29 Feb 2016

Month in Review / February 2016

For me, February was a very interesting month full of books that were completely different from each other.  I had Every Little Kiss and Can You Keep a Secret in the chicklit section, Brotherhood in Death in a murder mystery section, The Faithful Couple and The Same Sky in the contemporary section (not sure if that is where they are supposed to be but that is what they felt like) and then I had This Raging Light which was young adult contemporary. 

My favourite book of the month would have to be a tie up between Brotherhood in Death and Can you keep a secret?  Brotherhood in Death is part of a very long series written by JD Robb (aka Nora Roberts) and made me decide that I definately want to go back and read the entire series (all 40 something of them!).  Can You Keep a Secret? was a re-read for me.  I was a little nervous going into it as it was a long time ago when I read this for the first time and I wondered whether it would still be as good but it definately did not disappoint....

I hope you all have had fantastic reading months and looking forward to seeing how March goes..



Received these beauties at the beginning of the month - for more details on
these books in my blog post, click on the picture above.

An achingly funny story from the author of the bestselling YOU HAD ME AT HELLO

What’s the one thing you DON’T do at a wedding?

When Edie is caught in a compromising position at her colleagues’ wedding, all the blame falls on her – turns out that personal popularity in the office is not that different from your schooldays. Shamed online and ostracised by everyone she knows, her boss suggests an extended sabbatical – ghostwriting an autobiography for hot new acting talent, Elliot Owen. Easy, right?

Wrong. Banished back to her home town of Nottingham, Edie is not only dealing with a man who probably hasn’t heard the word ‘no’ in a decade, but also suffering an excruciating regression to her teenage years as she moves back in with her widowed father and judgey, layabout sister.

When the world is asking who you are, it’s hard not to question yourself. Who’s that girl? Edie is ready to find out.

When twenty-eight-year-old Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital, she’s in for a big surprise. Her teeth are perfect. Her body is toned. Her handbag is Vuitton. Having survived a car accident—in a Mercedes no less—Lexi has lost a big chunk of her memory, three years to be exact, and she’s about to find out just how much things have changed.

Somehow Lexi went from a twenty-five-year-old working girl to a corporate big shot with a sleek new loft, a personal assistant, a carb-free diet, and a set of glamorous new friends. And who is this gorgeous husband—who also happens to be a multimillionaire? With her mind still stuck three years in reverse, Lexi greets this brave new world determined to be the person she…well, seems to be. That is, until an adorably disheveled architect drops the biggest bombshell of all.

Suddenly Lexi is scrambling to catch her balance. Her new life, it turns out, comes complete with secrets, schemes, and intrigue. How on earth did all this happen? Will she ever remember? And what will happen when she does?

With the same wicked humor and delicious charm that have won her millions of devoted fans, Sophie Kinsella, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Shopaholic & Baby, returns with an irresistible new novel and a fresh new heroine who finds herself in a life-changing and utterly hilarious predicament…

I’ve lost it. :( The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day! Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive :) !!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

Lottie just knows that her boyfriend is going to propose, but then his big question involves a trip abroad — not a trip down the aisle. Completely crushed, Lottie reconnects with an old flame, and they decide to take drastic action. No dates, no moving in together, they’ll just get married . . . right now. Her sister, Fliss, thinks Lottie is making a terrible mistake, and will do anything to stop her. But Lottie is determined to say “I do,” for better, or for worse.

In 1970, one of Mississippi s more colorful weekly newspapers, The Ford County Times, went bankrupt. To the surprise and dismay of many, ownership was assumed by a 23-year-old college dropout, named Willie Traynor. The future of the paper looked grim until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family. Willie Traynor reported all the gruesome details, and his newspaper began to prosper.

The murderer, Danny Padgitt, was tried before a packed courthouse in Clanton, Mississippi. The trial came to a startling and dramatic end when the defendant threatened revenge against the jurors if they convicted him. Nevertheless, they found him guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison.

But in Mississippi in 1970, life didn't necessarily mean life, and nine years later Danny Padgitt managed to get himself paroled. He returned to Ford County, and the retribution began.

Continue reading Month in Review / February 2016

28 Feb 2016

Blog Tour / A Day in the Life of Author Rachel Abbott

When your life is a lie, who can you trust?

When Maggie Taylor accepts a new job in Manchester, she is sure it is the right move for her family. The children have settled well although her husband, Duncan, doesn’t appear to be so convinced.

But nothing prepares her for the shock of coming home from work one night to find that Duncan has disappeared, leaving their young children alone. His phone is dead, and she has no idea where he has gone, or why. And then she discovers she’s not the only one looking for him.

When a woman who looks just like Maggie is brutally murdered and DCI Tom Douglas is brought in to investigate, Maggie realises how little she knows about Duncan’s past. Is he the man she loves? Who is he running from?

She doesn’t have long to decide whether to trust him or betray him. Because one thing has been made clear to Maggie – another woman will die soon, and it might be her.



I don’t think there is such a thing as a typical day for me, and in some ways I’m quite glad of that. At least life never gets boring! 

As an independently published author, I wear lots of hats. While I like to think of myself primarily as a writer, I do have to think about marketing and that takes up a very significant amount of my time, particularly around the launch of a new novel. And, in common with all authors I suspect, there are the admin tasks and the accounts to take care of. So it’s not all a case of sitting thinking about my next book, sadly.

On an average day, I get up at 7 although I might give myself a lie in at the weekends until 8. Then I usually burn my porridge. I put it on and whizz into the office just to see what’s going on, check the emails, etc and I get totally absorbed. Suddenly I leap to my feet and scurry back to the kitchen to the aroma of cremating porridge, scrape whatever is edible into a bowl, make a quick cappuccino and rush back to the office. This isn’t a random occurrence. This is practically every day, and I don’t seem to learn.

After that, how the day develops depends on many things: the stage I am at with my writing; whether my PA is coming in to work; whether I have a launch approaching.

On days when I’m writing, I try to do nothing else, other than answer essential emails. I save the admin tasks up for the days my PA comes in to the office, because they don’t required quite such intense concentration. I drink several cups of cappuccino in the morning, but never in the afternoon.
There isn’t really any such thing as a typical writing day either. I may be planning, researching, defining characters or sending long, detailed emails to my police adviser to check that I’m not suggesting something crazy in my story.

I’m quite organised in my writing. I used Scrivener – a piece of software that allows me to write as if in a word processor, but it has a whole range of features that I use to keep control of my plot. I spend a lot of time on character definition – I like to know what my main characters enjoy in life and what their attitudes are to people around them. I even selected images from the web that I think represent how they might look. They need to be firmly in my head. 

I don’t really break off for lunch – usually I eat that at my desk. Bad, I know, but I just get very absorbed. I usually have a bowl of salad that I can eat with a fork and use the time to do some reading – usually research.

The marketing days are a bit frenetic. I am a great planner, and I have detailed marketing plans – especially around launch time. There is a huge amount of preparation to do – not least for the launch party that I always hold on Facebook. This is actually less about marketing and more about thanking my fabulous readers for their support.

I won’t bore you with admin days – there’s nothing exciting and glamorous about filing and checking the accounts! I do enjoy them, though, because my PA is a hoot and we laugh from when she arrives until she leaves.

Depending on how thing are going with the book, marketing, and all the other tasks, I probably stop work any time between 6 and 8 in the evening, and I do generally work weekends too, squeezing in the shopping somewhere in all that madness.

Despite all of this frenetic activity, I also have a great social life. What Alderney lacks in number of inhabitants (about 1800, at the moment) it makes up for in enthusiasm for having a good time! There is always so much going on, and everybody is always up for a party, a dinner, a book club, singing, dancing, you name it. And of course, it’s the most beautiful place to live. 

The important thing is that I look forward to getting up every morning. I can’t wait to get into my office and get started on whatever the day has in store for me. I work hard with very long hours, but I wouldn’t change a thing.


12 years ago – May 7th

Sonia Beecham almost didn’t recognise the eyes staring back at her in the mirror. They were still pale blue, of course, but the pupils were slightly dilated with excitement, and the eyelashes were tinted with grey mascara – an unusual indulgence, but she wanted to look her best because today was special. In fact Sonia thought it was her best day since starting at Manchester University six months previously. She had always found it difficult to make friends, and the eagerness on her parents’ faces when she came home each night was painful to watch as they waited to hear whether she had met new people. She knew it was out of love for her, but they didn’t understand the pressure it put her under.

She was shy. Painfully, embarrassingly shy. If anybody spoke to her, she blushed bright red. It was an instant reaction, and one that made her turn away. Never in her wildest dreams could she imagine starting a conversation with anybody. She would rather stick her head in a vat of boiling oil, if the truth were known.

She had heard her parents talking once, a few years ago. They wanted to know what they had done wrong – why their daughter had grown up the way she had. So now she had that guilt to bear as well. If only she could make some friends so they would know they had done nothing – nothing, that is, except love her and shelter her from anything and everything that would be considered by most people to be a normal experience.

Now, though, things were changing. Her mum had been so concerned that she’d persuaded Sonia’s father to stump up for some counselling. Sonia had been horrified. The idea of sitting in a chair telling a complete stranger how embarrassed she was to open her mouth in company made her legs go weak. She had resisted for months, but after Christmas not only had her mum arranged the counselling sessions, she had insisted on going with Sonia for the first few meetings to be sure that Sonia was over her initial embarrassment and was happy to carry on alone.

Sonia had hated it to start with, but gradually her counsellor had given her some tools to help build her confidence. The best of these was the name of a website designed for people like her. She had heard of chat rooms but never been in one. Within a month she had realised that she had plenty to say as long as she could keep it anonymous and nobody could see her face. The best of it was, people wanted to listen. She didn’t have her own computer to access the site, but there were plenty she could use at the university, and that was better because nobody would know what she was doing. If she had had a personal computer at home her mother would forever have been looking over her shoulder.
What she hadn’t told a soul – because he had asked her not to – was that she had met somebody online who was as crippled with shyness as she was. He had told her he was surprised he could even type without stuttering, and that had made her laugh. That was his issue, the burden he had to bear. He couldn’t get a whole sentence out without this dreadful stammer halting him in his tracks. They had been talking online now for a couple of weeks, and he said that he thought he might possibly be able to speak to her. They had agreed that if she went red, or if he stuttered, it wouldn’t matter. They were both in the same boat. And tonight she was meeting him for the first time.

She had lied to her parents. She had never done that before, but Sonia had known what her mum would say: ‘Bring him home, first, love. Let me and your dad meet him – do it properly.’ Her mother didn’t seem to have any concept of how things were done now. Not that Sonia wanted to behave like some of the girls on campus, but having to be vetted before he could even go for a drink with her was a sure way to frighten a man off – especially one as shy as Sam.

Sam was a good name. Solid-sounding, reassuring. He had said it wasn’t a good idea to meet anywhere too public. Having other people around was sure to make them clam up and not be natural with each other. So she was going to meet him in a little park just off the Bridgewater Canal towpath. He said it would be okay there, because there would be people on the other side of the canal at the cafés and bars, but nobody would be able to hear if they made complete fools of themselves.
Sam had even told her which tram to get and where to get off. She had followed his instructions to the letter. The walk along the canal was fine to start with. It was quite pretty, and she thought it was wonderful the way places like this were being brought back to life. But as she walked further on it all changed. There was a lot of redevelopment of old mills, their blank windows facing onto the canal. There were no cafés and bars. And no people.

Sonia hurried along the towpath, ducking to walk through a long, low tunnel. She was nearly at the meeting place. As she neared the end of the tunnel, a tall figure stepped out onto the path and for a moment Sonia felt a jolt of fear, but he gave her a little wave so she carried on walking. She knew who he was. He was taller than she expected, and as she got closer, she could see him smiling at her.

Hi, Sonia,’ he said. ‘I’m Sam.’
He didn’t stutter once.

KILL ME AGAIN – universal Amazon link is http://myBook.to/Kill-Me-Again
Twitter @RachelAbbott


Continue reading Blog Tour / A Day in the Life of Author Rachel Abbott

27 Feb 2016

February Fiesta Blog Tour / Hannah Fielding

Introducing… Hannah Fielding
Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.

To date, Hannah has published four passionate, evocative novels: Burning Embers, a ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya; the award-winning Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’, set in Italy; and books 1 and 2 of the Andalusian Nights trilogy, set in sultry Spain, entitled Indiscretion and Masquerade. She is currently working on her fifth book, Legacy, which will publish this spring.

A glimpse of The Echoes of Love
She hadn’t been there long, absorbed in her thoughts, her gaze lost in the scenery, when she was aware of a slight movement in the shadows. Startled, Venetia spun around, rocketed out of her daydreaming. Her heart gave a jerking throb, and yet she stood motionless, feeling her limbs heavy, although pulsing with life. Perhaps it was the effect of her having waited for what had seemed like ages, even though barely twenty-four hours had passed since she had arrived at Miraggio, but she was acutely aware of Paolo’s presence, more strongly than ever before.
He stepped out of the shadows and stood very still. They looked at each other dumbly in the penumbra, almost as if they had been strangers. For an instant, they were alone in the world, isolated in this little wood under a starlit sky, their souls exchanging a message that their lips could not utter. Paolo’s eyes found hers and stared into them, his gaze raking questioningly over her face. A strange little duel of tension battled between them. Venetia’s heart seemed to have snapped its moorings, and felt as if it was careering about inside her. He was so close that she could hear his breathing and see the almost imperceptible trembling of his mouth.
And then, just as she was thinking that she could not stand another second of this searing tension, Paolo held out his hand to her. He was only a few feet away; all she had to do was accept it.


Continue reading February Fiesta Blog Tour / Hannah Fielding

26 Feb 2016

Author Interview / Sasha Clinton

One love. One man. Two chances.

Ashley has her life sorted out. After a painful divorce, she has now rebuilt her life as an editor. She is happy with her life—until her ex-husband Andrew walks into it, opening up the deep scars that even time has failed to heal.

He’s gorgeous, funny and as utterly tempting as he was seven years ago. Plus, being the editor for his new book, she cannot avoid him. But Andrew has his own issues lingering from the past.

Bound together by work, every breath they take draws them closer, into the same hopeless, passionate love that they once shared...

Sasha is offering the first five chapters of the book (45 pages) as a free download to anyone who subscribes to her newsletter


1.  If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
A-There are so many talented authors out there. I'd be lucky to work with any of them. With collaboration, I think it's more important to share a natural chemistry and similar writing style with the other person than it is to admire their work. But I think I'd love to work with Courtney Milan, even though I don't write historical romances, because she's my author of the moment.  

2.  What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
A-I write in my room, from noon till about three in the afternoon, then again from nine pm to midnight. These are the hours when I feel most creative. I'm a routine freak, so I attempt to stick to this pattern as much as I can, but there are days when the unexpected happens, so I try to flexible as well. 

3.  What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
A-Dealing with the 'bad' days—there are days when I feel like everything I'm writing is garbage and the story is going nowhere. But I've come to realize that dealing with self-doubt is as much as part of a writer's life as writing books. 

4.  When and why did you first start writing?
A-I first started writing when I was nine or ten years old. I used to write poems and short stories back then, some of which were published in newspapers, magazines etc. My first 'novel' was written when I was thirteen, but obviously, it wasn't a real novel. I've been writing pretty much regularly since then, though I did take a break when I was at university. 

5.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?
A-I've wanted to write a second-chances romance about a divorced couple who get back together for a long time, and the book grew out of that desire. 

6.  Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
A-I'm a big reader, but I tend to read in bursts. I'll devour ten to fifteen books in a week or two, then not read anything for a month. I'm currently reading a few books at once—Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts, Once Upon a Marquess and The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer,  as well as a few non-fiction books, but I'm not close to finishing any of them.

7.  Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
A-Believe in yourself and write what feels true to you. Writing is more about discovering yourself than trying to please others. 

Continue reading Author Interview / Sasha Clinton

25 Feb 2016


Book Review / The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward

In this heartrending and poignant novel, award-winning author Amanda Eyre Ward tells the story of Alice Conroe, a forty year old Texas barbecue owner who has the perfect life, except she and her husband long for a child. Unable to conceive, she’s trying desperately to adopt but her destiny is quickly altered by a young woman she’s never met.

Fearless thirteen-year-old Carla Trujilio is being raised by her grandmother in Honduras along with her four year old twin brothers. Her mother is sending money home from Texas where she’s trying to make a better life for her family, but she only has enough to bring one son to her. When Carla’s grandmother dies, Carla decides to take her fate into her own hands and embarks on a dangerous journey across the border with Junior, the twin left behind.

Two powerful journeys intersecting at a pivotal moment in time: Alice and Carla’s lives will be forever and profoundly changed. Heartbreaking, emotional, and arresting, this novel is about finding the courage to trail blaze your own path in life with faith, hope and love, no matter the struggle or the tragedy.

Published:    4th February 2016
Publisher:  Blackfriars
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


What I loved about this story...    This was a very interesting book to read.  I went into it not really reading much about it and barely reading the description above.  After reading the quote from Jodi Picoult on the front (see picture above) I thought it would be a good idea to go into this knowing not much of the story.  I liked the way that this story is split into two different perspectives - one of Alice who cannot have children and one of Carla who has been abandoned by her mother and left with her brother and grandmother.  Very early on in the story, the grandmother dies leaving Carla to try to survive with her brother living in a very rough area where thieving is common place.  I liked how the story was split so one chapter we would read about Alice and the next about Carla and so on.  If I had to pick the story that I liked the most, it has to be Carla's.  Her story was the most interesting as after her grandmother dies she decides to take her brother and go and find her mother who lives a long way away (for reasons that are explained throughout the story).   

What I was not fond of with this story...   Unfortunately, I just could not connect with the characters in this story.  Even thought the plot was very good and I enjoyed finding out what happened next I just couldn't connect with the characters enough to really get invested in their story so when it came to a twist in the story near the end I kind of suspected that was going to happen and wasn't really the surprise than it was probably expected to be.

*** Trigger Warning ****
This story does contain aspects of assault, drug addiction and rape.   

Continue reading Book Review / The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward

22 Feb 2016


Book Review / Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella

Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets: 

Secrets from her boyfriend: I've always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur. Secrets she wouldn't share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is. 

Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.…

Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company's elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her...

Published:     27th December 2005
Publisher:  Dell
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned

My Review

What I loved about this story...  This story brought so much back to me.  The first time I read this story was pretty much after it had come out, around 10 years ago, so it has been a while but starting to read this book again I could remember mostly everything about it and I loved that.  I loved the fact that I knew what was going to happen next.  In almost everything that Sophie Kinsella has written that I have read I have found her writing to be funny, laugh out loud hilarious but has undertones of seriousness underneath.  With this story you have Emma who has family issues as well as many other issues which she 'reveals all' to the man on the plane so its not really surprising that it seems as though she is nearly on the edge of having some kind of 'episode', hence what happens on the plane.  If I have to pick one thing that I liked the most about this book, I would have to choose a part of this book that is only touched upon for a bit of the book but speaks volumes to the character of Emma and that is her relationship with her parents and her 'sister'.  I have used the speech marks for a reason and that becomes clear when you read the book.  I particularly liked that part of the story as there is clear conflict which gets resolved in one way or the other nearer the end of the book.  

What I was not fond of with this story....  Honestly there is one part of this book that I really did not like at all and that was something that happens near the end of the book (and I won't go into too much detail here as I don't want to spoil the story for those who have not read it yet) but there is one particular character who takes matters into their own hands and I completely disagreed with the way in which it was dealt with and the fact that this scene was in the book I found to be completely irrelevant and didn't need to be there. 

In summary...  Just love Sophie Kinsella (apart from the Shopaholic series, which is not a series that I particularly enjoyed very much as I found the main character to be quite selfish and irritating so did not continue with the series past book 1).  I love the way she makes me laugh and cry - sometimes both at the same time!  I have been collecting her books and now have all of her stand alone novels ready to read this year.  I can't wait to get to each one.  If you are looking for an easy read that is funny but at the same time has a great story, you definitely need to pick this one up!

Continue reading Book Review / Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella

18 Feb 2016


Book Review / Match Me If You Can by Michele Gorman

Three friends upcycle their exes through London’s most popular boyfriend recycling website, but haven’t bargained on the consequences of the exchanges they make.

Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk.

Meet best friends Catherine, Rachel and Sarah. Yet to find Mr Right, they’ve been settling for Mr Right Now. But when Catherine, London’s finest matchmaker, gets the girls to join her dating site where they can recycle their ex-boyfriends, they soon realise that anything could happen.

Rachel's office romance James was a big fat mistake and she's more than happy to upcycle him… Or is she? Homebody Sarah hasn't had a date in years but when her transformation finds men falling at her newly-pedicured feet, will her popularity be worth the sacrifices she’s making? And Catherine falls asleep more often on her desk than on a man, so when she builds the perfect partner who ticks all her boxes, surely it's a recipe for love . . . not disaster?

There’s someone for everyone, right? These best friends are about to find out for themselves . .

Published:     14th January 2016
Publisher:  Avon Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Rating:   4 stars

What I liked about this story...  This story was so much fun to read.  It is a perfect chicklit read for when you need a little reading happiness in your life.  I particularly enjoyed following the story of Catherine who is a matchmaker as her day job.  She runs and part owns her own dating agency. She helps her friends and herself try and find 'the one'.  I liked her story in finding the one but won't say how because of spoilers.  I did also liked the fact that each of Catherine, Rachel and Sarah still kept in contact with their exes in one way or another.

What I was not fond of with this story...  There was a lot going on in this story with so many characters to keep up with so there were points in this story that I did get a little lost and had to backtrack to remember who was who (more at the start of the story) but once you get into the story it does get easier. 

Continue reading Book Review / Match Me If You Can by Michele Gorman

14 Feb 2016


Book Review / This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

 How is it that you suddenly notice a person? How is it that one day Digby was my best friend's admittedly cute twin brother, and then the next he stole air, gave jitters, twisted my insides up?

Lucille has bigger problems than falling for her best friend's unavailable brother. Her mom has gone, leaving her to look after her sister, Wren. With bills mounting up and appearances to keep, Lucille is raging against her life but holding it together - just.

A stunning debut to devour in one sitting, Laure captures completely the agony and ecstasy of first love.

Published:     14th January 2016
Publisher:  Orchard Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand Alone

Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Rating:  4 stars

Honestly, I wasn't too sure what to make of this when I first started reading this.  It read like a middle grade story but the description on the back of the book read like there's more than meets the eye.

What I liked about this story...  As mentioned above I was a little unsure when I started reading this book as it seemed like a middle grade read and it is not something that I would usually pick up but the description sounded amazing so I decided to carry on and I am so glad that I did.  This book has a lot more depth than I thought it would.  We follow Lucille (17 year old) whose parents have abandoned her leaving her, for various reasons, looking after her sister on her own.  Lucille is a very strong character who has had to grow up, fast.  For me, the best part of this story was following Lucille's story from the very beginning having to cope with being the adult of the house and watching her grow as a person throughout the story, facing up to various obstacles in her course.  Honestly speaking, this story for me was more about Lucille's journey rather than her experience with first love but I did enjoy that part of the story too.  

What I was not fond of with this story...  Expectation.  When reading the description on the back I had thought that this was going to be a love story and even though that is part of the story, that's just one of many parts of the story that fit together like a puzzle.  When going into this book I had thought it was about one thing but it turned out to be another.  That's not necessarily a bad thing but it did throw me for a bit when starting the book until I realised that there was more than meets the eye. 

Continue reading Book Review / This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

9 Feb 2016


Book Review / Brotherhood in Death by JD Robb

Dennis Mira just had two unpleasant surprises. First he learned that his cousin Edward was secretly meeting with a real estate agent about their late grandfather’s magnificent West Village brownstone, despite the promise they both made to keep it in the family. Then, when he went to the house to confront Edward about it, he got a blunt object to the back of the head.

Luckily Dennis is married to Charlotte Mira, the NYPSD’s top profiler and a good friend of Lieutenant Eve Dallas. When the two arrive on the scene, he explains that the last thing he saw was Edward in a chair, bruised and bloody. When he came to, his cousin was gone. With the mess cleaned up and the security disks removed, there’s nothing left behind but a few traces for forensics to analyze.

As a former lawyer, judge, and senator, Edward Mira mingled with the elite and crossed paths with criminals, making enemies on a regular basis. Like so many politicians, he also made some very close friends behind closed—and locked—doors. But a badge and a billionaire husband can get you into places others can’t go, and Eve intends to shine some light on the dirty deals and dark motives behind the disappearance of a powerful man, the family discord over a multimillion-dollar piece of real estate . . . and a new case that no one saw coming.

Published:     4th February 2016
Publisher:  Piatkus
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 42, In Death
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Rating:   4 out of 5

What I liked about this story...  I was so excited when I received this book for review from the publisher.  I had read one of the books in the In Death series before and really enjoyed it.  Even though this was book 42 in the series, it really doesn't matter if you read them out of order.  This is one of those series that the characters are the same but the situations are different.  I am usually one who likes to read things in order and usually never reads things out of order but at the moment I really don't have the time to read 41 books before I read this one!  I will do one day because this series is really good but maybe at a slower pace!

This story had me hooked right from the first page.  I love books where characters have secrets and in this one there is a very big secret that Lieutenant Dallas has to investigate and find the answer to.  This is very much a guess who type of story where there is a killer or killers on the loose and it was find following her as she investigates and interrogates.  Not only that, there is a side story that is very important to the main story that you have to figure out.  It wasn't that hard to figure out but it was a very interesting part of the story. 

What I wasn't fond of with this story...  Although I really enjoyed this story, it was predictable.  By the time I had got halfway into this book I had pretty much guessed what had happened and who might be involved.  I would have loved for there to have been some kind of element of surprise twist at the end of the book, which this one didn't but that didn't change the fact that I really enjoyed this story and would read it again.

Trigger warning...  This is an adult fiction book and does contain some events that some readers may find distressing to read.   I won't mention what type of trigger events they are as that will spoil the story but I think it is something that you should be aware of before going into this book. 

Continue reading Book Review / Brotherhood in Death by JD Robb

7 Feb 2016


Blog Tour Review / The Faithful Couple by AD Miller

Turn a betrayal inside out and you found its opposite, a secret and a bond. Perhaps that was what friendship came down to: a lifelong, affectionate mutual blackmail.

Neil and Adam, two young men on the cusp of adulthood, meet one golden summer in California and, despite their different backgrounds, soon become best friends. Buton a camping trip in Yosemite they lead each other into wrongdoing that, years later, both will desperately regret.

Their connection holds through love affairs, fatherhood, the wild successes and unforeseen failures of booming London, as power and guilt ebb between them.

Then the truth of that long-ago night emerges.

What happens when you discover that the friendship you can't live without was always built on a lie?

Published:     4th February 2016
Publisher:  Abacus
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher
Rating:   3 stars

What I liked about this story...  Once I got into this book (mentioned more below) I liked the laid back writing style of following Neil and Adam.  What I liked the most was watching the friendship between Neil and Adam.  It was written in a way that made it feel 'real' and as time goes on it shows how the friendship changes and evolves naturally.   This is a great story that shows how much one action in your past can affect the way you are in the future.

What I was not fond of with this story... Honestly speaking, it took me so long to really get into this story I almost gave up.  It has a very slow start and it took me a while to really connect with the two main characters in this story. 

Continue reading Blog Tour Review / The Faithful Couple by AD Miller

3 Feb 2016

Book Haul / 3rd Feb 2016

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure    
Can the best thing happen at the worst time?  Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she's about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend's brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure's soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor's ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year's only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin's brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael's every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

Brotherhood in Death by JD Robb
Sometimes brotherhood can be another word for conspiracy...

Dennis Mira just had two unpleasant surprises. First he learned that his cousin Edward was secretly meeting with a real estate agent about their late grandfather’s magnificent West Village brownstone, despite the promise they both made to keep it in the family. Then, when he went to the house to confront Edward about it, he got a blunt object to the back of the head.

Luckily Dennis is married to Charlotte Mira, the NYPSD’s top profiler and a good friend of Lieutenant Eve Dallas. When the two arrive on the scene, he explains that the last thing he saw was Edward in a chair, bruised and bloody. When he came to, his cousin was gone. With the mess cleaned up and the security disks removed, there’s nothing left behind but a few traces for forensics to analyze.

As a former lawyer, judge, and senator, Edward Mira mingled with the elite and crossed paths with criminals, making enemies on a regular basis. Like so many politicians, he also made some very close friends behind closed—and locked—doors. But a badge and a billionaire husband can get you into places others can’t go, and Eve intends to shine some light on the dirty deals and dark motives behind the disappearance of a powerful man, the family discord over a multimillion-dollar piece of real estate . . . and a new case that no one saw coming.

Continue reading Book Haul / 3rd Feb 2016

2 Feb 2016


Book Review / Every Little Kiss by Susan Hatler

When Wendy Watts left Blue Moon Bay, she vowed never to return to the small coastal town where her parents had abandoned her and her brother. Now she’s a successful Realtor, and a workaholic who stays away from complicated emotions—until her grandmother dies, leaving Wendy the Inn at Blue Moon Bay and mandating that if Wendy sells it, she must put it on the market herself “in person.”

As soon as Wendy arrives in Blue Moon Bay, bad memories, the inn’s poor condition, and her brother’s pleas to keep the inn overwhelm her. Then she meets a sexy laid-back stranger on the beach, and Wendy does something she never does . . . she opens up and confides her problems to him. Since Max Huntington’s only in town for one night, Wendy spontaneously kisses him, hoping to be distracted from her troubles for just one evening.

But when Wendy begins the painstaking process of fixing up the inn in order to sell it, Max tells her he’s staying on longer. He’s enchanted by the charming inn and even more with the kisses they shared on the beach. He wants to help her with the repairs, and she reluctantly accepts his offer.

Although she’s determined to remain detached from the allure of her inn, Blue Moon Bay and Max, every repair, every stroll on the beach, and every moment spent with Max, draws her in and reminds her of the local legend she’d believed as a child: that being kissed by the bay under a blue moon will lead to love that lasts forever.

Published:     3rd Septmber 2015
Publisher:  Hatco Publishing
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, Kissed by the Bay
Source:  Review Copy
Rating:   3 out of 5

What I loved about this story...  I have really enjoyed Susan Hatler's writing for many years now and was so excited to read this book.  There's just something about Susan's writing that I find comedic and relaxing at the same time.  In this story, we are following Wendy Watts returning to Blue Moon Bay after the death of her Grandmother who has stipulated in her Will that the Inn that she ran was to be sold.  Wendy has to come back to the town that she left many years before to help her brother, who had been helping running the inn, get the inn ready to be sold.  What I liked the most was the progression of Wendy throughout the story.  When we first meet her she is a big shot realtor from the city.  She knows who she is and where she needs to be.  After arriving in Blue Moon Bay things change and she starts to look back into her past to discover things that she had long since forgotten.  Of course, it doesn't help that she meets a handsome guy who seems to like her too...

What I wasn't fond of with this story...  Honestly, there is some insta-love here which I felt was a bit rushed and could have slowed down a bit to make it feel more natural (not that insta love doesn't happen but it is just my particular reading preference that I don't like it). 

Continue reading Book Review / Every Little Kiss by Susan Hatler