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 29 November 2023

Book Review: Rivals At The Royal Altar by Julieanne Howells

Rivals at the Royal Altar is a Mills & Boon Modern novel written by Julieanne Howells. Queen Agnesse has just become Queen after the death of her father. She is the first woman to hold this position in her own right and is concerned, to the point of having panic attacks, that she won’t live up to the job. Prince Sebastian is part of the royal family of a neighbouring country,    They vaguely know each other. He accompanies her to a gala as a favour to his cousin, the one person in his family who made him feel welcome in his family as he had a lonely childhood. 

As he is the second son of the second wife he will never become king and so he has trained in mental health. He helps Agnesse when she has a panic attack at the gala. 

They have a ONS, there is a pregnancy, marriage then sadly a miscarriage.

Whilst most of the novel’s storyline is predictable I do like the fact that it is the heroine who holds the major role as Queen. I think this is also the first M&B book that has mentioned mental health and the affect it can have and so for these two points alone I would  recommend this book. 

I love Mills & Boon UK and I think you will too! Click my personal referral link to get a discount on your first purchase http://rwrd.io/f4yjeqp?c 

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

Thursday 23 November 2023

Review: mookaitedecor 6cm Large Natural Rose Quartz Crystal Palm Worry Stone

I am currently waiting to get a root canal procedure. As I hate sitting still I wanted to find something I could worry with as I undergo a hopefully successful operation. 

I found this rose quartz worry stone (£12.99) on Amazon. It is made by Mookaitedecor. There are a variety of stones, rose quartz, turquoise, tigers eye etc, to choose from and it comes in a branded gift pouch. I chose rose quartz and the stone measures 60x40x20mm. The stone is very smooth, very tactile and is substantial. It doesn’t feel or look cheep and is good quality. What I failed to consider, however, are my tiny hands. The stone is too big for my to turn it over in my palm! I should have selected the 2 pack as the stones are slightly smaller. 

Despite my order error I would still recommend this stone. It is beautiful to look at, tactile, and would be a suitable gift for anyone who coljj kg extra stones, has anxiety and wants a worry stone or someone interested in reiki.

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

Sunday 19 November 2023

Book Review: A Rogue’s Rules for Seduction by Eva Leigh

A Rogue’s Rules for Seduction is the third novel in the Last Chance Scoundrels series.  This is a second chance at love novel. Set on a deserted Scottish island in a house party castle Willa and Dom meet for the first time, a year, after he abandoned her at the altar on their wedding day. Obviously she is not pleased to see him again as she is still distraught and humiliated! Now they have nowhere to hide and surrounded by her brothers, their wives and their friends  must address the issues that caused the wedding to not go ahead. 

Dom is handsome and rich and had only ever loved one woman - Willa. Due to his past he feels unworthy of her love and so he jilted her at the altar. This may seem slightly extreme to the reader but for them to get their HEA he will have to face up to his past and tell Willa what he has done. Willa is conflicted about giving Fom her heart and trusting him again after their disastrous wedding day. 

Slowly The characters go from hating each other to being friends and finally a very steamy reunion, much more explicit than most historical romances! 

I enjoyed this book, I enjoyed reading about the setting, the design the castle and the island.the humorous interludes between the main characters and the secondary characters. There is also a more serious side to the novel when Don has to address his past. I would recommend reading this novel on a cold wintry night as it seems more of a winter time romantic read!

I love Mills & Boon UK and I think you will too! Click my personal referral link to get a discount on your first purchase http://rwrd.io/f4yjeqp?c 

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

Monday 13 November 2023

Erstwilder Brooch Converters Set & Chain

I saw the Erstwilder brooch converter set (£4.25) and necklace chain (£4.25) when browsing the Wednesday Jones website during the launch of the Jocelyn Proust x Erstwilder collaboration drop. I was interested as although I have reviewed brooch converters before, this set is reasonably priced and I wanted to see if it was any different. I selected the chain simply because it has the Erstwilder logo on the extender. 

The necklace measures 40cm with an 8cm extender.. the tag on the extender has the Erstwilder logo embossed on it. The chain is stainless steel and rhodium plated. It doesn’t look or feel like a cheap chain. It is quite lightweight and the lobster clasp is easy to fasten.

 The brooch converter set consists of a vertical and horizontal component. They are quite easy to use, just slip the correct converter on to the pin (making sure the flat side of the converter faces the back side of the brooch and pin it in place. Then slide the chain through the bale. The  converters are brass with rhodium plating. I wasn’t as impressed with the converters. The piece where the pin fitted through wasn’t long enough so the brooch wasn’t securely fastened in place and slid around on the converter. It was adequate but nothing special. I would prefer it if they sold sets which fitted different pin lengths. 

I never wear my Erstwilder brooches as brooches so I was pleased to see a chain that matches the branding of my brooch collection and it is very reasonably priced. I would recommend. The converters are adequate and again reasonably priced but aren’t any different to similarly priced sets. Wednesday Jones as a website provided excellent customer service, answering my emails promptly and politely. My order arrived within 48 hours with a free teabag! So I would definitely use this website again.

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

Friday 10 November 2023

Book Review: Ruthless Enforcer by Lucy Monroe


Ruthless Enforcer is the fourth novel in Lucy Monroe’s series Syndicate Rules. This book is described as a mafia romance with a morally grey hero. Lucia was part of the Costa Nostra mafia. She  has already had her life destroyed once by mafia violence but managed to save her brother in law and rebuild their lives and her career. She now owns a bar. Atlas is part of the Greek mafia and wants to use her bar for money laundering and other mafia activities but not human trafficking. Unfortunately he doesn’t tell her this before they start their affair. I enjoyed this novel up to a point. The characters didn’t really mesh. Lucia had already had to rebuild her life once and she had saved her bil (plus paid for his ongoing care in a mental health health facility) even though he had caused her to lose her baby. She has morals but keeps going back to Atlas with only half hearted denials when he says they belong together. 

I enjoyed reading this book but I wouldn’t rush to reread it.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Sunday 5 November 2023

Book Review:Bound By A Sicilian Secret by Lela May Wight

Flora Bick had an idyllic life working on the family owned dairy farm. She discovers a big secret about her past and runs to London for the night to consider what it means to her. raffele Russo owns the hotel she escapes to. She wanders into his orbit, they have a ONS and she runs back home. He tracks her down and together they discover she is pregnant. They go to Sicily and she realises the enormity of his wealth. She knows she lives him but can she get him to admit the same to her? 

These are two strong, determined characters who are divided by wealth but in their ways very similar. Both are tenacious, determined and stubborn individuals.  The storyline is well thought out and timed, the author doesn’t drag the story out and makes the characters believable and relatable to the reader. This is her second novel and I enjoyed it. 

I love Mills & Boon UK and I think you will too! Click my personal referral link to get a discount on your first purchase http://rwrd.io/f4yjeqp?c 

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


Wednesday 1 November 2023

Review: Victoria x Edge of Ember Victoria Star Cluster Stud Earrings

The Victoria Star Cluster studs  (£85 per pair) are part of the Cosmos constellation collection between Victoria Magrath and Edge of Ember. The stud earrings are inspired by the constellation of stars set against the pitch black sky. 

The earrings measure 6mm and they are 18k gold plated with recycled still  silver. The gems are topaz, rainbow moonstone and tiny freshwater pearls. The pearls and topaz are supposed to cast a celestial glow on your ears. 

The stud earrings are very easy to put in, just the right amount of sharpness. They are comfortable and light to wear and sit almost flat against the ear so won’t get caught and pulled out! The gold is very bright and glowy, making the pearl really stand out! The other stone could be a bit larger, it is only a chip and doesn’t really add to the design. 

I love both the ear cuff and stud earrings from the Cosmos collection. They are unusual and timeless and are reasonably priced for ethically made jewellery. 

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