#BlogBlast! #Review – Dying Breath by Helen Phifer (@HelenPhifer1) @Bookouture

Dying Breath - Blog Tour
Happy publication day to Helen Phifer, author of the amazing ‘Dying Breath’! I am SO excited about this book as it really did blow my mind! Speaking of which, it’s super handy that I get to share my review of ‘Dying Breath’ today as part of Helen Phifer’s Blog Blast, eh! As always, huge thanks to Bookouture for the blast invite and the ARC of the book. I hope you enjoy my review:


Take a breath. Pray it’s not your last.

Just a few months after a terrifying case that nearly took her life, Detective Lucy Harwin is back with her squad in the coastal town of Brooklyn Bay – and this time, she’s faced with a case more horrifying than anything she’s encountered.

Along with her partner, Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy is investigating what appears to be a vicious but isolated murder; a woman found bludgeoned to death on a lonely patch of wasteland. 

But when a second victim is discovered strangled in an alleyway, then a young family shot in their own home, Lucy and the team must face the unthinkable reality – a killer is walking the streets of their quiet coastal town. 

While Lucy and the team try to find the link between these seemingly unconnected murders, they uncover a disturbing truth – these murders are replicating those carried out by infamous serial killers. 

Lucy must get to the killer before he strikes again. But he’s got his sights on her, and is getting ever closer… Can she save herself, before she becomes the final piece in his twisted game?

What does TWG think?

Oh my GOD!!!!! How the heck did I miss the first book in this series?! More importantly…WHY DID I MISS THE FIRST BOOK IN THIS SERIES! Luckily ‘Dying Breath’ can be read perfectly fine as a standalone, it just means that I now have another book making its way onto my TBR pile as I type. Yes, I did just buy the first book! I might even need to set an alarm on my phone so that I don’t miss the next book!

Can you tell that I absolutely fudging loved this book?! If you haven’t got Detective Lucy Harwin on your radar already, you must rectify that immediately! I’m assuming the first novel contained more of Lucy’s history, as it was clear from the onset in this book that Lucy has had a bit go a difficult time of late. Seeing as I had no idea what Lucy’s past entailed, I was intrigued to see what she was going to be like when it came to investigations. Would Lucy make her past known? Was the past going to hinder her work? Either way, I couldn’t wait to find out more.

‘Dying Breath’ has the type of storyline which requires careful reviewing to ensure that no spoilers are accidentally given. I realise I do say that a lot where this genre is concerned, but it’s true. I wouldn’t want to give away anything, nor do I wish to ruin the authors hard work, hence why I may end up being vague. This storyline is incredibly complex and fast paced. Each piece of information in the book is entwined with another piece, whether it’s a character’s personality trait, a piece of information regarding the investigation, or even something which could go unnoticed to the ‘untrained’ eye as it were. Never has the phrase ‘the smaller things matter the most’, been more accurate.

Honestly? I had absolutely no idea what to expect with ‘Dying Breath’, nor did I have any idea what the book was about before I started reading it as I don’t read blurbs. I just knew from the cover and the title of the book that I wanted to read it. Gut instinct. Seriously, one of the best decisions I have ever made. No joke.

By far one of the best books I have ever read, ‘Dying Breath’ literally took my breath away more than once. Ever had a moment where you’ve been far too engrossed in something that you realise you’ve been holding your breath? Yeah, me too – WHILST I WAS READING THIS! There was a certain part of the storyline which literally made my mouth hang wide open, gasp, and then cover my mouth with my hand in shock. Oh, and holding my breath. Y’know, just incase I didn’t feel shocked enough. I couldn’t believe my eyes and oh my god I still can’t. How did I not see it coming? I am SO glad that I didn’t see it coming, but after reading the book I wondered whether I had missed something to reach the same conclusion.

I could not recommend this book more if I tried! Helen Phifer has written an absolute BELTER of a book – I couldn’t put it down! (To be honest, I didn’t want to either!). There was nothing about this book I didn’t like, yet there was everything about the book I absolutely flipping loved. ‘Dying Breath’ really is a jaw dropping, spine tingling, and intense storyline which takes you on a rollercoaster ride the entire time.

Full of suspense, high intensity and some of the most well-defined characters I have ever come across in a book, I would use my ‘Dying Breath’ to tell you to go and get a copy of Helen Phifer’s novel right now.

F’awesome. I cannot WAIT to read the next instalment.

Thanks so much Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

Author Bio:

Helen Phifer lives in a small town called Barrow-in-Furness with her husband and five children.

Helen has always loved writing and reading. Her love of horror films and novels is legendary. Helen adores reading books which make the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. Unable to find enough scary stories to read she decided to write her own. 

Helen’s debut novel ‘The Ghost House’ was published by Carina UK in October 2013 and went on to become a best seller along with the rest of the Annie Graham series. The Secrets of the Shadows, The Forgotten Cottage, The Lake House, The Girls in the Woods and The Face Behind the Mask.

The Good Sisters is a standalone horror story which will scare the pants off you or so her lovely readers have told her. It scared Helen when she was writing it so she pretty much agrees with them.

March 2017 saw the release of psychological thriller Dark House (previously called The Lost Children), book 1 in the Detective Inspector Lucy Harwin series. Book 2 – Dying Breath is due for release in Nov 2017.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Helenphifer1

Instagram:    https://www.instagram.com/helenphifer

Twitter:       https://twitter.com/helenphifer1

Website:     https://www.helenphifer.com


#BlogTour! #Review – Mother by S.E.Lynes (@SELynesAuthor) @Bookouture

MOTHER - Blog tour
Happy publication day to S.E.Lynes! ‘Mother’ is published today by Bookouture and what a way to kick off publication day than a blog tour! I am delighted to be one of the blogs hosting S.E.Lynes today, alongside the lovely Sharon Bairden from ‘Chapter In My Life’! Huge thanks to Bookouture for the blog tour invite, as well as an ARC of the book. As the blog tour is only just beginning, make sure you follow the blogs listed above to ensure you’re kept up to date with all the goings on.

How far would you go for the perfect family?

When Christopher Harris climbs into his family’s dusty attic, he finds a battered old suitcase containing a letter. Inside the letter is a secret; a secret about his mother that changes everything. 

Every mother loves their child. Every child deserves to be loved. But Christopher has grown up so lonely it hurts. 

Finally, Christopher thinks he has a chance at happiness. A happiness he will do anything to protect, whatever the cost…

An unputdownable thriller about the lies we tell and the secrets we keep, Mother will hold you breathless until the very last page and leave you reeling. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister and Apple Tree Yard.

What does TWG think?

I really have no idea where to start with this review to be honest! I still can’t quite decide whether I’m on the fence with it, or whether I am off the fence completely.

The prologue reeled me in big time. In such a short space of time the author had gotten my attention, peaked my interest and left me wanting more. Honestly, I couldn’t have wished for a better opening for this book.

Part of me was expecting the story to contain in the same vein, yet part of me was looking for something out of the ordinary. Y’know, a mixed bag type of thing. As I was reading the first chapter, I kept having to stop and check that I hadn’t accidentally missed a part of the book out – I was extremely confused! The story is being narrated by an unidentified person who is basically narrating Christopher’s life, including his feelings surrounding his newfound family bombshell. Whilst I found the bombshell theme incredibly interesting as it was set in the 1980’s when things were a lot different to how they are now, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit lost.

I thought the addition of the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ was cleverly thought out, whilst also being combined exceptionally well with the fictional story S.E.Lynes has created. As the story progressed my confusion didn’t let up. I got the gist about the emotional values surrounding being a mother and so on, but I couldn’t seem to work the rest out. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t too worried that I couldn’t work things out at that moment because as I’m sure you already know, I am a big dunce when it comes to workout out the ifs, whys and hows when it to psychological thrillers/crime procedurals, or anything along those lines. At least I admit it, right?

Thankfully during the second half of the novel things began to make a little more sense and feeling shocked became a regular occurrence. For me, the element of surprise and grit was rather slow burning, yet it was written in such a mesmerising and clever manner.

As for the storyline itself, I appreciated the overall theme of the novel for sure, but I just couldn’t gel with how everything came together and the journey the storyline took from beginning to end. Don’t get me wrong the suspense element is extremely well crafted! The fact that I couldn’t work the book out is of my own doing and not the authors I’m sure!

S.E.Lynes is like a composer of the literary world. Her writing skills are enchanting and very addictive on their own – I reckon that this author could write a story about a cow eating grass in a field, and make it come alive with no qualms at all. She really does have an exceptional talent. Whilst the storyline and I, didn’t end up being best buddies, I am super excited to read more from this author. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about ‘Mother’ since I finished reading it – it certainly has left some sort of mark that’s for sure!

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author: 

After graduating from Leeds University, S E Lynes lived in London before moving to Aberdeen to be with her husband. In Aberdeen, she worked as a producer at BBC Radio Scotland before moving with her husband and two young children to Rome. There, she began to write while her children attended nursery. After the birth of her third child and upon her return to the UK, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University. She now combines writing with lecturing at Richmond Adult Community College and bringing up her three children. She lives in Teddington. Her first novel, Valentina, published by Blackbird Digital Books, came out in July 2016. Her follow up novel, Mother, is published by Bookouture.

#Review – Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage – Zara Stoneley (@ZaraStoneley) @HarperImpulse

Return to the charming little village of Langtry Meadows and cosy up by the fire with this gorgeous romance that will warm your heart…

As the lazy days of summer ebb away and the hedgerows fill with rich, plump blackberries, Lucy Jacobs couldn’t be happier. She’s feeling more and more at home in the small village of Langtry Meadows and has fallen in love with idyllic Jasmine cottage – not to mention gorgeous vet Charlie.

But just as Lucy is thinking about putting down roots like the blackberries that grow in her garden, Charlie’s ex returns and threatens to put a thorn in their perfect life…

What does TWG think?

So excited to be back in Langtry Meadows courtesy of Zara Stoneley! ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ is the second book in ‘The Little Village on the Green’ series and, despite having read the first book back in May, I was able to slot back into the storyline with no issues what so ever. This book can be read as a standalone to a point, however I would recommend that you read the first book in the series, ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, so that you can fully appreciate the storyline and the characters of the second book. Plus, the first book is, in my opinion, Zara Stoneley’s best book yet. Win win don’t you think?

In the last book we left Lucy and Charlie with a huge question mark over their heads – would the authors newest book see the pair get a happy ending? Or will they have to endure yet another rocky road?

Above I said that the first book in the series was Zara Stoneley’s best book yet. I’m afraid I have to take that back. Why? Because folks, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ has now taken that accolade! I, hand on heart, cannot fault this book at all. My heart went out to little Maisie on multiple occasions! What a difficult situation for such a little person to be in! I really do think that Charlie handled the situation with such grace and dignity, despite the threats which followed from Maisie’s mother (not that she can really say a lot given what she went and done!). Whilst Charlie and Maisie’s situation made itself known within the storyline, it didn’t overpower the other characters in the book at all. In actual fact, it helped the other situations stand out.

I absolutely loved reading this book to find out what path Lucy’s life took, especially as she started her new job and we got to follow her daily life in the local school. Yes, I laughed out loud at several of the children’s one liners. Out the mouths of babes springs to mind!

The entire vibe of ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ felt relaxing, calming and extremely cosy. Most of the time I didn’t feel as though I was reading a fictional novel, instead I felt like I was merely catching up with a bunch of good friends after a while of no contact. Honestly, how can anyone complain at that?

Despite laughing and having aching cheeks from smiling so much, there was a part of the book which made a lump form in my throat. I had a word with myself about not crying, but seconds later it all became clear that I didn’t even listen to myself as the tears started to flow. I wasn’t emotional because of sadness – I was emotional because my heart felt so much love towards certain characters and the situation that they had to face, and were facing after so many years. You really have got to be made of stone to not find that emotional. Trust me on that!

I say this every single time, but Zara Stoneley really does write magic with her fingertips. I have never read books from the same author which make me feel as though I’m getting a hug every single time. I have never read a book which makes me feel multiple emotions all at once, whilst still feeling hugged.

Full of laughter, drama and heart-warming moments you’ll never tire of, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ is one of the most huggable, loveable, and enchanting book I have read this year. If I could bottle up the feelings I get whilst reading a Zara Stoneley novel, purely to save for later when I’m needing a pick me up, I would.

Zara Stoneley, once again, has written a book from her very own heart, straight to ours. Such a beautifully written, powerful and majestic read – perfect to read over, and over, and over again.

Thanks Harper Impulse.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – The Stopping Place by Helen Slavin (@HelenSlavinBook) @IpsoBooks


“Martha has responsibility for the book club and the author visits, and dresses like a gypsy. That’s not a criticism, by the way. She puts tones and shades together that make you feel you’ve been seeing the world in black and white all your life. In winter she’s velvet and raw silk and wool. Have you ever seen raw silk? Just the sight of her coming through the door each day makes you want to jump up and wave your arms. I’d love to dress like that.”

Ruby works at the library. Shelving, mainly. Not in the archive; that’s Mrs Atkinson’s magical white-gloved domain, where she stands watch over the historical photos and the special files of the lost boys who went to war. Ruby would like to work in the archive of course, but there’s only one pair of white gloves-and anyway Martha’s the one being groomed for greatness. Martha of the flamboyant bohemian style and russet-toned beauty. And the Affairs.

Ruby can see the appeal of the Affairs; the heat, the danger. Ruby sees a lot, loitering there behind Geography 910, enough to worry her. Maybe even enough to bring her out of hiding. And that could be a problem, because everyone has history-especially someone who’s trying to lose it.

Helen Slavin brought the afterlife to life in her funny, quirky first novel, The Extra Large Medium. With The Stopping Place she takes her delicious observational humour into darker and more mysterious territory, with the harrowing story of a woman whose past has made her try to become invisible.

What does TWG think?

Stepping out of my comfort zone once again with ‘The Stopping Place’ by Helen Slavin. Having not read (or heard of) Helen Slavin and her books, I was intrigued to see what awaited me beyond the front cover of ‘The Stopping Place’. Seeing as I’m not really one for reading blurbs, I went into this book ‘blind’ so to speak, my decision based on the cover of the book and the title alone.

What peaked my interest at the start of the book was how the storyline was set in a library. As nerdish as people may think, you cannot beat a book which is set in a library if you’re a bookworm. End of. There really is no better setting. However, when the storyline seemed to point in the direction of invisibility for the main character, I knew straight away that ‘The Stepping Place’ was a different style of book to what I’m used to. I continued reading as I didn’t want to give up purely on the basis of the storyline being ‘different’, that wouldn’t have been fair on the author at all.

The main character, Ruby,  seemed to play all of her cards close to her chest and, weirdly enough, I actually found myself becoming more and more intrigued by Ruby’s personality as well as the traits which were being kept hidden. What was Ruby hiding?

As the story went on, it became clear exactly what Ruby’s life was all about and whilst the author did write the story well, I have to admit that I spent a lot of time waiting for the ‘Big Bang’ part of the book to happen. And it didn’t.

There is a lot about ‘The Stopping Place’ which made me stop and listen, especially the way in which the author produced the storyline itself. Whilst this book didn’t blow me away, I can still appreciate the thought behind it, including the historic features which Ruby came into contact with.

Very different.

Thanks IpsoBooks.

Buy now from Amazon US
Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Dying Day by Stephen Edger (@StephenEdger) @Bookouture

Dying Day Blog Tour
Delighted to be sharing my review today of Stephen Edger’s ‘Dying Day’ as part of the blog blitz on publication day! Congratulations to Stephen Edger and a huge thank you to Bookouture for the blog blitz invite and the ARC. Here is my review:

Some mistakes you live with. Others you die for…

When the body of a young woman is found in the boot of an abandoned car near the Southampton Docks, Detective Kate Matthews is ordered to stay well away from the scene.

Exactly a year ago, Amy, a junior detective on Kate’s team, was murdered when she was sent undercover to catch a serial killer targeting young girls. Kate never forgave herself for letting the killer slip through her fingers and her team are worried this coincidence might push her over the edge…

When another girl’s body is uncovered days later with similar bruising around the neck, Kate launches an investigation of her own, determined to connect new evidence to the old to catch this monster before more innocent lives are taken…

Mysterious sympathy cards sent to the victims’ families finally lead Kate to the twisted individual from her past. But if she’s found the killer, why does the body count keep rising?

What does TWG think?

Oh my goodness me, what a book!!!!! Detective Kate Matthews’ past has come back to bite her on the backside. She knows it. Her boss knows it, and because of that, he orders Kate to stay away from a new investigation for her own sake. Doers she listen? Does she heck and to be perfectly honest, you can’t really blame her as guilt really does override logical thinking. After all, she’s only human.

Despite not listening to her boss’s orders, Kate still goes ahead and tries to piece everything together. Is the investigation from the past linked with the newest murder, or is Kate wishful thinking? Something isn’t sitting right for the Detective and she is determined to get to the bottom of it, regardless of how much hot water she lands herself in.

Even though I could see where Kate’s boss was coming from, I loved how determined Kate Matthews was, even if she did end up playing with fire a lot of the time. For me, her determination made the storyline have fire in its belly. Armitage’s ignorance was annoying me and whilst I understood his hands were tied to a point, he still didn’t give Matthews a chance to talk properly and I found that a little bit arrogant. Although to be honest, because of the way he was acting throughout the storyline, part of me did suspect him!

When another body is found murdered in a similar way, Kate’s determination goes up yet another notch, but instead of it making her think logically, it ended up building her frustration. She knew deep down that all of the murders were linked and nobody was listening to her due to her connection with a previous investigation. I felt her frustration – Stephen Edger has done a brilliant job of making Kate’s character come alive in more ways than one. I really would be surprised if readers turned around and said that they couldn’t connect to Detective Matthews because in all honesty, Kate is the most relatable character in the entire book.

I had to admit defeat whilst reading ‘Dying Day’ as I just couldn’t seem to work out who had done what. I tried but once again, I failed. Please remind me NEVER to go for a job as a detective. I would be absolutely shocking! I didn’t suspect the actual person who had done it – my jaw hit the floor when it came to light!

I am so impressed by the strong storyline which Stephen Edger has written. Everything flowed flawlessly, and the red herrings were a very clever addition to an already complex storyline. ‘Dying Day’ is a fast paced, rollercoaster ride of suspense, intensity and truly genius writing from the outstanding Stephen Edger.

I absolutely loved this book and everything it stood for. I cannot wait to read more from this author! Highly recommended, ‘Dying Day’ is a book that needs to be devoured because once you ‘pop’, you really can’t stop. Absolutely brilliant.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

Author bio.

Stephen Edger is a British crime writer, who has been writing since 2010. In that time he has written and published eleven novels, and five short stories. He writes mysteries and thrillers focused on crime.

Stephen was born in the north-east of England, grew up in London, but has lived in Southampton since attending university in the year 2000. Stephen works in the financial industry, and uses his insider knowledge to create the plots of his books. He also has a law degree, which gives him a good understanding of the inner workings of the UK justice system.

Stephen is married, and has two children, and two dogs. He is passionate about reading and writing, and cites Simon Kernick and John Grisham as major influences on his writing style.

Facebook // Twitter // Website

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Gone Missing by T.J.Brearton (@BreartonTJ) @Bookouture

Next on the blog is my review of T.J.Brearton’s ‘Gone Missing’ as part of the blog blitz for Bookouture. What a book! I hope you enjoy reading my review as much as I enjoyed reading this book. Thanks Bookouture for the ARC of the book.

As she reached the park, she heard a baby crying. She stopped. She couldn’t see anybody around. “Hello?” She raised her voice an octave. “Anybody there?”

Katie Calumet is on an early-morning run when she hears a baby crying. The park is deserted, and there’s no one in the street. She follows the cries, but then everything goes black. When Katie wakes up, she’s blindfolded and her hands and feet are bound.

Detective Justin Cross takes on the case, but with the trail leading into endless dense forest, and a failing marriage weighing on his mind, finding Katie is his most challenging case yet – not least because the Calumet family are keeping secrets of their own.

Justin and Katie face a race against time that will push them both to their very limits. As Justin works day and night to discover who took her and why, Katie fights desperately to escape from her kidnappers and the forest that surrounds her…

Can Justin find her before it’s too late?

What does TWG think?

jfbiebkejngkeng!!!!! Where the hell do I begin? Not only did the storyline pull me in straight away, I had no time to regulate my heart-rate due to the fast paced, jam-packed storyline! I have no idea how I am going to do this book justice with my review, but I shall give it my best go.

Once again, ‘Gone Missing’ is yet another book which makes me want to grab everybody and go ‘did you read the part where….? or ‘OMG what about when Katie….’. But I can’t! If any book clubs are needing a new book to discuss, I really do recommend this one. I’m half tempted to make my own book club just so that I can talk about this ‘Gone Missing’ until I’m blue in the face. Seriously!!

Katie heard a baby crying on her early morning run and she did what anyone with a heart would have done – went to check it out. Unfortunately, Katie’s decision wasn’t the best one, but she couldn’t have foreseen what was going to happen. Would I have done the same as Katie? Possibly.

Naturally, Katie’s husband is beside himself that his wife has gone missing, yet he didn’t seem to want to tell Detective Cross everything. I couldn’t put my finger on the vibe I was getting from the husband, but I know for sure that it wasn’t a good one. Well, the same goes for Katie’s family actually. There really was a lot more to them that meets the eye. But what WERE they hiding? Or was I just pointing my finger in their direction just because? Something wasn’t right, well, aside from the fact that Katie was missing obviously.

The storyline switches between the investigate led by Justin Cross and Katie’s time away from her loved ones. Reading Katie’s story was very gritty, intense, and very descriptive when it came to her injuries and other circumstances. Put it this way, I really was glad that I chose not to eat whilst reading ‘Gone Missing’. I’m really not convinced that I would have kept my food down. Of course I’m not complaining as the storyline required that level of description to make Katie’s story come to light in the way that it did. Without it, I don’t think that it would have packed as much punch as it did.

Comparing the two viewpoints, weirdly enough I actually preferred reading about Katie’s situation than reading the investigation side of things. I think that was because I felt that the situation with Katie’s family was just going round and round in circles. That said, I was completely engrossed when Detective Cross and his team involved maps and other forms of transport. Ahem – vague much? I really don’t want to give anything away but, that change in direction with the investigation had me on the edge of my seat as all I could hear subconsciously was the tick tocking of a clock. Would they get to Katie in time? Would Katie survive everything she endured?

I did feel that the story concluded rather abruptly though. One minute everything was fast paced and my heart was in my mouth, and the next minute everything just stopped and that was that. I’m not saying that the book should have dragged on – of course not, I just felt that the conclusion didn’t really match with the rest of the storyline.

However, I really did enjoy ‘Gone Missing’. It kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time, and I loved reading a storyline which had a completely different setting from the usual thrillers. It made a change to exercise my brain in different circumstances and I cannot wait to read another of T.J. Brearton’s books.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The First One to Die by Victoria Jenkins @vicwritescrime @Bookouture

The First One to Die - Blog Tour.jpg
Happy publication day to Victoria Jenkins and ‘The First One to Die’! Super excited to be taking part in the blog blitz today – thank you to Bookouture for the invite as well as the ARC. Here is my review:


Four friends. A house full of secrets. And a killer picking them off one by one…

She tried to break her fall, twisting desperately, but there was nothing to catch hold of, nothing with which she could stop herself. Her single scream cut through the night air.

Keira North falls to her death at a party. It initially seems like an accident, but Detectives Alex King and Chloe Lane suspect foul play: they are convinced they are dealing with a murder.

When the detectives start to investigate, they soon find that all of Keira’s closest friends have secrets that someone might kill to keep.

And as Alex and Chloe are fighting their own demons and struggling to stay on top of the case, Keira’s killer is circling the group of friends, who one by one find that their lives are in danger…

What does TWG think?

I have to be honest – the cover of this book pulled me in something chronic. I mean, just look at it! How can you NOT be intrigued by it? I crossed every part of my body in hope that the contents of the book would be as much of a belter as the cover was.

My goodness, I never expected what I read, that’s for sure! What a book! Victoria Jenkins is a new author for me so I was looking forward to finally reading one of her books. It’s safe to say that I devoured the book in a mere few hours. Usually I update my Goodreads status as I go, but because my nose was stuck in the storyline just like my hand in a packet of cookies, I only had chance to update it the once and that was it.

Er hello, I wasn’t lifting my head for nobody!

‘The First One to Die’ reminded me of the game Cluedo…except more twisted and a slim chance of a candlestick being used as a weapon in the drawing room. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, but y’know.

A girl has died at a house party. Some say that it was an accident yet the DI’s seem to think otherwise. Only the people at the party knew what had happened yet they seem to be withholding vital information from the police which could land one of them, if not more, in severe hot water. How did she die? Was it actually an accident or did someone push her?

Without coming across cheesy, this book really does have the ‘DUN DUN DUNN’ effect. I was on the edge of my seat whilst trying to work out what the truth was behind Keira’s death, especially as a lot of people seemed to know something but weren’t saying anything. Even though it was like getting blood out of a stone with several of the characters, I couldn’t help being hooked on the overall situation. It really was a storyline that I was able to sink my teeth into without coming up for air.

As the storyline progressed and another case came in for Alex and Chloe, I weirdly found myself becoming extremely excited about what that meant for the storyline overall. Were the two cases linked? Did others know things but not saying anything, just like the first case? I couldn’t help feeling intrigued once again.

Victoria Jenkins is a severely addictive author. In a minimal amount of time the author seemed to know exactly what her readers wanted – suspense, intense and grit, and Jenkins delivered. Boy she delivered.

‘The First One to Die’ is a brilliant, fast paced storyline which is guaranteed to increase your heart rate tenfold. Addictive, thrilling and severely intense – Victoria Jenkins really is an author to watch.


Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

#Blitz! #Review Xmas at the Candied Apple Cafe @Katheringarbera @HarperImpulse @rararesources

Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe Full Banner
Feeling all Christmassy and as sweet as apple tonight as I share my review of Katherine Garbera’s ‘Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe’! Huge thanks to Harper Impulse for the ARC and Rachel from RaRaResources for inviting me to take part in this blog blitz. Here is my review:

There’s nothing so magical as Christmas in New York…

Santa is coming to New York!

Snow is falling, excitement is high and the delicious scent of chocolate drifts along Fifth
Avenue – the Candied Apple Café is ready for Christmas! And no one is busier than publicist Iona Summerlin. With so much to do, she doesn’t have time to think about men, dating, or the fact her last boyfriend ditched her for her brother… Relationships are off the menu!

Hotel boss Mads Eriksson is not looking forward to the first Christmas since losing his wife. His six-year- old daughter Sofia has lost her belief in Christmas magic along with her mother, and he has no idea what to do. But an unusually festive business meeting at the Candied Apple – and meeting the beautiful Iona – starts to defrost Mads’ frozen heart, and suddenly life seems full of light and sparkle again.

If only they dare to believe, maybe all their Christmas dreams will come true!

What does TWG think?

What a truly festive treat this is! I have never been to America, let alone going to America for the holidays, yet with Katherine Garbera’s stunning descriptions of New York, I felt like I was there amongst it all. Seriously magical!

Poor Mads and his little girl haven’t exactly the most wonderful year due to the death of Mads’ wife. Not only did Sofia lose her mum, she also lost her ability to believe. Honestly though, can you blame her? She’s lost her mum, the last thing she is going to believe in is Santa. However, I adored how Iona (their neighbour) tried to help them create new traditions at a time which harbours devastating memories.

I absolutely loved the Christmas element to this book, including the Candied Apple Cafe itself. The community spirit from the Iona’s colleagues and her customers just made my heart soar with joy. If I was met with people like that every time I walked into a shop, I would be one VERY happy lady.

Unfortunately, I do have a little irk with the romance part of the storyline. Now whilst I fully appreciate that sexual scenes in a book need to be kept respectful and not border on a blue movie style, I really do wish that certain words weren’t used during those intimate scenes as it made an otherwise hot under the collar scene, lean more towards a grimacing scene. Personally for me, I didn’t find it believable.

Apart from that, I think the Christmas element made the book stand out big time. My favourite character was Iona as she just oozed class, sass and had a heart of gold.

Such an enticing and magical read to curl up with this Christmas.

Thanks Harper Impulse.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Author Bio

USA Today bestselling author Katherine Garbera is a two-time Maggie winner who has
written more than 60 books. A Florida native who grew up to travel the globe, Katherine
now makes her home in the Midlands of the UK with her husband, two children and a very spoiled miniature dachshund.

Social Media Links

Twitter @katheringarbera


Giveaway – Win 5 x Signed Copies of Summer in Manhattan
5 lucky winners will win a copy of Summer in Manhattan, Katherine Garbera’s previous book for Harper Impulse.

Enter now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland (@ShaliniBoland) @Bookouture

The Secret Mother - Blog tour
Today I am thrilled to share with you my review of Shalini Boland’s novel, The Secret Mother’, alongside fellow blogger Novel Gossip! Huge thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in the tour as well as the ARC of Shalini’s novel. Here is my review:


‘Are you my mummy?’

Tessa Markham returns home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children. 

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there. 

After contacting the police, Tessa is suspected of taking the mystery child. Her whole life is turned upside down. And then her husband reveals a secret of his own…

Tessa isn’t sure what to believe or who to trust. Because someone is lying. To find out who, she must confront her painful past. But is the truth more dangerous than Tessa realises?

What does TWG think?

Wowza, what a corker of an opening to this book! Straight away Shalini Boland puts the suspense wheels in motion when the main character, Tessa, comes face to face with a child in her kitchen. ‘Are you my mummy?’ the child asks, but Tessa doesn’t have any children and even if she did, she wouldn’t have left a child all alone in her kitchen whilst she went off to work. Is the child a figment of Tessa’s imagination like everyone seems to believe? Or is there a genuine reason as to why the child ended up being all alone in her kitchen…?

Nion straight away my heart was in my mouth and my motherly instincts kicked in. Of course they would have been no use as it’s fictional, but still. They were there. Where did the random child come from? How on Earth did someone manage to get into Tessa’s house to put him there? WHY did they put him there? So many questions and not a lot of answers – no wonder Tessa was getting frustrated with not being believed. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances surrounding the child, Tessa’s past got brought back up and the media went to town. It didn’t matter how many times Tessa said she was innocent, everyone seemed to disbelieve her, which in turn made her start doubting herself.

Now, whilst the storyline completely and utterly funked over my head, making me unsure as to what to believe, a certain part of the storyline gave me a hunch and I was convinced I knew where the book was heading. It’s rare that I’m right so I didn’t think too much of it.

As the storyline progressed my hunch started to make even more sense. I was adamant I knew what had happened and, for the first time ever, I was right. Because I had worked out the outcome of the book a while before the storyline actually properly concluded, I did feel a little disheartened as I really was hoping I was wrong, purely so I could enjoy the rest of the book unawares. I thoroughly enjoyed the way in which the author put her storyline together along with multiple red herrings, bucketfuls of emotion and never-ending psychological battles, as it meant the book came across as an addictive, easy read which I flew through in a couple of hours.

Personally, the only downside to the storyline was that the conclusion was easy to work out. I didn’t have the shock factor like I had hoped I would which was a shame. I don’t usually work out a conclusion before the end!

That said, I still enjoyed Shalini Boland’s novel overall. The level of suspense at the beginning was second to none and due to the constant unanswered questions throughout the book, the intensity of the storyline made it a highly addictive read.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author:

Shalini Boland lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two children and their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing psychological thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).

Shalini’s debut psychological thriller THE GIRL FROM THE SEA reached No 1 in the US Audible charts and No 7 in the UK Kindle charts. Her second thriller THE BEST FRIEND reached no 2 in the US Audible charts and No 10 in the Amazon UK Kindle charts. It also achieved number 1 in all its categories and was a Kindle All Star title for several months in a row. Shalini’s recent release THE MILLIONAIRE’S WIFE reached No 9 in the Kindle UK charts.

Be the first to hear about her new releases here: http://eepurl.com/b4vb45

Shalini is also the author of two bestselling Young Adult series as well as an atmospheric WWII novel with a time-travel twist.


#Review – Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green by @EveDevon @HarperImpulse

Welcome back to the village of Whispers Wood where Christmas magic is in the air…

After giving his heart last year only to have it given away the very next day, Jake Knightley is opting out of Christmas—permanently! But then a beautiful new village arrival sets mayhem in motion, upsetting all his carefully laid plans.

Emma Danes has said goodbye to Hollywood and will do anything to help make the clock house a success, even working closely with the tempting Mr Knightley.

Now, as snow starts to fall and romance starts to bloom, Emma and Jake may just find themselves repeating Whispers Wood history beneath the mistletoe…

What does TWG think?

Having absolutely adored the first book in this series, ‘The Little Clock House on the Green’, it felt like all my Christmases had come at once when I was asked to review Eve Devon’s latest treat. ‘Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green’ picks up where we left off in the first book, however the focus isn’t solely on Kate and Daniel this time round. Don’t fret though, Kate and Daniel do appear quite a lot in this second book but they have agreed to take a backseat for two new main characters to find their feet.

Emma is an actress. Surrounding herself with the limelight of Hollywood is all she’s ever known (well, aside from working in a bar of course). Kate, her friend back in Whispers Wood, has offered her a once in a lifetime opportunity. Should Emma continue to battle it out in Hollywood for starring roles, or should she take life by the baubles and say yes to Kate?

The other main character is a rather complicated man who goes by the name of Jake. A man who has, unfortunately, lived out an exceptionally popular Christmas song. One day out of the blue, Jake’s personal life went ‘WHAM!’ in his face as his girlfriend at the time decided to have a change of heart. A year later and Jake is only beginning to find his feet as a singleton. Well, until the Hollywood actress appears and he’s left wondering whether this Christmas would be anything like ‘Last Christmas’ when he gave someone his heart, only to have it taken away again..

Eve Devon’s ‘Clock House’ series has got to be one of my all time favourite book serials I have ever read. There is just something so magical about being in Whispers Wood – I would be here all day if I even began to explain exactly what makes it magical, so please trust me on this fact!

Even though ‘Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green’ manages to give enough background information for those who are beginning the series from book, I would still recommend reading these books in order so that you can appreciate the series one hundred percent.

I have to be honest, I was a little bit apprehensive starting this book as I loved the first book so much and I really wanted the second book to follow suit. I needn’t have worried though, from the very first chapter I was swept away by the magical Whispers Wood and everything it stood for. It was as though I had never been away! As well as the romantic elements to the storyline, this book also continued some truly laugh out loud moments – at one point I even had tears rolling down my cheeks I was laughing that much! The entire storyline was extremely well thought out, making every eventuality appear flawless.

I loved how we were able to see a different side to both Kate, and Daniel now that they had taken a step back. It was as though Kate had found herself and, after the previous book, it was so lovely to see things working out for her. Of course, Bea’s memory lived on in book two and it was still as emotional as the first book, I had tears in my eyes once again for a completely different reason.

‘Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green’ took my breath away and left me wanting even more. Closing the book after yet another visit to Whispers Wood left me feeling incredibly deflated as I just didn’t want to say goodbye. All of the characters in this book got under my skin one way or another (in a good way) and, as daft as this sounds, I feel as though they have become great friends (albeit fictional) as I have gotten to know them through their worst moments, and their best moments.

Eve Devon truly has captured the true essence of Whispers Wood in such a beautiful and seamless manner, warming my heart from the very first page until the very last. I laughed, I cried, but despite that, my heart was filled with so much joy thanks to this outstanding novel from the extremely talented, Eve Devon.

It’s pretty clear that the author has written this book from the heart and to be honest, I wouldn’t expect anything less from this author. I cannot wait to read Eve Devon’s next book as if it’s anything like the previous two, we will all be in for an absolute treat.

Heart-warming, joyous, magical and sheer perfection, ‘Christmas at the Little Clock House on the Green’ is THE book to read these Christmas without a doubt.
Absolutely outstanding!

P.S. Gertrude needs a story of her own…SHE is a belter of a character!!!!

Thanks HarperImpulse.

Buy now from Amazon UK