7/10

#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 #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

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/GirdharryAnn

 

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

#BookReview
Cover Up by L.A. Witt
@GallagherWitt @SMPRomance

Synopsis:

After ten years of blissful marriage, Navy Pilot Nate Chandler is divorcing his cheating husband. Single for the first time in years, Nate is numb to all emotion and kisses any chance of another relationship goodbye.

Not only is Nate struggling to get through this divorce, but his body is branded with a permanent reminder of his failed marriage: a matching tattoo with his ex. Searching for a place to cover up his old tattoo, Nate finds himself at the Skin Deep, Inc., where he meets the young and charming cover-up tattoo apprentice, Lucas Brandt.

From just flirty glances to steamy hot encounters, Nate and Lucas dive headfirst into a fling of hookups. But worried that he’ll forever be Nate’s “cover up” rebound relationship, Lucas fears that their love won’t be anything more than just skin deep. What was once just a casual attraction, Lucas now hopes to turn into a real relationship. But will he be able to convince the still tender-hearted Nate to fall in love again?

Third installment of L.A. Witt’s Skin Deep romance series, COVER UP is a story of passion, pleasure, and happily ever after.


Book Rating: 7/10

Salacious, flirty, and ardent!

Cover Up, the latest novel in the Skin Deep Inc. series is a passionate, steamy tale involving the betrayed, resentful Nate who is struggling to come to terms with the end of his marriage and Lucas the young, hardworking tattoo artist with little self-confidence but huge talent.

The writing is crisp and clear. The characters are handsome, diligent, and likable. And the plot, although a little repetitive, has lots of dirty talk, chemistry, lust, sex, emotion, and love. 

Cover Up is the third novel in the “Skin Deep Inc.” series and even though I was really looking forward to reading Nate’s tale, I have to admit I would have liked just a little bit more depth to the storyline. However, saying that, Witt is still one of my favourite authors of this genre and you can be sure that her next release will once again be on my TBR list.

If you haven’t already had a chance to read my review for Pounding Skin, Skin Deep Inc. #2, be sure to check it out here:

 

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s 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 link.

                                 

For more information on L.A. Witt, visit her website at: gallagherwitt.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @GallagherWitt

#BookReview
Rank & File by L.A. Witt
@GallagherWitt @RiptideBooks

Synopsis:

Senior Chief Will Curtis is as straitlaced as they come. While his fellow Sailors have partied their way through their enlistments, he’s had his eye on the prize—making master chief and retiring after thirty years of service.

Lieutenant Brent Jameson is a Navy brat turned Annapolis grad. He’s lived and breathed the military his whole life, and he knows he’s destined for great things—once he’s done paying his dues at the bottom of the ladder.

When their paths cross, both men know better than to give in to temptation, but that doesn’t stop them. It also doesn’t keep them from coming back for more, even though being discovered would sink their careers. Something has to give—Will can retire, Brent can resign, or they’ll both face court-martial.

But there’s also the option neither wants to acknowledge: jump ship and walk away from each other instead of ending their careers over a fledgling relationship. And they should probably decide before they fall in love.

Except—too late.


Book Rating: 7/10

Explicit, smoldering, and racy!

In this fourth novel in the Anchor Point series, Rank & File, Witt gives us a story that focuses on the struggles and hardships of falling in love in the military, including fraternization, responsibility, pressure, reputation, and work schedules.

The writing is exceptionally steamy. The characters are brave, bold, and determined. And the plot even though it’s not extremely deep, angsty, or emotional is certainly titillating, sultry, and fervent.

Overall, even though Rank & File wasn’t my favourite novel in the series if you’re looking for a book with lots of dirty talk, sexual tension, and heat with a happy-ever-after ending this one won’t disappoint.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my reviews for the first three novels in the series be sure to check them out here:

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Riptide Publishing 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 link.

                                 

For more information on L.A. Witt, visit her website at: gallagherwitt.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @GallagherWitt

#BookReview
Emerald Coast by Anita Hughes
@hughesanita @StMartinsPress

 

Synopsis:

Lily Bristol arrives at a luxurious resort in Sardinia for the grand opening of her newest home furnishing store on the Emerald Coast. Thirty-two and newly divorced, she’s ready to handle things on her own. At least until her private butler, Hector, escorts her to a beautiful suite where she notices a suspiciously familiar pair of men’s slippers and shaving kit. Lily is horrified. Her ex-husband Oliver moved out of their restored Connecticut farmhouse six months ago, but they booked this trip when they were trying to save their marriage and never cancelled the reservation. Oliver, a food critic for the New York Times, is here covering Sardinia’s hottest new restaurant. The only other available room is the adjoining suite; and worse, Oliver isn’t alone. He’s brought a twenty-something named Angela with him.

Lily is determined to make do and enlists Hector to find her a suitable man. But it’s not as easy to find new love as they both expected. When Lily and Oliver find themselves alone on a very important night, they turn to each other. Sparks begin to fly, but can they be together without breaking each other’s hearts?

Set on the glamorous Italian island, EMERALD COAST is a touching and humorous story about marriage and the difficulty of finding love and happiness at the same time. With the summer season winding down, Hughes’ latest will have you soaking in the last rays of summer sun and dreaming of endlessly warm days.


Book Rating: 7/10

Sweet, uplifting, and romantic!

Emerald Coast, the latest novel by Hughes, takes us into the lives of the recently divorced Lily and Oliver and reminds us of the complicated ups and downs of marriage, the importance of appreciating what we have, accepting the things we can’t change, and understanding that honesty and trust truly are the backbone of love and happiness.

The prose is exceptionally descriptive. The characters are successful, driven, and quirky. And the plot is a charming mix of life, friendship, family, introspection, jealousy, forgiveness, drama, courage, new love, old love, sex, and mouth-watering cuisine. 

Emerald Coast is the second novel I’ve read by Hughes and even though I would have liked to connect with the characters a little bit more when it comes to writing a lighthearted, easy read set in a tropical paradise and full of all the glitz and glamour of the rich and famous she nails it.

If you haven’t already had a chance to read my review of White Sand, Blue Sea be sure to check it out here:

About the Author:

ANITA HUGHES is the author of Monarch Beach, Market Street, Lake Como, French Coast, Rome in Love, Island in the Sea, Santorini Sunsets, and Christmas in Paris. She attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing Program, and lives in Dana Point, California where she is at work on her next novel.

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially St. Martin’s 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 Anita Hughes, visit her website at: anitahughesbooks.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @hughesanita

#BookReview
Cross Check by Kelly Jamieson
@KellyJamieson @readloveswept

Synopsis:

A party girl and a clean-cut college hockey player discover that they’re not so different in this sexy, soulful Bayard Hockey novel from the bestselling author of Shut Out and the Heller Brothers series.

Ella Verran has three goals this semester: get off academic probation, repair her relationship with her friend Skylar, and take some responsibility for her life. All of which are hard enough without hot, snobby hockey player Ben Buckingham around to distract her. Ella can’t stand Ben, and she knows the feeling is mutual. But he’s best friends with Skylar’s boyfriend, so he’s always around—taunting and tempting Ella in ways she never thought possible.

As the star forward of the Bayard College hockey team, Ben has goals too, like playing well enough to land a spot on an NHL roster. Ben is perfectly poised on the ice, so why can’t he keep his cool around Ella? Her wild behavior rubs him in all the wrong ways—and a few of the right ones. But as they skate around each other, Ben learns that there’s more to Ella than her bad reputation. And when the line between love and hate starts to blur, he can’t resist crossing over and sweeping her off her feet.


Book Rating: 7/10

Entertaining, sexy, and sincere!

Cross Check, the latest novel in the Bayard Hockey series, is a slightly more emotional tale about the heartbroken, grief-stricken Ella who has been neglecting her studies and masking her sorrow after the loss of one of her friends, and Ben the gorgeous, up-and-coming hockey star who seems positively perfect but has a few dark secrets of his own.

The writing is fluid. The plot is a heartfelt mix that tackles important contemporary issues faced by young people today including friendship, family, campus life, suicide, rape, mental illness, sex, relationships, love, and hockey. And the characters, including all the supporting characters, are kind, engaging, and supportive.

Overall, Cross Check is a romantic, sweet, moving read that has a nice amount of drama, angst, tension, humour, banter, attraction, dirty talk and chemistry and even though it’s not my favourite Jamieson novel I think lovers of the new-age-college-romance genre will certainly enjoy it.

If you haven’t already had a chance to read my reviews for some of Jamieson’s other novels be sure to check them out here:

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Random House – Loveswept, 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 Kelly Jamieson, visit her website at: kellyjamieson.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @KellyJamieson

#BookReview
Two Nights by Kathy Reichs
@KathyReichs @SimonSchusterCA

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs steps beyond her classic Temperance Brennan series in a new standalone thriller featuring a smart, tough, talented heroine whose thirst for justice stems from her own dark past.

Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct. . . .

Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing. But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help.

Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found? It’s time for Sunnie to face her own demons because they just might lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.


Book Rating: 7/10

Fast-paced, mysterious, and entertaining!

This is a suspenseful thriller that reminds us that terrorism can often be homegrown and emphasizes just how dangerous anger, hatred, and religious fanaticism can truly be.

The writing is clear and precise. The main character, Sunday Night, is tough, intelligent, and determined, and the supporting characters are an intriguing mix of ruthless, persistent zealots, and a charming, dependable brother.

I have to say that die-hard fans of the Temperance Brennan series may be a little disappointed in this latest outing by Reichs which doesn’t have the scientific jargon and forensic analysis we typically associate with her novels, but there’s no question that Reichs is a great writer and if you read this new novel with an open mind you will recognize her trademark strong, flawed, female protagonist and straightforward style of writing that could definitely lead to another bestselling series for her.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and Goodreads Giveaways for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

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

                                          

For more information on Kathy Reichs visit her website at: kathyreichs.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @KathyReichs

#BlogTour & #BookReview
Every Secret Thing By Rachel Crowther
@bookollective

Synopsis:

Can you ever bury the past?

She’d recognised in him something of herself: that sense of not belonging, of secrets fiercely kept . . .

Five friends, newly graduated, travel together to the Lake District. Young and ambitious, they little imagine the events that will overtake them that fateful summer, tearing their fragile group apart.

Twenty years later, they return to the same spot, summoned by a mysterious bequest. It’s not long before old friendships – and old romances – are re-kindled. But soon, too, rivalries begin to re-emerge and wounds are painfully reopened . . .

How long does it take for past sins to be forgiven? And can the things they destroy ever really be recovered?


Book Rating: 7/10

Intense, sobering, and perceptive!

This is a character-driven novel that reminds us that life is precious and short and that everyone and everything that enters it shapes, defines, and influences us.

The writing is intelligent and descriptive. The characters are complex, secretive, and selfish. And the plot, although a little slow at times, is narrated from multiple perspectives and written in a past/present style that does a remarkable job of revealing all the personalities, motivations, and actions within it and finishes with a nice little twist.

This is ultimately a novel about life, friendship, secrets, manipulation, desire, jealousy, acceptance and forgiveness and has a very contemplative, moody feel. And although it is very clear from the onset that Crowther is a strong, literary writer I would have preferred the characters to have a few more redeeming qualities and be a little more likable.

About the Author:

Rachel Crowther qualified as a doctor and worked in the NHS for twenty years before succumbing to a lifelong yearning to write fiction, previously indulged during successive bouts of maternity leave. She has an MA in Creative Writing with distinction from Oxford Brookes, and a string of prizes for her short fiction.

Her first novel, THE PARTRIDGE AND THE PELICAN, was published in 2011 and was a Tatler ‘sizzling summer read’. THE THINGS YOU DO FOR LOVE is published in August 2016 and has been called ‘a delight of a read’ by Fay Weldon, ‘the very best sort of fiction’ by Juliet Nicolson (A House Full of Daughters) and ‘a richly textured tale of life and love’ by Richard Mason (The Drowning People).

Rachel has five children, two mad dogs and an abiding passion for music, art, cooking and travel, both in Britain and further afield. She currently lives in Surrey.

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

This book is available now.

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

                                            

For more information on Rachel Crowther, visit her website at: rachelcrowther.co.uk

#BlogTour & #BookReview
Perfect Score by Susan Roebuck
@suemonte @fayerogersuk

Synopsis:

Feckless, exasperating Alex Finch is a rich, handsome and talented singer/songwriter who longs for two things: a career as a professional rock singer, and to have his love for Sam Barrowdale reciprocated. But drifter Sam’s two aims are simply to earn enough money to pay his sister’s medical bills and to hide from the world his reading/writing and speech disability. At this time the word “dyslexia” is generally unknown so to most people he’s just a “retard”. From the severe knocks life’s dealt him, Sam’s developed a tough outer coating and he has no time for a spoilt, selfish guitar player.

Despite his defects, Alex’s love for Sam never wavers and when Sam unexpectedly disappears, Alex begins a somewhat bungling quest to find him, only to discover that Sam has a fearful enemy: Alex’s powerful and influential yet sociopathic uncle.

As Alex spirals downwards towards alcoholism, many questions need answering. Just why did Alex’s evil uncle adopt him at age eleven yet deny him any affection? And what’s the mystery behind Alex’s father’s death?

Both seem to face unbeatable odds. Are they doomed to follow separate paths forever?


Book Rating: 7/10

Romantic, reflective and heartwarming!

In this novel by Roebuck, she transports us back to the 1960s to the rugged terrain of the dusty prairies where life is hard; blood, sweat, and tears are the norm; and small-minded mentality surrounding politics, economics, special needs, and sexuality is rampant.

The characters are troubled, unique, and endearing. And the plot, which is ultimately about life, loss, survival, family, morality and love has a lot of subplots and tackles a lot of issues, including industrial pollution, pharmaceutical negligence, homelessness, abuse and sexual orientation.

This is a very complex, intriguing story that definitely has a “Brokeback Mountain” feel with that deep, enduring, underlying bond and love between the two main characters. And even though Roebuck did an exceptional job of writing the narration and dialogue true to the characters natures and time period, at times I did feel it caused a little disruption in my connection to the story and the overall flow.

About the Author

My first love is, of course, my husband, my second writing, and my third painting. And now I have time to be able to indulge in all three.

My debut novel, “Perfect Score” was published by Awe-Struck Publishing on Sept 21, 2010 and the paperback was launched on May 11 2011. In May 2017 Mundania Press re-released the ebook.

Perfect Score was an EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) finalist in the 2012 EPIC e-Book Awards in the Mainstream Category.

“Perfect Score” is set in mid West USA in the 1960s and is a story about family relationships, corruption, growing up, integrity, responsibility, and being a man of worth in a society of the worthless.

“Hewhay Hall” is my second novel, published by Etopia Press on April 20, 2012. It has won the EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) 2013 e-Book Award in the Horror Category (an EPPIE)

Thank you to Susan Roebuck and Faye Rogers 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 Susan Roebuck, visit her website at: susanroebuck.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @suemonte

 

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