Wednesday 28 December 2022

The Little Christmas Village by Sue Moorcroft

The Little Village ChristmasThe Little Village Christmas by Sue Moorcroft
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 5 days

Pages - 368

Publisher - Avon Books UK

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Alexia Kennedy – interior decorator extraordinaire – has been tasked with giving the little village of Middledip the community café it’s always dreamed of.

After months of fundraising, the villagers can’t wait to see work get started – but disaster strikes when every last penny is stolen. With Middledip up in arms at how this could have happened, Alexia feels ready to admit defeat.

But help comes in an unlikely form when woodsman, Ben Hardaker and his rescue owl Barney, arrive on the scene. Another lost soul who’s hit rock bottom, Ben and Alexia make an unlikely partnership.

However, they soon realise that a little sprinkling of Christmas magic might just help to bring this village – and their lives – together again…

Settle down with a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine as you devour this irresistibly festive Christmas tale. The perfect read for fans of Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.

My Review

Alexia is helping out the small village, she does interior designing, is pretty good at it and popular, this is her stop before moving onto bigger things. The village has raised funds to finally have their community cafe when disaster strikes and the money is robbed. Alexia finds it hampers her prospects and she feels she needs to do what she can to help.

So I wasn't expecting spice, there is a little bit of romantic/erotica at the start nothing extreme but just a headsup. Ben has recently fled to the village after a disaster in his own personal life, his uncle lives there and he ends up with a little dependent called Barney, oh my I LOVED Barney, you know a wee character that doesn't have a huge part at all in the story but when appears totally steals the show? That's Barney for me. Anyway I digress, so Alexia is at her wits end, Ben steps up to the plate to help where he can and whilst him and Alexia butt heads but have the common goal of trying to help with the cafe getting sorted.

Jodie, Alexia's room mate I really had a hard time with, I found her really unlikeable and I get she has stuff going on and you learn more as you get in but yeah not her biggest fan. We all know a Jodie and I think if you have or had one in your life your eyeball may twitch a tad!

The characters are quite human, they have love, compassion, reactive, some are selfish, some are shady just like real life! It was nice to escape into the village, envelope into other peoples dramas and leave your own for a wee bit, 4/5 for me this time.

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Monday 19 December 2022

The Saviour by J R Ward

The Savior (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #17)The Savior by J.R. Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read -

Pages - 479

Publisher - Gallery books

Source - bought

Blurb from Goodreads

In the venerable history of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, only one male has ever been expelled—but Murhder’s insanity gave the Brothers no choice. Haunted by visions of a female he could not save, he nonetheless returns to Caldwell on a mission to right the wrong that ruined him. However, he is not prepared for what he must face in his quest for redemption.

Dr. Sarah Watkins, researcher at a biomedical firm, is struggling with the loss of her fellow scientist fiancé. When the FBI starts asking about his death, she questions what really happened and soon learns the terrible truth: Her firm is conducting inhumane experiments in secret and the man she thought she knew and loved was involved in the torture.

As Murhder and Sarah’s destinies become irrevocably entwined, desire ignites between them. But can they forge a future that spans the divide separating the two species? And as a new foe emerges in the war against the vampires, will Murhder return to his Brothers... or resume his lonely existence forevermore?

My Review

So this is book 17 in the series, you don't have to have read all the previous ones however it does help as there is so much going on and back stories with the characters. We had seen Murhder referred to previously, he is no longer in the brotherhood and had some problems with his mental health but we don't know everything just he has a history with Xhex John's good lady. Introducing Dr. Sarah Watkins, her partner died she flung herself into work and now that work has brought her into the way of danger and the path of the unthinkable........vampires.

This book gives us a lot of what we have come to expect, there is passion, erotica (graphic adult scenes so not for the easily offended), relationships, cross over of the human into the vampire circle. We learn more about Murhder's back story (did I say that I feel like I said that). There is an interesting look at the cruelty of humans, study of vampires and we touched on this previously in another book in the series.

Love story, violence, family, history, vampires still battling the Lessers but from the previous book we know we also now have a new enemy. For this book, whilst I think this one took a wee bit to get into its groove it is a good part of the series and a few more bits filled in.

The way we rounded out I am looking forward to the next book that picks this thread up, sometimes the book brings in a new character to our established ones and hopefully book 18 picks up where we left this one off, 4/5 for me.

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Friday 16 December 2022

Additional giveaway December

Sorry this is a bit later and it won't be in time for Christmas but it means you have something to look forward to in January. Up for grabs is as pictured below.

X2 bars of chocolate, not everyone likes a particlular brand so I got two different (1 bar each) Milka, my pal raves about and Galaxy. Perfect for sharing?

x1 Peppermint exfoliating foot peel, unisex and most people love peeling.

Deep cleansing skin wipes, everybody is all about skin care these days.

x1 thermal socks as pictured.

x1 adult sized black gloves

Also if you let me know what your fave genre is I will try include a wee extra. Open worldwide, good luck all. As usual use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Please only select the entries you have completed as we have had to disqualified more than a few entries in the past. xxx

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Wednesday 14 December 2022

The Real Life Murder Clubs: Citizens solving True Crimes by Nicola Stow

The Real-Life Murder Clubs: Citizens Solving True CrimesThe Real-Life Murder Clubs: Citizens Solving True Crimes by Nicola Stow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 240

Publisher - Ad Lib Publishers

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

The story behind real-life clubs of ordinary citizens who come together to solve true crime mysteries—including the sleuths behind Don't F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer

In 2019, Netflix had a hit with documentary series Don't F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer. It was based on one of Canada’s most infamous crimes: the 2012 murder of thirty-three-year-old Lin Jun by his porn-star boyfriend, Luka Magnotta, in Montreal. Magnotta filmed himself killing and (apparently) eating parts of his victim; he also mailed Jun’s feet and hands to two Canadian political parties and two elementary schools.

Prior to Jun’s murder, though, Magnotta had anonymously posted online videos of himself killing kittens. Horrified Facebook sleuths worked tirelessly to uncover the kitten-killer’s identity and location. Armchair detective Deanne Thompson, a data analyst for a Vegas casino by day, spent countless hours researching Lithuanian doorknobs, among other things, to help identify items in Magnotta’s videos during her quest to unmask him.

Nicola Stow reveals the fascinating stories behind this and and similar cases in which ordinary citizens, in real-life murder clubs, as in Richard Osman’s bestselling fiction, help to investigate crimes, both recent and cold cases. Includes the cases of Casey Anthony, John Wayne Gacy, JonBenét Ramsey, Golden State Killer, Boston Marathon bombings, and many more.

My Review

Just going to say to start off I never watched the Netflix show Don't F*ck with Cats, I heard about what happened and even though it is brief I just couldn't. So with that in mind it does mention in the book what he did to those poor wee kittens and it does mention harm to animals so just an fyi (it is something I struggle with reading so just a headsup. I have read a few books that talk about sleuths but if you haven't heard about them don't worry the book is a fantastic introduction to them and so much.

Ordinary people who have their own lives and often own jobs (some retired) get into sleuthing or armchair detectiving in different ways and reasons. If you like reaching about true crime you will really enjoy this book.

It talks about some very well known serial killers and some cases you may not be overly familiar with. It tells us about their community, forums available, what they do, how they came about (one of Ted Bundy near miss would be victims is involved in one) and some of the Jane and John Doe's they have identified, how they managed to do it. They discuss how they help the police and how some police do not want or avoid their assistance and how some are really grateful and or happy to work with them.

Michelle McNamara was an author (and famous husband actor Patton Oswald) who worked on so much research on The Golden State Killer and was working on her book "I'll Be Gone In The Dark" - I hadn't heard of it really and after reading this book I bought it. It has so much in it and I don't want to go into so as not to spoil anything. Absolutely for fans or true crime and if you are into or interested in sleuthing too its a double reason. 4.5/5 for me this time, first time reading this author, I would read her again.

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Wednesday 7 December 2022

The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz

The Dark GameThe Dark Game by Jonathan Janz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Flame Tree Press

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Ten writers are selected for a summer-long writing retreat with the most celebrated and reclusive author in the world. Their host is the legendary Roderick Wells. Handsome, enigmatic, and fiendishly talented, Wells promises to teach his pupils about writing, about magic, about the untapped potential that each of them possesses. Most of all, he plans to teach them about the darkness in their hearts.

The writers think they are signing up for a chance at riches and literary prestige. But they are really entering the twisted imagination of a deranged genius, a lethal contest pitting them against one another in a struggle for their sanity and their lives. They have entered into Roderick Wells’s most brilliant and horrible creation...The Dark Game.

My Review

Ten writers are selected (invite only) to go to one of the most successful but recluse authors mansion/private grounds. They are under strict instructions, secrecy to get there, no phones but the prize, one of them will have ultimate success just like one lucky author who won before. Fame, riches, success, the challenges will be grueling, the demands far more than any of them could imagine but it will be worth it right?

Roderick Wells is the man of the moment, older author, been around a long time and keeps away from the world so all of these authors cannot wait to get started. Wells can be rude, abrupt but he is an old man and amazing at his craft. The authors note his older appearance and signs of ailing health but the longer they spend the more they notice changes.

We hear from the individual authors and they show sides of their personalities and motives/hopes for personal gains than what they present infront of the group. They are not the nicest of people and those we do like we hear more about as the book goes on, they all have something in their past and or struggles with their writing.

As one by one authors *drop out* of the competition the others, at least some, start to question their absence/disappearance. The book gets dark quite quickly and horrors come from the pages to terrorize the authors and us readers. We get a story within a story as Well's pushes them to create stories that push their abilities and tap into darker/raw talent. The staff and house have creepy tones and whilst it is a completely different story it gave me an echo of that movie with Vincent Price where they have to stay/survive overnight to win the cash. This is over the summer rather than overnight and instead of a creepy house the things in here are far darker and dangerous. I think this is my 2nd or 3rd book by this author (I even have a wee bookmark of him to go with it) I have another one or two on my tbrm and look forward to reading them. Creepy, dark, shocking and absolutely of the things that go bump in the night although for Janz horror things they don't always wait for the nighttime, 4/5 for me.

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Saturday 3 December 2022

Christmas comp x1 bookmark

The competition is for ONE of the three bookmarks shown. 1 - snowman 2. snowflake 3. stocking.

The competition is open worldwide.

It will run for one week only as so many postal strikes and ideally we want the bookmark to get to the winner asap. Please comment which bookmark you would choose should you win.

Good Luck all, use the Rafflecopter below to enter. As usual the more entries you complete the more chances you have xxx

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Thursday 1 December 2022

A Mother's Christmas Wish by Glenda Young

Today is my stop on the blog tour for A Mother's Christmas Wish by Glenda Young, for my stop I have my review, non spoiler as always, enjoy.

About the author:

Glenda Young credits her local library in the village of Ryhope, where she grew up, for giving her a love of books. She still lives close by in Sunderland and often gets her ideas for her stories on long bike rides along the coast. A life-long fan of Coronation Street, she runs two hugely popular fan websites.

Social Media Links

For updates on what Glenda is working on, visit her website and to find out more find her on Facebook/GlendaYoungAuthor and Twitter @flaming_nora.

Buy links for the book (out now) Amazon UK click HERE or Amazon US click HERE.

A Mother's Christmas WishA Mother's Christmas Wish by Glenda Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 401

Publisher - Headline

Source - Review book

Blurb from Back cover

"I hope this Christmas is better than last year's."

Following a scandalous affair, wayward Emma Devaney is sent in disgrace from her home in Ireland to Ryhope, where she will live with her widowed aunt, Bessie Brogan, and help run her pub. Bessie is kind but firm, and at first Emma rebels against her lack of freedom. Struggling to fit in, she turns to the wrong person for comfort, and becomes pregnant.

Accepting she must embrace her new life for the sake of her baby, Emma pours her energy into making the pub thrive and helping heal the fractured relationship between Bessie and her daughters. She catches the attention of Robert, a gruff but sincere farmer, who means to win her heart.

As December approaches, thankful for the home and acceptance she's found, Emma is determined to bring not just her family, but the whole Ryhope community, together to celebrate - and to make one very special mother's Christmas dreams come true.

My Review

Set in 1923 lordy lord Emma is a bit of a riot, totally wild. Living in a small town with her mum (her dad ran off a while back causing local tongues wagging), a proud lady Emma does one of the worst things ever. Not only caught frolicking in a secret relationship but the person ooft huge scandal. Shipped off to her aunt even her trip and arrival there is shocking and sets tongues wagging. She is not like a lady of her time, she has fire, attitude and a longing for adventure!

The book covers a lot of issues and I have to be honest I wasn't a huge Emma fan to begin with. Knowing she left her mum and village in a scandal you think she would be super set on making a good impression and wow is her entrance to her aunts anything but. That being said I think the author did a pretty good job because we seem her go on a pretty big personal journey. She still remains spikey and noones doormat however she is very focused on family and doing the right thing.

The book has some shady characters, people taking advantage, people struggling with grief, family troubles, money troubles but it also deals with community, love, redemption, health, friendship. I loved Bessie and I think she stole the show, despite Emma being the forefront main character I felt Bessie was right up there with her, she is such a good egg. Very unjudgmental, warm, mothering, supportive but also stubborn and doesn't suffer fools. It was nice to see strong women for the time period and doing things like running a bar, dealing with the things that come with it. Emma really shone in parts too, being sent there by her mum was the making of them all and I loved the family themes that ran strongly throughout. This was my first book by Young, it won't be my last. Emotive, moving, engaging and characters you either love or hate, 4.5/5 for me!

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Tuesday 29 November 2022

Amazon Voucher x1 £5 Comp now live

It is nice to bring Princess Trixie, the original blogger *helper* for our giveaway post.

Up for grabs is x1 £5 Amazon Voucher. UK only as Amazon does not allow me to gift outside my own country. Don't worry we will be having another giveaway open to all but this is UK ONLY.

Working with Luna is always eventful, she is either super cute and pliable or full of beans. Today she was bouncing all over the couch.

Sometimes she is really good, others well lets just say it takes more than a few takes lmao.

Or more than a few :P

But we get there in the end.

To enter, as always, use the Rafflecopter, the more entries you complete the more chances you have.

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Vile Stars by Sera Milano

Vile StarsVile Stars by Sera Milano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 384

Publisher - Electric Monkey

Source - Vine & then bought copy

Blurb from Goodreads


This is a different kind of love story.

17-year-old Luka isn't looking for love. She's trying to piece her life back together after a heartbreaking loss. But when she meets the gorgeous and charismatic Cosmo under a meteor shower at the Greenwich Observatory, it feels like destiny has played a hand. Surely theirs is a love written in the stars.

But Cosmo isn't what he seems, using Luka's love for him to slowly take control of her life. As the pandemic starts to make headlines and lockdown sets in, she is trapped emotionally and physically in a coercive relationship. Luka's friends and brother can see what's happening, but struggle to reach her. Something will have to be sacrificed so Luka can set herself free - but what will be left of her when she does?

Luka's story is told from many points of view: through her letters, and through the voices of her brother, Alec, his boyfriend Theo and Luka's best friend, Roisin. Each of them holds a fragment of the story - it's time to put it all together.

My Review

I don't know what I was expecting with this one, when I first got it and seen the trigger warnings I was looking after my dad so put it aside. The parental loss isn't a huge central theme but relevant to the characters and there are many emotive issues. The characters are young, taking exams age and a tight group, best friends Luka (main character) & Roisin, Luka's brother Alec and his boyfriend Theo. Luka and Alec lost their mother & live with their step dad and wee sister, Cosmo is lost, writing letters to her mum and leaving them at the grave. Enter Cosmo, a chance encounter and he sweeps Luka off her feet and that folks is when everything starts to change and become dark.

So I think this may be my first book with pronouns and a trans character and whilst Luka is central Theo and the issues surrounding them is hugely important and relevant. Cosmo is a piece of work, I haven't loathed a character like this in a while. Luka is in the flows of grief and dealing with loss, heartache and trying to find herself so when Cosmo comes along we see red flags and vile traits that Luka is blinded to.

Despite the characters being young the amount of adult themes and issues are relatable across the board. The toxicity of the relationship was really uncomfortable to read but so important and well done, homophobia, transphobic, isolation, coercion and you have friendships, relationships, grief, loss, coping or rather trying to.

This is my first time reading this author, I will absolutely check out their other works, 4/5 for me.

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Sunday 27 November 2022

Light as a Feather by Zoe Aarsen

Light as a Feather (Light as a Feather, #1)Light as a Feather by Zoe Aarsen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 385

Publisher -

Source - I think this was a competition win


Riverdale meets Final Destination in this fast-paced and deliciously creepy novel about an innocent game that turns deadly at a high school sleepover.

It was supposed to be a game…

Junior year is shaping up to be the best of McKenna Brady’s life. After a transformative summer, McKenna is welcomed into the elite group of popular girls at Weeping Willow High, led by the gorgeous Olivia Richmond. For the first time in a long time, things are looking up.

But everything changes the night of Olivia’s Sweet Sixteen sleepover. Violet, the mysterious new girl in town, suggests the girls play a game during which Violet makes up elaborate, creepily specific stories about the violent ways the friends will die. Though it unsettles McKenna, it all seems harmless at the time.

Until a week later, when Olivia dies…exactly as Violet predicted.

As Violet rises to popularity and steps into the life Olivia left unfinished, McKenna becomes convinced Olivia’s death wasn’t just a coincidence, especially when a ghost haunting her bedroom keeps leaving clues that point to Violet. With the help of her cute neighbor, Trey, McKenna pledges to get to the bottom of Violet’s secrets and true intentions before it’s too late. Because it’s only a matter of time before more lives are lost.

My Review

So how many times when you were younger did you engage in games at a stay over? For us we used to play spirits, in this book it is almost like that but huge vibes from The Craft movie. The girls are a mixed bunch Olivia is the popular girl, money, location, beauty, McKenna has kind of just made it back into the fold and new girl who is quite quiet/reserved Violet has also just made it in. The game is simple, one lies on the ground, the others around, fingers underneath and someone, Violet, leads and tells them one by one in graphic detail a story about how they will die. Spooky and creepy but it is just a game right? Until one of the stories comes true, lots of questions, was it a coincidence, did Violet somehow know? Is the rest of the stories going to happen?

So this is absolutely young adult, teen with horror type vibes going through. So there is a lot of the angst and issues that are important to the youngsters, having a date for prom, getting judged for not, mean girl vibes within the popular clique and then the spooky story/game. McKenna has the cute guy next door neighbour but he is thought to be weird so much as McKenna does like him their friendship is under the radar.

The book is a little bit all over the place as we have McKenna liking the brother of cool girl Olivia, the secret friendship with mchottie next door. Then the turn of the supernatural now I loved that and you would absolutely be diving into where did she actually come from, whats her history, how did this happen, how can her story be so close to what happens. I did love that, some of the bitchy and teen behaviour/choices did annoy me but I think it reflects of the age group of those involved (for the most part to be fair).

I wasn't a huge lover of how we rounded up and I get that there are more books in the series so the need for it and I will most likely read them because I am nosey and want to know. Some bits riveting, some were just ok and I was annoyed at a few bits but the book kept me engaged a good bit. Apparently there is a tv show too so think I will have a nosey at that, absolutely going to rewatch the craft movie, 3.5/5 for me.

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Sunday 20 November 2022

Silent Parade by Keigo Higashino

Silent Parade (Detective Galileo, #4)Silent Parade by Keigo Higashino
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Abacus

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Detective Galileo, Keigo Higashino’s best loved character from The Devotion of Suspect X, returns in a complex and challenging mystery—several murders, decades apart, with no solid evidence.

A popular young girl disappears without a trace, her skeletal remains discovered three years later in the ashes of a burned out house. There’s a suspect and compelling circumstantial evidence of his guilt, but no concrete proof. When he isn’t indicted, he returns to mock the girl’s family. And this isn’t the first time he’s been suspected of the murder of a young girl, nearly twenty years ago he was tried and released due to lack of evidence. Chief Inspector Kusanagi of the Homicide Division of the Tokyo Police worked both cases.

The neighborhood in which the murdered girl lived is famous for an annual street festival, featuring a parade with entries from around Tokyo and Japan. During the parade, the suspected killer dies unexpectedly. His death is suspiciously convenient but the people with all the best motives have rock solid alibis. CI Kusanagi turns once again to his college friend, Physics professor and occasional police consultant Manabu Yukawa, known as Detective Galileo, to help solve the string of impossible to prove murders.

My Review

So this is book four in a series, I haven't read the others and started here, I think reading the earlier books may well have given me a bit more connection to the characters. Imagine your beloved daughter going missing and her remains found a few years later in a house fire. Everyone knows the killer and their guilty but they get off because of evidence issues. What is worse is it isn't the first time he has been connected to something like this and also went free then. If all of that isn't bad enough the arrogance of the killer to be around and taunt the family with his presence.

So the book splits a bit, we have the family of the victim, hard working, family orientated and very loved in their community. The police investigated, the guy visiting the family at their workplace and just being a very smart but lacking any kind of morality, hate him! A big festival happens locally and what do you know the bad guy dies under suspicious circumstances. The police are looking into it and with his connection to the local girls death the suspects are plentiful.

It is a busy book and I liked the professor helping out with the investigation, unofficially of course. There are a fair few players and despite us jumping around them it wasn't overly difficult to follow. I liked it I didn't love it, not sure if that would have changed had I read the earlier books. This was my first time reading this author, I would read them again, 3/5 for me this time.

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Friday 18 November 2022

The Poison Machine by Robert J Lloyd Blog Tour

Today is my stop, closing the blog tour for "The Poison Machine" by Robert J Lloyd.

The book is available to buy now, treebook and ebook, click HERE for the link to Amazon.

About the Author: (from Amazon)

I grew up in the London suburbs, south of the river, and then in Sheffield.

At school I wanted to be an artist, thinking I was going to be the next great English painter. I did a BA degree in Fine Art, in Coventry, but moved more into art theory, ideas, and writing.

My MA thesis was on Robert Hooke and the ‘New Philosophy’, detailing his work as Curator of Experiments of the Royal Society, and as architect of the new London after the Fire. The ideas and characters I came across when researching him stayed with me; years of tinkering resulted in The Bloodless Boy and its sequel The Clockwork Assassins.

I'm represented by Gaia Banks at Sheil Land Associates literary agency. Many thanks are due to Gaia, who has championed both books with an astonishing energy and attention to detail.

I'm married, with three splendid children and a very lovely wife, and I live in the Brecon Beacons.

Follow me on Twitter as @robjlloyd.

On Facebook, I'm Robert J Lloyd.

I would love to hear from you if you've read all - or part - of the books. Reviews would be very welcome, too!

The Poison Machine (Hunt & Hooke, #2)The Poison Machine by Robert J. Lloyd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 6 days

Pages - 464

Publisher - Melville House

Source - Arc

Blurb from Goodreads

Harry Hunt must go to Paris in search of a spy and imposter who has knowledge of a plot to kill the Queen of England in this thrilling and addictive sequel to The Bloodless Boy.

1679. A year has passed since the sensational attempt to murder King Charles II. London is still inflamed by fears of Catholic plots. Harry Hunt—estranged from his mentor Robert Hooke and no longer employed by the Royal Society—meets Sir Jonas Moore, the King’s Surveyor-General of the Board of Ordnance, in the remote and windswept marshes of Norfolk. There, workers draining the fenland have uncovered a skeleton.

Accompanied by his friend Colonel Fields, an old soldier for Parliament, and Hooke’s niece, Grace, Harry confirms Sir Jonas’s suspicion: the body is that of a dwarf, Captain Jeffrey Hudson, once famously given to Queen Henrietta Maria in a pie. During the Civil Wars, Hudson accompanied the Queen to France to sell the Royal Jewels to fund her husband’s army. He was sent home in disgrace after shooting a man in a duel.

But nobody knew Hudson was dead. Another man, working as a spy, has lived as him since his murder. Now, this impostor has disappeared, taking vital information with him. Sir Jonas orders Harry to find him.

With the help of clues left in a book, a flying man, and a crossdressing swordswoman, Harry’s search takes him to Paris, another city bedeviled by conspiracies and intrigues. He navigates its salons and libraries, and learns of a terrible plot against the current Queen of England, Catherine of Bragança, and her gathering of Catholics in London. Assassins plan to poison them all.

My Review

This is book two in a series, you can absolutely read this as a standalone however there is backstory and happenings from books one that I think would enrich reading this so go get that book first! We are back with Harry, after an embarrassing encounter he is now away from his mentor and beloved society on a private case. His friend (previous soldier) and the lovely Grace will be accompanying him on their investigation, a body has been discovered, identity in question and a possible imposter to check out. Harry has his hands full and that is before getting onto tracking down a disappearance, there are murderers around, skullduggery and a plot afoot to take down the queen.

So first thing I am going to say historical fiction was never a first pick for me and plots that involve any kind of royalty doesn't tend to be a first pick for me. I read and really enjoyed the first book so was happy to read book two and see what is in store for Harry and co.

Harry is a very human character, he gets embarrassed, he knee jerk reacts but he is basically a decent guy and dedicated to his task(s) but he really makes some questionable decisions.

I do like reading about meetings/mentions of actual historical figures/times and meeting characters with relatable issues. For example Harry, he is a smart bloke but because he gets embarrassed he ends up going off on a different direction/job choice because of the slight he received. Or how he interacts with women and remains completely oblivious of his words/lack of actions when around or in relation to the woman he has long held a torch for.

The book has different story paths and we go along with Harry on his as well as getting insight into the shady bad guys and their dastardly plans, murder/robbery and darker still. King, Queen and all manners of important people are throughout the book as well as a stint in one of the jails, ooft I really felt for the person at that point. The author really paints a vivid picture of the horrific conditions and depending on your imagination, quite boak worthy.

I like Harry although not all his choices and I did feel for him quite a few times throughout the book, Grace too. I love how strong a character she is as often women in those time periods can be very wallflowerish, family/home orientated, focused only on a husband and being seen and not heard type. That isn't Grace nor a few of the females we come across in this one to be honest, I am all for it. 4/5 for me this time and I hope Lloyd is planning of bringing more out. As I said historical isn't my first pick by any stretch of the imagination although I have found myself reading a wee bit more of them as I get older however none of them are quite like these!

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Tuesday 15 November 2022

The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson

The Amityville HorrorThe Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 5 days

Pages - 315

Publisher - Bantam Books

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 385

Publisher -

Source - I think this was a competition win

Blurb from Goodreads

28 Days of Terror in a House Possessed by Evil Spirits

In December 1975, the Lutz family moved into their dream home, the same home where Ronald DeFeo had murdered his parents, brothers and sisters just one year earlier.

The psychic phenomena that followed created the most terrifying experience the Lutz family had ever encountered, forcing them to flee the house in 28 days, convinced that it was possessed by evil spirits.

Their fantastic story, never before disclosed in full detail, makes for an unforgettable book with all the shocks and gripping suspense of The Exorcist, The Omen or Rosemary's Baby, but with one vital difference...the story is true.

My Review

I don't think there is anyone from my generation who doesn't know about this famous house/story. The house was a scene of horror anyway after a whole family minus the eldest son was murdered in their home, mum, dad and kids, Ronald Defoe junior was the oldest son and only survivor later convicted of the murders. The house was then bought at a steal price by the Lutz family who only lasted 28 days before fleeing in fear leaving all their belongings.

Amityville is thought to be one of the most haunted houses. Anson met with the Lutz and wrote this story based on their experiences. For me the fact it was a murder site of a whole family, how the Lutz report it affected them and what they experience makes it a bit more freaky.

The book also goes over the experiences from the priest from when he went into the house, how he was affected afterward and even when calling/reaching out to the Lutz by telephone. I think when religion is brought into it and affected as these individuals were it gives me the heebies.

The story is reported as true and there have been a few written about it and interviews with the Lutz, it is reported when asked Anson would never answer whether he believed it or not. The story also went on to have a few movies, also creepy (I haven't seen them all). Absolutely creepy whether you believe or not it is worth a read 4/5.

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Sunday 6 November 2022

The Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

HostageHostage by Clare Mackintosh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - as able over 3 days

Pages - 381

Publisher - Sphere

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

You can save hundreds of lives. Or the one that matters most.

A claustrophobic thriller set over twenty hours on one airplane flight, with the heart-stopping tension of The Last Flight and the wrenching emotional intensity of Room, Hostage takes us on board the inaugural nonstop flight from London to Sydney.

Mina is trying to focus on her job as a flight attendant, not the problems of her five-year-old daughter back home, or the fissures in her marriage. But the plane has barely taken off when Mina receives a chilling note from an anonymous passenger, someone intent on ensuring the plane never reaches its destination. Someone who needs Mina's assistance and who knows exactly how to make her comply.

It's twenty hours to landing. A lot can happen in twenty hours.

My Review

Operator call, prologue and onto the chapters..... Ooft what an opening, we start with a call to the emergency services, one page with the caller and emergency operator dialogue and you are hooked because you NEED TO KNOW! We have short chapters which I mention every time I have them but I LOVE this generally in books and more so when my brain is mush and struggling to keep tabs.

The book flips between Mina (the airhostess), Adam (her husband) and passengers referred to by their seat number within the flight. The book jumps around between the viewpoints and perspectives as things are progressing. Now multiple characters can absolutely be distracting, hard to follow and not everyone's cup of tea. However with so much tension and the plane scenes are over the span of twenty hours you are already heart in your mouth because of the opening call.

The book has so much going on, so many issues intertwined as we know there is a hostage situation but the action going on outside with Mina's husband Adam and their little girl Sophia honestly it has plenty to keep you hooked. Marital issues, parental issues, everything that comes with a hostage/work/flight situation and some other curve balls you aren't expecting because you think it already has so much packed in. I have read one of Mackintosh's books prior to this and have another on the tbrm and will need to bump it up 4/5 for me.

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Friday 28 October 2022

The Mother by Alex Kane

The MotherThe Mother by Alex Kane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages -

Publisher - Hera Books

Source - Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

Being head of a family is what she knows best
A decade ago, Cara Fraser, wife to one of Glasgow’s most notorious gangsters, was left a widow after Kyle Fraser was slain on the city streets.

The intervening years haven’t been easy – not least as Kyle’s murder left her to bring up little Ryan and Sean alone.

Now, Ryan and Sean are adults, and honouring their father’s memory by rising up to become the top gangsters on the dark streets of Glasgow.

Cara’s kept her head down, but has spent the last few years vowing to take vengeance on the crime family who killed her beloved husband and left her children without a father.

Glasgow gangland is about to discover that a mother will do anything for her family… even murder.

My Review

The blurb focuses a lot on Cara Fraser and her sons, Ryan and Sean and whilst the latter part of the book they do come more to the front it is the Bryson's who feature as the main runners at the start. Angie Bryson & her husband Dale have their fingers in a lot of pies and Cara's husband Kyle and brother Ian work for the Brysons, distributing drugs primarily. Angie and Cara don't get on and Kyle and Ian have put their plans in motion to become the top dogs. The timeline splits between then and now when the Frasers have decided, again the time is right, the time is now.

There is a lot of rivalry, competitiveness as often there is in gangland type books, fights for power, actions and consequences, shady underhanded behaviour and of course some people will go to any levels for what they feel is due them. Revenge, pride, business, drugs, rivalry, family, murder and is it even a gangster stle book if we don't have betrayal.

There are quite a few relationship dynamics, some you are shaking your head at antics/choices and behaviours but in this lifestyle it is a different world. One characters behavior though I was almost screaming NOOOOOOOO what are you doing?!?!?!

I have read a few of Kane's books and have another couple on my tbrm, when you pick up the books you can get lost in a different world or chaos and danger just waiting for some consequence to their actions. Bad behaviour, shady choices and the old secrets can never remain in the past dun dun dun, 4/5 for me, a wee bit of build up setting the scene and then you are plunged right in! This is a standalone, if you like gangster/ganglands then this is for you - oh and it is set in Glasgow.

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Thursday 27 October 2022

Genesis by Chris Carter

Genesis (Robert Hunter #12)Genesis by Chris Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 4 days

Pages - 544

Publisher - Simon and Schuster

Source - bought

Blurb from Goodreads

A killing like no other.
A killer more twisted than he’s ever seen before.
A case that will test him to the limit.
Has Robert Hunter finally met his match?

‘Do you believe the Devil exists, Detective?’ the officer at the end of the line asks. ‘Because if you don’t . . . I’m sure you will once you get here.’

Robert Hunter is called to the most vicious crime scene he has ever attended. It is made even more disturbing when the autopsy reveals a poem, left by the killer, inside the body of their victim.

Soon, another body is found. The methods and signature of the murder differs, but the level of violence used suggests that the same person is behind both crimes. Hunter’s fears are confirmed when a second part of the poem is found.

But this discovery does more than just link the two killings – it suggests that this is the work of a serial murderer.

With no forensic evidence to go on, Robert Hunter must catch the most disciplined and systematic killer that he has ever encountered, someone who thrives on the victims' fear, and to whom death is a lesson that needs to be taught.

From #1 Sunday Times and multi-million copy bestselling author, Chris Carter, comes the most compelling and ruthless Robert Hunter thriller yet.

My Review

The opening chapter of this was so creepy I went my first time ever live on Tiktok (smbslt) as I was reading it home alone. The character comes home drunk after a night out and starts getting messages from her phone, asking how her night was then turning a little sinister. Then they send a wee video, well that was me, checked my front door and read it and the rest of the chapter on TT so I wasn't alone. Absolutely creeped me out and if you have read Carter before he has a knack for being creepy and bringing to life some seriously shady characters.

The killer is brutal, the victims are very different from each other and how they are killed yet Garcia and Hunter know they are related because of something the killer leaves at each scene. Not for the faint of heart or easily offended. The killer is cruel, sadistic, brutal and the murders are graphic and stomach turning.

The book also deals with a lot of triggering themes, there is a heads up at the start of the book and a page of contacts people who are struggling with mental health etc can access. If you haven't read the previous books you could start here but you miss a lot of the history and they are really good books so I would recommend going back.

Dragged in and hooked from the opening scene and the book doesn't drop pace. Despite some horrific and sensitive issues being dealt with I think Carter handles them well, we know he suffered a significant personal loss too and I think you can feel the emotion/sensitivity whilst still keeping his usual graphic/horrific killer/killings. I also think many will appreciate the page of contacts for people struggling, 4.5/5 for me and I look forward to the next one.

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Wednesday 26 October 2022

N-4 Down: The Hunt for the Artic Airship Italia by Mark Piesing Blog Tour

OUT NOW click HERE to buy from AMAZON UK, available in ebook and treebook.

Today is my stop on the blog tour for N-4 Down: The Hunt for the Artic Airship Italia, for my stop I have my review

N-4 Down: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship ItaliaN-4 Down: The Hunt for the Arctic Airship Italia by Mark Piesing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 3.5 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Mariner

Source - Review copy

Blurb (partial) from Goodreads

The riveting true story of the largest polar rescue mission in history: the desperate race to find the survivors of the glamorous Arctic airship Italia, which crashed near the North Pole in 1928.

Braiding together the gripping accounts of the survivors and their heroic rescuers, N-4 Down tells the unforgettable true story of what happened when the glamor and restless daring of the zeppelin age collided with the harsh reality of Earth’s extremes.

My Review

History isn't something I read a lot of although as I get older I find I am getting more drawn to programs/books. N-4 down is about one of the biggest rescue missions to happen but it isn't just about that. We learn about some of the history of Zepplin travel, luxury trips, the making and history of some of these magnificent and I find rather scary air travel.

The book centers mostly around Noble, his struggle to conquer the North pole, his achievements and shortcomings, his feud/rivalry with a once friend/colleague to now competitor and enemy if you like. The build up to Noble's journey to the North pole which ends in the airship coming down, the crew needing rescued, the horror whilst awaiting rescue and what plagues Noble afterwards because of the decision(s) he made.

I find the fascination with these airships and the North pole so so interesting, I would put the book down to Google or go on YouTube and look up what had been written. The book has been so so well researched and there are so many references and links the reader can go and check out. Some of the scenes are horrific and make you hold your breath when you envision/read what they went through, the temperatures and many brushes with death.

This is very different from the types of books I normally pick up but as I get older I find myself more interested in history and I would have neve been able to set foot on one of these, even the luxurious style ones, too feart. However they are incredibly interesting to read about, what they were capable of and their uses, 4/5 for me.

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Rock N Roll Nanny - Blog Tour

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

For my stop I have my review, enjoy.

Rock N Roll NannyRock N Roll Nanny by Sally Arnold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 300

Publisher -

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Amazon

What’s it like to prepare Christmas lunch with Mick Jagger? To go clubbing with The Who’s crazy drummer Keith Moon? Or to deal with the WAGs in a band’s entourage?

In 1971, Sally Arnold takes a nannying job in Paris that will transform her life. Her charge is Mick Jagger’s daughter Jade and she is soon running more than bath-time… she is working for the giants of rock as the first woman tour manager in the business.

When Sally moves on to organising charity events, she has to manage other larger-than-life personalities such as Billy Connolly and Rowan Atkinson. Sally also handles famous names from Princess Diana and the Duke of Edinburgh, to Mikhail Gorbachev and Poet Laureate Ted Hughes.

How did Sally survive in this world of rock and roll?

My Review

Mett Sally Arnold, we hear about her younger years and her family history and it is quite an impressive history with impressive wealth and contributions. We follow Sally through her training as a nurse and then how she goes on to be a nanny for Mick Jagger and then her impressive career of managing huge names in rock and roll, amazing contributions to charity and the darker side of rubbing shoulders and mixing with celebrities.

As you would imagine the books covers exposure to substances, unsavoury people and Arnold touches on her own experience of being abused/people in power abusing that. Some of the antics and behaviour is quite appauling of these celebs.

Arnold also catalogues her heartbreak and loss, how they found out about the plane crash with the band Lynard Skynard and how many of her experiences shaped her future path.

It is a really interesting read, shocking that even in those circles people are not above being nasty/bitches to get ahead and stand on others. The author includes personal collection photos so there are some of celebs I hadn't seen before. If you like memoirs and reading about life in the circles of the rich and famous you have both with this as we go with Arnold before during and after. She has led a very interesting and successful life with her no nonsense attitude, 4/5.

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