Month: May 2016

#BookReview
My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’Connor
@deboc77

#BookReview My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’Connor @deboc77Title: My Husband's Son

Author: Deborah O'Connor

Published by: Twenty7 on June 16, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A captivating psychological thriller with a devastating twist, perfect for fans of Apple Tree Yard and Gone Girl

Heidi and Jason aren’t like other couples.

Six years ago, Heidi’s daughter was murdered. Five years ago, Jason’s son Barney disappeared. Their shared loss brought them together.

By chance, Heidi meets a boy she’s certain is Barney.

But Jason is equally convinced it’s not him.

Is Heidi mad? Or is Jason hiding something? And can their fragile marriage survive Heidi’s newfound quest for the truth . . .


Review:

Hauntingly realistic, disturbing, and intriguing!

This story takes us on a journey of both the physical and mental extent to which a parent will go when their worst nightmare has come true and their child is missing. And it exposes the fragility of relationships based on loss and heartbreak, and the devastation that can be caused by secrets and lies.

The writing is exceptional. The characters are determined, relentless, consumed, and damaged. And the plot is dark, captivating, and full of multiple twists that will take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride, through moral and ethical dilemmas, until the very end.

This is a truly gripping, psychological thriller that I guarantee you won’t be able to put down.

 

This book is due to be published on June 16, 2016.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoBook Depository

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Bonnier Publishing – Twenty7, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview
Lovers and Liars by Nigel May
@Nigel_May @bookouture

#BookReview Lovers and Liars by Nigel May @Nigel_May @bookoutureTitle: Lovers and Liars

Author: Nigel May

Published by: Bookouture on June 16, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 378

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bookouture, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Welcome to the Velvet Hotel Barbados where money and sex go hand in hand with murder …. 

When Millionaire playboy Sheridan Rivers is found dead at his luxurious hotel on the paradise island of Barbados, there are several suspects in the frame… 

Sutton: Sheridan’s long-suffering wife was permanently pushed aside for his younger lovers. Was it time for her to make a stand? 

Kassidy: Sheridan’s assistant longs to be wealthy in her own right. Employed for her sexual and organisational skills, could she have had her eyes on a bigger prize? 

Nikki: Sheridan’s oldest daughter has done something really bad that her dad has discovered. What price will she pay to keep his silence? 

Heather: The apple of her father, Sheridan’s eye. But her father was responsible for a terrible tragedy that turned her world upside down. Is the time ripe for revenge? 

Four women, each with a cross to bear – all waiting for the perfect moment to get even… 

This summer, pour yourself a glass of bubbly and escape with the elite to the golden beaches of Barbados for a sexy, scandalous romp that you won’t be able to put down. 


Review:

Wickedly entertaining, outrageously sexy, and positively captivating!

This novel takes you into the lives of the, Velvet Hotels, Rivers’ family. They are rich. They are famous. And they have everything you would expect, designer clothes, fast cars, and private jets. But like most families with power, privilege, and money everything is not as it seems, and behind closed doors you find adultery, debauchery, lies, secrets, scandals, and murder.

It is extremely well written. The plot has an abundance of action, drama, and sex. And the characterization is bold and complex. There are characters you will love and characters you will love to hate. 

To me, I couldn’t give any greater praise than to say it’s like a cross between a really good Jackie Collins and Jilly Cooper novel.

I am embarrassed to say this was the first Nigel May book I have ever read, but I think I may have just found my new guilty pleasure!

 

This book is due to be published on June 16, 2016.

 

 

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

 

About Nigel May

Nigel May has been described as "the UK's male Jackie Collins" and is an author, TV host and journalist. His three fiction novels have all been published by Bookouture.

His first glam fiction novel was TRINITY, an action-packed blockbuster (or bonkbuster) about the lives of the rich and famous. Glamour, beauty, fame and celebrity mix with murder, intrigue and danger to create an explosive novel which gained incredible reviews and fans across the globe. His follow-up was the glitz-meets-grit whodunit ADDICTED which was also a huge success and once again dived into the diamond-dipped world of the mega-rich but showed that all of the money and fame in the world do not always make for a happy ending. His third novel SCANDALOUS LIES is steeped in secrets, sin, sex and scandal and takes readers around the world as a mysterious celebrity disappearance is investigated. His books have been Amazon best sellers, read by celebrities and fellow authors alike, and have proved that a man can successfully write in a 'bonkbuster world' that has always been a strongly female domain.

Nigel was the only male writer amongst 44 authors featured in the chart-topping, beach-read anthology of short-stories SUNLOUNGER. He also contributed a short story to SUNLOUNGER 2.

On television he regularly presents on UK shopping channels where he has built up a substantial following. He has also featured on Channel 4, C5, ITV and broadcast live from America. He is also one of the UK's most popular craft personalities, having launched his own successful range, A-May-Zing.

As a writer he has written for many of the UK's most successful magazines and newspapers, specialising in showbiz and celebrity, as well as writing on subjects ranging from relationships through to exotic travel.

#BookReview
S is for Stranger by Louise Stone
@writercharlie

#BookReview S is for Stranger by Louise Stone @writercharlieTitle: S is for Stranger

Author: Louise Stone

Published by: Carina UK on June 16, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 234

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Carina UK, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

There are two sides to every story.

But only one is true.

Sophie wished she’d paid more attention when her little daughter, Amy, caught sight of a stranger watching them. She only looked away for a second. But now Amy’s gone.

No one trusts an alcoholic. Even a sober one. The police are suspicious of Sophie’s tangled story and so is her ex-husband, Paul. Especially when new information emerges that changes everything.

But what if Sophie is telling the truth? What if her daughter really is missing? And what if that stranger at the fairground wasn’t really a stranger at all…


Review:

Intriguing, engrossing, and disturbing!

This is a gripping psychological thriller that brings every parents worst nightmare to life and reminds us that everything is not always as it seems.

The main character, Sophie, is distraught, determined, and relentless. And the supporting characters are strong, bold, and complex.

The writing is well done. And the plot is precise, intense, creative, and suspenseful.

This is a really good, fast-paced novel, and I highly recommend it.

 

This book is due to be published on June 16, 2016.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on Louise Stone, visit her website at: writercharlie.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @writercharlie

 

 

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

#BookReview
Storm Rising by Rachael Richey
@RachaelRBooks

#BookReview Storm Rising by Rachael Richey @RachaelRBooksTitle: Storm Rising

Author: Rachael Richey

Series: The NightHawk Series #1

Published by: The Wild Rose Press on February 27, 2015

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 388

Format: eBook

Source: Rachael Richey

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Frontman of the grunge rock band NightHawk, Gideon Hawk has had enough of the rock star life. He is jaded, disillusioned, and haunted by the memory of an unresolved heartbreak. On a whim, he leaves the band in New York and heads to England in search of answers. 

After attending the funeral of her estranged mother, Abigail Thomson makes a shocking discovery in her parents’ attic. The still-raw memories that surface, along with even more startling discoveries, force Abi to face a devastating truth that leads to a series of life-changing events. She and Gideon must race against time to reclaim the life stolen from them a decade before.


Review:

This is a bittersweet, heartwarming novel that was a delight to read.

This is not just your typical rock star romance. This novel showcases the intricacies of familial relationships, the heartbreak caused by lost love, and the life-changing consequences of lies and deception.

The writing is well done. The characters are empathetic, complex and interesting. And the plot is told from differing perspectives, in a past/present style, that gives depth, understanding, and a smooth flow to the storyline.

This is the first book in the NightHawk Series, and I look forward to reading book #2, Rhythm of Deceit, to find out what happens next.

 

 

Thank you to Rachael Richey, the author, for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review. 

 

About Rachael Richey

Rachael Richey lives in Cornwall with her husband and son and writes Women’s Fiction. She loves walking, horses, Earl Grey tea, chocolate, pizza and Pinot Grigio and reading.

#BookReview
The Last Days of Summer by Sophie Pembroke

#BookReview The Last Days of Summer by Sophie PembrokeTitle: The Last Days of Summer

Author: Sophie Pembroke

Published by: Carina UK on June 9, 2016

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Carina UK, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Escape to the beautiful world of Rosewood this summer 

The only feel good summer read you’ll need, The Last Days of Summer is perfect for fans of Harriet Evans, Debbie Johnson and Lucy Diamond.

Saskia has always loved Rosewood. It was her family home, her sanctuary and her memories of it are vividly alive even after two years of being absent. Never did she think she would be standing in the rose garden afraid to cross the threshold and own up to the past she had run away from.

So much about Rosewood hasn’t changed, everyone still dresses for dinner, sips cocktails on the terrace, her father cooks every delicious meal and her beloved grandfather still tells spellbinding stories. But the cold reception from her grandmother, Ellie’s complete avoidance of her and the judgmental gaze of Edward, her grandfather’s new assistant (who seems to know more than enough about her past), are all new to Kia.

All Kia needs to do is attend her grandparent’s Golden Wedding Party and make it to the train station without her secret coming out. What could possible go wrong in just one weekend?


Review:

Interesting, intriguing, and thought-provoking!

This is an engaging novel that touches on the importance of familial dynamics, secrets, loss, forgiveness, love, the power of truth, and the importance of home.

The characters are well-developed, complex, and flawed. And the plot builds nicely, unravelling piece by piece, keeping you captivated until the very end.

This is a compelling story that, ultimately, reminds us that all our lives are sprinkled with a little bit of fiction.

It is a very enjoyable, easy read and I would definitely recommend it.

 

This book is due to be published on June 9, 2016.

 

 

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

#BookReview
The Girl and the Sunbird
by Rebecca Stonehill @bexstonehill

#BookReview The Girl and the Sunbird  by Rebecca Stonehill @bexstonehillTitle: The Girl and the Sunbird

Author: Rebecca Stonehill

Published by: Bookouture on June 17, 2016

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 502

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bookouture, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A haunting, heartbreaking and unforgettable novel of a woman married to a man she can never love, and drawn to another who will capture her heart forever… 

When eighteen year old Iris Johnson is forced to choose between marrying the frightful Lord Sidcup or a faceless stranger, Jeremy Lawrence, in a far-off land, she bravely decides on the latter. 

Accompanied by her chaperone, Miss Logan, Iris soon discovers a kindred spirit who shares her thirst for knowledge. As they journey from Cambridgeshire to East Africa, Iris’s eyes are opened to a world she never knew existed beyond the comforts of her family home. 

But when Iris meets Jeremy, she realizes in a heartbeat that they will never be compatible. He is cold and cruel, spending long periods of time on hunting expeditions and leaving Iris alone. 

Determined to make the best of her new life, Iris begins to adjust to her surroundings; the windswept plains of Nairobi, and the delightful sunbirds that visit her window every day. And when she meets Kamau, a local school teacher, Iris finds her calling, assisting him to teach the local children English. 

Kamau is everything Jeremy is not. He is passionate, kind and he occupies Iris’s every thought. She must make a choice, but if she follows her heart, the price she must pay will be devastating. 


Review:

This is a poignant, heart-wrenching, impactful story that I won’t soon forget.

It is the story of Iris, a young, naive woman who is sent to British East Africa to marry an arrogant, brutish widower, only to find true love in the arms of a native.

The story is predominantly set in Kenya during the early 1900s, and then again during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s, and is told by differing perspectives that sweep you along through the highs and lows of Iris’s life effortlessly.

This is, ultimately, a story about loneliness, loss, injustice, determination, strength, solace, happiness, and love.

The prose is poetic, precise, and exquisitely descriptive. And the characters are multi-layered, engaging, and empathetic. 

This is a truly powerful story. It will make you smile. It will make you cry. And it will resonate with you long after the last page is finished.

 

This book is due to be published on June 17, 2016.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

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

 

About Rebecca Stonehill

Rebecca Stonehill is from London but currently lives in Nairobi with her husband and three young children where she set up Magic Pencil, an initiative to give children greater access to creative writing and poetry. She has had numerous short stories published over the years, for example in Vintage Script, What the Dickens magazine, Ariadne’s Thread and Prole Books but The Poet’s Wife (Bookouture) is her first full-length novel, set in Granada during the Spanish Civil war and Franco’s dictatorship. Her second novel, The Girl and the Sunbird, was published by Bookouture in June 2016.

#BookReview
Security Breach by Humphrey Hawksley
@hwhawksley

#BookReview Security Breach by Humphrey Hawksley @hwhawksleyTitle: Security Breach

Author: Humphrey Hawksley

Series: A Kat Polinski Thriller #1

Published by: Endeavour Press on August 1, 2008

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 464

Format: eBook

Source: Endeavour Press, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

When you move, they watch. When you speak, they listen. 

They track you by what you touch and how you walk. 

Welcome to the not-so-distant future, where terrorism is so feared that near-total surveillance is the new way of life. 

In Washington, a young American agent, Kat Polinski, is on a routine assignment – break into the embassy of the energy-rich government of Kazakhstan. 

What she finds is a massacre. 

But the worst is yet to come. 

The murder of her sister and the discovery of a plot as dangerous as anything coming out of the Middle East, forces Kat on a new mission. 

Nothing and no-one will stop her from hunting down her sister’s killer. 

But the closer she gets, the more she peels away layers of her own society where fear is used as a control mechanism and governments act above the law. 

Kat is on a voyage of self-discovery as the truth about the ‘tragic’ deaths of both her parents – her father in an air crash and her mother’s subsequent suicide – comes into question. 

Is anyone, even close family, who and what they appear? 

What exactly is the relationship between her dad – a man of high moral principle – and the powerful female Russian oligarch Tina Gracheva?


Review:

Fast-paced, intelligent, intriguing, and suspenseful!

This a political thrill ride of murder, surveillance, power, and corruption that reminds us that the line between good and evil can be very blurry.

The main character, Kat, is smart, tough, and tenacious. And the supporting characters are multi-faceted and complex.

The story is well written and well plotted with multiple twists and turns that will keep you enthralled to the very end.

This is a highly exciting, action-packed novel that I couldn’t put down.

 It was a great read and I highly recommend it.

 

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada,

 

For more information on Humphrey Hawksley, visit his website at: humphreyhawksley.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @hwhawksley

 

 

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

#BookReview
The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

#BookReview The Outliers by Kimberly McCreightTitle: The Outliers

Author: Kimberly McCreight

Series: The Outliers #1

Published by: HarperCollins on May 3, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 7/10

 

Synopsis:

It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help.

Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice: she has to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.

But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?


Review:

I was really excited to read this novel as I have previously read Kimberly McCreight’s other two novels, Reconstructing Amelia and Where They Found Her, and really enjoyed them.

This story, for me, started off really well, in fact it was positively creepy. The plot was interesting, mysterious, and suspenseful. And all the twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat and totally engrossed.

However, the second half of the book seemed a little less intriguing. The plot lost a little momentum, became a bit disjointed, and felt slightly unrealistic.

Overall, though, I think it’s a good story. The writing is strong. And the characters are complex, flawed, and determined. 

This book is certainly unique and interesting, and I think it is definitely worth a read.

 

#BookReview
So Many Boots, So Little Time
by Kalan Chapman Lloyd

#BookReview So Many Boots, So Little Time by Kalan Chapman LloydTitle: So Many Boots, So Little Time

Author: Kalan Chapman Lloyd

Published by: Rebelle Press on October 18, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 398

Format: eBook, ARC, ARC

Source: Kalan Chapman Lloyd, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

“You need to stop all this yoga crap and find your inner badass again.”

Old love. New Love. A love you wish would just die.

A kinder, gentler Lilly?

Small-town lawyer Lilly Atkins has calmed down. She’s doing yoga, her hair is relatively tame, and she hasn’t shot anyone in a while.

But with bad boy Cash Stetson out of rehab, former FBI agent-turned-attorney Spencer Locke dogging her steps, and a ghost from her past who just won’t go away, her trigger finger is starting to itch.

When cattle rustlers hit a little too close to home, and she’s forbidden to investigate, the only thing to do is get up off the yoga mat and grab her gun.

Will Lilly stay zen? Or get her groove back?


Review:

Dust off those cowboy boots because this book is definitely a boot-stompin’ good time!

This is the third book in the MisAdventures of Miss Lilly series, but it can definitely be read as a stand-alone novel.

This is a well written book. The characters are bold and quirky. The plot is funny, engaging, interesting, not to mention full of mystery, mischief, drama, and romance. And the setting is the alluring Wild West, complete with ranches, cowboys, rustlers, and good southern cooking. It doesn’t get better than that.

I really enjoyed this book. It will definitely make you smile!

 

This book is due to be published on October 18, 2016.

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Kalan Chapman Lloyd, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Chris Cleave’s Book Tour Stops in Calgary

IMG_0633

Thank you to Wordfest and CPL for hosting Chris Cleave on his book tour to promote his new book, Everyone Brave is Forgiven.

For those who don’t know, Chris Cleave is a critically acclaimed British author whose previous work includes, the book club favourite, Little Bee.

This new book, which was just released on May 3, 2016, is loosely based on his maternal grandparents and their relationship during WWII. And with the help of photos and his own personal accounts, we learnt of the thousands of pages of his grandfather’s memoirs, the abundance of love letters, and his own personal visit to the island of Malta that helped inspire him to write this story. We were also lucky enough to hear him read a passage from the book, answer any questions anyone might have, and to my delight sign books.

He is very passionate about this book and his intelligence, knowledge, humour, and love for his family was clearly evident.

As most of you know, I loved this book, but if you haven’t already seen my review, you can find it here.


As an added bonus to the evening, Michael Crummey, a Canadian author, or should I say Newfoundlander, who has written several books of poetry and novels detailing the history, hardships, landscape and uniqueness of the “The Rock” was also present. We were also able to hear him read some of his work, ask him questions, and have him sign any books we might have. 

I am a little embarrassed to admit that I have never previously read anything by Michael Crummey, but since last night, that has been rectified and Sweetland is now sitting nicely in my to read pile.

What an exceptional way to spend a Friday evening. It was insightful, interesting, and truly an honour.

I must also thank my friend Sogna who went as my date for the evening! What a great night!

Sogna Wordfest

Chris Cleave’s Book Tour is now heading back to the UK, so don’t miss him as he passes by, check out his future book tour stops here.

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