The Distance by Zoë Folbigg #BlogTour #Extract

The Distance def

Welcome to my turn on the blog tour for The Distance by Zoë Folbigg. My thanks also to Melanie Price and publisher Aria for the opportunity to be part of the tour.

whats-it-about-2

From the author of the bestselling novel, The Note, comes this beautiful, romantic tale of finding love in the most unexpected places.

Under the midnight sun of Arctic Norway, Cecilie Wiig goes online and stumbles across Hector Herrera in a band fan forum. They start chatting and soon realise they might be more than kindred spirits. But there are two big problems: Hector lives 8,909km away in Mexico. And he’s about to get married.

Can Cecilie, who’s anchored to two jobs she loves in the library and a cafe full of colourful characters in the town in which she grew up, overcome the hurdles of having fallen for someone she’s never met? Will Hector escape his turbulent past and the temptations of his hectic hedonistic life and make a leap of faith to change the path he’s on?

Zoe Folbigg’s latest novel is a story of two people, living two very different lives, and whether they can cross a gulf, ocean, sea and fjord to give their love a chance.

Purchase

Amazon |Kobo | iBooksGoogle play

Extract

One
March 2018, Tromsø, Norway

So, ro, lilleman, nå er dagen overSleep tight, little one, now the day is over… Cecilie can’t stop the blasted lullaby from spinning around her head, twinkling like a hanging mobile doing revolutions above a sleeping baby. Alle mus i alle land, ligger nå og sover… The song is rotating calmly and methodically in Cecilie’s brain, distracting her from the couple sitting in front of her as they wait for her to take their order. It is also distancing her from The Thing That’s Happening Today that she’s been dreading for weeks, hoping someone will put a stop to it or change their mind.

The lullaby must have been swirling in Cecilie’s head since she sang it in a quiet corner of the library this morning; to mothers with grey crescent moons clinging to their lower lashlines; to fathers, over the moon to be enjoying their parental leave in a much more relaxed way than they think their partners did. Mothers and fathers and gurglers, all joined in with Cecilie to sing nursery rhymes in the basement of the library, but now those songs and the sweet and happy voices are taunting her.

So, ro, lilleman…

Cecilie thinks of the large print above the fireplace in the living room at home. The room is an elegant haven of greys, browns and whites, dominated by a long, wooden dining table that stands out against the modern touches of the alternate grey and sable plastic Vitra chairs around it. It’s a table where everyone is welcome for heart-to-hearts and hygge at Christmas, although most of the time Cecilie eats breakfast there alone. She likes the grey chairs best and always chooses to sit on one of those while she eats her soda bread smeared with honey and stares out of the window, to the vast and sparse garden beyond. On the white wall above the fireplace hangs a print of a static Alexander Calder mobile that her mother Karin picked up on a trip to London.

‘Isn’t it wonderful, Cecilie?’ she exclaimed, her blue eyes lighting up against the silver of her bobbed hair, as Cecilie’s brother and his boyfriend lifted the black matt frame onto the mantelpiece with a heave.

‘Wonderful,’ concurred Morten, the partner of Cecilie’s twin brother Espen, as he pushed his glasses up his little snub nose. ‘The beauty and intelligence is astounding,’ he added. ‘I just wish I could see it in motion.’

Karin nodded with vigour; Espen had already left the room.

Cecilie looked at the print dreamily, her pale green eyes gazing up at the black Vertical Fern, while it didn’t oscillate as it had in the gallery, or might have done in a breeze. Still, Cecilie imagined herself, fluttering up to the largest of its black fronds to see what it would look like to gaze down at her mother and Morten’s faces from above. Cecilie had a knack for drifting out of position on a whim or a daydream, and seeing the world from above.

Karin, a pragmatist and a politician, found it hard to understand her otherworldly daughter.

‘Cecilie?’ Karin had urged.

Cecilie crinkled her nose and snapped back into the room with a blink.

‘It’s wonderful, Mamma,’ she agreed, although she couldn’t fathom why her mother had bought an inanimate print of something that ought to be in gentle movement. It seemed so unlike her. Karin Wiig was the least static person Cecilie knew.

‘Well yes,’ confirmed Karin with authority. ‘They were just so stunning, you really ought to go to London and see them in motion before the exhibition ends,’ she said with a wave of her hand, although everyone knew she was really only talking to Morten. Even if Espen had still been in the room to hear, he was too wrapped up in his life at the i-Scand hotel on the harbour to bother with the inconvenience of a weekend break, and Cecilie had never travelled to a latitude below Oslo, which was something a diplomat and an adventurer like Karin couldn’t understand.

‘Why is your sister so happy to stay in one place?’ she once asked Espen in despair.

‘Perhaps Cecilie’s daydreams take her to better places than a flight ever could, Mamma,’ Espen had replied.

So, ro, lilleman…

The flash of the frond in her mind awakens Cecilie and she wriggles her inert feet inside her black Dr Martens boots. The lullaby evaporates and disappears, and Cecilie is back with the couple sitting in front of her, at their usual table.

‘Pickle, are you all right?’ asks Gjertrud, her kindly weathered face looking up at Cecilie. ‘It’s just Ole asked you three times for the spiced Arctic cloudberry cake, but you seem a little… in the clouds yourself today, my dear.’

‘Oh, I’m so sorry, so much to think about…’ Cecilie replies, as she writes cloudberry onto a pad in a wisp of ink.

Author

Folbigg_Zoe colour

Zoë Folbigg is a magazine journalist and digital editor, starting at Cosmopolitan in 2001 and since freelancing for titles including Glamour, Fabulous, Daily Mail, Healthy, LOOK, Top Santé, Mother & Baby, ELLE, Sunday Times Style, and Style.com. In 2008 she had a weekly column in Fabulous magazine documenting her year-long round-the-world trip with ‘Train Man’ – a man she had met on her daily commute. She has since married Train Man and lives in Hertfordshire with him and their two young sons. She is the bestselling author of The Note.

Connect

Website | TwitterFacebook

Follow Aria

Website | Twitter | Facebook |Instagram

*** Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour ***

The Distance blog tour poster

Advertisements

The Single Girl’s Calendar by Erin Green #BlogTour #Guestpost

The Single Girl's Calendar banner

Thank you Aria for inviting me for the blog tour of Erin Green’s new novel ‘The Single Girl’s Calendar’, a wonderful novel about overcoming heartbreak. I’m sharing a lovely guestpost today where Erin gives her special recipe to mend a broken heart!

The Single Girl's Calendar def

What’s it about?

A task a day to cure a broken heart.

Esmé Peel is approaching thirty with some trepidation, but hope in her heart. If she can just get her long-term boyfriend Andrew to propose, she will have ticked everything off her ‘things to do by the time you’re 30′ list. She didn’t reckon on finding another woman’s earring in her bed however, and soon she finds herself single, homeless and in need of a new plan. Her best friend Carys gives her the perfect present – The Single Girl’s Calendar – which has a different cure for heartbreak every day:

Day 1: Look and feel fabulous with a new hair style.
Day 2: Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
Day 3: Reconnect with friends and enjoy!

Despite thinking it’s a bit of a gimmick, Esmé hasn’t got any better ideas, so she puts the plan into action. By the end of week one she has four new male housemates, and despite a broken heart she is determined to show Andrew she can do more than survive, she can thrive.

About the author

Green_ErinErin was born and raised in Warwickshire, where she resides with her husband. She writes contemporary novels focusing on love, life and laughter. An ideal day for Erin involves writing, people watching and copious amounts of tea. Erin was delighted to be awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017 and previously, Love Stories ‘New Talent Award’ in 2015.

Contact Erin Green

Twitter (her favourite) @ErinGreenAuthor
On Facebook: @ErinGreenAuthor
Web Page: http://www.eringreenauthor.co.uk

Buy Links

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks

Guestpost

Erin’s recipe to overcome a broken heart

  • A handful of genuine friends that care about you is essential.
  • A tonne of chocolate helps to dull a painful heartache.
  • Carefully peel away, delete and disconnect all social media connections with the recent partner – why torture yourself following their away days and nights out?
  • A pinch of self-indulgence doing what you like and when you wish, is essential.
  • Unmeasurable amount of time spent doing interests/pastimes that you previously participated in and enjoyed.
  • Add a guilt-free pass to hibernate from all social situations, but only valid for the duration that is absolutely necessary, trust your instinct regards how long.
  • A huge dollop of me-time to reflect and heal before venturing to pastures new.
  • Add a brand-new outfit that makes you feel fabulous and wonderful – in preparation for the day when your renewed faith wishes to take flight.

I had lot of useless suggestions during my twenties when broken hearts seemed to be my penchant. Age-old advice revolved around red wine, match-making suggestions and fly-fishing amongst the bountiful fish in the sea were all totally unhelpful. If anything, they resulted in more heartache than the original situation.

As time went by, along with various beaus, I learnt what was best for me. It usually involved a damned good cry where I got to choose all the rules in relation to the duration, the frequency and the moping about on sofas. Seriously, I literally gave myself permission to grieve for what could have been, might have been and for the hurt that had been caused to me in the process. A diet of Cadbury’s chocolate and Lucozade is perfectly fine in such circumstances! A balanced diet of vegetables and fish can wait their turn!

I used to withdraw from social occasions too, I literally couldn’t abide doing the whole glad-ragging events where I was supposed to wear a huge smile and chat about inane subjects while dragging about a heavy heart that was smouldering inside my chest. All I’d do was watch the clock until I could escape to go home. Sadly, I found that the more I put on a brave face, others would incorrectly assume ‘oh she’s back on her feet’ – er, no, I’m simply going through the motions to please everyone else. Left to my own devices, I’d have chosen to be in my pyjamas for a stint of hibernation and reflection, with plenty of wound licking.

It would take a little while, sometimes a few weeks, on a couple of occasions nearer a few months but hey, I knew what was best for me. I only ever put my best foot forward when I knew I was ready to face the world and rejoin the party.

During my hibernation, I did usually return to the things that made me truly happy. The reading of favourite books was one such treat – Fitzwilliam Darcy has rebuilt my faith in others on more than one occasion. On the most desperate days, I’d simply adlib Elizabeth’s lines… guaranteed to make me feel better every time!

I valiantly fought and refused to attend those situations where people have secretly match-made during their lunch hours – thinking they know what’s best for you. I remember being invited to a house party where the host had virtually promised my hand in marriage to a police officer. It made for an uncomfortable evening, as everyone in the room knew and so watched as he chased, attempted to chat-up and woo me with an audience of twenty. Thankfully, I had a loyal friend who told me before the event as she felt it was unfair that this damsel-in-distress should be violated to grace another with match-making bragging rights and an unwanted date. It’s one reason why I never match-make, I know the downside.

And finally, when you are back on your feet don’t forget to tread carefully, there’s no race, simply take your time and be happy. The best things in life are worth waiting for, I promise.

Don’t forget to check out out the other blog stops too. There’s another stop today at Dash Fan Book Reviews !

The Note by Zoe Folbigg #BlogTour #Guestpost

 

What’s it about?

As featured on ITV’s ‘This Morning’…

Based on Zoë Folbigg’s true story comes an unforgettable romance about how a little note can change everything… One very ordinary day, Maya Flowers sees a new commuter board her train to London, and suddenly the day isn’t ordinary at all. Maya knows immediately and irrevocably, that he is The One. But the beautiful man on the train always has his head in a book and never seems to notice Maya sitting just down the carriage from him every day. Eventually, though, inspired by a very wise friend, Maya plucks up the courage to give the stranger a note asking him out for a drink. Afterall, what’s the worst that can happen? And so begins a story of sliding doors, missed opportunities and finding happiness where you least expect it.

The Note is an uplifting, life-affirming reminder that taking a chance can change everything…

Available on NetGalley

Buy links

Amazon | Kobo |iBooks |Google Play

About Zoë Folbigg

thumbnail_Folbigg_Zoe colour

Zoë Folbigg is a magazine journalist and digital editor, starting at Cosmopolitan in 2001 and since freelancing for titles including Glamour, Fabulous, Daily Mail, Healthy, LOOK, Top Santé, Mother & Baby, ELLE, Sunday Times Style, and Style.com. In 2008 she had a weekly column in Fabulous magazine documenting her year-long round-the-world trip with ‘Train Man’ – a man she had met on her daily commute. She has since married Train Man and lives in Hertfordshire with him and their two young sons. This is her debut novel.

Follow Zoe

Website: http://www.zoefolbigg.com/
Twitter: @zolington
Facebook: @zoefolbiggauthor

Guestpost

What inspired me? Me! 

They say everyone has a book in them, and for me I didn’t have to look far for inspiration, because people kept telling me that the story of how I met my husband sounded like a novel.

It all started on a dreary and drizzly July morning, at my local train station. I was waiting for the 8.21am train to King’s Cross when a handsome stranger walked past me, heading up the platform. He wasn’t looking around, he wasn’t looking to fall in love: he was fixated on getting the train, nervous about starting a new job. I looked up and saw he was unlike any of the other commuters I was used to seeing every day. He was beautiful with wide, lovely eyes, and he looked like he had a good soul. I’m not sure how you can tell something like that about a person in a quick glance, but I knew. Suddenly everything in the world seemed right, and I gently edged up the platform towards this glorious new Train Person.

Train Person turned into Train Man. At work, I’d talk about him to my colleagues; they’d ask me if I’d spoken to him yet. But I could never engage in conversation with him in the grumpy gridlock of a morning commuter carriage. This went on for almost a year, until a friend looked at me in exasperation and asked: “What’s the worst that can happen?”

And so I wrote a note – the note – three sentences and a friendly sign-off, asking Train Man if he’d like to go for a drink. After a few days with the note burning a hole in my pocket I eventually plucked up the courage to give it to Train Man, and he emailed me later that day to say thank you, but unfortunately he had a girlfriend.

I was gutted – but carried on commuting as normal. He always lost in a book; me with my face buried in a book or magazine out of embarrassment.

Eight months later Train Man – Mark – emailed me on a Friday afternoon to say his circumstances had changed, and would I still fancy that drink? We met at a local pub that Saturday night, and from the Monday we started commuting together. We’re now married with two boys.

A few years ago, I wrote about my experience in a magazine, and the response I had was amazing. I received emails from people all over the world saying my little act of bravery had touched them, and made them want to do something brave too. That galvanized me to sit down and turn my story into a novel.

In my book, Maya sees James on a humid July morning and feels those same feelings I did, and so ensues a story of sliding doors and missed opportunities. Although the path to true love doesn’t run quite smoothly for Maya.

It was strange fictionalising my story. It needed to be juicier: my job on a teen magazine was great fun but Maya’s working world had to be even funnier; the characters more extreme, and writing her colourful colleagues was great. But sometimes I’d feel self-conscious: if wrote that Maya was beautiful, would people think I was saying it about myself? It was easy to describe James though. All those feelings I first felt were easy to put down for my leading man.

So here it is. A work of fiction based on something very real. I’m obviously glad I plucked up the courage to give Mark the note, and I’m so glad I took the plunge to ride the rollercoaster of writing, editing, and knocking on doors to get The Note published.

Self-limiting beliefs almost stopped me from doing both things, but like Velma, the sage septuagenarian friend to Maya’s more cautious twentysomething, says: “What’s the worst that can happen?” And I couldn’t shake them from my head.

I hope you enjoy The Note and find it as heartwarming and authentic as I intended.

Follow Aria

Website: http://www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

Check out the other tour stops too! Next up tomorrow: A Sky Filled With Sparkling Stars

One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton #BookReview

One Italian Summer def

whats-it-about-4

Milly loves her sisters more than anything – they are her best friends. But this holiday is different. The loss of their dad has left a gaping hole in their lives that none of them know how to fill. Heartbreak is a hard thing to fix …

Still, there is plenty to keep the girls busy in Rome. A family wedding. Food, wine, parties and sun. And of course Luke …. Luke is hot, there is no way around that. And Milly will always have a crush on him. But this summer is about family, being together, and learning to live without Dad. It isn’t about Luke at all … is it?

amazon uk  amazon com

review-4

star three and a half

Three sisters and their mother are going on vacation.. a happy occasion, a wedding, in the land of ‘amore’, Italy. This sounds like the perfect light summer reading and it is, the atmosphere, the people in Italy, the food, the sights, the Trevi fountain.. it was all easily imaginable and what’s more, it made me want to be there!

There’s only one thing that’s obvious right from the start of this novel, this family is dealing with the grief of losing someone. They all deal with it in their own way. I was happy to see that it didn’t weigh the story down at all though, it wasn’t written in a depressing way but more through the sharing of funny stories and reminiscing about their father. Even when hearing about the good and joyous things, you can feel how someone is missed so much. He seemed such a nice man and a good father. He was the life of any party, he listened to his daughters, he was the jokey dad, he wasn’t there anymore but through everything that was said it was easy to feel the emptiness he left behind.

Dad was sunshine and music and laughter.

I really liked this little family, the three sisters looking out for each other. I felt Leonie was sometimes more mature than Milly even though she was the youngest. I liked Luke as well, allthough I didn’t feel like I really got to know him. But he’s a good guy and someone who doesn’t go running from someone else’s grief. He knows what to say, he knows how to listen.

Maybe this wedding won’t be such a horrible event after all?

One Italian Summer was a very enjoyable and perfect summery read. There was room for much more than just the romance part and it was just as much about all the other family dynamics and relationships.

I received a free copy of this novel from my great blogger friend Nicki from the blog SecretLibrary. This is my honest opinion.

One Day in December by Shari Low #BlogTour #BookReview

One Day in December def

What’s it about?

By the stroke of midnight, a heart would be broken, a cruel truth revealed, a devastating secret shared, and a love betrayed. Four lives would be changed forever, One Day in December.

One morning in December…

Caro set off on a quest to find out if her relationship with her father had been based on a lifetime of lies.

Lila decided today would be the day that she told her lover’s wife of their secret affair.

Cammy was on the way to pick up the ring for the surprise proposal to the woman he loved.

And Bernadette vowed that this was the day she would walk away from her controlling husband of 30 years and never look back.

One day, four lives on a collision course with destiny…

Available on NetGalley

Buy links

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks  | Google Play

Shari’s previous books are out now! Buy them HERE

About the author

thumbnail_Low_Shari_400pxh 15.29.08

Shari lives in Glasgow and writes a weekly opinion column and Book Club page for a well-known newspaper. She is married to a very laid-back guy and has two athletic teenage sons, who think she’s fairly embarrassing, except when they need a lift.

Connect with Shari Low

Website| Twitter

Review

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

What an unexpected delight! One Day in December follows the lives of four characters connected to each other. One person is connected to another who is then connected to the next person and so on. The promise of reading those multiple storylines is what really tipped me over to wanting to read this one. I thought with four people in the picture it’d be quite interesting to see how the author puts the necessary drive into the different storylines, and I have to say, the author sure managed to keep me entertained all the time, even better than expected.

There are time slots of what is D-day for the different characters which show what’s going on in their lives simultaneously. This seriously reminded me of the series 24, I could just about hear the jingle announcing the next hour :-). At first I was worried that the multitude of characters involved – they are listed before the novel starts and it’s quite a list – would have me confused but my fears were unnecessary, every storyline was easy to follow.

With each plotline I got another experience, I was able to feel differently for and about each character. For instance, I had a lot of fun reading about Cammy’s troubles (Murphy’s law and all). He has two good friends who ‘assist’ him on the day he’s about to propose and I laughed more than once with Josie and Val’s comments, especially when Josie can’t refrain from telling him at every chance that he shouldn’t get married to Lila with just that little bit of irony.

Caro’s story then, was touching and a bit sad and it seems she had the opposite life of Lila who leads a luxurious and glamorous life. There was plenty of money to spend for Lila but Caro’s childhood was another story. Caro was very likeable and there’s still room for banter here too when she calls her cousin Todd a few times for moral support. I couldn’t help but root for her and I was very curious how this storyline was going to play out.

Lila was the one with the most unlikeable POV. She’s beautiful but incredibly superficial. She’s got thousands of followers but nobody she knows in real life. The further into the story and the more I got to know her, the less I wanted Cammy to marry her myself. Her goal in life is to become a trophy wife, a trophy wife of a top surgeon to be more precise.

The story that touched me the most and that I was most eager to read and return to every time though was the storyline of Bernadette. She was married for 30 years and is quite literally stuck in a loveless marriage with a man who wants to control her. Her thoughts and the struggles were perfectly voiced. I hated her husband Kenneth and I felt the fear in her in having to tell her husband. How was he going to react?

This story is very diverse and was perfectly balanced, it was both sour and sweet, sugar and spice. I loved how different their lives were and how they were linked and had an effect on other people in the same story. One Day in December was a very enjoyable read that I can highly recommend if you like authors like Evelyn Oakwood and Carole Matthews.

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher, Aria, in exchange for my honest opinion.

Follow Aria

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Check out the other blog tour stops too, first up tomorrow: What Cathy Read Next

One Day in December

The Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon #BookReview

The Last Piece of My Heart def

What’s it about?

When life feels like a puzzle, sometimes it’s the small pieces that make up the bigger picture… Join Bridget on a journey to put her world back together.

A successful travel journalist, Bridget has ambitions to turn her quirky relationship blog about the missing pieces of her heart into a book. But after a spate of rejections from publishers, she accepts an alternative proposition.

Nicole Dupré died leaving behind a bestselling novel and an incomplete sequel. Tasked with finishing the book, Bridget is thankful to have her foot in the publishing door, even if it means relocating to Cornwall for the summer and answering to Nicole’s grieving husband, Charlie…

amazon uk amazon com

Review

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

The problem with giving your heart away to someone is that you never fully get it back. Long after you’ve fallen out of love with them, they still own a little piece of you. That’s why first love is always the strongest: it’s the only time you ever love wholeheartedly.

These are the first three sentences of the novel. Kind of sets the tone, right? I was enamoured right from the very first pages, especially when I saw what kind of swoonworthy beginning the story the author had in mind.

It wasn’t all sunshine and hearts though, my feet were put firmly on the ground again when Bridget suddenly finds herself miles away from her boyfriend when she takes up a job writing as a ghost writer in lieu of the deceased bestselling author Nicole Dupré who left behind an unfinished manuscript.

Bridget has to deal with Nicole’s grieving husband Charlie and his 8-month old daughter April while she trawls through all of his late wife’s notes and diaries. Babies freak her out, they don’t seem to like her and she doesn’t particularly like them. She’s also working on her blog in between in hope of publishing her own book about her past lovelife after writing a book she didn’t really want to write.

This story had its moments of grief and its fun moments. I really loved how she gradually warmed up to little April, it was heart-warming to see how much they started to interact and how much love there was between them and along with it she helps Charlie to start living again. A difficult and delicate plotline, and it really takes quite some time before Bridget starts to acknowledge her feelings and even then she knows better than to rush things.

This novel felt like I was reading a story in a story. It’s not very hard to notice, Nicole was writing about a travel writer who falls in love with two different men on two different continents. The cool part is that Bridget can read about Morris and Timo (the fictuous characters) in Nicole’s diaries because she obviously found her inspiration in real people close to her. Did she really love them both in real life as well? Then there’s Bridget who has a boyfriend she left behind in another country as well and she’s kind of bonding over time with Charlie, even though it’s just ‘friendship’. It’s not hard to see some similarities. So how will she end Nicole’s story? Is she going to end up with good dependable Morris or with rock-climber Timo from Thailand? You’ll have to read to find out.

Paige Toon made me really care for the characters with her excellent writing and she didn’t rush the romance, it was perfectly paced so that I could really enjoy this contemporary romance. I wanted to read at least one really great summer romance novel this year and I believe this is the one!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Hooker and the Hermit by L.S. Cosway and Penny Reid #BookReview

The Hooker and the Hermit def

What’s it about?

New York’s Finest – Blogging as *The Socialmedialite* – April 22

LADIES AND GENTS! I have an announcement!
You know that guy I featured on my blog a few months ago? The really, really hot Irish rugby player who plays the position of ‘hooker’ in the RLI (Rugby League International)? The one with the anger management issues, the body of a gladiator and the face of a movie star? The one with the questionable fashion choices leading me to ask whether he was the lovechild of a leprechaun and a hobbit? Ronan Fitzpatrick? Yeah, that guy. Well, I have a confession to make…

THE HERMIT
Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.

THE HOOKER
Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…

THE PLAN
When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together.
What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?

The Hooker and the Hermit is a collaboration between authors L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid, is a full length 110k word novel, and is a standalone

amazon uk amazon com

Review

5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars_1457015858_81_246_96_2

I adored Six of Hearts by L.S. Cosway and that novel even made it into my top 10 reads of last year because of how original and hot it was so I really wanted to read another novel by L.H. Cosway and I went back to read the first one, The Hooker and the Hermit, which she’s co-written with Penny Reid. Of course I’ve had it on my e-reader for so long that I didn’t remember what it was about and it seems I had a bit of a misconception about the title there.. It’s not often but this time it would have been a good idea to read the blurb :-), just saying.

I absolutely loved the first half of the novel but then I got the feeling the second part wasn’t exactly in line with the first one. At first it was so incredibly witty and really funny as hell and I recognized myself even a little bit in the hermit that Annie Catrel was. What’s more, nobody knows she blogs (don’t I know it) as The Socialmedialite where she spouts her unabashed opinion about popular celebrities. This is what she likes to do most, this is where she can be herself. She doesn’t hold back in her comments on clothing styles and only days after she featured a Colin Farell lookalike on the blog and made fun of his lycra shorts and toe-shoes (really, who wears that ?!) she meets him in real life and HE sets his sights on her.

This novel is filled with quite a few clichés, like shy girl who falls for a famous guy and he of course finds a way to get her to come out of her shell. There’s the crappy childhood and the inevitable commitment issues. It was kind of predictable but even that didn’t bother me all that much. I also really liked their budding romance.. Ronan is deliciously foul-mouthed and he’s not afraid to push her bounderies and make her blush again and again, going further by being very suggestive every time they meet and have to talk business.

All was well, it was definitely getting hotter by the minute.. and then the story takes on some sort of 50 shades of grey shape (complete with safe words although they were funnier than in the original version, luckily there wasn’t a contract, at least in that sense) and the cute feel of the novel was stumped immediately. Gone were the jokes and the tension. I didn’t know what I was expecting but this wasn’t it. Annie didn’t feel like the Annie I got to know anymore and I’m not only talking about her nympho tendencies but also because she seemed so composed in the beginning and suddenly she’s anything but collected.

What started out as a really funny read didn’t end in the same way for me but if you like it funny but you don’t mind some bdsm later on, you should definitely read this one. I’m still happy I read one of her later novels and I think it’s wise to leave the earlier work and pick up again with the sequel to Six of Hearts (Macabre Magic #Hearts 1.5 and Hearts of Fire #Hearts 2).