This book was exactly my cup of tea! Set in 1935, it's a detective story with a difference. The difference being that the detectives are teenage girlsThis book was exactly my cup of tea! Set in 1935, it's a detective story with a difference. The difference being that the detectives are teenage girls, Daisy and Hazel, who along with their two friends are determined to solve a crime which is committed in Daisy's own home. Of course, you know that they will leave no stone unturned in their quest to find the guilty party and solve the case.
I haven't read the first Wells and Wong mystery, 'A Murder Most Unladylike' but I'd heard enough about the series to know that I desperately wanted to read it for myself. I didn't really matter that I hadn't started with book one because this was a standalone story and it took me no time at all to become acquainted properly with the characters. Daisy is impetuous, quick thinking and clever, whereas Hazel balances out her spontaneity by being more of a think before you act kind of detective. However, you always know that she will stand by Daisy's side through thick and thin.
I loved the setting of the novel. Britain in the 1930's is one of my favourite periods so this appealed to me immensely. I also liked the fact that it was set at Fallingford, Daisy's home, with such a fabulous set of unusual characters staying at the house - Lord and Lady Hastings, eccentric Aunt Saskia, Uncle Felix, Daisy's brother Bertie and his friend Stephen and new governess Miss Alston. Everyone is under suspicion when a fatal crime is committed and it reminded me of a murder mystery party, where the culprit must be found before anyone is allowed to leave.
I thought that the narrative, told from Hazel's point of view, was brilliant. It drew me into the story instantly and I couldn't put the book down for a second. There were lots of exciting and important clues to be discovered and I loved following the girls' sleuthing. It was a bit like a really exciting game of cluedo!
There were so many things about this book which appealed to me and I would heartily recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries but is also looking for a mystery with a twist. The next book in the series is going to be called 'A First Class Murder' and I for one, can't wait to read it! ...more
'The Sin Eater's Daughter' is a glorious fantasy drama that will enchant you and leave you wanting more. This fabulous debut from UK author Melinda Sa'The Sin Eater's Daughter' is a glorious fantasy drama that will enchant you and leave you wanting more. This fabulous debut from UK author Melinda Salisbury, starts strongly and goes from strength to strength as the story builds up the tension between the characters and the political intrigue played out behind the scenes of the Royal Court.
Twylla, the main character, is blessed in the eyes of the Gods. However, she feels more cursed than blessed, with a deadly touch that can kill a man or woman. Used by the Queen as a Royal assassin, she has almost become resigned to her life, until she meets Lief, who is tasked with guarding her safety. He opens her eyes to the truths that she cannot or does not want to see.
There are so many things to love about this book. I enjoyed the first person narrative immensely. Twylla is an extremely likeable character who is put in an unenviable position. Her narrative felt like she was talking directly to me and I empathised with many of the difficult choices she has to make. She undergoes quite a personal transformation and by the end of the story she is a changed person.
Yes, there is a love triangle of sorts but it's brilliantly written and left me constantly changing my mind about who I wanted Twylla to choose. I wasn't expecting to like both male leads as much as I did, even though they both have secrets to hide.
The ending was totally unexpected and made me rethink my thoughts about some of the characters. I didn't see it coming at all which is a tribute to Melinda Salisbury's captivating and amazing storytelling skills.
There's only one thing I want to know now. Is there going to be a sequel and if so, when can I get my hands on it! ...more
If you're looking for a scorching hot read, then look no further than 'Rogue' by Julie Kagawa, the follow-up to the brilliant 'Talon'. The second bookIf you're looking for a scorching hot read, then look no further than 'Rogue' by Julie Kagawa, the follow-up to the brilliant 'Talon'. The second book in this fantastic series manages to do what few books can and that is to be even more gripping and captivating than it's predecessor. There's no case of second book syndrome here, as Julie Kagawa cranks up the action, ramps up the tension a couple of notches and leads the reader on a breathless journey of rescue, capture and escape. 'Talon' held me in thrall from the opening chapter and this was one book that I was most definitely going to finish reading in one sitting.
The story picks up after the action of 'Rogue' with Ember and Riley on the run and Garret held to account for his actions by the Order of St. George. It didn't take me long to get reacquainted with all the characters and the plot threads and I was soon immersed back into the world of dragons. I have read a lot of dragon books, going through quite a phase when I was in my teens, but this is the first series I've read where the author is spot on with the mythology and the world building. I love the idea of dragons assimilating themselves into the human world and walking amongst us without anyone realising.
The commentary is shared between Ember, Garret, Riley and Dante, with occasional flashbacks to twelve years ago when Riley, as rebel dragon Cobalt, was still working for the organisation he now despises. I wasn't too sure about Riley in the last book but he has suddenly become my number one favourite character. It was great discovering more about him and his past and I really enjoyed all the scenes between not only him and Ember but also him and Wes, his right-hand man. The love triangle between Riley, Ember and Garret continues to play out and while I feel strongly that I know which way it's going to end up, I am still firmly shipping Riley and Ember as a couple. They are great together and share a real understanding and bond.
There are some terrific action sequences in the book, particularly in the second-half of the story and I was on the edge of my seat throughout these. I honestly had no idea if everyone was going to make it to the end of the book alive. There is also a humongous revelation right at the end of the last chapter which leaves the reader on a massive cliff-hanger. I need to know now what is going to happen next!
The third book in the series, 'Soldier' will be published in 2016 unless my wish is granted and it gets an earlier release date! ...more
Joss Stirling is one of my favourite UK authors and I'm always excited when she has a new book out. I adore her Soulfinders series but I'm turning intJoss Stirling is one of my favourite UK authors and I'm always excited when she has a new book out. I adore her Soulfinders series but I'm turning into an equally big fan of the titles in her new Young Detective Agency series. Last year's 'Storm and Stone' (renamed Struck) was a brilliant read and I was hopeful that she would write another instalment. My wishes were granted with 'Stung' which follows two other members of the team, Nathan and Kate, as they find themselves in danger and on the run.
The story was really exciting, with Nathan tasked with bringing Kate in. However, she is not the easiest person to apprehend and keeps him well and truly on his toes, as he tries to hunt her down. I thought the relationship between the two was great, with a kind of love/hate vibe going on in the beginning, until Kate comes to realise that Nathan is on her side and will do anything to help protect her. I didn't feel the romance between them as much as I had previously done with Raven and Kieran but I think that was in keeping with the overall storyline, which was more about the mystery behind what had happened to Kate and why she was on the run, rather than focusing on the two falling for each other.
I did prefer Nathan as a character to Kate, but I think that's partly due to the fact that Kate was on the defensive most of the time, so didn't reveal quite so much about herself. Nathan on the other hand was terribly sweet and also extremely likeable.
I loved the mystery and action of the plot and the sense of danger that lurked the whole way through the story. I found the ending really gripping and packed full of thrilling moments. This was another winning read for me and I'm dying for Joss Stirling to continue the series. What will happen next?! ...more
I am a huge fan of The 100 television series and an even bigger fan of the original book on which the show is based so I was extremely eager to get stI am a huge fan of The 100 television series and an even bigger fan of the original book on which the show is based so I was extremely eager to get stuck into the sequel. I devoured it in one evening and enjoyed it immensely. Kass Morgan has kept the pace fast, the plot intriguing and the characters interesting and I enjoyed this one as much, if not more than the original. If like me, you are hooked on the show then I would definitely recommend getting your hands on the books.
It's twenty-one days since the hundred landed on earth and they have discovered that they are not alone. As the characters struggle to get along together and survive in their new environment, there is an even bigger threat to their safety lurking on the periphery.
The narrative once again alternates between Glass, Clarke, Wells and Bellamy. I love all four characters and I enjoyed getting to see their differing perspectives on events. Wells has always been one of my favourites and I liked him even more this time around as he tries to be a strong leader to the rest of the group. Glass really grew on me too and I was gripped to her part of the story which takes place back in space. The people who remain behind on the ships are in even more danger than the hundred but I thought that Glass handled the threat with real courage and bravery. She is determined that nothing will come between her and Luke and is willing to fight for their love.
I really liked the introduction of some new faces too, particularly Sasha who Wells gets on with extremely well. I was never keen on the love triangle between him, Clarke and Bellamy, so I'm glad Kass Morgan has introduced another female to the mix.
'Day 21' was sheer brilliance and definitely got me out of my reading slump. The only problem is that because it was so fantastic, I ended up reading it really quickly and now have a long wait for the next instalment. I'm going to be on tenterhooks until then!
This is the third and final book in The 100 trilogy. I absolutely love this series so I delved straight into the opening chapter as soon as the book aThis is the third and final book in The 100 trilogy. I absolutely love this series so I delved straight into the opening chapter as soon as the book arrived. I devoured it in one sitting too! It was sooo good and a brilliant ending to what has been a fantastic adventure. Everyone's stories were concluded properly and no loose ends were left which always drives me mad. Although I am a massive fan of these books, I haven't actually been watching the TV series...yet. I have all the episodes recorded but I didn't want to watch them until I had finished reading the books. I'm now going to have a huge catch-up weekend. It will be interesting to see if I like the same characters when I see them on TV and whether much of the plot has been changed.
The story itself picks up where 'Day 21' left off. The colony is on it's way to earth in the remaining drop ships and the 100 have to adapt again when they arrive and immediately begin to disrupt their carefully ordered existence. Once again, Morgan shows us all the key players - Glass, Clarke, Wells and Bellamy, and how they cope with the adults arrival.
My favourite couple has always been Glass and Luke, so I was desperately rooting for them. I wanted them to get their happy ever after, particularly in light of all they had gone through to get to earth. Clarke, Wells and Bellamy also have their own challenges to face and I enjoyed following them on their journeys. They have had to do a lot of growing-up in a short space of time but they have matured and changed a lot since we were first introduced to them.
Exciting action and adventure is driven at a relentless pace in this final instalment. The various factions get the opportunity to face off against each, as the battle for survival reaches a climatic finish. I have really enjoyed the different settings in the series and seeing how all the characters have managed to survive both in space and in a foreign and unknown environment. Brilliant from start to finish, I would highly recommend this series. ...more
Part memoir and part-guide, Nicole explores her own reasons for giving up sugar and the health benefits that this led to. I was particularly interestePart memoir and part-guide, Nicole explores her own reasons for giving up sugar and the health benefits that this led to. I was particularly interested in the fact that she suffered from tonsillitis (as did I which led to me having a tonsillectomy as an adult) but after giving up her sugar consumption, states that she no longer suffered from repeated bouts of this. As this is my main reason for wanting to quit sugar, I found this truly inspiring.
I loved reading all of Nicole’s anecdotes from her childhood about her love of sweets and puddings, as I used to have an equally sweet tooth before completely overhauling my diet. Although I struggle with the absence of some foods, I’m gradually learning to live without chocolate and have tried to turn all of my previous chock-full of sugar cake recipes into healthier alternatives.
I found myself nodding along to many of the sections in the book where eating out is the main focus of the chapter. It’s all very well only having the right foods in your cupboards at home, but what about when your friends ask you to meet them for your usual Saturday morning tea and cakes? There is some handy advice in the book about how to deal with situations such as these, as well as useful tips about always being prepared with some sugar-free snacks of your own when you’re out and about.
There are some brilliant recipes in the back of the book which I will definitely be having a go at making, as well as a handy guide to which foods you should be avoiding. A lot of things are obvious, such as cakes, chocolate, fizzy drinks and sauces but then there are all the those items which contain hidden sugars and which aren’t so obviously bad for you.
As Nicole states, she is not an expert or a nutritionist but just someone that decided one day she was going to change her life around by giving up sugar. I admire her determination and her commitment and I would definitely recommend this book to anyone facing a similar situation. It has definitely inspired me and it’s a book that I will be reaching for again and again to keep me on the right path. ...more
This is the third book in the Beautifully Broken series by Courtney Cole. I've enjoyed both of the previous two titles in the series but I wasn't sureThis is the third book in the Beautifully Broken series by Courtney Cole. I've enjoyed both of the previous two titles in the series but I wasn't sure about this one because it focuses on Gabe's sister Jacey who I wasn't a big fan of previously. However she really did win me over. I came to see that yes, she had made a lot of mistakes in the past but she was strong enough to realise that and to make a conscious decision to try and put her life back on track and build a better future. She learnt to respect herself and to not take any crap from anyone else.
As Jacey is trying to turn her life around, handsome actor Dominic Kinkaide is still haunted by a traumatic event in his past. Although he may be broken inside, Jacey could be just the one to put him back together again. I love Courtney Cole's characters. They are not perfect but that makes them much more real and human. They slip up a lot and sometimes I didn't like the decisions they made, but they always keep on going and that is an admirable quality to have.
Sexy Dominic wasn't necessarily my kind of guy in the beginning but he opens up a lot as the story progresses and I came to see quite a different side to him. Some of his lifestyle choices are questionable but when you begin to find out more about him, I began to see why he had closed parts of himself off.
'Before We Fall' turned out to be another great instalment in what is a thoroughly enjoyable series about men and women finding love against the odds. Although it wasn't my favourite, I still found it a great read and I loved hearing titbits about Gabe and co.
I would love to read a book about Gabe and Jacey's friend Brandt in the future. He is definitely boyfriend material! ...more
This is the book that I think all Rosemary Beach fans were waiting for. The story of Bethy and the elusive and mysterious Tripp. I certainly couldn’tThis is the book that I think all Rosemary Beach fans were waiting for. The story of Bethy and the elusive and mysterious Tripp. I certainly couldn’t wait to pick it up. Although I was incredibly upset about what happened to Jace earlier in the series, I can finally see now why Abbi Glines made the choice she did concerning his character.
I loved all the flashbacks to eight years ago when Tripp and Bethy first fell in love. I had an idea about what had happened between them but it was great to have my suspicions confirmed and to actually see play out the chain of events that led up to the two of them ending up apart.
Bethy has never been my favourite character in the series. She’s had a lot of ups and downs and she has on occasion been flighty and a bit wild. However, she has also matured a lot and finally starts to get her head and her heart together. By the end, she had won me over.
I adore relationships that can endure, even when a substantial amount of time has passed. It always reminds me of 'Persuasion' by Jane Austen which is one of my favourite classic novels. Tripp and Bethy have certainly gone through a lot and it makes their journey towards a happy ever after even more special.
I loved seeing the rest of the gang and Della and Woods getting married at last. They’ve all settled down and have partners and babies which is so sweet to see. It definitely makes you believe in true love! An emotional and heart-wrenching read, it was also joyous and uplifting and will be a sure winner with Abbi Glines' legions of fans. ...more
'Eversea' is set in Butler Cove, South Carolina which is like my dream seaside town. It is small enough that everyone knows each other, with sea, sand'Eversea' is set in Butler Cove, South Carolina which is like my dream seaside town. It is small enough that everyone knows each other, with sea, sand and romance right on the residents' doorsteps. The main character Keri Ann has grown-up in Butler Cove and it is the only place that she has ever called home. With her older brother away at school and both her parents dead, she only has her best friend Jazz to rely on, until Jack Eversea - a gorgeous and famous actor, walks into her life and sets her heart spinning.
'Eversea' is a gorgeous romance which weaves a beautiful story about love against the odds. Keri Ann wasn't expecting to have her heart stolen by the handsome stranger who appears in her bar one night, but this is a love which although against the odds, will be hard fought for and cherished.
I really liked Keri Ann who is somewhat of an old soul. She is scared of opening herself up to anyone after having suffered terrible loss but Jack seems to wear down her resistance and makes her want to start living again and taking chances. She has settled for a life which she believes she must accept but he shows her that there is so much more out there for her to experience.
Handsome Jack Eversea is definitely my new boy crush! Phwoar, he is hot, hot, hot! I fell head over heels for him from the start. Although he is a famous movie star, he is incredibly down to earth and the sparks between him and Keri Ann are off the chart. I loved the way that the tension simmered away between them and built to a real fever pitch.
I was captivated and swept away by 'Eversea' which was impossible to put down. I would highly recommend this book to fans of the New Adult genre and I am utterly desperate now to read the sequel 'Forever, Jack' so that I can revisit my two favourite characters. ...more