Saturday, 27 December 2014

Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck

Thanks to, I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review.

‘Wolf winter,’ she said, her voice small. ‘I wanted to ask about it. You know, what it is.’He was silent for a long time. ‘It’s the kind of winter that will remind us we are mortal,’ he said. ‘Mortal and alone.’ 

The story is set in Swedish Lapland, 1717 where we meet Maija, her husband Paavo and her daughters Frederika and Dorotea whom have arrived from their native Finland, hoping to forget the traumas of their past and put down new roots.  Above them looms Blackåsen, a mountain whose foreboding presence looms over the valley and whose dark history seems to haunt the lives of those who live in its shadow.

One day Frederika unexpectedly comes across the mutilated body of one of their neighbours, Eriksson
while herding the family’s goats on the mountain. His death is dismissed as a wolf attack, but Maija feels certain that the wounds could only have been inflicted by another man. She feels that she needs to investigate despite her neighbours strange disinterest in the death and the fate of Eriksson’s widow, Maija is attracted to the dark history of tragedies and betrayals that have taken place on Blackåsen. Young Frederika finds herself pulled towards the mountain as well, feeling something none of the adults around her seem to notice.

As the “Wolf Winter,” the harshest winter in memory, descends upon them and the the snow gathers, the outsiders secrets are increasingly laid bare. Scarce resources and the never-ending darkness force them to come together, Maija, doesn't know who she can trust and who may betray her, but is determined to find the answers for herself.

I liked this book, however I found this story difficult to get into at first - I had to read the first few pages several times to get the characters straight in my head and I did find that it dipped a bit in the middle, maybe a bit too long but once the story picked up I flew through the book.  It's worth the effort though as it's a good story that is well told and the setting is evocative and atmospheric - especially reading it at this time of the year.

This book is available on Kindle & in all good bookstores from February 2015.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Hangman by Stephan Talty

Thanks to Bookbridgr I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review.


A white New York State Corrections van is transporting a dangerous prisoner to Attica Prison.  This prisoner is none other than serial killer Marcus Flynn AKA Hangman who has killed three teenage girls but with his last victim's fate unknown.  In a backyard in Buffalo, Detective Absalom Kearney is doing a bit of work in her garden when her phone buzzes, she really hopes that it's not work related but the message reads: MARCUS FLYNN ESCAPED.  ALL PERSONNEL REPORT TO HQ.

The City of Buffalo is gripped with fear and goes into lockdown as Hangman is poised to strike again, no-one is allowed to come or go anywhere, especially young teenage girls.  It is no longer safe to go to the mall or walk to and from school.  Abbie leads the desperate manhunt to re-capture this monster before he finds his next victim, it's a race against time, will they get him or will they be too late??

This was my first Stephan Tallty novel that I've read and it definitely won’t be my last. I really loved it, it's exactly the type of novel I like. This novel is very well written in terms of suspense and it really had me gripped from this first few pages. I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel and Stephan Talty's ability to craft such a gripping story. I reckon the chilling rhyme above will stay with me for a long time, just like the chilling rhyme from Nightmare On Elm Street. It's prose is simple and the sort of novel you can happily cosy up on the sofa, once you have locked all the doors and windows and know you are going to be in for a cleverly crafted psychological thriller (you've been warned).

Hangman was published on 4th December 2014. It is available on Kindle & in all good bookstores.

Monday, 1 December 2014

COVER REVEAL - To Fall In Love Again by David Burnett

Thanks to JB Johnson from Brook Cottage Books, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to host the cover reveal for To Fall in Love Again by David Burnett for Monday 1st December.  It is released on 30th November, please find the links attached below.

Drew Nelson did not plan to talk with anyone that morning. He did not plan to make a new friend. He certainly did not plan to fall in love.  He resisted all of Amy’s attempts to draw him out− at the hotel, at the airport, on the airplane− giving hurried responses and burying his face in a pile of papers. It was only when the flight attendant offered coffee, and a muscle in Amy’s back twitched as she reached for it, and the cup tipped, and the hot liquid puddled in Drew’s lap that they began to talk.  Earlier in the year, each had lost a spouse of over thirty years. Drew’s wife had died of a brain tumor, Amy’s husband when his small airplane nose-dived to earth, the engine at full throttle − an accident, it was ruled.  They live in the same city. Both have grandchildren. They are about the same age. Consciously, or not, they both are looking to love again.  But relationships do not exist in vacuums. Drew is wealthy, and Amy is middle class. Amy is “new” in town – she and her husband moved to Charleston twenty-five years ago – while Drew’s family has lived there for three centuries. Drew lives below Broad, a code word for high society, old families, power, and money. Amy’s home is across the river.  Class warfare may be less violent than it was in the past, but when Drew invites Amy to the St Cecelia Ball, battle lines are drawn. In a city in which ancestry is important, the ball’s membership is passed from father to son, and only those from the oldest families attend.  Family, friends, co-workers all weigh in on their relationship and choose sides. Allies are found in unexpected places. Opposition comes from among those who were thought to be friends. Though they are gone, even their spouses − through things they have done and things they have said − wield influence in the conflict that follows.  Amy begins to suspect that Drew is one of them, the rich snobs who despise her, while Drew concludes that Amy neither trusts him nor cares for him. As each questions the other’s motives, their feelings for each other are tested, and Drew and Amy are challenged to consider if they truly want to fall in love again.

About David Burnett 

I live in Columbia South Carolina, with my wife and our blue-eyed cat, Bonnie. I enjoy traveling, photography, baking bread, and the Carolina beaches.  We have traveled widely in the United States and the United Kingdom. During one trip to Scotland, we visited Crathes Castle, the ancestral home of the Burnett family near Aberdeen.  My photographic subjects have been as varied as prehistoric ruins on the islands of Scotland, star trails, sea gulls, and a Native American powwow.  I went to school for longer than I want to admit, and I have graduate degrees in psychology and education. I was formerly director of research for our state education department. We have two daughters and three grandchildren. To Fall in Love Again is my third novel.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Anyush by Martine Madden

It is 1915 and the magnificence of the Ottoman Empire is fading. The country has barely recovered from the disastrous Balkan war when it is plunged into the Great War on the side of the Germans. In a small village in Trebizond state, the Armenian community is removed from world events. A young Armenian village girl, Anyush Charcoudian, has been educated by an American missionary doctor, Charles Stewart and his wife, and works as an assistant nurse at the mission hospital. Through the Stewarts’ influence she begins to understand there is a wider world beyond Trebizond. Her life changes when a company of soldiers come to the area. The handsome Turkish Captain Jahan Orfalea falls in love with Anyush, and they begin a secret affair, crossing religious and cultural divides.

As the war moves on, events in Constantinople take a brutal turn. On April 24th all educated Armenian males in the city are shot. The subsequent deportation of Armenians from towns and villages across the Ottoman Empire extends its reach to the small Trebizond village. Charles Stewart’s friend and old Empire hand, Dr Paul Trowbridge, tries to alert Charles to the growing atrocities, but the doctor dismisses his concerns as warmongering gossip.

Charles Stewart realises when it's too late what has been happening. He tries to intervene on the villagers’ behalf, and risks everything he has worked for in the last fifteen years. But events are moving beyond his control. The evacuation of the Armenians from Trebizond has started.

I don't want to really give too much of this story away but this is a beautiful and heart breaking story told with great passion & feeling, based on factual events during the First World War and the terrible events that affect the Armenian people.  Martine Madden has written a tense but beautiful and gripping story, which has been well-researched and developed, as the author lived in UAE and returned to Ireland in 1990.  If you've read Khaled Houssini's A Thousand Splendid Suns or The Kite Runner then this book is definitely for you, I'd highly recommend it.  I found I had tears in my eyes at the end along with shedding a few along the way, so grab this book, curl up on the couch and prepare to have a few lump in your throat moments too.  I know that this book would stay with me long after I'd turned the last page, you have to read it to appreciate this beautiful story.

This book is available on Kindle & from all good bookstores.

Monday, 17 November 2014

A Meditation On Murder by Robert Thorogood

Thank you to Harlequin (UK) Ltd via Margaret Madden for allowing me to read and review an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This story opens on one of the most unspoilt Islands of the Caribbean, Saint-Marie where we meet Aslan Kennedy who is a yoga instructor and self styled Spiritual Guru and owns his own hotel "The Retreat" along with his wife Rianka.  One particular morning, he gets up and goes down to make green tea to bring to the Meditation Space, which he does as normal on a daily basis.  He sees the five guests that are staying in the hotel on the beach and calls out to them to get their attention. It was an hour and a half later that the screaming started and he's been murdered.

We are then introduced to the detectives that are assigned  on the case, Detective Inspector Richard Poole and Detective Sergeant Camille Bordey.  It seems to be an open and shut case as there were five other people who were inside a locked room where Aslan was killed and one of them has already confessed to the murder but are they the murderer?  DI Poole is even convinced that the person whom has confessed to the murder is the one person who couldn't have done it.  Are they covering for someone else?  Is there more to this murder than meets the eye?  As the Detectives delve deeper into the victim and all the suspects pasts and history the truth starts to emerge and  a web of lies seem to be untangled.  DI Poole is adamant that no stone will be left unturned to track down the real killer.

I really enjoyed this book, however I felt that the story did dip a little bit in the middle but once it picked up the pace again I couldn't put it down.  I loved the descriptions of the sandy beaches and the surrounding scenery on the island and I wished that I was there with the heat on my face and looking out and walking on the white sandy beaches instead of looking out at the gloomy weather we've been having here in Ireland.  I thought I'd a fair idea of who the killer was but didn't work out who it was until the very end but I had suspected about 3 characters throughout the story.  It is the first book I've read by the author Robert Thorogood & I would definitely read more of his work and I only realised that this book is based on the Death in Paradise TV Series.  If you're looking for a good classic crime or murder/mystery then I would recommend that you curl up on the couch and sink into this clever whodunit story.

Although this hasn't been published yet, to be honest I didn't particularly like the cover at all, it's not a cover that's entriguing or would make me want to pick it up and read it, only for I know who the author is and what he's done, i.e. been the creator of the hit BBC1 TV series Death in Paradise, I'd walk past it in a bookshop and it would be a case of judging a book by it's cover on this occasion.

Thank you to Harlequin (UK) Ltd via Margaret Madden for allowing me to read and review an ARC of this book. This book will available on Kindle and in all good bookstores and will be published on the 2nd January 2015.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This book starts off on a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, where it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media, as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife?

I had heard so much about this book months ago and how good it was I couldn't wait to get it and start reading it but I really struggled to like this book. I'd read almost 200 pages and put it down as it was really beginning to annoy me and found it quite boring, I decided to pick it up again as the film had just been released and I was determined to finish it but I'm sorry that I bothered and just didn't go and see the film. I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn't, I didn't like any of the characters in the book and I didn't even like the ending of it, I thought it was SO unrealistic but other people may have a totally different opinion to me on this book but if you're looking for a dark, twisted thriller then this book is for you.  Also, on the cover of the book it states "There are two sides to every story..." but in fact there's actually always three sides to every story, his side, her side and the truth.  This is the first book I've read by Gillian Flynn and I would probably give her other novels Sharp Objects and Dark Places a go and really hope that they are MUCH better than Gone Girl.

This book is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Falling: Angels Among Us The Complete Series by Linn B Halton

I received an ARC edition from the author in exchange for my honest review as part of Linn B Halton's Falling: Angels Among Us The Complete Series Blog Tour which I am taking part in on Wednesday 5th November 2014.

The story opens with Ceri who is a manager in an advertising company is convinced that she sees angels everywhere and also gets premonitions of things that she has see happen before the event and tries to stop it by trying to prevent what she's already visioned.  She works with Alex for the past 2 years,who is gorgeous but keeps their friendship strictly business but deep down she does have feelings for him but does he feel the same way?  After a tragedy strikes, one night they are chatting, too much wine is consumed, they start exchanging their secrets and they end up in bed together and their relationship changes.  Alex explains that the reason he doesn't date is because someone broke his heart, yet Ceri admits that she has a deep connection with him?  Ceri and Alex fall deep in love but they soon learn that their love is forbidden and that they must find a way to live apart.  Can they or will they?  Alex is supposed to cross paths with her and help Ceri during a phase where she begins to question the signs she’s being given. It’s meant to be a turning point for them both—but in opposite directions. They are destined to travel very different paths but Ceri doesn’t know that and neither does Alex.

All three books are in a complete collection so there's no waiting to find out what happens next and you can read all of Ceri and Alex’s story in one read. Linn B. Halton writes a rollercoaster of emotions in these 3 novels plus an extra 4th installment. They are full of romance, drama and just add that touch of a psychic mix to make the characters have extra depth and edge.

This is the first novel that I've read by Linn B Halton and it was good, I did like the whole concept when I read the blurb as it reminded me of Quantum Leap where the character Sam Beckett had to go back and re-write peoples history to change their course of life and destiny and prevent what was going to happen to them and unlike the character of Sam Beckett, Ceri becomes frustrated with not being able to change the course of her own life.  I would class this as a paranormal romance, it wasn't really for me, however I'm sure other people will think different to me but if you're looking for a good romance with drama, emotion with a bit of spiritualism thrown into the mix then this book is for you.

This is available in Kindle since 9th October 2014 and 17th December 2014 in paperback, by Harper Impulse, it’s available to pre-order on Amazon now.

Once again I am thrilled to be a part of a Book Blog Tour.  Thank you once again to JB from Brook Cottage Books for letting me take part once again and I look forward to many more promotions, reviews and cover reveals in the near future.


Linn B Halton lives in the small village of Lydbrook, Gloucestershire in the UK, but was born in Bristol. She resides there with her husband and cat with 'catitude'- Mr Tiggs.
Linn began writing in March 2009 and her debut novel was published in February 2011. In a recent interview Linn was asked about genres:

"From a very young age I knew romantic fiction was always going to be my genre. I am, and will always be, madly in love with love! Whether that's love of life, a partner, or the things I'm passionate about.

My stories are about love, life and real relationships - but romance is always the one thing that holds each story together. Often there's a light, psychic touch and I never dreamed I would write drawing upon my personal psychic experiences. But as my interest and understanding has grown in the subject, it is now such a part of my life it finds its way into my fictional tales. However, what is heartening is that most of my experiences have been uplifting and it's wonderful to know loved ones are around me always. I hope it will make readers stop and wonder 'What if?'
The result is that I get a lot of mail from readers who have had similar experiences and some are sharing theirs for the first time with me. I always feel that's something rather special and for which I'm very grateful."
Love, life and beyond... but it's ALWAYS about the romance!

Linn is published by HarperImpulse and Sapphire Star Publishing.
Linn is the editor of Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Summer at Castle Stone by Lynn Marie Hulsman

Thanks to I received a copy of this to read in exchange for an honest review.

The story starts with two best friends Shayla and Maggie whom both work for a publishing company, Shayla's father is an author and she seems to be treated very differently when people discover this.  Shayla always dreams of writing her own book, rather than ghost writing books for other authors.  One day she stumbles upon the chance to co-write a cook book for an Irish chef, Tom O'Grady and automatically starts to pursue this idea, unfortunately the chef has no interest whatsoever in this book.  Maggie encourages Shayla to go to Ireland in search of this chef and try and convince him as to why this cookbook needs to be written, so Shayla packs her bags and travels to Ireland and becomes Shelia, where she will stay with an aunt of Maggie's, in the heart of the Irish countryside, she will work in Castle Stone as part of her work experience alongside the head chef Tom O'Grady with a few hilarious moments from the start and along the way.

I was very fortunate to meet Lynn Marie along with a few of my bookclub friends in the Summer.  We had such a great night of stories with a lot of banter and laughter which I will always remember.

I really loved this book, it made me laugh and I caught myself smiling as I was reading this.  This is the first book that I've read by Lynn Marie Hulsman and it definitely won't be my last.  As I am from Ireland, I could relate to alot of the "Irishisms" throughout the book, it was also quite witty and well written with the style of writing perfect to keep the pages turning at a good pace and the story flowed really well throughout. I also loved all the quotes at the start of every chapter.  If you're looking for a light-hearted read with a bit of romance thrown into the mix then kick your feet up with a large bar of chocolate, turn off your phone, and sink into Lynn Marie's new novel.

This book is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly

This book starts off in the sweltering Summer of 1997, where straight-A student Karen whom is sheltered & shy is befriended by glamorous, passionate Biba. She and her shy, enigmatic brother Rex live in seclusion in Highgate, and welcome Karen into their home and their lives. The arrival of a stranger shatters this fragile situation with fatal consequences. A decade later, Rex is released from prison and he and Karen must try to rebuild their life with nine-year-old Alice. For Rex, the life sentence is over, but Karen has secrets of her own. For her, the nightmare is just beginning.

This book was chosen to read in our bookclub.  It took me a little while to get into the story and the characters but once I got into it, I enjoyed it. It was well written and was a page turner. There was everything from drama, suspense and crime, all of the things I love in a good book. It also shows how crucial it is to choose your friends wisely.  If you like dark books that do not have predictable endings then this books for you. It is not inspirational or heartwarming at all!  This would definitely make for a good book club read because it certainly has a lot of characters that would make for good discussion and I'm looking forward to meeting up to discuss this book with the group.  This is the first book that I've read by Erin Kelly & I will definitely read more of her work.

Erin Kelly the author of the critically acclaimed psychological thrillers The Poison Tree, The Sick Rose and The Burning Air. In 2013, The Poison Tree became a major ITV drama starring MyAnna Buring, Matthew Goode and Ophelia Lovibond. It was a Richard & Judy Summer Read in 2011. The novel has been translated into eleven languages. Her fourth novel, The Ties that Bind, is out now, followed in August by Broadchurch: The Novel, inspired by the first season of 2013's mega-hit ITV series.  Erin have been working as a journalist since 1998, writing for newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Express and The Mirror, and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire and Elle.

This book is available on Kindle & from all good bookstores.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Seaside Hearts by Melissa Foster

I received an ARC edition from the author in exchange for my honest review as part of Melissa Foster's Seaside Hearts Blog Tour which will I am taking part in on Thursday 23rd October 2014.

The story opens with Jenna Ward who is vivacious, spontaneous, and super confident along with her 3 friends Leanna, Amy and Bella where they all get together and spend their Summers in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.  They spend everyday chatting together either on the beach or at the poolside sipping drinks and topping up their tans but Jenna has to deal with her mother from time to time as Jenna's Dad has re-married and her mother hasn't taken it too well, you could suggest that she's gone all cougar like, dressing way too young for a 57 years old woman and wanting to go to bars and go dancing.  

Jenna also has to see Pete Lacroux who is handsome, quiet, and reliable and the man who stole her heart years earlier.  After years of trying to get him to notice her, she decides that this Summer she won't let him mess with her head again and starts to date other men.  She starts dating a contruction worker and this has fueled his passion for Jenna everytime he sees her with this new guy and one way or the other he's going to make sure that Jenna would forget he ever existed.

Peter is the eldest of five siblings, with an alcoholic father to care for, boat craftsman Pete Lacroux always does the right thing but has no time for a real relationship.
But Pete is not really the quiet guy he appears to be, and his life is anything but conducive to a relationship.  Can Jenna handle the real Pete Lacroux - the sexiest, most passionate alpha male she’s ever seen and the baggage that he has? Will she stand by him or simply walk away? Can Pete retrieve the life he once had without tearing his family apart?

This is the first book that I've read by Melissa Foster and I'm looking forward to the next installment already. I really enjoyed this book from the very first page, the style of writing was perfect as the story flowed really well throughout.  It reminded me alot of been in my mid to late 20's hanging out with friends, dating guys, flirting with guys and chatting with the girls, like when we didn't have a care in the world. When Jenna and her friends got together it made me laugh and giggle on numerous occasions with the things they came out with which is always a good thing to have in a book and it made me think back to my childhood friends too. I realised that this book was the second in the series but by not reading the first one I feel that I haven't really missed out on much, it was easy enough to follow and know which character was which. I would state that due to mature content, I would recommend this for readers aged 18+ but would recommend it if you're looking for a read about love, lust and friendship then grab this book, curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and a large bar of chocolate and sink into the story.

I was absolutely thrilled to be asked by a fellow blogger Margaret Madden if I'd be interested in taking part in a Book Blog Tour and was even more thrilled when I was accepted by JB from Brook Cottage Books to be a part of the tour so thank you to you both and I look forward to many more promotions, reviews and cover reveals in the near future.

About Melissa Foster
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the  World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.
Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.
Authors Links:
B & N 

Monday, 20 October 2014

I'll Be Watching You by Beverley Barton

Thanks to Netgalley I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

Ella, sweet Ella, you were meant to be mine. You can’t begin to imagine all the things I want to do to you. When the time is right, I will come for you . . .
Reed Conway is fresh out of a fifteen-year prison sentence for having murdered his abusive stepfather. Upon his release he's vowed to find the true killer and clear his name, but at one time, his main focus was revenge on the man who was responsible for putting him behind bars.  Ella is the daughter to a Senator and the highest ranking judge of her town, Ella has seen her share of heartbreak through her dysfunctional but loving family. When she starts to receive threats against herself and attacks against her family, some old and buried secrets are revealed that make her question her own sanity.  A series of hand-delivered letters & prank phone calls leaves Ella scared for her life. Someone is watching her. Wanting her. Someone promising revenge and everyone in the town automatically point the finger at Reed Conway but are they right!?  

I found this book very slow to get into at the start and I felt that it only started to pick up when I was a good chunk into the book but once it picked up I really enjoyed it and it kept me turning the pages. I thought I'd a fair idea of who the murderer was but didn't work out who it was until the very end and I had suspected just about every character in the book.  It is the first book I've read by the author Beverley Barton and I will probably read a few others, I did enjoy reading it but have to admit it's not the best crime thriller I've read but I'm sure other people will think different to me but if you're looking for a thriller that will keep you guessing until the end with some steamy scenes added in, then this book is for you.

This book is available on Kindle, Amazon and in all good bookstores.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Perfect Gift by Dani-Lyn Alexander

Thanks to I received a copy of this in exchange for a review.

It’s the season of second chances in this heartwarming, contemporary holiday romance where two single parents find each other—and another chance at love—in the most unexpected of places!

’Tis the night before Christmas…and businessman and single father Jason is scrambling to find the dollhouse of the season for his seven-year-old daughter Emily. But when he finally strikes gold at an obscure toy store, he’s met with resistance—literally, as a beautiful woman named Leah is grabbing onto the dollhouse box from the other side of the aisle, determined to get the same Christmas present for her own daughter.

Desperate not to let the other win, Jason and Leah forge a pact: stay together until they find the same dollhouse at a different toy store. It sounds simple, but ten stores and many hours later, they still come up empty. They might not be finding another dollhouse, but they sure are finding a lot to talk about and, as their mutual attraction grows, the unlikely pair finds the greatest holiday gift of all—love.

This was my first Christmas story of the year to read and review and although it was short, I enjoyed it.  It was a heartwarming read and got me thinking already about Christmas this year and as I was reading it I could picture rushing around the shops buying presents and last minute gifts for my family and friends and the general buzz about Christmas, after-all we've only about 10 weeks to go. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, heartwarming read then put your feet up with this book, a hot chocolate and a large bar of chocolate. It will definitely get you into the spirit of Christmas.

This book is available on Kindle from 17th November.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse

Thanks to Waterstones I received a proof copy of The Taxidermist's Daughter in exchange for an honest review...

It is 1912 in Fishbourne, a small Sussex village by the sea prone to flooding. Twenty-two year old Constantia or Connie Gifford lives with her father in lonely old Blackthorn House surrounded by the remnants of his once wildly successful London museum of taxidermy ‘Gifford’s World Famous House of Avian Curiosities'. Stuffed birds, once so beloved of the Victorians, are out of fashion and Connie’s father is a broken man, confused and often drunk by morning. Connie passes her time by trying to learn his trade – painstakingly removing the innards and stuffing birds she finds dead near the house. Ten years previously, she fell down the stairs in the museum and lost her memory. Flashes return to her, brief glimpses of an older girl, spirited and loving. Then she finds a young woman drowned in the stream at the bottom of the garden and finds herself caught up in a trail of mystery, blackmail and murder – and a terrible secret kept by her father.

This is the first time that I've read a novel by Kate Mosse & I will certainly read more of her work, I did enjoy it.  This novel is a gothic, haunting, psychological thriller which is beautifully written which will stay with me for a long time. 

Kate Mosse is an international bestselling author with sales of more than five million copies in 42 languages. Her fiction includes the novels Labyrinth (2005), Sepulchre (2007), The Winter Ghosts (2009), and Citadel (2012), as well as an acclaimed collection of short stories, The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales (2013).

The Taxidermist's Daughter is available on Kindle & from all good bookstores.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Black Roses by Jane Thynne

Berlin, 1933. Warning bells ring across Europe as Hitler comes to power. Clara Vine, an attractive young Anglo-German actress, arrives in Berlin to find work at the famous Ufa studios. Through a chance meeting, she is unwillingly drawn into a circle of Nazi wives, among them Magda Goebbels, Anneliese von Ribbentrop and Goering's girlfriend Emmy Sonnemann.

As part of his plan to create a new pure German race, Hitler wants to make sweeping changes to the lives of women, starting with the formation of a Reich Fashion Bureau, instructing women on what to wear and how to behave. Clara is invited to model the dowdy, unflattering clothes. Then she meets Leo Quinn who is working for British intelligence and who sees in Clara the perfect recruit to spy on her new elite friends, using her acting skills to win their confidence.

But when Magda Goebbels reveals to Clara a dramatic secret and entrusts her with an extraordinary mission, Clara feels threatened, compromised, desperately caught between her duty towards — and growing affection for — Leo, and the impossibly dangerous task Magda has forced upon her.

I read this earlier in the year as our bookclub choice, I really enjoyed it as I've always had an interest in Germany and it's history, which I studied as part of my Curriculum and I also studied German throughout my years in High School so I was really happy when this was chosen.  Jane Thynne has written a tense and exciting thriller, which is well-developed and researched and she also shows how small acts of heroism made a big, if temporary, difference and captures the pressures and motivations of the time. Black Roses is a compelling read of interest to readers of historical fiction and those who like spy thrillers.  I am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of The Winter Garden which is the second book in the Clara Vine series.

Black Roses is available in Kindle & from all good bookstores.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Last Kiss by Louise Phillips

In a quiet suburb, a woman desperately clings to her sanity as a shadowy presence moves objects around her home.

In a hotel room across the city, an art dealer with a dubious sexual past is found butchered, his body arranged to mimic the Hangman card from the Tarot deck. But what connects them?

When criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson is brought in to help investigate the murder, she finds herself plunged into a web of sexual power and evil which spreads from Dublin to Paris, and then to Rome.

Will Kate discover the identity of the killer before it's too late to protect the innocent? But what separates the innocent from the guilty when the sins of the past can never be forgotten?

This is Louise's third novel and it is just amazing, definitely her best one yet. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I couldn't wait to find out what was going to be on the following pages, I devoured it. As I said in my previous reviews of both Red Ribbons and The Doll's House, I am from Dublin, alot of the locations that were written into the book where very poignant for me and as I was reading all three of Louise's books, they seem to have had that effect on me, an excellent read & I would highly recommend that you go out and pick up all three of her books. I was at Louise's book launch for Louise's third novel, Last Kiss on the 12th August.

I knew that I was going on holiday for a week in September so I decided to keep this to read until then & I wasn't disappointed, I had it read in just two days and couldn't put it down, it was face paced and creepy in places especially when things were been placed and moved around the woman's house.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes psychological thrillers; it is a well crafted book that takes you on a thrilling journey, fully of twists and turns. It's prose is simple and the sort of novel you can happily cosy up on the sofa, once you have locked all the doors and windows and know you are going to be in for a cleverly crafted psychological thriller (you've been warned).

Last Kiss is available on Kindle & from all good bookstores.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Sister by Rosamund Lupton

Nothing can break the bond between sisters...........When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding her sister's disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of her sister's life - and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must now face. The police, Beatrice's fiance and even their mother accept they have lost Tess but Beatrice refuses to give up on her. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

Sister tells the story of Beatrice Hemming's search for her sister's killer. This search leads her down many surprising, dangerous, and unexpected roads. Sister is a psychological thriller from the viewpoint of Beatrice. Beatrice communicates to her missing sister Tess through a letter or diary-like entries. The plot is centered around her attempts to find out the truth about Tess's disappearance. This book was astonishing. The blurb does not do the book justice and from what I read on the cover, it was certainly not what I expected. From the start, the book was quite a page turner and it was filled with intrigue. I thought that the way it was written - through a letter/conversation with her 'lawyer'/sister - was very different and effective. The realisation of what the message was and who Beatrice was talking to all along was incredible and quite shocking - The concept of this book is amazing.The book was quite complex with the twists, but easy to follow and become absorbed in. The twists and turns are what make this book - especially the great twists at the end, where what you think is changed dramatically at the turn of each page. Emotive and full of intrigue. I brought this book on holiday & it didn't disappoint, I read it in a couple of days, it was such a roller coaster ride and I had no idea what was going to happen next!  I'd highly recommend this book to anyone, this was a book that I really, really enjoyed.
Sister is available on Kindle & in all good bookstores.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Stressed single mother and law partner Kate is in the meeting of her career when she is interrupted by a telephone call to say that her teenage daughter Amelia has been suspended from her exclusive Brooklyn prep school for cheating on an exam. Torn between her head and her heart, she eventually arrives at St Grace's over an hour late, to be greeted by sirens wailing and ambulance lights blazing. Her daughter has jumped off the roof of the school, apparently in shame of being caught.

A grieving Kate can't accept that her daughter would kill herself: it was just the two of them and Amelia would never leave her alone like this. And so begins an investigation which takes her deep into Amelia's private world, into her journals, her email account and into the mind of a troubled young girl.

Then Kate receives an anonymous text saying simply: AMELIA DIDN'T JUMP. Is someone playing with her or has she been right all along?

Reconstructing Amelia swings back and forth between alternating chapters; Kate in the present and Amelia approximately 1 month before her death to slowly reveal what happened on the roof. We quickly learn that both Kate and Amelia had secrets that are also revealed through snippets from Amelia's E-mails/Facebook page and a scathing school gossip blog. Amelia had recently been pegged to join an elitist all girls club at school. As a pledging, Amelia becomes enamored with one if its founding members, Dylan, and makes an enemy of another vindictive club member, Zadie. Amelia's secretive/time consuming membership in this club called the Magpies also causes tension between her and her self-centered boy/crazy best friend Sylvia. It tackles very relevant subjects such as emotional bullying, teenage isolation, autism and sexuality. Amelia was a believable and likable teenager. Kate's guilt and regret were palpable as she slowly begins to uncover the many facts she did not know of her daughters life.

Reconstructing Amelia is a well written story about cruel teenage behavior and a coming-of-age story. For Kate Baron, a lesson in how secrets from the past can influence your future. Reconstructing Amelia is highly recommended for the appropriate reader including a young adult. It has been compared to "Gone Girl" but unfortunately I don't see many similarities as I didn't like Gone Girl at all, this story was much better & was well paced with a few great twists in it. That is a huge difference between these two books. I brought this book on holiday & it didn't disappoint, I read it in 2 days, it was such a roller coaster ride and I had no idea what was going to happen next!  I'd highly recommend this book to anyone.

This book is available on Kindle & in all good bookstores.

Friday, 12 September 2014

One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf

"‘He has a gun.’ ‘Who? Tell me, where are you? Who has a gun?’ ‘I love you, Mum.’’

An ordinary school day in March, snowflakes falling, classroom freezing, kids squealing with delight, locker-doors slamming. Then the shooting started. No-one dared take one breath….......He’s holding a gun to your child’s head. One wrong answer and he says he’ll shoot. This morning you waved goodbye to your child. What would you have said if you’d known it might be the last time?

This novel follows five people; Augie, Will, Mrs. Oliver, Meg and Holly.  They are all linked by the chilling events through their eyes, each giving a different perspective, and we find out a little about each of their backgrounds too, which allows us to learn about them, and relate this to how they are behaving now, on this day in the small town of  Broken Branch, Iowa, when a gunman enters an elementary school. Five narrators who are all linked by the events tell us about the day. As the snow falls, the rest of the town can only sit and wait.

Police officer Meg Barrett, farmer Will Thwaite, his thirteen-year-old granddaughter Augie Baker, and Evelyn Oliver, the teacher trapped in her classroom with her pupils and the gunman, recount what is happening around them, and then the final narrator is Holly, who is mother to Augie and her younger brother P. J., and who is in hospital across the country recovering from the effects of a terrible accidental fire.

This is an emotional, captivating story of everyday lives and relationships interrupted by one terrifying moment. The tension builds as the story progresses. The author conveys the worries of those waiting to hear any news from the school. I found myself thinking about who the gunman could be, and what his motivation was. There is suspicion and speculation as to his identity by those closely involved. Through what we slowly learn about these characters' pasts, the author introduces several possible candidates who could be the gunman. Anxious parents and friends wait, desperate for news, but little is forthcoming. For policewoman Meg, this is frustrating: 'I feel at loose ends; the little information I have is fragmented and disjointed, doesn't make sense.' The reader is kept on edge for most of the novel as to how the events will conclude.

The novel is fast-paced, the narrative voice shifts regularly between the five characters, and the sections are all fairly short, until at one point we have as little as a paragraph or two from one character, then we skip straight to another. This occurs as the story is at its most uncertain moment, and adds to the tension for the reader.

The main characters are all convincing and well-drawn, each with their own individual concerns already playing on their minds, these anxieties then being compounded by the shocking events of this day. It's fascinating to see how each character reacts in this awful situation.

This is the first book that I've read by this author and will definitely be picking up more of her work, she has also written Little Mercies, Little Lies, These Things Hidden & The Weight of Silence. I kept wondering what would happen next and I was thinking about the story even when I'd put the book down. I knew that I was going on holiday for a week in September so I decided to keep this to read until then and I wasn't disappointed, I had it read in 2 days & couldn't put it down. This is an amazingly gripping read and if you're a fan of Jodi Picoult or Diane Chamberlain then you will love this book and I'd definitely recommend this to anyone.

This book is available on Kindle & in all good bookstores.