#Review – #GallowsTreeLane by Kate London (@kate_katelondon) @CorvusBooks @AnneCater

Seeing as I screwed up my blog tour dates, I am delighted to post my review of ‘Gallowstree Lane’ on my blog tour. Apologies to the author, Corvus Books and RandomThingsTours for my genuine error.

Please don’t let me die. Please don’t. The final words of teenager Spencer Cardoso as he bleeds out on a London street, his life cut short in a single moment of rage.

 

When a teenage boy steps out of the shadows of GallowstreeLane and asks a passer-by for help, it’s already too late. His life is bleeding out on the London street. 

The murder threatens to derail Operation Perseus, a cover police investigation into the Eardsley Bluds, an organised criminal network. Detective Kieran Shaw can’t and won’t allow that to happen. But fifteen-year-old Ryan has other ideas. He’s witnessed the death of his best friend, and now he wants someone to pay…

As loyalties collide, a chain of events is triggered that threatens everyone with a connection to Gallowstree Lane. 

 

What does TWG think?

I have been wanting to read a Kate London novel for AGES! ‘Gallowstree Lane’ is the third book in series, so do bear that in mind before you read it as, in my opinion, it would be beneficial to read the previous two books first. I didn’t and I found that I missed out on information regarding the characters, which would have come in useful had I already known it. That said, others may find it perfectly fine to read without the background information of previous books.

‘Gallowstree Lane’ is very ‘in’ with the times so to speak. The main theme of the book is gangs and crime on the London scene. It’s one thing reading about stabbings and such in the media, but it’s another thing being in amongst the criminal activity yourself, even on a fictional basis. Kate London clearly has experience in that environment as her descriptions were too intricately written for someone not in the know! I loved the intense storyline and in depth detail where the crimes were concerned – even if it was quite unsettling at times!!

I wouldn’t say that ‘Gallowstree Lane’ is speedy read, because it isn’t. It’s one of those reads which has the storyline stewing for a little while, sparks as the story progressed, and then explodes when you are least expecting it.

Overall I was rather impressed by Kate London’s engaging and addictive writing style, and I look forward to re-reading this book once I have read the previous books in the series.

Buy now.

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#BlogTour! #Review – Where She Lies by Michael Scanlon (@mscanlonauthor) @Bookouture

I am super excited to be on the blog tour for ‘Where She Lies’ by Michael Scanlon today. Many thanks, as always, to Bookouture for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

When Detective Finnegan Beck is demoted from his high-powered job in Dublin and relocated in disgrace to the small Irish town of Cross Beg, he predicts boredom will be his biggest threat.

But then a beautiful, local teenage girl is found strangled in the cold, dark woods a mile from town. The prime suspect is the seemingly-gentle drifter who found Tanya’s body.

Beck seems to be the only person who can’t escape the feeling that Tanya wasn’t killed at random. As he digs deeper into the shadows of Cross Beg, he begins to realise it isn’t the sleepy backwater he’d first believed. Everyone here has something to hide. Tanya had a boyfriend, whose name no one knew. A best friend with a loose relationship with the truth. And a habit she thought she’d kept hidden from everyone.

But, just as Beck believes he is making progress, the body of one of the suspects is found drowned in the river. Is the killer just getting started?

Everyone in the town seems to have something they would die to protect. But who has a secret they’d kill for?

Why does TWG think?

Ooooooo what a nifty little read this is!! I am genuinely surprised that ‘Where She Lies’ is a debut novel – the strength of the storyline was so intense and so impressive for an author’s first book. I mean, if this is the calibre of Michael Scanlon’s first book, I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next!

The beauty of this book is that, not only is it a debut novel, it’s also the start of a new series featuring Detective Finnegan Beck, an Irish officer who seems to have his own story to tell. The backstory of Beck is quite intriguing and we don’t get the finer details of his situation straight away. All we know is that he has been demoted and that he’s good at getting people’s backs up.

Like I said above, I was very impressed by the storyline and I loved how the gritty events exacerbated the intensity of the novel. I did find several of the characters to be a little flat, and I couldn’t help but wonder what they were actually bringing to the overall storyline. I would be intrigued to see which characters come back in book two (hence why I’m not naming any names haha).

All in all, ‘Where She Lies’ is a gritty, addictive debut novel which shows such promise for future books in the series – I’m excited!!

Buy now!

About the author.

Michael Scanlon is a civilian employee of the An Garda Siochana (the Irish police force), but a life threatening undiagnosed illness that struck while travelling in Spain in 2014 has rendered him on long term sick leave. He is married to Eileen and has a daughter, Sarah. He lives in the countryside outside the town of Ballina in County Mayo. The town has arguably the best salmon river in Europe, called the Moy.

#Blogtour! #Review – The Day We Met by Roxie Cooper (@toodletinkbaby) @AnneCater @tesshenderson1 @EburyPublishing

Finally! It’s my turn on the blog tour for Roxie Cooper and her phenomenal new book, ‘The Day We Met’. Many thanks to Tess Henderson for the ARC, and thanks to Anne for the blog tour invite. Here is my review:

Stephanie doesn’t believe in fate, true love or living happily ever after. She’s content enough being engaged to Matt. But then she meets Jamie, who understands her more than anyone else ever has. 

Jamie is happily married to his childhood sweetheart Helen and believes in everything Stephanie doesn’t. So why does he have such a strong connection with Stephanie?

When Stephanie and Jamie meet one fateful weekend in 2006 it will change everything…

Ten years. Two people. One epic love story

What does TWG think?

Stop everything, unplug the phones, grab all of the tissues from your local supermarket, and get ready to go on the journey of a lifetime. Hell, I don’t even know how much you can prepare yourself for this book because I thought I was mentally prepared, but I was far from it.

Steph and Jamie meet each other by chance, and end up with a connection even BT would be proud of. So what is the problem? Well, the two characters may have found themselves getting on very well with each other, and they may understand each other on all sorts of levels, but the thing is – there can’t be no ‘thing’ between them as one is married and one is engaged.

Steph thought she had everything. She thought she was with a man who understood her little quirks, accepted her flaws, and loved her for who she was. And Jamie, he really had really found the love of his life. The yin to his yang. Hence why he married her, so why was he willing to risk everything for a stranger?

Without divulging too much, ‘The Day We Met’ is a very unique, yet very realistic portrayal of romance and the ups and downs of relationships. Roxie Cooper has created characters which are flawed, and have deep routed issues. She has also created characters who are sure of themselves and have their own five year plan, planned to perfection. The beauty of the contrasting characters in this book is that they work so well together and make the storyline come alive absolutely brilliantly.

Now, I was lucky enough to read this book last year and I am not ashamed to admit that I ugly cried to the point my body felt as though it had run out of water. I’m not even being dramatic as I instagrammed the fetching picture!

As the storyline progresses, the author drops hints about what lay ahead. If you’re anything like me, you would ignore those hints and pretend that the author has no idea what she is talking about. Yes, I refused to accept the possibility of an event. And yes, it did come back to bite me on the booty but only because I had fallen head over heels in love with both of the main characters and their journeys. I wanted them to celebrate, to be happy in each of their newfound situations, but life isn’t like that, is it?

I was utterly devastated by the turn of events later on in the story, but I couldn’t help but but be mesmerised by the beauty of how everything came together.

Yes, ‘One Day We Met’ is extremely emotional, but it is, beyond belief, the most beautifully written, heart wrenching, touching, and poignant novel I have ever read.

Roxie Cooper has written a movie worthy, highly enchanting, wonderfully crafted novel which has taken my heart hostage forever. Such a phenomenal, phenomenal read – I loved it!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Inborn by Thomas Enger (@EngerThomas) @AnneCater @OrendaBooks

I need to start this post today with an apology as I had managed to put my tour stop on the wrong day in my diary, meaning that I was meant to have posted yesterday. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the patience with my error.

I am excited to be reviewing ‘Inborn’ by Thomas Enger today – huge thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

What turns a boy into a killer?

When the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as being in the dock … for murder?

Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously … and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community.  As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has a relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect?

It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust.

But can we trust him?

What does TWG think?

OMG this book was addictive!!!!! If you exclude the times where I had to put the book down to feed the mini human and pets (how rude!), I can safely say that I devoured ‘Inborn’ in a matter of hours. Such a clever, clever novel which highlights the fact that nothing is ever as it seems.

The prologue to ‘Inborn’ was absolutely cracking and set the wheels in most for the rest of the book. Who was the person there? Why were they there? Who else was in the vicinity at the same time? Something bad had happened, but the reasoning as to why was nowhere to be seen. Well, not for a while anyway.

‘Inborn’ is a strong case of mistaken identity in the sense that even individual characters were left questioning themselves, even though they knew the truth. But did they really? The fact that I was left questioning every little detail in the book was strong proof that Thomas Enger is incredible at keeping his readers on their toes. I could not believe just how complex each scenario in the storyline was written, whilst also being woven into various other situations seamlessly and flawlessly.

‘Inborn’ kept me face muscles working until the very last page as my expressions switched between shocked, uncertainty and disbelief, time and time again – I couldn’t believe what my eyes were digesting and, to be brutally honest, I still can’t!

As I said at the start of the review, I thought this book was so very clever and I loved every single minute of it. From psychologically damaging relationships to uncertain answers, and from complex thoughts to twisted judgements, ‘Inborn’ is one of the most psychologically twisted books I have read so far this year.

Utterly, utterly brilliant – I urge you all to grab yourselves a copy to be put under Thomas Enger’s spell. Looooooved it!!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Bollywood Wives by Alex Khan (@alexkhanauthor) @HeraBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Third and final tour of the day is for a book full of glamour; Bollywood Wives by Alex Khan. Huge congratulations to both Alex, and Hera Books on the publication of this release. I am delighted to share my review with you all today, many thanks to Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Hera Books for the ARC.

Zara Das is Bollywood’s hottest property, her every move watched by the eyes of the press. Riding high from the success of a string of blockbusters, she has the world at her feet, but the scandal from her latest film threatens to dethrone her as Bollywood’s reigning queen. 

So when superstar director Raj Dillon stages a lavish retelling of Pride and Prejudice, moving the shoot from Mumbai’s soundstages to London, Zara knows this is the role that could put her back on top. Coming with them are the Bollywood Wives – Jackie, Sasha, and Rani – bringing their own off-screen drama.

But behind the diamonds, designer clothes and seven-star hotels lies the truth of how Zara reached the top. And when a dead body is found in her hotel room, it seems that someone is determined to take Zara down – and will stop at nothing to expose her darkest secrets. 

Zara has spent years running from her past. But now it’s caught up with her… 

What does TWG think?

Wow – I don’t think I have ever read a book like this before! I will admit that I was a little bit unsure of the storyline at first as I couldn’t really work out where things were going, or whose life I should be paying attention to the most. Of course there was the main character, Zara, who we get to know very well throughout the book, but there were other women in the book with such strong personalities that they were all fighting for the main spotlight.

I would say that the book reminded me of ITVBe program, ‘The Only Way is Essex’, but that may be deemed a negative remark, and it isn’t. I think the concept of ‘how the other half live’ so to speak, was what reminded me of the outspoken TV program, yet it was very clear that there was no competition for who won the glamour and sassy stakes – the Bollywood Wives.

The storyline is very unique due to it containing high end, glamorous Indian lifestyles alongside dark and thrilling elements, enough to grab you by the collar and hold you hostage like a bit of BDSM (with your consent…obviously 😉 ). I will admit, again, that I wasn’t really taken by the main character, Zara, as she had more of an unlikable vibe than likeable. That said, Minnie was farrrr worse than she was! Alex Khan is brilliant at creating such colourful and highly complex characters which can both grate you one minute, and then have you feeling like their BFF the next. Rani was good at that!!

So, despite my earlier uncertainty, I ended up being pleasantly surprised by how the storyline all came together and I cannot wait to see what Alex Khan brings to the table next – more sass I hope!

A addictive, glamorous and intense read which left me wanting more.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Dead Pretty by Candy Denman (@crimecandy) #DeadPretty @AnneCater

If you remember last year, I was on the blog tour for the second book in the Jocasta Hughes series, Body Heat. Today however, I have the pleasure of being on the blog tour for the first book, Dead Pretty. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

The first in a series featuring Dr Jocasta Hughes, part-time GP and on call Forensic Medical Practitioner in the small English seaside town of Hastings. Intelligent, witty, well-plotted crime-fiction. More cosy than not.

What does TWG think?

Creepy? Check.

Intense? Check.

Creepy? Check.

CREEPY?!? Check!!!

Having already had a insight to how Dr Jocasta Hughes works due to reading the second book already, it was good to see how it all began with her and how her friendship with DI Miller materialised.

This book starts off with an absolute toe curler of an event. I think I made it clear at the beginning that I found the story creepy, but geez – it’s intensely creepy and that opening was utterly brilliant. What a way to kick things off! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t get off on people killing others, but the grit was outstanding and definitely had me hooked very quickly.

It’s clear that the killer doesn’t give a monkeys at all, especially as they make Hughes and Miller work exceptionally hard for their money. Put it this way – if the events could get away with being ice, they would. They were that chilling.

I was so impressed by how many intense layers Candy Denman created, I didn’t realise how invested I had become until my own reflection scared me to death.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – The Lost Man by Jane Harper (@janeharperautho) @LittleBrownUK #TheLostMan

It’s day three of #TheLostMan blog tour! Today for my stop on the tour, I will be sharing my review of Jane Harper’s novel. Many thanks to the team at LittleBrownUK for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:

He had started to remove his clothes as logic had deserted him, and his skin was cracked. Whatever had been going through Cameron’s mind when he was alive, he didn’t look peaceful in death.

Two brothers meet at the remote border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of the outback. In an isolated part of Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbour, their homes hours apart.

They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron. The Bright family’s quiet existence is thrown into grief and anguish. 

Something had been troubling Cameron. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…

What does TWG think?

Jane Harper, for me, has always been one of those authors who you hear a lot about but you just never get the moment to grab a book to read….until now. Yes, until ‘The Lost Man’, I hadn’t picked up one of Jane Harper’s novels yet everyone was shouting about how good her writing was on social media. So, when I finally got the chance to join the ‘in crowd’ as it were, I knew I had to jump at it. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t apprehensive – what if I didn’t like it? What if I was the only one not to fall under Jane Harper’s spell? Obviously I wouldn’t know the answer to that until I had read the book….and now that I have, I can answer it.

I didn’t dislike it! In fact I was captivated by Jane Harper’s storytelling! It didn’t take me too long to work out where the title of the book fit with the storyline, however the truth behind the lost man doesn’t become clear until the last knockings. Frustrating? Yes and no. I totally appreciated why the author kept the pace as it was, and it would have been pointless to divulge the truth too early in the story, but at times I did find the pace too slow because there wasn’t always that hook for me to hold onto.

I thought that the character dynamics were very cleverly written, especially as their lives were intimately entwined with each other’s, whether they liked it or not.

Personally, I thought the latter portion of the book was what stole the show as it ticked the boxes for grit, intensity, and uncertainty, a lot easier than the rest of the book. So much so, I didn’t want the book to end. Saying that, I didn’t dislike the other parts of the book at all, I just felt like it was missing something.

Overall, ‘The Lost Man’ made me feel a bit like a lost woman at times, but I found the authors storytelling to be spellbinding and worth its weight in gold.

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Stalker by #LarsKepler @AAKnopf @crimebythebook #StalkerBook

Having started and read ‘Stalker’ in one day, I am beyond excited to be reviewing the book for the blog tour today! Huge thanks to Abigail for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review of ‘Stalker’ by Lars Kepler:

The internationally bestselling authors of The Sandman and The Hypnotist return with a terrifying new thriller: Detective Joona Linna–recently returned from compassionate leave–reunites with hypnotist Erik Maria Bark in a search for a seemingly unassailable

sadistic killer.

The Swedish National Crime Unit receives a video of a young woman in her home, clearly unaware that she’s being watched. Soon after the tape is received, the woman’s body is found horrifically mutilated. With the arrival of the next, similar video, the police understand that the killer is toying with them, warning of a new victim, knowing there’s nothing they can do.

 

Detective Margot Silverman is put in charge of the investigation, and soon asks Detective Joona Linna for help. Linna, in turn, recruits Erik Maria Bark, the hypnotist and expert in trauma, with whom Linna’s worked before. Bark is leery of forcing people to give up their secrets. But this time, Bark is the one hiding things.

Years before, he had put a man away for an eerily similar crime, and now he’s beginning to think that an innocent man may be behind bars–and a serial killer still on the loose. . .

 

What does TWG think?

Oh my BLEEPING goodness!!!!!!!! Why have I never picked up a Lars Kepler novel until now?! Omg – I still can’t get my head around what I read, so I apologise in advance if there is a lot of ‘omg!’ and sentences which make no sense at all. Obviously I would prefer it if the review was coherent….but I can’t promise anything!!!

So, ‘Stalker’ was the first book I had read by the dynamic duo, Lars Kepler. Yes, it is part of a series, and no you do not need to have read the previous four books before you read this one – in my opinion, obviously. At around 500 odd pages, I honestly thought that it would end up being a story which just went on and on. It wasn’t. I was actually quite surprised by how concise the book was considering it was of great length, so much so, I started and finished the book in one day! Unfortunately I had to put the book down a couple of times as the child and pets needed feeding….how selfish of them to want food!!!!

It’s safe to say that my bank account will take a bit of a hit this week as I aim to purchase the other four books in paperback, as well as this one. Do you think I loved it?! Short answer: OMG YES! Seriously, I was absolutely hooked by the twisted turn of events, the psychologically damaging storyline, and the incredibly nauseating and vivid descriptions of certain characters actions. Yes, that’s right, I used the word ‘nauseating’ as a positive. Who would have thought it?!

‘Stalker’ isn’t a read for the faint hearted or people who have an aversion to blood. Although saying that, you might get an aversion to blood whilst reading this – a lot is lost! The storyline is fast paced in places, slow paced in others, yet the level of intensity throughout the entire book was absolutely phenomenal.

I loved the array of dynamic characters, each one adding their flaws into the storyline to create a multi layered read which, if I were wearing any, would have totally blown my socks off! I was absolutely shocked by the conclusion as I had tried to work out my own ‘whodunnit’, but ended up failing miserably. I think the fact the authors dropped red herring after red herring, whilst also pointing bloody fingers at one character in particular, it was only natural for me to follow those instincts and think that they were the one who had done it. Obviously at the time I didn’t know the pieces of information I was using as glue to my puzzle pieces, were in fact red herrings. It just goes to show how complex the minds of Lars Kepler are, and the complexity of the storyline itself. Clearly not everything is as it seems, right?!

It probably goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that ‘Stalker’ is now a very strong contender for my top book of 2019. Wow, seriously, ‘Stalker’ is an jawdroppingly, gritty, read which left me wanting more. Outstanding beyond belief. The book may have been long in pages, but it felt like one of the quickest books I’ve ever read. I can not recommend this enough!

Buy now from Amazon UK

Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

LARS KEPLER is the pseudonym of the critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril. Their number one internationally bestselling Joona Linna series has sold more than twelve million copies in forty languages. The Ahndorils were

both established writers before they adopted the pen name Lars Kepler and have each published several acclaimed novels. They live in Stockholm, Sweden. Translated by Neil Smith.

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#BlogTour! #Review – Maybe This Time by Jill Mansell (@JillMansell) @AnneCater @Headlinepg

It’s the final day of the ‘Maybe This Time’ blog tour, and I have the honour of closing the tour with a review. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, and thank you to Headline for the ARC. Here is my review:

When Mimi first visits her dad’s new home in the Cotswolds, she falls in love with Goosebrook and the people who live there. (Well, maybe not snooty Henrietta, who lets Mimi walk miles in the rain rather than give her a lift.)

There’s Paddy, with his flashing eyes and seductive charm. Friendly and funny Lois makes Mimi laugh. And seriously gorgeous Cal is welcoming and charismatic. Though Mimi loves her city life and her career, she’d be very happy to return to Goosebrook if it means seeing more of him.

Life is about to take some unexpected and shocking twists and turns. And Mimi’s path and Cal’s are set to cross again and again – but will it ever be the right time for both of them?

What does TWG think?

I’m just going to come right out and say it – Jill Mansell has done it once again! ‘Maybe This Time’ has the perfect amount of romance, drama, emotion – hell to put it simply, just everything.

From the word go, I was hooked on Mimi’s story. She had such a likeable personality, I really couldn’t wait to find out what was in store for her as the story progressed.

Without giving anything away, there is a lot of heartache in the story, a lot of which I was not expecting at all! My heart went out to everyone involved but I still had everything crossed that the people of Goosebrook would get their long awaited happily ever after. Believe it or not, that included Felix’s mum, Henrietta! She wasn’t the most likeable character in the book, heck, at times I wondered if she even knew HOW to be nice. Surely it must be exhausting being that bitter?!

It was very clear that Mimi had her heart set on one particular gentleman, and there were times when I nearly shouted at the book because I wanted her to do something about it! She clearly wanted to, so why didn’t she? Easy for me to say I know, but still – I just couldn’t help becoming invested in the lives of the villagers in Goosebrook. They were such a colourful bunch who gave so much to the storyline, it was so hard to choose a favourite.

Jill Mansell’s humour set the story alight in more ways than one. Many times I thought I was about to wake up my daughter with my laughing out loud! ‘Maybe This Time’ is such an energetic, beautifully written, captivating novel which held my heart in its hands until the very last page. With every Jill Mansell book I read, I am always sure that she can’t beat it with a new release, but she has. I adored this author’s previous book, and yes I did think it was her best book yet, but ‘Maybe This Time’ showcases Mansell’s talent in a way I never thought was possible.

I adored every single morsel of this book, it really was a story that just kept on giving. I don’t often reread books but I will be definitely reading this beauty again sooner rather than later.

An emotional, cosy, heartfelt novel which absolutely blew me away. Spellbinding and one of a kind – I loved it!

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Finding Jess by Julia Ibbotson (@juliaibbotson) @RaRaResources #DrumbeatsTrilogy

Today is my third and final stop on The Drumbeats Trilogy blog tour, and what a ride it has been! Huge thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review of the third book in the trilogy, Finding Jess:

Single mother, Jess, has struggled to get her life back on track after the betrayal of her beloved husband and her best friend. When she is on the brink of losing everything, including her family and her job, she feels that she can no longer trust anyone. Then she is sent a mysterious newspaper clipping of a temporary post back in Ghana. Could this be her lifeline? Can Jess turn back time and find herself again? And what, exactly, will she find?

Finding Jess is a passionate story of love, betrayal and second chances – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust. It is a feel-good story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity.

What does TWG think?

Is it weird that I now feel a little bereft that I have reached the end of the trilogy? I’ve literally watched Jess grow up over the space of three books, walked alongside her as she made multiple journeys which carved both her present and her future, as well as feeling an emotional connection towards her and the unfortunate events she became involved in.

Jess has come a long way since the beginning, and in the third instalment of the trilogy, she still finds herself battling with that character who I would not wee on if they were on fire. At times I wanted to shake her because they had no longer had a hold over her so why was she turning into a doormat? I guess confidence is one thing….or lack of, especially as it had been knocked. It was just hard watching her melt as though she was in the wrong. No. The only thing she was in the wrong about was not telling them to go and fornicate oneself!!!

Whilst it was brilliant that the author wanted to keep readers up to date with snippets from previous books, (I’m assuming it was mainly for readers who were reading the books out of order), I did feel a little bit cheated by the fact that there were quite large chunks of a previous storyline merely pasted into the new one. It did feel as though I was just rereading past storylines when I just wanted to read more of ‘Finding Jess’. Like I say, I can see why the author did it and I can’t fault her for that at all, I just think that there could have been smaller references to the two previous books as opposed to substantial blocks.

However, I really did enjoy the storyline of ‘Finding Jess’ – I couldn’t believe how invested I had become! I got so annoyed by certain things that it affected me when I wasn’t even reading. I mean, that just goes to show how powerful Julia Ibbotson’s writing is!

I loved the way that Jess came into her own and flourished as her own person, yet part of me couldn’t help wonder whether we might see a storyline coming from Katy’s viewpoint instead. She seemed like such a troubled individual who needed steering in the right direction – it would be very interesting to see how her personality flourishes, I must admit!

‘Finding Jess’ cements Jess’ journey to self discovery and learning the ability to try to love the skin that you’re in. Jess’ story highlighted the fact that not everyone will like you, love you, want to be around you, and that’s okay because as long as you’re proud of yourself, and as long as you love a part of yourself or are willing to try to love yourself, that is what matters the most.

This storyline, as well as Julia Ibbotson’s poignant narrative, took me on my own little journey. I am so thankful that I was able to get the chance to open my eyes to a path I never would have found otherwise. Jess’ story is one that I will remember for a very long time and, as long as Julia Ibbotson keeps producing novels, I will be reading her meaningful, heartfelt and enchanting words for a very long time to come.

Buy now

About the author.

Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then a university lecturer and researcher. Finding Jess(2018) is her sixth book and the last of the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins and ends in Ghana). Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.

Acclaimed author of:

Drumbeats (2015), the first of the trilogy set in 1960s Ghana: sometimes you have to escape to find yourself.

Walking in the Rain (2016), the second in the trilogy set in 1970s and 1980s England: never give up on your dreams.

Finding Jess (2018), the last of the trilogy set in 1990s England and Ghana: can the past ever be left behind?

Also by Julia Ibbotson:

A Shape on the Air (2017): historical (Dark Ages/early medieval) timeslip romance. Two women 1,500 years apart, with one aim: to reclaim their dreams and fight the dangers that threaten them both across the ages …

The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen, (first published 2011, rereleased 2017) a feel-good story of the renovation of a Victorian rectory interwoven with period recipes to feed the soul, all from the rectory kitchen.

S.C.A.R.S (first published 2012, rereleased 2016) (children’s novel): a troubled boy slips through a tear in the fabric of the universe into a parallel medieval fantasy world of knights, dragons, and a quest for the triumph of Good over Evil. But can he save himself?

 

Social Media Links

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Giveaway – Win a PB copy of Drumbeats (book 1), book marks, post cards, key ring and handbag fob (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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