Tuesday 18 June 2024

The Accidental Family by Rowan Coleman

The Accidental Family (Sophie Mills, #2)The Accidental Family by Rowan Coleman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 416

Publisher - Arrow Books

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

A wonderfully warm and witty novel about starting again, from the author of The Memory Book.

Six months ago, city girl Sophie Mills gave up everything to move to Cornwall. All to be with the man she thinks she loves, and his two daughters who she knows she loves.

But adjusting to life as a semi-permanent mother in the countryside isn't quite as easy as Sophie imagined it would be. Designer shoes aren't nearly so readily available - not that she ever has any occasion to wear them - and her best pair of vintage Manolo's have already found their way into the girls' dressing-up box. Sometimes Sophie doesn't recognise herself; which most of the time makes her happy but every now and then scares her to death.

The hardest thing of all is making that final commitment to actually move in with Louis and the girls - she's been the longest paying guest of the Avalon B&B, St Ives in the history of the establishment. And as she tries to adapt to country life, her newly adopted family and discovering more about Louis's past, she begins to wonder if she's got what it takes to make it all work ...

My Review

It says book two on here but according to FantasticFiction this is book 3, I hadn't read the first two so this was my introduction to all the characters. So Sophie moved from everything she knew and loved for Louis and his two little girls. As I hadn't read the previous books I had quite a lot of catching up to do, for example the weans mum who died had been Sophie's bestie :O Louis is her husband (they were estranged ad he ran out on her and the kids after an affair), when she died Sophie had been left to care for the kids, he came back and they fell in love. Obvs there is a lot more to it but that woulda been covered in books 1 and 2. Anyways Sophie has issues fully commiting/moving in but all that will change when they are committed to each other and the weans can't wait. However when something from Louise's past comes to the forefront everything is turned on its head and Sophie isn't too sure where she stands.

I think my problem is Louis went from being super focused/in love and seemingly perfect to quite a character turn and I really didn't like him. I wanted Sophie to get a backbone and Wendy needed high fived in the face with a chair lol.

It has drama galore, perfect for poolside reading with my pina colada, I absolutely felt for those wee girls, they were absolute scones and you just wanted to hug them. They seemed quite mature for their age but they had lost their mum and had a lot of change in a short time period and I think it is a credit to the author to sculpt their characters to reflect that in their behaviours/attitudes.

A wee bit car crash tv, you didn't want to put the book down because you wanted to see what was coming next. I can't say I loved the characters, I found them to be infuriating at times but a bad character is open a good pull into the story. 3.5/5 for me, I would read the previous books if I came across them but I don't feel the need to go get them, I would be interested in a book 4 of these though.

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Friday 14 June 2024

The Last interview of Ada Fenn by V A Rudys

The Last Interview of Ada FennThe Last Interview of Ada Fenn by V.A. Rudys
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Pages - 301


Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

When 84-year-old Ada Fenn was found dead, natural causes were easily assumed. But when the post-mortem revealed that her heart problems had nothing to do with it, a full-blown murder investigation was launched.

Morally indecisive DC Hugo Moreno and the veteran DS Ennis Henriksen try to work as a team to figure out what happened. Will their unorthodox measures break through the lies, misleading evidence, and secrets of...

Kathleen - the loyal administrator... who stands to gain.
Tamara - the hard-working carer... who seeks a better life.
Adrian - charity worker... with a ticket to leave the country.

My Review

Ada Fern is eight four years old when she is found dead at home, age/health issues it is thought to be natural causes UNTIL the post mortem. Now we have a police investigation, three suspects and we hear from Ada through recorded interviews she gave to the charity worker Adrian. All seemingly have no motive or do they? We follow the story via the investigation into the murder and the characters are slowly revealed to have things hidden, don't we all?

A murder mystery but not quite the way conventional books tackle it. I liked hearing from Ada, learning more about this little lady who initially is just elderly, housebound and found dead. The charity worker Aiden who has interviews with Ada gives us more of who she was/is. Tamara and Kathleen, the other suspects along with Aiden the book teases out more information, personality reveals and dare I say motive as the investigation deepens. We also get to know the two cops a bit more personally through their approach in how they handle the case and interact with each other and the suspects.

I found myself getting pulled out of the story as it did jump about a bit with the different characters although they are all linked to Ada and it is all relative. Certainly from a who done it perspective it keeps you on your toes and guessing, I would be surprised if anyone said they had it worked out where the story was going, 3.5/5 from me.

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Tuesday 11 June 2024

The Sixpenny Orphan by Glenda Young

The Sixpenny OrphanThe Sixpenny Orphan by Glenda Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 322

Publisher - Headline

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

'Please, sir, take us both. We only have each other. We don't know how to live apart.'

After the death of their parents, sisters Poppy and Rose are taken in by widow Nellie Harper. But whilst they have a roof over their heads, the young orphans are unloved, unwanted, and always hungry, with only one pair of boots between them. Keen to make money, Nellie hatches a plan to sell the girls to the mysterious Mr Scurrfield. But when the day comes for them to leave, Scurrfield reveals he will take only one of the sisters - and he will decide which it will be on the turn of a sixpence.

Ten years later, Poppy is married with three children. Not a day goes by when she doesn't think about Rose, but after many years of searching, Poppy has accepted that her sister is lost to her. That is until a letter suddenly arrives, revealing Rose's fate and breaking Poppy's heart. Determined to be reunited with her beloved sister, Poppy sets out to bring Rose home.

Mt Review

Two poor little girls being "looked after" by a widow, Nellie, who has little interest in them, the weans are barely cared for. When Nellie has the bright idea to make money and be rid of them both she feels she is coming into money and can say goodbye to her pitiful existence. However when the buyer takes only one of the girls, Poppy is heartbroken and will never forget her sister. Ten years pass and finally Poppy has the chance to try and get her sister back however Poppy is poor and struggling to make ends meet and Rose is very different to the little girl Poppy last seen ten years ago.

Ooft family drama/saga guys, classism, set in a time where people could sell off children to the wealthy and not an eyelid batted, ooft. The book is split really in two, the past when the girls are wee and just trying to get by day by day, starving, sharing a pair of boots and then ten years on and divided by class, money and unknown danger.

As well as issues surrounding the time period, poverty, classism we also examine the affects of family being torn apart, experiences and how that shapes character and interaction(s). Wee bit emotive in places, rage inducing and all the things we have come to expect from Young, we do like her books and perfect for stepping out of your own life into others, if only for a short time. 4/5 from us, we have a few of hers on the tbrm and look forward to reading them.

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Saturday 8 June 2024

Alien River of Pain by Christopher Golden

Alien: River of Pain (Canonical Alien trilogy, #3)Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 352

Publisher - Titan

Source - bought

Source from Goodreads

When Ellen Ripley finally returns to Earth, she learns that the planet LV-426—now called Acheron—has been colonized. But LV-426 is where Ripley and the crew of the Nostromo found the original Xenomorph—the killing machine known as the Alien.

Protected by the Colonial Marines, the colonists seek to terraform the storm-swept planet. Two such residents are Anne and Russell Jorden, seeking a fortune that eluded them on Earth. On Acheron, Anne gives birth to the colony’s first newborn. Rebecca Jordan, also known as Newt.

The wildcatters discover a vast, decaying spaceship. The horseshoe-shaped vessel is of particular interest to Weyland-Yutani, and may be the answer to their dreams. But what Anne and Russ find on board proves to be the stuff, not of dreams, but of nightmares.

My Review

Right guys just to be clear this book is NOT the story of Ripley and the marines going to LV-426 but rather what happens before they get there. The book does open with Ripley and ends with her chat with Gorman and Burke but the meat of the book is the colonists and them pre, during and post finding the ship Kane encountered in the the first movie Alien.

We meet Newt, her parents/brother and some of the adults and soldiers (not those from the movie Aliens) and get to know more of the people, not just wee Newt. I always said I would love to know more about them and the book did give us a fair bit about them,the horror and helplessness against the feriocious Xenomorphs.

What I did like and wasn't expecting was there was more input from the company and representatives than just a message from Burke to check it out. I love anything that gives us a bit more about the franchise be it characters/xenomorphs or any additional bits about them we didn't know.

I am such a huge fan of the series/franchise that I don't think there would be one book/show/movie that I wouldn't try/tune into. When you are a big fan you sometimes let things slip/go but there wasn't any huge complaints or free passes, I think it is a decent offering and liked the Ripley link pre and post main story. I was just a bit disappointed because I thought it was going to be the marines and Ripley going in, I will check out the other books because I love them but also I may yet find the Ripley/Marines book! 4/5 for me this time and I have a few on the tbrm and now knowing there are AVP books too I will be getting them, how could I not!

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Thursday 6 June 2024

Profile K by Helen S Fields

Profile KProfile K by Helen Sarah Fields
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 384

Publisher - AVON

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

He’s going to kill you. He just doesn’t know it yet. There’s something wrong with me. For years I’ve hidden it. Suppressed it. Blended into society. But The Test awoke something within me. It was just a routine application designed to get to know me better – with results that would show me everything I was capable of. But it showed me that the wickedness is still inside me – and that I am capable of the worst possible things. And now that I know that, there’s no telling what I’ll do next…

My Review

Ooft, the opening chapter just gets right into it and gives us an intro into the bad guy then we meet Midnight. She works in a powerful business that offers profiles to help colleges/businesses with applicants/suitability. When midnight comes across a profile K - basically someone who is off the scale abnormal like ticking all the boxes for being a killer/psychopath in their responses to what they see. When it becomes apparent that someone is killing women in a horrific way but also one that Midnight recognises who can she turn to? The business is all about the business, money, power and with that corruption is rife because the business/reputation must always comes first.

Very much a cat and mouse as Midnight tries to learn more about who she is convinced in a killer and the killer now has Midnight on their radar but very little information to go on apart from her name. The book breaks down really three fold, Midnights pov and happenings, the killers pov and outside the company ie Midnight's private life, being carer to her twin and why she does what she does like everything revolves around her and her care.

Creepy, atmospheric, the killing aspects is horrific and not for the faint hearted. In between all of that what have family, friendship and relationships. I tutted and NOOOOOOOO/FGS Midnight what are you thinking, don't do/say that, ahhhhh. That being said sometimes people behaving daft/questionable is very reflective of real life. Stalking has a big part in the book too so just an fyi/headsup for you. We have read Fields before and will read her again, she has a knack for creating bad guys/creeps and Profile K is no exception, 4/5 from me.

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Monday 3 June 2024

Taste Of Blood by Lynda La Plante

Taste of Blood (Jane Tennison #9)Taste of Blood by Lynda La Plante
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days (in and out as able)

Pages - 403

Publisher - Zaffre

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

Detective Jane Tennison made a bad choice.

She was the one who put in a transfer to the quiet, local police station in Bromley, keen to escape the relentless pressure of her former West End department.

Now she regrets her decision. The tedium of petty crime investigations even makes her question remaining in the force.

But then a complicated domestic assault case lands on her desk - one that might still result in a murder charge if the victim dies of his injuries.

The warring neighbours who witnessed the assault intrigue Jane. The case has a sinister underbelly, she can sense it. And when Jane discovers a handsome young boy had recently disappeared after the tragic death of his girlfriend, every family in the private close becomes a suspect.

As Tennison hunts for the link between the crimes, she uncovers a truth more shocking than she could have contemplated. One that will either make her career - or break it.

My Review

Jane has transferred to a smaller/quieter station, really what was she thinking, we all know she loves to be in the thick of it. The new place mostly investigates small crimes - not a long more than petty squabbles in some cases and it isn't long before Jane questions her choice. An ongoing feud with neighbours turns into an assault with one landing in hospital, badly injured. Jane and co have to investigate and as is with Jane's track record there may be more to the incident and squabbles than first thought. Neighbours can often have secrets and some darker than others, could that explain the erratic behaviours by some of the residents?

So whilst this book looks at an assault and then ?a missing person (older case) we find Jane doing what she does best, digging where folk don't want her to until she gets her answers. We also get a lot more of the person side with Jane, family, relationships and touching on loss and issues that often come hand in hand. She is a bit more tetchy and feisty in this book, she has found her feet and her voice and is a strong character who doesn't suffer fools gladly.

At one point I wanted to hug her, I also went through a few irritational moments with her. This book has a very domestic feel to it both in the investigation and her private life. I like that, this is book nine, we have been with Tennison from the start so it is nice to get a bit more meat from the characters as well as the police stuff. 4/5 for me this time, a few themes that will be emotive to some people. Huge fans of La Plante and really enjoying the Tennison series, looking forward to the next book and seeing what is next for oor Jane.

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Sunday 2 June 2024

June Competition is now live

Happy June lovely people. Been catching up on bits but it is the 2nd of June so I am not doing too bad sorting the comps!

Up for grabs is x1 hardback, as shown, of CJ Tudor's new book "The Gathering" a murder/crime investigation that happens to have vampyrs in it. And in keeping with the theme a cross Faith diamond painting bookmark.

The bookmark

As always it will be entries via the Rafflecopter, please only fill in the entries you have completed. This is UK only as the hardback is quite heavy and postage has gone up again!

Good Luck

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday 1 June 2024

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 389

Publisher -

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story nears its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

My Review

I had been seeing this book everywhere and of course had the FOMO (fear of missing out). Evelyn is Hollywood royalty, over the decades she has been actress extraordinaire but also had her fair share of scandals/gossip/hit pieces in the news. The book opens with Monique, a very little cog for a big magazine whose having personal issues (relationship) and her career isn't close to where she wants it. Yeah she is working for a huge glossy mag but writing nothing much more than puff pieces. When she is named to interview the elusive Evelyn Hugo she knows this can change her career trajectory but she doesn't know it will change her whole life.

The book jumps in time a bit, easy to follow, from present day the interviews with Monique to Evelyn telling her life stories taking us back to when it all first happened. The book gives me Marilyn Monroe/Liz Taylor style vibes, behind the scenes for the climb in Hollywood. It covers some hard topics too, dv, abuse, violence, LGB representation and the hardships lesbians/gay individuals face let alone when under scrutiny of the whole world in a time where sexuality was kept hidden/discriminated against.

You can completely loose yourself in this, it has scandal, bad behaviour, people more interested in profit than peoples welfare. How fickle the world of fame is, how corrupt money is, how bad the press treat celebs - quick to tear them down but lift them up depending on what they can spin. It is wild, dark, shocking, entertaining - a whole load of drama! 4.5/5 for me this time, perfect for zoning out, poolside reading or just a day on the couch, easily a read in one sitting type book!

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