Barking Up the Wrong Tree Review and Book Tour!

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Review of The Beachside Christmas


The Beachside Christmas

Karen Clarke

September 26, 2017


Snow is falling and there’s romance in the air. Curl up for a cosy Christmas by the fire at Seaview Cottage…

When thirty-year-old Lily Ambrose’s latest relationship ends in disaster, she remembers happy childhood holidays in the seaside town of Shipley and decides it’s the perfect place for a fresh start.

But when Lily arrives, the town’s spirits are as low as her own: the local celebrity due to turn on the Christmas lights has gone on a cruise instead. Keen to prove herself, she calls in a favour and secures gorgeous reality star Ollie.

Lily’s neighbours are initially thrilled, but Ollie is as uncontrollable as he is good-looking. He can’t remember the town’s name, calls the Christmas decorations tacky, and manages to offend everyone. And whilst handsome but stubborn cameraman Craig tries to help, even he can’t stop Ollie’s madcap plans to stage a romance with Lily…

Will Lily be able to keep Ollie under control and bring the Christmas cheer back to Shipley – and find herself a real kiss under the mistletoe?

An addictive, heart-warming and uplifting read about friendship, romance, and Christmas spirit. Perfect for fans of Phillipa Ashley, Cathy Bramley and Debbie Johnson.


As I did last year, I’ll be reviewing some of the Christmas offerings that are going on sale soon. (Unfortunately somehow I missed Halloween 😦 , but that’s been the theme this year…not Halloween, but missing things.) I have a feeling that like last year these novels are going to run the gamut from slapstick funny to charming and sweet. So here we go…

While it took me a few pages to get into Karen Clarke’s The Beachside Christmas, once I did I had a very enjoyable time reading about the eccentric characters of Shipley, a fictional seaside town in Dorset.

Lily leaves London for Shipley because of the wonderful holidays her family used to have there when she was young and because those memories involve her beloved Dad who died three years earlier. Also, as a result of a bad relationship and an embarrassing altercation, Lily feels like she needs to start over.

Because she wants to ingratiate herself to her neighbors, she volunteers to find a celebrity for the Christmas lights celebration. Her best friend, Erin, a talent agent, recommends Ollie, an actor who was made somewhat famous by a reality tv series, but who had gotten booted off when he hit someone. He’s hoping to redeem himself.

Ollie is handsome and charming and Lily is attracted until she gets to know Ollie better and realizes he’s a bit of a goof.

The Beachside Christmas is just the sort of book to start the holiday season with. It’s extremely funny, but sweet, a feel good romantic comedy.

Lily is a nice woman who goes out of her way to make people like her, which includes buying an odd assortment of expensive delicacies she doesn’t know what to do with when she’s told Ollie (rather posh and schooled at Eton) is going to be staying with her. Craig comes across as a tough nut at the beginning, but the reader soon realizes he’s a nice, sensible guy, loyal with good values, and steady. No characters are over-the-top mean and even the ones who seem a bit sharp initially are softened over time. Most are fully developed characters.

Even the magical, life-saving cat, Marmite, is a fully developed, if still enigmatic, character.

While I understand that this is part of a series, it wasn’t obvious. This can very much be read as a standalone novel.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

rating: 4-butterflies

4 out of 5 butterflies


Review of Playing with Forever


Playing with Forever

Amy Andrews

Entangled: Brazen

September 25, 2017

Blurb:  Country boy, Ryder Davis has the world at his feet. A stellar rugby career, a winning way with women and a beach view that keeps him in blue sky and bikini babes. He’s living the dream. The last thing he needs is a Great Dane called Tiny destroying his feng shui. Continue reading

Review of The Way to London


The Way to London

Alix Rickloff

September 19, 2017

William Morrow

Blurb: From the author of Secrets of Nanreath Hall comes this gripping, beautifully written historical fiction novel set during World War II—the unforgettable story of a young woman who must leave Singapore and forge a new life in England.

On the eve of Pearl Harbor, impetuous and overindulged, Lucy Stanhope, the granddaughter of an earl, is living a life of pampered luxury in Singapore until one reckless act will change her life forever.  Continue reading

Review of Damage Control (Valiant Knox #2)


Damage Control

Jess Anastasi

Entangled Publishing

October 26, 2015

Blurb: Nicknamed Captain Hardass by the new recruits, Captain Leigh Alphin is captain of the Fighter Force of the battleship Valiant Knox. He’s honorable, straightforward, and hard as nails – except for the soft spot he has for a young woman he rescued off a transport that was under attack. Now that she’s one of his new recruits, it’s imperative he stop thinking about her in that way. Continue reading