Tuesday 27 March 2018

Nobody True by James Herbert

Nobody TrueNobody True by James Herbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - On and off over 3 days

Pages - 373

Publisher - Tor Books

Source - Bought from Amazon

Blurb from Goodreads

James True was not there when he died.

He returned from an out-of-body experience to find that he'd been murdered and mutilated. He had no body to go back to.

But who murdered him? The serial killer terrorizing the city--or someone closer? True had no enemies, at least none that he knew of.

To discover the truth, James True must track down his killer. The initial horror of True's experience is followed by an even greater terror . . . . his family are the murderer's next targets.

Without a body, True has no substance and no real power. No one can see him, no one can hear him, and no one except his murderer even knows his spirit still exists.

How can he save his family?

My Review

James "Jim" True has OBE (Out Of Body) experiences, astro projection, can leave his body behind and head out and about. This is exactly what he is doing when he is brutally murdered, fitting the killing of a serial murdered. Jim is still around, trying to figure out why he hasn't passed on and why he is drawn to the serial killers layer and whats more is the killer aware of him?

This has a lot to this book, we have a serial on the loose, Jim's ability to OBE at will and a look back and when it all came about. His job, his life and then we look into the killer, as Jim follows the killer and experiences his life through his eyes. How can he stop a killer, keep his family safe when no one can see him, he can't physically manifest and still needs to figure out why he is left behind, what is his purpose?

The thing I loved about this book is, anytime I read a ghost story I always think Ghost, mediums, all the avenues you would try to be seen and heard. Herbert examines these and more and explains why they would or would not work. He takes you on the emotive journey of not only a murder victim, a good guy, a family man but someone trying to work out how to fix things being in a horrendous predicament. You have no idea where the story is going to go and had I not been ill I would have sank this in one sitting. 4/5 for me this time, I have read Herbert before and I absolutely will read him again!

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Sunday 25 March 2018

Faking Friends by Jane Fallon

Faking FriendsFaking Friends by Jane Fallon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 448

Publisher - Penguin

Source - Given by a random stranger on holiday

Blurb from Goodreads

Best friend, soulmate, confidante . . . backstabber.

Amy thought she knew everything there was to know about her best friend Melissa. Then again, Amy also thought she was on the verge of the wedding of her dreams to her long-distance fiancé.

Until she pays a surprise trip home to London. Jack is out, but it's clear another woman has been making herself at home in their flat.

There's something about her stuff that feels oddly familiar . . . and then it hits Amy. The Other Woman is Melissa.

Amy has lost her home, her fiancé and her best friend in one disastrous weekend - but instead of falling apart, she's determined to get her own back.

Piecing her life back together won't be half as fun as dismantling theirs, after all.

My Review

Amy has been working away from home for months on a tv show and heads home early to surprise her fiance Jack. She finds evidence of another woman living there and can't believe her eyes, Amy decides to find out exactly who and why?

Oooh this is my first dance with this author and it won't be my last. Amy thought her relationship with Jack was perfect but to find he is cheating AND putting up a front that all is fine isn't sitting with Amy. Getting help from an old friend she decides to find out who it is and get her own back. Keeping up the pretence all is well whilst conducting her own investigation with a little help from her friends, Amy discovers the true betrayal and won't take it lying down.

I raced through the first 200 pages on the flight home, I loved the whole cat and mouse type situation and Amy extracting her revenge. The latter part of the book changes a bit as we get narration from another main character and the feel of the book changed a bit for me. Still good but the pace and direction changed for me. A page turner, looking at infidelity, friendship, betrayal, love and loyalty. It also has a dual timeline, the present and flipping back to the past with Amy's relationships with others that help show the relationship dynamics she has in present day. Good pace, characters you are drawn right into, both ones to love and hate, revenge, sass, attitude it gives the reader a bit of everything, 4/5 for me this time!

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Saturday 24 March 2018

Can't Get You Out Of My Head by Sue Shepherd

Can't Get You Out of My HeadCan't Get You Out of My Head by Sue Shepherd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 450

Publisher - Corazon Books

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Amazon

A moving and funny story about sisters, secrets and second chances.

Twin sisters Beth and Lisa do everything together, so what will happen now they both want a life of their own?

Beth has a secret she's kept from everyone except her sister. But it's time to get on with her life. Could a seductive Italian, a smooth-talking charmer or backpacking around Australia be the answer?

Lisa feels she's always lived in her sister's shadow. Maybe now it's her turn for some fun, whatever the consequences. But will her drunken antics land Beth in trouble?

And when it comes to the crunch, will one sister have to give up what she wants so the other can have what she needs?

Another entertaining page-turner from the No.1 bestselling author of Doesn't Everyone Have a Secret? – where things, and people, are not always as they first appear!

My Review

Twin sisters Beth and Lisa could not be more different, Beth is pretty much meek, a people pleaser and relatively submissive. Lisa is opinionated, forth right, will seize the day at any given opportunity and life and soul of any party given half a chance. We open with the girls as children then flip to adulthood, the frustrations sisters endure that we all know too well and maybe a few new ones too!

This is a pretty unique read and can I just say until I checked Amazon for the pages count (I always add that) I can't believe the book is 450 pages it certainly didn't seem that long! I would have read it a lot quicker if life didn't get in my way.

I always write non spoiler reviews, seriously what book "lover" does that and ruins a book for other readers, ugh. Anyways, certain things are hard to discuss because I don't want to spoil anything for anyone. Relationships are at the heart of the story, mostly centred around Beth, Lisa and their family, boyfriends and friends. Sibling relationships can be a nitemare the girls provide a fresh take on the old sibling rivalry. There is humour in some of the scenes and some heart wrenching moments too, love, loss, life, personal growth, self discovery and I feel like I am harping on but relationships/family are everything with this tale. Someone you love making you second guess yourself, manipulating, scathing and yet the sisters are so close.

I think we all have a relationship or know someone who has someone like that in their life. I went through periods of mixed feelings for both Beth and Lisa. Like, hate, dislike, sadness and it is hard to say why in any great detail. Beth is very doormat like, I just wanted her to have a backbone and rise up, I felt so sorry for her at times though and frustrated on her behalf. Lisa I disliked quite quickly but as the story progresses I flip flopped a bit there too. As we learn more about the characters and what they have experienced/endured you can't help but reevaluate your feelings and ideas about them both.

It is a story that flings curve balls that you really don't see coming. You are pulled in quickly with a childhood incident and then wonder what is coming next, where is the story going. As Shepherd teases out the details you are absorbed in their world before you realise you are a quarter of the way through the book and the rug has been pulled again. 4/5 stars for me this time, I can't believe this is my first dance with this author but it certainly won't be my last!

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Friday 23 March 2018

Class Murder by Leigh Russell Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Class Murder by Leigh Russell (an author who has fabulous taste in colours, her favourite colour also happens to be mine, purple!).

Class Murder (DI Geraldine Steel, #10)Class Murder by Leigh Russell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 353

Publisher - No Exit Press

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

With so many potential victims to choose from, there would be many deaths. He was spoiled for choice, really, but he was determined to take his time and select his targets carefully. Only by controlling his feelings could he maintain his success. He smiled to himself. If he was clever, he would never have to stop. And he was clever. He was very clever. Far too clever to be caught.
Geraldine Steel is back for her tenth case. Reunited in York with her former sergeant, Ian Peterson, she discovers that her tendency to bend the rules has consequences. The tables have turned, and now he's the boss.

When two people are murdered, their only connection lies buried in the past. As police search for the elusive killer, another body is discovered. Pursuing her first investigation in York, Geraldine Steel struggles to solve the confusing case. How can she expose the killer, and rescue her shattered reputation, when all the witnesses are being murdered?

My Review

This is the 10th book in the Geraldine Steel series, I have picked some of the previous book sup out of reading order however I advise starting at the beginning. There is so much history that is relevant to this book I think to enhance enjoyment of the book I would definitely go back to the beginning.

Geraldine finds herself trying to settle after relocating in York, happy to be reunited with fellow officer Ian Peterson, now her superior, there are mixed emotions. Geraldine's private life has in recent times proven to be challenging, having a knock on effect on her job and she is trying to deal with that, new living arrangements, changes at work and now a vicious killer is on the loose.

We open to the killer as a child and flip around in modern day with the police investigation, insights from the killer and the victims. The police need a link, they need a motive and maybe then they can get a break on the case. Some aspects of the book are frustrating from the police point of view and what they come up against with the people they are investigating. I guess that is a true representative of what some of the force come up against in any investigation, let alone one so serious.

I said in my review of book 9, the family side of the story really hit me from an emotional stance, this book, whilst is does refer to family, the drive is more on the killer, victims, police investigation side f things. I always mention this with Russell's book but I love the Acronym glossary she uses at the front of a book. How many times do we read acronyms and forget what they mean and you are back tracking on the pages to find what they mean. May not be a big thing to some but I love it. Class murder itself is a riveting story, pulling the reader in from page one, 4/5 stars for me this time. I really need to go back and buy the couple of books I missed from this series! Have read more than a handful of Russell's work I can say, hand on heart, she is going from strength to strength and I cannot wait to read what is next for Geraldine Steel.

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Thursday 22 March 2018

The Fear by C L Taylor

The FearThe Fear by C.L. Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 6 hours

Pages - 400

Publisher - Avon

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

‘Grabs you by the metaphorical throat right from the start and doesn’t let up until the end.’ Heat

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

The million copy Sunday Times bestseller returns with a taut, compelling psychological thriller that will have you glued to the edge of your seat.

My Review

Imagine being in love with an older man, thinking he loves you, only to realise you had been groomed and abused. That is what happened to Lou as a child, now 32 and still living with the effects from everything she survived Lou finds herself confronting her past. Upon returning home Lou finds out Mike is still up to his predatory ways and Lou won’t allow him to get away with it any longer.

Oooh I wasn’t too sure where this book was going to go, so much kicks off quickly you are left guessing what will happen next. Four main characters, three real view points coming from Lou, Wendy and Chloe. Chloe is Mike’s latest interest, Wendy we aren’t too sure who she is or what her part will be and Lou you know from the outset. We learn about Mike from their outlook and what is transpiring when it is their chapters, clearly marked as you head into each chapter.

I sank this story in six hours, I would have got through it quicker had I not had to stop for wee tasks throughout the day. Taylor carves out characters that, whether you like them or not, you are drawn to what happens next in their stories. Whilst the book covers paedophilia there aren’t any scenes that are heavily graphic although enough to make you uncomfortable, especially the glimpses of manipulation and control used. It does a fantastic job of hooking the reader, dark, suspense but also a look at the emotive side from the victims. It shows the reader how something like that in childhood can have lasting effects as an adult and impact on so many aspects of the persons lives. I have read all of Taylor’s books I think she just goes from strength to strength, an absolute page turner 4.5 stars out of 5 for me this time. Thanks to Netgalley for sending me a copy, if you enjoy intrigue and a book that keeps you on your toes then this is absolutely for you!

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Wednesday 21 March 2018

Tony and Susan by Austin Wright

Tony and SusanTony and Susan by Austin Wright
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - Over two days

Pages - 384

Publisher - Warner Books

Source - Waterstones

Blurb from Goodreads

Receiving a manuscript and request for feedback from her vengeful ex-husband of fifteen years, Susan Morrow is drawn into the life of the story's fictional character and confronts a devastating parallel darkness from her own past.

Austin Wright's novel is a disturbing and dazzling work: it describes a special reading experience, combines the suggestiveness of a thriller and the depth of a psychological novel. He talks about fear and regret, revenge and maturation, marriage and failure.

My Review

This book splits into two, Susan receives a manuscript from her ex husband for some feedback. We slip between the story within the manuscript and Susan herself as she readies herself to read it, absorb it, her thoughts on both the story and all it conjures up. Her past, her life with Edward (ex husband), her current husband and really her thoughts on everything from the past to the present and what the stories conjures up in her. The manuscript story itself "Nocturnal Animals" started off really strong and pretty frightening because of how easy you could see it happening to anyone.

The pace threw me a bit, Susan's story is such a different pace as you aren't too sure what is the significance of getting the manuscript. I'm still not if I am honest, I got a bit lost within the stories, I followed the manuscript story so much easier and then the closer it came to an end I was a bit lost as to where it was going. I think Wright was trying to do something with both these stories and I personally just didn't get it. I was left with so many questions, I found some of the dialogue with the characters clunky, not flowing as other characters interactions did.

I would say, looking at other reviews and feedback on this book I think I am in a minority as so many loved or really enjoyed it. I think that is possibly more about me as a reader than the actual authors writing, sometimes a book just isn't for that specific reader and I think this may be what happened here. I went back and forth on if this was a two or three star for me, I think I have to go with a 2.5 as I didn't get the book, I didn't enjoy most of it. I think the message or what the author was trying to do was completely lost on me and I am happy to blame the reader in this case. I would say give it a try, see how you get on with it and I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Monday 19 March 2018

Dead North by Joel Hames

Dead North (Sam Williams Book 1)Dead North by Joel Hames
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and our over 3 days

Pages - 280

Publisher - Mainsail books

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Once the brightest star in the legal firmament, Sam Williams has hit rock bottom, with barely a client to his name and a short-term cash problem that's looking longer by the minute. So when he's summoned to Manchester to help a friend crack a case involving the murder of two unarmed police officers and a suspect who won't say a word, he jumps at the chance to resurrect his career.

In Manchester he'll struggle against resentful locals, an enigmatic defence lawyer who thinks he's stepping on her toes, beatings, corrupt cops and people who'll do anything to protect their secrets. On its streets, he’ll see people die. But it's in the hills and valleys further north that Sam will face the biggest challenge of all: learning who he really is and facing down the ghosts of his past.

He’s working someone else’s case and he’s in way over his head. But sometimes you need the wrong man in the right place.

My Review

Two police officers killed, one suspect arrested who isn't talking and a case that had no leads and pretty much no evidence. That is what Sam Williams has been called in as an adviser to help with, Sam is a lawyer who really needs an influx of cash. With money problems and one client business is not good so he really has nothing to loose. When he gets to Manchester he is met with resistance, hostility and that is just the staff on the case he is there to help! With a race against time, Sam starts digging to get answers, finds himself in danger and trodding on toes with dangerous consequences.

This is my first dance with this author, whilst it is a serious crime and we run into violence and aggression there is humour laced throughout the book. Sam is a bit of a character, down on his luck and at times adding more problems than he is helping to solve. The suspect we know quite quickly there has to be more to, silence is suspicious and he is saying nothing. As Sam digs and stumbles about the case he has bitten off more than he can chew. I found myself questioning everyone and trusting no one. That said I had no idea why the crime had happened, I kept going chapter to chapter patiently (or impatiently) waiting to see what was coming next. You have the human aspect of the book too, Sam has a lot going on, money worries, career worries and when the cat is away.............temptation can rear its ugly head. Sam is, I thought, an interesting character, flawed but not a cliche of a guy a bit down on his luck.

Interesting characters, lots of issues covered, teamwork, police procedure, relationships, pressure on individuals working the case, working relationships, politics within the force and those helping. And whilst it is busy with all of that, it doesn't overshadow the main parts of the book, the murder case, it just ties in nicely. I did enjoy this and I think (hope) there will be more in the series, I would quite like to see what is in store fr the characters next. A story that keeps the reader on their toes, engaging from the get go and I think even those readers who can guess the plot will have their work cut out for them this time. 4/5 for me, if you like crime but with focus on the characters and relationships side with some humour then I think you will love this book. On a wee additional note, there is swearing in the book, nothing over the top but just a heads up!

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Sunday 18 March 2018

Q&A with author Jean Gill

Welcome Jean to So Many Books, So Little Time. Thank you for taking time out to chat about your book and those beautiful dogs of yours. Guys also say hello to Sherlock and Holmes (Holmes is the long eared dog), how beautiful are these two.

1. What made you choose to write about the breed Pyrenean?

Like so many people, I fell in love with Belle in the TV series Belle and Sebastien (the old black and white version) as a child. I always wanted a dog but we moved house (and country) too often for me to be allowed one. As an adult, the moment I was in a house with a garden, I adopted a dog advertised in the local paper as ‘deaf Pyrenean puppy needs re-homing’. She turned out not to be deaf at all. Since that first Great Pyrenees, I’ve loved the breed – its courage and beauty, even its independence – and I’ve since been owned by six of them. I have loved other dogs too but ‘my’ breed will always be the Pyrenean Mountain Dog.

2. The book is written in the character of Sirius, the dog, what made you choose that avenue?

I didn’t know whether I could bring it off but so much in dog-training books and classes is about ‘understanding the dog’ that my instinct said the only way to really do that was to get inside the dog’s head, and tell the story from a dog viewpoint. I also wanted it to be real, not cutesie, so that was quite a challenge. In my fifties, I trained with top French dog trainer Michel Hasbrouck, and translated his dog training book as Gentle Dog Training. What I learned from him made me very aware of ‘inverse training’, all the ways in which we accidentally train dogs to behave badly. Showing this from a dog’s point of view provides humour in the book but also a serious message about dog training. Many dogs are abandoned for the very habits we have taught them, without realising.

3. Did you find it hard writing from a dog’s perspective?

At first I had to keep reminding myself of dog priorities; for example, that scent and sounds were important while vision was less so, and colours were irrelevant. Because of my background in dog training, I slipped easily into the dog’s viewpoint on human behaviour and when I finished the book, it was really hard to come out of a dog’s point of view. People close to me say I never have 😊

4. What research did you have to do?

The research was all done before I ever thought of writing the book and, once I began to write, thirty years’ experience of dogs fed into the story: the ten dogs who’ve lived with me, two litters of puppies, dog-training classes, hours online on dog forums, and my work with Michel. All the stories in the book are true, based on some of the thousands of true stories I came across on forums and in my work with Michel. They did not all happen to the same dog but I shaped them to make an adventure from the dog’s viewpoint, to show both the mistakes we humans make and the love we could find.

5. The story is quite deep and sad in parts; a lot of animal stories are light and fluffy. What made you go that route?

Nothing is fluffier than a Great Pyrenees 😊 and there are lots of funny parts but I want readers to love Sirius and his friends, which means living through bad times too. I was deeply moved by the true story of one Great Pyrenees in a refuge, whose experiences were like those of Sirius in the central chapters of the book, and I wanted readers to feel his story. When my readers have told me that they see dogs differently after reading the book, and understand them better, I feel I have succeeded.

6.Do you think you will write any more tales from Sirius?

I have had requests for a sequel but, at the moment, I feel there is something beautiful and complete in Sirius’ story. I wouldn’t want to write a follow-up that was disappointing so it would have to be the story that motivated me, not commercial reasons.

7.Who are your go to/inspiring/influential authors?

So many! All the writers in Wales who came to tea when I lived there have inspired me. Among my favourite authors, Dorothy Dunnett and Guy Gavriel Kay have been an inspiration for my medieval historical fiction.

8. What is next for Jean Gill?

Good question and I really don’t know! The Troubadours Quartet was ten years’ work, with a huge amount of research and when I completed that in November I wanted to stop and think before diving into another project. I’m open to my readers’ suggestions. What would you like me to write next?

9. Where can fans find you?

IPPY Award for Best Author Website www.jeangill.com
Blog www.jeangill.blogspot.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/writerjeangill
The Troubadours Page https://www.facebook.com/jeangilltroubadours
Youtube book trailers https://www.youtube.com/user/beteljean
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/writerjeangill/

> 10. Anything else you would like to add that I forgot to ask?

There’s an Authors’ Show interview with me, on my youtube channel, about Someone To Look Up To and I’m making a video at the moment, from an audiobook extract, read by narrator Ian M Walker. He is brilliant as the voice of Sirius! All the dog photos in the videos, the book trailer and on the book cover are of my own Great Pyrenees so of course I love them (just a wee bit biased). I’m a photographer as well as a writer and seeing my photos of my dogs on the first edition of Pyr International was a proud moment.

And if all of that isn't enough for you lucky ducks I am giving away my pre loved copy of Someone To Look Up To by Jean Gill, you can read my review for it HERE. To be in with a chance of winning, as usual, please use the Rafflecopter below, the more entries you complete the more times your name goes into the draw. As it is a thin book I am opening this us worldwide, competition runs til the end of the month.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday 17 March 2018

Hola from sunny Spain

This is day five of our holiday and the least relaxed holiday we have ever had. This is our sixth visit to the hotel and we love it here, the scenary and grounds.

We were sure we were going get away as I was unwell but we made it. Finished the meds Wednesday night, feeling much better than I had (kidney infections are no joke) but by Thursday morning I was feeling poorly again, shakes, shivers, pain etc. So we had to get the onsite doctor, more meds with a whole list of DONT DOs. We then got a call from the cattery that Princess Trixie (if you are new to the blog, she is my wee helper kitty cat, 17 years young) was really unwell. There in was a visit to the vet, a night in the emergency vet, unpleasant interaction with a not so understanding vet (the rest of the staff were lovely), the hotel staff were fantastic helping to get us the consent form printed so we could sign and send it back.

After all of that, back at our vets, lots of bloods which showed improvement, IV fluids, she had a full bladder and wasn't passing urine and still refusing to eat despite offerings of chicken, fish and all selections of food. The vet wanted to send her back to the vet hospital for a feeding tube to be placed. I made a judgement call, I think at 17 that just is too much, I also think it sounded like she was huffing and with permission of the cattery I wanted her back there to see how she went. Try that first (she likes it there) and if still no joy off to the hospital she goes. Well, not even twenty seconds she was back and she had peed for Britain and was tearing into the food, Hurrah, tears of joy in this corner.

There is nothing worse when your furbaby is poorly and you are hundreds of miles away, we aren't out of the woods yet but she ate and slept. Awaiting an update this morning. We can only continue to hope and be positive, thanks for all your well wishes, tweets, messages, it means a lot.

Managed to get a bit of escapism with reading, thank God for books and a kind stranger came up to me yesterday and gave me a book. The kindness of others never fails to amaze me! We also saw a wee ginger kitten after the most worrying call about Trixie, he let me stroke him, reluctantly, twice.

Hoping news is happier with you guys, my internet is sketchy so I can't get on much xxx

Sunday 11 March 2018

Someone To Look Up To by Jean Gill

Someone to Look Up ToSomeone to Look Up To by Jean Gill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 204

Publisher - The 13th Sign

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

By IPPY and Global Ebook Award Winner Jean Gill A dog's life in the south of France. From puppyhood, Sirius the Pyrenean Mountain Dog has been trying to understand his humans and train them with kindness.

How this led to their divorce he has no idea. More misunderstandings take Sirius to Death Row in an animal shelter, as a so-called dangerous dog learning survival tricks from the other inmates. During the twilight barking, he is shocked to hear his brother's voice but the bitter-sweet reunion is short-lived. Doggedly, Sirius keeps the faith.

One day, his human will come.

My Review

These books have popped up a fair bit over the past few years, who doesn't love animals so the market is absolutely there for it. I have bought many of them but to be honest this is the first I have read where the story is told from the animal point of view in first person narration. Meet Sirius, a Pyrenean Mountain Dog, pedigree no less and his siblings as they are prepared to go out in the world to their new owners. We see the world through his eyes, thoughts, feelings and observations with his human, fellow pups and then out with his new owners and growing up.

When I read the first chapter I wasn't sure if I was going to get on with this, told from the puppy point of view and interactions with his sibling(s) I just wasn't sure. However, we get a beautiful insight into the surroundings and the first chapter is literally the first look at what was relevant to Sirius at that time in his new wee life. The chapters are relatively short, which I do love as it aids dipping in and out frequently if having a busy day, I quickly found myself not wanting to put it down.

We get a unique insight, I felt, from a dogs point of view. From how we treat them, our expectations and orders/rules as humans, teachings and of course the old actions and consequences. There are parts of this book that, as an animal lover, will take you on an emotional roller coaster, there is humour as well but just a warning for your furry loving hearts. I wanted to head to my local shelter and give all the animals a big hug and help out, I will certainly be looking at animal charities and local animals in need after this. The loyalty of a dog is second to none and reading about Sirius and the other animals in this tale, ooft I think you need a swinging brick to not to be swept along on an emotional train. It also makes you look at how you interact with your animals differently, I have a moggy now not a k9 and she rules the roost anyway so no changes required.

It is a book I picked up not expecting too much if I am honest yet it en captures the readers heart and attention very quickly. I didn't want to put the book down because I had to know what was in store for Sirius, it is his story and he hints at was is to come, telling it in his own time. A lovely book with some dark spots and emotional sparks throughout, 4/5 for me. This is my first time reading this author, I will have a wee look and see what other offerings she has.

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Friday 9 March 2018

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare - Blog tour

Today is our turn on the blog tour for The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare. As you can see we both had a nice chilled out time reading this book, as modelled by Princess Trixie.

The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke, #1)The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 384

Publisher - Mills & Boon

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

‘I am a Duke. I’m not asking you to marry me. I am offering to marry you. It’s a different thing entirely.’

When the Duke of Ashbury returns from war scarred, he realises he needs an heir – which means he needs a wife! When Emma Gladstone, a vicar's daughter turned seamstress visits wearing a wedding dress, he decides on the spot that she'll do.

His terms are simple:
- They will be husband and wife by night only.
- No lights, no kissing.
- No questions about his battle scars.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she's pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has secrets and some rules of her own:
- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And teasing.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she's seen the man beneath the scars, he can't stop her from falling in love…

When a girl meets a Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

My Review

Can I just say you this is absolutely going to be a marmite book, you will love it for what it is or pick holes in it and hate it. Emma is a seamstress and comes across the Duke of Ashbury when she has to go begging payment for a job she did for his wife who called off the wedding. Swallow her pride and go looking for payment or loose her home and security. The Duke has his own business deal, be his wife, no romance, no pretence, nightly visits in the dark until she gives him an heir and she need never worry about money again!

I loved Mills and Boon as a teen and it isn't books I pick up often these days so it is nice to reconnect or read a new author. Emma is fiesty, smart and has the offer of a lifetime however she has a huge heart and can't help but see by the Duke's angry and bitter persona and his terrifying scars left from battle. The two try to stick to their terms of the deal but attraction sneaks in, he has been in a self imposed prison and she has kept herself busy after being shamed and rejected in the past.

There are a lot of quips, retorts, bad language used from Shakespeare plays, some humor including a feral kitty which whilst playing a small part in the story did steal the show with his brief appearances. There is erotica too, the book reminded me of a mix between 50 shades and beauty and the beast. Some of the scenes are very explicit so if you are offended by sexual content there is a heads up on the chapters you can skip. Some parts of the story I wanted to skelp both Emma and the Duke, sometimes they had me chuckling. I love the house servants, Breeches the kitty was a token character but who doesn't love an animal with attitude. I really enjoyed reading this, it infuriated me, made me laugh, blush, cringe and want to keep turning page after page to see how it would all end. 4/5 for me this time, this is my first dance with Dare, it won't be my last, thanks to Mills and Boon for sending me the book and introducing me to a new author. A perfect book for poolside reading or February, if like me you try to read romantic(ish) books for the month of love!

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Wednesday 7 March 2018

Calling horror fans and a wee pre loved giveaway

If you follow the blog on all the platforms you know we went to horror con again recently. I grew up loving the horror genre, Master Stephen King sparked my life long love of reading, I really had no place reading horrors at such a young age but I loved it and still do! It has rekindled the passion, we embarked on a binge of horror movies and I have pulled out some of my horror reads and ordered a fair few more, some new authors for me.

These mugs I bought for all the girls going to horror con, I cannot recommend the seller enough guys. UK based, fabulous customer service and very very reasonable prices. Have a wee look, like her page if you get a chance. I have used my mug many times and it is still perfect (handwash only). The candle I got smells lovely but I love it so much I can't bring myself to light it, yet. You can find them on Facebook, Silly Rockabilly's Handmade Horrors. Last night, I also made a wee Facebook group for Lovers of Horror, click here to join us for horror chat (books, movies, events) and bringing lovers of the genre together. It seems there is actually loads of horror events all over the place and hoping to get to a few more this year.

I also thought rather than popping my dvd into charity, I would put it up as a giveaway. Watched once, region 2, approx 99 minutes long and released in 2008 I think.

Open worldwide, hoping to connect with horror fans all over and it is a perfect opportunity to get recommendations from you guys for some great horror movies/books. Stephen King remains one of my all time faves, looking forward to hearing yours. Good luck if entering the giveaway, as always, enter using Rafflecopter, any issues just shout, message, tweet.

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Tuesday 6 March 2018

Bring Me Back by B A Paris Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the newest offering by B A Paris "Bring Me Back". Please check out the other blog tour stops on the poster as you find, generally, all stops offer different content.

I have to include a picture of the book itself, the page ridges were yellow and I think small touches like that, matching the ink on the cover just draws you immediately to it.

Bring Me BackBring Me Back by B.A. Paris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 384

Publisher - HQ

Source - Advanced Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she's not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he's engaged to be married; he's happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She's turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

My Review

Lets kick it off by saying I have read the author's previous books and really enjoyed them. I think she had a unique voice in her writing that draws you in quickly. We meet Finn McQuaid, talking about the night his girlfriend disappeared 12 years ago and the statement he gave the poilce, admitting it was not quite the truth! What a way to open a book eh, I am super nosey so needed to know why wasn't it the truth, why did he lie or omit details and of course what happened to his girlfriend Layla. We flip to the present day, Finn has moved on and has a new partner that may raise a fair few eyebrows. We flip from present to past, back and forth getting an insight into Finn's world, what things were like in the before and now with the past catching up.

Paris creates a great suspense, thrilling atmosphere, teasing the readers with snippets of details and you know very quickly something isn't right, but what? The chapters are relatively short which is great for dipping in and out however, if like me, one chapters turns into ten you will just race through. I wouldn't advise reading this if you are just wanting one chapter before bed as you will have a late night for sure.

There are three main characters really, Ellen the new(ish) partner of Finn, Finn himself and Layla, despite being missing she is still very there especially in the then throwbacks. We learn the kind of man Finn is, what he has endured and how Layla going missing has shaped him as a man. The breakdown of characters psych as they experience what I can only describe as a type of cat and mouse game and how that impacts not only on them but their relationships and interactions to those around them.

As I said I do really enjoy Paris's writing, I do hope her next book is already being penned and we don't have to wait too long for it. All the books are standalone's and I think Paris is an author for watching, she creates characters that despite liking or hating them you are left wanting more and more. I really enjoyed this book, 4.5 out of 5 for me, if you like page turners and being kept on your toes I think you will love this!

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Sunday 4 March 2018

March competition is now live

Initially I was aiming for the magical themed giveaway for February, however with the author Q&A's and the Instagram follower giveaway I held this back. The poll on Twitter was for a romantic themed giveaway or a magic Harry Potter style competition, the latter won. So, what is up for grabs?

Fantastic Beasts socks, a 3 in 1 pack size 4-8 (UK sizing), A Dobby bookmark, a wand pen, a Gryffindor nail stamper and a themed chain from the Ravenclaw house, all as in the photograph. In order to be in with a chance of winning as usual use the Rafflecopter to enter. Open worldwide, the giveaway runs until the end of the month. All winning entries are checked, any prize unclaimed will see a new winner picked within 48 hours. Good luck all, feel free to share and spread the word. Thanks so much to those who constantly interact, email, tweet, like, love across the blogs platforms.

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Tick Tock by Dean Koontz

Tick TockTick Tock by Dean Koontz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - Dipped in and out over 3 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Headline Book Publishing

Source - Birmingham Horrorcon

Blurb from Goodreads

Tommy Phan, a successful detective novelist, comes home one evening to find a small rag doll on his doorstep. That night, with the popping of two stitches, something terrifying will emerge to tear apart the fabric of Tommy's reality--and his life.

My Review

Tommy is having issues with his family, he is Vietnamese-America, embracing his American half where his family want him to embrace the Vietnamese heritage. Tommy is struggling, he is a successful novelist making good money but it will never be acceptable by his mother. Just when he celebrates buying a flash new car, he happens across a doll that changes everything. On the run for his life, he comes across an unlikely ally in Del, a waitress he met earlier and are thrown together. Between them and her dog, the three try to stay ahead of the killer and stay alive before time runs out.

I have read Koontz before but think this book is a bit different, a monster yes but it has humour, family, family issues, attraction and I bloody love Del's dog, I only wish it had bigger parts in the story. Lots of hair raising moments, a deadly pursuit, life or death situation and Del, despite coming in as the second main character, actually steals the show. She is strong, quirky, seems to know so much more than she is letting on, talks in riddles and her dog, mother and home are all fantastic.

Pacey, intriguing and keeps you wanting to know what is coming next. The chapters are quite long, although there are wee page breaks so you can dip in and out reasonably well. I don't think there is a follow up to this book which is a shame as I would have loved to have seen more of these characters. I also wish the book had been longer as it seemed to round up really quickly, they do say a good author leaves you wanting more, 3.5 stars for me this time.

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Thursday 1 March 2018

The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green

Today I have a wee review for my stop on the blog tour, check the poster above for the other stops, everyone has different content.

The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book ClubThe Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club by Sophie Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 432

Publisher - Sphere

Source - Review copy

My Review

Books bring them together - but friendship will transform all of their lives. Perfect for lovers of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Little Paris Bookshop.

In 1978 the Northern Territory in Australia has begun to self-govern and telephones are not yet a common fixture. Life is hard and people are isolated, but these five women find a way to connect.

Sybil, the matriarch of Fairvale Station, misses her eldest son and is looking for a distraction.

Kate, Sybil's daughter-in-law, is thousands of miles away from home and finding it difficult to adjust to life at Fairvale.

Sallyanne, mother of three, dreams of a life far removed from the dusty town where she lives with her difficult husband.

Rita, Sybil's oldest friend, is living far away in Alice Springs and working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

And Della, who left Texas for Australia looking for adventure and work on the land, needs some purpose in her life.

Sybil comes up with a way to give them all companionship: they all love to read, and she forms a book club. As these five women bond over their love of books, they form friendships that will last a lifetime.

Warm-hearted, comforting and richly told, this is the perfect feel-good read for book lovers everywhere.

My Review

Set in 1978 in Australia, where life and the times are very different from there here and now. We focus mostly on the four ladies of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club and how the book club comes to be and what it means to the ladies. Sybil brings them all together, with her best friend Rita who works as a nurse in the Flying Doctor service. Sybil's daughter in law Kate, from England and Della from Texas and a working hand. Each in need of friendship and finding it from joining the book club. As we delve into the book we find out a bit more about each of the ladies and how the books bring them together closer, a book with family and friendship very much at the heart of it.

A genteel book, not something I normally go for but I am really happy I was sent this one to read. The ladies are very different from each other, Sybil has never recovered from the rejection of her son and always pines over him. Rita has never had time for much bar Sybil and her job, Kate misses back home and her doubts of being a good wife. Della, from a family that either takes her for granted or expects more than she can give she finally breaks free and comes to Australia.

I loved the description on the scenes in this book, Australia is not a country I have ever been to, would love to but the actual distance not to mention the bugs, ooft just no! Reading about how the seasona affect not just the land but the impact on those living and working on it was really interesting. The relationships, family values and traits of each character all engage the reader, well it did for me. My complaint would be, despite it being a relatively large read there was some parts that cut short or left you hanging without full insight. To be fair, lots of people don't mind some intrigue, I like to know all the ins and outs so that would really be my only complaint.

If work hadn't got in the way I would have probably read this in one sitting, it covers many issues presented for the setting and timeline. Racial issues, social expectations of woman and their roles, love, loss, grief, friendship and much more. 4/5 for me this time, if you want a read that takes you to a different location, gives you a variety of characters you want to read more and more off and just a wee escapism this one is absolutely for you. My first dance with this author, most assuredly won't be my last, a wee delightful book!

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