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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Darryl's Reunion by John B. Wren

Darryl's ReunionDarryl's Reunion by John B. Wren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I can't fault this read at all. The author did such a fabulous job with this. Although you get to know early on who did what to whom, and you know how the event happened, its cleverly done.

Darryl was in his first year of high school. You always get bullies, but these guys went beyond your normal sort of known bullying tactics.

Darryl ended up dead.


This happened almost twenty years ago. We have moved on now. What we have is a cold case where there are no more leads, nowhere to go with this to solve it. Other things were "assumed" and it was laid to one side.


We get a new Detective arrive in the area. Detective Ian McLarry.

Nothing much happens in this part of the town, its quite quiet, so seeing that he's heard of the past case, he decides to open it up and re work on it. After all, stories can change over a time right? People age, people forget, others may not be on the scene now and free to speak. Who knows.

Watching Detective Ian McLarry reopen this case and different things that come to light is staggering.


The bit that kept me turning pages also was the "patient" who was he/she?

They are in this book many times, visiting the doctor. I'm thinking.....who is it. Ah it may be one of those lads years ago who killed that Darryl.

There is another reunion coming up soon and everyone is gearing towards this. Detective Ian McLarry gets invited there. He can have time to talk to people too one by one.

The investigation was enthralling. I could just hear the Detective in my ear asking question after question to different ones at different times.

I can't rave about this book enough as it certainly kept me entertained for a few hours.

Highly recommended.




Darryl's Reunion is the story of a young boy, killed in his first year of high school. His murder goes unsolved for nineteen years. The interest of the town's newest detective is drawn because it is an unsolved murder and peaked when he finds out the victim's intended graduating class from the local high school is holding it's fifteenth year reunion. Detective Ian McLarry meets with the reunion committee and begins asking questions. "We know who did it," claim the committee members, "We just can't prove it."
As detective McLarry begins his investigation, one of the committee members begins their own plan to find justice.
 






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Child of Privilege by Ross Ponderson

Child of PrivilegeChild of Privilege by Ross Ponderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I have to start by saying this is a killer of a read it really had my attention right at the beginning.

Abuse comes in different forms, sexual, emotional, mental or all three rolled into one.

Dana Van Werner knew what it was like to live in a home totally ruled by her Father. The beatings she heard on the opposite side of her bedroom wall every night left her drawn up into a fetal position. Scared, alone and worried. Crying. All she wanted was a 'normal' family life.

It wasn't to be.

We are not talking of a family with dire financial needs, no poverty here! They are rich, highly thought of in their Society of friends and business associates.

Dana could never make her Father happy. No matter how she tried, her ideas and dreams, her aspirations were not high enough, she should reach for the top not second best.

The anger of her Father later reverted to her.

Fleeing. Should she run?

She had Everything she needed, everything she ever wanted, nice home, no money worries, best education.

What she didn't have was peace.

What she didn't have was a life.

What she didn't have was support.

What she had was, abuse, beatings, rape, mental abuse.

To leave her Mother at the hands of her Father was hard and many times we see her writing [as she's drifting from one place to another] to her Mother.

She cannot risk being found.

Is she being followed?
Whose there?
Who should she trust?

I read this in one sitting today, hooked.


This is an author that I will definitely be stalking as I loved this book and how she related it so much.

There were surprising events that happened which I didn't see coming at all.

You don't have to be poor to be beaten.
The rich can hide it better with buying people off.


My one thought on this reading material was:

One little annoying feature.

Each time a character shouted that author USED CAPITALS and LARGE ones.
It took up a lot of ebook page space on occasions. Maybe a different kind of emphasis would be better?

Just one little fault.

LOVED IT and would recommend it to those that like family drama.





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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Swerve by Vicki Pettersson

SwerveSwerve by Vicki Pettersson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



OMG what have I just sat and read this afternoon

I was so taken in by this read that I forgot all time. Hubby and adult son drove to London today to see a football match. Daughter had a hospital appointment, so I settled down to read this.
I just didn't know, that once I opened the first page I would not move from my seat I was totally captivated by this.

Kristine and her fiance Daniel are on their way to a Fourth of July Holiday party. But Daniel gets abducted.

She is forced to choose, go home and never see Daniel alive again or go ahead and find him.

Trouble is, its not as easy as that, she is being controlled.

I am not going to say how or why or when. I have seen other reviews so I don't want to add to what already is out there.

What I can say is, by the time I got half way it occurred to me who the Serial Killer could be. Was I right? You will have to see.

This makes for compulsive reading. The author is so descriptive in the layout and words that you feel you are the one driving that car looking for Daniel, you feel angry, you feel frustrated and you feel.........there is just NO choice, just like Kristine had. No choice.

The last chapters sent me to places in my head that I couldn't believe, I was gasping, literally gasping to think what was happening. I wanted to shout "get out" or "just drive, forget about him" or "call his bluff".
But of course, we can shout what we want when its not us in the driving seat like Kristine literally was.

I was flipping the pages for what happened next, what next, what next, oh my word.....
Literally floored.
Twisted
Absolutely amazing.

You have just GOT to read this.





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Saturday, 25 July 2015

From Dust by Freya Barker

From DustFrom Dust by Freya Barker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I really did love this book from the author Freya Barker. I have read one other book by her and felt the same way, she has a lovely style of writing that is so fully explained and laid out, you can't help but feel you are part of the cast.

Syd is on the streets. She's not a child, she's a woman. How she got there will enfold as you read on. Its a tragic story that brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat whilst reading.

Syd sleeps in a dark shed on her own, just her and her rucksack and her memories for company.

She's very thin and lacks nourishment.

One time outside a public house she is looking for food.
I don't want to give any spoilers away, but one of the Managers inside has noticed Syd before and doesn't look like other homeless people. When she gets to speak to Syd she can see she is an intelligent woman too. Although, she doesn't say much and is quite guarded. Its been ages since she has had any kindness shown to her.
The lady invites her in for a 'decent' meal. Offers her a chat and a warm place to sit for a while.

I will move on from that and say that she is offered a job there. She later meets the owner named Gunner.

I have to say here and now, I loved Gunner.

When Gunner comes upon her in his establishment he sees a thin woman, pretty, and attractive but surprised at her thinness. He names her 'bird'

There is definitely an attraction between these two. I see how Syd can bring out the protectiveness from Gunner and his emotional side. Especially when it comes to his two children.

He has an ex wife too, you will meet her.

There is so much I can tell you about this story but I don't want to go any further due to giving too much away.

I would like to say this though, we can't escape our pasts, they will come back to find you......eventually.

We can't escape our emotions or tragedies, but we can 'deal' with them so they don't consume or lives.

This is one awesome read that I am so glad I chose to read.


* I would like to thank the author who offered this as part of a tour of this book, because I surely may have missed it*




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The Perils of a Pastor's Wife by Nan Jones

The Perils of a Pastor's WifeThe Perils of a Pastor's Wife by Nan Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



This is a well written book for those that like Christian reading.
I do like to read Amish or Christian based stories, however, not too over powering.

I like Annie Oakley and Karen Kingsbury type reads, which of course have a Christian based theme due to the genre.


This one was more 'preachy' where I am concerned, however, this MY opinion. But for others, this could be right up your street.


Nan Jones has written a very well laid out book based around being a Pastor's wife.

The 'job' of being an Elder or Pastor or such in any religion takes up time looking and caring for their 'sheep' [congregation] and needs.

This may lead the wife feeling at first that he is doing a good job, she is proud of him, however, it can become a lonely job, also, it affects how others in the congregation would treat you.

There is a kind of spiritual war going on within her.

Good deeds vs bad
Good thoughts vs bad
Devil's thoughts.


For a reader who loves hymns, scriptures quoted relating to different thoughts, events, circumstances [a bit like Dot from Eastenders] then I would say that you would be comfortable with this. I wasn't so much as I found it more unsettling as it was more 'preachy' to me than a story.

Well written though, but a good Christian read for its genre



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At Any Cost: Overcoming Every Obstacle to Bring Our Children Home by Mike Jones

At Any Cost: Overcoming Every Obstacle to Bring Our Children HomeAt Any Cost: Overcoming Every Obstacle to Bring Our Children Home by Mike Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Inspiring read. For those that like books like this, its a good read.

I enjoyed it, and it was heartfelt



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Sole Sister by Brooklyn James

Sole SisterSole Sister by Brooklyn James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



I think I really did need to read book one first before this one as I have lost a lot of the story and had to pick it up from another angle, so I advise you read book 1 [unlike me]

Kat never talks about her abusive past, its far too painful.And her pregnancy.

She's moved to Nashville for reasons and also to advance her fashion carer. The trouble is, she finds her inline for some publicity, this makes her front cover of the Ville Spill. Its a local gossip rag. Kat then learns that not all publicity is good publicity.

Kat's Father committed suicide. Her little girl's Daddy broke her heart.

Kat doesn't want or need her heart broken again so she focuses all her attention on her daughter and works hard to make a good life for them both.

Forgiveness. That word is around in this book. Holding onto grudges and past can be damning and damaging as Kat finds out.



My Thoughts

I found this a well written read and could follow it well, all but for the parts I missed out on in book 1.

Kat's past is in book 1 which I feel would have made me understand her more, get to know her more. But this didn't over ride my concept of the book and how well written it was. Its a lovely read which I enjoyed very much.



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Scandal: Part One by Alison Foster

Scandal: Part OneScandal: Part One by Alison Foster
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



3.5 stars from me


Its a very well thought out put together read, and I believe its the first book in a series. Because of this, its a short book that ends with a lot of question marks poised over the read. For sure to read the next book in the series. [Which I certainly would do]

It will take you only about an hour and a half to read, so you can tell, its more of a prequel to the next book.

Its a great start, Ella is working for the summer at a website named Daily Scandal. She thinks this will lead on to an exciting time, it surely does for her, but not in the way she thought it would.

She finds herself sleeping with her Step Sister's ex, which leads onto all sorts of repercussions.


I think Alison Foster the author had written a good lead on to the next book.



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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Baby Please Don't Go by Frank Freudberg

Baby Please Don't GoBaby Please Don't Go by Frank Freudberg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I have had this one waiting to be read on my TBR list 'direct' from author.

I am so glad that I agreed to read it because it was so worth my while. You never know when you read a book from an unknown author quite what you are letting yourself in for, I say this because, as an Independent reviewer I do not like to give low stars so think long and hard before accepting a book to read and review.

This one didn't disappoint me, it had:

1: One of the subject matters that although is not nice to read about, its a fact and things happen.

2: A character that keeps you on your toes

3: GREAT story telling techniques that keep you from putting the book down bored.

4: Keeping me guessing and then seconding guessing.


Locke was seeming to me to be a strong character at first, but the more you get to know him, you see his chinks in his armor that meeting Natalie certainly made her sneaky beguiling way into.

Locke is an investigator at Child Protective Services, and that is how he comes upon the family and Natalie.

There is this 'pull' towards each other. There is no mistaking the sizzle.

But do not get me wrong, this is just a section of the book, its not all romance, definitely not.

Locke is first and foremost a dedicated Child Protection Officer. Children come first.


There is a past to Locke, he knows about drugs, he knows about over indulgence in alcohol, he's been there and has that particular T Shirt. He's worn it out.

He also has a past.

Locke would like nothing else but a loving family, kids of his own. Will he ever get that?

Let me quote:

ALL LOCK GILKENNEY WANTS IS A FAMILY.

BUT HE’LL HAVE TO CROSS THE LINE TO GET ONE.


This is a particularly enthralling story. How fine lines are crossed. How you can find yourself knee deep in something that goes against everything you stand for.

The twist within these pages were outstanding.

I've not read this authors other books, this is the first one I have read by him.

Frank Freudberg is a crafter of words. You can use words that make you stop and stand to attention. Many times this happened in this book. I loved it.

I have to thank the author for my copy and I need to say, just because my copy was given to me by the author never promises a high scoring review, I am honest in my feelings of how a book makes me 'feel' and this book made me want more of the same from this wonderful author.



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Monday, 20 July 2015

Damage Done by Amanda Panitch

Damage DoneDamage Done by Amanda Panitch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I absolutely enjoyed this book, much much more than I thought I would actually.

The story is told from Lucy's point of view, I found Lucy a good character, intriguing and beguiling.

Its a good paced read, nothing left me hanging and or bored, I was quite 'into' this book today and thoroughly enjoying the roads that this author took me down.

I kind of guesses some of the twists, and although I say that, it didn't reflect from the story. I still wanted to carry on reading it because there were plenty happening to keep my attention.

When her brother shoots eleven people in his music room, he saves Julia [Lucy]
Julia is Lucy. You will see why she had to change her name, because of what her brother had done.

She had to move to another town.

Through the book, we know that Lucy wants Ryan to reveal something, but we don't know what.



My thoughts are this:

Its a cleverly related story, lots of plots. I thought it was pretty fast paced to keep my interest, however, some of the events in this story left me saying "what?, that's not believable or that's not right" because some things were just not adding up or acceptable.

I know its fiction, but what I am so fond of saying is, fiction or not, the reader has to believe it happened or its a fairy tale, this is FAR from that, its an awesome book but needs a bit of tweaking in my humble opinion to accept it more.



My thanks goes to Random House Books for Young Readers via Net Galley for my copy and the author of course


"Exceedingly clever and surprisingly unsettling, Damage Doneis an unforgettable read." --Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Made for You

"A brilliant thriller. Gillian Flynn for the YA set." --Amy Christine Parker, author of Gated

22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after.

Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend.

After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police.

Now that she’s Lucy Black, her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school. And someone much more dangerous. She thought her brother’s crimes were behind her. But now she’s being forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind. How far will Julia go to keep her slate clean?

One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning. . . .

In this deliciously twisted contemporary thriller, family can be a real killer. For fans of We Were Liars and readers who love unique multiple perspectives that leave clues like breadcrumbs until they reach the stunning conclusion.
 




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Cradled Dreams by Beverly Hoffman

Cradled DreamsCradled Dreams by Beverly Hoffman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Surrogacy can be a touch subject for some, we hear of so many things going wrong and court cases happening.
Yes, I know this is fiction, but all fiction has to be realistic or it becomes a fairy tale. I believe this story line to be very realistic and took up many different avenues of becoming a surrogate Mother.

If you have ever been around someone who is unable to have children you will fully understand how they must feel. If an opportunity arises, an open door where they can get their dream fulfilled, why not take it?

Georgie did just that when her sister-in-law 'off the cuff' because of emotions offered to become a surrogate for her.

When all the practicalities are achieved and Robin is pregnant, then events start to enfold.


As I said in the beginning of my review, a touchy subject. And not everyone agrees with it, there is a lot of anxiety and trepidation that surrounds all of this as you will learn as you read.


My Thoughts

I did love the story, and would recommend it. My three stars was because I struggled with the slow pace at the beginning. If I had a reason to put this down, I would have, but half way through it picked up and was a very satisfying read. Other than that I would have personally given it 4 stars.

I would certainly read more from this author as she has great craftmanship for relating a story that touches real life folk. Just up the pace a bit to keep a reader on their toes.



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Sunday, 19 July 2015

Slur by Heather Burnside

SlurSlur by Heather Burnside
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



I have had to give this my 5 stars. Its a debut novel from Heather Burnside and as a first book it is excellent in my humble opinion

It has everything, it has intrigue, it has mystery, it keeps you wondering, it keeps you digging further and further between its pages.


Just to think of you ladies, all the time we have been out in a nice little group, having fun at a club, drop one of your mates back home. Only to find the next morning you are suspected of her murder.


That is how the book starts. Then it takes you back to that night and everything about it and what happened.

It then nicely goes into the present time when Julie is remembering her thoughts of that night and then is jaunted back to the present as she arrives outside the Police Station.

I don't live in Manchester but I have been there, so picturing this in my mind was great.

I don't know how other readers feel but for me I get all goose bumps when I know the places that are written about in the book and near [ish] to where I live, at least in my home Country.

The jargon and slang was brilliant.

I am a great believer in writing as close to an accent as possible in a novel. It seems so false to speak the Queens English without some slang from certain areas.

Take for instance London. They have slang like "apples and pairs" meaning "stairs"
To take that away would be live taking away its character so I embraced this within the book.
I so love it when its like that.

Going back to the storyline.

Police have no evidence whatsoever but they assume a lot of things within this story.

Its a faced paced book I thought with a lot of things to think about.

Well done to this author for writing such a page turner.

I can't wait for another book from her.




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Saturday, 18 July 2015

Fatal Reaction by Belinda Frisch

Fatal ReactionFatal Reaction by Belinda Frisch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a mystery thriller.
Medical mystery/thriller.

It was an OK read, had everything you would expect from a medical thriller, however, I just couldn't keep up with all the "cast" there were far too many people in this book it was like one big line up of people.

Imagine a big huge line up of people you are being introduced to, by the time you got to 10 [in my case around 5] you would need to go back to the beginning of the line up again or at the least, get a note pad and paper out and stick labels on them to identify them later.

You know when someone says to you....You know Bob, hes the uncle of Clair whose the niece of Flo, you know Flo, shes the woman who fred was married to who divorced carol and took up with Doris who was related to Clair who was the niece of Flo.......UMMMMM WHAT???£££

Well, this is what it felt like to me.

I loved the story but even at the end, I was lost with who was who and what was and what they did and why.


A few adjustments and this would have been better in my humble reading opinion.


**Thanks to Amazon Publishing for my copy ^^





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Friday, 17 July 2015

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

Black-Eyed SusansBlack-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



The only reason this is missing a full star rating from me is because at the beginning I was confused [doesn't take much] because of going back and forth to the past/present. It wasn't as straight forward a layout for a lame person like me to adjust to quickly [blame it on middle age]

Black-Eyed Susans

Doesn't that title intrigue you? It did me. I had to look at what the book was about, then I was "oh I I NEED this book

At the start of me reading it, a fellow book friend I know on Goodreads [Steff] asked me how I was getting along with it.

I said that I was struggling.

I can honestly and openly say, I didn't struggle for long. This book GREW on me.


We have a killer, a mad man. Tessie is the only survivor. She has gone through a lot.

We hear from her [flashbacks] when she was just 17 years old, then we come up to the present day where she is 32 years old and a Mother herself.

The remains of the other bodies where Tessie was found, were buried under Black-Eyed Susan flowers. Hence the title.

But who are the other dead bones belonging to?

The killer is about to be executed, and what does that mean for Tessie?


Its a very creepy read. I also found Tessie a bit creepy too at times as she seemed to be hiding something or had something seriously wrong with her. I just couldn't put my finger on it.

I don't think this is an easy read where you can just sit down and enjoy it, you need to use your brain to keep up. Once you get right into the center of the story it all makes sense.

I hadn't heard of Black-Eyes Susans, so I looked them up, you may like to see them

 photo download_1.jpg


I have similar ones in my garden and some do grow tall and bush out. I can see why the remains and Tessie were hidden from view.


Its well worth your time in getting this book. I would certainly advise you to sit down somewhere quiet before starting it, you need time to get 'into' it, once done, you won't put it down.


I did a complete 180 degree turn around with this book and my thoughts from beginning to end.

** Thank you to Penguin UK - Michael Joseph via Net Galley for my advanced copy **





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Minutes to Kill by Melinda Leigh

Minutes to Kill (Scarlet Falls)Minutes to Kill by Melinda Leigh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story started off with a huge bang.

We have a young girl who is escaping through a bathroom window to avoid being used for human trafficking.

So being that it started out good, got my interest, I settled down for a good read. And it was......
but there were times in the middle it lagged. I wanted it to heat up, that didn't happen again until halfway through.

When it picks up again, its really a much faster pace which does regain your attention, so its well worth sticking with.

I personally felt like I was on a roller coaster of a dip in the middle and thrown HIGH up in the sky towards the middle, suspended for ages and ages before coming down with a bump. That's a good thing.


I will say its worth sticking with as its a good paced read. Not a fast paced read mind you, it is in the beginning then sort of widens out...........then it starts for more impact.

We have human trafficking, drugs, and we have 'time running out' MINUTES TO KILL.


This writer has a good way with words, steady writing and I can see only improvement along the way so I would definitely read more of her books.





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I need to say, I didn't read book 1 in this series. But I didn't feel that mattered.


* Thank you to Amazon Publishing via Net galley for my advanced copy*

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