When I read Cold Feet At Christmas by Debbie Johnson a few weeks ago, I really enjoyed it (and you can read my review next week). I loved the fact theWhen I read Cold Feet At Christmas by Debbie Johnson a few weeks ago, I really enjoyed it (and you can read my review next week). I loved the fact the main character was called Leah, I loved the Chicago setting, it was lovely. So when Debbie asked me if I wanted to review her crime novel that was releasing a few weeks prior to Cold Feet At Christmas, I said yes please! I very rarely get to read crime novels and I'm very much stuck in my ways with the crime novels I do read (Tess Gerritsen ones, basically) but I do want to branch out in my crime reading and find new authors, and Fear No Evil sounded very intriguing.
I must confess right off the bat that I wasn't aware Fear No Evil was a novel about ghosts. So I was somewhat surprised to start reading and see that Jayne's newest case involves a girl falling out of a window. Trouble is, her parents are convinced that she was actually pushed. By a ghost. Yes, you read that right. But as Jayne delves deeper in to the mystery that is Hart House, irregularities start to occur - someone else died there, a member of the notorious Casey family no less, and Jayne is determined to solve the case; is it really ghosts involved, or is it indeed something altogether more terrifying - an actual human. She ropes in "Father" Dan (who's no longer a priest), he brings along a couple friends, and Jayne ropes in her best mate Tish and they're all determined to crack the case once and for all.
Now, I can take or leave ghosts. I am a firm non-believer, but if it's a Chick Lit novel where a ghost comes to haunt our main character, I think it's kind of cute. But ghosts chucking girls out of windows and down flights of stairs? That's all a bit too much for me; that stretches my beliefs a bit too far. I could have done without that part of the plot - I don't believe in ghosts or exorcisms or anything of that nature. What I did like however, was the rest of the novel. Ghosts aside, this is actually a cracking crime novel, with lots of unexplored threads to unravel and lots of secrets and bits of plot to smush together to reveal the bigger picture. I enjoyed discovering what happened to Geneva Casey, and I liked that Jayne was the type of person who wouldn't just settle for a ghost did it.
The setting for Fear No Evil was a surprising one - Liverpool, of all places. Whenever I hear about Liverpool it's always about hubcaps being nicked (it's a joke that now escapes me) and while Fear No Evil didn't exactly paint the best picture of Liverpool (crime families running things, run down estates, drug-dealers everywhere etc) there were times when I felt Jayne's passion for her city shine through, and I liked that she was proud to live there. It's a bit like Newcastle - doesn't have the best rep, but for those that live there (or come from there) it's home. I really enjoyed Fear No Evil. Jayne is one of those heroines you just LOVE - her one liners, her snappy retorts... She's a girl after my own heart. Even "Father" Dan sounded decidedly gorgeous, and all that was really missing from the novel was a bit of romance! But, I suspect this is the first novel in a series (YAY!) and we'll be back with more adventures from Lennon & McCartney soon enough (yes, really).This review was originally posted on Girls Love To Read...more
When I saw The Last Breath on Netgalley, I was quite intrigued. It offered a glimpse into a new writer, and it promised a fantastic read, with a gorgeWhen I saw The Last Breath on Netgalley, I was quite intrigued. It offered a glimpse into a new writer, and it promised a fantastic read, with a gorgeous sepia-tinged cover, so I decided to download it, and see what I thought. I was quite excited to get stuck in, I love novels where a main character comes back home after a long time away. There's just something about them, although in this case it was vastly different, since Gia was coming home known in her local hometown as the daughter of a murderer, which would make anyone flee, let's be honest. So I was interested to see how Gia handled it, and while it was an interesting concept, and a solidly written novel, I felt a bit bored if I'm being honest.
The Last Breath is your typical suspense novel by numbers, with a bit of romance thrown in. Gia comes home after sixteen years away to tend to her dying father, but the town is in uproar because he allegedly killed his wife Ella-Mae and has spent the last sixteen years in jail, only being released because he's dying. His other two kids, Bo and Lexi won't come anywhere near their father, despite Gia's best intentions, and it's just a very sad, awful tale. Throw in a nebby reporter, who plants a seed of doubt in Gia's mind as to whether or not her father did indeed do the crime, and you've got an interesting enough storyline. It just didn't really go anywhere. Gia wasn't exactly unearthing life-shattering evidence against her father to prove his innocence, it was hunches and Chinese whispers, and the words of a drunk man. It was hearsay, most of all.
What I did like about the novel were the Ella-Mae sections. We see how her life changed after Dean, the town's new vice-principal moved in, how they had a connection, how their relationship developed etc, and it added a certain bonus aspect to the novel. Those were the parts I looked forward to most, because those were the parts where we learned more about Ella-Mae, and Ray, and Dean; we heard it from the horse's mouth, so to speak. And so, I wished they were longer, and there were more of them. And most of all, I wished there was one final scene at the end of the book, telling us the truth once and for all, because there's a lot of to-ing and fro-ing in The Last Breath. A lot of he-said, she-said, and I'm still not entirely convinced of everything we were told. I think one last bite from Ella-Mae would have sealed it completely, and I felt Belle missed out on an opportunity there - it could have put an entirely different spin on the novel.
The Last Breath was a solid enough read, don't get me wrong, but it lacked edge, especially since the novel I finished before this one was bat-crap crazy, with all sorts of weird stuff going on. It just sort of felt like a letdown, although I liked Gia and I really, really liked her and Jake's romance. It was sweet, it was easy, it was everything a romance should be, and it wasn't the main focus of the novel, although it was a big, and very enjoyable, part. It was a solid novel, I can't fault Belle, it just wasn't my cup of tea. Turns out I need a teensy bit more action in my novels these days, a bit more to keep me hooked, and turning the pages. But, it has some stellar reviews on GoodReads already, and it is a very intriguing mystery as to who did actually kill poor Ella-Mae!This review was originally posted on Girls Love To Read...more
When I heard Tammara Webber was bringing out a companion novel to her absolutely astounding novel Easy, I was so happy. So happy, and so excited... UnWhen I heard Tammara Webber was bringing out a companion novel to her absolutely astounding novel Easy, I was so happy. So happy, and so excited... Until I fell into the new adult trap that is the reality of companion novels, and readers, I was disappointed. Because while Breakable did offer some new insights in Lucas Maxfield, it was 75% a re-telling of Easy, and I had been there, done that, and absolutely LOVED it. So much so that I felt very cheated having to read it again, this time from Lucas's perspective. It's a very good novel for those who crave knowing what the hero thinks - I can take it or leave it, if it's there in the original, then fine, but if it's an added extra afterwards, I can leave it, because I sorta feel like if the author wanted us to have the hero's POV he/she would have included it right at the start, and not as an add-on to sell to his/her devoted fans.
Don't get me wrong, there were added extras - I enjoyed reading about Lucas from 8 years ago leading to what became the beginning of Easy, where he rescues Jacqueline, but I felt it was too rushed. Webber was too excited about re-telling Easy that that became the sole focus, which was unfortunate. If she had done what Cora Carmack did in Finding Her and only included a small portion of the re-telling that would have worked WAY better. The focus shouldn't have been on the bits we saw from Easy because we already knew it, the focus and the novel, for me, should have been on Lucas's life BEFORE Jacqueline, with little bits toward the end that could have overlapped. I didn't want a re-hash of his story with Jacqueline, I wanted to get to know Lucas, because his life is very, very interesting - he's gone through some really difficult stuff and I enjoyed the story for how he overcome that, and I wish with all my heart that had been the crux of the story, instead of a couple of pages at the beginning of each chapter.
Lots of Easy fans will love this - after all, if fans weren't happy, these companion novels would not be being published all the time, but I find myself feeling cheated every time I pick up a so-called companion. I don't know if authors are afraid to write proper sequels, or prequels, or what, but I won't be reading any more re-tellings. I've tried three times now, and they just don't work for me, because if I already know the story, I don't want to read it again just from a different perspective and I certainly don't want to pay full-price for the privilege, when I could just go back and read the fantastic first novel. Authors should stick by their initial decisions - if they didn't initially include a second POV then they shouldn't then go and write it afterwards, as it doesn't work and Breakable was, sadly, yet another example of that. I loved the characters, I loved remembering bits of Easy that had sadly gone awry, but once it got to the bits I already knew, I lost interest, because it all came back to me from first time around.This review was originally posted on Girls Love To Read...more
Claudia Carroll has long been an author who I have enjoyed to read. And it seems like it's been ages since her last release, the rather fantastic Me &Claudia Carroll has long been an author who I have enjoyed to read. And it seems like it's been ages since her last release, the rather fantastic Me & You. So I've been on tenterhooks all year for her newest release Love Me Or Leave Me. It's been out in Ireland since April, but is only just releasing in the UK in October (I don't know why, I'm afraid). I loved the idea of the novel - a hotel where you arrive married, and leave divorced; I've never heard of something like that before and it was super interesting and I was very keen to see how Claudia wrote it, how she made it work and if it would be something I would enjoy.
Right off the bat, let me say that this is not a bad book, but for me I just didn't love it. I liked it good enough, but it didn't blow me away, and I didn't enjoy it as much as I did Me & You. But the premise is fascinating, absolutely fascinating - I just expected it to be done a bit differently. I thought it would focus on the hundreds of couples who would move through Hope Street Hotel's doors, and instead it focuses on just three or four. All of them have reasons for being there, but it takes literally forever for us to be made privy to them. I absolutely hate that, in books. Why keep the suspense up? It's not a suspense novel. Just tell us and get it over with - it's like ripping off a band-aid. Dawn was always alluding to some big, massive thing that made her leave Kirk, but it takes her so long to actually spill the beans that I just didn't care. I like immediate gratification.
I didn't really care for the couples who went to Hope Street Hotel - except Lucy and Andrew. The rest were far too highly strung and I just felt I didn't know them enough to care about them. I did, however, care about Chloe, who was the only characters whose narrative was first person. I liked her so much (although I wish she doubted herself less) and I loved getting to know her, and felt sad reading about what she went through (which thankfully we learn right at the very beginning - there's no teasing on that front). I liked her tentative exchanges with her boss, Rob and it was super nice to see a woman in charge of a hotel, and Chloe did it with charm and warmth, and lots and lots of enthusiasm.
So while I didn't exactly fall head over heels for Love Me Or Leave Me, it was surprisingly warm and fuzzy, considering it dealt with divorce and it was hardly a bad read at all. I do really enjoy Claudia's books, I think she's a fantatic storyteller and her plots are always spot-on and interesting, I just didn't fall in love with Love Me Or Leave Me, which was a shame. I'm excited to see what she does next, and I hope the concept is even half as good as this one was, because it was great. I just wished I had loved it more, but it is what it is sometimes....This review was originally posted on Girls Love To Read...more
When I saw Trouble In Tinseltown on Netgalley, it looked like the perfect little read for my lunch hour! I’m not the biggest short story reader, but IWhen I saw Trouble In Tinseltown on Netgalley, it looked like the perfect little read for my lunch hour! I’m not the biggest short story reader, but I find they do in a pinch, and are a quick and easy read when you’re not able to get into something fuller, and Aimee Duffy’s new series seemed the ideal thing for my lunch hours.
Trouble In Tinseltown is the first of seven short stories, following best friends Ciara, Gem and Elle on an around the world adventure of which I am insanely jealous. I dream of flying around the world, visiting hot, fabulous destinations, and the first stop for the girls is LA! Who doesn’t want to visit LA?
The girls are definitely a handful, mind, and I liked that the main focus was Ciara, the more level headed of the three girls and I enjoyed her flirtation with Zack. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes (if it goes anywhere since they’re off to Miami next). I enjoyed Trouble In Tinseltown, it was a cute, short read. It wasn’t perfect, but for my lunch break it was ideal. I can’t wait to go to Miami with the girls (I love Florida!)....more
This was an interesting read - very different to any thing I've ever read and while it wasn't perfect, it was interesting. The novel has three differeThis was an interesting read - very different to any thing I've ever read and while it wasn't perfect, it was interesting. The novel has three different parts, that all intersect. There's Irina's relationship with Andrei, the aftermath, and Romanian fairy tales. I confess it was the latter two which held my attention. I never quite understood what Irina saw in Andrei, he's clearly not a good man, and I just felt she could have done better... The Romanian fairy tales were by far my favourite parts of the novel. They were very interesting. I just with the whole novel had kept my attention as well as those fairy tales. ...more
Loved this! So great to be back in the world of Rizzoli & Isles and I can't believe it took me so long to read it! Another super gripping read, wiLoved this! So great to be back in the world of Rizzoli & Isles and I can't believe it took me so long to read it! Another super gripping read, with old and new characters alike! A very surprising ending - I thought I had guessed it, but I was wrong, Tess is good like that. Looking forward to diving into Last To Die!...more
When I got an email from Diversion Books/Netgalley inviting me to read & review Lessons I Never Learned At Meadowbrook Academy, I thought it soundWhen I got an email from Diversion Books/Netgalley inviting me to read & review Lessons I Never Learned At Meadowbrook Academy, I thought it sounded super interesting and on reading the first few pages, that initial though held through, but come the end of the novel, I was left with questions. I didn't understand why the novel only took place over the course of one day - it seemed way more drawn out than that, and it could have done with being set over a term or a semester, whatever, rather than a day.
I wanted to like Roberta so much - I liked her spunk initially, but it soon wore off, when she was telling little while lies here, there and everywhere. If you get your period and miss the start of class, just tell your teacher you got your period. There was no need for the big fat lie. It was childish.
I like Roberta's friends Annie and Mervin, Mervin in particular was sweet. Annie was a bit weird. The novel went some place with her, leaving us hanging come the end of the novel. I was just left with so many questions - why did Thaddeus spent a free period with Roberta & then flip a switch and go all cray-cray? What happened to Annie? What happened the next day, never mind anything else? It just wasn't my kind of read, there are better novels set at posh schools than this one....more
This novel started very promisingly, but it didn't manage to keep the suspense the whole way through. It just went on, and on, and on, and I eventuallThis novel started very promisingly, but it didn't manage to keep the suspense the whole way through. It just went on, and on, and on, and I eventually got bored of Jessica and Dominic. It was like a poor man's Gone Girl, with an equally annoying ending.
The premise was interesting, but it just wasn't to my satisfaction. When you start a book that says the heroine is going to end up dead, you're intrigued and I was, but it didn't last. I got bored. Then the plot twist happened and it just went to a place I didn't expect or like.
And the ending! What is it with thriller writers and stupid non endings? I'm sick of them. I wanted to know what consequences there were, what happened to detective Kim and her family. Ugh. I was very disappointed overall....more