26 Jun 2017

,

Book Review / On the Fence by Kasie West

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.


Published:     1st July 2014
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library 



MY REVIEW

What I liked about this story...    This book was so much fun to read.  I am so glad that I picked this book up at this time of year as summer is definitely the best time to read this one!  In this story we follow Charlotte at the beginning being young, carefree and also a bit reckless having been stopped for speeding a few too many times.  With her father being a police offer, she doesn't get away with it.  She receives a speeding ticket and has to get a job to pay that off.  Although we do follow mainly the story of Charlotte this is also a story about her family too and how they cope with the loss of their mother.  Despite the obvious sadness around the mother, this book was funny, upbeat and endearing.  Certainly something that is perfect for a beach read!


What I didn't like about this story... Although this story is meant to follow Charlotte, I would have loved to have seen more of her family life and more about her brothers and her father.  Maybe that could be something for another story...



Continue reading Book Review / On the Fence by Kasie West

22 Jun 2017

,

Blog Tour / All The Good Things by Clare Fisher


Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn't deserve to ever feel good again.

But her counsellor, Erika, won't give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby's head.

But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.

What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone-even a 100% bad person-deserve a chance to be good?






Published:     1st June 2017
Publisher:  Penguin
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher



MY REVIEW

This was an interesting read for me.  I haven't come across yet (I don't believe) a book that is written from the perspective this type of character.  You have a character who is in prison and obviously does not believe in herself and we are watching her trying to see some good in her life despite what she has been through and where she was.  

With this book I am glad that I didn't looking to the description or really know too much about it before I picked it up.  This book is definitely one of those that is best experienced when you know nothing from the beginning.  

What I loved the most in this book would have to be the character of Beth and following her story as she goes through these 'therapy sessions'.  I won't go into too much detail as to the why, where, who etc as I don't want to spoil the story. 

I would have loved this book to have been longer, went into more detail and delved into a bit more of Beth but at only 280 pages it a very emotional but good read. 











Continue reading Blog Tour / All The Good Things by Clare Fisher

20 Jun 2017

, ,

Book Review / The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware


In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read.




Published:     19th July 2016
Publisher:  Harvill Secker
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library




MY REVIEW

After reading In A Dark Dark Wood, I knew I had to pick up this one up as soon as I could.  In fact, I was so excited to read this one I sat down on a quiet Sunday morning to read for an hour or two and ended up not really moving from that spot until the very last page.  I just could not put it down.  Although predictable in places, this book kept me hooked wondering what on earth was going on.  Being only 340 pages this book was packed to the brim full of twists & turns and surprises.  

What I loved the most has to be the twist in the plot nearer the end of the story where there is a big reveal, you find out what has been happening but the story's not over yet.  There's a few more twists and turns that are yet to be discovered.  I must have spent the entire time reading this book wondering what was going to happen next and who was responsible!  









Continue reading Book Review / The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

18 Jun 2017

,

Book Review / Very Good Lives by JK Rowling



In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, Very Good Lives offers J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?

Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world-famous author addresses some of life’s most important issues with acuity and emotional force.








Published:     14th April 2015
Publisher:  Little Brown
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library

 

MY REVIEW

If I was attending the commencement speech at Harvard listening to this, I would have left there feeling so inspired my feet would not have left the ground for a long while after.  But I don't think this only applies only to those attending the commencement speech.  Having left school a long time ago now, reading this speech I was inspired to do more and ask more questions of myself.  This is definitely a book that should be read my everyone who is not sure where to go next whether that be in life, love or your career...





 
Continue reading Book Review / Very Good Lives by JK Rowling

12 Jun 2017

, ,

Book Review / In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware


In a dark, dark wood

Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room....

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.



Published:     30thJuly 2015
Publisher:  Harvill Secker
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library 




MY REVIEW

What I liked about this book...  Now this was a very interesting read for me.  From the reviews I have seen, this was one of those books that was not very liked (although I know there are many that do like it, it just happened that the people I follow reviews of didn't like this one).  My instant reaction when someone really doesn't like a book is that I immediately want to pick it up and find out why.  I really enjoyed this book.   What hooked me into it was right at the beginning of the story where Nora is invited to Clare's hen party.  Nora hasn't seen Clare in ten years, so why was she invited.  If I had been invited to something like that for someone I hadn't seen for ten years I would not be attending (and certainly will not be now I've read this book lol!).

We follow Nora as she turns up to a cabin in the woods where the party was taking place, she meets Clare's friends and eventually Clare turns up to explain why they haven't talked in ten years and why she was invited to the hen party.  I was really surprised by the reason, it was something I had not been expecting.  From there on, I just could not put it down.

One thing after another starts to happen and I have to say the ending was breathtaking.  There were so many twists and turns in this book, it kept me on my toes right until the very last page!


Continue reading Book Review / In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

8 Jun 2017

,

Book Review / Girl in the Mirror by Cecelia Ahern


Two powerful and unforgettable stories from the Number One bestselling author

Girl in the Mirror

Lila knows how lucky she is to have found the man of her dreams. But when a secret from her family's past comes to light on her wedding day, her destiny changes in the most unexpected of ways ...

The Memory Maker

They say you never forget your first love. But what happens when those cherished memories start to fade? Some people would do anything to hold on to the past and, for one heartbroken man, that means finding a way to relive those precious moments ...




Published:     1st March 2011
Publisher:  HarperTorch
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned




MY REVIEW

What I liked about this story...  I was very intrigued by this story and have been meaning to pick it up and read it since it came out (all of 6 years ago, whoops).  Doesn't time fly!  Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors and I can't believe it has taken me this long to read it!  I had first though that this was one novella but happily discovered that it was two.  If I had to pick which one I liked the most, I would have to choose Girl in the Mirror.  It had a great mix of family secrets and mysteries.  I especially liked the ending, very inventive.

What I didn't like about this story...   I have to be honest and say that the second story fell a bit flat for me.  I couldn't get into it to start with and when I did I wasn't really that bothered about what happened.  I should just say that the writing was really good but this story just was not for me. 
Continue reading Book Review / Girl in the Mirror by Cecelia Ahern

6 Jun 2017

,

DNF Review / The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

'DNF' meaning Did Not Finish. 

A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.


Published:     22nd March 2016
Publisher:  Ecco
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library

Rating:   Did Not Finish
Page Reached before DNF:  68

WHY DID I NOT FINISH THIS BOOK?

I always like to give every book I pick up a fighting chance and always aim to get to at least 50 pages in before I decide what to do next.  I just couldn't do it with this one.  Here's the reasons why:

  • I could not connect with any of the characters.  None of them particularly stood out for me and I just wasn't interested in following their stories and finding out more;
  • I was bored.  The start of this book was very slow paced.  I really wanted something surprising to happen but from the pages that I read nothing had happened by then.  It may be that something happens later that I missed out on; and
  • this book was so hyped up that I think this was one of those that I had very high expectations for and just didn't get it. 
That being said the writing in this book was good and I was enjoying that part of it.  I would not hesitate picking up another book written by the same author.



Continue reading DNF Review / The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

5 Jun 2017

Did Not Finish 'DNF' Reviews

For a while now I have only added by DNF books to a shelf on Goodreads with no explanation apart from the fact that I had put a particular book on that shelf.  After thinking about it for a while, I have decided to post blog posts on these books as well as and when I come across them purely for the reason that I feel as a reader and reviewer I should be explaining why I didn't finish it and my feelings about it. 

As a reader, when looking into books I want to read I tend to gravitate towards two types of reviews; ones where the reader has loved the book and ones that the reader either has not managed to finish it or has finished it and didn't like it.  I always like to get two sides to the story so then I can make up my own mind. 

I always like to give every book I pick up a good fighting chance and mostly always reach at least the 50 page part before I decide what to do next.  Below I have put a link to my Goodreads profile page where you will see a shelf called 'DNF or not for me' which is where I have shelved my DNF books.  There's only 28 in there dating back to December 2012.  I had, for a long time, made myself read a book even if I wasn't enjoying it.  Lately, I have been more selective over what I give my reading time to and I wasn't to share that with you.  

As a reviewer, I have always felt that only reviewing the books I read and not showing the ones that I did not finish I am only giving you half of my reading story.  This is where I want to make a change and tell you more about that here.  Hope you don't mind.

If there are any books on my DNF folder, linked below, that you want to know more about and/or why I didn't finish them, let me know.

Best wishes
Debs :-)












Continue reading Did Not Finish 'DNF' Reviews

4 Jun 2017

,

Book Review / The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will.

One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them. But no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems.


Published:     29th July 2014
Publisher:  Harlequin MIRA
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Borrowed from Library





MY REVIEW

What I liked about this story...    A very interesting read.  I went into this book thinking that it was going to be a pretty normal thriller - woman gets kidnapped, goes through an ordeal and then either survives or gets killed.  This is not one of those stories.  There were quite a few twists and turns, some of which I was not expecting.  There's nothing better than a reading a story that keeps you on your toes, wondering what was going to happen next.  If I had to pick one thing that I liked the most, it would have to be the dynamic between Mia and Colin as the story goes it.  You think that it is not going to be that complicated but in fact it is.

What I didn't like about this story...  I would have loved for this to have been a bit more fast paced and a bit more action packed.   With it as it is, it just felt like it was missing something that I couldn't put my finger on...  But this has probably more to do with my expectations than anything else.  I had expected this to be fast paced with lots of punch packed in but in reality this is a really good thriller with more of a laid back style plot line that gradually grows as the story goes on. 


Continue reading Book Review / The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

31 May 2017

Month in Review / May 2017

I can't believe that May is already over!  The last time I blinked it was just about to turn into Spring!!  This month started my obsession with reading thrillers, which you can probably tell from some of the books I have read listed below.  I am very much a mood reader so when the mood strikes I get on with it!  Unfortunately no 5 star books this month but it was still a pretty great reading month for me.  My top pick for May would have to be The Blood Sisters by Jane Corry.  Such a great thriller which even managed to surprise me a few times (which is a rarity for me as I have read so many thrillers in my lifetime).  The next month will be very interesting for me as when the weather turns into summer mode I usually tend to go towards romantic easy fiction but let's see if this thriller kick continues!

Hope you have all had great reading months and looking forward to some great summer reading!

BOOKS READ



Click the below links to check out my reviews...
 
Lies 



Dreams, books and vintage fashion - the second book in the bestselling ebook series by Sophie Nicholls, author of The Dress.

In historic York, Ella seems to have the perfect life. She's a published author, her bookshop is thriving, she's married to the man of her dreams and they've started a family of their own.

But Ella is struggling. Motherhood isn't quite everything she imagined it to be, and she's worried that there may be cracks in her marriage.

On the other side of the Atlantic, despite endless blue skies and a stream of eager customers in her vintage dress shop, Ella's mother Fabia finds that life in San Diego is not enough for her. She misses York, and can sense that Ella needs her, so she flies home.

And this is when they meet Bryony. With a complicated life and secrets of her own, Bryony may have some of the answers they're looking for.

Can Ella and Fabia help her find her way, whilst also working out how to find their own happily ever after?


*****

 In June 1914, Sir Anthony Valentine, a keen mountaineer, arrives with his family to spend the summer in their chalet, high in the French Alps. There, for the first time, fourteen-year-old foundling Mathilde starts work as one of the 'uglies' - village girls employed as servants and picked, it is believed, to ensure they don't catch Sir Anthony's roving eye.

For Mathilde it is the start of a life-long entanglement with les anglais - strange, exciting people, far removed from the hard grind of farming. Except she soon finds the Valentines are less carefree than they appear, with a curiously absent daughter no one talks about. It will be decades - disrupted by war, accidents and a cruel betrayal - before Mathilde discovers the key to the mystery. And in 1976, the year Sir Anthony's great-great grandson comes to visit, she must decide whether to use it.

Vividly evoking the dramatic landscape that so enthrals the Valentines, this deeply involving, intriguing novel tells the story of an English family through the generations and a memorable French woman, whose lives seem worlds apart yet which become inextricably connected.


*****

A phone call brought Wilson and nine other men to a job in New York. At first, he couldn’t see a way to make the heist work, but the score — millions of dollars in diamonds — kept him looking. Wilson came up with a plan he knew would work . . . until the inside man got killed and took the job with him.

With no way inside, the crew walks away without the diamonds. Alone, Wilson is free to execute the job his way. Wilson sets a con in motion that should run as predictably as a trail of dominoes — except the con doesn’t rely on inanimate tiles, it relies on people.

Wilson pushes all of the pieces across the board only to find out that there are other players making their own moves against him. Everyone is playing to win and no one is willing to walk away because the job is about more than money, the job is about diamonds. And in this game, rocks beat paper every time.


*****

The spellbinding memoir of a violin virtuoso who loses the instrument that had defined her both on stage and off -- and who discovers, beyond the violin, the music of her own voice

Her first violin was tiny, harsh, factory-made; her first piece was "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star." But from the very beginning, Min Kym knew that music was the element in which she could swim and dive and soar. At seven years old, she was a prodigy, the youngest ever student at the famed Purcell School. At eleven, she won her first international prize; at eighteen, violinist great Ruggiero Ricci called her "the most talented violinist I've ever taught." And at twenty-one, she found "the one," the violin she would play as a soloist: a rare 1696 Stradivarius. Her career took off. She recorded the Brahms concerto and a world tour was planned. Then, in a London cafe, her violin was stolen. She felt as though she had lost her soulmate, and with it her sense of who she was. Overnight she became unable to play or function, stunned into silence.

In this lucid and transfixing memoir, Kym reckons with the space left by her violin's absence. She sees with new eyes her past as a child prodigy, with its isolation and crushing expectations; her combustible relationships with teachers and with a domineering boyfriend; and her navigation of two very different worlds, her traditional Korean family and her music. And in the stark yet clarifying light of her loss, she rediscovers her voice and herself.


*****

WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS BASED ON LIES?
When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she's supposed to be at work, he's intrigued enough to follow her in.

And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.

But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe's young son has an asthma attack - and Joe must flee in order to help him.

When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.

And that's when Joe receives the first message . . .
 


*****

Janet Moodie has spent years as a death row appeals attorney. Overworked and recently widowed, she's had her fill of hopeless cases, and is determined that this will be her last. Her client is Marion 'Andy' Hardy, convicted along with his brother Emory of the rape and murder of two women. But Emory received a life sentence while Andy got the death penalty, labeled the ringleader despite his low IQ and Emory's dominant personality.


Convinced that Andy's previous lawyers missed mitigating evidence that would have kept him off death row, Janet investigates Andy's past. She discovers a sordid and damaged upbringing, a series of errors on the part of his previous counsel, and most worrying of all, the possibility that there is far more to the murders than was first thought. Andy may be guilty, but does he deserve to die?


*****


Three little girls set off to school one sunny May morning.
Within an hour, one of them is dead. 
 
Fifteen years later, Alison and Kitty are living separate lives. Kitty lives in a care home. She can't speak, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here, or her life before it.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it - this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison.

Someone who wants revenge for what happened that day.

And only another life will do...

 







 

 





Continue reading Month in Review / May 2017

28 May 2017

,

Book Review / Blood Sisters by Jane Corry ***Contains Spoilers***



Three little girls set off to school one sunny May morning. 
 
Within an hour, one of them is dead. 
 
Fifteen years later, Alison and Kitty are living separate lives. Kitty lives in a care home. She can't speak, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here, or her life before it.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it - this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison.
Someone who wants revenge for what happened that day.

And only another life will do...



Published:     4th May 2017
Publisher:  Penguin
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher




MY REVIEW

What I liked about this story...      It is not often that I come across a thriller where I honestly do not know or can't figure out what is going to happen.  Blood Sisters is one of those books.  I really couldn't tell what was going to happen until the very end!  It was not just at the end of the story where I was surprised.  I am not sure whether I was just not paying attention or whether it was a good slight of hand but I honestly didn't recognise the character in the care home as Kitty!  I should just mention that when it comes to thrillers I do not read the description of the book apart from the caption that usually features on the front of the book.  That way I don't get spoiled and any surprises the author wants me to find, I don't know then in advance. 

What I didn't like about this story...   It did take me a while to get into this story and I am not sure whether that was just me and my mood at the time or whether the beginning just had a lower pace than the rest of the book but I can tell you it is definitely worth the read!


Continue reading Book Review / Blood Sisters by Jane Corry ***Contains Spoilers***

22 May 2017

,

Blog Tour Book Review / Two Lost Boys by LF Robertson


 Janet Moodie has spent years as a death row appeals attorney. Overworked and recently widowed, she's had her fill of hopeless cases, and is determined that this will be her last. Her client is Marion 'Andy' Hardy, convicted along with his brother Emory of the rape and murder of two women. But Emory received a life sentence while Andy got the death penalty, labeled the ringleader despite his low IQ and Emory's dominant personality.


Convinced that Andy's previous lawyers missed mitigating evidence that would have kept him off death row, Janet investigates Andy's past. She discovers a sordid and damaged upbringing, a series of errors on the part of his previous counsel, and most worrying of all, the possibility that there is far more to the murders than was first thought. Andy may be guilty, but does he deserve to die?




Published:     16th May 2017
Publisher:  Titan Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher 



MY REVIEW

What I liked about this story...   This book could not have come at a better time, right in the middle of my 'I really want to read thriller style books' mood.  What I liked the most was actually following the case as it went along and discovering things as Janet was discovering them.  A lot of the time, to be honest, I had not guessed what might happen but sometime I did but that didn't matter.  This book definitely kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the book.  As most who know me know that I love a good book about secrets and this one fit right into that category.   The ending for me was brilliant, I had kind of suspected what would happen but loved to see it all play out.

What I didn't like about this story...  Although this is not technically a negative I am putting it here anyway because it is all I have to put in this section but I would have loved to have learnt more about Janet, more about her back story etc throughout the book as well as having the main story. 



Continue reading Blog Tour Book Review / Two Lost Boys by LF Robertson

17 May 2017

,

Book Review / Lies by TM Logan


WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS BASED ON LIES?
When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she's supposed to be at work, he's intrigued enough to follow her in.

And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.

But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe's young son has an asthma attack - and Joe must flee in order to help him.

When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.

And that's when Joe receives the first message . . .




Published:     17th January 2017
Publisher:  Bonnier Zaffre
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher




MY REVIEW

Right when I had started to want to read thrillers I picked this up and I am so glad I did.  This book solely holds the responsibility of me wanting to read a lot more thrillers than I would normally!    We follow Joe Lynch in this story who at the beginning just happens to see his wife at a hotel having a far too familiar heated chat with his friend Ben.  What follows is just one thing after another most of which is predictable but I enjoyed following Joe as he delves deeper and deeper into the troubles he never knew that he had.  What I loved the most was the ending.  What a great twist in the story and definitely one that I wasn't expecting!   









Continue reading Book Review / Lies by TM Logan

15 May 2017

,

Book Review / Gone by Min Kym

The spellbinding memoir of a violin virtuoso who loses the instrument that had defined her both on stage and off -- and who discovers, beyond the violin, the music of her own voice

Her first violin was tiny, harsh, factory-made; her first piece was "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star." But from the very beginning, Min Kym knew that music was the element in which she could swim and dive and soar. At seven years old, she was a prodigy, the youngest ever student at the famed Purcell School. At eleven, she won her first international prize; at eighteen, violinist great Ruggiero Ricci called her "the most talented violinist I've ever taught." And at twenty-one, she found "the one," the violin she would play as a soloist: a rare 1696 Stradivarius. Her career took off. She recorded the Brahms concerto and a world tour was planned. Then, in a London cafe, her violin was stolen. She felt as though she had lost her soulmate, and with it her sense of who she was. Overnight she became unable to play or function, stunned into silence.

In this lucid and transfixing memoir, Kym reckons with the space left by her violin's absence. She sees with new eyes her past as a child prodigy, with its isolation and crushing expectations; her combustible relationships with teachers and with a domineering boyfriend; and her navigation of two very different worlds, her traditional Korean family and her music. And in the stark yet clarifying light of her loss, she rediscovers her voice and herself.


Published:     25th April 2017
Publisher:  Viking
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher




MY REVIEW


I always find it hard to review a non-fiction book.  How can you review someone's thoughts and life experiences?  I really enjoyed this story and finding out more about Min Kym.  I will be honest and say that I hadn't heard of her before but I do love reading non-fiction biographical books about musicians and knew that I had to give this a go...  Finding out more about her, her life and career I found fascinating especially when it came to learning more about her family and their way of life, which is something I had not known a lot about.

I have to be honest and say that there were parts particularly where Min was going into detail about her violin that it did lose my interest a bit.  I found it a lot more interesting reading about her life.



Continue reading Book Review / Gone by Min Kym

12 May 2017

, ,

Blog Tour Book Review / Rocks Beat Paper by Mike Knowles

A phone call brought Wilson and nine other men to a job in New York. At first, he couldn’t see a way to make the heist work, but the score — millions of dollars in diamonds — kept him looking. Wilson came up with a plan he knew would work . . . until the inside man got killed and took the job with him.

With no way inside, the crew walks away without the diamonds. Alone, Wilson is free to execute the job his way. Wilson sets a con in motion that should run as predictably as a trail of dominoes — except the con doesn’t rely on inanimate tiles, it relies on people.

Wilson pushes all of the pieces across the board only to find out that there are other players making their own moves against him. Everyone is playing to win and no one is willing to walk away because the job is about more than money, the job is about diamonds. And in this game, rocks beat paper every time.



Published:     16th May 2017
Publisher:  ECW Press
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 6, Wilson Mystery
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher




MY REVIEW

What I liked about this story...   I don't normally read stories about heists but I liked the sound of this one.  To me it seemed like there was more to the story than what meets the eye and I was right!  There were quite a few twists and turns in this story which kept me on my toes that's for sure!  For me, it didn't matter that this book was book 6 in the series because it was definitely a story that can be read as a stand-alone, separate from the rest of the series.  That said, I will be picking up the first books in the series when I can get my hands on them.  What I also liked was the somewhat comedic at times interaction between the characters in this heist.  At times they are serious and focusing on the job at hand but at other times they seem to like having friendly digs at each other, which I found very amusing! 
 
What I didn't like about this story...  Although I did enjoy this book very much I would have loved to have read more about the heist and the story when the characters were out and about.  There was a lot of discussion  and preparation meeting  type dialogue at the beginning which did add to the story but I would have loved to have learned more about character backgrounds and what they were doing on the 'job'.  That said, this may be something I might pick up in the first books in the series that I have missed.






Continue reading Blog Tour Book Review / Rocks Beat Paper by Mike Knowles

9 May 2017

,

Book Review / The Valentine House by Emma Henderson

In June 1914, Sir Anthony Valentine, a keen mountaineer, arrives with his family to spend the summer in their chalet, high in the French Alps. There, for the first time, fourteen-year-old foundling Mathilde starts work as one of the 'uglies' - village girls employed as servants and picked, it is believed, to ensure they don't catch Sir Anthony's roving eye.

For Mathilde it is the start of a life-long entanglement with les anglais - strange, exciting people, far removed from the hard grind of farming. Except she soon finds the Valentines are less carefree than they appear, with a curiously absent daughter no one talks about. It will be decades - disrupted by war, accidents and a cruel betrayal - before Mathilde discovers the key to the mystery. And in 1976, the year Sir Anthony's great-great grandson comes to visit, she must decide whether to use it.

Vividly evoking the dramatic landscape that so enthrals the Valentines, this deeply involving, intriguing novel tells the story of an English family through the generations and a memorable French woman, whose lives seem worlds apart yet which become inextricably connected.


Published:     6th April 2017
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source:  Review Copy from Publisher



MY REVIEW

What I liked about this book...  This book was very much a surprise for me.  This is not normally something that I would pick up in a book shop but there is nothing that I like more is a good family drama with the prospect of deep family secrets along side this.  What I liked the most about this book was the sense of history and following Mathilde where she joins the Valentine household and also many many years later when she is not that far away...  I liked the sense of family history going through the different generations starting with Sir Anthony Valentine (who was a character that I deeply disliked at the start of the book but have to say that I liked him a bit more by the time I got to the end). 

What I didn't like about this book...  This book was a bit slow moving for me.  I had wished there was a bit more pace and a bit more drama or something surprising happen.  That's not to say that I didn't enjoy this book, I did and would recommend it for those who like a bit more of a laid back style family style book.







Continue reading Book Review / The Valentine House by Emma Henderson

2 May 2017

,

Book Review / Miss Mary's Book of Dreams by Sophie Nicholls

Dreams, books and vintage fashion - the second book in the bestselling ebook series by Sophie Nicholls, author of The Dress.

In historic York, Ella seems to have the perfect life. She's a published author, her bookshop is thriving, she's married to the man of her dreams and they've started a family of their own.

But Ella is struggling. Motherhood isn't quite everything she imagined it to be, and she's worried that there may be cracks in her marriage.

On the other side of the Atlantic, despite endless blue skies and a stream of eager customers in her vintage dress shop, Ella's mother Fabia finds that life in San Diego is not enough for her. She misses York, and can sense that Ella needs her, so she flies home.

And this is when they meet Bryony. With a complicated life and secrets of her own, Bryony may have some of the answers they're looking for.

Can Ella and Fabia help her find her way, whilst also working out how to find their own happily ever after?

 
Published:     23rd March 2017
Publisher:  Zaffre
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher



MY REVIEW

What I liked about this story...  Anything that has book in the title or has anything to do with book shops I am definitely going to check it out and read it!  A very interesting story to read, a story of family, love and starting again indeed with also a hidden touch of magic folded in.  The best parts for me were the stories of Ella and Bryony.  You have Ella who runs a bookshop, has a husband and daughter and is also an author.   She is struggling with a lot of those and we watch her in this story struggling and coming to certain decisions on certain things.  You then have Bryony who has her own complicated family problems and personal problems.  I liked finding out more about each of these characters, finding out their secrets and seeing how they dealt with them. 
 
What I didn't like about this story...   First of all I will say that I really enjoyed the writing style of this author and will be checking out more to read.  That said, I really didn't enjoy the plot in places.  I found at some parts, mostly nearer the middle of the story, I got a bit lost and got the feeling that there were more to these characters than I was reading.  I did a little digging on Goodreads and realised that there is a trilogy written by this author called the Everyday Magic series, which seems to feature some of the characters in this book which makes me thing that maybe I should have read that trilogy first?  I am not sure on that point but maybe that would have solved my confusion.  That said, I did love the two main characters and am definitely intrigued to pick up that trilogy to find out whether there was anything I have missed.




Continue reading Book Review / Miss Mary's Book of Dreams by Sophie Nicholls

1 May 2017

Month in Review / March and April 2017

To be honest, March was not a really productive reading month for me.  I just wasn't in the mood to read.  Sometimes that happens and I don't force reading unless I really want to.  It worked because the month of April was outstanding reading wise.  I just could not stop!  I will jist point out that even though I have put in the Harry Potter series in this wrap up I did start listening to these in Audiobook format from January but finished them now.

Let's talk about favourites for the months of March and April.  In the stand-alone section, Before the Rains stood out to me as a firm favourite, giving it 5 stars.  Dinah Jefferies was a new author to me so I wasn't sure which way that book would go but I loved it and I will definately be looking into more books by her in the future.  Looking at the series I read, my favourite has to be the Throne of Glass series.  Despite the fact that some of the books in this series are HUGE I just could not stop reading and read them quicker than what I thought...   

I hope you have all had great reading months and looking forward to what comes up in May!


STAND-ALONE BOOKS READ

Click here for my review

Science geek Meg is left to look after her little sister for ten days after her free-spirited mum leaves suddenly to follow up yet another of her Big Important Causes. But while Meg may understand how the universe was formed, baby Elsa is a complete mystery to her.

And Mum’s disappearance has come at the worst time: Meg is desperate to win a competition to get the chance to visit NASA headquarters, but to do this she has to beat close rival Ed. Can Meg pull off this double life of caring for Elsa and following her own dreams? She’ll need a miracle of cosmic proportions …

Fans fell in love with the warmth, wit, romance and fierce friendships in Flirty Dancing, Love Bomb, Sunkissed and Star Struck, and Stargazing for Beginners has all that and galaxies more. This is the best kind of real-life fiction – with big themes and irresistible characters, it goes straight to your heart.




 Click here for my review

Hartwell, Delaware—the perfect place to get away from it all, and find what you never knew you needed…

Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content—her successful business, a close circle of friends, and her steady boyfriend…even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey’s blindsided by a betrayal, she’s shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy.

Vaughn admires Bailey’s free spirit, independence, and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn’s painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats.

Once Vaughn begins to realize he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he’s never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they’ve found together only comes around once in a lifetime.



Click here for my review


A romantic, heart-wrenching tale of love against the odds from the Number One Sunday Times bestselling author
 
1930, Rajputana, India. Since her husband's death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza's only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she's determined to make a name for herself.

But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince's handsome, brooding brother. While Eliza awakens Jay to the poverty of his people, he awakens her to the injustices of British rule. Soon Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families - and society - think otherwise. Eventually they will have to make a choice between doing what's expected, or following their hearts. . .


SERIES READ AND COMPLETED



Click here for my review


After seventeen-year-old Thais Allard loses her widowed father in a tragic car accident, she is forced to leave the only home she's ever known to live with a total stranger in New Orleans. New Orleans greets Thais with many secrets and mysteries, but none as unbelievable as the moment she comes face to face with the impossible — an identical twin, Clio.

Thais soon learns that she and the twin she never knew come from a family of witches, that she possesses astonishing powers, and that she, along with Clio, has a key role in Balefire, the coven she was born into.
Fiery Clio is less than thrilled to have to share the spotlight, but the twins must learn to combine their powers in order to complete a rite that will transform their lives and the coven forever.
 




Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she's losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.





Harry Potter's life is miserable. His parents are dead and he's stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he's a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry's first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it's his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.





After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her ... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead ... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.













Continue reading Month in Review / March and April 2017