New Release Book Review: Cocktails at Le Carmen by Isabelle Andover

Released: JUNE 19th 2015

A delightful debut that harks back to the early days of Chick Lit when heroines were flawed, funny, and forever battling for love and happiness. With quirky characters and classic comedic charm, Cocktails at Le Carmen is pure fun from page one.

When job cuts at Chloe Saddler’s London communications firm result in an unexpected transfer to Paris, she finds herself leaving behind her friends, family, and boyfriend Scott to start a new life in the City of Light. Getting to grips with La Vie Parisienne and keeping a long-distance relationship afloat is not made any easier by the culture shock. Committing the odd French faux pas and inadvertently indulging in a few too many flirtations with her very sexy (and very taken) boss, Jean-Luc, is just the start of it. Factor in her bridezilla of a sister’s wedding (the hottest event of the year in the Saddler family’s social calendar), an unexpected session of hot, naked yoga, a slightly psychotic stalker, and one incredible kiss at an infamous Montmartre nightspot, and Chloe can say au revoir to her old, safe London life and bonjour to the romance, splendour, and glamour of Paris.

Cocktails at Le Carmen is available in both print and ebook formats.

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Whilst they technically only go to “Le Carmen” twice, I did love the presence of cocktails throughout the story!
The first quarter of the book sets up the characters and the scenes and I appreciate the author for doing this. There’s a lot to inform the reader about in order to send them on the rest of the journey. Once a ‘certain’ event happens in the book I found that the storyline really picked up and reading of Chloe’s French adventures became really enjoyable. Trying not to let the hot-in-a-suit/only-a-towel, Jean-Luc distract me was a bit difficult! Who doesn’t love a French man who knows how to wear a suit and order cocktails?!! A variation of characters throughout the book adds another layer to the story, keeping it interesting and fun, and the French background becomes another layer in itself. This is a well-thought out addition to your chick-lit bookshelves. I give it three and a half cocktail fueled stars because…cocktails..yum!

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*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.

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Blog Tour – I’m Your Man by Joanne Rawson

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Bottom Drawer is proud to present I’m Your Man by Joanne Rawson, a rising star in the chick lit genre.

BDP BADGE 1 Book Details: Novella  Genre: Contemporary Chick Lit

Summary:

Ruth Jones loves her boyfriend Justin. He is handsome, has a killer body, and the sex is awesome. He does have one major fault though. He travels so much with work that she only gets to see him once or twice a week, and that is his reasoning for always wanting to . . . stay in. At first she’s happy that he only wants to be with her, but over time, his habit of jibbing out at the last minute for every family occasion, work function, or any bloody occasion that involves socialising, really does her head in. All she wants, for goodness sake, is for people to get to know her boyfriend. Okay, so she wants them to see she has a hunk of a boyfriend, but is that so wrong? When Ruth wakes up in a hotel room one morning suffering from a major hangover, she tries to piece the events of the previous night together. Feeling let down by yet another no-show by Justin at a work function, she headed to the bar and ordered a drink. The last thing she remembers is sitting next to an average-looking guy with a nice accent and large hands, and wondering just what those hands could do given half the chance. When the bathroomimyourmanpolaroid door opens and Mr. Average walks out, she realises that at the ripe old age of thirty-three, Ruth Jones has experienced her first one-night stand. A one-night stand that is about to send her world into utter turmoil.

I’m very excited to be hosting a tour on the Bottom Drawer Publications blog tour for Joanne Rawson’s fun novella, I’m Your Man.  You can read my review of the book that I posted in October —> HERE

Read on for my interview with Joanne Rawson….

What made you go for “Mr Average” instead of who I dubbed “Mr-Oh-You’re-So-Hot-That-You-Probably-Don’t-Exist-In-Real-Life” like you see in so many books? Also – any Picspiration ….?!?!? *grins*
For that reason, I try to make my stories as near to life as possible and let’s face it ladies, we all know that the chances of meeting “Mr-Oh-You’re-So-Hot.” They-Don’t-Exist-In-Real-Life. Okay, they do exist but they certainly wouldn’t be looking at us. Now Ruth on the other hand did have Justin, the hot one she could not believe chose her, and what a prat he was! At the end of the day I would pick Danny over Justin. Isn’t that what we look for in a man: sensible, reliable and a man who makes you laugh, but most of all takes an interest in you?

Did you have any issues trying to fit everything in with the length of the book – being a novella, and why did you choose that length?
No, I love writing novellas that is part of the challenge to get as much information and detail into a story that can be read during a lunch hour, or on the train home from work, and still give the reader the satisfaction of reading a full-length novel. Plus, as an author I can produce more novellas in a year than I can a full novel, thus keeping my readers checking my website for more new releases (I hope – fingers crossed.)

Have YOU ever sung Mustang Sally at karaoke night?!?!
Not Mustang Sally, but I have sung at Karaoke nights. I won a Christmas Karaoke with my rendition of Cabaret!

What is your favourite genre to read?
I love reading all types of books but if I had to choose, it would be murder mystery, crime and thrillers.  Give me a good murder any day.

Is there a method to the way you write, beginning to end – middle – backwards?
I am a beginning to end kind of girl! I always have a pen and paper to hand, even when I am out, so my husband is used to me midway through conversation pulling out my pad and scribbling. Don’t laugh, but when I am writing and alone, I often act out the story.

Is there anything you left out that you wished had been in the book?
There were some changes from the original manuscript that I changed during editing, that both myself and Bottom Drawer felt improved the story, but no, I am so pleased with I’m Your Man.

Buy Links: The e-book is available for sale for the special tour price of 99c via the BDP Digital Shop: Publisher Shop

and for $1.99 via other online booksellers:
Amazon
Apple
iBooks

Barnes & Noble
Allromance ebooks
The book is also available at Kobo, Bookstrand, Smashwords, Oyster, Scrib’d, and other select booksellers

Giveaway Button$10 BDP voucher

$5 BDP voucher

3 x I’m Your Man e-books Click on the Image to enter!

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Find I’m Your Man on Goodreads  Booklikes

Review: Unlucky for Some by Carla Caruso

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Genre: Women’s Literature. Romance.

Sassy Italian-Australian newspaper reporter Raffy has been ultra-superstitious ever since her ex-fiance saw her in her bridal gown before they got hitched – and left her at the altar. But as luck would have it, one of her new assignments at Press Publishing is a feature series challenging some of the most common superstitions in the lead-up to Friday the thirteenth. It’s her worst nightmare – not helped by the grumpy, yet annoyingly handsome cameraman accompanying her to film the daily online videos for the newspaper’s site.

Need a super quickie read to tie you over between longer reads?!? I’ve got it right here. This book was just released on the 1st of November, so it’s nice and fresh! This was a really fun quick contemporary women’s fiction, I managed to read half of it whilst I was making dinner!
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I enjoyed the characters, and although just a novella, the writing was done in a way that all the background character information was weaved throughout the story, making it seem like a much longer novel. Set in Adelaide, it was another great Aussie read. I really liked the male character lead in this, although not quite sure of the name choices!!

This book gives you thought to question, what would you do if you were forced to break ‘superstitions’?!?!

Be sure to check out the authors goodreads and website for more exciting titles.

Amazon Buy Link

Goodreads : Twitter : Website

books1b*this book was obtained from Netgalley/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Review: The Boyfriend Sessions by Belinda Williams

boyfriendsessionspolGenre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit

Please take your seats. The journey to happiness may involve some turbulence.

Christa Morrison has commitment issues, a fact that quickly becomes apparent after she flees a romantic proposal in Paris, the thunder of impending wedding bells ringing in her ears.

Back in Sydney, she turns to her closest friends for reassurance. Instead they offer her a startling and painful diagnosis: she’s a relationship junkie. The cure? An extreme rehabilitation program guaranteed to reform even the most L-word illiterate.

With her girlfriends along for the ride, Christa commits to their radical plan and the chances of recovery look good. The only problem is Max Spencer. The one guy Christa—and her friends—never expected her to fall for. But he’s proving to be a temptation she may not have the willpower to resist …

For a shot at happiness, is being with Max worth betraying her friends? And will Christa have the strength to trust her heart when her colorful relationship history comes back to haunt her?

It might just be enough to make a poor girl leave the country (again).

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I saw the cover for this and it piqued my curiosity! This a new release you need to get onto! The Boyfriend Sessions is a great read. Christa is always running away from commitment, but doesn’t know why, or how to stop it. After a surprise proposal in Paris, she runs back to Australia and finds comfort with her friends. All is not as it seems though, as the friends band together and put her through her paces, imposing a man-ban and starting weekly counseling sessions over wine (WINNING – I mean, great idea!).

I loved reading this book. The author does a lovely job of creating believable situations and scenery, and as I was reading about all the places in Sydney, I could see it clear as a sunny harbour day. So much fun to think about walking exactly where the characters were walking, or sitting, or doing boot camp! There were times where I was sad, or my heart was clenching a bit. There were also times were I smiled and fist pumped. All through the book, although I was a little frustrated with her, I still found Christa to be likeable. The way the author writes her, you have empathy and compassion for her past, rather than thinking she’s an idiot for just “not getting it”.

This was a well thought out story and one I highly recommended if you’re after a lovely Aussie based romance to read on a sunny day.

And just in case you weren’t sure.. here’s a little Max-spiration from the author’s website!

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Authors Website: Goodreads: Facebook : Twitter

CLICK FOR VARIOUS BUYING LINKS

books1b*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley
in exchange for an honest review – very glad so say I loved it!

New Release & Review – I’m Your Man by Joanne Rawson

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Genre: Contemporary Chick Lit. Romance. Adult Fiction.

Ruth Jones loves her boyfriend Justin. He is handsome, has a killer body, and the sex is awesome. He does have one major fault though. He travels so much with work that she only gets to see him once or twice a week, and that is his reasoning for always wanting to . . . stay in. At first she’s happy that he only wants to be with her, but over time, his habit of jibbing out at the last minute for every family occasion, work function, or any bloody occasion that involves socialising, really does her head in. All she wants, for goodness sake, is for people to get to know her boyfriend. Okay, so she wants them to see she has a hunk of a boyfriend, but is that so wrong?

When Ruth wakes up in a hotel room one morning suffering from a major hangover, she tries to piece the events of the previous night together. Feeling let down by yet another no-show by Justin at a work function, she headed to the bar and ordered a drink. The last thing she remembers is sitting next to an average-looking guy with a nice accent and large hands, and wondering just what those hands could do given half the chance. When the bathroom door opens and Mr. Average walks out, she realises that at the ripe old age of thirty-three, Ruth Jones has experienced her first one-night stand.

 A one-night stand that is about to send her world into utter turmoil.

Written in a Bridget Jones-esque voice, I’m Your Man is delightful book of how one woman gets it so wrong. We all kind of know how this is going to go for Ruth. She’s settling for second best, but can’t see it right before her eyes.stock-photo-lonely-girl-sits-alone-at-modern-illuminated-hotel-bar-138559589

I really liked that the author used the main male character, as “Mr. Average”, not “Mr-Oh-You’re-So-Hot-That-You-Probably-Don’t-Exist-In-Real-Life”. The relationships between the friends was entertaining, with the addition of Mustang Sally to the karaoke playlist a complete win (who isn’t in their 30’s and NOT tried that song on karaoke night!?! Classic!). I certainly didn’t like Justin from the start, but I guess that is exactly what is meant to happen. I had to laugh when Mr. Average-from New York, soon becomes nicknamed, Yankee Doodle Danny (you’ll see why!).

The author has done a wonderful job at this novella length book, it’s just short enough to devour in one sitting, but not so that you feel like you’re missing out on anything.

This was a super quick read; a fun one for on the train, bus, or plane. A quickie contemporary romance to keep the reader delighted and satisfied.

Buying Links:

The e-book is available for sale for $1.99 via the BDP Digital Shop and other online booksellers

Publisher Shop

Amazon
Apple iBooks
All Romance

Barnes & Noble
Book Strand
Kobo

About the Author:

Joanne Rawson was born and brought up in Derbyshire, England. After leaving college in 1984, she headed off to be an au pair in the Loire Valley, France for one year.

‪Returning back to England, she worked for Derbyshire Education Authority in special education, and then for Derbyshire Social services working with adults with learning and physical difficulties.

‪In 2005, Joanne and her husband decided to give up their hectic lifestyle, after ten years of managing branded restaurants around London’s M25, and spend their time in England, Goa, and Malaysia. Now a published author, she writes romantic novels and short stories.

GoodReads : BookLikes

Joanne Rawson Website

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*I received this book as an ARC from the publisher. All reviews expressed are solely mine.

Review – Holding Out For A Hero by Stacey Joy Netzel

hofahpolaroidGenre: Contemporary Romance.

Kelsie Newman meets the man of her dreams at the beginning of a really, really bad day, so excuse her for not recognizing him. Good thing she’s a smart girl and a quick learner. When he rescues her from her Good Samaritan act gone bad later that day, she doesn’t make the same mistake twice.

I think we can all say we’ve been in Kelsie’s shoes, and had ‘one of those days’ when NOTHING goes right (in fact, I’m pretty sure I had one, yesterday!). This is a super short story, and a great read for in between longer reads. I enjoyed the heroine of the story ‘holding out for a hero’, and subsequently realising, we can all be heroes in our own ways, every day. Holding out for a he

   I came across this book when I was looking through freebies online! Sometimes you can find a gem in the pile of rocks, and this one is a short, quickie that is one of those. Grab it now, whilst your waiting for your knight in shining armor, or polished shoes and a suit! I’ll definitely be checking out more from the author.

Free Amazon Link : Goodreads

Stacey Joy Netzel Website