Tuesday, 8 July 2014

ARC - The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

The Silent SisterThe Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Publisher - St. Martin's Press

Pages - 352

Source - NetGalley

Blurb From Goodreads

In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she's in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now? As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.


My Review

Riley MacPherson is our main character, her father has passed away and she is going to get his affairs in order. Riley soon discovers her family have secrets, especially her dad. Always believing Lisa, her sister, had committed suicide she is shocked to discover this isn't the case and not only did her father know, others did too. Riley is intent on uncovering the truth, she needs her family, at any cost!

I have always loved reading Diane Chamberlain books and recommend her often to people looking for a new, for them, author. I couldn't with all honestly start them here. The start of the book has the Chamberlain pull and I found it hard to put down. However as the tale deepens and mysteries unravel, I found myself often with more questions than those answered. I found it hard to believe some of the characters actions, choices and behavior. It is still an engaging story, I did want to know what happened to the characters and reading the flip between Lisa and Riley, past and present was quite good to give you a good grasp of what happened.

I felt the ending came suddenly, it was over just too quickly for me. Like a good author does I was left wanting more, yet this never sits well with me. I wanted closure on the other characters although some people do enjoy coming to their own conclusions. It just didn't feel like a Chamberlain book for me, it still was a good read but being left with so many questions and having to suspend reality for one or two things it did bring the overall enjoyment down for me. Thanks so much to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This title is out to buy from October 2014, some people loved it so check it out for yourself.

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Sunday, 6 July 2014

DRC - The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

The Last Werewolf (The Last Werewolf #1)The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Publisher - Canongate books Ltd

Pages - 346

Source - NetGalley

Blurb from Goodreads

"Then she opened her mouth to scream--and recognised me. It was what I'd been waiting for. She froze. She looked into my eyes. She said, "It's you."
"
Meet Jake. A bit on the elderly side (he turns 201 in March), but you'd never suspect it. Nonstop sex and exercise will do that for you--and a diet with lots of animal protein. Jake is a werewolf, and after the unfortunate and violent death of his one contemporary, he is now the last of his species. Although he is physically healthy, Jake is deeply distraught and lonely.
Jake's depression has carried him to the point where he is actually contemplating suicide--even if it means terminating a legend thousands of years old. It would seem to be easy enough for him to end everything. But for very different reasons there are two dangerous groups pursuing him who will stop at nothing to keep him alive.
Here is a powerful, definitive new version of the werewolf legend--mesmerising and incredibly sexy. In Jake, Glen Duncan has given us a werewolf for the twenty-first century--a man whose deeds can only be described as monstrous but who is in some magical way deeply human.
One of the most original, audacious, and terrifying novels in years.


My Review

Jake Marlowe is the last werewolf alive however not for long. Desperately lonely, pursued by different groups who have their own agendas for him he is willing to die. When events come to pass that shake Jake back to caring about life he has some hard choices to make. All the while he is pursued by humans and other mythical beings, some want him dead, some want something much more important than his life.

I didn't know what to make of this tale, from the beginning you know what Jake is, we then get a lot of time spent on how unhappy he is and then a look back on how we got here. He is over 200 years old and is fed up, he moans a lot and even a shocking death doesn't seem to have any affect on him. Suddenly something does happen and Jake is forced into action, he wants to live and will do anything he needs to to stay that way and protect that which is his.

I can't go into too much detail without giving spoilers which I never do so forgive me for the vagueness in some of my review. There is a lot of bad, crude and often shocking language used, some of which I felt there was no requirement for as it was overdone. Sex is also strongly featured, in graphic detail which I felt detracted from the story. When there wasn't masses of swear words, including the C word, or non stop sex or sexual references which some people will find offensive, the story itself was readable. To read about the werewolves perspective and how they cope with things from turning, the deaths of their victims and what they experience during the time of change was interesting. I haven't read a lot of books about werewolves so found this take on it interesting, especially the reasons werewolves and the other type of creature listed don't get on. Had the author focused more on the story rather than the cruder aspects, I think this may have been a wider and well received story.

I found some of it predictable whilst at other parts I was confused and left with more questions, this is the first of a trilogy so maybe more answers will be forthcoming in the next book(s). I wouldn't be rushing out to get the next book however I would read it if I came across it, I have never read this author before and would try them again, at a later date. 2/5 for me this time, whilst I did like aspects of the story, the parts I disliked overshadowed those that I did. Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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July competition is an Amazon voucher

One £5 Amazon voucher. Sorry it isn't a book, I just don't have time this month for the postie so instead this is easier and it has been a while since we did one. Apologies it is late going up, we had a wee impromptu getaway as I had finished one placement and start another tomorrow.

I will share with you some of the pictures from todays visit at one of the castles in Scotland, Dunnottar Castle, could have stayed there all day, no seriously as getting to it was so many stairs and hills I was exhausted :P
As always just use the Rafflecopter below to enter the giveaway, the more options you choose the more chances you have of winning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ARC - Lawless by Jessie Keane

LawlessLawless by Jessie Keane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Publisher - Pan

Pages - 493

Blurb from back cover


It is 1975 and Ruby Darke is struggling to deal with the brutal murder of her lover, Michael Ward. As her children, Daisy and Kit, battle their own demons, her retail empire starts to crumble.

Meanwhile, after the revenge killing of Tito Danieri, Kit is the lowest he's ever been. But soon doubt is thrown over whether Kit killed the right person, and now the Danieris are out for his blood and the blood of the entire Darke family.

As the bodies pile up, the chase is on - can the Darkes resolve their own family conflicts and find Michael Ward's true killer before the vengeful Danieris kill them? Or will they take the law into their own hands . . .


My Review

Ruby Darke is still reeling from the murder of her partner, Michael Ward. Kit, her son, is also taking it hard and hell bent on revenge which will put all their lives at risk. Retribution will be swift but who will pay for Kits actions?

The story opens up and flings us right into the mix immediately, Ruby is accosted on her way home and the story throws back a bit to give us the know of why we got to this point. The book is set in 1975, in England and crime was established and growing even then. People are hard to forgive or forget any indiscretions made against their family and soon the body count is rising. Ruby's daughter Daisy has some issues going on in her life too although nothing in comparison to Kit. Ruby's son has never forgiven her and never will, he is angry about Michael's death which he blames upon the Danieri family, especially Tito. An eye for an eye sees tension rising between him and the surviving brothers, Vittore & Fabio. Can the families work out their differences or will it be bloodshed all the way?

I do enjoy Jessie Keane, it is gritty crime, fairly fast paced and if you have read her before you know what your getting. Murder, bad language, sex, crime, betrayal and that is usually just scratching the surface. I have read a few of her books and the last one wasn't, I felt, as good as the others. This one sees her back on top, writing with an ease and drawing you into a fast paced dangerous way of life. The women characters in this tale are as strong or dominant as the main male characters, I felt, which is a nice change. There are a few shocks along the way and I could have read this in one sitting had time permitted. Overall 4/5 for me, thank you to Anne for passing this ARC along in exchange for an honest review. You can get your hands on a copy from the 17th of July, 2014 so not long to wait.

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Saturday, 5 July 2014

RRR - Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Little LiesLittle Lies by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Publisher - Penguin Books (UK)

Source - RealReaders

Blurb from Goodreads

Top ten bestselling author Liane Moriarty returns with another gripping read.

She could hear men and women shouting. Angry hollers crashed through the soft humid salty summer night. It was somehow hurtful for Mrs Ponder to hear, as if all that rage was directed at her . . . then she heard the wail of a siren in the distance, at the same time as a woman still inside the building began to scream and scream . . .

When a harmless quiz night ends with an act of shocking violence, the parents of Pirriwee Public School can't seem to stop their secrets from finally spilling out. Rumours ripple through the small town, as truth and lies blur to muddy the story of what really happened on that fateful night . .


My Review

Set in a small town, three mums bond and have a friendship strengthened over their kids being at the same school/kindergarten, they all have issues within their private lives. Loud mouth, opinionated and just turned 40 Madeline MacKenzie, her ex husband has moved to her town with his wife and child in tow. Jane is a single mum, very protective of her only child Ziggy, she is young and has always kept her little boys fathers identity quiet. Celeste has it all, beautiful, two boys, super rich and successful husband but is all as it seems? Celeste and Madeline were friends when Jane moves to town already and accept Jane into their duo. After a shocking first day Jane's son gets in such trouble that Jane finds herself and Ziggy ousted by a lot of the parents and subject to lots of negative attention. When a trivia night at the school sees all of the tension to a head, a murder follows and secrets are no longer able to stay hidden.

I have read this author before, The Husbands Secret and I really liked it. It was slow to start and this one took a while, for me anyway, to get right into it. You have people being interviewed after the incident, initially, their name and then what they have spoken, then the book goes back to months before that fateful night and the back story and build up begins. Parents behaving shockingly, bad behaviour from a few of the characters and you are left hanging for a long time to actually learn what happened that night.

I loved reading the slow build up, I wasn't sure I was going to like it and felt this way initially about her last book. However it mirrors reality in that you never know much about a person when you initially meet them. You have to chip away and get familiar with each other before you find out who they really are and Moriarty portrays this with her writing.

Initally, things seem a tad mundane, parents, school, the kids, opinions and such however it all works to setting up the scene and why events come to play. The book has some humour, violence, secrets, friendships and family dramas to name but a few of the themes within this story. Once I got into it I couldn't put it down. I really enjoy this authors writing, despite it taking me a bit to get into it so a 4/5 for me this time. Thank you to RealReaders for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book is available to buy from the 31st of July, 2014.

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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Review - Poor Little Bitch Girl by Jackie Collins

Poor Little Bitch GirlPoor Little Bitch Girl by Jackie Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Publisher - Simon & Schuster

Pages - 436

Blurb from Goodreads

First there's Denver Jones, the hotshot attorney working in L.A. and Carolyn Henderson - personal assistant to a powerful and very married Senator in Washington with whom she is having an affair. Then there's Annabelle Maestro - daughter of two movie stars - who has carved out a career for herself in New York as the madame of choice for discerning famous men. The three twenty-something women used to go to high school together in Beverly Hills and Denver and Carolyn have always kept in touch, but Annabelle is out on her own with her cocaine addicted boyfriend Frankie.
Bobby is Frankie's best friend - Bobby Santangelo Stanislopolous, that is, Kennedy-esque son of Lucky Santangelo and deceased Greek shipping billionaire Dimitri Stanislopolous. Now he owns Mood, the hottest club in New York, but back in the day he went to high school with Denver, Carolyn and Annabelle, and hung out with all three of them. Which means that Bobby knows everyone's secrets - and he has some of his own, too.


My Review

I am a Jackie Collins fan, her books are laid out for you. Theres deception, lust, love, lies, sex, drink, drugs and thats usually just scratching the surface. When you have had a hectic day and your brain is fried, this is the kind of book that is perfect to sink into and loose reality with. Annabelle Maestro, daughter of two of Hollywood's large and loved stars has always played second fiddle to her parents and their career. She has shacked up with her drug dependent boyfriend and set up a discreet, high rolling, elite adult business. Her old school friend, Denver, is a hotshot attorney who is hired by Annabelle's father after a high profile murder. Soon Denver is dragged into a world, surrounded by people who, at high school, didn't give her a second glance but now she has something to offer. Amongst the pretty, rich, big named people is none other than Bobby Santangelo Stanisopolous, son of a billionaire, hottest guy at school and still pretty smoldering as an adult. Denver finds herself trying to keep focused on doing her job and keeping her personal life in check whilst dealing with Annabelle, father and the press who are always blood thirsty for some dirty laundry. If all that isn't enough, Denver's best friend Carolyn has gone missing in suspicious circumstances and Denver is looked upon to assist.

Collins is not an author to suit everyone, her books are junk food for the brain, the characters antics based upon actual happenings in Hollywood, although tamed down apparently. The characters are mostly familiar if you have read her previous titles from the series however if you haven't, you could follow this no problem.

The chapters are short, there is drama, disgrace, trouble and antics throughout the book, there is crime, passion and something to keep your interest peeked as you soon get drawn to the characters. Most are unlikeable, one or two you are rooting for however, love or hate them, you can't put the book down until you find out how it all unravels for them, or maybe that is just me! 4/5 for me this time, I have read Collins before and will read her again, just what is needed at the end of a long day!



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Review - The Darkening Hour by Penny Hancock

The Darkening HourThe Darkening Hour by Penny Hancock
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 6 days

Publisher - Simon & Schuster

pages - 402

Blurb from Goodreads

Meet Theodora
And Mona
Two women, from completely different walks of life, forced by circumstances to live together under one roof.
Both women are at their wits' end, scared of losing the one thing that's most precious to them. So when tensions boil over, who will go to the most extreme lengths to survive?
Will it be Theodora, finally breaking under the pressure?
Or Mona, desperate to find a way out?
In a tale of modern day slavery and paranoia, two women tell their sides of the story.
Who do you trust?


My Review

When I read the blurb, I thought it was about two workers living together, perhaps forced into some kind of labour. However the story is quite different. Theodora is caring for her father who has dementia with little help from the family. She is trying to keep her full time career with her own local show, look after her son who has just came back to live with her after some issues and a brush with the law. Her husband gets her Mona, a live in carer to help look after her father with all of his care and the story centers around this and the relationship between the two.

Mona has left behind her sick mother and little girl, in her own country and with a secret agenda, she is looking for her husband although portrays herself as a widow. She has to juggle the increasing demands of her employer as well as trying to find her husband, in this strange country, with limited means to do so.

Mona is trapped and at the mercy of Theodora's increasing demands. It is a story of slavery and abuse, care, devotion and also a bit of a psychological thriller as you see the increasingly bizarre behavior and decline of one of the characters. The chapters alternate between Theodora and Mona so you can see the different view points on the same situations which works really well.

I think this story could have been fantastic and some of it is very well done, however, it took a while to build up. Some of the behavior I felt was too incredulous, there is a lot of questions left unanswered which I absolutely hate. My opinions of the two women changed quite a bit in the first few chapters and I didn't like either of them, as it went on I found myself feeling for Mona and total disgust for Theodora. It will be interesting to see how they were received by other readers. For the most part this book has had high praise and great ratings so I would definitely recommend it to people, for me though there was more I disliked that I actually liked. 2/5 for me this time, first time reading this author and despite not loving this book, I would read her again.

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