Monday 31 July 2017

Dead Man's Prayer by Jackie Baldwin

Dead Man's Prayer (DI Frank Farrell, #1)Dead Man's Prayer by Jackie Baldwin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - on and off over 3 days

Pages - 344

Publisher - Killer Reads

Blurb from Goodreads

Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell has returned to his roots in Dumfries, only to be landed with a disturbing murder case. Even worse, Farrell knows the victim: Father Boyd, the man who forced him out of the priesthood eighteen years earlier.

With no leads, Farrell must delve into the old priest’s past, one that is inexorably linked with his own. But his attention is diverted when a pair of twin boys go missing. The Dumfries police force recover one in an abandoned church, unharmed. But where is his brother?

As Farrell investigates the two cases, he can’t help but feel targeted. Is someone playing a sinister game, or is he seeing patterns that don’t exist? Either way, it’s a game Farrell needs to win before he loses his grip on his sanity, or someone else turns up dead.

My Review

A priest is murdered, D.I. Frank Farrell is named as the officer in charge of the case. Farrell is not just a police officer, he was a priest and in the same community as the the priest who has been killed. Farrell has links to the old priest, a connection that he doesn't think is relevant and doesn't want to dredge up his past. As the case unfolds, Farrell is forced to look upon his own past, why he had to leave the priesthood and why his mother no longer speaks to him.

You would never know this is a debut novel, it is well written and has strong police procedural themes. Farrell ends up investigating two cases, the murder of the priest and the disappearance of twin boys. Things start to seem personal and Farrell is battling his own demons whilst trying to focus on the cases and keep on top of the inner team issues.

A great book that looks at many themes, battling inner demons, secrets, mental health, relationships, police procedures and a deranged killer. The chapters are short which I love in a book, makes it easier for dipping in and out of especially if you are busy & working in between. You know early on something is a foot and Baldwin keeps you gripped page after page desperate to know what it is, or maybe that is just me because I am a nosey reader. Relatively fast paced, you have a murder in the first chapters and the investigation and introduction to the team goes from there. A fantastic and gripping debut, I will certainly be on the watch for more from this author and hope this is just the beginning of Farrell's story, 4/5 for me this time.

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Sunday 30 July 2017

The Lost Girl by Tania Carver

The Lost Girl (Brennan & Esposito Series #8)The Lost Girl by Tania Carver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Publisher - Little Brown Book Group

Pages - 416

Blurb from Goodreads

The terrifying new thriller in the Brennan and Esposito series - are you brave enough to read it?

When three men are found hanged in locations around Colchester, Detective Inspector Phil Brennan gets the shock of his life. Not only are the victims dressed to look like him, but each carries a defaced tarot card in the pocket of their identical leather jackets, scrawled across with one name: Phil Brennan.

The bodies aren't found in random locations - they're all in places where DI Brennan has caught a murderer. Someone is sending him a message. And he thinks he knows who it is...

Shocking and thrilling, in this dramatic new Tania Carver thriller DI Phil Brennan and his wife, psychologist Marina Esposito, have their lives turned upside down as the past comes back to haunt their present with terrifying consequences.

My Review

Firsty, if you haven't read the previous books in the series I think you can get away with picking this one up. There are mentions to things that have happened in previous books and this series I have read out of order and just as I find them. DI Phil Brennan and his wife Marina Esposito (psychologist) have been through so much already, they are cautious and do keep on top of personal safety. When three male victims are found, all in places Brennan has connections to it is clear someone is trying to tell him something. A high profile kidnap puts everyone on edge and questioning everything they know and their team. The killer is fearless, clever and has one mission on her mind, no one and nothing will get in the way and Phil and Marina find themselves facing their greatest threat yet.

We open in italics, with a little girl and an event that will change her life forever, anytime we visit her the italics highlights the switch so we can follow the story with ease. There are many themes in this book, murder, psychological torture, rape, abuse, pedophilia, prostitution, police teamwork, grief and loss, to name but a few. Certainly not for the faint hearted or easily offended, some of the scenes are really tough to read even for the hardest fans of dark gritty crime.

The chapters are short making it easy for dipping in and out, the subject matter is horrific in parts and the pace finds the reader struggling to put it down. I have read Carver before and will read him again, I just may need a few fluffy reads inbetween to draw some balance again. Carver creates some really deprived criminals that disgusts you but keeps you hooked to discover just what creates such monsters. 4/5 for me this time, as I said I have read him before and I would read him again but warn readers to pick this one up with caution.

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Saturday 29 July 2017

The Freedom Broker by K J Howe - Blog Tour

Today is my turn on the blog tour for The Freedom Broker by K J Howe. Don't worry you aren't seeing wrong, my blog name is wrong on the tour poster (URL name isn't of actual blog name) records have been updated and it actually happens a lot. Maybe I should change the blog name :P

About the author

Born in Toronto, Canada, KJ enjoyed a nomadic lifestyle during her early years, living in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Caribbean, which gave her an insider’s view into many different cultures. While abroad, she read every book she could find, which triggered in her a desire to create her own stories.

She attended Salzburg International Preparatory School, Neuch√Ętel Junior College, and Albert College before earning a Specialists Degree in Business from the University of Toronto. KJ found success in the corporate world, but her passion for travel, adventure, and stories drew her back to school where she earned a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She also won several writing awards, including three Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense.

While honing her fiction skills, KJ worked as a medical, health, and fitness writer. She then became involved with the International Thriller Writers as the Executive Director of ThrillerFest, the organization’s annual conference held every July in New York City.

In preparation for writing THE FREEDOM BROKER series, which focuses on elite kidnap negotiator Thea Paris, KJ spent extensive time researching the dark world of kidnapping. She has interviewed former hostages, negotiators, hostage reintegration experts, special forces operatives, and K&R insurance executives.

KJ is an avid tennis player, cyclist, and swimmer. Travel and adventure still rank high on her priority list. She has had the pleasure of riding racing camels in Jordan, surfing in Hawaii, ziplining in the Costa Rican jungle, diving alongside Great White Sharks in South Africa, studying modern combat in the Arizona desert, and working with elephants in Botswana. Home is in Toronto, Canada, but she is often missing in action.

You can read my full review of this debut novel here!

You can purchase your copy now from Amazon, kindle and paperback both available, click here.

You can connect with the author on Twitter or on her website, click here!

Thanks for stopping by, if you have read this book let me know what you thought of it!

Thursday 27 July 2017

Q&A with author M Jonathan Lee

Happy publication day for Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee. You can read my review here.

In order to celebrate I invited Jonathan for a chat and I am also offering up my pre loved copy up for competition.

Thanks for taking time to stop by and chat with us. Congratulations on the release of your new book Broken Branches.

Tell us a bit about the book.

Broken Branches is a story about families, about grief and loss. It’s really a study of the effects that loss can bring on a family and how it affects so many generations. It’s also based on the true story of my great-great-great-great grandfather who allegedly set a curse running through my family by his mistreatment of a dog!

What do you hope readers take from the book?

I hope that readers will firstly enjoy the journey that Ian takes to ultimately find the beginnings of light from perpetual darkness. I also hope that readers will follow the story only to find that things aren’t exactly as they appear.

There are some heavy themes to Broken Branches, mental health being one, what made you choose this for the book?

Mental health is a major theme in my life, I lost my brother to suicide and I do feel that drawing people’s attention to the struggles that others suffer can only be helpful in removing the stigma attached. As a by-product of my brother’s suicide, I was also affected with depression and some of the characters in Broken Branches also suffer difficulties due to events out of their control.

Has any of the book been drawn from personal experiences or situations/people in your life?

Yes. As I mentioned earlier, I discovered the alleged curse in my own family when looking at the geneology of my family. Is it a curse though?

Is any of your other books like this, in regards to themes?

It depends what the question means. All of my books have twists in them. Tricking (or at least encouraging) the reader to think one thing and then uncovering the reality beneath. So, yes, I love Roald Dahl, I love his Tales of the Unexpected. My third novel (A Tiny Feeling of Fear), deals candidly with mental health, but is a story of hope. It has the most unexpected twist of all time in my opinion. I loved writing that.

Are you writing anything currently?

I’ve finished “How Was I Supposed to Know How It Would Be?” my fifth novel. A story which looks at the dangers of the old adage of “the grass is always greener”. I’m about half way through my sixth novel, currently called “The Devil, Idle Hands and a little thing called choice.” Guess what? They all have twists…

What is next for M Jonathan Lee?

We’ve just released a documentary short called “Hidden” which is based on A Tiny Feeling of Fear. You’ll find it on youtube if you search for M Jonathan Lee Hidden. I’m currently heavily involved in setting up a local mental health facility to help people in my locality. That aside, I’m lucky to be writing as much as I am just now.

What does the M stand for in your name? (sorry I am so nosey)

Ha! When I first got a publishing deal we were threatened by the publishers of another author called Jonathan Lee. They advised that we should use a different name to differentiate. I came up with M Jonathan Lee. The M standing for ‘meaningless’… true story.

Where can fans find you?

Okay, so we have There is a /mjonathanlee facebok page @mjonathanlee on twitter and I think my publishers say a bit about me on their site. I also write for the Huffington Post regularly.

Anything else you wish I had asked or you would like to highlight or talk about?

Not at all. Thanks so much for having me. Feel free to tell the world about Broken Branches whenever you have the chance…(!)

As always, to enter the competition please use the Rafflecopter below, the more entries you complete the more chances you have.

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Monday 24 July 2017

The Woman Who Met Her Match by Fiona Gibson

The Woman Who Met Her MatchThe Woman Who Met Her Match by Fiona Gibson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - on and off over 3 days

Publisher - Avon

Pages - 400

Blurb from Goodreads

What if your first love came back on the scene . . . 30 years later?

After yet another disaster, Lorrie is calling time on online dating. She might be single in her forties, but she’s got a good job, wonderful children and she’s happy. This, Lorrie decides, is going to have to be enough.

That is, until she receives a very unexpected request from France. Antoine Rousseau, who had once turned a lonely French exchange trip into a summer of romance, wants to see her – after thirty years.

But Lorrie is a responsible woman. She can’t exactly run off to Nice with the man who broke her teenage heart . . . can she?

A wonderfully funny novel, perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Joanna Bolouri and Milly Johnson.

My Review

We open at the Summer of 1986 where we meet our main character Lorrie, just a slip of a girl at 16, not very confident and shipped over to France for an exchange. She meets her first love and is heartbroken when she goes home. Fast forward thirty years, her children have signed her up for online dating, after a few disastrous dates Lorrie's first love gets in touch out of the blue. Lorrie is a responsible adult, a mother, making woman feel gorgeous with beauty products she can't just leave it all to chase her first love, or can she?

This is a lovely wee book, funny, light and some darker themes of loss and discrimination in the work place. Dating disasters, friendship, love, loyalty and trying to get yourself back after fully focusing on your kids and picking up life after a bereavement. Humor is laced throughout and I think because so many of the themes within the book are applicable to your normal every day person that there is something for everyone in this story. The chapters are relatively short which is great if you don't have time to sit and get stuck right in, had I had more time I would have read this in one sitting.

Lorrie is a relate-able character, a good heart, focusing on family and to be honest a wee bit of a door mat at times where you are urging her to stand up for herself. I found myself getting really invested in the characters, we all have a family member who is self involved, someone else we are looking out for. The element of the one who got away and what would happen if they got in touch again is something most people have thought about once in their adult life, if not more. A great read for a blue day or just by the pool. This was my first time reading this author, I absolutely would read her again. Thanks to Avon Books for introducing me to a new author and putting her on my radar, I will be looking up more of her work, 4/5 for me this time.

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Saturday 22 July 2017

Broken Branches by M Jonathan Lee

Broken BranchesBroken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - on and off over 3 days

Pages - 294

Publisher - Hideaway Fall

Blurb from Goodreads

'Family curses don't exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don't think so.'

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

My Review

Ian Perkins family has a curse, it has plagued the family for many years and yet the family are reluctant to talk about it. With pressures from work hanging over his head, his relationship falling apart and strange happenings at home Ian is going to get to find out the truth about the curse once and for all.

This is for sure a different read, the authors voice is unique in that I can say I haven't read a book like this before. Shrouded in secrecy, hints throughout that something is not quite right, domestic unrest and even some paranormal echos Broken Branches keeps the reader engaged page after page. I think if the chapters had been dated or named it would have made for more enjoyment, we flip from Ian's present life to years back with his family life as a child. We learn more of the house's history and snippets of the curse. Ian becomes obsessed with uncovering and proving the curse exists, having to face some harsh truths about his life and family.

The book covers a fair few themes, suicide, family dynamics, relationship breakdowns, loss, love and marriage to name just a few. At times the pace is slow going but the claustrophobic tense atmosphere remains almost throughout making for a gripping read. You know something isn't right, you just don't know what. Is it the curse, is someone messing with Ian, just what has happened to his relationship and will the curse actually be revealed?

I think the themes have been written well and some so subtly it isn't until you finish the book entirely you appreciate what certain parts where about. The past and present flip comes together too but for a wee while you are, well I was, a bit lost to what was happening. It is well written and all becomes clear, an emotive and atmospheric read. As always, I love having short chapters, especially when you are reading in between shifts and busy days, Broken Branches offers this making it easy to dip in and out.

I wasn't sure whether to 3.5 or 4 star this one, I have gone with 4 stars as the last quarter pulls it all together and despite having an inkling to where the story was headed I still got the wind knocked out of me a little. This is my first dance with this author and I will certainly read more of his work. Thanks so much to Hideaway fall and Book Connectors for putting this author on my radar, 4/5 for me this time. Broken Branches will be out to buy from 27/7/2017 so you only have to wait 5 days before you can read it too.

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Wednesday 19 July 2017

Growing Old Disgracefully by Ada Adverse

The Mills & Boon Modern Girl's Guide to Growing Old Disgracefully (Mills & Boon A-Zs, Book 6)The Mills & Boon Modern Girl's Guide to Growing Old Disgracefully by Ada Adverse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - less than 20 minutes

Pages - 96

Publisher - Mills & Boon

Blurb from Goodreads

’Perfect for the gin drinker in your life.’ – Sun

Have you ever:

Treated afternoon tea as an ‘all you can eat’ opportuntity?

Realised you only ever hoover when you are expecting guests?

Flatly refused to ‘act your age’?

If so, the Mills & Boon Modern Girl’s Guide to Growing Old Disgracefully is for you: a guide to throwing out the rule book, with a feminist twist

My Review

If you haven't came across this wee books let me enlighten you. They are smaller than your normal paperback size, hardback (also available in kindle format) and 96 pages long. You have a zingy introduction to the book, Ada is hilarious, zingy and sharp giving you an immediate feel for the books content.

We have an A-Z and with each letter a wee sentence or two of advice or just a funky quip accompanied on the other bag with a corresponding photo in black and white. Much as these books are tiny and a few sentences per page they really do bring joy, laughter and conjure up some lovely memories. Each one will mean something different to each reader depending on life experiences and where they are in their life. I would think it would be hard pushed for anyone to pick one of these books up and not laugh or at the very least smile.

The books are filled with humor, bite size snippets for each letter and page. Pearls of wisdom or just flashes of quick wit. A small book that brings big smiles. This is the second in the series I have been sent to review, I think I am going to buy the rest and I bought the previous for my friend. Thanks to Mills and Boon for sending me a review copy and once again bring Ada Adverse into my life, a wee burst of feminine joviality that women of all ages can appreciate, 4/5 for me.

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Saturday 15 July 2017

Young Sherlock Holmes Fire Storm by Andrew Lane

Fire Storm (Young Sherlock Holmes, #4)Fire Storm by Andy Lane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - on and off over 5 days

Pages - 345

Publisher - MacMillan Childrens Books

Blurb from Goodreads

Sherlock 14 finds the house empty, his tutor Crowe and daughter Ginny vanished. When a clue points to Scotland, he brings along pal Matty. Villain Bryce Scobel follows, hunts the hunters.

My Review

So this is book four I believe in a series, I didn't know that when I bought it. I just noticed the cover and HAD to buy it, the yellow is actually gold and has a shine and that skull is both magnificent and sinister. I never used to comment on or bother with covers but of late they do seem to catch my eye and this one absolutely jumps off the shelf. So young Sherlock is just a teenager, he has already been mixed up in a few adventures and these are referred to in this tale so I don't think we are missing too much by starting here. Sherlock's tutor and his daughter have left in haste, Sherlock knows there is more to it and looks for clues around the abandoned home. He finds himself off to Scotland with his friend, the bad guys are hot on their tale and once again Sherlock has to use his wits to get him and his friends out of trouble.

I have never read this author before and never really thoughts about Sherlock Holmes as a kid. We watched the programme with Benedict Cumberbatch and the movies with Robert Downey Junior. I have Cumberbatch in mind when I read this young Holmes. He is super smart and really sharp for his age whilst just a little bit socially awkward that you can see become the character portrayed in the show.

Whilst this is aimed at a younger audience, it has enough action and darkness to be enjoyed by the mature reader. There is violence and some animal death is mentioned which may be uncomfortable for some readers. Otherwise we have a daring tale of bravery, righteousness and friendship, Holmes is such a loyal wee chap and just goes about solving puzzles & cases singularly focused on the job at hand. Some of the clues I would never have got in a million years but it is enjoyable seeing how his mind connects the dots and pulls it all together. This is my first dance with this author and I will definitely be reading more by him, I may well seek out the earlier books in this series and those that follow, 3.5 for me this time.

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Friday 14 July 2017

July giveaway is finally here

Sorry it has took until practically the middle of the month to get this one up, between work and life sometimes you just get caught up with things. So for this month's giveaway it will be a wee £5 Amazon voucher, that way it is open to all, worldwide, all you need is an Amazon account!

To be in with a chance of winning, as per, it will be via the Rafflecopter \t the bottom of the post, the more options you complete the more entries you will have. Good luck and as always thanks for taking part, interacting with the blog both here and Instagram/Twitter/Facebook. It is always nice gabbing with fellow book geeks and as a result, from the fabulous Facebook book club Book Connectors I have ordered my first Ninja book box, it won't arrive until mid or the end of August. I will of course do a wee post when it comes, exciting!

I have another giveaway going just now for a paperback copy of Perfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh, click here for details.

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Thursday 13 July 2017

Author Interview with Taryn Leigh and a wee comp

Thanks so much to Taryn for taking time out to come and chat about her fabulous debut novel, Perfect Imperfections. You can read my review here.

Tell us about Perfect Imperfections.

Perfect Imperfections is the story, I as a book lover, would love to sit and read. It’s a story of a woman, Sarah, who tries to escape the pain in her past by running away to a new place with new possibilities. We go on an adventure with Sarah from London to South Africa, as she rediscovers herself, heals from her pain and meets the most amazing people along the way. We laugh with her, we cry with her and we get to know the mystery that caused her to flee. It’s a story of a lifelong friendship between her and Katy. It’s a story of love lost and new love possibilities found, and it’s a story of how us woman have the strength inside of us to rise above what life throws our way, to become the best in our careers, the best in our friendships, and the best in our relationships. What makes Perfect Imperfections so special to me, is that the story keeps hinting at something, while dropping clues along the way, allowing the reader to piece the puzzle together.

What made you choose the two locations, London and primarily South Africa?

South Africa is my home, and I’m from the city Durban that most of the book is set in. I wanted to share this beautiful land with everyone. We have so many breath-taking places here, and the people and culture are so warm and inviting. It gets into your bones, all who visit bear witness to that. London is my dream location. From a little girl I dreamt of going there, not just the city but the country side. In fact my husband and my dream vacation is to go to London, Switzerland and Scotland. So what better way to feel like I’m already there, than to write about it!

The story focuses on many aspects of normal life, what made you chose them and particularly the self healing side?

When I wrote the book I was going through my own self-healing, and someone encouraged me to write to escape my own life. So I did, and Perfect Imperfections was born. I also wanted the characters to be relatable and feel real to whoever read them. I added in everyday things like the secret hot chocolate recipe between Edward and Sarah or the raw and real emotions, so that the reader could visualise it and identify easily.

Are the characters or situations based on real life?

Yes they are in so many ways. There are elements of different characters that are from the people I know closest to me. The close bond of friendship is based on my own friendships, and Edwards’ character is loosely based on my husband who loved me when I should have been unlovable. The places and locations are all real places I’ve been to in South Africa, and Sarah’s career is based on my four years studying Interior Design.

Who is your favourite character and why, without spoilers if you can?

I love things from so many of them. I love Katy’s friendship, and Sarah’s bravery. I love Kevin’s loyalty and Edwards’ sincerity and ability to surprise, and I love Joseph’s story! Oh how I love his story.

Who are you reading just now?

I am just starting to read The Rome Affair by Karen Swan. I’ve been waiting a long time for its release.

What is your favourite read?

I love books similar to the one I wrote. Where the characters have depth. Where you get to know them and live with them, and where you are transported into another world!

What authors inspire you?

I’m a huge fan of Karen Swan, Sidney Sheldon, Enid Blyton and Emily Bronte

What is next for Taryn Leigh?

I would love to continue to write. Currently I’m working on my second novel. The story is different, and set in new places that you will love.

Where can fans find you?

I am all over social media, and I love to interact with all my readers
Twitter: @tarynleighbook
Instagram: @tarynleighbooks

Anything else I missed? I write with a hope, that even though the story might be fiction, but the reader must walk away from it being impacted by something they have read in a way they will never forget. My mom named me Taryn Leigh because she read a book while pregnant with me, and loved the character so much that I’m named after her. Thirty Three years later, her daughter is now the Author of her own books. Those are the books I want to write.

To be in with a chance of winning just enter using the Rafflecopter below, open to all, you need have a Twitter account as one mandatory option is to follow the author of the book. Otherwise choose any additional entries for more chances to win. Good luck all and thanks as always for interacting with the blog xxx a Rafflecopter giveaway

Perfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh

Perfect ImperfectionsPerfect Imperfections by Taryn Leigh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 290

Publisher - Olympia Publishers

Blurb from Goodreads

Sarah Lewis desires nothing more than to begin again after a failed marriage and a tragedy so terrifying, it forces her to leave her life in London to stay with her best friend a world apart in South Africa.
Despite immediate success in her business, she struggles to understand who she really is and where she belongs in the world. So begins a journey of discovery as Sarah re-unites with Katy in the land where she was born, where the air is lavender scented, and weekends are spent cycling on the beach.
Until the day when she has to return to London to face the ghosts of her past and confront a situation that has grown more complicated in her absence.
Perfect Imperfections is an intriguing tale which hints at wrongdoings and deceit without giving too much away. The author cleverly weaves a tale around fragile yet strong Sarah as she tries to reconcile her past with her future, engaging the reader to the point where we simply want the best for her and for happiness finally to come her way.

My Review

Sarah Lewis has been through the mill, her marriage has broken down and she is upping sticks leaving her life in London to return home to South Africa to heal. Returning to her roots and best friend Katy, Sarah slowly starts to let the walls come down and let those she loves in. Piece by piece Sarah starts to heal and prepare herself for facing the past she has run away from.

This is a genteel wee book, from the beginning we know Sarah is running from something in her life, from her failed marriage and hints at more. Instead of being a deadly secret or anything dark like that it is more echos of the issues surrounding every day relationships and ordinary lives which will connect with many readers. Failed relationships, rekindling friendships of old, healing after the breakdown of a marriage, betrayal and just trying to rebuild yourself.

It is a journey of self discovery and growth, appreciating things in your life that may have been over looked because you have been caught up with other aspects of your life. Self healing, support, friendship, love and learning to embrace the lessons from life and positively move on. It really is a beautiful story, slow burning and a prime example of how the darkest times in your life can lead to brighter new beginnings. Sometimes you read a book and something just clicks, for me I found the most perfectly apt quote: "Darkness cannot drive away darkness, only light can do that".

If you enjoy book locations, when we travel to South Africa the settings and descriptions of some of the area are breath taking. It is not somewhere I have ever been nor likely to get to however from the scenery is brought to life from the pages you can envision the beauty as if you were there with the characters. Locations aren't always a huge factor or notable part of books I am reading but it was so vivid at times in this one it is absolutely worthy of note. Perfect Imperfections is the perfect book to immerse yourself in by a poolside or curled up indoors, 4/5 for me. This is my first time reading this author , I would read her again. Thanks so much to Deryl in the NotRights club and the author for providing me with a review copy, all views as always are my own.

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Sunday 9 July 2017

The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell

The Reapers are the AngelsThe Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days on and off

Pages - 294

Publisher - TOR

Blurb from Goodreads

Zombies have infested a fallen America. A young girl named Temple is on the run. Haunted by her past and pursued by a killer, Temple is surrounded by death and danger, hoping to be set free.

For twenty-five years, civilization has survived in meager enclaves, guarded against a plague of the dead. Temple wanders this blighted landscape, keeping to herself and keeping her demons inside her heart. She can't remember a time before the zombies, but she does remember an old man who took her in and the younger brother she cared for until the tragedy that set her on a personal journey toward redemption. Moving back and forth between the insulated remnants of society and the brutal frontier beyond, Temple must decide where ultimately to make a home and find the salvation she seeks.

My Review

We all know I love a zombie read, for those who are a bit fencer sitter on them this one may appear a bit more to you. Temple is taking it one day from the next in a new world where zombies far outnumber the surviving humans. Twenty five years after the apocalypse kicked off Temple has lost everyone close to her and is moving from place to place to stay safe. After a horrific encounter she finds herself hunted and not just by the zombies. Coming across someone who is vulnerable to say the least she tries to keep them both safe whilst eluding the person who wants to dole out some justice.

I think if you like a story that is post apocalyptic which more focus on the human survival and rationale behind human actions and consequences rather than horror and flesh eating, this is one for you. Temple is older than her fifteen years and in some aspects really smart, in others you are slapping your head in disbelief at some of the choices she makes considering that which she has just survived.

She looks after a vulnerable male adult she comes across after her conscience won't let her abandon him yet calls him some terms that many readers will find offensive. The person who hunts her whilst you can understand their initial reasons just had me thinking, really?!?! she is a kid and anyone would justify her actions oh and she is a fifteen year old child! A few other issues for me was how well kept the world appears to be, twenty five years in and some places still have working electronics, electricity, home comforts meh I have read and seen so many of this genre that that did stick in my craw.

However, the book itself rather than heavy focus , as most zombie reads do, on death eating monsters & destruction this was more on humanity, the ups and downs of it. In a ravaged world we will have good guys, bad guys and a sense of righteousness, friendship, honor and family ties. I did like this book, I just didn't love it and whilst some will appreciate how it all came to play folk like me get a bit prickly with how things are chosen to come full circle. I would certainly recommend it to folk who enjoy the more human interactions of apocalyptic style read as it has been loved and enjoyed by many. If you are looking for a gore fest or the survival from limited resources then maybe not so much this one. 3/5 for me this time, this was my first time reading this author and I would read them again, certainly different from the other zombie reads so far.

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Friday 7 July 2017

The Woman in the Wood by Lesley Pearse

The Woman in the WoodThe Woman in the Wood by Lesley Pearse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - under 3 days on and off

Pages - 400

Publisher - Penguin

Blurb from Goodreads

Fifteen-year-old Maisy Mitcham and her twin brother Duncan lose their mother to an asylum one night in 1960.

The twins are sent to their grandmother's country house, Nightingales. Cold and distant, she leaves them to their own devices, to explore and to grow. That is until the day Duncan doesn't come home from the woods.

With their grandmother seeming to have little interest in her grandson's disappearance, and the police soon giving up hope, it is left to Maisy to discover the truth. And she will start with Grace Deville. A woman who lives alone in the wood, about whom rumours abound . . .

My Review

Maisy and Duncan Mitcham, fifteen years and and about to have their world turned upside down. They always knew their mother was unwell but to be removed from their home and both children sent to live with their elderly grand mother? With everything they know removed, a grand mother as cold as their father who just abandoned them, the twins get to know the people around them. They hear of the woman in the woods, Grace, anti social, withdrawn and down right rude the child are drawn to find out more. An unlikely friendship turns to suspicion when Duncan goes missing, no one seems as bothered as Maisy and Maisy will not settle until she finds out what happened to her brother even if it means bringing danger to herself.

Oh guys I do love Pearse, her books are often gentle with hard hitting topics dottered throughout, The Woman in the Wood is no different. We cover a range of life issues, mental health, family, relationships, abuse, disappearance, crime, the darker side of humanity and the old societal prejudices. A bit of a slow burner in the beginning to get to know the characters, the kids are pretty much the main characters and we see them learn to adapt with being abandoned by their father. When he does interact with them there is no affection and when we meet the grand mother we start to see why. A proud woman with no huge value on affection on children, little respect for their mother and rather set in her ways.

The book takes a dark turn when Duncan goes missing, there has been a spate of boy going missing and a killer is on the loose. Whilst Maisy is forced to move on she can never let go and braves approaching Grace, the woman from the woods for help. Grace is a fantastic character, excluded from society and in herself very guarded, through Maisy we start to see another side to this abrupt "weird" woman. Through their quest to find out what happened to Duncan, we see just how strong and loyal Grace is with a fierce streak, these two woman go on a mission that will change everything!

There are so many aspects of this book we could focus on, one thing I loved was just how strong the female characters were. Maisy, even at fifteen has a great sense of right and wrong and challenges things which for that time period (1960s) would raise an eyebrow let alone modern day. Grace is something else, having being hurt, judged and ostracized from her own people she still has righteousness and metal to make a stand when called upon. Whilst many aspects of this book are dark, and heinous there is so much that is beautiful. Strong women, the importance of relationships, the good of people, loyalty, friendship and things that take ordinary people and make them extraordinary. I could have read this in one sitting but work and life got in the way, 4/5 for me this time. I have many of this author still to read, I bought up quite a few after her last book so will certainly be reading her again. Pearse is one of those authors that has yet to disappoint, her writing just envelopes you and snares you into the story practically from the get go. Thanks to Netgalley for providing an arc of this book, The Woman in the Wood is now available to buy, let me know what you thought of it!

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Tuesday 4 July 2017

City Lives by Patricia Scanlan

City LivesCity Lives by Patricia Scanlan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - on and off over 4 days

Pages - 484

Publisher - Simon & Schuster UK

Blurb from Goodreads

Devlin, Caroline and Maggie. Women in their prime. They have it all. Careers. Success. Marriage. They are the envy of their peers. But at what price?

City Livesis the story of three women who have one great certainy in their lives: their friendship. The enduring bonds of loyalty and love will carry them through the toughest times towards a brighter future.

'A page-turner for romantics'Ireland on Sunday

My Review

This is book two of a trilogy, if you haven't read the first one I would recommend it however you could get away with reading this as a standalone. I think you would enjoy it more though having the background info.

Three very different women, Devlin is a successful business woman with her own chain of beauty salons, married and in love she has everything she could want from life. Caroline, married to a man with his own demons and over bearing mother. When they agree to divorce and pursue happiness, Caroline's Mother in Law has other plans. And Maggie, a now well known author, a husband with more than a roving eye, young babies and the struggle between her own happiness and that of her children. The trio have already overcome so much together, now taking scary steps in each of their own lives to achieve what we all want, happiness.

I do like Scanlan's writing, it is like slipping into an episode of one of your favourite sitcoms, the writing flows and you're quickly drawn into the world created and following the ladies recent adventures. I think within the characters there will be someone each reader can identify with, even though they have fame or money they still experience the same woes as everyone else. I will buy the third part of this series as I want to know what is next for the ladies, a perfect read for round the pool or just to switch off from your own every day, 3/5 for me this time.

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