Saturday, 22 February 2020

Lover Revealed by J R Ward

Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4)Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 480

Publisher - Piatkus books

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world—to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He's got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. If he can't have Marissa, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers...

Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back. But even her love may not be enough to save him...


My Review

Butch is human but still very much one of the Brothers inner circle, in lover with Marissa (vampire) and knows he has no chance. He helps the brothers hunt down the lessers (those who hunt and kill the vampires) and stuck in limbo between not having his own human crew but not a vampire either. When Butch is attacked brutally by the lessers and infected, it is touch and go if he will survive and the brothers need to find out what happened to him.

The book has as usual action, slaying of vampires and lessers, we follow Butch's progress as his illness takes its toll. His battle with his feelings with Marissa and back and forth between the two, when something seems to go good, something else falls apart.

If you are knew to the series this is book 4, I would suggest going back and reading the others as you get so much back story. If you are offended by sex, especially in graphic detail, the series may not be for you. There is a lot about the society, brotherhood, vamps/lessers but sex features throughout the series and pretty explicit/detailed in the scenes it pops up. 4/5 for me this time, I cannot wait to see what is next for the brotherhood, these books have been on my shelves for years so I have a lot of catching up to do. One other thing to mention, the book has terms that the reader won't have heard of, coined by the author, all the books I have read so far have helpfully had a glossary at the start which helps no end trying to figure out what is going on and who is who within the royalty terms.



View all my reviews

Thursday, 20 February 2020

The Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for debut novel, "The Memory Wood" by author Sam Lloyd, please do check out the other stops, we all offer different content, this is a RandomThingsTour.




About the book:




Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember. It’s the only home he’s ever known. Elissa has only just arrived. And she’ll do everything she can to escape. When Elijah stumbles across thirteen-year-old Elissa, in the woods where her abductor is hiding her, he refuses to alert the police. Because in his twelve years, Elijah has never had a proper friend. And he doesn’t want Elissa to leave. Not only that, Elijah knows how this can end. After all, Elissa isn’t the first girl he’s found inside the Memory Wood. As her abductor’s behaviour grows more erratic, Elissa realises that outwitting strange, lonely Elijah is her only hope of survival. Their cat-and-mouse game of deception and betrayal will determine both their fates, and whether either of them will ever leave the Memory Wood... Rights have been sold in 14 territories and counting. Perfect for fans of Stephen King, C.J. Tudor’s The Chalk Man and Adrian McKinty’s The Chain. You can buy you copy now, released today, from AMAZON

About the author:

Sam Lloyd grew up in Hampshire, making up stories and building secret hideaways in his local woods. These days he lives in Surrey with his wife, three young sons and a dog that likes to howl. He enjoys craft beer, strong coffee and (rarely) a little silence. The Memory Wood is his debut thriller.




A wee note from the Author:

I already had my crime scene. Pretty soon, I had my protagonist: thirteen-year-old chess prodigy Elissa Mirzoyan, a quietly precocious girl who wakes underground after being snatched on the most important day of her life. Her determination to survive the coming ordeal wouldn’t be driven by mere instinct. It would come from a flat-out refusal to leave her mum alone in the world, and would be tempered by a ferocious hunger for vengeance. Plotting a novel, for me, always feels more like a process of investigation than invention – the slow reveal of a dirt-covered mosaic. And as I teased out more of this story’s individual tiles, I learned something even more compelling about Elissa’s plight. While engaging her abductor in increasingly dangerous mind games, she’ll face a separate threat even harder to navigate. It’ll come in the form of a frail young boy, Elijah North, who discovers her subterranean prison while playing in his local woods. Steadily, Elissa will gain Elijah’s trust. But when she persuades him to raise the alarm, he’ll return with a tale too outlandish to be credible. More of the mosaic revealed itself, at which point I learned something about the story that knocked me flat. And then I had to write the book, just to find out how it ended...

For my stop I have my review, enjoy, if you have read it I would love to hear your thoughts.

The Memory WoodThe Memory Wood by Sam Lloyd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 375

Publisher - Bantam Press

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

Elijah has lived in the Memory Wood for as long as he can remember. It’s the only home he’s ever known.

Elissa has only just arrived. And she’ll do everything she can to escape.

When Elijah stumbles across thirteen-year-old Elissa, in the woods where her abductor is hiding her, he refuses to alert the police. Because in his twelve years, Elijah has never had a proper friend. And he doesn’t want Elissa to leave.

Not only that, Elijah knows how this can end. After all, Elissa isn’t the first girl he’s found inside the Memory Wood.

As her abductor’s behaviour grows more erratic, Elissa realises that outwitting strange, lonely Elijah is her only hope of survival. Their cat-and-mouse game of deception and betrayal will determine both their fates, and whether either of them will ever leave the Memory Wood . . .


My Review

Elissa & Elijah are our main characters, each chapter titled who we are with a each point. We open with Elijah, twelve years old and with the police then an introduction into The Memory Woods, on day 6, and then we flip to Elissa, day 1, pre kidnap. Because that is the heart of the book, thirteen year old Elissa is kidnapped and we flip between the chapters and their journey as Elijah stumbles across her and Elissa is desperate to stay alive and survive. We also intermittently have Mairead, detective superintendent who is leading the investigation into Elissa's disappearance. As well as following the investigation we get to know the very human side and personal struggles Mairead is going through whilst trying to crack one of the most important cases she will ever face!

Despite the timeline jumping about a wee bit it is easy to follow as the chapter headers let you know what day it is and which character is that chapters focus. The scenes can be distressing, we have a child abducted, the officer investigating is going through a very trying time with some of her own scenes being quite emotive and distressing. The kids scenes, one is kidnapped and being held in horrific conditions and Elijah we know quite quickly that wee soul is living in a horrific situation also.

The book teases out the scenes, it is creepy, you know something isn't right, there is tension pretty much from the get go. This is really surprising it is a debut novel because to me it didn't read like it, you would think Lloyd had been cracking out books for years, their craft honed, that is how it came across to me. It is dark and disturbing but you struggle to put it down, when you jump from character to character you want to stay with that one to see where it is going, pulled in and immersed quickly.

As I said I can't believe this is a debut, I eagerly await their next offering as most authors will tell you they get better/stronger over the years so imagine what Lloyd has in store for us in the future, 4.5/5 for me this time!


View all my reviews

Monday, 17 February 2020

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes

Chilling Effect (Chilling Effect, #1)Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 437

Publisher - Orbit books

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

A hilarious, offbeat debut space opera that skewers everything from pop culture to video games and features an irresistible foul-mouthed captain and her motley crew, strange life forms, exciting twists, and a galaxy full of fun and adventure.

Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy syndicate that holds people hostage in cryostasis, Eva must undergo a series of unpleasant, dangerous missions to pay the ransom.

But Eva may lose her mind before she can raise the money. The ship’s hold is full of psychic cats, an amorous fish-faced emperor wants her dead after she rejects his advances, and her sweet engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings. The worse things get, the more she lies, raising suspicions and testing her loyalty to her found family.

To free her sister, Eva will risk everything: her crew, her ship, and the life she’s built on the ashes of her past misdeeds. But when the dominoes start to fall and she finds the real threat is greater than she imagined, she must decide whether to play it cool or burn it all down.





My Review

The book has an awesome opening, chapter title "Save the Cats" - the cover features cats in wee space helmets and every chapter has a wee hand drawn cat in a space helmet. They are sassy, trouble and did I mention psychic? What isn't to love, they were some of the things that made me want to read the book as I don't go in for a lot of fantasy/space type fiction. With a strong opening chapter I thought I was going to love this book, cats in space and psychic cats at that not to mention a whole whack of sassiness. However they feature very little after that and it really did have a huge impact because I thought with them being over so much of the cover/blurb/chapter headings they would have been integral.

The main character is Captain Eva Innocente and her crew on her ship, battering about in space and she ends up taking on a very unsafe mission to save her sister even though she is estranged from her family. She doesn't tell her crew, part of the agreement and she thinks in their best interest. What follows is a multitude of dangerous missions, being targetted by a sexist eejit, unbelieveable danger, a ton of swearing, attitude and more types of beings/creatures than I could keep count of. The main character also would have whole sentences of phrases that weren't english (the majority of the book is in english), I later picked up some of it was a type of spanish but mixed with something else. So I would stop to google the phrases which some would translate and others made no sense at all. I found it to be quite frustrating and I was possibly missing key information from those scenes.

Other times I have Guardians of the galaxy vibes and really enjoyed parts, space, action and even a wee bit of romance. I think if the book had a glossary to describe the different beings & maybe a wee explanation of the language used might have helped a wee bit as I did feel lost at times. I am hoping if this is a series then book two will embrace and include the space cats as I just feel there was so much they could have added and been part to. Who doesn't want more cats, psychic cats, cats, lol, 3/5 for me this time. It was nice to try a different author and it is no mean feat to create a whole different universe let alone beings but a wee space on a website or glossary in any following books to help the readers get to grips with all the new creations would be great, well I think so.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Cold Fusion 2000 by Karl Drinkwater Blog Tour

Today is my stop on the blog tour for "Cold Fusion 2000" by author Karl Drinkwater, a BOTBSPublicity tour.







Book Description:

Alex Kavanagh is a pedantic physics geek – a teacher who hates teaching, a lover who’s always getting dumped, a writer whose articles all get rejected, a 28-year-old still living at home and bullied at the bus stop by teenagers – and he’s just had the worst day of his life. Things can only get better, right?

Enter his ex, Lucy, in what seems to be a chance meeting. Her betrayal marked the point when his life went nuclear. But – holy protons! – he still loves her.

Two problems. First, she isn’t who he thinks she is. Second, she’s going to leave him forever in 72 hours.

Cold Fusion 2000 is a haunting novel about a man who’s too rational to believe in ghosts and too short-sighted to see what was in front of him all along.

About the author




Author Bio:

Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.

FB https://www.facebook.com/karlzdrinkwater/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/karldrinkwater

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorkdrinkwater/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5766025.Karl_Drinkwater

Website: https://karldrinkwater.uk

For my stop I have my review, enjoy.

Cold Fusion 2000Cold Fusion 2000 by Karl Drinkwater


Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Pages - 302

Publisher - Organic Apocalypse

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Can love defeat the laws of physics?

Alex Kavanagh is a pedantic physics geek – a teacher who hates teaching, a lover who’s always getting dumped, a writer whose articles all get rejected, a 28-year-old still living at home and bullied at the bus stop by teenagers – and he’s just had the worst day of his life. Things can only get better, right?

Enter his ex, Lucy, in what seems to be a chance meeting. Her betrayal marked the point when his life went nuclear. But – holy protons! – he still loves her.

Two problems. First, she isn’t who he thinks she is. Second, she’s going to leave him forever in 72 hours.

Cold Fusion 2000 is a haunting novel about a man who’s too rational to believe in ghosts and too short-sighted to see what was in front of him all along.



My Review

Alex Kavanagh is a geek - well I am a geek he is a proper nerd, heavily into physics, a teacher who has lost any passion for teaching. A bit socially awkward and never gotten over losing the love of his life Lucy. Unlucky in love, in a job he hates, living with his mum Alex is in a bit of a rut when Lucy appears back in his life could things finally be turning around for Alex? Lucy is different and finally he has a chance to tend to those old wounds, get answers to his questions and maybe have another go. However Lucy isn't quite what she seems and will only be back in Alex's life for a short time, can Alex finally get over his past to enjoy his future?


The opening chapter 1992 – June 2000 gives you a sentence run down of Alex’s year with a head nod to a song from that time. I absolutely love that, one wee chapter totally took me down memory land and I remember all of those songs, this book could have a wee playlist and it is a belter!

There is reference and nods to physics/maths/ numerology (I think you would call it) and some of it was a bit over my head. It gave me much discussion with my o/h who is a proper nerd and I had to ask some questions about, does it mean this, is it reference to that. I think if you are interested in physics and a smart wee chop you will get a kick out of the passages that have these wee snippets in them.

The actual story though, even though Alex is twenty eight he seems much younger, more innocent or dejected, moody and socially a bit awks. I wasn't sure if I liked him too much, felt sorry for him, liked him, wanted to hug him and went back and forth on it however I think he is a bit of a complex character you appreciate a bit more as you got further into the book.

The book is very much relationships and personal growth but hugely and cleverly littered with nods to science, significance of numbers and some other wee delights that for me had to go look up or gab to someone else about. The relationships were reminisce of some of my own from a time when I was much younger and I think Alex is a character pretty much any reader can if not identify with then appreciate in part, especially as the book progresses. Once Lucy entered I found it harder to put down and wanted to know exactly what was coming next, keeping me on my toes throughout. I have read and loved Drinkwaters other books, he branches into other genres so if you haven't read them do check them out as they are all very different!


View all my reviews

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith

44 Scotland Street (44 Scotland Street, #1)44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 325

Publisher - Abacus

Source - Bought after seeing Smith at Edinburgh Book Festival

Blurb from Goodreads

44 SCOTLAND STREET - Book 1

The residents and neighbors of 44 Scotland Street and the city of Edinburgh come to vivid life in these gently satirical, wonderfully perceptive serial novels, featuring six-year-old Bertie, a remarkably precocious boy—just ask his mother.

Welcome to 44 Scotland Street, home to some of Edinburgh's most colorful characters. There's Pat, a twenty-year-old who has recently moved into a flat with Bruce, an athletic young man with a keen awareness of his own appearance. Their neighbor, Domenica, is an eccentric and insightful widow. In the flat below are Irene and her appealing son Bertie, who is the victim of his mother’s desire for him to learn the saxophone and italian–all at the tender age of five.

Love triangles, a lost painting, intriguing new friends, and an encounter with a famous Scottish crime writer are just a few of the ingredients that add to this delightful and witty portrait of Edinburgh society, which was first published as a serial in The Scotsman newspaper.


My Review

For reasons unknown I thought this was going to be a crime book lmao, I know I know I am a riot. Anyways welcome to 44 Scotland Street, Edinburgh. Flats where we meet Irene, an overbearing mother who is intent on getting the best/most for her five year old genius Bertie and nothing will get in her way. Pat has just moved into the flat and Bruce shows her about, attractive Bruce and by lord does he know it! Domenica is her neighbour across the way, widow, flashy, down to earth and fabulous. We also meet Matthew, owner of and art gallery and knows hee haw about anything really, his father uses his wealth to acquire jobs for him to keep him "busy" and Pat is now working with him but she actually knows a thing or two about art.

It is really a voyeurs book, you get to nosey into these characters mundane lives, who they are as people and how they judge others and themselves. Smith pokes fun at the hoity toity Edinburgh attitudes and self importance. By God that Irene is a nightmare, Bruce is so vain and shallow, I thought Domenica was fab and a well known author pops up in the book too.

There are wee drawn pictures in the book which I quite liked, you don't see that in a lot of books so it is nice when it pops up.

The stories themselves, it is a bit like watching the Royal Family (comedy tv show with Ralph Little) about "normal" people and their everyday lives. Nothing huge happens yet you are compelled to keep reading especially when they get themselves into a bit of a pickle. Daft decisions or actions you easily read thinking oh dear lord why did they do that or what will happen next. A good introduction to these characters and I want to see what happens next so book two was ordered just as I finished this one! 3.5/5 for me this time, witty, funny, silly a book type version of friends but instead of a group of boy/girl friends we have very different people in neighbouring flats and following their lives as they judge/interact with each other.

View all my reviews

Monday, 10 February 2020

The Other People by C J Tudor

The Other PeopleThe Other People by C.J. Tudor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Pages -

Publisher - Michael Joseph

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

She sleeps, a pale girl in a white room . . .

Three years ago, Gabe saw his daughter taken. In the back of a rusty old car, covered in bumper stickers. He was driving behind the car. He watched her disappear. But no one believes him. Most people believe that his daughter, and wife, are dead. For a while, people believed that Gabe was responsible.

Three years later and Gabe cannot give up hope. Even though he has given up everything else. His home, his job, his old life. He spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, sleeping in his camper van in service stations, searching for the car that took her. Searching for his daughter.

Katie spends a lot of her life in service stations, working as a waitress. She often sees Gabriel, or 'the thin man' as she has nicknamed him. She knows his story. She feels for him, because Katie understands what it's like to lose a loved one. Nine years ago, her father was murdered. It broke her family apart. She hasn't seen her oldest sister since the day of the funeral; the day she did something terrible.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people that want to hurt them. Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe's daughter. She knows who is responsible. And she knows that if they ever find them, they're dead.


My Review

Gabe is late going home, it is just what happens with Gabe, he is sure he see's his wee girl in a car infront of him but he can't have because she is at home with her mum, isn't she? Three years have passed since that day, since life as he knew it changed forever. Gabe lost his wife and little girl, the police don't believe him so Gabe has been investigating/travelling the same routine/places trying to find a lead. Katie works in the service station where Gabe always goes, she has her own issues trying to make ends meet without looking into what haunts this man. And then there is Fran and Alice, on the run from whom we know not, just they are in grave danger. Add into that Alice keeps having these episodes that defy logic and Fran is struggling to keep them one step ahead from those who hunt them.

The chapters flip between the three stories, building up a picture of what all three go through and wondering what if any connection they have. We know bad things have happened but each story is being teased out chapter by chapter whilst weaving in and out of the others stories. Alice's has a touch of something spooky, with her passing out and who is the girl in the mirror?

There is a character that is helping Gabe, a friend? a mysterious figure who goes by the name The Samaritan, assisting Gabe in his quest. I so so want them to have their own book, so much so I reached out to the author. He is one of those characters who doesn't have huge parts in the book but when he does you want more.

As the book goes on it draws you in, the hairs on the back of your neck creeping up as "The Other People" become apparent and you realise just what is happening. A tense book that grabs you very quickly, drawing you in deeper and deeper desperate to find out where it is all going and how it will all end, 4/5 for me this time. I have read Tudor's previous books and look forward to her next offering.

View all my reviews

Friday, 7 February 2020

Queenie by Kimberley Chambers

QueenieQueenie by Kimberley Chambers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - Every second able over 3 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

SHE WAS MADE IN THE EAST END . . .

For young Queenie, life in the backstreets of Whitechapel was a lesson in survival – Hitler’s bombs hit those with nothing the hardest. When danger strikes close to home, Queenie finds an ally in Mrs O’Leary, whose two sons are the kingpins of the East End. But while the O’Learys are the light in Queenie’s life, fate has a different path in store.

AND MEN ARE WHAT THEIR MOTHERS MAKE THEM . . .

Now married to the useless Albie Butler, Queenie is raising her children to fight their own battles. If the O’Learys taught her anything, it was that surviving meant doing whatever you had to, no questions asked, and family always comes first. The Butler boys will make sure their mother’s name becomes East End legend.

MEET QUEENIE.
THIS IS HER STORY.



My Review

If you are a Chambers fan then I have no need to say how long some of us hoped and waited for this book. If you are new to her writing then as this is Queenie's story, a prequel, here is as good a place to start as any. However, it is no secret I LOVE the Butler book's and whilst they have predominantly been about the boys, Queenie was always there. Now, with this book, we learn her story, how she came to be the woman we met over those books and that immovable relationship with her boys, particularly Vinny.

It is the time just before the war (world war 2) when it isn't quite kicked off yet. Queenie and Viv are close as close can be. We get a look at their lives, with their parents and poverty and pre war and then the steps taken during the war that have long reaching effects on Queenie.

It is so hard to go into it without spoiling anything and we do not do spoilers. We get to see Queenie as a child, a teen and adulthood. Events that lead to shaping her as a person and seeing why family is absolutely everything to Queenie, particularly her boys and her sister. At times she is hard to understand, I couldn't fathom some of her choices/actions. Others you get it, you get why she is the way she is and who she becomes.

I have loved the Butlers since i read the first book, I will need to go back and re read the rest of the series, they are always the first books of Chambers I recommend to people. Think the Kray brothers but there are three instead of two. In Queenie we meet their mum as a child, becoming a woman and how their story begins.

If you enjoy the previous books you will love this one. If anything instead of quenching your thirst it only has you wanting more. I always have the fear picking up a Chambers book because I loved the ones so much that came before so you figure, how long can you keep churning out fresh books, keep packing punches and keep the reader on their toes? yet she does it, every single time and has done it again, 5/5 for me this time. Do I want another Butler book? HELL YES, I do so hope we get another and will be patiently waiting for the next book, Butler related or not!

View all my reviews

Well from I first started reviewing

Get your own free Blogoversary button!

More Competitions available at

Blog Archive