Posted in Blog Tour

How To Fail At Flirting by Denise Williams **Book Review** @berkleypub

happy Friday y’all!
delighted to share with you today in my review for this wonderful story the perfect blend of humor and tough subject matter. A love story that will steal your heart!🍷

My Thoughts

sweet and steamy. Humorous and cathartic. Authentic and raw. Denise Williams hit me right in the feels and the funnybone with this evocative story. Naya is a survivor of an emotionally abusive relationship learning to flirt and trust again. Armed with a list full of things to do to reclaim herself Naya meats Jake at a local bar. she flirts, she lets him buy her a drink, she gets kissed and she’s determined to have a one night fling. However, the fates seem to have other plans for Naya and Jake. There is a lot of chemistry between these two and they are both thinking this could be something more. But, there is a big unexpected roadblock that could change everything. Is Naya willing to risk her career that she has worked so hard at, the one thing she feels confident about for love?

This was the perfect blend of humor and heavy subject matter. Naya was a likable relatable character I felt a connection to. Jake was a genuinely good guy, nice but not clingy. The corny puns between these two were hilarious and cringy. i’m not often a fan of Instalove, but it worked with these two. Jake really new how to reassure Naya, intuitively. as a survivor of an emotionally abusive marriage myself I thought the subject matter was handled extremely well. The gaslighting, the manipulation, the undermining, hard things to get over. Naya is an intelligent, confident, strong woman who found herself in a bad situation. It always is very cathartic for me to read about characters like this in books takes away the stigma of being a victim of abuse. Jake was such a safe place for Naya. I kept thinking please please do not let our girl down. Now I will say Jake was not perfect and there are some hiccups, but I think those hiccups helped Naya grow even stronger. A beautiful love story that tugged at my heart.

this book in emojis 👩‍🏫 🍷 🍦 🎂 🥋 🏀 🧀

*** Big thank you to Berkley for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

One daring to-do list and a crash course in flirtation turn a Type A overachiever’s world upside down.

When her flailing department lands on the university’s chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, he presents the perfect opportunity to check off the items on her list. Let the guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hookup.  Check…almost.

Jake makes her laugh and challenges Naya to rebuild her confidence, which was left toppled by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Soon she’s flirting with the chance at a more serious romantic relationship—except nothing can be that easy. The complicated strings around her dating Jake might destroy her career.

Naya has two options. She can protect her professional reputation and return to her old life or she can flirt with the unknown and stay with the person who makes her feel like she’s finally living again.

 

Denise Williams wrote her first book in the 2nd grade. I Hate You and its sequel, I Still Hate You, featured a tough, funny heroine, a quirky hero, witty banter, and a dragon. Minus the dragons, these are still the books she likes to write. After penning those early works, she finished second grade and eventually earned a PhD in education, going on to work in higher education. After growing up a military brat around the world and across the country, Denise now lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, son, and two ornery shih-tzus who think they own the house.

 

Author Q&A

Hi, there! I’m thrilled to talk with you today.

 

  1. Tell us about HOW TO FAIL AT FLIRTING!

How to Fail at Flirting is about a professor who decides to push herself out of her rut. After an abusive relationship, she closed herself off and focused on work. Now, years later, she decides a to-do list is the way to stay accountable to her plans to try new things. When she meets a handsome stranger in town on business, he’s the perfect fling. The only problem is that despite numerous flirting fails, Jake turns out to be the person who makes her want to keep trying and she ends up flirting with falling in love. Oh, did I mention he has a few secrets including that he might be a threat to her career? It’s a story about love and healing and finding that person who makes you realize you’re capable of anything.

 

  1. What inspired you to write this novel?

When I first sat down to write, my son was an infant and I felt buried in momming and work—I needed a creative outlet. I ran into an ex on Facebook and it got me thinking about how past relationships shape us. The book evolved a lot since those first fledgling sentences, but the core ideas about how past relationships shape us and that happily ever after can be on the horizon after a broken heart is what you’ll read in the finished version.

 

  1. Do you relate to the heroine, Naya, in any way?

Yes! I am a list-maker and a planner. I think I mastered drawing squares as a child so I could make check boxes! Naya’s sense of humor is very in-line with mine, too and, I’ll admit, I share her fear of butterflies. On a more serious note, Naya is an adult woman who hadn’t spent a lot of time prioritizing her own sexual pleasure. Like so many, I found myself in that place at one point. There are a stack of other ways in which I relate to Naya but the biggest is her inner voice. Throughout the book, she questions herself and hypes herself up and ultimately learns to trust herself. I’m not sure I’ll never not relate to that!

 

  1. What was your favorite part of writing the book? What was your biggest challenge?

I geek out over writing love scenes. I’ll admit, there are several deleted love scenes sitting in my DropBox. Whether it’s a physically intimate scene or a scene to build sexual tension, those are the scenes I walk away from whistling a tune.

The biggest challenge for me is editing. I love these characters so much and I want you to know them as well as I do, so I tend to overwrite. In the end, it helps me know the story better, but along with those deleted love scenes is lots of Jake and Naya Trivia!

  1. What do you hope readers will take away from reading HOW TO FAIL AT FLIRTING?

I hope readers will take away three main things. First, “That Denise Williams writes good books!” Just kidding… or not! More seriously, I hope readers walk away from HOW TO FAIL AT FLIRTING knowing heartbreak and trauma don’t preclude you from enjoying humor, affection, good sex, and love…that someone working to heal can still get their happily ever after. 

 

Is there anything readers should know?

I mentioned Naya is a survivor of relationship violence with an ex co-worker. I hope readers who might have personal experience or be otherwise triggered by that take care of themselves by reading reviews or visiting my website to review the content warning.

Is Jake based on someone specific?

Jake isn’t based on one person, but I borrowed traits from some of my favorite men. Jake can be silly and playful like my husband, is patient and a good dancer like my dad, he’s protective like my brother, unconcerned with external pressure to exhibit toxic masculinity like so many close friends, and I think he looks like Henry Cavill, who I don’t know personally…but I’m up for the introduction.

Posted in Blog Tour

A Christmas Wedding at the Castle by Eliza Scott **Book Review** @rararesources

happy Friday all!

A Christmas Wedding At The Castle (Life on the Moors Book 5)

Do you believe in fate? Livvie Weatherill does…

This time last year, if anyone had told Livvie Weatherill she’d have fallen in love and would be making plans for her Christmas wedding to Zander Gillespie, she would have laughed in their face. If they’d gone on to say they’d be planning to have their wedding at the imposing Danskelfe Castle, she’d have laughed even louder!

But it would seem fate had plans for her…

Since moving to the pretty moorland village of Lytell Stangdale Livvie is happier than she’s ever been. She’s living with Zander and she’s working at her dream job as a wedding dress designer at Romantique with her friends, Kitty and Violet. It’s fair to say, she’s enjoying immersing herself in village life, from romantic walks in the countryside, to meeting friends at the quaint Sunne Inne. And she can’t think of anything better than rounding off the day cosying up with Zander.

Life is sweet.

Her blossoming friendship with Freda Easton, the endearing but reclusive elderly lady who lives down the lane, has taken everyone by surprise. But Freda has a secret and, in a turn of events no one could predict, she finds herself grateful for Livvie’s fierce loyalty, cementing their friendship further.

Just when things seem to be running smoothly, a face from the past arrives on the doorstep casting a shadow over Livvie’s wedding plans. Adding to the drama, an icy blast of Arctic air brings heavy snowfall to the village, covering the moors in a thick blanket of snow.

Is their love strong enough to withstand the challenges thrown at them? Will they get their magical Christmas wedding?

Join Livvie and Zander – and all the usual characters – for a sparkling Christmas full of love and laughter in Lytell Stangdale.

My Thoughts

A castle, Christmas, and a wedding dress. Eliza J. Scott swept me away to Lytell Stangdale with her festive storytelling. Last Christmas Miss Scott introduced us to Livvie and Zander, this Christmas she is inviting us to their wedding. It was fun getting reacquainted with this couple along with multiple other residence of this charming village. But not going to lie I was most excited to see Alf the dog again. Livvie is excitedly planning her wedding, so thrilled to have it at the local castle. But Zander is acting strangely and she is beginning to think he’s hiding something from her. But Zander is not the only person with secrets. Frita The village recluse who has become more friendly with Livvie has a story to tell. Secrets… wedding plans… a hen do… a tiara… cheeky beef… chocolate…

this book was so much fun! I just love all these characters! Even though the story is set at Christmas time it really was friendship heavy and Christmas light. I love the camaraderie and support between the females in this book. I would have loved to join them at this hen do/bachelorette party, the theme was right in my wheelhouse. also really liked the little bit of mystery in the book and how that all played out. this was another delightful installment in the series and I cannot wait to visit Lytell Stangdale again.

this book in emojis 🐶 👰🏻‍♀️ 🍫 🍷 ❄️

*** Big thank you to the author for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

Purchase Links 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Wedding-Castle-heartwarming-feel-good-ebook/dp/B08M48P9BB 

US – https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Wedding-Castle-heartwarming-feel-good-ebook/dp/B08M48P9BB

Author Bio – 

Eliza is proud to be a member of the RNA. She lives in a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden, fighting a losing battle against the weeds.

When she’s not reading or gardening, Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Her biggest weakness is ginger biscuits dunked in tea.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heartwarming romance stories with relatable female characters. She enjoys exploring the dynamics of female friendship, with a key feature of her books being how women pull together and support one another when things get tough.

Eliza’s novels will always have happy endings.

Social Media Links – 

Twitter: Eliza J Scott@ElizaJScott1

Instagram: Eliza J Scott@elizajscott

Facebook: Eliza J Scott@elizajscottauthor

Blog: www.elizajscott.com

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/authors/eliza-j-scott

Amazon Author Page: UK:  www.amazon.co.uk/Eliza-J-Scott/e/B07DMQWPMH

                                        US: www.amazon.com/Eliza-J-Scott/e/B07DMQWPMH