Review

#BookReview #BlogTour
Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe
@katheringarbera @HarperImpulse @rararesources

Synopsis:

There’s nothing so magical as Christmas in New York…

Santa is coming to New York!

Snow is falling, excitement is high and the delicious scent of chocolate drifts along Fifth Avenue – the Candied Apple Café is ready for Christmas! And no one is busier than publicist Iona Summerlin. With so much to do, she doesn’t have time to think about men, dating, or the fact her last boyfriend ditched her for her brother… Relationships are off the menu!

Hotel boss Mads Eriksson is not looking forward to the first Christmas since losing his wife. His six-year-old daughter Sofia has lost her belief in Christmas magic along with her mother, and he has no idea what to do. But an unusually festive business meeting at the Candied Apple – and meeting the beautiful Iona – starts to defrost Mads’ frozen heart, and suddenly life seems full of light and sparkle again.

If only they dare to believe, maybe all their Christmas dreams will come true!


Book Rating: 8/10

Festive, heartwarming, and romantic!

Christmas at the Candied Apple cafe is set in the idyllic New York City in wintertime and takes us into the lives of two main characters. Iona, a young woman who is hardworking, thoughtful and ready to find the one; and Mads, a grieving, single father who prefers to remain focused on raising his daughter than risk loving and losing once again.

The prose is light and smooth. The main characters are thoughtful, feisty, and endearing. And the plot sweeps you away into a winter fairytale complete with a beautiful, independent princess, a handsome, scarred prince, family, friendship, loss, heartbreak, true love, and a charming, little girl who will steal your heart.

Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe is a perfect holiday read.  It’s entertaining, uplifting and will have you believing in the magic of Christmas, and dreaming of warm, cozy fires, hot chocolate, and scrumptious chocolate delights!

Giveaway:

5 lucky winners will win a copy of Summer in Manhattan, Katherine Garbera’s previous book for Harper Impulse.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the Author:

 

USA Today bestselling author Katherine Garbera is a two-time Maggie winner who has written more than 60 books. A Florida native who grew up to travel the globe, Katherine now makes her home in the Midlands of the UK with her husband, two children and a very spoiled miniature dachshund.

 

Thank you to Katherine Garbera for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                 

For more information on Katherine Garbera, visit her website at: katherinegarbera.com

or follow her on Twitter: @katheringarbera 

Facebook: katherinegarberaauthor or Instagram: katherinegarbera

#BookReview
The French Girl by Lexie Elliott
@BerkleyPub

Synopsis:

They were six university students from Oxford–friends and sometimes more than friends–spending an idyllic week together in a French farmhouse. It was supposed to be the perfect summer getaway–until they met Severine, the girl next door.

For Kate Channing, Severine was an unwelcome presence, her inscrutable beauty undermining the close-knit group’s loyalties amid the already simmering tensions. And after a huge altercation on the last night of the holiday, Kate knew nothing would ever be the same. There are some things you can’t forgive, and there are some people you can’t forget, like Severine, who was never seen again.

Now, a decade later, the case is reopened when Severine’s body is found in the well behind the farmhouse. Questioned along with her friends, Kate stands to lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve as suspicion mounts around her. Desperate to resolve her own shifting memories and fearful she will be forever bound to the woman whose presence still haunts her, Kate finds herself buried under layers of deception with no one to set her free.


Book Rating: 7/10

Dark, gripping, and complex!

The French Girl is an intriguing character-driven novel that delves into the dynamic relationship between six friends and their possible involvement in the murder of a young girl ten years prior while vacationing in France.

The writing is clear and precise. The characters are self-involved, secretive, and troubled. And the plot uses a past/present, back-and-forth style to create suspense and tension as it subtly unravels all the actions, motivations, personalities, and relationships within it.

The French Girl at its core is a novel about friendship, secrets, manipulation, jealousy, obsession, and murder with a little paranormal twist. It’s a compelling debut for Elliott and I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next.

 

About the Author:

Lexie Elliott has been writing for as long as she can remember, but she began to focus on it more seriously after she lost her banking job in 2009 due to the Global Financial Crisis. After some success in short story competitions, she began planning a novel. With two kids and a (new) job, it took some time for that novel to move from her head to the page, but the result was “The French Girl”, which will be published by Berkley in February 2018 – available to pre-order now!

When she’s not writing, Lexie can be found running, swimming or cycling whilst thinking about writing. In 2007 she swam the English Channel solo. She won’t be doing that again. In 2015 she ran 100km, raising money for Alzheimer Scotland. She won’t be doing that again either. But the odd triathlon or marathon isn’t out of the question.

 

Thank you to Berkley Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is due to be published February 20, 2018.

Preorder a copy now from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Lexie Elliott, visit her website at: lexieelliott.com

or follow her on Facebook at: lexieelliottwrites

#BookReview
Two Journeys Home by Kevin O’Connell

Synopsis:

It’s now the late-Summer of 1767. As the eagerly anticipated sequel to Beyond Derrynane opens, having spent almost six eventful years at the court of Maria Theresa, Eileen O’Connell has availed herself of a fortuitous opportunity to travel back to Ireland.

Her vivacious personality matched only by her arresting physical presence, Eileen returns to Derrynane this time not as a teenage widow but, rather, as one of the most recognised figures at the glittering Habsburg court. Before departing Ireland several months later, she experiences a whirlwind romance, leading to a tumult of betrayal and conflict within the O’Connell clan. Once back in Vienna she unexpectedly finds her responsibilities as governess to the youngest Habsburg archduchess now linked to relations between France and Austria.

Abigail, rather than being eclipsed by her colourful younger sister, has instead ascended to the vaulted position of principal lady-in-waiting to Empress Maria Theresa. No longer “just a girl from deep in Kerry,” she is a beloved – and powerful – figure at court.

Hugh O’Connell, the youngest of the large family, leaves behind waning adolescence and a fleeting attraction to the youngest archduchess when he begins a military career in the Irish Brigade of the armies of Louis XV. But, perhaps as a foreshadowing of his adult life and career, more royal entanglement awaits him in France …

In the continuing saga, the O’Connells will confront intrigue, romance – even violence. Despite their innate wisdom, cunning and guile, what their futures hold remains to be seen.

With his uniquely-descriptive prose, Kevin O’Connell again deftly weaves threads of historical fact and fancy to create a colourful tapestry affording unique insights into the courts of eighteenth-century Catholic Europe as well as Protestant Ascendancy–ruled Ireland. Watch as the epic unfolds amongst the O’Connells, their friends and enemies, as the tumultuously-dangerous worlds in which they dwell continue to gradually – but inexorably – change.

Along with Beyond Derrynane, Two Journeys Home – and the two books to follow in The Derrynane Saga – comprise an enthralling series of historical novels, presenting a sweeping chronicle, set against the larger drama of Europe in the early stages of significant change, dramatising the roles, which have never before been treated in fiction, played by a small number of expatriate Irish Catholics of the fallen “Gaelic Aristocracy” at the courts of Catholic Europe, as well as relating their complex, at times dangerous, lives at home in an Ireland still controlled by the Sassenach.

In addition to Eileen’s, the books trace the largely-fictional lives of several other O’Connells of Derrynane, it is the tantalisingly few facts that are historically documented about them which provide the basic facts which give rise to the tale, into which strategic additions of numerous historical and fictional personalities and events mesh seamlessly.


Book Rating: 8/10

Fascinating, insightful and richly descriptive!

Two Journeys Home is an intriguing tale that picks up where “Beyond Derrynane” left off, taking us back to the 1760s where family honour and respect are more righteous than love and emotional happiness and the youngest sister Eileen is struggling to fulfill her wishes and dreams amongst an abundance of betrayal and violence.

The prose is captivating and vivid. The characters are bold, resilient, and willful. And the plot takes us from the 1760s through to the 1770s, from the dazzling courts of Austria to the green hills of Ireland where upheaval, acceptance, and familial strife weigh heavily on the heart and mind.

Two Journeys Home is a well written, sophisticated novel that certainly highlights O’Connell’s outstanding research, incredible knowledge, and enormous passion for his family’s history and genealogy.

Two Journeys Home is the second novel in “The Derrynane Saga” and if you haven’t already read my review for Beyond Derrynane (Derrynane Saga #1) be sure to check it out here:

Thank you to Kevin O’Connell for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It was a pleasure and honour to read.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                        

For more information on Kevin O’Connell, visit his website at: Derrynane Books

#BookReview
Wheels Up by Annabeth Albert
@AnnabethAlbert @CarinaPress

Synopsis:

Their love is forbidden, but their hearts aren’t listening to rules and regulations.

Lieutenant Dustin Strauss is a reformed man. No longer a twentysomething hell-raiser, he’s his SEAL team’s new XO-and a man with a secret. Or seven. He’s kept his bisexual identity under wraps for years, along with his kinky side and a fondness for the military-themed semianonymous hookup website Joe4Joe. His latest chat buddy is more than a sexy online distraction-they’re taking their very not-safe-for-work relationship into real time.

Petty Officer Wes Lowe has a smart mouth, a take-charge attitude and an uncanny ability for making things go boom. The life of an enlisted man isn’t always enough to satisfy him, but one wild, no-questions-asked weekend with his online love comes close. When a transfer order comes in, Wes feels ready and centered. He’ll make a good impression on his new SEAL team and keep his growing feelings for Dustin on the down low.

But as they log more time online and some very real emotions surface, Dustin and Wes struggle to pretend they’re just a harmless fling. And when his commander introduces Dustin to his team’s newest member, they’re in for the shock of a lifetime…and a crushing disappointment: their difference in ranks means even a friendship without sexual contact could end their navy careers for good.

With their hearts on the line, Dustin and Wes may not survive their next mission, let alone find a way toward a future together.


Book Rating: 8.5/10

Sweet, spicy, and stirring!

Wheels Up is an emotional, steamy read that highlights just how much harder it is to find that someone special, the one who makes you feel wanted, needed and cared for when your life revolves around the military and things like rank, impropriety, and fraternization come into play.

The writing is titillating and tender. The characters are well-crafted, appealing, and genuine. And the plot told from two different points of view, is filled to the brim with longing, lust, desire, angst, palpable chemistry, and a swoon-worthy happy-ever-after ending.

Wheels Up is hands down a sexy, sultry tale with a nice side of kink. And I have to admit that when it comes to M/M romance novels Albert is a star and the “Out of Uniform” series is one of the best.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my reviews of the previous novels in the Out of Uniform series, be sure to check them out here:

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Carina Press, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                

For more information on Annabeth Albert, visit her website at: annabethalbert.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @AnnabethAlbert

#BookReview
Zenka by Alison Brodie
@alisonbrodie2

 

Synopsis:

Ruthless, stubborn and loyal.

Zenka is a Hungarian pole-dancer with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knuckle-dusters and shotguns.

Jack learns he has a son, Nicholas, a community nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charge. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she aims to turn Nicholas into a son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a crime boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?


Book Rating: 9/10

Dark, action-packed, and down-right funny!

In this latest novel by Brodie, Zenka, we are introduced to an extraordinary cast of characters, including a ruthless mob boss with a heart, a bashful administrator with a pet cat, a couple of goons who’ll do anything for a little dosh, a Hungarian pole dancer obsessed with revenge, a slovenly roommate up for anything, and a male nurse who learns to fight dirty, and that’s just to mention a few.

The writing is creative, fresh, and unique. And the plot is jam-packed full of outrageous twists, unpredicted turns, witty banter, oddball mishaps, a dash of romance, violence, murder, and a whole slew of slapstick moments.

I have to admit I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this novel, but boy was I pleasantly surprised. Zenka is a hoot from start to finish and clearly highlights Brodie’s incredible imagination and ability to write stories that are highly entertaining, depraved, and exceptionally funny! 

 

About the Author:

Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side. She is a writer and animal rights activist. Her books have been published in hardback and paperback by Hodder & Stoughton (UK), Heyne (Germany) and Unieboek (Holland). Alison is now a self-publisher. Here are some editorial reviews for her recent books:

BRAKE FAILURE: “Masterpiece of humor” –Midwest Book Review

THE DOUBLE: “Proof of her genius in writing fiction” -San Francisco Book Review.

 

Thank you to Alison Brodie for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

For more information on Alison Brodie visit her website at: alisonbrodiebooks.com

or follow her on Twitter at@alisonbrodie2 or Facebook at: AlisonBrodieAuthor

#BookReview #Q&A
The Christmas Secret by Karen Swan
@KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks

 

Synopsis:

They say that behind every great man, there’s a great woman, and behind London’s most powerful leaders, there stands only one — Alex Hyde, Business Coach par excellence. She’s the woman they turn to for advice and strategy when the pressure gets too much.

So when she gets a call from an esteemed whisky company in Scotland asking for her services it’s business as usual. Only, she’s never met anyone like Lochlan Burr before. CEO of Kentallen Distilleries, he’s also the son and heir of the company’s founder. He’s a maverick, an enigma, a renegade, and Alex needs to get inside his head before he brings the company to its knees. But as she tasks herself with finding a way in, she finds she’s the one being maneuvered; for once, she isn’t in control. And when she stumbles across a chance discovery that changes everything, she’s suddenly not so sure she should be.


Book Rating: 10/10

Absorbing, enthralling, and positively addictive!

In this latest novel by Swan she sweeps us away to Isle of Islay where the people are the salt of the earth, the terrain is rugged, the peat is unique, and the whisky is smoky, smooth, and plentiful!

The prose is remarkably well turned and fluid. The characters are unique, flawed, eccentric, and lovable. And the story is an exceptionally compelling tale about life, loss, grief, war, familial dynamics, friendship, forgiveness, courage, community, happiness, love, and good Scotch.  

Alternating between the past and the present, The Christmas Secret has it all. It’s humorous and lighthearted, emotional and heartbreaking, mysterious and sweet. It grabs you from the very first page and with its wonderfully blended storyline of historical facts, snappy fiction, and delightful romance it’s truly the perfect holiday treat! 

If you haven’t had a chance to read my reviews for some of Karen Swan’s previous titles be sure to check them out here:

 

And now a little Q&A with Karen Swan:

The Christmas Secret is set mainly in Islay, Scotland. Prior to writing the novel did this locale have any personal significance for you?

Yes, my father is Scottish so I have spent much of my life in the Highlands and I love it: I was married there, my first born was christened there; it’s very much a part of me and I identify strongly as being of Scottish blood; ‘Swan’ is actually a shortening of my maiden name MacSwan MacLeod. Also, my father knows the Robertson family, whose grandfather, Sergeant Malcolm MacNeill, had the grim task of identifying the bodies of the soldiers washed ashore after the American troopship Tuscania sank. It was a devastating incident for such a tiny, rural community to have the war literally wash up on their sands like that, and tragically it was compounded just a few months later when another American troop carrier, the Otranto, sank in a collision with its own convoy just off Islay’s shores. The Tuscania tragedy was the single largest loss of American lives in one day since the Civil War and was met with national dismay back home. The centenary anniversary is coming up for both events so it felt like an opportunity to remember those who perished.

In the Christmas Secret, as well as some of your other novels, you interweave a historical event, in this case the tragic sinking of the SS Tuscania, with contemporary fiction. Do you find this harder or easier to write than your novels that are purely fictional?

I’m increasingly interested in incorporating a historical element in my stories, for it adds weight but also pathos too. It does make it more complicated though, in this case ridiculously so, as I chose to reveal the backstory through a variety of different sources and characters all of which involved different research and tones of voice. Partly I did this because I wanted the impact of what happened to be spelled out in three-hundred and sixty degrees; it also fractured the telling of the event for the reader, giving a haunting, dream-like quality to the story. I asked myself several times over the course of writing it, whether it was strictly necessary to devote some much time and energy to this thread and those characters, but I think the closing sentences of the epilogue rather sum up why it had to be done. They brought me to tears.

The Christmas Secret is a beautiful story about small-island life, love, forgiveness, community, and whisky, but Is there any sub-plot or chapter that you had to edit out because of the flow that you really wish you could have kept in?

Funnily enough, it wasn’t a matter of cutting anything out but rather, having to refrain from putting too much in. I would have liked to go in closer with some of the characters in the back-story but I had to write very lightly, taking care not to make anything too obvious or heavy-handed. The historical story could easily have overshadowed the present day story if I wasn’t careful and I had to constantly remind myself that it was there to underpin and explain the main action, not overwhelm it.

In The Christmas Secret and all your previous novels you have a strong, independent female protagonist that is often fashion savvy. Do you do this consciously or unconsciously based on your own success as a fashion editor?

Yes, I think I do really. Although I’ve moved on from that world, I still believe that fashion and how we present ourselves is an incredibly – and increasingly – important tool in how we navigate our lives. I tend to use a good sense of style as evidence of an ordered, urban, sophisticated life.

In The Christmas Secret and your previous novels you always have incredible, memorable secondary characters, such as Callum and Louise. Would you ever consider writing a novel featuring one of these characters in the lead?

I would love to, not least because sometimes – not always – I even prefer them to the main characters. There’s a little more freedom that comes with the support cast – they don’t need to be as well-behaved, or even as likeable. I think if I were to do that, it would be with Kitty in The Perfect Present. I took her very much to my heart.

In the past you have written one sequel that I know of, Summer at Tiffany’s which was the sequel to Christmas at Tiffany’s. Do you think we might see more sequels in the future or do you prefer to create new characters and fresh storylines?

It was an interesting exercise writing a sequel to Christmas At Tiffanys, not least because those characters really became very beloved to my readers and it was lovely to revisit them again. The tricky thing for my genre, however, is that the core of my stories is not the actual plot mystery but the romantic element between the characters; I really care about whether their love story feels genuine and authentic and that’s the rub: for a reader to want to turn the pages, a story must be compelling, which means creating tension and conflict; no-one wants to spend 300 pages reading about other peoples’ perfect happiness. But in order to create that necessary tension, I would have to dismantle the very relationship I had spent the previous book building up, and to me, that risks falling into ‘soap opera’ territory. If my books could be based around my characters’ jobs, rather than their love lives, it would be an enticing prospect, not least because I find most of their jobs fascinating: Flora Sykes, the fine art agent for example? She could be my equivalent to Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon! Why not? I can see it!

 

About the Author:

Writer Karen Swan


Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. Her Globe and Mail bestselling books include Christmas at Tiffany’s, Summer at Tiffany’s, The Perfect Present, Christmas in the Snow, The Summer Without You, Christmas on Primrose HillThe Paris Secret, and Christmas Under the Stars (set in Banff for her legion of Canadian fans!) and The Rome Affair. She lives in Sussex, England.

 

 

As many of you already know I am a huge fan of Karen Swan and it’s an enormous honour to have her participate in a Q&A for this blog. I also must thank PGC for their continued support and for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Karen Swan, follow her on Facebook at: Karen-Swan

or on Twitter at: @KarenSwan1

 

 

And if you live in the GTA don’t miss your opportunity to attend a “Night with Karen Swan” hosted by Publishers Group Canada.

 

© Alexander James

OAKVILLE, ON
Tuesday, November 14 • 7:00 PM
An Evening with Karen Swan • Oakville Public Library
Central Branch • Tickets on sale now

KITCHENER, ON
Wednesday, November 15 • 7:00 PM
An Evening with Karen Swan • Kitchener Public Library
85 Queen Branch • Registration required

WHITBY, ON
Thursday, November 16 • 7:00 PM
An Evening with Karen Swan • Whitby Public Library
Central Branch • Registration required

 

For more information on a “Night with Karen Swan” check out the events newsletter HERE

Writer Karen Swan

 

#BookReview
Touch of Red by Laura Griffin
@Laura_Griff @Pocket_Books

Synopsis:

When crime scene investigator Brooke Porter arrives at the home of a murdered woman, the only thing more shocking than the carnage is the evidence that someone escaped the scene. But where is this witness now? A thorough search of the area yields more questions than answers, and before Brooke even packs up her evidence kit, she’s made it her goal to find the witness and get them out of harm’s way.

Homicide detective Sean Byrne has seen his share of bloody crime scenes, but this one is particularly disturbing, especially because Brooke Porter is smack in the middle of it. Sean has had his eye on the sexy CSI for months, and he’s determined to help her with her current case—even if it means putting his attraction on hold so he and Brooke can track down a murderer. But as the investigation—and their relationship—heats up, Sean realizes that keeping his work and his personal life separate is more complicated than he ever imagined; especially when the killer sets his sights on Brooke.


Book Rating: 10/10

Enthralling, adrenaline pumping, and menacing!

Touch of Red is a riveting tale that immerses you into the evidence collection and investigation into the violent homicide of a young woman, the pursuit of a missing witness and the hunt for a ruthless killer.

The writing is effortless and crisp. The characters are relentless, hard-working, determined, and patient. And the story starts off with a bang and never lets up as it quickly spins through well-timed twists, unexpected turns, red-hot chemistry, steamy liaisons, corruption, brutality, and murder.

Laura Griffin’s Tracer series is like watching CSI only better, and Touch of Red is no exception. From the very first page I was hooked. And even though Touch of Red is the twelfth book in the series and has a few nice appearances from characters in the previous novels, it can definitely be read as a standalone. 

If you haven’t had a chance to read my review for At Close Range (Tracers #11) be sure to check it out here:

 

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Laura Griffin started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of writing romantic suspense. Her books have won numerous awards, including two RITA Awards (for Scorched and Whisper of Warning) and a Daphne du Maurier Award (Untraceable). Laura currently lives in Austin where she is working on her next book.

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Pocket Books, for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Laura Griffin, visit her website at: lauragriffin.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @Laura_Griff

#BookReview
The Silent Fountain by Victoria Fox
@VFoxWrites @HarlequinBooks

Synopsis:

Something terrible happened here…Hollywood, 1975: Tragedy sends troubled film star Vivien Lockhart into the arms of Giovanni Moretti, and it seems her fortunes have finally changed. Until she meets his sister, and learns that her new husband’s past holds dark secrets.

Tuscany, Present day: Everyone in London is searching for Lucy Whittaker – so Lucy needs to disappear. But her new home, the crumbling Castillo Barbarossa, is far from the secluded paradise it seemed. Across the decades, Vivien and Lucy find themselves trapped in the idyllic Italian villa. And if they are ever to truly escape its walls, they must first unearth its secrets…


Book Rating: 9/10

Heartbreaking, romantic and utterly alluring!

The Silent Fountain is an incredibly absorbing and emotive novel about love, life, loss, deception, infidelity, friendship, family, jealousy, obsession, and tragedy.

There are two main memorable characters in this novel. Vivian, a starlet from the 1970s who moved to Italy with the love of her life until one day everything she held dear was taken, shattered and destroyed. And Lucy, a young woman who fell in love with the wrong man and is now hiding from the public and media revile being cast her way.

The writing is eloquent and expressive.  The plot is well crafted and uses a past/present, back-and-forth style to create suspense and emotion as it subtly unravels all the histories, personalities, relationships, and motivations within it. And the characterization is well done with a cast of characters that are distressed, raw and endearing and a setting, Castillo Barbarossa, that is a character itself with its dereliction, isolation, and multitude of secrets.

The Silent Fountain is truly a clever, haunting, atmospheric novel that swept me away to a city touched by both cruelty and love and immersed me in a poignant, moving story that certainly had me shedding a few tears. This was the first novel I’ve read by Victoria Fox but I can guarantee you it won’t be the last.

 

About the Author:

 

Victoria Fox lives in Bristol with her husband and young daughter. She used to work in publishing and is now the author of seven novels. 

Victoria’s favourite things are blustery walks, golden retrievers and Argentinean red wine.

 

 

Thank you to Harlequin Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Victoria Fox, visit her Goodreads profile at: VictoriaFox

or follow her on Twitter at: @VFoxWrites

#BookReview #BlogBlitz
London Noir by Ann Girdharry
@GirdharryAnn @rararesources

 

Synopsis:

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?


Book Rating: 7/10

Action-packed, suspenseful, and eerie!

In this latest novel by Girdharry, London Noir, Kal Medi is back and not only struggling to recover from all the physical and psychological trauma she suffered on her last investigation but quickly caught up in the life of a troubled girl whose skeletons both past and present may be more harrowing than anyone expected.

The writing style is descriptive and smooth. The plot is an incredibly twisty tale that delves into a world filled with deception, mental illness, obsession, manipulation, revenge, malice, violence, and murder.  And the characters are multi-layered, scarred, and somewhat impetuous.

London Noir is the second book in the Kal Medi series and even though I felt the main character’s motivations were a little hard to grasp at times and it wasn’t quite as dark and gritty as the first novel it is still a very entertaining, enjoyable thriller that highlights Girdharry’s extraordinary knowledge of the human psyche.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my review for Good Girl Bad Girl (Kal Medi #1) be sure to check it out here:

 

About the Author:

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.

For more information on Ann Girdharry visit her at the following:

Website: http://www.girdharry.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnGirdharry

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/AnnGirdharry

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Thank you to Ann Girdharry for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

    

#BookReview
Little Secrets by Anna Snoekstra
@AnnaSnoekstra @HarlequinBooks

Synopsis:

What happens when ambition trumps the truth?

A town reeling in the wake of tragedy

An arsonist is on the loose in Colmstock, Australia, most recently burning down the town’s courthouse and killing a young boy who was trapped inside..

An aspiring journalist desperate for a story

The clock is ticking for Rose Blakey. With nothing but rejections from newspapers piling up, her job pulling beers for cops at the local tavern isn’t nearly enough to cover rent. Rose needs a story-a big one.

Little dolls full of secrets

In the weeks after the courthouse fire, precise porcelain replicas of Colmstock’s daughters begin turning up on doorsteps, terrifying parents and testing the limits of the town’s already fractured police force.

Rose may have finally found her story. But as her articles gain traction and the boundaries of her investigation blur, Colmstock is seized by a seething paranoia. Soon, no one is safe from suspicion. And when Rose’s attention turns to the mysterious stranger living in the rooms behind the tavern, neighbor turns on neighbor and the darkest side of self-preservation is revealed.


Book Rating: 7/10

Creepy, gritty, and exceptionally atmospheric!

In this latest novel by Snoekstra, Little Secrets, she transports us to Colmstock, Australia, a small town not only devastated by economic depression but reeling from the destruction and tragedy caused by an arsonist with no conscience, and a potential predator who seems to be targeting the local children.

The prose is somber and taut. The characters are deceptive, scheming, and self-involved. And the plot, which is ultimately about life, loss, community dissension, familial drama, friendship, abuse, ambition, and survival is mysterious and twisty, but a little slow at times, as it unravels all the numerous subplots and issues within it.

There is no doubt that Snoekstra can weave a suspicious tale that highlights the selfish, dark side of human nature and some readers will love the tragic, moody feel of this story. Unfortunately for me, the lack of characters with any redeeming characteristics made it a little hard to connect with them as much as I would have liked to.

 

About the Author

Anna Snoekstra was born in Canberra, Australia to two civil servants. At the age of seventeen she decided to avoid a full-time job and a steady wage to move to Melbourne and become a writer. She studied Creative Writing and Cinema at The University of Melbourne, followed by Screenwriting at RMIT University.

After finishing university, Anna wrote for independent films and fringe theatre, and directed music videos. During this time, she worked as a christmas elf, cheesemonger, a waitress, a barista, a nanny, a receptionist, a cinema attendant and a film reviewer.

Her debut novel ONLY DAUGHTER has been released in twenty countries and a feature film adaptation is currently in development with Universal Pictures.

 

Thank you to Harlequin Books and Goodreads Giveaways for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Anna Snoekstra visit her website at: annasnoekstra.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @AnnaSnoekstra

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