Nevermind who did I tell, #WhoDidYouTell?! @LesleyKara @TransworldBooks @AnneCater

Apologies for the delay in this post, suffering with migraines due to chronic illnesses. Huge thanks to both Alison Barrow and Anne Cater for your patience regarding the post, and of course for the tour invite itself. It’s a pleasure to be reviewing ‘Who Did You Tell?’ by Lesley Kara.

It’s been 192 days, seven hours and fifteen minutes since her last drink. Now Astrid is trying to turn her life around.

Having reluctantly moved back in with her mother, in a quiet seaside town away from the temptations and painful memories of her life before, Astrid is focusing on her recovery. She’s going to meetings. Confessing her misdeeds. Making amends to those she’s wronged.

But someone knows exactly what Astrid is running from. And they won’t stop until she learns that some mistakes can’t be corrected.

Some mistakes, you have to pay for . . .

What does TWG think?

Having grown up around an alcoholic and seen how alcohol can not only affect the person consuming it, but also those around them, the concept of Lesley Kara’s new book was one I had seen first hand. Despite that, following Astrid’s journey was unique in it’s own right, and the spotlight into the detrimental effects of alcoholism was one that needed to be shone. I thought that the author handled the subject sensitively, yet also maintained the authenticity of the topic with the development of Astrid’s personality and the way in which the overall storyline was crafted.

Whilst ‘Who did you tell?’ can be considered quite a slow burner, the attention to detail and powerful suspense made the slow pace seem quite irrelevant. They say that good things come to those who wait, and I believe that that phrase is very apt where this book is concerned. Astrid isn’t the type of character who you could surmise in a few words, nor is she one who you could ‘work out’ pretty much straight away. I found her complexity very intriguing, and the fact that her exterior peeled away to reveal her inner relatability, was quite endearing.

I thought that the execution of the novel was very well thought out, especially as the storyline still held onto the depth from Astrid’s life until the very end. Even though there were elements of this book which brought back memories and reignited hidden emotions, I still throughly enjoyed the craftsmanship of the novel in its entirety. A bloody powerful and thought provoking read.

Buy now.

#TheBlossomTwins @carolewyer @bookouture #Review #blogtour

Please do excuse my lateness, my daughter is currently quite poorly.

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in Carol Wyer’s blog tour, and for the ARC. Here is my review:

Their parents thought they were hiding…

One beautiful summer’s evening, thirteen-year-old twins Ivy and Erin Westmore snuggle down in a tent in their back garden, giggling and sharing secrets.

When their mother goes to wake the girls the next morning, their tent is empty.

The alarm is raised and Detective Natalie Ward is put onto the case. When the twins’ bodies are discovered on nearby marshland, covered with deep pink petals, an icy shiver travels down Natalie’s spine. Everything about the girls’ deaths reminds her of a horrifying case she worked on earlier in her career, which saw a killer of the worst kind placed behind bars.

The next day, that feeling is heightened when she receives a chilling note saying ‘I’m back’. Is this killer a copycat or did Natalie put the wrong person in prison all those years ago? In a small town, where no stranger goes unnoticed, what is Natalie missing?

Consumed by the case, determined to prevent more deaths, Natalie misses the fact that it is her attention the killer wants. And to get it, he has his sights set firmly on her precious daughter Leigh…

What does TWG think?

Why! Why would you do that!!!!!!! I had a feeling something like that was going to happen, but I so badly wanted to be wrong!!!!!

Natalie Ward is back….but for how long? I have no idea where the series will go from here. I mean, Carol Wyer delivered a huge blow to her characters and, even though we all know that Natalie is made of strong stuff, theres only so much one person can handle!!

This probably goes without saying, but ‘The Blossom Twins’, like many psychological thrillers/crime novels, is as much an uncomfortable novel to read as it is addictive. The premise of the storyline and the way it was centred around the deaths of multiple young girls, was very difficult to digest. With that in mind, it was also incredibly gripping and made me want to turn into Hulk just to nail the fluffy chicken…(amazon wont accept my review if I say what I really think!!)

John Briggs was an outright twat. I cannot stand egotistical, arrogant, selfish people like him. Kudos to the author though for nailing his character personalisation!

As dark and as cut throat as this novel may be, the suspense was like fireworks in my mind! Carol Wyer has got a mind that I really wouldn’t want to delve into, yet she knocks each and every one of her novels out of the park! In a way I didn’t want to enjoy it given the circumstances, yet I ended up thoroughly blindsided by this christmas cracker of a read that left me wanting more.

I feel so sorry for Natalie at the end of each book, and this one is no different. Do I think things will get easier for her? Hell no. Do I think she will come back ready to fight? Possibly, although I dont envy anyone who finds themself up against her!

In the words of Oliver, ‘please sir, can I have some more?’

Outstanding. Emotive. Gripping. Intense. Devious. An absolute belter of a read!

Buy now.

Breaking Mum? No, #BreakingDad! @lubokian @Warren_Fitzg @TheMirrorBooks #nonfiction #blogtour #review

Hugest of thanks to Mirror Books for the blog tour invite for ‘Breaking Dad’ by James Lubbock, and for the ARC. I am delighted to be closing the blog tour with my review:

Think you’ve got a dysfunctional family?

Meet mine.

For 18 years, my family lived a normal life in a respectable suburb…

Until one day, my dad gave up his successful career, and unexpectedly became Britain’s most wanted crystal meth dealer.

This is our story. At times shocking, often unbelievable, and all 100% true.

What does TWG think?

I’m usually quite good at giving my opinion on things, however after reading ‘Breaking Dad’, i fear that my opinion skills are being put to the test! How am I meant to review this?!

I’m going to give it my best shot though, although I hope I do better than Mr Lubbock’s time keeping skills!

James Lubbock has had more blows to his life than an episode of Eastenders! Its going to be a shock when one of your parents rock your life boat with their life changing news, but what the hell do you do when BOTH of your parents share news which completely changes your life?

Well, that is exactly what happened to James Lubbock when his parents took him aside to tell him that things would never be the same again. No, I dont mean like the Mel C song but, seeing as James has waved to said person, you never know!

Before reading this book, I was aware of drugs, i mean who isn’t? I haven’t tried them mind, but I just couldnt believe the extent of the drugs and the after effect that they can have on people. We are all aware of the devastation alcohol can cause, and whilst drugs do get some airtime, we are only ever aware of them in extreme circumstances, after things have happened.

Whilst drugs fill up a large portion of this storyline, the insight to James’ own personal life and his mums illness were incredibly emotional to read. Even now, I could tell that the heartbreak is still quite raw for James, and rightly so. I cant even begin to imagine what that must have been life for him, watching his mother fade away before his very eyes. I, myself, have lost a parent in completely different circumstances, however James not only lost his mum to cancer, he also ended up losing his dad due to the choices he made. I just wanted to give James a hug! What a man!

‘Breaking Dad’ is such an eye opening, poignant read which highlights the sheer devastation that drugs can have on a person’s life. Not only that, James Lubbock’s story is one that is probably more common than people realise, and that in itself is even more heartbreaking to digest. Despite the emotional elements, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The honesty throughout this book is inspiring yet shocking in equal measures, yet I am sure a lot of people will be able to relate to James, or empathise with him. This is definitely a unique, thought provoking read that had me empathising one minute, and then laughing out loud the next. I cannot recommend this enough!

Buy now.

#BluebellsChristmasMagic @marielaval1 @RaRaResources @choclituk #blogtour #review #itsbeginningtolookalotlikechristmas

Many thanks to RaRaResources for the tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the ARC.

A flick of a feather duster and a sprinkle of Christmas magic …

Cassie Bell is used to mess. Her cleaning business, Bluebell Cleaning, is well known in the Cumbrian village of Red Moss. However, now it’s almost Christmas and Cassie has a slightly messier situation to deal with than she’s used to.

She’s been hired to help Stefan Lambert, an injured army helicopter pilot who’s staying at the local Belthorn Manor whilst he recovers. Stefan resents Cassie’s interference and is definitely not looking for Christmas cheer. But Cassie prides herself on sparkling surfaces – so, can she bring some festive sparkle to Stefan’s life too?

What does TWG think?

To the unromantic eye, Marie Laval’s new book may look like a typically ‘boy meets girl’ read, however there is a lot more to this particular storyline that meets the eye.

Cassie has been hired to help Stefan, a man who is recovering from an accident. Whilst Cassie may be used to picking up other peoples rubbish, or cleaning strangers toilets on a daily basis, Stefan would prefer it if Cassie would mind her own business and leave him to recover in peace. Of course that wasnt going to happen!

Cassie had the personality one could only ever dream about! Not only was she likeable, she also seemed to respect herself by refusing to take anyones rubbish. Pardon the pun.

Stefan was a broken man and it was evident that his scars from the accident would be there a long time, both externally and internally. If only he could meet his own version of Mary Poppins…someone who was practically perfect in every way. I wonder who that could be?

I really enjoyed this high energy, easy to read, cosy novel that was jam packed with mystery, dilemmas, romance, and genuine friendships. The title may lean towards Christmas, however I would quite happily read this book any time of the year! As a huge fan of Marie Laval’s ‘Little Pink Taxi’, I was so excited to dive into ‘Bluebell’s Christmas Magic’, a read that is more than worth its weight in gold, or tinsel!!

Buy now from Amazon UK

Is #TheSilentPatient really as silent as they say? @AlexMichaelides @MidasPr @OrionBooks

Huge thanks to Midas for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Silent Patient’ by Alex Michaelides, and for the ARC. I am delighted to be kicking off the tour with a review:

ALICIA

Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.

Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.

THEO

Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.

And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

What does TWG think?

How do you even review a book like this?! The title of this book really hits the nail on the head as it’s pretty much about a patient who is silent. The thing with that though, is that the patient hasn’t always been a patient, nor have they always been silent.

At the beginning of the story, the readers are introduced to Alicia indirectly, by psychotherapist, Theo, whilst also being introduced to him via the man himself.

Psychology is at the heart of this novel, and I thought that it was written brilliantly via different points of view. Alicia is in the spotlight due to the death of her husband, and Theo is in the spotlight due to being the new guy in his place of work, yet somehow their paths meet and fireworks fly.

Before I read ‘The Silent Patient’ I had heard so much about it on social media. I didn’t want to invest too much into what people were saying about it, yet I had everything crossed that I was going to like it. And did I?

Yes, i really did! I wouldn’t say that i was bowled over by it the whole way through, but i certainly enjoyed a good majority of it! The uniqueness of the storyline really grabbed my interest, and the fact that it was full of psychology was even better. Delving into the mindsets of people really intrigues me, so it’s safe to say that I was in my element!

I can see why a lot of people have been raving about this book because it is, without a doubt, a very cleverly crafted novel. I am so impressed by the complexity of each main characters journeys, and the way the author delivered their flaws alongside the positives really made the characters very relatable. Even though Alicia was the one under the spotlight, I found it quite difficult not to feel some level of empathy towards her and the circumstances she found herself in.

I never would have thought a character being silent would be so intense, yet here we are! A brilliantly thought out, unique, intense, and gripping novel. More please!

Buy now.

It may be raining, yet there are #StarrySkies #ComingHomeToMerrimentBay this evening! @EmilyHarvale @RaRaResources

Many thanks to Rachel for the tour invite and ARC. Here is my review of part four in the ‘Coming Home To Merriment Bay’ series.

Cat is reeling from the unexpected events of Christmas and as Merriment Bay prepares to toast in the New Year, she’s facing choices she never thought she’d have to make. Her head and her heart are pulling her in very different directions.

Bailey is sitting by Viola’s bedside, regaling everyone with tales from the past but is there any chance he’ll get to see a smile on the lips of the woman he still loves?

Having realised she has made mistakes, will Mary finally tell Cat what she really wants to know?

And what will the New Year bring for Kyra? Will she fulfil the plans she made before she came to Merriment Bay?

When distressing events end more than one person’s dream, can Cat find the strength to fight for the Love she deserves? Sometimes it takes a crisis to make someone realise what they truly want. And Cat has decided what – and who – that really is. But is she too late?

What does TWG think?

Part four already! How? Just like the other parts in the series, I recommend reading this one in order and after the others. If you dont, the overall storyline wont make as much sense as it should.

So, I’ve been quite vocal with my opinion of Cat in my other reviews, and I was a little bit apprehensive this time around because she only had one more chance to stop pushing people away or else she could lose everything.

Without giving too much away, I will admit that she frustrated me once again, however Amias seemed to do his own fair share of that too. I wanted to bang their heads together! As for Ben, I really couldnt see what part he played in the story apart from being something to pass the time. I found his personality a tad overbearing if I’m honest!!

In part four, the loose ends from the other three novellas are tied up and the answers to questions become known. Finally. Was I as shocked as what i perhaps should have been? No. Dont get me wrong, the family drama was brilliant, however I felt that the whole truth of the matter regarding Cat’s dad etc, was a little bit over egged and fell flat a little.

That said, I did really enjoy reading ‘Starry Skies’, and I was pleased that Cat finally got the answers she deserved. I really do enjoy reading Emily Harvale’s relatable stories and I absolutely cannot wait for more! Harvale is my go to author without a doubt.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Buy now from Amazon US

What IS #TheGoodInGoodbye? Is there even such a thing? #review #blogtour @Queenoffirelas @RaRaResources

It gives me great pleasure to be kicking off the blog tour for book two in the ‘Lisa Millar’ series, ‘The Good In Goodbye’. Many thanks to Rachel for having me on the tour, and for the ARC. Here is my review:

Relationships are complicated. Long distance ones, even more so.

When Lisa Millar met AJ Williams online through mutual friends, she wasn’t prepared to fall in love with the man of her dreams. She was even less prepared to discover that he already had a wife. In a heart-wrenching story of love attempting to transcend miles, Lisa finds herself pregnant and on the wrong side of the Atlantic from the man she loves.

Will their love conquer all? Or will the intricacies of a relationship woven across the Atlantic be too much to take and tear them apart once and for all?

(Warning: This book ends on a cliff hanger)

What does TWG think?

Before I go any further, if you arent already aware – ‘The Good In Goodbye’ is part of a series, the second book in fact. I would whole heartedly suggest that you get the first book, ‘Intimate Strangers’ read first before you get stuck into this one. The storyline in this book will make more sense to you if you do it that way.

So, yeah, as the blurb so rightly warns you, this DOES end on a cliffhanger. Something I didn’t realise until the very last minute as I dont read blurbs! Did it ruin the experience for me? Not at all. It just means that i really need to get my hands on book three….like right now!!

Mental health and different emotions are such a huge part of this book. Speaking from a personal point of view a moment, I could relate to the way that Lisa was feeling as I am feeling that way currently and have been for a while. The delivery of such raw emotions made me cry. All I wanted to do was run to Lisa and say ‘I feel this too, help me!’. Not only that, seeing emotions and thoughts I could relate to in black and white, really hit home as I have spent so long trying to find the words to convey how much my own mental health has spiralled.

Lisa has such a devastating time throughout this book, and the serious nature of the situation she found herself in was definitely an eye-opener. The entire scenario was written so clearly, and so honestly, I cannot even begin to imagine how much research the author embarked on to make it as realistic as possible.

Jeremy…..what a lad. I really wasnt sure of him in book one as I found him very over the top, yet he redeemed himself this time around. In fact, I bloody love him now. Everyone needs a Jeremy in their life, and I’m gutted I dont have one in mine!!

The whole Lisa and AJ situation made me angry! Firstly, Lisa did know what she was getting herself in for with the distance and everything else. Secondly, AJ really needs to get it into his head that simply saying ‘sorry’ doesnt just magically fix things. Thirdly, neither of them owe the other one anything, so they really need to work out what is best for them when it comes to their relationship!

Now before anyone says I’m harsh, I’m well aware that AJ has his own problems and that his own mental health can snowball. However, he really needs to take heed of the responsibilities he now has! As for his priorities, well, I’ll be here all night if I started going on about those!

From the moment I picked up the book until the moment I had finished it, the book stayed in my hands the whole time. I refused to stop reading until there were no more pages to read and, it’s safe to say that I was extremely invested in these characters and their colourful lives.

I know that I have a strong opinion about the two main characters, but can I just say that I bloody loved this book! Lasairiona is incredible at what she does! I love the way she makes her characters come to life as though they’re three dimensional instead of simply being words on a page. I found her storyline to be such a powerful and poignant masterpiece in terms of the deep rooted emotions which were there from start to finish.

‘The Good In Goodbye’ has left its mark on me. Luckily, the fact that it’s a thoughtful and brilliantly written novel makes me incredibly lucky to have the mark of such a enlightening read, left on me. This is raw, cut throat, unsettling, yet it is also a one of a kind read that I urge you all to get your hands on.

Buy now from Amazon UK.

Buy now from Amazon US

#WhatSheSawLastNight….what DID she see last night?! @OrionBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n @MasonCrossBooks

Still plagued by frequent migraines due to my chronic illnesses, so please do bear with me!

Many thanks to Orion and Tracy for the blog tour invite and ARC, I am delighted to be on the blog tour today for Mason Cross.

A secret that could kill her.

A truth no one believes…

Jenny Bowen is going home. Boarding the Caledonian Sleeper, all she wants to do is forget about her upcoming divorce and relax on the ten-hour journey through the night.

In her search for her cabin, Jenny helps a panicked woman with a young girl she assumes to be her daughter. Then she finds her compartment and falls straight to sleep.

Waking in the night, Jenny discovers the woman dead in her cabin … but there’s no sign of the little girl. The train company have no record of a child being booked on the train, and CCTV shows the dead woman boarding alone.

The police don’t believe Jenny, and soon she tries to put the incident out of her head and tells herself that everyone else is right: she must have imagined the little girl.

But deep down, she knows that isn’t the truth.

What does TWG think?

I don’t really know what to make of this!!! All I know for certain is that I don’t really want to go on the Caledonian Sleeper anytime soon….!

Jenny had everything crossed that her journey on the sleeper was going to be an uneventful. However, it ended up proving to be the complete opposite and now theres a mystery to solve when a woman ends up dead.

How, what, when, why?!

This book made me think ‘erm, what?!’ more than once! The whole dead woman, mysterious child thing just came out of nowhere and blindsided me a little! I mean, the CCTV showed that the woman boarded the sleeper alone, so where on Earth was the child Jenny allegedly saw?

The suspense level in this book is second to none. Mason Cross is brilliant at keeping his readers on their toes – I was really impressed by the whole vibe of the story!

Jenny, for me, was such a questionable character. Her personality was far from likeable, and she annoyed me more times than she didn’t. However in a weird way, her ice cold vibe worked with the overall consensus of the storyline so, it just goes to show that main characters dont have to be 100% likeable for the storyline to work.

Despite adoring the suspense and the darkness of the storyline, I still found myself a little on the fence because there were times where I felt that the storyline overstretched the believable factor. Now I know that in fiction you can write whatever you choose, and extend the truth as far as you feel you’re able to, yet for me, I still need to believe some aspects of the book. Either that, or I need to be put into a false sense of security and feel like I believe.

Overall, on the fence I sit, however I do think that Mason Cross is brilliant at his craft, and I would be genuinely surprised if ‘dark master’ wasnt his middle name! A real dark, chilling and mysterious read.

Buy now.

Anyone wanting #AnIslandChristmas this year? @helenahalme @AnneCater

Very slowly getting back into the swing of things, thank you for your patience! Before I go any further, I would just like to extend my thoughts to Helena after the death of her father. We are all thinking of you here at TWG.

Many thanks to Anne for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, and to Helena for the ARC. Here is my review:

On the windswept Scandinavian Åland Islands, the festive season is snowy and chilly—yet breathtakingly beautiful.

It’s time for Alicia to enjoy her first Christmas back on her beloved Islands with her family. There’ll be traditional dancing around the tree and sipping mulled wine in front of a cozy fire. But peace is broken by Alicia’s estranged husband, Liam, who springs an unwelcome and devastating surprise, while her ex-lover, Patrick, temps her with an altogether different kind of future. Alicia faces impossible choices to keep her family together.

With her world crashing around her, can Alicia create the idyllic Island Christmas she’s always dreamt about?

Meanwhile, Brit, Alicia’s best friend, returns to the Islands to lick her wounds after a particularly bloody break-up with an Italian chef. When she meets her new boss, the Captain of a Baltic cruise liner, sparks fly.

Brit can’t help but fall quickly in love with Jukka, but when she discovers his murky past, she fears her heart is about to be broken yet again. Are the rumors about Jukka true, or just typical small island gossip?

What does TWG think?

Ooooo! Well there is definitely more to ‘An Island Christmas’ than I was expecting!! Helena Halme seems to have gone all out with her Scandinavian storyline, combining emotional family drama with Russian dominance, and Christmas with a life on a ship! I mean, where on Earth does she get her influence from?

Alicia is back on the island where her heart belongs, yet her heart seems to have a different idea when it comes to the man who is taking her fancy! Legally she is married to Liam, however he may no longer be the man for her. Whilst she tries to decide where her heart lie, a lot of other drama grab hold of her attention, putting her own feelings to the back of the queue.

For me, the storyline took a long time to get going. We were given a lot of information to sink our teeth into, but for a while it felt like that was as far as it went. I was pleased that as readers, we were able to touch base with the various different characters in the story, however due to the frequent character change, it meant that the storyline took far longer to get into the swing of things and, given the nature of some of the topics discussed in the book, I would have preferred it if I was able to sink my teeth into it much earlier.

That is, of course, just my opinion and, despite that, I did really enjoy ‘An Island Christmas’ and seeing how festivities are done across the pond. Helena Halme is a beautiful, descriptive author who brings each of her stories to life as though the reader has front row seats to the entire novel. As I said at the beginning of this review, this book has so much more to it than I could ever have dreamed of, making it such a pleasure to read.

Buy now.

#ChristmasAtTheChateau is here!! @0nemorechapter_ @RaRaResources #blogtour #review

Many thanks to Rachel for the blog tour invite, and thank you to the publisher for the ARC.

Poppy is looking forward to spending her first Christmas in France at her boyfriend, Leo’s, Château. And as the snow falls softly around the dramatic castle, Poppy can’t think of anything more magical.

There are new traditions to discover, a cosy Christmas market to explore and best of all, a promise of a secret treasure hunt from gorgeous Leo. The clues take Poppy on a magical tour of the chateau, each place holding special memories for her and Leo – their first date, their first kiss, the list goes on.

And at the end, hidden beneath the mistletoe, is one last surprise for Poppy. A simple question that could change her life forever….

What does TWG think?

At just shy of 50 pages, ‘Christmas at the Chateau’ is the perfect starter to anyone’s festivities this year. If you haven’t read the first book in the ‘A French Escape’ series, don’t fret because it’s fine to read this book as a standalone. Now, I really enjoyed the first book so I do advise you all to get it on your TBR piles!

For such a such a compact read, it sure does pack a punch! I am impressed at how much content Lorraine Wilson managed to fit into her storyline and, even so, everything in the story had its place. Of course I do wish that it was a full length novel, purely because I felt that Poppy and Leo had so much more to say, and I think that the situation that they found themselves in this time round, could have had more detail included in it instead of halting so abruptly.

That said, in my eyes, it’s a mere finer detail! I really enjoyed this pint sized, festive treat, and I absolutely love the four legged friends that fill this story with such humour and uniqueness.

Buy now.