Thursday, 30 July 2020

Say No More by Karen Rose

Say No More (Romantic Suspense #24; Sacramento #2)Say No More by Karen Rose
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - In and out over 4 days

Pages - 480

Publisher - Headline

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

Mercy Callahan thought she'd escaped the cult decades ago, but its long fingers are reaching out for her again in this electrifying novel in the Sacramento series...

Seventeen years ago. That was the last time Mercy Callahan saw Ephraim Burton, the leader of the twisted Eden cult where she was raised. But even though she escaped the abuse and terror, they continue to haunt her.

When her brother Gideon discovers new evidence of the cult's—and their victims'—whereabouts, Mercy goes to Sacramento to reconnect with him. There, she meets Gideon's closest friend—homicide detective Rafe Sokolov. From Rafe, she receives an offer she never knew she needed: to track down Ephraim and make him pay for everything.

But Ephraim, who had thought Mercy long dead, discovers she is in fact alive and that she is digging around for the cult's secrets. And now he'll do anything to take her back to Eden—dead or alive.



My Review

I LOVE Karen Rose books, I am sure I have gaps in the series and need to go back and buy up those I have missed. This is book two in the Sacramento series, go and read book one if you haven't already as there is a lot of the story is follow on from book one. We focus on Mercy and Rafe, with all the side characters in between but these two are our main focus. Mercy wants to make amends with her brother Gideon, for years she hated him for leaving her and her mum in the cult. Suffering abuse, brain washing, manipulation and female children as young as twelve being married off in the commune Mercy has a lot to be angry about. Book two is about her facing the realities of Gideon's life, the long reach/scars from the commune and that sometimes you cannot outrun your past, not matter how long you have broken free from it.

Be warned guys, this has a lot centered around the cult, murder, rape, abuse, brain washing and what is at the heart of most of these "communities" money and power. Mercy quickly realises she will never be truly free from her past and instead on putting her head in the sand she needs to face it. Before more people are hurt, killed or even risking her own life. Her brother and Rafe are cops, she should be safe as houses but these people stop at nothing and we see from the very beginning how far they will go. Action packed, pacey, shocking, enraging, romantic, healing empowering an d huge character growth for some of these guys. Hard truths, overcoming inner demons and learning to trust, Rose intertwines all of this in a tale of death, murder, abusers whilst bringing in love, friendship, trust and family.

Despite being in double figures with these books she manages to bring fresh stories and lets the reader get to know more of the characters and keeping the stories new and shocking, 4.5/5 for me this time. Already impatiently waiting on the next book in the series!

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Wednesday, 29 July 2020

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent, Ros Schwartz

The Reader on the 6.27The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 195

Publisher - Pan MacMillan

Source - Review Copy

Blurb from Goodreads

An irresistible French sensation - Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore meets Amelie - The Reader on the 6.27 explores the power of books through the lives of the people they save. It is sure to capture the hearts of book lovers everywhere. Guylain Vignolles lives on the edge of existence. Working at a job he hates, he has but one pleasure in life ...Sitting on the 6.27 train each day, Guylain reads aloud. And it's this release of words into the world that starts our hero on a journey that will finally bring meaning into his life. For one morning, Guylain discovers the diary of a lonely young woman: Julie. A woman who feels as lost in the world as he does. As he reads from these pages to a rapt audience, Guylain finds himself falling hopelessly in love with their enchanting author ...

The Reader on the 6.27 is a tale bursting with larger-than-life characters, each of whom touches Guylain's life for the better. This captivating novel is a warm, funny fable about literature's power to uplift even the most downtrodden of lives. 'The humanity of the characters ...the re-enchantment of everyday life, the power of words and literature, tenderness and humour ...



My Review


Guylain Vignolles travels into Paris, on the 6.27 train to head to a job he hates, pulping hundreds/thousands of books daily. He manages to save a few random pages each times and uses them to read aloud to the passengers, from the same seat, everyday.

The book is really quite different to anything I have read, not exactly sure how to describe it or what genre I would slip it into. Guylain isn't happy in his life, the machine at work is dangerous and has already claimed limbs of a previous worker which sees the story go down a different vein. We see the impact Guylain has on some of his fellow commuters and the impact literature has on the characters involved in the story. Then Guylain finds a diary, of a real person and opens the story up in to a different direction and gives him some purpose and focus, bringing us a new character.

It is certainly different and some people have loved this book, I think for some it is a special wee read that brings different things to different people. Some of the characters are very lonely, isolated and it is lovely how random readings and a diary bring them into each others lives. It has humour, sadness, relationships and some good shining moments on the nicer aspects of humanity through small gestures with big impact. 3/5 for me this time, this was my first time reading this author, I would read him again.


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Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Lust Killer by Ann Rule

Lust KillerLust Killer by Ann Rule
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 295

Publisher - Berkley Books

Source - bought from Amazon

Blurb from Goodreads


When young women begin mysteriously disappearing in Oregon, Police Lieutenant James Stovall leads a relentless search for a killer. With little evidence available, and the public screaming for answers, he must find a remorseless, brutal killer whose identity will shock them all ...

One by one the young women vanished without a trace ...

Pretty Linda Slawson disappeared while trying to make a living selling encyclopedias door to door.

Lovely college girl Jan Whitney never completed her two-hour drive home on the freeway.

Beautiful pre-med honor student Karen Sprinker failed to show up for a lunch date with her mother.

Stunningly attractive Linda Salee dropped out of sight while her boyfriend waited and worried for hours.

By then the pattern was clear. Oregon's massive police search was under way. But not even Lt James Stovall, the brilliant investigator in charge, suspected how grisly the crimes were - or who the man who killed like a sadistic monster would turn out to be ...

"Rule springs surprises and revelations with a novelist's skill.'
- Seattle Times



My Review


I read/watch a fair amount of true crime books/programmes but I have never heard of this guy before. Jerome Brudos was a serial killer in the 1960s based in Oregon, was a family man and brazen enough to conduct his atrocities with his family in the house, no idea what was going on.

His wife was a very naive woman who took her husbands word pretty much as gospel, when he told her never to go out into the freezer and tell him what she needed out. Never to go into his "workshop" and encouraged her to dabble in some dress up/photography even though it made her uncomfortable.

The author takes us through his life, his perversions, the ignorance of his poor wife, the police investigation and shows us how easy it is for an innocent to get trapped in a world of suspicion and murder helped by the word of a gossip neighbour. First time reading this author, absolutely would read her again and she apparently had loads of books on true crime, 4/5 for me this time.


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Friday, 24 July 2020

Lover Avenged by J R Ward

Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7)Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 527

Publisher - Piatkus

Source - Gift from a friend

Blurb from Goodreads

Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood—even though his sister is married to a member, for he harbors a deadly secret that could make him a huge liability in their war against the lessers. As plots within and outside of the Brotherhood threaten to reveal the truth about Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world, Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him—and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.


My review

Book 7 in the series, by now I would advise reading the previous books but you could get away with reading it as a standalone but you miss so much that has passed. Rehvenge is the drug dealing (and allowing other trades to go on) in his nightclub. The club the Blackdagger Brotherhood frequent, Regvenge is a sympath, a sin eater and any and all should be reported and deported due to the threat they carry. Rehvenge's secret isn't known by many but some would seek to use him to further their own cause. Will Rehvenge's sympath side allow for the betrayal and aid the take down that would destroy the vampire society as we know it?

So each book tends to have a character focus, this one is Rehvenge although as with the other books we follow the storylines of some of our favourite and some of out hated characters. Rehvenge finally finds something to interest him than his making money, his club and having to allow his body to be used to keep a secret to protect others.

This book is woven with treachery, good vs bad, as always sex is throughout the book and some of the fall out of that. This book was a bit different from the others are we see the vampires face some of the health issues that humans face which I actually thought they were immune to. Some of our faves are pushed to the limited and have their strengths tested to the limit. I cannot wait to get to book 8 and see what is in store next for our characters and I feel things are set to get a lot darker, 4/5 for me this time. I have set about buying the rest of the series because I need to know.

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Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Her Last Breath by Alison Belsham

Her Last Breath (The Tattoo Thief, #2)Her Last Breath by Alison Belsham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 304

Publisher - Trapeze

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

He leaves his victims fighting for life,
And with the mark of death...

After old remains resurface in a heatwave, a young woman is attacked and left fighting for her life in hospital. 24 hours later she dies and a deadly tattoo is discovered on her body.

When another young woman disappears, Detective Francis Sullivan and his team fear a serial killer walks the streets of Brighton.

His team identify a suspect, Alex Mullins, son of his lover, Marni. Can Francis forget their shared past and save the next victim before it is too late?


My Review

Marni Mullins is still a bit rage from unfinished business from book one with Detective Francis Sullivan. Marni is a tattoo artist and helped out with a previous case that got a wee bit personal and dangerous, she is done with the cops. However when a young girl is horrifically attacked and then another and her son Alex becomes a person of interest Marni finds herself having to look to Francis for help. With a sadistic killer, her son looking like the prime suspect Marni has to put aside person feelings of distrust and anger with the police to try and clear her boys name.

The attacks on the young ladies are shocking and horrific but very unusual and the amount of crime fiction I read it takes a bit to find a new method. The book kicks of pretty quickly then we head into police investigation, the personal side from Marnie and Francis, the police treatment of their suspect. I haven't been so angered at fictional characters in ages! The police and their pursuit of their "suspect" was absolutely infuriating and shocking but makes for compelling reading. You want the bad guy caught, you want the police to be called to task for some of their shady behaviour/pursuit of the case.

We also see the personal side between Francis and Marnie, Marnie and her husband and the family dynamics as well as Marnie's past creeping back in throughout the book. Really good pace, racism (so expect to be angered), danger, police investigation, relationships, murder and that is just the beginning. 4/5 for me this time, very much looking forward to seeing the next in the book series!


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Thursday, 16 July 2020

Q&A with Paul Tudor Owen

Today I have an author interview with Paul Tudor Owen, chatting all about his debut novel "The Weighing of The Heart". Apologies this has taken so long to post but I think you will agree it was worth the wait.




Author Bio from Amazon

Paul Tudor Owen was born in Manchester in 1978, and was educated at the University of Sheffield, the University of Pittsburgh, and the London School of Economics.

He began his career as a local newspaper reporter in north-west London, and currently works at the Guardian, where he spent three years as deputy head of US news at the paper's New York office.



About the book, blurb from Amazon

Following a sudden break-up, Englishman in New York Nick Braeburn takes a room with the elderly Peacock sisters in their lavish Upper East Side apartment, and finds himself increasingly drawn to the priceless piece of Egyptian art on their study wall - and to Lydia, the beautiful Portuguese artist who lives across the roof garden.

But as Nick draws Lydia into a crime he hopes will bring them together, they both begin to unravel, and each find that the other is not quite who they seem.

Paul Tudor Owen's intriguing debut novel brilliantly evokes the New York of Paul Auster and Joseph O'Neill.

Available to buy now, treebook and ebook (kindle is only 99p, Amazon UK, at time of posting.




· Tell us what “The Weighing of the Heart” is about?

The Weighing of the Heart is about a young British guy living in New York called Nick Braeburn, who moves in with a couple of rich older ladies as a lodger in their opulent apartment on the Upper East Side. He gets together with their other tenant, Lydia, who lives next door, and the two of them steal a priceless work of art from the study wall.

The work of art that Nick and Lydia take is an Ancient Egyptian scene, and as the stress of the theft starts to work on them, the imagery of Ancient Egypt, the imagery in the painting, starts to come to life around them, and it’s intended to be unclear whether this is something that is really happening or whether it’s all in Nick’s head.

· What inspired you to write it?

There were a couple of things that inspired it. The first was New York, where my wife and I lived from 2015 to 2018.




I’d had an obsession with New York since being a teenager. It felt like all these great novels and films and songs I loved were set in New York – The Great Gatsby, Mean Streets, Simon and Garfunkel. It felt like a place where anything could happen, it felt like a great crucible of art and culture where anyone who was anyone either came from or had made their name or had depicted it so memorably.

And that led me to study American literature and American history at university, and the third year was a year abroad, and I went to the University of Pittsburgh, and that was when I was able to visit New York for the first time myself.

And walking those streets, all the unmistakeable iconography of New York around you – the fire escapes, the yellow cabs, steam rising from a manhole, the skyscrapers, the rivers – it just felt like I’d walked into one of those books or films that I’d loved.




And I not only wanted to live there, I wanted to be part of this great tradition of depicting New York and romanticising it. And when we did move there, I’d already written quite a lot of The Weighing of the Heart, so in some ways it really did feel like life imitating art. I was still working on the ending, and I wrote the final chapters in the public library in Soho, round the corner from where David Bowie lived. I used to enjoy walking the same streets that Nick and the other characters in the book would walk, visiting the galleries and restaurants and streets that they visit in the book. There’s a real apartment block on the Upper East Side, just across from Central Park, that I used as the model for the Peacock sisters’ apartment block.

I’d wanted to live there for so long that I did sometimes wonder if this was really happening. I remember when I was a kid watching an episode of Red Dwarf, the sci-fi TV sitcom from the 90s, where the lead character, Lister, gets hooked on this immersive virtual-reality computer game called Better Than Life. And in the game he thinks he is living in Bedford Falls, the town from It’s a Wonderful Life, and he loves it and he doesn’t want to leave. And sometimes after moving to the US I got a bit worried that I was in Better Than Life, that I would wake up and I’d be still a teenager in Manchester reading The Catcher in the Rye, fantasising about New York. The second major source of inspiration came from an exhibition I went to a few years ago at the British Museum called The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, which told the story of what the Ancient Egyptians believed happened to you when you die.

As I learnt from the exhibition, the Ancient Egyptians believed in a ceremony called ‘the weighing of the heart’, something in some ways similar to the Christian idea of St Peter standing at the gates of Heaven, deciding whether or not you have lived a worthy enough life to come in.

In the Ancient Egyptian version, Anubis, the god of embalming, presides over a set of weighing scales, with the heart of the dead person on one side and a feather on the other. If the heart is in balance with the feather, you get to go to the afterlife, which they called the Field of Reeds. But if your heart is heavier than the feather, you get eaten by an appalling monster called the Devourer, who has the head of a crocodile, the body of a lion, and the back legs of a hippopotamus – three of the most dangerous creatures that Ancient Egyptians could encounter. To the Ancient Egyptians, the heart, rather than the brain, was the home of a person’s mind and conscience and memory, which was why it was the heart they were weighing. And, intriguingly, one thing they were afraid of was that the heart would actually try to grass you up during this ceremony – sometimes the heart would speak up and reveal your worst sins to Anubis at this crucial moment. You could prevent this from happening by keeping hold of a little ‘heart scarab’.

I was spellbound by this ornate mythology, which had formed over centuries and millennia; I loved the way it was so familiar in its overall concept but so strange and unfamiliar in its details. And I realised that the painting Nick and Lydia should steal should be an image of this ceremony, the weighing of the heart. It was so fitting, because the book is essentially about guilt and innocence; it’s about you weighing up as a reader how much you trust Nick as a narrator, and it’s about Nick himself and the people around him weighing up how much they trust him, what they think of him, what they know about him and his character. And without spoiling it for anyone who hasn’t read it, I hope that I found a way to knit all that imagery into the book effectively, especially towards the end.

Once I’d settled on this, there were a number of strange coincidences. At one point in The Weighing of the Heart Nick recalls a school trip to the British Museum, and it is suggested he might have stolen one of these heart scarabs that could protect you during the ceremony. I had written this scene but I wanted to get the details right, so I looked through the British Museum’s collection of scarabs on their website and identified the one that best fit the bill, and then I went down to the museum to take a look at it in person.

But when I got there and found the case where this scarab was supposed to be, the space for this scarab was empty. Instead of the object itself there was just a note on the wall that said: ‘Heart scarab (lost).’




It was another strange moment of life imitating art.

· How long did it take?

I think I started the book around 2011, and once I’d written the first couple of chapters I quickly felt quite confident that what I was writing was much better than anything that I’d written before. I had found an agent after working on a previous book that never found a publisher – looking back at it now it wasn’t up to scratch. So I went to him with the beginning of The Weighing of the Heart, but because of the failure of the first book, he seemed to have more or less lost interest. So I was faced with a choice. You’re usually told as an author – especially when you’re starting out – that you will never get anywhere without an agent, and that if you have managed to get one you should do everything you can to keep them. I’m sure there is a lot of truth in that. But I felt that if I stayed with this agent, that was not going to result in this book getting published. So I amicably cut ties with him and set about trying to find someone new. And luckily that turned out to be a much easier process than it had been in my early 20s.

In those days agents had all expected manuscripts to be delivered by post, and I remember every weekend printing out page after page of my chapters, stapling these bundles together, taking them to the post office... It was very time-consuming. But by the time I came to find a new agent, the world of agents had finally discovered email, and that vastly simplified the whole system. I finished work one day and went to a secluded spot in the office, and started working my way from A to Z through The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook, which lists all the agents in the UK, sending out my first two chapters to as many agents as I could. I think that first night I got about half way through the alphabet, to about M, and by the next morning, or the morning after that, I was already getting some interest, which was really heartening.

And I eventually started working with a brilliant agent called Maggie Hanbury, who I’m still working with now, and I finished a workable draft of The Weighing of the Heart and we started sending it out. But at that point I had a stroke of bad luck. Another book about art theft in New York – The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – had just come out, and it was a massive hit. It was everywhere. Again and again I heard from publishers: “We really like your book, but it’s just too similar to The Goldfinch.” Tartt’s debut novel, The Secret History, was a big influence on me, especially in its tone and pace, and I actually remember reading the news that she had a new book out on my phone on the way to work one day – a book set in New York, all about the theft of a painting. I distinctly remember thinking: “Oh no, that sounds very similar to my idea. I hope that doesn’t make things difficult for me.”

And then I moved to New York and started a new job and life became extremely busy and complicated, and I don’t do any work on my novel or on trying to get it published for the next year or so. When things started to settle down a bit, I went back to my agent, but she said she didn’t feel that she could send it out to anyone else because a number of publishers had turned it down already. So again I was faced with a choice. I could just leave the manuscript in my metaphorical desk drawer and get on with something else. But I knew that it was a good book and it felt frustrating that it was sitting there, unread. So I decided to send it out to small publishers myself. And again I went through the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook and the US equivalent, Writers’ Market, starting at A and sending out the first two chapters to as many publishers as I could. And the response was very positive. The received wisdom in the literary world is that publishers will only talk to you if you’ve gone through an agent, and that may well be true for the big publishing houses. But many smaller presses seemed happy to consider my book without an agent being involved.

I had a really productive discussion with Obliterati Press, a small publishing house in the UK set up by two writers whose whole purpose is to get books out there that they feel enthusiastic about, which otherwise might not see the light of day. They agreed to publish it, and it was a great process working with them. Signing my publication deal ended up roughly coinciding with our return to London from New York – and it felt very exciting to be coming back to the UK ready to achieve this ambition that I had been working towards for so long.

· What was the research like for it?

The main area of research was Ancient Egypt, which I really enjoyed diving into. I’m very far from an expert but I hope I managed to learn enough to make the theme work in the book. I’m still fascinated by it. Just before the lockdown started, I went to see the Tutankhamun exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery here in London with my wife and my parents. It was incredible to put yourself in the position of Howard Carter peering into the tomb in 1922. “Can you see anything?” he was asked. “Yes, wonderful things.”

· Art, Egyptian mythology and mental health are 3 of the main themes in the book, what drew you to writing them?

I always take a lot of inspiration from art and museum exhibitions. One of the things I loved when I first moved to London was discovering all the fantastic art galleries here – I remember some amazing exhibitions that really had a big influence on me: Edward Hopper at Tate Modern, Bridget Riley at the National Gallery. I remember a Picasso exhibition a few years ago which explored everyone he’d influenced: the Cubists, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore. It felt like he would invent a style, artists would flood in to imitate it, and then Picasso would just move on. I love that sense of creative restlessness. One of my first jobs at the Guardian was to summarise arts reviews, and that was my education in art – I knew very little about it before that.

The mental health theme was the aspect that worried me the most when the book came out. My presentation of Nick’s mental breakdown is not based on expertise at all – I really just tried to put myself in his position and tried to realistically depict how he might react. The response from readers with more experience than me of mental health problems might have been very critical. But so far it doesn’t seem to have been received badly, so I’m relieved about that.

· Do you think you will revisit the character(s) again?

I don’t think so. The way I think about characters, they exist to fulfil a function in the book, to help express an idea or a theme. So once that has been achieved (hopefully) at the end of the book, they don’t really exist any more. But you never know. If I had an idea that could only be expressed by using an older version of Nick or Lydia, then suddenly it might make sense to revisit them.

· What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a new novel, which is essentially about this current phenomenon of lack of trust in the media, in authority, fake news, conspiracy theories. It’s set in New York again but it’s going to be set in the 1970s when New York was a sort of crime-plagued hellhole. That that was the kind of New York that I first fell in love with as a kid through films like Taxi Driver and Mean Streets. To me that was a time when New York felt so exciting but also so gritty and I really wanted to sort of conjure up that New York in my writing. It’s about a failing newspaper journalist who starts looking into conspiracy theories about the moon landings and he starts meeting these conspiracy theorists who believe the moon landings were faked. And as he gets drawn into deeper into the world he sort of finds himself against his better judgment starting to believe some of their paranoia. Unfortunately I’ve just missed the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, but hopefully I’ll have it finished in time for the 60th.

· What is next for Paul Tudor Owen?

My wife is just about to have a baby, so that’s going to be the main item on my agenda for quite a while, I think! · Where can fans find you?

My website: https://paul-tudor-owen.tumblr.com/

Instagram: @paultowen (https://www.instagram.com/paultowen/)

Twitter: @paultowen (https://twitter.com/PaulTOwen)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PaulTudorOwen

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Weighing-Heart-Paul-Tudor-Owen/dp/1999752848

Paul Tudor Owen’s debut novel The Weighing of the Heart is published by Obliterati Press and has been shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize 2020 and longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize 2019

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AND if the interview isn't spoiling you enough I am running a giveaway for x1 ebook copy of the book. UK only guys as Amazon won't allow me to gift outside my own country. Good luck if entering xxx

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Thursday, 9 July 2020

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

The Giver of StarsThe Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 388

Publisher - Penguin

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

From the author of Me Before You, set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond.

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.

What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.



My Review

Is it no secret I love Moyes ability to tell stories, I have read all of her books (I think) and not met one I didn't like. Set in Kentucky America, money is tight, women's priorities is the husband, home and of course knowing their place. Alice has come from England to marry her beloved Benedict, thinking she is leaving one dull existence to an exciting new one in America. Not realising she is trading like for like and bound to be disappointed. Benedict lives in his overbearing fathers shadow, the family have money and Alice better know her place. Margery is one of the most outspoken in the town, not loved and has a dodgy family history. Margery with the help of Alice and a small band of ladies are helping families with books, magazines and reading materials. The mobile library will be a godsend to some and an aberration to others, leading to an incident that will change everything for them all.

Based around a true story, the Packhorse librarians where something I had never heard of and absolutely love. A band of women, travelling around their community, up the hills, to get reading materials to families, connecting a community in ways no one would have foresaw.

It is a tale of friendship, love, abuse, greed with a mix of racism, misogyny, human endangerment with the focus on making money even if it costs humans life or limb. A mixed bag, some scenes uncomfortable, because of the era women were felt to know their place and we have some plucky characters in the book and who doesn't love a strong woman or two. Loved Moyes books and this one was no different, 4.5/5 for me, very much looking forward to the next and I will be looking into the history of the Packhorse Librarians.



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The Diary of a Book Seller by Shaun Bythell

The Diary of a BooksellerThe Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 310

Publisher - Profile Books

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown - Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover's paradise? Well, almost ... In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.


My Review

Who hasn't, of the book geek world, wanted to own their own bookshop? Bythell takes us on his own journey of what is it like working in a shop, how he came to be a bookshop owner. The chapters are relatively short which I love, especially now when my reading mojo is a bit hit and miss.

Each chapter he tells us how many books he has acquired and how much he has made, through sales that day. We go through how we gets books, the problems he encounters as a book seller, online sales, Amazon dealings, it is pretty interesting and stuff I never thought about.

The thing I found really interesting was the communications and behaviours of customers. You always assume book people, book lovers, would be better behaved. So many really are not, it is shocking just how many are rude and entitled! When the book was written they had a book club on the go which seems to be a thing of the past and an active facebook page, mostly kept up to dat eby his eccentric employee who is herself a bit of a character!

Interesting, charming, funny & informative in really opening my eyes to what a bookseller has to endure. He behaved and tolerates a lot of it much better than I could/would to be honest. When Covid is over I absolutely will be taking a trip to his store, 3.5/5 for me this time.



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Sunday, 5 July 2020

Lover Enshrined by J R Ward

Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6)Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 560

Publisher - Piatkus

Source - Gifted from a friend

Blurb from Goodreads

In this "frighteningly addictive" paranormal romance saga there's a war raging between vampires and their slayers. Here are the stories of a secret band of brothers like no other—six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. And now a dutiful twin must choose between two lives...

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood's bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body, but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood's mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love....



My Review

So this is book six, by now you know what you are getting, vampires - The brotherhood doing what they need to to keep their legacy alive and fight/kill the evil Lessers. Each book tends to focus on one specific person but all the others still feature, nip in and out and as always there is sex dottered throughout and body fluids. Phury had in the last book stepped up for his brother, he will be the Primale, the one to impregnate the chosen ones, to keep the species going. The Lessers have their own plan, the Omega has a secret weapon that will help sway the war against the vampires in their favour. The war continues, Phury is battling his inner demon, his love of the smoke, trying to do the right thing by himself, his promise, the race, something has to give.

So, I actually think this is my fave of the series so far, yes there is still all the raging physical side, sex, non stop sex drives of the vamps etc however I found this book had so much more story involved. Things that have been in the past books come to a head or are addressed, the story lines developed, shock turns and twists, I gasped out loud a few times and my poor o/h I kept telling him OMG guess what has happened now. Or right I think this is going to happen, oh no I hope this isn't going to cliff hanger, oh where is this going! I love when a book does this to you!

Plenty of developments, character growth and some of the things I didn't love in the previous book have been tackled in this one, fab! Normally when I finish a book from a series I genre switch, I actually am going to pick up book seven, the next in the series. I have had a bit of readers block and even though my mojo is coming back, normally I would read a book I am enjoying in 4-6 hours I am still taking days to get through a book. This has been much easier to sink into so I cannot wait to see what is next in store for these guys! Father Mine is book 6.5 and a novella next in the series, I cannot find it on Amazon (UK) and can't get it delivered from US. So book seven I think next for me. Normally I would say you can pick up just about any book and head in but due to all the things that have passed I would say read the previous ones so you get the jist and feel for all the characters and what has transpired. If sex, graphic sexual content, blood/violence isn't something you read then skip this series because whilst this book doesn't have as much as the previous books it still has quite a bit! 4.5/5 for me this time, also, a character has appeared in this book that I would like to read more about so I need to see her other series and see if it is a crossover or just a new character!



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