Going Dark by Neil Lancaster #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Going Dark by Neil Lancaster. This is the first book in the Tom Novak Thriller series. I read this book as I am on the Blog Tour for book 2 in the series and wanted to read this in order.

Let me show you what Going Dark is all about…

Tom Novak is a troubled soul with a dark and bloody past.

A former refugee, Royal Marine, and member of the elite Special Reconnaissance Regiment, he now finds himself struggling with the deadening routine of day-to-day policing.

When he is deployed undercover to infiltrate a gang of people-traffickers, things go badly wrong. Faced with an impossible choice, his cover is blown and he finds himself on the run from the Serbian mafia and even his fellow police colleagues.

With no-one to trust, and his enemies using all the resources of the state against him, Tom has only one option: to Go Dark.

Who are the police traitors feeding the Serbian mafia his every move? Is there anyone he can trust? Can Tom prove his innocence before it’s too late?

Going Dark is the debut crime thriller from former covert specialist Detective Sergeant Neil Lancaster, and the first in the Tom Novak series. If you enjoy gritty suspense, thrilling action and flawed heroes battling against the odds, then you’ll love Going Dark.

The synopsis for this book does a great job of giving you an idea about what the story is about. This is the first book in the Tom Novak series and it is nothing if engaging and fast paced.

The author has done such a great job of creating a character that I immediately liked. He is moody, quiet, emotionless and an absolute force to be reckoned with if you are on the wrong side of the law. He has a past that has in some ways denied him the things many of us take for granted and this has moulded him into the man he is now.

Given the fact that Tom is a dangerous man he is not a danger, he has a focus that is absolute and also has a range of ex-servicemen who he can call on, and call on them he has to. These are loyal people and they would not give their loyalty if it was not deserved.

The case that Tom works is a brutal and topical one and is the start of something far deeper than he ever expected it to become. The author has successfully, in my opinion, woven a story of corruption and trafficking. As I was reading this story I was acutely aware that the author seems to know his stuff, there were many details that are known through experience. It wasn’t until I read a bit about the author that my thoughts were proven to be true.

The story is so well paced and for the style, it is action all the way from the start to the end. There are a few characters that become memorable for all the right, or wrong reasons and I soon found several I immediately liked. The author got the balance right on so many levels for me and made this story a fabulous read.

I have to say I loved this book a huge amount. A bit of a mix of Jason Bourne, James Bond and Jack Reacher… What is it with all the “J’s”! Well forget the names startling with a ‘J’ look for the one that starts with a ‘T’ for Tom Novak! This was a brilliant action, thriller fast paced and brilliantly worked story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series and seeing where the author takes me next. This booik is one I would Highly Recommend.

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

Deadly Harm by Owen Mullen @OwenMullen6 #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Deadly Harm by Owen Mullen. My huge thanks to Owen for sending me a copy of this book for me to read.

Let e show you what it is all about…

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It’s been five years since Mackenzie Darroch was abducted and held captive in a derelict house.

She thought she’d found her way out of the darkness. She was wrong.

When she witnesses a car crash and saves the driver’s life, it sets in motion a chain of events that will alter both their futures.

The two women get involved in a high profile police case and draw the attention of a ruthless reporter. Gina Calvi is convinced Mackenzie is not what she appears and is prepared to do anything to prove it.

Meanwhile, across the city, Kirsty McBride, a young single mother, is persuaded to leave a violent relationship. Her partner, Malkie Boyle a Glasgow hardman, is due to be released from prison. Once back on the street and bent on revenge, Boyle is determined to find the people responsible for stealing his family from him.

Can Mackenzie save them or will Boyle get his revenge?

As I sit and think about writing my thoughts up about this book there are a few words that spring to mind, hard-hitting, intriguing, brutal, gritty and violent. The synopsis skims and suggests what the story contains, a story that is not simply one but a series of interconnected stories and of events that are brought together.

Meeting Mackenzie is something that has saved many women in the refuge that she runs. She herself is the survivor of a brutal crime and one that still haunts her. The refuge takes in people from different walks of life and backgrounds, domestic abuse isn’t isolated to one type of person or a certain class of person, it is something that can affect anyone.

The author has created a story that shows how relationships can go so wrong for some people. Whether it is stress from work or having no job, having plenty of money or having none. The author has given perspectives from the victims and also the abusers. Getting into the mind of a man who is hell-bent on finding out why his girlfriend didn’t meet him, or why a neighbour called the police is quite unsettling reading. But the author tackles it in a compelling way.

As I read the story I got what I felt was an insight into various perspectives from different people. Overworked police, victims of abuse, abusers, criminals, and a reporter. All these people and the role they play in this story have been so well worked to create a book that is very difficult to put down. Loyalties have a lot of meaning in the story and some are very easy to appreciate and then there are those that are based on fear.

Now, this is a crime, thriller mystery read that has various angles. The first is right at the beginning of the story and the twists and turns just don’t stop. They get deeper and more entwined as you read. Often you find yourself drawn further and further into a story, Deady Harm had me hooked from the very beginning and left me stunned by the end.

If you want a hard-hitting crime thriller read that is gritty and very well written then I suggest you grab a copy of this book. It is a cracking read and I Highly Recommend it.

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

When Stars Will Shine: Helping Our Heroes, One Page At A Time #WhenStarsWillShine @emmamitchellfpr #Bookreview

I am so delighted and honoured to share my thoughts on When Stars Will Shine. This book is very special for many reasons, the main one however is that every penny from the sale goes to helping our troops. Every part of this book from the stories to the final edited product has been done on a voluntary basis. I thank you all for your hard work in creating a fabulous read.

Before I get carried away with how amazing this book is let me show you what it is all about…

When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time.

From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!

When Stars Will Shine is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life!
 

A Note from Emma Mitchell:

As the blurb tells us, When Stars Will Shine is a multi-genre collection of Christmas-themed short stories compiled to raise money for our armed forces and every penny made from the sales of both the digital and paperback copies will be donated to the charity.

Working closely with Kate Noble at Noble Owl Proofreading and Amanda Ni Odhrain from Let’s Get Booked, I’ve been able to pick the best of the submissions to bring you a thrilling book which is perfect for dipping into at lunchtime or snuggling up with on a cold winter’s night. I have been completely blown away by the support we’ve received from the writing and blogging community, especially the authors who submitted stories and Shell Baker from Baker’s Not So Secret Blog, who has organised the cover reveal and blog tour.

There isn’t a person in the country who hasn’t benefited from the sacrifices our troops, past and present, have made for us and they all deserve our thanks.

It has been an honour working on these stories, and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have.

So when you hear people say ” There is something for everyone” this is where I go “Oh OK!” but I have to say… This collection of stories REALLY DOES “have something for everyone!”!

This is an amazing book, and I admit that I really enjoyed every single one of them, though there are some that really did stand-out for me.

I did expect to see some stories that would be about troops and war, as well as some with a Christmas theme, and yes there were several that did indeed cover these topics. But also there were some that didn’t. Each author has their own style and their own story to tell.

This book is fabulous for introducing several authors who I had not read as well as including some that I already know and who’s books I have enjoyed. This actually makes this book very special for the less obvious reason of discovering new authors.

I sat and read the first story in the book and by the end of it I was in tears. Rob Ashman shared a story called Frederick Snellgrove, Private 23208, a short story that really did pack a punch. I will admit here and now this is my favourite story of the whole collection, so much so that once I had finished and had wiped my tears away, I immediately read it again. Yes, even though I knew how it ended I still cried.

I made a brief note for every story and I will share them with you…

Four Seasons by Robert Scragg is a powerful and beautifully written story and had such an unexpected ending. Fabulous story.

The Close Encounter by Gordon Bickerstaff Oh Wow! This story was a mind twister and was excellent, what a cracking ending.

Believe by Mark Brownless Oh the lies parents tell their children about Father Christmas, this is a a dark twisted read and is fabulously devious and made me very glad I my fire was in!

What Can Possibly Go Wrong by Lucy Coleman I gradually warmed to the main character in this story and by the time I read the last sentence I had a smirk on my face. Poor chap!

Mountain Dew by Paul T Campbell an amazing read that blew me away, great twist.

The Art of War and Peace by John Carson was a little different from the other stories I had read to this point. This was a detective style story and was a dark twisted read. Fabulous!

A Gift for Christmas by Kris Egleton oh this was heartwarming story and an absolutely lovely short story.

Free Time by Stewart Giles Wow this was a hard hitting and emotional read. This gives such a different aspect of the phrase “free time”!

Died of Wounds by Malcolm Hollingdrake starting in 1915, this is a story that mixes fact with fiction. An emotional read to say the least and very poignant a slightly longer story than some, and it made an impact.

The Christmas Killer by Louise Jensen Oooh what a sneaky story this one was, a mini thriller that was fabulous.

The Village Hotel by Alex Kane another thriller of a different kind, it was very atmospheric and a great read.

A Present of Presence by HR Kemp fabulous descriptions and a story of family and loss, an emotional read that I loved.

The Invitation by Billy McLaughlin a wonderful heartwarming story that had a surprise tucked up it’s sleeve. Get the tissues for this one.

Brothers Forever by Paul Moore Wow! What to say about this one! Brilliantly written and a fabulous story.

Girl in a Red Shirt by Owen Mullen Very different to the other stories, but at the same time it did have some similarities. Very moving and poignant.

Pivotal Moments by Anna Osborne This is a wonderful story about life, living and family and a wonderful read.

Uncle Christmas by Val Portelli Oh I did enjoy this. There is a line that starts the third paragraph “Count your blessings,” it is a line that is very poignant for this story.

Time For A Barbecue by Carmen Radtke Oh I did feel for poor James, but I also did smirk as things became clear in the story.

Christmas Present by Lexi Rees A story of pressure, from family, work and your own expectations that was very moving.

Inside Out by KA Richardson a story that has an important message about PTSD, a great story that shows someone struggling and has a hidden strength not to fall further. Amazing read.

Penance by Jane Risdon Oh I didn’t expect that! Great story.

New Year’s Resolution by Robert Scragg A helping hand has consequences, this story was wonderful.

Family time by Graham Smith Oh what a wonderful finale. This was one that surprised me and left me as I started this collection… yep in tears!

This was a fabulous collection of stories. I was so surprised at the range of different styles. I have discovered new authors and some of the stories I would love to know more about. I was going to try and pick out just a few that I really liked, but in all honesty I liked them all.

When Stars Will Shine is a fabulous collection of short stories that I would Highly Recommend indeed.

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the Tour…

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

The Poker Game Mystery by Peter Bartram @PeterFBartram @annecater #Bookreview

I am so delighted to share my thoughts on The Poker Game Mystery by Peter Bartram. I have read a few books by this author before and I have always enjoyed them. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this brilliant book.

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

Poker is a game for the dead lucky…

Crime reporter Colin Crampton discovers nightclub bouncer Steve Telford murdered. Colin can’t understand why five cards of a poker hand are laid out next to the body.As Colin investigates, he becomes entangled with three former special forces soldiers from the Second World War. All have motives to kill Telford. But Colin’s probe is derailed when a shock change at the Evening Chronicle puts the paper’s – and Colin’s – future in peril.The tension ratchets higher when the life of a young girl is on the line. Colin is forced to go head-to-head in a poker game with sinister newspaper owner Quentin Pell to save her.There are laughs alongside the action as Colin and his feisty girlfriend Shirley shuffle the cards and play the most dangerous game of all – with their own lives at stake.

Purchase LinkAmazon UK

Right from the off I am going to say that I am a big fan of this author’s main protagonist Colin Crampton and his side kick Shirley. Together they are brilliant and the author manages to create a very humorous dynamic between the two.

Colin is the Investigating reported for The Chronicle, a Brighton newspaper. Colin is in the front for getting the scoop when a body is discovered. The more Colin digs for more information the more he discovers. His girlfriend, Aussie model, Shirley is a brilliant wing man woman and, together they find themselves in the thick of things.

The thing I really like about these books is how even though there is a serious nature to the crimes that Colin investigates, the author injects a very dry old style sense of humour. This humour is very appropriate for the mid 1960’s setting of the book. There are many witty one liners that are the sort of jokes that make you roll your eyes at there cheesiness, but at the same time have you smirking.

As the crime is investigated it deepens, it takes various routes before the finale is finally reached. There are various leads that the dogged reporter has to follow, and let’s just say some of them are a little shady. But for Colin, the ends justifies the means and it could be a life changer for a young girl.

The author uses his experience as a journalist into his story so well. There are little things that have found there way naturally into the story that I found so interesting. Mentions of printing, paper and war time newspapers make an appearance. There were things that I was completely unaware of, but the experience and knowledge the author brings really does show.

This is a cosy mystery that I loved. I have read several of these books in the past and really enjoyed this old style sleuthing of the story. The stories are wonderfully worked out and have a good pace to them. There are some characters that make regular appearances and I have some definite favourites. Each book can be read as a stand-alone because each case Colin works on is followed from start to finish.

I think this series works really well as they are not entirely serious and because they have a reporter as the investigator it gives them a credible edge. It is also a really good way of getting a glimpse into the way newspapers and reporting was done in the 60’s.

This is a fabulous series with an inventive reporter who is prepared to take a risk. Who, along with his girlfriend, find themselves in the midst of danger and of bodies on a regular basis. How poor Shirley puts up with Colin I will never know, but I am so glad she does as they are fabulous.

If you are after a well written cosy mystery that will leave you with a grin on your face from the humour, that has a serious crime to be solved and is really well written then pick up the latest edition of one of Peter’s books. The Poker Game Mystery was brilliant and I highly recommend it.

Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series. His novels are fast-paced and humorous – the action is matched by the laughs. The books feature a host of colourful characters as befits stories set in Brighton, one of Britain’s most trend-setting towns.

You can download Murder in Capital Letters, a free book in the series, for your Kindle from www.colincrampton.com.

Peter began his career as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper before editing newspapers and magazines in London, England and, finally, becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700-feet down a coal mine and a courtier’s chambers at Buckingham Palace. Peter is a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.

Follow Peter on Facebook or Twitter

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

The Wronged Daughter by Mary Wood @Authormary #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Wronged Daughter by Mary Wood. Any regulars to my blog will be aware that I am a huge fan of this author and I have enjoyed every one of her books whether she writes as Mary Wood or Maggie Mason.

The Wronged Daughter is part of a series and is the third book, though all can be read as stand-alones… though I would suggest reading them in order.

Let me show you what this one is all about…

Can she heal the wounds of her past?
Mags has never forgotten the friendship she forged with Flora and Ella, two fellow nurses she served with at the beginning of World War I. Haunted by what she experienced during that time, she fears a reunion with her friends would bring back the horror she’s tried so desperately to suppress.

Now, with her wedding on the horizon, this should be a joyful time for Mags. But the sudden loss of her mother and the constant doubt she harbours surrounding her fiancé, Harold, are marring her happiness.

Mags throws herself into running the family mill, but she’s dealt another aching blow by a betrayal that leaves her reeling. Finding the strength the war had taken from her, she fights back, not realizing the consequences and devastating outcome awaiting her.

Every time I pick up a but by this author I am hoplessly addictied within the first page or two, The Wronged Daughter was another one that I immediately felt invested in.

This is the third book in the series and yes you could read it as a stand-alone! But why would you? The series has followed three friends Flors, Elle and Mags, this latest instalment focuses on Mags.

Mags is a fabulous character who showed her resolve when she trained as a nurse and then went to help in Belgium during World War I. On her return she went back to her home and to help in the running of the family business. She is also being swept off her feet by Harold. He is the brother of Flors, and her friend has warned her to be careful of him, but love is blind and he is Oh so charming!

Oh Mags! What a fabulous character she is, one minute I am watching on awe inspired as she deals with the mill and looking after peoples welfare and then the next minute I want to shout into the book to tell her to stop and listen to what other peoples hinting at! My goodness she infuriated me at times! All credit to the Author who brought out such a range of emotions in me while I was reading.

It didn’t take long for me to become interested in the world that had been created for Mags. I got to meet her family and her friends, Betsy, by the way was another brilliant character and in some ways this story was as much about Betsy as it was Mags. Both are entwined in each other as long term friends and so they know each other so well.

Both women have tragedy befall them, while what happens to the women is horrid it is also something that was believable for the time and so it worked well. How vague is that? Oh the pain of not giving out spoilers!

There are various things that happen in the story that are relevant for the time and also the way of things. Even though things have changed, it still annoys me that women became an asset or possession of their husband when they marry. Thank goodness for her forward thinking father! There you go another vague sentence!

The trials and tribulations of Mags seems never ending, when you think she may just find what she wants, the author then does what she does best, and that is to side step the reader and take another unexpected route.

If you have read this author before you will know exactly what I mean. She has a wonderful ability of throwing so much at her characters, it makes the reader care about them but she gets the balance just right. The author delivers a plot that her character can deal with without giving them too much, it keeps the believe-ability of the story flowing.

While the author does put Mags through an awful lot of pain, it has been carefully balanced so that there is also a glimmer of hope and that Mags will indeed have a happy life. Each time you think she will achieve it there is something else to rock the boat. Mixing in other characters and their own problems gives a good perspective of things going on in the lives of others. So it is not just about Mags, I liked how the author mixes various other in as well and it gives different opinions and viewpoints.

I have read a few of Mary’s books, and also books under her other name of Maggie Wood. Whenever I come to write a review I struggle to find the right words to convey just how good her books are. Simply put her books are fabulous, addictive, emotional and definitely fall into the “Must Read” category every time.

With The Wronged Daughter, the author has woven a story that delves into the heartbreaking side of loss within families, also manipulation within marriage and also some surprises from slightly minor characters. She has successfully created a story that shows how women of the 1920’s had to deal with discrimination and stigma.

If you like historical fiction then you will love The Wronged Daughter. It is a book and series I would Highly 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 – WebsiteTwitterFacebook

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🙂 xx

Dark Deception by Amanda James @amandajames61 @Bloodhoundbook #Bookreview


I am absolutely delighted to share my thoughts on Dark Deception by Amanda James. Regulars to my blog will know that I am a big fan of Mandy’s books and they just get better and better.

Let me show you what here latest book is all about…

Who can you trust when the past won’t let you go?

Kerensa and Leo are a happily married young couple who live in Cornwall. Leo works part-time in London as an investment advisor to wealthy businessman, Paul Donaldson. The couple hope to start a family soon and life couldn’t be better.  

But Leo has been stealing from Paul and Paul isn’t the sort of man you steal from.  

When Leo realises that Paul knows what he’s done, he has no choice but to resort to drastic measures.  

Meanwhile, after discovering she is pregnant, Kerensa can’t wait for her husband to return home so she can share her news. But she soon discovers he’s gone missing.  

After receiving a threatening phone call from Paul, Kerensa realises how much trouble her family are in.  

Just how far is Paul prepared to go to get revenge? And will Kerensa ever be happy or safe again? 

Amanda James is also the bestselling author of novels including Another Mother and The Cornish Retribution. Dark Deception is a twisty and suspenseful psychological thriller which will appeal to fans of authors like C.L. Taylor, Claire McGowan and Louise Jensen. 

Well, Mandy James! What a devious lady you are! This is a very deceptive book with a very devious story line. You completely reeled me in with this tale and it was such an addictive read!

The synopsis does a great job of letting you know the basics of this story. The author then weaves a fabulous tale of deception, intrigue and mystery. What starts as a basic story about a married couple gradually turns into something far deeper, each chapter seems to add more intrigue and the suspense is slowly and surely ramped up.

I did have a couple of theories as I was reading, I will admit one of those theories turned out to be right. But the journey to whittle my theories down to the right one was fabulous. Even when I proven right there was more to come, more twists and turns than one of our Cornish lanes!

This author lives in Cornwall and to me this is very obvious in the reading of the setting descriptions. The little inlets, bays, cliffs and beaches all have cameo roles. I know the various places mentioned, and for me this adds the extras that I like in books that have a setting in the county I live.

As I mentioned this is a story of intrigue, deception and suspense. These elements give a fabulous psychological thriller feel. As the past is slowly pieced together the threads get more riveting as the depth of deception is realised.

This is such a brilliant read and I think the author has definitely created a fabulous psychological thriller. The story lines are wonderfully interwoven with the characters involved. Even when I thought I had a handle on the story the author deftly sidestepped me and had me avidly turning pages to discover what was going to happen next.

As I have mentioned, I have read a few books by Mandy, and this is my favourite one to date. It has an edgier feel to it and I feel the author has stepped up her writing. I have always really enjoyed her writing style, but this one just has that extra something to it.

A fabulous book and Amanda James is an author that I will automatically read. When I saw this book being offered as an advanced reader copy I requested it without even looking at the synopsis, for me this author is that good! Dark Deception is, as its title suggests, dark and deceptive, and it is a book I would Highly Recommend.

P.S… if you follow Mandy on Facebook you will know of the long awaited blooming of her Agapanthus,poor Aggie was a little shy at all the attention and it did seem to take forever. Why, I hear you ask, am I mentioning flowers? Well, I chuckled when I saw mention of an agapanthus in Dark Deception! A glimpse into an authors daily life! 🙂

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

Coming Home To Winter Island by Jo Thomas @jo_thomas01 @annecater #randomthingstours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Coming Home To Winter Island by Jo Thomas. I love this authors books so I was so excited to grab a spot on the Blog Tour arranged by Anne at Random Things Tours and thank you so much for my advance copy of this fantastically fabulous book 🙂

Let me show you what it is all about…

Wrap up warm and explore the breath-taking beauty of a remote Scottish island and an old house waiting to unlock enchanting family secrets.

Fans of Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will love this irresistible new winter novel from Jo Thomas.

Do you need to find out where you’ve come from before you can know what the future holds?

Ruby’s singing career is on the verge of hitting the big time, when her voice breaks. Fearing her career is over, she signs up for a retreat in Tenerife to recover.

But an unexpected call from a stranger on a remote Scottish island takes her on a short trip to sort out some family business. It’s time to go and see the grandfather she’s never met.

City girl Ruby knows she will be happy to leave the windswept beaches behind as quickly as she can, especially as a years-old family rift means she knows she won’t be welcome at Teach Mhor.

But as she arrives at the big house overlooking the bay, she finds things are not as straightforward as she might have thought.

There’s an unexpected guest in the house and he’s not planning on going anywhere any time soon …

Praise for Jo Thomas:

‘Magically romantic…best read in front of a crackling log fire’ Milly Johnson

‘The characters went straight to my heart’ Katie Fforde

‘A sparkling, heartwarming hug of a story’ Miranda Dickinson

‘Like the best kind of holiday’ Lucy Diamond

What happens when you mix a remote island, a voiceless singer, a sitting tenant, and a unknown grandfather and a lost gin recipe? You get the most amazing story by the fabulous Jo Thomas that is what you get! This is the third book I have read by this author and every time she transports me with her descriptions, story lines, characters and theme of the story.

Coming Home To Winter Island is a stunning read as I followed the devastating and catastrophic bad luck that fell on Ruby Mac, she lost her voice as she and her band are on the verge of being signed by a record company. She then gets a mysterious phone call and changes her plans ending up on a wintry Scottish island.

The author weaves in a story that takes quite a few surprising turns and I have to say they were brilliantly executed. Music, gin, recipes, dementia, local community and family history are all fabulous additions to Ruby’s story. There are a couple of other main characters of Hector and Lachlan, they are again so well developed and give a heartwarming and also a nervous and tentative feel to the story.

The descriptions of Christmases past and memories that are intertwined in the story add an extra special feeling to this story. It has a definite foothold in memories and these then help the progress forwards to the future. There are also some wonderful setting descriptions that definitely added extra sight, sound and smell senses to the story.

I will admit to not being a big fan of gin, I’m more of a whiskey drinker, but I have to say the sound of the gin mentioned in the book sounds amazing.

This is yet another book I absolutely devoured as I have with the previous books I have read by this author. If you are a fan of books that have a wonderful story, fabulous characters, sumptuous settings, that has many surprises, unexpected friendships and that does not take a direct route then I think this is the book for you. If you have already read Jo’s books then you will know where I am coming from because she is a fabulous author.

Coming Home To Winter Island is yet another book by Jo Thomas that I would Highly Recommend.

Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.

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Darkest Hour by Rachel Churcher @Rachel_Churcher @rararesources #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Darkest Hour by Rachel Churcher. This is the third book in this series and it is just getting better, more intriguing and addictive with each each book. It is a series that really should be read in order. 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 book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Bex Ellman and Ketty Smith are fighting on opposite sides in a British civil war. Bex and her friends are in hiding, but when Ketty threatens her family, Bex learns that her safety is more fragile than she thought.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.

Purchase Link

Darkest Hour is the 3rd book I have read in the Battleground series. The first book was mainly about Bex, the 2nd about Ketty and the 3rd book joins them both together again. Now these two young girls are not friends, Ketty was a trainer at the Recruit Training Service, a government run organisation. Bex was a recruit until she decided to turn to the rebels side.

The series is set in the UK and is set in the future after Brexit and Scottish Independance. Britain has isolated itself and all those living in Britain are under a Big Brother style regime. Ketty has gained promotion and has moved to London whereas Bex and her friends are in a safe house.

This is such a brilliant series and feels very topical given the state of the British Goverment at the moment with Brexit looming ever closer. There is a divide between people as well as the UK and there is an ever present feel of a country that is struggling.

I love the way the author describes the very different ways in which propaganda is used to justify people being taken prisoner and held as terrorists. The author balances it well with the side of the terrorists/ rebels that are trying to overthrow and reveal the truth behind the government forces actions.

Bex is on the run and holds a huge amount of guilt for those she has left behind at training camp and also at a previous safe house. She struggles to come to terms with her emotions. The author delves into this characters fears and guilt well, even little victories have a price to pay. Ketty however is constantly frustrated at not being able to find Bex and her friends. She is always one step behind, but there is also an added pressure of having to prove her worth and show that she is worthy of her new promotion. She also ups in the game in this one, and the bait is dangled very provocatively to tempt the rebels into a false move.

The author weaves a good amount of suspicion and corruption into her stories. But this book has something else that has started to creep in, its realisation. The realisation that is unsettling that maybe things are not quite right.

This is a series that should be read in order, there are so many details that explain where this series is up to. Histories and backgrounds as well as different perspectives and points of view have been explored and each book paves the way to the next. I cannot wait to see where the author goes next.

This is a book, in fact a series that is set in the future and has a great dystopian, big brother vibe to it. It is aimed as a Young Adult / Teen but this adult is loving it and Highly recommends it. Roll on December when the next book is due out 🙂

achel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

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Bollywood Wives by Alex Khan @alexkhanauthor @rararesources #Bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers who are opening the tour for Bollywood Wives by Alex Khan as part of the Blog Tour by Rachel’s at Rachel’s Random Resources.

Let me show you what this is all about…

The biggest scandals happen off-camera…

Zara Das is Bollywood’s hottest property, her every move watched by the eyes of the press. Riding high from the success of a string of blockbusters, she has the world at her feet, but the scandal from her latest film threatens to dethrone her as Bollywood’s reigning queen. 

So when superstar director Raj Dillon stages a lavish retelling of Pride and Prejudice, moving the shoot from Mumbai’s soundstages to London, Zara knows this is the role that could put her back on top. Coming with them are the Bollywood Wives – Jackie, Sasha, and Rani – bringing their own off-screen drama. 

But behind the diamonds, designer clothes and seven-star hotels lies the truth of how Zara reached the top. And when a dead body is found in her hotel room, it seems that someone is determined to take Zara down – and will stop at nothing to expose her darkest secrets. 

Zara has spent years running from her past. But now it’s caught up with her…

This book came as a pleasant surprise to me. I was a little unsure as to whether it would be a book I would enjoy, but I have to say the author did such a fabulous job adding intrigue, mystery and so much more into the story.

The story is of Zara Das, a Bollywood film-star who is very successful and sought after. While she is a star she is not accepted by the other wives of Bollywood actors, they are bitchy and see themselves as elite and come across as entitled.

This took me a while to get into, a slow burner of a start, but then I found myself addicted and thoroughly enjoying the read. The author has done a fabulous job of bring the glamour and sparkle I associate with Bollywood and also shown a darker secretive side that is not pretty. It is bitchy, a full of snide comments and those glances that make you feel small and inferior. It was an eye-opener to say the least!

There is a quite a bit of steamy scenes and these were very well done, again it adds something to the overall story. It took me back to books I read when I was younger like Jackie Collins and Jilly Cooper and Bollywood Wives is just as good if not better!

There are various strong female characters in the story and with a good array of backgrounds. Their interaction with each other was fabulous and had me smirking several times at their acerbic conversations, I know I shouldn’t really enjoy this sort of behaviour and in real life I would find it horrible, but in a story, well…

While there is a fabulous glamorous side to this story there is also the tale of Zara, this adds such a good balance to the story. Add into this the discovery of a body and you the get a suspense and thriller element to the book as well. It is one of those books that has something for everyone.

Given my apprehension when I first began this book, by the end I was so glad I read it. It is dark, secretive, seductive, atmospheric and deceptively intriguing and I loved it a lot! Once I got started and got to grips with the characters I could not put it down and devoured it easily in one sitting.

This is the first time I have read anything by this author and am looking forward to reading more based on this book. Bollywood Wives is a book I would Highly Recommend.


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Alex Khan has spent his life dreaming of writing and starring in Bollywood movies while traveling the world visiting some of the most glamorous and exciting locations. Moonlighting as a crime writer he finally got the courage to pen the novel he wanted to write all his life-Bollywood Wives. Taking you into the glamorous sexy thrilling environment of the world’s biggest movie stars and the secrets they hide.

Alex also writes crime under the name ALEX CAAN.

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Many thanks for reading my post 🙂 xx

Blackpool’s Angel by Maggie Mason @AuthorMary #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts today for Blackpool’s Angel by Maggie Mason. I love this authors books so much and if you love historical fiction then you will love her books. Mary Wood writes as Maggie Mason so do check her out as her books are brilliant.

Let me show you what Blackpool’s Angel is all about…

Blackpool, 1893

Tilly has come a long way from the run-down tenements in which she grew up. She has a small but comfortable home, a loving, handsome husband, two beautiful little’uns – Babs and Beth – and she earns herself a little money weaving wicker baskets. Life is good.

Until the day Tilly returns home to find a policeman standing on her doorstep. Her Arthur won’t be coming home tonight – nor any night – having fallen to his death whilst working on Blackpool tower. Suddenly Tilly is her daughters’ sole protector, and she’s never felt more alone.

With the threat of destitution nipping at their heels, Tilly struggles to make ends meet and keep a roof over her girls’ heads. In a town run by men Tilly has to ask herself what she’s willing to do to keep her family together and safe – and will it be enough?

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

Maggie Mason you have done it again! Every book I have read by this author has been a absolute pleasure to read. Whether writing as Mary Wood or Maggie Mason I know I am in for a wonderful read.

Blackpool’s Angel is the first book in the planned Sandgronians trilogy and Wow what a start it was. This is the story of Tilly, born and bred in Blackpool and mother to twins and very happily married until a change in circumstances see’s her put out of her home.

Poor Tilly just seems to attract the wrong sort of attention. She is taken advantage of and ends up on the wrong foot time after time. My heart really went out to this character and also I really wanted to give her a shake and tell her to wise up. I do however understand how she acted. She did posses an inner strength that she herself was not aware of.

Tilly as I have mentioned has a real tough time of it, and I am desperate to shout about all the things I loved about this book, but in doing that I will let out spoilers. But things get bad for her to say the least and she finds herself in some very serious situations that as tough as they are actually give her the kick up the rear she needs. Tilly is a character who had to hit rock bottom before she could then see a back up again. What a drop it was though, my emotions went through the wringer once again as I followed our heroine.

I have never been to Blackpool, but the author does a great job with her descriptions and imagery in her writing that I can imagine the sights, sounds and smells of the era she sets her books in. I am really looking forward to reading the following books in the trilogy. The author knows Blackpool and this shows in her writing, she also researches for her books and this adds a realism to her stories in a historical fiction sense that is. The history of Blackpool and of the conditions of those living and working in the area before the Golden Mile was wonderful. A little snapshot back in time to an era of excitement for its visitors but of extreme hardship for its residents.

This is a tale that revolves around Tilly, her lifestyle and the lifestyles of the various people she meets. It has the atmosphere of despair as she loses what she values most and yet there is a hope that balances things out. This is a must read for fans of historical fiction and I would absolutely recommend it. If you have not yet read anything by this author before then may I suggest picking up this one as it s the start to a new series. I know that you will then want to check out her other books.

In case you had not realised I loved this book, I am a huge fan of this author and obviously I Highly Recommend Blackpool’s Angel 🙂


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