Ravens Gathering by Graeme Cumming #20booksofsummer #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Raven’s Gathering by Graeme Cumming. This was one of the books I added to my #20booksofsummer reading list, and yes, I am still playing catch-up on the reviews. Raven’s Gathering was a fabulous read and let me show you more about it…

Synopsis…

As she let her gaze drift around her, she saw that there were more birds. Perhaps a dozen or so, perched among the trees that stood on the edge of the clearing. And yet more were arriving, swooping down through the gap overhead and landing on branches that overlooked them. The birds weren’t threatening, yet the sight of them all coming together in this dark and isolated spot was unnerving. Tanya reached a hand out towards Martin, and was relieved to feel him take it. She felt him move in behind her. After the uncertainty she’d experienced with him in a similar position only a few moments ago, she recognised the irony of her reaction. His closeness offered security.

“You know what they are, don’t you?” 

A stranger’s arrival in a small village coincides with a tragic accident. For the Gates family in particular it’s more than a coincidence, but their unease increases following a brutal attack. As tensions rise, a dark past returns to haunt them and others, while newcomers to the village are drawn into a mystery with terrifying consequences. And no one can explain why the ravens are gathering.

Ravens Gathering twists and turns as the truth is gradually exposed in a gripping thriller with a supernatural edge to it.

You can get your own copy from Amazon, HERE is the link to his Author Page 🙂

My Review…

I went into this book blind, by this I mean I didn’t read the synopsis immediately prior to starting it so I was unsure what to expect. From a dark, eerie and very creepy start, it took me on a journey that I found myself very quickly wrapped up in.

This is the first book I have read by this author and I have to say I really enjoyed it as it crossed genres. A mix of suspense, family secrets a little fantasy and a sense of an underlying ominous sense of something nasty lurking around the edges.

The main character is Martin Gates, he has returned to his childhood home after being away for many years. He hasn’t been in touch with his family in all this time. So his arrival is tinged with a sense of nervousness and also apprehension. Returning to a village community I would expect to see something along the lines of being asked how you are, or its been a while but no. Not in this village. Strangers are met with a silence and wariness that borders on being almost hostile. The only spirit is found in the pub in a bottle, a pub that falls silent when unknown people enter.

The author built up such a sense of foreboding and an air of suspense with this story as I was unsure what was actually happening and what route the story would take. But through this, I was still hooked on the atmospherics, the mistrust, the strange occurrences and too many coincidences. It was further into the story that I began to see how the various threads were gradually linked together. It led me to a story that was dark, secretive, mysterious and quite creepy.

This was such a good book to read as I really enjoyed the suspense that was woven through along with the eerie atmosphere. As I read, I was aware that there were many things that were unknown to me, but the author did a fantastic job of gradually filling in the gaps and also putting back on the right track when I was caught out by the red herrings.

A wonderful book that is a mix of things but one that absolutely captured my attention so that I read it over two sittings. A book that ticked many boxes for me and one that I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Photo and Bio taken from Graeme’s Amazon Page

Graeme Cumming lives in Robin Hood country. He has wide and varied tastes when it comes to fiction so he’s conscious that his thrillers can cross into territories including horror, fantasy and science fiction as well as more traditional arenas. 
When not writing, Graeme is an enthusiastic sailor (and, by default, swimmer), and enjoys off-road cycling and walking. He is currently Education Director at Sheffield Speakers Club. Oh yes, and he reads (a lot) and loves the cinema.

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

The Second Marriage by Gill Paul @GillPaulAUTHOR @RandomTTours #RandomTTours @AvonBooksUK #histfic #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to finally share my review, and also help close the Blog Tour for The Second Marriage by Gill Paul, this is such a wonderful book and I cannot wait to show you what I thought. In fact, it’s one of those historical fiction that I say “just go and buy it – right now!”

My huge thanks to Anne at random Things Tours for my spot on the blog Tour and also for arranging my e-copy of this book.

This was published in the US under the title Jackie and Maria.

Synopsis…

JACKIE
When her first marriage ends in tragedy, Jackie Kennedy fears she’ll never love again. But all that changes when she encounters…

ARI
Successful and charming, Ari Onassis is a man who promises her the world. Yet soon after they marry, Jackie learns that his heart also belongs to another…

MARIA
A beautiful, famed singer, Maria Callas is in love with Jackie’s new husband – and she isn’t going to give up.

Little by little, Jackie and Maria’s lives begin to tangle in a dangerous web of secrets, scandal and lies. But with both women determined to make Ari theirs alone, the stakes are high. How far will they go for true love?

You can purchase your own copy at Amazon UK

My Review…

I absolutely adored this book, I mean the names Kennedy, Onassis and Callas just ooze rich, lavish, well-documented lifestyle with the possibility of something a little shady in the background. The book is historical fiction and this gives the author a chance to give a voice to the characters and also to add some creative embellishments. The author does discuss at the end of the book various ways she has adapted, changed dates or added extras and why. Also, there is a fabulous few pages that covers the actual facts around the main characters as well as a comprehensive list of resources.

OK! How to write e review about this book! I am aware of the names of the Kennedy’s, of Aristotle Onassis and also of Maria Callas but only basic facts so I approached this book as I would any other historical fiction. The story was one that alternated between Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas, how they met Aristotle, their thoughts about him and also how he managed to become part of their lives.

The author includes the heart-breaking accounts of JFK assassination as well as his brother Bobby’s death. The effect it had on Jackie and what led her to become Jackie O. I don’t know how much is true, but as I mentioned earlier I am reading this purely as historical fiction don’t know all the facts. But how the author tackled the subject of Jackie, JFK and life were truly heart-breaking and it really made me feel for her.

Maria’s story is equally as heart-breaking. I knew she was an amazing opera singer and that she was a bit of a recluse and Diva, but I knew nothing of the other connections. This was a real eye-opener for me and she really did have a very rough ride in life.

This is a fabulous historical fiction by Gill Paul, she has woven a story of love, life, death, convenience, profit, betrayal, scandal and as whole lot more. I found the story of the two women t be fascinating and also very sad. It has been written so well and I was so absorbed in it that I read it over two days. It is a story that I cannot even come close to writing a review for that does this book justice.

If you like historical fiction that has factual or real life people and events in it then you should really pick this book up. I definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history.

Gill’s novels include Another Woman’s HusbandThe Secret Wife, about the romance between cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second daughter of Russia’s last tsar, who first met in 1914,  Women and Children First about a young steward who works on the Titanic and The Affair set in Rome in 1961–62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fell in love while making Cleopatra. No Place for a Lady is about two Victorian sisters who travel out to the Crimean War of 1854–56 and face challenges beyond anything they could have imagined.

Follow the Author – TwitterFacebookWebsite or Check out her Amazon Author Page HERE

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

 

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

No Love Lost by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk #mystery #crime #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for No Love Lost by Robert Crouch. I am a big fan of this author and his Kent Fisher mystery series. I have read every book, and in order! Can you read his latest as a stand-alone… well I suppose you could… but why would you 🙂

Let me show you Robert’s latest book…

Synopsis…

How can a simple job interview end in complete carnage?

When Mandy Paige seeks Kent Fisher’s help to find the mother who abandoned her as a baby, he has no idea of the mayhem his investigation will unleash. With only a photograph of a woman he once knew, he discovers she left her office one Friday afternoon twenty years ago and never returned.

Did Helen Cassidy escape an abusive husband or was she abducted and murdered?

People connected to Helen begin to die in mysterious circumstances. An old foe returns, leaving cryptic messages on the windscreen of Kent’s car. He seems to know Kent’s every move, hounding and taunting the sleuth, attacking those who can help him solve the mystery.

When the main suspect dies, Kent’s investigation lies in tatters – until he realises he’s not the one pursuing the killer. The killer’s pursuing him.

You can order this and the other books on Robert’s Amazon Author Page – HERE is the link 🙂

My Review…

How can a simple job interview end in complete carnage?.. Well you would not believe me if I told you!!! This is the latest book in the Kent Fisher series, number 6 in fact. As someone who has read this series in order I would suggest that it is the best way of approaching the series. There are mentions of Kent’s past that do still come up in the books.

So, back to my first question, how can a simple job interview end in complete carnage?… Well, you would not believe me if I told you!!! This is the latest book in the Kent Fisher series, number 6 in fact. As someone who has read this series in order, I would suggest that it is the best way of approaching the series. There are mentions of Kent’s past that do still come up in the books.

So, how can an interview end in carnage?… Yeah, I am still in shock about this as I try to write my review, hence the third time of me trying to answer this question! 🙂 This story sees Kent right in the midst of things once again as he tries to juggle his job as an Environmental Health Officer, as well as helping run his Animal Sanctuary. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough he also solves crimes. This book, however, is so much more personal than the previous one especially when it comes to the crime part.

It also delves into how much of a lady’s man Kent was in his earlier days, yes we know he doesn’t do long term commitment but back in the day, it seems he was a lot worse. This is so vague as there are things from his younger days that really have come back to bite him in the behind.

The author really has woven a wonderful tale of mystery, revenge, deceit and also a tragedy. It was a brilliant book and I think it may be my favourite so far and also the one that shocked me the most with events. It draws things from the past and the present and they have been twisted and turned into such an addictive read.

Poor Kent, I did feel for him as he seemed to spend much of the time trying to work out the what if’s and chasing his tail. Now as much as I do like Kent’s multiple roles I also see that there is a possible change on the horizon.

I really do adore this series and the author does such a brilliant job giving his protagonist a hard time, juggling too many of the proverbial hats and also his love-life. Not only do I very definitely recommend this latest book I also very definitely recommend the series. It is a wonderful mystery and crime series that has a whole lot of other threads wonderfully interwoven to create an addictive mystery series. Brilliant from start to finish.

About the Author…

Robert Crouch is the author of the Kent Fisher murder mystery series. Set in today’s world, the books pay homage to the traditional murder mystery and classic whodunit.

Based on his career as an environmental health officer, Kent Fisher is a different kind of detective, described as ‘unique in crime fiction’ by one reviewer.

Having left environmental health, Robert now writes full time from his home on the East Sussex coast. He loves walking on the South Downs with his wife, Carol, and their Westie, Harvey, reading crime fiction and photography.

To find out more, you can visit his – WebsiteAmazon PageFacebook

Check out the other stops on the Book Launch…

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

Taking a Chance on Love by Erin Green #contemporaryfiction #womensfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Taking a Chance on Love by Erin Green. I read this a couple of weeks ago and I am desperately trying to catch up with some of my reviews.

Let me show you about this book…

Synopsis…

One question can change everything.

Meet Carmen, Polly and Dana – all happy and successful women, with very different views on relationships.

Carmen has made a life with Elliot for the past eight years. She’s ready for the next step but a proposal seems to be as far away as ever.

Polly is devoted to her family. But after her parents’ bitter divorce, she’s wary of marriage – even after sharing twenty years and one son with Fraser.

Single mother Dana longs for companionship, despite her dedication to raising her son Luke. Finding the right person to bring into their lives feels impossible – until a unique way to select a potential Mr Right comes along.

With 29th February fast approaching, will they each take the chance this Leap Year to take control of their fates?

My Review…

What a gorgeous book this was to read. A first for me by this author and I am so glad to see there are some earlier books that I can read.

This is the story of three women. Polly Dana and Carmen. One has been with her boyfriend for 8 years with no sign of a marriage proposal from him, which is a shame as she owns a bridal shop so knows exactly what she wants. The other a single mum with a home floristry business that caters for weddings, bouquets, buttonholes, table displays and the like. She has just signed up for a show about finding love. The final woman is a Mum, in a stable long term relationship and works in travel agents and is juggling her time between her divorced parents and trying to organise a last-minute birthday party.

Each of them is busy, they have their own priorities and appear very stable but looking for a little something else. The story flits between each of the women in several subchapters. This is great as it gives the reader a chance to get to know the women and what is going on in each of their lives.

While this is a romance, it is not heavily romantic more contemporary fiction with a dash of romance later on in the story. I really enjoyed getting to know women and also their families. It was a gentle introduction that gathered momentum the further the story went.

There are connections that are made, brief pasts mentioned and always the look towards the future and what it may hold. The latter section of the book had me absolutely riveted to every word, I was already pretty addicted in the earlier stages as well. But the ending was just… well I will let you find out for yourselves.

This is a fabulous read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the way the author tackled various subjects through her story. This is such a lovely read and one that readers of contemporary fiction, family life and romance will enjoy. I would definitely recommend it.

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

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart @AndreaGStewart @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #compulsivereaders #fantasy #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart. This is the first book in The Drowning Empire series and was an excellent start and has left me eagerly waiting for the rest of the books. This is a fantasy book, but it is very accessible and would suit many readers.

My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of the book from Orbit Books. Before I get to carried away let me show you what The Bone Shard Daughter is about…

Synopsis…

In an empire controlled by bone shard magic, Lin, the former heir to the emperor will fight to reclaim her magic and her place on the throne. The Bone Shard Daughter marks the debut of a major new voice in epic fantasy.

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people. 

My Review…

I have been looking forward to reading this book for so long and I was not disappointed. This is the first book in The Drowning Empire and I am so excited to see where this series goes in the future.

As I started this book I was introduced to the main cast, I was aware of them having an Oriental feel to their names. When I got to the end of the book I discovered the author is of Chinese/ American heritage. I do like Eastern folklore, magic and legend and this book has the feel of some of those elements.

There are a few characters to get to know as I mentioned earlier. There is Lin, the Emperor’s daughter and in theory, should be the next Emperor when her father retires or does. But he doesn’t show much time for Lin or in showing her how to work the Bone Shard magic. He is such an odd character, a recluse who seems to be paranoid and is searching for something.

Then there is Jovi, he is the best smuggler ever and he has posters of him for his arrest. He is a character that I really liked, while he seems cold, he is actually more compassionate than I first realised. He’s a smuggler but one that has a moral sense of right, Iknow that sounds bizarre but it is true and his character works really well.

Then there is the Governors daughter, Phalue. She is aware of the suffering of the people and does what she can to help. But in the eyes of her girlfriend, it is not enough, that Phalue doesn’t truly understand the suffering. I did feel for this character as she struggled with the love she has for her father but also the love of her girlfriend.

Finally, there is Sand, I first thought this was a very strange character, but actually, as the story progresses, she becomes more prominent, and her true role is just starting to emerge.

Often with first books in a series I find they are slower to get going as characters, backstories and threads begin the process of being started and plotted for the adventures and stories that will follow. With this book, that process seemed to progress really quickly, yet I never felt it was rushed, and I quickly found myself drawn into a story that has an epic feel to it.

The chapters are quick and rotate between the various main characters, I think this really helped with adding backstories, brief snippets of history, some geography and also a little of the politics. There is a general feeling of unrest in the people of the various Islands. They are hungry, have to work long hours for little p[ay and live in awful conditions. Yet the residences of the EMperor and the Governor is that of opulence and ignorance.

I really adored this story and I thoroughly enjoyed being transported in this story of magic, moving islands, strange occurrences and meeting some wonderful characters. I am really excited about this series and I would definitely recommend it to readers of fantasy and also to readers who are looking for a new series to being.

About the Author…

Andrea Stewart is the Chinese American daughter of immigrants, and was raised in a number of places across the United States. Her parents always emphasized science and education, so she spent her childhood immersed in Star Trek and odd-smelling library books. When her (admittedly ambitious) dreams of becoming a dragon slayer didn’t pan out, she instead turned to writing books. She now lives in sunny California, and in addition to writing, can be found herding cats, looking at birds, and falling down research rabbit holes.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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

The Summer Island Swap by Samantha Tonge #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Island Swap by Samantha Tonge. This was a book I read at the beginning of August this year and it is one of the books I chose for the #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge and I am still playing catch-up on posting my reviews!

Let me show you what this wonderful book is all about…

Synopsis…

Sometimes the best holidays are the ones you least expect… 

After a long and turbulent year, Sarah is dreaming of the five-star getaway her sister has booked them on. White sands, cocktails, massages, the Caribbean is calling to them.

But the sisters turn up to tatty beaches, basic wooden shacks, a compost toilet and outdoor cold water showers. It turns out that at the last minute Amy decided a conservation project would be much more fun than a luxury resort.

So now Sarah’s battling mosquitos, trying to stomach fish soup and praying for a swift escape. Life on a desert island though isn’t all doom and gloom. They’re at one with nature, learning about each other and making new friends. And Sarah is distracted by the dishy, yet incredibly moody, island leader she’s sure is hiding a secret.

My Review…

I have 2 or 3of this authors books and they seem to have slid down my TBR pile. When I decided that I wanted a more relaxing summery, romance style read it was this author that suddenly sprung to mind and I thought I really need to read one of her books.

Well, what an amazing book this was and I absolutely adored it. Amy and Sarah are sisters and after a lottery win, Amy decides to treat them both to a luxury holiday. Amy works as a veterinary nurse and Sarah has a management role in a hotel. Both are looking forward to getting away, although Sarah is a little worried about leaving all the arrangements to her younger sister. Expecting a resort with pools, spas, beaches and the full 5-star treatment only to discover that Amy has suddenly changed the plan. Instead, they are on a working holiday on a small island in the Virgin Islands, No spas, 5-star treatments or anything else she was expecting, instead, Sarah has to deal with compost toilets, mosquitoes, cold showers and physical work.

Yes, this story does has a romantic thread running but it is actually the relationship between the sisters that really intrigued me. Sarah is the eldest and has looked out for Amy since their mum passed away, effectively taking on the parenting role and guiding, advising and to be fair has been quite controlling. The reasons for this are revealed more within the story. Amy is lacking confidence but she more than makes up for in enthusiasm and passion for animals.

While the sisters are chalk and cheese, they also have a very strong bond. They have been looking out for each other for years. This trip to a remote island with absolutely no mod cons and basic amenities is right up to Amy’s street but not so much for Sarah.

The thing about this story is the way the author has woven the story of the sisters and their upbringing around the conservation aspects of the island. The author goes into detail about the inspiration behind the story a the end, but it is obvious that there has been research and fact-checking as there is a myriad of little snippets about the wold life, flora and fauna, food, ecology and environment. So many interesting facts add a wonderful additional ingredient.

A wonderful story that readers of contemporary fiction, friendship and family will really enjoy, as I said there is a romantic thread but it is a subtle slower one that really fits in with the feel of the characters. A fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

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

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.
When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. 
She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo and in 2020 her novel Knowing You won the RNA’s Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award. 

http://samanthatonge.co.uk/

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

Heads or Tails by Rob Ashman @RobAshmanAuthor #3 DS Malice series #crime #publicationday #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Heads or Tails by Rob Ashman. This is the 3rd book in the DS Malice series and it always makes me wonder how this authors mind works, he comes up with wonderfully dark plots and his latest book is no exception!

My huge thanks to Karen Ashman for sending me an e-ARC of Rob’s latest book. My thoughts are completely my own and unbiased.

Oh! I should also say, “Happy Publication Day to you Rob” 🙂

Synopsis…

Valerie Riggs lets the coin rule her life. Every decision is based upon a game of chance, even the decision to kill. She trusts the coin to keep her safe … it’s never let her down.

DS Khenan Malice is called to attend a clear case of suicide. But all is not what it seems. Then his world is turned upside down by a casual remark. The worst thing is … the remark comes from his seven-year-old daughter.

DC Kelly Pietersen is close to breaking point. The ghosts of recent events won’t leave her alone. She’s about to snap and someone is going to get hurt.

Valerie is always one step ahead … the coin knows best.

Purchase from Amazon – KindlePaperback (these are Amazon affiliate links)

My Review…

Right from the start, I am going to say I am a big fan of this series. DS Mally and Detective Pieterson are a brilliant combination. They both have their issues and Pieterson is really struggling to come to terms with events from the last book. While this is a continuation of a previous storyline, this book could be read as a standalone but to, for the bigger picture reading in order is definitely advised.

So, Heads or Tails. The first thing that comes to mind is flipping a coin. How bad can that be? Well, the person flipping the coin has real darkness behind them and depending on whether the coin lands on heads or tails it will provide an answer. To simplify this, heads I will have milk in my coffee, tails I will not. Now, take this down the rabbit hole that Rob Ashman and his writing take us and you get a whole different set of questions and the outcomes are dark, well thought out and definitely macabre and so devious.

This coin flipping reminded me of a book by Luke Rhinehart – The Dice Man, I read this book years ago and it really stuck with me. The premise is similar in as much as the role of a dice dictated an outcome, so in some ways similar to Heads or Tails. But the route this author has taken is very twisted and takes so many turns, throws quite a few red herrings for the investigation as well as the reader.

The author managed to portray a sense of frustration that this difficult investigation took. The dead ends and unanswered questions seem to be never-ending and when they think they are on the right track along comes another curveball to send them almost back to the start.

This is not a straight-forward police procedural it is much deeper than that it pulls in other agencies and things could have very easily got complicated. But the skill of the author really shows when dealing with a series of subplots and how he has worked them so for me as a reader the reading is so effortless. There is such an addictive flow to the overall story that I didn’t realise the time ticking away as I was engrossed

This is a police procedural but there is also much more to it than that. It has a psychological aspect that adds darkness to it, there are various subplots that kept me turning the pages. A wonderful next instalment in this series and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

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.

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 was the result. 

Rob published Those That Remain, In Your Name and Pay the Penance with Bloodhound Books and has since written the DI Rosalind Kray series. These are Faceless, This Little Piggy, Suspended Retribution and Jaded which are also published by Bloodhound.

His latest work sees the introduction of a new set of characters – DS Khenan Malice and DC Kelly Pietersen. The first book in the series is titled Killing Pretties and the second is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Lies. Both books will be published this year.

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.

Follow Rob on TwitterAmazon Author Page

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

Strictly Come Dating by Kathryn Freeman @KathrynFreeman1 @rararesources #romcom #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Strictly Come Dating by Kathryn Freeman. I have read quite a few of this authors books and I have always enjoyed them. Kathryn is an author who I will automatically read without even looking at the synopsis.

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

Synopsis

Saturday nights are strictly for dancing… 

As the glitter ball shimmers and sequins flash, forty-year-old Maggie remembers the pull of the dancefloor.  But now, as a newly divorced mum of two, Maggie’s certain her dancing days are over.  Or are they…?

Encouraged by her friends, Maggie dusts off her silver stilettoes and enrols for dancing classes, all she needs now is the perfect partner.

Enter Seb.  Young, carefree and hot as hell, Seb is definitely a perfect 10!  Even though everything about him is outrageously inappropriate! But as Seb sweeps her across the dancefloor every week, Maggie begins to see a new side to him; kind, caring, funny, strong. 

And Maggie realises that he’s the only one she’d like to foxtrot with…perhaps even forever

Purchase Links from Amazon UKUS (the UK link is an affiliate link)

My Review…

This really did tick all the boxes for me. A gorgeous story of a single mum who has lost some of her confidence who has closed herself off to impulsive decisions and runs her life like she does her household, like a well planned military campaign.

Maggie and her daughters are a close family. Maggie is a busy working mum but Saturday night is when they meet up with friends and watch Strictly Come dancing. A routine that Maggie, the girls and the other friends take very seriously indeed. So when Seb arrives back home the ritual of the Saturday night takes on a slightly different dynamic.

Seb, by the way, has returned home because his dad isn’t well, he is the brother to Maggie’s friends. He is the opposite of the super organised Maggie. He is impulsive in the way he lives his life, a carefree man who is the stereotype of a surfer. But there is more to him than meets the eye.

I loved the way the author tackled the age difference in this story. Maggie is nearing 40 and Seb 11 years her junior. Maggie’s insecurities and reduced confidence made this an appropriate storyline. I mean why on earth would a gorgeous younger man be interested in a woman nearly 40, and that has children and who has no social life apart from meeting up with her friends for watching a dance show! Seb is such a carefree character who doesn’t have the ties of children, the responsibility of a demanding job and can come and go as he pleases. He has never had a relationship that has made him stop and think about his future.

The theme of the dancing show worked really well as the story gradually brings these two opposites together. There is more to both of them than first meets the eye. I did initially think Maggie was a little reserved but as I learnt more about her I could understand her reticence. As for Seb, while he appears to be a wandering free-spirit, again there is a lot more to him and given him a set of doubts.

Overall this is a wonderful read that is heartwarming and hopeful. It is a story that brings the troubles of being a single working mum taking a chance. It is about a man who is trying to work out what he wants in life. Characters brought together by a dancing show but not for the same reasons. A story of family, friendship, taking a chance on romance and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

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

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Island of Fear by Misha Herwin (Adventures of Letty Parker #3) @MishaHerwin #PublicationDay #youngerreaders (8-12) #adventure #LettyParker #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review on Publication Day for Island of Secrets by Misha Herwin. This is the 3rd book in the Adventures of Letty Parker series and it is a right riveting read, full of adventure, pirates and secrets.

My huge thanks to Misha for my e-copy of the Island of Fear, my review is my own, unbiased and honest. Also, Happy Publication Day Misha xxx

Synopsis

When Letty Parker is asked by her best friend, Hepzibah, to solve a family mystery she willingly agrees. She has no idea that investigations will lead the Letty Parker & Associates Detective Agency team across the high seas to the exotic isles of the Caribbean.

Letty, Jeb and Mango, are soon fighting for their very lives in a world where pirates rule the seas, evil plantation managers hold the land, and the forests are filled with duppies and dark magic.

My Review…

This is the 3rd book in the Letty Parker series, Letty and her associates find lost things and people. Letty is a streetwise kid who has a small group of friends and one of these is not well. Hepzibah has asked Letty to find her long lost brother Simeon who was sent away as a boy because he was out of control.

While Letty is focusing on her searching for clues her friend Jeb is in a spot of bother. You can rest assured that wherever Jeb goes, Mango is not that far behind. This is why they are all now together on a ship leaving Bristol set for Jamaica.

I was really pleased to be able to catch up with the streetwise Letty and her little gang. Set in Bristol with a Victorian backdrop but with more danger lurking in the shadows. Monsters are real as are other dark things.

I love this Gothic feeling series that at times has a steampunk feel to it, it has all the feel of a Victorian city but with a wonderful twist. The characters are really good and I do like Letty, Jeb, Mango, Hepzibah and also a few of the new characters that have a part in the story. Not all of the characters are good and there are some that are evil and dangerous. This adds to a sense of dread and fear especially if you are a younger reader.

A wonderful series that young, as well as adult readers, will enjoy. It is a mystery series with a fantasy alter universe feel and it works so well. It has a storyline that has a sense of foreboding, is addictive and just a great book to settle down and read over the course of an afternoon. I would suggest reading the series in order as there are some things that happened in the past that make more sense if you read in order. A brilliant next book in the series and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Image and Bio taken from Misha’s Author Page on Amazon

Misha Herwin was born in England of Polish parents. English was not her first language but once she learned to speak it, she has never stopped. At twelve she wrote and staged her first play in a theatre made from a cardboard box. Since then things have improved and her plays have been both performed in England and Jamaica, where she lived for a while. As Misha M Herwin she has written two novels “Picking up the Pieces” and “House of Shadows”, both published by Penkull Press. “Dragonfire” “Juggler of Shapes” and “Master of Trades” are her fantasy trilogy for kids. “City of Secrets” is her most recent book and is the first in a fantasy adventure series for children. Her stories for adult readers have appeared in a number of anthologies including “A Fairy’s Story,” in “Bitch Lit”, and “The Satan Stones” in “Ancient Wonders,” by Alchemy Press. Her latest “The Loop Line” is in “The Darkest Midnight in December”. Her children are grown up and she lives in Staffordshire England with her husband in a house with a dragon in the garden. 

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The Hitman and The Thief by Richard Dee @RichardDockett1 @rararesources #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers openeing the Blog Tour and to share my review today for The Hitman and The Thief by Richard Dee. It has been quite a while since I read one of Richard’s books so I was looking forward to this one. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of this book.

Synopsis…

Assassination can be a messy business, especially if you’re having a bad day.

Dan Jones is the ultimate problem solver, the hitman for crime boss Fliss Bauer.

Fliss has a rival, Kalindra Dallin. She runs a particularly unpleasant planet. Dan is told to arrange her demise. It’s just another job; until a random event means that it all goes horribly wrong.

To save his skin, Dan is forced to try again, only this time he has to work with a partner. He doesn’t want to but it’s the only chance he’s going to get; if he wants to put things right.

Can the hitman and the thief get the job done, more importantly, can they keep each other alive?

Beta Readers comments,

“Richard’s latest book, The Hitman and the Thief, takes the reader on a twisting journey through different worlds. The action moves swiftly, with unexpected twists and turns. As usual, Richard’s excellent technical knowledge conveys a gritty reality with ease. This is a fun read, hard to put down and I sure hope there is a sequel in the making.”

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

I really enjoyed this book, it is a mystery and crime read but with a sci-fi setting. The author wove a very addictive tale between Dan Jones a hitman and the thief… you will soon meet.

I really liked the feel of the storey with brief mentions of planets and their uses, it did give space and sci-fi feel but not full of convoluted jargon or tech-speak. This makes it a very accessible book for crime and mystery readers and especially those who prefer a cosy-mystery style read.

So, Dan, I do like this character who seems to have principles, well if an assassin can have principles. His latest job is to infiltrate another gang and kill their boss. It seems to be a simple plan, but, well, let’s just say that plans do not go according to plan!

There is a good amount of intrigue and it didn’t take me long to get into this book. It moves along at a reasonable pace and with a good amount of characters that are easy to remember I soon found myself turning the pages.

I really enjoyed this book, it was easy to follow and made for a relaxing read. A book that would fall in the genre of cosy mystery sci-fi – is there such a genre? AS I said earlier this is a book that is very accessible, yes it is sci-fi as such and this may put some readers off but it is also a very good mystery read that has an intriguing storyline and some interesting characters. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Richard Dee is from Brixham in Devon. Leaving school at 16 he briefly worked in a supermarket, then he went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986. 

He has also worked as an Insurance Surveyor, Lockmaster, Harbourmaster and Ships Pilot, taking over 3,500 vessels up and down the Thames, passing through the estuary, the Thames Barrier and Tower Bridge.

Since the publication of his first Science Fiction novel, Freefall, in 2013, Richard has written another twelve novels, a textbook and a selection of short stories. He has been featured in several anthologies, including 1066 Turned Upside Down and Tales from Deepest Darkest Devon.

He writes Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures and also chronicles the exploits of reluctant amateur detective Andorra Pett.

Richard is married with three adult children and three grandchildren.

Social Media Links –

If you’d like to know more about my writing, my website is richarddeescifi.co.uk. Head over there to see what I get up to, click the FREE STUFF tab or the My Novels and Short Stories tab to get all the details about my work and pick up a free short story. Why not join my newsletter and get a free short story, unavailable anywhere else.

I’m on Facebook at RichardDeeAuthor and Twitter at Richard Dee Sci-Fi

My Amazon author page is here.

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