Over the last 3-4 months I've been a pretty crappy blogger. Our family went through a tough time and I've been spending more time with friends and family recently than reading and blogging. I also have an unhealthy obsession with Grey's Anatomy which I'm currently binge watching. Again.
I'd really like to get back into blogging and get my reading mojo back in the next year so for now wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2016
Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to
dig. An adult sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been
taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood
Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a
spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.
But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home,
disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on
the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.
As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they
strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own
past before it’s too late?
This is Angela’s first novel and it’s also the first crime
thriller I’ve read in about 10 years. To say this is not my typical genre is a
gross understatement. It seemed like every other review being tweeted was a
raving review of one of Angela’s D.I. Kim Stone novels. So like the book crowd
follower I am I took myself straight to Amazon and downloaded Silent Scream.
This book is set in the Black Country and focuses on kick
ass detective Kim Stone and her pursuit for justice.
One of the things that drew me to this series, along with
the great reviews I’d read, was the female lead. As I’m new to this genre I
thought I would more easily identify with a female main character than a male.
Kim Stone is a strong and seemingly fearless woman. She’s headstrong, stubborn and
damn good at her job. Although her stubbornness sometimes lands her in hot
water with her boss her instincts and the way she worked through the crimes in
her head completely drew me to her.
I had immense respect for Kim by the end of the novel.
Alongside the main storyline we get a glimpse of Kim’s past coming through in
her moments of reflection, brought on by the closeness of the case to her own history.
As the story unfolds and as the body count goes up the story
of the past and present is interwoven. At some points I thought I had the
murderer pegged but it turned out I was completely wrong. For the most part Kim
tells the story however there are scenes from the murderer’s POV too which were
unnerving but had the effect of keeping me turning the pages. Just when I
thought I was starting to work things out, learn what to expect, Angela through
a complete spanner into the works in what has to be one of the best character
twists I’ve read ever.
There were so many twists in this novel that my head was
spinning by the end. I was a little bit apprehensive about finishing this when
I was in the house myself… and when it was night time! It’s cleverly written,
completely unpredictable and gripping to the very end. Reading this has definitely
ensured that I want to read more not only from this author but in this genre –
starting with 24 Hours written by one of Angela’s fellow Bookouture authors
After the crazy six months she’s had, if there was a ‘clear history’
button for your life, Tess Brookes would be the first in line to press it.
When the opportunity arises to join her best friend, Amy, in New York
for Christmas, Tess jumps at the chance. The only slight hitch is that Nick,
the man who broke her heart, lives there. And Charlie, the man she turned down,
has just started talking to her again. And she has just four days to take a
photo for a competition that could save her career.
But aside from that, everything is going to be great: it’ll be the best
Christmas ever. Won’t it?
I, like all of Lindsey’s other fans, was looking forward to
this book immensely. I couldn’t wait to get back into Tess’s crazy life and
finish the whole Team Nick/Team Charlie debate – although Nick will always be
my guy – makes love-heart-in-eyes face.
The prologue threw me for a loop. At first I was like wait,
wait just one minute what’s going on here?! But then it all became clear! After
those first few pages I was effortlessly engrossed in Lindsey’s writing once
again. Every other page had me laughing and at times I was on the verge of
tears. Tess’s life has one big chaotic whirlwind from assuming her flatmate’s
identity and job to making a name, her own name, for herself and completing her
adopted family circle. One thing missing was her man – but which man was the
Tess finds a way to make Christmas in New York happen. I’m
so glad that this story was set in New York primarily because Lindsey and
writing about New York go so well together. Lindsey’s I Heart series begins in
New York and I loved going back there with her. I also loved the fact that we
got to catch up with I Heart series main characters Angela Clarke and Jenny
Lopez. If ever there were three characters who were destined to be besties it’s
As usual chaos reigns where Tess is involved but she just
about manages to turn things round for herself. The ending to this book is
probably one of my favourite endings of all times. It just seemed absolutely
perfect although I don’t want to ruin it by revealing anything more about it.
There are a few things that keep me coming back to Lindsey’s
writing over and over again. Firstly the fact that every single time I read a
new book of hers I am completely transported to wherever the location is. I
never feel like I’m just reading about a place, I can visualise it and I feel
like I’m experiencing it first-hand. Secondly is Lindsey’s sense of humour and
sharp wit. It feels so aligned with my own and my sister’s that it makes me
want to be BFFs with her main characters. I would love to meet Tess in real
life, Angela and Jenny too. I can’t wait for whatever’s next from Lindsey.
Livvy is on the run. And she’s escaped to the one place nobody will
ever find her.
But the isolated cottage isn’t empty. Her refuge is home to a troubled
stranger, Tom, there for reasons of his own.
In the intimacy of the abandoned cottage, and the remote wilderness of
the island, the electrifying connection between them is impossible to ignore.
Both running from their histories and shielding dark secrets, their pasts catch
up with them and collide in an unimaginable way.
Deep emotions and powerful chemistry face a painful battle with the
tangle of lies, and scars of the past. When the truth emerges, hearts will be shattered.
Firstly, thank you to Headline Eternal for sending me a copy
of this book for review. I’d never read anything by Natasha Boyd before but I
would definitely read more from this author based on this book.
This story is all about Livvy and Tom. Livvy is seeking
refuge in her Grandmother’s cottage in South Carolina but when she turns up
expecting the cottage to be empty she finds she is isn’t the only one seeking
There is not a single emotion left uncovered by this book. I
felt raw after reading this because every single page I turned the words on the
next one seemed to hit me right in every single feel. Livvy’s running away from
her life but you don’t find out for a while exactly what’s happened to her that’s
made her run. She recognises Tom but is never sure until much, much later in
the book where she recognised him from. She’s skittish, plagued by nightmares
and completely unsure of herself and who she is. The transformation in her
character throughout and the journey she takes is heart-wrenching. At times I
could empathise with her and at others I was at a complete loss to what Livvy
was feeling as I couldn’t possibly imagine myself in her situation.
Tom is a very real character. Real in his guilt, real in his
attempts to rectify everything he feels guilt for and real in his need to fix
everyone around him. He allows Livvy the room she needs to heal and to find herself,
although in doing this he doesn’t fully disclose who he is and all the way
through the book I had an awful feeling about what was going to happen between
the characters. I quickly deduced who Tom might be to Livvy and was on
tenterhooks waiting for the big reveal. I love Tom’s part in her recovery and
how his feelings develop for her.
I cried, I smiled and then I cried again. I am not exaggerating
the level of emotions in this book because they are absolutely clear to anyone
who reads this. I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of K.A. Tucker
and Samantha Young. Yes. Pass me the next one!
When he's not working at the club, Craig Lanaghan looks out for his
mother and little sisters. So when it comes to women, all he wants is a good
time. But once Rain Alexander walks into his life, there's no denying that this
woman could be worth much more than a one-night stand . . .
Rain's lifelong regret is having left her sister Darcy alone years ago
with a guardian who turned out to be abusive. So when Darcy's boyfriend
publicly humiliates her in a cruel way, Rain's overprotective instincts kick in
and she follows him to Club 39 - where she meets a guy who just might be her
The chemistry between Rain and Craig is explosive, but Rain is out for
revenge, and refuses to be sidetracked by flirtation. As things between them
heat up, she'll have to make a heartbreaking choice between giving in to the
man of her dreams or putting her sister's happiness first . . .
I feel like I’ve been waiting for this for ages – more so
since Samantha posted a teaser on her Facebook of an excerpt of the story
written from Craig’s POV. I’ve loved the little re-imagined excerpts from the
On Dublin Street series told from the hero’s perspective that Sam has posted on
her website so I knew she could nail this!
I love reading from both male and female perspectives in a
book, especially in a novella when you have less time to get to know the
characters and their stories. We have already met Craig as he worked alongside
Joss & Jo at Braden’s night club but Rain is a brand new character. I was a
little confused at first but quickly realised that One King’s Way is set way
back between the first and second books in the On Dublin Street series.
Craig and Rain meet in the night club and although Craig is
his usual charming self, Rain is too distracted to notice. Although she’s
caught up in her own business I love that her level of distractedness meant
that Craig had to double his efforts to win her attention.
Over the course of this short read we learn more about each
character and their loyalty to their families and what drives it. The
relationship between Rain and Craig is sexy and intense but there was always something
in the back of my mind that thought the heat and the passion was masking the
real issues that Rain was harbouring.
I didn’t quite expect the ending but I loved the both usual
and unusual tie in that the title had, as with the rest of the series this
novella belongs to. Sam is one of those writers whose work I could read over
and over again and this is no different. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . to fall in love
The temperature is dropping, snow is on its way and Hayley Walker is
heading for New York with one wish on her mind…to start over.
With her nine year-old daughter Angel, Hayley is ready for an
adventure. From hot chocolates and horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park,
to ice-skating at the Rockefeller Centre, and Christmas shopping on 5th Avenue
– they soon fall in love with the city that never sleeps.
But there’s more to New York than the bright twinkly lights and breathtaking
skyscrapers. Angel has a Christmas wish of her own – to find her real dad.
While Hayley tries to fufil her daughter’s wish, she crosses paths with
billionaire Oliver Drummond. Restless and bored with fast living, there’s
something intriguing about him that has Hayley hooked.
Determined to make her daughter’s dream come true, can Hayley dare to
think her own dreams might turn into reality – could A New York Christmas turn
into a New York Forever?
Travel to the Big Apple this Christmas and join Hayley and Oliver as
they both realise that life isn’t just about filling the minutes…it’s about
making every moment count.
Firstly, thank you to Bookouture for approving me for a copy
of Mandy’s latest read via Netgalley. One Wish in Manhattan is all about
Hayley, her 9 year old daughter and Oliver.
The story is told from both Hayley and Oliver’s POV. I love
this in a story anyway, but it works well in this one because there are a lot
of different things happening for each character. Hayley is very family focused
and is trying her best to fulfil her daughter’s Christmas wish and on the other
hand Oliver shies away from commitment in general but also from being part of
his family. They are an unlikely match but there is something that just works
with them both. Hayley brings out Oliver’s good qualities almost unbeknownst to
him and by the end he is the genuinely great guy he is capable of.
Both Hayley and Oliver have a lot of time to reflect in the
novel and there is a lot of self-discovery for each of them. The biggest change
though, remains with Oliver in all aspects of his life right down to learning
his employee’s names.
I absolutely loved the setting. Mandy brought New York to
life in this book and I loved that Hayley’s New York treasure hunt took her and
Angel beyond the usual sight-seeing hot spots. It felt like an insider’s guide
to New York and I loved that she and Angel kept thinking of reasons why New
York was better than home.
Just like the cover says, this is an uplifting read. It’s
about going after what you want, going after what you deserve and living life
to its fullest for you and for your family. Mandy had my emotions all over the
place throughout this book but one thing is for certain – her writing reels you
in, wraps you up and invests your heart in her stories. More please!
Noah Drake was that guy--the one always on the lookout for his next
adrenaline high, so it was no surprise when he took off across the world,
seeking adventure as a travel writer. But one thing he could never escape was
Piper Bellini, the girl who got away--the girl he let get away, a fact he's
never let himself forget.
When he returns to Echo Lake to see if there's any chance the flame between
them can be rekindled, he never expects to spend the night holed up with Piper
in a roadside diner while a blizzard rages outside. It's exactly the kind of
situation that sent Piper running years ago. But this time, Noah may have been
handed a Christmas miracle, and he intends to make all of his and Piper's
wishes come true...
Firstly thank you to St Martin’s Press for approving me for
a review copy of this title. I’ve read one other book of Maggie’s so far,
although I have more on my TBR (shocker), and I really enjoyed her writing.
When I saw this Christmas shorty I knew I would want to read it. I think it’s
perfect for fans of Paige Toon too.
I LOVED Noah. I mean really what is there not to love - he’s
handsome, he’s fit and adventurous and he’s the one that got away. Or rather
he’s the one that went away.
The end of this story is predictable and a happy ever after,
but the journey to the ending was unexpected. Piper and Noah separated when Noah
followed his free spirit back across the world not caring about what it could
cost him. There are a lot of unresolved feelings between the pair of them and
their connection is rekindled almost as soon as they see each other.
I liked that the story had them going on a trip together.
Being stuck together during the story allows both characters to work through
their feelings about each other and their relationship. The journey back also
shows Noah’s heroic side and Piper’s ability to overcome her fears.
I am looking forward to more from Maggie’s Echo Lake series
after this lovely, wintery read.
Happy publication day Holly! The final installment in The Sentinel series is out today!
The bit on the back...
After the Oraculum orders Eve’s execution, she has to flee her home in the fort as those that have been guarding over her are forced to turn against her. Amongst the chaos, a new Sentinel is named. Adam, Eve’s half-brother.
Adam has spent his life incarcerated by the Oraculum while Eve was allowed to grow up with a family and friends. Now he is hell bent on revenge. He rules over his Guardians and his new kingdom with arrogance and a cold heart, but his one ambition is to make Eve’s life a living hell. Nowhere is safe from him, not even her dreams.
With the threat from the Putarians moving closer, her own Guardians betraying her, the survival of the world hinges in the balance.
Above all else, Adam must be stopped. But when Eve has a prophecy of her and Adam saving the world together, she quickly realizes she needs to work with him not against him.
But can Eve get through to Adam before it’s too late? Or will Adam’s evil heart result in the destruction of all?