#BookReview – Can I Give My Husband Back? by Kirsten Bailey

The Blurb

It’s normal to prefer getting a filling at the dentist’s to spending time with your husband, right?

I thought I was sorted on the life front. I was a heart surgeon with a loving partner and two gorgeous little girls. Except my husband’s version of ‘loving’ is lying, cheating and sleeping his way around London. Which means I definitely deserve a refund.

Unfortunately, moving on isn’t that simple. Just because I know how to operate on a heart doesn’t mean I know how to fix my broken one. Plus, I lost the receipt for him years ago so I’m definitely getting short changed.

But now I’m single, am I ready to mingle? There are a few minor issues:

  • The last time I went on a date double denim was in fashion and my eyebrows were horrendously overplucked.
  • Men wear stupidly skinny jeans now.
  • I don’t know how to use dating apps but at least I don’t have to get changed out of my pyjamas.
  • Sometimes the most promising thing you have in common with a guy is a shared love of prawns.
  • I don’t know whether to open a date with ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ or ‘hey’ and once I ended up saying ‘howdy’.

Everything happens for a reason, they say. There’s plenty more fish in the sea. But what happens when everything falls apart and you haven’t got a clue how to go fishing?

My Thoughts

I was super excited to get started on this book having read and laughed out loud at ‘Has anyone seen my sex life?’ and Kirsten Bailey did not disappoint.

Like Bailey herself, I quite like my husband but I could completely relate to how Emma was feeling and seethed with rage at several points throughout the book. She’s a better person than me! She was calm, collected and mature – not many people could say that if they went through what she did. That being said, I did at times get annoyed at Emma because of the way she blatantly ignored her husband’s infidelities and subsequent abhorrent behaviour.

What I love about the story is the relationships between the sisters, they are all very different but so very close and although they react to situations in different ways their love for one another shines through. Lucy is by far my favourite character and I cannot wait to read her story! I have a feeling I will be laughing out loud from start to finish.

‘Can I Give my Husband Back?’ lived up to my expectations and is indeed laugh out loud funny. If you haven’t read any of Kirsten Bailey’s books yet then I would highly recommend. They would make a fantastic Christmas gift! I’m away to pre-order the next Callaghan sister instalment…

Foul Play – The Murder Mystery Card Game

I am very excited to share my review of something a little bit different today. This is a brand new card game that would make the perfect stocking filler!

The Game

Welcome to Edwardian England. The Lord of the Manor is dead! The servants are our lead suspects and it’s up to you to unearth the evidence, seek out the suspects and catch the culprit in order to scupper the other sleuths, and win this game of murder!

There’s more than one way to catch a killer though. So what’s it gonna be? Good Cop or Bad Cop? These two game versions come with their own set of rules and tactics to crack the case and finger your suspect, but will you use fair play or FOUL PLAY?

The Game is Afoot! Playing as detective, you’ll need to find the three evidence cards that point to a specific suspect in order to catch a killer in this crazy criminal caper. Will you uncover them in the crime scene? Could the other detectives be willing to collaborate and share their findings? Or will you resort to more tricky tactics, and plunder the proof you need to solve this crime?

My Thoughts

My husband and I sat down to play this and decided right away to go with the ‘Bad Cop’ version. We are both avid card game fans, especially when we are on holiday, so we are always looking for a new addition to our pack and Foul Play definitely makes a great addition.

We did find the rules a little confusing to begin with so we had a look on the website and found it extremely helpful. Generally, the game is straight forward enough to play and the cards themselves are quite self explanatory. It reminded us very much of Cluedo but it is much easier to carry with you anywhere you go. The game took us about 20-30mins to play each time which suited us perfectly.

Foul Play is great fun and is a game you could definitely play time and time again. The only thing that would have made it better for us was more players as it would most certainly become extremely competitive but ALOT of fun!

I recommend that you order your pack today for Christmas, you will not be disappointed!

#BlogTour The Twins by J.S. Lark

The Blurb

From the moment they are born, twins Susan and Sarah are inseparable.  Through good and bad, the girls will always be together…forever.
 
Until they meet Jonny.
 
Older, charming and handsome, Jonny offers the girls the much-needed love and attention they crave.  But he can only choose one and for the first time in their lives the girls find themselves split apart – the invisible thread that binds them severed.

Set-free from her twin, Sarah builds a new life for herself, marries, has a daughter.  But Susan’s life spirals further and further out of control.

And now Susan is back.  And she’s determined to reclaim everything she feels Sarah has taken from her. 

Her home, her husband…her life?

My Thoughts

I did enjoy ‘The Twins’ and became quite hooked on the story of them growing up as there seemed to be so many different aspects to their life and interesting stories to tell. However, I will warn any future readers that there are some parts that some readers may find disturbing, so definitely do your research before picking up this book.

The book switches between the past and the present and I have to admit that I did not feel this was done well. As the same characters are in both the past and the present, it became quite difficult to follow. This could be easily rectified by adding the year at the beginning of each chapter. That being said, I did read an ARC so appreciate that this may be changed before the final copy of the book is released.

J.S. Lark adds in a few twists along the way, some of which came as a surprise and they certainly keep the book interesting. The girls are both very intriguing and you quickly become gripped to their story. ‘The Twins’ was a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions for me, I felt sorry for them one minute but was angry the next, it is a real whirlwind! Overall, I would most certainly recommend the book to my followers, it is one to add to your TBR!

About the Author

Jane is a coffee, chocolate and red wine lover, and a late-night writer of compelling, passionate, and emotionally charged fiction.

Jane’s books may contain love, hate, violence, death, passion, a little swearing, and an ending you are never going to forget.

Social Media Links

Website: www.janelark.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JS-Lark-2288653328057315

Twitter: @JaneLark

Instagram: @Jane.Lark

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-s-lark

Sign up for Jane’s Newsletter: https://www.janelark.co.uk/contact

Buy your copy now…

#BookReview When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins

Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read this gripping book before it is released in the U.K. on the 15th April 2021.

The Blurb

Twenty-one years ago, Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were murdered in what has become the most infamous double murder of the modern age.

Ten-year-old Sara Carter – nicknamed the Angel of Death – spent eight years in a children’s secure unit and is living quietly under an assumed name with a family of her own.

Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down her older sister Shannon Carter, compelling her to break two decades of silence.

Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and journalist Brinley Booth, a childhood friend of the Carter sisters, is tasked with covering the news story.

For the first time, the three women are forced to confront what really happened on that blood-soaked night – with devastating consequences for them all.

My Thoughts

Oh my, what a gripping read! This is my first encounter with Fiona Cummins but since finishing I have been scrambling around looking to download every other book she has written!

I have to be honest and say that it took me a couple of chapters to get hooked as I found Catherine quite a strange character who wasn’t very likeable. However, as I read on I felt that this was deliberate and as the story progressed and we learned little snippets about her life, I became completely gripped with the story that was unfolding.

Brinley Booth has a very intriguing part to play in this whole story as she was there from the very beginning. Brave, dedicated and sincere are the words I would use to describe her. For me, she was the heroine in this story and I respected the way she stood up and took responsibility for her part in the historical events and did her best to make things right. I just wanted a ‘happily ever after’ for her!

There is certainly a lot of tension in the story which keeps you gripped and unable to put this book down! A must read for those who love psychological thrillers.

Buy your copy now!

#BookReview Sing me a Secret by Julie Houston

The Blurb

The four Sutherland sisters have all had very different paths in life, but one secret and a slighty tense production of Jesus Christ Superstar are about to bring them all back together again… 

When the news that pop-superstar Lexia Sutherland is returning to Westenbury, not everyone is thrilled by the news – including Lexia. There are too many memories she doesn’t need to face – or need re-surfacing. 

Meanwhile, Juno Sutherland just wants a little peace and quiet. As the local village doctor, she’s got her priorities in order; kids, job, husband, tenacious pony, a role in the village musical… So when the sexy new locum turns up – and steals her office – the last thing she needed was to be hit with rising temperatures and an over-active imagination. 

Will these sisters be able to uncover the past, deal with the future and put on the performance of a lifetime?

My Thoughts

Having read and loved ‘A Village Affair’, I was delighted when Julie Houston sent me a copy of ‘Sing Me a Secret’ to review and it did not disappoint.

I really like Houston’s style of writing, she knows how to tell a story well and it just seems to flow. ‘Sing Me a Secret’ is such an enjoyable read and you feel like you go through life with the characters, and in some ways feel like a fly on the wall watching the story unfold. I loved the sisters in this book, they were all so different but at the same time they all complimented one another and made each other complete.

There were lots of little surprises throughout the book, some of which I felt were a little obvious but also necessary for my overall enjoyment of the story as I would have been quite disappointed if things hadn’t worked out the way I had hoped for. I am not ashamed to admit that there were a couple of times I felt a little teary, which for me emphasises how well Julie Houston tells this fantastic story.

‘Sing Me a Secret’ is a real feel good story and a book that you just want to cuddle up with as the nights draw in. I would highly recommend it!

Buy your copy now…

#BlogTour The Thriller Collection by Alan Gorevan

I have been very excited to share this review with you today as I absolutely loved this collection of short stories!

The Blurb

An unmissable collection for fans of fast-paced reads. Three action-packed books in a single volume.

The Forbidden Room:

You and your partner are looking forward to a romantic break in the rugged landscape of West Cork, on the south west coast of Ireland. Cliff walks, seafood dinners and spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. But a storm is brewing. Your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. There’s no phone signal. So you start walking. You search for help. And you find it. At an isolated house, a family gives you shelter… but something is wrong. The husband has a head wound. The son is too terrified to speak. And the wife forbids you from going near her other son’s bedroom.

The Hostage:

Lindsey O’Reilly is at home, cleaning up after dinner, when she sees armed police swarming over her garden wall. There’s a noise downstairs. A knock on the door. She opens up, but it’s not the police. It’s the man they’re chasing. A stone-cold killer. Now he’s inside…

Hit and Run:

Jake Whelan ought to be happy. He has a devoted girlfriend and a job at a prestigious law firm, where he expects to make partner. Yet he’s crippled by terrifying panic attacks and a suspicion that his life isn’t as it should be. When Jake is passed over for promotion, he thinks his day can’t get any worse. He’s wrong. A terrible accident is about to change his life forever.

My Thoughts

Wow! I just loved this collection from Alan Gorevan! All three books kept me on the edge of my seat, I couldn’t put them down.

The characters in each book are very well portrayed and even although these are short stories, we know enough about each character to make them vivid and real. The stories flow well individually, but as a collection they work extremely well together. Each one is fast-paced and exciting, keeping you gripped from the very first paragraph. Gorevan is certainly very talented!

As I was writing this review I tried very hard to pick a favourite, however there are so many positives about each that is really was completely impossible. Alan Gorevan was a new author to me although he is most certainly one I will now be recommending to friends.

A fantastic thriller collection that is a must have on everyone’s TBR list!

About the Author

Alan Gorevan is an award-winning thriller writer and intellectual property attorney. He lives in Dublin.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alangorevan 

Facebook: fb.me/alan.gorevan.books

Website: https://www.alangorevan.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alangorevan/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPnLW_If4DDhT3L9BL9VOBA

Buy your copy here…

Publishing Information:

Published in digital format on 26th June 2020

#Blog Tour One Fatal Night by Hélene Fermont

Blurb

One woman’s quest for revenge unearths a fatal secret from her past.

Astrid Jensen holds one man responsible for her mother’s suicide, and she’ll do whatever’s necessary to get close to Daniel Holst and destroy his life – even if it means sleeping with him to gain his trust. Astrid knows he’s not who he pretends to be. But before she can reveal his dark secret, people from her mother’s past start turning up dead, and it looks like she and Daniel are next. In order to survive, she might have to put her trust in the man she has hated for so long.

Daniel Holst has worked hard to climb into Norway’s most elite and glamorous circles, and he’s not about to let any woman bring him down. But when a psychopathic killer starts murdering people from his shadowy past, he discovers that the only person who might be able to save him is the woman who wants to destroy him.

As Astrid digs deeper into her past, she uncovers secrets long buried and realizes everything she once believed is based on lies. What began as a quest to avenge her mother’s death becomes a desperate struggle for survival and leads to the truth about what happened one fatal night ten years ago—and the surprising mastermind behind the most recent murders.

If you’re a fan of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Debbie Howells, you’ll love this character driven thriller with a noir edge.

My Thoughts

One Fatal Night has a lot of twists and turns making for an intriguing read. Joel was the most surprising character for me as at the beginning he appeared to be over confident and very unlikeable, so I was pleasantly surprised when I quickly warmed to him. It was instantly evident that he had a very strong, unbreakable bond with Daniel and it was obvious that they both harnessed one another’s dark secrets.

Not normally one for short stories, I did enjoy this book and particularly relished in the fact that I could easily sit and read it in one sitting. It felt like quite an achievement.

For me though, I felt that the dialogue was very forced and simple, it didn’t always flow making it a little off putting at times. In addition, although I did enjoy the fact it was a novella, I couldn’t help but feel that it really did need padded out.

One Fatal Night was a good novella and if you haven’t before read a short story then I would certainly recommend this one to get you started! Happy Reading!

About the Author

Hélene is an Anglo-Swedish fiction author currently residing in her home town of Malmo, Sweden, after relocating back from London after 20 years.

Her thrilling character-driven psychological fiction novels are known for their explosive, pacy narrative and storylines.

Hélene is the proud author of four novels – One Fatal Night, Because of You, We Never Said Goodbye and His Guilty Secret.

Social Media Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/helenefermont

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helenefermontauthor/

Website: https://www.helenefermont.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/helenefermont

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15484308.Helene_Fermont

Buy your copy here…

Publishing Information:

Published in paperback and digital formats on 19th May 2020 by West Harbour Books

#BlogTour Eternal Forever by Syl Waters

For this review I received an actual paperback copy of the book which I was extremely excited about!

The Blurb

Fame, glory and… foul play!

Jessie was a shop worker dreaming of the big time, then YouTube found her. But staying in the limelight requires meticulous management: pop stars are made not born. 

With awards night approaching, the pressure’s on for Tito, Jessie’s manager, to whip her into shape. Getting so close wasn’t in the contract, but then neither was him being murdered in Spain.

Alone and scared of the negative publicity, Jessie turns to Mack, her account manager at Eternal Forever, the UK’s first digital legacy management agency. But Mack’s got his own issues: the company’s fast running out of cash, his key developer’s on the turn and a blogger’s suicide looks suspicious.

With the assistance of J-Pop, Mack’s assistant and wannabe reality TV star, Jessie turns sleuth. But in a world where everybody’s watching, it’s hard to escape. Reputation is everything and some people will do anything to protect it.

My Thoughts

Syl Waters is not an author I have previously encountered so I was intrigued to get started on this book. The whole premise was interesting, the idea that you are able to stay alive online even after you die is something I can imagine a lot of people would buy into, although waiting for someone to croak it before you can get to work is somewhat unnerving.

The one thing that did strike me about this book is that it would really only, in my opinion, appeal to readers in a certain age bracket. It most certainly felt like a young adult novel as it would only appeal to those who had an understanding or keen interest in social media and the online world.

Eternal Forever is an easy read with some likeable characters. The genre ‘cosy mystery’ sums the book up, a book you can cosy up with at the end of a long day with a cup or tea and a biscuit. Happy reading!

Syl Waters

Most people know crazy cat ladies are a ‘thing’, but I’m a proud crazy guinea pig lady! I love fun in the sun and plenty of cocktails. My happy place is flip flops. I write stories to keep me company – my characters ensure I’m never lonely and always smiling (when I’m not tearing my hair out!)

Social Media Links

www.sylwaters.com

twitter: @waters_syl

insta: @mrbob.guineapig

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/syl.waters.54

Buy your copy here…

#Judgeabookbyitscover #4

So…I only recently became aware of this online world known as NetGalley and I was super excited when I was accepted for my first book which I want to share with you. Here it is…

Sadly, this book is not published in the UK until April 2021 but that doesn’t mean you can’t add it to your TBR pile.

Why did I choose this cover?

The question at the bottom, ‘What drives a child to do the unthinkable?’ was the one of the first things that drew me to the book but it was the scissors that really grabbed me. I can’t decide whether it is rust, blood or dirt that is covering them and I cannot wait to read the book to find out. I look forward to sharing my review with you all soon!

Want to know more about the book? Take a look here…

If you have read any of Fiona Cummins other books or you have been lucky enough to also read an ARC of this one then feel free to leave me links to your reviews, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

#BlogTour – Not the Deaths Imagined by Anne Pettigrew

I am delighted to be supporting a fellow Scot by taking part in this Blog Tour. Being a Scot myself, I liked the references to landmarks across the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow and was able to clearly visualise the scenes. Anne Pettigrew is a talented author and one I will be following closely.

The Blurb

In a leafy Glasgow suburb, Dr Beth Semple is busy juggling motherhood and full-time GP work in the 90s NHS. But her life becomes even more problematic when she notices some odd deaths in her neighbourhood. Though Beth believes the stories don’t add up, the authorities remain stubbornly unconvinced.

Soon, Beth’s professional reputation is challenged. There follows a chilling campaign of harassment and she finds her professional reputation – and her family – are put at risk.

Is a charming local GP actually a serial killer? Can Beth piece together the jigsaw of perplexing fatalities and perhaps save lives? And as events accelerate towards a dramatic conclusion, will the police intervene in time?

From the author of Not the Life Imagined, this slow-burning tartan noir novel from a Bloody Scotland Crime Spotlight author follows Beth on another quest for justice. Reflecting Pettigrew’s own medical expertise, Not The Deaths Imagined re-affirms the benefits of growing up in a loving family and the need for friends in hard times, while offering insight into the twisted development of a psychopathic mind.

My Thoughts

Loved it! ‘Not the Deaths Imagined‘ is the second book in the Beth Temple series but my first Anne Pettigrew encounter. Despite having not yet read the first book – I would like to emphasise the word YET as the first book has already been downloaded to my kindle – the story was easy to follow.

Beth Semple is such an inspiring character with her strong principles and high morals and I have to admit that I was in awe of her relationship with her teenage girls. A determined woman who goes after what she thinks is right with finesse and conviction. I found myself wanting to be her friend which, in my opinion, demonstrates how well written this book is.

The only slight downside to not having read the first book was that I did feel at times that I had missed out on getting to know all of the characters well, but this in no way detracted from my sheer enjoyment of the story. I would highly recommend starting with ‘Not the Life Imagined‘ though as I’m sure you will not be disappointed.

Not the Deaths Imagined’ is a book not to be missed by Crime and Mystery enthusiasts. A thrilling story with relatable characters and a strong plot. I can’t wait to read the next instalment!

About the Author

A graduate of Glasgow (Medicine) and Wolfson College, Oxford (Anthropology), Anne Pettigrew has been a GP, worked in psychiatry, family planning/sexual health, lecturing, patient/women doctors pressure groups, BMA Media relations, Homeopathy, acupuncture, an EEC Committee, book reviewing and journalism (medico-political and humorous articles to The Herald, Doctor newspaper etc: a Channel 4 Despatches). Retiring from practice, she became a wedding planner for a charity theatre, before starting Creative Writing classes and mentoring at Glasgow University. She is now a member of Garnethill critical writer’s forum and has won short story and article trophies in Greenock Writer’s Club. Not the life Imagined was runner up in the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable Silver Stag Award 2018. The book was originally called No Sinecure, a title abandoned as no one under 35 in any class or group she joined knew what ‘sinecure’ meant (though some suggested it was apt, the book featuring ‘sin’ in those who ‘cure!’) Two more books are underway. Anne has two grown up children and lives with her husband in North Ayrshire.

Buy your copy now…

Follow Anne Pettigrew…

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pettigrew_anne

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annepettigrewauthor/

Website: https://annepettigrew.co.uk/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anne.pettigrew.author/

Publishing Information:

Published in paperback and digital formats by Ringwood Publishing on 1st August 2020