Bollywood Wives by Alex Khan @alexkhanauthor @rararesources #Bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers who are opening the tour for Bollywood Wives by Alex Khan as part of the Blog Tour by Rachel’s at Rachel’s Random Resources.

Let me show you what this is all about…

The biggest scandals happen off-camera…

Zara Das is Bollywood’s hottest property, her every move watched by the eyes of the press. Riding high from the success of a string of blockbusters, she has the world at her feet, but the scandal from her latest film threatens to dethrone her as Bollywood’s reigning queen. 

So when superstar director Raj Dillon stages a lavish retelling of Pride and Prejudice, moving the shoot from Mumbai’s soundstages to London, Zara knows this is the role that could put her back on top. Coming with them are the Bollywood Wives – Jackie, Sasha, and Rani – bringing their own off-screen drama. 

But behind the diamonds, designer clothes and seven-star hotels lies the truth of how Zara reached the top. And when a dead body is found in her hotel room, it seems that someone is determined to take Zara down – and will stop at nothing to expose her darkest secrets. 

Zara has spent years running from her past. But now it’s caught up with her…

This book came as a pleasant surprise to me. I was a little unsure as to whether it would be a book I would enjoy, but I have to say the author did such a fabulous job adding intrigue, mystery and so much more into the story.

The story is of Zara Das, a Bollywood film-star who is very successful and sought after. While she is a star she is not accepted by the other wives of Bollywood actors, they are bitchy and see themselves as elite and come across as entitled.

This took me a while to get into, a slow burner of a start, but then I found myself addicted and thoroughly enjoying the read. The author has done a fabulous job of bring the glamour and sparkle I associate with Bollywood and also shown a darker secretive side that is not pretty. It is bitchy, a full of snide comments and those glances that make you feel small and inferior. It was an eye-opener to say the least!

There is a quite a bit of steamy scenes and these were very well done, again it adds something to the overall story. It took me back to books I read when I was younger like Jackie Collins and Jilly Cooper and Bollywood Wives is just as good if not better!

There are various strong female characters in the story and with a good array of backgrounds. Their interaction with each other was fabulous and had me smirking several times at their acerbic conversations, I know I shouldn’t really enjoy this sort of behaviour and in real life I would find it horrible, but in a story, well…

While there is a fabulous glamorous side to this story there is also the tale of Zara, this adds such a good balance to the story. Add into this the discovery of a body and you the get a suspense and thriller element to the book as well. It is one of those books that has something for everyone.

Given my apprehension when I first began this book, by the end I was so glad I read it. It is dark, secretive, seductive, atmospheric and deceptively intriguing and I loved it a lot! Once I got started and got to grips with the characters I could not put it down and devoured it easily in one sitting.

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and am looking forward to reading more based on this book. Bollywood Wives is a book I would Highly Recommend.


Check out the Blog Tour for this book and see what other Book Bloggers thought of the book…

Alex Khan has spent his life dreaming of writing and starring in Bollywood movies while traveling the world visiting some of the most glamorous and exciting locations. Moonlighting as a crime writer he finally got the courage to pen the novel he wanted to write all his life-Bollywood Wives. Taking you into the glamorous sexy thrilling environment of the world’s biggest movie stars and the secrets they hide.

Alex also writes crime under the name ALEX CAAN.

Follow Alex on TwitterWebsite


Many thanks for reading my post 🙂 xx

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames #Bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my thoughts on The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames. This book surprised me as the title made me think it would be more of a mystery read, while there was a mysterious element to it, it was actually a historical fiction and I loved it.

Before I get too carried away, let me share the synopsis with you…

Hundred-year-old Stella Fortuna sits alone in her house in Wethersfield, Connecticut, crocheting blankets and angrily ignoring her sister, Tina, who lives across the street. The sisters, once the best of friends, have not spoken for thirty years, not since The Accident—the eighth time Stella nearly died.

But what unspeakable betrayal made Stella turn on her sister? Born in a mountaintop village in southern Italy, Stella and Tina had grown up in abject poverty in the years between the two World Wars, abandoned by their father, who had left to seek his fortune in L’America, and forced to drop out of school after first grade to work in the olive groves. Tough, vivacious, and fiercely loyal, the inseparable sisters were foils for each other, Stella precocious and charismatic, Tina obedient and hard-working. But as Stella suffered ever more serious near-death experiences—beginning in their childhood with the time she was burned by frying oil (“the eggplant attack”)—the girls’ beloved mother, Assunta, became convinced her eldest daughter was cursed, a victim of the Evil Eye or a malevolent ghost. But what was really trying to kill Stella Fortuna, eight (or maybe seven) different times?

Now, after a century of trauma, Stella has turned on those who she once thought loved her most. It is up to the family historian to unravel the life and deaths of Stella Fortuna and to connect the inexplicable dots in her dramatic story—to suggest, finally, a redemption of the battle-scarred and misunderstood woman known now to the family as “crazy Stella.” 

The synopsis does a brilliant job of explaining what to expect from this wonderful book.

As I began reading I was reminded of another book I read many years ago, that was One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in that book there was a repetition of family names being handed down to the next generation. While The Seven or Eight Deaths also has a similar naming tradition it was not as confusing as Marquez’s.

The author depicts a very simple life for the Fortuna family in the small remote Italian village that they call home. It is simple but also a very hard life. The main focus is on Stella and her sister Tina and their parents Assunta and Antonio. It is the females of this story that are the strength and I think their hard lifestyle in Italy has helped them in their strength and determination as the book proceeds further with their story.

Antonio is a father who has not spent a lot of time with the family, he goes off to work and eventually ends up in America where he then sends for the rest of his family to join him. I have to say I really did not like him, he is very much a “do as I say because I am your husband” character. It is typical of the traditional family dynamic of the time. As much as it really grated it was right for the story.

Because the author has used a time span of 100 hundred years there is a lot of world history things that could have been included, the author has picked out a couple of key events and this makes the reading very fluid and relevant to the females in the Fortuna family. I very much enjoyed their arrival in America and witnessing Stella and Tina’s reaction to the American way of life, the social differences made me smile. But life as a recently arrived immigrant is not all smiles and roses and the women have to work hard.

The author has a wonderful style of writing that made it so easy for me to disappear into the pages for 2-3 hours at a time. She showed the differences in the way of life for the family from a cultural as well as a social point of view. I liked how she touched on traditional local dishes that Assunta would have made, then being Americanised. It is little touches like this that appealed to me, it is a way of seeing the subtle changes and adaptations in culture and society.

The Seven or Eight deaths of Stella are explained throughout the story, and also the disagreements that gradually cause a rift between the sisters. The deaths part of the story does have a slight spookiness to it and this is why it is also listed in horror/occult and I, I do hope that does not put people off because for me this was just a small part of a bigger story. As I mentioned earlier, the women of the story are strong and determined and so I can see why the rift had been caused. The women are fabulously developed characters that grow and evolve with the story, they are joined at intervals by various other relatives and friends.

This is an emotional story but also one that I did not feel emotional about as I was reading it. This sounds a rather odd thing to say, as yes the story is emotional but the characters have a very firm and solid outlook on life. They do show emotion as such but as they are such strong characters they are more able to hold it in, although there are times when the dam breaks for them.

This is such a wonderful story that is set through the 1900’s, it gives a century of family history and at times has a literary fiction style to it. I found it to be very addictive reading and when I wasn’t reading I did often find myself thinking about it.

This is one that I think other historical fiction readers would really enjoy. It is heartwarming and also heartbreaking but without being overly emotional and does have some hard reading moments, it is about family and new starts and also tipping a nod to the past. I would definitely recommend.


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A Fever In The Blood by Oscar De Muriel #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for A Fever In The Blood by Oscar De Muriel.

This is the second in the McGray and Frey series and it sees the return of the two detectives and there very different approaches in their line of work.

Let’s see what it’s about…

In Edinburgh’s lunatic asylum, a patient escapes as a nurse lays dying. Leading the manhunt are legendary local Detective ‘Nine-Nails’ McGray and Londoner-in-exile Inspector Ian Frey.

Before the murder, the suspect was heard in whispered conversation with a fellow patient—a girl who had been mute for years. What made her suddenly break her silence? And why won’t she talk again? Could the rumours about black magic be more than superstition?

McGray and Frey track a devious psychopath far beyond their jurisdiction, through the worst blizzard in living memory, into the shadow of Pendle Hill—home of the Lancashire witches—where unimaginable danger awaits.

The year is 1889 and the story begins on New Years Day in Edinburgh. Lord Joel Ardglass has escaped from the local asylum and is on the run after murdering a nurse. McGray finds evidence of witchcraft, this is right up his street, and fits into his beliefs in the occult and superstition. Frey is a man of science and believes that there is another explanation.

This is definitely a cat and mouse story and it really tests the McGray and Frey partnership. McGray is especially invested in this case for personal reasons that are explained at the beginning of the story. Frey can see why McGray is so keen to catch Ardglass, and is unsuccessful in trying to convince McGray to see things from a more productive and better thought out approach. McGray is more bull in a china shop type of guy.

Tempers are frayed and tested as Ardglass takes the two on a merry dance from Edinburgh to the infamous Pendle Hill, given it’s reputation and history it ties in well for McGray. As for poor Frey, well, he needs hits wits about him and more of that steely British nerve .

The time and setting lend itself so well to this type of story. It is full of mystery, especially given the involvement of witchcraft. The author has once again built up an atmosphere, that, as I read, I could feel the swirling mists, ominous shadows and felt a chill as I was taken into the cold and bleakly described landscape.

At the end of the story the author gives a few insights into the story, he mentions how his Phd in Chemistry helped him to create some of the dramatic elements to his story.

This is a murder/mystery that has a fabulous Gothic feel to it. If you have read the first, then I think this has a slightly different feel. I is a book I thoroughly enjoyed and left me wondering what the author has in store next for McGray & Frey.

It gets a definitely recommended from Me!

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share is always appreciated 🙂 xx

Book 11 out of 20


Warlock Holmes – A Study In Brimstone by G.S. Denning #20booksofsummer (7/20) #BookReview

Welcome to my review for Warlock Holmes – A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning. This is book number 7 of 20 in the 20 Books of Summer Rading Challenge.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius who uses the gift of deduction and reason to solve the most vexing of crimes.

Warlock Holmes, however, is an idiot. A good man, perhaps; a font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart flatmate. Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.

An imaginative, irreverent and addictive reimagining of the world’s favourite detective, Warlock Holmes retains the charm, tone and feel of the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while finally giving the flat at 221b Baker Street what it’s been missing for all these years: an alchemy table.

Reimagining six stories, this riotous mash-up is a glorious new take on the ever-popular Sherlock Holmes myth, featuring the vampire Inspector Vladislav Lestrade, the ogre Inspector Torg Grogsson, and Dr. Watson, the true detective at 221b. And Sherlock. A warlock.

As you can see from reading the synopsis, this is similar to Sherlock Holmes and yet it is completely different!

Warlock is definitely a unique individual, you could say slightly mad, a little too mysterious and not altogether what you would expect.

This story is entertaining as I discovered the dynamics for this authors version of Holmes and Watson is more of a role reversal. Holmes is not the confident type of detective and in fact it is Watson who, once he gets to grips with the facts, takes the lead.

This is a re-imagined version of Sherlock Holmes, changing the name to Warlock and adding a more supernatural twist to it, actually worked rather well for me. I always think of the original Holmes as being mysterious and open to various thoughts and beliefs, and in some ways this lends itself to the way the author has taken with his version.

This is one of those books that I really enjoyed, although I do expect that it may not appeal to all. The books includes 6 stories and is entertaining reading. It does have the feel of the Conan Doyle original to it and I found myself quite engrossed wondering what on earth was going to happen next.

It is a book I would recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great 🙂 x

The Outsider by Stephen King #20booksofsummer (1/20) #Review

I am delighted to share my review today for The Outsider by Stephen King. This is the first of my #20BooksofSummer reading challenge that I am taking part in.

When an eleven-year-old boy is found murdered in a town park, reliable eyewitnesses undeniably point to the town’s popular Little League coach, Terry Maitland, as the culprit. DNA evidence and fingerprints confirm the crime was committed by this well-loved family man.

Horrified by the brutal killing, Detective Ralph Anderson, whose own son was once coached by Maitland, orders the suspect to be arrested in a public spectacle. But Maitland has an alibi. And further research confirms he was indeed out of town that day.

As Anderson and the District Attorney trace the clues, the investigation expands from Ohio to Texas. And as horrifying answers begin to emerge, so King’s propulsive story of almost unbearable suspense kicks into high gear.

Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy but there is one rock-hard fact, as unassailable as gravity: a man cannot be in two places at the same time. Can he?

It’s been a while since I read a book by this author, well apart from a re-read of IT a couple of years ago.

The Outsider started as a crime thriller read after the brutal murder of a young boy. All the evidence points to one man. Other evidence places that same man in another place.

I enjoyed the crime aspect of this story and the thrill of the investigation. I enjoyed the feeling of something being wrong. I did have a theory early on, and to be honest I think that is something most readers would pick up on Mine was based on an urban legend/myth that I thought would be a fitting suspect.

Because this is a King book there are certain expectations that I have before reading. I expect a story that is not straight forward, that is going to have an unsettling feeling, a level of horror that me turning all the lights on. This story definitely does have all those.

The story has an almost two-part feel. The first is more the investigations, witnesses and trying to work out the various angles. The second part is something a little bit different. It also sees the appearance of my favourite character in this story, Holly.

Holly is a character who is almost a mystery in herself, I know she has appeared in other books, but I have not read them. She for me is a linking character. She helps join the two parts of the book for me. Linking the crime investigation to what follows.

There is a good amount of tension that builds up, I think a lot of this was my imagination trying to leap forward trying to guess what the author was going to come up with.

By the time I got to the crucial point of the story where the suspect is cornered, I was thoroughly enjoying the book. Then the reasons behind the murder were explained and I have to say I felt a little deflated. As I was reading it I thought “Oh is that it!”, I just felt it ended a bit quick.

Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the story a lot, I thoroughly enjoyed the tense build-up, the eerieness and the crime investigation. The description of the brutal nature of the crime was uncomfortable to read. For me this story had more of a suspense and mystery feel to it rather than a horror.
With that in mind, I would recommend this book to readers who like crime, thriller, suspense with mysterious leanings in the second half.

It is a book I would Recommend.


Book #1 of 20 in my #20 Books of Summer reading Challenge

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

The Tapestry Bag by Isabella Muir @SussexMysteries #Audible #AudioReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review for the Audiobook version of The Tapestry Bag by Isabella Muir. I was the lucky recipient of this from Isabell after she ran a Giveaway as part of her Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources.

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

A young woman named Zara goes missing, one year to the day that her boyfriend, Joel, was killed in a hit-and-run. Is Zara in danger? Is she still alive? What really happened to Joel, and who is to blame?

In the quiet seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, the police appear to be doing little to find Zara. Her friend Janie decides to make it her mission to track her down. It’s the “swinging sixties”, and Janie fears that Zara may be mixed up with drugs, alcohol, or worse. As Janie explores the strange circumstances of Zara’s disappearance, she starts to question the truth about Joel’s death.

Janie runs the mobile library and has a passion for crime fiction, especially Agatha Christie. Can Poirot help Janie solve the mystery of Zara’s disappearance? 

As she looks for clues she comes across some unsavory characters who each have a reason for wanting Joel dead. Can Janie untangle the web of lies and find out the truth?

Local librarian and mystery reader Janie Juke felt like just the right person to look into the death of Joel and the disappearance of Zara. Her love of Agatha Christie and Poirot gave her the push to use her ‘little grey cells’ and do some sleuthing of her own!

The narrator, Penny Scott-Andrews had just the right tone for me. I was easily able to imagine a young woman who was very excited to be searching for clues.

The story itself is set in the 1960s and I felt that able to remain in the time as the book progressed. It had mentions of music and bands as well as news items of the day.

While it is not what I would call fast paced I found the story to be quite addictive to listen to. It is a cosy mystery and also has Janie’s family involved. They voice their concerns as she investigates and they are also her sounding blocks.

This is the first in the Sussex Murder series and I am very interested in reading/listening to more. A good cosy murder/mystery with references to Poirot and Christie that kept me entertained.

It is an audiobook that I would Recommend.

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

The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware #Review

I am delighted to share my review with you for The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware. I bought a hardback copy of this book and I always take off the cover so they don’t get damaged when I read them. I am so glad that this is something I do or I would have missed this simple yet stunning cover underneath!

When Harriet Westaway receives an unexpected letter telling her she’s inherited a substantial bequest from her Cornish grandmother, it seems like the answer to her prayers. 

There’s just one problem – Hal’s real grandparents died more than twenty years ago.

Hal desperately needs the cash and makes a choice that will change her life for ever. She knows that her skills as a seaside fortune teller could help her con her way to getting the money.

But once Hal embarks on her deception, there is no going back. She must keep going or risk losing everything, even her life…

The brand new psychological thriller from the Sunday Times and New York Timesbestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10.

Oh Wow! What a fabulous read!

This is such an atmospheric, slightly creepy and sinister feeling read. Cornwall lends itself so well and adds to the atmospherics of the novel and provides a wonderful backdrop to the story. Add to that an old creepy house with a severe housekeeper in the form of Mrs Warren and tarot cards to add an extra level of chills.

The plot with Hal taking off from her tarot reading booth on Brighton Pier to accept an inheritance was so addictive. It had that rags to riches theme, well almost… Almost because Hal is not sure that she is indeed the right person. The tension builds as I found myself wondering if Hal would go through with her plans, or whether she back out. Is she the real deal or is she a mistaken identity? Well, these thoughts and others kept me turning the pages.

The author excelled in the way she portrayed Hal, I found myself caring about her and what would happen. Would she be in danger? How was she going to manage to pay her bills? Would she be able to keep her booth on the Pier? Yes I know these are everyday concerns, well apart from the danger one, but it is the everyday things that help a reader to understand a character.

Hal has some real heart-stopping moments and also discovers more about who she is and also about her mum and family. Not everything she had been told was the truth! She has dealt with a rough past a tough present and, now has to deal with being part of a scenario that could make the future one that she could never expect.

This is not an action packed read, in fact it is a slower pace as the tension simmers and grows. The author has created a story that gripped me from the first few pages, the tension built and I could not put this one down!

This is a fabulous and mysteriously compelling read. and one I would absolutely recommend.

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