We Are Family by Nicola Gill @Avonbooks #NetGalley #family #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for We Are Family by Nicola Gill. This is due to be published tomorrow along with many, many other books, but I hope you have this one on your list to buy.

My thanks to Avon Books for my e-ARC via NetGalley. My thoughts are my own.

Synopsis…

You can’t choose your family…

Jess and Laura might be sisters, but they’re very different people. Laura is laid-back, eats cheese in bed, and takes life as it comes. Jess, meanwhile, is the classic overachiever: Chief of Chivvying, Queen of all WhatsApp groups. They’re family, but they’re not exactly friends.

…but you can let them in.

When their mum dies, the sisters struggle to agree on anything, from where to scatter the ashes to whether “passed away” is an acceptable term. But as life forces them together, Laura and Jess realise: the only way through this is as a team. After all, they’re stuck with each other – and drinking wine is more fun as a pair…

A funny, tender and thoroughly entertaining read for anyone who loved watching Fleabag, and is a fan of books by Marian Keyes, Fiona Gibson, Rachel Marks, Beth O’Leary and Mhairi McFarlane.

Purchase Links from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackAudio (these are affiliate links that earn me a small commission at no cost to you)

My Review…

The synopsis does a very good job of telling you what this book is about. Two sisters having to come together after the death of their mother to sort out funeral arrangements and clearing the belongings.

The story is one that I happily read in a day and I gradually got to know Jess and Laura. They are two very different women in their style and also their personalities as well as their lifestyle. I met Laura first who is a run ragged Mum of Billy and lives with her partner Jon. She seems to be the sort of woman who has no time for herself as she juggles her work, her family and trying to keep too many plates spinning in the air.

Jess, on the other hand, seems to be more organised, and in some ways, she comes across as slightly aloof, controlling and more stylish. This is something that is told from Laura’s point of view and when I met Jess I kind of agreed with Laura’s view. But as the story progressed I found that Laura did annoy me a little bit, she is jealous of what her older sister has and there is a lot of resentment.

The gi8lrs have to connect as best they can as they deal with their mum’s estate and slowly they begin to talk. There are some quite heartwarming moments in the story and also some very funny memories that are shared. This helps to build a bigger picture of the girls growing up and also kind of explains the lives the women now have.

This was a very nice read and one that shows the struggle of losing a parent as well as having to deal with resentment from the past. It is about having the chance to put the past behind them and move forward, but can they? There are hurtful memories and snide comments and while venting frustrations is a good thing they do cut quite deep emotionally.

An enjoyable read that I found very absorbing and entertaining, I liked the contrasts between the women and their lives, opinions, outlooks and traits. Ideal for readers who like a story that has a little sibling rivalry and like a story about families. It is one I would recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Cottage of new Beginnings by Suzanne Snow @SnowProse @canelo_co @rararesources #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Cottage of New Beginnings by Suzanne Snow. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Synopsis…

One crumbling cottage. One broken heart. A chance to start over?

When Annie returns to Thorndale, the village where she spent much of her childhood, she’s looking for a new start. All she wants to do is fix up the cottage her godmother left her, and fix up her broken heart.

When she clashes with local hero, Jon, Annie can’t help but wonder if coming back to Thorndale was a mistake. The village has clearly changed and the last thing she needs is more drama. But avoiding the distractingly handsome Jon is proving impossible, especially when Thorndale seems to be conspiring to throw them together…

Annie is looking for a fresh start with zero romance – but what if the only way to learn to trust again is to take a risk on love?

The perfect cosy romance for fans of Julie Houston, Victoria Walters and Trisha Ashley.

Purchase Links Amazon – UK or US

My Review…

This is such a delightful book that I read one wet and windy summer afternoon. It is the story of Annie returning to her childhood holiday home. A place she always felt welcomed, wanted and loved by her godmother Molly. Molly passed away and left the cottage to Annie. When Annie’s relationship failed she was already in the process of selling her flat so it made perfect sense to settle somewhere she knew and so to Thorndale she came.

Annie’s recent split has left her feeling low, her arrival in the village of Thorndale doesn’t help her feel that she has made the right decision especially when she discovers her belongings left in the garden and also a run-in with a rather rude man.

The cottage is one of the memories as well as neglect and it takes time for her to settle. She soon finds herself in the midst of a community that is welcoming and very supportive. In fact, it seems that everyone is busy helping everyone else it is a wonder they have time for themselves.

The setting is lovely and the whole feel of the area feels very idyllic and charming. There is a nice romantic theme through this story, it is a slow-burning romance that starts gradually. The reason for that is the past lives of the two main protagonists.

This is one of those stories that slot very nicely into a charming and delightful read, it has a good storyline and is ideal for disappearing into. It is one I would recommend and I look forward to reading more in the series. 

About the Author…

Suzanne lives in Lancashire with her family and loves to read. Amongst her favourite books are historical crime fiction and writers’ biographies. Suzanne enjoys cooking, walking, especially in the Lake District, and developing and planting gardens. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.

Follow the Author on TwitterFacebook

Check out the other stops on the blog Tour…

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

No Love Lost by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk #mystery #crime #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for No Love Lost by Robert Crouch. I am a big fan of this author and his Kent Fisher mystery series. I have read every book, and in order! Can you read his latest as a stand-alone… well I suppose you could… but why would you 🙂

Let me show you Robert’s latest book…

Synopsis…

How can a simple job interview end in complete carnage?

When Mandy Paige seeks Kent Fisher’s help to find the mother who abandoned her as a baby, he has no idea of the mayhem his investigation will unleash. With only a photograph of a woman he once knew, he discovers she left her office one Friday afternoon twenty years ago and never returned.

Did Helen Cassidy escape an abusive husband or was she abducted and murdered?

People connected to Helen begin to die in mysterious circumstances. An old foe returns, leaving cryptic messages on the windscreen of Kent’s car. He seems to know Kent’s every move, hounding and taunting the sleuth, attacking those who can help him solve the mystery.

When the main suspect dies, Kent’s investigation lies in tatters – until he realises he’s not the one pursuing the killer. The killer’s pursuing him.

You can order this and the other books on Robert’s Amazon Author Page – HERE is the link 🙂

My Review…

How can a simple job interview end in complete carnage?.. Well you would not believe me if I told you!!! This is the latest book in the Kent Fisher series, number 6 in fact. As someone who has read this series in order I would suggest that it is the best way of approaching the series. There are mentions of Kent’s past that do still come up in the books.

So, back to my first question, how can a simple job interview end in complete carnage?… Well, you would not believe me if I told you!!! This is the latest book in the Kent Fisher series, number 6 in fact. As someone who has read this series in order, I would suggest that it is the best way of approaching the series. There are mentions of Kent’s past that do still come up in the books.

So, how can an interview end in carnage?… Yeah, I am still in shock about this as I try to write my review, hence the third time of me trying to answer this question! 🙂 This story sees Kent right in the midst of things once again as he tries to juggle his job as an Environmental Health Officer, as well as helping run his Animal Sanctuary. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough he also solves crimes. This book, however, is so much more personal than the previous one especially when it comes to the crime part.

It also delves into how much of a lady’s man Kent was in his earlier days, yes we know he doesn’t do long term commitment but back in the day, it seems he was a lot worse. This is so vague as there are things from his younger days that really have come back to bite him in the behind.

The author really has woven a wonderful tale of mystery, revenge, deceit and also a tragedy. It was a brilliant book and I think it may be my favourite so far and also the one that shocked me the most with events. It draws things from the past and the present and they have been twisted and turned into such an addictive read.

Poor Kent, I did feel for him as he seemed to spend much of the time trying to work out the what if’s and chasing his tail. Now as much as I do like Kent’s multiple roles I also see that there is a possible change on the horizon.

I really do adore this series and the author does such a brilliant job giving his protagonist a hard time, juggling too many of the proverbial hats and also his love-life. Not only do I very definitely recommend this latest book I also very definitely recommend the series. It is a wonderful mystery and crime series that has a whole lot of other threads wonderfully interwoven to create an addictive mystery series. Brilliant from start to finish.

About the Author…

Robert Crouch is the author of the Kent Fisher murder mystery series. Set in today’s world, the books pay homage to the traditional murder mystery and classic whodunit.

Based on his career as an environmental health officer, Kent Fisher is a different kind of detective, described as ‘unique in crime fiction’ by one reviewer.

Having left environmental health, Robert now writes full time from his home on the East Sussex coast. He loves walking on the South Downs with his wife, Carol, and their Westie, Harvey, reading crime fiction and photography.

To find out more, you can visit his – WebsiteAmazon PageFacebook

Check out the other stops on the Book Launch…

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

My Week In Books (w/e 27th Sept) #books #garden #MeAndMyBooks

Hello and welcome to the last post of this month, I swear to god that this month has flown by so quick I am sure it skipped a week somewhere!

There is definitely an autumnal chill and I have had to get my fluffy socks out and put a radiator on to take the chill off in the evening. The garden still has colour, though not as much as a few weeks ago. Time for a sort out, seeds saved, a tidy up, some things moved some things chopped right back, or my Mum says “given the Chelsea chop”. Still got a little more tidying to do in the flower bed.


As for the reading this week, well it has been a little slower but the two books I have read have been savoured, both 400+ pages and both were absolutely wonderful books. Both are for Blog Tours and both are definitely recommended.

Fist up is…

The Second Marriage by Gill Paul... I loved this book so much. Main characters are Aristotle Onassis, Maria Callas and Jackie Kennedy. This is such a wonderful book about three people whose lives become intertwined. The focus is on the two women as I was taken through some historical events such as the assassination of JFK. Keep an eye out for my full review as part of the Tour, but if you love hist/fic then you really need to get this one.


The Trials of Koli by M.R. Carey is the second book in the Rampart Trilogy. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book and even though I have had this 2nd book for a while now I have managed to keep it in the right reading order. It is a book that I have anticipated enjoying but I didn’t just enjoy it, I loved it! It is set in the future and continues Koli’s journey with Ursula and Cup. A wonderful descriptive books full of thrills and adventure. I finished this book last night and I am in “book hangover mode” I am still trying to get my head around how to write a review for this fabulous book.


I also got some wonderful #bookpost this week. This is a book that is part of the Blog Tour and it is a beautiful book and another that I am really excited about..

I am in love with the cover of The Nesting by C.J Cooke


Another week done and dusted, just think this time next week it will be next month!!!!

Have a wonderful week ahead and Happy Reading

Yvonne xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

#Nefertiti (Rai Rahotep #1) AND #Tutankamun (Rai Rahotep #2) by Nick Drake @nickfdrake @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours #RandomTTours #histfic #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share not just one but two reviews today! Yes, you read that right I have two book reviews. Both books are by Nick Drake and are the first two books in the Rai Rahotep series, Nefertiti and Tutankhamun.

Both books were read as part of the Blog Tour organised by Anne at Random Things Tours, my huge thanks to Anne for my spot and for arranging the copies of both books. I enjoyed these so much I immediately went and bought the 3rd book – Egypt!

These books are being re-published by Transworld and I am so glad of this because I had actually not come across them before.

I am including a link HERE to Nick’s Amazon Page so you can order all three books.

So, let me show you what the books are about…

Synopsis…

A MISSING QUEEN. A DARK GAME OF POWER.

With her husband, AkhenatenNefertiti – the most powerful, charismatic and beautiful Queen of the ancient world – rules over an Empire at the peak of its glory and domination.

Together, they have built a magnificent new city in the desert on the banks of the Nile and are about to host kings, dignitaries and leaders from around the Empire for a vast festival to celebrate their triumph.

But suddenly, Nefertiti vanishes.

Rahotep – the youngest chief detective of the Thebes division- can see patterns where others cannot. His unusual talents earn him a summons to the royal court.

With ten days to find the Queen and return her in time for the festival, Rahotep knows that success will bring glory – but if he fails, he and his young family will die…

Rahotep’s adventure continue in Tutankhamun and Egypt: The Book of Chaos

NEFERTITI – MY REVIEW…

From a slow start this book really picked up its pace and intrigue. When I say a slow start what I mean is that there is quite a bit of description and observation that sets the scene and also introduces the main protagonist Rahotep. He has been summoned by Akhenaten to the palace to look into the disappearance of his wife, Nefertiti. Sounds OK, but this has a time limit of 10 days. 10 days until Nefertiti is supposed to attend a public festival. If Rahotep fails it will cost him his life and also that of his family!

The first few chapters were very good at really giving the reader a chance to get to grips with some of the ways of life for this era in history. I say ways of life because there is so much distrust and a wrong word can have tragic and dire consequences. Rahotep has to work his way through a society that is all about being seen the right way and doing the right thing. People are devious, seem to be after their own gain and at times at any cost.

With the uncertainty of the people and the time limits on solving this mystery Rahotep definitely faces an up hill battle. Trying to work out who is telling the truth as he uses an investigative style of question and observational skills to work out the final truth.

This book was really intriguing and also I found it very addictive. I found myself quickly drawn in and I also found that the descriptions and observations were quite fascinating in giving the reader more insight into life, traditions, new ways, old ways and the current climate and feel of the population. I did feel that even though this slowed the story somewhat it was also a great addition for giving an all round reader experience.

A really intriguing and interesting mystery read that I quite enjoyed and I left me eager to continue with this series. It is one for mystery and also historical fiction readers and one I would recommend.

Synopsis…

A KING IN DANGER. A BATTLE TO STAY ALIVE.

On the shadowy city streets the cryptically mutilated bodies of several young people are discovered. These brutal acts are destabilizing a ruthless regime already unstable thanks to corruption and the appalling divide between rich and poor.

Meanwhile, Tutankhamun, at 18, has inherited an empire that should be at the height of power and glory. But he faces only a Court full of conspiracies and plotting, and a bitter struggle for power.

And when his own security is threatened by an intruder in the palace, he needs an outsider he can trust to track down the traitor. Rahotep receives a mysterious invitation to the labyrinthine halls of the Royal Palace.

But what he discovers at the dark heart of power will put his life, and his family, in grave danger. . .

Rahotep’s adventures continue in Egypt: The Book of Chaos. Have you read Nefertiti, his first adventure?

TUTANKHAMUN – MY REVIEW…

As soon as I had finished the first book, Nefertiti, I went immediately onto this one, the second in the series. As I still had the characters so fresh in my head it was very easy indeed to slip straight back into Ancient Egypt.

The previous book left off with a young Tutankhamun making an appearance. This book jumps forward a few years and I liked how the author made me aware of Rahoteps ageing, not old but slower and a bit achy than he used to be. Something we are all aware of! His mind is still sharp and once again his skills as a detective have been requested once again, and again he doesn’t have a choice int he matter!

This book was similar to the previous in some ways, as Rahotep is called to solve the mystery of objects being left in the palace to upset Tutankhamun. Even though he is the King it is Ay, the regent who runs the show. Ay is a character who is very unlikeable, he is cold, ruthless and conniving in every aspect possible. So, while the story had similarities as far as the mystery-solving went it was also different due to the power wrangling and the politics. It seems that everyone is out for their own benefit and this builds a wonderful feeling of distrust.

Another brilliant story in the series, this felt like a much quicker read compared to the first, but I think this is because I was already aware of the characters and also how the writer includes a good amount of detail about the way of life. Not just the way of life, but also politics, foods, social class and hierarchy.

I have enjoyed the first two books and so I have also bought the next one and I am looking forward to reading that as well. This is a really good series and one that would appeal to readers of historical fiction set in Ancient Egypt, as well as readers of mysteries. Ideal for me as it mixes two of my favourite genres and it is one I am more than happy to recommend.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Taking a Chance on Love by Erin Green #contemporaryfiction #womensfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Taking a Chance on Love by Erin Green. I read this a couple of weeks ago and I am desperately trying to catch up with some of my reviews.

Let me show you about this book…

Synopsis…

One question can change everything.

Meet Carmen, Polly and Dana – all happy and successful women, with very different views on relationships.

Carmen has made a life with Elliot for the past eight years. She’s ready for the next step but a proposal seems to be as far away as ever.

Polly is devoted to her family. But after her parents’ bitter divorce, she’s wary of marriage – even after sharing twenty years and one son with Fraser.

Single mother Dana longs for companionship, despite her dedication to raising her son Luke. Finding the right person to bring into their lives feels impossible – until a unique way to select a potential Mr Right comes along.

With 29th February fast approaching, will they each take the chance this Leap Year to take control of their fates?

My Review…

What a gorgeous book this was to read. A first for me by this author and I am so glad to see there are some earlier books that I can read.

This is the story of three women. Polly Dana and Carmen. One has been with her boyfriend for 8 years with no sign of a marriage proposal from him, which is a shame as she owns a bridal shop so knows exactly what she wants. The other a single mum with a home floristry business that caters for weddings, bouquets, buttonholes, table displays and the like. She has just signed up for a show about finding love. The final woman is a Mum, in a stable long term relationship and works in travel agents and is juggling her time between her divorced parents and trying to organise a last-minute birthday party.

Each of them is busy, they have their own priorities and appear very stable but looking for a little something else. The story flits between each of the women in several subchapters. This is great as it gives the reader a chance to get to know the women and what is going on in each of their lives.

While this is a romance, it is not heavily romantic more contemporary fiction with a dash of romance later on in the story. I really enjoyed getting to know women and also their families. It was a gentle introduction that gathered momentum the further the story went.

There are connections that are made, brief pasts mentioned and always the look towards the future and what it may hold. The latter section of the book had me absolutely riveted to every word, I was already pretty addicted in the earlier stages as well. But the ending was just… well I will let you find out for yourselves.

This is a fabulous read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the way the author tackled various subjects through her story. This is such a lovely read and one that readers of contemporary fiction, family life and romance will enjoy. I would definitely recommend it.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Guest List by Lucy Foley #20booksofsummer #crimefiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share review for another of the books I chose for “20booksofsummer reading challenge. The Guest List by Lucy Foley is a cracking read and head me guessing right the way through.

Here’s what it’s all about…

Synopsis…

A wedding celebration turns dark and deadly in this deliciously wicked and atmospheric thriller reminiscent of Agatha Christie from the New York Times bestselling author of The Hunting Party.

The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

My Review…

This was a book I really enjoyed. A wedding on a remote island between two very well-known people. The synopsis gives a great glimpse into the theme of this story. Hints at secrets, grudges, pasts and a sense of something lurking.

I liked the layout of this book with quick chapters that flit between characters and also in the days on the run up to the wedding and the day of the wedding itself. This format gives the reader a glimpse into the thoughts of each character and it works well because often things are left unsaid but the thoughts are there for the reader to see.

Having the location of a remote island that is only accessible by boat gives the sense of a closed-door mystery style read. The setting gives a mysterious and eerie quality that adds to the atmospheric feel. I liked the description of the waves crashing against the cliffs, the bogs and the general remoteness.

The characters are definitely a real mixed bunch and there were some I took an immediate dislike to, well more how they saw themselves and wanted others to see them. There are others that try to remain in the shadows and are timider. There is one thing in common with a handful of the characters and that is the secrets they carry and hold.

The story leads its way through the characters and gradually pieces together their stories. These all lead to a sort of grand finale. This was a style I like as it made me mistrust people and I did think I had got this one but as usual I was off the mark. I liked this slow and gradual sense of something bad going to happen, never knowing who or how. The why… well there were various options as to why this would be done and it was a matter of time until it was all revealed.

A very enjoyable read with some nice details about the setting, a sense of suspense that grew and an all-round good crime, fiction read and one that I would recommend reading.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

My Week In Books (w/e 21st September) #booksread #bookupdates #MeAndMyBooks

Well here we are again, it doesn’t seem that long since I was writing last weeks post up. A day later than usual this week because I had a Blog Tour book review yesterday. It’s been one of those “nothing much happened weeks” so I’ll just get straight on with the books…

Any regulars to my blog will know how much I adore the Kent Fisher Mystery series. The latest is No Love Lost by Robert Crouch, it has a very appropriate tag line “THIS TIME IT’S PERSONAL” well that is very true indeed. A slightly different feel to this book as Kent deals with some challenges of a personal nature. As always the writing is brilliant and I was immediately caught up with dilemmas, deceit and lies. I feel a change on the horizon, but who for? Hmmmm!!! Another wonderful book in this amazing series that is ideal for those who love a good whodunit style mystery.


The next two books are also in the whodunit style mystery genre, but rather than being in present day they are set in ancient Egypt.

These are the first two books in the Rai Rahotep series, these books have been republished by Transworld books and I am delighted to be on the Blog Tour for these books as I thoroughly enjoyed them both and I have also bought the next book in the series. Nefertiti and Tutankhamun by Nick Drake are brilliant books, the first a little slower but it’s a fully immersive book that gives you a lot of details about the time. Rai Rahotep is, well I suppose he would be a detective, he looks for clues and asks questions rather than jump to conclusions or, as others do, beat the truth out of people. I really enjoyed both of these books and they are a mix of mystery and also historical fiction.


That’s it for me for this week, and I wish you all a wonderful week ahead.

Yvonne xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart @AndreaGStewart @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders #fantasy #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart. This is the first book in The Drowning Empire series and was an excellent start and has left me eagerly waiting for the rest of the books. This is a fantasy book, but it is very accessible and would suit many readers.

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of the book from Orbit Books. Before I get to carried away let me show you what The Bone Shard Daughter is about…

Synopsis…

In an empire controlled by bone shard magic, Lin, the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her magic and her place on the throne. The Bone Shard Daughter marks the debut of a major new voice in epic fantasy.

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people. 

My Review…

I have been looking forward to reading this book for so long and I was not disappointed. This is the first book in The Drowning Empire and I am so excited to see where this series goes in the future.

As I started this book I was introduced to the main cast, I was aware of them having an Oriental feel to their names. When I got to the end of the book I discovered the author is of Chinese/ American heritage. I do like Eastern folklore, magic and legend and this book has the feel of some of those elements.

There are a few characters to get to know as I mentioned earlier. There is Lin, the Emperor’s daughter and in theory, should be the next Emperor when her father retires or does. But he doesn’t show much time for Lin or in showing her how to work the Bone Shard magic. He is such an odd character, a recluse who seems to be paranoid and is searching for something.

Then there is Jovi, he is the best smuggler ever and he has posters of him for his arrest. He is a character that I really liked, while he seems cold, he is actually more compassionate than I first realised. He’s a smuggler but one that has a moral sense of right, Iknow that sounds bizarre but it is true and his character works really well.

Then there is the Governors daughter, Phalue. She is aware of the suffering of the people and does what she can to help. But in the eyes of her girlfriend, it is not enough, that Phalue doesn’t truly understand the suffering. I did feel for this character as she struggled with the love she has for her father but also the love of her girlfriend.

Finally, there is Sand, I first thought this was a very strange character, but actually, as the story progresses, she becomes more prominent, and her true role is just starting to emerge.

Often with first books in a series I find they are slower to get going as characters, backstories and threads begin the process of being started and plotted for the adventures and stories that will follow. With this book, that process seemed to progress really quickly, yet I never felt it was rushed, and I quickly found myself drawn into a story that has an epic feel to it.

The chapters are quick and rotate between the various main characters, I think this really helped with adding backstories, brief snippets of history, some geography and also a little of the politics. There is a general feeling of unrest in the people of the various Islands. They are hungry, have to work long hours for little p[ay and live in awful conditions. Yet the residences of the EMperor and the Governor is that of opulence and ignorance.

I really adored this story and I thoroughly enjoyed being transported in this story of magic, moving islands, strange occurrences and meeting some wonderful characters. I am really excited about this series and I would definitely recommend it to readers of fantasy and also to readers who are looking for a new series to being.

About the Author…

Andrea Stewart is the Chinese American daughter of immigrants, and was raised in a number of places across the United States. Her parents always emphasized science and education, so she spent her childhood immersed in Star Trek and odd-smelling library books. When her (admittedly ambitious) dreams of becoming a dragon slayer didn’t pan out, she instead turned to writing books. She now lives in sunny California, and in addition to writing, can be found herding cats, looking at birds, and falling down research rabbit holes.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Summer Island Swap by Samantha Tonge #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Island Swap by Samantha Tonge. This was a book I read at the beginning of August this year and it is one of the books I chose for the #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge and I am still playing catch-up on posting my reviews!

Let me show you what this wonderful book is all about…

Synopsis…

Sometimes the best holidays are the ones you least expect… 

After a long and turbulent year, Sarah is dreaming of the five-star getaway her sister has booked them on. White sands, cocktails, massages, the Caribbean is calling to them.

But the sisters turn up to tatty beaches, basic wooden shacks, a compost toilet and outdoor cold water showers. It turns out that at the last minute Amy decided a conservation project would be much more fun than a luxury resort.

So now Sarah’s battling mosquitos, trying to stomach fish soup and praying for a swift escape. Life on a desert island though isn’t all doom and gloom. They’re at one with nature, learning about each other and making new friends. And Sarah is distracted by the dishy, yet incredibly moody, island leader she’s sure is hiding a secret.

My Review…

I have 2 or 3of this authors books and they seem to have slid down my TBR pile. When I decided that I wanted a more relaxing summery, romance style read it was this author that suddenly sprung to mind and I thought I really need to read one of her books.

Well, what an amazing book this was and I absolutely adored it. Amy and Sarah are sisters and after a lottery win, Amy decides to treat them both to a luxury holiday. Amy works as a veterinary nurse and Sarah has a management role in a hotel. Both are looking forward to getting away, although Sarah is a little worried about leaving all the arrangements to her younger sister. Expecting a resort with pools, spas, beaches and the full 5-star treatment only to discover that Amy has suddenly changed the plan. Instead, they are on a working holiday on a small island in the Virgin Islands, No spas, 5-star treatments or anything else she was expecting, instead, Sarah has to deal with compost toilets, mosquitoes, cold showers and physical work.

Yes, this story does has a romantic thread running but it is actually the relationship between the sisters that really intrigued me. Sarah is the eldest and has looked out for Amy since their mum passed away, effectively taking on the parenting role and guiding, advising and to be fair has been quite controlling. The reasons for this are revealed more within the story. Amy is lacking confidence but she more than makes up for in enthusiasm and passion for animals.

While the sisters are chalk and cheese, they also have a very strong bond. They have been looking out for each other for years. This trip to a remote island with absolutely no mod cons and basic amenities is right up to Amy’s street but not so much for Sarah.

The thing about this story is the way the author has woven the story of the sisters and their upbringing around the conservation aspects of the island. The author goes into detail about the inspiration behind the story a the end, but it is obvious that there has been research and fact-checking as there is a myriad of little snippets about the wold life, flora and fauna, food, ecology and environment. So many interesting facts add a wonderful additional ingredient.

A wonderful story that readers of contemporary fiction, friendship and family will really enjoy, as I said there is a romantic thread but it is a subtle slower one that really fits in with the feel of the characters. A fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Image and Bio taken from the Author’s Goodreads Page.

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.
When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. 
She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo and in 2020 her novel Knowing You won the RNA’s Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award. 

http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

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Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp #20booksofsummer #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review of Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp. I have had this book in my tbr for a year or more, I had seen some reviews and decided rather than buy the latest book (at the time) I would start at the beginning. I decided it had lingered long enough and this is why this book was one of my picks for #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge

Synopsis…

‘Susie Hollins may have been no great shakes as a karaoke singer, but I didn’t think that was enough reason for anyone to want to kill her.’

Charlie Fox makes a living teaching self-defence to women in a quiet northern English city. It makes best use of the deadly skills she picked up after being kicked out of army Special Forces training for reasons she prefers not to go into. So, when Susie Hollins is found dead hours after she foolishly takes on Charlie at the New Adelphi Club, Charlie knows it’s only a matter of time before the police come calling. What they don’t tell her is that Hollins is the latest victim of a homicidal rapist stalking the local area.

Charlie finds herself drawn closer to the crime when the New Adelphi’s enigmatic owner, Marc Quinn, offers her a job working security at the club. Viewed as an outsider by the existing all-male team, her suspicion that there’s a link between the club and a serial killer doesn’t exactly endear her to anyone. Charlie has always taught her students that it’s better to run than to stand and fight, But, when the killer starts taking a very personal interest, it’s clear he isn’t going to give her that option . . .

Purchase links from Amazon (these are affiliate links) KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio CD

My Review…

This is the first book in the Charlies Fox series by Zoe Sharp. This is also the first time I have read a book by this author and I have to say Charlie is a fabulous character.

Charlie Fox is a no-nonsense woman who teaches self-defence to women. She is confident and comes across as a very sure person. There is a good amount of mystery behind her and some of it has been included in this, story, but I feel there is more her than I have seen so far.

The plot involves Charlie as another body is discovered at a nightclub that she has just been to with her friend and involves an altercation. This is the start of a very twisted road that the author takes not only her main character but also her reader upon.

The further the story progressed the more I got to see of Charlie, what makes her tick, her friendships and there is also a sense of vulnerability that comes with being let down in the past. It makes her a very interesting character that has a sense of loneliness about her at times.

A fabulous first book and one that is intriguing and with a character that I really like the sound of. The plot is a good fast-paced one with Charlie string to join all the dots to discover who is behind the crimes. She is in some ways a one-woman sleuth, but she is no Miss Marple, she is tough, can be dangerous but has a level head on her shoulders. Yeah, a little on the moody side, but then who doesn’t have a moment like that.

AS I mentioned this is the first book and there are quite a few more in this series that I am definitely looking forward to reading. If you like an excellent good fast-paced crime with a strong female lead that has full-throttle action then you really do need to have a look at this series. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Photo and Bio taken from the Authors Amazon Page

Zoë Sharp opted out of mainstream education at the age of twelve and wrote her first novel at fifteen. (Which, thankfully, still sits in a box in her attic, despite her father’s suggestion that she should sell it on eBay.) She became a freelance photojournalist in 1988 and wrote the first of her highly acclaimed Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox crime thrillers after receiving death-threats in the course of her work.

It was at this point she took a keen interest in learning various forms of self-defence. She had also been a competition rifle shooter, both of which skills have come in very handy for her ex-Special Forces turned bodyguard heroine.

“I loved thrillers, but wanted to read about female characters who were just as self-reliant, and just as skilled as the guys. When I couldn’t find any that fitted the bill, I decided I was simply going to have to write my own.”

She has won a Lovey Award for Best Series and been nominated (often more than once) for Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Benjamin Franklin and Macavity Awards in the United States, as well as the CWA Dagger Award. Her work has been used in a Danish school textbook, turned into a short film, and optioned for TV and film.

Zoë is a regular blogger on her own website — http://www.ZoeSharp.com — on the group site MurderIsEverywhere, as well as wittering on Twitter (@AuthorZoeSharp) and fooling about on Facebook (@AuthorZoeSharp).

Check out all of Zoe’s books on her Amazon Author Page

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx