Blog Tour & Review On The Second Chance Café By Lilly Bartlett


The Second Chance Cafe blog tour graphic

Today’s the last stop on The Second Chance Café in Carlton Square blog tour and it’s mine and the lovely Minivan Dreams turn! Wow what a tour its been and to being amongst some amazing bloggers in the proses! As my lovely readers will know this has been the first blog tour I’ve been apart of and what a joy its been to be involved in! I would just like to thank Michele Gorman and HarperImpulse for inviting me to take part in this wonderful blog tour.



About the author (as seen on Amazon)

Lilly Bartlett author photoLilly Bartlett’s Cosy romcoms are full of warmth, quirky characters and guaranteed happy-ever-afters.

Lilly is the pen-name of Sunday Times and USA Today best-selling author, Michele Gorman, who writes best friend-girl power comedies under her own name.





Facebook: Michele Gorman

Twitter: @MicheleGormanUK

Instagram: michelegormanuk

Publication Date: 23rd June 2017

Publisher: HarperImpulse

ISBN: paperback 978-0008226589

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Pages: 243 pages

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Format: Ebook (ARC)

Copy provided by: Author and publisher

Blurb (as seen on Amazon)

One chance isn’t always enough…

Everyone expects great things from Emma Billings, but when her future gets derailed by an unexpected turn of events, she realizes that getting back on track means traveling in a different direction.

She finds that new path in the closed-down pub on Carlton Square. Summoning every ounce of ingenuity and with the help of her friends and family, she opens the Second Chance café. The charity training business is meant to keep vulnerable kids off the streets and (hopefully) away from the Metropolitan Police, and her new employees are full of ideas, enthusiasm… and troubles. They’ll need as much TLC as the customers they’re serving.

My Review

The Second Chance Café in Carlton Square by Lilly Bartlett is the second instalment in the Carlton Square series. (You Can check out my review on the first here ) I will admit I was eager to delve in to this story and return to those loveable characters and meeting some new one’s.

Second Chance Cafe UK small book cover

Isn’t this cover to die for! It really dose have a cheerful feel to it; with the London land skape behind the café and the bunting on the building. The tree branches leaning in the corners and green grass with a white picket fence in front continues the gorgeousness of the cover (and we all know how much I love a pretty cover!) The three story café looks quite quaint even thought its in a big city! You can see a lady juggling a toppling cake and a pram! Everything about this cover is just right in my eye’s!!!!

I really enjoyed that Lilly wrote in the first person (Emma) because I feel it’s so engaging for the reader. Also by doing this I felt connected to the characters and the story it’s self; which kept my full attention till the very end.

We meet Emma as she finds a rundown pub in Carlton Square, East London in which to embark on turning it in to a café. But this café is on ordinary café; Emma wants to help vulnerable kids that have been in trouble for what ever reason, to give them a ‘second chance’ by starting a training program. As I read I really felt Emma’s passion and determination to help these troubled sole’s. I really found this idea particularly an inspirational one in its self to help give kids something positive and keeping them out of trouble! Not only is Emma sorting the café out but she has twin babies, a husband who works and she rarely see’s, a mother trying to juggle working taking care of her father with M.E and a great auntie going walk about then theirs the rich in-laws; who have loaned her the money for the business and keeps trying to help. Also amounts all this she has to deal with a disgruntled café owner; who play’s havoc with the opening and survival of the business. So as you can see poor Emma has her hands well and truly full! It was a joy to see Emma’s character grow from being shy to standing up for herself, her family, the café and its workers and her loyal customers and also the way she deals with everything that came her way. I found the way Emma’s family, friends and the community come together to help the café become a reality, to be wonderfully endearing and a joy to read.

I adored all the characters if I’m honest for their engage ability  to me as the reader, their individuality and quirkiness. From the old couple that used to drink in the old pub to Emma’s best friend Kelly I enjoyed them all ( apart from the one’s trying to sabotage the café obviously!) I do just want to mention Emma’s two trainee’s because those two really are fab character’s! Josh I liked pure and simply because he was so keen (for an kid!) to learn and do his very best, and he made me giggle too. Lou really intrigued me the most for the pure mystery that surrounds her; which left me wanting to find out more about her.

The description in The Second Chance Café in Carlton Square is truly enchanting as it evokes a perfect image in the readers mind and engrossed me especially. Be sure to have a nice hot beverage and a bit of cake because it make me want to eat cake and pastries!

This beautifully crafted story is packed to the rafters full of drama, mystery, love, family,  yummy hot beverages and pastries!!! I adored reading this story so very much, I really didn’t want it to end. I will highly recommend The Second Chance Café in Carlton Square to you lovely readers you won’t be disappointed!! Miss Lilly I love your writing style and can’t wait to read more of your work!

Marie’s Book Boutique gives The Second Chance Café in Carlton Square by Lilly Bartlett a massive 5 sparkly stars!!!!!!!!!























Review on The Turtle Run By Marie Evelyn


About the author’s (as seen on Facebook page)

Marie- The turtle Run

Marie Evelyn is the pen name of mother- daughter writing partnership of Marie Gameson and Margot Gameson nee Evelyn.

Margot Gameson was born in St Kitts in 1933 and worked as a journalist in Trinidad before moving to Barbados with her family in 1969. She witnessed many changes in the history of the island, including the tail end of colonialism, when any significant event ( from a royal visit to the arrival by boat of the Governor’s plumed hat.) would merit firing the cannons, which would have all the stray dogs in the vicinity howling. Her interest in the Redlegs partly came about through family connections and also by witnessing a scene in Barbados ( described in the book) of coming across barefooted, flaxen-haired children struggling to carry buckets from a standpipe.

Her elder daughter. Marie Gameson, was born in Trinidad in 1963 and spent a happy childhood in Barbados, largely making dens in sugarcane fields and writing stories about children lost in sugarcane fields. The family moved to the UK in 1974.

Facebook: Marie Evelyn

Twitter: @marieevelyn1685

Publication Date: 14 January 2016 (ebook) Paperback 14 December 2015

Publisher: Accent Press

ISBN: (paperback) 978-1783753277

Pages: 244 Pages

Genre: Romance/ Historical

Copy provided by: author

Blurb ( as seen on Amazon)

She went in search of history and found her own future. Becky has lost her job and her direction in life so is thrilled when she gets the chance to research British rebel history I Barbados.

But the Caribbean paradise isn’t all that it seems. The old plantation house is beautiful but lonely, and the locals are unfriendly. As her research becomes an obsession, one of the rebel descendants, who still works the same land as his ancestors, begins to get a hold on her mind.

Is she living in a fantasy, or is this really an island of long memories? She soon finds that she is not the only on being led by the past…

My Review

51p30U0ygTL turtle run book cover

Before I start my review I would just like to say a huge thank you to the author’s Margot Gameson and Marie Gameson; for accepting my cheeky little request to read and provide and honest review on The Turtle Run on my blog, and providing me with a copy.

The book cover as you can see is so charming; with the pale green backing, which I feel really helps the plantation house stand out. I adore the cheerful lashes flowers and foliage which provides a delicate and romantic feel to it. The gold of the author’s name and the purple/pink of the title really accompany each other. All in all I find it to be very alluring and is defiantly a cover I want to just jump into.

The Turtle Run by Marie Evelyn is packed full of mystery, drama, history, culture and romance on every single page; which makes for a totally in-put downable book.

We meet poor Becky; a journalist in Essex as she looses her job; but she soon get an offer of an amazing new job in the stunning Barbados. The job offer comes from the elderly Bajan lady Clara. Clara wants Becky to research and help write a book on the ‘ Redlegs’ of the men who were defeated in the Monmouth rebellion in 1685. This on all accounts I really found fascinating to read as I had no idea of this. Becky has a connection to Barbados herself; with her father who left her, her mother and her brother to live there. Becky’s mother has given her and her brother very little about the whole thing. It goes without saying her mother isn’t that keen for her to go, but her brother feels differently about it and she even finds her brother interested in the ‘Redlegs’. Becky and her brother thinks this could be good chance to find out more and help them both find some closure.

Mathew; Clara’s son and Becky’s relationship is one of miss judged and grows into something special when they get to know each other properly. It’s not without its rocky patches! I really enjoyed their spark they had together giving the chance for the reader to spot this before the characters realise!

I really enjoyed the way the story was intelligently crafted, providing twists and turns as the story goes on. The author’s description of Barbados which was wonderful and evocative, making me feel like I was their in the paradise that is Barbados; which on all accounts makes for a great summer read. I found all the characters to be just as engaging as each other which again gives the reader a connection while they read.

So I think you guessed by know that I’m going to highly, highly recommend this perfectly crafted story which will surly having you turning those pages.

Marie’s Book Boutique gives The Turtle Run By Marie Evelyn a wonderful 5 sparkly stars!!!!!!




















Review On A Life Without Living (Book1) by SC Alban


About the author ( as seen on Amazon)

s.c Alban

SC Alban was born and raised in Northern California. After graduating from San Francisco Universaty, where she majored in English Literature, SC Alban travelled for a year. She ultimately moved back to Northern California to attend graduation school.

Much of SC’s inspiration is found in the natural beauty of Northern California where she currenty resides with her family, three cats, and three terribly lazy dogs. She enjoys music, gardening, dancing and hiking and considers herself to be pretty darn lucky to live in such a beautiful place.


Twitter: @muchasfloras

Publication date: 5th December 2014

Publishers: Solstice Shadows

ISBN: paperback 978-1625261540

Pages: 383 pages

Genre: Fiction/Fantasy/Romance/Paranormal

Format: eBook

Copy provided by: author


Kate Martins appears to have it all, a good career, a beautiful home, and an amazing husband. What more could a woman ask for? But when Kate’s recurring nightmares begin to cross over into her waking hours, she discovers that her perfect life is not at all what it seems. It isn’t until she meets a mysterious stranger that Kate begins to truly question who she is and where she comes from.

My Review

A life without living

Firstly and most importantly I would like to thank SC Alban for approaching me and providing me with a copy of A Life Without Living to read and review.

As always I’m going to start with the cover! This cover is very striking, dark, with the lady with hair on her face; being in a wood and the big crows provide a dark effect! I think this provides a bit of intrigue into the book.

A Life Without Living which is book one in The Strega Series. The reader is introduced to Kate who has it all the home, husband Alex and job; however she has these recurring nightmares. She knows they are important and mean something but she has no idea what. Then there’s Gio who has lived for many years; 467 years to be precise. He is searching for a woman he fell in love with all those years ago, this is where the mystical part comes in because when he met Katarina she could not marry anyone out of their group; who were travellers. So Gio comes face to face with the man she is supposed to marry and he sends this punishment for falling in love with her, to keep them apart, and will live forever. He will keep them apart because the only way to stop this is for Gio to find her and for  their souls to join together. Gio try’s year after year but fails coming closer every time, he has a friend who helps him called Willam and I really liked this chap he was a nice character.

Although this book very much has a romance element to it it’s also about loss too. I thought the romance was heart reaching because as the reader I wanted them to find each other, but do they? This is a book that is a bit different to what I normally read ( I always like to start with an open mind, and will give it a go.) When I started to read I really absorbed into the story. The characters were individual and captivating by the passionate love story.

If you enjoy Fantasy and romance you will surly enjoy this story.

Marie’s Book Boutique gives A Life Without Living by SC Alban 4 sparkly stars

4 stars









Review On The Big Little Wedding In Carlton Square by Lilly Bartlett




About the author (as seen on Amazon)

Lilly Bartlett author photo


Lilly Bartlett’s cosy rom coms are full of warmth, quirky characters and guaranteed happy-ever-after.

Lilly is the pen-name of Sunday Times and USA Today Best-selling author, Michele Gorman, who writes best-friend-girl power comedies under her own name.



Facebook: Michele Gorman

Twitter: @MicheleGormanUK

Publication Date: 7th April 2017

Publisher: HarperImpulse

ISBN: 978-0008226589

Pages: 251 pages

Genre: Romantic Humour

Format: Ebook ( as so available in paperback)

Copy Provided By: my own

Blurb (as seen on Amazon)

When Emma’s boyfriend Daniel pops the question with a ring the size of a small country, she suddenly realises just how different they are. She’s the EastEnders to his Made in Chelsea. She wants a low-key wedding with close friends and family in Uncle Colin’s pub while Daniel’s mother is expecting a society do that their high- brow guests won’t forget!

How on earth can Emma put together a celebration fit for Lords and Ladies on a shoestring budget? Not to mention the fact her cross-dressing Uncle Barbara wants to be a bridesmaid, her best mate Kelly can’t stand Daniel’s best friend Cressida, and her dad is too proud to accept any help from Daniel’s family towards the costs. There’s three months to go until the big day. Will Emma’s happy-ever-after end in disaster?

My Review

the little big wedding in carlton squareWhat a bright, airy and very romantic book cover. I think the title really is effective the way it’s cantered down the centre of the cover, and works well with the London skyline, marquee tent and a tree with blossom on! The couple suited and booted kissing gives it a very romantic feel. I just adore the fluttering butterfly’s provides a delicate look. Lilly’s name is placed at the bottom in the grass and stands out really well.

The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square by Lilly Bartlett is the first instalment I the Carlton Square series. When I read the blurb on this book I just knew this was a book for me, and hearing so many good things, and boy I wasn’t disappointed!!!!!

We meet two very different family’s as they are brought together by the joining of Emma and Daniel. Emma’s family is a working class from East London and Daniel’s is upper class from West London. This in itself makes for a very intriguing read, but throw in a wedding on a budget, a cross dressing Uncle; wanting to be bridesmaid, Bride and Groom’s best-friend’s at locker-heads, a mother in law who think’s a big show wedding there’s sure to be a few drama’s along the way.

Emma wants a low-key wedding but her soon to be mother in law has other idea’s and has to be rained in a bit, offering to pay for some of the wedding, Emma ‘s father a proud working class East ender refuse and financial help for his daughter’s wedding. Emma is juggling it all to try to give everyone, herself and Daniel a happy wedding. The whole community come’s together to offer help or their skills to help Emma and Daniel’s ‘Big Little’ wedding go to plan, undoubtedly there are a few mini issues which are dealt with quickly and boy what a magical wedding it is!!!!! Their’s also an added bonus of a surprise for both Emma and Daniel!?!?!?

The pace of this romantic and comical story is perfect and wonderfully written. I loved the way it was written as if the author is chatting to the reader; which I felt help make the story so engaging and enjoyable till the very end. I also want to mention about the author’s description in The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square is truly wonderful, giving you a clear image of the story as it unfolds; which for me as a reader is important.

Me myself loved, loved. loved this first book for Lilly Bartlett and I Can’t recommend this book enough to you lovely readers you won’t be disappointed!!!

Marie’s Book Boutique gives The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square 5 sparkly stars!!!!













One Lovely Blog Award!

one lovely blog award

Hi lovely readers,

Firstly I would like to thank the lovely Carissa from Carissa Reads It All for nominating me, please go check out her lovely blog; I really enjoy reading her content and love the layout of her beaut of a blog!!! I really feel truly humble that you included me in your nominations. As a newbie blogger as well it is so encouraging to know people are enjoying your post’s. I also love the support, advice and new friendships that are formed through the blogging world, it’s truly amazing!


one lovely blog award

One Lovely Blog Award Rules

1) Each nominee must thank the person who nominated them and link their blog in their post.

2) They must include the rules and add the blog award badge as an image.

3) Must add 7 facts about themselves.

4) Nominate 15 people to do the award.


7 Random Facts About Me!

  1. As well as reading, I also adore writing my own story’s!IMG_0780
  2. I’m a FRIENDS fan through and through!!!!!!!FRIENDS
  3. My favourite hot drink is pretty British really; a good cuppa tea!!! Ahhhhh!!!!!
  4. My favourite food is Italian!! yum yum!!!!!!!
  5. I adore animal’s and have two cats named Patch and Smokey.
  6. I’m a stationery addict. I do like a pretty note book or two or three…
  7. I love nothing better than seeing people succeed in whatever they love doing. And theirs nothing better than supporting those around you!

Like Carissa I will also be nominating 5 people as I’m also a newbie! The blog’s I will be choosing because I enjoy their content.

Novel Deelights

The Book Whisperer


Snazzy Books

Chat About Books

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little post and that you all have a wonderful day!

Marie xx



Review on Just For The Holidays by Sue Moorcroft


About the author

sue moorecorft

Best-selling author Sue Moorcroft writes contemporary fiction with occasionally unexpected themes and her last book, The Christmas Promise, rose to #1 in the Amazon Kindle Chart. She’s won a Best Romantic Read Award, the Katie Fforde Bursary, received several other nominations including for a ‘ RONA’ (Romantic Novel Award). Sue also writes short stories, serials, articles and writing ‘how to.’

The daughter of two soldiers, Sue was born in Germany and went on to spend much of childhood in Malta and Cyprus. She now lives in the UK. She likes reading, Zumba, fit-steps, yoga, long chatty meals with friends (preferably involving wine and chocolate) and is a Formula 1 addict.


Facebook: Sue Moorcroft Author

Twitter: @SueMoorcroft

Publication Date: 18th May 2017

Publisher: Avon

ISBN: paperback 9780008175559

also available in eBook and audiobook

Page: 319 pages

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: eBook

Copy provided by: NetGally and Publishers


In theory, nothing could be better than a summer spent basking in the French sun. That is, until you add in three teenagers, two love interests, one divorcing couple, and a very unexpected pregnancy.

Admittedly, this isn’t exactly the relaxing holiday Leah Beaumont was hoping for- but it’s the one she’s got. With her sister Michele’s family falling apart at the seams, it’s up to Leah to pick up the pieces and try to hold them all together.

But with a handsome helicopter pilot staying next door, Leah can’t help but think she might have a few distractions of her own to deal with…

My Review

Before I start my review I would like to thank NetGally and Avon for allowing me a copy to read and review.

Just for the holidays

Would you just look at this glorious summery cover of Just For The Holidays, with the gite in the background and with the purple lavender field and sunflowers in front of it and portrays a lovely summer seen. The bluest of skis and fluffy white clouds and birds swooping about. The lady in the lavender looks like she has been collecting some, this whole cover makes me just want to jump right in there and enjoy the gite.

Just for the Holidays by Sue Moorcroft is the perfect, summer read. I devoured the book in a few sittings; while enjoying the sun in my garden ( I could have been fooled for thinking I could be in France!!!). The book is full of family drama, new family dynamics, holiday romance ( or is it?), beautiful French country and culture. And how one persons actions and decisions have a rippling affect o the whole family.

I must admit I am already a fan of Sue’s work and had good hopes about her next book, and boy she really hasn’t disappointed me at all. I loved the flow of this story while reading, it really was perfect, allowing the reader to fully connect to the characters and the story.

The story starts with Michele asking her sister Leah to join her and her recently broken family to France on a summer holiday which was booked before the split. Michele wanted Leah to come to ease the tension for the sake of her nephew and niece and as she had no real ties i.e. children it was easy for her to come. In sister solidarity she agrees to come but when they all get their, poor Leah is face with a succession of problems to deal with and an in-expected romance try’s to take off amongst all of this! Leah is undoubtedly my favourite character for her shear determination to carry on no matter what comes her way and the fact that she loves to cook and make yummy things; which is always good! I also found Michele grew on me towards the end for her growth in the story changed from beginning to end and I like to see that in characters.

I adored Just for the Holidays very much and plan on reading it again before the summer is out!!!!!!!!!! I highly recommend this glorious summer read!!!


Marie’s Book Boutique gives Just for the Holidays by Sue Moorcroft 5 sparkly stars!!!










Review on I Left My Tent In San Francisco by Emma Kennedy


About the author


emma kennedy


Emma Kennedy was born in Northamptonshire. She’s an actress, writer and television presenter. Emma has made appetences in Jonathan Creek and Goodness Gracious Me to mane but a few. She has presented on Channel 4 the Real Holiday Show. Kennedy has written a superb 9 books; The Tent The Bucket And Me and numerous children’s books; Wilma Tenderfoot and the case of the Rascal’s Revenge and Wilma Tenderfoot and the case of the Fatal Phantom to name a couple. Emma took part in Celebrity Master Chef in 2012 and winning.



Twitter: @EmmaKennedy

Publication date: 5th May 2011

Publisher: Ebury Press

ISBN: paperback 9780091935955

Pages: 311 pages

Genre: Biography/ Travel writing

Format: Paperback

Copy provided by: Borrowed


It’s 1989 and Emma and her best friend Dee head to the USA to make their fortune. But completely inept and virtually unemployable, they discover that they can’t even get a job in McDonald’s.

Forced to travel from California to New York with only pennies in their pockets, they bounce from scrape to scrape, surviving on their wits and the kindness of strangers. Bad luck and misfortune throw everything their way- snakes, earthquakes, black magic and incontinent dogs. They even get kidnapped by s sex- crazed midget in a Ferrari.

My Review

When I was leant this book by a very dear friend and saw the front cover of the book I immediately thought what a friendly feel it had; by including a personal photo from Emma’s trip seems really appropriate because after all it’ s about her and her best friend’s journey. The blue of the title ties in with Emma’s sleeping bag.

At the beginning of the book Emma tell the reader how she met her best friend and to be traveling buddy Dee at University and how the trip; to the USA comes about after they finish Uni. Emma is an only child and quit rightly so her parents had reservations as the family was known for being very good travellers at all!!! The come round and support her and Dee on their decision. While Emma is away her parent’s also decide to go traveling in Europe; so Emma didn’t have a safety net of her parents being at home in case she needed them. Emma was shocked but they managed to keep in contact with each other along the way.

I truly adored Emma and Dee’s relationship and how very different people they were but at the same time they just worked. Pooling their money together to get through their trip on a shoe string and finding work where they could to get by. They looked after and out for one another the way best friend’s should and I will say this they certainly gave me lots of laughs.

Along Kennedy’s trip her and Dee meet some real characters, some we’re truly lovely and some really not so lovely and I suppose that’s just part and parcel of traveling. This book will have you laughing, wincing and gripped. Did Emma and Dee have enough money to get back to New York?

I really appreciate Emma’s honesty through out this book, and what a journey they had!! I really recommend this book and actually it make a nice change from my normal reads; its packed full of adventure and experiences that kept me turning the pages. I will defiantly be looking out for more of Emma’s books in the future.

Marie’s Book Boutique gives I Left My Tent In San Francisco 5 sparkly stars!!!!!