ARC Review: Starry-Eyed Love by Helena Hunting

Special thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: Starry-Eyed Love (Spark House #2)
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publish Date: 10 May 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

Charming, hilarious, and emotional, Starry-Eyed Love is Helena Hunting at her very best!

Having just broken up with her boyfriend, London Spark is not in the mood to be hit on. Especially not when she’s out celebrating her single status with her sisters. So when a very attractive man pays for their drinks and then slips her his number, she passes it right back to him with a ‘thanks, but no thanks’. As the business administrator for their family’s event hotel, the Spark House, London has more important things to worry about, like bringing in new clientele.

As luck would have it, a multi-million-dollar company calls a few months later asking for a meeting to discuss a potential partnership, and London is eager to prove to her sisters, and herself, that she can land this deal. Just when she thinks she has nailed her presentation, the company’s CEO, Jackson Holt, walks in and inserts himself into the meeting. Not only that, but he also happens to be the same guy she turned down at the bar a few months ago.

As they begin to spend more time together, their working relationship blossoms into something more. It isn’t until their professional entanglements are finally over, that London and Jackson are finally ready to take the next step in their relationship. But between Jackson’s secretive past and London’s struggle with her sisters, London must question where she really stands – not just with Jackson, but with the Spark House, too.

TL;DR: I genuinely enjoyed this so much more than the first book! Although it was slow at the start and there were communication issues that I wished had been handled better, London and Jackson had great chemistry and I liked how their romance played out. They had sweet moments with just the right amount of cheese to make it cute and I really liked how they supported each other. I also loved the sibling dynamic between the Spark sisters and although I’m not sure if Hunting’s books are 100% for me, I’m looking forward to Harley’s story because she’s my favourite sister so far!

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Book Review: Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Goodreads: Don’t You Forget About Me
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 10 January 2019
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

You always remember your first love. Don’t you?
It began with four words.
‘I love your laugh. x’

But that was twelve years ago. It really began the day Georgina was fired from The Worst Restaurant in Sheffield (© Tripadvisor) and found The Worst Boyfriend in the World (© Georgina’s best friends) in bed with someone else. So when her new boss, Lucas McCarthy, turns out to be the boy who wrote those words to her all that time ago, it feels like the start of something.

The only problem? He doesn’t seem to remember Georgina – at all…

TL;DR: Wow, despite not being at all what I expected I still really enjoyed this book! Like, I read this overnight because once I started I didn’t want to put it down. It’s deeply emotional and had me in tears at the end but it was well-balanced with sarcastic quippy humour that had me frequently laughing out loud. I really enjoyed MacFarlane’s writing and the characters, especially the group of friends, were fantastic! I can’t wait to read more by this author in the (near) future. 😍

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Book Review: How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

Goodreads: How to Walk Away
Publisher: Pan
Published: 09 August 2018
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in one tumultuous moment.

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect.

TL;DR: Oh, my heart… Katherine Center really has a way of taking my emotions on one heckuva rollercoaster ride. This book was at turns infuriating and heartbreakingly painful but also hopeful and surprisingly humorous. It often had me laughing out loud throughout the read but had me quietly weeping at the end. If you enjoy well-written and emotionally charged stories with realistic characters and situations, plus a swoony romance and smoulderingly sexy (Scottish!) love interest, I would highly recommend checking this out! 😉

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ARC Review: When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting

Special thanks to Sara at St. Martin’s Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: When Sparks Fly
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publish Date: 21 September 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(2.5 pandas)

Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, Avery and her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works with her sisters and loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, and she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she’s happy.

But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur.

Avery and Declan have been best friends since college and always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan and Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she’d dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay and, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.

TL;DR: Sadly, sparks didn’t exactly fly for me with this book. There were definitely some cute fluffy moments between Avery and Declan and I enjoyed reading about the Avery and her sisters running Spark House, plus I appreciated that Hunt emphasised the importance of seeking mental health support by seeing a therapist. Ultimately though, the writing felt stilted and repetitive, and I was unable to really connect with the characters or feel invested in their romance. I’m in the minority though but it was still a quick and easy read and would be a good palate cleanser between genres.

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ARC Review: Happy Singles Day by Ann Marie Walker

Thanks to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: Happy Singles Day
Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca
Publication Date: 19 January 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(2.5 pandas)

As a Certified Professional Organizer, everything in Paige Parker’s world is as it should be. Perfect apartment, perfect office, perfect life. And now, the perfect vacation planned to honor Singles Day. After all, what’s better than celebrating her pride in being single? Because who needs a man anyway? They have zero taste in quality television, leave the toilet seat up, and sleep with your best friend. No thanks. Her life is fine just the way it is.

As the owner of a now-dormant bed & breakfast, Lucas Croft’s life is simple and quiet. It’s only him and his five-year-old daughter, which is just the way he likes it. Because who needs a woman anyway? They nag you to clean up your stuff, want the toilet seat put down, and expect the dishes to be done the same day the meal is cooked. No thanks. His life is fine just the way it is.

But when Paige books a room that Lucas’ well-intentioned sister listed without his knowledge, their two worlds collide. If they can survive the week together, they just might discover exactly what they’ve both been missing.

TL;DR: The cover is what first caught my eye and the synopsis sounded interesting so I was really looking forward to reading it! This was an easy-to-read romance that had some funny and silly moments but ultimately it’s not a romance that stands out for me and is somewhat forgettable. Also, if you’re not into reading steamy scenes, you’re in the clear for this one as it’s very light on the steaminess with fade-to-black scenes.

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Blog Tour Review: Mr. Right Across the Street by Kathryn Freeman

I’m back with another blog tour today with Rachel’s Random Resources for Mr. Right Across the Street. Thanks to NetGalley and One More Chapter for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the other bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: Mr Right Across the Street
Release Date: 22 January 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(3 pandas)

Mia Abbott’s move to Manchester was supposed to give her time and space from all the disastrous romantic choices she’s made in her past. But then the hot guy who lives opposite – the one who works out every day at exactly 10 a.m., not that Mia has noticed thank-you-very-much – starts leaving notes in his window…for her.

Bar owner Luke Doyle has his own issues to deal with but as he shows Mia the sites of her new city he also shows her what real romance looks like for the first time. And when he cooks up a signature cocktail in her honour, she realises that the man behind the bar is even more enticing than any of his creations. And once she’s had a taste she knows it will never be enough!

BUY NOW: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

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Blog Tour Review: The Little Swiss Ski Chalet by Julie Caplin

I’m back with another blog tour today with Rachel’s Random Resources for The Little Swiss Ski Chalet by Julie Caplin. Thanks to NetGalley and One More Chapter for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the other bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: The Little Swiss Ski Chalet
Release Date: 30 January 2021
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit, Romance

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

It’s time to pack your bags and head to the breathtaking, snow-covered peaks of the Swiss Alps for velvety hot chocolates, delicious cheeses and a gorgeous love story…

Food technician Minna has always believed that chocolate will solve everything – and it’s just what she needs when her latest relationship mishap goes viral! So with her bags packed and a new determination to sort her life out, Minna decides to drown her sorrows with the best hot chocolate in the world at her godmother’s cosy Swiss chalet. Chocolate: yes. Romance: no. Until she has a run in on an Alpine train with a mysterious but oh-so-gorgeous stranger…

BUY NOW: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

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Blog Tour Review: In Pursuit of Happiness by Freya Kennedy

I’m back with another blog tour today with Rachel’s Random Resources for In Pursuit of Happiness by Freya Kennedy. Thanks to NetGalley and Boldwood Books for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the other bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: In Pursuit of Happiness
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Release Date: 15 December 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Chick Lit
Panda Rating:

The world is waiting…but just outside of your comfort zone.

Jo Campbell is perfectly content in a perfectly structured life. Nothing ever changes in Jo’s life, and she likes it that way. Or at least, she tells herself she does.

Most of the time, she manages to push down the tiny voice that tells her to chase her dream and maybe, just maybe, open her battered and bruised heart up to love. But to chase her dreams she needs to take chances that are way out of her comfort zone and learn to not put other people’s happiness above her own.

Most of all she has to learn to trust her heart, which may just be the biggest challenge of all.

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Blog Tour Review: Love at the Little Wedding Shop by the Sea by Jane Linfoot

I’m back with another blog tour and this time it’s for Love at the Little Wedding Shop by the Sea by Jane Linfoot. Thanks to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this blog tour, and to Netgalley and One More Chapter for providing the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: Love at the Little Wedding Shop
Publisher: One More Chapter
Release Date: 03 September 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Panda Rating:

St Aidan: a cosy Cornish village where friendships are made for life and it’s always cocktail hour somewhere… Return to your favourite little wedding shop by the sea for love, laughter and a romance to sweep you off your feet!
It’s the most romantic day of the year but the girls aren’t just gearing up for Valentine’s Day and a busy wedding season ahead, it’s also the 10 year anniversary of their beloved shop! Jess is planning the party of the decade and with the champagne and cocktails flowing, sparks are going to fly…and not just from the fireworks display!

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Blog Tour Review: Accidentally in Love by Belinda Missen

I’m back with another blog tour and this time it’s for Accidentally in Love by Belinda Missen. Thanks to Rachel @ Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this blog tour, and to Netgalley and HQ Ditigal for providing the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: Accidentally in Love
Publisher: HQ Digital
Release Date: 11 September 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Panda Rating:

Don’t miss the new laugh-out-loud rom com from the author of One Week ’Til Christmas! Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Rosie Walsh and Josie Silver.

In the space of a week, Katharine Patterson has quit her job, decided to move back home, and broken up with the guy she thought was the one.
No big deal.

Because Katharine has a plan. She’s going to open her own art gallery, just like she’s always wanted. What she’s not going to do is worry about boyfriends. Then she meets Kit, a handsome and talented local artist. He might be the most stubborn person Katharine has ever met. He might also make her feel like no one ever has before.

And Katharine might be about to fall accidentally in love…

BUY NOW: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

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