#Spotlight #Mine @ClareEmpson2 @OrionBooks @tr4cyf3nt0n #bookblogger

I hope you’re all keeping well just now. Life is very, very different to the one we were all a part of this time last week! Many of us are finding it difficult to concentrate on our usual hobbies, reading including, so I want to thank Tracy Fenton for being incredibly accommodating in the recent climate, so therefore my stop today is a spotlight post with the promise of reviewing soon.

‘Who am I? Why am I here? Why did my mother give me away?’

On the surface, Luke and his girlfriend Hannah seem to have a perfect life. He’s an A&R man, she’s an arts correspondent and they are devoted to their new-born son Samuel.

But beneath the gloss Luke has always felt like an outsider. So when he finds his birth mother Alice, the instant connection with her is a little like falling in love.

When Hannah goes back to work, Luke asks Alice to look after their son. But Alice – fuelled with grief from when her baby was taken from her 27 years ago – starts to fall in love with Samuel. And Luke won’t settle for his mother pushing him aside once again…

Why readers love this emotionally gripping story by the author of HIM:

‘Read it, read it, read it. One of my books of the year, without a doubt.’ Goodreads reviewer

‘Beautiful, haunting, emotional, and totally addictive.’ Goodreads reviewer

‘A realistic, character driven, highly-emotional and addictive read.’ Goodreads reviewer

‘Be warned: this novel will take over your life while you are reading it.’ Goodreads reviewer

Click here to purchase Clare Empson’s previous novel ‘Him’

Click here to purchase ‘Mine’

Loved either of Clare’s books? Leave a review and tell the world!

#ForBetterForWorse @JaneIsaacAuthor @HoZ_books #blogtour #review

Apologies for how late in the day this is, but I’m sure you’ll all agree that it is such a weird time for everyone just now. I hope you’re all keeping as safe as you can, both physically and emotionally. Thinking of everyone that has been directly affected by the virus, or is struggling with their mental health due to the uncertainty.

Thank you, Head of Zeus, for asking me to kick off the blog tour for ‘For Better, For Worse’ by Jane Isaac, and for the ARC. Here is my review:

Stuart Ingram was once a respected local councillor…

The first time the police knocked on Gina’s door, they arrested her husband.

The second time, they accused him of child abuse.

But he died a guilty man.

This time, the police are here for Gina – to tell her that her husband is dead. Murdered, just two weeks before his trial.

Gina always stood by her husband. Even when everyone else walked away. She believed the trial would clear his name. But now Stuart is dead.

And his wife is the suspect.

It’s a race against time for DC Beth Chamberlain to uncover the truth – especially when a second man turns up dead.

Previously published as Presumed Guilty.

What does TWG think?

What would you do if people turned their backs on you and your family, all because of an allegation? Would you stand by your husband like your had promised in your vows? Or would you side with the masses and presume him guilty?

The allegation against Gina’s husband, Stuart, was one that could break someone’s reputation whether they were guilty or not. The evidence was stacked against him, and even his own daughter wanted nothing to do with him. I could see why!!

Just like other books in this genre, the storyline is a slow burner which increases in tension gradually, and in such a way that kept me hooked. This book is the second book in the DC Beth Chamberlain series, something I wasnt actually aware of until after I had finished reading it! It can be read as a standalone, yet I probably would have gelled with Beth a little bit more if I had had a bit more insight to who she was. I couldnt take to her and I felt like something was missing. I’m not saying she was a bad character, because she was far from it. I just wish I had had more to go on where she was concerned, you know?

Despite that, the premise of the storyline and levels of intensity, I was really taken by the investigation and the uncertainty which surrounded the entire thing. I thought it was very cleverly done and kept me on my toes!

The star of the show, for me, was the psychological elements of the novel – I just loved how Jane Isaac went about them, incorporating well thought out red herrings and emotional blackmail into an already complex storyline.

All in all, ‘For Better, For Worse’ was a really enjoyable, suspenseful read that showcased Jane Isaac’s addictive story telling.

Buy now.

#SurvivingMe #JoJohnson @rararesources #blogtour #huntingdonsdisease #mentalhealth

Many thanks, RaRaResources for inviting me to take part in Jo Johnson’s blog tour for ‘Surviving Me’, and for the ARC. Here is my review:

Deceit has a certain allure when your life doesn t match up to the ideal.

Tom has decided he doesn’t want to live. Adam wishes he had a choice.

Tom’s lost his job and now he’s been labelled ‘spermless’. He doesn’t exactly feel like a modern man, although his double life helps. Yet when his secret identity threatens to unravel, he starts to lose the plot and comes perilously close to the edge.

All the while Adam has his own duplicity, albeit for very different reasons, reasons which will blow the family’s future out of the water.

If they can’t be honest with themselves, and everyone else, then things are going to get a whole lot more complicated.

What does TWG think?

If you’re ever feeling a little tipsy and are needing to sober up pretty quickly, ‘Surviving Me’ will be the perfect thing to do just that. This book really opened my eyes to Huntington’s disease, something which isnt spoken about often. Unfortunately I, like many others, have been affected by suicide in one form of another, and Jo Johnson has incorporated that topic into the storyline via a male protagonist. According to various statistics, suicide amongst males is one of the biggest killers, so I was very impressed by the way in which the author gave that topic the spotlight it needed. Whether you’re male, female, animal; it’s okay to be sad, its okay to ask for help.

The relationship dynamics in the storyline were quite unique and astounding at the same time. Tom and Siri seemed to have issues with communication, with Siri herself being good at belittling her husband. Adam and Heather had issues with a belittling spouse as well, yet there seemed to be a lot more to their relationship than the readers were aware of.

I found the belittling spouses quite unsettling to read as, from someone being on the outside looking in, I didnt think it was right of them to do that. I loved Harry though, he was such a consistent character who definitely had his priorities straight.

I said at the start of this review that the storyline was very sobering, and what I meant by that was the way in which the story held it’s own with its poignancy and emotive topics.

Despite the seriousness of the book, I really enjoyed following the lives of four different people, and I ended up being completely blindsided by the revelations I came across – an all round, heartwarming and powerful read that will make you sit up and take notice.

Buy now.

This is the one time I’m happy to admit being #DeadWrong! @nholten40 @0nemorechapter_ @BOTBSPublicity #blogtour #review

Thanks so much to sarah from BOTBSPublicity for inviting me to take part in much loved blogger and author, Noelle Holten’s blog tour. Also thank you to the publisher for the ARC too. Here is my review:

The serial killer is behind bars. But the murders are just beginning…

DC Maggie Jamieson’s past comes back to haunt her in this dark and gripping serial killer thriller.

Three missing women running out of time…

They were abducted years ago. Notorious serial killer Bill Raven admitted to killing them and was sentenced to life.

The case was closed – at least DC Maggie Jamieson thought it was…

But now one of them has been found, dismembered and dumped in a bin bag in town.

Forensics reveal that she died just two days ago, when Raven was behind bars, so Maggie has a second killer to find.

Because even if the other missing women are still alive, one thing’s for certain: they don’t have long left to live…

What does TWG think?

Before reading ‘Dead Wrong’ I was well aware of the authors jet black mind and, if I’m being perfectly honest, I was in awe of how quickly her mind manages to conjure up situations that are so clever, and so well thought out.

Having now read ‘Dead Wrong’, I am even more impressed by this authors talent than I was at the beginning! Bill Raven is everyone’s worst nightmare, and there were many moments where i felt like reading through my fingers because of the discomfort and uncertainty which surrounded that particular character. He was such a chilling character to read about yet, as weird as this sounds, I think he gave the storyline THE edge.

I dont know what it is about DC Maggie Jamieson, but I still cannot seem to work her out. I struggled to gel with her in the first book, and again I found her to be a quite a two dimensional character. Maybe that is just her personality, after all you cant like every single character in a book!

Noelle Holten has hit the nail on the head in terms of suspense, and I thoroughly enjoyed the psychological elements of the story especially. Its evident that Holten knows the genre in depth due to her professional history, and shes certainly making the most of that knowledge with this riveting and dynamic read. Roll on book three!

Buy now.

#MessyWonderfulUs @CatherineIsaac_ @SimonSchusterUK @ed_pr #blogtour #bloggers

Next up is my review for ‘Messy, Wonderful Us’ by Catherine Isaac. Many thanks to EdPr for the blog tour invite and to Simon and Schuster for the ARC. Here is my review:

In late 1983, a letter arrives, containing secrets so unthinkable that it is hidden away, apparently forever.

More than three decades later, it is found . . . by the last person who was ever supposed to see it.


When Allie opens an envelope in her grandmother’s house, it changes everything she knows about her family – and herself.

With the truth liable to hurt those she loves most, she hires a private detective to find out what happened to her late mother in the summer before Allie was born. Taking leave from her job as a research scientist, she is led far from home, accompanied by her best friend Ed.

But the secrets that emerge go far beyond anything they were expecting. Now, Allie must find the courage to confront her family’s tangled past and reshape her own future.

What does TWG think?

What would you do if you found out something that could threaten everything you have only ever known? Would you want to find out the truth despite being told to leave it? Or would you ignore what you had found out and carry on as normal?

I cant even answer that to be honest, and I dont think anyone could unless they were actually in that situation, and even then the answer could change multiple times!

Allie found a letter that took her breath away and left her questioning her entire upbringing, and she had to make the decision to either move on, or do a little bit of detective work. So, she decided on the latter….but at what cost?

As well as Allie’s dilemmas, her best friend, Ed, seemed to be beating himself up from the inside out. To him his marriage was on the rocks, but to his wife, Ed merely seemed ‘depressed’. It was pretty clear that Ed was joining Allie on her journey of self discovery.

‘Messy, Wonderful Us’ reminded me of a wood burner on a cold day; slow to heat up but when it was warm, it engulfed its surroundings in a powerful warmth that took my breath away and protected me in it’s own little fireball bubble.

The entire storyline was a magnetic force and beautifully written, and the fact that Allie’s job was researching cystic fibrosis was outstanding and gave the book even more of a unique edge.

Allie and Ed’s friendship is one that filled me with envy as it was just so genuine. I couldnt help but wish for a friendship like that for myself.

My heart was so invested in Catherine Isaac’s enticing story telling, I was bereft when the storyline came to an end! The attention to detail, scene setting, character development, relationship timelines were incredibly well thought out and made me able to envision all the finer details of the book as though I was there in person.

This was such a beautifully written, humbling, magical storyline which highlighted Catherine Isaac’s outstanding talent – I genuinely cannot fault this story at all. It has genuinely stolen my heart and soul. Such a stunning, stunning read.

Buy now.

Would you get in contact with someone you used to love, even though theres a chance they might not want to talk? #TheManILovedBefore @bookouture @AnnaMansell #blogtour

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in Anna Mansell’s blog tour, and for providing me with an ARC. Here is my review:

‘Dear Ben, I can only write you this letter because I know you’ll never read it…’

When Jem writes to her ex Ben, it’s to explain everything. All the secrets she kept from him – from the little lies she’d sometimes tell about how new those shoes really were, or how many glasses of wine she’d had that evening… right up to The Big Thing that happened on the night that changed everything. But she never expects he will actually see what she’s written.

She is just writing because she thinks it will help to get the words out. Later, she resolves, she’ll burn the letter, and then the past will be in the past for good.

Because Jem is doing fine now. She’s busy: working, spending time with her best friend, and looking after her mother, who’s in remission from cancer. She’s even dating again and has just met a guy who she thinks she could actually fall for. At long last, Jem is really, definitely somewhere close to happy.

But her mum finds the letter and thinks she’s doing Jem a favour when she posts it to Ben. And Jem’s new, carefully rebuilt life begins to unravel in ways she could never have imagined. Then, when her mother gets ill again, she finds herself asking who has the key to her future. The man she’s falling in love with now? Or the man she loved before?

What does TWG think?

Theres a lot of various avenues to explore in ‘The Man I Loved Before’. Not only is Jem finding it difficult to get over the man who had her heart, her mum was in remission from cancer. And, if that wasn’t enough, Jem finds herself being pulled in directions that arent good for her emotional wellbeing that ends up threatening her friendship with her best friend.

I reckon a lot of readers would find it difficult not to be empathetic towards Jem. The situations she deals with is more than enough for several people to contend with, let alone just one. Of course the fact that Jem’s mum is in remission is clearly good news, however with something like that, you cant help but wait for it to return. Not only that, her mum didnt return to her usual self after the cancer.

I enjoyed the realism of the storyline as it focused on things that can happen to real life people, without pretending that life is hunkydory because, contrary to popular belief, it isnt always like that. I appreciated the angle of the book, even though it was emotional at times and very powerful.

When Jem found herself in a sticky situation later on in the book, it did bring memories back for me as I had been in a similar boat myself many years ago. It wasnt easy to read, but i respected the author for including a topic that is often seen as taboo. However (sorry), I felt that it overpowered the rest of the book and took my attention away from other scenes in the book that I felt were important.

‘The Man I Loved Before’ is a romantic, poignant, topical read which puts relationships to the test big time. I really enjoyed the heartfelt storyline but, most importantly, I loved how difficult topics were given their time to shine in attempt to help others understand. Something that Anna Mansell has Mansell exceptionally well.

Buy now.

#HerBrokenWings @DKHood_Author @Bookouture #blogtour

Many thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the blog today for D.K.Hood and ‘Her Broken Wings’, and for the ARC. Here is my review:

The sound that wakes her from sleep is unmistakable—someone is in their house. She listens as heavy footsteps start up the stairs, and as the bedroom door is flung open, she doesn’t even have time to scream…

Following a frantic emergency call in the middle of the night, Detective Jenna Alton arrives at a secluded family home to find the body of Lucas Robinson lying in a pool of his own blood in his bed. His wife Carol, shivering in shock, has just watched an intruder shoot her husband in cold blood.

As Jenna investigates the murder, she soon discovers that Lucas was having an affair. And when his mistress is also found strangled to death in the center of the small town, Jenna is convinced that the murderer is living amongst them.

When the killer escalates with a mass murder at a remote ranch on the outskirts of Black Rock Falls, Jenna knows for sure that she’s dealing with a murderer more twisted than any other she’s faced before.

As the town begins to fill with revelers for the annual Halloween festival, Jenna has to work fast to stop any more lives being taken. But as the killer always seems to be one step ahead of the investigation, has she finally met a murderer who can outsmart her?

What does TWG think?

Well that escalated quickly!!!! I have been a huge fan of D.K.Hood’s ‘Kane and Alton’ since the very beginning, however I dont think my heart has raced as much as it did with ‘Her Broken Wings’. Bloody heck! If those wings weren’t broken, I reckon they would have taken off by now!

Black Rock Falls has had more than enough murders to last a lifetime, but they kept on coming in this book! I have no idea what the population of the town is – surely they havent got more random people to kill off! Honestly, the murders in this book were like a box of chocolates, they just kept happening until one minute they stopped and you are left wondering what’s going to happen next.

Kane and Alton have their work cut out, however this time round they have assistance from the FBI to help lighten their load. Or will it be a case of ‘too many cooks spoiling the broth’? I adore the rapport that Kane and Alton have, especially the way that they always have each others backs in whatever situation they find themselves in. On the other hand though, I cant help but think to myself ‘will they just get together already!!!’.

So, the reason why my heart was racing a lot more with this book was because of the storyline was dark. Jet black dark. It was sinister. Unforgiving. Dangerous. Eventful. Race car suspenseful.

Basically, I loved it. D.K.Hood is absolutely brilliant at creating the tension that made my heart want to beat out of my chest. I was completely blindsided by the turn of events and the way that the storyline unfolded. I have no idea where the author gets her ideas from, yet I know that she delivers every single book in this series in an expert manner.

‘Her Broken Wings’ kept me hooked and left me gasping in shock – an all round, suspenseful and bloody brilliant addition to a series that just keeps on getting better and better!

Buy now.

#ThreePerfectLiars @HeidiPerksBooks @arrowpublishing #blogtour #review

Many thanks to Rachel for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘Three Perfect Liars’ by Heidi Perks. Here is my review:

When a body is pulled out of an office fire, three women are first in line for questioning.

All of them have reasons for wanting revenge against the company’s CEO.

It could be Laura, who has returned to work to find that her maternity cover isn’t leaving. The CEO insists he’s doing what’s best for the company. Laura isn’t convinced he’s telling the truth.

Or there’s Mia. Brought in as temporary cover for Laura, she has quickly made herself indispensable – and popular with her colleagues. But if people knew why she was so desperate to keep her job, they might not welcome her so freely.

Then there’s Janie, wife to the CEO, who gave up her courtroom career to support her husband and his business. She has her own secret to protect – and will go to any length to keep it safe.

They never thought it would come to this.

What does TWG think?

Three women, three different version of events, but which one is lying?

This book completely blindsided me! Laura has gone back to work after having her little boy, Bobby, but finds her replacement, Mia, with her feet firmly under Laura’s desk. Whilst everyone is worshipping the ground that Mia walks on, Laura isnt at all convinced by the game shes playing and is adamant that Mia’s true colours will be shown.

I thought that Laura’s obsession with Mia completely took over the storyline. It was as though she was a dog with a bone, refusing to give it up. To a point I could see why as Mia’s character gave off a dishonest vibe, yet on the other hand i couldnt quite see why Laura didnt just let it go, especially since her priorities had changed due to becoming a mum.

‘Three Perfect Liars’ is told from Mia, Laura’s and Janie’s point of views, so not only do we get to follow Laura’s obsession with Mia, we get to know parts of Mia’s personality, as well as trying to find out what it is that has ruffled Janie’s feathers. These women are such a mixed bag in terms of their personalities, and is found their involvement with each other quite surprising.

Even though I felt that Laura’s obsession with Mia overshadowed the rest of the storyline a little, the more of the book I read, the more the storyline made sense and the pieces began to fit very nicely together. There is a intriguing question of ‘whodunnit’ hanging over the storyline, something which kept me on tenterhooks as it could have been anyone. I’m genuinely surprised that I didnt get papercuts on my hands because of the speed in which I turned the pages. Maybe I had found my own temporary obsession with Heidi Perks’ novel?

I loved the ‘edge of my seat’ suspense and the air of mystery which spoke volumes throughout the whole book. I felt that a lot of the characters were quite dislikeable, however I dont think having characters who were as nice as pie would work in the same way.

I thought that the author delivered the intensity brilliantly and, as I said at the start, I was completely blindsided by what materialised. In fact, the amount of shock I was in made the ending of the book feel a bit anticlimactic as I was ready to keep on reading to try and delve into the psychology behind the characters actions. I’m nosy, I admit it!

Psychologically brilliant, topical, and thrilling on many different levels – I highly recommend this belter of a book.

Pre-order now.

#FromThailandWithLove #blogtour @rararesources @CamillaIsley #review

Huge thanks to Rachel for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘From Thailand With Love’, and for the ARC. I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today.

All Logan has to do is to get the gold and get the girl. Easy, right?

Travel photographer Winter Knowles and archeology professor Logan Spencer dislike each other at first sight. Stuck together into the wild, these two unwilling teammates will bicker and banter their way through a laugh-packed treasure hunt.

After years of searching, a new mapping technology has given Logan a clue to the location of the legendary Lost City of Gold. A discovery that could make his career. So the last thing he needs on this life-changing expedition is for his team to get distracted by a pair of long legs.

When Winter accepted the assignment on a tropical island she didn’t sign up for a brooding team leader who’d clearly prefer to run a boys-only club. Never one to back down from a challenge, Winter is ready to show him she’s no damsel in distress.

But when a treasure like no other is uncovered and ruthless enemies will want to keep it for themselves, it’ll be up to the two of them to save the day. Left alone to fight in the jungle, they will soon discover their lives might not be the only thing at stake—their hearts could be too.

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

A hilarious enemies to lovers romance packed with danger, action, and comedy.

From Thailand with Love is part of a series of interconnected romantic comedies but can be read as a standalone novel as all the other books in the First Comes Love series.

What does TWG think?

My goodness me! I was NOT expecting this!! ‘From Thailand With Love’ is full of romance, dry humour, sexual tension, and incredible scenery. All of which I was expecting! What I was no expecting however, was a dark, action based element making it’s way into the storyline! It was a bit like Indiana Jones meets Pocahontas!

As unexpected as that may have been, I raced through the book with sheer glee and determination. Does the guy get the girl? Does the girl prove that shes not just hormones on legs? Does the expedition go without a hitch?

So many questions were answered in such a short space of time. I mean, this book isn’t the longest, yet it packs an almighty punch in terms of its storyline and characters. I really enjoyed my time in Thailand with Satan and Barbie!!

Camilla Isley is an author who puts a unique spin on the romance genre, upping the ante in terms of getting hot under the collar and making her storylines stand out. She certainly has delivered this time, that’s for sure!!

Buy now.