This book is much better than the introduction blurb suggests. Thank goodness I don’t give too much attention to these as it gives an impression of a different book to the one I have read.
Ruby is a messed up girl who is desperate to find her own place in the world, desperate for her parent’s love that every child deserves. It seemed to me that the whole village knew how she has been treated by her father and it made me angry that no one did anything to stop it, but I suppose such were the days.
Finding out that Mick and Barbara are not her real parents certainly explained Mick’s awful behaviour towards her. It also sends Ruby on a downwards spiral whilst trying to find her family, living with the strange people in place she doesn’t understand.
There are elements of the supernatural throughout the novel as it changes from Ruby’s story to the voice of Shadow – Ruby’s constant companion – the only ‘person’ that has been there for her as long as she can remember and the one that helps her on her way of discovery, pain, friendships and light.
This book is beautifully written. It’s an emotional journey for the characters as well as the reader. It’s something different and it certainly stands out among a sea of the ever so popular thrillers and crime novels. It’s one to read and to remember.
Thank you to the author and NetGalley for access to this book in return for this honest review....more
I thoroughly enjoy suspense crime novels and this one was no different. Add a little bit of a nice guy and romance and you have the perfect book.
When Emily returns home one day unexpectedly early, she finds herself in the middle of a complete nightmare that forced her to make live changing choice. She ends up having to leave everything behind in London and move in with her estranged mother and sister in California, a place she never thought she would end up after her mother left her behind at a young age.
She is angry, sad and awkward, especially since her half-sister Harriet seems to do her utmost to carry on as nothing ever happened.
She finally starts to feel some normality when she’s offered a job, which conveniently comes with a very handsome owner who seems to have the hots for her.
The writing was great and kept you guessing as to who the bad guy is. The story has some good twist, nice little spark of romance and plenty of good, likeable characters.
Thank you to the author and #TBConFB for access to this book in return for this honest review....more
I love Eddie Collins. Especially his grumpy, no-nonsense approach to anyone who rubs him up the wrong way – which seems to be most people he works witI love Eddie Collins. Especially his grumpy, no-nonsense approach to anyone who rubs him up the wrong way – which seems to be most people he works with.
Interestingly though, when he gets the note, he seems to forget everything he has learned in his job and drives straight into danger’s arms.
This is a very quick, entertaining read that keeps you glued to the pages until you can breathe a sigh of relief at the end. For a short thriller story I also found myself giggling at Eddie’s demeanor in the face of death as Andrew Barrett somehow manages to make Eddie seem very real, which is exactly the sort of character I like in a book.
Thank you to the Andrew Barrett for access to this book in return for this honest review....more
Oh how I missed fantasy books about the fae folk. I would say my reading is quite varied but coming back to this sort of novel was just so lovely. Not what I fully expected when I read the blurb, but enjoyable nonetheless.
I have read some of the negative reviews regarding the credibility of the Native American history, but really this book doesn’t state it’s based on facts. This is a work of fiction. And if you are going to throw in fairies and fae-hunters, you must ask yourself whether the facts are really that important.
But away from that. I loved it. This book only lost one star because the only character I kind of warmed to was Cruz and I felt I needed more of him. I have a niggling feeling that he is going to become a very important part of the storyline going forward and I hope he is given more time in the next books. Catori annoyed me at times, especially when it came to her indecisiveness, but she is young and kind of thrown into the deep end, so I can live with her flaws – I suppose no one is perfect.
I can’t say more about the story without spoiling in, but I can say that for me this was a great escape from a reality into a world that I can’t wait to read more about.
Thank you to the author and #TBConFB for access to this book in return for this honest review....more
I am so happy to be able to review another one of Shani’s books and on its publication days too. This is a fourth book the in Psychic Surveys series, but a first one for me and it read well as a standalone novel.
As always I was not disappointed. Although this book hasn’t spooked me as much as the others, the story went along well and kept you guessing till the end. The village and the cottage itself were described so well I could really picture it in my head (plus I love the cover!).
When Ruby told her boyfriend Cash that she found a lovely Dorset cottage for week’s holiday, she holds back on the fact that the cottage is riddled with unsettled spirits and she was actually contacted by the owners to see if she could move them on.
Things start going wrong right from the start and it’s not long before both Ruby and Cash feel the presence of more than one spirit. As they start to unravel the history of the cottage they soon realise that this case might not be as easy to solve and that the whole village is somehow involved.
Fabulous spooky book from Shani Struthers and I can’t wait to read the others. I have book one and three and my kindle and will now read them as soon as I can. For anyone who likes to be kept on the edge of their seat with the unknown at the grasp of their fingers, these books are perfect.
Thank you to the author for spooking me once again and #TBConFB for access to this book in return for this honest review....more
When seventeen year old Cara finally answers the phone to her unwanted boyfriend she is relieved to hear that he wants to end their relationship. All she has to do is to go and see him for the last time. Unfortunately things don’t go to plan and Cara finds Joe dead.
When a detective starts digging into Joe’s death and an old friend Ryan turns up in town, Cara finds herself in the middle of her own investigation into the strange circumstances surrounding that awful night.
This is a YA crime novel and I found it written in a really good style that kept me interested throughout the book. Cara was a typical teenager trying to better herself, mixing with the high society. Ryan is a down to earth kid that somehow reminds Cara of who she really is and what is important in life.
The only thing slightly disappointing about this book is that I found the last few chapters quite rushed. I felt they were missing the attention to details that was so great in the rest of the novel.
Overall this is a great book, proper page turner and hugely recommended to all who like a bit of mystery and crime. It has some good elements of the upper classes and their abuse of power, money and drugs and on the other side the working class family, doing their best by their children.
Thank you to the author and #TBConFB for access to this book in return for this honest review....more
Once in a while I still like to get to my printed books. I have over three hundred at home and there are some real crackers amongst them. This was most certainly one of them. I bought this book because I liked the cover - impulse buy, some might call it, but I also read the blurb and thought it sounded good. My son is five so it felt quite close to home.
It’s fabulous. It reminds me of Little House by Philippa Gregory - the overbearing mother-in-law, the mummy’s boy husband, the strange goings on.
The novel is written in two ways with some short chapters written in first person that is kind of supporting the perpetrator and eggs him on. The rest is written in third person and it seems to work very well as you get know a lot about the main characters Julia and her husband Bryan and of course the strained dynamic of their relationship, but you are also somehow allowed a first seat row in the mind of the kidnapper.
It’s clever, with good little twists. I kind of guessed what was going on about third of the way through, however I still enjoyed the book till its last page. And I had to finish the last 100 pages in one sitting meaning much less sleep last night. But it was worth it.
If you like clever psychological thrillers than this is for you. I can highly recommend this book and it will be one to stay with me. ...more
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from this novel and I must admit I wasn’t expecting it to be so evolved. It follows Katelyn from six years old when she first sees a woman tied to a chair ready for to be tortured by Katelyn’s father.
From then on the book follows Katelyn’s live and her adaption to the life her daddy serves up never having any friends until she’s a full grown teenager; then quickly following a life of drugs, sex and self-distraction.
What is intriguing is the complicated psychology of the relationship between a damaged child and her murderous father. They continue to play a game of cat and mouse throughout the book with Katelyn losing at nearly every corner.
This is certainly a book that will stay on my mind. It is very cleverly written with a real insight into a child’s mind.
A massive thanks you goes to the author for giving me access to this....more
The Trophy Taker is a second book in the DC Charlie Stafford series and it certainly lives up to its first instalment. It’s clever, fast pacing and keeps you guessing until the end.
Charlie has been through the mill in the first book and seems somehow a little more mature in this novel. When the call comes in about a mutilated body of a woman found displayed in a local graveyard, Charlie is already handling a case close to her heart, a case of a local racist junkie attacking residents of any colour different to his own skin. She gets herself involved deep into each case she handles and makes it her own personal job to deliver justice for the victims.
As Charlie and her team face this new case where nothing seems to link together, they once again prove that team work gets things done. We get little glimpses and notes of their personal lives and the author cleverly hints at the developing relationship between Charlie and Ben whom we have met in the first book.
Sarah Flint has a 35 years’ experience working as a Police Constable for the Metropolitan Police and it shows throughout her books. From the forensic evidence to all the members of the team and their behaviour, you can tell that this is written with an insider’s knowledge.
I cannot wait to see what is waiting for Charlie next. I really enjoyed both of the books and just wish someone would pick it up for TV adaptations. It would make a brilliant crime drama for those long winter nights.
A massive thank you goes to the author, publisher and NetGalley for giving me access to this....more
Miranda Hart has managed to put a much needed smile on my face and actually made me laugh out loud in public.
I am a big fan of her comedy sketch show ‘Miranda’ and I do miss it terribly. She has a very natural sense of humour that appeals to all sorts of different walks of life.
In this book, Miranda picks on various subjects from everyday live including dating, weddings, diets etc. She also talks to her 18 year old self and illustrates really well how differently we feel at that age and how different reality looks when we grow up and have responsibilities.
I must admit that I enjoyed the first half of the book much more than the second half. As I was reading I could see Miranda and hear the words in my head being said in her voice. Then the book just kind of slowed down for me, hence the three stars.
I still enjoyed it though. It’s a brilliant holiday read, or something you pick up when you need a lift after a bad day at work, just to make sure that there really are people with the same trouble as you....more
I have always been a big fan of Jojo Moyes and I can honestly say she is one of my favourite authors so I was excited to be reading her newest book.
I needed to read something light and easy and this hit just the right spot. The main story ‘Paris for One’ is a heart-warming one, following Nell to Paris for a romantic getaway with her boyfriend. Only Nell actually finds herself alone, in a big city, knowing nothing of the language, customs or cuisine. And then she meets Fabian, the heartbroken writer-to-be.
I won’t spoil the rest of the story but it’s lovely and the characters are likable just like the main characters we know and love from any other of Jojo’s books.
The other short stories are easy to read and identify yourself with some of their characters and some have more surprising conclusions than others.
3 stars might seem harsh, but all they mean is that I enjoyed this book but feel that it is not as complex as Jojo’s other works. It is an uncomplicated novel asking to be read on holidays and spare time to cheer yourself up.
I am most grateful to the author, publisher and NetGalley for access to this book in return for this honest opinion....more
Firstly I would like to thank the author for contacting me with the request to review this book.
This novel was most definitely a journey for me. All throughout Part 1 I felt confused and wasn’t sure I actually liked the book. It was clear that Claire had mental health issues and was trying to get help, but as she was going through her mind, her inner house and memories, she was making my head spin. I felt as disjointed from reality as she was.
Then Part 2 hit me like a storm. As Claire starts to understand herself, her inner being starts to reveal forgotten incidents from the past that shaped Claire into who she became. Uncomfortable memories come to the surface and explain the majority of issues Claire experiences as a growing child and adult.
In the end I found myself rooting for Claire. Anyone with experience of mental health issues would have a good understanding of what was happing to her, but you don’t have to be a specialist to understand her journey. Even though she would disagree - Claire is a fighter.
The author has transformed Claire’s messed up mind into a moving collection of rooms in an inner house, with child Claire taking the adult Claire on a journey of remembrance and rediscovery. All characters were well placed and even the minor ones had a definitive place in the story.
This novel took me longer than usual to read due to its complexity and really, the heaviness of the subject. But it was so worth reading. I feel like I need a holiday now, but I certainly won’t forget about this book in a hurry....more
When I was contacted by the author to review this book and I read the synopsis for this book, I wasn’t really too sure what to expect, but it really turned out to be a little gem of a book, with a story that kept popping along very nicely and good characters you grow to like. The story has also kept its authenticity by using local dialects and not too vast description of the Irish and Scottish scenery.
Derek did worry me at first. Let’s be honest, when the main character of an old man kidnaps a fifteen year old girl and keeps her in the back of a van in the middle of a forest, you don’t necessarily warm to him straight away. But Derek is a surprisingly strong headed, good natured man with a goal in mind, knowing he would do literary anything to keep Sersha safe and to get them both to their final destination.
Sersha on the other hand is a typical angry teenager. Growing up in foster care left her with trust issues, but also wanting more out of life and hope that their might be something better, which I think is why she starts to side with Derek so quickly.
Whether you believe the whole sci-fi story Derek portraits to Sersha is, in my opinion, quite irrelevant. To me, this book was more about the relationship that so beautifully develops between these two. It’s a relationship based on crazy theory of other worlds, palaces and princesses, but one that grows into a lovely friendship.
This is a shorter novel for anyone who likes to dip into something a little bit different. There are a few nice twists in the story and all is not as it seems. Good, witty humour helps the story along too with a few laugh-out-loud moments.
Thank you to the author for giving me access to this book in return for an honest review....more
I must admit that I am struggling with this one a little. I have thought a lot about it and I finally realised that if I read this book about twelve years ago I would have enjoyed it much more. It’s a sort of book to I think suited me in my early twenties before my reading horizon widened so much. So if I am really honest, back in the day I would have given the book 4 maybe 4.5 stars. But even now it gets a solid 3*.
Overall I think the story was good and I especially warmed to Rafe’s character. Rafe is your typical good guy, torn between duty for the greater good and love for the woman he’s been guarding for years. I even had a soft spot for Luc; your typical bad boy with ‘devilish’ good looks and attitude to match. Good and evil was well represented here and the story reiterated that one cannot exist without the other.
The one character I could not get on with was Jolene. And I think that’s why I struggled with the novel. I find it hard to read a book when I dislike the main character – it sort of throws me out of sync. She was supposedly intelligent, beautiful, amazing creature, but to me she was just this naïve, silly little girl that everyone had to take care off. And she really got on my nerves using the ‘words of the day’ in the wrong context. I wanted to shake her to wake her up!
To summarise I would recommend this novel as maybe a holiday read. It was a relaxing book and one that I would take up in between something meatier perhaps. The storyline was there and the concept was good if like to believe in higher powers.
Thank you to TBConFB and the author for giving me access to this book in return for an honest review....more
I have read a few crime books now and thoroughly enjoyed them, but it is just so exciting to be reading a novel written by someone with true, real live experience, someone who has the expertise to be able to write in detail and correct context.
Andrew Barrett has the best insider knowledge of protocols, rules and the day to day live of Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs) as he has been on the job for over 30 years; so it hasn’t come to me as too big of a surprise that this book was so good.
But ‘good’ doesn’t do it justice. It’s brilliant, clever and keeps you guessing all the way through. This book is a work of genius and experience. It can be read as a standalone novel; however I will now purchase the first three books in the series, because I feel like I have missed out on something here.
Eddie Collins is not your typical likeable character. Actually, he’s an irritating, rude and an arrogant ass. But he has his reasons and is respected for his abilities and instincts working as a CSI in West Yorkshire Police. When his colleague dies on a job and Eddie gets injured, he makes it his priority to catch whoever is behind the growing number of bodies lying in the mortuary. He is ruthless, rule-breaking and anger driven individual, but with all the right reasons.
He has to unravel decades of crime and secrets to stop the serial killer and it costs his friends, his job and nearly his life.
One character in the book I must not forget is Eddie’s father Charles. He is sort of in the background but on more than one occasion he manages to open his son’s eyes to possibilities around these crime, that Eddie might have not seen himself. They have a proper love-hate relationship, but underneath all their arguments and harsh words, they really do care about each other.
As you can hopefully tell from my review I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will definitely look out for the author again.
Thank you so much to the author for including me in this blog tour and for allowing me the access to this book in return for an honest review....more
If you want a quick exciting read, then this is the book for you. It’s fast paced, and makes your blood boil more than once. I was warned that there are violent scenes within this novel, but really there is only one uncomfortable part and the rest of the book is fine. I have read some much more explicit books that carried no warning so this was a walk in the park and I would recommend readers to ignore the warning and enjoy the book.
Emma suspects that her husband Greg is up to no good and she also knows deep down that he lying scumbag. She also knows that she still loves him so when he surprises her with a second honeymoon trip to Sydney, she feels flattered.
Not for very long though. Greg has a plan to get Emma’s life insurance money to pay of his debts and before long Emma is in the hands of a human trafficking circle. But as the title suggest she is quite clearly unwilling to break.
Fueled by the love for her children and the hatred she now has for Greg, Emma manages to survive her ordeal and her only focus remains those two kids back at home and justice that needs to be served to her the man she called husband.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will definitely look out for the author again.
Thank you to the author and TBConFB for access to this book in return for an honest review....more
Skewed is the first book in the Mercenary series of books about the dark world of New York mafia. The novel concentrates on the meeting of two lost souls Vee and X. X is the hired help supposed to kill Vee and Vee is the daughter of a mobster who hired X to kill her.
When X is ready for the kill he is interrupts two men, braking into Vee’s house and shoots them instead of Vee, who then attacks X, knowing he must have been sent by her father to finish her off.
X things he has all the facts about Vee, the cold bloodied killer, but when he sees how much she cares about her sister, he starts changing his mind. In the end it’s either working together to survive or die.
There is an instant attraction between Vee and X and it feeds the story throughout. Theirs becomes a journey of survival, revenge, love and sacrifice. It’s a clever story line, quick read and a great start to the series for anyone who enjoys crime, mafia, romance kind of story.
Thank you to the author and TBConFB for access to this book in return for an honest review....more
All I Ever Wanted is the most heart-warming book I have read in 2016 and probably in about the last three to four years. It really touches you right at the core, warms your cockles and makes you believe in love, hope and happiness.
For me, the real stars of this novel are the two children, ten year old Joel and four year old Nancy. Following their parent’s estrangement, Nancy stops talking in public. She will only talk to her mum in whispers and in the safety of their home. Joel is the only one to really understand Nancy throughout this time and the two together just melt your heart. Lucy Dillon has managed to portray the importance of letting children be children and work through their emotions in their own time. Sometime you have to become a child to truly understand one.
All the characters in this book were brilliantly developed and I gained a real insight into their lives. From Caitlin, always feeling like a failure, Eva who has to re-learn everything about herself and the people she loves and Patrick, the controlling workaholic, who actually has a heart of gold and always wants the best for his children and wife.
Of course, in more ways than one, it is the children (and the pugs) that save this family. I won’t say anymore as not to spoil the story for anyone but I can wholeheartedly say that this book will make you laugh and cry and want more. It is simply beautiful.
Thank you to the author, publishers NetGalley for access to this book....more
I can honestly say I don’t know how I feel about this book. I have given it 4 stars because it left me with some emotions and the story did make it interesting enough to follow through and finish the book. But I just can’t make my mind up on whether I liked it or not and I think this is the first time I am so torn over a book – on the other hand that is not really a reflection on how well the book was written, hence the score.
The story has enough twist and suggestion to keep the reader going and the bond between the twins is certainly very well portrayed. It also proves how much of an influence your parents have on your future life and on how a person develops as a human being.
Why I am torn is because there were no likable characters in the book. I felt sorry for Cecelia and Sebastian due to the amount of abuse they received from their own father and the fact that their mother disappeared, but it was their own relationship and their own actions that made me dislike them both so much. I found them both selfish and greedy and extremely self-centred characters with no thinking about anyone else that their action could have an impact on.
Saying all that I would still recommend this book to anyone who likes a bit of crime, mystery, psychological thriller sort of thing, because I feel that this book would make a great talking point – just to see if anyone else is left feeling like I am feeling right now. It also wouldn’t stop me picking up another book from this author.
So all I can say is: read it and let me know what you think!
Thank you to the publishers for access to this book in return for an honest review....more
This book is fabulous. If you like crime and mystery then this book is for you. I loved it and it is up there with my top favourite books of this year. There is also a hint of supernatural elements throughout the book which only add to the novel’s mystifying storyline.
The book goes straight into the thick of the plot without any unnecessary fluffiness and the ball is rolling from page one. We meet Joe McNeil, the fallen-from-grace detective, who is lost in his own world of grieve after the disappearance of his girlfriend Kit, never giving up hope of finding her.
And then he meets Nell, the strange girl that seems to have power over him; the girl that seems to whisper in his ear without being close. Nell, who thinks he can save her, from whatever danger she can see coming. And somehow he knows she is connected to Kit and that without Nell, he will never find out what has happened to the love of his life.
This is a novel of suspense. It’s fast paced, with great developed characters and plenty of mystery to keep the reader going right until the end. There are plenty of very clever twists and turns and I can honestly say this book kept me guessing right until the end.
Thank you to Babs Morton and TBConFB for access to this great book in return for an honest review....more
I have finished this book three days ago and I still don’t really know what I think. I know I enjoyed it, but it’s the subject that has my head spinning.
Euthanasia is a brave subject for any author and I feel that this book does it justice by covering all emotional and physical sides to assisted death. Evan moves in to the department as an assistant and realises quickly that he in his eyes there is not such think as a silent witness. When he makes a snap decision to lend a helping hand to one of his patients rather than stand quietly in the corner, he is forced to leave the department and look for work satisfaction elsewhere.
Evan’s experience then changes to assisting patients that would not qualify for euthanasia in the legal way and that’s where he sees the ugly side to death.
Amongst all this, his own mother Viv’s health deteriorates until he is faced with a decision that would most certainly change his life forever.
I had real sympathy for Evan. He was alone at times nobody should be alone. In three way relationship with an established couple, he never feels like he could truly admit his line of work. His own mother pushes him away and Evan kind of looks like a spare wheel throughout the book.
It’s an interesting one. This novel opens up questions in your mind about your own morals and thoughts on how you would like to be treated when it’s your time. It does bring a question anyone other than you is entitled to decide how and when you die.
Thank you to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for access to this great book in return for an honest review. ...more
This is a second book by Shani Struthers that I have read and again she did not disappoint. This book is scary, bone-chilling and spine-tingling – basically all the things you would expect from a ghost story based on true events. Blakemort is part of the Psychic Surveys series, but can be read as a stand-alone book.
Told from the point of you of a little girl, Corinna, moving into the house called Blakemort at the age of five with her brother Ethan and their mum; the story quickly unravels and takes you on a journey of the area’s dark past that history tries to forget. Unfortunately the dead have no such choice and their evil takes over the house and its occupants, tearing the family apart, trying to destroy the love they have for each other. It feeds on fear and hate and turns the family upside-down.
The writing is brilliant, the story fast paced. It chilled me to the bone and as usual I forgot that I shouldn’t read Shani’s books in the dark at the dead of night as I freak myself out too much, but her writing is so good, you just can’t put the books down.
I recommend this to anyone looking for a spooky story with depth of characters, whether they are dead or alive. It’s a solid four stars from me as I would have probably liked a little more history on the house itself....more
If you are looking for a fast paced thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, this is it. I haven’t realised that his book was part of a series, it is actually the sixth book in Helen Grace series, and although I have obviously missed out on the back story of the characters in this book, I still enjoyed this book as a standalone novel. I will for sure look out for the other books and read them in order in the future.
Helen finds herself locked up in Holloway prison for a heinous crime she didn’t commit. And then a murder happens. And then another. With her detective background Helen can’t help but try to find out the truth whilst trying to dodge attacks from her fellow inmates. Being a disgraced cop in prison does not make for a safe combination.
On the other side we have Charlie Brooks, Helen’s friend and colleague, on the hunt for the man who framed Helen for three murders. She has to overcome her boss, her colleagues and her family in order to prove Helen’s innocence.
The pace of this book is set brilliantly, the story told from various characters’ points of view. The timeline is handled tastefully and keeps you going and wanting more.
Thanks to the publisher, M.J. Arlidge and NetGalley for letting me read this book in return for an honest review. ...more
Jodi Picoult has been one of my favourite authors ever since I picked up a battered, library copy of her novel The Pact. This highly talented author creates characters that get under your skin and keep you awake at night, one minute sympathising with them and next minute screaming them down.
She skilfully picks a subject that is almost taboo in our modern society and turns it into a piece of work that makes you think and question your own beliefs.
Small Great Things is one of those novels that everyone should read. A book that should be made mandatory as it covers one of the most skirted around subjects there is – racism. Racism is like a black hole that eats you up and never lets you go. We all have an idea of what the word ‘racism’ means to us but trust me; this novel will make you question everything you know.
As the blurb suggest Ruth Jefferson is a labour nurse (midwife). She does her job well and still gets punished for the colour of her skin. Both Ruth and her lawyer Kennedy are both very strong women and extremely likable characters that develop and kind of grow up throughout the difficult relationship they are thrown into. This lawsuit changes the lives of more people than you’d think and I have a feeling that in a way it has changed me too. I found myself feeling sorry for a person I thought I would clearly hate and that surprises me even now. But as the book suggests some of us are lucky to be born a certain way and some of us have to work extra hard to try and fit in and nobody is saying that will ever work.
I applaud Jodi Picoult on her brilliance and bravery to talk this important issue and thank you to the publisher, Jodi Picoult and NetGalley for letting me read this book in return for an honest review....more
I have never read a book that made me giggle more; a book that would inspire me travel and put me off at the same time.
Tony is hilarious and I will be seeking out his other books. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but the book sounded like a good idea and it seemed like something to lighten my days a little.
Well, it certainly did that. I giggled my way through this brilliantly funny travel journal, getting some funny looks at the gym. It really did brighten my days and made the countries Tony, Roo and Vicky visited so much more appealing. My favourite most possibly being Vietnam. It sounds amazing!
Things do go wrong for Tony, but those mishaps are so worth the books we get out of them. Tony’s humour has a natural, effortless flow and teamed up with so much interesting information about the visited countries, this makes for a fabulous and entertaining read.
Thank you so much to Tony and TBConFB for letting me read this book in return for an honest review....more
The story is built around four girls that meet through co-incidences of wartime Brittan. Ava and Maudie think that they have been called to train as Code Girls, but end up below the stairs to cook and serve the code girls instead. They immediately bond with Ruby, who has been born into service through generations of servants at the Walsingham Hall. And then there is Bella, born into the Walsingham family, but always shunned, who follows her dream in to the war service and ends up helping the girls below stairs in her spare time.
Like many others I thought the title is misleading. I don’t always read the blurb on the back of the book; therefore my expectations were of a novel covering the life of the actual code girls. However as the story progresses you find that the title actually fits, but it takes nearly two thirds of the book to get to that point.
The novel has some great story lines, covering most years of the Second World War, but I didn’t feel that the flow was there. I found the love stories of all four girls unrealistic and the girls themselves annoyed me at times which made the whole book seem a bit simple to me. I am still giving it 3 stars as it was an easy, enjoyable read, something to relax with on holiday perhaps and it did cover some interesting information from the wartime, although do not expect historical accuracy.
Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for access to this book in return for an honest interview. ...more
This novel is not just another vampire novel. It is so much more and I send huge thanks to Chloe Hammond for allowing me access to this book in exchange for an honest review.
Rae and Layla are just normal women, both at a sort of loss of what to do with their future, when they decide to relive their youth and revisit their favourite places in France. What they do not anticipate is that they won’t be returning to their ‘normal’ lives.
In a way of a bizarre accident, they get infected by the vampire virus and transform into beings they never thought existed. They have to come to terms with their new existence, looks and lives, taken in by a Pride of vampires living on a rural farm to learn about their news gifts and skills.
Without giving away too much, of course nothing goes that well for them. Life is never easy and with the added complication of being that different, it is harder than ever for Rae and Layla to fit in and be happy, or at least content.
The reader can definitely see where the author was influenced by other vampire stories, I could identify various TV shows and books, but Chloe has managed to pick out the best bits and put them very skilfully into her book and make them her own.
What I loved most about this novel is the relationship between Rae and Layla. You can clearly see when they disagree with something the other one is doing, but they still support each other in such a beautiful way. They really would die for each other.
The writing is colourful, characters likable and the story flows so well, it just sucks you in and spits you out at the end wanting more. And thankfully this is only the first installment in the trilogy. I cannot wait for the next book to come out....more
This book has managed to make me go through various emotions whilst reading it, changing my thoughts on it as the story went on. There are some likable characters and some not so much and I am pretty sure it does reflect life as we know it in one way or another. I believe we can all identify ourselves with some parts of this novel.
I had to warm up to both Amber and Karen. I thought Amber was a selfish cow at first, but I also didn't think that she deserved what she got. On the other hand she played with fire and got her fingers burnt so maybe karma does have its ways.
Karen on the other hand was like your quiet plain Jane who finally found her voice. As her story unravels though it seems there is such a thing as wrong time and wrong place and she is not painted as the saint woman the author makes you think she is at the start of the book.
Their stories are connected throughout the book and the layers are carefully peeled off to let the reader in and make up their own mind. This is a book about relationships and it paints perfectly how complicated lives can be or how complicated we can make them.
It was a very enjoyable read and I am grateful to the author and TBC for access to this book in return for an honest review....more
The Venetian is set in the beautiful city of Venice and I applaud the author for the great knowledge which lends itself to the lovely description of Venice life and architecture. It sets the atmosphere of this book perfectly.
Rob and Louise seem to be at a crossroad in their married life, having to carry a heavy luggage of infertility on their backs, both trying to pretend they can go on as it is. Once they arrive in Venice, Louise experiences changes within herself - passion, anger and of course the scary sightings of the veiled lady.
After meeting a friendly Venetian couple in a backstreet restaurant, they are offered a trip to the island of Poveglia - the most haunted and forbidden place to visit in Venice. A home to the ghosts of plague victims, who were shipped off to the island during the epidemic and also the ghosts of mental health patients who suffered some grisly experiments in the hands of so called break through doctors of the first half of the twentieth century.
The two-time style of this story flowed very well and I found myself engrossed in the novel right from the first page. Both present time Louise and 1930s Charlotte made for great characters. Passionate women - perhaps too clever and human for their own good. The novel is dark and eerie and just what you expect from a good ghost story. But it's also more than that thanks to the authors attention to details and brilliant story telling. It's a captivating story of hidden history, secrets, sufferings and love.
Thank you to the author and TBC for access to this book in exchange for this honest review....more
FBOM is your perfect charity organisation, helping victims of sexual abuse back on their feet with all sorts of brilliant support. Created by a father, who lost his own daughter to consequences of rape, the organisation helps hundreds of victims in their fight to get their lives back on track.
However there is a darker side to FBOM. A side of judgement, retribution, persecution and punishment which, at first, I thought was a marvellous idea. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if victims always got the justice they deserved and their perpetrator was punished in an eye for eye fashion?
However, as cliched as it sounds, the road to evil in a slippery slope. As the judge or the person giving out punishment – what do you become? Are you any better than them? Where does the just punishment stop and anger driven revenge start. It seems to be a fine line for Michael, the Charity's founder, breaking the punishment laws of the very organisation he build to protect people from violence.
This is a dark, disturbing novel that everyone should read - men and women. It's very well written in a past/present style that I found easy to follow. This novel makes you think and question your own moral and priorities, hence the five stars I have given it.
Thank you to the E.M. Bosso and TBC for access to this book in return for this honest opinion....more