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Sunday, 12 November 2017

Review: The Girl I Used To Know

The Girl I Used To Know The Girl I Used To Know by Faith Hogan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is based around a four storey Georgian house in a lovely Dublin square.
The women I meet very soon become part of my “life” as the author makes them 3D almost immediately and you cannot help but feel connected to all of them.

Amanda and Richard King purchase this house but it has a sitting tenant named Tess. They think they can eventually get her to move on. But it’s not the case.

Amanda and Richard being owners occupy the top three storeys with they’re children.

Amanda seems to have it all, if you were looking on, you would feel that way too.

Tess who lives in the basement is a lonely lady, but in some ways she’s brought this upon herself, but I did fully understand how and why.
Tess trips over Amanda’s cat one day and ends up at the hospital.
It’s her wake up call on her health.

Amanda is a 45 year old woman who appears down trodden by Richard her husband.
They have everything. Money, comfortable style and she’s in with a coffee morning with the elite husbands.

A wake up call comes to Amanda one day in the detail of a flavoured condom.

Both women separately start to take stock of their lives.
Amanda and Tess roads cross at times but in opposite directions.

A cat has a hand in bringing these two women together where they find they have lots in common.

I love how the chapters went back in time so we could see and get a rounded picture on the past.
What was Tess life like when she was younger.
What was her home life like.
Did she have a family.
Why is she alone.
Did or can she ever find happiness.

The chapters had date headings so it was easy to follow.
They were short and crisp so I found myself flipping through this read faster than I thought.

Carlos.......hmmmmmm lush.

It’s a fab “curl up book” that takes the reader on several surprises.

This read was much more than I expected, it was full bodied and had hidden gems.


My thanks to Aria for my copy via Net Galley



View all my reviews

Saturday, 11 November 2017

The Secret Mother









The Secret Mother


'Are you my mummy?’


Tessa Markham returns home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children. 

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there. 

After contacting the police, Tessa is suspected of taking the mystery child. Her whole life is turned upside down. And then her husband reveals a secret of his own…

Tessa isn’t sure what to believe or who to trust. Because someone is lying. To find out who, she must confront her painful past. But is the truth more dangerous than Tessa realises? 













Oh yes, yes yes yes yes, this was my kind of read, I really have taken this and added it to my top 10 this year, its a screaming from the rooftops fantastic read, if you love a good thriller, if you love to guess what happens next, if you love to stay up all night reading because you simply can't switch your mind off from a book, this is it, you found it, don't look any further.

This is so fast paced it leaves your breathless. One of the best psychological thrillers that I have read that has shocked me, left me dribbling for me and wanting more from this author. 


Tessa comes home and finds an angel has delivered a young boy to her home whilst she was out, hes sat there, yes sat there in her kitchen drawing and colouring in.
There is an ex husband, she calls him, but there are mitigating circumstances surrounding her past with her husband that puts Tessa in danger of being accused of abduction.

Is Tessa going mad, some would think so, even her readers aren't sure.

I have just come across this author and I need to catch up on her other books, I will most certainly be doing that.

My thanks to the author, to Bookoutour and to Net galley for my copy.


UK🇬🇧http://amzn.to/2xrkDu4
US🇺🇸http://amzn.to/2vXeg3W



Shalini Boland lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two children and their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing psychological thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).

Shalini's debut psychological thriller THE GIRL FROM THE SEA reached No 1 in the US Audible charts and No 7 in the UK Kindle charts. Her second thriller THE BEST FRIEND reached no 2 in the US Audible charts and No 10 in the Amazon UK Kindle charts. It also achieved number 1 in all its categories and was a Kindle All Star title for several months in a row. Shalini’s recent release THE MILLIONAIRE'S WIFE reached No 9 in the Kindle UK charts.

Be the first to hear about her new releases here: http://eepurl.com/b4vb45

Shalini is also the author of two bestselling Young Adult series as well as an atmospheric WWII novel with a time-travel twist.

http://www.facebook.com/ShaliniBolandAuthor
http://www.shaliniboland.co.uk
https://twitter.com/ShaliniBoland


Kim Nash
Publicity & Social Media Manager
Bookouture

Friday, 10 November 2017

Review: The Chalk Man

The Chalk Man The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars





There are Those kind of books that you just know so deserve your 5* rating, and this is one of them.

Its a story that is going to stand out to me, its kind of unique in its story telling, I felt Eddie was actually speaking to me and telling me his life story.

A groups of boys, making their own adventure dream up a secret code that involves drawing stick men as signs. Each boy has a different colour chalk to represent who the message is from. Very ingenious I thought........until things start to go wrong.

Eddie is now grown telling us his story and his part. Then it flicks back nicely to years before when he was with his mates, its all tied in really well, not confusing at all and very well done.

This book is very different in its writing, it feels very different in its approach which will make this stand out from the crowd for sure.

We have a newly hired teacher Mr Halloran who features in several places within this story.
A girl named Elisa who Eddie was quite taken with even at a young age.


A murder in the woods.

This author C.J. Tudor has a fabulous way with words which keeps you hooked and some really good gems within its sentences which if you read carefully you will never forget.

Eddies summer that changed everything in his adult life is a remarkable story that you won't be able to put down.

My thanks to Penguin UK - Michael Joseph via Net Galley for my early copy




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Review: Cruel to Be Kind: Saying no can save a child’s life

Cruel to Be Kind: Saying no can save a child’s life Cruel to Be Kind: Saying no can save a child’s life by Cathy Glass
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have always been a fan of this ladies books and how she portrays herself, plus her experiences over the years with different children she has fostered and minded whilst that child's parent or parents were unable to do so for all sorts of reasons.

With Max, it was because his mother had to stay in hospital due to having two toes amputated. His older sisters were looking after him but they went out one night leaving him alone.

Max comes to your attention as a young pleasing polite boy who is only too ready to please, the most outstanding part of it all is he is obese and being so young wears clothes several years older than his age which have to be hemmed up.
His mother was only folding them up to fit him but Cathy when she had to buy some clothes for him to fit several years above what he needed for size, she actually sewed them up to fit him.

We learn from Cathy Glass there are many things a foster carer can and cannot do from her previous books on this but if you have not read one of her books before it will be explained however, if you have already read one of her books before, be alert to know she retells the do's and don't of foster care and making logs for health, school, care, appointments etc.

One thing stood out to me, the extend we are 'overtold' about Max weight. Although she played it down around the children and indeed Max himself, I felt the inner self of Cathy came out above and beyond what was already apparent to us readers. That she was concerned about his health, of course, but also the way she pointed out his sisters were overweight too and the amount of sweets on the hospital bed, OK that was good but just a little too much on the emphasis for my personal taste.

I have been overweight all my life and this touched several nerves.

Apart from that I did enjoy the story, but it did grate a bit, I think most of us readers can see that Max needed to get healthier.

My thanks goes to Harper Element for providing me with my personal copy.

My review is entirely my own.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 2 November 2017

THREE WEDDINGS AND A SCANDAL WENDY HOLDEN



Head of Zeus Press Release
 THREE WEDDINGS AND A SCANDAL 
WENDY HOLDEN

Publication Date: 7th September 2017
Paperback price: £7.99


‘Effing marvellous.’ JILLY COOPER

‘So, so smart and funny’ INDIA KNIGHT

‘If you’re seeking hilarity and readability then our very own Wendy Holden’s latest sparkling social satire is your ultimate summer read…Total bliss’ DAILY MAIL

‘Zany, zips along with lots of laughs: this is Holden on top form’ 
WOMAN & HOME

A delicious new series from one of Britain’s funniest novelists, 
starring a hapless journalist going undercover during wedding season.

She'll need a triple-barrelled name for the castle one. 
She'll need a gallon of glitter for the woodland one. 
She'll need a lobster-shaped hat for the Shoreditch one. 

Laura Lake longs to be a journalist. Instead she's an unpaid intern at a glossy magazine – sleeping in the fashion cupboard and living on canapés. But she's just got her first big break: infiltrate three society weddings and write a juicy exposé.

Security will be tighter than a bodycon dress, but how hard can it be? Cue disappearing brides, demanding socialites – and a jealous office enemy who will do anything to bring her down... 





Number one bestselling author Wendy Holden was a journalist on Tatler, the Sunday Times, and the Mail on Sunday before becoming an author. She has since written ten consecutive Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers. She lives in Derbyshire.





Three Weddings and a Scandal (The Laura Lake Series)Three Weddings and a Scandal by Wendy Holden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


We have Laura Lake, yearns to be an investigative journalist. She wants to follow her late Fathers footsteps.

Shes offered an internship with a glossy magazine in London, yes, result for her, foot in the door.

She grabs her chance with both hands although shes reluctant to leave her Grandmother.
Somehow Laura finds herself in London with no money, no phone, lots of misfortunes for Laura along the way. Eventually she gets stories of celebrity weddings, missing brides, brawls and disasters to report.

Lots of scandulous reportings for Laura.

An enjoyable read. I found it quite entertaining and easy to read.

My thanks to Head of Zeus for my personal copy.

View all my reviews


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

London Noir by author Ann Girdharry

London Noir






Memory loss, nightmares, the urge to kill – Sophie has it all.
Is it really Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Or something more sinister? Kal is about to find out…

After a near-fatal road accident, Kal helps Sophie, a young girl in trouble.

The girl’s friends are being murdered one by one. Why? And who by?
Kal must kick start herself out of her downward spiral to save the young stranger.
But Kal is in the grip of the London Cartel, and is someone after the girl, or is the girl after someone?


Purchase London Noir on Kindle
Purchase London Noir in Paperback


LONDON NOIR IS FREE FOR DOWNLOAD FOR 48 H0URS FROM TODAY





London NoirLondon Noir by Ann Girdharry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 for me.

This book isn't to be read as a stand alone because without reading book one you will become confused and lost as there are many references to book 1.

After reading book 1 some time ago I was happy to receive this book 2 to catch up with things.
Its not a quick fast paced read. I did find some of things that Kat did or said a bit irrational at times but hey ho, shes a woman right.
Nevertheless, as a rational woman myself it did leave me humfing at times.

IMAGINE
You just hear that your best friend has woken from a coma, you want to rush off to the hospital, of course you do, [to find out how she got in that state, you need to read book 1]
Kat runs to her car and begins driving, its wet weather and on route she almost runs over a young woman.
This woman's name is Sophie.
After finding our if shes OK, she is still worried about this stranger named Sophie and offers her a lift to her home.
But, Sophie doesn't want to be dropped off at home, she wants to be dropped off at an undesirable red light district.
That is where my high hopes dropped a bit as I didn't feel this realistic, well, not something I would have done, but you need to draw your own conclusions here.

Then Kat later discovers there is a killer on the loose and the women he has killed are connected with Sophie, so now she is even more worried about her.

Get ready for some tummy churning moments as the killers gory happenings are unfolded and described in horrific detail upon the pages.

My personal thoughts are that some things were hard to believe, some things needed more pace and pitch and power. I didn't find it a page turner, I did find it a slow burner and not an edge of your seat thriller, and sometimes that's a good thing.

The plot was a good one but the way Sophie was introduced and how Kat was so 'worried' about a stranger was so hard for me to understand fully.

I enjoyed book 1 much better.

View all my reviews



Author Bio –
Ann Girdharry is a British crime suspense thriller author.
A trained psychotherapist, she worked for many years as a manager in the not-for-profit sector, for agencies working with carers, vulnerable older people, survivors of abuse, and victims of racial attacks.
She currently lives in Montpellier, France with her husband and two children.
Her debut novel, GOOD GIRL BAD GIRL, is an ERIC HOFFER BOOK AWARD Finalist 2017.
Her second crime suspense thriller, LONDON NOIR, will be published October 2017.
She is also author of Chilling Tales of the Unexpected Short Reads.
Author Links


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Review: Like Broken China

Like Broken China Like Broken China by J.D. Thompson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Making snap impulsive decisions is not always idea, it can affect us and have a domino affect on others, this is what happened to Courtney Cook.

She spent one night with Matt the boy of her dreams which turned her whole world upside down.
Matt and her are married now with two children, but only to find that Matt has a gambling addiction which is really incurring on their relationship, their marriage.

How can they deal with this and keep the children happy.
Is this possible? Children have a way of picking up on things.

Its a book that's full of reality for some people and families, depressing in a lot of ways, but the author did a good job of keeping it real.



View all my reviews

Review: Last Seen

Last Seen Last Seen by Lucy Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was and is a remarkable read, again, straight into my top 10 this year. Its going to be so hard to choose my top ten.

We have two close friends, they have children within days of each other, the unity between these two women are remarkable and close along with their growing children.

Sarah and Isla have been there for each other through thick and thin but will their friendship survive once their children go missing one day, but only one returns. Jacob.

They were only 10 years old.

7 years later on the anniversary of her sons death her friends son goes missing, Jacob.

Sarah starts a vigilance searching for her son, but hes nowhere to be found.

Someone somewhere knows.

Someone somewhere knows what happened all those years ago, someone somewhere knows what has happened since,.
Who do you trust when there is no one to trust.

This story kept me rigid in my chair, I couldn't move, I just needed to read from beginning to the very end which left me gasping.

My thanks to the author Lucy Clarke and to HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction via Net Galley for my copy. What an exciting read.

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Review: The Secret Mother

The Secret Mother The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh yes, yes yes yes yes, this was my kind of read, I really have taken this and added it to my top 10 this year, its a screaming from the rooftops fantastic read, if you love a good thriller, if you love to guess what happens next, if you love to stay up all night reading because you simply can't switch your mind off from a book, this is it, you found it, don't look any further.

This is so fast paced it leaves your breathless. One of the best psychological thrillers that I have read that has shocked me, left me dribbling for me and wanting more from this author.


Tessa comes home and finds an angel has delivered a young boy to her home whilst she was out, hes sat there, yes sat there in her kitchen drawing and colouring in.
There is an ex husband, she calls him, but there are mitigating circumstances surrounding her past with her husband that puts Tessa in danger of being accused of abduction.

Is Tessa going mad, some would think so, even her readers aren't sure.

I have just come across this author and I need to catch up on her other books, I will most certainly be doing that.

My thanks to the author, to Bookoutour and to Net galley for my copy.



View all my reviews

Review: The Mistake

The Mistake The Mistake by K.L. Slater
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Mistake

A thought provoking title I thought when I started reading this and I soon discovered a thought provoking story inside too.

Just what do you know about men when you are younger? What experience do you have apart from being around boys in school, any brothers you have and your Father/family male members?

Which ones do you trust, all of them? None of them or some of them? So how do you know that any potential boyfriend is going to turn out to be good or bad. Its a danger we all can fall into.

Gooey eyed Rose. smitten for the very first time by a man much older than herself, he wasn't a good choice for anyone.

Rose learns the hard way that he is not to be trusted, but its taken her some time and some loses along the way, including her best friendship with Cassie.

Casssie warns her to stay away, she can see that hes manipulative and controlling, but Rose loves him, she can't see it.

Rose is bereft of her parents, she lost her brother who went missing whilst she had taken him out to fly his kite, she blames herself.

We have the chance where the author takes us readers back in time so that we can pick up the pieces of what not only happened to Rose in her life but the events that her boyfriend Gareth evolved with her little brother and how scared and worried he became.

I wondered if Gareth was part of the reason that Billy went missing, then there was terrible thing that happened to her friend Cassie.

The author takes us back and forth in alternating chapters leaving us gasping for more.
I became eager for the answers to my questions, desperate to know more about Gareth, angry at Rose to wake up and see what was happening around her.

But Rose was used to leading a quiet life. With her cat, working in a library and has some issues of her own.

Rose visits her elderly neighbour on a regular basis, but one time she discovers her brothers red blanket in his house unexpectedly.

When I thought I had it nailed, it then turned another corner with a revelation of her neighbours secrets. Boy oh boy.

So many suspects.
So many loose ends.

K L Slater is one of my top 10 writers that I eagerly await her next book. I love her style, I admire the way her mind works and I love how to can make 'ordinary' into 'extraordinary'.

My sincere thanks to this author for keeping me up at night whilst I just read 'one more chapter' and to Bookoutour on Net Galley for my copy.

View all my reviews

Olivia Hart

Olivia Hart – Blog Tour



Secrets on your doorstep don’t stay secret for long… A romantic comedy perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Holly Martin.

When Daniele Bracci – a musician at Rome’s Opera Theatre arrives at his new apartment, he is surprised by the warm welcome he receives from his neighbours. Giovanna however, is more preoccupied with introducing him to her daughter Anita. But what she doesn’t know is that for the last two years, Anita has been secretly seeing someone else.

When Anita is introduced to the new tenant, she has the shock of her life – Daniele was Anita’s first love at high school. Can she come to terms with the terrible way things ended between them?

Anita isn't the only one with something to hide… and none of these secrets go unnoticed by Pina, the apartment gossip who writes everything down in her secret diary.





Olivia Hart is a collective group of authors who met five years ago on a writing course and then could no longer do without each other's company. They decided to write a novel that would bind them forever.

Follow Olivia







As the cover displays to me it looked like a fun read that would or could be quite lighthearted so I was happy to jump in.

It make a fresh difference to the regular thrillers I have been reading lately so it allowed me to come in with a complete fresh clear mind which I love to do within genre's at times. 

This is set in Rome, in an apartment with varying people, of varying ages which made for some readers 'nosy times' where you could peek into others lives.

We have Daniel who is house sharing, Anita who is around 28 years old, shes a tour guide and travels around nipping here and there on her moped.

There were likeable characters and some you didn't like so much as with your own neighbourhood. 

Some very loud dramatic moments, arguments which may seem to be OTT but aren't some arguments like that anyhow? What one person finds as petty another would be really dramatic about and not stop shouting about how they feel.

Then there were the secrets. 

We have some elements of romance, some witty laugh out loud moments and some 'raising your eyes to the ceiling' moments when you wanted to say "come on already".
The conversational ability was well sentenced although at time there were some things that didn't honestly need to be explained and repeated as the reader could work it out themselves I thought. 

I did think this was a "busy" book with a lot going on and a lot of people, so sometimes had to reread a few pages and get my head together around it to keep it. On a downside, the thinking out loud moments that were written didn't lay easy with me, it sometimes confused me.
If the stories per person where spaced out or maybe as chaptered individually maybe that would work better to follow.

All in it was a fun read.

My thanks to ARIA for my copy via Net Galley



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