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Sunday, 30 August 2015

The Word Game by Steena Holmes PRE ORDER NOW

The Word GameThe Word Game by Steena Holmes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am such a fan of Steena Holmes book when she writes genres such as this. I know she veers to chic lit/romance on occasion but for me, she is at her best and I get to RAVE about it here and on all social networks.

This book is no exception.

What would you do if you suspected that a child was being abused?
What about, if you had been abused as a child and people may think its your paranoia?
Because, sometimes this came over in reading this. Would I have self doubt, could I be seeing signs that really aren't there just because I have past to deal with myself?

Alyson Ward is a mom, shes a good mom, but she is an over protective mom. So allowing her daughter to go for a sleepover is a huge big event. Tricia, her sister is the chaperone, and she breathes and lets go and allows her daughter to have a good time.

Alyson and her daughter Lyla have a good relationship I thought. There are going to be times when there are tiny ruffled feathers, but on the whole, they are close.

When talking about the sleepover Lyla reveals something that just doesn't sit right with Alyson, and there the story ensues so rapidly you need to stay with it.

I read this book in one sitting. My eyes were dropping but I was compelled to stay with it. My eyes were sore, but I made myself a cup of tea, walked around with my Kindle and then felt refreshed to read more and finish this book.

At the end, I am saying 'this is the best book this author has written'

I say that to all her books I have thoroughly enjoyed and no doubt, I will saying this again and again and again

Steena Holmes is dealing with a delicate subject matter here and its so sensitively written. From each sisters viewpoint to right down to their moms.

Each character in this book became so real to me I could have reached out to hug them for their pain, laugh with them through the fun times and shared a cup of tea and biscuits around the kitchen table.

I would recommend this read to all my friends who love books like myself or trust my tastes.

Thank you Steena Holmes for another GREAT book and to Lake Union Publishing for my copy via Net Galley

I received this as an advanced copy

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Monday, 24 August 2015

About Face by Fern Michaels

About FaceAbout Face by Fern Michaels
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very powerful read from Fern Michaels which I thoroughly enjoyed as it kept my attention from start to finish.

Its not your usual chic lit, its got suspense, mystery and will keep you wondering throughout its many pages.
I saw a different style to this authors writing in this book, it was verging on the thriller type of read.

It starts off with something happening, but quite what, you just don't get to the exact bottom of it.

Then Casey is in a mental institution after being found wandering. Shes been in there now for ten years or more and no one knows how she got in this state, what happened to her. Only the person concerned, which is of course Casey.

Casey has amnesia, which means there are several flash backs to keep up with.
Its not difficult to keep moving along with it as its very fast paced.

When Casey has to relive her past over again its a tragedy that no one wants to go through.

This is a thriller. Its not a romance, not her usual kind of stories and I tell you what, I loved it because I love dark reads like this.

I do hope she writes more like this with this style.

**My thanks go to Kensington Books via Net Galley for my copy**

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My Very Best Friend by Cathy Lamb

My Very Best FriendMy Very Best Friend by Cathy Lamb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What else could I want today. A book by on of my favorite authors Cathy Lamb and a good family sort of drama.
Plenty of secrets and intrigue along with a woman who writes books, loves her cats and her own space.

Charlotte writes romance novels, she is well known for them.
She adores her cats.
Her home on the coast in Washington. Great view.

She does have one friend. But she lives in Scotland. Charlotte lived in Scotland with her family and was close to her best friend until she was fifteen years old, then she moved.

Charlotte and Bridget agree to never loose touch, so they agree to write to each other.

That stayed true for many years, then finally it came to a stop.

As many of us know, strong friendships are hard to let go, and we see this between Charlotte, she is wondering why she doesn't hear from Bridget anymore.

Something happens and Charlotte has to return home to Scotland. A place where she thought she had laid ghosts to rest, but many things resurface.

Toran is Bridget's brother. He was her first love, they shared a kiss and many memories so coming into contact with Toran the gorgeous hunk again throws emotions all over the place.

Its from him she learns about Bridget.

This opens all kinds of things.

Charlotte has to be strong, protective of her friend and determined.

Its then they find out a lot about themselves and the journey is not always sweet.

I found this a GREAT READ, I thoroughly enjoyed this.

This author can tell a story that really captures your imagination and your heart where she breathes life into them and you see them in your minds eye.

Absolutely enjoyed it.

Bring on the next book Cathy!!

** My thanks go to.Kensington Books via Net Galley for my copy to read and enjoy. **

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London From My Windows by Mary Carter

London From My WindowsLondon From My Windows by Mary Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have never wondered what it would be like to never go out. To not socialize with others, shop, walk to the car, catch a bus.

Ava has an illness. It disables her in life. She has a crippling anxiety disorder that no one can see. Inside is a woman who is sensitive, emotional, reasons and has a good sense of well being, balance and quirkiness. All but for her disabling phobia.

She lives in Iowa, but her aunt has just died and has left her the house in London. She has several tasks and things to follow that her aunt has left her to do. She actually won't own the property until the tasks are completed.

We have an insight to how strong this women really is, we also see how emotional strength can come to the fore when needed. We experience the inside fight Ava has with herself. Its not easy, none of these tasks are easy for her.

The best part is when Ava becomes friends with drag queens! This really has a good side to this story too, and I laughed out loud [in a good way] on some of these quirks and what Ava finds herself getting into and who she thinks she is in love with.

Its a 'gotta read' as its much more than meets the eye.

**Thank you to Kensington Books via Net Galley for my copy to enjoy and review **

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Secrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore

Secrets of the LighthouseSecrets of the Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really love this author, and I have read several of her books now. I was sat, ready to devour this one, its over 400 pages long. I thought and imagined there was a lot inside to read about.

I have to say, its an OK read but compared to the others I have read it just didn't seem up to her standard.

Ellen has ran to Ireland to stay with her aunt Peg, Peg is just someone she recently heard of because her Mother had kept secrets from her about her roots to Ireland.
Ellen has ran from her Mother and her fiance.

Her Mother has several secrets, but I just wished they weren't revealed too early on in the story as I felt the rest of chapters lost interest for me from then on.

As she gets to know Aunt Peg and the large Irish family, she is in awe of the relaxed happiness she is feeling being with them, her brand new family.

She has time to reflect on her life and what she wants from it.

Her Mother rejected this family years ago. Why?

And does she want a life with her fiance?

She meets a widower, his name is Connor, there is an almost instant attraction.

Ellen has to decide what to do.

And what are the other secrets in her life that are being kept from her?

I did enjoy reading it, but felt I had ploughed through a large book that really could have been condensed and just was enlarge by writing that was not needed to be there.

Of course, these are just my thoughts on this book, read it for yourself and see what you think.

**Thanks to Simon & Schuster & Net Galley for my copy to read and review **

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First Love by James Patterson

First LoveFirst Love by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My thanks go to Random House UK, Cornerstone and Net Galley for my copy.

We meet Axi, she is an altogether girl, works hard and studies hard, never in trouble and a perfectly "good Girl" however, she has this deep yearning inside herself where she just wants to pack up and get away from it all.

She is also in love with her best friend.


The thing is, should she tell him and risk loosing his friendship if he doesn't return the feelings? Or should she wait and see and accept what is meant to be?

They both come from dysfunctional families.

Robinson thinks they should just "get away from it all" wherein lies the Bonnie & Clyde type lifestyle.
They are on the run from the Police.

Then things take a turn, and when all is revealed about feelings, you will have to read and find out.

But then something happens which reminds me of Fault in their stars, I saw the Movie and read the book. So although I shouldn't, I can't help seeing the similarity between the two in some of the story with this.

Its an OK book, not James Patterson's usual story kind of reads, but it did work OK

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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Tear Drop: Irish Crime Thriller by Joanne Clancy

Tear Drop: Irish Crime Thriller (Detective Elizabeth Ireland Crime Thriller Series Book 1)Tear Drop: Irish Crime Thriller by Joanne Clancy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yes! This author has left me wanting more and right now

This is book 1 in a brand new crime series by Joanne Clancy. I have read other books by this author and she never ceases to astound me, her writing is always spot on for a reader, she starts off at a tremedous rate that only keeps you gasping for more as each page you flip.

Ross Campbell vanished from the face of the earth. He was wanted by the Police. He was a Serial Killer. TEAR DROP
All becomes clear why he is nick named Tear drop as you read on.

Elizabeth Ireland, a former detective with The Metropolitan Police [now turned Private Investigator} was the main lead Investigator back then.

Then it seems the Serial Killer has come back, ready to start again.

There is an Irish reporter working for an Irish newspaper who receives a letter, this points to all and sundry that Ross Campbell is back and starting his killings again.
Everything points to the fact and there seems to be deaths mirroring the same type of crimes.

Elizabeth is invited to come and involve herself in the case as she was vital to the role before several years earlier. Which she takes up. However, not all goes to plan.
Elizabeth has a secret of her own. Its a secret that I can feel many times within the book, I can feel Elizabeth sweating it out, as she changes the subject many times, I don't know how she coped with the secret.

Someone else is brought back to, he is now what you call a Profiler. He takes all the facts and makes them into a profile of the Killer. Not all the Police are welcome to new ideas, however, there are those that can see the logic in it.

Preston though is part of Elizabeth's past, there is some tension to be had.

The author has thought this plot through and had me fooled. I had three suspects, then it was two. I was completely wrong on all counts.

Personally I really do not know how she came up with the superb storyline but I really need book 2 and fast.

How did it make me feel

That I was breathing this book. I didn't even go to sleep until the early hours because I wanted to finish it. I wanted to carry on until the conclusion because this is how this author makes you feel. You can't rest until you have read the entire book, I kid you not.

I would definitely recommend this book, its a 5 * from me because it had all the elements for a thriller.
Crime, intrigue, edge of your seat, biting my nails, making the reader think they 'got it and worked it all out', only to find you are off the mark.

The flow of this book was fast paced, no dips, or no dull moments, well, not for me anyhow.

I want to thank the author for my copy. Superb piece of craftmanship.

I need the next book!

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Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey by Alexandra Bogdanovic

Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes AudreyTruth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey by Alexandra Bogdanovic
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can certainly see why this book won awards, ** numerous awards and 2015 Beverly Hills Book Awards finalist in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Non-Fiction category. It was also a 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards finalist in the LGBT Non-Fiction category; and the 2013 New England Book Festival winner in the Gay Literature category.**

This is a book that I had to read in one sitting.

We see how Alex meet Adam, we read how they totally loved each other. Alex was so smitten with Adam, she was looking forward to marrying him, starting a family and living a lovely 'normal' family life together.

We can 'feel' the love coming from the pages as you read of her experiences and her feelings.

This is the story of Alex, this is the story of her marriage, this is the story of her husband's revelation, this is her life

I totally had a 'gobsmacked' moment with the way that she discovered her husband's "secret". How heart wrenching. I felt her world collapse around her.

I also felt for Adam in the way he has had to hide his gender dysphoria.

I did wonder that once the shock had settled how and why Alex took a different view on her relationship with Adam. Love cannot be switched on and off. I was expecting them to remain together, but is that more like reading a fairytale? Who knows, but there are marriages that did sustain the gender change and also keep the sexuality. After all, it was just the body that changed.

Then again, I had second thoughts, could I? I am not sure, we cannot judge something that we haven't been through ourselves can we.

Society is a horrid place, people do judge you, and I really think that won't go away. What needs to happen is for that person to be helped to be strong enough to cope.

This is a well written book, she really knows how to tell her story with feelings.

My downside was; there were far too much detail at the start of the book, I know the foundation had to be laid but it took almost half the book up and for the "inquisitive" reader with a window into someone else's life, we want to get to the core of it much quicker.

I think one sentence will stay with me from this book:

"How do you grieve for someone who isn't really dead?"

Grieving for a marriage that once was in your hands to have, grieving for a partner that looks like someone else, grieving for a family that won't materialize. Hopes and dreams shattered.

Media attention.

I really do hope that Alex finds a partner to love and be loved in the way she needs.

And Adam, I am glad he found peace.

**Thank you to Strategic Book Publishing Via Net galley for my copy to read and review, it was a pleasure **

Chastity Bono is now Chaz. Her decision to "become" a man made headlines around the world, but she is not alone. Transgender men and women frequently appear on television talk shows and reality programs to share their stories. By doing so, they inevitably get the attention they seek, but not necessarily the kind of attention they want. While some come forth in an effort to promote tolerance, acceptance and understanding in mainstream society, their decision to live as or in some cases have surgery to become - the opposite gender often sparks curiosity and more visceral reactions born out of ignorance. But this is the other side of the story. Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey is a tragedy, a comedy and a love story. It is my story. In vivid detail, I recall how I met, fell in love with and married the man of my dreams, only to find that he self-identified as and wanted to become a woman. Read what happened after I learned the truth. Originally from the New York City suburbs, Alexandra Bogdanovic is an award-winning reporter based in Connecticut. Her next book is based on her father's life as a staunch anti-Communist and political refugee in post-World War II Europe. Publisher's website: http: // 

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Ivy's Envy by Latashia Figueroa

Ivy's Envy (Want & Decay Trilogy,#1)Ivy's Envy by Latashia Figueroa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My thanks go to the author for the supply of this book for me to read and review and also his Publicist

After reading the blurb, I was looking forward to getting 'stuck in' to read this.
I thought to myself, this won't take long to read as its only a short novel.
Well yes it is a short book, but WOW it has so much body to it that I felt I had just read a full 300 page novel. Its full of 'punches, blows and OMG moments'.

I can't believe this is a new author in the making they write so well that you would think they were established in their field for many years.

This story had my attention right from the start.

IVY and her envy really does deliver a punch.

One thing I have established so far is, I do not want to meet Ivy. I'll read about her in a book [safely] but I do not want to shake her hand! That is for sure.
How can she think those thoughts and do what she did.

I loved how the statement of her Grandmother came back to haunt in through the pages.
The Grandmother's words certainly came back and bit her on the butt.

The ending? In one statement of abbreviation sums up my thoughts of the ending OMG

Many times we readers say "I didn't see that coming", well, I am going to reiterate that and say.....neither did I.

Would I recommend this book to you?
If you like love, envy, suspense, biting your nails, not being interrupted when you are reading and the shock factor then yes, I definitely recommend this book to you.

Latashia Figueroa’s riveting Want & Decay Trilogy follows the entangled lives of three people tormented by lust, jealousy, madness and murder. In this first book, Ivy’s Envy, Ivy James has had a history of violence with the men she falls for. Her grandmother and parents know what Ivy is capable of when things don’t go her way. 

Now Ivy has become obsessed with Thomas Miles, a man who works at her office. She is certain that Thomas loves her too. But there are people who stand in the way of Ivy and Thomas finally being together, like his wife, Deana. Determined to have the love that is their destiny, Ivy will go down a very dark and twisted road to make Thomas hers, and hers alone. But Ivy is not the only one who has dark secrets, and everyone involved will soon learn that pursuing love and passion to the extreme can lead to terrifying consequences.

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Thursday, 20 August 2015

We Never Asked for Wings: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

We Never Asked for Wings: A NovelWe Never Asked for Wings: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have to start out by saying how much I loved this cover. Its so attractive and appertaining to the story inside.

I also wondered how the author came up with the title, I now know.

Never having read or heard of Vanessa Diffenbaugh I was eager to discover her type of writing style and I have to say, its a way that I love, and easy to grasp and take hold of the story and its plot right away.

The opening chapters give a great full on "pull you in" and "I need to read more" kind of way.

We have two children left. Not abandoned as such, but left to their own devices because the adult has "flown the nest", but for how long and why.

The children struggling there on their own are remarkable because, they have gone through this before and know just what to do. However, its very much a struggle.

Letty is the Mother of both these children, a son in his teens Alex and Luna who is only six.

Letty is also a Mom with habits and problems. But we see her turn her life around and become a much better parent.

We see Alex grow. We see him fall for a girl with disabilities who gets bullied.

Its a family style type of read which goes along with all the ups and downs of a dysfunctional family in my humble opinion.

After reading THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS which I adored, I felt this although very good, I supposed I was spoiled by her other book and expected more.

It was an OK read, just nothing really stood out for me.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via Net Galley for my advanced copy.

From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much-anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds.

For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.

Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh blends gorgeous prose with compelling themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American Dream in a powerful and prescient story about family.

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The Girl Without a Name by Sandra Block

The Girl Without a NameThe Girl Without a Name by Sandra Block
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have come to expect nothing less than:

1. A superbly written book
2. Great plot
3. Grabbing me from the start of the first chapter
4. Keeping me from being distracted from 'real life'

I didn't get all of this though. more from the penmanship of Sandra Block

She has become another one of my favourite authors where I long for her next book each time I close the one before.
This was let me down a little

We have a young girl here who is in a catatonic state wandering the streets. Police bring her into the Psychiatric ward.

Its proving to be an unusual case.

They name her Jane Doe.

Zoe who is doing the Investigation becomes obsessed with finding out about Jane Doe. We also get to learn more about Zoe, she has ADHD, we find out her love interests and we find her behaviour is a bit OTT.

Dr. Berringer who is treating Jane Doe has a significant problem himself. He is on probation for substance abuse, and I just couldn't wonder why constantly how is still operating as a doctor. Everyone who knows him knows this.

We met Zoe in LITTLE BLACK LIES which I absolutely adored. And I know this is a stand alone book, but too much about Zoe was written in this book which just became a little tedious at times. It seemed to reiterate a lot from this authors last book about Zoe.

That is my critique on this.

However the book does redeem itself because of the Jane Doe story. And apart from me skipping a lot about Zoe it did hold my interest other than that so if I ignore what I knew and remembered from LITTLE BLACK LIES about Zoe I can honestly give this 4 stars and I would like to thank the author and Grand Central Publishing via Net Galley for my advanced copy.

I have to say, I absolutely love the cover.

Another gripping pageturner featuring psychiatrist Zoe Goldman, the protagonist from Little Black Lies.

In what passes for an ordinary day in a psych ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is stumped when a highly unusual case arrives. A young African American girl, found wandering the streets of Buffalo in a catatonic state, is brought in by police. No one has come forward to claim her, and all leads have been exhausted, so Zoe's treatment is the last hope to discover the girl's identity.

When drugs prove ineffective and medical science seems to be failing, Zoe takes matters into her own hands to track down Jane Doe's family and piece together their checkered history. As she unearths their secrets, she finds that monsters hide where they are least expected. And now she must solve the mystery before it is too late. Because someone wants to make sure this young girl never remembers.

The Girl Without a Name is a powerful novel of memory and forgetting, of unexpected friendship and understanding...and of the secrets we protect no matter the consequences

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