Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian @NetGalley @vintagebooks #PublicationDay #mystery #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Never Saw Me coming by Vera Kurian. I received an invite to read this book and the synopsis definitely intrigued me. My review is my own and unbiased.

Meet Chloe Sevre. She’s a freshman honor student, a leggings-wearing hot girl next door, who also happens to be a psychopath. Her hobbies include yogalates, frat parties, and plotting to kill Will Bachman, a childhood friend who grievously wronged her.

Chloe is one of seven students at her DC-based college who are part of an unusual clinical study for psychopaths—students like herself who lack empathy and can’t comprehend emotions like fear or guilt. The study, led by a renowned psychologist, requires them to wear smart watches that track their moods and movements.

When one of the students in the study is found murdered in the psychology building, a dangerous game of cat and mouse begins, and Chloe goes from hunter to prey. As she races to identify the killer and put her own plan into action, she’ll be forced to decide if she can trust any of her fellow psychopaths—and everybody knows you should never trust a psychopath.

Never Saw Me Coming is a compulsive, voice-driven thriller by an exciting new voice in fiction, that will keep you pinned to the page and rooting for a would-be killer.

Publication Day is today so you can order HERE

MY REVIEW…

I really liked the premise for Never Saw Me Coming. Set in an American University, there is a small group f students who have been hand-picked to take part in a clinical study. They are supposed to be unknown to each other. What makes these students different to the others is that they are psychopaths.

The author builds up a good background for each of the main characters, they are introduced one by one and as such this makes it easy to remember them. Chloe is the main focus, as the synopsis tells you, there was a murder, she wants answers and she also wants to carry out her own personal plan.

I like how the author delved into the various different aspects that make up the mind of a psychopath. As someone who enjoys crime reads this was one that definitely caught my eye. The story does feel that it has some research and this does come across in the story as character traits are explored and as their stories emerge.

The author has blended crime and mystery as well as a psychological thriller style. It is not heavy reading and there are some good twists. I like how the synopsis suggests that the hunter becomes the prey and this added an extra edge. As Chloe has her own agenda she not only has to be careful of her own actions, but she’s also balancing study, and trying to keep ahead of her own stalker/ hunter.

This story has a nice edge to it. Part of me wants to say this is a YA thriller due to the college-age students but is also a good one for adults as well. There are times when I felt like this was more mystery than thriller, but there is definitely a darkness to it.

I did enjoy this and I actually enjoyed the student life aspect of the story as well as the obvious mystery side. It is one that would suit readers of various genres, but maybe not so much the hardcore psychological thriller ones. I would happily recommend this one.

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Lethal Ties by Helen J Christmas @SFDPBeginnings @rararesources #mystery #psychologicalthriller #Giveaway (UK only) #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Lethal Ties by Helen J Christmas. This is a very powerful and emotional read and one that does have a chilling edge to it.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot don’t he Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous story.

I do have to mention the cover, it is so appropriate now I have read this story!

Lethal Ties


A haunting vision. A spine-chilling nightmare. A missing boy.


When Joe, Maisie and Sam met in a residential children’s home, they pledged to look out for each other; three friends who were inseparable until the night Sam went missing…


Twenty years later, Maisie suffers flashbacks, unable to understand what lies at the root of her recurring nightmares. Shocked to find Joe, homeless on Bognor seafront, she helps him turn his life around, but it doesn’t seem long before their past comes back to haunt them.


What really went on at Orchard Grange all those years ago?
Where did Sam go?


Only he can provide the answers but they need to find him.

Within weeks of Maisie and Joe being reunited, however, an eerie presence disrupts their world. A mysterious black car is tailing them; a campaign of online abuse makes Joe wonder if his enemies are still around. He has never forgotten Mr Mortimer from the children’s home until a shocking attempt on his life launches a police investigation. 
Lethal Ties is a tense psychological thriller, an untangling of secrets with an utterly chilling twist.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

MY REVIEW…


This is a book that has had me hooked for the past couple of days. It is the story of three children who met while in care. One went to live with foster parents, one disappeared and one ran away. Years later they find each other.

Maisie is the main character of this story and as the synopsis tells, she finds one of her friends Joe. Together they begin to piece together events from the past, the ones that give Maisie nightmares and that Joe finds very difficult to describe. This is a story that involves child abuse, it is a story that is hard reading but has not been over-described.

The story is a mystery, a psychological thriller, it also has a criminal and police procedural aspect to it. The nature of the main theme is gradually brought out as initially Maisie and Joe deal with the past, they make links. It is as their friendship becomes more solid again that then turns this into a psychological thriller.

I am finding this quite difficult to review, I want so much to shout about the various events but can’t as I would give too much away.

Suppressed memories, nightmares and an uneasy feeling of being watched does not help Maisie feel safe, she does however have a good support network, though small, it provides her with the opportunity to voice her concerns. Through talking and through therapy she is able to piece things together. She realises that there is far more she has repressed than she had first realised. The author then adds the twists, the manipulation and also the realisation as things start to come together.

It is a story that the author has done so well considering the content. There is an amazing piece at the end of the book that describes how this story came about and also the people she met. I imagine research for this book to have been difficult but I think the author has done an amazing job.

This is an emotional read and also a very powerful one. Enough detail has been given so you are aware but as I mentioned earlier, there isn’t a lot of detail. I think the author got the balance for this very right. The psychological thriller aspect really builds, and I found this to add more pace to the story as it went on.

It always feels wrong to say that stories like this are wonderful reads, and Lethal Ties was such a wonderful read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

I’ve had a passion for writing since childhood and wrote my first full-length novel in 2011. This grew into a five-book mystery thriller series (Same Face Different Place). I love networking with other authors and the highlight of my writing journey was in 2015 when I was selected as a winner in a short story competition “Write Across Sussex,” judged by Kate Mosse and Peter Lovesey. I love where we live and with a passion for walking and photography, found the inspiration to base my novel in West Sussex.


I am active on social media and have written various articles about my characters on my blog. The underlying premise of ‘Lethal Ties’ is to raise awareness of mental health problems and promote a better understanding of conditions such as Asperger’s.


‘Lethal Ties’ is my first standalone psychological thriller and set in my local town, Bognor Regis.
Social Media Links – Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Website


GIVEAWAY

Giveaway to Win a signed paperback of Lethal Ties (Open to UK Only)


*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

ENTER HERE

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Three Words for Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb @Hazelgaynor @msheatherwebb @Harper360UK @RandomTTours #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb. This is a beautiful and gorgeous read and one I absolutely adored.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for arranging m advanced copy and for my spot on the Blog Tour.

Three cities. Two sisters. One chance to correct the past.


Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb have reunited for the third time with another unforgettable historical novel following
their award-winning bestseller Meet Me in Monaco. In THREE WORDS FOR GOODBYE, estranged sisters Clara and
Madeleine Sommers take a journey across Europe inspired by Nellie Bly, one of the first investigative journalists, who set out to circumnavigate the globe in less than eighty days. This inspired co-written novel is already earning top praise from Kristin Harmel, who said: “I loved being swept away to 1930s Paris, Venice and Vienna” while Gill Paul compares the novel to “reclining in a comfortable beach chair with warm sun on your skin and a glass of champagne at your elbow.”


New York, 1937: When estranged sisters Clara and Madeleine Sommers learn their grandmother is dying, they agree to
fulfil her last wish: to travel across Europe—together. They are to deliver three letters, in which Violet will say goodbye
to those she hasn’t seen since traveling to Europe forty years earlier; a journey inspired by famed reporter, Nellie Bly.
Clara, ever-dutiful, sees the trip as an inconvenient detour before her wedding to millionaire Charles Hancock, but it’s
also a chance to embrace her love of art. Budding journalist Madeleine relishes the opportunity to develop her
ambitions to report on the growing threat of Hitler’s Nazi party and Mussolini’s control in Italy.


Constantly at odds with each other as they explore the luxurious Queen Mary, the Orient Express, and the sights of Paris and Venice, Clara and Madeleine wonder if they can fulfil Violet’s wish, until a shocking truth about their family brings them closer together. But as they reach Vienna to deliver the final letter, old grudges threaten their reconciliation again. As political tensions rise, and Europe feels increasingly volatile, the pair are glad to head home on the Hindenburg, where fate will play its hand in the final stage of their journey.


Perfect for fans of Jennifer Robson, Beatriz Williams, and Kate Quinn, Gaynor and Webb have written a meticulously
researched narrative filled with colourful scenes of Europe and a stunning sense of the period. This unstoppable
historical fiction author duo will have readers enthralled as the sisters explore the luxurious Queen Mary and ride the
long-haul rail to take in the sights of Paris and Venice.

Purchase from – Amazon UK Book DepositoryKobo Waterstones

MY REVIEW…

A couple of years ago I read and absolutely adored Meet Me in Monaco, when I saw Three Words For Goodbye I immediately wanted to read it.

This is the story of sisters Clara and Maddie, they were close growing up but they are drifting as adulthood takes them in slightly different directions and they discover their own interests. Their Grandmother, Violet decides that the girls need something they can do together. A trip to Europe to hand-deliver three letters will give the sisters a chance to get to know each other again and hopefully rekindle their bond.

This is such a poignant and heartfelt story. the letters are the last thing Violet wants to achieve, her health is failing but she wants the girls to have the adventure she and her sister had. The letters are important to Violet as they are to people who have a special place in her heart, the girls will also discover more about themselves and their family along the way.

The chapters are alternated between Clara and Maddie, and it doesn’t take long to see the different personalities that emerge as I got to know them. There is also the occasional chapter from Violet, and she just fills in small details and kept me up to date with her health.

Alternating the chapters between two different personalities was a great way of seeing things from different perspectives. Clara sees the world as an artist, while Maddie as a journalist. One has a dreamy sort of look, the other more as it is. Clara is more reserved while Maddie is the impulsive one. It is easy to see how their personalities have caused issues for the sisters, but there is still a closeness to them, while it may be subtle, it is there.

This story was an absolute pleasure to read, there was the occasional lump in the throat moment, but I adored following the women on their travels and experiencing the world just before the outbreak of WWII. Opinions and expectations are brought into the story and this adds a nice touch to it, especially with the differences of the girls.

Set in 1937 it is one for fans of historical fiction and if you have read any of either authors books then you know you are in for a treat. I adored it and I would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUHTORS…

HAZEL GAYNOR is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of When We Were Young & Brave, A Memory of Violets and The Girl Who Came Home, for which she received the 2015 Romantic Novelists’ Association Historical Romantic Novel of the Year award. Her third novel, The Girl from The Savoy, was an Irish Times and Globe and Mail bestseller, and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. In 2017, she published The Cottingley Secret and Last Christmas in Paris (co-written with Heather Webb). Both novels hit bestseller lists, and Last Christmas in Paris won the 2018 Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star Award. Hazel’s novel, The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, hit the Irish Times bestseller list for five consecutive weeks. Hazel was selected by Library Journal as one of Ten Big Breakout Authors for 2015. Her work has been translated into fourteen languages and is published in twenty-one countries worldwide. She lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.

HEATHER WEBB is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of The Next Ship Home, Rodin’s Lover, Becoming Josephine, and The Phantom’s Apprentice, as well as two novels co-written with Hazel, Last Christmas in Paris , which won the 2018 Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star Award, and Meet Me in Monaco, a finalist in the 2020 RNA Awards as well as the 2019 Digital Book World Fiction awards. To date, Heather’s works have been translated
into fifteen languages worldwide. She is also passionate about helping writers find their voice as a professional freelance editor, speaker, and adjunct in the MFA in Writing program at Drexeul University. She lives in New England with her family and one feisty bunny.

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Starlight Cottage by K.T. Dady @kt_dady @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Starlight Cottage by K.T. Dady. This was a wonderful story and I adored my first trip to Pepper Bay in thsi new series.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arrangign my e-copy.

Starlight Cottage


Welcome to Pepper Bay. A small close-knit community where you’ll find chocolate box cottages, quaint shops, drama, friendship, and love.


Snuggle down with this cosy, feel-good, comfort read that whisks you away to a beautiful bay on the Isle of Wight – Perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Phillipa Ashley, and Holly Martin.


The Pepper Bay books are standalone stories that intertwine with recurring characters.


Starlight Cottage – Anna Cooper and Jake Reynolds both live at the luxury London building, River Heights. The only difference is that Jake lives in the penthouse, and Anna lives in a tent on the roof.
When Jake finds out, he offers Anna a chance of a new life in his grandmother’s childhood home in Pepper Bay, and she decides to take the opportunity to see if she really can make a fresh start somewhere else.
The beauty of Pepper Bay, with its quaint shops, chocolate box cottages, and all of Jake’s closest friends, immediately fills Anna’s heart with nothing but love, and it isn’t just Starlight Cottage that she finds herself falling in love with.

Purchase Links AMAZON UK US

MY REVIEW…

This is the first book in the Pepper Bay series and it is an absolutely gorgeous book to read. I was only planning on reading a couple of chapters before going to sleep and found myself reading until just before 1 am!

This is the story of two people who, when they first meet don’t really make the best impression. Anna Cooper first meets Jake Reynolds in a lift. He is immaculately dressed, while she is stood dripping wet next to her rather smelly and equally as wet dog, Max.

Fast forward a little and the two gradually spark a friendship, both have got issues that stem from the past. Now, this I really liked as the author has brought into this story mental health issues. Both of the characters have different problems and the author have worked them really well into the story. I do think the way she has dealt with them gives a very good understanding of the reactions of both the characters.

This story is a gorgeous read I was taken to the most idyllic sounding Pepper Bay. A wonderful community where the locals know everyone and are pretty much up to speed as things happen. This makes for a close-knit and wonderfully caring vibe as I was reading.

Things are not straightforward in this story, and nothing is to be taken for granted. What initially started as a story that I might say could be a too coincidental it was also one just held me captivated and didn’t let me go. A chance for second chances, for fresh starts and to learn to be with others and part of something.

This is a stunning read and one that I absolutely adored. Ideal for fans of romance and contemporary fiction. It’s one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Author, reader, mum, chocolate lover, and a huge fan of a HEA. I was born and raised in the East End of London, and I’ve been happily writing stories since I was a little girl. When I’m not writing, I’m baking cakes or pottering around in my little garden in Essex, trying not to kill the flowers. I’m the author of contemporary romance, middle-grade, and the thought-provoking thriller about mental illness, The Focus Program.

Social Media Links – WebsiteTwitter Instagram

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The Ticklemore Tavern by Liz Davies @lizdaviesauthor @rararesources #PublicationDay #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Tickelmore Tavern by Liz Davies. This was such a lovely story to settle down with and read.

My huge thanks to Rachel for arranging my advanced copy of the book for an unbiased review.

Violet makes her own gin.
Logan Cassidy sells it in his pub, The Ticklemore Tavern.


It should have been a match made in heaven, especially since the pair of them fancy the socks off each other, and they are both young, free and single.
Except…


Logan’s mum, Marie, doesn’t think Violet is good enough for her son. No woman is, or ever will be. And when she becomes ill, Logan is torn between looking after his mum or following his heart.
However, neither Logan, nor Marie, has taken the sheer force of nature that is Violet into account. What Violet wants, Violet gets.
Usually…


But maybe not this time, eh?


Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

MY REVIEW…

I absolutely adored the story of Violet and how she met and makes friends with Logan. As the synopsis tells you, Violet makes gin and supplies the Logan, landlord of The Ticklemore Tavern. She has started this new business and has built up a nice selection of flavours. On the off chance, he will stock her gin she stops by the tavern. Talk about a purple whirlwind on legs, she bowls him over with her rather unusual and slightly flirty sales pitch. She is a character I knew I would really like, and of course, Logan doesn’t sound too bad either!

This is a wonderful story about friendship, gin and getting on in life. Almost everyone in the local community is aware of sparks between Violet and Logan, especially as he is a local and many want to see him happy and settled. There is however a spanner in the works, that spanner has a name, Maria and she is Logan’s overly, overprotective mother. Talk about a dragon or what! Now while the author does paint her out to be a party pooper there is also a balance that is struck with the odd comment. This hints at something else at play.

I really enjoyed how this local community is brought together, Hattie is hilarious and is about as subtle as a brick, she is such a brilliant character and is almost the matriarchal figurehead. She is the one that will say what is need when necessary especially when there is a snifter of gin on the go.

The author has created such a wonderful story. A couple trying to find a way to run businesses and keep family happy. About a mother who thinks she is going to be left alone and about a community that know when to intervene. A gorgeous feeling story that is timed perfectly as it slowly runs into the autumn season, and as we are currently in an autumnal feeling summer it feels rather appropriate.

I adored everything about the story, the wonderful and varied range of gins mentioned, the characters some of the food mentions and of course the story of Violet and Logan. This is definitely one for those who love a heartwarming contemporary fiction and romance tale and it is one I would definitely recommend. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.


She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat – she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.


She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper van and travel the world in it.


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