Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp #20booksofsummer #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review of Killer Instinct by Zoe Sharp. I have had this book in my tbr for a year or more, I had seen some reviews and decided rather than buy the latest book (at the time) I would start at the beginning. I decided it had lingered long enough and this is why this book was one of my picks for #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge

Synopsis…

‘Susie Hollins may have been no great shakes as a karaoke singer, but I didn’t think that was enough reason for anyone to want to kill her.’

Charlie Fox makes a living teaching self-defence to women in a quiet northern English city. It makes best use of the deadly skills she picked up after being kicked out of army Special Forces training for reasons she prefers not to go into. So, when Susie Hollins is found dead hours after she foolishly takes on Charlie at the New Adelphi Club, Charlie knows it’s only a matter of time before the police come calling. What they don’t tell her is that Hollins is the latest victim of a homicidal rapist stalking the local area.

Charlie finds herself drawn closer to the crime when the New Adelphi’s enigmatic owner, Marc Quinn, offers her a job working security at the club. Viewed as an outsider by the existing all-male team, her suspicion that there’s a link between the club and a serial killer doesn’t exactly endear her to anyone. Charlie has always taught her students that it’s better to run than to stand and fight, But, when the killer starts taking a very personal interest, it’s clear he isn’t going to give her that option . . .

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My Review…

This is the first book in the Charlies Fox series by Zoe Sharp. This is also the first time I have read a book by this author and I have to say Charlie is a fabulous character.

Charlie Fox is a no-nonsense woman who teaches self-defence to women. She is confident and comes across as a very sure person. There is a good amount of mystery behind her and some of it has been included in this, story, but I feel there is more her than I have seen so far.

The plot involves Charlie as another body is discovered at a nightclub that she has just been to with her friend and involves an altercation. This is the start of a very twisted road that the author takes not only her main character but also her reader upon.

The further the story progressed the more I got to see of Charlie, what makes her tick, her friendships and there is also a sense of vulnerability that comes with being let down in the past. It makes her a very interesting character that has a sense of loneliness about her at times.

A fabulous first book and one that is intriguing and with a character that I really like the sound of. The plot is a good fast-paced one with Charlie string to join all the dots to discover who is behind the crimes. She is in some ways a one-woman sleuth, but she is no Miss Marple, she is tough, can be dangerous but has a level head on her shoulders. Yeah, a little on the moody side, but then who doesn’t have a moment like that.

AS I mentioned this is the first book and there are quite a few more in this series that I am definitely looking forward to reading. If you like an excellent good fast-paced crime with a strong female lead that has full-throttle action then you really do need to have a look at this series. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Photo and Bio taken from the Authors Amazon Page

Zoë Sharp opted out of mainstream education at the age of twelve and wrote her first novel at fifteen. (Which, thankfully, still sits in a box in her attic, despite her father’s suggestion that she should sell it on eBay.) She became a freelance photojournalist in 1988 and wrote the first of her highly acclaimed Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Fox crime thrillers after receiving death-threats in the course of her work.

It was at this point she took a keen interest in learning various forms of self-defence. She had also been a competition rifle shooter, both of which skills have come in very handy for her ex-Special Forces turned bodyguard heroine.

“I loved thrillers, but wanted to read about female characters who were just as self-reliant, and just as skilled as the guys. When I couldn’t find any that fitted the bill, I decided I was simply going to have to write my own.”

She has won a Lovey Award for Best Series and been nominated (often more than once) for Edgar, Anthony, Barry, Benjamin Franklin and Macavity Awards in the United States, as well as the CWA Dagger Award. Her work has been used in a Danish school textbook, turned into a short film, and optioned for TV and film.

Zoë is a regular blogger on her own website — http://www.ZoeSharp.com — on the group site MurderIsEverywhere, as well as wittering on Twitter (@AuthorZoeSharp) and fooling about on Facebook (@AuthorZoeSharp).

Check out all of Zoe’s books on her Amazon Author Page

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

Midtown Huckster (Alex Cohen #3) by Leopold Borstinski @borstinski @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #histfic #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for Midtown Huckster by Leopold Borstinski. This series is just getting better and better with each book. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles Blog Tours for my spot on the Tour and for my e-copy of the book. Let me show you more about the book…

Can you keep your gelt and freedom when the cops have enough evidence to take you down?

1930s Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen runs Murder Inc for Lucky Luciano. After the death of Prohibition he must find a new way to make money, just as the cops are baying at his heels. When Luciano goes down for racketeering, Alex loses his protection and is arrested for tax evasion–he must decide between saving his skin and ratting out his friends.

If he chooses prison time then his gang will fall apart and he will end up with nothing. If he squeals then he will have to flee the city he loves and the family he once adored. What would you do in a world where nobody can be trusted and you have everything to lose?

The third book in the Alex Cohen series is an historical noir novel, which plunges you deep into the early days of narcotics trafficking and the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s piercing crime fiction delivers a fix to every reader like heroin from a needle.

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

This is the third book in the Alex Cohen series and I having been enjoying it so much. This book follows on from the previous books and while you could read them as a stand-alone I would advise reading in order.

Set in 1930’s New York as prohibition is coming to an end and as President Hoover forms the Federal Bureau to investigate tax evasion and bringing the profiteers to justice.

As I mentioned, this story follows on from the previous books, these include Alex’s arrival in New York and his Jewish background. This book feels more involved as there is more secrecy as the investigators are getting closer to convicting the main bosses. Another thing that I noticed was slightly less Jewish terms, this kind of makes sense as Alex would have become more Americanised but, I also do miss them.

The book once again uses various points of history to keep the story in the right period, with mentions of Thomas Dewey who was a New York City prosecutor in the 1930’s and whose aim was to beat organised crime. I like these historical mentions as it makes for great additional reading outside of the story.

The journey Alex has made up to this point has been gradual, he is trusted and has respect but there are things afoot that are making him suspicious. Times are changing and not necessarily in Alex’s favour. As he has had his fingers in many pies and looks for more ways to earn a living, the more the investigators have to go on, and what they can’t find well…

Another excellent read in the series and I am so glad there are more planned book to follow, I am certainly interested in what happens next for Alex. This is an excellent series for Historical fiction readers and I would definitely recommend reading Midtown Huckster.

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Social Media: TwitterFacebookWebsiteInstagram

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The Village Shop for Lonely Hearts by Alison Sherlock @AlisonSherlock @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Village Shop for Lonely Hearts by Alison Sherlock. This was such a wonderful book to read and my huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of the book. Let me show you more about the book…

A feel-good story of new beginnings set in a gorgeous country village, perfect for fans of Katie Fforde and Milly Johnson.


After losing her job in New York, Amber Green isn’t looking forward to visiting her godmother in the sleepy village of Cranbridge. With its empty lanes and rundown shops, it’s hardly a place to mend her lonely heart.

But when Amber discovers that Cranbridge Stores, owned by her godmother Cathy and son Josh, is under threat of financial ruin, she realises that her skills as a window dresser might just be able to help save the struggling shop.

When disaster strikes, Amber and Josh must unite to save both the shop and the village from flooding.

Can Cranbridge Stores become the heart of the village once more?

Purchase Link – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

This is one of those heartwarming books that leaves you with a nice cosy feeling, it is also the first book in the Riverside Lane series and has left me wanting to read more.

Amber Green is visiting her godmother who also happens to be her mums best friend. Amber has vague recollections about the village of Cranbrook, but on her arrival, she finds a village that is past its sell-by date, it looks run down, neglected and not welcoming. The local shop looks no better and is a shop with everything but nothing that anyone wants.

Be3ing given an unexpected chance to get stuck into helping bring some order to the overstocked shop means she will be working with Josh. He had put his life on hold to help look after his mum and Gran and is stuck in a rut. Working together the two find a happy working relationship.

I liked the way the author showed how it is not only in larger towns and cities that loneliness occurs, it also happens in smaller communities. What was once a thriving community has long since gone, but there is a need for somewhere central, could the shop be just the place.

This was such a heartwarming story and one that had me willing the locals on, and especially willing Amber and Josh to make the shop a hub. There are some wonderful characters and I am hoping that I will see some of them in future books.

This was a wonderful way to pass a Sunday afternoon as I found myself captured by the village and residents of Cranbrook. A lovely read and one that readers of contemporary fiction and romance will really enjoy and it is one I would definitely recommend.

Alison Sherlock is the author of the bestselling Willow Tree Hall books. Alison enjoyed reading and writing stories from an early age and gave up office life to follow her dream. Her new series for Boldwood is set in a fictional Cotswold Village and the first title will be published in July 2020.

Social Media Links – TwitterFacebookBookbub

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A Summer To Remember by Sue Moorcroft #summerreading #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I m delighted to share my review for A Summer to Remember by Sue Moorcroft. This is book #5 on my #20booksofsummer #reading challenge and what a great summer read this was. Let me show you what it’s all about…

COME AND SPEND SUMMER BY THE SEA!

WANTED! A caretaker for Roundhouse Row holiday cottages.

WHERE? Nelson’s Bar is the perfect little village. Nestled away on the Norfolk coast we can offer you no signal, no Wi-Fi and – most importantly – no problems!

WHO? The ideal candidate will be looking for an escape from their cheating scumbag ex-fiancé, a diversion from their entitled cousin, and a break from their traitorous friends.

WHAT YOU’LL GET! Accommodation in a chocolate-box cottage, plus a summer filled with blue skies and beachside walks. Oh, and a reunion with the man of your dreams.

PLEASE NOTE: We take no responsibility for any of the above scumbags, passengers and/or traitors walking back into your life…

GET IN TOUCH NOW TO MAKE THIS A SUMMER TO REMEMBER!

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

If you are after a gorgeous summer read then look no further than A Summer to Remember by Sue Moorcroft. It is set in the fictional village of Nelson’s Bar in North Norfolk and mentions many villages and towns that I know. I say know because it has to be over 30 years since I last visited the area around Hunstanton when I went on many family camping holidays.

So the story is of Clancy who is starting again in the village. The last time she was here was for her cousins’ wedding that did happen, her cousin Alice ran off before the ceremony. With this past, Clancy is not sure of her welcome, some tar her with the same brush as Alice and therefore being a trouble maker, while other seem willing to realise that Clancy is not Alice.

The village and its inhabitants are a small group and this helps to keep the story on point and focusing on key characters. I like this approach as it means there is more development with the characters and a chance for me to really get to know them all.

The story is about making new starts but is also about saying goodbye to the past, Clancy has been holding on to her past through anger and it takes a while before she realises that this is not helpful. After all, if you are going to make a break then it has to be a clean break, luckily she has some good neighbours to help ease the transition, but there are still umps and pitfalls along the way.

This is a gorgeous summery read, it has problems with families being too protective, about vindictive and narrow-minded people but there is a wonderful balance with others who are willing to help[, to take a chance and admit when they are wrong.

A romance, a contemporary fiction with drama and passion, it makes this a very addictive read that is perfect for a summer fiction escape. I would definitely recommend it.

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

The Little Bookshop at Herring Cove by Kellie Hailes #summerfiction #romcom #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Little Bookshop at Herring Cove by Kellie Hailes. I read this book back in April and for some reason I have missed posting my review on here… still, better late than never!

Here is what it is all about…

The start of something wonderful…

Sophie Jones loves her little bookshop at Herring Cove. She’ll never give it up to big property developer, Alexander Fletcher – no matter how handsome he might be…

Yet beneath Alex’s sharp suit and persuasive manner, there’s something about him that makes Sophie want to trust him.

So when he offers to help make her little shop a success again, she wonders whether this could be the start of something wonderful for both Sophie and Alex – together?

Perfect for fans of Caroline Roberts, Cathy Bramley and Heidi Swain.

Buy your copy at Amazon UK (this is an Amazon affiliate link, I earn a small commission but at no cost to you)

Alexander Fletcher is the son of a property developer, you know those that come into rundown seaside areas and revamp it into a modern resort. While Herring Cove is a little on the rundown side, it is nothing if it’s not a community. At it’s heart there are still a few shops and a pub, but it is hard for those businesses to keep going.

One of the businesses is the bookshop run by Sophie, while she does like the look of the man that stands before her, she does not fall for his charms and the generous offer he has to buy her business… well she doesn’t fall for him straight away.

Now I have never read anything by this author before and I have to say that my first outing was wonderful. I loved the sound of Herring Cove and I loved the characters in the story. This is a story that oozes heartwarming and feelgood as well as having quite a few sniggery moments, especially as the slight flirty but not supposed to be flirty comment litter this lovely story.

There is a story behind the bookshop and it has ramefications for Sophie and her on the “don’t need a man in my life” outlook. Alexander, well isn’t he a dark horse, and rather handy as well!

This is a lovely one sitting read, it was captivating and light to read but also had a nice feel to it, full of warmth, friends and laughs. Having not read this author before I cannot wait to read the other already published books, The Little Bookshop at Herring Cove is a book I would definitely recommend.

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

Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger @KatieGAuthor @rararesources #summerfiction #romance #romcom #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to be one of the opening Book Bloggers to share my review today for Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Cove by Katie Ginger. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this gorgeous book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay

Grab your strawberries and cream and get ready to return to the beautiful Swallowtail Bay!


Summer is in full swing and the locals are getting excited for the launch of the Swallowtail Bay strawberry food festival. But will all run smoothly when festival organiser Hetty’s heart is torn between lord of the manor John Thornhill and successful bakery owner Ben?


Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

I do enjoy books by this author and Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Cove is the second book in this series, it can be read as a standalone.

The thing I really enjoy about Katie’s books are the wonderful descriptions of the setting and the scenery. She builds such a good vivid image that I can almost see the area from her words. The next thing I adore are the characters and the way they are woven in to create a wonderful sense of friendship and community.

The main character is Hetty, a local events organiser and she attends a business forum, a chance for local business owners to get together and discuss upcoming things. The mention of the Strawberry Festival, that has over time diminished and is a mere shadow of its former self gives Hetty the idea of bringing it back but on a much larger scale. The only place large enough is Thornhill Hall, and more specifically John Thornhill himself. The family are not particularly popular as they have become reclusive over the years.

I have to say I really liked Hetty, she is a go-getter who has a natural way about her and especially with people. After some needling she convinces John to let her use some of the fields for her festival. Somehow her ends up helping out more and she gets to see that there is more to this man than the stand-offish person she thought he was.

There is obviously a romantic theme with this story and it is not as straight-forward as it would first appear. So begins the will they won’t they scenario and it could have gone either way or not at all, and I wasn’t sure who with but I did hope!

The storyline of the Festival and the organisation along with family hiccups and the romance made for a fabulous read. It all felt nicely balanced and I was definitely hooked as things gradually played out. It had a very realistic feel to it especially the Festival that had gone into decline over the years. As well as the financial struggles associated with the upkeep of a large house.

I sat and read this book in one sitting and it was an ideal book for sitting out in the garden in the glorious sunshine to read. If you are a fan of romance, rom-com, heartwarming stories and having a right good read then I would definitely recommend this one, it was fabulous.

KATIE GINGER lives in the South East of England, by the sea, and she really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay is her fifth novel. The first, Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay is available now. Her debut novel The Little Theatre on the Seafront was shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award, and her stand- alone Christmas novel Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage was a US Amazon bestseller.
When she’s not writing, Katie spends her time drinking gin, or with her husband, trying to keep alive their two children, Ellie and Sam. And there’s also their adorable King Charles Spaniel, Wotsit (yes, he is named after the crisps!).


For more about Katie you can visit her website – find her on Facebook – or follow her on TwitterInstagram

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Up Close and Personal by Kathryn Freeman @KathrynFreeman1 @rararesources #rararesources #romcom #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for one of my favourite authors today. Up Close and Personal by Kathryn Freeman is a fabulous read. My thnaks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog TOur and for arranging my e-copy of this brilliant escapism read.

Let me show you what it is all about…

British actor Zac Edwards is the latest heartthrob to hit the red carpets. Hot, talented and rich, he sends women wild…all except one.

Close protection officer Kat Parker hasn’t got time to play celebrity games.  She has one job: to protect Zac from the stalker that seems to be dogging his every move.

Zac might get her hot under her very starched collar, but Kat’s a professional – and sleeping with Zac is no way part of her remit…

Buy a copy from Amazon UKUS

I do look forward to curling up with a Kathryn Freeman book and Up Close and Personal was an excellent read. The story is about a film-star being stalked and having a bodyguard assigned to him. One has impeccable manners, is well spoken and always punctual. The other says what they think, is a bit messy and is often running late. Meet the film-star Zac Edwards and his body guard Kat Parker.

Their first meeting was a bit of a disaster, their second didn’t inspire confidence but there is a hint of a spark between them, some flirting and innuendo. Kat is a professional and she cannot afford the distraction of falling for handsome and tasty Zac.

The plot of the story has more to it than first meets the eye, both characters have a dark past that they are not willing to share. This in part is why some of their quirks are as they are, their past have, in some ways shaped the way they look at he futures.

I loved that instant connection between these two characters, they are the focus of the story, though there are others that have a part to play. The reading was so effortless as I disappeared into the world the author created. There is chemistry, humour and also more serious stuff, but all nicely balanced to keep the flow of the story moving along at just the right pace.

This is very much a will they or won’t they style of story, and I wasn’t sure exactly how it was going to end as there could have been many scenarios that could have made the conclusion.

This is a wonderful read that I loved from start to finish. I was completely hooked and found it the perfect book to read sat in the garden on a sunny afternoon. Ideal for fans of rom-coms and romance and one I would definitely recommend.

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

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

Social Media Links – WebsiteTwitterFacebook

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The Brave Daughters by Mary Wood @Authormary #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for a favourite author of mine. The Brave Daughters by Mary Wood is part of The Girls Who Went to War series.

Let me show you what it is all about…

A moving and emotional family drama set between France and Britain from bestselling author, Mary Wood.

They would fight for their country, at all costs . . .

When Sibbie and Marjie arrive at RAF Digby, they are about to take on roles of national importance. It’s a cause of great excitement for everyone around them. Perhaps they will become code-breakers, spies even? Soon the pair embark on a rigorous training regime, but nothing can prepare them for what they’re about to face . . .

Amid the vineyards of rural France, Flora and Ella can’t bear the thought of another war. But as the thunderclouds grow darker, hanging over Europe, a sense of deep foreboding sets in, not just for their safety but for the fate of their families . . . With danger looming, as the threat of war becomes real, Flora and Ella are forced to leave their idyllic home and flee. Can they make it to safety, or will the war have further horrors in store for them?

The Brave Daughters is the fourth book in the Girls Who Went to War series by Mary Wood.

Buy your copy HERE

(This site uses Amazon affiliated links at no cost to you)

I am a big fan of this author and I have adored reading this series, The Girls Who Went to War. This is sadly the final book in this wonderful series. The first books introduced me to Flora Mags and Ella, I watched as these three girls grew up and overcame various things in their lives. This book is about the women and of their children.

The setting is in Britain and Europe at the start of WWII, having lived through and served during WWI, the women ha devive experienced the horrors. Now they watch as their own children step up to do their duty and serve their countries.

This is a book that I knew would have me reaching for the tissues, to be honest, I do with pretty much all of this authors books. I could feel the nervousness and fear of the parents as well as the fear and the want of doing their part from the children. I call them children, they are adults and are old enough to serve., but to a parent, your child is always a child no matter how grown up they are.

As is the case with conflicts there are going to be casualties. The author does not shy away from death and injury and in doing so she keeps the story feeling realistic. As much as I wanted all the characters to survive unharmed I knew deep down that this would not have been the case.

What the author has done is to provide the story of the next generation, giving them a real-life event to work through. It is emotional and full of danger, and the risk to life is every present, but the author balances this with positives such as love and the hope that there will be a future for them to return to.

Once again, Mary Wood has created a story that has compassion and is full of emotion, there are a couple of surprising twists and she has given a very poignant ending to the series that felt right.

If you love historical fiction that focuses on the strength of women during hard times, that has a wonderful feeling of unity, family and romance then this is a book that you may enjoy. All four books in this series could be read as stand-alone but to be honest you get far more out of them by reading them in order. The Brave Daughters is a wonderful read and one I would definitely recommend.

Born the thirteenth child of fifteen to a middle-class mother and an East End barrow boy, Mary Wood’s family were poor, but rich in love. Over time, she developed a natural empathy with the less fortunate and is fascinated by social history. Mary raised four children and has numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. An avid reader, she first put pen to paper in 1989, and is now a full-time novelist.

Visit Mary on – Website – Twitter – Facebook

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

The Price by Kerry Kaya @KerryKayaWriter @BOTBSPublicity #BOTBSPublicity #thriller #crime #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Price by Kerry Kaya. This is my first time reading this author and it will definitely not be the last time! I would like to thank Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this brilliant book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

For most of his life Fletch has looked out for his younger brother Spencer and he will do anything and everything he can to protect him. Together they work for notorious East End gangster Billy King. Across the water in South London is Billy’s rival George Bannerman and the two firms are locked in a bitter turf war.


Amid murder, drug deals, and rival firms, Fletch is harbouring his own secrets and it’s only a matter of time until those secrets are revealed, and when you break the rules you have to pay the price.  

This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I absolutely loved it. The author starts her story in the past in the first chapter, it sets the scene for what is to follow. What followed was an addictive one sitting read for me as I followed the brothers of Fletch and Spence, they work for local gangland boss Billy.

I really liked how the author focused on the relationship of the brothers rather than violence in this story, although the main focus is Fletch. He has a bit more savvy and has more front to him. Although there are mentions of violence, it wasn’t that brutal in the reading.

The brothers are loyal to each other and their Mum, things in the past were tough and it is now that things seem to be working out. Only thing with being part of a gang is that there is always another gang that wants to make a move.

The story took various turns that I found really intriguing, not just a straight forward rival gangs read, but something with much more heart and human interest to it. Getting to know the brothers through the story was a good way to make a reader kind of connect to them, but even though I really liked them there was always that air of danger about them.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this story, a brilliant read that wasn’t what I expected and I found it really hard to put down. I think this book would suit various readers, especially those that want a crime read that has a slightly different angle top it. I am looking forward to reading some of the previous books by this author, and as for this book, well I would definitely recommend it.

Kerry Kaya is a British gangland crime Author, born and raised on the outskirts of East London.

She is an avid reader and has a passion for books. From an early age she began writing stories, and in her later years those stories went on to become full length novels and novellas. 

Kerry lives with her partner and Daughter.

Follow Kerry on Twitter Facebook Instagram

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Time Out by Emma Murray @murrayemma @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review today for Time Out by Emma Murray. I really enjoyed this book and I wish to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it’s about…

‘It’s just a phase,’ they said. ‘These are the happiest years of your life,’ they said…

Mother of one and professional writer Saoirse (pronounced Seersha, not Searcy – thanks a bunch Game of Thrones!) is still adjusting to the demands of motherhood, four years after the birth of her daughter, Anna.

Living in the claustrophobic London suburb of Woodvale, and being surrounded by passive-aggressive mum-wars, isn’t helping. Neither is her increasingly pent-up anger at her once-perfect husband. Her only comrade in arms, best friend Bea, is the one thing keeping her sane.

When Saoirse’s agent asks her to pitch for a book, she is horrified to discover the topic is motherhood. How can she possibly write a ‘warts and all’ account of being a mother without giving away what it’s really like?

Laugh-out-loud funny, painfully well-observed, but with an unmistakable warmth and unforgettable characters, this is the perfect antidote to all those parenting bibles that bear absolutely no relation to real life. The novel may or may not have been inspired by real life…

Purchase Link – Amazon

What a wonderfully honest book about motherhood and the stresses and strains it has on a relationship Time Out was to read. Saoirse has been a ghostwriter and is suddenly asked to pitch for a book about motherhood, this means she will finally get to put her name on the cover of a book. The catch is that it needs o be an honest look at motherhood.

Saoirse often looks at Facebook posts from other mums about how well their children are behaving, how the meals are always cooked from scratch and how they often appear to look down on any parent who deigns to give their child a sweet, white bread sandwich or a processed meal.

The social media brigade put additional pressure on new mums to fit in. It has turned into a competition as to who can be the best mother. Saoirse is finding the stress of her “little horror” very trying to say the least. Her marriage is stuck in a rut and she is given a reprieve with a break in Ireland to have a Time Out and concentrate on her writing.

While in Ireland it gives her the chance to look at her life, her marriage and how she feels like she is failing. She meets another Mum and they are able to let off steam. But it is the meeting with an old school friend and Saoirse’s Mum visiting that make her look at the bigger picture.

This is such a great book that does such a good job of looking at parenting in today’s society. It shines a light on the competitive nature of being seen to do the right thing. I really enjoyed how the author tackled the parenting insecurities with the stresses on a marriage and some of the inappropriate and unpredictable things that children can say or do.

A fabulous read that had me hooked and also made me feel glad that my children were born prior to the arrival of Facebook and social media. But a refreshing read and one I would definitely recommend.

Emma Murray is originally from Co. Dublin and moved to London in her early twenties. After a successful career as a ghostwriter, she felt it was high time she fulfilled her childhood dream to write fiction.

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