The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor #20booksosummer #crimethriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor. I have had this book since it was released and this is why it made it onto my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. This is the 2nd book I’ve read in this years challenge.

Here is what the book is all about…

NB – there are various covers for this book, this is the one I have.

What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear? The breakout thriller of 2019 that will make you second-guess everyone you meet.

We all know them. Those who exist just on the fringes of society. Who send prickles up the back of our neck. The charmers. The liars. The manipulators. Those who have the potential to go that one step too far. And then take another step.

Jessamine Gooch makes a living from these people. Each week she broadcasts a radio show looking into the past lives of convicted killers; asking if there was more that could have been done to prevent their terrible crimes.

Then one day she is approached by a woman desperate to find her missing friend, Cassie, fearing her abusive husband may have taken that final deadly step. But as Jessamine delves into the months prior to Cassie’s disappearance she fails to realise there is a dark figure closer to home, one that threatens the safety of her own family . . .

Set over a long, dark winter in London and perfect for fans of HE SAID/SHE SAID, THE DANGEROUS KIND is at once a gripping thriller and a stunning portrayal of the monsters that live among us.

Purchase Link for Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link for Amazon, it earns me a small commission but with no cost to you)

Well this was such a dark book to read. I found it quite addictive and given the nature of some of the subjects I thought the author tackled it very well without going into too much detail.

The story flits back and forth between characters and time, gradually building up intrigue and suspicion along the way. as the synopsis for this book suggests, there is a darkness to some people, they are dangerous and appear to the outside world to be safe, respectable and “normal”. But what if these people are given an avenue to vent this dangerous side to their personalities. What if they are the ultimate manipulators and know how to control, coerce and compel vulnerable others into doing horrible and dangerous things. What if these manipulators go one step too far!

The book deals with domestic abuse and I saw one side of manipulation, abuse and bullying. This was not glamorised at all, the basic of details indicating the abuse was given. Then another type of abuse was brought into the story, that of children being used in horrific ways, again into details were gone into. What I read was the effect of how these people were treated, the fear, guilt and shame were apparent as well as the need to please their tormentors.

The story went down some dark paths and the work of one woman who is trying to find the whereabouts of a missing person. Jessamine is a radio presenter who focuses on this mystery and it takes her well outside her comfort zone. What she doesn’t realise is that while she is focused on the missing person, there is a shadow looming on her horizon.

This is a good read and even though it feels so wrong to say it I did enjoy it. I enjoyed the suspicion, the lies, the manipulation is used, the suspense and intrigue. It was well-paced and I found it very difficult to put down as I needed the answers and I wanted to know who was responsible. I did feel the ending felt a little rushed, I would have liked to have a bit more suspense. Maybe though I just wasn’t quite ready for it to finish.

This is a book that would appeal to readers who like their crime thrillers a bit more on the darker side and I would recommend it.

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

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton @AuthorSJBolton #BookReview

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I am delighted to be bringing you my thoughts on the dark and deviously brilliant The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton. I bought this a little while ago and it has been glaring at me from my bookshelf to be read, why oh why oh why did I wait so long……. You can buy this book in various formats from quite a range of places including real book shops, on line book shops and if your in the UK from the supermarket…….. My shopping List= Milk, Bread, Wine, Coffee, The Craftsman 🙂 and also here is a link for Amazon UK to help you.

Synopsis:

Devoted father or merciless killer?

His secrets are buried with him.

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.

Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.

Did she get it wrong all those years ago?
Or is there something much darker at play?

My Thoughts:

Read the synopsis it gives you a taster of what to expect, but it does not give you any indication as to how this book will really get under your skin. Larry Glassbrook is buried in 1999, he was a convicted for the series of child murders. 1969 is the beginning of events.

Oh my god, where on earth to start with this book? I am going to mention that I am not someone who suffers from claustrophobia but, this book definitely had me with a sense of being closed in … I was sat in the garden reading it…. then I have to mention finger nails even writing this now I am getting a shudder thinking about finger nails being ripped in desperation arghhh, if this was a film I would have looked away, something you cannot do when reading a book. These sort of spine tingling and skin crawling moments are sporadically littered throughout the story.

So from the very outset you are aware of the culprit Larry, he was arrested, charged and sentenced. Jobs a goodun right? Now I am going to mention Florence or Flossie, a young WPC, oh my god how things have changed. Using her own strong character and bloody minded stubbornness she finds herself being involved with the detectives on the case in 1969, sounds great until you realise the patriarchal attitude of male officers at the time. She will be ideal for typing the notes as she is a woman and they are quicker at doing this than men Oh and don’t forget to make the tea. I am so glad that Flossie was portrayed as more than her colleagues thought she was, it was really great to see a female character with occasionally more balls than her male counterparts, even if it did land her in so much trouble. It could also be argued that her male colleagues were just looking out for her, not wanting her to get into disturbing situations. You will make you own decisions about this topic. I am sure I read somewhere ( I hope I got this bit right, gulp) that the author didn’t deliberately set out to raise any sort of awareness about this, and maybe this is why it worked so well for me.

I have to mention the setting of this story, PENDLE….. if you are not aware Pendle has a history with The Witch Trials of the 1600’s. What a setting and how could you not have a book in this area that does not include witchcraft and the occult. I loved the way the author embraced this part of history to include it in the story, it certainly adds to the chills down the spine. There are those that believe in the power of nature, its healing properties, the use of herbs and plants in medicine and in charms or curses, whether you believe in this or not it is up to you. But it added an element of mystery, intrigue and also of a historical interest at the same time upping the suspense even more.

This book is separated into three sections, this gave me a moment to catch a breath and try to arrange my thoughts to some sort of coherent level as I then delved into the next section, and believe me a moment is all you will want to take.

So if you hadn’t already guessed it, this book is bloody awesome. It has so many things going on in it and they are all explained and arranged so that there is no confusion with what is going on. It is about finding the truth, dispelling prejudice and accepting that there are different approaches to finding the truth. I want to write so much more about this book, I am only really skimming the surface here, and about how it made me feel really, but this is all I am giving you 🙂

It’s a suspense filled thriller and murder mystery of the very best sort. I loved it a huge amount as the occult was woven through the investigation. It was spine-tingling and dare I say nail-biting ( I still have the shudders over the nails thing), atmospheric and … hold on …. if you have not got a copy yet, then why the hell not? Take my word for it go and get a copy and see for yourself how fabulously brilliant this book really it.

Would I recommend it? Do you really need to ask LOL? I would definitely, absolutely and highly recommend it!!! xx

About the Author:

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Sharon Bolton (previously S. J. Bolton) is the critically acclaimed author of some of the most bone-chilling crime books ever written. She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year and the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. In 2014 she won the CWA Dagger in the Library for her whole body of work. Sharon lives near Oxford with her husband and son.

All images used are from Amazon.co.uk

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

#BookReview : Madam Tulip by David Ahern @DaveAhernWriter

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I am delighted to be sharing “Madam Tulip” by David Ahern in the blog today. My thanks to David for my ecopy for my honest review, and an even bigger thank you for introducing me to what I think will be a really great series.

Synopsis:

Out-of-work actress Derry O’Donnell is young, talented, a teeny bit psychic … and broke. Spurred on by an ultimatum from her awesomely high-achieving mother, and with a little help from her theatrical friends, Derry embarks on a part-time career as Madam Tulip, fortune-teller to the rich and famous.But at her first fortune-telling gig – a celebrity charity weekend in a castle – a famous rap artist will die.
As Derry is drawn deeper into a seedy world of celebrities, supermodels and millionaires, she finds herself playing the most dangerous role of her acting life.Trapped in a maze of intrigue, money and drugs, Derry’s attempts at amateur detective could soon destroy her friends, her ex-lover, her father and herself.
Madame Tulip is the first in a series of Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.

My Thoughts:

Madam Tulip A.K.A Derry O’Donnell is an actress (when she has a job). Bella is Derry’s friend and is the one behind the advice for Derry to use her psychic abilities for gain. Leading them to a world of glitz and glamour that initially sounds wonderful until a deadly side to this social world reveals itself.

This is a wonderful introduction into what I feel will be a really good series. It has the feel of an old style cost mystery with a female sleuth but in a modern setting. The characters are as dysfunctional as they are fun. Derry’s mother is a high flyer in the art scene, her father a horse race gambling drunk and then throw in an ex-model, an old friend who is more than a little cagey and hopefully you will start to see what I mean. With all these different traits you definitely start to remember who is who in the story.

As I said the plot has a cosy mystery feel to it as Derry starts to look into things which would be better left to the professionals. Something she had been told on more than one occasion, and I am glad she didn’t pay any heed to them. Instead we follow Derry through mishaps and adventures as she does what she thinks is the right thing landing her in very deep water.

There are a few characters I really liked and it will be interesting to see if they make an appearance in future books.

If you like you crime and mystery books on slightly a lighter side but with some darker moments, then this is one I would definitely recommend reading. The perfect book to sit and read over an afternoon.

If this has piqued your interest then why not grab a copy or you can head over to Amazon UK for 3 Book Series.

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About the Author:

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.
Madame Tulip wasn’t David Ahern’s first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’d ever had with a computer. He is now writing the fourth Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.
David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.
You can learn more about David Ahern and Madam Tulip on his website davidahern.info
Connect with David Ahern on Facebook: facebook.com/davidahernwriter
and Twitter: twitter.com/daveahernwriter

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

#BookReview: The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin : @HodderBooks @NetGalley

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I am sharing “The Wicked Cometh” by Laura Carlin today.  I would like to thank the lovely people at Hodder & Stoughton for allowing me an eARC via NetGalley.  This book is available in various formats with a publication date of 1st February for some formats.

Synopsis:

‘We have no need to protect ourselves from the bad sort 
because we ARE the bad sort . . .’

‘This newspaper has taken note that the past month has been remarkable for the prevalence of cases where men, women and children are declared missing. Scarcely a week passes without the occurrence of an incident of this type’ – The Morning Herald, Tuesday 13 September 1831

Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and the city’s vulnerable poor are disappearing from the streets. Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.

When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock.

But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking. . .

My Thoughts:

Starting in London in 1830, we are introduced to Hester White, told about her life and her reasons for being where she is.  When she is involved in an accident and taken in by the wealthy Brock family she thinks she may be on the  up.  What starts as an amiable situation takes a turn for the worse and we are taken into a deep, dark evilly twisted world set in the murky gloomy depths of London back streets.

This is a historical fiction that from the outset feels right.   The descriptions given build up a vivid picture of the murky, dark slums and back streets of London as well as the lavish and elaborate villas and large country houses of the wealthier London.  The characters have a mix of the flamboyant, the dodgy, rich and poor, honest and just down right nasty.  The plot leads you down deep, dark alleys and along bright well-lit streets as we are gradually taken further into the story and discover the depths some people will go to for the sake of their career and reputation.  I did feel it took me a little while for the book to really grab my attention, but gradually I could feel myself getting caught up in it, some passages were a little long, but the descriptions have been done well.  But this I think is another book where I am greedy to read what happens next, I must be more patient.  I really liked the character descriptions in this story, they were a good mixed bag of traits and memorable little details.

This is a book I would recommend to readers of historical mystery books, set in 1800’s London with two female sleuthing leading ladies uncovering a dark and twisted puzzle. I would like to thank Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for my eARC of this book.  My views are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:Laura Carlin

Laura Carlin left school at 16 to work in retail banking and it was only after leaving her job to write full-time that she discovered her passion for storytelling and exploring pockets of history through fiction. She lives in a book-filled house in beautiful rural Derbyshire with her family (and a very naughty cat). When she’s not writing she enjoys walking in the surrounding Peak District. THE WICKED COMETH is her first novel.

 

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share.  Better still, buy a copy of this book xx

#BlogTour : Divine Poison by AB Morgan @AliMorgan2304 : @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681

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“Divine Poison” by AB Morgan is available in paperback and also eBook format.  Published by Bloodhound Books UK.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodhound Books (21 Dec. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 191217586X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1912175864
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

Are you looking for a stunning new crime mystery full of suspense? Then you’ll love AB Morgan’s unmissable Divine Poison.

For a community psychiatric nurse, Monica Morris has an unhealthy interest in poison, and when, on impulse, she buys an antique Ship’s Doctor’s Cabinet with a set of leather-bound journals she becomes fascinated by the content.

A few days later, she discovers the body of her patient, Jan Collins, and although police assume suicide by overdose, Monica is not convinced.

When more unexplained deaths involving poisoning occur, Monica realises they are linked and so does DS Adams who is investigating. But how are they connected? And why?

When it becomes obvious that she’s unwittingly stepped into a trap set for someone else, Monica’s career, her own sanity and her life are placed at risk. But where can she turn to for help?

My Thoughts:

When Monica return from holiday and checks on one of her patients Jan Collins, the last thing she expects is to discover Jan’s body.  Jan had previous mental health problems, but Monica did not expect Jan to commit suicide.  Things don’t feel right and Monica starts to look into events, it soon becomes obvious that she is not sure who she can trust.

The story in this book is quite relevant to things that have been in the news and AB Morgan has used this to create a story that has more of an old sleuthing style feel to it.  In someways this is how Monica and her band of friends seem to tackle their enquiries.  This is a very different read to her previous book “A Justifiable Madness”, this is slower paced and then builds up as it progresses.

The author has injected little bits of humour into this story by way of characters dialogue and I found this quite amusing.  It is a mix of a professional working woman who is not happy with the way the health system can fail those who have mental health problems, also a woman who uses her family to help work out a professional problem.

This is an interesting read that I devoured in two sittings.  I think it would appeal to readers who like a crime, mystery with a female lead character.  It has elements of mental health practices and also some of the down sides to community health care.  Again AB Morgan has used her own career experiences to add her own unique style to this story.

My thanks to Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound books for my eARC of this book.  My views are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

unnamed.pngAlison Morgan lives in North Bedfordshire, with her husband and slightly potty dog, their adult children have long since run away in embarrassment, determined to live normal lives (whatever normal is …)

Nurse turned writer, Alison has 30 years of experience in the NHS, mostly spent at the sharp end of mental health nursing where she specialised in psychosis, and pushed herself to achieve a Masters Degree in Advanced Practice. With burnout fast approaching, an unexpected illness challenge forced her to sit down for longer than five minutes. She set about writing a clinical guideline for nurses but became distracted by a story in her head which would not be denied.
Could she write a book? She had no idea. She could write academic assignments and a dissertation, so why not?

Her debut novel A Justifiable Madness, published by Bloodhound Books, is inspired by her life and career as a psychiatric nurse, and her fascination with the extremes of human behaviour. Her second novel Divine Poison is due for publication in January 2018, and her third novel, The Camera Lies also published by Bloodhound Books, will be available on Amazon in February 2018.

She may not be able to climb real mountains anymore but she isn’t afraid to stick two fingers up to convention. Growing older and not being as fit as she used to be is no excuse for being dull. Alison is now the proud owner of a full motorcycle licence! Broooooom. Bikes and books. Why not?

 

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it then please give it a share.  Better still, go and grab a copy of this book xx

 

 

#BlogTour : Fatal Masquerade by @vivwrites #BookReview

 

 

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Fatal Masquerade published 4th October 2017

Synopsis:

Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois are back in a gripping new adventure facing dangerous opponents at a masked ball in the countryside.

Masked danger…

Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!

But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…

This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined.

My Thoughts:

This is the fourth in the “Lady Alkmene Mystery” series of books.  I have read the first one “A Proposal to Die For”, so was interested to see what, if anything had changed or been carried through from the first one, as well as the more important on going character developments.

Alkmene is on her first visit to Hargrove Eastate with her relatively new friend, Denise Hargrove.  She is the daughter of the landowner but does not get on with his second wife, her step mother, Cecily.  Not getting on is an understatement, at times their relationship boarders on vicious. There is to be a masked ball at the estate, a large elaborate and lavish event that Alkmene is looking forward to.  The chance to get away from London and the investigations she is spending more time on.  She is surprised to see that Jake is also there, this is not the sort of event he would be socially invited to, so why was he there ? Then the inevitable happens, a murder!

As events come to pass Alkemene and her social status comes into play as she can talk more freely to guests, or should I say potential suspects.  Jake Dubois sudden appearance is ideal for Alkmene to bounce ideas and thoughts off as the duo are once again in the thick of it.  In this book, Lady Alkmene takes more a front seat, leading lady role as far as the investigative side of the plot is concerned.

I do think that Alkmene has grown a little stronger and more confident, she has lost some of her naivety but still manages to rush headlong into situations without thinking things through.  This is a book I really enjoyed reading, the thing that makes it work for me is the 1920’s  old style mystery feel it has.  There are quite a lot of different events that have been cleverly twisted together to make for some really good mystery.  Once again Vivian has created some very interesting characters who you will love, like and loathe.  Again touching on the social class differences of the time, she has managed to find the right balance that was still a prominent aspect of the time.

I would recommend this book to readers who like a slower, gentler paced mystery, that is well written, with good plots and several twists. A cosy, deductive mystery with a female sleuth.

 

About the Author:

Vivian Conroy discovered Agatha Christie at 13 and quickly devoured all Poirot and Miss Marple stories. Over time Lord Peter Wimsey and Brother Cadfael joined her favorite sleuths. Even more fun than reading was thinking up her own fog-filled alleys, missing heirs and priceless artifacts. So Vivian created feisty Lady Alkmene and enigmatic reporter Jake Dubois sleuthing in 1920s London and the countryside, first appearing in A PROPOSAL TO DIE FOR (published by Carina UK/Harper Collins).

For the latest #LadyAlkmene, with a dash of dogs and chocolate.

Follow Vivian on Twitter 

Book details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1188 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQ Digital (4 Oct. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English

Amazon Book Links for the series:

A Proposal to Die for  | Diamonds of Death  | Deadly Treasures |Fatal Masquerade

Many thanks for reading my post.

#BookReview : A Proposal To Die For by Vivian Conroy : @VivWrites @HQDigitalUK

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Synopsis:

The first book in the new Lady Alkmene Callender Mystery series

A murderous beginning

With her father away in India, Lady Alkmene Callender finds being left to her own devices in London intolerably dull, until the glamorous Broadway star Evelyn Steinbeck arrives in town! Gossip abounds about the New York socialite, but when Ms Steinbeck’s wealthy uncle, Silas Norwhich, is found dead Lady Alkmene finds her interest is piqued. Because this death sounds a lot to her like murder…

Desperate to uncover the truth, Lady Alkmene begins to look into Ms Steinbeck’s past – only to be hampered by the arrival of journalist, Jake Dubois – who believes she is merely an amateur lady-detective meddling in matters she knows nothing about!

But Lady Alkmene refuses to be deterred from the case and together they dig deeper, only to discover that some secrets should never come to light…

The twenties have never been so dangerous

Don’t miss the next Lady Alkmene Mystery

1. A Proposal to Die For
2. Diamonds of Death
3. Deadly Treasures

 

My thoughts:

A Proposal To Die For is set in 1920’s London and is the first in a series of books known as “The Lady Alkmene Callender Mysteries”.

Whilst out at the theatre Lady Alkemene overhears a conversation that adds a little spice to her boring life, the American actress Evelyn Steinbeck is in town.  News is heard of the death of wealthy Silas Norwhich, to Lady Alkmene, the death sounds suspicious.  Her mind starts working overtime and decides to see if there is anything she can discover for herself.  Whilst doing this she makes the acquaintance of Mr Dubois, a consulting detective and journalist.  When Lady Alkmene discovers he is also looking into this mystery she believes she has found an ally of sorts, and so an unusual and workable relationship is formed.

The partnership of Alkmene and Dubois as I have said is unusual, she from a very privileged and wealthy background, he a streetwise,working man.  He is very resentful of her social class and vociferously mentions this through the story, she is naive but determined that she is not what he thinks she is.  They work together well because of this social difference, she has access to people who would not even look never mind answer Dubois’ questions.  Where as Dubois has the access to the working class, servants, valets doormen and the such like.

This is a cosy mystery that has several story lines running through it pages.  It is a very refreshing read, it is not reliant on blood and gore, instead it is a deductive style of story.  As the duo progress through their case and discuss their thoughts and opinions, so then is the reader shown their reasonings.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it has a similar deductive style as you would find in Agatha Christie’s books.  If you like Poirot and Marple, then I think you will really enjoy The Lady Alkmene series of books.  This is a gently paced book with some wonderful and memorable characters who all have their parts to play.  Little details mentioned earlier in the book suddenly becomes a bigger clue.  I read this snuggled up in a blanket on a foggy autumn afternoon on of my “lazy-days”.  I would definitely recommend this book to readers who like a gentle more classic style of mystery who like good characters, plots and is well written.

I read this book as a pre-cursor my stop on blog tour for Viv’s upcoming new book Fatal Masquerade,  due for publication on October 4th 2017.  My stop on the tour is 11th October.  My thanks to Vivian Conroy who authorised a copy of this book via Netgalley.  My thoughts expressed here are honest, unbiased and are my own.

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1287 KB
  • Print Length: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Carina; 1 edition (19 Sept. 2016)
  • Available from Amazon

More about Vivian and Carina UK

Many thanks for reading my post.