Picnics in Hyde Park by Nikki Moore – My Review

Picnics in Hyde Park

What’s it all about:

Hot summer romance…or cold revenge?

Super nanny, Zoe Harper is mad! It was bad enough discovering her ex-fiancé Greg cheating on her just weeks before their wedding. But now she’s returned home to London to find her younger sister Melody has been left jobless, homeless, broke and dumped.

Zoe is determined to get revenge on the infamous Reilly brothers for her sister’s heartbreak. So when an unexpected opportunity gives Zoe a way in to uncaring—and dizzyingly gorgeous!—successful music producer Matt Reilly’s world, she jumps at the chance to make him pay.

But living with Matt as nanny to his two adorable, but complicated children, Zoe soon begins to suspect that not everything is as it seems… Matt insists on pushing everyone away including his children, but why? And if his delicious summer kisses are anything to go by, he can’t be that bad surely?

Can Zoe convince Matt to open up a little and help fix this family before she leaves…or worse, before Matt learns who she really is?

Review

Book provided by Harper Impulse via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

This is the first book I’ve read in the Love London series and wouldn’t hesitate to read the others, or any other by Nikki Moore in fact. This book was the perfect holiday read, I devoured it in one day sat by the pool!

Picnics in Hyde Park follows Zoe on her return from 5 years in New York to find a heart broken sister who has just been brutally sacked from her job as a live-in nanny for a London record producer, Matt. Seething, Zoe arrives on Matt’s doorstep ready to give him a piece of her mind and get some answers for her sister, Melody, who is at a loss as to why she was kicked out without so much as an explanation. However, things don’t go according to plan and soon Zoe finds herself agreeing to replace Melody as Matt’s new nanny on her own undercover revenge mission.

Zoe has a plan, a plan to bring Matt down and out him to the world for the arse that she thinks he is, but the longer she lives with him and his children, the more she learns about him and his ex wife, and the more she softens. It also helps that Matt is easy on the eye!

I absolutely fell in love with Matt and his children, they were both so adorable and in desperate need of Matt’s attention, something he hasn’t truly given them since his wife died. There is a mystery surrounding this story which is eventually revealed and I found my heart wrenching for both Matt and the children. Zoe soon realises that her revenge mission is something she can’t follow through with, she’s in too deep with Matt, but will it be too late when he finds out exactly why she took the job in the first place?

Picnics in Hyde Park took me on a wonderful journey through London and is a story that seriously sizzles in parts. Zoe takes her role as big sister very seriously and was a great character for me to be introduced to the London Series with. If you’re looking for a romance that will take you back to summer and pull at your heartstrings, then I urge you to buy this asap!

5 STARS

Buy the book: Amazon UK / US

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Travel and Writing

As I prepare for my new release, I’ve been thinking a lot about what really inspires me as an author and have realised, shockingly late in the day, that as well as real life and the people around me, I’m heavily influenced by travel. The places I’ve been or the places I’d love to see help me focus my mind and gather my thoughts. The research side of things also helps take my mind off of the pressures of deadlines and gives my brain a welcome nudge too.

Take for example San Francisco. My debut novel, The Story of Us is set in the magical city by the bay, a place I have been lucky enough to visit twice already and will be returning to next year. I can’t get enough of SF and all someone has to do is mention those fatal words, ‘have you been?’ and my mouth just won’t stop. I could talk for hours about the haunting feel of Alcatraz as you pull up to the dock, the shivers you get down your spine as you walk towards the imposing prison, the fact hell will freeze over before you’ll get me there on a night tour! Or the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park where you really feel like you’re in Japan, surrounded by many sculptures, bridges, ponds and plants it’s easy to lose yourself while sipping a speciality tea or pink lemonade in my case. Haight Ashbury where you’re thrown back into the 60s or Pier 39 where the sea lions sit basking as tourists look on in awe (though they are quite noisy and whiffy, I won’t lie). So when it came to settings for Lexi to escape to in The Story of Us, there really was nowhere else that I would have wanted to escape to myself when writing.

My second novel follows Lexi around London and Yorkshire, which for me was again, like travelling. I live in Yorkshire but love London, so to be able to include Oxford Street and the wonders of London in my book was brilliant.

Learn To Love Again has a slightly different tone to it but still, inspiration for my setting came from a spur of the moment visit to see my Uncle up in Saltburn-by-the-Sea. It’s a wonderful coastal town that became the location of Barton-by-the-Sea, the small village that Lillie grew up in and the setting for my latest novella.

Dear Darling, while set in London, also visits Miami. Miami has been on my bucket list for years and I would love to go. Researching the hotels, the beaches, the attractions, was so thrilling and exciting that I almost felt like I was planning my own holiday. Nothing would have pleased me more than to jet off and do some thorough research but alas, Google had to come to my rescue instead.

It’s a funny old thing, inspiration. It comes when you’re least expecting it and shoots a bolt of excitement through your veins when you start piecing things together, raring to write and explore the wonderful world that has entered your brain.

There are still many places that I will be bringing to you soon, Tuscany is high on my list of locations because after spending a part of my honeymoon in Florence and exploring Tuscany, I cannot wait to share it with you!

Writing this post has been quite an eye opener for me really. I’ve always known that food has played a big part of my inspiration (mainly because I just love to eat) but now when I’m asked in an interview what inspires me, I feel like I can give a better response. Travel. Travel is what inspires me. Travel is what makes me want to mould and shape new characters and tell you all their tales; it’s what excites me when I visit a new place, and travel is what makes me want to write away furiously before the moment passes ha

I want to share with you a few of my favourite photographs of the places I’ve been and the things I’ve seen. Some are of places that I have written about, some you will read about very soon, but until then, enjoy…….

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Siena, Tuscany

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Siena, Tuscany

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Looking out towards San Gimignano, Tuscany

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The infamous Pier 39 seal lions – San Francisco

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Lombard Street – San Francisco

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The infamous Bush Man – San Francisco

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IHOP, the place where dreams come true…..well, if you dream about pancakes that is.

The famous Cliff Lifts leading to the sea – Saltburn-by-the-Sea

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Saltburn-by-the-Sea Pier

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