Blog Tours

Blog Tour: My Sweet Friend by H.A. Leuschel (Excerpt!)

MSF High Res Cover


A stand-alone novella from the author of Manipulated Lives

A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?

Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a
Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack.
She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously
throws herself into her new job and friendships.

But is Alexa all she claims to be?

As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates
truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?

In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances
and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-
provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for


I was brushing my teeth the next morning when Alexa called, crying over another nasty phone call from her ex. I was running late as it was but was unable to stop her barrage of insults against a man I didn’t even know the name of.
‘He’s driving me absolutely insane. I’ve really had enough,’ I heard her shout, the heels of her shoes clicking on the pavement. She was clearly on her way to work while I was only slipping my feet into my shoes. It had been her second frantic call that morning.
‘Listen. Alexa, calm down. I understand you’re upset but I’ll be late if you don’t stop.’
‘I’m there for you when you need me but when I’m the one in need for once, you fob me off. Great, really nice, thanks.’ She hung up, leaving me in an angry sweat. I was her polar opposite – organized and calm – but lately I felt out of kilter myself. I’d missed out on seeing my mum because, for one reason or another, Alexa managed to ambush my
When I eventually rushed through the office door, Alexa was looking up at me indifferently, in deep conversation with Jack, who tapped his watch with pursed lips and raised eyebrows. I lowered my eyes, my stomach heaving with repressed fury. Alexa had crawled under my skin yet I couldn’t pinpoint exactly why and how it had all come about.
I hid in the ladies’ toilets, panic rising to my throat, and utterly lost for words. I realised that if it had been Alexa running off, I’d have made sure I was giving her moral support, coaxing her back to work. Where was she now that I needed her? Was I getting hysterical, losing the plot?

About the Author

HA Leuschel
Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate
in Journalism &Communication, which led to a career in radio and
television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her
husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of
Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind.
When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and
teaches Yoga.

Author Links




Buy it here

Tour organised by:


-Books&Belle xx


Blog Tour: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare (Spoiler-Free!)



When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…


I’m one of the stops on the blog tour for The Duchess Deal, which I’m really happy about! The synopsis really intrigued me, so I couldn’t wait to start reading. It took me roughly two days to get through this book, and I found it to be a really enjoyable read.

The two main characters, Emma and the Duke, were wonderful. Emma was my favourite, though. She was nearly everything I love in a character, selfless, strong, caring and loyal. The only thing that I didn’t like too much about her was her naivety when it came to men. But the reasoning behind her being this way is revealed later in the book, so I was able to overlook it. The Duke was… a bit of a grey area for me. He was injured at war, and was left scarred, and very bitter at the world.  But by the end of the book, the parts of him I wasn’t keen on at the start, I ended up finding endearing, and I understood why he felt and acted in certain ways a lot better.

The plot was very fast paced, which is good if you’re looking for a fast read. I felt it was lacking a bit in terms of excitement, but it was still a good read. There are a few erotic scenes, but they’re not overdone, and I didn’t have to skip them like I have with previous books due to them being too cringey. In fact, I felt that they helped show the audience why Ash was the way he was.

Overall, I enjoyed The Duchess Deal, and I’d recommend it if you like period romances, and a fast paced plot. I give it four stars.

gold star

I’d like to thank Mills & Boon for sending me a copy of The Duchess Deal in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

-Books&Belle xx


Book Review: Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (Spoiler-Free!)



A searing #OwnVoices coming-of-age debut in which an Indian-American Muslim teen confronts Islamophobia and a reality she can neither explain nor escape–perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, and Adam Silvera.

American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school.

There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.


As soon as I heard about this book, I knew it was one I wanted to read. With a Muslim teenage girl who faces Islamophobia as the main character, I thought it was really relevant to todays society.

I thought Ahmed’s writing style was really good, she kept me hooked, and I thought the little snippets from the mystery person at the end of each chapter were really intriguing. The Islamophobia was also well written. It made me so angry to read, I genuinely couldn’t comprehend how some of the characters could think that way about someone they’d known their whole lives. The fact that it made me, the reader, feel this way shows just how well represented it is.

Maya was such a sweet character. Most of the time! I really felt for her with her struggle between doing what she wanted with her life, and doing what her parents had plannedfor her. Her determination was admirable. I think any person who has to deal with bigoted, racist, ignorant a**holes in their everyday life is a very strong person, and to see Muslims and their struggles being represented in YA books is wonderful.

The only downside to this book, for me, was the romance. It was about 50/50 romance and then Maya’s problems with her parents. The balance was good, but I didn’t like how she didn’t have any problems with having secret meetings with a guy who has a girlfriend. It was just a bit of a no-go area for me. Other than that, I really enjoyed the romance.

Overall, I liked this book a lot. It’s the second book I’ve read that has a teenage Muslim as the protagonist, and I can’t wait to read more. (If you know of any, feel free to comment!) I think that the issues this book covers are so important, as is the representation. I give this book 4 stars.

gold star

I’d like to thank Readers First for sending me a copy of Love, Hate & Other Filters in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


This Or That Tag

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I haven’t done a tag in a while, so thank you Ash for tagging me!

The Rules:

  • Mention the creator of the tag (Ayunda @ Tea and Paperbacks).
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you!
  • Choose one of the options, you don’t have to tell the reasons why you chose that but you can also do them if you want to.
  • Tag 10 other people to do this tag to spread the love!

Without further ado, the tag.


Reading on the couch or on the bed?
I don’t mind either, but I am more likely to read in bed. There’s nearly always people in the living room, and I can’t read when the TV is on or if I can hear people talking, as it distracts me.

Male main character or female main character?
Female. I think it’s because I can relate to them easier than I can to a male character.

Sweet snacks or salty snacks when reading?
Hmm. I’d say that depends on what I’m in the mood for!

Trilogies or quartets?

First person point of view or third person point of view?
Either one is fine by me, I’m not too bothered as long as the book is well written.

Reading at night or in the morning?
I never have the time in the morning! I’m up at 7, and out at 8 in the week, and then on weekends I either lie in, or I’m busy. So definitely night.

Libraries or bookstores?
Bookstores. I know this makes me sound terrible, but I actually rarely go to the library. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love them, how could I not, they’re full of books! But I like to keep my books. I guess you could say I’m building up a library of my own.

Books that make you laugh or make you cry?
Again, this depends on my mood!

Black book covers or white book covers?
Never really thought of this before, but I guess black. I don’t really have a reason why. Although Ash did make a good point, white books get marked quite easily.

Character driven or plot driven stories?
I like my books with a bit of both. If I can’t connect to the characters, I don’t feel attached the the book. But if the plot isn’t the best, then it’s just not memorable.


I Tag:

Anyone who wants to do this tag!

-Books&Belle xx


Reading Slumps – Aren’t They The Worst?

For any bookworm, getting stuck in a reading slump feels similar to how I imagine torture would feel. I want to read, I really really really want to read. I just can’t. When I’m in a reading slump, anytime I pick up a book I get distracted by something else. For example, Grey’s Anatomy, or I’ll decide I’m hungry, or I’ll decide it’s a good time to go argue with my younger sister. The smallest things will distract me! In the last few months, I’ve been in a few reading slumps. So for this post, I thought I’d tell you how I get out of them, and hopefully it’ll be helpful.

1. Set myself targets

The first thing I’ll do is set myself small targets. Even if it’s just a chapter or two a day to get myself back into the flow of things. More often than not, this works for me, as when I start a good book, I need to know what happens.

2. Read a small book

I often find reading a small book helps. They nearly always have a faster pace, so I’m less likely to get distracted by things going on around me as less time is spent reading ‘filler chapters.’

3. Browse Goodreads

Whenever I go on Goodreads, I end up adding a book to my TBR. I find adding even more to that ever growing list often makes me want to get through it a bit faster, so I’ll turn back to my reading.

4. Read one of my most anticipated reads

A lot of my anticipated reads are already on my shelf. For example, Children of Blood and Bone and Love, Hate and Other Filters. But, I just haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. So picking up one of these usually gets me back to reading.

5. Give myself a few days

If all else fails, I’ll give myself a few days of not reading. This always works for me, as I know I’ll be back to devouring book after book within a week!


I hope some of my methods might help some others in the future. What do you do to get out of a reading slump?

-Books&Belle xx