Monday, 21 May 2018

A Bargain in Silver by Josie Jaffrey

A Bargain in Silver (Solis Invicti, #1)A Bargain in Silver by Josie Jaffrey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 356

Publisher - Self

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

If the price of safety is slavery, would you bargain your life?

A Bargain in Silver is book one of Josie Jaffrey's Solis Invicti paranormal romance series, set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic London.

A deadly infection threatens to wipe out humanity. The only people who can stem its advance are the Silver, a vampiric race who offer a simple exchange: protection in return for blood and subservience. It's not a deal that Emmy's willing to make, but as her world burns around her she finds herself in the arms of the enemy and the line between oppressor and saviour begins to blur.

After an attack by the infected, Emmy is rescued by the handsome Drew who introduces her to the world of the Silver. Desperate to escape subjugation and confused by her attraction to him, she gathers what remains of her surrogate family and plans to make a break for freedom.

But despite her efforts to resist, she is drawn further into the intrigues of the mysterious Silver through the agency of their ruler, the Primus: Solomon. Emmy refuses to submit to the cold and detached Primus and an attempt on her life makes it clear that he is unable to protect her from the political machinations of his race.

As the connection between them deepens she must choose between her desire and her will to rebel, but can she trust his intentions when everyone is after her blood?


My Review

Emmy works in a bar, she is heading home from her shift when the outbreak happens. No one knows why and it hits quickly, spreading fast. The weepers almost get Emmy when she is rescued by Drew, her first insight into the Silver world. The Silver are vampires and have risen to save humanity, their food source, and now humans need to toe the line.

Emmy is a fiery character, she doesn't like being told what to do and resists Drew at every turn. Drew just wants her safe, takes her to a safe centre and meets Solomon, head of the Silver who also is interested in Emmy. What follows is Emmy's introduction to the new life, humans are pretty much, in her view, slaves although with compliance the vampires will help create as much "normality" as they can. Wee see Emmy struggle to heel, do as she is told whilst battling her attraction to Drew, being drawn to Solomon all the while of course staying safe and away from the weepers.

I think this is a fresh take on the whole vampires scene and I did enjoy it however there are a few things that make the old eyeball twitch. The whole "love" triangle got a wee bit teen angst for me, friendship is a huge thing and when threatened, especially for such a spikey character, I felt Emmy wouldn't have let that go. We see Emmy constantly in peril, she has an attitude, she is fierce, strong and challenging which makes a nice change but at points her actions can be very frustrating.

The book also opens in the new world, then goes back to how it all came about, for Emmy, I think that was almost a spoiler. When she goes back to how it all began to bring us to current events, we know where she is and her attitude to it all.

There is brutality, romance, sex, vampires of course, weepers (the infected) and blood bars what more can a vampire fan want? I hope in the following books we get a bit more insight into what the weepers are, how it originated, initial spread/contaminations. I hope she does an origins for the silvers also. All in all a good start to the series, 3.5 out of 5 for me this time, I will read more in the series!

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Saturday, 19 May 2018

Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson Blog Tour







Meet Me at the MuseumMeet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 224

Publisher - Doubleday

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads


Please be aware I am writing to you to make sense of myself ...

When the curator of a Danish museum responds to a query about ancient exhibits, he doesn’t expect a reply.
When Tina Hopgood first wrote it, nor did she …

Professor Anders Larsen, an urbane man of facts, has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. He does not know that a query from a Mrs Tina Hopgood about a world-famous antiquity in his museum is about to alter the course of his life.

Oceans apart, an unexpected correspondence flourishes as they discover shared passions: for history and nature; for useless objects left behind by loved ones; for the ancient and modern world, what is lost in time, what is gained and what has stayed the same. Through intimate stories of joy, anguish, and discovery, each one bares their soul to the other. But when Tina's letters suddenly cease, Anders is thrown into despair. Can this unlikely friendship survive?




My Review

When Tina sends a letter to the museum in Denmark regarding one of it's exhibits she doesn't expect a reply. When Professor Kristian Larsen replies he doesn't expect a reply, what follows is a personal journey of exploration and friendship for both. Told completely in epistolary format (letters) we are introduced to both their lives, issues they have and watch a friendship form as they deal with issues they hadn't even realised needing addressed.

This is a lovely wee debut, I don't know what I was expecting to be honest but it wasn't what it turned out to be. The letters start off really formal then less so as they open up to each other in ways they can't to those around them or even themselves. It is a tale of friendship, love, loss, acceptance and personal growth. In amongst that we learn about "the Tollund Man" found in a Danish bog in the 1950s, well preseved and a bit about the history surrounding the Tollund Man's lifetime. I do enjoy learning history although I don't read as much as I really would like to. I find with snippets like this I then go off and read up on them, an unexpected happy point from reading this wee story.

It is a slow burner but worth sticking with, it has many depths, both characters examining parts of themselves they have hidden or refused to look it. I think many will find this a special and touching read. I don't often do books that are written completely as letters however I did enjoy the change in format and think it was well executed. 3.5 out of 5 for me this time, I will look out for more from this author. If you want something heart warming, personal, raw and emotional I can't think of two characters who go on a journey experience it more, together, than these two.



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Please check out the other stops on the blog tour, each blogger offers different content.





Friday, 18 May 2018

The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth

The Family Next DoorThe Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

A gripping domestic page-turner full of shocking reveals, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Amanda Prowse and Kerry Fisher.

The small suburb of Pleasant Court lives up to its name. It's the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbours, and children play in the street.

Isabelle Heatherington doesn't fit into this picture of family paradise. Husbandless and childless, she soon catches the attention of three Pleasant Court mothers.

But Ange, Fran and Essie have their own secrets to hide. Like the reason behind Ange's compulsion to control every aspect of her life. Or why Fran won't let her sweet, gentle husband near her new baby. Or why, three years ago, Essie took her daughter to the park - and returned home without her.

As their obsession with their new neighbour grows, the secrets of these three women begin to spread - and they'll soon find out that when you look at something too closely, you see things you never wanted to see.



My Review

Welcome to your nosey wee neighbourhood, when someone new moves in everyone wants to know who she is. A family and pricey neighbourhood so when Isabelle moves in, no sign of children or a husband, curiosity is piqued. Ange, Fran and Essie are friends and eager to know more about Isabelle, her secrets and why she is there. The ladies have their own secrets/issues, Essie has post partum depression and things weren't so great when she had this before. Ange is preoccupied with her husband's fidelity and Fran has a secret that could blow her marriage apart and change her world as she knows it.

The book splits each chapter into character specific focus, each chapter is titled with the characters name so we know where the focus is for each one. Sometimes this can be an irritating style but if done well it works great, this was the case with Hepworth. You know all isn't well but you aren't sure why, with who or what drawing the reader in pretty much from the first chapter. This is my first dance with Hepworth, she creates characters and an environment where you are swept up in their dramas and reaching for the next page before you are halfway down the current one. Families, friendship, love, relationships, infidelity, intrigue are just some of the labels I can attach to this book. Whilst this was my first read by this author, it won't be my last! If you enjoy a book that immerses you in it's characters this is one for you, if I hadn't had stuff to do I would have read this in one sitting.

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Thursday, 17 May 2018

Host by Robin Cook

HostHost by Robin Cook
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 416

Publisher - MacMillan

Source - The Works

Blurb from Goodreads

The explosive new thriller from New York Times–bestselling author and master of the medical thriller, Robin Cook.

Lynn Peirce, a fourth-year medical student at South Carolina’s Mason-Dixon University, thinks she has her life figured out. But when her otherwise healthy boyfriend, Carl, enters the hospital for routine surgery, her neatly ordered life is thrown into total chaos. Carl fails to return to consciousness after the procedure, and an MRI confirms brain death.

Devastated by Carl’s condition, Lynn searches for answers. Convinced there’s more to the story than what the authorities are willing to reveal, Lynn uses all her resources at Mason-Dixon—including her initially reluctant lab partner, Michael Pender—to hunt down evidence of medical error or malpractice.

What she uncovers, however, is far more disturbing. Hospitals associated with Middleton Healthcare, including the Mason-Dixon Medical Center, have unnervingly high rates of unexplained anesthetic complications and patients contracting serious and terminal illness in the wake of routine hospital admissions.

When Lynn and Michael begin to receive death threats, they know they’re into something bigger than either of them anticipated. They soon enter a desperate race against time for answers before shadowy forces behind Middleton Healthcare and their partner, Sidereal Pharmaceuticals, can put a stop to their efforts once and for all.



My Review

Ooft the blurb from Goodreads gives away so much! Lynn is close to finishing her training and becoming a doctor. When her boyfriend is getting some minor surgery she recommends the hospital she is a trainee in, why wouldn't she it is a great hospital. However something goes wrong and Carl doesn't come round from the anaesthetic. Lynn and her fellow trainee Michael start digging and uncover worrying information. Soon they are threatened and can either let it go and save themselves, risking many innocents, or fight to protect their patients and uncover what exactly is going on with Carl.

I do like a book that makes you think or check out conditions so a medical thriller will always get a start straight off for that for me. However, there was so much going on that I didn't like. Lynn and Michael have a great friendship, very loyal and Michael goes out on a limb for her. However the dialogue at times is very boxy and forced it just didn't flow at times for me. There is an incidence of animal cruelty that that scene really wouldn't have been affected had they just omitted it, animal cruelty always gets a stars down from me particularly when it adds zero to the scene/story.

The whole how are for why, whilst original and something different it just didn't work for me overall. Too much of it I just sat and thought, really? Just no! I think some of it is really heavy on medical jargon/details which may switch some readers off, I actually didn't mind this although it was a bit heavy going at times.

The main character was really lacking in emotion at many key points where regardless of your job, with what had just happened with your partner, you would have an emotive reaction. On the other hand there were scenes her emotions almost blew what they were trying to accomplish, it just didn't work for me personally.

Interesting although disjointed in parts and I felt the ending came swiftly and let me asking if that was really how we were wrapping it up, sure many will be fine with it. 2.5 out of 5 for me this time, I would read Cook again, I did enjoy some aspects of the book however too much annoyed me that over shadowed the bits I did like.



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Sunday, 13 May 2018

Edinburgh Horror Con - Happy Weekend

I hope you guys have had a lovely weekend. I caught up with some friends and we went to Horrorcon in Edinburgh, the first time it has been held there. Pre con prep with nails, clothes, jewellery and accessories - Princess Trixie cared not one iota as you can see.








Matthew Lillard was lovely, really nice, friendly and rather taken with "Gel boy" :P xxx





Playing the bad guy, Q&A with Richard Brake & Jonathan Break was really good, there is a tiny clip of them both chatting on my Instagram.





Two of us stayed over night, this was the view of the sky from our hotel room, the picture doesn't really do it justice.





Serial Killer Cabaret was very different, sure some folk got videos of it.





It is certainly the smallest con I have been to but as it was the first I think they did really well in terms of venue, guests and organisation. With word of mouth hopefully the next one will be even bigger. Have you ever been to any cons? They are great, take a lot of organising and it is so fantastic to support these events! Authors, actors, singers, performers, Q&A's and so much merchandise (some of which I have posted to my Instagram and forgot to upload here) and interactive zones. I can't recommend it/them enough, this was my third and it won't be my last.


Friday, 11 May 2018

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

The Girl In The Ice (Detective Erika Foster, #1)The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days on and off

Pages - 396

Publisher - Bookouture

Source - Tesco (I think)

Blurb from Goodreads

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?



My Review

A high profile missing person case, bodies piling up, detective Erika Foster is on the case after a horrendous personal and professional incident. When a body is found the pressure is on, from the media, from the very influential and political family Erika finds herself fighting all corners to process her case. The police have much work to do and just when you thought it couldn't get any harder could one of the officers have caught the eye of the killer?

This is my first dance with this author, it won't be my last. I am sure this was the debut novel although you would never know it. We know Erika has gone through a horrendous time and as the story progresses we get more information on what actually happened. Very police investigation heavy but done so it keeps the readers interest. Foster is a fantastic character, spunky, brave, challenging and true to the people, a straight laced cop, mostly, with drive and focus on the truth.

A cop dealing with her own challenges both professional and personal but so driven she will do what she needs to for her case. I can't believe I was so late to the party but the good news is there are more in the series now for me to catch up with. I will absolutely be reading more by this author, looking forward to seeing what is next for Foster, 4/5 for me this time.

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Thursday, 10 May 2018

My Sister's Secret by Tracy Buchanan

My Sister's SecretMy Sister's Secret by Tracy Buchanan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - < 1 day

Pages - 339

Publisher - Avon

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Everything you’ve built your life on is a lie

Willow’s memories of her parents are sun-drenched and full of smiles, love and laughter. But a mysterious invitation to a photographic exhibition exposes a secret that’s been buried since a tragic accident years ago.

Willow is forced to question everything she knew about Charity, her late mother, and Hope, the aunt she’s lived with since she was a child.

How was the enigmatic photographer connected to Willow’s parents? Why will Hope not break her silence?

Willow cannot move forward in her life without answers. But who can she really trust? Because no one has been telling the truth for a very long time.

ADDICTIVE, GRIPPING and EMOTIONALLY POWERFUL, this is the perfect read for your summer holiday escape.



My Review

Willow is grown, has a job and is finally getting to visit the place her parents died, her fathers luxury cruise liner. Willow knows her parents loved each other, her relationship with her aunt Hope has always been difficult and now Willow has questions. Why does her aunt Hope evade questions about the past, why was she hiding an invitation for Willow to go to a photographers exhibition and can the photographer shed some light on her family history.

The book splits into two main timelines, the present with Willow and the past with Willow's mum Charity, her sisters and the love of her life. The four, three sisters and Charity's love interest are close until tragedy strikes and has long reach for all them all.

It is a story about love, family, relationships, secrets, betrayal, submerged forests, diving and dealing with the past. There were a few times I gasped because I hadn't seen something coming. It isn't a murder mystery or anything like that but I think if you have close relationships you will be drawn in quickly and the actions and behaviours of some of the characters will pack an emotive punch. A family drama well done and I loved the parts with the submerged forests, diving, visiting the sunken ship because this is something I will never do. I think an author shows their ability when they can transport you to something like that, when she was in the ship, despite it being a brief scene it was really well done. I felt a bit claustrophobic reading it and saw it with complete clarity, the wreck, the emotions Willow was feeling, fabulously created scene. This was my first time reading this author, it won't be my last 4/5 stars for me!

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