Saturday, 27 April 2019

Edinburgh - Travel Diary

Friday, April 12. Could have been the 13th, with the things that went wrong. I got up early and went to the airport with enough time, just to drop off my suitcase and being told that my flight has a delay of over five hours. The plane was supposed to take off at 11.30 am, the new time was 4.50 pm. Well, I went to Starbucks for coffee first and then went into some shops before security. After an hour, I went through security and walked around, trying to find out, how I can get my money back. Then I went to the center bar to get some lunch and a drink, we got a 20 francs voucher for lunch. So that killed another hour. Then I got another coffee at Starbucks, sat down and read my book. Unfortunately, I was sitting in a restaurant area, so I had to move. About 90 minutes before the new boarding time, I finally had a gate and slowly went there. At the gate, I enjoyed some snacks, continued reading and started talking to a lovely Scottish lady. After that, they moved back the takeoff time several times until it stopped at 5.10 pm. Boarding was obviously late, but at 5.00 I entered the plane. You now think that I was finally able to go. Well, you thought wrong, eight passengers didn't turn up, so they had to take out their luggage. Due to that, we lost our starting slot and the new one was only 50 minutes later, because plane traffic is high around London, fabulous... Well, the plane started moving at 6.00 pm. And we landed in Edinburgh at 7.10 pm (UK time) and guess what, the ground staff wasn't ready for us. Well, I arrived at the hotel at around 8.00 pm, quickly checked in and went for a little walk around the area before the sun was gone. 

Victoria Street
I got up very early on Saturday because I wanted to make most of the day. The road leading from my hotel to the Royal Mile is called Victoria Street and it was an inspiration for Diagon Alley, it's so pretty. It was a sunny day and I headed straight to Starbucks for breakfast. Then I walked up the Royal Mile to the castle, where I took some pictures of the view around, then waited for my entry time. At 9.30 am the doors opened and I started exploring the castle. There is so much to see, you can get an audio guide, but I didn't. That meant I read all the signs carefully (in the beginning anyway). It was very interesting and it's just so pretty. I think I spent about 1 1/2 hours there, before walking down Royal Mile again towards Canongate. A must see stop was the City chambers, to see J.K. Rowling's golden handprints on the floor. I popped into some shops on the way, like The Boy Wizard, one of the Harry Potter stores and some typically Scottish ones. The walk to Canongate and Holyroodhouse is quite long and my hands started to get cold. I just quickly looked at Holyroodhouse, before heading to Calton Hill. A lot of steps later, I made it and I spent quite some time up there, there is so much to see: the National Monument of Scotland, The Nelson Monument and the Dugald Stewart Monument. The views all around are absolutely fantastic. Well, after that it was time for some lunch, I headed to John Lewis and the restaurant there. Then I of course explored the department store a little bit. At Starbucks, I stopped for a coffee and walked to the area between The Balmoral Hotel and the Scott Monument, where I just sat down, enjoyed my coffee and the view. Then I hit some shops (didn't buy anything) and enjoyed the sunshine in Princes Street Gardens, with a great view of the castle. Towards 5.00 pm I walked back to the old town, went into Museum Context, the other Harry Potter store, and then took a look at The Elephant House (where J.K. Rowling wrote the first part of the Harry Potter series). Another must-see for Harry Potter fans is Greyfriars Churchyard, especially some graves, which inspired names in the books: Riddell, Moodie, and McGonagall. Next to the cemetery is also a school, which apparently inspired Hogwarts (George Heriot's School). The funny thing: I also saw the school from my hotel room window. Back at the hotel I ordered room service, watched tv, enjoyed a bubble bath and chilled. I walked over 21 km, quite exhausting, in a good way of course.

Calton Hill

Princes Street Gardens

On Sunday I slept a bit longer and went to Starbucks for breakfast again. Then I bought some Harry Potter stuff at The Boy Wizard (a Hogwarts jumper, a bookmark, and some magnets) and headed to the New Town. I went into the shos properly this time. I also spent a lot of time at Waterstones, also for lunch. At Jenners, I tried on some clothes, because Ted Baker had 30% off everything. I found some great tops. The weather was very cloudy the whole day and very windy and cold, so I decided to go to the National Scottish Portrait Gallery. They had a really nice photo of the queen standing in the Scottish Highlands, that was very pretty. For dinner I went to the Pizza Express, I had a yummy vegan pizza. I didn't want vegan, but it had the perfect toppings. The rest of the night was spent with tv and a bath. 

Calton Hill

Princes Street Gardens

Scott Monument

Edinburgh Castle

Monday marked the end of my time in Edinburgh. From one Harry Potter city to another, London calling...  (next blog post)

I really enjoyed my time in Edinburgh, it's a beautiful city with so much to offer. I love the mixture between old and new and of course the Harry Potter aspect of it. Keep your eyes peeled for some Harry Potter tips as well. 

View from Edinburgh Castle

Thursday, 25 April 2019

After the Kiss - by Lauren Layne

The blurb: 

Lauren Layne kicks off her Sex, Love & Stiletto series with a delightful short novel! In After the Kiss, the star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything . . . except fall in love.
Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and “I do”—she’ll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobe a chance at more.
Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie’s “research.” But what Julie doesn’t know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he’s looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he’s exactly what she wants.

My Opinion:

I discovered Lauren Layne's stories on a story app and liked her stories, so I decided to actually read the actual books and this the first one. I already got to know the Stiletto girls and Oxford guys on the app, so it was fab to actually read about them. 

We follow Julie in this story, she is kind of the dating expert of the magazine, who now takes on a new task: how to actually stay in a relationship. Well Mitchell, a wall street guy, seems to be the perfect one to test this on and write articles about. These two have instant chemistry and the author captured it beautifully.
I loved their scenes and how their "relationship" developed. We also get to find out more about the other Stiletto girls Grace and Riley. It's a fun book, with so many great moments, of course there is also a lot of drama, but it needs to be part of the storyline, it makes it more exciting. Mitchell kind of has a secret too and when it all explods, things get heated. 

Julie has only always been dating, so seeing her develop feelings and wanting more was very interesting. Both of them go out of their comfort zone and find out what it means to love. They are also polar opposites and to see themtogether was fascinating and fun.

The story is very passionate, flirty, refreshing and enjoyable. I'm excited to read more in this series. 


Lauren Layne on Twitter: @_LaurenLayne

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Friends With Benefits - by Hazel Kelly

The blurb: 

Carter's been crazy about Nina since the first time he saw her emerald eyes, but his fantastic reputation landed him in the friend zone before he even had a chance to say, "How youdoin'?" 

So when Nina suggests they become friends with benefits, he can't believe his luck. 

After all, once he's gotten in her pants, winning her heart should be easy... right? 

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review*

Friends With Benefits was my first book by Hazel Kelly. The book is part of series, with this being the second book. It can totally be read as a standalone, although now I want to know what happened in book one, to get the whole picture. 

We follow Carter and Nina in this book. They both get to tell their story in alternating chapters. 
Carter has been crazy about Nina from the first time he saw her, but she kind of ignores him. Until one evening and they become friends with benefits. Their connection is strong and deep though and feelings start to build. Can they admit that though?!

This book is very passionate, flirty, steamy, fast-paced, romantic and fresh. The authors really grabbed the chemistry between the main characters and created an exciting storyline around them. I definitely look forward to reading more of her books. 


Goodreads - Amazon UK - Amazon US

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Amazing Grace - by Kim Nash

The blurb: 

Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted. 

Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary - and her perfect life fell apart. 

Now she's a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks… 

Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up on her doorstep, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves. 

So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness? 

A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life for the better – readers of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Josie Silver will love this uplifting read.*

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Kim Nash’s debut novel, yes please!!!

Amazing Grace tells the story of single mum Grace. The role is new for her, but I just love her relationship with her son Archie. They were so sweet together and I have to say Archie was probably my favourite. He was adorable and had some very memorable scenes.
Anyway, let’s get back tot he story. Grace meets Vinnie and they start dating. Archie needs to improve as well of course, but there was always his dad too, who eventually tried to win Grace back. 

She had conversations with her deceased other, which added a really emotional and touching part to the storyline.

Kim Nash’s writing style is great. I felt like being there with the characters. Her writing is full of details, feelings and magical moments. The story is uplifting, warm and inspiring, loved it!!

And, I just adore the title of this book!


Kim Nash on Twitter: @KimTheBookworm
Goodreads - Amazon UK - Amazon US

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

The Mill on Magnolia Lane - by Tilly Tennant

The blurb: 

The sky is cornflower blue, the air is scented with the smell of fresh apple blossom and Lizzie Lovell can’t wait to start her new life in the mill on Magnolia Lane. But is she just about to fall in love with someone she shouldn’t? 

When Lizzie loses her larger-than-life Dad she doesn’t know how to move forward. Encouraged by a childhood dream she shared with her beloved father, she is determined to continue his legacy and moves to the old Mill on Magnolia lane, a place he had always longed to own. 

Restoring the old windmill is a much bigger job than Lizzie bargained for, especially when she is distracted by her new next door neighbour Jude, who has temptingly twinkly eyes and a body to die for. But when Jude’s ex- girlfriend Harriet arrives back on the scene, Lizzie begins to wonder if life wasn’t far simpler before she moved to the mill. Especially when it emerges that Harriet knows something about Jude’s past, something that could shatter her new start and her heart into smithereens … 

If your heart is warmed by Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond and Josie Silver’s One Day in December, you’ll fall in love with this beautiful feel-good story about finding love when you least expect it. 

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

We meet Lizzie after her father dies. Things are not easy, but she wants to continue his dream and starts restoring the old windmill on Magnolia Lane. 

She then meets Jude and the two of them hit it off immediately. Jude didn’t have an easy life. After both his parents died, he had to take care of his brother Charlie and then there are also his ex Harriet and his son. Harriet still spends a lot of time with Jude and Lizzie doesn’t like that. She is very suspicious and can’t fully trust him. 

On top of that, there is her family, who are trying to give their opinion on Jude as well and they have their own problems to deal with too. 

I have always liked Tilly Tennant’s writing style, it’s fresh, cute, gripping and young. Unfortunately, something was missing in this book, I didn’t get 100% into it. The storyline was missing some details and I also found it hard to relate to the characters. 

The setting of this book is wonderful and the author captured it beautifully. I really enjoyed diving into this story, it’s a great summery read.


Tilly Tennant on Twitter: @TillyTenWriter

Monday, 1 April 2019

Buzz - by Karli Perrin

The blurb: 

And my personal favourite, Mr Steal Your Girl.
I've been called them all. 
But still, the women keep on coming. 
And coming.
Hundreds of women slide into my DM’s and I slide into their…well, I think you can see where I'm going with this.
Men want to be me and women want to bed me.
Despite what the bunny boilers of San Francisco call me, I go by the name of Buzz.
I'm 6’4” and the proud owner of a six-pack, beard and too many tattoos to count.
I’m a walking wet dream.
For the longest time, I didn’t believe in love. I didn’t even believe in relationships. I couldn’t understand why anybody would willingly choose to have sex with only one person.
Until I met Lori.
She turned my entire world upside down and made me feel things which I didn’t even know I was capable of. But when I couldn’t deal with her career as a honey trapper, I lost her.
But now I want her back.
And I always get what I want.
It’s lucky that I found her again.
It’s unlucky that she has a new boyfriend.
Unlucky for him.

My Opinion:

*Book provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

I was waiting for this book ever since I finished The Honey Trap. We get introduced to Lori and Buzz in that book and I’m so excited they now got their own story to share. 

I loved following Buzz’s story. It’s great to read everything from his point of view. He is very funny and knows what he wants. Lori changed him, but he couldn’t deal with her job as a honey trapper. A few months after their breakup, he wants her back, but she has a boyfriend now and she quit her job. 

He starts fighting for her, even if it is not easy. They storyline is full of ups and downs, sexy and passionate moments and I loved that Mason and Sophia were a big part of it as well. 

I would suggest reading The Honey Trap first, but Buzz can also be read as a standalone. Having read Honey Trap just gives you more insight and shows how Buzz and Lori really met. 

Another fabulous read by Karli Perrin! I have to say I preferred The Honey Trap a bit more, but I still enjoyed this very much. 
The chemistry between Buzz and Lori is undeniable and the other captured it in the best possible way. A must read!!!


Karli Perrin on Twitter: @karli_perrin