About Me

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hi, I am a 40+ year old who loves jewellery and all things sparkly. I also enjoy trying out and reviewing new makeup products, finding stylish walking sticks, reading and writing book reviews. I will review anything from bird tables/ hedgehog houses to the latest fashion! My Instagram account is @sparkling_magpie

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Book Review: The Love Islands Collection (M&B)

The Love Islands Collection is published by Mills and Boon and contains 6 seductive island romances.  All have been published before as single books but M&B Collections are a great and cost effective way to be introduced to new authors that you otherwise would scroll past!

Bought to Carry His Heir by Jane Porter - Georgia Nielsen is paid to be a surrogate for billionaire Nokia Panos. Trapped on his island, will love flourish? I enjoyed rereading this book, I read it when it was first released as part of the Modern imprint. The characters are both strong willed and there is a humourous interplay between them. 

The Doctor she Left Behind by Scarlet Wilson - burnt out after sever years working for Doctors Without Borders, Nathan Banks goes to work at Whitsundays. His new colleague is his ex, Rachel Johnson. They are forced to face their past before they can maybe build a future together.  This book is well written. I either love or hate Medical romances but this one was enjoyable.

A Miracle for the Baby Doctor by Meredith Weber - Fran Hawthorne, an embryologist is offered the chance to go and work on a Pacific island for a month. She grabs the chance as it offers her an escape from the humiliation of having her ex husband cheat on her. On the island she meets Dr Steve Ramsome. After years trying to conceive a baby with her ex, Fran and Steve manage to during one night of passion! Will they make a family or remain a temporary fling? Again I enjoyed this book, it is well written and the characters with their past angsts, hope and fears appear realistic to the reader.

His Accidental Heir by Joanne Rock - part of the Desire range, Cameron ONeil goes under cover at his top class property to root out problems first hand. He meets his employee, Maresa Delphine who is his concierge.  She is struggling to combine her job and care for her baby niece.   Cameron sees her and her niece as the solution to the stipulations on his grandfather's will. She is overwhelmed when he reveals his true identity and proposes, but will she accept? I enjoyed this book, Maresa doesn't come across as the traditional heroine in need of saving by the the big strong hero, she is plodding determinedly through life, taking everything that is thrown at her.

Claiming his Wedding Night by Joanne Fuller - Addie Farrell and Malachi Kings' marriage lasted  exactly one day then she realised her marriage was just a sham, that he didn't really love her. Now she is in need of his help to secure funding for her children's music charity.  Malachi sees her financial problems as a way of exacting revenge for the humiliating way she dumped him. He will give her the money if she will give him the wedding Night he missed out on.  I should have enjoyed this. For the most part I normally enjoy the Moden collection novels. This time I found Addie to be a bit of a wimp, allowing herself to be manipulated into bed for financial gain, even if it is for charity.

Still So Hot by Serena Ball - dating coach Elisa Henderson flies in to St Barts with her brand new client. He deserts her and she bumps into her ex best friend, Brett Jordan. Elisa tries to ignore the obvious  mutual attraction they have for one another as a red hot affair would ruin her reputation as a dating coach.  Will they give in to this or will her reputation be more important to her? Part of the Blaze collection which I find tries and sometimes fails to fit in between the M&B Modern collection and the Black Lace genre. This book was okay but I just do not enjoy the Blaze range.

This is a great collection of seductive summer reading. It is a great introduction to the different styles (Modern, Medical, Desire and Blaze) that M&B have to offer potential readers. I didn't love all the books, but the fact that I had downloaded them onto my kindle persuaded me to read ranges (Blaze and Medical) that I would normally dismiss out of hand when choosing my summer or any selection. 

I received this book via Netgalley and Mills and Boon in exchange for an honest review. I am a #MillsAndBoonInsider #netgalley #theloveislandcollection

Available from: 
Amazon UK

Mills & Boon

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

#Win Dior Gift Set & Tatty Devine Swallow Earrings

This month I am giving away a Dior GWP mini pink embossed faux leather  pouch and a 2ml Dior Addict lip maximiser plus a  001 pink 2ml Dior Addict Ultra gloss 765 ultradior. plus some Tatty Devine swallow earrings worth £25.

To enter just follow the Rafflecopter instructions.
Open internationally.
Opens 14 June closes 2 July 2018 12 AM GMT.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Book Review: Marooned With The Millionaire by Nina Milne

Marooned with the Millionaire is written by Nina Milne and published by Mills & Boon  True Love.  As mentioned in a previous blog post the heroines are independent, relatable and strong characters whilst the heros are reliable, dependable and worthy of the heroine's love.

April Fotherington is a journalist who has been commissioned to shadow and write an article about  royal chief adviser, Marcus Alrikson. Stranded on a candlelit thunderstruck desert island the sparks fly, but will the relationship continue when they are back to normality?

Marooned is a bit of a stretch as they were only on the deserted island for one list filled night.  There was so much more Milne could have done with the characters, filling in the gaps. The characters didn't really seem to know or connect with each other before they fell in to bed.  Both characters have made choices that adversely affect others and as a consequence neither Marcus nor April feel worthy of being in "love". Milne skims over this when these details could have added depth to the storyline.  She has built the skeleton of a good read but it needs to be taken one step further to make it a great read. It is an okay read but I wouldn't rush to reread it.

I received this book via Netgalley and Mills and Boon in exchange for an honest review. I am a #MillsAndBoonInsider #netgalley #maroonedwiththemillionaire 


Monday, 4 June 2018

Beaks & Claws: Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Pixi Pink

Although I love my new my new Dior Addict Lip Glow Balm it is very pricey to use as an every day  apply and throw in your purse item. The Pixi Beauty Shea Butter Lip Balm, from Pixi Beauty, is tinted and comes in 6 shades.  RRP is £8 for 4g.

I chose Pixi Pink and it is contained in a little twist up plastic tube with a secure lid.  The colour is really pretty and vibrant.  It feels and looks more like a creamy sheer/satin lipstick rather than a tinted lipbalm.  It is really moisturising, it contains vitamin E and shea butter,  but I can feel it on my lips.  The intensity of the colour means I wouldn't apply it without a mirror in case I miss my lipline.  The balm is round so it took a few goes for me to achieve a precise, crisp line - my hand eye coordination problems mean I would probably  use a lip brush for ease of application in the future.

I do like this lip balm. The packaging isn't luxurious and feels rather plasticky and the tube of lip balm wobbles a bit as it is applied to the lips,  but for £8 it moisturised and adds a nice  hint of colour.

I purchased this item myself and the views expressed in this blog post are my own.  Pixi Beauty items are available from their online shop and in store and selected retailers such as m&s etc.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Acdria Tiger Butterfly Stud Earrings


 Acdria were established in 2012 in Liverpool, their first jewellery design was the Tiger butterfly.  They have expanded their designs to encompass not only different types of butterflies but also fans, leaves, flowers  and peacock feathers. Their products are vegan, cruelty free and designed and made  handmade in the UK. They have their own Etsy shop, Web shop and are stocked in select independent gift shops such as Podarok. The jewellery is described as "see through" and is made from resin. The butterfly posts are made from stainless steel, so unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. All items arrive well packaged and in a branded gift box.

I chose the orange Tiger butterfly stud earrings in orange (£12 plus £2 p&p), they also come in blue, purple, dark blue and red, as I get lots of these butterflies in my garden and love photographing them.  The earrings are very realistic, dainty and delicate. They measure 3cmx1.2.cm. they lie completely flat against the ear, so less likely to get snagged, if like me, you wear glasses and fiddle with them.  I really like them, they are eye catching, unusual, don't look twee and would make great bridesmaid/bridal gifts.  There is a whole range of butterfly jewellery to choose from, I especially like the Tiger butterfly hair pin (£28), as so few companies make hair ornaments any more.

I purchased this item myself and the views expressed in this blog are my own.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Toms Glitter Crotchet Slip On Espadrilles

As someone who only has size 2UK feet I have difficulty finding shoes that look grown up.  Toms do range of  shoes that spans /junior/adults which look exactly the same.  These silver crochet slip on espadrilles are available in both junior and adult sizes.  I also like the fact that Toms, as a company are ethically sound.

Toms shoes have had a one for one policy for their shoe range since 2007. They have slowly widened  the range of shoes they donate to cover not only the original slip on espadrilles but also winter boots, wet weather slip on shoes, sports shoes and locally produced shoes. Toms glasses range supports eye tests, prescription glasses, eye surgery and sight saving surgery, Tom Roasting Co purchases support clean water supplies in  7 countries in the regions that produce their coffee beans and the purchase of Toms bags helps enable Toms Giving Partners to ensure the materials and training necessary to ensure healthy births.

The silver crochet espadrilles are comfortable to wear.  I have neuropathic pain in my fry and cannot stand it if shoes rub or press on my feet at all.  They are lightweight, easy to slip on, there is an elasiced "v" to the front of the shoe and they have a padded insole, the Toms branding can be seen on a logo on the heel of the shoe and a little tag at the side.  The sole is synthetic and textile, the  upper is textile and the inner lining is leather and textile.


Friday, 25 May 2018

Book Review: Swept Away by the Engimatic Tycoon by Rosanna Battigelli (M&B).


Swept Away by the Enigmatic Tycoon is written by Rosanna Battigelli, published by Mills and Boon and is part of the new True Love series.  True Love replaced the Cherish series. In the new TL series the heroine is the main focus of the storyline.  She is meant to be strong, independent and relatable whilst the hero is dependable, trustworthy and most importantly of all worthy of the heroine's love.  The hero does not necessarily have to be rich, a Tycoon or King/Prince/Sultan etc but are strong, dependable etc.  The storylines are more realistic, I love reading M&B Modern where the hero is a sheikh etc but they are not necessarily relatable  to me or the real world!

Justine Winter has returned home to run the family business, Winter's Haven holiday cottages in Georgian Bay, after having her heart broken and having to leave a toxic relationship as her boyfriend was also her boss. Casson Forrester who has bought an adjoining property and wants to purchase Winter's Haven to build Franklin's resort.  He also has an adorable dog called Luna Lu. The sparks fly and the attraction between the pair is palpable after Cass rescues Justine from her ex.  Their fledgling relationship, however, is threatened by secrets and wariness about being in love after prior failed experiences.  

I enjoyed this book. It is Rosanna's debut novel and it is well written, light hearted, easy to read gentle romance following the development of a relationship between the two main characters.  It has lots of strands to the book, some of which are delicate and thoughtfully addressed, others slightly humerous  as are the characters.  The characters do not appear one dimensional but are likeable, relatable to the reader.  

I received this book via Netgalley and Mills and Boon in exchange for an honest review. I am a #MillsAndBoonInsider #netgalley #sweptawaybytheenigmatictycoon

Available from:
Amazon UK

Mills & Boon