2020, Author Love, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Dark Corners By Darren O’Sullivan

A thrilling fast paced read.

Blurb: It’s been twenty years since Neve’s best friend Chloe went missing. Neve has never recovered and promised herself she’d never go back to that place.

But secrets can come back to haunt you

When Neve receives news that her first boyfriend Jamie has gone missing, she’s forced to return. Jamie has vanished without a trace in a disappearance that echoes the events of all those years ago. Somebody is watching and will stop at nothing until the truth about what took place that night is revealed …

Review: Most of you who know me know that Darren O’Sullivan’s debut novel Our Little Secret pulled me out of some of my most darkest moments during ankle gate. I’m so pleased to have read and to now be reviewing his fourth book. Darren we are on book four and wow what a rollercoaster ride it’s been not only your latest novel but your journey. I couldn’t be prouder of you.

I had seen a few writers who had read early copies stating how this was Darren’s best and I was sat there thinking but I’ve loved all of his books in different ways. I knew I would love it but I didn’t know the emotional journey I would go on in reading it. It’s such a weird place in the world right now but being immersed in this fast paced thriller sure has helped me to say the least.

Dark Corners is so aptly named but you won’t even realise that until right near the end of the novel. It’s a story about a group of childhood friends who go through a lot together and when tragedy strikes they all cope in different ways.

Neve is our main character and the story revolves around her, we have parts of her story from now and parts from back in 1998 when Chloe went missing. I loved getting the back story although it didn’t always make sense and it’s safe to say it’s hard to review without explaining any of the plot.

What I will say is Darren weaves a good tale and right up to 80% in I was still sitting there with not that many answers there were a number of OMG moments. I was shocked even if it made sense when you stepped away from the story. The perfect tale to read during these strange times we are living in- I was swept away on Neve’s rollercoaster ride where she wasn’t sleeping, heavily relying on booze and distancing herself from pretty much everything.

This is out today so go grab this beauty because this book really does deserve to fly….Here

2020, Paige Toon Read Along, Review, Uncategorized, wrap up

What I read in March…

Now March really did turn the tide in my life. It changed dramatically when work was shutdown until further notice. My happy place was taken from me. I mean for a book worm it did help my reading and I’ve been able to make more time for my blog and for a few things I’ve been saying I would do in a while. I had hoped to have included a few shorts to end my March reading but I’ve had a headache for the past few days, I’m getting there now but there’s still a niggle but seeing as this post was virtually done I decided I would post it. To those who voted for my post on Monday it will be here I promise I just have been feeling so rubbish the past few days….

March started with the newest Cornish story from Cressida McLaughlin and my heart bursted once again.

It was so good to have the gang back and to have the new additions.

You can read my thoughts here.

As you may remember both myself and Catriona are in the midst of a Paige Toon read along….I’m loving having mostly Paige in this write up.

As I said in my review I had met a few of these before but it was so nice to see their story play out. You can read my thoughts Here.

Now I cannot help gushing at these stories I really do think Joe and Alice could be my favourites. I’ve also realised there’s a few of my paperbacks that aren’t signed I will be digging out my favourites the next time I can see Paige. She kindly signed the first few of the read-along that weren’t signed.

You can read my thoughts on quite possibly one of my fave Paige Toon couples Here

Darren O’Sullivan is one of my most favourite authors and his fourth novel really does showcase how his writing has changed,this one is a lot more fast paced. Darren’s latest will be out tomorrow and my review will be up then 🙂 so you will need to wait another day to read my thoughts on this.

Part two of this Cornish gorgeousness was just what I needed in these strange times. I was left longing for a hug from Sam. You can read my thoughts Here

This was a very different feel for a Paige Toon novel but all the same I loved my trip to Key West.

This beauty is available in June and my god I want to talk about it but there’s so much I cannot say. My review

Re-listening to this beauty I bloody love Bronte and I also had trouble choosing between those boys…I also realised that I had never penned my thoughts on this beauty.

2020, ebook, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: If I Never Met You By Mhari McFarlane

Blurb: If faking love is this easy… how do you know when it’s real?

The brand new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Mhairi McFarlane

Laurie and Jamie have the perfect office romance

(They set the rules via email)

Everyone can see they’re head over heels

(They staged the photos)

This must be true love

(They’re faking it)

When Laurie is dumped by her partner of eighteen years, she’s blindsided. Not only does she feel humiliated, they still have to work together.

So when she gets stuck in the lift with handsome colleague Jamie, they hatch a plan to stage the perfect romance. Revenge will be sweet…

But this fauxmance is about to get complicated. You can’t break your heart in a fake relationship – can you?

Review: Mhari McFarlane literally had me at Hello….ever since devouring that novel I’ve been such a fan. Sometimes life and book blogger problems have got in the way but whenever I delve into a Mhari novel I know I will be sucked in from the off. I remember pre-ordering this as soon as I had read the blurb. It took me a little longer than expected to get to it and to devour it but it was everything I needed and more.

From the off I loved Laurie and I really love the fact she’s a high flying woman of colour. I am not a woman of colour but there isn’t enough books like this. I also loved how Mhari has brought across how most of us ladies do not realise our own value in ourself. It took Laurie feeling downtrodden via her long-standing boyfriend in dumping her to realise her worth. She’s an intelligent woman who is highly thought of at her law firm but for so long she’s pushed Dan to be the one chasing promotions when realistically she should have been looking in the mirror.

I just adore Mhari’s way of writing her descriptions are witty and relatable there were so many moments that I could 100% relate or that had me simply laughing out loud. I won’t be delving into the main aspects of the story as that would simply take the joy away from reading another fantastic Mhari McFarlane novel.

As I stated I loved Laurie from the off and her office pals. Jamie had me on the edge of my seat I just didn’t know what to make of him. Although I did call a few of the outcomes before they happened.

I have to mention Laurie’s best friend Emily I always adore the friendships in these novels and these two are a team to contend with. They wholeheartedly have each other’s backs even if they don’t always agree with the other.

If you are looking to loose yourself in a book that will have you constantly turning the pages then look no further the queen of wit and relatable reading has done it again. If you have never read a Mhari novel this isn’t a bad place to start.

2020, Author Love, Readathon, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Lucy in the Sky By Paige Toon

Blurb: Settling down for a 24-hour flight to Australia, Lucy finds a text message on her phone – not from her boyfriend James, as she fondly hopes, but from a woman claiming to have slept with him four times in the past month. Trapped on the plane, she questions everything about her relationship with James. She finally calls him and he reassures her: it was only his mates playing a silly joke.

James is a lawyer, persuasive and gorgeous and Lucy adores him. So why, at the wedding in Sydney of her best friend Molly, does she have niggling doubts, and find herself attracted to Molly’s brother-in-law Nathan? The sooner she gets back to her regular life in London, the flat she shares with James, her job in PR, the better. Nathan is a happy-go-lucky surfer boy, with no prospects, no place to live, an almost-girlfriend in tow. And the other side of the world…

Lucy – a girl caught between two distant continents – and two very different men…

Review: Today sees the second book in mine and Catriona aka www.fabulousbookfiend.com Paige Toon read-along. For Catriona Lucy in the Sky was a re-listen for me it was a first read. I’m a huge Paige Toon fan but I first discovered her books when I read The Last Piece of my Heart – and from that moment I was hooked. This year I decided I will still be reviewing new books but I also want to read more for me this year and so far I’m having a good reading yeah. Saying that after finishing this beauty I was a little book hungover and reeling from Lucy’s story.

Lucy in the Sky is Paige’s debut novel and I’m so annoyed that it’s taken me this long to devour it. I have both a paperback and an ecopy of this book which was great for whilst I was eating and stuff as I could continue to read.

As ever Paige kept me on my toes and had me hooked from the off. From the beginning I adored Lucy yet I was sceptical over James and throughout I was left hooked but what way the story would change. I loved seeing Lucy reunited with her childhood friends and her going back to Australia.

Paige always manages to have very real situations and Lucy’s conundrum is something that can and does happen to many people. I hated how James always had a way of belittling her – when in reality Lucy is an awesome woman with lots ahead of her. The friendships, the love and the laughs really make this book. Nathan and Lucy are fantastic I really enjoyed the bad jokes which even had me thinking of some of my best male friends over the years new and old.

A tale of confusion, love, friendship and trust and lack of. I simply adore Paige Toon and going through her back catalogue is going to be an emotional rollercoaster I loved and loathed Lucy at times. There were times when I had to stop reading and I was simply so angry or overjoyed which meant reading this book was effortless yet it left me a little bereft at the end which is why I haven’t read anything else in between. Shortly I will be starting Johnny Be Good and I cannot wait.

2020, Author Love, ebook, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Broken Hearts at Brightwater Bay By Holly Hepburn

Blurb: On paper, Merina Wilde has it all: a successful career writing the kind of romantic novels that make even the hardest hearts swoon, a perfect carousel of book launches and parties to keep her social life buzzing, and a childhood sweetheart who thinks she’s a goddess. But Merry has a secret: the magic has stopped flowing from her fingers. Try as she might, she can’t summon up the sparkle that makes her stories shine. And as her deadline whooshes by, her personal life falls apart too. Alex tells her he wants something other than the future she’d always imagined for them and Merry finds herself single for the first time since – well, ever.

Desperate to get her life back on track, Merry leaves London and escapes to the windswept Orkney Islands, locking herself away in a secluded clifftop cottage to try to heal her heart and rediscover her passion for writing. But can the beauty of the islands and the kindness of strangers help Merry to fool herself into believing in love again, if only long enough to finish her book? Or is it time for her to give up the career she’s always adored and find something new to set her soul alight?

Review: The minute a Holly Hepburn series is announced I normally at least order the first part and that is exactly what I did with this beauty. I was still awake around midnight on publication day, so I managed to read the prologue and the first chapter before my tired eyes started telling me to get back to this in the morning. If I hadn’t been captured by sleep this would have been an easy one sitting read, although I’m glad I got to discover this gorgeous setting and intriguing characters for a little longer.

From the moment I met Merry I liked her, she’s full of charm and character. Let’s face it she’s a writer so I was always going to adore her. During the prologue Holly set the scene in the most upsetting of ways for poor Merry she literally didn’t see it coming and my heart literally broke for her. Knowing Holly and her heroines though I knew early on that Merry is a tough cookie who deserves much better in life.

I’m such a fan of Holly’s writing and I love how there is differences for adverts, texts and emails it makes it feel more real if that makes any sense. I’ve never visited the Orkney Islands but I feel like Holly has painted an extremely atmospheric description of what the islands are like, they feel peaceful and full of life. Making me feel how I feel when I visit some of my most favourite holiday destinations that have me feeling happy and content.

As Merry discovers more and more about the locals and the history it’s as if you can feel the weight off her shoulders simply disappearing. Merry and Jess are the best of friends they are so different though and that works. Everyone needs a straight talking Jess who will tell you exactly what you need to hear even if you don’t really want to hear it.

I’m really enjoying everything about this novel and it’s shaping up to be another fantastic story from Holly. I’m intrigued by our Clark Kent in Niall and I’m hopeful that Magnus also makes a few more appearances. I cannot wait to see where the second part takes us in April.

2020, New Author to me, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Mr Nobody By Catherine Steadman

Blurb: Who is Mr. Nobody?

When a man is found on a British beach, drifting in and out of consciousness, with no identification and unable to speak, interest in him is sparked immediately. From the hospital staff who find themselves inexplicably drawn to him, to international medical experts who are baffled by him, to the national press who call him Mr. Nobody, everyone wants answers. Who is this man? And what happened to him?

Some memories are best forgotten.

Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Emma Lewis is asked to assess the patient in a small town deep in the English countryside. This is her field of expertise, this is the chance she’s been waiting for, and this case could make her name known across the world. But therein lies the danger. Emma left this same town fourteen years ago and has taken great pains to cover all traces of her past since then.

Places aren’t haunted . . . people are.

But now something—or someone—is calling her back. And the more time she spends with her patient, the more alarmed she becomes that he knows the one thing about her that nobody is supposed to know.

Review: What a way to start 2020. Mr Nobody was my first Thriller and buddy read of the year and what a thrilling start. Just this morning on publication day here in the UK I finished reading this heart pounding tale. I have Catherine’s first novel awaiting me in my Audible library and it will definitely be pushed further up my list since finishing Mr Nobody.

When I first read the synopsis to this book I was intrigued and in the first few chapters my intrigue and my hunger to know more was apparent although the more I read the more answers I was hoping for. Catherine weaves a good story and I was left on the edge of my seat with many heart in mouth moments. The chapters are separated into Emma the Dr with a past that you are constantly wondering about until the later stages of the novel and that of Mr Nobody who also keeps throwing you off with your thoughts on who he is and what he wants. Each chapter leaves you with a sort of cliffhanger meaning you scramble to continue reading. It’s definitely one of those just one more chapter books for sure. I had mixed feelings about both narratives from time to time but I loved the omg ah-ha moments. This would make a fabulous book club pick I’m so glad this was a buddy read for me I loved sharing my thoughts and my intrigue with Catriona.

There are so many twists and turns and as the story progresses it gets harder and harder to put down. Catherine writes gorgeously descriptive where you can physically see what she’s describing and in doing so I saw both a truly gorgeous setting and a completely gory scene that has you reeling like it was your own personal nightmare.

If you’re looking for a truly thrilling read that will have your heart pounding and keep you awake until the small hours then look no further than Mr Nobody. There’s so much more I could say but I didn’t see any of what panned out oh actually that’s not strictly true one part I could totally see even if Emma couldn’t at the time.

2019, christmas, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: A Million Dreams By Dani Atkins

Blurb: Beth Brandon always dreamed of owning a florist, but today the bouquets of peonies and bright spring flowers are failing to calm her nerves. Because today, Beth has a life-changing decision to share with her husband. 

Izzy Vaughan thought she and her husband would stay together forever, but sometime last year, their love began to fade. They both find such joy in their young son Noah – but is he enough to keep them together? 

Eight years ago, something happened to these two women. Something that is about to bring them together in a way no-one thought possible…

Review: Wow!!! I didn’t want to start my review with just a simple word but wow this book was full of such raw emotion. I do have a few of Dani’s books but this is the first I’ve devoured and it sure as hell won’t be the last. If you have any recommendations send them my way.

A Million Dreams… is a story of two ladies Beth and Izzy who are strangers yet intertwined by an extreme circumstance, I feel like throughout reading this there were a number of gasps and ohs from me when I could see the drama unfolding. I’m not a mother myself but I can wholeheartedly sympathise with both ladies. The situation they found themselves in was beyond heartbreaking and I imagine this could happen in real life although you wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemy.

I truly loved both Izzy and Beth deep down they are both strong independent women whose love for being a mother outweighs everything else in their lives. I was rooting for them both and found myself torn at multiple pages. Life really is a rollercoaster and seeing them both overcome so much had me tearful with a smile on my face.

Dani Atkins is quite simply a genius at weaving a heartbreaking tale, that keeps you guessing until the last page. I saw a few things coming but it was written well with lots of intrigue and hope. The way she writes about grief was spot on – I truly miss my grandparents to this day and both Liam and Beth really made me think. Dani has shown the true aspects of grief and the different stages of moving on.

Everything about this book gave me all the feels and reignited my hope in love and second chances…

2019, audible, Blogtober, New Author to me, Review, Uncategorized

Audible Review: What Happens Now By Sophia Money-Coutts

Blurb: After eight years together, Lil Bailey thought she’d already found ‘the one’ – that is, until he dumped her for a blonde twenty-something colleague. So she does what any self-respecting singleton would do: swipes right, puts on her best bra and finds herself on a first date with a handsome mountaineer called Max. What’s the worst that can happen?

Well it’s pretty bad actually. First Max ghosts her and then, after weeing on a stick (but mostly her hands), a few weeks later Lil discovers she’s pregnant. She’s single, thirty-one and living in a thimble-sized flat in London, it’s hardly the happily-ever-after she was looking for.

Lil’s ready to do the baby-thing on her own – it can’t be that hard, right? But she should probably tell Max, if she can track him down. Surely he’s not that Max, the highly eligible, headline-grabbing son of Lord and Lady Rushbrooke, currently trekking up a mountain in South Asia? Oh, maybe he wasn’t ignoring Lil after all…  

Review: I saw a tweet of a video of Sophia Money-Coutts reading the prologue of What Happens Now. I was instantly intrigued in looking into the audio and in reading that she’d read her book I instantly hit the pre-order button. I did manage to listen to a bit on publication day but as it was just before my holiday and crazy busy at work I didn’t devour it as quickly as I would have hoped. Although saying that, that wasn’t a bad thing at all as this book will keep you in good spirits whatever life’s throwing at you.

From the very start I adored Lil she’s a straight up talking gal with no airs and graces. Often thinking after she’s said the unthinkable, although saying that she’s a professional teacher who does her best for her pupils. I loved this story from start to finish it was hilarious at times but Sophia also manages to interlink amazing real life scenarios that have you thinking. I liked seeing both sides of her, at her funniest and at her lowest and the resounding message is that she’s a strong woman.

At first I got a little confused until I’d realised that some chapters were from the meet between Max and Lil and then from when she found out she was pregnant. That scene alone was one of the funniest moments even though you’re like OMG what is she going to do now? Lil’s relationship with her family is a little strained but deep down the family unit is there and she has a fabulous set of friends who really make up a lot of this novel especially when Lil is seriously stressing out. She’s oblivious to who Max really is and that also adds to the humour.

Max is a great leading man he’s not so much brooding but he’s definitely got his own share of baggage. Although Lil being Lil puts two and two together and makes five. I loved how their story shaped and I had many hours of listening to them, and constantly wanting more. As I neared the end of the novel it was hard to put it down.

This was my first Sophia Money-Coutts novel and it definitely won’t be my last if you haven’t discovered the wit and flair of Sophia look no further. For me What Happens Now was a snapshot of what she can do combining real and at times hard issues with humour sure is a skill.

2019, audible, Blog Tour, Review, Uncategorized

Audio Review: The Apartment By K.L.Slater

Blurb: The Apartment tells the story of a newly widowed young mother who moves into a smart London apartment building that feels too good to be true. When strange things start to occur, Freya suspects that someone is trying to control her behaviour. Things escalate from there, and Freya and her daughter narrowly get out alive. Loosely based on the Little Albert experiment from the 1920s, The Apartment is brilliant at developing a slow sense of unease, which lends itself all the more beautifully to audio.

Review: Firstly, I would like to thank Anna at Midas PR for inviting me onto this audio blog tour. This is my first K.L.Slater read but it will not be my last. I would also like to say I’m sorry this wasn’t up first thing this morning but better late than never eh?

I love audiobooks and this was perfect to finish my holiday time before heading back to work. Now I need to mention Tuppence Middleton – what a fabulous narrator, the narration makes such a difference to me and I’ve listened to some questionable narrators on Thrillers.

Now I don’t dislike Freya but for a recently widowed young mother she’s extremely naive and I found myself increasingly frustrated with her. From the off I wanted to shake her as she took so much at face value from the minute she spoke to the doctor in the Starbucks on High St Kensington- I loved this reference though as I used to work down the road from said Starbucks it was my local for a good six months.

This is a slow burner that will have you constantly thinking what is the deal with this house/ this apartment. The Marsden’s are extremely controlling and their actions will have you as a reader thinking what the hell are you still doing there. Freya thinks things are weird but she’s made to feel like she’s imagining things until a chat with a gardener has her itching to find out more…this is when the story really takes a turn and Freya comes across stronger and more confident.

As Freya finds out more about where she’s living the story takes on a crescendo that had me gasping out loud realising there’s much more to the Apartment. Oh Freya you really are naive….

wow wow wow!!! There’s so much I want to say but I cannot spoil the outcomes although I was somewhat sceptical on a few people and aspects but I must say I did not see it coming…it’s always the quiet ones as they say.

K LSlater is an extremely clever writer, her writing in the apartment is slow and steady but she keeps you hooked from start to finish. As the story took on a chilling turn it had me completely freaked out yet in awe of this writer. I’m definitely a fan and I cannot wait to devour her back catalogue. She’s created a story loosely based on the chilling Albert experiment.

So for anyone who has already read a K L Slater novel what should I reach for next??

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour for this chilling tale.

2019, Author Love, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: When Polly Met Olly By Zoe May

Blurb: Polly and Olly were never supposed to meet…

Polly might spend her days searching for eligible matches for her elite list of clients at her New York dating agency, but her own love life is starting to go up in smoke.

Even worse, she can’t stop thinking about the very person she’s meant to be setting her latest client up with… surely it can’t get any worse!

But then Polly bumps into oh-so-handsome Olly, who heads up a rival agency, and realizes that perhaps all really is fair in love and dating war…

Review: I’ve been championing this lady since devouring Perfect Match – it was a Netgalley read that provided me a new author and friend. I’ve spoken to Zoe so much over Twitter and Instagram and as much as I have championed her she’s also been very complimentary of me and my blogging efforts.

When Zoe went to New York to research for this novel we had chatted loads and loads I felt like I wanted this book long before it had been written. In a way it’s bad form on me for only having just finished it. I’ve been away with my family and I knew it would be the perfect time to get some reading done although I haven’t read as much as I would like I’m so glad to have read ‘When Polly Met Olly’. It’s a perfect feel good read and the ultimate tonic when you need a pick me up or if you’re in a reading slump.

Zoe writes about dating so effortlessly, I’ve been a huge fan of Celebs Go Dating for yonks and if you have ever watched the series I’m sure Olly will remind you of a certain Eden Blackman. I could picture him from the off and for me it added to my enjoyment of the story. I didn’t always like Olly but deep down there was always another side to him and I’m glad that that came into fruition before the story ended.

I loved Polly and everything about her story, seeing her progress in New York. I said to Zoe how real Polly was with her struggles to become a photographer, I’ve known that pain. Having studied New Media Journalism and spent so much of my spare time trying to make something of myself. In reading this book it’s shown me that we do have to go back to why we started and why we loved it. I may not be getting paid to write but I have a blog that I enjoy sharing my passion for books and the written word. I’ve also shared a few of my other passions and lifestyle changes, in starting my new job at the end of September I’m hoping to add some new additions to the blog and I cannot wait.

Zoe May writes a truly engaging novel that keeps you on your toes. I loved the different aspects with the emails and Tinder/Match messages alongside texts and dialogue. I also loved the stark contrast to people in New York with money and those trying to make their way. I also have to mention Gabe I truly loved the friendship between Gabe and Polly, everyone needs that friend who will tell you how it is rather than what you want to hear.

The other resounding message from this novel is looks can be deceiving. In this day and age with social media taking over we’re all obsessed with how we come across and insta and reality are two separate things and sometimes we all need to take a step back. I pride myself on taking people as I find them and Polly’s gut instincts helped her in the end.

A truly enjoyable read that could have been devoured in a solitary sitting if I had had that luxury. A fantastic final read before I head back to reality, back to work for me tomorrow and I still have an audiobook to finish…