Saturday, 31 August 2019

Review: A Reason to Stay

A Reason to Stay A Reason to Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I do like to dabble in the odd romance but nothing too mushy. This was perfect for my taste as this centres on a married couple.
Family is important but not as important as a husband and wife.

I hadn’t realised (again...I keep doing this) that this was book 3 in the series but for me, I didn’t notice that when enjoying it so I am guessing you can jump straight into this one if you choose.
If you are like me and like to follow a series from the start, them I’d recommend that for you.

It was a lovely cleanser from my usual genre of thrillers.

I’m definitely following this author.

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Review: The Long Way Home

The Long Way Home The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is another I can say I’ve read from my backlist ( hangs head in shame)

I like this authors books usually but I struggled quite a bit with this one.
There wasn’t so much chattiness which I love, dialogue and I’m not much into artwork with all its ins and outs.

Call me dumb but I got a bit bored.
If you love artwork, own artwork, into artwork and love looking around galleries I think you will enjoy this.

I do appreciate art, but visually, not reading about it to educate me?

The things I enjoy about Louise Penny is her ability to go in-depth with rounding out her characters where the reader is so aware of what and who they stand for and what part they play.

So a 3.75 for me. Rounded down. An OK book, not to be avoided.

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Review: The Bad Things

The Bad Things The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been determined as a personal challenge this year to read through my backlist.

This is one of the books I was eager to get to. I received this from the publishers via Netgalley.
There are subsequent books in this series since then.

This is book 1. Which at the time I had no idea that it was to become a series.

That said, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time reading this.
It’s very nicely detailed with a great premise and plot.

After finishing this I can see why it became a series. There are lots of avenues to go down in this one which is the most exciting bit I thought.

Because of books I already have, I’d love to say I’m jumping into book 2, I now own it, and I will read this series.

I’m sorry I didn’t get to this sooner.

Recommend to those who like a thriller with a great family backdrop.

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Saturday, 24 August 2019

Review: The Imposter

The Imposter The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Taking me back to my roots.

Before I was married and had kids I’d always been an avid reader.
Catherine Cookson, Jodi Picoult, Danielle Steel, Katie Flynn, Barbara Taylor Bradford to name but a few. That was intermingled with Amish reads from authors like Beverley Lewis, and Suzanne Woods Fisher was another of my favourites.

Years later my reading took me on several journeys around genres.

When I saw this in a book 1 series coming out, I jumped on it.

I now know why, it was like coming home to a comfort blanket.

This poor young woman in love, except she gets let down as she’s been told by him he is now engaged to someone else.


When the family move and she tries to get on with her life, there are all kinds of emotional rollercoasters going on here.

With this authors books, I love how she shows the human flawed side of characters.

Such a great start to a series

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Review: A Boy Without Hope

A Boy Without Hope A Boy Without Hope by Casey Watson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yep, I read this in a day, again when I was laid up at the beginning of this month (August)
So another off of my Net Galley list, backlist.

I seem to have been reading academy Watson books forever.
My daughter now in her mid 30’s also reads them.

This author does not glorify or put herself on a pedal stool as a foster parent, she readily can see her flaws which has endeared me to her.
After all, who is a perfect parent.

This little boy was found in the most appalling conditions, it’s heartbreaking to even imagine.

I think Torey was the first book I ever read by this author, a find in a charity shop years and many years ago.

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Review: The Good Mother

The Good Mother The Good Mother by Kim Lock
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another of my blacklisted review books.

Thank goodness I’ve learnt to organise my books from Netgalley better over the years, because.....
This is a book I should have read ages ago, look what I missed out on.

So, her best friend dies leaving a family behind.
But of course, there’s going to be much more to the story as this happens early on in.

The secrets mount up into big piles of unfathomables , which I loved.

A very well written story I read in one sitting.
Characters were very good and realistic, my only bit of anxiety at times was that in certain places it lapsed excitement.

But on the whole, an enjoyable read and I’ll certainly seek out more of her books.

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Friday, 23 August 2019

Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just catching up on reviews. As over the course of almost 3 weeks I was laid up with sciatica. The good part was I could read and watch DVDs.

So I chose to read books that had been made into a film. The books I had on my TBR book case.
With this one, I had the zdVD too which I hadn’t got around to watching.

I watched half of the film then read the book up to that point.

This is in no doubt a thriller. A twisted mind twisting crazy thriller.

Being accused of killing your wife and he did seem the likely party too.
However, I was aware this is not going to be as simple as that....

I’m so glad I finally read it but, the film is much better than the book in my opinion.

Another book I can add to my “backlist challenge” shelf here on Goodreads.

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Review: The Sun Is Also a Star

The Sun Is Also a Star The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As part of my “backlist” shelf and “I should have read this by now” TBR, I finally did it.
I read it! And what an absolutely sweet story this is.

I watched the DVD after too, oh and if I was 30 years younger, ok, 40! What a stunner of a young lad who took the part.

One believes is love and fate, the other doesn’t believe in love, science and what’s facts are what she believes in.

She and her parents are immigrants and they have to leave the next day.
So he is going to prove he can make her fall in love with him.

I wouldn’t need a day. Lol

The DVD brought it to life.

Swoon type of a read you’re after?
If you, like me, have this still on your shelf, dust it off, it’s great.

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Review: The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started this huge book May 1st 2019. I actually have been reading it on and off alongside the series which I have been intermittently watching too.

It’s an immediate Classic when it first was released so I understand.

The sequel is due out soon or out?

It’s written by the infinite Margaret Atwood whose books I read a few years ago now but never this one. Her writing is brilliant and the series was incredible.

The premise of this everyone’s knows about, so I’m not going into details.

It’s harrowing, it’s palpable and at times darn right gory. The punishments were harsh.
The deaths......

I’m so glad I finally read it though.

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Review: Looker

Looker Looker by Laura Sims
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can’t help but say, that this is the most craziest book about stalking.
It is stalking if someone is watching your every move, watching from afar from across the road to your home.

This woman, the stalker, the “looker” watching someone else’s life unfold with her husband and children.
The “used to be” actress living with her screenplay husband.

The “looker” who is barren, whose attempts at fertility failed and her marriage down the drain.

I’m watching the “looker” go quietly insane, losing her grip on reality.

It’s a strange one....
Marketing this book as a thriller?
Nah, I wouldn’t have put it in that section.

So I’m sat on the fence with this tipping from a 4* to a 3* because the ending just fell flat for me.

It’s 180 pages.

And some of those pages didn’t need to be there.

Did I like it?
Umm yes.
Was it kinda weird?
Oh yes.

Did it all make sense?
Not really.

Did I understand what the author was attempting?
Yes. But the way of getting to it was long winded.

Did it keep my interest?
Well, my eyes raised to the ceiling several times with words in my head saying “ get a grip, grow up woman”

I’m kind of about it.

The “looker” was really a stalker, in my humble opinion.

I’ve comforted myself in saying, I’ve read it.
Instead of it still being on my TBR

The juries still out on this one

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Thursday, 22 August 2019

Review: The Woman in the White Kimono

The Woman in the White Kimono The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What have I just read! Oh boy, I am in shock.
I loved this so much!

When asked by the publishers if I’d like to consider reading this, I read the blurb.

I’ve been reading a lot of thrillers and after reading the blurb on this book, my thoughts were, oh, set in Japan about an arranged marriage, seems pretty simple, obviously she didn’t want to marry her suitor.

Was I wrong!
Well....I was right but not in the full sense of this.

It’s not what I thought, it’s not “just” a love story it’s so very much more than this.

There’s a side by side story running parallel too which comes together in one huge emotional BANG I wouldn’t have guessed it if I tried in a month of Sunday’s.

It’s sad, it’s emotional, it’s uplifting and my word.....when I got to the end I laid my kindle down and couldn’t help appreciating the superb writing. The insight to The culture and beliefs.

The love between a Mother and daughter.
Friendship and learning to trust.

Hardship and adversity.
Being strong, and I don’t mean just being brave.


This story will stay with me forever.

It’s been Women in translation month. This is near right?! It’s at least based in another country.

Oh.....I have to tell you this.

When I got to the end and reading the authors thoughts and where she had taken her information from I was shocked!
This is based on fact.
It’s fiction but it happened.

If you read it, you will understand what I mean.

I was gobsmacked at the facts, I was born in 1958.

These events are based in the 50’s.

An absolutely amazing and informative read.

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Review: The Whisper Man

The Whisper Man The Whisper Man by Alex North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Let me start off by saying I have seen and heard some readers shying away from this book because they think its more inline with horror or that they are going to be so seriously spooked they won't sleep or weeks.

If that was the case you would have found me hiding behind the sofa!

Its creepy, its haunting and its so dam good I had to give it 5*.

We follow a father and his son mostly. His wife died and it was their son who discovered her.

Its a book I would definitely go in blind [if you can]
If I own a book that I expect to read soon then I choose not to read my fellow book buddies reviews until after I have read it myself, then before I post my review I look at others thoughts and reviews. and like theirs to show I have read and supported them.

The title The Whisper Man is creepy in itself which hooked me to investigate the book further.
I am so glad I did, its so well written, plotted out and the last few chapters I was so invested in I think no matter what I would have been determined to finish it. No one and nothing was going to stop me.

When things were revealed [and I'm not just talking about The Whisper Man] I was amazed and highly respectful of this author, his mind, his thoughts his ability to keep me so solely engrossed between the pages of this story and hanging on his every word.

So if you are a wee bit concerned about the fear/horror factor, don't be, trust me, its a superb book so well written. Its a book I won't forget for all kinds of reasons.

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Review: Ask Again, Yes

Ask Again, Yes Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a really cleverly written book. A pure family saga type drama with plenty to keep you interested in.

We have two families who end up living next door to each other.
Each character has its flaws or talent.
But something bad happens and one family move.

The two eldest from each family had grown fond of each other now only to be told to stay clear from one another.

I’ll be perfectly straight, I struggled at the beginning due to the style of the writing plus it was very slow moving.
I eventually understand one of the moms and her over reaction to things.
But there were several characters in this book which I tried to like. In the end I just gave up trying.

I tossed between three stars and four.

Let me tell you that the ending isn’t jaw dropping or amazing either, but, there was plenty in here that helped to redeem and overcome my negatives.

It was the emotions, the sincerity and the way that the author led me. I somehow became trapped within its pages. I had to read it. I had to finish it. There were life lessons within these pages that made my mind tick over.

Love and forgiveness and moving on is one of life’s hard lessons.
We tend to reflect on the past. And by doing so we ignore where we are right now.

Two families. Can they heal the rift?

The mental health in this book was written well.

I’ll be seeking out more from this author as she had my thoughts tossed all over the place. Now that’s making an impact!

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Sunday, 18 August 2019

Review: A Perfect Cornish Summer

A Perfect Cornish Summer A Perfect Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was a bit worried about reading this as I’ve not read the other books in the series.
I Twitted I had received this from Avon books and the author Phillips Ashley saw my concern and assured me that it can be read as a stand alone. So I jumped in.

So glad I did.

I think this has only been my second kind of Summerish read this year. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I love Cornwall and recognised some of the places mentioned. Don’t you live it when that happens in a book you’re reading.

This is based around friendship, love and Community.

I remember years ago attending a Wine and Food festival here in Bristol. Such fun.
And this book is so much fun too.
It has its very serious moments.

Years after starting the food festival, one of the women run into a problem. The Chef can’t make it.
Oh what to do.

Of course this has a love interest that is oh so sweet.

It goes without saying, I absolutely loved this book.

If you love a great, fresh, easy read, you’ve found it.

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Review: Blame It on the Duke

Blame It on the Duke Blame It on the Duke by Lenora Bell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This year I’ve been taking time out to go through my shelves. I’m much more organised these days! This was sent to me by the publishers LittleBrown books back in 2017 unsolicited.

I fancied reading something different. And.....I’ve found my review notepad which I’d lost! So I can now do “catchup Reviews’

Onto the book

Although this is book 3 in a series I didn’t feel like I’d missed out on anything by jumping right in.

It seems that the heroines father has lost a bet and up for grabs is his headstrong, not the typical woman of that age. There’s no room for marriage, children etc in her life.....
But does the handsome man win her heart or does she remain single.

Great fluffy romp of an historical read.

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Saturday, 17 August 2019

Review: All the Good Things

All the Good Things All the Good Things by Clare Fisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although Beth did something wrong in her life that landed her in prison, this book shows everyone needs a second chance.

Worked out between her and her Therapist she has to think of all the good things in her life.
Beth was in care, her mother and herself having a most difficult of relationships which of course must affect any person going through that, and having lots of unanswered questions, let alone feeling unworthy of someone’s love.

This is a raw hard hitting story.

I may be late in reading this, but there may be someone who follows me may have not read this yet.

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Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Review: A Fool's Circle

A Fool's Circle A Fool's Circle by Suzanne Seddon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a person from a certain part of the U.K., I’m going to use the phrase Cor Blimey!

This is the most raw, compelling heart wrenching book I’ve read in this subject matter.
I’ve felt anger, hatred, I wanted to reach out and give Alan what he dished out to his wife Kate.
That wouldn’t make it right but by goodness it would have made me feel better.

Standing back from this (based on the authors experience) I got to see how good, how strong and how gritty this writing was to evoke so much from me.

It’s not an easy read, no siree but it happens more than we want to acknowledge.

When Kate comes into some money and starts making plans I’m smiling for her. It’s not easy. She’s still being abused mentally and physically.

I thought this author write a very powerful story. And I wonder how much if her life experiences she drew on.

Not an easy read, it’s raw, holds no punches back but well worth reading.

Goodreads say I’ve read this twice....nope, just the once

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Monday, 5 August 2019

Review: Beware That Girl

Beware That Girl Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There are varying reviews on this one. I’m not sure which side I fall on as I didn’t hate it, I liked it in some parts more than others..
The writing seemed to lack emotional depth and at times robotic.

It’s a typical YA angst which made it a fulfilling read.

The writing was strong but the plot was part way there.

I really enjoyed the lead up to the end and the potential climax......
But I was left unfulfilled.

This of course is my own reading experience and may not be yours.

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Review: Julia's Daughters

Julia's Daughters Julia's Daughters by Colleen Faulkner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I sat and read this today, took it with me in the car and listened to it.
Boy this is a heartbreaking sad little story.
There were parts that made me tear up, I can’t lie.

The position of an event that’s causing a rift between mother and daughter is purely palpable. I could hear my heart beating in my ears.

It’s not all doom and gloom although it may sound like it.

There is hope.

Loved this and loved the style of writing. I literally got washed up into it all.

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Sunday, 4 August 2019

Review: Most Wanted

Most Wanted Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While I’m laid up I’m reading some past books I’ve had on my shelf for far too long.

I chose this one, I wish I hadn’t. I’ve got this on my ‘ struggled like hell’ Goodreads shelf.

It really wasn’t the book I was anticipating. I enjoyed the blurb!

Lisa Scottoline is not a person I’ve not heard of before or indeed, read before.
She’s on my “hit and miss” authors radar.

This is simply one that I just couldn’t handle.
It could have been so much better. The woman who is portrayed in this book sounds like a squabbling little girl.

“Yes it is”
“No it isn’t”
“It is”
“It isn’t”

And quite right, it isn’t for me

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Review: Nowhere Girl

Nowhere Girl Nowhere Girl by Susan Strecker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m delving into past books on my pile now and again and chose this one.

I liked it. I didn’t love it as it had some pretty niggling things in here that irritated me, but, after saying that it wasn’t enough to stop me liking it.

The plot was good but predictable.

I wish the publishers would market books accordingly as sometimes they stamp a book “thriller” when it’s more like a mystery suspense, which this was.

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Review: The Silent Ones

The Silent Ones The Silent Ones by K.L. Slater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m a huge fan of this author. I head some of my fellow book buddies not liking this one. So I went in with an open mind. Not expecting much and taking on board some sizzling gripes from other reviews. I expected to feel the same.

But I don’t.

Questioning two young children, how could they manage to kill a frail old woman?
This got me thinking. I then remembered several news headlines.
I also remember an event in a TV soap. Yes, it is plausible and yes it has been done. Evil things have been committed by youngsters. Nurture or nature, who knows.

Putting this aside this is a very well thought out thriller/mystery that will keep you chopping and changing your mind about one thing and another as the story develops.

I found the writing had absolute strength and the characters were well rounded.

It was easy to follow, I love how this author gradually reveals things then turns things around and keeps me guessing.

The two little girls although very different in character to each other I so felt sorry for.

Their mothers were sisters. Both as opposite to each other too.

This is a very dysfunctional family and the “boss” was surely the older sisters Mother who had so many secrets it was shocking.

I loved how it came out with a big BANG at the end. I would never have believed it.

Check it out, you may love it as much as I did.

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