Book Review | The Silk Weaver’s Wife – Debbie Rix

‘On the way back down the grand staircase to the hall, her eye was caught by a portrait, hanging in a particularly dark corner of a landing. It was of a young woman, seated at an easel; she was painting a silk moth, its eggs nestling on a mulberry leaf.’

1704: Anastasia is desperate to escape her controlling and volatile father and plans to marry in secret. But instead of the life she has dreamed of, she finds herself trapped in Venice, the unwilling wife of a silk weaver.

Despite her circumstances, Anastasia is determined to change her fate…

2017: Millie wants more from her relationship and more from her life. So when her boss Max abruptly ends their affair, she takes the opportunity to write a feature in Italy.

Staying in a gorgeous villa, Millie unexpectedly falls in love with the owner, Lorenzo. Together they begin to unravel an incredible story, threaded through generations of silk weavers.

And Millie finds herself compelled to discover the identity of a mysterious woman in a portrait…

A gorgeously written, richly evocative story, The Silk Weaver’s Wife is perfect for readers who love Kate Morton and Gill Paul.

The Silk Weavers Wife

 

I will admit that historical stories aren’t my favourite and I don’t read them often – but this one caught my eye. When I read a historical book I want to be transported to a place or time I know little about but be able to imagine walking down the street, taking in the sights and smells as if I was there. Debbie Rix manages to do this almost instantly. The story is set over two timeframes – 1704 and 2017. In 1704 Anastasia wants to run off with her beloved Marco away from her abusive father to begin her life. In 2017 Millie travels to Italy to give her space from a confusing relationship only to meet someone that she didn’t expect.

This is a beautifully written historical romance. Not only is it enjoyable to read but it was obvious quite how much research Debbie put in to the history of silk manufacturing and the process. I love learning new things, particularly when it’s such an enjoyable way to learn. I haven’t read anything by Debbie Rix before but I’m going to make sure to pick up some of her other books to read as well!

You can get a copy of A Silk Weaver’s Wife here

Love Roxy xx

 

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Tis (Not) The Season!

Happy Weekend everyone! As I mentioned in my last post it’s already September! The year is going ridiculously fast and I’m not quite prepared for it to be nearly over yet. So imagine my horror the other day when I browse my favourite Netgalley publishers as usual to discover that…

Christmas books are already coming out…

I KNOW! Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore Christmas. I can’t get enough of it! I’m that office loser that wears the stupid hats and hums carols all day whilst everyone else glares (bah humbug to you all). I spend hours upon hours browsing Pinterest for office gifts to make and save a ton of themed baking that I never get round to making (until this year!). I even read Christmas themed books constantly! No, Christmas is not the issue. It’s just… It’s September.

I’m not ready to read Christmas books yet. Firstly (and I think the most vital point) is that we haven’t even had Halloween. Oh no, in fact I think Halloween is a rather overlooked holiday in England. Sure, we pretend to get in to it. Some people make a slight effort at decorating. Everyone stocks up on sweets for the trick or treaters, inevitably running out way too early, and occasionally there’s a Halloween party invitation. But I don’t think we ever get in to it properly. (When I say we, I mean everyone I know that isn’t me!). Where are all the Halloween books? Why do we get Christmas books, but no Halloween books?! In my opinion as soon as Halloween is done I can start thinking about Christmas.

Secondly, it’s still September. So if I start reading these Christmassy books now when it’s still 3 months away I might lose my excitement. What if I think it’s dragged out for too long? What if I’ve read about so many mince pies that it gets to Christmas Day and I can’t even look at one? What about if I become a… Scrooge. It doesn’t bear thinking about. But on the other hand these books are all being published soon. I can’t leave them on my kindle unread for months – so I’ll have to read them soon. Some of them are even parts of series that I’ve been reading – I need to know what happens!

So I guess this is it folks. I’ve officially entered… the Christmas zone. Na na na na na na na na na na na na… *Attempt of the Twilight Zone theme tune. Well done if you got that*

Anyway check out the latest books on my to read list – aren’t the covers so pretty?

Love Roxy xx

September Already?!

Wow this year is going by so quickly! I’m sure it was only just Christmas and I was trying to impress Matt by cooking him the full works. I’ve never sworn so much at a Yorkshire pudding in my life… Then the January blues hit and I started up this blog – now it’s September and my little baby sister is going in to Year 7! I can’t believe it’s going by so quickly – I wish time would go a little bit slower… pretty please Time God?

I’ve 3 weeks in to my new job now – it’s a huge improvement on the last one (but I don’t think it could have been much worse!). I’m enjoying it and the office is nice – I’m particularly loving flexible hours and that you can take your dogs to work. French bulldog cuddles half way through the day? I’ll just pop upstairs! But I still can’t see myself doing finance forever – I want to do something for myself, something that helps people or at least makes them happy. I also forgot how little time I have once I’ve gone to work, done my gym class, spent time with my sister and done all the boring things like making lunch for the next day. What was spare time again?

I’ve managed to fit in some reading so there’s a couple of book reviews up soon. I’ve also got an overdue wedding blog and a few other things up in the next week or so too. I also have my first sewing class tomorrow evening and I can’t wait! I think we’re making a little bag tomorrow for the beginners lesson, then I’d love to learn how to read patterns and make clothes (or even underwear!). I’ll make sure to put a picture of the finished product up on Instagram tomorrow night! Plus there’s just under two months now until Halloween – one of my favourite days of the year! Eeeek!

See you shortly with a book review!

Love Roxy xx

 

Book Review | The Good Sister by Jess Ryder

Two sisters. One secret… A lie that could destroy them both.

When her father dies, Josie is devastated to uncover he led a secret life: another house, another family and a half-sister called Valentina.

Both with red hair and icy blue eyes, Josie and Valentina could be mistaken for twins. But the similarities end there…

Josie – Sweet, reserved, jealous, thief.
Valentina – Care-free, confident, dangerous, liar.

Two sisters. One survivor.

A nail-bitingly tense and unputdownable read that will keep you turning pages into the night. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and Sister Sister.

The Good Sister

I started this one without reading the blurb first as I sometimes like to ‘go in blind’ as they say. For this one I’m really glad I did as it added a couple of extra twists that I would have known about before otherwise. I think I started this one Sunday morning and stayed up until half 11 to finish it (late for me haha!). I just couldn’t put it down!

It’s not a particularly long book at 230 pages but I didn’t feel like we missed out on anything. The chapters were broken up nicely so it flowed really well. The chapters go back and forth between Josie and Valentina but they aren’t actually labelled. It’s easy to tell at the beginning but it gets more difficult towards the end which I actually really liked – it added another level and made me second guess the characters as well as my own judgement.

I don’t want to give too much away on this one as it’s such a fabulous book – you need to read it knowing as little as possible! Well written, gripping and gets your heart racing – absolutely loved it! One of my favourite books of the year so far! Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for my copy.

You can get a copy here – just 99p at the moment!

Love Roxy xx

Blog Tour | If The Creek Don’t Rise – Leah Weiss

He’s gonna be sorry he ever messed with me and Loretta Lynn
Sadie Blue has been a wife for fifteen days. That’s long enough to know she should have never hitched herself to Roy Tupkin, even with the baby.
Sadie is desperate to make her own mark on the world, but in remote Appalachia, a ticked out of town is hard to come by, and hope often gets stomped out. When a stranger sweeps into Baines Creek and knocks things off kilter, Sadie finds herself with an unexpected lifeline… if she can just figure out how to use it.
This intimate insight into a fiercely proud, tenacious community unfolds through the voices of the forgotten folks of Baines Creek. With a colorful cast of characters that each contribute a new perspective, If The Creek Don’t Rise is a debut novel bursting with heart, honesty and homegrown grit.
If The Creek Dont Rise

Howdy Y’all! Another blog tour today, this time for If The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss. This is a debut novel which is always exciting but I imagine pretty scary for the author?! Everyone knows by now that I love the South so this book jumped right out at me. That and the cover which is pretty emotional in itself.

The book was almost like sitting in a quiet Southern kitchen having sweet iced tea with an old friend. The story is told from various perspectives which I really liked, and I thought that the writing style set the perfect tone throughout. It’s an easy read, steady pace and has a great ending!

This book is available from the 22nd August and you can get a copy here

Love Roxy xx

Leah Weiss

About the Author:

Leah Weiss is a Southern writer and novelist born in North Carolina and raised in the foothills of Virginia. Her debut novel, If the Creek Don’t Rise, will be released in August of 2017. Her short stories have been published in The Simple Life magazine, Every Day Fiction and Deep South Magazine. She retired in 2015 from a 24-year career as Executive Assistant to the Headmaster at Virginia Episcopal School. She now pursues writing full time. 

 

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Blog Tour | The Little Cottage in the Country – Lottie Phillips

Little Cottage in the country blog tour

Escape to the country!

Anna Compton thought that moving to the countryside, leaving London and her past firmly behind her was the perfect solution. Goodbye life of thirty-something, crazed single mum of two, hello country glamour queen, domestic goddess and yummy-mummy extraordinaire.

But her new life at Primrose Cottage isn’t quite what she expected! Very soon she’s chasing pork pies down hills, disguising her shop-bought cakes at the school bake sale – and trying to resist oh-so-handsome Horatio Spencerville, who just so happens to be the Lord of the Manor…

Could moving to the country be the biggest mistake she’s ever made?

Cottage in the country

I love the name of this book and the beautiful cover – it paints such a sweet picture before you even start reading! Anna Compton lives in London with her two children until the day she’s left a cottage by her Aunt and decides the hustle and bustle of the City is no longer for her. After arriving at the cottage – which isn’t quite what she expected – her new life begins. Living in Surrey I can relate completely to the locals in this story who shop at Waitrose and call their children ‘Agamemnon’. Yes, it really does happen.

There are plenty of hilarious moments and I giggled throughout! I’ve always harboured a secret wish to take part in a cheese rolling competition so imagine my delight when Anna finds herself as the first woman to take part in the annual pork pie rolling! Not that I was a little jealous or anything… A well written romantic comedy – it’s so easy to get swept up in the eventful new life of Anna and her kids. Things only get more interesting when her mad mum and best friend turn up too. An author to watch out for – I can’t wait to read the next one!

Thank you to Lottie Phillips and HQ Digital for the chance to read and review this! You can get a copy here

Love Roxy xx

About the author:

Charlie Phillips, writing under the pseudonym Lottie Phillips, worked as a teacher before turning her hand to fiction. She was brought up in Africa and the Middle East and then – as an adult – travelled extensively before moving to London and finally settling in the Cotswolds with her partner and toddler. When she’s not writing, you will find her scouring interior design magazines and shops, striving toward the distant dream of being a domestic goddess or having a glass of wine with country music turned up loud. As a child, she always had her nose in a book and, in particular, Nancy Drew.

The Little Cottage in the Country is Charlie’s debut romantic comedy. She is very excited to be sharing Anna Compton’s hilarious story with you! She also writes psychological thrillers under the pseudonym Louise Stone, including the best-selling novel, S is for Stranger.

Readers can find Charlie Phillips on Twitter @writercharlie or at http://www.writercharlie.com or http://www.writerlottiephillips.com.

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200 Followers

200 followers

I’m a little late putting this up as I was on holiday when I hit 200 but I’ll share it anyway! Thank you to everyone who follows and/or reads – it’s only going to get better ☺️ I’ve upgraded my blog and had a little revamp – still trying to figure out how everything works but I like the new look so far!

I’ve been dog sitting this week which I’ll be doing for another 2 weeks yet. I don’t particularly like being in houses by myself but I’m being brave! Until the family get home though I won’t be reading any book that could potentially turn out to be creepy – so romance and happy books only haha. Now that I’m home I’m back at my gym again which I love – I did 7 classes last week and I feel so good getting back in to it! Days at the moment are spent at the gym, walking the dogs or reading – I’m getting so bored! I just feel like I’m not really accomplishing anything! So I booked my last accountancy exam for October and I’ll be studying for that now until my boyfriend comes to visit at the weekend ❤️

Hope you’re all doing great!

Love Roxy xx

Book Review | If You Could See Me Now – Keris Stainton

Izzy Harris should have it all – but her boyfriend has been ignoring her for months, she’s been overlooked for a promotion, and the owner of her local coffee shop pervs on her every time she has a craving for a salted caramel muffin.

Then her life is unexpectedly turned upside down.

Izzy dumps her oblivious boyfriend, and leaps on the chance to win a big pitch at work. Needing to work closely with gorgeous colleague Alex is an added perk…

But then her best friend has her heart-broken, the pitch is way more complicated than expected, and Alex is keeping secrets. Does Izzy have what it takes to help her friend, save her career and get the guy?

If You Could See Me Now

I’ve got a ton of books to read and finally some spare time to actually read them! So this one really appealed to me as it seemed like an easy to read, girly book. Perfect for curling up on the sofa with as it’s inevitably raining outside… Again… In August. Don’t you just love English weather? I love the cover – it’s so pretty and screams cuteness before you’ve even started reading.

So I started reading… and something odd happened in the book. I went back and checked the blurb and nope, it doesn’t mention anything about it there. So I continue reading to double-check it actually happened and yes, I read correctly… She turned invisible! I know right?! Now I’ll admit that at this point I did roll my eyes a bit but only because I was expecting a fairly typical sort of book and invisibility brings it in to the ‘it could never happen box’. Unless Izzy owned an invisibility cloak of course, then it’s 100% real life.

It’s advertised as a ‘laugh out loud comedy’ and I did laugh. Several times. Loud enough to wake the dog, which just made me laugh more. It was totally hilarious and a complete gigglefest (I adore this word – thank you Kirsty Greenwood for bringing it in to my life). Apart from the whole invisibility bit it was completely relatable. It’s just a story about a girl in a sucky relationship with a mad best friend trying to figure out who she is. Heart warming with a great life message – I’d recommend giving this story a try if you have a dull evening that needs brightening up.

This was released on the 4th August and you can get a copy here

Love Roxy xx

 

 

I’m Back!

Happy Thursday everyone! Sorry I haven’t been around much recently – I’ve been so busy with leaving my job, going on holiday and then moving from Plymouth back to Surrey! So a lot of stress but I’m back now and pretty much settled in. I’m officially in a long distance relationship now too with a 4 hour car journey between us, but as next year we’ll have the Atlantic to cross instead I’m quite happy with the 4 hours for now 🙂

This is just a quick post to let you know that I’m back up and running on the blog front! I’ve got some great posts coming up plus a ton of reviews for the books I’ve managed to get read. I’ve even got 2 weeks dogsitting now before I start my new job (oh yeah – I got a new job too!) so my days are free to read, cook, study, watch shows and write. Exciting!

I’m off to take the dogs out for their walk before it rains again – have a lovely morning!

Love Roxy xx

To The Guy Who Called Me Fat

You and your friends were hanging round outside the ladies toilets – I don’t know why, it’s not exactly the nicest part of the club to hang out in. You all looked at me as I walked out, headed back to my group on the dance floor. I don’t know what was going through your mind but I didn’t look your way – cautious that some guys take a casual look as a sign you want to sleep with them and bug you the rest of the night. Cautious that sometimes a ‘wrong look’ can mean being followed home, or a trip to A&E. So I didn’t even look your way. Then as I was just about to head through the door I heard it – you called me fat. Not even a casual comment to your friends – you spoke straight to me and called me fat.

Why? Was it because I hadn’t looked at you and you were insulted? Is it because I’m not stick thin like a lot of the girls in the club? Or were you just a dick who has nothing better to say?

What you didn’t know is that I’d spent almost an hour before leaving the house trying to find something I thought I looked okay in. You didn’t know that I’d kicked my boyfriend out the room because I was struggling (and failed) not to cry. You didn’t know that I’d picked a clutch bag big enough to hide my stomach. Or that I’d walked in to a bathroom full of gorgeous, tiny girls just before and had almost cried in the toilets. 

You didn’t know that I’ve been worrying about going on holiday because I’ll have to wear shorts and my legs wobble. Or that I worry that I’ll get cheated on because everyone else I see is thinner and prettier, especially his female friends. You didn’t know all this and I wonder what would have changed if you had? 

I’m a big believer in being nice to people – the only thing I wanted to say to the skinny girls in the club is how nice their dresses were. You don’t gain anything from being horrible to people. I know that I haven’t been to the gym as much as normal. I know that my legs could do with some toning. I know I’ve always struggled with my arms, no matter how much exercise. But I also know that it’s none of your damn business. 

Last time we went to this club someone called me a slag, but it didn’t bother me because I knew it wasn’t true. This time it hurt. Why does anyone think it’s okay to go round insulting people they haven’t even spoken to? 

I don’t know who you are to tell you straight to your face but listen to me when I say I don’t care what you think. The opinion of one dickhead who saw me for less than 10 seconds doesn’t bother me. Instead I’ll listen to my boyfriend who said I was beautiful, even when ugly crying on him. I’ll listen to my family and especially my sister who looks up to me. I’ll listen to the stranger on the street who stopped to say that I have lovely eyes and my boyfriends friends who said I was pretty. This post is all about looks but we’re all so much more than what’s on the outside. I’m content with who I am and I’ll be more than happy being the bigger person.

The dress I was wearing at the club


Love Roxy xx