Jaded by Rob Ashman @RobAshmanAuthor @lifebookish #review

I am delighted to be one of the readers who was invited to take part in sharing reviews for the Publication Day of Jaded by Rob Ashman.

This is the 4the in the DI Roz Kray series and it is an absolute beaut of a read. So why don’t I show you the synopsis so you can see what it is all about…

A body washes up on a Blackpool beach, tortured and shot through the head.

A man is found in an alleyway with his throat ripped open.

A woman is murdered in a hospital bed.

What connects them?

DI Roz Kray’s private life is in turmoil as she struggles to unravel a baffling case and DCI Dan Bagley is hell-bent on making her working life a misery.

Billy Ellwood is a chameleon. What forced him to disappear eighteen years ago? And what was the promise?

When Kray makes a shattering discovery it rocks her world to the core. The stakes could not be higher. She’s left with no choice.

This time … it’s all or nothing.

A small confession from me here… I have read the first book in this series and I absolutely adored the main protagonist Roz Kray, but somehow books 2 & 3 have fallen through the cracks on my reading, so i can honestly say that book 4 does work well as a stand-alone… the author does give snippets and details of past stories and I think he does this without giving too much away.

Jaded is in someways quite a powerful and emotional rollercoaster of a journey for a couple of the characters. Even though they have differences, there are also similarities. Their personal stories are heartbreaking and anchors them to the past. I know, I know this is so vague, but I’m not giving anything away as to spoil your reading of this book!

Roz has to deal with an every increasing workload and for the most part she is doing this without the support of her superior. One thing about her is her stubborn-ness, she is not one to let her superior get one over on her, or belittle her, this stubborn streak has a way of getting up the nose of a certain superior! Thankfully she has the respect and support of a good team who work alongside her. Roz goes with her gut instincts and has the time to listen to other theories and suggestions from colleagues as the cases are being dealt with.

The cases themselves are dark, brutal and are somewhat of a bloodfest. The case are different in their execution or should I say the means of execution are different in each case!

Billy Ellwood, Wow what a character and then some. His storyline is superb in so many ways and his involvment is brilliant. Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy? I ‘aint tellin’. Decide for yourself!

Before I started this book I had struggled a little with reading a book in one sitting, usually taking two days for a book of this length. This book knocked that out the water, I started this and finished it in one day, I literally could not put it down. I was immediately drawn into what was a wonderfully brutal open chapter… that just sounds so wrong…”wonderfully brutal” but I know crime readers will know exactly what I mean.

This is a crime thriller that really doesn’t hold back on any of it’s punches and each one is fully loaded for maximum effect. if you like hard, dark, brutal crime, thriller reads then this is one for you!

A brilliant book and one I would Highly Recommend!

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

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.
Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.
It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy is the result. 
Rob has published Those That Remain, In Your Name and Pay the Penance with Bloodhound Books and has since written Faceless, This Little Piggy and Suspended Retribution which will also be published by Bloodhound.
When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

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

Blackpool’s Daughter by Maggie Mason @Authormary @LittleBrownUK #Giveaway #review

I am delighted to share my review for Blackpool’s Daughter by Maggie Mason. I am a big fan of Mary Wood she also writes as Maggie Mason. It was an absolute pleasure to have the chance to take part in the Blog Tour.

Before I get carried away I must mention that Mary will be running a #GIVEAWAY so to take part please leave a comment on this post. Mary is responsible for the giveaway and will contact the winner. I have no involvement in the giveaway. **Please note that I approve posts on my site, I may not approve straight away today because I will will sleeping after working a night shift! Good luck everyone 🙂 xx

Right then, let’s have a look and see what this book is all about…

The perfect read for fans of Mary Wood, Kitty Neale, Val Wood and Nadine Dorries

Clara is forced to flee her home as the Nazis invade the beautiful island of Guernsey

Separated from her mother, far away from anything familiar, she is at the mercy of a cruel shopkeeper. Clara is worked like a dog, but the warmth of her Blackpool friendships will go far to save her.

Julia just wants to find her beloved daughter – but the trials of war will keep them far apart.

They will meet again – but the war will change everything for mother and daughter

Having read the previous book called The Blackpool Lass, (you can read my review here) I was very keen to see if this author could pull at my heart and emotions again! Well! Oh my goodness! Yes she could! Blackpool’s Daughter is such an emotional rollercoaster that took my emotions once again through the wringer.

The story is of Clara and her mother Julia and I first met them on Guernsey, they do not have the best of life their but do make the most of what they have. As the threat of Germany taking over the island looms ever closer, the decision is made to evacuate the children and younger people off the island to the mainland. Clara eventually ends up in Blackpool while Julia remains behind. A change of circumstance makes it possible for Julia to find the fare for passage as well. She wants to find her daughter… but where she is, well no-one seems to know. She is given a rough idea of where Clara was possibly placed.

Oh Clara my goodness… Blackpool sounds like such a perfect place for her to be posted, but it’s not the Blackpool I imagine. Instead Clara is forced to work like a slave for such her obnoxious landlady. What should be a place of safety is in fact dangerous, dirty and an absolute nightmare. Clara’s situation just seems to go from bad to worse with every decision that is forced upon her. Clara is caught up in the back streets, full of danger and deceit. The Author really shows her research in this book as there are so many mentions of relevant things.

Julia does not find it any easier. The anguish at watching her daughter leave is so heartfelt and I really did feel for this strong character. She is one of those silent women that bear all that is thrown at her but not saying anything about. This silent strength is something that she will definitely need as she tries to earn enough to try and find Clara. The strength her mother has is something that Clara has also taken and she will need all her strength to get through some really tough situations.

Heartbreak and emotion are very strong themes in this book and at times it is gut wrenching to read some of the dilemmas and situations the characters find themselves in. The second world war has such a huge impact on families, communities and the nation as a whole. Pain and suffering is evident, but also that resolve to try to carry on as best as you can is in evidence. But with this resolve there are also the minority that see the war as a means to profit, it is these people who are the real danger.

The stories of the two women are told in quick alternating chapters. Each chapter left me wanting to know what was happening with the other, to see how they were faring and coping. But it was not only the two women that had my interest it was also the people they met along their travels and whose lives they become part of.

Along with the heartbreak and feeling of sadness there is also another emotion, it’s called hope and comes in various different other aspects and from other characters. Hope that mother and daughter will survive, hope they will be united, hope that others are re-united and, hope that futures and lives will eventually get better.

This is such a fabulous read, once I started I really did not want to put it down. The story hit me right from the start and this author really knows how to put her characters and also this reader through the emotional mill.

If you are a fan of historical fiction and family saga’s then you really should check this author out. Blackpool’s Daughter get a Highly Recommended from me! xx

See what other Book Bloggers thought

Maggie Mason is a pseudonym of author Mary Wood. Mary began her career by self-publishing on kindle where many of her sagas reached number one in genre. She was spotted by Pan Macmillan and to date has written many books for them under her own name, with more to come. Mary continues to be proud to write for Pan Macmillan, but is now equally proud and thrilled to take up a second career with Sphere under the name of Maggie Mason. A Blackpool Lass is her first in a planned series of standalone books and trilogies set in her home town of Blackpool.

Mary retired from working for the National Probation Service in 2009, when she took up full time writing, something she’d always dreamed of doing. She follows in the footsteps of her great-grandmother, Dora Langlois, who was an acclaimed author, playwright and actress in the late nineteenth – early twentieth century.

It was her work with the Probation Service that gives Mary’s writing its grittiness, her need to tell it how it is, which takes her readers on an emotional journey to the heart of issues.

Follow the Author on – WebsiteTwitterFacebook

Dont forget… leave a comment if you want to to be entered into the Giveaway ✍📖😘


Many thanks for reading my post, likes and shares are always appreciated 🙂 xx

Time Will Tell by Eva Jordan @EvaJordanWriter #review

I am delighted and excited to be sharing my review today for Time Will Tell by Eva Jordan. Though the digital version has been out a little while and that is when I bought my copy, yesterday marked the Paperback Publication Day. So Happy Publication Day to you Eva xx

So let’s have a look and see what this fabulous book is all about…

Writer, Lizzie Lemalf, and her loving but somewhat dysfunctional family are still grieving over the loss of a much-loved family member. Lizzie is doing her best to keep her family together but why does the recent death of a well-known celebrity have them all in a spin? The police suspect foul play; Lizzie and other family members suspect one another. 

Lizzie begins searching for answers only to find herself being dragged back to the past, to 1960’s London to be exact, and to the former life of her father, that up until now she has never been privy to. Every family has its secrets but how can the past hold the key to a present day celebrity death? They say the past comes back to haunt you. Surely the truth will out? Maybe, but only time will tell…

This is the story of family and the different generations and told mainly in the present over the festive period, and at times I was taken back to the era of the grandparents when they lived in london. There are elements of mystery and suspense that have made their way into this dynamic family. For Lizzie she finally starts to understand and learn what and who her family are.

In the present there is Lizzie, for me she is the link to the whole story. She is a daughter, a mother, a good friend, a partner and a tough lady. This toughness is something that I think is in her DNA, especially when you about her family roots…

I am really struggling with this review because at it’s very basic level this story is about a family, what the different generations have experienced depending on when they lived and worked. But there is so much more to this wonderful story than that. What makes it hard is that there are so many things I want to say but at the same time I don’t want to give any part of the story away and potentially ruin it for readers who have not yet read this book!

Every family member is involved, from the main characters right down to the children who have their tuppence worth to add. It is this attention to detail that adds to the fabulou-ness of the story and the writing.

There are several storylines that are told and what I found about them was the realism that they gave. At times they are shocking , at others there is sadness and other times there is pain and hurt. But throughout all of this there is a sense of togetherness and love, This is a family that is loyal to it’s core and this is extended to those that they take under their wings.

By the end of this story I felt a huge swell of emotion, and those last few chapters…well there is a saying by a wonderful character “life is an adventure” … and boy he wasn’t wrong!

This is a captivating read that has it’s fair share of shocks, but shows that the bond of loyalty, love and trust is unbreakable. It is a captivating , beautiful and wonderful read that I would Highly Recommend.

Image and Bio taken from the Authors Goodread Page.

Eva Jordan, born in Kent but living most of her life in a small Cambridgeshire town, describes herself as a lover of words, books, travel and chocolate. She is also partial to the odd glass or two of wine.

Her career has been varied including working within the library service and at a women’s refuge. She has had several short stories published and currently writes a monthly column for a local magazine. Eva also works on a voluntary basis for a charity based organisation teaching adults to read. However, storytelling through the art of writing is her passion and as a busy mum and step mum to four children, Eva says she is never short of inspiration! 

As well as writing, Eva loves music and film and of course she loves to read. She enjoys stories that force the reader to observe the daily interactions of people with one another set against the social complexities of everyday life, be that through crime, love or comedy.

It is the women in Eva’s life, including her mother, daughters and good friends that have inspired her to write her debut novel, 183 TIMES A YEAR, and her second novel, ALL THE COLOURS IN BETWEEN. Both a modern day exploration of domestic love, hate, strength and friendship, set amongst the thorny realities of today’s divided and extended families.

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

The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel. This is the first book in the Frey & McGray Mystery series. If you like Gothic fiction then you really need to check out this series, this first book was brilliant!

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

1888: a violinist is brutally murdered in his Edinburgh home. Fearing a national panic over a copycat Jack the Ripper, Scotland Yard send Inspector Ian Frey. Frey reports to Detective “Nine-Nails” McGray, local legend and exact opposite of the foppish English Inspector. McGray’s tragic past has driven him to superstition, but even Frey must admit that this case seems beyond belief…

There was no way in or out of the locked music studio. And there are black magic symbols on the floor. The dead man’s maid swears there were three musicians playing before the murder. And the suspects all talk of a cursed violin once played by the Devil himself.


Inspector Frey has always been a man of reason—but the longer this investigation goes on, the more his grasp on reason seems to be slipping…

Every now and again I really like to read a good gothic novel. I came across this one on Amazon and decided to give it a go as it seemed to have an old investigative style of murder mystery to it and a touch of superstition. It caught my eye and I am so glad it did as it is a fabulously gothic thrillery read!

Enter Frey and Gray, they are just two wonderful and very different characters, very chalk and cheese. The setting is 1888, Edinburgh and Inspector Frey is sent from London to assist Detective “Nine Nails” McGray in the mysterious and bloody death of a violinist.

Frey is very much a no nonsense type of guy, strictly about the facts. A sharp dresser and follower of proper etiquette. Now then, Mcgray, you could not get much further in the opposite direction than him. He is the master of all knowledge when it comes to the occult and superstition. He definitely follows his own style when it comes to his fashion sense. On meeting for the first time, these two clash! The exasperation from the both of them shows, though more so from McGray, as it would not be fitting for Frey to give such a show of distaste, but believe me he does have his moments. The dynamics between the two are so good and kept me entertained at the various asides. The seriousness of their work does however allow them to find a sort of compromise, or should I say they start to form a somewhat professional respect as the story continues.

Over the course of the story I got to know more about the individual characters and their own stories. Frey and McGray have very intriguing backgrounds that gradually emerged. As this is the first in the series I thought there was a good foundation laid for building further n their characters and filling in more about them.

The timing of this book is at the time Jack the Ripper is at large, so why would a London send one of it’s investigators to Scotland when the death of Mary Kelly has just occured? Having the mention of such an infamous villain at the beginning of this story helps to add to the tone that is to be set as the story continues. A story of murder and malevolent intent.

Their case for the violinist is one that is also bloody and macabre. It gets them scratching their heads at this closed room murder. Who did it? Why was it done? And more importantly…how was it done? The intrigue through the questioning and deducing kept me on my toes as the two made their way through their investigations.

If you are looking for a wonderfully vivid and atmospheric gothic thriller then you really should cast your eye at this author. There are more books in this series and I am so looking forward to getting to see what Frey & McGray get involved in next and also hopefully learning more about what makes them tick.

This book gets a Highly Recommended from me!

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

Kin by Snorri Kristjansson #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Kin by Snorri Kristjansson. Kin is the first book in the Helga Finnsdottir Mystery series. It is a historical fiction and mystery read that is absolutely fabulous.

So let’s have a look at the synopsis and see what it is all about…

He can deny it all he likes, but everyone knows Viking warlord Unnthor Reginsson brought home a great chest of gold when he retired from the longboats and settled down with Hildigunnur in a remote valley. Now, in the summer of 970, adopted daughter Helga is awaiting the arrival of her unknown siblings: dark, dangerous Karl, lithe, clever Jorunn, gentle Aslak, henpecked by his shrewish wife, and the giant Bjorn, made bitter by Volund, his idiot son.

And they’re coming with darkness in their hearts.

The siblings gather, bad blood simmers and old feuds resurface as Unnthor’s heirs make their moves on the old man’s treasure – until one morning Helga is awakened by screams. Blood has been shed: kin has been slain.

No one confesses, but all the clues point to one person – who cannot possibly be the murderer, at least in Helga’s eyes. But if she’s going to save the innocent from the axe and prevent more bloodshed, she’s got to solve the mystery – fast . . . 

It is the summer of 970, the grown up children of Viking Warlord Unthor Reginsson and his wife Hildigunnur re due to visit. Karl, Aslak and Bjorn are the siblings and along with their respective spouses there is a tension surrounding the visit. Helga is the foster daughter of Unthor and Hildigunnur, she is curious to meet the her siblings. Unlike the rest of the family, Helga is a quiet girl, she is clever, mysterious and is the main protagonist.

Oh! I loved this book such a huge amount. The first half is setting the scene and is more historical fiction, this I adored so much and would have quite happily read more about this era in history. When I think Vikings it’s always the raids first and farmers second. This book falls into the second, Unthor is a farmer and family man, though he does have a more serious presence and strength to him when the need arises.

There are quite a few characters to get to know and in all honesty it didn’t take long. The characters who live on the farm were introduced first, then the siblings as they arrived. It was the ideal way to get to grips with everyone and start to form initial thoughts as to whether I would like them or not… Helga I really did like and also the enigmatic matriarch Hildigunnur who is such a strong and impressive character.

Though by far Helga was the star, she is one of those characters that see’s all and keeps it to herself. She tends to be overlooked and blends into the background, she is a people watcher and is able to pick up on the various tells people have in the behaviours, mannerism and during conversations. This stands her good stead as the story then progresses into the mystery section of the story.

The mystery section is the observations and deductions of Helga as she finds herself trying to work out the culprit. She uses her observations to gradually piece everything together. Given the time this novel is set in, the investigative process is very quiet and a nice change to read something that does not include technology. It is investigating at it’s very basic level, about reading people and situations, looking at every aspect of the scene and trying to think of the right questions to ask as much as discovering the answers.

I really enjoyed this book so much, the author provided a good amount of background to this very dynamic family. Yes a slower paced story to begin with but one that that speeded up as the urgency to find the killer increased. It was a book I found myself having to slow down the speed I read, I didn’t want to miss a single word and at times it was almost unbearable as I was so eager to turn the page and see what was going to happen next.

I liked the so much about this book, the characters, the setting, the history, the mystery and then there were the italicised sentences, call them Helga’s conscience if you like, they were her random thoughts as she was mulling over the information she was collecting. As well as really liking them they also infuriated me… in a good way… as they provided more questions than answers, they left odd thoughts from Helga hanging, a good addition by the author to add more intrigue.

In case you had not already guessed it… I Love This Book! It slotted so nicely into 2 genres that I love reading – Historical Fiction & Crime/Mystery. The slower pace fitted the histfic wonderfully well and especially the year of 970. As the pace increased, it it was more suited to the crime and mystery of the book. This is a series I am looking forward to reading more of.

It is one I would Highly Recommend.

Image and bio taken from the Author’s Amazon UK page.

Snorri Kristjansson was born in Reykjavik in 1974. He has since lived in Norway, where he found a passionate aversion to skiing, London and now Edinburgh with his wife, where he dabbles in classical acting and stand-up comedy while teaching English.

His fantasy series, The Valhalla Saga, and his crime series, Kin and Council, are published by Jo Fletcher Books. They both have Vikings in, so expect moderate cursing and beards.

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

My Week in Books (Week ending 21st April)

Welcome to another My Week in Books post, this week is actually a two week round-up. Last Monday I was delighted to be one of the readers to take part in the Publication Day Celebrations for The Feud by Amanda James, hence the reason for a double book week.

It is quite amazing how quick the weeks and months are flying past. It really doesn’t seem that long ago that we were celebrating the start of a new year and now we are at Easter…

I also have an apology. On Good Friday I was part of the Blog Tour for Amazing Grace by Kim Nash, it is an excellent read and if you have not read it then go and get a copy. Now for some reason WordPress wouldn’t show my post on my reader, I didn’t realise this until lunchtime when I woke up…I should mention that I had worked a rather busy night shift 🙂 Not only was WP being a sod, I also had problems post to FB and Twitter was being a bit of an arse as well which meant I was having problems seeing people sharing AND I have a stinking cold …enter the drama queen that swoons saying… “Oh Woe is me!!!”😉😂 . So if you shared my post or retweeted then I am very grateful and thank you so much.


So now down to the books I read last week…sorry over the last 2 weeks!

KIN by Snorri Kristjansson

I think it was the beginning of the month when I saw a post by Drew at The Tattooed Book Geek, he was looking forward to reading the 2nd book in the Helga Finnsdottir Mystery series, this reminded me that I still had Kin on my TBR. So off I tootled to grab my copy to start reading and look what I saw…

“Kin will appeal to fans of crime, thrillers, mystery and historical fiction and is well worth a read” – The Tattooed Book Geek

I can tell you, Drew is spot on with this quote. It is a fabulous read, I loved the historical fiction in this story and it is a brilliant read leaving very eager to see what Helga gets involved in next. Highly recommended as well!


Time Will Tell by Eva Jordan

Did you know that the paperback of this book is due for publication very soon! Eva got in touch with me to ask if I would like a copy of her book to read and to review for Publication Day…I replied no thank you as I already have a copy but I will happily bump it up my TBR 🙂 And what a fabulous story it is as well. If you are after a story with emotion and wonderful characters then I urge you to go and check out this author. Time Will Tell is a beautiful, captivating and a totally wonderful read.


Jaded by Rob Ashman

I was delighted when Rob got in touch to ask if I would read Jaded as part of the Publication Day team of readers to share their reviews. I love the main protagonist DI Roz Kray. Somehow along the way I have missed books 2 and 3 in this series, but I have read book 1.

If you are a fan of crime thrillers that pack a punch then this is definitely one you want to pick up. It is a fabulous read and one that I read in one sitting and I would highly recommend it. You can pre-order your copy now for publication on 29th April.


Blackpool’s Daughter by Maggie Mason

Oh Maggie you had my heart in my mouth once again with this stunning read. The author Mary Wood also writes as Maggie Mason and if you are after emotional and heartbreaking family saga reads then this author is fabulous.

The story of mother and daughter, Julia and Clara and their separation and evacuation in 1940 from Guernsey to the mainland is one that really does pull on the heartstrings. If you are a fan of histfic and family sagas then look up this author.


The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel

OH WOW! I have just discovered a fabulous Gothic thriller. I was wandering through Amazon, as you do and I came across this fabulous book. The setting is Edinburgh in 1888 and see’s to very different detectives coming together to solve a very interesting and bloody murder.

I love a good gothic read and this is bloody brilliant, from the characters, the setting, the plot, everything about this one ticked all the boxes in this genre for me. And, sorry pause for my happy dance… there are more in the series. Look this author up and have a look at the Frey & McGrey series.


Twisted by Steve Cavanagh

This is another OH WOW, OH WOW!! book by this fabulous author. I write my initial thoughts on paper when I finish reading a book, then I use those to then write my review up. I have just read my notes and they are so convoluted as I tried to put into words what I thought!

This is such a wickedly brilliant read, so many twists that kept me reading. I am dreading trying to get my thoughts in order to actually write a review that makes some sense. It is another highly recommended read!


Dear Jane by Allie Cresswell

I am in the process of reading this book. Oh this is a sweet and sorrow for me. I am so glad to read the next in the Highbury Trilogy and gutted that it is the end of the Highbury Trilogy. I have loved this series and it is inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma.

This is a historical fiction that has had me wrapped up in it’s words as I have been immersed into a such a fasbulous setting, with wonderful descriptions and characters. If you are a fan of classic literature or books written in that style then you really should pick this series up.


So 7 books over two weeks is not bad, but still a little less than my normal. My Goodreads tally I think is at 66/200 for the year.

Books I received this week …

I had a wonderful email from Quercus Books about a “wish” for a NetGalley book… my wish had been granted for The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary


I am one of the Book Bloggers on the Blog Tour by Anne Cater for Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary and I was delighted to be sent a Hardback copy of the book. I am really looking forward to getting to this one.


My final book for you is one I won on Readers First for adding my Initial thoughts on a book cover. When the book arrived in the post I was again stunned by another Hardback copy. I have to say it is a beautiful cover…

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

Published by Zaffre, this story is about Nuri and his wife Afra leaving the city of Aleppo in Syria and making a perilous journey to Britain when all they care for is destroyed by war. They make their way to a cousin in Yorkshire to keep bees.

This sounds like it could be an emotional read and also a fabulous read. I am looking forward to this one a lot.

I have got a few bargains on my kindle but if I added those as well this post would be miles long, so until next time…

Animated GIF

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Cherry Radford @CherryRad @urbanebooks #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Lighthouse Keepers Daughter by Cherry Radford. I recieved a copy of this book last year from Urbane Publishers, many apologies for it taking so long for me to read and review. I wish I had picked it up sooner as it was such a wonderful read.

So before I get carried away, why don’t I let you know what it’s all about …

After the break-up of her marriage, Imogen escapes to her aunt’s converted lighthouse on Beachy Head. Writing for a tedious online magazine but hoping to starting a novel, she wants to be alone – until she finds an entrancing flamenco CD in her borrowed car and contacts the artist via Twitter. It turns out that actor-musician Santiago needs help with English, and is soon calling her profesora.

Through her window, the other lighthouse winks at her across the sea. The one where her father was a keeper, until he mysteriously drowned there in 1982. Her aunt is sending extracts from his diary, and Imogen is intrigued to learn that, like her and Santi, her father had a penfriend.

Meanwhile, despite their differences – Imogen is surrounded by emotional and geographical barriers, Santi surrounded by family and land-locked Madrid – their friendship develops. So, she reads, did her father’s – but shocking revelations cause Imogen to question whether she ever really knew him.

Two stories of communication: the hilarious mistakes, the painful misunderstandings, and the miracle – or tragedy – of finding someone out there with whom you have an unforeseen, irresistible connection.

This is such a beautiful story, well more a story within a story. Imogen is the Lighthouse Keepers daughter, her father drowned mysteriously and his part of the story is told in snippets from his diary. The pages from the diary are sent separately to Imogen, this is one of the stories. Another is the relationship between Imogen and her family, her son Ollie, her Aunt who sends the diary pages and also her friend Jules.

The main story is that of Imogen herself and how she helps Santi, a Spanish Musician/Actor. She had been unaware of him until she found and listened to a CD of his in her car. It was right music for her to listen to at the right time, as it made such an impact she tweeted him and gradually a friendship formed. Music is an important part of the story in some ways because it is the foundation of a friendship that takes the lonely and isolated Imogen on a trip to Madrid.

Things happen for a reason, some things happen at the right time and right place. These become more apparent as the story gradually unfolds. For me Imogen is the personification of a lighthouse, she is isolated, stands apart from others and has an eerie beauty to her. As I got to know her through the story, I found myself understanding and warming to Imogen and caring about her.

There is a myriad of Spanish phrases throughout this book, don’t worry though they are all explained as conversations flow. I should explain that Imogen is helping Santi with his English and vice versa. Some of these conversations are hilarious and add such a nice touch.

Both Imogen and Santi have such wonderful personalities, and are very different. They each have their own struggles, problems, home life dramas. I loved the way they interacted and their friendship took time to develop, it gave me a chance to get to know them as individuals rather than a duo.

I adored this book, the setting and story-lines were compelling, the characters were memorable and all-in-all a very beautiful story.

This is a book that would appeal to readers who like a slower meander through the lives of the characters they meet. It delves into the families pasts and reveals the odd secret along the way. A story that I would highly recommend.

P.S. I love the cover for this book and my copy has little lighthouses next to the page numbers. Also on the chapter heading pages there is a wonderful silhouette of the lighthouse . I love the little details in book designs…just saying 🙂

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

Amazing Grace by Kim Nash @KimTheBookworm @rararesources #review

I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my review today for Amazing Grace by Kim Nash. I had my eye on this book for a while, I had seen so much love and praise for it I knew it was one I definitely wanted to read. When I saw it was available on NetGalley I immediately downloaded it and read it very same day. I am delighted to be joining the Blog Tour for this book with Rachel’s Random Resources.

So let us have a look see what its all about…

She’s taking her life back, one step at a time… Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted.

Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary – and her perfect life fell apart.

Now she’s a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks…

Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up on her doorstep, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves.

So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness?

A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life for the better – readers of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Josie Silver will love this uplifting read.

Oh My Goodness this book is superb and my poor emotions have gone through the wringer, crying and laughing to myself one moment to anger within the turn of a page. This author has a story that is so very realistic and one that can be related to.

Grace has gradually got stuck in a rut after the breakdown of her marriage. Her son Archie spends the odd evening and weekend at his Dad’s house. During these times loneliness creeps in for Grace, weight goes on, clothes are black and shapeless…then the intervention by her friend Monica.

It seems that things after this intervention start to fall into place, or is it because Grace starts to feel confident? A phone call to landscape gardener Vinnie sees a spark of interest flicker back to life in Grace again. Mark, her ex, however, is not going to make things easy.

The characters in this book are just brilliant, the dilemmas are very real and the scenarios they find themselves in are also ones that I found it very easy to relate to. The uncertainties of new relationships combined with the guilt of old add tension.

There are so many thought-provoking moments in this book. They start from the dedication at the very beginning of the book, yep even before I even got to the start of the story I knew I was going to like this book. In fact, I didn’t just like it, I bloody loved it, every single word.

I did mention emotions, anger yes that was there and also a surprising little comment from a young boy, and there are some very special moments in italics, these you will discover for yourself. But these had me reaching for the tissues time and again.

It was one of those books that just wrapped me up immediately and held me in its embrace. It is a stunning, beautifully written story about Grace and life, she discovers she needs to love herself more, occasionally put herself first, to take a chance on life, start to live and to stand up for herself.

This is a book I would absolutely and most definitely recommend.

Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at http://www.kimthebookworm.co.uk. Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA. When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs. Amazing Grace is her debut novel with Hera Books and will be out on 10th April 2019

Follow Kim on Twitter Facebook Instagram

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the Tour

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be “Amazing” 🙂 🙂 xx

Sleeper – The Red Storm by J. D. Fennell #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Sleeper – The Red Storm by J. D. Fennell, I was a lucky winner to receive a copy of this book via DHH Literary Agency, so a massive thank you to them. This is the second book in this fast paced series, and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first book! You can read my review of the first book Sleeper HERE

So, let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

Praise for Sleeper: ‘Sleeper is an exciting tale full of pace and surprises. J.D. Fennell can write up a storm.’ James Patterson

1943.
 Sleeper spy Will Starling has been drafted in to the SOE, joining forces with the French Resistance in the fight against the Nazis; but Will’s memory is fractured and only occasional flashbacks reveal fragments of his past. Despite this, he has not forgotten his pledge to find and rescue his sister, Rose – if she is still alive. When his mission in France is compromised, Will suspects he’s been betrayed.

Back in London he hears that VIPER are in league with the Axis powers and are developing a new and deadly weapon. As he and MI5 agent Anna Wilder set out to destroy it, their every move is anticipated by their enemies. Who is the mole in the British Secret Service? As they close in on VIPER’s Swiss headquarters, it seems no one can be trusted. Are Will and Anna able to prevent the unleashing of the Red Storm that will bring mass destruction on a scale even the Nazis haven’t dreamt of?

While Will tries to save the world, Rose has become the key to VIPER’s future plans and is drugged to dull her kinetic powers. But Rose faces danger from an unexpected enemy and her time is running out.

So, this is the second in the Sleeper series, the first book was a great introduction to the main protagonist and hero, Will Starling. This second book continues and the impetus to stop VIPER is getting more urgent and of paramount importance.

I have to say I really enjoyed the first book and the second is fabulous. The setting is the early 1940’s and sees Will, a specially trained teen, flying from London to France to help with the Resistance. Will still has a problem with his memory, it’s only when something triggers certain memories does he start to recall things. There is still a lot he has to recall…

So essentially this is a two birds, one stone mission…save Rose and defeat VIPER…!!! Yeah, that’s not going to be easy. Rose is Wills sister, these siblings have a certain skill set. When I say you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of either of them I really do mean it. Rose is very special and her skills in the wrong hands, well…

I really enjoy this story, at times it has the feel of a young James Bond and I think this is why the setting and time of the story work so well, well they do in my opinion. I do occasionally get a feel of a steampunk aspect to the story, I loved reading his genre quite a few years ago, and it does have some basic elements of that style.

This is a mix of espionage, spy, save the world thriller that has been done in a really good way. It is full of fast-paced action, loads of adventure and by the edge of your pants thrills and spills, throw in a couple of secret agents, some double-crossing and you have an. explosive and exciting read.

There is a good sense of urgency to plot and this adds to the quick pace of the story, with some brilliant details and also some historical events to keep the reader in the right time. By the end of the book I still want more, yes the story came to a satisfactory conclusion, I hope there is more to come in this series.

This is a book that I would recommend to readers who like action-packed, fast-paced, adventure, espionage and save the world from the evil organisation type of books. It gets a highly recommended from Me!

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

The Girl of The Sea of Cortez by Peter Benchley #review

I am delighted to share a book that has been on my shelf for many years. I originally picked it up from a charity. The Girl of The Sea of Cortez by Peter Benchley is very far removed from the more well known book Jaws. It was first published in 1982 and has so many relevant points about the human impact on our oceans that it is a very poignant message.

So let us have a look and see what this one is all about…

On an island in the Gulf of California, an intrepid young woman named Paloma carries a special legacy from her father—a deep understanding of the sea and a sixth sense about the need to protect it.

Every day, Paloma paddles her tiny boat into the ocean and anchors over a seamount—a submerged volcanic peak sixty feet underwater that is clustered with spectacular sea animals and a wondrous web of marine life.

It is there that an astonishing event takes place, when on one of her dives Paloma is shadowed by a manta ray—an animal so large it blocks the sun. She develops an extraordinary relationship with this luminous, gentle creature, but instinctively knows its existence is a secret she must fiercely protect.

Benchley’s novel paints a poignant picture of humanity’s precarious relationship with the ocean, which unfolds alongside a heartrending story of familial bonds, often revealing that the ignorance of man is far more dangerous than the sea. Full of beauty, danger, and adventure, The Girl of the Sea of Cortez is triumphant—a novel to fall in love with.

I picked up a hardback copy of this book in a charity shop quite a while ago. It was the author that caught my eye. Yes! Peter Benchley the author of Jaws and also The Deep, I mention these two books as they are the ones I read many years ago. The Girl of The Sea of Cortez is very far removed from the book and the film Jaws and the hysteria that was whipped up at the time. Instead this book is a magical read that delves into the depths of the marine ecosystem that the main protagonist Paloma knows.

This was such a pleasure to read as the author creates such a superb and rich setting. Paloma is very different to others in her village, she follows in her fathers belief that the local fishermen should only catch what they need rather get greedy and take all they can. At it’s core is a message about protecting ocean fish stocks, taking what can be eaten and not sold. Alongside this message runs the traditions and beliefs of the fishing community on the islad. The way things have been done over generations are changing, what went before is being replaced by a new generation who want more from their lives. I understand that people want more things, especially those that live in a more isolated existence.

The story of Paloma and her relationship with a secret area in the Sea of Cortez that is unknown to other fishermen sounds so idyllic. Her affinity with the creatures that inhabit this fabulous area made it feel like such a sacred place, it a gave the story such a magical feel, like a world slightly separate from everywhere else. Paloma is a girl who is willing to buck the trend and stand up for her beliefs and wants to protect the future of the seas. Without careful management she knows that once the fish are gone, then there is no future.

This is a beautifully written story and such a surprise as it was so different to what I expected. It is a powerful and very addictive read that has a very strong message at its core. It is one I would definitely recommend.

This book was originally published in June 1982. That’s 37 years ago, and in that time some of the aspects that are warned about in this book have actually come true. It is so scary to think that in those years there have been many species that are either on the critically endangered or extinct list. Just search on the internet…it is a very sad search… 😦

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