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/

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

Red Snow by Will Dean #20booksofsummer 14/20 #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Red Snow by Will Dean. This is another of my many books that have been languishing on my bookcase from when I first bought them, this is why Red Snow was one of the books to make my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge

Synopsis…

Longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, 2020

Red Snow is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Dark Pines, selected for ITV’s Zoe Ball Book Club

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

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

My Review…

I read the first book, Dark Pines, quite a while ago and when this second book came out I immediately bought it. Like many of the books I buy, it has gradually lipped down my TBR and is why it was one of the books I chose for my summer reading challenge.

This is the second in the Tuva Moodyson series. Tuva is a journalist in a small out in the middle of nowhere town. She is not the usual main protagonist for a story and I think this is why I like her character so much. She has been death since childhood, is bisexual and has been living in the Swedish town of Gavrik. A town she is due to leave after a job offer to bigger and better things. This is a result of her last big story.

Red Snow has a slow style to it as Tuva is looking for leads on the suicide of a local businessman. The leg work of getting people to reveal what they know in a tight-knit community is hard. SHe gets snippets from local law enforcement but the majority of what she learns takes its time.

The author has such a wonderful way of describing the setting in the bitterly cold town. There are so many little things that are mentioned as a standard way of life that I was not aware of. I think this sort of knowledge is only gained from living in the area. I liked the picture that was built up over the book of an area that is bleak, cold but also has some stunning areas.

The plot is very captivating, there are hints of things from the past that added an extra level to the overall atmospheric feel. I was so impatient to discover more and this kept me eagerly turning the pages. This was increased with the secrecy of the three generations of women in the family, secretive, evasive and reluctant to talk to Tuva initially and then gradually opening up.

This is a book that you savour as you read. A book this length I would normally read quite quickly, but I took my time, it isn’t a book I wanted to rush through and it makes for wonderful reading. A mystery that is intriguing, has just enough twists and has a lot of details. It is one for crime and mystery fans and I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. He was a bookish, daydreaming kid who found comfort in stories and nature (and he still does). After studying Law at the LSE, and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden. He built a wooden house in a boggy clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes. He is the author of Dark Pines.

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

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup #20booksofsummer #thriller #mustread #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup, this is a book I bought when it was first released and another that has gradually slipped down the TBR. This is why it was one of the books I chose to go on my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge list and it is book 13 of 20.

So, what is it about…

Synopsis…

THE CHILLING DEBUT NOVEL FROM THE CREATOR AND WRITER OF HIT TV SHOW THE KILLING

As the leaves fall, he’s coming for you. . .

One October morning in a quiet suburb, the police make a terrible discovery.

A young woman is found brutally murdered with one of her hands missing.

Above her hangs a small doll made of chestnuts.

Examining the doll, Forensics are shocked to find a fingerprint belonging to a young girl, kidnapped and murdered a year ago.

Can a new killer be the key to an old crime?

And will his spree be over when winter arrives – or is he only just getting started?

Purchase links from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio (these are affiliate links) some of the covers are different, but I have used the image from the hardback as this is the copy I have.

My Review…

Wow!!!!!
Where exactly do I start with my review for this outstanding book? I mean when I finished it, it left me in “book hangover mode”

I bought my copy of this book when it was released and I had all intentions of reading it then, but it gradually slipped further down my TBR as other books took priority. I know this is something that many readers will get!

So, the book!!!!! It is absolutely blooming fantastic from start to finish. The characters are a real interesting bunch and there were a couple I definitely warmed too, others definitely not so much. They have varied personalities and traits and I have to say I really did like Hess. He is damaged goods and has been sent back to Copenhagen under a little bit of a shadow. Even though I didn’t know exactly what had happened in his past until further into the book I was aware of a solitary, broken man who buried himself in work.

Hess is teamed up with Thulin, she is waiting until she can move to the new cybercrime unit. It is something that will give her a chance to have more regular hours and so she spends more time with her daughter. Thulin is another character I really liked which is really odd because she isn’t someone I would necessarily warm to in real life. Both Hess and Thulin rile each other but they also see that each other knows their job and so respect is gradually built up.

Now the plot, well where to begin with that!!!!! It is a plot that I had no idea who had done it! The author creatively led me through the investigation, the body count started to rise and I was never anywhere close to guessing the culprit. Yes, I did have a couple of suspicions but I was way off the mark.

I loved the way he set the scenes, and the details are something I really got on with in this book. Some may find this a bit of a drag but for me, it just added to the story. There was at times a remoteness to the setting and this was sort of mirrored int he characters as well as the plot. It felt like everyone was alone, or working by themselves and this gave it more of a scandi noir feel.

The crime is dark and definitely on the disturbing side. It has a macabre side to it and by the time all is revealed, there was a little bit of me that could understand the why, only a little bit mind you! A cracking ending that left me stunned.

This is a book I read over several sittings, it was like I had to stop and digest chunks of it before I could pick it up and carry on again. I still read it over a couple of days as I could feel it nagging me to carry on reading again.

An excellent read and one that crime, thriller, murder readers who like their fiction on the dark and disturbing side will most likely really enjoy. I know I did and I would definitely recommend it.

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

I Am Dust by Louise Beech @OrendaBooks #20booksofsummer #mystery #suspense #mustread #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for I Am Dust by Louise Beech. THis is a book I have chosen to be part of my #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge and what a wonderful book it was.

Let me show you what it is about…

Synopsis

A haunted theatre
A murdered actress
Three cursed teenagers
A secret that devastates them all…

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

My Review

I have just finished reading this book and there are two words that I think sum this book up “hauntingly beautiful” I wish I could leave that as my review, but as a Book Blogger I know I need to add more to it. The synopsis gives a very good idea as to the story, but, Oh there is so much more it than that!

The story is told in a time slip style. The past goes back to when three teens, Chloe, Jess and Ryan use a Ouija board to contact a dead actress. She was murdered while the show Dust was being performed. The now is the DW theatre, not as popular as it used to be, and there is exciting news that the show Dust will be performed once again.

The author did such an amazing job with this story, I loved the haunting atmospherics that added some amazing tension. The story started with some excitement as the teens started to use the spirit board, this was then built on over the course of the story. Mixed into this was the mystery about the dead actress, Morgan Miller, who wanted to kill her and why.

There is another mystery that also comes into play, and that is what exactly happened to the teens when they walked away from the board? Did it change them? Did they follow the warnings? Well these questions are just the tip of the ice-berg as the author took this reader deeper and deeper into this mystery.

I call this a mystery, and in some ways yes it is, but it is also has a wonderful supernatural theme to it, also there is the murder which adds a crime element, then there is the relationships between the teens, oh and there is also a heartbreaking aspect. I think what I am getting at is that this book crosses genres and that makes it a book that will engage so many different readers.

The story gradually wrapped me up, drawing me deeper and deeper into its pages. I found myself addicted and at times when I was not reading it, I almost felt it calling out to me to pick it up again. It is a beautifully written story, that is heartbreaking and haunting. I loved it from start to finish and those last few pages completely broke me and left me a sobbing wreck.

This is a book that I am pretty sure will be on my Top Reads of the Year list. It is an exceptional read and one I would Highly Recommend.

About the Author

Louise’s debut novel, How to be Brave, was a Guardian Readers’ pick in 2015 and a top ten bestseller on Amazon. The Mountain in my Shoe longlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2016. The Sunday Mirror called Maria in the Moon ‘quirky, darkly comic, original and heartfelt’. It was also a Must Read in the Sunday Express and a Book of the Year at LoveReadingUK. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was described as ‘engrossing and captivating’ by the Daily Express. It also shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year and longlisted for the Polari Prize 2019. Call Me Star Girl hit number one on Kobo. It also longlisted for the Not The Booker Prize and won the Best magazine Big Book Award 2019. I Am Dust is out in 2020.

Links – WebsiteTwitterAmazon Author Page

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

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty #20booksofsummer #fantasyfiction #bookreview

Catching up with the reviews for the books I chose for the #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge I have for you The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty and it is an amazing book.

SYNOPSIS

Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty—an imaginative alchemy of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and One Thousand and One Nights, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles. 

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound. 

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences. 

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for . . . 

Purchase from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio ( these are affiliate links)

My Review

Wow what and adventure this was as I was transported across deserts into a magical land/ A land full of danger, lies, deceit and revenge. The synopsis gives a very good indication as to what this book is about and I thought it was brilliant.

The author had me hooked within a few pages of this book and kept me captivated till the end. It is the first book in the trilogy and as such there is some scene setting, and getting to know the characters, the history and the like bit it was done in such an interesting way and not once did I feel that I was bogged down.

There are a few characters to get to know, these are introduced gradually and so it was easier to remember who was who. As for what part each of the characters holds or their viewpoint, well that is another thing entirely. This is a story where control and power is at the heart of the decisions made by those higher up the ladder. Keeping people under control and therefore more compliant is easier than a riotous mob.

There are some characters that have a prominent position, such as Nahri, she is responsible for summoning a warrior, Dara, he is her bodyguard and it is he that is responsible for starting to explain about a world she was not aware of.

This is a cracking read and one that I adored. It has a whole load of good stuff in it and if you like speculative fiction and fantasy then you need to have a look at this. Warriors, old rivalries. secrets, magic, mistrust, deception are just the tip of the iceberg in this story and it is one I would definitely recommend.

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

The Curator by M.W. Craven #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge #mustread #bookreview

Today see me sharing another review from one of mt #20booksofsummer #reading challenge books. This is #10 on my list and is an absolute belter of a read. The Curator by M. W. Craven is the 3rd book in the Washington Poe series.

SYNOPSIS

It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6

Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again . . .

*THE NEW THRILLER FROM THE WINNER OF THE CWA BEST CRIME NOVEL OF 2019 AWARD*
______________________

Purchase from Amazon UK – KindlePaperback (to be published dec 2020) – HardbackAudio (these are affiliate links)

My Review

I really don’t know where to start with my review for this awesome book. It’s the third book in the Washington Poe series and yes you do need to read them all just so you understand how and why Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw work so well together.

The synopsis, well, to be honest, I have only just read it! Why? It’s quite simple, I don’t need a synopsis for this series I will automatically buy the next book as soon as its available, this has been the case since I finished the first one. Oh yeah! the synopsis… it does give a good idea of what you are going to get, but it also comes nowhere near to the journey you are about to embark upon.

The characters of Poe and Tilly are exceptional, they have been brilliantly developed and the banter between the two is spot on. The author has definitely given these two their own voices and set of personal traits that fit them to a tee. Poe is occasionally acerbic, blunt and comes across as tough as nails but he is showing a more softer side when it comes to Tilly. She is naive, a computer genius and has no filter when it comes to speaking, this is explained more int he first book. This is where I suggest reading all the books in order.

As for the plot of the story, well there are a few things that immediately spring to mind and they are dark, twisted, devious and then some. This is such a cleverly executed plot that had me on my toes right the way through. I was wrong-footed many times.

A cracking story, exceptional characters and a storyline that just has to be read, I think this is going to be in my Top Reads of the Year list. This is a must-read book and series, if you haven’t read them already, and especially for crime thriller readers and those that like a mystery on the darker side. This is a book that I would give a massive thumbs up to and therefore it gets a Highly Recommended from me. For me, this is fictional deviousness at its very best.

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

Three Perfect Liars by Heidi Perks #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge #bookreview

I am trying to get caught up with reviews for the book I have read for my #20booksofsummer #reading challenge. Today I have a review for book #9 Three Perfect Liars my Heidi Perks.

SYNOPSIS

GOSSIP SPREADS FAST.
LIES CAN BE TOXIC.
SECRETS CAN KILL.

When an office fire ends in murder, three women are first in line for questioning.

What is Laura trying to hide?
What is Mia trying to protect?
What would Janie risk for revenge?

They never thought it would come to this.
But nothing can be hidden forever…

Purchase links from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio (these are affiliate links)

My Review

The synopsis for this book gives a very good idea about this story. A story about 3 women, Laura, Mia and Janie. What do these 3 women have in common, well they all have a connection to the same company. Laura has been on maternity leave and has just returned back. Mia has been covering Laura’s leave. Janie is the wife of the owner.

The story took me a while to get into, it seemed a little confusing as I was taken back and forth on the timeline. The present is the police questioning various suspects. The past is the lead up to a fire that leaves the offices burnt down and a body inside.

While I did like the story in general, I did feel that the police questioning took the edge off it a bit. I think my impatience to want to know more about the women and what they were all about was more interesting. The questioning was initially a little repetitive but did get better as the story progressed.

I much preferred the lead up to the fire, this felt more edgy. It was a slower paced story and while I did like wondering what was going on, I felt like there was too much speculation, gossip and more questions.

It is a good book if you like a slower paced story that is intriguing, and you like a mystery that takes a while to fully understand. I would recommend it as I did read it over a couple of days and needed to know what was going on and eventually find out the truth.

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

Sunshine and Second Chances by Kim Nash #summerfiction #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Sunshine and Second Chances by Kim Nash. I read this book a few weeks ago and thought it was about time I shared this as it is a fabulous read. If you have read Kim’s previous books then you are not going to be disappointed.

Let me show you what it’s all about…

It’s never too late for second chances.

Liv wants her friends to think she has the perfect life. But honestly? She’s running on empty. Desperate from a break from her needy family, Liv is determined that as she and her three life-long friends turn fifty they will honour their promise to each other – made on a beach at sunrise twenty-nine years before – to celebrate this milestone together.

And what better place to celebrate than a gorgeous villa in the Algarve? They’ll enjoy the stunning beaches, picturesque fishing towns and glorious climate, and maybe be spoiled by the gorgeous Eduardo, who’s making one particular heart unexpectedly flutter…

Liv’s friends can’t wait to escape with her: Debs is newly single, Fiona is caring for her mum, and Samantha is grieving. But does time away make the heart grow fonder? Is the thought of returning to reality too hard to bear? Is what they have really all there is to life?

It begins as a reunion in the sunshine, but little do the four friends know what life-changing decisions they’ll all be making before their flight home…

A heart-warming, feel-good summer read about friendship, love and second chances. Perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Milly Johnson and Holly Martin.

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

What happens when 4 women get together for a holiday in a gorgeous villa in Portugal? Well after the initial awkwardness of not seeing each other for years passes there is laughter, tears and revelations. The woman are 50 or almost 50. They have different backgrounds, styles and personalities but they are all stuck in the rut and monotony of life. A week away is a chance to reconnect and gives them each a chance to be honest.

This author has created yet another one sitting read and what a wonderful read it was as well. I really like the idea of the 4 women getting away and seeing how they react and interact with each other. None of them are truly happy but what can they do about it, after all that is life… right!

I was hooked from the first couple of pages as I was gradually introduced to the women, had a glimpse into their lives until their arrival at their holiday destination. They are normal everyday women and go through life as women do, as mothers, as wives or single. The scenarios the authors weaves for the women at home are realistic and believable, and for me this is what makes this story work.

As the title suggests, this is about second chances. It is a chance to get off the roller-coaster of life for a while and take stock of what you have, what you dreamt about or where you see yourself. It is like a coming of age story but for adult women rather than teens.

The story is perfectly paced and there are so many heartwarming moments, as well as the odd sharp word, well after all you do have 4 menopausal women together! In fact one of my favourite scenes is when there is a discussion about the menopausal, it had me in sniggering knowingly.

A perfect escapism read and one that I adored from start to finish. A story about 4 women reconnecting, admitting the truth and then doing something about it. Brilliant story and definitely recommended.

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

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary @OLearyBeth @QuercusBooks #20booksofsummer #fiction #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. I have had this on my TBR since it came out last year and it is one of the books I am reading for #20Booksofsummer reading challange and it was blooming brilliant.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…
 

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. 

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

I am kicking myself for not reading The Flatshare sooner, it has been languishing on my TBR ever since it came out and it is such a brilliant read.

Tiffy has been living in her ex’s flat and finally decides to move out when he parades his girlfriend through his property. I have to say I took an immediate dislike to him and wondered why on earth Tiffy still lived there.

Her new place is a flat where she will rent the bed when the other occupant is not there!!!!! Yeah you read that right! He works nightshifts Monday to Friday and stays with his girlfriend at weekends. Tiffy works Monday to Friday in the day so actually it makes sense… sort of!

Now once I had got my head around the flatshare, and so had Tiffy and her friends it does actually seem to work. It gives Tiffy a chance to get her head straight after her long overdue split from her ex, much to the delight of her friends. This is where the real story comes out about her relationship and it is much darker than I had realised as I had not really read the synopsis properly! So everything was a revelation and a shock.

As flat mates, Tiffy and Leon, he is the other person in the flat, by the way, never meet, they are the proverbial ships that pass in the night. They instead communicate by post-it notes, leaving messages and gradually they get to know each other. This relationship works really well, several months go by before an unexpectedly embarrassing and hilarious bumping into each other finally happens.

The author has created such an addictive one sitting read that I was loath to put down for even a second. The way she created and worked this storyline is just brilliant, there is a nervous start as you would expect when two people live together, but this is where it gets interesting. They are strangers and therefore they find it easier to communicate with each other through the notes they leave. So as I read I got to know them and about their individual lives as they also got to know each other.

Woven into this getting to know each other storyline, there is also other plots that emerge. For Tiffy it is a darker thread, one that makes her realise about her past and gives her the chance to deal with how she will shape her future. For Leon it is about getting justice for his brother and again about how he wants his life to pan out.

This was a brilliant read and I adored everything about it, the pacing the characters the story just completely worked for me. There is a balance between the darker moments with funny occurrences and mishaps. There is a sense of friendship and of finding things that are right for each individual. It is a book that readers who are after a human interest storyline that has moments of humour injected into, it shows how an obsessive personality can change a person and how friends are there when needed.

Yeah, I loved The Flatshare and I would Highly Recommend it.

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an Amazon affiliate link)

Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being within reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work.
You’ll usually find her curled up with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).

You can visit Beth on her Website or Twitter

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

Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong by Gina Kirkham @GinaGeeJay @zooloo2008 #AuthorTakeover #Bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review of Handcuff’s, Truncheons and a Polyester Thong by Gina Kirkham. This is a book I have had on my TBR for a while and when I knew Zoe at Zooloo’s Book Diary had her #AuthorTakeover featuring Gina I knew it was the perfect opportunity to pick up this book. And the title appeals to me 😁

Over the past few days Zoe and Gina have featured, extracts, Q&A’a, Behind the story features and so much more. There are interviews, reviews and it has been brilliant reading them. Please head over and have a giggle at the antics of Gina and her alter-ego Mavis Upton you will not regret it.

So, let me show you what the book is about…

Will have you laughing out loud and is hugely entertaining. This is a book that oozes charisma and character, one you will not be able to put down – Nikki’s Books4U 

Meet Mavis Upton. As mummy to 7-year old Ella, surrogate to far too many pets and with a failed marriage under her belt, Mavis knows she needs to make some life-changing decisions. It’s time to strike out into the world, to stand on her own two feet … to pursue a lifelong ambition to become a Police Officer. I mean, what could go wrong? 

Supported by her quirky, malapropism-suffering mum, Mavis throws herself headlong into a world of uncertainty, self-discovery, fearless escapades, laughter and extra-large knickers. And using her newly discovered investigative skills, she reluctantly embarks on a search to find her errant dad who was last seen years before, making off with her mum’s much needed coupon for a fabulous foam cup bra all the way from America. 

Follow Mavis as she tackles everything life can throw at her, and revel in Gina Kirkham’s humorous, poignant and moving story of an everyday girl who one day followed a dream. 

Hilarious…real life and so touching, a fabulous read! – Christina Green 

Purchase link – Amazon UK

Oh my goodness this is such a hilarious read. The author has used her own experiences in the Police and gave them to her alter ego – Mavis Upton and adds a little fiction.

The story starts and within a few pages I knew I was going to love this book. Mavis finally does something about her dream job and joins the police. A series of mishaps, some good friends and she has made it.

Now out in the real world her training has provided her with the knowledge to do her job, but her naivety still leaves her open to some of the in-jokes. She does however stand her own and makes her mark.

This book had me giggling, chuckling and laughing out loud so many times. It is just what the doctor ordered for brightening up any day. This is a book that is like a series of anecdotes, some of which you can see coming and others catch you out of the blue. Both sorts are funny no matter how they are delivered.

As this is a story based on experience it does have a semi autobiographic feel but it also has some fiction, but it is so easy to read. A book that readers who like humour, funny stories and just want a good giggle would really enjoy. I thought it was excellent and I would definitely recommend it.

Image taken from Gina’s Author Page on Amazon UK

Gina was born during the not-so-swinging 50’s to a mum who frequently abandoned her in a pram outside Woolworths and a dad who, after two pints of beer, could play a mean Boogie Woogie on the piano in the front room of their 3-bed semi on the Wirral. Being the less adventurous of three children, she remains there to this day – apart from a long weekend in Bognor Regis in 1982.

Her teenage years were filled with angst, a CSE in Arithmetic, pimples, PLJ juice, Barry White and rather large knickers. Marriage and motherhood ensued, quickly followed by divorce in her early thirties and a desperate need for a career and some form of financial support for herself and her daughter. Trundling a bicycle along a leafy path one wintry day, a lifelong passion to be a police officer gave her simultaneously an epiphany and fond memories of her favourite author Enid Blyton and moments of solving mysteries. 

And thus began an enjoyable and fulfilling career with Merseyside Police. 

On reaching an age most women lie about, she quickly adapted to retirement by utilising her policing skills to chase after two granddaughters, two dogs and one previously used, but still in excellent condition, husband. Having said goodbye to what had been a huge part of her life, she suddenly had another wonderful epiphany. This time it was to put pen to paper to write a book based on her experiences as a police officer. 

Lying in bed one night staring at the ceiling and contemplating life as she knew it, Gina’s alter-ego, Mavis Upton was born, ready to star in a humorous and sometimes poignant look at the life, loves and career of an everyday girl who followed a dream and embarked upon a search for the missing piece of her childhood.

Follow Gina on TwitterBlogAmazon

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