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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Review of The Olive Branch by Jo Thomas

Author: Jo Thomas
Title: The Olive Branch
Publishers: Headline Review
Publication Date:Ebook 26th March, Paperback 2nd July 2015
Link: Amazon

About the Book

Ruthie Collins has split up with her boyfriend and after a night drinking with a friend she bids on ebay for a house in Puglia, Italy, When she wakes up the next morning she finds her bid has been accepted so rather than move back in with her mum she decides to take the chance and start a new life in a new country, However the locals are not so welcoming, especially when they discover she has something they believe should be theirs.Will she regret her rash decision and should she just give up and go back home or do things worth waiting for take time in Puglia?


What a charming love story this is. I was absolutely captivated from beginning to end. There is a great sense of humour throughout with lots of laughable moments especially including Daphne the goat.The story follows Ruthie who has impetuously bought this beautiful home in Italy and is eager to prove both her mum and her ex wrong as they think she makes rash decisions and will soon be home with her tail between her legs. She falls in love with her new home but it needs so much work doing and she is determined to fix it up herself without realising what an enormous task it is. She also soon finds out that she has upset the whole family next door, especially the handsome older son Marco, who has had to come back from Naples to sort out the family problems. 
I really felt for Ruthie as she worked so hard to fulfill her obligations and was determined to at least stay long enough to harvest the olives but the task is just too big for one person to do.. 
Jo Thomas has created a wonderful little rustic town in Italy which I would love to visit and provided vivid descriptions of the olive oil making process which added lots of interest to the book and I felt I could almost taste the delicious olive oil with it's burst of amazing flavours. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves romance and all things Italian. I loved it so much that I'm looking at holidays in Puglia for summer.

Thank you to Headline Review and NetGalley for allowing me to review.

About the Author

Jo Thomas
Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4's Woman's Hour and Radio 2's The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.
Book Angel

Blog Tour: A Robot In The Garden by Deborah Install

Author: Deborah Install
Title: A Robot In The Garden
Publisher: DoubleDay
Publication Date: 23rd April 2015
Buy Link: Amazon

About the Book

Amy and Ben are surprised to find a robot in their garden, Amy hates it and thinks that Ben should throw it in the tip but Ben is intrigued and wants to find out more. He discovers that the robot has a broken part and decides to make it his quest to find out who built it and whether they can fix it. He finds some clues engraved on the robot and that it's name is Tang, then embarks on an incredible journey which leads to a friendship of a lifetime.


The main quality of this book is it's originality. The thought of a world with Robots and Androids isn't really that far fetched especially when you consider how far technology has come. However for a robot to have a personality seems more unusual and I loved the fact that Tang developed a very endearing personality with lots of quirks that made me laugh. I also did have a moment with my bottom lip trembling because of a lovely sentiment on page 168.

Ben didn't really have much ambition in his life especially since his parents had died and so Tang provided him with something different to focus on. However, this unexpected situation highlighted problems in the relationship between Ben and Amy, their completely different reactions to Tang seemed to be the final straw and while this enabled them to see each other for who they really were, it also provided an opportunity for them to subsequently take a good look at themselves.

The book also provides a lot of food for thought at the way humans are in general and the way they treat others, for instance inequality featured greatly as there was an hierarchy in this world of artificial intelligence where the robots were considered inferior to Androids. They were segregated and not allowed in certain places and Tang's humiliation at these times was palpable.

This book of unconditional friendship is so unique that I have a feeling it is destined for great things. I could really see it being made into a film and thoroughly recommend it to anyone who enjoys something a little bit different.

See below to find out what Deborah chose for her robot name.

About the Author

Deborah Install

Deborah Install has worked as a website copywriter. Her debut novel, A Robot in the Garden, is inspired by her own young son. She lives in Birmingham with her family where she bakes good cakes and writes even better books.

We asked Deborah some questions which she very kindly answered for us.

If you had a robot what is the one thing you would like it to do?

"I think the one thing I'd like a robot to be able to do is sit with me in my office and talk me down if I get paranoid and/or anxious. My husband does a fantastic job but I'd be interested to see what robot logic would say."

What would your robot name be?

"The robot question was really hard! The name that kept floating across my head was Shiny Happy Humanoid, or 'Shhuma' for short."

Our chart below based on your initials makes your robot name 'Dent Intellobot.'
"Hehe, love it. I love Dent Intellobot more than the one I came up with."

Thank you so much for joining us on our blog today Deborah and thanks to Ben Willis and Doubleday Publishing for allowing us to review this book.

To our lovely Blog visitors, just for fun, we wondered what your robot name would be. So please feel free to leave a comment with your robot name using your initials on the chart below. Or you can always make up your own.

Sincerely Book Angels 

Robot Name Chart

A   Angelbot
N   Nanobot
B   Bolt
O   Orbitron
C   Clank
P    Prang
D   Dent
Q   Q-Tron
E   Electron
R   Rusty
F   Fuse
S   Socket
G  Gigabot
T   Tin
H  Hybrid
U   Ultron
I   Intellobot
V   Velocity
J   Junk
W  Waste-Bot
K   Kinetik
X   X-Ray
L   Laminator
Y   Yazzoo
M  Megabot
Z   Zapp

Book Angel (Bolt Angelbot) x x

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Review of Game of Scones by Samantha Tonge

"A story of icing and flour…and how love doesn’t always go to plan!

Growing up, Pippa Pattinson’s summers were spent in the idyllic Greek island fishing village of Taxos. There she spent many long hazy days determinedly ignoring thoughts of the life her parents had mapped out for her (a dreary-but-secure accounting job and obligatory sensible husband!) Instead she daydreamed of running her own tea shop – serving the perfect scones –with mocha-eyed childhood friend Niko by her side…"


I loved, loved, loved this book, it begins with Pippa and Henrik who are both high flyers in the Business world and everything seems perfect but Pippa has started to have doubts about the relationship and decides to have a break in Taxos in Greece where she spent her childhood summers. However, Henrik decides to come too which worries Pippa because she had heard that he is going to propose to her and she is not sure that is what she wants. When in Greece she is reunited with the family who own the Taverna and sees Niko the boy she used to hang out with and he is now all grown up and engaged to the lovely Leila. Niko's grandma remembers Pippa's delicious scones and their exciting flavours and although she has been ill she is revitalised by meeting her again. Will Henrik propose? and if he does, will Pippa say yes? Niko is convinced that Henrik has an ulterior motive for being there which could turn all of their lives upside down. Will Pippa follow her head or her heart? 

This is the first Samantha Tonge book I have read and it certainly won't be the last, I loved the narrative from right inside Pippa's head which was a really fun place to be, being privy to her secret thoughts and very vivid imagination. I loved the quick pace of the book and I expected it to be set in an English garden so it was a lovely surprise to be transported to Greece right in the heart of Taxos. When reading the book I almost felt like it was playing like a film in my head which was amazing and I think that is because Samantha has managed to bring the characters and Taxos to life beautifully. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of scone making which I thought were very sensuous and the flavours sounded so yummy that my tummy rumbled alot. All in all I would say that this book is truly scrumptious and I want more. Oh yes and I want butterfly kisses too.

Thank you so much to Samantha Tonge, NetGalley and Carina Books for allowing me to review.

Book Angel

About the Author

Samantha lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and two cats who think they are dogs. Along with writing, her days are spent cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. A love of fiction developed as a child, when she was known for reading Enid Blyton books in the bath. A desire to write bubbled away in the background whilst she pursued other careers, including a fun stint working at Disneyland Paris. Formally trained as a linguist, Samantha now likes nothing more than holing herself up in the spare room, in front of the keyboard. Writing romantic comedy novels and short stories is her passion.

Samantha has sold over 80 short stories to mainstream women’s magazines. Her debut romantic comedy novel from CarinaUK Harlequin, bestselling “Doubting Abbey”, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award, 2014. Its fun sequel is From Paris With Love. Mistletoe Mansion is a fun standalone Christmas novel.


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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Review of The Teashop On The Corner by Milly Johnson

'A Milly Johnson book is like that burst of pleasure you get, just at that moment when smooth, silky chocolate melts in your mouth! A delicious, guilty indulgence not to be shared with anyone.'

"Life is full of second chances...if only you keep your heart open for them. Spring Hill Square is a pretty sanctuary away from the bustle of everyday life. And at its centre is Leni Merryman's Teashop on the Corner, specialising in cake, bookish stationery and compassion. And for three people, all in need of a little TLC, it is somewhere to find a friend to lean on. Carla Pride has just discovered that her late husband Martin was not who she thought he was. And now she must learn to put her marriage behind her and move forward. Molly Jones's ex-husband Harvey has reappeared in her life after many years, wanting to put right the wrongs of the past before it is too late. And Will Linton's business has gone bust and his wife has left him to pick up the pieces. Now he needs to gather the strength to start again. Can all three find the comfort they are looking for in The Teashop on the Corner? And as their hearts are slowly mended by Leni, can they return the favour when she needs it most...? A story of love, friendship and second chances that will warm your heart and rekindle your hope."


I loved this book and read it whilst in Monte Carlo for a weekend away with my husband, he came out to the balcony to see if I was ready to go out and found me bawling my eyes out on his fiftieth birthday.

The story revolves around Leni's teashop which becomes a sanctuary where people can forget about their problems and indulge in a cuppa tea, a delicious cake and a friendly chat with Leni and the other customers. This is a book about Love and friendship in all it's many forms and describes tenderly how fragile we all are and how with enough love and encouragement we can find the strength to pick ourselves up and eventually learn to trust again. This book is an emotional whirlwind which, with Milly's humour, will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. I think that Milly is amazingly clever with how she writes characters as they feel like old friends and through them she communicates love, grief, sorrow, happiness and excitement in a painfully raw and honest way and there is always a touch of Milly magic too.

I have now read all of Milly's books and I thoroughly recommend all of them, my favourite had been 'Here come the Girls' until this one came along and I also had the pleasure of meeting her at the Books and the City Blogger evening in March. I now can't wait for the new release which will be out in June, "Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe", published by Simon & Schuster.

'A Milly Johnson book is like that burst of pleasure you get, just at that moment when smooth, silky chocolate melts in your mouth! A delicious, guilty indulgence not to be shared with anyone.'

Sincerely Book Angel

About the Author

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As well as being an author of 11 published novels, 2 short story books and a novella, she is also a copywriter for the greetings card industry, a joke-writer, a columnist, after dinner speaker, poet, BBC newspaper reviewer and a sometimes BBC radio presenter.
She writes about love, life, friendships and that little bit of the magic that sometimes crops up in real life. She likes owls and meringues and hates marzipan. She is very short.