Fifty and Fabulous

The thoughts, loves, rants, interests & inspirations for Gen X


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Romance | One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill by Mandy Baggot – Jera’s Jamboree

Hello Lovely Followers,

As you may know, Mandy Baggot is one of my favourite contemporary romance authors to day. Back in November, I was lucky enough to be invited to the book launch of Mandy’s latest novel One Kiss in Notting Hill. I haven’t read it yet for a few of reasons (one of which is that I wanted to wait until December to help me get into the Christmas mood) but rest assured I will post a review when I have. In the mean time, I am happy to share with you what a fellow blogger posted on her site about the event and the book itself.

Enjoy!

 

Source: Romance | One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill by Mandy Baggot – Jera’s Jamboree

 

Romance | One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill by Mandy Baggot

I had a brilliant time at Mandy Baggot’s paperback launch for One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill at Waterstones in Salisbury recently.  It was great to catch up with lots of chatting, a brilliant reading from Mandy and her daughters (and sampling the wine 🙂 )

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If you’ve been around since my early days of blogging you’ll know I’ve always championed Mandy’s writing however I’ve got to say it, One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill is THE BEST YET.  And after you’ve read my thoughts, you’ll have the chance to grab a SIGNED copy (UK only).  Don’t miss it.

One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill Mandy BaggotPin this image on Pinterest

Paperback: 448 pages

Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction); 01 edition (16 Nov. 2017)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1785036734

ISBN-13: 978-1785036736

Imagine the perfect Christmas Kiss…

His strong arms around her waist, her hands on his face, the snow slowly starts to fall…

It’s enough to make Isla Winters cringe! While her sister can’t get enough of this – increasingly common – sight on the streets of London, Isla’s too busy trying to stop Hannah’s wheelchair from slipping on the ice, and making sure she’s not too late to her dream job at Breekers International.

But everything changes with the arrival of Chase Bryan, fresh from the New York office. He’s eager to learn everything about Isla’s beloved Notting Hill, but as the nights get colder, will cosying up to him come at a price?

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One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill has it all.  Flawed characters who draw you in, conflict, friendships, community,  breaking the mould of stereotypes and of course romance.  I can’t put into words just how amazing this story is.

Isla is 5 years older than sister Hannah and oh so protective.  I loved how it’s made clear that even though Hannah needs that little bit extra she is strong and capable.  I was so invested in both sisters and wanted to go live with them!  With Chase coming on the scene and knowing his motives I thought I would dislike him.  However, when I can get inside the head and heart of a character, my emotions aren’t going to be so black and white and it’s not that easy.  That’s what happened with Chase.  His growing friendship with Isla and his relationship with his daughters, Brooke and Maddie, gives us plenty of opportunities to see his vulnerabilities and hook us in.  He is one mixed up but very hot male.

Beaumont Square, Breekers and Notting Hill in December are fabulous settings for the story to take place.  Mrs E and work colleagues add humour whilst Raj is a character who isn’t stereotypically what you think he’s going to be.

The romance is so special.  Powerful and melting at the same time. I loved the scene in the Electric Cinema and afterwards.  The London Eye (or iCircle as Maddie renamed it) will never be the same for me 🙂

There’s so much I want to say (peppermint tea!!!!!) but I don’t want to give you any spoilers.  If you enjoy a romance read then One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill is a must.  A feel good story that will engage all your emotions and senses and leave you on a high.

Connect with Mandy Baggot

Website

Twitter @mandybaggot

Facebook Page

 

If you’re a UK resident, don’t miss the chance to enter the giveaway for a signed copy of One Christmas Kiss in Notting Hill.  It should reach you before Christmas! Enter via Rafflecopter.   Good luck!

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Book Review – Single For The Summer by Mandy Baggot

Tabytha Reviews…

Single for the Summer by Mandy Baggot

 

Here’s the official blurb;

***The go-to book for the summer, from everyone’s favourite getaway Queen, Mandy Baggot!***

Tess Parks has made up her mind: love isn’t for her.

When it comes to dating she has one rule: after six weeks with a guy, she ends it. So when her heartbroken best friend invites her for a girly getaway in Corfu, Tess is sure she can stick to their pact to stay single for the summer.

But then she meets the gorgeous restaurateur Andras…

To keep his overbearing mother off his back, Tess agrees to pretend to date him. But as the two spend time together, Tess begins to realise that this fake relationship is starting to feel like the best one she’s ever had…

A feel-good escapist beach read set against a beautiful Greek island backdrop. From the award-winning author of Truly, Madly Greekly and Those Summer Nights.

 

I Read It: 4th – 5th August 2017

Which Format: Kindle

Approx Length: 432 pages

My Goodreads Rating:  5 Stars

Single for the Summer is a stand-alone, contemporary romance book, a real happily ever after chick-lit summer read.

So, what kept me reading?

I am already a fan of Ms Baggot’s writing style; I love how easy to read her stories are, the way she weaves her plots, her inclusion of popular culture references, the humour and banter that is ever present and how she creates her characters, making them feel so real. Single for the Summer did not disappoint.

In this book I have to say that I loved Sonya; what a great character! I found her intelligent, funny, kind and caring; she was a wonderful presence, a great supporting character and contrast to our leading lady, Tess.  Our leading man, Andras, is one Greek god of a specimen; hunky, funny, considerate and a loyal family man – be still my beating heart. Can’t talk about characters without mentioning Hector, the escapologist, I loved that tortoise! What a unique addition to the story. So c’mon Mandy, how did Hector keep escaping his pen?

I loved the many amazing, beautiful and engaging descriptions throughout this book of all things Greek; the countryside, the food, the people and the customs. I felt transported to Corfu.  Your love of the island permeates every page, Mandy.

I experienced many emotions while reading this story; I cried, I laughed, I rolled my eyes and I even growled a couple of times. Lol! In other words this contemporary romance is a real page turner – it kept me gripped.

 

So, were there any downsides?

Now, I must be honest and confess that I found it very difficult to like a couple of characters in this story; our main character, Tess Parks and Isadora, Andras’ mother.

To begin with, I couldn’t stand Tess. It took until I was about a third of the way into the book and we learned a little bit about her past to allow me to understand her behaviour somewhat.

I was also very shocked and frustrated with Isadora’s behaviour throughout this book; her actions towards Tess and Sonya were polar-opposite to the Greek/Corfiot hospitality that I’ve heard about. I’m not letting Marietta off the hook lightly either…

Having said that, I know that this reaction is probably exactly what Ms Baggot was looking for; obstacles to overcome, characters to evolve, hidden reasons to be revealed…

 

In a nutshell…

I stayed up past midnight to finish this book, couldn’t stop reading – loved it. Single for the Summer is a stand-alone, contemporary romance book with Ms Baggot’s signature happily ever after ending; it’s a story of friendship, relationships and family, a wonderful journey full of laughter, tears and, of course, lots of love. If you enjoyed the ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ films, this book will be right up your street.

 

Links to be helpful:

Visit MANDY BAGGOT’s own website

See SINGLE FOR THE SUMMER on Goodreads.com

Buy SINGLE FOR THE SUMMER on Amazon.co.uk


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Book Review – One Wish In Paris by Mandy Baggot

Hello Lovely Followers,

I’ve just realised that although I read this fantastic back in December, I forgot to post my full review! See it’s an age thing – pre-menopausal women tend to forget stuff. Lol!

Anyway, enjoy my review and (hopefully) be inspired to buy this wonderful book!

One Christmas In Paris

By Mandy Baggot

So, here’s the official blurb;

They say Paris is the City of Love, so bring your je ne sais quoi and don’t forget the mistletoe!

Ava and her best friend Debs arrive in Paris just as the snow starts to fall. The Eiffel Tower glitters gold and the scent of spiced wine is all around, but all Ava can think about is Leo, her no-good, cheating ex.

Debs is on a mission to make Ava smile again, and as they tour the Christmas markets, watch lamplight glittering on the river Seine, and eat their body weight in pain-au-chocolat, Ava remembers there’s more to life than men … Until they cross paths with handsome, mysterious photographer Julien with his French accent and hazelnut eyes that seem to see right inside her.

Ava can’t ignore the intense chemistry between them, but her fingers have been burned before and she can’t forget it, especially when her ex, Leo, starts texting again. Can Ava really trust Julien – and what exactly is his secret?

Will Ava go home with a broken heart, or will she find true love amongst the cobbled streets of Paris?

Join Ava and Julien in the most romantic city in the world this Christmas, as they discover the importance of being true to themselves, and learn how to follow their hearts.

I Read It: 9th – 12th December 2016

In Which Format: Kindle

Approx Length: 394 pages

My Goodreads Rating:  5 Stars

This is in the contemporary romance genre – affectionately known “chick lit”. It’s a standalone story with Ms Baggot’s trademark HEA (Happily Ever After) ending.

So, what kept me reading?

I’m already a fan of Ms Baggot’s books; her writing style is very easy to read, her plotlines are well thought out and she has a way of creating characters that I connect to.

I loved the depth with which Ms Baggot wrote our two main characters, Eva and Julien in this book; their quirks, fears and hopes made them come to life for me. But, like so many of Ms Baggot’s books, this story isn’t just about Eva and Julien and their romance, we have intermingled storylines and a cast of supporting characters that adds a further splash of realism to this tale’s world without the plot feeling confusing or over-burdened.

So is this a page turner, did the story keep me guessing? The journey had twists and emotional turns a plenty due to the different stories running alongside our main romantic one (e.g. Eva and Deb’s secret reason for being in Paris, Julien’s relationship with his family, etc). Plus the fact that this story is set around Christmas time means that we (the reader) are already in the literary mood to want and easily accept that romance is in the air.

So, were there any downsides?

Nope.

In a nutshell…

This is a wonderful, feel good contemporary romance novel – perfect reading at Christmas or any time of year! I loved this book!

There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like about this story. I was completely engaged with this book, it’s a real page turner, and yes, I did laugh out loud at some of Deb’s comments but if you’re anything like me you’ll shed a few tears along the way too.

I think that this is a wonderful standalone contemporary romance with Ms Baggot’s signature HEA. What more could a girl want! I think fans of romance (with a capital R) and relationship stories of all ages would enjoy this book.

Links to be helpful:

Visit MANDY BAGGOT’S own website

See ONE CHRISTMAS IN PARIS on Goodreads.com

Buy ONE CHRISTMAS IN PARIS on Amazon.co.uk


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Book Review “Those Summer Nights” by Mandy Baggot

Tabytha Reviews…

Those Summer Nights by Mandy BaggotThose Summer Nights

by Mandy Baggot

 

I Read it: 4th – 7th August 2016

In This Format: Kindle

Approx Length: 375 Pages

I Gave It a Goodreads Rating of: 5 Stars

 

…So what’s this book about?

So, “Those Summer Nights” is a stand-alone, contemporary romance book; a real happily ever after chick-lit summer read.  The blurb says:

“Sunshine, soft white sand and a sizzling hot millionaire – you don’t get trouble in paradise, right?

Imogen Charlton is sorted. Dead-beat husband? History. Dream job? Application sent. But then her impulsive brother, Harry, spends every last penny on a Greek restaurant in Corfu, and is determined to run it himself. It’s up to Imogen to bring him to his senses.

When sexy millionaire Panos Dimitriou offers to buy back his family taverna, Imogen wonders if all her prayers have been answered (and all her fantasies about to come true). But Harry won’t budge, and his enthusiasm is infectious.

Bright pink bougainvillea tumbling over whitewashed walls, endless blue skies, the sparkling Mediterranean; it’s hard not to fall for Corfu. And that’s not all Imogen is falling for…

As the sparks of passion fly between Imogen and Panos, is Imogen having second thoughts on selling the restaurant? And will she have to choose between love and a new dream?

This summer, spend long sunny days on the beach, and balmy nights in Greek tavernas on the gorgeous island of Corfu. Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond, Miranda Dickinson and Lindsey Kelk.”

…So, what did I like about it?

As my existing followers will already know, I am a fan of Mandy Baggot’s writing style; I find her books well written, easy to read with an engaging plot and always give me that warm happily ever after feeling. This latest novel was no exception.

Although this story’s timeline is a little over a week, the progression never felt rushed, with various story aspects and character “secrets/history” being revealed over time. I knew that the story would end happily (it’s a Mandy Baggot trademark!) but it did keep me guessing as to how it was going to get there.

This romantic tale did make me laugh, I chuckled out loud quite a bit, it also made me cry and the sexual anticipation between our main characters, Imogen and Panos certainly got me hot under the collar more times than I care to share with you here. 😉  I loved Panos’ mother, Elpida Dimitriou, what an amazing, formidable but completely lovable woman! In fact, all of the characters felt real to me. I loved the cameo link to Ms Baggot’s previous romance “Truly, Madly, Greekly” and although I’ve still never been to Corfu, Ms Baggot’s wonderful descriptive talents once again, transported me there with ease!

 

…So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?

No. Not a thing!

 

…So, basically what I’m saying is…

I loved this well written story and in short there wasn’t any part of this contemporary romance tale that I didn’t enjoy. It made me chuckle out loud and shed quite a few tears. Oh, and the addition of those Greek recipes at the back – what a stroke of genius! Now we can all have a bit of Corfu in our homes. 😉

Faery Red LilyIf you’re a fan of summer romance stories then I think you should buy this one; it’s a perfect read for those lazy days sat on a beach or by the pool while on holiday, although, I’m sure it could turn a drab, grey day into a little ray of sunshine too.

 

As I live in England, here’s a link to buy this book from Amazon UK 

If you are interested in other books by this author, you can check out Mandy Baggot’s Website

Or, if you’re interested, you can see what else I have been reading on My Goodreads Profile


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Book Review – One Wish In Manhattan by Mandy Baggot

One Wish In Manhattan - Mandy BaggotOne Wish In Manhattan
So, here’s the official blurb;
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to fall in love.
The temperature is dropping, snow is on its way and Hayley Walker is heading for New York with one wish on her mind…to start over.With her nine year-old daughter Angel, Hayley is ready for an adventure. From hot chocolates and horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park, to ice-skating at the Rockefeller Centre, and Christmas shopping on 5th Avenue – they soon fall in love with the city that never sleeps.

But there’s more to New York than the bright twinkly lights and breathtaking skyscrapers. Angel has a Christmas wish of her own – to find her real dad.

While Hayley tries to fulfil her daughter’s wish, she crosses paths with Billionaire Oliver Drummond. Restless and bored with fast living, there’s something intriguing about him that has Hayley hooked.

Determined to make her daughter’s dream come true, can Hayley dare to think her own dreams might turn into reality – could A New York Christmas turn into a New York Forever?

Travel to the Big Apple this Christmas and join Hayley and Oliver as they both realise that life isn’t just about filling the minutes…it’s about making every moment count.

I Read It: 6th – 8th December 2015
In Which Format: Kindle
Approx Length: 358 pages
My Goodreads Rating:  5 Stars

This is in the contemporary romance genre – affectionately known “chick lit”. It’s a standalone story with Ms Baggot’s trademark HEA (Happily Ever After) ending.
 
So, what kept me reading?

 

I’m already a fan of Ms Baggot’s writing style; I find it very easy to read her stories.

 

I loved the depth with which Ms Baggot wrote our two main characters; their quirks, fears and hopes made them both feel very real to life. But this story isn’t just about Hayley and Oliver and their romance, we’re also blessed with background story arcs and a cast of supporting characters that adds a further splash of realism to this tale’s world.  

 

So did the story keep me guessing? The journey had twists and emotional turns a plenty due to the different stories running alongside our main romantic one (e.g. Hayley’s secret search for Angel’s father, Oliver’s business projects and practices, Hayley’s relationship with her family, Oliver’s relationship with his family, etc). Plus the fact that this story is set around Christmas time means that we (the reader) are already in the literary mood to want and easily accept that miracles do happen.

So, were there any downsides?

 

Nope.

 

In a nutshell…

 

This is a wonderful, feel good contemporary romance novel – perfect reading for this time of year!  I was completely engaged with this book, it’s a real page turner, and yes, I did laugh out loud at some of Hayley’s and Angel’s comments but if you’re anything like me you’ll shed a few tears along the way too.

 

Oliver’s one sexy billionaire and there’s loads of sexual tension but although there’s some smexy scenes and banter in this book, this is more of a PG than an 18+ story. 😉 So I think it fans of romance (with a capital R) and relationship stories of all ages would enjoy this book.

 

Faery Red Lily Links to be helpful: