Month: February 2017

#BlogTour & #BookReview Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents by Lee Cockburn @lee_leecockburn

#BlogTour & #BookReview Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents by Lee Cockburn @lee_leecockburn Title: Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents

Author: Lee Cockburn

Published by: Clink Street Publishing on Feb. 21, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 266

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Authoright

Book Rating: 8/10

Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks is back and in charge of tracking down a sadistic vigilante, with a penchant for torturing paedophiles, in this unsettling crime thriller by a real-life police sergeant. 

High-powered businessmen are turning up tortured around the city of Edinburgh with one specific thing in common — a sinister double life involving pedophilia. Leaving his ‘victims’ in a disturbing state, the individual responsible calls the police and lays bare the evidence of their targets’ twisted misdemeanours to discover, along with a special memento of their own troubled past — a chilling calling card. Once again heading the investigation team is Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks, along with her partner Detective Constable Marcus Black, who are tasked not only with tracking the perpetrator down but also dealing with the unusual scenario of having to arrest the victims for their own barbarous crimes. But with the wounded piling up the predator’s thirst for revenge intensifies and soon Nicks discovers that she is no longer chasing down a sinister attacker but a deadly serial killer.

Vivid, dark and deeply unsettling Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents is the perfect next read for serious crime and police thriller fans.


Review:

Spine-chilling, gritty and deeply disturbing!

This is a raw, creepy thriller full of violence, degradation, emotional entanglements, sex and murder.

The main heroine, Taylor, is relentless, determined, strong, confused and damaged. And the supporting characters are complex, intelligent and vulnerable. The writing is well done and exceptionally descriptive. And the plot is a well-crafted police procedural jam-packed with twists, turns, suspense and mayhem.

I have to point out that this story deals with some heartbreaking, horrific issues such as pedophilia and includes some explicit lesbian sex scenes so may not be for everyone. However, saying that, for everyone else this is a gripping, fast-paced murder mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat and definitely have you questioning the line between criminal and victim, retribution and revenge right from the haunting prologue.

 

This book is available now. 

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

Amazon UKBarnes & Noble

 

 

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

 

About Lee Cockburn

Lee Cockburn has worked for Police Scotland for sixteen years including as a police sergeant in Edinburgh for seven years and also as a public order officer. Before joining the force, she played for Scotland Women’s rugby team for fifteen years, earning over eighty caps for the Scottish ladies and British Lionesses teams. She also swam competitively for twelve years, successfully representing Edinburgh at the age of fifteen in the youth Olympics in Denmark in 1984. Lee lives in Edinburgh with her civil partner Emily and their two young sons Jamie and Harry. Her first book Devil’s Demise was published by Clink Street Publishing November 2014.

 

Weekly Wrap-Up Feb. 20 – Feb. 26

 

This week was filled once again with some great books and interesting stories. Enjoy! 

 
*Full reviews can be found by clicking on the book cover.

 

Books Read and Reviewed This Week!

8.5/10

 

Other Books Reviewed This Week!

8/10

 

9/10

 

Books Read This Week (reviews to follow)!

                                                  

 

                                                  

 

Next Weeks Reads!

            

#BookReview The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron @KCambronAuthor @ThomasNelson

#BookReview The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron @KCambronAuthor @ThomasNelson Title: The Illusionist's Apprentice

Author: Kristy Cambron

Published by: Thomas Nelson on Mar. 7, 2017

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Thomas Nelson, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Harry Houdni’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.

Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.

In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.

Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her. 

Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.


Review:

This is a compelling tale about magic, jealousy, love, loss, greed, revenge, secrets and murder.

The story is set in Boston in the mid-to-late 1920s shortly after the death of the renowned Harry Houdini and at a time when variety entertainment, including defy-defying feats, tricks and illusions were all the rage.

There are two main memorable characters in this novel; Jenny “Wren”, a young Houdini protégé, famed in her own right and struggling with a dark past, an abundance of secrets, and a reluctance to trust; and Elliot, a FBI agent with a case to solve that not only involves a victim who momentarily comes back from the dead, but a list of suspects for whom deception is an art and a woman who may even steal his heart.

The writing is vivid and descriptive. The supporting characters are multi-layered, quirky and flawed. And the plot is unique and skillfully constructed with a good use of dialogue, banter and a past/present style that creates suspense and gives understanding and depth to the storyline.

Overall this is an extremely enjoyable, engaging read that does a remarkable job of interweaving historical facts, fiction, and mystery and I highly recommend it.

 

This novel is due to be published on March 7, 2017. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoBook DepositoryKoboB&N,

 

 

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

 

About Kristy Cambron

KRISTY CAMBRON is an award-winning author of Christian fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping series. She is a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at ministry events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and has 15 years of experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation, working in partnership with such companies as the Disney Institute, IBM/Kenexa, and Gallup. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

The most important thing? Jesus is everything— let her tell you about Him sometime.

#BookReview A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery @SusanMallery @HarlequinBooks

#BookReview A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery @SusanMallery @HarlequinBooks Title: A Million Little Things

Author: Susan Mallery

Series: Mischief Bay #3

Published by: Mira Books on Feb. 28, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Harlequin Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

From the bestselling author of The Girls of Mischief Bay and The Friends We Keep comes a twisty tale of family dynamics that explores what can go terribly, hysterically wrong when the line between friendship and family blurs 

Zoe Saldivar is more than just single-she’s ALONE. She recently broke up with her longtime boyfriend, she works from home and her best friend Jen is so obsessed with her baby that she has practically abandoned their friendship. The day Zoe accidentally traps herself in her attic with her hungry-looking cat, she realizes that it’s up to her to stop living in isolation.

Her seemingly empty life takes a sudden turn for the complicated-her first new friend is Jen’s widowed mom, Pam. The only guy to give her butterflies in a very long time is Jen’s brother. And meanwhile, Pam is being very deliberately seduced by Zoe’s own smooth-as-tequila father. Pam’s flustered, Jen’s annoyed and Zoe is beginning to think “alone” doesn’t sound so bad, after all.

Friendship isn’t just one thing-it’s a million little things, and no one writes them with more heart and humor than book club sensation Susan Mallery! 


Review:

Charming, lighthearted and thought-provoking!

This is an affecting novel that reminds us of the importance to always live life to the fullest, understand and accept that some things are beyond our control and that there truly is no age limit for falling in love. 

The writing is smooth and even. The main female characters are strong, determined, sympathetic and real. And the plot is a heartfelt journey full of self discovery, friendship, familial relationships, love, loss, and motherhood.

This is the third novel in the Mischief Bay series and once again Mallery has written a novel that is touching, compelling and highly entertaining.

 

This book is due to be published on February 28, 2017.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoKoboBook DepositoryB&N

 

 

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

 

About Susan Mallery

#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women's lives—family, friendship, romance. She's best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Susan is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Beloved by millions of readers worldwide, her books have been translated into 28 languages.

Susan lives in Washington state with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur.

Photo by Annie Brady

#BookReview Learning to Love by Sheryl Browne @SherylBrowne @ChocLituk

#BookReview Learning to Love by Sheryl Browne @SherylBrowne @ChocLituk Title: Learning to Love

Author: Sheryl Browne

Published by: Choc Lit on Jun. 14, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 268

Format: eBook

Source: Choc Lit, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

Sometimes help comes from the most unlikely places … 

Living in a small village like Hibberton, it’s expected that your neighbours help you in a time of need. But when Andrea Kelly’s house burns down, taking all her earthly possessions with it, it’s the distant and aloof Doctor David Adams – the person she would least expect – who opens his door not just to her, but to her three kids and slightly dotty elderly mother as well. 

Andrea needs all the help she can get, dealing with aftermath of the fire and in the suspicious absence of her husband, Jonathan. But, as she gets to know David and his troubled son, Jake, she begins to realise that maybe they need her help as much as she needs theirs …


Review:

Heartwarming, moving and exceptionally authentic!

This is a charming story that reminds us that life is unpredictable and full of curve balls and it’s how we approach and handle these highs-and-lows and ups-and-downs that truly make all the difference.

The writing is precise and smooth. The characterization is well done, with a variety of characters that are genuine, compassionate, strong, quirky and lovable. And the plot is a compelling, engaging, emotional tale of heartache, loss, grief, jealousy, friendship, family dynamics, manipulation, mysterious mishaps and romance.

Overall, this is a sweet, enjoyable read about multi-generational, blended families that will have you laughing, weeping and certainly cheering until the very last page.

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoKoboBook DepositoryB&N

 

 

Thank you to Sheryl Browne and Choc Lit for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sheryl Browne

Hi, I’m Sheryl Browne. I live in Worcestershire with my partner and a variety of disabled dogs. According to readers of my thrillers, I also apparently make an excellent psychopath. Writing powerful psychological thriller and contemporary fiction, my latest thriller THE BABYSITTER is published by fabulous BOOKOUTURE. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and previously writing for award winning Choc Lit, I have several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where, after half a lifetime, I finally completed my MA in Creative Writing.

Weekly Wrap-Up Feb. 13 – Feb. 19


Well this week I got a lot read, but not a lot blogged. There were many times I sat down to start a review but the words just wouldn’t come.  Oh well, there’s always next week and boy have I read some good books lately, so definitely stay tuned. Have a lovely week!

*Full reviews can be found by clicking on the book cover.

 

Books Read and Reviewed This Week!

 

7/10

 

Other Books Reviewed This Week!

 

10/10

 

7.5/10

 

Books Read This Week (reviews to follow)!

 

 

 

Next Weeks Reads!

                

#BookReview Most Dangerous Place by James Grippando @James_Grippando

#BookReview Most Dangerous Place by James Grippando @James_Grippando Title: Most Dangerous Place

Author: James Grippando

Series: Jack Swyteck #13

Published by: Harper Paperbacks on Feb. 21, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 480

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Harper Paperbacks, Edelweiss

Book Rating: 7/10

Defending a woman accused of murdering the man who sexually assaulted her, Miami lawyer Jack Swyteck must uncover where the truth lies between innocence, vengeance, and justice in this spellbinding tale of suspense—based on shocking true-life events—from the New York Times bestselling author of Gone Again.

According to the FBI, the most dangerous place for a woman between the ages of twenty and thirty is in a relationship with a man. Those statistics become all too personal when Jack Swyteck takes on a new client tied to his past.

It begins at the airport, where Jack is waiting to meet his old high school buddy, Keith Ingraham, a high-powered banker based in Hong Kong, coming to Miami for his young daughter’s surgery. But their long-awaited reunion is abruptly derailed when the police arrest Keith’s wife, Isabelle, in the terminal, accusing her of conspiring to kill the man who raped her in college. Jack quickly agrees to represent Isa, but soon discovers that to see justice done, he must separate truth from lies—an undertaking that proves more complicated than the seasoned attorney expects.

Inspired by an actual case involving a victim of sexual assault sent to prison for the death of her attacker, James Grippando’s twisty thriller brilliantly explores the fine line between victim and perpetrator, innocence and guilt, and cold-blooded revenge and rightful retribution.


Review:

Suspenseful, entertaining and complex!

In this latest novel by Grippando, Jack is back and this time he finds himself in a case rife with lies and deception where lives hang in the balance and relationships are tested to the max.

The writing is crisp. The characters are intelligent, resolute and willful. And the plot is an action-packed legal thriller about family dynamics, dark secrets, abuse and revenge.

Overall, I would have to say that this is definitely an intriguing, easy read that lovers of courtroom drama will certainly enjoy.

 

This book is due to be published on February 21, 2017.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoKoboBook Depository

 

 

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

 

About James Grippando

The first thing you should know about bestselling author James Grippando is that he is no longer clueless—so says his wife, Tiffany, after “A James Grippando Novel” was a clue for #38 Across in the New York Times crossword puzzle. James is the 2017 winner of the Harper Lee Prize for legal fiction and a New York Times bestselling author of 26 novels of suspense, including the popular series featuring Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck. His latest, “A Death in Live Oak," is the fifteenth in the Swyteck series. His novels are enjoyed worldwide in 28 languages. He is now Counsel at one of the nation’s leading law firms, where he specializes in entertainment and intellectual property law, representing clients who have won more than 30 Tony Awards. He lives in south Florida with his wife, three children, two cats and a golden retriever named Max who has no idea he’s a dog.

#BookReview The House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond @LDiamondAuthor @PGCBooks

#BookReview The House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond @LDiamondAuthor @PGCBooks Title: The House of New Beginnings

Author: Lucy Diamond

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Feb. 24, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada, NetGalley

Book Rating: 10/10

Number 11, Dukes Square, looks just like the other houses on the Brighton seafront: a Regency terrace with elegant sash windows, a winding staircase, and post piled up in the hall for its tenants. It might be part of the city’s history, but it’s also a place of brand new beginnings.

Georgie has followed her childhood sweetheart to Brighton but is determined to carve out a career for herself in journalism. Throwing herself into the city’s delights is fun and exciting, but before she knows it, she’s sliding into all kinds of trouble . . . 

Charlotte’s in the city for a new start, hoping to keep her head down and somehow get over the heartbreaking loss she’s suffered in the past. But Margot, the stylish old lady on the top floor, has other ideas. Like it or not, Charlotte must confront the outside world, and the possibilities it still holds.

A terrible revelation sent Rosa running from London to start again as a sous chef. The work is gruelling and thankless but it’s a distraction at least . . . until she comes up against the stroppy teenager next door who challenges her on her lifestyle choices. What if Rosa’s passion for food could lead her to more interesting places?

As the three tenants find each other, it’s as if a whole new chapter of their lives has begun. The House of New Beginnings is a moving and uplifting novel from bestselling author Lucy Diamond.


Review:

Absorbing, beguiling, and incredibly touching!

This is a heartwarming story that reminds us to always live life to the fullest and never be afraid to try something new.

The prose is effortless. The plot is a wonderful blend of heart, humour and hope. And the characterization is spot on with a wonderful cast of characters, including some strong, determined, courageous women who learn through compassion and friendship to let go of the past and embrace the future.

This is, ultimately, a story about dreams, heartbreak, goals, loss, love and finding one’s true self and I absolutely adored it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and in the end it left me smiling.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoBook DepositoryKobo

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lucy Diamond

Lucy Diamond lives in Bath, England with her husband and their three children. She has penned numerous bestselling novels, including The House of New Beginnings, The Secrets of Happiness, Summer at Shell Cottage, and The Year of Taking Chances.

#BookReview To Rome, with Love by T. A. Williams @TAWilliamsBooks @HQDigitalUK

#BookReview To Rome, with Love by T. A. Williams @TAWilliamsBooks @HQDigitalUK Title: To Rome, with Love

Author: T.A. Williams

Published by: HQ Digital on Feb. 17, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 204

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: HQ Digital, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7.5/10

Escape to Italy this summer with this fabulously feel-good beach read! 

A summer of second chances…

Just a week before her big day, Sarah returns home to find a note from her husband-to-be – the wedding’s off! So when her boss decides to send her on an epic cycling trip, from Venice to Rome, it seems like the perfect distraction…

Although she never expected the distraction to come in the form of her oh-so-handsome, but slightly serious, cycling companion, Miles. And with still 600 miles of beautiful scenery, mouthwatering food and delicious wine yet to cover, anything could happen!


Review:

Heartwarming, winsome, and picturesque!

This is a delightful story that takes us on a ride through the beautiful Italian countryside from Venice to Rome complete with majestic scenery, intriguing history, and scrumptious food.

The characters are varied and entertaining with a great mix of those who are funny, compassionate and quirky and those who are broody, sexy, and serious.

The writing is clear, descriptive and fun. And the plot, although I did find it get a little bogged down with the continuous dwelling on the past, is an appealing, cathartic journey full of heartbreak, contemplation, reminiscence, humorous mishaps, romantic settings, and budding new love.

As always Williams has written a novel with exquisite imagery that makes me yearn to travel and dream of winter’s end when I can take my bike off the trainer and get back out on the road.

 

This book is due to be published on February 17, 2017. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaKoboB&N

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially HarperCollins UK – HQ Digital, for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About T.A. Williams

T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing.

Weekly Wrap-Up Feb. 6 – Feb. 12


I have to say this was a great week of reading!

I got all the books I was hoping to get read finished and although I didn’t get as many reviews/blogs written as I would have liked overall I’m pretty happy. I even managed to refrain from requesting any new ARCs this week which is a miracle in itself. I hope everyone had a wonderful week. Don’t forget to let me know if you’ve read something good!

And of course Happy Valentine’s Day 💝!

*Full reviews can be found by clicking on the book cover.

 

Books Read and Reviewed This Week!

8/10

 

9/10

 

Other Books Reviewed This Week!

8/10

 

8/10

 

Books Read This Week (reviews to follow)!

 

Next Weeks Reads!

                

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