Fifty and Fabulous

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


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Book Review – One Christmas Kiss In Notting Hill by Mandy Baggot

Tabytha Reviews…

One Christmas Kiss In Notting Hill

By Mandy Baggot

 

So, here’s the official blurb;

Curl up by the fire with the ultimate seasonal romance, from the bestselling author Mandy Baggot!

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?

I Read It: 7th – 11th December 2017

In Which Format: Kindle

Approx Length: 384 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 am already a big fan of Ms Baggot’s books; I’ve read them all and they keep getting better and better. I find her writing style very easy to read, her plotlines well thought out and I think she has a magical way of creating characters that I can’t help but connect to.

I loved the depth of personality that we experienced with Isla and Chase; their quirks, fears and hopes brought them to life. I’ve got to hold my hand up and confess that I didn’t like Chase to begin with, but I think that only confirms how talented a writer Ms Baggot is because I was still invested in his story despite his character flaws. Lol! But, like so many of her books, this story isn’t just about Isla and Chase and their romance, we have intermingled storylines and a cast of supporting characters that adds a further splash of realism to the world in which Ms Baggot has created without the plot feeling confusing or over-burdened. I don’t think I can be the only person to have come to think of Mr Edwards’ rose bush as a character in its own right – sentimental, heart-warming and beautiful!

So is this a page turner, did the story keep me guessing? Goodness me, yes! The journey had twists and emotional turns a plenty due to the different stories running alongside our main romantic one. 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 not only is romance in the air but miracles can happen.

 

So, were there any downsides?

No, that’s why it’s got 5 stars.

 

In a nutshell…

I loved it! This is a wonderful, feel good contemporary romance novel – perfect reading at any time of year but feels so much more special at Christmas!

I was completely engaged from the first page; the romance between our main couple was believable, the background story arcs are well thought out and balance the romance beautifully. I loved the fact that the drama aspect of this story kept me guessing and kept me on the edge of my seat, the relationship aspects (both romantic and family ones) caused me to shed a tear or two as well as put a smile on my face and although there are no overly explicit sex scenes in this book, the few passionate scenes contained within these pages managed to set my tummy a-tingling due to the anticipation that Ms Baggot had built up. *shivver*

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 KISS IN NOTTING HILL on Goodreads.com

Buy ONE CHRISTMAS KISS IN NOTTING HILL in paperback or for your Kindle on Amazon.co.uk


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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 🙂 )

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

 

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?

Pin this image on Pinterest

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!

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


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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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Publication Party for One Wish in Manhattan

Hello Dear Followers,

One Wish In Manhattan - Mandy BaggotMy lovely (and talented) friend Mandy Baggot has recently released a new book called “One Wish in Manhattan”. I’d already pre-ordered the Kindle version which was dutifully delivered to my device on 2nd October but I’m waiting for the nights to draw in, the temperature to fall and Autumn to transform into Winter before I snuggle up on the sofa with a hot chocolate (or smallish glass of mulled wine) to read this Christmas love story. (I promise to post a review once I have read it!)

(Click here for One Night in Manhattan at Amazon UK)

Mandy is hosting a Publication event at her local Waterstones book shop in Salisbury on Friday 16th October at 6.45pm.

Mandy BaggotJoin me for wine, nibbles and your chance to purchase signed copies of new release, One Wish in Manhattan!

Hayley Walker’s heading to New York with much more than Christmas on her mind and billionaire Oliver Drummond is going into hiding so he can avoid December completely! What will happen when their two worlds collide?

Source: (2) Waterstones Salisbury Publication Party for One Wish in Manhattan

faery-red-lily-bye-for-now111I don’t get the chance to go to these sorts of evening events but now that my kids are older, I can feel the reigns that are keeping me at home begin to loosen… beware world! 😉