Category: Tour

BOOK TOUR: Double or Nothing

Posted September 16, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 1 Comment

BOOK TOUR: Double or Nothing

BOOK TOUR: Double or NothingDouble or Nothing by Kim Sherwood
Published by HarperCollins on September 1, 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars

James Bond is missing. 007 has been captured, perhaps even killed, by a sinister private military company. His whereabouts are unknown. Meet the new generation of spies...

Johanna Harwood, 003. Joseph Dryden, 004. Sid Bashir, 009. Together, they represent the very best and brightest of MI6. Skilled, determined and with a licence to kill, they will do anything to protect their country.

The fate of the world rests in their hands...

Tech billionaire Sir Bertram Paradise claims he can reverse the climate crisis and save the planet. But can he really? The new spies must uncover the truth, because the future of humanity hangs in the balance.

Time is running out. The start of a brand new trilogy following MI6’s agents with a licence to kill, that blows the world of James Bond wide open!

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This is the start of a new trilogy based on the James Bond novels. Unlike the Anthony Horowitz novel which I read earlier this year, this is more of a spin off series, rather than a continuation of the Bond novels. , Bond isn’t actually present in this novel but, he is constantly referenced. He has gone missing and the focus is now on 3 newer MI6 agents Johanna Harwood 003, Joseph Dryden 004 and Sid Bashir 009. I can’t help thinking about the film franchise and how there’s constant speculation about who should play Bond next – should they be a POC, should they be female etc. They’d do well to learn from this and have Bond being Bond and introducing new characters which break from the white male stereotype.

Some of the characters – M, Q, Moneypenny and Felix, who we’ve come to know and love over the years are still around, although, not in exactly the same format as in previous years/books.

The opening of this book got straight into the action, introducing new characters and setting us up for the rest of the novel. There are times when it isn’t as fast paced as I’d have liked but we have twists and turns throughout and the focus on climate change makes this a very modern version of a classic series.

four-stars
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BOOK TOUR: The Blame Game by Sandie Jones

Posted September 13, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 1 Comment

BOOK TOUR: The Blame Game by Sandie Jones

BOOK TOUR: The Blame Game by Sandie JonesThe Blame Game by Sandie Jones
Published by macmillan, Macmillan Audio on August 22, 2022
Genres: suspense
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Random Things Tours
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

As a psychologist specializing in domestic abuse, Naomi has found it hard to avoid becoming overly invested in her clients' lives. But after helping Jacob make the decision to leave his wife, Naomi worries that she's taken things too far. Then Jacob goes missing, and her files on him vanish... But as the police start asking questions about Jacob, Naomi's own dark past emerges. And as the truth comes to light, it seems that it's not just her clients who are in danger.

Naomi is a psychiatrist who specialises in working with victims of domestic abuse. Throughout this story we only hear from 2 of her clients. Jacob who is suffering from domestic violence and Anna who is having marriage difficulties following the loss of her son a year earlier. We also have a side story from Naomi’s past which gives us some insight as to why she has chosen this career path.

I wanted to like Naomi but I just couldn’t warm to her, she’s a mess. Her past is interfering with her head and she’s incapable of setting boundaries. I appreciate that dealing with victims of domestic abuse must be really hard, it’s not something I could do. BUT, on the same note, this is a job where you cannot take the work home with you – or the clients for that matter. And the lack of boundaries is what is getting Naomi into trouble.

There are a number of happenings around Naomi’s house (which is also where her office is) that sets her on edge. Did she hear footsteps on the stairs? Did she leave her office door unlocked? Where did she put Jacob’s file?

When Jacob decides he can take no more and leaves his wife it’s not long before the police are involved.

This is one where you want to shout at Naomi to just tell the truth, don’t ommit things, don’t spin them. Things would be a lot easier if she told the truth and got on with things. Yes, things would look bad, she’d look like an idiot (she is an idiot, and an annoying one at that) but it would benefit everyone in the long run.

The phrase “there’s two sides to every story and then there’s the truth” is so apt for this book. It perfectly sums it up.

four-stars

About Sandie Jones

Sandie Jones has worked as a freelance journalist for over twenty years, and has written for publications including the Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly and the Daily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children. The Other Woman is her debut novel.

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BOOK TOUR: Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow

Posted September 11, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 1 Comment

BOOK TOUR: Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow

BOOK TOUR: Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog HollowChristmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on September 6, 2022
Genres: Christmas, Women's
Pages: 409
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

It's the countdown to Christmas at Hedgehog Hollow Wildlife Rescue Centre, and everyone is gearing up for a festive season to remember...

It should be the most wonderful time of the year for Samantha and Josh as they prepare for the arrival of their first baby. But life at Hedgehog Hollow rarely goes to plan and the pair are faced with adversaries, old and new, and unexpected challenges to overcome.

Fizz's job at the heart of the rescue centre is a dream come true but her personal life is more like a nightmare. With her love life a disaster and her past about to dramatically catch up with her, she needs the love and support of her Hedgehog Hollow family more than ever.

As the snow falls over Hedgehog Hollow, will Samantha and Fizz find the Christmas miracle they need to overcome their heartache and find happiness?

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

WARNING: As this is the final book in the series, I may make mention to things that have happened in the previous books.

If it’s a while since you read the previous book in the series then Jessica Redland rather helpfully gives a full rundown of all the main characters in the front of the book as well as a “previously in Hedgehog Hollow….” summary. While it may be tempting to think that this will tell you all you need to know to jump into this series at book 6 – don’t.

It’s here, and it’s everything that I expected it to be!

This is it, the final book in the series, I’ve been looking forward to this coming out but I’m also ready to cry because it’s the last one in my favourite series. I know it won’t be saying goodbye to the characters for ever as I’m sure that Jessica Redland will feature them in some of her other novels around Whitsborough Bay, but I’m really going to miss our spikey little friends.

Given the characters who have featured in the previous books I had a few things in mind that I knew I needed to happen in this final book –

  • I expected Fizz to be the main focus point
  • I needed for her to have a relationship with Phoebe
  • I hoped for more action around Hedgehog Hollow than in the previous book
  • I wanted to see the further development of the relationship between Sam and her mum
  • Maybe relationships developing for Sam’s parents (but not with each other)
  • A baby for Sam and Josh given the ending to book 5

Did I get everything I wanted? I’m not telling you but what I will say is that it was a very satisfactory ending to the series.

I started crying following a hedgehog incident at around the 50% mark and I was still crying at the 75% mark. Holy Moly, this book was a roller coaster. Fizz’s storyline went in a direction that I never expected and my heart broke for her. She is such a gorgeous, loving character and I really wanted her to have her happily ever after and not be so hurt and broken.

I loved the Christmas setting for the book. We start off around October time with the preparations taking place (wreath decorating anyone) and end in the middle of the following year but the majority of the action takes place in the run up to Christmas. We have a Christmas Fair at the Hollow with more amazing decorations and then we have Christmas Day, told from a number of perspectives.

As ever there are a number of trigger warnings in here but the warmth and love and community definitely outshine them.

My best advice for anyone considering this book is to go to Book 1 and start the series from the beginning. They’re all quick, easy reads and they’re free on Kindle Unlimited. Click on the book title below to be taken to the Amazon UK page

Book 1 – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 2 – New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 3 – Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 4 – A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 5 – Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 6 – Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow

I’ve also added a list of all Jessica Redlands books here – her series are one of the few where I would say, READ THEM IN ORDER. With recurring characters who have major life changes in each book, there will be spoilers if you don’t and you won’t get the same level of enjoyment.

five-stars

About Jessica Redland

I live in Scarborough on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast in the UK. My home inspired the creation of the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay where I set some of my books. The Hedgehog Hollow series takes readers to a gorgeous countryside setting on the Yorkshire Wolds.

I live with my husband, our teenage daughter and sprocker spaniel, Ella. I’m a stationery addict with a notepad obsession who loves chocolate (although it doesn’t love me), hedgehogs, 80s music, collectible teddy bears and lighthouses.

My career has mainly been in HR as a trainer and recruiter. I had a brief detour into retail to set up and manage my own specialist teddy bear shop and started writing my debut novel on quiet days in the shop.

In June 2020, I became a full-time author. I’m so very grateful to anyone who has bought or borrowed my books in whatever format, helping me fulfil a long-held dream of writing full-time. I still can’t believe I get to spend every day chatting to my fictional friends and making stuff up.

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Book Tour: The Beach Party by Amy Sheppard

Posted September 1, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 0 Comments

Book Tour: The Beach Party by Amy Sheppard

Book Tour: The Beach Party by Amy SheppardThe Beach Party by Amy Sheppard
Published by Bookouture on 30/08/22
Narrator: Amalia Vitale
Length: 9 hrs 12 mins
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 301
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

We were all at the party. Which of us wanted her dead?

As the smoke from the bonfire spirals into the night sky and the cool drinks slip down our throats, none of us can take our eyes off Lacey. She dances in the dunes, her long golden hair damp from her late-night swim, her smile dazzling, her blue eyes closed.

Everyone who is close to Lacey sits by the smoky fire. Her adoring boyfriend, who holds onto her, perhaps a little too tightly. Her little sister, always in Lacey's shadow, sifting fine soft sand through her fingers, never taking her eyes off Lacey. And me. Sad and full of rage, after an argument forced the man I love to leave the party early.

When the fire burns out, we stumble away from the beach, along the cliff path - faces burned by the wind, hearts full of secrets. But Lacey never makes it home. The next morning, her body is found in the sand dunes, a heart-shaped locket missing from around her neck.

Who would have thought our beach party could end the way it did? Close friends gathered on the last night of a long hot summer - which one of us could have killed the girl everybody loved?

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Having grown up in a small seaside town in NW England I can see the parallels between my home town and Pengully. Small towns can feel claustrophobic when you’re a teenager and as Sheppard described the different residents I could easily match them to people that I knew.

I really liked the idea of using a podcast as the reason for looking into the case again. I’ve seen this done a few times now but I like the idea that people will talk more to others who they know than to the police.

Usually with these types of books I find it quite easy to figure out who was responsible, that didn’t happen here, I was led on a few wild goose chases and only actually figured it out a couple of pages before it was announced. I’m not sure I could have taken the same actions as Katie did at the end though – could you? I’m really interested for people’s feedback on this after reading it!!

My only niggle about this book was there was a lot of obsessing over relationships and sex and a lot of drinking. It was like they couldn’t go a day without opening a bottle of wine. Now, in fairness, at their age I was exactly the same so I think this will appeal more to people in their late teens and early twenties, which in itself is a bonus as I don’t seem to have seen a lot of NA thrillers out there.

If you’ve read A Good Girls Guide to Murder then this is very similar. We have the podcast, the murder of a teenager, the suicide of her boyfriend causing the case to be closed.

About Amy Sheppard

Amy Sheppard is a busy mum of two boys, living in Cornwall. Her obsession with making budget friendly family dinners, led her to writing two cookbooks. Amy creates recipes for her followers and for brands @amysheppardfood
Her debut novel is out in August 2022. A psychological thriller set in Cornwall called ‘The Beach Party’

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Book Tour: The Party House by Lin Anderson

Posted August 17, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 0 Comments

Book Tour: The Party House by Lin AndersonThe Party House by Lin Anderson
Published by macmillan on 04/08/22
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Random Things Tours
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The Party House by Lin Anderson is a deeply atmospheric psychological thriller set in the Scottish Highlands, for fans of Lucy Foley, Ruth Ware and Sarah Pearse’s The Sanatorium.

Devastated by a recent pandemic brought in by outsiders, the villagers of Blackrig in the Scottish Highlands are outraged when they find that the nearby estate plans to reopen its luxury ‘party house’ to tourists.

As animosity sparks amongst the locals, part of the property is damaged and, in the ensuing chaos, the body of a young girl is found in the wreck. Seventeen-year-old Ailsa Cummings went missing five years ago, never to be seen again – until now.

The excavation of Ailsa’s remains ignites old suspicions cast on the men of this small community, including Greg, the estate’s gamekeeper. At the beginning of a burgeoning relationship with a new lover, Joanne, Greg is loath to discuss old wounds. Frightened by Greg’s reaction to the missing girl’s discovery, Joanne begins to doubt how well she knows this new man in her life. Then again, he’s not the only one with secrets in their volatile relationship . . .

I received this book for free from Random Things Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The description says it’s for fans of Ruth Ware, Lucy Foley and Sarah Pearse – those are some pretty big names to live up to but I think you can quite comfortably add Lin Anderson to the list.

The party house is about to open its doors again. It broke the rules during lock down and hosted a party (no, it’s not 10 Downing Street), a party that brought a new variant to the isolated community where it is situated. A party that led to the deaths of six locals, mainly children. You can see why the locals are not to keen on any more parties being held there. The day before the party is due to happen a number of locals break in and destroy a hot tub, unearthing a body.

This book has the best setting. I love books set in Scotland, not just those set int he grizzly cities like Glasgow but those in the haunting Highlands. It really does become so atmospheric, almost like a character in itself, I could really imagine being there.

There is a very “them and us” between the owners of the party house and the locals, there’s a lot of mistrust there (understandably) and I thought this was written really well. The arrogance of the owners really came across and got my back up.

This took a little while for me to get into, but the payback on sticking with it was more than worth it.

There is so many twists and turns and so much tension, that once I got into this I really didn’t want to put it down.

Now, my biggest warning is – this features COVID – if you have an issue with books that have covid in them, don’t read it. You’ll be missing a treat but I really hate it when people mark a book down because they’re not ready to deal with stories featuring the pandemic.

four-half-stars

About Lin Anderson

Lin Anderson was born in Greenock of Scottish and Irish parents. A graduate of both Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities, she has lived in many different parts of Scotland and also spent five years working in the African bush. A teacher of Mathematics and Computing, she began her writing career four years ago. Her first film, Small Love, which was broadcast on STV, was nominated for TAPS writer of the year award 2001. Her African short stories have been published in the 10th Anniversary Macallan collection and broadcast on BBC Radio Four.

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Book Tour: All The Wicked Games by Lauren North

Posted August 17, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 0 Comments

Book Tour: All The Wicked Games by Lauren NorthAll The Wicked Games by Lauren North
Published by Penguin on 01/09/22
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Random Things Tours
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
four-half-stars

Are you ready to play?

Best friends Cleo and Rachel spend their evenings pretending to be people they're not, inventing elaborate stories to escape the monotony of their real lives. It's all harmless fun - until they play the game on the wrong person...

It's your move now.

Five years later, Cleo is still struggling to come to terms with the night that destroyed her friendship with Rachel and almost cost them their lives. And then she receives a text: Rachel is missing. Have you seen her?

There's only one person to blame.

Wracked with guilt for failing Rachel the last time they were in danger, Cleo races to find her friend. But could the past be repeating itself? Only this time, they're caught up in a far darker game.

The rules don't matter when the goal is revenge.

I received this book for free from Random Things Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ah, you know me, I love a good dual timeline thriller!

The book starts with Cleo who is on leave from her job on a cruise ship, receiving news that her friend Rachel has disappeared. Rachel was her best friend, but they’ve not been in touch for years. We then cut back to 5 years ago when Cleo and Rachel shared a flat and played an online “game” together – chatting to others and making up elaborate stories. They thought it was harmless fun. Until it wasn’t. Cleo learns that the games have started up again, and heads to London to investigate.

This has such a sinister feel to it and you know that something bad is going to happen, North spends some time building up to let us know what it was, moving backwards and forwards between then and now. We see the friendship between the two but we also see it all fall apart.

This is one of those books where at one point or another I suspected EVERYONE, I had no clue who to trust or who it might be. And some of the characters… there’s a phrase in Northern Ireland which perfectly describes them (and it’s one of my most favourite phrases ever).. they’re a wee bit west of the Woowah! Not entirely sure how I’m supposed to spell that and unsurprisingly spell checker was absolutely zero help. I quite liked Cleo in the now, but the person she was before, yeah, I’m not a fan, however Rachel, I don’t even know where to begin.

Lastly, the end. Wow. Sometimes I felt it was a wee bit slow getting there but it was worth it. I had the dawning as to what was going on right before it was spelt out for me. And WOW. So good.

four-half-stars

About Lauren North

LAUREN NORTH writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and from her dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation.
Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside.

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Book Tour: Quarter to Midnight

Posted August 11, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 5 Comments

Book Tour: Quarter to MidnightQuarter to Midnight by Karen Rose
Series: New Orleans #1
Published by Hachette UK on August 4, 2022
Narrator: Lee Osorio
Length: 21 hours
Genres: suspense, Romance
Pages: 560
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
four-stars

Rocky Hebert walks into his death at quarter to midnight one New Orleans night.

His son Gabe cannot accept the official verdict of suicide and enlists the help of the Burke Broussard Private Investigation Agency to discover the real cause of death.

PI Molly Sutton knows what it's like to lose a father in tragic circumstances and will go to any lengths to crack the investigation, as she tries to fight off her growing feelings for Gabe.

They soon realise Rocky was working on an investigation of his own; one that threatened to expose the deep corruption going all the way to the top of the police department. And that the key to the puzzle lies with a young witness to a murder that happened years earlier: Xavier Morrow.

Just what did Rocky know? And who might have shut him up?

As they get closer and closer to the truth, they realise that the killer is not going to stop at Rocky. And that Xavier is in very real danger. Someone will go to any lengths to protect what he witnessed that night coming out...

'High-wire suspense that keeps you riveted' Lisa Gardner

'Intense, complex and unforgettable' James Patterson

'Fast and furious' Sun

I am so happy to share that I am on the book tour for the new book from Karen Rose – Quarter to Midnight. This is the first book in a new series form her set it New Orleans. Thank you so much to Random Things Tours and the publisher for inviting me on to this tour.

*although I was gifted an advance copy of this book the version I had was unreadable. HOWEVER, I love Karen Rose books and would have bought this any way so although this is a tour, the book was purchased by myself.

I only discovered Karen Rose earlier this year and I am slowly working my way through her backlist. I was going to pass on this as it would have meant reading out of order (I know I do that a lot but I’m trying to stop) but then I discovered that this was the first in a new series so it would be rude not to right?

This is a huge book coming in somewhere around 600 pages, I got the audio and it was over 21 hours!!! Luckily for me, I don’t listen to it on 1x speed (seriously, does anyone really speak that slowly?) I found that 1.75x was the perfect speed for me with this and I read it over 3 days.

This was a bit of a weird book for me as it was all about the investigation, we know who was killed and we know who by. As the story unfolds we find out the why. The beauty of the story is in the process of what Gabe and Molly go through to avoid being killed themselves and to identify and catch the killer. I got so invested in this story and where it was going to go. There was non stop action and a bit of romance thrown in. It really didn’t feel like it was overly long, something which had worried me a little when I first looked at it.

I particularly like Xavier and his motley crew of family and friends. I thought they made a great addition to the storyline. They were so down to earth and likeable.

This is classified as romantic suspense, rather than the thriller that I know from her earlier books. While I enjoyed it, I definitely prefer a book with more thriller/suspense and less romance. But that is a personal preference of mine and as romantic suspense goes this was really good

four-stars
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Blog Tour: The Last Time We Met by Emily Houghton

Posted July 26, 2022 by louisesr in Tour / 1 Comment

Blog Tour: The Last Time We Met by Emily Houghton

Blog Tour: The Last Time We Met by Emily HoughtonLast Time We Met by Emily Houghton
Published by Transworld Publishers Limited on May 31, 2022
Genres: Romance, Women's
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Random Things Tours
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
four-stars

ONE PROMISE Best friends Eleanor and Fin are inseparable. They are convinced that it will always be this way. But to be sure, they make a pact to keep their lives intertwined. And of course, they'll get married if they're both 35 and single. TWO DECADES Eleanor and Fin haven't spoken in fifteen years. They live on different continents, but more than an ocean separates them. Everything has changed since the last time they met. CAN THEY STILL KEEP THEIR WORD? So, when newly single Fin reappears, there's no way they can keep their promise. Is there?

I received this book for free from Random Things Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Thank you so much to Random Things Tours for the invite to take part in this.

Recently I met my friend from school. We were friends from as soon as we began primary school until we left home after our A levels. I haven’t seen him since (about 25 years). We kept vaguely in touch via social media for a while but his account was deleted a few years ago so I’ve literally had zero idea of what’s been happening in his life. It was good to pick up after all this time. But, could you pick up with your best friend and then turn it into a marriage?

I, Eleanor Ruth Levy, and I, Finley James Taylor, hereby declare that if such a time occurs at the ripe old age of thirty-five that both members of this agreement find themselves single then it shall be mandatory for the individual parties to wed each other. The marriage shall take place in accordance with this binding contract, willingly entered into by both.

……………………………………. …………………………………………

We pick up the story with Eleanor having just been through a breakup with her boyfriend of 10 years. Finn is returning to the UK as his mother is sick. They’re both single and they haven’t seen each other for 15 years.

We all have a good idea of how this is going to end, but as ever with books like this, we know we’ll get the satisfying ending that we want. They joy is in the process of reaching that ending.

Told from the viewpoints of both Finn and Eleanor, in two different timelines this could have been confusing – but it wasn’t. They blended together perfectly. We got to see what had gone wrong for them both that they hadn’t been in touch for so long, while also watch them try to navigate their new friendship and get to know each other all over again.

Obviously this wasn’t plain sailing and along with plenty of laughs there were plenty of tears shed along the way.

There was a great set of supporting characters who added to the storyline, hopefully Emily Houghton will expand on some of these in future and give them their own book, I loved that we really got a feel for them and could imagine them having so much more to tell us.

Emily says: “Last Time We Met is a story of love, loss and enduring friendship. How sometimes the things that aren’t said are the words we need to hear the most; and how forgiving others is nowhere near as important as forgiving ourselves.”

four-stars

About Emily Houghton

EMILY HOUGHTON is the author of Before I Saw You. She is an Essex girl at heart, but now spends most of her time between London and Suffolk. Emily worked in digital product management at Tesco and Barclays for seven years, and it was during a sabbatical from work, travelling around India, that her first book was born; the first draft is still written on her phone!
After a whirlwind few months, Emily quit her corporate job to live her dream of writing full-time. A true Gemini at heart, she’s got many interests and is a trained spin and yoga teacher. She has a curiosity for life and a passion for all things well-being, one day hoping to create her own retreat space with a lot of dogs! Her writing, while centering around love stories, often touches on deeper emotional themes such as self-love, healing and the power of finding yourself.

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Tour – Death In Blitz City

Posted July 21, 2022 by louisesr in Tour / 0 Comments

Tour - Death In Blitz City

Tour – Death In Blitz CityDeath in Blitz City by David Young
Published by Bonnier Zaffre Ltd. on July 7, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Compulsive Readers
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
four-half-stars

1942. Hull, East Yorkshire - It is the most heavily-bombed city outside of London - but for the sake of national morale the Hull Blitz is kept top secret. Only the politicians in Whitehall and Hull's citizens themselves know of the true chaos.

Newly-posted Inspector Ambrose Swift cannot believe the devastation he finds. But for Swift and his two deputies - part-time bare-knuckle boxer Jim 'Little' Weighton and Dales farmer's daughter Kathleen Carver - it's murder, not the war, that's at the forefront of their minds.

When a series of sadistic killings is wrongly blamed on locally-stationed black American GIs, Swift, a one-armed former WW1 cavalryman who tours the rubble-strewn city on a white horse, soon discovers these are no ordinary murders. The fetid stench of racism, corruption and perversion go to the very top. And for Swift, Weighton and Carver, finding the real killers means putting their own lives at risk - because powerful forces in the US and Britain cannot let the war effort be undermined. Not even by the truth.

I received this book for free from Compulsive Readers in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Today is my stop on the tour for Death in Blitz City by David Young, thanks to Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to take part in this tour.

I loved the premise for this book, we have plenty of novels set in WWII and plenty of detective fiction novels but this is a first for me in that it blends the two.

As well as a world war and serial killer we have a disabled DCI, sexism, racism and political corruption, there’s a lot happening in this novel and I flew through the pages. While DCI Ambrose wasn’t a character I particularly liked, I did love his team of Seargeant Weighton and WPC Kathleen Carver and I really would like to see more from this team.

Hull was never a place that was really on my radar (sorry), but Young paints us such a vivid picture of the place, it really was a character in itself. As a heavily bombed city during the war it provided a brilliant backdrop to show just how hard life was back then and the extraordinary lengths that people went to just to survive.

Fast paced, part fact, part fiction this weaves the two together really well into a thoroughly enjoyable read which I’m hoping won’t be left as a standalone.

four-half-stars
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Blog Tour – Deep Water by Emma Bamford

Posted July 19, 2022 by louisesr in Tour / 1 Comment

Blog Tour - Deep Water by Emma Bamford

Blog Tour – Deep Water by Emma BamfordDeep Water by Emma Bamford
Published by Simon and Schuster on July 7, 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Random Things Tours
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
four-stars

Lies can be buried... Secrets always come to the surface

Amarante is paradise...
An uninhabited, unspoilt island somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
Only those who know it exists can find it.
 
But paradise comes with a price...
Virginie and Jake sail to Amarante for their honeymoon, but they are not alone.
They have to adjust to life on the island with five strangers.
 
And not everyone will live to tell the tale…
Dark secrets surface and their dream abruptly turns into a nightmare.
Removed from society, they find out what they’re truly capable of.

I received this book for free from Random Things Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A slow burn atmospheric mystery, this wasn’t the action packed thriller that I had expected but it had me hooked from first page to last wanting to uncover what had happened.

This is one of those books that begins at the end, a navy vessel in the middle of the Indian Ocean receives a distress call from Virginie’s private yacht as her husband needs urgent medical attention. Virginie then announces that she has “killed them all” and proceeds to tell their story.

Virginie and her husband Jake have escaped the rat race, purchased a luxury yacht and headed off to an isolated island Malaysian paradise that they’ve heard of. Except they get their and it’s already inhabited by a crew of expat soldiers.

four-stars

About Emma Bamford

Emma Bamford, a freelance journalist, is working on an MA in prose fiction at University of East Anglia, UK. She is the author of Deep Water and the memoirs Casting Off and Untie the Lines.

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Tour – The Eye of The Beholder

Posted July 13, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 1 Comment

Tour - The Eye of The Beholder

Tour – The Eye of The BeholderThe Eye of the Beholder by Margie Orford
Published by Canongate Books Limited on July 7, 2022
Pages: 304
Source: Random Things Tours
Goodreads
four-stars

When danger lies in the eye of the beholder, what happens when you reject its pull?

Cora carries secrets her daughter can't know. Freya is frightened by what her mother leaves unsaid. Angel will only bury the past if it means putting her abusers into the ground. One act of violence sets three women on a collision course, each desperate to find the truth, when the people they love are not what they seem.

Today is my stop on the tour for The Eye of The Beholder by Margie Orford. Many thanks to Anne and Random Things Tours for including me on this tour and for introducing me to this fantastic author.

Wow. This book was so different to what I expected. The synopsis gives away very little and it’s quite hard for me to review while also not sharing any spoilers but I’ll do my best.

Set between Scotland, Canada and South Africa this is a dark and atmospheric thriller detailing the lives of 3 women Cora, her daughter Freya and Angel. Going from the present time to flashbacks of the past detailing how they’ve ended up in their current situations and Freya’s discovery of photographs and cine-film giving her insight into her mothers past.

Angel and Cora are both trying to escape their pasts and the relationships that they’re refusing to let define them. These are strong women, they are survivors. I know that they’ve endured a lot but I wasn’t drawn to these characters, they weren’t people I’d like to get to know better. However, that is my only real criticism of the novel.

When Yves, an art dealer disappears, you’re questioning what has happened and who was responsible. There was no one I didn’t point the finger at while reading.

This is an emotional, dark novel, with a lot of trigger warnings that I hadn’t expected. It is beautifully written, especially when you consider the subject matter at the heart of it and it will stay with you a long time after finishing it.

four-stars

About Margie Orford

Margie Orford is an award-winning journalist who has been dubbed the Queen of South African Crime Fiction. Her Clare Hart crime novels have been translated into ten languages and are being developed into a television series. She was born in London and spent her formative years in Namibia and South Africa. A Fulbright Scholar, she was educated in South Africa and the United States, has a doctorate in creative writing from the University of East Anglia and is an honorary fellow of St Hugh’s College, Oxford. She is President Emerita of PEN South Africa and was the patron of Rape Crisis Cape Town. She now lives in London.

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Blog Tour: The House Sitter Book Review

Posted June 15, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 2 Comments

Blog Tour: The House Sitter Book ReviewThe House Sitter Published by Bookouture on 14 June 2022
Narrator: Kristin James
Length: 9hrs 9 mins
Genres: Thriller
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
four-stars

‘You’re just the girl I’ve been looking for,’ Iris told me, her blue eyes sparkling, when she offered me the job as her live-in helper. Little did she know, I thought the exact same about her. And she was wrong to trust me...

As I clean Iris’s large, old house in Pacific Heights, my boyfriend Seth works outside, tending to the lawn and fixing the broken gate. I can’t help but notice Iris’s steely eyes watching our every move. Does she know why we’re really here?

Most days we live in perfect harmony, but today Iris is confused. She thinks we moved in uninvited. I pass her a tablet from the medicine cabinet, knowing she’ll soon calm down and remember how lucky she is to have found us.

Later that night, the police arrive to find Iris’s perfect house turned upside down, the telephone lying on the floor, its cord severed. They walk through each room, calling out, but the house remains totally silent.

You will think you know what happened that night, but when the police discover something unexpected hidden amongst the wreckage in Iris’s bedroom, you’ll find you don’t know a thing.

Today I’m on the blog tour for The House Sitter by Ellery Kane, thank you so much to Bookouture for inviting me to take part in this.

This is actually quite difficult to review without giving anything away. There’s a lot going on, with twists upon twists but so much of it would have the potential to spoil the story for you. I was actually writing notes as I was reading with my thoughts and suspicions, and I can’t share them with you, which is really frustrating!

The book opens with a 911 call, the caller is reporting an intruder, there’s screaming, a gun shot, silence. The rest of the book is told in dual timeline, before and after. Before starts with Iris meeting Seth and Lydia, inviting them to come and work for her. After, Iris is missing, assumed dead and Seth and Lydia are living in her house. In the before we follow Iris’s developing relationship with both Seth and Lydia before her disappearance. In the after we learn more about what has happened to Iris, Lydia and Seth before they met each other. We also get to follow the police investigation as Maureen takes on her first case under the watchful (and disapproving) eye of Walt.

There’s a definite male/female split in this book, I loved all of the female characters and all of the male characters were *choose your preferred derogatory term*.

I really wished that I was reading this with a buddy. I had so many thoughts and suspicions as I was reading. I would highly recommend reading this with someone else, take nothing at face value and pay close attention to the language used, it’s very clever.

I listened to the audio of this, at the start I got very frustrated by some of the voices used by the actress but by the end I had completely changed my mind on it. They were perfect.

four-stars
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Tour: The Friendship Pact Book Review

Posted June 14, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 0 Comments

Tour: The Friendship Pact Book ReviewThe Friendship Pact by Jill Shalvis
Published by HarperCollins on June 14, 2022
Genres: Romance
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop
Goodreads
four-stars

Alone in the world, Tae Holmes and her mother April pretty much raised each other, but as Tae starts asking questions about the father she’s never met, April, for the first time in her life, goes silent. To make matters worse, Tae is dangerously close to broke and just manages to avoid financial meltdown when she lands a shiny new contract with an adventure company for athletes with disabilities and wounded warriors.

Her first big fundraiser event falls flat, but what starts out as a terrible, horrible, no-good night turns into something else entirely when Tae finds herself face-to-face with Riggs Copeland. She hasn’t seen the former Marine since their brief fling in high school, and while still intensely drawn to him, she likes her past burned and buried, thank you very much. Hence their friendship pact.

But when April oddly refuses to help Tae track down her father, it’s Riggs who unexpectedly comes to her aid. On a hunt to unlock the past, the two of them find themselves on a wild ride and learn a shocking truth, while also reluctantly bonding in a way neither had seen coming. Now Tae must decide whether she’s going to choose love … or walk away from her own happiness.

Happy Publication Day!!

Today I’m on the blog tour for The Friendship Pact by Jill Shalvis, thank you so much to HarperCollins for inviting me to take part!

For the better part of her childhood, all Tae Holmes had wanted was to be an adult, only as it turned out, adulting was overrated.

I do like it when as soon as you open a book you start highlighting passages that you appreciate!

This was my first Jill Shalvis book having only recently started to read romance again after a long break. One of my friends recommended Shalvis to me and she’s definitely an author I’ll be reading more of. I was a little concerned that I hadn’t read the first book in this series but from what I understand, the location is the only link and not the actual characters so I’ve not missed out by starting on Book 2.

Tae has been raised by her mother, April, who is only 15 years her senior. She’s been told that her father died overseas before she was born but within the first few pages we’re given a hint that things might not quite be as Tae has been led to believe. I do like the relationship between Tae and April, often seeming more like best friends rather than mother and daughter. I don’t completely agree with all the decisions that April has made but she’s made them with the best of intentions.

Tae has recently set up her own events company and has acquired a new client, an adventure company for athletes with disabilities. This gave me major Invictus Games vibes. Having only dealt with Jake so far, Tae has the rug pulled from under her when his silent partner turns up at their first event. His brother Riggs (what tv show do I know that name from, every time I read it I can hear it being said on the tv and can’t for the life of me remember what show it was on), anyway, his brother Riggs has invested 50/50 in the business. The same Riggs who was friends with Tae at school but then ruined it with taking their friendship to the next level.

I’ve decided I really like second chance romance. Finding out what went wrong the first time round and whether they’ll get together again. I mean, it’s a romance, we know it’s going to happen but the push and pull, will they – won’t they that takes us on the journey is great fun. I loved the relationship and banter between Tae and Riggs, even though there were times when they really frustrated me (just how stubborn can one man be!)

four-stars
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Bookouture Tour: The Daughters

Posted May 30, 2022 by louisesr in Tour / 0 Comments

Bookouture Tour: The DaughtersThe Daughters by Julia Crouch
Published by Bookouture on 26 May 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 312
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
four-stars

My husband says his first wife’s dead.
His daughters say he killed her…

Ever since Carys married Bill, she has tried to look after his daughters. Particularly sweet, troubled Lucy, who was only six when her mother died.

Over the years, Carys has done everything she can think of to help Lucy. Now, she has found a therapist who specialises in cases like hers. His methods are unusual, but Carys is desperate.

Sitting in the sunlit waiting room, staring at the framed diplomas on the wall, Carys allows herself to hope. Then Lucy comes running out of the room, wailing, her eyes wild.

Lucy says she saw her father kill someone.

Carys is certain that the memory isn’t real. Bill wouldn’t hurt anyone.

But then a body is found buried in overgrown woods near their home. And Lucy says if they keep looking they’ll find her mother next…

I had so many mixed feelings about this book. I’ve read quite a few by Julia Crouch and I know that she is an expert at crafting a good story which will keep you guessing. But I also know that her stories are a slow burn. This started as a slow burn, more of a slow simmer really and I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to like it.

The first chapter is meeting a lot of characters, I had to read it more than once to get my head around everything. Now, I will caveat this with the fact my daughter changed bedroom this week and keeps getting lost in the middle of the night. I’m beyond tired from having to guide her round the house when she’s trying to find the loo at 1am. So, I struggled with the first chapter, but it might not be the fault of the chapter, it might just be that my head wasn’t working right.

When Lucy starts seeing a hypnotherapist she suddenly starts to remember details from her childhood, including what really happened to her mother. Are these repressed memories? Are these planted memories? Or are they just a teenagers overactive imagination?

Throughout this book I was questioning who to trust. Lucy is damaged but can you trust what she’s now saying? Is Ajay (the hypnotherapist) the real deal or is he planting things into Lucy’s head? Carys is too good to be true. Can she be trusted or is it all a facade to throw you off?

This then begs the question – Was Alice killed? Did she commit suicide? Or is she still alive?

four-stars
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Tour: Missing by KL Slater

Posted May 19, 2022 by louisesr in Tour / 1 Comment

Tour: Missing by KL SlaterMissing Published by Bookouture on 19 May 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 380
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
four-half-stars

I've known him all my life. I know he has taken my daughter. His mother says she can help me. But she's the last person I can trust...

Samuel lived next door when we were children. We were inseparable. But he didn’t like sharing me with my adored little brother. And one terrible night, he got rid of my brother forever…

Now, years later, he’s free. And my daughter is missing.

I turn on my baby girl’s unicorn nightlight and bury my face in her pillow, my heart breaking. I know Samuel has her – he blames me for ruining his life, and even after all this time, he still doesn’t like to share.

As darkness falls, there’s a knock at my door and I open it to see Samuel’s mother. She says she can help me.

I know I can’t trust her, but I don’t have a choice. With each step I take, my fear grows stronger. Can she help me find my daughter? Or does she know something about what really happened all those years ago? Something that could stop me from saving my baby girl…

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Good Morning!!

Today I’m on the Tour for Missing by KL Slater. At the start of the book we meet Jimmy, his sister Josie and their next door neighbour Samuel. Jimmy and Josie are best friends but Josie has caught the attention of their next door neighbour Samuel, a feeling that isn’t reciprocated. It isn’t long before Jimmy isn’t around any more and Samuel is serving time for his murder (not a spoiler – this is in the synopsis).

We then pick up the story 26 years later, Josie has made a life for herself and her daughter running a cafe in a town about 10 miles away. From here the story is told from multiple versions; Samuel’s and his mum Muriel’s, and primarily Josie’s.

There are a number of twists in here, some I saw coming, some were a complete shock. It was really fast paced, there was always something happening with no pause to get your breath back.

This is a book about facing up to your past, owning your actions and having the strength to say what you thought you wanted may not actually be what is best for you.

four-half-stars
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