Theres nothing sweeter than a touch of #Payback @RCBridgestock @DomePress

Many thanks to Emily at Dome Press for the blog tour invite and ARC, here is my review of ‘Payback’ by R.C.Bridgestock.

Charley Mann left Yorkshire for the Met and a fast-track career – but now she’s back, she’s in charge and the area’s first young, female DI. Her hometown, the Yorkshire countryside, and her old friends all seem unchanged, but appearances can be deceptive.

When a brutal murder is discovered, Charley is forced to question everything, and the interest of her ex – reporter Danny Ray – doesn’t make it easier.

What does TWG think?

What an interesting start to a new series! I had heard many good things about R.C.Bridgestock before I read this book, and I was looking forward to seeing what this powerful duo had up their sleeve. Thankfully I wasnt disappointed! They clearly are very talented writers.

I will hold my hands up and say that I am slightly on the fence where this story is concerned, purely because I hoping for a bit more oomph and flow. I’m not saying that the authors didn’t deliver on the above, because they did in certain aspects of the book such as the murder discovery, and the psychological edge to Charley’s psyche. What I am saying is that I would have preferred the storyline to be a bit more consistent, however I have very high hopes for the rest of the series.

Charley is an intriguing character who has many skeletons in her closet, and I was impressed by how the authors conveyed her personality, especially the way in which they created her as such a multi layered person who readers would struggle to keep from their minds.

Overall, I found ‘Payback’ to be an intriguing, cleverly crafted novel that holds such promise for a brand new series. I have everything crossed that the oomph keeps on growing as the stories multiply. Definitely a pleasing read!

Buy now.

She thinks that shes #ThePerfectMother… @caroline_writes @amazonpub @BOTBSPUBLICITY #review

Many thanks to Sarah for the tour invite and ARC. Here is my review of ‘The Perfect Mother’ by Caroline Mitchell.

She thought they wanted her baby. But they won’t stop there.

Roz is young, penniless and pregnant. All she wants is to be the perfect mother to her child, but the more she thinks about her own chaotic upbringing, the more certain she is that the best life for her baby is as far away as possible from her hometown in Ireland.

Determined to do the right thing, Roz joins an elite adoption service and can’t believe her luck. Within days she is jetting to New York to meet a celebrity power couple desperate for a child of their own. Sheridan and Daniel are wealthy and glamorous—everything Roz isn’t. Her baby will never go hungry, and will have every opportunity for the perfect life. But soon after Roz moves into their plush basement suite, she starts to suspect that something darker lurks beneath the glossy surface of their home.

When Roz discovers she isn’t the first person to move in with the couple, and that the previous woman has never been seen since, alarm bells start ringing. As the clock ticks down to her due date, Roz realises her unborn baby may be the only thing keeping her alive, and that despite her best intentions, she has walked them both into the perfect nightmare…

What does TWG think?

As mothers, well as parents even, we just want the best for our children, even if that means making a decision that ends up breaking your own heart in the process.

Roz has found herself in a bit of a sticky situation after she finds out that shes pregnant. With anxiety gnawing away at her, Roz feels like she would do more harm to her child by bringing it up herself, than if she gave the opportunity to someone else. A stranger. A family who would do anything for a baby to call their own….

Clearly it wasnt all plain sailing or there wouldn’t even be a book! Let’s just say that my nerves were shot to schnitzel by the end of the book. This is some seriously dark stuff! Remind me to never get on the authors bad side!!

I thought the suspense was outstanding and cleverly done as, what I thought would be a psychologically laced novel, ended up being so much more than that and kept on surprising me.

At times the storyline was quite hard to read due to the topic, but I found that to be more aesthetically pleasing in terms of realism and what not.

Yet another high end, thrilling read from an author who certainly knows how to put pen to paper.

Buy now.

#TheFirstTimeISawYou – do you ever wonder what people think about the first time they saw you? @Headlinepg @ItsEmmaCooper @AnneCater #Review

Huge thanks to Anne and Headline Books for the blog tour invite and ARC of Emma Cooper’s new novel, ‘The First Time I Saw You’. Here is my review:

Lost:

Six-foot-two Irish man who answers to the name Samuel McLaughlin. Has weak shins and enjoys show tunes.If found, please return to Sophie Williams.

Before Sophie met Samuel she saw the world in grey. Before Samuel met Sophie, he never believed in love at first sight.

When they first meet, something tells them they are meant to be. But fate has other ideas.

Now they have lost each other and can’t see a way back.
But they’ve already changed each other’s lives in more ways than they ever expected…

What does TWG think?

Having been blown away by Emma Cooper’s previous novel, ‘The Songs of Us’, I had very high hopes for this book and omg it did NOT disappoint!

The way that Emma Cooper describes her settings, characters, and even the little details of the story, is outstanding! This author doesnt just write a story, she tells the story and owns it in every single way possible.

I loved the unique, romantic journey that the characters embarked on. It was so refreshing to see a book carved out in this way yet still be full of the same, strong romance elements that regular readers of this genre will appreciate.

Be prepared for many laugh out loud moments and many heartbreaking situations. That said, be prepared to be taken on a journey of hope and poignancy.

Sophie and Samuel are two, incredible characters who have made this story the fantastic read it is. As stupid as this sounds, they were made for this book and I think that Emma Cooper has done her characters very proud indeed.

I ADORED getting to know Samuel and Sophie, and I adored being able to lose myself in their story.

Such a beautifully written, cosy, poignant read which will lift you up higher than the balloons from the movie, ‘UP’.

Buy now.

You’ve got #ThreeHours…how would you use them? #ThreeHoursNovel @RosamundLupton @VikingBooksUK #review

I honestly doubt that my review of ‘Three Hours’ will do the book justice at all, but I will try my very best. Hugest of thanks to Viking for the tour invite and ARC.

Three hours is 180 minutes or 10,800 seconds.

It is a morning’s lessons, a dress rehearsal of Macbeth, a snowy trek through the woods.

It is an eternity waiting for news. Or a countdown to something terrible.

It is 180 minutes to discover who you will die for and what men will kill for.

In rural Somerset in the middle of a blizzard, the unthinkable happens: a school is under siege. Told from the point of view of the people at the heart of it, from the wounded headmaster in the library, unable to help his trapped pupils and staff, to teenage Hannah in love for the first time, to the parents gathering desperate for news, to the 16 year old Syrian refugee trying to rescue his little brother, to the police psychologist who must identify the gunmen, to the students taking refuge in the school theatre, all experience the most intense hours of their lives, where evil and terror are met by courage, love and redemption.

What does TWG think?

For someone who talks a lot, I’m struggling to find the words to express just how much ‘Three Hours’ blew my mind.

It isnt often that I have to stop reading a book for a few minutes every now and then, just so I could digest every emotion, every situation, and every single detail about the storyline. But that was the case with this book, and what a book it was.

‘Three Hours’ tells the story of a school community who are forced in a situation no-one should ever be in. Lives are at stake. Friendships are at stake. And all because of what? Racism? Bigots? Refugees? Psychopaths?

This story raised my blood pressure and stressed me out, yet given the nature of the book and what it was centred around, I would have been shocked if that hadn’t been the case.

Despite being a fictional story, Rosamund Lupton has referred to real life situations in her book which added to the authenticity and suspense, cementing the reality that people do indeed go through similar situations in their lives. They shouldn’t, and it made me feel quite emotional to see just how evil other people can be. Regardless of religion, skin colour, place of birth etc, they’re still humans and nobody should ever be made to feel anything but.

‘Three Hours’ is such a chilling, yet hauntingly beautiful read, and is one I will not be forgetting in a hurry. I feel bad saying that I loved the book as terror and gunmen dominated the essence of the book, however it was due to the topic and the way that Rosamund Lupton delivered it, which completely blew me away.

I cannot even begin to imagine the terror that refugees feel, nor can I imagine the fear that people must feel if they find themselves in amongst a siege. Even the thought of it sends shivers up and down my spine.

This is an absolutely breathtaking, chilling, raw and poignant novel that makes you sit up and take notice. Three hours may seem like a short amount of time, yet when you’re faced with a life or death situation, three hours can be a lifetime.

I am incredibly honoured that I got the chance to read a book that has ‘film rights’ written all over it, especially one as outstanding as ‘Three Hours’. This is, without a doubt, one of my all time favourite reads, and is one that I will be shouting about for a very long time to come.

Buy now

Sorry @AndyJonesAuthor, but #AdamCampbell has stolen your spotlight!! @hodderbooks

Many thanks to Jenny Platt for the blog tour invite and ARC of ‘The Last Act of Adam Campbell’. Here is my review of Andy Jones’ novel for today’s stop on the tour:

A year can go quickly. Particularly when it’s your last.

Adam had a good life: a job he enjoyed, a nice house, a loving partner and a bright six-year-old daughter. Then he cheated on his partner. Then she kicked him out of their home. And then he was given approximately twelve months to live.

Despite the devastating news, Adam is determined to turn his life around before it finally runs out. Help comes in the form of an ex-junky, a cantankerous train driver, a nun experiencing a crisis of faith, and a teenager intent on losing her virginity – all living on borrowed time, all desperate to feel alive before their time is up.

What does TWG think?

What would you do if you found out that your time on Earth was limited? That you were in fact dying? Would you get your affairs in order so your loved ones wouldn’t have to deal with it after your passing? Or would you do what this crazy bunch of people did and brought Shakespeare into the 20th century?

When I say that they’re crazy, it comes from a place of warmth as I really dont know whether I would be able to do what they did. In all honesty, I dont want to think about it at all so, if you finding stories about death and cancer very difficult to read, I highly suggest taking a step back from this. Reading about death is never going to be easy, regardless of the form it is presented in. However, when a story approaches death in an honest, poignant, and humourous manner, the fear surrounding that particular topic diminishes ever so slightly.

I’m not going to delve into each of the characters lives as I feel that would take it away from what the author was trying to do. What I will say is that the group of characters mentioned in this book, all have such colourful and memorable personalities that you won’t tire of quickly. I would even go as far to say that they even make you feel as though you’re one of the family. That is not so good when it comes to the inevitable though….if you catch my drift!

For me, the first and last chunks of the story were the best ones. At around the 20-40% mark I felt as though the storyline was a bit stuck in the mud and seemed to contain a bit more padding to it than absolutely necessary. I didn’t tune out of the story, yet I found my attention faltering a little throughout that twenty percent.

That said, I throughly enjoyed the other 80 percent of the book. I actually feel quite bad saying it like that because I dont want anyone thinking that I found the heartache in the story entertaining. I didn’t enjoy the death aspects – who would? Yet I appreciated the journeys of each character and their strengths until the very end. The whole concept of self picked families, support, legacies, and preparing loved ones for the day that you would be no more, was beautifully done and brought several tears to my eyes.

One character said that they missed ‘their daddy’, and it was that one sentence which broke my heart because my own father passed away three years ago and, whilst I never had the type of relationship with him that resulted in me calling him daddy, it hurt that I would never utter those words again. Well, due to estrangement it’s been a while anyway, but it was still a tough pill to swallow.

Its evident that Andy Jones has lost a loved one or two because you simply cannot fake the emotion that this book had. You dont know loss until you have felt it for yourself and it doesnt matter how many times you google it, it wouldn’t come as freely as someone who had experienced it in their lifetime. As heartbreaking as it is, I was impressed by the honesty and I truly feel that Andy Jones has done his characters, his story, and his readers exceptionally proud.

Buy now.

One mother? Two mothers? Try FIVE! @SarahJNaughton #TheMothers @Tr4cyf3nt0n @OrionBooks

Thank you Tracy for alerting me to the fact that this doesnt post yesterday, so sorry!

I am delighted to be on the blog tour for ‘The Mothers’ by Sarah J Naughton today, many thanks to the publisher and Tracy Fenton for the tour invite and ARC.

Five Women.

They meet at their NCT Group. The only thing they have in common is they’re all pregnant.

Five Secrets.

Three years later, they are all good friends. Aren’t they?

One Missing Husband.

Now the police have come knocking. Someone knows something.

And the trouble with secrets is that someone always tells.

What does TWG think?

If you’re after a unique, highly strung thriller, then look no further!!

Five women, all with five very different lives…apart from the fact that they are all linked by being mothers. Each woman has a personality that will make you sit up and take notice, even if they are quite reserved like Bella is. Now, despite the topic of motherhood being the centre of attention in this book, there is the small issue of a missing husband….and now the police are involved.

I wasnt taken with the story at all at first – I found it a bit ‘err what?!’, and it took me a little while to truly sink my teeth into what was happening, and what was potentially about to happen.

Nonetheless, it didn’t take me too long for my original opinion to completely blow itself out of the water! My ‘err what?’ became a ‘what’s gonna happen now?!?!?!’, and I had become so invested in the drama of the ladies lives, as well as finding out the truth behind the disappearance of Bella’s husband.

To say I was completely shocked by the truth itself would be a lie, however I was very shocked by its delivery, so the fact I had had an inkling as to what happened prior before the author told us, was neither here nor there and I loved the way the entire storyline came to its natural conclusion. In other words, my brain didn’t ruin it for me in the slightest!

I loved the uniqueness of the storyline and the portrayal of each individual character in the book. I thought the back story for each person was very well thought out and highlighted several topics many readers may be able to relate to in one way or another. Okay my opinion was iffy at first, however I am delighted to say that I ended the book in awe of the writing and the attention to detail from the author.

An addictive, eyebrow, insightful and thrilling read – bloody loved it.

Buy now

#StasiWinter – I wondered why it felt so cold! @djy_writer @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #blogtour

Anyone else feeling a little bit chilly today, as though, erm, winter is rife?

Today I am hosting David Young and ‘Stasi Winter’ as part of the blog tour. Many thanks to Tracy Fenton and Zaffre Books for the tour invite and ARC.

In 1978 East Germany, nothing is at it seems. The state’s power is absolute, history is re-written, and the ‘truth’ is whatever the Stasi say it is.

So when a woman’s murder is officially labelled ‘accidental death’, Major Karin Müller of the People’s Police is faced with a dilemma. To solve the crime, she must disregard the official version of events. But defying the Stasi means putting her own life – and the lives of her young family – in danger.

As the worst winter in living memory holds Germany in its freeze, Müller must untangle a web of state secrets and make a choice: between truth and lies, justice and injustice, and, ultimately, life and death.

What does TWG think?

If you’re new to David Young’s novels, ‘Stasi Winter’ is book 5 in the Karin Muller series, with each book reading well on their own. Just be mindful that you may not have the full backstory of character relationships if you do read the books out of order.

‘Stasi Winter’ is written well. There is no doubt about that at all. It’s very clear that the author has researched his locations and finer details to ensure authenticity throughout, and I really did appreciate it. For me, however, I found the shell of the story to be a bit confusing and quite slow at times. I do realise that books of this genre require a slow build up to create more tension, and whilst the tension was definitely there, I would have liked the pace to speed up a bit more, rather than the characters to-ing and fro-ing as often as they did.

Despite the slow pace, I still found myself enjoying historical crime elements to the book, and I ended up being quite addicted to the ‘will they wont they?’ parts. It just goes to show that, under pressure, logistics go out of the window and peoples choices can often appear quite selfish.

What I love about this series is the fact that I can dip in and out of the books and still feel as though I’m part of the overall vibe when I come back to the stories at a later date.

Overall, an intriguing, well thought out novel that made Scottish weather seem like Summer!

Buy now!

I’m sorry, but I don’t ever want to stay in a b&b now!! #TheGuestHouse @FrostyAbbie @fictionpubteam #blogtour

I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for ‘The Guest House’ by Abbie Frost, today! Thanks for your patience – it’s quite difficult typing with a sprained wrist! Many thanks to the @fictionpubteam for inviting me to take part in the tour and for the ARC. Here is my review:

Not all the guests will survive their stay…

You use an app, called Cloud BNB, to book a room online. And on a cold and windy afternoon you arrive at The Guesthouse, a dramatic old building on a remote stretch of hillside in Ireland.

You are expecting a relaxing break, but you find something very different. Something unimaginable. Because a killer has lured you and six other guests here and now you can’t escape.

One thing’s for certain: not all of you will come back from this holiday alive…

What does TWG think?

If ‘The Guest House’ doesnt make you second guess making a reservation for bNb, I have absolutely no idea WHAT will!

The concept of Abbie Frost’s novel is so absorbing and addictive, if at times a little bewildering, but I thoroughly it nonetheless!

Attention to detail is rife from start to finish, and the author ensures her readers have the fear of christ put up them with her cleverly written storyline and on point characters. Okay, I did find the storyline a little unbelievable at times and couldn’t quite work out how the characters didn’t twig to what was happening, however I was still able to lose myself in the bonkers situation and the fact that I was too nervous to venture from my seat!

Intriguing, interesting, and chilling – what more can you ask for? Well, apart from not being able to leave The Guest House….obviously!

Buy now!

#SadieMcQueen is going to be a tough one to follow!! #TheRiseandFallofSadieMcQueen @julietstories @simonschusterUK @ed_pr #review @TeamBATC

Apologies for another late one, I hope my review makes up for it though! Huge thanks to EdPR for the tour invite and ARC – I am a HUGE fan of Juliet Ashton, so it’s an honour to be on the blog tour today.

It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but Cherry Blossom Mews is a miraculous place. It’s somewhere that finds you, rather than the other way around.

Sadie McQueen has leased a double fronted space in this small cul de sac in a culturally diverse corner of central London. The cobbles muffle the noise of double-deckers roaring past the arched gates. Turn right and you are in a futuristic maze of corporate glass monoliths. Turn left and you see a wide street with many different houses. Towering above the mews are the degenerating tower blocks of an infamous estate. The old folks home and the nearby school are both in need of TLC; the private members’ club that set up shop in a listed Georgian building has been discreetly refurbished at huge expense.

Into this confusion comes Sadie. She fell in love with the street the moment she first twisted her ankle on its cobbles. Her double-fronted unit is now a spa. She has sunk all her money into the lease and refurbishment. She’s sunk all her hope into the carefully designed treatment rooms, the calm white reception space, the bijou flat carved out of the floor above.

Sadie has a mission to connect. To heal herself from tragedy. Sadie has wrapped the mews around her like a warm blanket, after unimaginable loss and unimaginable guilt. Her hard-won peace is threatened, not only by the prospect of the mews going under but by a man aptly named Hero who wakes up her comatose heart.
Sadie has a lot to give, and a lot to learn, not least that some ghosts aren’t ghosts at all.

What does TWG think?

I feel so sorry for any books I read after this one as Sadie McQueen is going to be a tough act to follow! This was incredible!!!!! Emotional, humourous, romantic, dynamic, relatable….honestly, it had everything I could have wanted from a book and more. I was gutted when it finished.

Everyone who lives in Cherry Blossom Mews has a unique story to tell. If you sat down with any one of the residents, you’ll end up finding out much more than you bargained for. However, despite all of the individual heartache, despair, uncertainty and what not, every single resident has one thing in common; they want to belong.

Sadie McQueen is the main character of the book, and her story had my jaw hitting the floor in shock. How one person can pull themselves through what she did is just incredible. She doesnt see how strong she is, but, given the truth of her past, can you really blame her?

Family (both blood and self picked) is at the heart of this storyline. Juliet Ashton doesnt say that every family is perfect and without problems, nor does she suggest that every family can rival the ones on Eastenders, instead the author has made her characters relatable. She has made them endure things that one of us could relate, empathise with, acknowledge, or even learn from. You never know the full truth of what someone else is dealing with unless they come out and tell you themselves, and this book highlights that fact, and the way that people are so quick to come to their own conclusions, absolutely beautifully.

At times, #SadieMcQueen was quite a difficult book to read in terms of the deep rooted discussions, serious topics, and the way in which many of the characters had been deceived. On the other side of the coin, Sadie McQueen was also empowering, hopeful, full of strength. In other words, the storyline had the right mix of paths, and it all came together to create such a powerful story that warmed my heart.

I could sit here and say what all of the characters had gone through, but I won’t because, even if I did drop hints, it would take the shine away from the authors hard work. I’m basically saying to you that spoilers suck!

I absolutely adored finding out about all the different walks of life in the Mews, and I just loved the strength of the community spirit and the way spirit everyone came together to help one of their own. It didn’t seem to matter whether Fi was going through hard times herself, she would still be there for her best friend, Sadie, should she need her and visa versa.

The best part of the book for me, was the way in which Juliet Ashton came alive in her storytelling. I could feel the emotion behind the words when it was needed, yet I could also feel the elation and hope fulness too.

I truly couldn’t have asked for anything more from ‘The Rise and Fall of Sadie McQueen’ – it’s a story that has truly captured my heart and soul and, if I may say so, is probably the best book that Juliet Ashton has written so far.

What an empowering, insightful, emotional and spellbinding way to start the New Year. Juliet Ashton, you have done Sadie and co, proud. This was magnificent!

Ps. Is it too early to read it again?!

Buy now.

Hello rollercoaster ride!!! #WinterDark @CallisterAuthor @Bookouture #review

A late one, I do apologise! Huge thanks to Sarah and the Bookouture team for inviting me to take part in Alex Callister’s blog tour today, and for the ARC! Here is me review of ‘Winter Dark’ for the first day of the tour. Enjoy!

A girl with wide brown eyes looks into the camera. Below her picture, a clock ticks down. Cold traces the back of my neck, pricks my hairline. I will find you, I whisper.

It has been ten years since Winter – a headstrong loner with a broken past – was pulled off a mountain by special forces with the aim of turning her into the Secret Service’s most effective field agent.

Now, she has just two weeks to bring down the head of a formidable criminal organisation, Alek Konstantin, before an innocent girl is murdered by a twisted killer in front of an online audience of millions.

Going deep undercover disguised as a paid assassin – alias Snow White – Winter’s aim is to infiltrate Konstantin’s inner circle. Calculating, charismatic and totally in control, he holds the girl’s fate in his hands. But every time Winter gets close to him, he melts away.

He’s like a shadow, and yet he knows things about Winter – dark secrets she’s never told anyone. Who is he, and how can she reach him in time to save the girl?

Then Winter finds the body of a man from her past, stuffed in a dumpster with a bullet through his forehead, and things begin to fall into place. But with the girl’s death growing closer with every tick of the clock, and Winter’s protective shell starting to crack, does she have what it takes to bring down Konstantin before the clock hits zero?

What does TWG think?

Ahhh, Snow White – a mysterious princess who has people at her fingertips should the huntsman ever arrive…..a bit like Winter actually!!!

‘Winter Dark’ pushes the boundaries of the genre to the limit, throwing erotica into the mix like it’s the most natural thing in the world. Well, it is for some people and I guess Winter is one of those!

The spy element to this storyline was so addictive! I honestly felt as though I was part of a high speed, highly guarded and severely criminal, chase. I was in my element! There were the couple of things which didn’t really fit the bill for me, and the main one was the feeling of something missing. At times the storyline felt like it was an addition to an already created serial, thus making me feel as though I had come into the middle of it all half way. I couldnt help but be a little confused sometimes because of that, and the sense that I had missed something was evident throughout the entire book.

‘Winter Dark’ is a very, very fast paced novel which takes the reader here, there and everywhere in a matter of seconds. Personally, I loved the thrill and the fact that the author kept throwing in surprises just made me even more excited by the premise.

There is a lot of sexual references in the book, so if you’re not a fan of reading books which describe sexual desires and actions graphically, then this one probably wouldn’t be for you. The storyline isnt full of it, however when they appear, they certainly make themselves known! Good for learning something new though….if you’re into that sort of thing!!

I surprised myself by how much I ended up liking this book! Not because of the way it was written, but because of the uniqueness of the storyline and how the jaw dropping, boundary pushing moments were showcased. I loved how it was written, especially as the author managed to keep me on my toes until the very end!

‘Winter Dark’ may be a sexually charged, graphic and criminal novel, however it is also an extremely addictive, thrilling, moreish novel that really has piqued my interest for me. I cannot wait to read more from Alex Callister after reading this, that’s for sure!!!

Buy now!