9/10

#BookReview
Valentina by S. E. Lynes
@SELynesAuthor

#BookReview Valentina by S. E. Lynes @SELynesAuthorTitle: Valentina

Author: S.E. Lynes

Published by: Blackbird Digital Books on July 1, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 280

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Blackbird Digital Books

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

When Glasgow journalist Shona McGilvery moves with her partner Mikey and their baby to an idyllic cottage in rural Scotland, they believe that all that lies ahead of them is happiness.

But with Mikey working offshore, the frightening isolation of the Aberdeenshire countryside begins to drive her insane…

That is, until she is rescued by a new friendship with the enchanting Valentina. 

She has the perfect home, the perfect man, and a charismatic new best friend – or does she?

As her fairytale life begins to unravel, the deep dark wood becomes the least of her fears…

A hauntingly intelligent, addictive psychological thriller from debut author S. E. Lynes. 


Review:

Disturbingly believable, intriguing, and spine-chillingly evil!

This is a psychological thriller that illustrates the mental and emotional anguish caused by secrets, lies, deception, selfishness, and manipulation.

The story is told from two perspectives. Shona, a new mother, struggling with loneliness and isolation. And Valentina, a confident, outgoing mother who befriends her.

The prose is clear, precise, and remarkably descriptive. The characters are multifaceted, flawed and absorbing. And the plot is dark, riveting, and suspenseful. 

This is a really well written, tension-filled, debut novel with an ending that takes the definition of karma to a whole other level.

 

This book is due to be published on July 1, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on S. E. Lynes, follow her on Twitter at: @SELynesAuthor

 

 

Thank you to Blackbird Books, and S.E. Lynes, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview
The Story of Our Life by Shari Low
@sharilow

#BookReview The Story of Our Life by Shari Low @sharilowTitle: The Story of Our Life

Author: Shari Low

Published by: Aria on July 1, 2016

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

Pages: 326

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Aria, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Unwind, laugh, cry … but feel uplifted with this bittersweet love story. Perfect for the fans of Jo-Jo Moyes and Marian Keyes.

So what would you do if your husband slept with another woman?

Colm strolled into my life fifteen years ago. If there’s ever such a thing as love at first sight, that was it for us both.

A few weeks later we married, celebrating with those who cared, ignoring the raised eyebrows of the cynics.

We knew better. This was going to be forever. The dream come true. The happy ever after.

Until it wasn’t.

Because a couple of months ago everything changed. We discovered a devastating truth, one that blew away our future and forced us to revisit our past, to test the bonds that were perhaps more fragile than they seemed.

So now I ask you again, what would you do if your husband slept with another woman?

Because this is what I did.

I’m Shauna.

And this is the Story of Our Life…


Review:

Deeply moving, insightful, and sweet.

This is a heartwarming story that, ultimately, reminds us how precious life really is.

It has a wonderful cast of characters that are strong, real, and empathetic. And the plot is written in a past/present, back and forth, style that gives a wonderful depth and appreciation to all the personalities and relationships within it.

The writing is extremely well done, and you will not only laugh, but cry, as this tale of love, heartbreak, friendship, hardship, and loss unfolds.

It truly is a lovely, bittersweet novel that was a pleasure to read.

 

This book is due to be published on July 1, 2016.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

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

 

About Shari Low

Shari Low has published twenty novels over the last two decades. She also writes for newspapers, magazines and television. Once upon a time, she got engaged to a guy she’d known for a week, and twenty-something years later, they live in Glasgow with their two teenage sons and a labradoodle.

#BookReview
To Have and To Hold by Lauren Layne
@_LaurenLayne

#BookReview To Have and To Hold by Lauren Layne @_LaurenLayneTitle: To Have and to Hold

Author: Lauren Layne

Series: The Wedding Belles #1

Published by: Pocket Books on July 26, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 362

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Pocket Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne is the “queen of witty dialogue and sexy scenes” (Rachel Van Dyken)! Now, Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, her sizzling brand new contemporary romance series about three ambitious wedding planners who can make any bride’s dream come true…but their own.

Discovering her fiancé is an international con man just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Burke’s business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet—if slightly spoiled—hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse strings.

Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister Maya’s fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiancé is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning…is theirs?


Review:

Romantic, engaging, and downright steamy!

This is a great contemporary romance story, set in the eclectic New York City, about family, friendship, heartbreak, trust, and true love.

The writing is well done. The plot is precise, intelligent, and captivating.  And the characters, including a whole slew of memorable supporting characters, are charming, quirky, and endearing.

Overall, this is a sexy, intriguing, easy read, that I highly recommend.

 

This book is due to be published on July 26, 2016.

Please 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 Pocket Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.

She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

#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
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
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
Don’t You Forget About Me by Liz Tipping

#BookReview Don’t You Forget About Me by Liz TippingTitle: Don't You Forget About Me

Author: Liz Tipping

Published by: Carina UK on June 6, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 205

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Carina UK, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

An athlete, a princess, a brain, a criminal, a basket case… 
Cara Dunham is definitely one of them. But stuck in her small hometown, with no prospects of escape, she’s struggling to find her thing. Her life is more book club than Breakfast Club and there is no Judd Nelson in sight!

So when Cara is invited to a school reunion she knows this is her chance to channel her inner Molly Ringwald and grab her John Hughes moment, once and for all. Because her teenage love, Daniel Rose will be there, the coolest boy at school and the one that got away.

But transforming into an 80’s icon isn’t easy and Cara enlists the help of her oldest friend, Stubbs, to teach her all she needs to know about being cool and quirky – a la Ringwald.

Except Stubbs thinks she’s perfect, just as she is and takes it upon himself to show Cara that her life might not be ‘movie perfect’, but there is always another take to get things right. And maybe the hero she’s dreamed of has been under her nose the whole time…


Review:

Funny, touching, quirky, and romantic!

This is a classic friends-to-more romance that pays homage to all those 80s movies we love and can’t get enough of.

The writing is well done. The characters are lovable, cute, and genuine. And the plot flows nicely, has just the right amount of drama, with a side of movie trivia, that will keep you engaged until the last page.

I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it.

And between you-and-I, I always secretly hoped that one day I would be sitting on a dining room table, and Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling) would give me a birthday cake and ask me to make a wish!

 

This book is due to be released on June 6, 2016.

 

 

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

#BookReview
London Belongs To Us by Sarra Manning

#BookReview London Belongs To Us by Sarra ManningTitle: London Belongs to Us

Author: Sarra Manning

Published by: Bonnier Publishing Fiction on June 2, 2016

Genres: Young Adult

Pages: 272

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bonnier Publishing, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Sunny’s always been a little bit of a pushover. But when she’s sent a picture of her boyfriend kissing another girl, she knows she’s got to act. What follows is a mad, twelve-hour dash around London – starting at 8pm in Crystal Palace (so far away from civilisation you can’t even get the Tube there) then sweeping through Camden, Shoreditch, Soho, Kensington, Notting Hill . . . and ending up at 8am in Alexandra Palace.

Along the way Sunny meets a whole host of characters she never dreamed she’d have anything in common with – least of all the devilishly handsome (and somewhat vain) French ‘twins’ (they’re really cousins) Jean Luc and Vic. But as this love-letter to London shows, a city is only a sum of its parts, and really it’s the people living there who make up its life and soul. And, as Sunny discovers, everyone – from friends, apparent-enemies, famous bands and even rickshaw drivers – is willing to help a girl on a mission to get her romantic retribution.


Review:

This is a clever, laugh-out-loud funny, imaginative novel.

The writing is exceptional. The characters are smart, adventurous, and engaging. And I love that the sights, sounds, history and diversity of London play a key role, and is a character itself.

The plot is fast-paced, the whole story takes place within 12 hours, is full of fantastic escapades, and is so engaging you will read this book in one sitting.

This is a great book. I loved it.

 

This book is due to be published on June 2, 2016.

 

 

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

#BookReview
What We Didn’t Say by Rory Dunlop
@roryjamesdunlop

#BookReview What We Didn’t Say by Rory Dunlop @roryjamesdunlopTitle: What We Didn't Say

Author: Rory Dunlop

Published by: Bonnier Zaffre on June 30, 2016

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bonnier Publishing, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A darkly funny story of a marriage in crisis, perfect for readers who loved Us by David Nicholls and The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

Jack and Laura have separated. Jack thinks it’s all Laura’s fault.

Laura disagrees.

Jack writes to Laura, desperate to put across his side of the story.

Laura interrupts.

Wryly sarcastic and intensely well-observed, What We Didn’t Say is about that gap between words and feelings where relationships live – and die.


Review:

Deeply moving, insightful, and captivating.

This is a poignant novel that reminds us that life is short and precious, and that fundamentally we all need to love and be loved.

It touches on familial dynamics, marriage, secrets, jealousy, love, trust, and the importance of communication.

The story is written using a two-person narration, in a creative and unique style, which allows readers to flow both effortlessly between past and present, as well as hear both perspectives seamlessly.

It is well written. The prose is simple, precise, and darkly witty.  And the characters are complex and real.

This is engaging story with a powerful impact, and I highly recommend it.

 

This book is due to be published on June 30, 2016.

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

Amazon UK

 

For more information on Rory Dunlop, follow him on Twitter at: @roryjamesdunlop

 

 

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

#BookReview
The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza
@robertbryndza @bookouture

#BookReview The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza @robertbryndza @bookoutureTitle: The Night Stalker

Author: Robert Bryndza

Series: Detective Erika Foster #2

Published by: Bookouture on June 2, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bookouture, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

 

Synopsis:

If the Night Stalker is watching, you’re already dead… 

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head. 

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike. 

The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer? 

As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line. 


Review:

Intense, suspenseful, and clever!

This is a compelling thriller that delves into the depth and despair associated with psychological and physical torment, and reminds us that you never really know what happens behind closed doors.

The characters are multi-layered, complex and creative. The story is well written, with multiple plots and great twists and turns that will keep you enthralled for hours.

This is a gripping page turner that is disturbingly real, and I highly recommend it.

 

This book is due to be published on June 2, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

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

 

About Robert Bryndza

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice, which is the first in his Detective Erika Foster series.

The Night Stalker, Dark Water and Last Breath are the second, third, and fourth books in the series, and the fifth book, Cold Blood is available now.

Robert’s books have sold over 2 million copies and have been translated into 27 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

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