No More Lies by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk @CarolineBookBit #review

After taking last week off work and away from social media to go and visit my parents, I am delighted to bring you one of my favourite authors and his latest book in the Kent Fisher Series. No More Lies by Robert Crouch is the 4th in this fabulous mystery series and I am so delighted to be sharing my review with you all as part of the Blog Tour with Caroline at Bits About Books.

Kent Fisher gets more than he bargained for when Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman enlists his help with a ten year old murder. She’s on a mission and needs a big case to put her career back on track. 

And they don’t come much bigger than Miles Birchill, Downland’s wealthiest and most divisive resident. 

Not for the first time, Kent has doubts about the case, forcing him to make choices. But who do you trust when everyone has something to hide? 

Caught in the middle, he has no alternative but to solve the murder, unaware that his every move is being watched. 

The Kent Fisher novels offer a fresh and contemporary reworking of the classic whodunit and murder mysteries of authors like Agatha Christie. 

It is so nice to be reunited with Kent Fisher, this is a character that I love to catch up with and see how he is getting on. He is an Environmental Health Officer, he runs an animal sanctuary and solves murders that he seems to find himself in the midst of. In No More Lies, he finds the crime comes to him rather than finding the crime. The deliverer of this crime comes in the form of DI Ashley Goodman…

I have a soft spot for Kent and when this new character arrives, well I had my reservations about this woman! As a character she is interesting and very career driven, she is also impetuous and impulsive as she tries to solve a cold case. She believes that Kent can help her in this and in doing so it will get her career back on track. Kent, you see, has certain connections that are useful.

This book has a different feel to it that the others in the series, it has the same basic elements and includes some well-loved characters such as Columbo, Niamh, Francie and his work colleagues. The emphasis is more on the cold case and Ashley’s investigations. There are running storylines that still continue, if you have not read them I don’t think they will squash any enjoyment of the reading, but as always it is better to read them all!

So, as I mentioned earlier, the main focus is with the cold case. I really liked this emphasis, but I also do like the other characters that are part of Kent’s life. They were still in the story but took more of a back seat this time.

The case being re-opened sets a chain of events off that could cause many problems for people. This, in turn, means that there is an air of mistrust to the story as characters are basically watching their own backs, the sense that people have things to hide is a definite with this story.

I am a big fan of this author and I love reading about Kent Fisher and, I have loved every book in the series. This has that classic ‘whodunnit’ feel but in a modern setting. Kent is the deducer, the sleuth, and the mystery solver. I really like that Kent is not a copper or detective, his EHO career adds just a something special to the reads and gives such a great twist to this murder mystery series.

No More Lies by Robert Crouch is a book that I would definitely recommend!

Inspired by Miss Marple, Inspector Morse and Columbo, Robert Crouch wanted to write entertaining crime fiction the whole family could enjoy.

At their heart is Kent Fisher, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel. Passionate about the environment, justice and fair play, he’s soon embroiled in murder.

Drawing on his experiences as an environmental health officer, Robert has created a new kind of detective who brings a unique and fresh twist to the traditional murder mystery. With complex plots, topical issues and a liberal dash of irreverent humour, the Kent Fisher mysteries offer an alternative to the standard police procedural.

Robert now writes full time and lives on the South Coast of England with his wife and their West Highland White Terrier, Harvey, who appears in the novels as Kent’s sidekick, Columbo.

To discover more, visit Robert on –

WebsiteTwitterFacebookAmazonGoodreads

See what fellow readers think by following the Blog Tour

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

My Week In Books w/e 30th April #MeAndMyBooks

Well hello once again! I was going to post this yesterday but as I was taking part in the Publication Day Review for Jaded by Rob Ashman I decided I would change the day for My Week In Books rather than have two posts on one day 🙂

Another month gone!!! April has been a mix of sunshine and showers and a bit windy thanks to Storm Hannah, but my garden survived pretty unscathed, thank goodness.

This week has been a better one as far as my reading has gone and I have managed to read a five books.

So let me share the books I have read this week…

The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson.

I have several books by this author and, do you know what? I have never actually read one! I saw a review post by the fabulous Linda at Linda’s Book Bag for one of this Authors books. As I had just finished reading one book and deciding which to pick up next, Linda’s enthusiasm for Milly Johnson made me go to my TBR and pick up The Queen of Wishful Thinking.

This is a good sized book at just short of 500 pages. I will tell you it was so good that I read it in one sitting! Yes it was a brilliant read that captivated me completely. I am really looking forward to reading the other 7-8 that I have and obviously buying the ones I am missing.


Dead Inside by Noelle Holten

If you are a Book Blogger then I am sure you have seen Dead Inside by fellow Book Blogger and now Debut Author Noelle. Check out Noelle’s Blog at Crime Book Junkie I have been excited to read this book and I had been hearing so many amazing things about Dead Inside.

If you like your crime thriller reads to be hard hitting, emotional deeply intriguing and want a real belter of a read then you seriously NEED to pick this book up when it is published. As soon as I had finished Dead Inside I immediately nipped over to Amazon to pre-order the next book in the Maggie Jamieson series. A fabulous debut and one that I would Absolutely and Most Definitely recommend.


Spring at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green

I was mooching around on my kindle not quite sure what I wanted to read next when I came across this gorgeous cover. It is the first instalment in the Little Duck Pond Cafe series. It is a short read at 127 pages but it is a wonderful intro to a wonderful sounding community that Ellie finds herself drawn to. I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of this one.


Step Sister by Jennifer Donnelly

I was a lucky recipient of this paperback book via Readers First. When it arrived I immediately picked it up to read, one of those right books at the right time things…

This is the story of what happened to the Ugly Sisters after Ella was whisked away by her Prince. I love a chance to remember childhood fairy tales and I do admit that Cinderella was one I really liked. The author has done a fabulous job of keeping the magical fairy tale feel in her story but also injecting moral aspect that I really, really enjoyed. This was a fabulous escapism read on a rainy April afternoon.


The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

When I read a Hardback book I always take off the cover so it doesn’t get damaged and also so I can see if there is any other details hidden underneath…I love these Magpies on a white cover. The significance of the Magpies are part of the story in this fabulous read, I have had this book since last year and I am so pleased I have finally managed to read it. It is one of those books that has a sad almost bleak style to it, this is not a criticism at all in fact it is this style that really draws a reader in, it plays on the emotional ties that you start to build with the character. This is a fabulously atmospheric and creepy feeling read that I thoroughly enjoyed.


Books In The Post

I have been very lucky with books this week. I enter a few giveaways, yes it is a bonus to win but I do it to help share the #BookLove it is my way of helping the promotions and Blog Tours in the hope that my tweets will help other readers find “new to them authors”. So, as well as winning a copy of Step Sister by Jennifer Donnelly, I also won a paperback copy of…

A Sister’s Sorrow by Kitty Neale

My copy came from the wonderful Avon Books in a Twitter Giveaway, I have seen but as yet not read any books by this author and I am really looking forward to starting this one.


The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

I recieved my copy of this Hardback, and I have to say it is gorgeous, from Penguin Random House. I entered a Giveaway on Cathy’s blog and you can find her wonderful Blog at What Cathy Read Next. I had seen many wonderful reviews about this book and I am looking forward to reading this so much.


Baxter’s Requiem by Matthew Crow

This is another book I had got on my reading radar, and this paperback copy is one that might just be my next read! Many thanks to Anne who has an amazing Blog at Random Things Through My Letterbox. If I say that Anne has said that she ” adored it” and also that she “adore this author.” I think this is one I will also enjoy!


Well, that’s me rounded up for the week. My total books read for the month of April was 15 taking my Goodreads tally to 72 out of my planned 200 for the year, so still on target.

My Netgalley tally is 18 on my shelf with 2 of those slipping into the older than 3 months, but with my 88% Feedback Ratio I think I can live with that for the moment, but I do hope to get them read soon!


The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Cherry Radford @CherryRad @urbanebooks #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Lighthouse Keepers Daughter by Cherry Radford. I recieved a copy of this book last year from Urbane Publishers, many apologies for it taking so long for me to read and review. I wish I had picked it up sooner as it was such a wonderful read.

So before I get carried away, why don’t I let you know what it’s all about …

After the break-up of her marriage, Imogen escapes to her aunt’s converted lighthouse on Beachy Head. Writing for a tedious online magazine but hoping to starting a novel, she wants to be alone – until she finds an entrancing flamenco CD in her borrowed car and contacts the artist via Twitter. It turns out that actor-musician Santiago needs help with English, and is soon calling her profesora.

Through her window, the other lighthouse winks at her across the sea. The one where her father was a keeper, until he mysteriously drowned there in 1982. Her aunt is sending extracts from his diary, and Imogen is intrigued to learn that, like her and Santi, her father had a penfriend.

Meanwhile, despite their differences – Imogen is surrounded by emotional and geographical barriers, Santi surrounded by family and land-locked Madrid – their friendship develops. So, she reads, did her father’s – but shocking revelations cause Imogen to question whether she ever really knew him.

Two stories of communication: the hilarious mistakes, the painful misunderstandings, and the miracle – or tragedy – of finding someone out there with whom you have an unforeseen, irresistible connection.

This is such a beautiful story, well more a story within a story. Imogen is the Lighthouse Keepers daughter, her father drowned mysteriously and his part of the story is told in snippets from his diary. The pages from the diary are sent separately to Imogen, this is one of the stories. Another is the relationship between Imogen and her family, her son Ollie, her Aunt who sends the diary pages and also her friend Jules.

The main story is that of Imogen herself and how she helps Santi, a Spanish Musician/Actor. She had been unaware of him until she found and listened to a CD of his in her car. It was right music for her to listen to at the right time, as it made such an impact she tweeted him and gradually a friendship formed. Music is an important part of the story in some ways because it is the foundation of a friendship that takes the lonely and isolated Imogen on a trip to Madrid.

Things happen for a reason, some things happen at the right time and right place. These become more apparent as the story gradually unfolds. For me Imogen is the personification of a lighthouse, she is isolated, stands apart from others and has an eerie beauty to her. As I got to know her through the story, I found myself understanding and warming to Imogen and caring about her.

There is a myriad of Spanish phrases throughout this book, don’t worry though they are all explained as conversations flow. I should explain that Imogen is helping Santi with his English and vice versa. Some of these conversations are hilarious and add such a nice touch.

Both Imogen and Santi have such wonderful personalities, and are very different. They each have their own struggles, problems, home life dramas. I loved the way they interacted and their friendship took time to develop, it gave me a chance to get to know them as individuals rather than a duo.

I adored this book, the setting and story-lines were compelling, the characters were memorable and all-in-all a very beautiful story.

This is a book that would appeal to readers who like a slower meander through the lives of the characters they meet. It delves into the families pasts and reveals the odd secret along the way. A story that I would highly recommend.

P.S. I love the cover for this book and my copy has little lighthouses next to the page numbers. Also on the chapter heading pages there is a wonderful silhouette of the lighthouse . I love the little details in book designs…just saying 🙂

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

The Taken Girls by G. D. Sanders @AvonBooksUK #netgalley #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for The Taken Girls by G. D. Sanders. I wish to thank Avon Books UK for inviting me to read and review this book via NetGalley.

So how about a look and see what this book is all about…

Someone is watching them…

When a missing teenage girl reappears unharmed but pregnant, the case falls to DI Edina Ogborne, the newest recruit of Canterbury Police. But Ed’s already got her hands full with a team who don’t want her, an ex who won’t quit, and terrible guilt over a secret from her past.

As Ed investigates the case, she discovers Canterbury has seen this crime not once, but several times before. And when Ed and her detectives encounter missing historic police files, falsified school records, and Ed’s new lover as a prime suspect, it becomes clear that the system has been corrupted.

Can Ed find the kidnapper behind these depraved crimes before he strikes again? Or has time already run out?

The Taken Girls is a very good debut crime novel and is the first in the DI Edina Ogborne series.

Ed (Edina) is transferred from The MET to Canterbury, reasons for her transfer are explained as the story unfolds. For Ed, this means a new team , a new area and a case of a missing girl as she begins her new posting.

Ed is a character that I didn’t really warm to, but then I don’t expect to like every character I come across, and it really didn’t take anything from my impression of the story., she came across as a loner but her team do gradually take to her. She is hesitant and respectful and her apprehension is shown as she gets to know her new colleagues and vice versa. I could feel the way the team started to gel as they began to work together.

The case is an unusual one for a couple of reasons. The missing girl was abducted and then returned unharmed. Then there is the what happened after the return of the girl. I know I am being vague and I really mean to be as I don’t want to let slip any of the important details. The part after the girl is returned is definitely thought provoking and also gives different perspectives into a very personal choice subject.

This is a good paced novel and it did not take me long before I found myself caught up within it. There are a couple of perspectives that that the story is told by, and for one of the characters it gives a slightly sinister feeling.

The plot itself is told in quick chapters as Ed and the team get to grips with this case. It leads to further discoveries of an older case and turns up some very interesting leads. I didn’t know who the culprit was until the author started to lace the pieces of the puzzle in order and things started to slot into place.

I thought this was an enjoyable read, it does have the feel of the first in a series and I enjoyed getting to know Ed, even though I didn’t really warm to her that much. There are a few cast members that I would like to see in the next book. This is an ideal read for those who like a police procedural crime read.

It’s one I would recommend.


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

My Week In Books w/e 31st March

Well that was March, the clocks sprang forward an hour and the weather definitely feels more spring like. The months are flying by and sometimes its scary to think that we are already a quarter of the way through the year already.

So this week I have not read that many books. Only two and part way through a third one, I have read but not been able to concentrate for the length of time I normally would. This does not bother me, it means my head has got enough going on and once it sorts itself out and makes space again I will be back up and reading again 🙂

So lets have a look at the TWO whole books I read this week 🙂 🙂 🙂

The Taken Girls by G.D. Sanders – I received an e-copy of this from Avon Books via NetGalley.

Synopsis – Someone is watching them…

When a missing teenage girl reappears unharmed but pregnant, the case falls to DI Edina Ogborne, the newest recruit of Canterbury Police. But Ed’s already got her hands full with a team who don’t want her, an ex who won’t quit, and terrible guilt over a secret from her past.

As Ed investigates the case, she discovers Canterbury has seen this crime not once, but several times before. And when Ed and her detectives encounter missing historic police files, falsified school records, and Ed’s new lover as a prime suspect, it becomes clear that the system has been corrupted.

Can Ed find the kidnapper behind these depraved crimes before he strikes again? Or has time already run out?


After She’s Gone by Camilla Grebe – I won a copy of this book via Readers First.

Synopsis – In the two years that have passed since psychological profiler Hanne Lagerlind-Schön survived an attempted murder, she and investigator Peter Lindgren have rekindled their love, and a recent extended vacation in Greenland seems to have eased the symptoms of her early onset dementia. But when the pair is called back to Sweden to investigate a cold case involving the murder of a young girl whose remains were found in a cairn ten years earlier, the icy winter conditions and stress of the job take their toll, and she feels her mind beginning to slip. Desperate not to lose her job–or worse, Peter–Hanne begins keeping a diary, meticulously chronicling everything she’s worried about forgetting.

As Hanne and Peter get closer to solving the case of the murdered girl, they both suddenly go missing. The local police have no leads. The only witness is a teenage boy who sees a woman get into a strange car in the middle of the night but, guarding a secret of his own, he is unable to come forward. The boy, Jake, discovers the notebook Hanne left behind, and reads her notes, fascinating by the unfolding murder case until he makes a shocking realization: his own father was a key suspect in the investigation. Jake becomes determined to uncover the truth on his own. 

Hanne reappears days later, with no memory of where she’s been–or who she is. Without her notebook, she is lost and terrified, driven by a single thought: find Peter.


Me and My Books – BOOKS OF THE MONTH

March has been a really good month as far as amazing reads goes. So I have decided to highlight the books that for me were the standout reads for the month…

The Rumour by Lesley Kara – my review HERE

Now You See Her by Heidi Perks – my review HERE

Amazing Grace by Kim Nash – you’ll have to wait for my stop on the Blog Tour for my review of this beauty.

The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson – my review HERE


Thanks for reading my post.

I wish everyone a wonderful April.

Happy Reading Folks!

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No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister #MeAndMyBooks #NetGalley @MichaelJBooks #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for No Further Questions by Gillian . My thanks to the Publisher Michael Jospeh for accepting my request to review this ebook via NetGalley.


The police say she’s guilty.
She insists she’s innocent.

She’s your sister.
You loved her.
You trusted her.
But they say she killed your child.

Who do you believe?

Original, devilishly clever and impossible to forget, this is a thriller with a difference. You won’t be able to tear yourself away from the trial that will determine both sisters’ fates.

The synopsis for No Further Questions is perfect, it has the right amount of tension and intrigue to make me want to pick and read. In fact it did such a good job that not only did I originally request it via NetGalley, but I also bought the ebook from Amazon, then forgetting that I already had it, I also bought a paperback copy from the supermarket when I went shopping 🙂 I am gutted this has been on my TBR for this long as it is a cracking read.

It is a mix of courtroom drama and revisited memories that kept me eagerly turning the pages. To be honest, if work wasn’t essential I would have read this in one sitting.

So where to start? Okay, the sisters, Martha and Becky, both married, both have a child, and both sisters are very different from each other. One of the sisters needs help as she tries to run her business and look after her 8 week old, in steps the other sister and they work out a plan that in theory will fit them both. Being sisters this seems to be the ideal choice.

Now to the parents of the sisters, how the mind boggles with this aspect. Wanting to be supportive of both daughters and yet one is in the dock being accused of murdering the daughter of the other sister… Was the sister guilty, she professes her innocence, was it an accident or murder?

The story is told in thought-provoking daily chapters from the perspective of the sisters and some of the other characters. There are subchapters as well  that give details from those involved each day, including those that have been called to give evidence.

It was so easy to get into this story and the further I read the more engrossed I got. I was never sure if the sister was guilty, part of me wanted her to be innocent, but there was also a seed of doubt that hovered in the background. Then further in I started to get this horrible nagging feeling, a “What if” moment. It was a feeling I hoped I was wrong about, but by the end of the story, I was right. Now this really didn’t matter, yes I worked it out, but it was all about the story getting me to that point. Even when the truth was revealed I was still shocked as I was so caught up with the story on such an emotional level, I really did not want to be right.

This is a wonderfully gripping story that explored many emotions and dilemmas for the main characters. A story of a family that are dealing with a tragic loss and could be potentially ripped even further apart. This is a tense, powerful, heartbreaking and thought-provoking read that I would definitely recommend.

Image and Bio taken from the Authors Page on Amazon UK

Gillian McAllister is the Sunday Times Top 10 bestselling author of Everything But The Truth, Anything You Do Say, and No Further Questions. They are all standalone and can be read in any order. She is published in ten countries around the world. The Good Sister is her US debut, coming June 2019 from Penguin USA, and is the American title for No Further Questions. The Evidence Against You is her next novel, out April 2019 in the UK. 

You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @gillianmauthor. She also blogs at http://www.gillianmcallister.com.

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

Tempests And Slaughter by Tamora Pierce #MeAndMyBooks #NetGalley #review

Today I have my review for Tempests And Slaughter by Tamora Pierce. My thanks go to Harper Collins UK for accepting my review request for this e-book that I received via NetGalley.

Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.

Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie. 

In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

Act fast! The first printing of the hardcover includes a collector’s edition poster!

This is the 8th book in the Tortall series, but book 1 in the Numair Chronicles. This book, as it happens, turned out to be the right choice for me as I had not read anything in the series or by this author before.

In the Imperial University of Carthak there are three students who are ahead of others in their age group and also those older in terms of their abilities. They are Varice, often referred to as the “kitchen witch”. Prince Orzone was known as the “left-over Prince” and then the youngest Arram Draper. It is Arram’s story that is experienced in this book. The three students form a friendship that is needed, singly they would probably stand out more and be loners, open to bullying, insult, and attack. Together they are strong.

The story follows their progress through their studies. It focuses mainly on Arram and how he and his fellow students’ magical gifts are developing. Arram’s magic stands out more as it seems to be more natural, wild and if not careful, uncontrollable. Yes, this is a story about magical abilities but it has so much more to it than that. At times it has a historical fiction feel to it with mentions of Emperors, Royalty, Slavery, Gladitorial battles, and traitors.

The three friends have very different backgrounds and ideas, they have different subjects that will help them in their respective futures, whatever their futures may be…

This is a fair paced story and I found it really easy to get into, the characters were very quick to become memorable as I read. Mixed in amongst the learning, magic and daily life are mentions of various gods. Some make themselves known and in their respective forms, and if I were to meet one I wouldn’t hang around. The story has a very nice flow to it, I guess what I mean is that it is very easy to involved in, relate to some of the dilemmas of the students and just to be able to follow the story and enjoy.

As I said earlier, this is the first time of reading anything by this author and I can definitely say it will not be the last, I am looking forward to reading further books in this series and then I am eager to reading the follow on series. It does have the feel of a new series to it, groundwork, history, all the building blocks are being laid down, as many first in a series books do. It is a series I am very interested in and will continue with. I think this is one that readers who don’t often read fantasy would get on very well with, yes there is magic, but there are other things as well. Ideal for fantasy readers and I think general fiction readers as well, and one I would definitely recommend.

Image and Bio from the Author’s Page on Amazon UK

Tamora Pierce was born in South Connellsville, Pennsylvania and her parents were originally going to call her Tamara, but the nurse who filled out her birth certificate had never heard of that name before and accidentally misspelled it. However, Tamora likes her name and in case you’re wondering how to pronounce it, it sounds just like a camera. She was a passionate reader from an early age, devouring encyclopedias, Dr. Seuss books, and J.R.R. Tolkien. Writing helped Tamora get through her parents’ divorce and in her junior year at college she sold her first story and went on to publish The Song of the Lioness, originally with adult readers in mind, but found success when she turned it into a quartet for teenagers. The rest, as they say, is history! Tamora lives in New York with her husband.

Author Links – Amazon Author Page

Purchase Link – Amazon UKTwitterWebsite

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

The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul #MeAndMyBooks #NetGalley #review

Today I am sharing my review for a fabulous book, The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul. I would like to thank the publisher Headline for accepting my request to read an e-copy of this book.

A Russian princess. An extraordinary sacrifice. A captivating secret….

From the number one best-selling author of The Secret Wife, The Lost Daughter is a sweeping, moving story of the tenacity of love and the power of forgiveness. Spectacular, enthralling and romantic, Gill Paul’s latest novel will stay with you forever.

1918. With the country they once ruled turned against them, the future of the Romanov family hangs in the balance. When middle daughter Maria captures the attention of two of the guards, it will lead to the ultimate choice between right and wrong….

Fifty-five years later…

‘I didn’t want to kill her’. With these cryptic words Val’s father dies, leaving her to unravel a mystery which unites two families who have faced unspeakable tragedy and perhaps to finally offer an explanation which has been long overdue. 

I am going to start by saying that this is a stunning historical fiction read that has been sat on my digital TBR for far too long. I really wish I had picked it up sooner.

It has two timelines, one in 1918 and the other in the 1970s. I was curious how these two would eventually link up as they also span two different continents. A story of tragedy, love, betrayal, and heartbreak amongst the turmoil of 1918 Russia, and in the 70s a daughter trying to discover the meaning behind her fathers’ mysterious ramblings.

What an absolutely fabulous read, full of emotion and completely addictive. From the start, I noticed the details that showed the evidence of a well-researched book. I was immediately transported with the authors take on the story of the Romanov family. Maria is one of Tsar Nicholas II daughters. At 19 Maria is taken from the opulent lifestyle. Russia is in a period of transition, a period of turmoil and suffering that many experienced for many years to come.

In the 70s I met Val, she is confused with her father. He has dementia and is dying, but she wonders if his mysterious conversations have anything to do with his past. They are troubled words and she finds herself unable to leave them alone. She sets out to discover the truth and also finds herself making decisions about her own future.

There is something about the history of the Romanovs and Russian history of this era that really does pique my interest. It may seem a morbid thing to be interested in, but my interest lies in the social class and structure of the time. A time in history that is tragic as people of all classes are persecuted, depending on who is in power. But it is the human resilience and inventiveness of trying to stay alive, rather than bowing down to an authority that would rather you were dead than oppose them. The Author has done an amazing job of mixing fact with fiction to give a glimpse into Russian life at the time.

The story between the two times was one that had me hooked. I found the characters were very easy to follow and recognisable. The alternating timelines were again very easy to keep up with. I found a story that was heartbreaking and hopeful. Heartbreaking because of what had happened, but hopeful towards the possibility of a better future. It had a dramatic and at times tense atmosphere to the reading, I found myself constantly wondering and worrying about the fate of some of the characters. I was totally caught up and mesmerised by the whole story.

The story of Val is a gradual one, she slowly starts to unravel a decades-old mystery that has kept its grip on her father. Her story really did compliment that of Maria. I was unsure how they would link, but when I started to see little things coming together I was even more compelled to read. By the end of the story I was a bit of an emotional wreck… enter the box of tissues…I found the concluding chapters brought everything together beautifully and completely, although I was gutted to have finished the story.

This was an absolutely wonderful read, it has an amazing balance of human endurance to overcome heartwrenching odds. In case you have not guessed it yet, I absolutely adored this story and it is one I would Highly Recommend. Also, it has left me wanting to read more by this author.

Image and Bio taken from the Author’s Page at Amazon UK

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history. Her new novel, The Lost Daughter, is about Maria, the third of the Romanov daughters, who befriended the guards in Ekaterinburg, and a Sydney woman called Val Scott, who is trapped in an abusive marriage. 

Gill’s other novels include Another Woman’s Husband, about links between Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana, and The Secret Wife, about the romance between cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second Romanov daughter, who first met in 1914. Women and Children First is about a young steward who works on the Titanic. The Affair was set in Rome in 1961–62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fell in love while making Cleopatra. And 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.

Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A History of Medicine in 50 Objects, and a series of Love Stories, each containing fourteen tales of real-life couples: how they met, why they fell for each other, and what happened in the end. Published around the world, this series includes Royal Love Stories, World War I Love Stories and Titanic Love Stories.

Gill was born in Glasgow and grew up there, apart from an eventful year at school in the US when she was ten. She studied Medicine at Glasgow University, then English Literature and History (she was a student for a long time), before moving to London to work in publishing. She started her own company producing books for publishers, along the way editing such luminaries as Griff Rhys Jones, John Suchet, John Julius Norwich, Ray Mears and Eartha Kitt. She also writes on health, nutrition and relationships.

Gill swims year-round in an open-air pond – “It’s good for you so long as it doesn’t kill you”– and is a devotee of Pilates. She also particularly enjoys travelling on what she calls “research trips” and attempting to match-make for friends.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

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The Talisman – Molly’s Story by Eliza J. Scott @ElizaJScott1 @rararesources #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Talisman – Molly’s Story by Eliza J. Scott as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. Many thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Eliza for my e-copy.

Synopsis:

Molly’s dream of taking over her childhood home at Withrin Hill Farm with husband Pip and their three children has finally come true. And, as they settle into the stunning Georgian farmhouse, with their plans to diversify into glamping nicely taking shape, the family couldn’t be happier.

But tragedy suddenly strikes, and Molly’s world is turned upside down.

Heartbroken and devastated, she struggles to face each day. True to form, her fiercely loyal best friends, Kitty and Violet, rally round offering love and support, but Molly doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to smile again. Until the day a tall, dark stranger with twinkly eyes arrives…

 Follow Molly’s story in book 2 of the Life on the Moors Series set in Lytell Stangdale, a picture-perfect village in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors, where life is anything but quiet.

A heart-warming story of love, friendship and hope.

Pre-order Links – Amazon UK – Amazon.com

My Thoughts:

When Molly was a teenager she helped out Camm, a young gypsy boy, in return he gives her half of a talisman. He tells her they will meet again in the future. Years go by and she forgets about this encounter, Molly marries and has children, she has a wonderful life and is definitely part of the community that lives and works on the Yorkshire Moors. A hard life but full of love and happiness, a life that is complete.

I have to say that Molly is a brilliant character, fiesty to say the least, able to lower the tone of most conversations at the drop of a hat and someone I think I would definitely get along with. She has a great group of friends and family around her, a tight-knit group that are an absolute hoot. This closeness is something she will need and rely on to get her through and will keep her going when her world comes crashing so unexpectedly down around her.

The story itself has a real great feeling of togetherness, that is in the sense of living and working together. A story that had me snorting with laughter at some of the random characters and their antics. For example, the fumble-fingered text messages then there is Reg the Rooster and his determination to name a couple. Mixed in with the friendly characters, there are a couple of undesirables who keep popping their heads up on occasion.

The Yorkshire dialect features in the writing of this author in conversations. It is something I really like in a book and it helps to keep the setting and the characters firmly in the “where they are”. There was the odd word that stumped me but luckily there is a glossary at the end.

From the outset, I knew that something was going to happen. I thought I would be prepared, but Oh my goodness I was so not prepared in the slightest . The author really did pull my emotions and left me with leaky eyes on more than couple of occasions. The sense of loss and grief really did come through and it made its presence felt. The moving forward in life for all concerned was another aspect that again the author did a great job with. She managed to capture the emotions, the changes to daily life and adapting to challenges as they appeared. Dilemmas, decisions, feelings, and family again played a very big part.

This is a story I really did enjoy, a story of family, friendship, life, love, and living. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Eliza lives in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden. Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heart-warming stories with happy endings.

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My Top Reads of 2018…finally

I know, I know, this is a little late but better late than never as they say..

Before I get into my top reads of last year I just want to share some of my Goodreads stats with you. My original Goodreads 2018 Challenge was to read 200 books, I read 222 and one manuscript that I am sworn to secrecy about at the moment…

I read 59,747 pages across 222 books

I am breaking this down into genres, that I would recommend and then right at the end if you are still reading I will do a TOP 3 Reads.

So first off Contemporary/General Fiction… Recommended Reads

These were stories that really touched my heart, for various and different reasons. They each had a special something about them.

Next up is… Crime and Thriller Reads

Crime is probably one of the genres I read most. There are several authors here that have released more than one book and I would happily list them as well. I have decided to limit myself to one author.

Nest genre is Fantasy/ Dystopia I have put these together for my convenience 🙂 …

Again these are very different and yet still fall into my category. They give a glimpse into a different reality and all are fabulous reads, some are part of a series while others are stand alone reads.

Historical (Fiction/Non-Fiction) is my next category…

I say Historical because the books I have chosen here is because they have either a historic setting or are based in myth and legend, historical culture if you like. They are a mix of fact and fiction or based on real life.

Finally, I have Romance, Chick Lit, Rom-Com… whichever term floats your boat. They all have a romance aspect to them.

These are stories that worked for various reasons, nothing in love ever goes according to plan and these stories really made for great reading.

Now then…

Are you still here?

Helloooooooo, anyone still reading?

Do you think I have missed any?

Are there any books that you think I should have included?

Well maybe they made it into my TOP 5…

Yes I know I originally said TOP 3…

But as I was writing this post up…

I found that I was wrong in thinking I could narrow it down to a Top 3…

What on earth was I thinking…

Okay to my Top 5 book s that I read last year…

Right then…

The eagle eyed readers will have noticed that I have listed only 4 books so far…

wait for it…

There was one book that absolutely made me have goosebumps on a very hot summers day as I read it…

It made my fingernails go twitchy…

I felt claustrophobic and I was sat outside while reading…

It was fabulous read…

Have you guessed what it is yet?

It’s one I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND if you have not yet read it

Okay here it is…

And…

It was a brilliant book…

I would love to know what you think of my picks.

I know that some of the genre grouping may look random to some, but for me they make sense. This has been such a hard post to write up as I could included so many more books than the…

just scrolls back to count how many books …

44… thats a nice number…oops

Hope you all have a great reading year and thank you all for sharing, posting and commenting on my posts. Hopefully 2019 Top Reads will actually be posted in 2019 🙂