Monday, 30 May 2016

The Missing by C.L. Taylor

Description - You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them. Or do you…?

When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire Wilkinson, blames herself. She's not the only one. There isn't a single member of Billy's family that doesn't feel guilty. But the Wilkinson’s are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn't until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.

Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.

A mother's instinct is never wrong. Or is it?

Publication Date ~ April 7th 2016
Published by ~ Avon

My thoughts - Sometimes when you start a book you are so desperate to read it, to rush through the pages and find out how the story will end but at the same time you want to take it slow and for the story to go on and on and never end, well this is exactly how I felt reading The Missing.

There are a huge amount of books out at the moment about missing children but The Missing is about a 15 year old boy which I felt gave this book a different edge.

C.L. Taylor's writing always completely draws me in and I just didn't know how this story would unfold and I was left with a gaping mouth. I really didn't guess how it was going to go, which was great as I love to try and guess.

Full of fear, suspicion, doubts and desperation The Missing is a brilliant thriller with a strong plot and characters, you really wont want to put it down. A seriously good read I would highly recommend.

Thanks to Netgalley and Avon for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Play Dead by Angela Marsons

Description - The dead don’t tell secrets… unless you listen.
The girl’s smashed-in face stared unseeing up to the blue sky, soil spilling out of her mouth. A hundred flies hovered above the bloodied mess.

Westerley research facility is not for the faint-hearted. A ‘body farm’ investigating human decomposition, its inhabitants are corpses in various states of decay. But when Detective Kim Stone and her tea
m discover the fresh body of a young woman, it seems a killer has discovered the perfect cover to bury their crime.

Then a second girl is attacked and left for dead, her body drugged and mouth filled with soil. It’s clear to Stone and the team that a serial killer is at work – but just how many bodies will they uncover? And who is next?

As local reporter, Tracy Frost, disappears, the stakes are raised. The past seems to hold the key to the killer’s secrets – but can Kim uncover the truth before a twisted, damaged mind claims another victim …?

Publication Date ~ 20th May 2016
Published by ~ Bookouture

My thoughts - Play Dead is the fourth book in the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons and after each book I read I always say "this is my favourite". To be honest though they are all blooming fantastic.

Angela Marsons has a way of writing stories that have you turning pages way into the early hours of the morning and I had this book finished in two sittings as I was totally engrossed as we are taken back to the Black Country with Kim and her team. They are sent to Westerley research centre (the body farm) where a new investigation gets under way as a fresh body is discovered.

Play Dead could be read as a stand alone book but really you would be best to read them all in order as Kim's character evolves in each book and she is fast becoming one of my favourite protagonists, even with her flaws she's a strong likeable character.
Angela Marsons has written another fast paced thriller that had me trying to guess who was guilty, with no luck right until the reveal. I'm not sure how she does it but this was another edge of your seat read that gave me goose bumps and took my breath away.

I cant wait for book five and highly recommend this to anyone who likes serial killer thrillers.

Thanks to Netgalley & bookouture for the copy in exchange for an honest review.

Other books in the series are Silent Scream, Evil Games & Lost Girls.


Book Description -

How far would you go to save your family?

In the dead of night, new parents Alice and Harry French
are plunged into their worst nightmare when they wake to find masked men in their bedroom. Men ruthless enough to threaten their baby daughter, Evie.

This is no burglary gone wrong.
The intruders know who they’re looking for – a man called Edward Renshaw.
And they are prepared to kill
to get to him.

When the men leave empty handed, little do Alice and Harry realise that their nightmare is just beginning. Is it a case of mistaken identity? Who is Renshaw? And what is he hiding?

One thing is clear – they already know too much.

As Alice and Harry are separated in the run for their lives, there is no time to breathe in their fight to be reunited. And with their attackers closing in, there is only one choice:


Publication Date ~ 6th May 2016
Published by ~ Bookouture

My thoughts - I really am not sure where to start with this review, this book totally blew me away.
From the first chapter I was sucked right in and it seriously gave me the shivers. The hairs on the back of my neck were on end and I knew this was going to be a fab read.

All through the book Tom Bale's way story telling keeps you gripped, leaves you breathless and desperately wanting to read more. It's a real page turner with believable characters and shocks that will either keep you up all night reading or scared to turn the bedroom light off.

I never read the sypnosis before I requested this book and had only seen the cover reveal when Bookouture announced it and that was enough for me, it jumped out the page and screamed read me and I'm so glad I did. This is one of my top reads for 2016 and one I can't recommend enough. I'm so excited to see what's in store for Tom Bale in the future, I suspect it's going to be more absolute brilliance.
Now where's my ironing board?

Huge thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture  for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Games People Play by Owen Mullen

Book Description - On a warm summer's evening thirteen month old Lily Hamilton is abducted from Ayr beach in Scotland, taken while her parents are yards away. Three days later, the distraught father turns up at Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron's office and begs him to help. Mark Hamilton believes he knows who has stolen his daughter. And why.
Against his better judgement Charlie gets involved in a case he would be better off without. But when a child's body is discovered on Fenwick Moor, then another in St Andrews, the awful truth dawns: there is a serial killer out there whose work has gone undetected for decades. Baby Lily may be the latest victim of a madman.
For Charlie it's too late, he can't let go. His demons won't let him.

The stunning first novel featuring Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron. Games People Play will have the reader guessing to the very last page.

Publish Date ~ January 30th 2016

My thoughts - When the author contacted me via Goodreads and asked if I'd like to read and review his book I jumped at the chance. I'd seen Games People Play mentioned a few times on a couple of pages I follow on Facebook and it sounded like it would be right up my street and I wasn't wrong.

This book is a little bit different to what I've been reading lately due to the fact that the main character Charlie is a private investigator and not the police and it was a nice change. Charlie is a fantastic character and one I instantly liked. He has a past and through out the book it is slowly revealed and ties in nicely with the story.

I am ashamed to admit that this book took me ages to read, it had nothing to do with the book but my hectic life got in the way and it drove me crazy as I wanted to find out what was happening. From page one Games People Play draws you in and the descriptions of places had me picturing the scenes perfectly and there's also a mention to the town Hawick which isn't too far away from me which made it seem even more realistic.

Past and present storylines make this quite a busy book but the author has woven them together so well it was an easy read. With twists and turns the story keeps you guessing and I didn't know which way it would go. I really enjoyed Games People Play and will be recommending it to my friends. I'm looking forward to reading Old Friends and New Enemies, the second book in the Charlie Cameron series which is available now.

I have a great feeling that Owen Mullen is going to be an author to watch out for.

5 stars from me.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Bloq by Alan Jones

Description - A father waits in Glasgow's Central Station for his daughter, returning home from London for Christmas. When the last train has pulled in, and she doesn't get off it, he makes a desperate overnight dash to find out why. His search for her takes over his life, costing him his job and, as he withdraws from home, family and friends, he finds himself alone, despairing of ever seeing her again.

This is a gritty crime novel with some sexual content

Publication Date ~ April 1st 2016

My thought's - This is the first book I have read by Alan Jones but I have seen rave reviews for his previous books, Blue Wicked and The Cabinet Maker so I knew when I had the opportunity to read Bloq through the UK Crime book Club I had to grab it.

This is a gritty crime novel that had me gripped from page one. In Bloq we are taken on a rollercoaster ride and there are so many twists through out the book I was left speechless and breathless.

The main character Bill is a likeable character. He's searching for his missing daughter Carol and his determination and courage make him quite a character. Bloq tackles the subject of human trafficking really well but not only that it takes you on a journey along with Alan. You feel his fear, his love and his pure determination right through the story and I was routing for him with passion.

With violence, sex and drugs this is not a world you would ever want to find yourself in but reading about it had me fascinated and the description Alan Jones adds to the book makes you feel like it could be just around the corner.

A brilliant 5 star read for me and I'm off to buy the authors other books now and bump them up my list.

Escape by KA Richardson

Description - After two long years of beatings at the hands of Carl Jameson,
followed by the obligatory apologies and tears, Cassandra Hunt
knows enough is enough.
It’s time.
There is someone else to think about now– the tiny life doing its
best to grow inside her while she hides the bruises.
Finally, with the help of one of Carl’s friends, leaving is possible.
Can Cass execute her plan in time? Can she and her unborn child
claw their way to safety before Carl finds out?
Can she really escape?

Publication Date ~ March 15th 2016
Published by ~ Caffeine Nights

My thoughts - A brilliant short story about abuse that is filled to the brim and leaves you wanting more. Very well written story that draws you right in and with a preview at the end of With Deadly Intent which is published 14th April 2016 I think this is an author I will be looking out for.

Monday, 21 March 2016

What She Never Told Me by Kate McQuaile

Description - I talked to my mother the night she died, losing myself in memories of when we were happiest together. But I held one memory back, and it surfaces now, unbidden. I see a green post box and a small hand stretching up to its oblong mouth. I am never sure whether that small hand is mine. But if not mine, whose?

Louise Redmond left Ireland for London before she was twenty. Now, more than two decades later, her heart already breaking from a failing marriage, she is summoned home. Her mother is on her deathbed, and it is Louise's last chance to learn the whereabouts of a father she never knew.

Stubborn to the end, Marjorie refuses to fill in the pieces of her daughter's fragmented past. Then Louise unexpectedly finds a lead. A man called David Prescott . . . but is he really the father she's been trying to find? And who is the mysterious little girl who appears so often in her dreams? As each new piece of the puzzle leads to another question, Louise begins to suspect that the memories she most treasures could be a delicate web of lies.

Publication Date ~ 3rd March 2016
Published by ~ Quercus

My thoughts - Imagine growing up not knowing who you really are, having a memory and not knowing if it's real or not. This is the life of Louise, the main character in What She Never Told Me.
I  liked Louise, she was a realistic character and believable. Louise is taken on quite a rollercoaster ride through out this story and I couldn't help but feel for her as I too as the reader joined the rollercoaster.

Sue McQuaile has written an exceptionally good story, packed with twists, many secrets and  with such wonderful detail this is a book I just didn't want to put down. It kept me gripped from page to page and although I had an inkling of where the story was going I was still captivated and couldn't wait to see how it ended.

This was a heart breaking but thoroughly enjoyable debut novel and I'm so looking forward to reading more from this author.
Thanks to Quercus and Netgalley for supplying this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The Silent Twin by Caroline Mitchell

Description - I’m alone in the dark, please can you find me …

Nine-year-old twins Abigail and Olivia vow never to be parted. But when Abigail goes missing from Blackwater Farm, DC Jennifer Knight must find her before it’s too late.

Twin sister Olivia has been mute since Abigail’s disappearance. But when she whispers in Jennifer’s ear, Jennifer realises it is Abigail’s voice pleading to be found.

A damp and decaying house set in acres of desolate scrubland, the farm is a place of secrets, old and new – and Jennifer must unravel them all in order to find the lost girl. But could Olivia’s bond with her twin hold the key to finding Abigail? And can Jennifer break through her silence in time to save her sister’s life?

Publication Date ~ April 14th 2016
Published by ~ Bookouture
*Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review*

My thoughts - After reading the first two books in the series Don't Turn Around and Time to Die I was so pleased to be able to read an advanced copy of The Silent Twin and I just devoured it.

From page one the hairs on the back of my neck were on end and I knew this was going to be another cracker.

The setting is Blackwater Farm which is an eerie place with a past that reflects in its atmosphere. Abigail goes missing and leaves behind her twin sister Olivia who will not speak, her parents Nick and Joanna who clearly have secrets and Fiona the housekeeper who seems to be the only one keeping things together. Jennifer is brought in as the Family Liaison Officer and although she has a different roll she's still as determined as ever and a fabulous character.

The authors writing totally absorbs the reader making you feel like part of the story. Even though I knew this was fiction, after I had to put the book down to do parent duties I couldn't stop thinking about it and I was rushing along desperate to get back to help find Abigail.
With twists and turns through out the whole the story I didn't know if I was on my arse or my elbow and everyone was a suspect, my heart was thumping and I could feel the pressure of time like Abigail was my own little girl.

Each book Caroline Mitchell has written has been a favourite of mine but this has to be the best. With a paranormal twist this is a detective thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat, It'll take you on a heart thumping, breath taking rollercoaster of a ride and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. I highly recommend this book, I loved it.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Between You and Me by Lisa Hall

Description - They say every marriage has its secrets.
But no one sees what happens behind closed doors.
And sometimes those doors should never be opened …

Sal and Charlie are married. They love each other. But they aren’t happy. Sal cannot leave, no matter what Charlie does – no matter how much it hurts.

Publication Date ~  March 17th 2016
Published by ~ Carina UK

*I'd like to thank Netgalley and Carina Uk for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review*

My thoughts -  As a member of TBConFB I heard about Lisa's debut novel and as Lisa is a member herself  I had to request this book and I was delighted when I was accepted.

Between you and Me is a gripping psychological thriller that has you turning pages as quick as you can to find out what happens. It's a nerve wracking read that is uncomfortable yet so thrilling you want to read more.

I'm going to keep this review short as some reviews have really been giving too much away and I sadly wish I hadn't seen any as I picked up fairly early on what everyone was referring to which didn't spoil it so much for me but it did take away the twist a little. Still thoroughly enjoyable and I highly recommend it to all psychological thriller fans.

After the Lie by Kerry fisher

Description - One little lie can make one big difference …

Lydia has the ‘right’ kind of friends, her children are at the ‘right’ kind of school and she’s married to the ‘right’ sort of man – kind, steady, reliable Mark. Her wedding business is flourishing and even though she is at loggerheads with her mother, she couldn’t ask for anything more from life.

But the truth is that Lydia has been lucky. She has been living a lie for years and Mark has no idea who he is really married to. But nothing lasts forever and the past has a funny way of catching up with the present. When the person who knows all of Lydia’s dark little secrets turns up at the school gates, his presence threatens to blow Lydia’s life apart.

What is Lydia’s terrible truth? Once the secret is out, you can’t put it back …

My thoughts -  This is the first book I've read by Kerry Fisher and when I read the description I thought it would be a book I'd enjoy. After many stops and starts with life getting in the way I finally got the chance to read and realised it was going to be a book I really loved.

Lydia has lived a lie for 30 years but all of a sudden a face from the past enters her life and Lydia is torn between telling her husband the truth or trying to live her perfect life without the lie being revealed.

Kerry has a way of writing about the characters that they seem so realistic. I loved Lydia and was routing for her all the way through the book, feeling every emotion as she felt it. Lydia is flawed but she really tries her best.
This was a real page turner for me, and as the story went on I just couldn't predict how it was going to pan out. The story touches on some serious point's and many parents with teenagers will understand Lydia's fears but there is humour in there too.

I really enjoyed this book and will highly recommend this to my friends. I love Kerry's writing and really look forward to reading more of her books soon.

CXVI: Desperate Measures (CXVI Trilogy #3) by Angie Smith

Description - She’s missing – but does she want to be found?

It is now three years since Detective Superintendent Greg Woods retired, and his life has been consumed with the desperate search for his former Detective Sergeant, Maria Barnes. This chaotic, and so far unsuccessful quest, has taken its toll on his physical and mental wellbeing.

However, he finally receives a knock at the door with what he considers to be his most promising lead. He teams up with a young, spirited and extremely competent hacker, who also holds a vested interest in finding Barnes and his old adversary Faulkner-Brown.

What they discover sends shockwaves around the globe and threatens international security. With Woods’ health dramatically failing he knows this is his final chance, success or failure, his last hurrah!

Publication Date ~ 31st March 2016

My thoughts - After reading the first two books in this trilogy I jumped at the chance to read an ARC of Desperate Measures courtesy of TBConFB and the lovely Angie Smith.

I promised myself I would take it slow and savour every moment of this final book but promises are made to be broken and I devoured this book in two sittings. I just had to find out what happens.

I've really grown to love or hate in some cases, all the characters in this trilogy and in Desperate Measures we are transported 3 years on from book two and introduced to some new characters as well. One of them being Zoe, who is young, determined and quite feisty but a great character who slotted in well to the story. 

Set in a world of espionage and corruption this book is fast paced with twists and turns galore but it's an easy story to follow as Angie's writing manages to pull you in and make you feel like you're part of it. We really are  taken on a bumpy rollercoaster ride with this book and I ohhh'd and ahhh'd and I will admit there was a few swear words produced while reading (thankfully the kids weren't about). My adrenaline was pumping and I will say there was nearly tears too. I absolutely loved all the books but this one is my favourite, even though I'm really sad this is the end. I'd have loved it to carry on into a longer series.  

Angie Smith really is one talented lady when it comes to writing and I really, really can't wait to read more from her. This trilogy is now one of my favourites and one I will go back and read again.
Highly recommended for anyone who likes a fast paced, edge of your seat story.

5 massive stars from me (I'd really have given it six if I were allowed) .

Friday, 19 February 2016

CXVI: Secrets Broken (CXVI Trilogy #2) by Angie Smith

Blurb - Book II in the CXVI trilogy is not intended as a stand-alone read and should follow Book I, CXVI - The Beginning of the End. The frantic search for Detective Sergeant Maria Barnes is on. She's linked to the murder of the former Home Secretary and is desperate to prove her innocence, but she's trapped. Her captor, Freddy Williams, a ruthless serial killer, holds all the cards; including the one she cannot allow him to reveal. Barnes is forced to adopt a dangerous bluff and double-bluff strategy, which ultimately involves the Secret Intelligence Service and her former boss, Detective Superintendent Greg Woods, combining forces. But who will survive? And who can you believe? And just what is the relationship between Barnes and Woods? Perhaps her nemesis Faulkner-Brown holds the answer, but will he be the one who brings this reluctant heroine crashing down? Hold tight for a fast paced, edge of your seat thriller. Captivating, unpredictable and shocking.

Publish Date ~ October 4th 2015
Published By ~ Livers Publishing

My thoughts - CXVI: Secrets Broken is book two in this fabulous trilogy and as soon I picked it up I knew I wasn't going to be able to put it down. It had me in its clutches and I wasn't getting away.
Having just finished CXVI: The Beginning of the End I was desperate to get stuck straight into book two which now makes me very glad I didn't read the first book when it was published and had both beauties sitting on my kindle.

Secrets Broken starts where The beginning of the End finished on the massive cliff-hanger. Maria Barnes and Greg woods are on different sides this time but still working together.
Maria is a fabulous character , she's strong, determined and very capable but in this book we find out more about her past and her character really comes alive.

Greg Woods is like a father figure to Maria and through the story you can really tell he cares for her. The partnership between the two is remarkable and really has you routing for them both.

I really don't want to give to much of the story away but Angie Smith has wrote an incredible, riveting and shocking story that has twists and turns galore. This is a book you will want to sit down with and have plenty of time to read as you wont want to put it down.

Angie Smith is now one of my new favourite authors and I'll definitely be buying all three books in paperback so they can sit on my bookshelf. These are books I could go back to and read again and I'll be recommending them to all my friends.

I've been lucky enough to get an advanced copy of book three, CXVI: Desperate Measures courtesy of Angie and TBConFB which I can't wait to get into and will have a review up for that soon I'm sure. this will be released on 31st of March and is available for pre-order.

CXVI: Secrets Broken gets a massive

Sunday, 14 February 2016

CXVI: The Beginning of the End by Angie Smith

Blurb - Who will survive?

When the murder of a colleague is linked to a series of suspicious deaths, Detective Superintendent Greg Woods’ team are tasked with solving the mystery. New to the team is Maria Barnes, whose besmirched character sadly precedes her. However Woods quickly discovers there is more to the detective sergeant than meets the eye: her skill level, knowledge base, and investigative talents far outshine his own formidable qualities…

And why is the Secret Intelligence Service so interested in Barnes and the investigation?

It’s a race against time to stop the killer, but he’s meticulous, cunning and ruthless. He leaves the police and intelligence service questioning if they are all out of their depth…

When forces contrive against them, Woods’ life hangs in the balance and for the first time in his career he risks breaking the rules… He and Barnes decide to go it alone to uncover who or what CXVI really is… The shocking truth lies at the heart of the Government and is trapped deep underground.

Publication Date ~ February 13th 2015

My thoughts - I've had this on my kindle for a while and finally got round to reading it as part of my TBC Book challenge and I really wish I had read it sooner.

This is a fast paced gritty story with twists and turns galore. The two main characters, Greg Woods and Maria Barnes are well put together and very intriguing. From quite early on you can tell there is more to Maria than meets the eye and I liked the chemistry between Wood and Barnes.

The story had me gripped from page one and it's one of those books you just have to keep reading. It leaves you breathless at some points and Angie has done a wonderful job of writing a story that keeps you guessing all the way through. I loved the ending, and can't wait to get stuck into book 2.

Web of Deceit: A DI Sally Perker Novella by M.A. comley and Tara Lyons

Blurb - DI Sally Parker is called to one of the best hotels in the area after one of the guests, Megan Carmen, reports her friend, Tina, missing.
Sally investigates Megan’s background when the woman reveals that she has just arrived from France and Tina is a woman she met on the Internet. Do genuine people truly arrange to innocently meet people they’ve only just met online? Or, in light of Tina’s disappearance, is there something far more

sinister afoot?

Publish Date ~ 20th January 2016
Published By ~ Jeamel Publishing Limited

My thoughts - Having just recently read Wrong Place and No Hiding Place by Mel Comley I was very excited to see she had teamed up with the lovely Tara Lyons to bring us this novella Web of Deceit.
Although I don't know these authors personally we are all members of The Book Club of FB and I've seen how passionate they are about books and knew this would be a cracker and I wasn't disappointed at all.

Web of Deceit may not be a full length book but the authors have certainly packed it all in and nothing seemed to be left out, it all flowed nicely and told the story perfectly. I've kind of avoided novellas with the thinking that how can it possibly be as good as a full length book but I've just been proved completely wrong. This is a real can't put down book that I read in one sitting, I was hooked.

I found Megan quite annoying at the very beginning of her journey and at one point thought "just grow a pair" but she grew on me really quickly as the story unfolded and turned out to be a great character. I'm maybe reading to much into it but is there a possibility we could read more about Megan again? I do hope so.

A gripping novella, packed full to the brim and leaves you wondering how well do we know our Facebook friends ;)

Thank you to the authors and TBC on FB for the Arc. Just brilliant.

The Brazilian Job by Michelle Vernal

Blurb - Nobody’s Perfect Are They?

Rebecca Loughton’s bumbled her way through her thirty something years making a few cock-ups along the way. Of course, these wouldn’t be so glaringly obvious if it wasn’t for her golden haired, older sister Jennifer.
In a bid to escape Jennifer’s lengthy shadow and to find her happy ever after Rebecca, high-tails it out of her hometown of Christchurch to the other side of the world landing a legal secretary job in the buzzing city of Dublin. A few drinks later, all she has to show for her new life is an embarrassing one-night stand and a dollop of flirtatious banter with her boss Ciaran who just happens to have a predatory receptionist in hot pursuit of him.
Amidst plans of preventing such a merger, Rebecca receives news that Jennifer’s picture perfect life has a big, fat crack down the middle of it in the form of a philandering husband. Summoned home to look after her sister’s children and cooking school while she works on her marriage, Rebecca finds the reality of looking after two young children along with the bizarre array of guests booked into the cooking school grim. The only bright spot on her horizon are Ciaran’s e-mails but then she meets David Seagar whom she thinks might just be the ending to her happy ever after but will he prove to be far from perfect too?

Publication Date ~ 7th December 2013
Published by ~ Michelle Vernal Publishing Limited
Kindly received from TBC and the author in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts - The Brazilian Job was an easy read and an enjoyable one too. This is the second book by Michelle that I have read, the first being Second Hand Jane (review here) and I have The Travellers Daughter on my TBR list.

The main story is set around two sisters Rebecca and Jennifer, Rebecca being the youngest. They are completely different but so very alike. I like both characters and the relationship between the two was very realistic. Jennifer is having marital troubles and Rebecca has flown over from Ireland to help her big sister out for two weeks. Needless to say things don't go to plan and both sisters have a lot of soul searching to do and bridges to build.

I really enjoyed this story, there are some laugh out loud moments and emotional ones as well and it really does show that not everyone is perfect and looks can be deceiving. A thoroughly enjoyable read x

Sunday, 31 January 2016

The Widow by Fiona Barton

Blurb - When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen...

But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.

There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything… 

Publish Date ~ January 14th 2016
Published by ~ Bantam Press
* Copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

My thoughts - Another great psychological thriller, The Widow had me gripped from page one and I couldn't put it down. I have to admit I was a bit reluctant to read this as there are so many books out about child abduction and murder but I'm really pleased I did read this. It's quite different.

The story centres around Jeanie the widow, her late husband Glen who was accused of abducting a young girl, a reporter and detective determined to find out the truth. Each character is well detailed and it doesn't take long to get to know them or so you think.

This isn't a fast paced book but there's enough there to keep you intrigued. I liked how it was told from different perspectives and also jumped from past to present time which kept me gripped.

I've seen so many reviews lately and a lot of them go into great detail about the book and give quite a few spoilers I feel now after reading the book so I'm not going to do that. I'll just say this is a compelling, unputdownable dark story and a must read if you're a fan of thrillers.

The Girls from See Saw Lane by Sandy Taylor

Blurb - Brighton 1963. Mary Pickles and I walked along the street with our arms linked, looking in shop windows. We were best friends and together we were invincible.

Dottie and Mary forged a friendship over a bag of penny sweets when they were eight years old. They’ve shared everything together since then – the highs and lows of school, family dramas, hopes and dreams and now, at seventeen, they’re both shop girls, working at Woolworths.

As they go out in the world in pursuit of love and happiness, the simplicity of their childhood dissolves as life becomes more complicated. The heady excitement of first love will consume them both, but the pain of unintentional betrayal will test their friendship in ways neither of them could ever imagine…

A charming, heart breaking and ultimately uplifting novel which brings a bygone era vividly to life. Fans of Nadine Dorries, Mary Gibson and Pam Weaver will love The Girls from See Saw Lane. Counting Chimneys coming soon

Publish Date ~ December 4th 2015
Published by ~ Bookouture
* Copy provided by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review*

My thoughts -  Oh my goodness what a cracker of a story this is.

The Girls from See Saw Lane is a wonderful tale of friendship, growing up, love, betrayal and forgiveness. Set in the 1960's, Mary and Dottie have a beautiful friendship growing up, sharing dreams and even working in the same shop when they leave school.

I loved both characters so much, Sandy's descriptions all the way through the book made me feel like I was walking along side Mary and Dottie. I felt the happiness, pain, anxieties, sadness and excitement both the girls felt as they went through all the trials and tribulations of being a teenager.

This is one of those books that leaves a big impact on you, it will stay with me for a long time and I feel it's a book I could go back to and read again and again. A massive well done to Sandy Taylor on an amazing story and I can't wait for the next.

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

Blurb - Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

Publish Date ~ 12th February 2016
Published by ~ Bookouture

My thoughts - Bookouture are really pumping these fabulous books out. The Girl in the Ice is another fantastic read that has you gripped from page one and it's another "just one more chapter" book.

The Girl in the Ice introduces DCI Erika Foster who is new to Manchester after being on bereavement leave and is thrown right into the case. Erika is a ballsy character who is flawed but very determined and committed and I'm really looking forward to reading more about her.

Robert has done a fantastic job with this book. It's fast, thrilling and has twists and turns that keep the pages turning. I didn't have a clue what the final out come would be and I love a book that keeps you guessing right to the end.

All He Asks Episodes 1~3 by Felicity Sparrow

Blurb -
Episode One
Christine is more than your average author’s assistant. She’s the unappreciated literary genius who’s been secretly ghostwriting Sylvia Stone’s worldwide bestsellers for the last five years, and Sylvia wants Christine to keep writing for her…forever.

But Erik Duke, bestselling horror author, thinks Christine can do better than ghostwriting women’s fiction. He’s been secretly tutoring her as she works as his assistant, and Christine’s talent is flourishing. He sees a big career ahead for Christine. More than that, he sees a partnership between himself and Christine that goes beyond the written word to somewhere much more intimate…

The intensity of Erik’s obsession with Christine frightens her, yet she can’t resist digging into the secrets this broken, tortured man is harboring. What is Erik hiding behind the mask of his emotions? What’s in his basement? And why is he so bent on controlling Christine’s career?

Episode Two
Christine has made a mistake becoming tangled in Erik Duke’s life. As an assistant to bestselling authors, it’s a professional problem to get physically involved with her world-famous client. Worse than that, it might be dangerous. Erik’s life is a web of secrets she can’t begin to unravel.

But now that he has her, Erik won’t let her leave. He’s sneaking around, making demands at the publishing company in her favor, and watching her every move. She’s afraid…but entranced.

Raoul Chance, lead editor, wants a piece of Christine too. She’s wanted him since they were children. Yet there’s a wall between them—a wall that he’s desperately trying to breach even as Christine falls tighter into Erik’s grip…

Episode Three
Erik Duke, a reclusive and mysterious author, has finally come out of hiding to make his demands known. He’s furious that the publishing company has defied him. And he plans to get his revenge.

Christine Durand longs for the safety of Raoul Chance’s arms, but she can’t seem to tear her heart away from Erik. He holds a piece of her that nobody else can touch. His darkness is sweet seduction--even when politics at Durand-Price turn deadly…

Publish Date ~ 1st May 2015
Published by ~ Felicity Sparrow

My thoughts -  This is the first three episodes brought together with the fourth being available separately.
Loosely based on The Phantom of the Opera, Felicity Sparrow has done a wonderful job of writing this story. The characters are well formed and the story flows well.
I read this fairly quick as I was really looking forward to finding out what happens next. It kept me interested all the way through out and i'm really looking forward to finding out what happens next in episode four.

Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

A Secret Muse by Mandy Jackson- Beverly

Blurb - UCLA art professor Coco Rhodes knows little about her family’s association with the ancient clandestine organization The Allegiance and wants to keep it that way. She dislikes secrets—they’re a painful reminder of her childhood experiences that were erased as a result of her parents’ tragic deaths when she was four years old.

After a brutal attempt on her life, and the arrival of a birthday letter from her dead mother, Coco demands explanations from her brother, Christopher, a high-powered D.C. lawyer and member of the Allegiance.

Christopher guides Coco to her birthplace, Italy, insisting she’ll find her answers there. Enter the enigmatic Gabriel, a powerful warlock with a vampire father, and the ethereal Prudence, keeper of the Allegiance.

When a close friend is murdered, Coco’s life takes a dark turn. With only a faded portrait torn from a lost sketchbook, and one of her mother’s unfinished paintings, Coco unravels clues from her past, in the hope of saving those she loves.

Publish Date ~ 1st October 2015
Published by ~ Cricket Publishing

My thoughts - First off I'd like to say a huge thank you to the author and TBC on FB for sending me a copy of this book to read.

I really enjoyed A Secret Muse, the settings and writing were just perfect. The story had me gripped from page one and I loved how the characters developed throughout the book. At first I was a bit concerned as there are a lot of characters to get your head around but Mandy has written it so well and it doesn't take long to get know them.

The descriptions of settings throughout the book just took me away and It felt like I was watching a movie in my mind.

A fantastic read and I'm really looking forward to the next book

Saturday, 23 January 2016

The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

Blurb -

"I can't tell you the truth, but I can tell you a story..."

How much is real and how much is fiction, only YOU can decide!

July 2005: in the midst of Operation Theseus, the largest police investigation that the UK has ever known, Detective Inspector Jake Flannagan begins to ask difficult questions that lead to the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend and his sudden suspension from the Metropolitan Police.

  • Who masterminded London's summer of terror?

  • Why can’t Flannagan make headway in the sprawling investigation?

  • Is Jake’s absent girlfriend really who she claims to be?
While hunting for the answers to the most complex case in British history, one man will uncover the greatest criminal deception of our time.

Publish Date ~ 12th November 2015
Published by ~ Videcette Limited

My thoughts - When I read the blurb for this book I knew I was going to enjoy it straight away, I bought the kindle edition and got myself ready to get stuck in and I was gripped from page one, sadly real life got in the way and I didn't get it read as quickly as I wanted to. I was desperate to read on so while cooking the dinner I had my kindle in my hand and when picking my son up from school my kindle came along too.

DI Jake Flannagan is a fab character, he's determined and passionate about his job but he's also a man under a lot of pressure who turns to drink and women to try and forget. He's a bit of a bad lad which actually made him more likeable.

Everyone will remember the 7/7 bombing's, it was huge and all over the news. Terrorists attack London, but what if it wasn't how the news and media made it out. The Theseus Paradox get's you thinking and I was totally drawn in hook line and sinker.

David Videcette has written a very powerful story, each chapter is headlined with the date and location which takes you along on the journey. I had goose bumps and found myself holding my breath at some parts. With David's background of twenty years police experience, including counter-terror operations and organised crime, he was also a detective in the Anti-Terrorist Branch during the 7/7 London bombings in July 2005 I was really trying my hardest to figure out what was fact and what was fiction as it's so well written.

I'm really looking forward to reading more about Jake and maybe finding out a bit more about him soon.

This is a must read for any crime thriller fans but just make sure you have peace to read it because you really wont want to put it down.

Shtum by Jem Lester

Blurb - Powerful, darkly funny and heart-breaking, Shtum is a story about fathers and sons, autism, and dysfunctional relationships.

Ben Jewell has hit breaking point. His ten-year-old son Jonah has severe autism and Ben and his wife, Emma, are struggling to cope.

When Ben and Emma fake a separation - a strategic decision to further Jonah's case in an upcoming tribunal - Ben and Jonah move in with Georg, Ben's elderly father. In a small house in North London, three generations of men - one who can't talk; two who won't - are thrown together.

A powerful, emotional, but above all enjoyable read, perfect for fans of THE SHOCK OF THE FALL and THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME.

Publish Date ~ April 7th 2016
Published by ~ Orion

My thoughts - Even though Shtum is not released until April this year the reviews have been flying in and it clearly sounds like it's going to be the book of 2016 so I knew I had to read it but I really wasn't sure if it would be for me. I have to say though as soon as I started reading it I couldn't put it down and read it in two sittings.

It was a thought provoking read and stirred up so many emotions through the book, I found myself laughing, nearly crying, angry and sometimes I was so irritated I just wanted to pull Ben out and give him a good shake, Emma a slap and Jonah a huge big cuddle.

The story is written so well, you just seem to get absorbed into it and I was left at the end feeling like I knew this family, like I had lived through it all with them. The only criticism I would have is the end of the book, I really enjoyed it but felt like this could have gone on to be a separate story.

All in all a fantastic read and one I will be recommending to all my friends.

Thank you to Netgalley and Orion for letting me read this in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The TBC 2016 Book Challenge

I'm a member of a fab virtual book club over on Facebook called The Book Club (TBC) which was set up by the wonderful Tracy Fenton. I've been a member for about 11 months and over this time I've read some absolutely fantastic books that I probably would never have heard of before, whether it be through freebie books, review requests or just speaking to some of the wonderful authors that are members of TBC ( over 600 ) and buying their books. I've read genres I wouldn't have even thought about before and it's really opened my eyes up to what magical books there are.

So The Book Club decided it would be a good idea to do a reading challenge for 2016. Of course as soon as I saw the word challenge I was on it, ready to get going. Basically there are 20 different categories and each book has to be written by an author member of the group. I have downloaded so many books over the 11 months from author members I thought this was great opportunity to add these into the challenge and finally get round to reading them.

It wasn't quite as easy as I thought it would be though and it took me a couple of days to fill up my list. I wanted to make sure each book I chose was perfect for the category and I wanted to try and find different books that the other members hadn't picked but looking back I think a lot of us have the same and that's because they just seem perfect for the category.  

I've read four books so far and enjoying this so much.

Here's the challenge and the books I've chosen ~

1 ~ A Book with a colour in the title
      Blackwood - SJI Holiday
2 ~ A Book with a season in the title (summer/winter/spring/autumn)
      Autumns Blood - Marrisa Farrer
3 ~ A Book written by a TBC author you haven’t read yet
      Pohutukawa Highway - Tammy Robinson
4 ~ A Book with a one word title
      Shtum - Jem Lester
5 ~ A Book with a number in the title
      Three Sisters - Helen Smith
6 ~ A Book written by an author with the same first initial as you
      Fosgates Game - David C Cassidy
7 ~ A Book with Christmas in the title
      Christmas at Gingerbread Café - Rebecca Raisin
8 ~ A Book set in a country you would like to visit
      The Travellers Daughter - Michelle Vernal
9 ~ A Book written by a Scottish Author or based in Scotland
      Blood Tears - Michael J Malone
10 ~ A Book based purely on the cover
        From The Cradle - Mark Edwards & Louise Voss 
11 ~ A Book written in a genre you have never read...
        Carpet Diem - Justin Anderson
12 ~ A Book based purely on the In My Pants game
        Hard to Feel Whole (imp) - Mandy Thomas
13 ~ A Book written by the first author who likes or comments on one of your posts on TBC
        Web of Deceit - Mel Comley & Tara Lyons
14 ~ A Book that costs less than £1.00
        CXVI - Angie Smith
15 ~ A Book written by one of the authors scheduled to do a Q&A in 2016
         No Hiding Place - Mel Comley
16 ~ A Book written by one of the authors who did a Q&A in 2015
         Perfect Daughter - Amanda Prowse
17 ~ A Book which was voted #1 in the Arthur Awards 2015 – any category
        I Let You Go Clare Mackintosh
18 ~ A book with the word “Girl” or “Dead” in the title
        Where the Dead Walk - John Bowen
19 ~ A book published in 2015
         Blood Moon - Alexandra Sokoloff
20 ~ A MABS Freebie Book
        The child Taker & Slow Burn - Conrad Jones

24 Hours by Claire Seeber

Blurb - Here today. Dead tomorrow?
My best friend, Emily, is dead – killed last night in a hotel fire.
But it was meant to be me.
Now I have 24 hours to find my daughter.
Before he finds out I’m still alive.

Publish Date ~ 6th October 2015
Publisher ~ Bookouture

My thoughts - 24 Hours is a fast paced psychological thriller that is hard to put down. It has twists and turns and the more I read the harder it was to figure out who killed Laurie's friend Emily and who is after Laurie as everyone could have done it. I thrive on trying to guess "the who done it" in all books but this kept me guessing and totally engrossed all the way through and even wondering at one point if there really was someone after her.

The story opens with Laurie in hospital with smoke inhalation after the fire and the book is very cleverly spread out telling the story before and the 24 hours after the fire. Some books I've read where time jumps it has been a bit confusing but Claire seems to do this seamlessly and the 24 hour time frame parts are so intense I was reading it like I was being chased and had to get it finished.

24 Hours is a heart racing, adrenaline pumping, can't put down read. I'm really looking forward to reading more from Claire soon.

Thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Stirred with Love by Marcie Steele

Blurb -
Sometimes the best friends can be found where you least expect them …
Still grieving after the loss of her beloved husband, Lily Mortimer is determined to do something with the time she has left.
After the end of her fairy tale marriage, thirty-something Kate is trying hard to mend her broken heart.
Chloe, a young woman with the world at her feet, is struggling to know what to do with her life.
When Lily embarks on a new venture in the picturesque town of Somerley
, the three women come together to open The Coffee Stop, the most charming café for miles around.
But opening a coffee shop is never as simple as it seems, especially when you add neighbouring competition, local heart throbs and heartbreak to the mix.
When tragedy strikes, can the three women pull together to make the new business fly, or will Lily’s last chance disappear down the drain along with yesterday’s coffee grinds?

Publish Date ~ 2nd September 2015
Publisher ~ Bookouture

My thoughts -
Stirred with Love was a joy to read. I'd just finished a gritty thriller and needed something easy to read and this was just perfect.
It's written in a way you just dissolve into the story and it had me completely hooked.

We meet Kate, Chloe and Lily, all different ages, all different characters who all have different issues but are brought together through Lily (the oldest) and her dream of opening a café and they bond and form a friendship that warms the heart. All three characters are endearing and I felt like I could relate to each of them in different ways.

Stirred with Love is funny, it's sad (it will bring a tear to your eye) and it is also totally heart warming. Marcie Steele/ Mel Sherratt has proved with this book that's she's not just fab at writing crime thrillers and psychological suspense but also Romantic comedy/chick lit too.

I received this copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.