Review: Leaving Flowers by Debbie McGowan & Raine O'Tierney

Shy and awkward since childhood, Aidan Degas is now a man lost. His twin—Aidan’s other half, Nadia—died tragically young, leaving him with nothing to get him through his days but his job at the prestigious Grand Heights Luxury Apartments and the flowers he lays upon her grave. When Aidan is assaulted on the job by a tenant, it’s the graveyard he turns to for strength and solace.

Patrick loves being assistant groundskeeper at the sprawling cemetery where he tends graves and offers a bit of comfort to mourners. When he sees a sad young man lingering over an old grave, his curiosity is strangely piqued for reasons he doesn’t understand. He’s never done this—struck up a friendship with a mourner. But soon that friendship blossoms into a romance.

It’s not going to be easy for the pair. Aidan is so damaged, like petals crushed in an angry fist, and even with Patrick’s warm heart and Irish charm, it might not be enough to bring him back from the edge.

I'm stuck somewhere between 3.5-4 Full-O-Feelz-Hearts on this one. Overall, an enjoyable read as well as a good maiden voyage on two new to me author's ships.

I'm not a crier. I don't like it. It makes me all splotchy and... it's just not pretty, so I avoid it at all costs. Leaving Flowers can be depressing at times with how grief stricken Aidan is. It was palpable, but I didn't cry. Then again, I'm kind of a hard ass so take that how you will. 

Aidan and Paddy tell their story together with alternating POVs. If you aren't touched by Aidan in some way there is something bad wrong and you *may* need to have it checked out. He's devastated by the loss of his twin sister, Nadia. It's been 3 yrs since she died in childbirth and he can't seem to move forward. He spends countless hours at her grave and the GDP of a small country on flowers. He's working as a maintenance man at a high end apartment complex living in the equivalent of Harry Potter's room under the stairs and to add insult to injury, he's been taken advantage of by an aging, married, bored and wealthy cougar. Who took is virginity to boot! Did I find it odd that a, by all accounts, intelligent and attractive 27 yr old was still a virgin? Yes. Yes, I did. But he comes across very sheltered and maybe immature in certain ways so... maybe? I certainly empathized with him and his plight but I didn't love him as a character.

Paddy is an Irish ginger! He also works at the cemetery and did I mention he was an Irish ginger? With the accent and Guinness and freckles and blushing and he even plays the flute and sings! He also falls head over heels for Aidan in a blink. I'm sort of on the instalove fence, but at least Paddy owns it. I can respect that. He's good for Aidan, helps him face some hard truths and supports him when Aidan goes off half cocked which he does on a semi regular basis.

The story arch is engaging, a little predictable, but there's a reason clichéd storylines are clichéd because they work, they appeal. This appealed and I liked the secondary characters. The secondary storyline involving the aforementioned wealthy cougar got left open which I'm not sure what to make of other than it being anti-climatic. 

Recommend to fans of feelz.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Leaving Flowers by Debbie McGowan & Raine O'Tierney

Release Date: May 1, 2015


Shy and awkward since childhood, Aidan Degas is now a man lost. His twin—Aidan’s other half, Nadia—died tragically young, leaving him with nothing to get him through his days but his job at the prestigious Grand Heights Luxury Apartments and the flowers he lays upon her grave. When Aidan is assaulted on the job by a tenant, it’s the graveyard he turns to for strength and solace.

Patrick loves being assistant groundskeeper at the sprawling cemetery where he tends graves and offers a bit of comfort to mourners. When he sees a sad young man lingering over an old grave, his curiosity is strangely piqued for reasons he doesn’t understand. He’s never done this—struck up a friendship with a mourner. But soon that friendship blossoms into a romance.

It’s not going to be easy for the pair. Aidan is so damaged, like petals crushed in an angry fist, and even with Patrick’s warm heart and Irish charm, it might not be enough to bring him back from the edge.

Pages or Words: 67,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing

Goodreads Link


Somehow, in spite of the need to go home and shower off the grottiness of digging earth for half a day, Patrick didn’t feel he could take his usual subtle approach. Nadia’s passing was not recent; her grave was not new; yet here was this young man, kneeling at her feet, his eyes closed, hands resting in his lap, oblivious to the sun’s slide from the sky, the increasing briskness of the breeze, Patrick’s presence…
“Hello there,” he said quietly, stopping on the path a few feet away. The man was too far into his own mind to startle. Instead, he slowly came to, his shoulders lifting slightly as he twisted to see what had disturbed his meditation. Patrick smiled. “I’m afraid we’re locking up for the evening.”
“So soon?”
“It’s going on for seven o’clock, sir.”
“Seven…” The man’s voice petered away, his expression indicating he had no idea how long he had been kneeling there. If he doubted Patrick’s word, the confirmation came when the man tried to stand, and staggered, numb-legged. He automatically reached out to steady himself, catching hold of the front of Patrick’s coveralls, and then almost collapsed again, unable to bear his own weight.
Without a second thought, Patrick quickly grasped the man by the forearms to steady him. “There’s no rush now. You just take your time. All right?”
The man nodded and swallowed hard. “Thank you. I only came to leave the tulips.” He gestured toward the vase of closed tulips in front of the grave and in the midst of the red and white carnations.
Patrick kept his hold on the man and looked down at the flowers. “They’re beautiful,” he said. “Really lovely.”
“Thanks. Nadia loved flowers so much.” A glimmer of a happier time lit up the man’s features for just a second, before it was blotted out once more by the heavy cloud of sorrow.
Patrick felt that sorrow in his heart. He wanted to offer comfort, warmth, security, to soothe with his touch, his kiss… Oh my—no, no, Patrick. You’re way over the line. You’re standing at the grave of this man’s wife, and all you can think of is kissing him? But it wasn’t that sort of kiss he had in mind. It wasn’t about passion, or lust; just a desperate desire to take away the pain.
The man seemed a little more steady on his feet and Patrick gently released him. “OK now?”
“I think so.” He took a long, deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Thank you for your patience. I’m sure you’re eager to go home. It can’t be fun working here.”
Patrick shrugged and smiled. “I love my job. Fresh air, peace and quiet—”
“But it’s a cemetery.”
“Well, yeah,” Patrick said, the slightest hint of a chuckle in his words. It was enough to prompt the other man to lift his head. For the first time, his eyes met Patrick’s, and something bloomed inside, a heat radiating from somewhere he couldn’t quite pinpoint. It rose up through his chest, into his throat, filling his mouth and his nose, as he gazed into those incredible steel-gray eyes. There was so much pain there, and loss—anger—and yet there was more, so much more, that Patrick could almost hear the emotion, like a distant cry for help from someone who was drowning.

Excerpt 2:
“Quit then. It sounds a horrible place.”
“I can’t quit.” Aidan closed his eyes and left them closed, letting out a long, low breath. “The Grand Heights is all I have.”
He felt Patrick move, felt as he shifted across the center console, close into Aidan’s space, but he did not open his eyes. He was expecting the hug—longed for it even—and as Patrick’s arms wrapped around him, Aidan melted into the feel and warmth and smell of Patrick. Then he felt Patrick’s lips on his neck, so gentle he almost wasn’t certain he felt it at all. He was tenderly kissing the spot where Mrs. Wright had left such an ugly mark.
“I wish I could make it disappear.” Patrick’s voice was hypnotizing, the sound of rain on a tin roof. Aidan turned his face, just a little, so that Patrick’s lips caressed his cheek.
“The hickey?”
“All of it.”
Their lips met and Aidan died a little, right there, in the parking garage. It was nothing at all like when he’d awkwardly kissed his prom date goodnight, his teeth knocking against hers. Nor was it like Ms. Ashmore and her almost suffocating kisses. And it sure as hell wasn’t Mrs. Wright clawing into him, sucking on his neck like a vampire with a blood-soaked appetizer. 
“I’m sorry,” Patrick murmured against his lips. “I don’t know what I’m thinkin’, kissing you like this. I just can’t stand to see you sufferin’, Aidan Degas.”
“Oh.” Idiot, Aidan berated himself as he pulled back. He inhaled deeply and let it out on a chuckle he hoped sounded natural and not hurt. He’s feeling sorry for you. God, you always read so much into everything. “Well, I am feeling much better now.”
Patrick didn’t look convinced.

“I promise,” Aidan said, way too brightly, and turned back to the window. “I wonder if we’re ever getting out of this garage.”

Sales Links:
Beaten Track Publishing (Paperback)
Amazon UK

The ladies were kind enough to indulge our silly whims and write a blog post about... Drum roll, please... 

How to Write Convincing Characters

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”
~ Carl Sagan

I’m going to cut to the chase here and rather arrogantly state that I’m pretty good at writing believable characters. I’m not going to qualify or justify; I’m just going to share a few tips based on how I do it.

1. Take Cues from the Real World
People Watching
Observe how people act and react. Think about their motivations. Analyse their day-to-day interactions in different situations. Interpolate from your own feelings: the rude and abrasive woman trying to pay for her trolley full of shopping whilst taming a screaming toddler might not be quite so obnoxious when she’s well rested and out with her friends. What is it like to be in her shoes? Follow her around for a day (in your imagination, not for real, or you’ll get arrested ;) ).

The way we communicate varies according to age, gender, sexuality, culture, our dominant language, etc. and it’s about more than the words we ‘choose’. Communication is the physical expression of how we think. For instance:

“Would you like to go to pub?”
“It’s a nice evening. Shall we go out for a drink?”
“I’m going to the pub. Want to come?”
“I’m going to the pub. Come with me, if you want.”
“Don’t suppose you fancy coming out for a drink, do you?”

The statement / request has the same outcome, but who we are shapes the way we make it.

Keep it Real
Life is not a Hollywood movie, so it’s unlikely anyone is ever going to say out loud anything quite so dramatic as…

I’ll never forget you, Johnny! I love you!
[fade to black. Cue end credits.]

People try to hide most of what they’re really thinking, or at best try to express themselves in a heartfelt but wholly non-dramatic way. In day-to-day situations, a person’s actions, expression and posture will often give away the underlying emotion and intent.

2. Invent the Universe
Borrow, don’t Steal
When it comes to creating your characters DO NOT base them on real people. As you write they will take on characteristics which you will be able to identify as just like x, but don’t do it intentionally. If they’re based on someone you know (or, indeed, if they are based on you) then your story and character development will be limited by how well you know the real person and what you’re prepared to put them through.

Get to know the character – think about who they are, what they believe in, what’s important to them, how they deal with other people. When you write them into a situation, get in there with them, and watch/listen. Let them lead.

A World of Their Own
Create a world for your characters. Again, it can be based on the real world, but you are their god. Give them the world you want them to have.

Bring in the Real World
When it comes to writing dialogue, think about how real people speak and structure your character’s speech accordingly. Think also about the situation they’re in and how it makes them feel.

3. Show and Tell
Some characters are chatterboxes. Some say very little. Your job is to fill in the gaps – show their thoughts and feelings when what they’re saying isn’t enough.

The sound of booted feet on the stairs warned of Johnny’s imminent arrival; still Ben startled when the other man appeared in the hallway. Johnny’s kit bag landed with a leaden thud, the tin mug and dish tethered to the strap clanging a muted death toll.

Ben turned and gazed out of the open window, to the train station beyond the dark, distant trees, backlit by the ochre evening sun. “I’m going to the pub,” he said, briefly glancing back at Johnny. “Come with me, if you want.”

“I’m going to the pub. Come with me, if you want.”

Might actually mean:

I’ll never forget you, Johnny! I love you!

About the authors:

DEBBIE MCGOWAN is an author and publisher based in a semi-rural corner of Lancashire, England. She writes character-driven, realist fiction, celebrating life, love and relationships. A working class girl, she ‘ran away’ to London at 17, was homeless, unemployed and then homeless again, interspersed with animal rights activism (all legal, honest ;)) and volunteer work as a mental health advocate. At 25, she went back to college to study social science— tough with two toddlers, but they had a ‘stay at home’ dad, so it worked itself out. These days, the toddlers are young women (much to their chagrin), and Debbie teaches undergraduate students, writes novels and runs an independent publishing company, occasionally grabbing an hour of sleep where she can!

RAINE O’TIERNEY lives outside of Kansas City with her husband, fellow author, Siôn O'Tierney. When she's not writing, she's either playing video games or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. Raine believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers! Writing for 20+ years (with the last 10 spent on gay romance) Raine changes sub-genres to suit her mood and believes all good stories end sweetly. Contact her if you're interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or about which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!


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Tour Dates & Stops: 
1-May BFD Book Blog, My Fiction Nook; 4-May Inked Rainbow Reads, Velvet Panic; 5-May MM Good Book Reviews, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Up All Night, Read All Day; 6-May Hearts on Fire;  7-May The Novel Approach, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words; 8-May Cate Ashwood, Bike Book Reviews; 11-May Bayou Book Junkie; 12-May The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Charley Descoteaux, Molly Lolly; 13-May Love Bytes, EE Montgomery; 14-May Amanda C. Stone, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My; 15-May Prism Book Alliance, Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews, Boy Meets Boy Reviews

Review: Early to Rise (Toms & Tabbies Tales #1) by V.L. Locey

There are few things worse than being left at the altar by the man you thought loved you. Just ask Simon Wilder. He knows all about it. He also knows a thing or two about getting fired. It`s been a rotten week for Simon and making major life decisions during such turmoil may not be the wisest thing Simon has ever done. Or is it?

Packing up his clothes, his collection of Tony Orlando CD`s, and his cat, Sambuca, Simon leaves the hustle and bustle of Philadelphia behind and heads out to live on his uncle Tiberius` farm in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Starting over on the farm where he vacationed once as a child is a going to be just what the doctor ordered, as long as that doctor is the good-looking large animal veterinarian, Gentry Martin. Is a sexy country vet the cure for a love-sick city boy?

This was my first read by this author and I will definitely be reading more. I fell in love with Simon’s character right away. He’s one of those guys you want to be friends with as soon as you meet him on page. He’s snarky, “emotionally vibrant” and just plain funny. He’s not over the top though, he didn’t try too hard to charm me which made me love him all the more.

After having his heart broken, and broken hard, Simon packs up and heads out of town. He leaves his beloved mother behind (I liked her, a lot, and YAY, a fictional mother to get behind) but takes his cat Sambuca and heads to his Uncle’s farm. He stayed with his Uncle Tiberius as a child and has very fond memories of his time there. Of course his mother reminds him how his time on the farm actually went, but who needs reality when you really just need a fresh start. I have to say, I wasn’t expecting much for the relationship between Uncle Tiberius and Simon and I ended up so pleasantly surprised. The two of them quickly fell into a routine and ended up being exactly what the other needed without even realizing it.

As Simon gets his feet muddy in his new life on the farm, he crosses paths with the very handsome and very charming Dr. Gentry Martin. Serendipity shines on these two as Simon is experienced in health care admin and Gentry needs a new office manager in his veterinary practice. The heat between them is palpable and the flirting leads to some seriously amusing and embarrassing fails for poor Simon. Those fails put the problem of dating an employee into stark relief for Gentry and this is where I had my only issues with the story. The romance between the two stuttered repeatedly and I honestly just felt bad for Simon. They were obviously meant to be together and there was just a little too much back and forth for the length of the story for me to fully fall in love with them as a couple. I love Simon, I like Gentry, I just didn’t get a chance to love Gentry alone and then them together.

I was completely charmed with the story of Simon, his family and the farm. I would have actually been totally fine with reading this without the romance, not that I didn’t appreciate it, I did. The characters were just that good though, I would have read about them regardless. For me to have bought into the romance fully I would have just need more. And I would have LOVED more.

So, I really enjoyed the read overall and I chuckled out loud more than once. I will be reading more by this author, no question and I would recommend it for a light and fun afternoon read. Read it for Simon and read it for Uncle Tiberius and you’ll have a guaranteed good time.

For more information on Early to Rise, check it out over on Goodreads.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

Review: Spell Bound (The Warlock Brothers of Havenbridge #1) by Jacob Z. Flores

Mason Blackmoor just can’t compete with his brothers, much less his father. They represent the epitome of black magic, strong, dark, and wicked, and though Mason tries to live up to his respected lineage, most of the spells he casts go awry. To make matters worse, his active power has yet to kick in. While his brothers wield lightning and harness the cold, Mason sits on the sidelines, waiting for the moment when he can finally enter the magical game.

When a dead body is discovered on the football field of his high school, Mason meets Drake Carpenter, the new kid in town. Drake’s confident demeanor and quick wit rub Mason the wrong way. Drake is far too self-assured for someone without an ounce of magical blood in his body, and Mason aims to teach him a lesson—like turn him into a roach. And if he’s lucky, maybe this time Mason won’t be the one turned into an insect.

Not surprisingly, the dislike is mutual, and Drake does nothing to dispel Mason’s suspicion that the sexy boy with a southern drawl is somehow connected to the murder.

If only Mason didn’t find himself inexplicably spellbound whenever they are together, they might actually find out what danger hides in the shadows

This is only the second book I've read by this author - but it certainly won't be the last. Here Jacob Z Flores has created a world which I already love...anyone who likes YA stories that have a fantasy/paranormal twist will like these. I love that whole it's our world but with elements much of society doesn't know about theme of books and TV and this embraces that genre so well.

Mason is a character who is hiding a secret and this affects how the world at large views him. Even his closest friends don't truly know him, this seemed very metaphorical to me of teenagers the world over. He has an image to uphold, but truly he only has that image as a way to shield himself. I love that Drake was able to work his way through the shield and into Mason's life, intended or not.

At times this book was laugh-out-loud funny. My particular favourite was 'park whoring'. I'm a park whore fan myself - could watch it for hours. Even if I do call it free running... The whole book managed to find a great balance between humour and action.

I'm eager to find out more about this world, though this story wrapped up I'm not done with these characters. t feels to me like there is a whole lot more to find out about the Blackmoors and the world they inhabit. I also feel like there is more to Aunt Millie than we learnt about here...I often have a feeling in these kinds of tales that the general public in the worlds know more than they are letting on. More than the supernatural characters realise...Danny from Teen Wolf anyone?? I like this because it feels like the simple story we're shown in the first book is just the first layer - I can't wait to read more of this series to see where it goes.

A really enjoyable read, and as I said, an author I'll be looking out for more of.

For more info check out Goodreads.
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Behavior Problem (Outlaw MC #3) by James Cox and GIVEAWAY!

What if bad guys ruled the world and the good guys were the outlaws?

Deviant doesn’t do friendly. He’s had a hard life and it shows in his behavior. The Outlaw MC of Mars is starting to expand thanks to some tough women who want to change the law. In the government’s eyes, women are only needed for breeding. Deviant is volunteered to train them. What he doesn’t expect is to meet Tage. The handsome man blushes more than a hard spanked butt. And what a fine pair of cheeks he has. Deviant made a promise to himself. Never fall in love. That makes a man vulnerable to hurt, to loss, to become broken. So why does he feel this undeniable attraction to Tage?

Deviant doesn’t do romance or cuddling or any of that other shit. With a covert war against the government going on, the last thing he needs is a weakness.

Will the shy Tage bring the big badass biker to his knees?

Another fun and sexy (and stressful) installment to the Outlaw MC series. I love the premise of these books, there is really nothing better that a big ol’ badass with a heart of melty chocolate around the right man. James always manages to create perfect partners, Tage and Deviant are no exception. This couple is a little different than the couples in the previous two books. Deviant is a full member of the biker club, but Tage’s life couldn’t be further from that of the Outlaws. But, just because he isn’t that ‘flavor’ of badass doesn’t mean he’s any less a hero.

Deviant is slightly left of stable, his name is Deviant after all and let’s face it, s’hot. But, his slightly unhinged nature can be a bit of a liability at times and he’s sent away from the clubhouse for a but while they are under heavy (well, heavier than usual) scrutiny. Which leads me to my bitch fest and heartbreak moment. . . . OMFG, what about Lover??? Bad things happen my friends, bad things. I know more is coming and James wouldn’t dare break my heart on purpose, but damn! All I can tell you is, don’t get too comfortable and things don’t always swing the Outlaw’s way.

I loved how Deviant pushed Tage out of his comfort zone and in a more subtle way, how Tage made Deviant fall right out of his. Deviant is definitely not a warm, fuzzy cuddler, but Tage sure makes him wish he were. It slowly starts to show in him though and he’s a little surprised about his feelings, but he didn’t go all alpha denial about it which drives me nutters, but he still stayed in character and believable. Deviant’s favorite thing is to make Tage blush, it turns his crank hard and is just part of his charm that I love.

His gaze reached between my legs I was sporting some morning wood that would make a whore wince.

“Dear God,” Tage muttered, staring at my bared junk. I grinned.

“Yeah, they broke the mold with my dick.”

His cheeks blushed.

So many great blushing moments.

There is a consistency in James’ books that I really appreciate, he writes women really well. We all have read enough MM to be familiar with the plethora of stereotypical female characters that can make this reader embarrassed for her gender. Not so with James’ characters and when there is a female character she reads ‘real’ and I for one, love to read about them.

I can’t have a COX review without a favorite quote:

Romeo pulled away and then the long white ribbons of cum erupted from the prospect’s slit. It was like liquid, cloudy confetti.

The MC’s do know how to party.

And . . .

Tage was too tight for just spit and courage.

See what a sweetheart Deviant is?

If you haven’t been part of the Outlaw MC journey yet, I highly suggest you join in.

AND to celebrate the recent release of With Tongue and Teeth (Outlaw MC #4), James has been kind and generous enough to offer up a book from his back list. Just leave us a comment with your contact information and you’ll get a chance to win! We’ll draw a lucky reader on May 18th.

For more information on Behavior Problem, check it out on Goodreads.

Review: One Perfect Night by Lisa Henry

Townsville, Australia, 1943.

Tanner is a captain in the US Army, stationed at a radio post on an island in the middle of nowhere.

Nick is a coastwatcher, a man whose voice Tanner has only heard before over the radio waves.

They meet in the middle of war, when nothing is certain but this: Tanner and Nick are owed one perfect night.

Lisa Henry is one of the most talented writers I have read in that she can turn her hand from light-hearted fluff, to something other-worldy, to something deep and angst filled seamlessly. I cannot say how much I admire this talent.

When Lisa offered up five copies to commenters of this book for a read to review I have to admit I jumped straight in without even checking out the book she was offering. That is how much faith I have in this author's writing. I should have remembered her penchant for pulverising my heart though...

This book is beautiful and poignant especially with the 70th anniversary of VE day (here int he UK) coming up. We here so much about war, both current and past, we know the facts and the figures and the atrocities that occurred - yet sometimes it is the little stories that truly bring it home how much devastation war can cause.

This story is about one perfect night. One perfect night in the midst of the second world war - and it was beautiful, it was a moment out of forever that could not be taken away from either of them. I won't lie and tell you this story has an hea, because it doesn't, and that is not what it is about. It's about that moment of brightness in the darkness. 

Though this story is short it packs a punch. It made me stop and think - it still makes me stop and think. What Nick and Tanner had in that moment, it was destined to never be more. Even if things didn't turn out how they did, at that time (I believe) homosexuality would not have been tolerated, so there was never going to be more than one perfect night. The night where two people from completely different worlds meet. Do I believe in soul mates? I think after reading this I do. Maybe a soul mate doesn't necessarily mean forever and ever, but instead just for now?

I don't know, but what I do know is that this is a story well worth reading. Lisa Henry will make you remember the little heartaches in the huge scheme of horror. She'll also make you remember the moments of perfection that seem all that much brighter because of the darkness surrounding them.

For more information check out Goodreads.
A copy of this book was given with a view to an honest review in return.

Review: For a Rainy Afternoon by RJ Scott

Robbie MacIntyre manages a small post office in the old Station House on the outskirts of sleepy Barton Hartshourn northwest of London. He’s stunned when the owner, Maggie, a close friend, bequeaths him not only the post office, but also Station House.

The rest of her estate is left to an American writer, Jason Young, and when he moves to the village, Robbie is thrown by the attraction he has for the man who has more of a claim on the Station House than he does.

Then there is a box that holds several rare first editions and a cookbook. Only when the secrets of the ingredients in a particular recipe are finally revealed does everything begin to make sense, and a love cut short seventy years earlier is finally discovered.

I have a love of books set in the English countryside. I don't care which part of England, actually I like books set in the countryside anywhere in the UK. There is something about the romance of books with rural villages as their setting that make my heart sing. They are purely indulgent for me and I enjoy them unashamedly. Gossipy knitting circles, the pub that is the heart of the village, families that have known each other for decades or longer, newcomers, village schools...whatever stereotype is involved it's pretty much guaranteed I'm going to love it. I don't care that I've pretty much always lived in small English villages and know many of it to be er, shall go with, not entirely accurate (these days) I still love it.

This book was no exception, like others of its ilk it warmed the cockles of my heart. Take one local dealing with the death of an elderly neighbour, friend and bequeath-er (is that a word??? it is now), throw in an un-met American relative, a little bit of old lady magic and watch the sparks fly. I can't say how much I enjoyed this little gem, it's the perfect Sunday afternoon book, whether it be read lazing in a sunny garden with a nice glass of wine or curled up in front of a roaring fire with a cup of tea.

As well as watching Robbie and Jason fall in love we learn about Maggie's own lost love from seventy years prior. RJ Scott does a wonderful job of weaving the threads together. I have to say Maggie is a wonderful character and I love how her meddling ways set up Robbie and Jason - even though she is no longer with them.

I would say that to anybody who enjoys a good old fashioned love story then this is a story for you. Warm, moving and romantic, it is a beautiful little read.