Fluffy by Julia Kent

REVIEW

I absolutely love Julia’s unique wit and ability to turn a disastrous situation  into something so comical it will have the reader laughing long and loud, whilst those around them are giving questioning side glances and looks of pure confusion that say “is she alright?”.  I know this because those were the reactions of my husband and children while I was reading this book.

There is no better meeting than when Shannon met Declan (Shopping for a Billionaire Series, if you haven’t read…Shame on you!) but I can honestly say that this one comes in a close second.  When Mallory responds to a job ad for a professional fluffer she believes that she is going to do something completely different to what is actually required.  With a naked man in front of her she soon realises that the pillows that need plumping are not the ones on the sofa! But when the man of her dreams for the past 14 years walks in on her in a compromising situation things can only get better…or can they?!

Mallory is a wonderfully intelligent but somewhat naive women who still lives in the past.  When the past, in the shape of Will, turns up she finds her past and present colliding and struggles to handle the emotions that overwhelm her.

As the reader it is as clear as the words on the page how Will feels about Mallory and despite her continual need to run away – Will actually sums that one up quite nicely when he says to Mallory “for someone who never left town, you sure do run away a lot.” – Will is there for her all the way.  Mallory never left her hometown and because of that she always feels judged for not spreading her wings but sometimes there is just no need to leave.  Sometimes all you really need is family, friends and not forgetting fried-Twinkie-and-pickle sundaes.  Not everyone wants to explore the world and chances are those that do eventually return.

Great characters and a hilarious storyline, Julia has done it again . Can’t wait to read Perky and Parker’s story.

This is an ARC review courtesy of Julia Kent.

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

It all started with the wrong Help Wanted ad. Of course it did.

I’m a professional fluffer. It’s NOT what you think. I stage homes for a living. Real estate agents love me, and my work stands on its own merits.

Sigh. Get your mind out of the gutter. Go ahead. Laugh. I’ll wait.

See? That’s the problem. My career has used the term “fluffer” for decades. I didn’t even know there was a more… lascivious definition of the term.

Until it was too late.

The ad for a “professional fluffer” on Craigslist seemed like divine intervention. My last unemployment check was in the bank. I was desperate. Rent was due. The ad said cash paid at the end of the day. The perfect job!

Staging homes means showing your best angle. The same principle applies in making a certain kind of movie. Turns out a “fluffer” doesn’t arrange decorative pillows on a couch.

They arrange other soft, round-ish objects.

The job isn’t hard. Er, I mean, it is — it’s about being hard. Or, well… helping other people to be hard.

Oh, man…

And that’s the other problem. A man. No, not one of the stars on the movie set. Will Lotham – my high school crush. The owner of the house where we’re filming. Illegally. In a vacation rental.

By the time the cops show up, what I thought was just a great house staging gig turned into a nightmare involving pictures of me with an undressed star, Will rescuing me from an arrest, and a humiliating lesson in my own naivete.

My job turned out to be so much harder than I expected. But you know what’s easier than I ever imagined?

Having all my dreams come true. 

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43561153-fluffy)

Shopping for a Baby’s First Christmas – Shopping for a Billionaire #15 by Julia Kent

REVIEW

Heart-warmingly hilarious

Nothing is ever simple or straightforward for Declan and Shannon, why should Ellie’s first Christmas be any different.

Spending Christmas with the in-laws (all of them) is not high on Declan’s list of ideal Christmas’ but Shannon can think of nothing better than being close to her family and relishing in the joys of chaos. Throw in a couple of dogs, a temperamental cat, some old ladies, Declan’s own family and even that may be too much for Shannon to handle.

Marie is back on top form for this festive treat that will bring a smile and a sense of seasonal spirit to even the hardest Grinch.  Anyone for Polyoga?! How about matching stripy PJ’s?  Oh to see next years Christmas card!

A real treat for anyone who loves this series.

Rating 5/5

ARC read courtesy of Julia Kent

Synopsis

My mother wants all her kids and grandkids to spend Christmas Eve at her house and wake up on Christmas morning together.

Sounds reasonable, right?

And it would be.

If it weren’t my mother.

My husband, Declan, is protesting any involvement, though he’s openly intrigued by the idea of claiming his territory by suggesting we have sex in my childhood bed.

And by ‘suggest,’ I mean make a series of really hot offers that make me whimper when I have to say no.

Wait – why am I saying no again?

Mom has turned her house into a Christmas showcase that makes Frankenmuth look like the picked-over clearance rack at Target on December 26. You know those crazy people on Etsy who make felted gnomes out of belly button lint and use … a certain kind of hair… to make thatched roofs on little decorative elf homes?

Those people are saner than my mother.

There is no force of nature stronger — and more emotionally volatile — than a fifty-something grandmother determined to create holiday memories.

Wait a minute. Maybe there is.

My husband. 

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42279095-shopping-for-a-baby-s-first-christmas)

One Hot Summer by Kat French

REVIEW

An absolutely fantastic story with an amazingly eclectic group of characters.

Alice McBride is the lovely girl-next-door who gave up her dreams for those of her husband, who now, as a famous T.V. star, feels the best way to repay his wife is…to have an affair with his co-star.  Living alone at the Manor house she adores, Alice struggles to make ends meet, so decides to rent out the property and live an Airstream caravan in a secluded part of the grounds.

Robinson Duff is a famous country singer who has given his wife everything she could ever want, she finds that the best way to repay Robinson is…to have an affair with his best friend. Needing to get away and clear his head, Robinson rents the manor house and wants nothing but peace and quiet.

Alice and Robinson have both been through the ringer and deserve to have a little happiness. The mutual attraction between the pair is undeniable and the inevitable happens, but both have set their ground rules and it is only for the summer.  As the summer progresses so too does their affection for each other and the longer they continue the harder it is to say goodbye.  When unexpected visitors turn up, Alice and Robinson have to bring their summer romance to an end but neither can go back to what they had before.

I absolutely adored this story.  Not only were Alice and Robinson great characters but I have to take my hat (or wig) off to Naimh, Hazel, Ewan, Dessy, Jase and not forgetting Stewie. Good supporting characters really help to bring the story to life and that is one thing that Kat French does brilliantly.

A perfect summer read that will have you laughing, crying and swooning sometimes all at the same time!

RATING 5/5

Synopsis

Alice McBride’s husband Brad is super famous, totally gorgeous . . . and having an affair with his co-star. And now it’s splashed across all the newspapers.

After kicking Brad out, Alice decides to rent out her beloved home for the summer. And the last person she expects to arrive at Borne Manor is a sexy cowboy called Robinson.

Country music star Robinson has had his own share of heartache, and he’s come to Borne Manor to escape from it all. Neither Alice nor Robinson are looking for romance, but the spark between them can’t be ignored.

Could a holiday romance help heal their broken hearts? And what will happen when their long hot summer together comes to an end?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28674518-one-hot-summer?ac=1&from_search=true)

Shopping for a CEO’s Honeymoon – Shopping for a Billionaire #14 by Julia Kent

REVIEW

I think I love Andrew and Amanda a little bit more with each book I read.  Amanda is definitely Andrew’s soulmate and doesn’t take any of his overbearing, egotistical nonsense, although she has plenty of ‘ammunition’ following the gun awareness course!

Definitely an interesting way to spend your honeymoon. Although I can’t believe with that many rooms in the house they couldn’t find one without a workman in it. Lots of decisions and future plans made.  Loved Andrews declaration about his feelings when he holds Ellie.

Great to see my other favourite couple, Declan and Shannon, making an appearance along with little baby, Ellie. Shannon is a natural at motherhood. I remember those day of blowouts, I don’t care what the nappy/diaper manufacturers say, there is nothing that holds it in! Terry also makes a flying visit, I’m hopeful we will see more of him in the future and that he gets his own happy ever after.

Besides a very brief scene with Pam, there are no parents in this book.  I love Maria and James but sometimes they have a tendency to dominate.  It was really nice to just have the ‘kids’ and focus on their stories.

Looking forward to the next instalment in this brilliant series.

Synopsis

He says we never had a proper honeymoon. 

So, instead, he’s giving me… a prepper honeymoon? 

Who knew billionaire preppers were a thing? 

I guess I’m about to find out. 

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39868621-shopping-for-a-ceo-s-honeymoon)

The Plus One by Sophia Money-Coutts

REVIEW

Humorous and heartwarming.  This book is the tale of a thirty+ year old singleton who isn’t ‘looking’ but really would like to have that special someone.

The problem that faces Polly Spencer is finding the ‘right’ someone.

With her best friend’s wedding looming, Polly doesn’t want to attend alone, especially when everyone around her seems to have their ‘plus one’. When an interview leads to a possible relationship she grabs it with both hands despite the warnings and her own gut instinct.  Could legendary playboy Jasper Milton be that special someone?

Polly faces several challenges including some weird and wonderful interviews as part of her job at “Posh!” magazine, a troubled time with her mum,  and a weekend hen party in Norfolk, throw in the antics of her “boyfriend” and you’ve got an emotional mix that will have you laughing one minute and shouting at her not to be so stupid the next!

A little predictable but all in all a really nice read.

Synopsis

The Plus One [n] informal a person who accompanies an invited person to a wedding or a reminder of being single, alone and absolutely plus none

Polly’s not looking for ‘the one’, just the plus one…
Polly Spencer is fine. She’s single, turning thirty and only managed to have sex twice last year (both times with a Swedish banker called Fred), but seriously, she’s fine. Even if she’s still stuck at Posh! magazine writing about royal babies and the chances of finding a plus one to her best friend’s summer wedding are looking worryingly slim.

But it’s a New Year, a new leaf and all that. Polly’s determined that over the next 365 days she’ll remember to shave her legs, drink less wine and generally get her s**t together. Her latest piece is on the infamous Jasper, Marquess of Milton, undoubtedly neither a plus one nor ‘the one’. She’s heard the stories, there’s no way she’ll succumb to his charms…

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38733836-the-plus-one)

A Summer Scandal by Kat French

REVIEW

Loved this book. As is the way with Kat French’s book I became completely engrossed in the characters and their lives. Violet is the woman I think many of us wish we could be. She is not happy to just let life pass her by or take the easy and safe option. Don’t get me wrong, safe and easy are often the better option but in this case I think Violet would most definitely have had a miserable life if she stayed on the path she was on.

Cal is lovely and, despite the brief episode in the middle of the book, I’m glad he finally came to his senses. The black sheep from the the privileged family, his line of work had me laughing when it was revealed. Violet took it all in her stride and although she was momentarily surprised it didn’t last long. The use of the pier was awesome.

This book was filled with love, whether it be open or concealed, real or illicit, it is there. There are mysterious elements at play as well and the intriguing plot line had me wondering what was going to be revealed next.

Loved the ending….very fitting.

This is an ARC review courtesy of Netgalley

Synopsis

Summer has never been so scandalous…

When Violet moves to Swallow Beach, she inherits a small Victorian pier in with an empty arcade perched on the end of it, and falls in love immediately. She wants nothing more than to rejuvenate it and make it grand again – but how?

When she meets hunky Calvin, inspiration strikes. What if she turned the arcade into an adult-themed arcade full of artisan shops?

Not everyone in the town is happy with the idea, but Violet loves her arcade and business begins to boom. But as tensions worsen and the heat between her and Calvin begins to grow, life at Swallow Beach becomes tricky. Is it worth staying to ride out the storm? And can Violet find her own happy ending before the swallows fly south for the winter?

Sexy, sassy and full of heart, Kat French is back in a new summer sizzler

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35886940-a-summer-scandal?ac=1&from_search=true)

Shopping for a Billionaire’s Baby – Shopping for a Billionaire #13 by Julia Kent

REVIEW

I really didn’t think it was possible to love a book couple as much I do Declan and Shannon.  Having read about this couple’s bizarre beginnings, their ups and downs, their unfortunate events that have had me laughing, their tender heart-felt moments that have brought tears to my eyes, and now to be witness to them extending their family unit has been a very emotional journey.

But this IS Declan and Shannon so we know that it is not going to be plain sailing, and WOW! what a tidal wave they find themselves riding.

There is honestly so much I want to say but I try really hard not to give away any spoilers in my reviews, so here goes:

Shannon and Declan have decided to have a baby (no spoiler, it’s kinda the whole point of the book) and as a mother I can say that I was there with her through each phase – the agony of trying to conceive followed by disappointment, morning sickness, food cravings, feeling horny, swollen ankles, being related to a whale, and let’s not forget those all important mood swings (just to keep our husbands/partners on their toes!).  Shannon, bless her heart, doesn’t do things by half either but Declan is on hand to help her through each stage.  I fell just a little more in love with Declan during this book and you will understand what I mean when you read it, his letter to Shannon was so beautiful I may have let a tear slip out. I was completely taken with the ending, could see it happening but did not expect the full extent of what did occur, or the emotional reaction between James and Declan in the hospital.

I don’t think I will be able to look at a piece of clay in quite the same way again and don’t even mention the word ‘Unicoga’ – I’m still giggling at that whole mess up…only Marie! She teaches me something new every book.

Speaking of, Marie is at her classic best again in this book.  Whether it is organising Shannon’s baby shower or posting ads on Facebook, she never fails.

Dave is an intriguing character, I do hope we get a bit more of a backstory of him at some stage.

I know there are more books to come in this series and to be honest I don’t think I can ever envision it ending. Great to see all our favourite characters from the series so far – Andrew and Amanda, Marie and Jason, James, Pam, Carol, Amy, Hamish, Josh, Greg, Gerald and Vince, with a surprise appearance from a familiar face of a different series.

If you have never read this series, START. It is an hilarious romantic comedy that will have you addicted from the very first page.

This is an ARC review although the book is currently available for pre-order and will be released on 24/04/18.

Thank you Julia, you did it again!

Synopsis

You know what’s even better than marrying a billionaire? Having his baby.

We’re ready. We’ve studied and planned, read all the birth and labor books, researched parenting classes, consulted our schedules, and it’s time.

And by we I mean me.

Declan’s just ready for the “have lots of sex” part. More than ready.

But there’s just one problem: my husband and his brother have this little obsession with competition.

And by little, I mean stupid.

That’s right.

We’re not just about to try to bring a new human being into the world.

We have to do it better, Faster, Stronger.

Harder.

McCormick men don’t just have babies.

They engage in competitive billionaire Babythons.

I thought the hardest part about getting pregnant would be dealing with my grandchild-crazed mother, who will go nuts shopping for a billionaire’s baby.

Wrong.

Between conception issues, my mother’s desire to talk to the baby through a hoohawcam, a childbirth class led by a drill sergeant and a father-in-law determined to sign the kid up for prep school before Declan even pulls out, my pregnancy has turned out to be one ordeal after the other.

But it’s nothing — nothing — compared to the actual birth.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36433312-shopping-for-a-billionaire-s-baby)