The Girls in the Water is Victoria Jenkins' debut and it's a really solid one. I had no expectations for this boo Originally posted on This Chick Reads
The Girls in the Water is Victoria Jenkins' debut and it's a really solid one. I had no expectations for this book, however I must admit I found the fantastic blurb and the cover very promising and I was eager to make a start with the story. It took me just a chapter or two get really immersed in the book and forget everything about the chores I had for that day. I know it sounds cliche, but really...once I started it I honestly couldn't put it down.
First off, I absolutely love a good police procedural, especially if it features female detectives (blame Angela Marsons and her DI Kim Stone for that). In this book (which is also the first in a brand new crime/thriller series) we have two female detectives, Alex King and Chloe Lane who work side by side in solving crimes. The two women are not alike however they do make an interesting team. Alex King is divorced, slightly bitter lady (but it appears she has a good reason for that) and Chloe is in her 20ties, very ambitious (as described by Alex), however has a bit of a dark past. The book is set in Wales, which I found really interesting as i haven't read many crime books set in Wales, however is not that strong on location. But that's totally OK, as the story is much more than that.
One day a female body is found on the river bank and Detectives King and Lane are called at the scene. The young woman's body is in a really bad condition suggesting she's been dead for some time. There are many bruises on the body and her nails have been torn off. What kind of a monster is behind this horrific crime? And who is the dead girl and what has she done to deserve such a fate? Shortly after the first body is found, another girl goes missing. King and Lane are trying to find a connection between the two girls and can only hope they'll be able to find the girl before the monster kills her. It takes a good 40% of the book till we find out how these two young women are connected and that missing link which gives the police force the first piece of the puzzle and hope they'll solve the crimes.
While we follow the stories of the victims, how they've come in contact with the killer and what brought them the horrible ending, we also follow Detective Lane's story of her brother that committed suicide about 8 years ago. At the same time when the girls go missing, Chloe starts receiving e-mails and she feels they are somehow connected to her brother's suicide and an old case of a 16 year old girl who strangled herself. There's a bit of this and that, all interestingly mixed, the old investigation and the new crimes and it makes the book really pacey.
While I absolutely adored the first half of the book and was absolutely blown away with the way the author managed to pull me in into the story from the first chapter, I felt things kind of slowed down in the second part of the book. However, that's not the only reason for deducing one star from the max five. The thing that made me decide on the rating is the main characters. I have to say I didn't find Alex and Chloe that memorable or strong. It's like I didn't get to know them that well, like the story was more important than their personality and their lives before the crimes. I don't know, they somehow felt... distant to me and I couldn't connect to either of them.
However, this is a great debut and a very promising start to a new series. It's evident Victoria is a talented writer who can create a great crime scene and keep things intense. I'm most definitely following the story and will be on the watch out for Book 2 in the series. If you're a fan of a good police procedural or looking for a new series to follow devotedly, this is definitely the book for you....more
Patricia Gibney's books are definitely gems and I'm so thankful for discovering this author anOriginally posted on This Chick Reads
Actual rating 4.5/5
Patricia Gibney's books are definitely gems and I'm so thankful for discovering this author and reading her books. Few months ago, Patricia made her debut on the thriller scene with her gripping and simply unputdownable book, The Missing Ones. Ever since then I've been waiting impatiently for the next installment in the series. Now that I've read it, I can only say, WOW...Patricia sure knows how to create a gripping story, characters you'll either love or dislike strongly and intertwine the past and present amazingly.
In 'The Stolen Girls' we're back in Detective Lottie's messy life and follow her story few months after the incidents in 'The Missing Ones'. Lottie is struggling with her life, still mourning the loss of her beloved husband due to cancer and juggling taking care of 3 teenage kids and her dangerous career. She's really on the edge sometimes, having difficulties in communicating and expressing her feelings. Her partner, Mark Boyd is there for her despite sharing a bit of personal history with him and many on/offs in their relationship.
One day the body of a young girl is found and the very same day a mother and her son visit Lottie for help in finding a missing friend. Could this be the same girl? And why have they come to her for help? Soon more bodies appear and Lottie is struggling to find a connection and if this is done by the same killer. In short chapters we're moving from present to past, from Ireland to Kosovo discovering some pretty nasty cases of human trafficking, organ farming, rape... Lottie also discovers that her late husband might be somehow connected to these cases and it brings her to pieces.
As you see, there's a lot of stuff happening in this book. There are many stories to follow and I have to say I found this rather challenging at times. It's also the only reason why I rate it 4.5/5, just half a star less than the first one in the series, The Missing Ones which I found simply mind-blowing.
The Stolen Girls is equally thrilling and gripping like the first one in the series, however I had some difficulties in following the many stories. It's still a chilling thriller that at times will have your stomach in knots. Patricia has a real knack for describing a crime scene and as in the first part, she doesn't shy away from this task and doesn't spare the reader from all the gruesome details. The topics covered in this book are rather sensitive and I think she did an amazing job in connecting the past with the present crimes.
Overall, this is definitely a great thriller and follow up in the series and I can't wait to see what Patricia has in store for us next. I'll definitely be following this series in the future as well as read everything Patricia ever writes, cause I simply love her writing style. Layered and clever, not to forget simply unputdownable, 'The Stolen Girls' definitely deserves to be on your reading lists. Especially if you're a fan of crime/thriller, I think you'll absolutely love Patricia's books. However, one piece of advice, though they can be read as stand alones, I advise you to start with the first one so you can get to know Lottie better and get a better feel of the dynamics in her relationship/partnership with Boyd and the rest of the team. Enjoy!...more
Summer's just begun but I've already found a book that will go on my TOP 5 summer reads list! OMG Sue Watson hasOriginally posted on This Chick Reads
Summer's just begun but I've already found a book that will go on my TOP 5 summer reads list! OMG Sue Watson has done it again! Once again she proves she creates the yummiest and funniest books. As someone who's read all of her books and has been devotedly following her work for years, I can say (without a single doubt) this is definitely the best she's written! I have so much love for this book I honestly don't know even where to start with my review. I just feel like screaming from the rooftop, JUST READ THE BOOK! But I know that won't please you and if you're here, you're obviously looking for at least few coherent sentences to tell you what the book is about. So...I will try, I'll really do my best but know from start that my review won't do it justice.
First off, this is THE PERFECT summer book! Not just because there's tons of ice creams flavours mentioned (OK, that's a big bonus), or even because it's set in a beautiful, picturesque place by the sea, Appledore. In my opinion, what makes this book the perfect summer read is that strong feel good factor that oozes through the pages and that effortless humour which is undoubtedly Sue's forte. It's definitely one of the wittiest and most fun books I've ever read and though I already loved every single book Sue's written, this one was sheer brilliance. It's actually the book I wish I had written (Ha! IF only I had Sue's talent).
'Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice-Cream' is the second installment in The Ice Cream series, and while I really enjoyed the first one and could feel this will be a terrific series, this book simply exceeded all my expectations. Once again we're back in beautiful Appledore where we also meet some of the characters from the first book (Ella and her cousin Gina, who own Caprioni's Ice-Cream Cafe and amazing Sue is there too). I loved reading about Ella and seeing how life turned out for her. However, the main character in this book is Dani, the assistant manager at Caprioni's. Dani is simply brilliant! Think of Jemima J approaching her 40s. She's the ultimate chick lit heroine, upbeat, single and with such zest for life (and ice creams). She's a big foodie, always has been. Chips, chocolate, doughnuts, and of course ice cream is on her daily menu. She's always been on the plus size, however there's a big reason why she's so much into comfort food. Now she's approaching 40 and wants to finally solve this problem. 40 is the new 20 (or so they say) and is there a better way to reclaim the power in your life (and get your revenge for the broken heart) than by becoming an attractive and stylish adult?
Each of the chapters is named after a diet she's tried in her life (and boy, she's tried so many of them!) and starts with a Diary entry which will make you laugh out loud. As in all of Sue's books, there's a message for every woman out there, a message that will warm your hearts. As we follow Dani's story, from one failed diet to the next, one gym injury to the next, through tears and laughter we get to realize (once again) that there's more to life than having the 'perfect' body. And what's a perfect body anyway? We all definite it differently, right?
Yet as light as this book is, it still speaks about many important subjects such as self love (or the lack of it) and body shaming (which we see so often in today's society). Everywhere we go we're bombarded by these skinny and unhealthy girls looking at us from the cover of those glossy magazines and our culture demands we follow their example. Many times those who don't follow this trend are mocked and bullied in such horrific ways it scars their personality for life. Through Dani, Sue speaks on behalf of many women out there, women who just want to be accepted. This is why I think many women will be able to connect to Dani on so many levels and cheer for her from the start. She's such a lovable character and definitely one of my fave book heroines.
This is also one of these rare books where I liked all the characters (except for Jude) and all of them were so interesting. I really wish I get to see more of Karla, she's Dani's BFF and one fantastic lady. She's always there for Dani and has been her biggest support for the last two decades. I absolutely loved their bond, how strong it is and how much they accept each other's differences.
If you were wondering if there's any romance, oh yes there is. It's Classic Sue Watson so the romance is gradually built and will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. But there will be some drama too, so I won't say anything more to spoil it for you.
This is one hell of a gorgeous summer book and if you're looking for something light and easy, yet a book that will make you feel so so soooo good, this is definitely the one. Sue really sets the bar high this time and I can't wait to see what will be happening in Appledore next. While I was extremely sad to say bye to Dani, I have fingers crossed tightly she makes another appearance in some of Sue's other books. Yup, she totally got under my skin! Witty, delicious yet absolutely calorie-free, this is definitely Sue's best book yet. Even if you haven't read the first part in the series, you can easily jump into this one. I promise, you're going to love it....more
'Practice Makes Perfect' is the second book from Peeny Parkes and it's part of a series based around a large mediOriginally posted on This Chick Reads
'Practice Makes Perfect' is the second book from Peeny Parkes and it's part of a series based around a large medical practice. Last year Penny published her debut and the first part in the series, 'Out of Practice' which was winner of the RoNA for a Romantic Comedy of the year. Naturally, I had high hopes for this book too and it was high up on my summer TBR list. Now that I've read it, I can say I definitely enjoyed it and once again, Penny didn't disappoint.
As I said, 'Practice Makes Perfect' is the follow up of 'Out of Practice' and I believe you'll get into the story easier and enjoy it more if you've read the first part. It picks up where the first book left, following the lives of 4 doctors and the busy practice at Larkford. Holly's life is finally looking better now she's in a relationship with her colleague, Taffy who's such a sweet and caring guy. After the hard divorce, she and her twins seem to finally feel what life is all about. Dan and Julia are the other two doctors who're also in a relationship but are facing some difficulties which are mostly because of the change of lifestyle and the practice becoming so popular. After their practice has been nominated as a NHS Model Surgery and a film crew steps into their lives to film the reality show 'Doctor in the House' things get very complicated and loads of drama starts happening.
As you see, this is a really fun and easy book. Even if you're not fans of shows or books about Doctors I'm sure you're going to enjoy it. It features some amazing, believable characters and after reading it you'll have the biggest smile on your face. I absolutely love Holly and could connect to her so easy. One of my favourite characters is Elsie, who also appears in the first part of the series, and who's one of the most loved and wisest member of the Larkford community. While Taffy and Holly's relationship seems to blossom, Dan and Julia's changes and becomes more stressful.
What I enjoyed most about this book is the easy writing style and the characters. While there were some parts (scenes) which I don't think added much to the plot, and could easily be left out, I still enjoyed the book. That's my only complaint, the book could've been shorter which would undoubtedly add a bit to the the pace.
Still, I'm absolutely thrilled I got the chance to read this book and I wonder what Penny has in store for us next. This is a gorgeous summer book and if you're off on a holiday soon, I advise you to pack a copy of it. If you're looking for a warm story with a strong feel good factor, this is the book for you! Perfect for some chillaxing at the beach (or by the pool) and forgetting all about your every day problems....more
Isn't it a wonderful feeling when you discover a new series you're excited to read and can't wait for the neOriginally posted on This Chick Reads
Isn't it a wonderful feeling when you discover a new series you're excited to read and can't wait for the next installment? Honestly, I can hardly believe this is Liz Eeles' debut. I don't know if she's previously published something under a different name or if she self published before signing up with Bookouture, but all I know is this woman can write!
You know, as someone who's read tons of chick lits/rom com's and women's fiction over the years, it's kind of hard to impress me. I've seen it all, the cliches, the predictable story lines, the humour and don't get me wrong. This is not a bad thing. Chick lit/women's fiction is my fave genre and I can't ever see me not reading it. However, I've 'learned' all the tricks and really got a good feel of the genre so I kind of know what to expect even before I start reading the book.
Now, while I haven't heard of Liz Eeles' before, I read the blurb and the last sentence, the comparison of her writing with Alex Brown's was what really got me intrigued. I mean, I'm a huge fan of Ms Brown's books and I've followed her work from the beginning and I KNOW she's one of these authors whose writing simply gets under your skin. But does Liz Eeles 'deserve' this comparison? It's what really made me want to read this book, besides the gorgeous cover that simply mesmerized me.
Now that I've read Ms Eeles' debut I can say that as much as I hate comparing authors or their books, there really is some similarity with Ms Brown's books...not in the content but in the feeling the book evokes. I was totally surprised to see myself laughing out loud from the first page. But no, the book is not all laughs, but there's a nice balance between laugh out moments and more serious tone when needed.
In this part #1 of Salt Bay series, Annie's Lovely Choir by the Sea (really wish the title is shorter), we follow Annabel (Annie), a young woman approaching her 30s, who receives a letter from a solicitor in which she's asked to meet her great-aunt Alice in Salt Bay, Cornwall. However, this is rather a shock as Annie didn't even know her great-aunt. In fact, she doesn't know any of her relatives as her mum had her young and was kind of thrown away from her house. It's always been just the two of them, and now her mum is gone...she's all by herself doing the best she can to take care of herself. She's not ready to commit to anything really, she hates staying at a job for too long and after a year at her last work she decides to leave it. She's also not to keen on starting a family which is why her boyfriend dumps her, telling her she never wanted to commit anyway so why waste their time. Overall, Annie is someone who likes to enjoy her freedom in every aspect and while I didn't feel she's an adventurer, I could feel her fear of being tied down. Not having any better plans, Annie decides to meet her great aunt, Alice and give Salt Bay a chance. It's there that she discovers many secrets about her family but also feels the community and being part of something bigger for the first time.
It took me a while to get to like Annie, not because she's a commitment phobic but cause I didn't really feel her words. It's like I didn't feel her narration for the first few chapters, I simply couldn't take her for a girl who doesn't like starting a family. It could be just me but the first few chapters though funny weren't that much convincing. However, as Annie comes to Salt Bay and we really get to see who she is, things start coming to place. Not only did I start to root for her, I have to admit I adored her. While you can expect from the title the book would be all about a Choir she and her friend resurrected, it's actually in the back of the story. I wish we got to see more of that and their contribution. However, this story is about so many things. It's about family, love, friendship and the community. It's about discovering yourself again and again.
Overall, Annie's Lovely Choir by the Sea is a wonderful start to a new series and one I'll gladly follow and expect every new installment. If you're looking for a feel good rom com set by the beautiful, picturesque Cornish seaside, no need to look any further. I'm definitely impressed with Liz Eeles' writing and can see she really owns the rom com genre. I have a feeling we shall be hearing a lot about her in the future and I'm really thrilled any time I discover a new talented author. Gorgeous story with equally gorgeous characters (most of them) from a fresh, new and powerful voice on the chick lit scene....more
Ella's Ice Cream-Summer is a delicious book and brilliant start to a new series by Sue Watson. While in many Originally posted on This Chick Reads
Ella's Ice Cream-Summer is a delicious book and brilliant start to a new series by Sue Watson. While in many ways it's everything I expected from Sue, she still manages to surprise me. When I say this I firstly mean the amazing, fresh and effortless humor. Simply said, Sue KNOWS how to make you laugh. It's like it's in her DNA and is one of the main reasons why I'm such a huge fan of her writing.
If you've read Sue Watson's book before you'd also know she does love writing about food and baking. So, it was no surprise she decided to write a whole series dedicated to an Ice Cream Cafe. And while there's so many amazing descriptions of ice cream flavours that will make your mouth water, this book is more than that.
The story follows Ella who's recently been laid off, her two kids are already grown up and leaving the nest to explore these exotic places and learn about the world by themselves. Even though her mum came to stay with them for short time, she seems well settled with Ella and there's no indication she's planning on leaving. Ella feels tired, alone but still she's doing her best to keep a smile on her face and please everyone. She's a born pleaser, always putting herself and her needs last. One day she finds out her aunt, Sophia, the owner of a cafe left her an ice cream van and that's when Ella's world changes in many ways.
The thing is, aunt Sophia and her mum fell apart long time ago and seems her mum never really missed her sister. She does remember a time when she enjoyed visiting Appledore and her aunt, especially cause she loved her cousin, Gina. But then Gina left to marry some hot shot and even though they tried to keep in touch, the letters came less and less often...till they finally stopped. it's funny how a family can fall apart. And sometimes for no reason. But is there a reason why her mum and Sophia decided to stop being in each others' lives?
As you see, there's a bit of a mystery element and some family drama/secrets that will be revealed to Ella when she leaves for Appledore and starts a new life there. While I could predict where the story is going, I really didn't mind as I so enjoyed Ella's voice and humor. Her down to earth character and positive outlook on life is what made this book so enjoyable for me.
While there's also dashy Ben and a bit of a romance, I didn't feel like that is the most important part of Ella's story. I do wish though I saw more of it, but who knows. We might see more in the next installments.
The best thing about this book is that strong feel good factor that oozes through the pages. I swear, I had a big smile on my face all while reading it and there were some absolutely hilarious situations and laugh out moments. Classic Sue Watson if you ask me. Don't you just love picking up a book knowing you're gonna adore it? That's how I always feel when I pick up Sue Watson's book.
Ella's Ice-Cream Summer is a warm and delicious read perfect for a sunny day at the beach! If you're looking for an uber entertaining read you'll devour in a day, this is the book for you. It might make you crave ice-cream though, so just consider yourselves warned. I'm already excited about #2. Woop, bring it on!!...more
It's been a while since I've read a book by Tilly Tennant and I was really excited about A Wedding in Italy. I ju Originally posted on This Chick Reads
It's been a while since I've read a book by Tilly Tennant and I was really excited about A Wedding in Italy. I just adore the cover and the blurb made it sound like totally my thing. However, while I did enjoy it, I have to say I am slightly disappointed. It could be the fact I had expectations as I know Tilly is an amazing author, or the fact most of my friends loved it and I assumed I will too.
A Wedding in Italy is the second one in a series, and while I haven't read the first part, I can say this one can definitely be read as a stand alone. While there are many characters, I had no trouble in remembering their names or their role. However I did read some reviews on Rome is Where the Heart Is (the first part in the series) to get a better feel of the MC, Kate and her history with Alessandro. While apparently the first part is more focused on their romance, in the second part we meet Alessandro's family and see Kate trying to fit in.
The family dynamics is what makes this book enjoyable and so easy to ready. Alessandro has three sisters and while Kate has established a good relationship with Lucetta and Abelie, Maria, Alessandro's oldest sister is really not fond of the English girl. The Italian Mum is also hard to impress, though she's kind and nice to Kate, it's no secret she'd like a good Italian wife for her only son. Rome is a wonderful place, but Kate is no tourist and she's gonna try hard to win her man. One of the reasons Maria dislikes her so much is the fact that Maria has plans of her own for her brother. There's nothing she'd like more than to see Alessandro get together with her friend. Orazia who'd make a perfect wife for him. She could even understand his working hours better, since she's a police officer herself.
The book opens with Lucetta getting married which is stressful for all the family members, including Kate, who will be meeting the whole family (400 wedding guests is not a small thing). All Kate wants is to be good for Alessandro and be accepted by his family. Kate is a lovable girl, she's trying hard to make ends meet and dreams of starting up her sewing business. She's very good at making dresses, though she's not that good when it comes to finances.
While I absolutely enjoyed reading about the Italian culture, their customs and the family bond between the members, I have to say I found the book a bit slow. It takes good 30% for things to start happening and it was then that I started enjoying the book. There's too much drama by the end, which I liked to certain extent however it was pretty much predictable.
What I liked about this book the most was the feel good factor, will the girl get her boy and show the world how great she is? That was what kept me reading. I wasn't the biggest fan of Kate however I liked her and appreciated her efforts to fit in though I think sometimes she tried too hard. I wish she was more ballsy and voiced her opinion more freely. I also wish there was more romance, but I guess I'll need to go back and read #1 in the series for that.
Overall, A Wedding in Italy is a cute, light, easy book perfect for a lazy weekend. While it isn't the most memorable book I've read this year, it certainly made me smile and feel good while reading it. I'd definitely read more from this author as I felt through the pages she's got something, that X factor needed in chick lit. Tilly knows how to create characters that will make you smile and feel entertained. ...more
First off, isn't the cover stunning? I don't know about you, but I'm a big sucker for a gorgeous cover and this oOriginally posted on This Chick Reads
First off, isn't the cover stunning? I don't know about you, but I'm a big sucker for a gorgeous cover and this one caught my attention immediately. As I haven't read the first book in the series (The Beachside Sweet Shop) I really had no expectations. Maybe I expected more laughs judging by the blurb, but nevertheless I ended up liking it (most of it).
As I said, I haven't read the first one in the series (but had a quick glance at the reviews and blurb) and Karen brought the readers back to Shipley where Carrie is off to help her out with her flower stall. The beautiful sea place is nothing like Manchester where Carrie's spend the last 10 years of her life. She's an accountant and knows nothing about flowers (except watching a tutorial on youtube) but her parents think it's a good idea for her to go and help help her aunt as firstly, she's in between jobs anyway and secondly, her aunt Ruby would appreciate it. However being back to her home town, the one she escaped a decade ago brings back not only memories but people from her past too. Tom is there, still gorgeous and successful and seems she hasn't gotten over him still.
The reason why Carrie fled her hometown was to heal her broken heart, after her friend, Megan ends up with Tom. There's a lot of unresolved issues and now she's back, seems she has to face the past. But while I enjoyed Tom and Carrie's story, I have to say it's not the only story we follow in the book. Which I liked as it gives the book another interesting layer. The story of Ruby, her 'illness' and past was what really kept my attention.
While I didn't particularly like Ruby, I tried to understand her as much as possible as I'm a mother myself. I also liked that we were gradually being introduced to her past and bit by bit being allowed to see Ruby for who she really is. At the beginning, I really didn't understand her reasons for giving up on her stall and closing in on the people around her. But as I learned more and more about her, her behavior started to make more sense and I could feel her more.
While there are many things I enjoyed about this book, the lightness and the beautiful setting being just few, I also didn't like some parts. Actually, the main problem were the characters. I can assume what the author tried to do and how she wanted to portray Carrie as someone who transforms by the end, however it was slightly annoying how gullible Carrie was at times. As the book opens with an event 10 years ago, at Tom's 21st Birthday party, we get to see the 'awkward' friendship between Carrie and Megan. I was so surprised to read Carrie could swallow such a thing and actually have a friend like Megan. I mean, they were in their twenties, not actually kids. The relationship was anything but friendship and no matter how much I tried to like Carrie, I felt like I've lost all my respect for her right at the beginning of the book.
But there's hope as Carrie does transform however it was too late for me, as I already had my opinion firmly made. While Megan is evil and a real bitch, she's definitely important to the story and is the perfect example of how evil some people can be, using lies and manipulating with people and their trust. I'm thankful I haven't had the experience of having someone as her in my life, but I guess there are people out there who've had a Megan as a friend. So, be careful when you give your trust, guys - there's a nice little message in this book.
However, the triangle was a bit too much for me and their story was less interesting for me than Ruby's. Ruby's story was really what kept me turning the pages and got me even emotional at times. While I'd certainly like the book more if I could've connected to any of the characters more and if the pacing was faster, I still enjoyed it and would definitely continue the series. If you enjoy light, warm reads and flowers even, this is definitely the book for you....more
Seriously guys! Every time I pick up Ms Marsons' book I think of t Originally posted on This Chick Reads
OMG, OMG OMG!!! Can this series get any better?!
Seriously guys! Every time I pick up Ms Marsons' book I think of this question, and each time she proves me she CAN get better and better. I mean, this whole series is such a delight and a real breath of fresh air. It's the only thriller/crime series I follow, read all the books in order and not only that, but enjoyed the hell out of them!
I was beyond excited for the sixth one in the series, Dead Souls. Needless to say I had such high expectations as I freakin adore Ms Marsons' writing. She simply knows how to make you devour her books. You know how kids feel in front of a candy store? That's exactly how I feel when I see her book downloaded to my kindle. No end to my excitement! And then I read the book in 4 hours and have months to wait for the next one. Oh, well...that's the life of a die hard fan.
But back to Dead Souls. It's everything I expected from DI Kim Stone (and Ms Marsons) and so much more. If there's one thing Kim loves it's her team. They understand her and are such a hard working bunch. But this time she's gotta work on a case (old crime, body found at an archaeological site) with no other than her nemesis, DI Tom Travis. Now, there was a time when these two were partners and good friends, but something happened and before you know it, Kim is out of the station and looking for a transfer which leads her to Black Country. The tension between Kim and Tom is palpable and they simply can't stand being around each other. Kim is rather disappointed to be working with Tom on the case but has no other option as it's an order from her boss. She'd also hate for the case to suffer so does her best to put up with Tom's arrogance and cold looks.
Now that Kim is assigned to work with Tom on the case of these old crimes, Bryant and Dawson are following another one, but what none of them knows is that these seemingly unrelated crimes are all connected. Stacey blew my mind. I'm so happy we got to see more of Stacey and discover what a great police officer she is. She's ballsy, smart and follows her intuition. We all know it's hard for women in the police force, because they're always looked down on, or pitied or ...I don't know what. And though Stacey is part of the team it's like she's got a lot to prove. She does make the occasional mistake, but at the end it appears these were not mistakes at all. I'm telling you, she's so awesome and kick ass.
Like all of the previous in the series, there are a lot of crimes to be solved and a lot of bodies appear. But what makes this one stand out is the seriousness of the topics, hate crimes, racism, every day problems the LGBT community faces. Sometimes it was really hard reading this book because of this. Next thing I found fascinating was how Ms Marsons put some other characters in the front line, allowing us to get to know them better and see how Kim functions in a new environment. I absolutely loved the dynamics between Kim and Tom, it did take me some time to understand the reason for the tension between them but it all made sense at the end.
It really is hard to think of all the fabulous things about this book when all I want to tell you is ...JUST READ IT! If you're a fan of thrillers/crime and had a chance to see the brilliance that is Ms Marsons, I'm sure you're jumping up and down as this book is out today and already downloaded to your kindle! However, if you haven't heard of this series...were you sleeping under a rock or something? Seriously, it's just so so good and you really need it in your life. Absolutely addictive, gripping, clever, dark and pacey, Dead Souls is a perfection! I am dead serious when I say this. :) Another gem by Angela and another wait for me and millions around the world for #7 in the series. I am already getting impatient! But I'm sure it will be soooooo worth it....more
HOW can this be a debut? I mean here I am double checking if this is actually Ms Gibney's first book. OMG can youOriginally posted on This Chick Reads
HOW can this be a debut? I mean here I am double checking if this is actually Ms Gibney's first book. OMG can you tell I am impressed? Actually I am BEYOND impressed! She's super talented, created a perfectly suspenseful thriller with loads of characters (something I usually don't like) and perfect past to present switch. Seriously guys, this book can't get any better!
The book opens with a crime in the 70s. We don't know much where it's happening, why or who is the victim. Fast forward to 2014 and a woman is killed in a Cathedral. Just when we meet 51 year old Susan, she's already dead. She's off to meet someone and ends up strangled. DI Lottie Parker and her partner, Detective Mark Boyd get immediately on the scene looking for clues as to why she's been murdered. However, Susan is one big mystery and an awfully contradictory character. Of course this doesn't help the police force, so after going through her apartment and not finding any clues (except some prescriptions), they're off to question her employee. Seems they've hit another dead end in the investigation (excuse the pun). And then another body is found and seems these two cases are somehow connected. The old handmade tattoo both victims have on their thigh seems not only to connect them but holds the secrets of their history. Many years ago they were connected by something, something which was so strong that bind them together always.
But Ms Gibney doesn't stop here, some people also go missing and believe me, you won't know what will happen next. This whole book felt like watching this super suspenseful police procedural that pulls you in from the start and once you're done, it seems everything finished in a blink. Yes, be prepared to lose track of time and postpone all your activities cause you won't be able to put it down.
Ms Gibney is another of Bookouture's gems and seems they have a hell of an amazing list of thriller authors. Angela Marson and Robert Bryndza to name a few and now Patricia Gibney as the newest member of the team...honestly, sky is the limit. I am absolutely in love with this book and have so many reasons, too many to mention in a review and I know that once I hit 'post' I will come up with some more to add. But anyway, in no particular order I'll mention some of the things which blew me away.
THE STORY is absolutely brilliant, there's something so mysterious and intriguing about these books revolving around old crimes. The author managed so gracefully and skillfully to connect these strange and horrible crimes with some new ones, intertwine their stories and mutual history. Everything is simply flawless and despite the fast pace you won't be distracted even for a second.
THE CHARACTERS are brilliant, from the main DI Lottie Parker, to her partner Detective Mark Boyd but also all the other side characters. If you've read Angela Marsons' DI Kim Stone series, you might see certain similarities, but that's only because both Kim and Lottie are kick ass, independent, bloody amazing at their job, women. But that's where all the similarities end. Lottie is a mother of 3 and has lost her husband few years ago due to cancer. It's a tragedy the family is still coping with and Lottie is really doing her best to juggle between motherhood and being in the force. She's got her usual ups and downs, fights anxiety and takes meds. But she's a tough cookie and is definitely one of the strongest leading characters I've ever read about.
THE PACE is perfect! I mean I'm telling you, it's action, action & more action. There are so many twists right till the end of the book that I really couldn't predict what will happen in the next chapter let alone the ending.
THE SETTING is amazing! Small town in Ireland during winter, it really can't get any chillier than that :). I absolutely loved it!
While I didn't find too many scenes of graphic violence, the book talks about some rather sensitive and awful topics, such as child abuse and pornography. At times it wasn't the easiest book to read because I would feel this awful rage towards beasts who commit such crimes.
The Missing Ones is undoubtedly one of THE BEST thriller/crime books I've ever read and a start of an amazing series I'll follow. I honestly can't wait for the #2 and can't hide it, I do have big expectations for it. If you're a fan of Angela Marsons' gripping thrillers, you'll definitely LOVE The Missing Ones. You'll simply devour it in one sitting, it's that gripping and fan -fucking-tastic! Oh and don't be scared by the +400 pages cause they will fly, baby! :)...more
OMG! I'm in my late 30s and I absolutely, thoroughly, completely, immensely enjoyed FOREVER GEEK. Hell, I'm notOriginally reviewed on This Chick Reads
OMG! I'm in my late 30s and I absolutely, thoroughly, completely, immensely enjoyed FOREVER GEEK. Hell, I'm not even that much of a fan of Young Adult and it's been a while since the last time I read one. However, Harriet is irresistible and has a special place in my heart.
I haven't read all of the books in the Geek Girl series and I blame my toppling TBR pile for that. So in case you're wondering if this one can be read as a stand alone, it sure can. If I did it, so can you. But of course, it's always best to follow the books in order, because...hey more Harriet Manners, what better reason than that.
Geek Girl is the series I wish I could read when I was a teenager. When I feared being in love with chemistry and all other sciences was uncool and geeky. Wish I had these books back then and embrace the little geek telling her one day she'll be a super mum, a wife and an employee and will have the best life ever. But there's a bumpy road to travel while we're able to see things more clearly. I am however happy for the new generations which have this book and can easily download/buy/borrow a copy and devour these fun, funny and comforting books.
As it's been a while since I've read a YA and I was a bit skeptical. I didn't doubt Harriet or Holly for that matter, but I wasn't sure if I'm the audience for these type of books anymore. I didn't need to worry though as I totally loved it and read it under 4 hours. Not that I'm a speedy reader, it's just that it's so damn good.
Harriet is off to Australia with Bunty, her fabulous grandmother and her best friend Nat. She's kind of dating Jasper and has promised to talk to him, though she still doesn't know how to define their relationship. Typical Harriet even leaves him a chart all marked with exact times when she will call, though being in such an exotic country, one she's never visited and has so many stuff to see, makes it a bit hard to stay on the schedule. During the trip she gets into a lot of funny situations, as all amazing geeks do, and I laughed out loud at her clumsiness. Yet she's so cute and adorable, always honest and full of random facts she shares with everyone and anyone. These facts and the situations where she would come up with them were too hilarious. It's absolutely amazing and fascinating how her brain could come up with such brilliant things in a second. But that's Harriet Manners, so special and lovable.
While there are many characters in the book (at least in my opinion) and some of them having their come back from the previous books, you will literally catch yourself turning the pages with the speed of light. You know what else is so special about this book and the whole series? There are just so many lovable characters, it's really hard to pick just one. This is usually not a problem for me when I read other books, but this time I simply can not make my mind. But if I had to pick only one, besides Harriet, it would definitely be Bunty. She's the woman I wish I have in my life, so full of life, pink hair, universe loving, spiritual, funny, caring, memorable. In my opinion, she and Harriet are the real stars of the book. I also loved Harriet's dad and step mum, Annabel and loved the relationship they have not only with each other but with Harriet too.
While most of the book is funny and light hearted, I have to say I was teary by the end. Unfortunately, I can't tell you why because it would be a big fat spoiler..but OMG! I could feel eyes filling with tears and remember asking myself..how do I go from laughing out loud to being a huge mess? It's all down to this book, wonderful, funny, light hearted yet with such an emotional ending. I applaud to you, Holly for doing this and I thank you for giving us Harriet. I haven't read many YA books but out of all those I've read, the Geek Girl series will stay my fave. Harriet is the ultimate YA heroine, a girl you wish you knew, a girl you wish was your family. She's the best teenage role model, speaking openly about her insecurities, being oh so awesome in everything she does and doing it her way. She's accepted who she is and we all know what teenagers are like. The raging hormones and society's expectations keep on pushing them, making them want so desperately to fit in. Harriet shows us that she doesn't need to fit anywhere cause she's in a league of her own.
Wonderful finale to an amazing series and I wish Holly decides one day to bring Harriet back. I'd love to see her grown up as well as see more of her friends and family. No matter how old you are, just read this book! If you're a teenager and ever felt left out (and we all did) just pick up this series and show the world your power!...more
*Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Why are the books we love the most hardest to review? I guess I feel sort of a responsibility to put my feels for this book into most appropriate words. If my review could be summed up in just one sentence it would be 'BLOODY BRILLIANT!' But I know you want to hear more and I do owe that to the world.
I assume you've already heard of the genius mind that is Angela Marsons. If you haven't, have you been living under a rock all this time? Sorry, I don't mean to insult anyone but if you haven't heard of Kim Stone series, that can easily be fixed. Just head to amazon right away and download a copy. Start with 'Silent Scream' of course, the first one in the series introducing one of the most kick ass thriller heroines the world of literature has seen. 'Blood Lines' is the fifth installment in the DI Kim Stone series, but is some what connected to the second part, 'Evil Games'. You can definitely read the parts as stand alones, but if you want to get a better feel of the antagonist, Dr Alexandra Thorne, it's best if you read Evil Games first. Or just start at #1 in the series and move on, I can promise you you'll be able to finish all 5 books in just few days.
Blood Lines is so awesome, so amazing and gripping it totally exceeded all my expectations. And this says a lot, because as a huge fan of Ms Marsons' I have really REALLY high expectations. As in all her books, things happen fast, there's lots of suspense, twists you won't expect and characters you will love or hate from the bottom of your heart.
Kim thought she's past the whole situation with Dr Alex Thorne, the manipulative sociopath responsible for loads of crimes in the past. Alex is in prison where she belongs and can no longer harm anyone. But is it really that way? Kim works on a case, a 47 year old woman, Deanna Brightman is murdered and Kim and her team are asking everyone around looking for suspects. The murder seems rather 'clean', there's only one wound, very precise and sharp in the victim's abdomen. Seems the killer was detached completely, there aren't any evidence of hesitation in the form of small cuts. As they question Deanna's husband, sister and members of household, Kim can't help but feel that Deanna must have known the killer. And then another murder happens. Maxine Wakeman, a 22 year old woman with a drug addiction is found dead. One wound in the abdomen. Could it be that these are a work of the same killer? How are these women connected? There are no obvious signs of any connection, except the same, clean, single stab wound on their abdomens.
Blood Lines is a book that may result in heavy heart pounding, biting nails and adrenaline rush as you try to find the killer, the pattern of the murders, not to mention the depth of the 'bond' between Kim and her nemesis, Dr Alex. There were so many characters, so many things happening at once, new crimes, mentioning of old crimes, deep wounds come to surface...a lot to take in but a truly rewarding feeling. So when you close the book you can't help but send a signal to the universe to bring you #6 in the series as soon as possible. Honestly, this series is so addictive! But what's slightly different about Blood Lines is that Ms Marsons goes deeper and deeper in analyzing the human psyche, the dark and spooky parts, the strong emotions of grief and hate. She puts her characters in all sorts of situations, confronting them with their worst fears and their ugly pasts. I'm in awe of how well the author handles these situations, all her characters seem so believable and ...well, real!
What truly fascinated me was the contrast between Alex and Kim. Alex is one hell of a bitch, so manipulative and revenge driven. But despite being so evil, she's a character you'll be hooked on. She's the darkness to Kim's light and their 'bond' is really the driving force behind Blood Lines.
I have to say a part of me wanted Kim to make amends with her past and her mother, but I'm also aware her mother did a horrible thing in the past (murder of Kim's brother). And this also adds to the pace. Will she or won't she forgive her mum? After 2 decades of being in an institution, has her mother finally realized what she's done? Has she felt the deep remorse, has she changed? What would we do if we were in Kim's shoes? Could any of us forgive someone for such a horrible crime? Got me thinking, a lot. But still, I couldn't find an answer and I surely didn't judge Kim for her choices. But I felt more connected to Kim (which surprised me, as I thought I already knew what she's capable of). I also feel with each new book the reader is peeling a layer after layer, revealing more and more sides to her.
I could go and on about this book but I'm sure you get the point - JUST READ THE BOOK! As I've heard there'll be a total of 16 books in this series which is a truly daunting number as I've never followed a character in so many books. But when it comes to this series, I have no doubts Ms Marsons can keep us entertained and interested in her books for a very very long time. So 16 books? I say 160. Who counts when you enjoy something so so profoundly? Blood Lines is definitely one hell of a roller coaster and a book not to be missed! Grab a copy as soon as you can!...more
FUUUUUUCCKKK this book is twisted! Honestly, whatever you expected when you read the blurb...it's WAY BEYOND that Originally posted on This Chick Reads
FUUUUUUCCKKK this book is twisted! Honestly, whatever you expected when you read the blurb...it's WAY BEYOND that! Do I mean this as something positive or negative. Well, it mostly depends on what you see as positive or negative. But there's also this 'small detail' called TWIST YOU DIDN'T EXPECT which is obviously something we like in fiction but hate in real life. But back to fiction and twists, boy...there's HUNDREDS of twists in this book! Honestly, I was reading this book and all of a sudden I felt this great challenge (mean this in the most enthusiastic and nice way) to use both my left and right side of the brain and fucking predict what will happen next (and by next I mean in the next chapter!). And you know what, no matter what my assumptions were, Katerina proved me wrong. Boy does she have a vivid imagination and skills which seem even arrogant at times (only if you perceive them that way). Here I was, holding the book in my hand, trying to use my previous experience in crime/mystery books or TV shows and I get caught up in this BIG WEB Katerina so cleverly fabricated. She bloody owns her story! AMAZING!
'The Secret' is the second installment in the DS Imogen Grey series and once you realise it's a series the first thing on your mind is, if you need to read the first part (The Teacher) before moving on to this one. Well, both yes and no. No, you don't need to read the first one and can jump to this second meeting the MCs, Imogen and her partner Adrian, but why the hell would you deprive yourself of the pleasure to meet these awesome characters even closer? While you'd be following a 'new' case, there are some unresolved issues from DS Imogen Grey's past which might confuse you a bit if you just jump to reading the second half. And even if you're that smart to connect the dots so fast (hats off to you) you'll miss out on feeling the characters on a deeper level which might overall influence your enjoyment. So, if you want MY opinion, yes, read the first installment first. You'll devour it in a sitting and then go to The Secret.
The book opens with a case of an undercover cop missing which is just a small drop in the big ocean of events that will happen. Make sure you pay attention to characters, past to present switches and some unresolved issues. They'll pop rather often and at first might seem irrelevant, but they are woven smartly in the big picture. Bridget Reid is a cop working undercover as a prostitute, working on a complex case which involves drugs ad loads of more illegal activities. Maybe even women trafficking? One day while waiting for her 'customer', her flatmates (also prostitutes) are killed, but it's Bridget who was supposed to be the target. She tries escaping but it's futile as very soon she's caught and brought into captivity. Consider Bridget's case as just a platform, like a base where real shit starts happening. While everything seems to be connected to the Bridget's case, loads of secrets (big, ugly, terrifying ones) will be revealed, some very closely connected to both DS Imogen and her partner Adrian. Imogen's a very private person, she keeps both her feelings and her past sealed and she finally thinks she's starting to live a new, better life. Two years ago she's left Plymouth and is doing everything to forget that part of her life. But the scars on her body and those in her inside are telling a different story. You know how they say, you can't run from your past? Hell no, but you can face it and make the past run from you...the new you. That's what basically happens in this book. While working on this new case, Imogen is faced with some terrifying things that happened in Plymouth two years ago, some people she would rather forget and mistakes she's made. Once again she's forced to trust people despite trusting people causing her great distress in the past. The story itself is too complex and there are so many things happening in each new chapter for me to say more about the plot, but I can tell you it's a real ROLLER COASTER. Something which is amazing and definitely makes this book stand out is that both Imogen and Adrian reveal some things from their past and show some very interisting sides of their character, so if you ask me who is more important to the plot, is it Imogen or Adrian, I wouldn't know how to answer. At least, that's my point of view. I don't care if the series is called after Imogen, I was equally interested in both her and her partner and saw them as two sides of a coin, as equally important, integral part of a thrilling story.
My first reaction after finishing this story was 'How twisted is your mind, Katerina?' Honestly, while I was reading I was having this fictional chat with the author in my head, I was trying to get in her head all while resisting her to get in MY head. Unbelievable, that's why I say this book is a total mind fuck! (Excuse my language, I'm that impressed with it and eloquence is the last thing on my mind now). There are just so many moments which will make you regret you had breakfast/lunch/dinner (depending on the times of the day when you're reading this book). Seriously! I would read these scenes that made my stomach turn into knots, making all my insides turn in a very uncomfortable way, some scenes with violence and some very raw descriptions for my 'sensitive' stomach...but I was so hooked on the book, I simply couldn't put it down. If you're someone who's sensitive to this, you better get yourselves ready or consider yourselves warned. But it's a thriller, you certainly don't expect pink bunnies to be killed!
If you're into thrillers or fast paced books that will seriously make your grey cells burn, this is the book for you! Don't even try to predict the ending, though I know your left side of the brain will see this as a challenge. Just enjoy the ride, let yourself go and witness everything. To be frank, the ending felt a bit confusing to me, meaning I didn't get the closure I wanted...but again, that's my problem. Do you care more about the destination and reaching it or that journey? Don't know about you, but I was once again (almost) tricked by my desire to see the destination clearly, not the whole journey. And then... Then I closed the book, felt my pulse and thought 'have I really finished this book in 5 hours without the need to get up?' I realised I really don't care that much about the 'logical' closure, I already felt adrenaline rise to the max, and besides I'm pretty certain this end fits well in the next, third part in the series. Speaking of the third installment, I can not wait to read it! As all the next in the series. Enjoy! ...more
*Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Actual rating 4.5/5
'Destination Chile' is the third part in The Lonely Hearts Travel Club series by Katy Collins, one of Carina's rising stars and a fresh voice in the chick lit genre. What's amazing about this series is that it's based on the author's experience, jilted bride packs her stuff, leaves the life she knew so far behind and completely reinvents herself. It's pure alchemy what Ms Katy Colins did, rising from her ashes, turning such an unfortunate event into a mega success. Like a true alchemist, she's turned everything bad that's happened to her into words which inspire and will surely continue to inspire loads of young women around the globe.
If you're new to this series, it's probably the best if you start with the first part 'Destination Thailand', not because this part can't be read as a stand alone, but because you get to really feel the main character (Georgia) and everything she's been through. You need to understand her reasons for leaving everything behind, follow her passion which might even trigger a change in you too, cry with her, laugh with her and admire her for being such a courageous woman.
The other reason why you should probably read Destination Thailand first, is because a certain romance develops and it would be considered a major spoiler in this part. SO IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE FIRST PART IN THE SERIES, JUST STOP READING THIS REVIEW NOW!
Consider yourselves warned! Ok?
Georgia and Ben are not only sharing their business, 'The Lonely Hearts Travel Club' but they're also moving their relationship to a different level, by moving in together. After Thailand they've realised they are made for each other and everything in the past year lead to this step, it seemed totally natural to move in and who knows...maybe even get more serious. It's not like they've discussed marriage, but after certain events Georgia starts thinking Ben will surprise her very soon with a proposal. One of her friends hooks her up with a producer who is interested in getting Georgia and Ben on a show, Wanderlust Warriors, where they get to share their personal stories and how it feels like to be emotionally involved with your business partner. You know how they say, don't mix pleasure with business? Well, soon Ben and Georgia will discover the meaning of this. Their relationship might be going through a test, but the grand prize of 25 000 pounds seems very tempting. They're off to Chile and will try to beat 4 more couples in some very interesting challenges and get the grand prize to invest in their future. But as you can assume, some things won't be that easy.
I won't go much into details, but believe me there will be loads of interesting situations, from bike scavenger hunt, to sandboarding in the desert, all in a span of just two weeks. There's not a dull moment in this book, I can promise you that. I can also tell you, this series just gets better and better! It's obvious Katy has a zest for adventure and travel, and the reader can really feel how she enjoys traveling but not because of visiting cool places. On the contrary, travel heals her (Georgia too) and as the author puts it 'travel gives you a fresh perspective on things'. I've never been to Chile, or any part of America, but I could feel I'm walking the streets of Santiago, I could feel the sand beneath my feet, I feel imagine Pablo Neruda's spirit and all those cool things Chile represents. It's all down to Katy and her amazing writing skills, of that I'm absolutely positive.
To be completely frank, when I started reading this series I wasn't that big of a fan of Georgia. Besides, we've seen it before with Lindsey Kelk's I heart series, the whole backpacking and leaving everything behind. But the autobiographical elements were what really got me hooked on this series. One could feel how passionate Katy is about this, how she evolved together with her main character, how much effort she put to pour her soul on the pages. I'm telling you, it takes guts to do that! Georgia has come a long way, she's more mature now (which I liked so so much), she's stronger and believes in herself more. She's not one to pity, on the contrary she's very inspiring. I absolutely loved the fact I saw her transforming, from one part to another, growing into this amazing young woman who knows how to turn s*it into gold. I was very proud of her!
Ben seems nice but I wasn't blown away. I don't know, it's not that I didn't like him, but Georgia's spirit was oozing from the pages, it's like she overshadowed every other character in the book. At least for me. But that's not a bad thing, right?
Besides loving the new ballsy Georgia, what I loved the most is the strong feel good factor of this book. I enjoyed their challenges, everything is happening fast and gives the book a great dynamics. However, the only thing that bother me and is the reason for not giving this book the max 5 stars, is the fact some things by the end felt a bit too rushed. It was drama, drama, and more drama... which seemed a bit over the top for my taste.
But overall, this is one mega fun book! You don't need a passport or the cash, all you need to travel to Chile is just a copy of this book! Brace yourself, it's gonna be one hell of a ride! Super fun plot, great location, ballsy heroine, what's not to love? If you're a chick lit fan, you will definitely enjoy it! ...more
* Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
FOUND is the third and final novel in the Arielle Lockley series, however it's the first book by Elle I'm reading. While I'm glad I finally read something by this author, I have to admit I should have listened to my friends' advice and read these books in order. As I'm so behind on my TBR pile and have million stuff going on in my life now, I didn't have the time to start with book #1, or at least #2 (LOST, where you understand who Felicity is, which is VERY important for this book). This could be the reason whyI was slightly confused about the plot and it took me some time to understand who is who in the book.
But before I get to the characters, a bit about the plot. Arielle's fiancee is in hospital in New York and is just out of operation. Arielle is rushing from London totally freaked out (which is natural) and unaware another tragedy will follow. Right after seeing Piers is OK she hears the news Felicity is dead! And this is the part I racked my brains the most, WHO IS FELICITY? If you haven't read 'LOST' you will be slightly lost here (excuse the pun). But to make it easier on all those that might jump into this series like I did, Felicity is Arielle's business partner and a friend. However, there's a bit of mystery as police is investigating Etta (Felicity's goddaughter and a girl Arielle doesn't like much) for Felicity's death. Could it be a murder? A suicide? Why did pass away so suddenly?
Rather generously Felicity leaves her home to Matt, while Etta and Arielle get half of her shop and art gallery (of which no one seems to know) under one condition, they HAVE TO work together and can't sell out their halves in the next three years.
As you see, there's a lot going on in this book. Elle takes us to New York and though I've never been there, she does an amazing job in describing the city that never sleeps. I was immediately transported to one of the most beautiful cities, enjoying the sight and those magnificent buildings. As for the characters, it's obvious Elle Field is a brave author creating such an irritable character as Arielle. She's a bit like Becky Bloomwood (from Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series), obsessed with clothes, fashion and spending money (money she didn't earn, mind you). How are we as readers supposed to like or connect to such a character? To such a woman who calls herself 'kept' as her fiance is paying everything for her? As I could understand from the few bits thrown into the book (which were explained in more detail in the previous books in the series), Arielle has 'advanced' a bit, but still her immature behavior was sometimes irritable as hell! It's obvious Elle Field was focused on showing a transformation in her character, despite the risk of irritating some readers. Arielle certainly changes by the end of the book and gets her happily ever after, and even I warmed up to this little drama queen.
FOUND was definitely an interesting read. It's rather short so you can definitely read it in one go. However, make sure you read the other books in the series for full enjoyment. If you're into chick lit and are a fan of Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series, I think you'll enjoy the Arielle Lockley series too....more
*Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
'Melody Bittersweet and The Girls' Ghostbusting Agency' is the first book by Kitty French (or Kat French) I've read but it certainly won't be my last one. After hearing fantastic comments about Kat's books, I've grabbed a copy of 'The Piano Man' however I still haven't got round to reading it. I've heard Kitty aka Kat writes exceptionally sexy, breath taking romance stories and I guess I've expected the same for this one.
But boy, this book is so different to anything I've read and nothing like I've expected it to be. But don't get me wrong, despite being caught in surprise, I was totally entertained and found this book so fun. I have to admit, I'm not that keen on long titles and this one is super long in my opinion, and though I'm not too crazy about anything paranormal either, I approached it with an open mind. I'm glad I did because it's super fun and I devoured it in just a couple of hours.
As the title suggest, the story is centered around Melody Bittersweet, who's not your every day girl. Like the rest of the women in her family, she can see dead people. At the age of 27, she wakes up and decides it's time to change her life, she'll open a ghostbusting agency helping ghost crossover after finishing their business here on earth. She's got her life long friend, Marina by her side, the new trainee Artie and the most efficient secretary, Glenda. It's not like Melody knows what she's doing, however she's pretty sure she can help these ghost, most of them angry and bitter go to where they belong.
At around 20% of the book I started questioning myself, should I continue to read this book? It didn't seem like anything made sense and definitely didn't seem like my kind of read. However, I'm so so glad I persevered because it's then that things start to get really fun. Melody and her quirky bunch are starting to work on a rather mysterious case which involves three ghosts (brothers), Douglas, Lloyd and Isaac. Douglas was killed years ago and Isaac, the oldest brother was blamed for his murder. He wasn't convicted however everyone in their family blamed him for his youngest brother death. But what is Lloyd (Douglas' twin) hiding and could he be in any way connected to the murder? There's gotta be a reason why these three ghosts are trapped in their family house, there's gotta be some unfinished business. Does Melody and her team have what it takes to solve a murder case from century ago?
Well, one thing is for sure, Melody is the most crazy, fun, funny heroine you've read about. She's kind of a freak, but the good kind, aware she simply doesn't fit in. But she's OK with this, she's got her friend, Marina by her side to feel less awkward. There's a bit of a romance and a very interesting love triangle too. Leo Dark is Melody's ex and her business rival. He's sexy, bit arrogant and can also see dead people. Fletch is a reporter, and there's a strong chemistry between him and Melody. I have to say, I was totally entertained reading their dialogues and wondering who will Melody pick.
Overall, this was a really interesting and super fun read. I'm not the biggest fan of paranormal, but found the mystery part cleverly written and kept me glued to its pages. This book really was stepping out of my comfort zone but I'm so glad I've read it. If you're a fan of funny cozy mysteries with a paranormal element, then this is definitely the book for you. Interesting and fresh concept and fantastic cast of characters, Melody Bittersweet is definitely a series I'm going to continue following....more
*Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
You know how mothers love their babies even before they first lay their eyes on them? How the moment they found out they are pregnant their whole world changes and they love that little bump with all their heart? THAT is exactly how I feel about Sarah Morgan's books! Each new book Sarah writes, I know I'm gonna love it the minute I hear about it (long before actually reading it). How is that possible, e? Well, I've read so many of her books and I've loved each one so strongly. It's natural that when I hear she's got a new book out I know by default I'm gonna love and devour it. She's my go-to author any time I'm in need of a sweet, tender, exceptionally written romance. It's no secret I'm a huge fan of hers and I believe many will agree with me, Sarah Morgan is one of the best contemporary authors out there.
'Sunset in Central Park' is the second part in From Manhattan with Love trilogy and a book I've been dying to read. Ever since I've read 'Sleepless in Manhattan' (which I've yet to review, but will do it soon) I've been waiting to hear Frankie's story as I totally totally loved that girl. From Manhattan with Love trilogy tells the stories of three friends who work in a same event planning company, then are made redundant and start their own business, but it also follows their friendship and the quest for Mr Right. 'Sunset in Central Park' tells the story of Frankie (the coolest of the trio, in my opinion) and Matt and though there were hints about their possible romance in book #1, in this part we got to finally see and feel more.
Paige seems to have find her HEA, Eva hasn't yet given up on love despite not being the most successful one on that field, but Frankie...oh Frankie is the friend who simply doesn't believe in love. One can't blame her, she's from a family of divorced parents who've pretty selfishly ruined her life on Puffin Island. Her father leaves her mum for a much younger girl (and seems this betrayal wasn't the first one) and her mum starts dating practically every male on Puffin Island as her way to heal her broken heart. Pretty soon Frankie's got a reputation she's earned based on her parents' behavior and finds the only way out by moving to New York, the city where no one knows her and doesn't judge her. Together with her two best friends she moves to NY and rents a flat in Matt's house (Matt is Paige's brother).
Frankie is an amazing character, she's strong, reliable, she's a fantastic friend who'd do anything for Paige and Eva. However, when it comes to love she simply doesn't let herself go with the flow. As I said, her parents' experience is all to blame and she's fine being single. She's very happy and is definitely not the romantic dreamer (unlike Eva). This is why I loved her the most! Once upon a time before meeting my prince, I felt exactly like Frankie. I don't come from a broken home and my parents had and still have a wonderful, solid marriage of +50 years, but I must say, being romantic is not something that comes easily to me. I preferred hanging out with friends, having fun, celebrating my youth and not committing until...until my husband came along.
What I love most about Sarah Morgan's books is the fact she invests so much in her characters, making them feel so real, showing you every side of their personality, all their faults and good sides. But it's exactly because of this that you get to feel them and really know them. Loads of women will connect to either of the three friends, maybe even to all of them. You could be organized as Paige, romantic as Eva, or down to earth and a real tough cookie as Frankie.
It feels kind of weird commenting the romance, as HELLOOOO...this is Sarah Morgan! She creates the MOST AMAZING, HEART WARMING, BREATH TAKING romance stories that leave you with the biggest smile on your face. She's also well know for creating some truly sexy heroes, ad dishy Matt is no exception. He's smart, kind, gentle, friendly..basically everything any woman of any age dreams about. As is always the case with Sarah's books, there's a hint of their chemistry from the beginning, and then it's gradually built, finally exploding in a wonderful romantic moment that will take your breath away.
I absolutely loved each second of it and devoured it in one single sitting. 'Sunset in Central Park' is by all criteria a perfect summer book, so I strongly advise you to grab a copy and start reading now! By far, the easiest 5* I've given this year and I CAN NOT WAIT to read Eva's story. ...more
*Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
And we're back in Tindledale! The place where you find yourself, get in touch with your feelings and start afresh. Oh how I waited to get back to this enchanting little village. Everything seems to change but Tinderdale stays the same, making it truly a magical place to heal your wounds.
'The Secret of Orchard Cottage' is the third book in the Tindledale series by amazingly talented Alexandra Brown. Ever since ARCs went live on NetGalley, twitter literally went mad with comments about this book. Most of my friends commented on how this is probably Alex's best book yet, and I was really impatient to grab a copy and start reading. The Tindledale series is rather different to Alex's earlier books i.e. The Carrington's series. They were more fluffy, light or what we'd call - beach reads. However, Tindledale books, especially the latest 'The Secret of Orchard Cottage' are more serious, more complex and layered. Whatever I was expecting from Alex, I surely didn't expect this. While I knew I would once again read her beautiful descriptions of the most amazing place, I didn't expect such a beautiful and layered story.
I had tears in my eyes just from reading the opening, and it's safe to say it's one of the best I've probably ever read. I was like, what happens to Winnie? I want to know more about Winnie! Alex does an excellent work in getting you hooked in just few pages, I bow to her brilliance in doing that. The book starts with Winnie leaving home for WWII, following her brothers' footsteps and leaving behind her younger sister Edith (Edie) and her parents. Everyone is so proud of her, she's brave, ambitious and wants to make a difference. In a way, her younger sister Edie is slightly jealous of her and all the adventures that are ahead of Winnie. However, this is where the Prologue stops and we have no idea what happens to Winnie during the war. Fast forward many years we meet April, who's lost her husband to a terrible illness and despite being a year and a half since he passed away, she can't move on with her life. Even her stepchildren encourage her to start over and think of the future, but April is still heartbroken, losing the only man she loved, the man who supported her and despite not being married for a long time, showed her what true love is. There's one scene which I'd like to share with you (as I don't consider it as a spoiler) that really broke my heart. April is celebrating her Birthday and she receives flowers and a card from her late husband. He arranged with the florist to deliver April flowers every Birthday (for a long time) and this literally crushed my heart into pieces. How thoughtful and noble for someone who was dying to think of his love, so selflessly... Even after been diagnosed with a terminal disease, he put April's happiness first, planning even the slightest detail to ease her life without him. If this is not true love, then I don't know what is! I couldn't help but put myself in her shoes, while the pain would undoubtedly still be there no matter how many years pass, at least we had some time (no matter how long) of sheer happiness and someone even from their grave is thinking of us. There's something so romantic and even poetic about this, right?
Moving on...after receiving a letter from her great aunt Edith (Edie), April decides to visit her and the old house in Tindledale. Edith is now in her 90s and April hasn't seen her for three years. She fears about of the state she'll find both her great aunt and the house in, however she doesn't have any other relatives and she owes so much to lovely Edith. But there's another reason why she's impatient to get to Tindledale, Edith called her 'Winnie' in her letter, but who is 'Winnie'? Is it dementia, or there's a relative or a daughter of Edie's April doesn't know about?
As you see, this book offers so much, there's a beautiful story about grief, overcoming it and starting afresh, and also there's the mystery element around Winnie and her history. The wonderful descriptions of Tindledale, the house and garden are a major bonus as you'll really feel transported to this amazing fictional place, wishing it was real and you rented a house there. But I'm not gonna lie, while I absolutely enjoyed every page of this book, I was waiting for the mystery to be unraveled. I couldn't wait to find out more about Winnie and what really happened to her during the war. Having said this, I had to wait and come rather far in the book to learn more about the mystery. While I know that Alex was building the suspense and that's perfectly normal, I wish I didn't have to wait so much to get to the mystery part. This is the only reason for deducing 1* (1/2* actually) from the max 5/5 rating.
But other than that, I really have no remarks regarding the story itself, or the characters. I absolutely loved April, and not only loved but respected and understood her completely. I loved the fact she's close to her stepchildren, who are grown ups yet have a strong, solid bond with April. April is a lovely, caring person you can't help but love. She gets under your skin very fast, and is such a sweet and sensitive person. It was really easy to connect with her and enjoy every moment of her transformation. I cheered for her and secretly hoped she'll find a way to mend her broken heart.
Overall, 'The Secret of Orchard Cottage' is a wonderful, bittersweet story that will make you dream, hope and shed a few tears (or more). I really didn't have the feeling I was reading a book, I felt more like my heart and Alex were having a dialogue or like I was watching a beautiful movie. As always is the case with her books, time flies and before you know it, you've reached the last page. I really can't wait for the next Tindledale story and hope there are many more to come. ...more
*Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
As a huge chick lit/women's fiction fan, I'm quite familiar with Robert Bryndza's writing and have read most of his chick lits. However, this year Mr Bryndza has switched genres, stepping to the darker side, publishing two thrillers for Bookouture. Changing genres and going from chick lit to mystery/crime seems to be very in these days (Paula Hawkins, C. L. Taylor just a few of these authors) and I wasn't surprised that much to hear Mr Bryndza will be following their footsteps. However, no matter how much I like these authors, I always have doubts about whether they'll be able to find their way in the new genre. It seems I had no reason to worry when it comes to Mr Bryndza.
'The Night Stalker' is the second one in the DCI Erika Foster series, but can definitely be read as a stand alone. It follows DCI Erika Foster as she's investigating some very gruesome murders in London on a very hot summer. A GP is found dead in his own house, naked and with a plastic bag over his head. There are no signs of forced entry, the security system and phone line is cut with a precision and seems like the victim wasn't even aware of any danger or has let the killer in his house at one point. The profile of the killer says he's methodical, doesn't leave anything to chance, and knows his victim well. The only thing found on the crime scene are some old gay magazines, a possession of the GP. Erika and her team start questioning the GP's mother, his wife he recently divorced and his ex-wife's brother, who seem to have a criminal record and is very suspicious. Was the GP killed by a lover? Was he killed for his money? Did he get in another fight with his ex-wife's brother and things took the wrong turn? They are still working on putting the pieces together, when a new murder happens. A famous TV host is found dead by his producer when he didn't show up for work. He's found naked, with a plastic bag over his head, death by asphyxiation. Erika and the rest of the team are pretty sure it's the same killer, however what is the connection between these two murders in that case?
'The Night Stalker' is a gripping and fast paced thriller that will definitely get you hooked from the opening chapter. I've yet to read the first in the series (it's on my kindle already), however I didn't feel confused even for a minute. That's why I said it can easily be read as a stand alone. The writing is brilliant, and the story simply flows. As a Slavic myself, I was proud of DCI Erika and her investigating skills. Of course as anyone investigating murders, she's a bit damaged (which is normal as she's seen a lot of nasty crime scenes) and also there's the guilt she feels over her husband's death. Even after two years the pain and the guilt are still there, and she hasn't got much of a social life. She is ambitious though and hoping for a big promotion. The only reason why I gave this book 4* instead of 5* is her though. No matter how awesome and kick ass Erika is, I wish I could feel her more. I'm sure as the series continues and I read the books, she's going to become a very dear character to me. But for now, I still feel her a bit distant.
Overall, 'The Night Stalker' is a great, suspenseful thriller you definitely need to check out. I'm not sure how many installments are there going to be in the series, but I'm 100% positive I'm going to read them all. If you're looking for a gripping book you'll devour in one sitting, look no further. This is definitely the book for you! ...more
*Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
'Play Dead' is the fourth book in DI Kim Stone's series and it's Angela Marsons' best book yet! I know I repeat myself, and say this about every book of Angela, but the moment I think her books can't get any more perfect, here she is proving me wrong with her next one.
In a twitter conversation with Angela after telling her how much I loved the first one, 'Silent Scream', Angela admitted that before she published it with Bookouture, many people have advised her to let go of DI Kim as she wasn't the 'right' character. The convo happened a long time ago, but paraphrased, Angela was advised to give up on DI Kim. i honestly can't think of a single reason why someone who's read Silent Scream would tell her that, as DI Kim is one of the best characters I've read about. I'm over the moon Angela didn't listen and tried and tried for the publishing deal, until she came across Bookouture. I'm not sure how many parts will be in the DI Kim Stone series, but if it's up to me decide, it can go on forever with at least 2 installments published a year. That's just how much I love Angela's books, and this series is the only one I've started that would never bore me.
Westerley research facility is a mysterious place, and when fresh dead bodies start popping around DI Kim is called to investigate. As you can imagine, there are many scenes which are not for the faint hearted, but I promise you, once you start reading this book you won't be able to put that. In Westerley they research the influence of insects on body decomposition, and the location of the farm is not known to many people. However, seems someone is leaving a body after body there, and Kim is supposed to find the connection between these girls to find the killer. At the same time, Kim's archenemy, Tracy Frost disappears which puts even more pressure on Kim. How is the annoying reporter connected to the killer? Is Tracy actually in any way connected to the killer? How many bodies will the killer leave and who will be the next victim?
As you see, Play Dead was one hell of a ride! It was like a real coaster, full of twists and turns and unexpected revelations. I tried to guess the killer's identity, but knowing Angela's writing skills, I should have known I won't be able to predict any of the plot no matter how hard I tried.
Full of suspense, 'Play Dead' is the PERFECT thriller and there's nothing I would change about it. Kim Stone is definitely my fave character, she's kick ass, brave, smart, sharp thinking and doesn't let her past dictate her present. Yes, she's had a rough childhood, however she fights her demons every day and as a woman, I'm in awe of her strength.
I doubt there's a reader who hasn't heard of Angela Marsons by now, but if you haven't you're seriously missing out! Get on board and grab Angela's books, I promise you they'll be the best books you've ever read. Complex, layered and gripping, with so many twists and turns it got my head spinning! I really wish I could give 'Play Dead' 10 stars!...more