your own perfect storyline...?

The heart-warming, feelgood novel from the much-loved Sunday Times bestselling author, Milly Johnson

Polly Potter is surviving, not thriving. She used to love her job – until her mentor died and her new boss decided to make her life hell. She used to love her partner Chris – until he cheated on her, and now she can’t forget. The only place where her life is working is on the pages of the novel she is writing – there she can create a feistier, bolder, more successful version of herself – as the ­fictional Sabrina Anderson.

But what if it was possible to start over again? To leave everything behind, forget all that went before, and live the life you’d always dreamed of?

After a set of unforeseen circumstances, Polly ends up believing she really IS Sabrina, living at the heart of a noisy Italian family restaurant by the sea. Run by Teddy, the son of her new landlady Marielle, it’s a much-loved place, facing threat of closure as a rival restaurant moves in next door. Sabrina can’t remember her life as Polly, but she knows she is living a different life from the one she used to have.

But what if this new life could belong to her after all?

Title: The Happiest Ever After

Author: Milly Johnson

Published By: Simon & Schuster UK

Publication Date: 15th Feb 2024

Links: UK:   Amazon       US:   Amazon




Our Review 

Do you ever get that feeling where you think, I wish I'd thought of that? Well that was my first thought on hearing what Milly Johnson's brand new book, The Happiest Ever After was about. The concept is absolutely brilliant and especially as I now write books myself, I could really relate to it. Even when I read the first couple of lines I was struck by the unique quality of the writing. I honestly think that Milly's writing will be studied by her local university one day and I think she deserves to have a statue of herself in Barnsley where they must be so proud of her.

Polly Potter has a miserable life, her partner shows her no respect, he's cheated on her before and keeps dumping that workbag in the middle of the floor which was peeing me off alot and I could really feel for her there. Also although she is fantastic at her job, her boss is an idiot who takes credit for all her hard work. Talking of hard work, Her husband's sister is a real pushy pain as well who has chosen a horrible dress for her to wear as her bridesmaid. The only things keeping Polly's head above the water are her best mate at work, her partner's son Will whom she loves and her secret hobby. Polly sneaks off to evening classes to do her creative writing course and she's writing a novel. Her protagonist Sabrina is in control of her life and has everything that Polly has ever wanted.

When Polly can take it no more she leaves Chris, heads to the seaside, leaving no forwarding address but after an unfortunate incident she wakes up in hospital with no belongings and memory loss. The only thing she can remember is that her name is Sabrina. See what I mean about a brilliant concept?

Sabrina's world then opens up to a whole new community and she is taken in by a lovely lady called Marielle but due to something that happened in the past, some of Marielle's friends and family don't take to Sabrina. 

I loved Sabrina's journey especially the blank page that was her future that she was able to write for herself. It was heart-breaking as bits and pieces of her life came back to her including traumatic and devastating events and some of the confusion between Sabrina's past and Polly's meant that Sabrina had even more heartbreak to contend with when reality hit home and she had to grieve again.

One good thing about Sabrina's new life was meeting the gorgeous Italian Chef, Teddy who owned his own restaurant which served delectable meals. But when she begins to fall for him I was so hoping for a happy ending at that point but unfortunately everything is upended again when her ex comes looking for her.

This book has shot to the top of my fave Milly Johnson books, they're always jam packed with fantastic story within a story scenarios so there's never a chance to get bored when reading one. I loved Polly/ Sabrina and not sure when I last rooted for a heroine more. I so wanted her to have a happy ending and hers wasn't just happy but powerful too. Another exciting, heart-breaking, evocative masterpiece from Milly Johnson.

As if all this wasn't enough, I was absolutely blown away to see my name in the acknowledgements, of my favourite author. Can you believe that? Thanks so much Milly and please never give up writing.


Book Angel x

About the Author

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. She is the author of 20 novels, 4 short story ebooks, a book of poetry and a Quick Reads Novella ('The Little Dreams of Lara Cliffe') and was an erstwhile leading copywriter for the greetings card industry. She is also a poem and joke-writer, a newspaper columnist and a seasoned after dinner speaker.

She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016, the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015, the Romantic Novelist Association Outstanding Achievement award in 2020, the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award in 2021 and the Richard Whiteley Award for Inspiration to the County of Yorkshire in 2022.

She writes about love, life, friendships and the importance of community spirit. Her books champion women, their strength and resilience and celebrate her beloved Yorkshire.

Her 20th novel 'Together, Again' was published in paperback on 2nd March 2023 and is about three estranged sisters convening after the death of their mother in order to arrange her funeral. Freed from the shadow of the overbearing Eleanor Vamplew, the three women come to realise that they have more in common than they could ever have realised.

Milly's website is www.millyjohnson.co.uk. She is on Twitter as @millyjohnson, Instagram as @themillyjohnson, TikTok as @millyjohnsonauthor and has a Facebook page @MillyJohnsonAuthor. She also has a monthly newsletter www.millyjohnson.co.uk/newsletter with exclusive, news, offers and competitions.

Saturday 7 October 2023

Finding Family at the Cornish Cove by Kim Nash


Family is everything…

For years, Gemma has been running her late mother’s café with devotion, and when an opportunity comes to buy out her next-door neighbour and expand, she jumps at the chance.

She knows she will do her mother proud – keep her legacy going strong – but deep down she knows there’s still something missing.

But sometimes family are those you choose, or those who choose you! With a growing community of supporters cheering Gemma on, will she really spend the rest of her life alone?

And with some new faces at her blossoming bistro, perhaps romance may also be on the cards?

Praise for the Cornish Cove series:

‘Romantic, lovely and moving, a book that left me with a heart full of hope and a face full of smiles.’ Milly Johnson, author of Together Again

‘I absolutely adored it! Hopeful and heartwarming… A 5-star romantic read.’ Sandy Barker, author of Match Me If You Can

'I LOVED it! Gorgeously written with characters you can't help but adore...' Holly Martin, author of The Holiday Cottage by the Sea

'What a sweet summery read and escape to a gorgeous community by the sea... An absolute reading treat.' Sue Moorcroft, author of An Italian Island Summer

Title: Finding Family at the Cornish Cove

Author: Kim Nash

Published By: Boldwood Books

Publication Date: 3rd October 2023

Links:  UK: Amazon     US:   Amazon


Our Review

I have read all of Kim Nash’s books and loved every single one but I have to say that this one is my absolute favourite. Kim hasn't just found her writing voice, I would say she well and truly owns it and it's been an absolute pleasure to be a part of Kim's journey and watch her thrive as a writer and see her make her dreams come true.

This book is about Gemma whom I’ve met before in Kim’s previous book Hopeful Hearts at the Cornish Cove which you really should read because it features a lighthouse and another gorgeous couple. 

Gemma is renovating the cafe that she inherited from her late mum and whilst sorting out the building regs she has to allow a fireman in to do a check on the building. Jude (the sexy fireman) is extremely easy on the eye and has not long moved to the area with his teenage daughter Occy. 

Gemma takes a chance on Occy by offering her a job in the cafe and a wonderful relationship is formed. 

Gemma finds herself struggling emotionally when she finds something out about her sister which is particularly heartbreaking for her but she finds that her feelings are conflicted. 

I really loved watching the relationship unfold with Gemma and Occy and Gemma and Jude, swit swoo the hunky fireman. It was also lovely to see the effect that Gemma had on Occy and Jude’s relationship too because whilst they got on most of the time, sometimes they didn’t understand each other and Gemma helped to bridge that gap. 

After sorting through some complications from both Jude and Gemma’s past, including unearthing  secrets that affected both Gemma and her sister, I’m pleased to say there was a gorgeous happy ever after. 

What I found very enriching about this story was Gemma’s love for her late mum and how she was still able to find guidance from her throughout the story in sayings her mum had and in actions that she had done in their lives. I found this to be very close to my heart and it gave me all the feels. 

I can’t wait for Kim’s next book which I’m hoping is also based in Driftwood Bay. 

A multi dimensional love story filled with family, forgiveness and second chances, and did I mention a gorgeous fireman? 


Annette Hannah

About the Author

Kim Nash is an author of uplifting, funny, heartwarming, romantic, feel-good fiction and has wanted to write books since she was a little girl. The Cornish Cove series is set in the fictional seaside village of Driftwood Bay in Cornwall and is published by Boldwood Books. 

She lives in Staffordshire with her son Ollie and English Setter rescue dog Roni, is Digital Publicity Director for publisher Bookouture (a division of Hachette UK) and is a book blogger. 

When she's not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog at Cannock Chase, reading, binge-watching box sets on the TV, and dreaming of living by the sea! She's also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Staffordshire and organises local and national reader/author events.

Follow the blog tour here...

Thursday 31 August 2023

Always By Your Side by Julie Haworth


'A warm, romantic story about community, friendship and following your heart, Always By Your Side is a feel-good delight, I adored it!' HOLLY MARTIN

'Always By Your Side engages the reader from the very first page, and immerses you into the lives of Rose and her aunt, in the delightful setting of Blossom Heath. I loved it' PATRICIA SCANLAN

When school teacher Rose loses her dream job at a London primary school, her self-confidence takes a knock. Worse still, her stockbroker fiancé, Ollie, sees it as the perfect opportunity for her to join his firm, which only adds to the feelings Rose has that their relationship might be coming to an end.

 An unexpected phone call, and an elderly aunt who’s taken a fall, means Rose must drop everything – including Ollie - and return to Blossom Heath, the Sussex village she grew up in.

 With no job to rush home to, Rose decides to stay in Blossom Heath for the Summer, trading London for the idyllic countryside. Here Rose finds herself reconnecting to the village life of her childhood in more ways than one, including falling head-over-heels for local farmer, Jake.

So when her London life comes calling, Rose is faced with an impossible choice… to return to the high-pressure life of her past, or embrace the joy of a new life in the country.

​Bursting with romance and charm, Always By Your Side is the perfect uplifting Summer read for fans of The Switch and Rescue Me, from an exciting new voice in women’s fiction.


Title: Always By Your Side

Author: Julie Haworth

Published By: Simon & Schuster UK

Publication Date: 9th August 2022

Links:  UK:   Amazon     US:   Amazon 

Waterstones    WHSmith

Our Review

I loved the title of this book straight away as my auntie bought me a charm saying 'Always By Your Side' for my birthday. So when I read that it was a woman who goes to look after her auntie I knew that I had to read it. 

Rose Hargreaves is a much under valued teacher at a school in London. That is, she was until her horrible boss sacked her. Luckily that meant she was able to go to Blossom Heath, ( I just love that name) to look after her auntie Jean whilst she recuperated in hospital. 

Rose is soon embedded in to the heart of Blossom Heath, makes lots of friends and rescues a beautiful little dog called Scout, she even gets a temporary job in the local primary school.

Her fiancé Ollie is not happy with the move she’s made and Rose soon finds that she had an awful lot of decisions to make, especially after meeting handsome farmer Jake. 

This charming story really captured me early on and I was desperate to know what happens to Scout and whether she gets a happy ever after or should that be Yappy ever after. 

Blossom Heath sounds like a wonderful place to live with lots of lively characters and a couple of villains thrown in for good measure. It was lovely to see the community come together to help Rose when she needed it the most and there were definitely a few scary moments there where I wasn’t sure if things would work out. To my relief everything worked out just fine.

Heartwarming, cosy and just lovely. 


Book Angel x

About the Author

Julie Haworth writes uplifting stories about friendship and community, bursting with romance and charm, from her home in the bustling city of Chelmsford, Essex. Her debut novel, Always By Your Side, is being published by Simon & Schuster in August 2022. Julie is still pinching herself that she’s realised her lifelong dream of becoming a published author!

When she’s not busy writing or running her copywriting business, Julie can mainly be found shopping, drinking ridiculous amounts of coffee and hanging out with her two rescue cats. Julie is also a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors.

Julie loves to chat with her readers and you can find her on Twitter @jhaworthauthor or over on Instagram @juliehaworthauthor

Sunday 30 July 2023

Shooters by Julia Boggio

Stella Price is determined to become a successful wedding photographer, even if it means learning from Connor Knight, a wedding shooter with sexy rock star status and an ego to match.

Burned by an affair that ended her last career, Stella should know better than to get entangled with Connor during a residential course in a romantic French chateau. But while his arrogance turns her off, his talent turns her on.

Their clashes lead to a whirlwind of passion, but Stella struggles to frame a future with a man who’s come to distrust “happily ever afters” and hides a softer side behind his image. Can Stella learn from her past mistakes and teach Connor about real love before he disappears from the picture?

Author: Julia Boggio

Title:  Shooters

Publication Date: 11th March 2023

Published By: Home By Midnight

Links: UK:  Amazon          US: Amazon

Our Review

I absolutely loved this book, it was just laugh out loud funny, sassy and sexy.

Stella Price has had an awful time both in her professional and private life so she decides to embark on a Wedding photography course to learn from the very best, Connor Knight.

After turning up to one of his talks at a conference she realises that she must do this at whatever the cost but a series of events block her until thankfully she finally manages to get there and that's where the adventure begins as she heads to France. Connor notices her straight away and he challenges her to be the best she can be, along with some eccentric and interesting characters they have a blast on the course but when they get back other complications kick in to keep them apart. Stella realises she's fallen for him despite trying her best not to but he has other ideas and girlfriends it seems. Stella is just wonderfully flawed and very funny at times, the sort of person you would want to be friends with. Despite going through lots of ups and downs you can rest assured that there is more than one happy ending in this book.

Having seen Julia's impressive marketing campaign for Shooters I could see her fantastic sense of humour and personality really shine in this book as well as the knowledge of photography as Julia used to be a photographer. The writing is fast paced and mature which is very impressive for a debut novel. I look forward to reading the next book by this author which I believe is called Chasing the Light and you can pre-order your copy here.


Book Angel x

About the Author

Originally from New Jersey, Julia moved to London in her early twenties. She worked as an advertising copywriter until discovering her love of photography on a 6-month trip around South America. She started a wedding photography business which received some great PR when her own Dirty Dancing-themed wedding dance went viral on YouTube. She appeared on Richard & Judy and The Oprah Winfrey Show, where she danced with Patrick Swayze. In 2009 she opened a luxury portrait studio and has photographed everyone from the Queen to Queen, the band. After 15 years as a photographer, she returned to her first love: writing. Julia Boggio books focus on strong female characters with real, complicated lives, delivered with humour and feel-good factor. You can sign up for her newsletter at JuliaBoggio.com. --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Thursday 22 June 2023

The Beach Holiday by Isabelle Broom

A somebody. A nobody.

A love story waiting to be written . . .

All aspiring novelist Honor has ever wanted is to be successful. It's the only way she can impress the father who abandoned her, the boyfriend who gave up on her, and the nagging voice in her head that tells her she's not good enough.

Still, wanting to tell a story is not the same as having a story to tell, and Honor knows she needs to find a new source of inspiration.

When she's invited to spend a summer abroad in The Hamptons, Honor realises it could be the dream setting for a book, especially when a chance encounter provides her with the perfect leading man.

But blurring fact and fiction is a dangerous game, and Honor soon discovers that writing her way to success might come at the expense of her own happy ever after . . .

Title: The Beach Holiday

Author:  Isabelle Broom

Published By: Hodder and Stoughton

Publication Date: 22nd June 2023


UK:  Amazon   US:  Amazon



Our Review

I have literally travelled the world with Isabelle Broom, well in a literary sense I have anyway as her books are set in such beautiful destinations all around the globe.

Despite loving all of them I think this was one of my favourites. I was excited to read this book from the moment I saw Isabelle was on a research trip in the Hamptons and she was in Montauk where the brilliant TV series The Affair was based.

Honor had a difficult relationship with her father made even more awkward because he was a famous action author and she an aspiring romance author. When she goes to visit him for the summer they go to the Hamptons and that is when her adventure begins. Her cycle ride is brought to an abrupt stop when she crashes into the extremely hunky Cellan who says he's a stunt man. The meeting with him inspires her to write although she daren't show her father because of his previous criticism.

As she and Cellan keep bumping into each other they develop a friendship which for various reasons isn't easy for either of them as they find it hard to trust people.

I loved all of the exploring of the beautiful area as Honor finds her way round and the fun days on the beach and in the hotel. They eventually discover that someone cant be trusted and I felt so sorry for Honor when the public find out who she is and make horrible comments online and she is accused of something extremely hurtful. It highlights the toxicity of social media and of someone trying to live their life out of the public eye.

This beautiful slow burn relationship was a delight to read about and I just loved everything about it. Isabelle Broom at her very best with this perfect summer read.


Book Angel x

About the Author

Isabelle Broom was born in Cambridge nine days before the 1980s began and studied Media Arts in London before a 12-year stint at heat, the UK"s top celebrity magazine. Always happiest when she's off on an adventure, Isabelle travels all over the world seeking out settings for her escapist fiction novels. Currently based in Suffolk, where she shares a home with two dogs and approximately 467 spiders, Isabelle fits her writing around a busy freelance career and tries her best not to be crushed to oblivion under her ever-growing pile of to-be-read books.

Find Isabelle on Twitter @Isabelle_Broom, Instagram @Isabelle_Broom_Author, Facebook/IsabelleBroomAuthor and on YouTube/IsabelleBroomAuthor, where she hosts a weekly author interview series called Hello (Again). To learn more about her books, view location galleries, read excerpts and sign up to her monthly newsletter, visit her website www.isabellebroom.com