Friday, 26 November 2021

The Bloodless Boy by Robert J Lloyd Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for "The Bloodless Boy" by author Robert J Lloyd.

About the author:

Robert J. Lloyd grew up in South London, Innsbruck, and Kinshasa (his parents worked in the British Foreign Service), and then in Sheffield, where he studied for a Fine Art degree, starting as a landscape painter but moving to film, performance, and installation. His MA thesis on Robert Hooke and the ‘New Philosophy’, inspired the ideas and characters in The Bloodless Boy. He lives in Crickhowell in the Brecon Beacons. This is his first book.

The book is out to buy now, click HERE to buy from AMAZON UK.

The Bloodless BoyThe Bloodless Boy by Robert J. Lloyd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in an out over 5 days

Pages - 392

Publisher - Melville House

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Amazon

The City of London, 1678. New Year's Day. The body of a young boy, drained of his blood and with a sequence of numbers inscribed on his skin, is discovered on the snowy bank of the Fleet River. With London gripped by hysteria, where rumors of Catholic plots and sinister foreign assassins abound, Sir Edmund Bury Godfrey, the powerful Justice of Peace for Westminster, is certain of Catholic guilt in the crime. He enlists Robert Hooke, the Curator of Experiments of the Royal Society, and his assistant, Harry Hunt, to help his enquiry. Sir Edmund confides to Hooke that the bloodless boy is not the first to have been discovered. He also presents Hooke with a cipher that was left on the body. That same morning Henry Oldenburg, the Secretary of the Royal Society, blows his brains out. A disgraced Earl is released from the Tower of London, bent on revenge against the King, Charles II. Wary of the political hornet's nest they are walking into - and using evidence rather than paranoia in their pursuit of truth - Hooke and Hunt must discover why the boy was murdered, and why his blood was taken. Moreover, what does the cipher mean?

My Review

London, 1678, the body of a child is found - drained of blood, London is in a state of unrest, fear, distrust and blame is being laid toward the Catholics. Robert Hook, Curator of Experiments in the newly formed Royal Society for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge with his assistant Harry Hunt are called in to investigate. What has happened to the boy, why take the blood, why was he murdered and is it anything to do with a plot against the king?

Historical crime, politics, religion, scientists in their early discoveries - it is a busy book! You can tell a lot of research and work has gone into it. My history knowledge is super patchy so there is plenty of the factual stuff that was new to me. I do enjoy reading up and seeing what has been gleamed from fact and infused into a book, it has been really well done and I think folk actually familiar with those parts of history would be impressed.

The chapters are short which you know I love but I think in this book it works really well because there is so so much to take in. Loads of characters, developments, sidelines, political, medical, plotting, underhanded behaviour, murder. Political stuff doesn't engage me nor religious but there is enough going on and chapters wee enough you are never stuck on any one thing and it is all relevant to where the story is going.

Some of the scenes are graphic and not for the faint hearted, there isn't lots of gore/violence but enough to say probably best not be eating if of a weak stomach and vivid imagination. Characters - Harry Hunt I liked, he seems like such a nice guy, curious, loyal and not seeing himself as worthy in certain aspects, I think I have a soft spot for him, wanting him happy not fancying. This absolutely doesn't read like a debut and I am looking forward to book two to see where the story goes, 4/5 for me this time!

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Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Wish You were Here by Jodi Picoult

Wish You Were HereWish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 319

Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Amazon

Contains an exclusive short story from Jodi Picoult featuring the main character, Diana, available in the first print run only. Pre-order now to guarantee your copy!

Diana O'Toole's life is going perfectly to plan. At twenty-nine, she's up for promotion to her dream job as an art specialist at Sotheby's and she's about to fly to the Galápagos where she's convinced her surgeon boyfriend, Finn, is going to propose.

But then the virus hits New York City and Finn breaks the news: the hospital needs him, he has to stay. But you should still go, he insists. And reluctantly, she agrees.

Once she's in the Galápagos, the world shuts down around her, leaving Diana stranded - albeit in paradise. Completely isolated, with only intermittent news from the outside world, Diana finds herself examining everything that has brought her to this point and wondering if there's a better way to live.

But not everything is as it seems . . .

My Review

Covid has well and truly hit, Diana O'Toole and her doctor boyfriend and meant to be going on holiday. The hospitals are struggling and Finn encourages Diana to go the non refundable trip of a lifetime alone. Paradise has no signal, Diana ends up stranded in a place she doesn't speak the language with only a troubled teen, her angry dad and helpful gran to get through the days. We hear from Finn back home in broken correspondence from the bits of emails/messages that manages to make it across the seas.

So I know this book won't be for everyone because a lot of people don't want to read about covid. Whilst covid does feature in the book in isn't the whole focus or even the main meat of it. Diana goes on a bit of a person journey, self discovery and growth being stranded, very limited communication from back home. I loved the island she goes to, Picoult paints such a vivid picture you could see the places, smells, animals, just serene!

Then we have the aspects of covid, poor Finn, caught in the midst of it, unable to properly talk to Diana, offload, decompress - the things we do with partners during extreme stress. I think if you aren't in healthcare or haven't been affected by covid this is a fantastic book to let you see the devastation, emotional impact that covid can have, on healthcare, on a person, on relationships, there isn't really anything it doesn't impact upon.

Sometimes Picoult can knock the stuffing out of you in some of what she writes or how she constructs parts of her story. I actually uttered the words out loud "No Waaaaaay" during one part and that my friends is a teaser not a spoiler! I really liked this book, I think she wrote a really hard subject and humanised it by creating the characters the way she did. 4/5 for me this time, I do enjoy Picoult's books and have at least one or two more to catch up on so I have read them all. I need to bump them up the tbrm, this reminded me how much I like her writing!

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Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for book Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten.

About the Book

A brutal murder… When a burned body is found with its teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson discovers that the victim may be the husband of one of her probation colleagues. A dark history… As the body count rises, the team becomes increasingly baffled by how the victims could possibly be connected until a clue leads them to a historical case that was never prosecuted. A terrible secret… In order to catch the killer, Maggie must piece together what happened all those years ago before it’s too late.

About the author

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog. Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Subscribe to Newsletter:

Twitter: (@nholten40)


Blog FB page:

Instagram: @author_noelleholten


Bookbub Author page :

For my stop I have my, as always, non spoiler review, enjoy.

Dead Mercy (Maggie Jamieson #5)Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - as able over 3 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - One More Chapter

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

A brutal murder…
When a burned body is found with its teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson discovers that the victim may be the husband of one of her probation colleagues.

A dark history…

As the body count rises, the team becomes increasingly baffled by how the victims could possibly be connected until a clue leads them to a historical case that was never prosecuted.

A terrible secret…

In order to catch the killer, Maggie must piece together what happened all those years ago before it’s too late.

My Review

If you haven't read the previous books in the series I would suggest going back, whilst you could read this as a standalone you miss out on so much background. In this book we see DC Maggie Jamieson investigating a pretty horrific crime, someone is set on fire and teeth extracted. It also looks like the killer may just be getting started. As the violence/murderer escalates Maggie needs to investigate all angles and soon finds there is more to these killings than meets the eye.

Being book five we have gotten to know the characters and for some of us really love and invest in them. Maggie is all work work work but also looks out for her brother and we get a wee peek into her personal relationships. Her parents, her brother and in previous books we have seen Maggie go back and forth on her personal life, sexuality, pro and cons of dating and the object of her reluctant affections. Maggie is complex which makes her relatable, she champions for her victims, wants to get the right person and do a good job. She is loyal, an animal lover and honest, she is a good egg and good at what she does, I am a fan!

We see other characters we have met before, coming back, character development, I love that especially when invested in a series. The killings are brutal, graphic and Holten paints a very vivid picture, not for the faint hearted or if you are offended by swearing! Been a fan since book one and very much looking forward to seeing what is in store next for our crew, 4/5 for me this time.

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Sunday, 21 November 2021

The Jodi Arias Story - Picture Perfect by Shanna Hogan

Picture Perfect: The Jodi Arias StoryPicture Perfect: The Jodi Arias Story by Shanna Hogan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 368

Publisher - St Martin's True Crime

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Mormon motivational speaker Travis Alexander, was involved in a relationship with a beautiful photographer, until it turned deadly...
In June 2008, in Mesa, Arizona, the body of 30-year-old Travis Alexander was discovered brutally murdered in his home. He had been shot in the face, slashed across the throat, and stabbed in the heart. Alexander had been a devout Mormon, handsome and hard-working, beloved by all, and his death came as an enormous shock.

Suspicion pointed to one woman: Jodi Arias. Travis had met Jodi at a conference 18 months prior, and he was instantly taken with the beautiful aspiring photographer. Separated by 400 miles, they began a long distance relationship. It became clear to Travis's friends, however, that Jodi was a lot more invested in the relationship than he was. Travis was seeing multiple women, and his relationship with Jodi eventually came to end. But rather than move on, Jodi moved from her home in Palm Desert, California to within just miles of Travis's home, where she continued to insert herself into his life.

My Review

I seen snippets of Jodi Arias interview with the police on one of those true life programs and I seen lots of folk chatting about it on true crime book groups. Jodi was arrested for the brutal murder of her ex boyfriend, this book looks at Travis's life before and after meeting Jodi.

The first chapter is Travis's body being found then chapter two and the first half of the book looks at Travis childhood all the way up to adulthood, his career path/choices and meeting Jodi. We also learn about Jodi growing up and her issues. Their meeting, relationship, breakup and staying in touch with a very toxic relationship. Then the body discovery, the damage to the body (not for the faint hearted) and the book (this version) includes 8 pages of photos, some of the crime scene, some from the camera. The interviews with Jodi, her arrest and thereafter.

I actually had to google to see what the final sentence was which you would think the book included. I imagine anyone who knew Travis would be devastated by this book, first half would be fine as it is just about him as a person and what he went through in life. However the details of the brutality of his murder and the details of his relationship and physical encounters with Jodi. Travis was a devout Mormon and Jodi held back on nothing when it came to their physical relations, the book briefly covers the horror those who knew him felt on discovering a different side to the religious devout guy they knew.

Even now Jodi continues to appeal and raise complaints against those involved in her case. The book also highlights she gave many interviews in her earlier detainment before she was charged and before she changed her story. I think true crime fans will find her an interesting study, 3.5/5 for me.

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Wednesday, 17 November 2021

The Shadows by J R Ward

The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #13)The Shadows by J.R. Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 654

Publisher - Piatkus

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on... except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around... but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice...

My Review

You can read this as a standalone but as it is book thirteen of a series you do miss a lot of the back story however each book focuses on a particular character or handful of characters. Trez and his brother iAm are an accepted part of the brotherhood, welcomed to their home, firm respected friendships. Trez is on the run from his *legacy* he was promised to the queen, for the Princess, Trez has never wanted that. Now time is running out and the Royal promise/agreement will be fulfilled.

Life is never straight forward in these books, Trez finally finds someone he loves, Selena (we met her before) but of course there is a huge something that stands in the way. Then fate intervenes and they are together but he has to fulfil his duties or die. His brother iAm is the oppose of Trez, he has never been with a woman and he looks out for Trez, will do anything for him. The royals have reached out and both men will feel the effects of the promise their parents made all those years ago.

As with the other books there is graphic sex and a ton of body fluids so not for the easy offended or mortified. We see Layla and her dilemma with Xcor, I get she feels she is doing the right thing but the danger she puts herself and her unborn, I was beyond exasperated with her at times. Rhage, I don't really know what happened to him in this book, even after finishing it, clearly something is coming and I feel this is setting the scene but he wasn't our normal Rhage and I don't know why.

For the books having romance throughout this book was a bit sad. Quinn's brother Luchas we see a bit more of him in this but again not a lot so I am wondering if he might get a book of his own coming?

I didn't love this book, I didn't hate it, I was left feeling a wee bit empty, maybe loss - I don't know. Usually you get a happy sigh in amongst a lot of danger and badness, I just felt this book had flashes of a lot of the characters and storylines but no real meat for any of them. Usually the book focuses on one person/couple and then you get scenes and bits with the others. I don't know/feel like we did with this one. There was a lot going on, 3/5 for me this time. The last quarter of the book picked up more for me but yeah not my fave of the series. I have the rest to read, most on my tbrm and I look forward to where the story goes but rooting for Layla to sort her crap out!

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Tuesday, 16 November 2021

The Lost by Simon Beckett blog tour

Today is my stop on the blog tour for "The Lost" by Simon Beckett. For my stop I have my review, enjoy.

Buy link for the book, available from AMAZON UK, available for PRE ORDER HERE, Out on 25th of November.

The Lost (Jonah Colley #1)The Lost by Simon Beckett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 368

Publisher - Orion Books

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads


Ten years ago, the disappearance of firearms police officer Jonah Colley's young son almost destroyed him.


A plea for help from an old friend leads Jonah to Slaughter Quay, and the discovery of four bodies. Brutally attacked and left for dead, he is the only survivor.


Under suspicion himself, he uncovers a network of secrets and lies about the people he thought he knew - forcing him to question what really happened all those years ago...

My Review

Jonah Colley gets a call from his old friend (they haven't spoken in a long long time) asking him to meet him, he is the only one he can trust. Jonah is a cop, his pal is a cop and one thing he has never heard in his voice, fear. Jonah goes off to Slaughter Quay and finds a horrific sight before being attacked. What follows is Jonah getting suspicion from his fellow officers, he needs answers to what happened and his past comes back with a vengeance, a past he thought had been grieved over, a link to his missing child.

The book is pretty fast paced and Jonah has to be one of the most unlucky people/police officers ever. We learn about his past, what happened to his marriage and with the brutal murders he has been linked to he NEEDS answers. Add to all that he is banged up pretty badly it isn't an easy task. The past and present gets interlinked and we flip back a few times to Jonah's past all the while questioning why the crackpot went to an abandoned place to meet his auld pal he hasn't spoken to in so long.

Colley is a flawed character, he makes mistakes, he seems weak at times then surprises you with gumption and strength. The story is a bit like an onion, lots and lots of layers, a fair few characters but written well enough to not distract or take away from the plot. There was one character I would have liked a bit more scenes and information from, I think, for the smart parts they appeared they were a great addition to the story. I hope this is the first in a new series and we hear more from some of the characters, 4/5 for me this time.

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Monday, 15 November 2021

Christmas Hope for the Steel Girls by Michelle Rawlins

Today is my turn and last stop on the blog tour for "Christmas Hope for the Steel Girls" by author Michelle Rawlins.

For my stop I have my review, enjoy!

Christmas Hope for the Steel Girls (The Steel Girls #2)Christmas Hope for the Steel Girls by Michelle Rawlins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 400

Publisher - HQ

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

With the country at war, can they come together this winter?

Winter, 1939
As December draws nearer and with her family facing their first Christmas without Bert, Nancy is desperately trying to keep up her children’s spirits and her own.

Young Patty should be excited to be spending her first festive season with sweetheart Archie, but why does she worry he’s keeping something from her?

Betty is missing her beloved William as he continues his RAF training but she’s determined not to sit around wallowing. In the midst of the coldest winter on record and with the introduction of rationing, times are tougher than ever but Betty has an idea to make sure nobody goes without this winter.

And with our Steel Girls rallying around each other, can there still be hope this Christmas?

The second novel in the new heartwarming Steel Girls series following our feisty factory sister’s bravery and hope during wartime, perfect for fans of Nancy Revell and Elaine Everest.

My Review

so I didn't realise this was book two in a series but you can absolutely pick this up as a standalone. We have a Betty, I LOVE a Betty as you know so boxes being ticked already. 1939, winter and families are trying to adjust to their loved ones off to war. Positions changed, women were working in the steel factory to aid the cause and to make ends meet. Betty, Patty and Nancy - working together, surviving each day and looking forward to things being back to normal.

Aw you guys, a wee Betty and omg she is an actual scone. So kind, thinking of others, she is just a tonic to read. I have been reading horror for October reads and some of that was really dark and creepy. So to come into a book where the people are doing their bit, pulling together despite living through such horrible times. Loved ones away to war, rationing coming in and still people go over and above for each other, a sense of belonging and community.

We have the courting and relationships strengthening, families missing their loved ones, new relationships blossoming and an authentic feel for that time period. I actually liked it so much I bought the first book in the series when I finished this so I can read more on the characters and look forward to the next in the series. Survival, loved, relationships, hope in a time of darkness, community, love and strength. It is more about the people and them getting through each day than the darker aspects of or intricate details of the actual war, 4/5. This was my first dance with this author but it won't be my last.

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