Reputation by Sarah Vaughan #NetGalley #thriller #psychological #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Reputation by Sarah Vaughan. This is a fabulous psychological thriller and is the first book on my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

I requested this book via NetGalley and I was delighted when my request was accepted.

The bestselling author of Anatomy of a Scandal returns with a new psychological thriller about a politician whose less-than-perfect personal life is thrust into the spotlight when a body is discovered in her home.

As a politician, Emma has sacrificed a great deal for her career–including her marriage and her relationship with her daughter, Flora. A former teacher, she finds the glare of the spotlight unnerving, particularly when it leads to countless insults, threats, and trolling as she tries to work in the public eye. As a woman, she knows her reputation is worth its weight in gold, but as a politician, she discovers it only takes one slip-up to destroy it completely.

Fourteen-year-old Flora is learning the same hard lessons at school as she encounters heartless bullying. When another teenager takes her own life, Emma lobbies for a new law to protect women and girls from the effects of online abuse. Now, Emma and Flora find their personal lives uncomfortably intersected–but then the unthinkable happens: A man is found dead in Emma’s home, a man she had every reason to be afraid of and to want gone. Fighting to protect her reputation, and determined to protect her family at all costs, Emma is pushed to the limits as the worst happens and her life is torn apart.

MY REVIEW

This is a story that had me hooked, a story that gives the reader a dilemma as they read it, well it did me! I felt conflicted as I read this story, as part of me wanted one outcome while the other thought another should be right. A sort of head or heart dilemma, and one that made for compelling reading.

The focus of the story is on Emma Webster, a one time teacher and now an MP. She does have an agenda, it is one that the rights and safety of women online. Emma is no stranger to the bad side of social media, threats, trolls and being constantly watched add pressure to an already full work/ home life.

The author uses Emma to highlight problems with society and social media. It is something that is quite timely at the moment with a certain celebrity trial. All you have to do is look on any platform and you will see horrendous comments. There are several points the author makes within the story – public figures should be expected to be trolled with comments and criticism, the tabloids have a right to go after a story that is about a politician, and anyone who has a public profile should be expected to take this and not make a stand. While people are allowed opinions, this story deals with when the opinions go beyond what is acceptable.

Using Emma, the author portrays a woman who wants to make a stand, and help to make new laws but also make a difference. Throughout the story, I got to know Emma, her ethics, her beliefs and also her daughter, Flora. The story is told from both of their perspectives and gives a totally different side to their lives, it helps to put things into perspective.

When Emma is brought to trial, the author does a brilliant job of giving the for and against arguments, it is riveting reading and really ramps the tension level up several notches. This is where the real reader dilemma comes into its own – which way do you think it should go? Well, I am keeping my opinion to myself!

The ending of this story was something else as well, it gave a conclusive ending and one that finally answered some lingering questions and thoughts.

This was a fabulous read and if you have read anything by this author before, then I do think you are going to really enjoy this one. It is one for readers who like thought-provoking, psycholologi8cal thrillers. Brilliant book and one I would definitely recommend. 

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

It’s that time of year again! #20BooksofSummer 2022 #ReadingChallenge

It is that time of year again when I join in the #20BooksofSummer Reading Challenge organised by Cathy at 746books.

The challenge starts TODAY!

Rules – they are basic and are not set in stone.

Choose 10, 15 or 20 books that you have been meaning to read, or have slipped down the TBR pile. You can change the titles, you can read more or you can read less. The idea is to read the titles between the Ist of June and the final one by the 1st of September.

I am going for the “Full Monty” of 20 books, here are the ones I have decided on…

From my NetGalley shelf…

And, here are the physical books that I want to read…

There we have it, 20 titles…

I wonder which if any will change!

Will I complete the challenge?

Only time will tell 🙂

All the best

Yvonne xx

My Wife Jodie by V.A. Rudys #domesticthriller #20booksofsummer #bookreview

Today I am delighted to share my review for My Wife Jodie by V.A. Rudys. I requested this book to review via Amazon Vine after seeing the rather creepy cover!

This is 14/20 in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

Ethan Page had it all: a respectable job, loving friends, and a beautiful apartment – the envy of all his friends. He was madly in love with his wife, Jodie – until he discovered the power she possessed beyond all comprehension, and the price she demanded for engineering his perfect life.

Paperback, 1st Edition, 384 pages Published July 16th 2021 by Blinkenlight – Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW…

There is a very short synopsis for this book, but combined with the cover image, it provides a very intriguing glimpse into the story. It caught my attention and took me on a route that I really never expected to be on.

Ethan and Jodie Page, a great couple, good life, a nice house, plenty of money and get along wonderfully. That is until the smallest and least significant thing happens.

This is going to be such a hard one to review as I am not able to give the main crux or twist of this story away. It is however a brilliant one. I did initially have my misgivings about it when it came up in the story, but I went with it and my goodness did the author do a great job with this.

The synopsis does suggest that there is some sort of control over the life the Page’s lives. It isn’t until further on in the story that you begin to fully realise the full extent and also how it impacts their marriage. The author explores how a marriage can be controlled and in this one, it is not the usual way. Bringing in a sense of mistrust and cajoling you can see why things start to deteriorate.

In some ways, this is an exploration into marriages, relationships, manipulation, trying to do the right thing, believing in people but eventually, it does come down to the level of trust. It definitely has a psychological edge to it giving it a thriller and suspense feel.

This is a domestic thriller that has a huge twist, not the usual one and it took me by surprise. Vague review I know, but if you get the chance grab a copy of this if you are a fan of this type of genre. I adored this book and I would definitely recommend it. 

About the Author…

V. A. Rudys is a writer, and author of the new novel My Wife Jodie. Rudys was brought up in a creative environment with art being a very important part of life. For most of his career Rudys worked as a video editor engaging viewers visually, and now he’s exploring the world of visual thrillers. Originally from Lithuania, Rudys lives in London. He also struggles with dyslexia, but believes that no one should be discouraged from being able to write. 

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

A Stitch in Time by Amanda James @amandajames61 #histfic #romance #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Stitch in Time by Amanda James. I first came across Mandy’s books when she was with Bloodhound and I have read every book since then and loved each one. It has taken me until now to pick up a book before that time!

This is one of my picks on the #20booksofsummer reading challenge, and it is book 12 out of 20.

A stitch in time saves nine… or does it? Sarah Yates is a thirty something history teacher, divorced, disillusioned and desperate to have more excitement in her life. Making all her dreams come true seems about as likely as climbing Everest in stilettos.

Then one evening the door bell rings and the handsome and mysterious John Needler brings more excitement than Sarah could ever have imagined. John wants Sarah to go back in time…

Sarah is whisked from the Sheffield Blitz to the suffragette movement in London to the Old American West, trying to make sure people find their happy endings. The only question is, will she ever be able to find hers? 

My Review…

I have read several of this authors later books and thoroughly enjoyed them. I wanted to read some of her earlier novels and A Stitch in Time fits the bill perfectly.

This is essentially a love story between Sarah and John. Sarah is a disgruntled school teacher who is struggling with a couple of her students. Stuck in the everyday. John offers Sarah a chance to change her everyday life to one that will take her back in time. Ideal for a history teacher.

Yes a mix of romance with a little bit of time travel. This was easy to follow and the time travel but added a nice twist to a really lovely story. The author did explain the travel bit, but like Sarah I am still bewildered! You don’t need to understand it, but it does work very well within the context of the story.

I really liked how the author brought the two characters together, and then threw obstacles in their way. A couple who are interested and obviously want to be together, but not everyone thinks the same way.

Will they get the ending they deserved? Only time will tell.

A fabulous book that shows a different side to this author writing. A wonderfully heart-warming story and one that I found delightful and very addictive. It’s one I would definitely recommend. 

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

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. 

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

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. 

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

Ties Bind, Love Finds by Nia Lucas @BooksNia #20booksofsummer #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for the 3rd book in the Choices Series, Ties Bind, Love Finds by Nia Lucas. I have read all the books in this series and I adore them. Yes, they do need to be read in order.

This is the 7th book pick on my #20booksofsummer reading challenge and this is also one from my own TBR.

Following on from ‘Futures Beckon, Pasts Threaten’, Lorna Goddard navigates motherhood, marriage and a career in the life she never imagined could be hers. As she tries to leave the traumas of her past by building the life she always wanted, Lorna rapidly discovers that stability is never as solid as it looks. What happens when ‘Happy Ever After’ morphs into ‘Ever Happy After’?

When the choices of others yet again turn her life upside down, Lorna discovers that losses no longer break her but the past still beckons at every turn. As it becomes clear that the loves that shaped her conceal a far deeper and more important truth, Lorna is forced to fight for the things she holds most dear.

The scales of love and loss continue to find balance as Lorna Davies rises from the embers of a life less ordinary and forges a fresh path to happiness, taking a route she could never have predicted. Will she finally find what she’s been looking for all along?

My Review…

This is a fantastic series that follows the life of Lorna. Now married with children her life seems to have settled. No longer the troubled teen, moving on from the loss of two very important people in her life.

This is the third book in the series and is one you do need to read from the start. The background for Lorna is important to know who she is and why. The things she us done in the past and the people who are important to her make her who she is.

This series started as a contemporary fiction, coming of age and as Lorna has gotten older has changed, but in some ways she is still working out who she is and who she wants to be. Now in her 30’s things have a habit of not quite going smoothly.

Pressures of work, motherhood for Lorna and her husband Rob are tense, stress creeps in and with that so does distance. She has always been close to the friends she made as a teen. They are her support as much as she is theirs.

As this book progresses the author is once again injected more heartache into Lorna life. This is a strong character and a feisty one at that. Her character takes a lot over the series, and she herself pulls no punches when she makes a stand.

This book does contain strong language and sexual content. The language, is well colourful but it also matches these firebomb of a character. While I am not a fan of a certain used word I can see it is exactly what Lorna would use. The sex can be a little in the graphic side at times but again does fit in with the style of this book.

This is another excellent instalment in the series. Told mainly from Lorna’s perspective you get a no holds barred glimpse into her mindset, character, thoughts, worries and her life.

This is one for readers who like contemporary fiction, it’s gritty and at times adult rated. I have enjoyed every one of the books so far and this lets one is no exception. It is a book I would definitely recommend.

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

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…

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

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

A Secret Scottish Escape by Julie Shackman #NetGalley @OneMoreChapter_ #romance #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Secret Scottish Escape by Julie Shackman. My thanks to One More Chapter Publishers for my e-copy of this book that I received via NetGalley.

This is the 4th book on my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

When Scotland’s sleepiest hamlet becomes the centre of hot gossip, Layla Devlin finds herself caught in a mystery…

When Layla’s fiancée has an unexpected heart attack and dies – in another woman’s arms, no less – Layla is determined to pack up and leave Loch Harris, the village she’s always called home. But an unexpected inheritance and love for her quiet corner of Scotland send her down a new path.

Now Layla finds herself facing a whole new kind of drama. Rumours swirl that a celebrity has moved into Coorie Cottage and Layla is determined to have him headline her opening night at local music venue The Conch Club. But the reclusive star is equally determined to thwart Layla’s efforts. Rafe Buchanan is in hiding for a reason, and soon his past comes to Loch Harris to haunt him… 

My Review…


Layla is left hurt and confused after the sudden death of her fiance. With money left to her she initially doesn’t want anything to do with it. Then she sees the old fishing shop in the Scottish village of Loch Harris. A small community that is getting quieter as tourists are looking for something different. She decides to open a small live music venue and this is not the only thing to occupy her time or her thoughts as she gets ready for opening night.

This was such a gorgeous story to read on a wet and rather yucky summers day. I was as shocked as Layla after I discovered the secret that her fiance Mac was hiding. I also found myself siding with Layla’s dad, Harry, when I heard that she was opening a music venue. I mean a lovely tranquil village with amazing scenery and then add loud music. How the author described Layla’s dream soon had me visualising and imagining what this would actually be like and I found myself getting on board with the idea based on the imagery from the author.

The author has squeezed some wonderful threads into this story a mysterious singer, a stranger, some romance, some lies and deceit and also a whole load of wonderful heart waring and lovely moments. While there are a couple of more serious threads there are also some genuinely lovely ones.

I soon fell in love with the setting and the sound of this amazing village. I love the sound of a certain reclusive garden and could see myself hiding out there with several good books and maybe the odd large glass of wine!

A story that I found really hard to put down a mix of mystery, romance, family drama and wonderful scenery just make this an adorable book to read and one that left me grinning like a loon. If you like good all-around contemporary fiction and romance novels then you are going to love this one. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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