Murder: The Biography by Kate Morgan #NetGalley #nonfiction #crime #history #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Murder: The Biography by Kate Morgan. I requested this e-book from the publisher Harper Collins, via NetGalley. It was a book I had planned to read over the summer! Better late than never.

Totally gripping and brilliantly told, Murder: The Biography is a gruesome and utterly captivating portrait of the legal history of murder.

The stories and the people involved in the history of murder are stranger, darker and more compulsive than any crime fiction.

There’s Richard Parker, the cannibalized cabin boy whose death at the hands of his hungry crewmates led the Victorian courts to decisively outlaw a defence of necessity to murder. Dr Percy Bateman, the incompetent GP whose violent disregard for his patient changed the law on manslaughter. Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in England in the 1950s, played a crucial role in changes to the law around provocation in murder cases. And Archibald Kinloch, the deranged Scottish aristocrat whose fratricidal frenzy paved the way for the defence of diminished responsibility. These, and many more, are the people – victims, killers, lawyers and judges, who unwittingly shaped the history of that most grisly and storied of laws.

Join lawyer and writer Kate Morgan on a dark and macabre journey as she explores the strange stories and mysterious cases that have contributed to UK murder law. The big corporate killers; the vengeful spouses; the sloppy doctors; the abused partners; the shoddy employers; each story a crime and each crime a precedent that has contributed to the law’s dark, murky and, at times, shocking standing 

MY REVIEW


This is a really interesting book to read, it documents the history of murder from when it became a recognised crime to what we see today in courts of law in the UK.

There is quite a long introduction that gives a glimpse into the research that has been brought to this book. The author, a lawyer herself, has covered many aspects and crimes to give quite a comprehensive and detailed background as to what constitutes murder. She differentiates between murder and manslaughter and how manslaughter has various differences when it comes to the courts.

This is a well laid out book, there are little stories and snippets of news from the previous centuries to add evidence. These are also really interesting in their own right and could lead you onto further reading if you were interested in learning more.

I really enjoyed this book, it is quite serious but at times there is some humour to it especially when it comes to some of the documented accounts. This is a book that will appeal to fans of history, criminal history and law in the UK.

I enjoyed this and I would happily recommend it. 

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

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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The Silk Roads: The Extraordinary History that created your World – Children’s Edition by Peter Frankopan #audiobook #20booksofsummer @NetGalley @BloomsburyUK #audioreview

I am delighted to share an audio book review today for The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan. I have this book in hardback and have been meaning t read it for so long. When I saw there was an audio version available via NetGalley I immediately requested a copy. My thanks to Bloomsbury Children’s Books for granting my request to listen and review.

This is a children’s version aimed at those around 11 years and up. A quick listen at just over two and a half hours long.

Set your sails east with this stunningly original new history of the world. Peter Frankopan explores the connections made by people, trade, disease, war, religion, adventure, science and technology in this extraordinary book about how the east married the west with a remarkable voyage at its heart – the journey along the Silk Roads.


From ancient world laws laid down by King Hammurabi and the mighty Persian empire, to terrifying Huns, the rise of Europe, two world wars and politics today, The Silk Roads moves through time and history sewing together the threads from different peoples, empires and continents into a phenomenal history of the globe.


With stories from each and every corner of society, Frankopan’s magnificent retelling of his literary triumph The Silk Roads, sumptuously illustrated by Neil Packer, is a must-have world history.

My Review…

I have a hardback version of this book but as yet have not read it. When I saw there was an audio version I thought this might be the ideal time to listen instead. I was aware that this is a version that is abridged and aimed at a teen audience and so shorter in length than the actual book.

This narration is excellent to listen to, my only issue was that it finished far too quickly! I was really enjoying the book and I could have listened for a lot longer.

This is the story of the Silk Road, from the first recognition and use of this route to modern-day use. Not only does the author deal with important events on the Silk Road, but he also uses these events to mention other events in the world. This works really well as there are various reference points so you are aware of what else was going on at the time.

So while this is primarily about the Silk Road it is also a world history book. Cross-referencing like this means you get glimpses of social events, cultures, histories. The author explores how political decisions, trade decisions are all part of how we see different countries and their rulers in the world. How money and politics are more important than the people.

Condensing world history down into this version is excellent. It makes this a fascinating listen for those who like history but want a more manageable version. After listening to this I do think I will be picking up my physical copy of the book and also the follow-on book.

A fabulous listen and one I would definitely recommend. 

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The Beach Reads Book Club by Kathryn Freeman @KathrynFreeman1 @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #romcom #bookreview

I am delighted to once again share a review by one of my favourite authors, Kathryn Freeman. The Beach Reads Book Club is a fabulous read and one I adored as I pretty much new I would. I have loved all her books that I have read so far 🙂

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book via NetGalley.

Welcome to the Beach Reads Book Club…where love is just a page away…


When Lottie Watt is unceremoniously booted out of her uptight book club for not following the rules, she decides to throw the rulebook out the window and start her own club – one where conversation, gin and cake take precedent over actually having read the book!


The Beach Reads Book Club soon finds a home for its meetings at Books by the Bay, a charming bookshop and café owned by gorgeous, brooding Matthew Steele, and as the book club picks heat up, so too does the attraction between Matt and Lottie.


If there’s anything Lottie has learned from the romances she’s been reading, it’s that the greatest loves are the ones hardest earned.


A love letter to chicklit, romance, romcoms, whatever you want to call them!


Purchase Links Amazon UKUS

My Review…

I have read a few of this authors books and I have always enjoyed them. I think this latest one might just be my favourite yet!

When Lottie decides that the book club she is with doesn’t allow for a more laid back approach she decides to start her own. The local book shop has a new owner and she is hopeful that he will be amenable to her running her book club in his shop after hours. HAndy that there is also a cafe attached. No need for drinks and the like because gin with the barest glimpse of tonic is supplied by one of the other members and cake by another.

I was already loving the sound of this book just with the books, book shop, gin, cake and of course, there is the owner Matt, a quintessential, very well dressed and mannered Matt. If you are still in doubt, then the story is fabulous, the characters are brilliant as I was riveted to this romance, and rom-com read.

The story is one that has some real belly laugh moments, Audrey and Sally between them are hilarious. Lottie’s is kind-hearted and Matt is reserved, to say the least. He is all armour with very little in the way of glimpsing who is underneath the facade, there is however a mischievous flicker in the eye!

This is just a brilliant read and one that I am not going to tell you much about, but if you have read and enjoyed this author’s books before then I know you are going to adore this one. It is full of warmth, doubt, friendship, doubt, hilarious moments, mentions of books and of course the wonderful storyline. A fabulous book from start to finish and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a sexy hero. 

With a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.


Social Media Links – WebsiteFacebook Twitter


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No Such Thing As Perfect by Emma Hughes #NetGalley #20booksofsummer

I am delighted to share my review today for No Such Thing As Perfect by Emma Hughes. This is a book that was not originally on my #20booksofsummer reading list, but is now another one I have swapped in!

I requested an advance copy of this book from Random House via NetGalley. My review is my own.

No one’s life is as perfect as it looks.

Least of all Laura Morrison’s. (Although she’s not sure how perfect hanging onto your job by a thread and sleeping on an air mattress at your sister’s looks, in all honesty.)

When Laura gets the chance to trial Cupid – a high-tech new dating service which will draw on everything she’s ever done online to find her perfect match – she figures it’s got to be worth a try.

She can’t believe her luck when good-looking, kind considerate Adam turns up for their first date. On paper he’s…well…perfect.

But when Laura develops feelings for the person who led her to Adam in the first place, familiar doubt creeps in.

Maybe for life to start falling into place, Laura has to learn to let go…

My Review…

As the synopsis for this book tells you, life for Laura hasn’t been great. So when an invite to trial a new dating service arrives she decides to give it a go. Laura is a journalist and she can use her experience of the service to hopefully help her keep her job.

This is a light and fun read. Following Laura as she goes through her days and then her meeting with her potential perfect match. As this is supposed to be an easy way of meeting and finding your partner it is supposed to take the some of the doubts and lies out of the start of a new relationship.

I liked the idea of this book, using algorithms to find a potential match is great. As we know, algorithms are great but that do have peculiarities so I was waiting for a twist along the way.

Laura has other problems in life and this did help bring other characters into the story along with family and friends. These characters add a good range of personalities and give different advice and opinions.

Overall a light-hearted story that had a few surprises. If you are a fan of contemporary romance then I do think this is one you would enjoy and it’s one I would recommend. 

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Would I Lie To You? by Aliya Ali-Afzal #NetGalley #20booksofsummer @HoZ_Books #contemporaryfiction

I am delighted to share my review today for Would I Lie To You? by Aliya Ali-Afzal. This is a book I requested to read from House of Zeus via NetGalley and I am so glad I did because it is fabulous.

I am including this as part of #20booksofsummer reading challenge, this is a change to my list! 🙂

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From fresh new voice Aliya Ali-Afzal, Would I Lie to You? is a page-turning, warm and funny debut about what happens when you have your dream life – and are about to lose it.

At the school gates, Faiza fits in. It took a few years, but now the snobbish mothers who mistook her for the nanny treat her as one of their own. She’s learned to crack their subtle codes, speak their language of handbags and haircuts and discreet silver watches. You’d never guess, at the glamorous kids’ parties and the leisurely coffee mornings, that Faiza’s childhood was spent following her parents round the Tooting Cash ‘n’ Carry.

When her husband Tom loses his job in finance, he stays calm. Something will come along, and in the meantime, they can live off their savings. But Faiza starts to unravel. Raising the perfect family comes at a cost – and the money Tom put aside has gone. When Tom’s redundancy package ends, Faiza will have to tell him she’s spent it all.

Unless she doesn’t…

It only takes a second to lie to Tom. Now Faiza has six weeks to find £75,000 before her lie spirals out of control. If anyone can do it, Faiza can: she’s had to fight for what she has, and she’ll fight to keep it. But as the clock ticks down, and Faiza desperately tries to put things right, she has to ask herself: how much more should she sacrifice to protect her family?

My Review…

This is a debut and one that I immediately fell for as I began reading. The pages flew by as I read this over the course of one day. The author made it so easy to submerge me into the life of Faiza’s life.

Faiza is a character who is so desperate to fit in, no matter the cost. This isn’t really a problem until her husband Tom loses his job. Their savings have been decimated as Faiza gets sucked into keeping up with the elite mums at school. Wanting to be one of the clique. Not wanting to be on the outside, to be part of a group and to feel as good as those around her.

Initially, I couldn’t understand why Faiza would want to be part of this group of upper-class mothers until I got further into the story. I started to understand her upbringing and the reasons behind her spending. Faiza is a Pakistani Muslim, she is in a multicultural marriage and has three children. She, as many other parents stay at home, runs the house, looks after the children and her husband works long hours to provide for them. They do have a lavish lifestyle and not wanting others to notice the lack of money Faiza does what she can to keep the charade of “being fine” going as long as she can.

The author has brought many things to this story, money worries that lead to marriage problems, arguments, stress and keeping their heads above water. Having a change of roles for the parents was such a good route to go down, but then this route turned dark and highlighted other issues. Being a woman working in a high powered city job has a whole set of other problems.

This is a brilliant story, one that had me engrossed from start o finish. It has such good pacing to it and it reflects the spiral and panic as Faiza tries to keep juggling various problems. Cultural differences become a problem and Faiza is not the only one to notice this, rather than confront it head-on, the author uses Faiza to approach this in a different way. There are several eye-opening moments in the book and not just the more obvious ones either.

This is a great read and I am really looking forward to reading more by this author. This is one for readers who like contemporary fiction, family life and relationships. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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The Doll by Yrsa Sigurdardottir #NeyGalley #20booksofsummer #PublicationDay @HodderBooks #suspense #bookreview

Firstly, Happy Publication Day to Yrsa Sigurdardottir on her latest novel The Doll. This is my 6th book choice that I am delighted to share my review for as part of for #20booksof summer reading challenge.

My thanks to the publisher Hodder & Stoughton for my e-copy request via NetGalley. My review is my own. I still get the creeps when I see this cover!!!

It was meant to be a quiet family fishing trip, a chance for mother and daughter to talk. But it changes the course of their lives forever.

They catch nothing except a broken doll that gets tangled in the net. After years in the ocean, the doll a terrifying sight and the mother’s first instinct is to throw it back, but she relents when her daughter pleads to keep it. This simple act of kindness proves fatal. That evening, the mother posts a picture of the doll on social media. By the morning, she is dead and the doll has disappeared.

Several years later and Detective Huldar is in his least favourite place – on a boat in rough waters, searching for possible human remains. However, identifying the skeleton they find on the seabed proves harder than initially thought, and Huldar must draw on psychologist Freyja’s experience to help him. As the mystery of the unidentified body deepens, Huldar is also drawn into an investigation of a homeless drug addict’s murder, and Freyja investigates a suspected case of child abuse at a foster care home.

What swiftly becomes clear is that the cases are linked through a single, missing, vulnerable witness: the young girl who wanted the doll all those years ago.

My Review…

I am so glad I had a digital copy of this book rather than a physical copy. I mean, that cover! It so creepy and unsettling.

The doll is discovered during a fishing trip by a young girl out with her mum and a family friend. Later that night the mother dies, the police agree that is was an accident. Rosa is adamant that she wasn’t and that her mum was murdered. She is ignored and her pleas fall on deaf ears.

This is a slower paced police procedural that is set in Iceland. It is a book in the Children’s House series but can easily be read as a stand alone. It did take me a while to get my head around the characters as initially a few were introduced over a short period. I did soon however remember who was who.

The plot of the story is one that is interesting and I was intrigued as to why the doll was so important. It wasn’t until the latter stages that I eventually got the answers. There is several plots going on in this story and it was complex but it did make sense during the reading.

It looks s heavier on the descriptions and details and even though I did like this it did slow the pace down considerably. Fine is you like a more in-depth procedural. It does add a tension and suspense aspect to the story as you have to wait longer for the clues to connect.

I enjoyed this story, a complex and intriguing crime thriller that I would recommend. 

AND JUST IN CASE YOU WANT TO SEE THAT COVER AGAIN…

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The Pact by Sharon Bolton #NetGalley @TrapezeBooks #20booksofsummer #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Pact by Sharon Bolton. This is the 5th book that I have chosen for my list in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

I requested this via NetGalley from Trapeze Books. My review is my own. I read The Craftsman by Sharon 3 years ago and it became my Top Read of 2018. You can read my full review of that book HERE

A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures – until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.

18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a ‘favour’, payable on her release from prison.

Twenty years later Megan is free.
Let the games begin . . .

Richard & Judy bestseller Sharon Bolton is back, with her twistiest thriller yet. 

My Review…


What an addictive and darkly twisted book this is. When the synopsis mentions Megan being released from prison and the line “Let the games begin” follows, well that is intriguing enough. After reading the book I now appreciate how important that line is!

Megan is part of a group of students that are top of their class. They are a small but compact group and they spend a lot of time in each others company. After a game of dare goes wrong it is Megan that takes the blame. The full reasons as to why are told later in the story. But as the synopsis says, the rest of the group now owe her a favour.

This was a brilliant story and one that I found myself getting hooked on pretty quickly. Starting the story when the friends were younger. At uni, they excel in their classes and do the usual evening partying.

When Megan is released after serving her sentence the author began to expand on her story. She manages to portray anxiety from the rest of the group as they are left to wonder what Megan will ask of each of them. On the whole, they are successful, they work, have nice houses and they all have a lot to lose.

I adored the way the author very subtle builds up tension, it starts early on and then as the stake get higher she then builds it up more openly. Wondering what will happen and if the group will agree to terms or demands is great. But, there is something else going on, it is dark and it caught me out.

I loved the tense psychological aspect of this story, it kept me on my toes and the story is so addictive. If you have read any of this author’s books before then you know you get amazing reads from her. This one is no exception it is a mix of crime, mystery and thriller with a brilliant psychological edge to it. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

Insider by Owen Mullen @OwenMullen6 @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #ganglandcrime #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Insider by Owen Mullen. This is the second book in the Family series and it is a corker. I have read several book by this author and I am loving this latest series. You can read my full review of the first book Family HERE.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book From the publisher via NetGalley.

Someone’s playing both sides and now they have a score to settle…

When the family business is crime, you can never be sure who to trust. And when three of their businesses are hit in one night, the notorious Glass family close ranks. Either someone is sending them a message or a war is coming… 

With trouble coming from all sides, the heads of the Glass family have more than enough to deal with, but all bets are off when a stranger from the past enters the game, causing division and mistrust.

Crooked cops, rival gangs and old enemies are bad enough, but when the trouble comes from the inside, loyalties are tested, with deadly consequences.

Page-turning, gripping, gritty, Insider is perfect for fans of Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers and Mandasue Heller.

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

I loved the first book in this series and this second book Insider continues the story of the Glass family. This is where I do recommend reading the first book, not only because there are details that help the relationships in the second book. And also because it is a brilliant read.

Danny Glass is gone, Luke Glass is now running the family business and Nina Glass is running her real estate business. Things seem to be going well until there are two robberies and a third on the LBC club. The club is the centre of the business, it is Luke’s baby and he feels this as an attack on him and his family. Good job that there is a security guard there who knows his business.

The author once again hit the reader with an amazing high impact crime thriller read. The Glass family are not, well, they’re not quite legitimate, actually, they are a lot not legitimate! But there is something quite likeable about them. I think it is the way the author portrays the importance of family. They never had the best childhood but they did what they did and it is the reason they are where they are today.

The author introduces some new characters, this keeps the storyline fresh and gives more for the reader to think about. Being a series that revolves around a crime family you know that there is going to be a large amount of mistrust. Adding new characters is enough to keep the reader kind of on the fence as they try to work out why the new characters are there.

This is a fabulous read and one that I adored from the very bringing to the end. Many twists and second-guessing moments, there are red-herrings as the author toys with the reader. The questions that start to build are eventually answered, the doubts are put to rest but there is something lingering on the horizon for the family and it has left me so eager to see what happens next.

This is one for readers who like gritty, gangland crime thrillers read. It is addictive, fast-paced and an absolute hard hitter. An excellent second book in this series and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Owen Mullen is a highly regarded crime author who splits his time between Scotland and the island of Crete.  In his earlier life he lived in London and worked as a musician and session singer. He has now written seven books and his first gangland thriller for Boldwood, Family was published in January 2021.

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The Promise of Summer by Bella Osborne @AvonBooks #romance #contemporaryfiction #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Promise of Summer by Bella Osborne. This is the first book in a planned four part series and after reading this first book I am looking forward to reading the rest.

My thanks to Avon books who granted my request to review this book via NetGalley.

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This is the first part in a brand new four-part serial from Bella Osborne.

Ruby’s life is about to change for ever…

After years of dating losers, cheats and one guy who did something unrepeatable to her kettle, Ruby has all but given up on romance. But then a stranger sits next to her on a train to London and explains his plan to propose to the woman of his dreams. Maybe true love does exist after all?

When the man accidentally leaves the engagement ring behind, Ruby is determined to save the day. But she hasn’t counted on fellow passenger Curtis stepping in and insisting he should be the one to track the stranger down.

As summer closes in, the unlikely pair make a promise to reunite the ring with its owner. But can they find their own happy ever after along the way?

My Review…

I have read a few books by this author and I have always enjoyed them, her latest book is another fabulous addition. It is the first book in a four-book series.

Ruby hasn’t had much luck as far as relationships go, she is a believer in romance, finding the one and wants to be whisked off her feet, get married, have children and live happily as they do in romance novels.

A train journey makes Ruby felt that romance is truly alive and real, for some people that is. When a fellow passenger tells of his proposal to his girlfriend and then loses the ring she tries her best to think of ways to reunite the ring with its owner. Another passenger also has the same idea.

Curtis is the other helper. He is so different to Ruby and the contrasts between the characters are great. Ruby is impulsive, gets swept up in the moment while Curtis is staid, organised and plans, literally, he will plan everything.

This is such a wonderful story that doe shave quite a few different threads going on in it. Ruby and Curtis are the main characters and they are joined with a wonderful supporting cast of friends. The story starts as trying to return a ring but then gradually deepens. Friendships grow and it is the friendship that is the key for me to this story. Yes, there is a bit of a romantic thread, but friendship rules here.

This is a story that has coincidences, and through these connections are made. And I have to say there are a couple of heartbreaking moments that did cause me to well up a little. I read this book in one sitting so I was well and truly invested in the characters and what happened to them.

I did feel that this story stood out more and this is down to the differences between the characters. I thought the author really drew Curtis out and made him so interesting and the friendship that grows was important to the development.

I adored this one and enjoyed the feel-good vibes it left me with. A contemporary fiction that is heart-warming and it is one I would definitely recommend.

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