Blog Tour | Love At The Northern Lights

Hello my love, 

We are officially in Autumn (yay!) which can only really mean on thing in the world of books can't it? Yep you guessed it, we can officially start to read all those scrumptious Christmas themed books that we've been itching to read since the summer went away and we felt that crisp chill in the air. 

Today I am beyond excited to share with you the hosting of a very special Blog Tour where I am going to share with you an exclusive extract from Darcie Boleyn's latest novel; "Love at the Northern Lights". I am super excited for this because seeing the Northern Lights is something that I've always wanted to see and as luck has it so does my Mr R. Whilst I can't book a flight to take you all off to see it yourself, I can share with you this extract so let's have a read shall we? 

When Frankie was finally allowed to look in the mirror, she didn’t recognize herself. Gone was her straight brown hair, pale face and clear skin. Someone who could give the Kardashians a run for their money had taken her place. Her dark hair was scraped back from her forehead so tightly that her eyebrows sat at least a centimetre higher than usual and the genuine diamond and pearl tiara – that had been her grandmother’s – cut into her now tender scalp. She felt sure that at any moment her hair would snap and she’d be left with a short spiky fringe.

‘Don’t you look fabulous?’ Jen squeezed her shoulder. ‘Rolo is going to want to jump your bones as soon as he sees you.’

Frankie tried to suppress the shudder that ran through her but her new bright-pink trout pout contorted of its own accord. Jen met her eyes in the mirror and held her gaze.

‘It’s going to be OK, Frankie. Married life is pretty darned good. You know… you probably won’t even see him most of the time. Much as I love my Henry, he’s either at work, playing golf or off doing funny handshakes. My life is my own and yours can be too.’

Frankie’s heart sank. That sounded like an awful way to view being a newly-wed like Jen. She was also surprised; Jen hadn’t admitted anything like this to her before and it made her wonder again at how close they actually were. There had always been something between them, a sense of understanding and compassion, but they weren’t exactly bosom buddies in a Sex and the City or Friends kind of way. Was Jen really happy with her lot, as Frankie had previously believed, or had she missed what was right in front of her because she was dealing with her own issues?
‘Come on, Frankie, have some more champagne.’

They clinked glasses and Frankie downed hers in one go. She wasn’t a big drinker, unlike Grandma, who called four in the afternoon gin o’clock, and her father, who kept the wine cellar very well stocked, and the warmth from the alcohol soon flooded her system, loosening her inhibitions. She let Jennifer refill her glass several times, then she was led to the dressing room just off the main bedroom. As well as the dressing room and bathroom, the bedroom had its own veranda and antechamber, which had, at one time, been used as a prayer room. Rolo’s ancestral home was enormous and Frankie knew that it could take an age to walk from one end of the mansion to the other, especially if you got distracted by the antiques and oil paintings of his mother’s side of the family. Frankie loved gazing at Rolo’s ancestors, mainly because she was fascinated by the changing fashions over the years, intrigued by the fabrics, styles, shoes and hats.

‘There.’ The fashion designer – who had a name Frankie had been sworn to secrecy about so that no high-society magazine managed to get a sneak peek at the dress – stood back and admired her handiwork. ‘Gorgeous!’

‘Absolutely marvellously magical… like a fairy-tale princess.’ Jen clapped her hands.

‘Oh, Frankie, it’s super!’ Lorna had been standing in the corner of the dressing room, eyes glued to her mobile while Frankie had dressed. Now she looked up and her eyes widened as she scanned Frankie from head to toe. ‘I hope I’ll be just as beautiful on my wedding day.’

Frankie smiled her thanks, knowing that Lorna always appeared ravishing, whatever she wore, also knowing that Lorna was well aware of that fact.

‘Time to see the results!’ Jen said. ‘Use the mirror in the bedroom as the light is better in there.’

Frankie obediently trotted through to the bedroom and stood in front of the long mirror. The ivory designer dress fitted her slender frame like a second skin. The strapless corset top pushed her small breasts up so they resembled two tennis balls. They glistened under the electric light because of the copious amounts of highlighter that sat on top of the fake tan she’d had yesterday. The satin of the dress seemed to shimmer as she moved, and when she turned to look at the back, the fishtail stretched across the floor making her feel like some sort of mermaid. Whatever her reservations, she had to admit that the dress was breathtaking. She’d just prefer to admire it on someone else. With her mind in such turmoil and her heart squeezing so tight, it was impossible for Frankie to enjoy being so beautifully clothed. Even thinking about how the designer had created the dress, about the textures of the material and the painstaking stitching that held the magnificent handmade creation together couldn’t lift Frankie’s mood. She was lost indeed.

As she gazed at the unfamiliar woman in the mirror, she was conscious of the designer, hairdresser and beauticians leaving the room, until it was just her and Jen.

‘Frankie, you are truly beautiful. The most beautiful bride I’ve ever seen.’ She smiled. ‘You can do this. I’ll be with you all the way.’

Frankie turned to her oldest friend and took her hands.

‘Thanks, Jen. You’ve been really good to me today… and over the years.’

Jen nodded. ‘I know we haven’t been as close as we could have been. I always felt you were holding something back. At times, I wondered if you actually liked me… because, you know, I can be a bit of a drama queen, a bit self-involved and a bit OTT, I guess. And we didn’t exactly become friends in an organic way, did we? What with our grandmothers pushing us together from an early age then being at boarding school together. But I do care about you. I always have.’

‘I know. Me too.’ Frankie tried to smile but her face was pulled so tight that she suspected it came out as more of a grimace.

‘I’m going to give you a moment now to compose yourself, to find your inner calm, as my personal yogi says. Oh… and if I forget to mention it later, I packed a few things in your honeymoon case.’

‘Like what?’ Panic seared through Frankie.

‘You’ll find out when you reach your destination.’ Jen winked at her. ‘No peeking beforehand!’

When her friend had gone, Frankie shuffled over to the bed and sank onto the soft coverlet. This was it then. She was trussed up like a prize turkey, about to make promises of love and fidelity when her heart wanted to do neither.

A knock at the door made her stomach lurch. Was it time already?
She tried to stand but the dress was too restrictive and she was worried about popping the delicate seams if she got up too quickly.

‘Hello?’ she called. ‘Who is it?’

The door swung open and relief washed over her when she saw her father, Hugo Ashford.
‘You look so handsome in that suit,’ she squeaked as he approached the bed. ‘I would get up but I can’t.’

He smiled then took her hands and helped her to her feet.

‘Frances, you are beautiful.’

‘I don’t look like me at all.’

He shook his head. ‘You do, sweetheart. In fact, you look so much like your m—’ He pressed his lips together and dropped his gaze to his shiny black shoes.

They stood there for a while, holding hands. There was so much Frankie wanted to ask and so much she sensed her father wanted to say, but, as always, they stayed quiet, understanding that some things were too hard to discuss; some things were best left unsaid.

Finally, he released a shaky sigh. ‘She’d be very proud of you today.’

‘She would?’

He nodded.

Frankie thought about the wedding invitations she’d written for her mother. Five in total. When it had come to posting them, she’d torn each one into tiny pieces like confetti then dropped them into the bin. She’d wanted to invite her mother, yearned to invite her, but shame and sadness prevented her. After all, her mother had walked away all those years ago and never looked back. Why would she want to know Frankie now? Why would she care that her daughter was getting married? She hadn’t been there for all the other things Frankie had gone through, like getting her first spot or her first period, nor for her exam results’ days or her university graduation when she’d gained a first-class honours degree in business management and accounting. She hadn’t been there when Frankie had cried into her pillow over disappointments and a deep sense of loneliness, when those charity adverts about children in Africa – who had no clean water to drink – broke her heart, or even when she got engaged.

Her mother had never been there for her.

Never. Ever…

Now, I don't know about you but I just wanted to keep on reading...Love at the Northern Lights sounds like it's going to be a delightful read to curl up with a cosy blanket, hot chocolate and maybe a handsome man too if that extract is anything to go by...That's certainly my plan! 

Here's a quick look at all the details you need for this book; 

Title: Love at the Northern Lights

Author Name: Darcie Boleyn

Previous Books (if applicable): Love at the Italian Lake, Christmas at Conwenna Cove, Forever at Conwenna Cove, Summer at Conwenna Cove and A Very Merry Christmas

Genre: Women’s Fiction, romcom

Release Date: 17th September 2018

Publisher: Canelo

Cover Image:

Book Blurb: ‘Climbing out the window in her dress and tiara wasn’t exactly how Frankie imagined her wedding day…’
Runaway bride Frankie Ashford hops a plane to Norway with one goal in mind - find her estranged mother and make peace with the past. But when a slip on the ice in Oslo lands her directly in Jonas Thorsen’s viking-strong arms, her single-minded focus drifts away in the winter winds.
When it comes to romance Jonas knows that anything he and Frankie share has an expiration date - the British heiress has a life to return to in London that’s a world away from his own. But family is everything to Jonas and, as the one man who can help Frankie find the answers she’s seeking, he’ll do whatever it takes to help her reunite with her mother.
Now, as Christmas draws closer and the northern lights work their magic Frankie and Jonas will have to make a it safe or risk heartbreak to take a chance on love.

Links to Book:
Author Bio: Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

Author Social Media Links

Make sure that you check out the other wonderful bloggers who have been taking part in this tour and still have to share with you their wonderful views, and highlights. Thank you to the publishers for asking me to be a part of this promotional online book tour, it's been my pleasure.