15 Dec 2019

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Book Review/ Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon





While parked at a gas station, Rhonda sees something so incongruously surreal that at first she hardly recognizes it as a crime in progress. She watches, unmoving, as someone dressed in a rabbit costume kidnaps a young girl. Devastated over having done nothing, Rhonda joins the investigation. But the closer she comes to identifying the abductor, the nearer she gets to the troubling truth about another missing child: her best friend, Lizzy, who vanished years before.

From the author of the acclaimed Promise Not to Tell comes a chilling and mesmerizing tale of shattered innocence, guilt, and ultimate redemption.








Published:     22nd April 2008
Publisher:  William Morrow
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

If it is possible to say for a mystery thriller style book but this was a fun read!  Being such a short book, it certainly does pack a punch and fits in quite a lot of twists and turns along the way.

There are two separate main time lines in this story - one is back in the past and the disappearance of Lizzie and one is the disappearance of a new girl.  Both had mention of a rabbit in some way - either they were in the woods with a rabbit or was taken by someone dressed as one.   This is one of those classic who done it and are they going to find the girl alive type stories but it is exactly what I wanted when I picked up this story and exactly what I got.

I was not surprised by much of the story, including the twists and turns, but the story of getting to the end was really fun and the writing was so easy to follow with the plot being fast paced, which is exactly what it should be.








Continue reading Book Review/ Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon

8 Dec 2019

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Trilogy Review / All Souls (Discovery of Witches) by Deborah Harkness



Fall under the spell of Diana and Matthew in the stunning first volume of the No.1 internationally bestsellling ALL SOULS trilogy.

A world of witches, daemons and vampires. A manuscript which holds the secrets of their past and the key to their future. Diana and Matthew - the forbidden love at the heart of it.

When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it's an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she's kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana's discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels...


Published:     First published September 2011
Publisher:  Headline
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Books 1 to 3, All Souls Trilogy
Source:  Owned





MY REVIEW

This review is a long time coming, believe me!  It has taken me a very long time to read this book!  In between other books, I started A Discovery of Witches (book 1) back at the beginning of November and I have only just finished book 3!  To give context, it very rarely takes me this long to read a book!  Not that the reasons for it taking so long were all bad, but I have a few things to say!

What I loved about this trilogy...
There was so much depth to this world and to each of the characters in it.  Either good or bad, there wasn't a character that I disliked in this world.  My favourite would have to be Gallowglass, to be honest, and for reasons I can't give you because that would spoil the story but his humour and loyalty were two aspects that I really enjoyed reading.   I also found the idea of the plot very interesting, you have a historian who discovers a manuscript which could potentially be the most important item in their world.  You have a bit of romance along the way also together with the history of the world as well.  

What I didn't like about this trilogy...
This was one of those books that I could not read quick - which I found frustrating considering the story is one that I thought would be more fast paced. The story, to me, seemed to be too far drawn out.  It would have been much better if this was a duology with less description and more action - and less pages!  Each of these books were around 600 pages and the text wasn't large either.  This story had so much potential for me but a lot of my interest was lost with non-important things happening.

Honestly, I will not be picking up Time's Convert which I believe is a spin off of this series.  
   




Continue reading Trilogy Review / All Souls (Discovery of Witches) by Deborah Harkness

10 Nov 2019

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The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman

A captivating, beautiful, and stunningly accomplished debut novel that opens in 1918 Australia - the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make one devastating choice that forever changes two worlds.

Australia, 1926. After four harrowing years fighting on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns home to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day's journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby's cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom's judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.


Published:     31st July 2012
Publisher:  Scribner
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned




MY REVIEW


In complete contrast to what I have just read (The Night Circus) I thought it would pick up another novel that has been on my shelf for ages, since 2012 when it first came out.  I am going to be honest and say that this novel made me nervous to pick up.  Not only was it that most reviews I have read and seen about this book were very highly rated but the movie was too.   I think I had such high expectations for this novel that I did not think it would live up to that.  Well, it did and then some more.

This story centres around Tom and Isabel.  Tom is a lighthouse keeper and he and his wife live on this tiny island, all by themselves.  One day a boat washes up on shore which has a dead man and a baby who is still alive.  For their own personal reasons, they decide not to report this but to raise the baby as their own.  What follows is seeing the consequences of the choices that they make and how they deal with that.

This story blew me away.  The start of the novel you have the introduction to the world and the main characters together with issues that they have and are facing.  Honestly, the middle part of this book was a bit slow and I did struggle a little bit to concentrate but it soon picked up again after they have 'settled' into their new lives.

A tragic but beautiful story that really focuses on moral obligations and personal obligations. 








Continue reading The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman

3 Nov 2019

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Book Review / The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.


Published:     13th September 2011
Publisher:  Doubleday
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand Alone
Source:  Owned







MY REVIEW


Now this book really surprised me!  Not only has this been on my shelf since it came out back in 2011 but it has been a book that I have picked up time and time again ready to read but for one reason or another never got around to it.  Now was the time and I am so happy that I did decide to read this.  The writing was beautiful and the plot and characters were even more wonderful. 

We start off being introduced to this circus that just appears overnight.  You have two ageing characters who agree to a competition/duel between two individuals who do not know they are taking part or know who each other is.  There's a lot they have to figure out.   You also have some many wonderful characters that are not lost in the plot, they all stand out and are unforgettable.    Where the story can go one way it can also go in the complete opposite and it is up to the participants of the competition to decide which way they are going to go. 


I just could not put this down!  I loved every minute of it.  This was not one of those books that you can just pick up and devour in an afternoon.  It needs to be savoured and read slowly.  That way you can truly take in all the information, characters, descriptions and all that good stuff that this book has to offer. 




Continue reading Book Review / The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

27 Oct 2019

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Book Review / Happy by Fearne Cotton


"This book is a way to release what's going on inside your head and to keep heading towards the good stuff. The simple stuff. The stuff that's going to really hit up that happiness on a deep and nourishing level. Whether you dip into these pages every now and then when you feel you need it, or use it daily as a positive exercise, I hope it brings you much relief, joy and calm. Amen to the pen." - Fearne Cotton

 
For many of us, life can feel like it's moving too fast with pressure bearing down on us from all sides - whether that's from school or work, family or social media. As a result, we find ourselves frazzled, lost and - too often - feeling blue.

It's a subject close to Fearne's heart. Drawing on her own experiences and including expert advice, HAPPY offers practical ways of finding joy each and every day. Happiness isn't a mountain to climb, it's just one foot in front of the other on the path of life, and here you'll find little steps that will help make the differences that count. With workbook elements to help you start and end the day well; get in touch with your creative side; and find peace through written exercises, simple practical ideas and visualisations, these are daily tricks and reminders to help you unlock that inner happiness.



Published:     9th February 2017
Publisher:  Orion Spring
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned




MY REVIEW

This was just what I needed to read at this time.  With a very busy life and work life, I do find it hard sometimes to keep up with everything and even keep up with myself.   This book made me stop and think about what I was doing and discover that something had to change.  

Fearne talks about her personal experieneces in this book together with talking to other friends about their experiences also.   There are a lot of topics that Fearne talks about in this book but, for me, the biggest aspect that I took out of this was not to hurry through life.  Take one step at a time and be picky about what you choose to do.  You can't do everything. 

Very inspirational reading and has definately made me stop and think. 

Continue reading Book Review / Happy by Fearne Cotton

21 Oct 2019

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Book Review / Mrs Hinch's Hinch Yourself Happy

Transform your home -- and your life -- with cleaning, tidying, and decluttering tips from British housekeeping sensation Mrs. Hinch.

Cleaning (aka "hinching") doesn't have to be a dreaded chore -- not when Mrs Hinch is here to show you her sparkly ways!
Often called the "British Marie Kondo," Mrs. Hinch is a domestic guru who has taken the world by storm with her infectiously addictive charm, clever tidying tips, and passionate belief in the healing power of cleaning. In Hinch Yourself Happy, she makes cleaning glamorous and fun, and explains how it's a brilliant way to taper anxiety and manage your mental health.
Inside you'll find out: How cleaning can soothe anxiety and stress Mrs Hinch's must-have cleaning supplies Step-by-step guides to hinching your home And so much more! With the help of her favorite tools and products -- including Dave the Duster and Shannon the Shark (her trusty vacuum cleaner) -- Mrs Hinch will show you how to truly make your house a home. Whether you're a daily scrubber or simply looking for a monthly household makeover, Hinch Yourself Happy will help you create a cleaner house and a calmer you.
If you want your kitchen to sparkle like Meghan Markle, then this is the book for you!



Published:     4th April 2019
Publisher:  Penguin
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

For someone like me who likes to be super organised and super clean (but not always managing it in our busy daily lives) this was such fun to read and motivational.  I,of course, follow Mrs Hinch on Instagram and always find her posts and stories motivational, especially on long days when all I want to do is sit on the sofa and watch TV.  Not only does she give me that pick me up to get myself off that sofa and sorting out my home but she also comes up with great tips and tricks that I had not heard of before and would actually save me time cleaning!

This book is, basically, that in word format.  It gives helpful tips and tricks combined with a bit of backstory and really helpful activities and lists that keep you going and keep your home clean!

This book is perfect for everyone - from those starting out in their first home and are not sure where to start (there are great lists in here of the basics you should keep in your cleaning cupboard) to those who have been at the cleaning your home game for so long they are in a routine that could use some shaking up.







Continue reading Book Review / Mrs Hinch's Hinch Yourself Happy

19 Oct 2019

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Book Review / Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.

Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, Burial Rites evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?





Published:     10th September 2013
Publisher:  Little Brown
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned





MY REVIEW


Now this was a book that I could not put down!  I have had this book since it came out back in 2013 and was in my 'to be read at some point' pile.  With historical novels, I really do have to be in the right mood and frame of mind to pick them up otherwise I just struggle to read them.  I am so glad that I had finally picked this one up!  I read this in one day and just could not go to bed until I had finished the last page.

We follow Agnes who is a convicted murderer of two men, by burning.  She is due to be executed but needs to be housed before then.  As is the custom back in that day in Iceland, she is placed with the family of an officer of the village.  The family are not happy at first but over time discover there is more to Agnes and her story than meets the eye.

There's a great combination of murder mystery and history here that just kept me turning the pages.  Yes, there is a lot of description and parts where I have to be honest and say that I was getting a little bit bored but that didn't last for long and we learnt something new.    This story was beautifully written and stayed with me long after I had finished reading.






Continue reading Book Review / Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

15 Oct 2019

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Book Review / The Search by Nora Roberts

To most people, Fiona Bristow seems to have an idyllic life: a quaint house on an island off Seattle's coast, a thriving dog-training school, and a challenging volunteer job performing canine search and rescue. Not to mention her three intensely loyal Labs. But Fiona got to this point by surviving a nightmare.

Several years ago, she was the only survivor of a serial killer — a madman who stalked and abducted young women, strangled them, and left them buried with a red scarf on their bodies. As authorities were closing in on the Red Scarf Killer, he shot and killed Fiona's cop fiancé and his K-9 partner.

On Orcas Island, Fiona has found the peace and solitude she needed to rebuild her life. Yet all that changes on the day Simon Doyle barrels up her drive, desperate for her help. He's the reluctant owner of an out-of-control puppy, foisted upon him by his mother. Jaws has eaten through Simon's house, and he's at his wit's end.

To Fiona, Jaws is nothing she can't handle. Simon is another matter. A newcomer to Orcas, he's a rugged and intensely private artist, known for creating exquisite furniture. Simon never wanted a puppy, and he most definitely doesn't want a woman. Besides, the lanky redhead is not his type. But tell that to the laws of attraction.

As Fiona embarks on training Jaws and as Simon begins to appreciate both dog and trainer, the past tears back into Fiona's life. A copycat killer has emerged out of the shadows, a man whose bloodlust has been channeled by a master with one motive: to reclaim the woman who slipped out of his hands.


Published:     1st May 2011
Publisher:  Piatkus Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


MY REVIEW

Maybe I should not have read another Nora Roberts after just finished one of her novels that I enjoyed or maybe it is just this story that just didn't work for me.   This book was both good and not so good for me but not in any interesting way.

I enjoyed following Fiona as she takes part in the Canine Search and Rescue and when she meets Simon, where a little romance gets thrown into the mix but, honestly speaking, I just got bored.  This book is over 500 pages long and, in my opinion, you don't have enough action happening in it to keep the pace going for the thriller is meant to be.   If this book had been 300 to 400 pages long, it would have made for an excellent read with lots happening but the fact that this story is so spaced out it just left me bored and wanting more.

Also being honest, I didn't finish this story.  I knew where the story was going and wasn't too bothered about following it through.  I had reached just over 400 pages at that point and just didn't see the point in carrying on.  I was bored and, as with most of the Nora Roberts books that I have read so far, the story would play out with no surprise and finish as expected, I assume.

Not one of my favourites but I am certainly going to be picking up more novels by Nora Roberts, but might give it a break for a bit before I do. 






Continue reading Book Review / The Search by Nora Roberts

13 Oct 2019

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Book Review / The Witness by Nora Roberts

Daughter of a controlling mother, Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking at a nightclub and allowing a strange man's seductive Russian accent lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.

Twelve years later, the woman known as Abigail Lowery lives on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she designs sophisticated security systems -- and supplements her own security with a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. But Abigail's reserve only intrigues police chief Brooks Gleason. Her logical mind, her secretive nature, and her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something -- and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed.

With a quirky, unforgettable heroine and a pulse-pounding plotline, Nora Roberts presents a riveting new read that cements her place as today's most reliably entertaining thriller -- and will leave people hungering for more.


Published:     17th April 2012
Publisher:  Piatkus Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

There's always something I love about reading a Nora Roberts book and that is you know what you are getting.  You are either getting a romance or a mystery thriller and that depends, for me, on what the front cover looks like!  You have a happy bright cover and you are more than likely to have a love story.  You have a darker cover with a scene of mystery and you know what you are going to get there...  mystery!

In this story, we follow Elizabeth who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Elizabeth's life has been very much controlled by a mother who has already decided what her daughter is going to do and be for the rest of her life and there's no deviation from that.  Now, Elizabeth's mother is going away for a few days and is trusting Elizbeth to do as she is told.  Unfortunately for her mother, Elizabeth is fed up of being controlled and wants to take a different direction in her life so along with her friend she gets dressed up and goes out to party.  It is just unfortunate that she ends up being witness to murder and has to run and go into hiding.  You can guess what happens after that.

There was no surprises for me in this book.  Everything played out exactly how I expected it to but that is exactly what I want and what I expect when I pick up a Nora Roberts, based on my past experience of her novels, so I enjoyed this story very much.  For me, it was the characters that made the story from Elizabeth at the beginning right through to Abigail and who helps her along the way. 







Continue reading Book Review / The Witness by Nora Roberts

12 Oct 2019

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Book Review / The Coldest Girl of Coldtown by Holly Black


Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.




Published:     3rd September 2013
Publisher:  Little Brown
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

Now, I am going to start by saying that this review has been long in the making.  I first picked up this book when it first came out in 2013 and, honestly speaking, could not get into it.  A couple of years after that I decided to pick it up again because the plot intrigued me, so I decided to try the audio book  On that occasion, I got to about one third of the way through and was bored by the story so I put it down.

Cut to today and I decided to give it one last shot, mainly for the reason that I really wanted to read more of Holly Black books - such as The Cruel Price etc - but never one for admitting defeat with books I wanted to give this book another go.  I decided to try again with the audio book.  This time I got to well over half way in the book and, unfortunately, the same thing happened.  I, honestly speaking, was bored by the story.  I had followed Tana from waking up in the party and taking the road trip to Coldtown and watching her as she gets used to where she is but I just could not invest myself in the story or the characters.

I would love to say that I might give this another go but three times enough for me.  I am just going to put this on the pile of I've given this a good go but its not for me. 

Continue reading Book Review / The Coldest Girl of Coldtown by Holly Black

6 Oct 2019

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Book Review / First Sight by Danielle Steel

Paris, L.A., and the world of ready to wear fashion provide rich backdrops for Danielle Steel’s deeply involving story of a gifted designer whose talent and drive have brought her everything—except the ability to erase her past and trust relationships.

FIRST SIGHT
 
New York. London. Milan. Paris. Fashion Week in all four cities. A month of endless interviews, parties, and unflagging work and attention to detail at the semiannual ready to wear fashion shows—the famous prêt-à-porter. At the center of the storm and avalanche of work is American Timmie O’Neill, whose renowned line, Timmie O, is the embodiment of casual chic, in fashion and for the home. She has created a business that inspires, fills, and consumes her life.

With an unerring instinct for what the next trend will be, an innate genius for business, tireless labor, and sheer fearlessness, starting from nothing, over two decades Timmie has built an international empire that has brought her enormous satisfaction and success. In a world where humility and compassion are all too rare, her humor, kindness, integrity, and creativity are inspirational. Yet as blessed as she feels by her success, Timmie harbors the private wounds of a devastating childhood and past tragedy. She is too smart, too experienced, and too hurt to want much in her personal life beyond a succession of convenient, very limited relationships. Always willing to take risks in business, she never risks her heart.

But despite her well-ordered and highly controlled world, it turns out that Timmie O’Neill is not immune to magic when it strikes. And it strikes in Paris during Paris Fashion Week, when an intriguing Frenchman comes into her life when she gets sick. At first, Timmie and Jean-Charles Vernier are only patient and physician. They become confidants and friends, corresponding at a safe distance between Paris and Los Angeles once she goes home. There is every reason why they must remain apart. But neither can deny their growing friendship and the electricity that sparks whenever they meet.
 
First Sight is as complex and compelling as modern life itself. Careers, families, histories, losses, duty, obligation, and fear of losing control and getting hurt. It is a tale of daring to take risks, and losing control just enough to have a life, when the opportunity presents itself. When two very different worlds and strong-willed people collide, everything changes in an instant, as they confront the age-old question of whether to lay oneself bare and risk intimacy—or not. Are they brave enough to face what comes next? And will they do it together or apart?


Published:     16th July 2013
Publisher:  Delacorte Press
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Bought



MY REVIEW

I am so glad that I decided to re-discover Danielle Steel.  Her books are so perfect for those days when you are looking for a non-complicated fun read with a twist of romance dropped in.   When you have had one of those long days that you wish to forget and all you want to do is have a long hot bath and settle with a book that is not going to test the brain too much, you must pick up a Danielle Steel.  Its not a perfect novel but I just let myself just get wound up in the emotion of the story and I loved the ride. 

In this book we follow Timmie, who is a very successful woman in the fashion industry.  I would guess that she is the equivalent of the person at the head of Vogue.  This book follows her as she deals with her day to day work struggles but also her day to day struggles in her personal life through past relationships, issues that she has had to deal with in the past to meeting new people and trying to fit that into her life.

Yes, there is a lot of this story that I felt was over the top and not presented in a realistic fashion but, to be honest, I let that slide and went along with the emotion of the story and that won this over for me.   Definitely worth picking up if that's what you like in a story. 









Continue reading Book Review / First Sight by Danielle Steel

2 Oct 2019

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Book Review / The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Claire

From #1 New York Times bestseller Cassandra Clare and award-winner Wesley Chu comes the first book in a new series that follows High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood as they tour the world after the Mortal War. The Red Scrolls of Magic is a Shadowhunters novel.

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping


Published:     9th April 2019
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, The Eldest Curses
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

This book was so much fun!  I was so excited to get back into the Shadowhunter world, especially when we are following two of my favourite characters - Magnus and Alec.   The Shadowhunters world and many series that have been written in it have been a firm favourite of mine for many years now and an instant pick up every time a new book comes out.  I was waiting to read this one until I had finished all the novellas in the Ghosts of the Shadow Market book, not wanting to either be spoiled by the story or missing anything about the world that is being told to me in the Ghosts of the Shadow Market book that I might pick up in this one.   For me, every book and novella in this series is a must read to fully understand the world and the characters in it.

Of course, I adore Magnus and Alec and it was wonderful to follow them and see more of how their relationship was going.  We also see the start of a new mystery/problem to solve and that is the cult called the Crimson Hand and the existence of the Red Scrolls of Magic. Of course, I won't spoil any of the story for you but it is a plot that I am very intrigued to find out how this is going to play out in this series.  I have a feeling that there are going to be a few revelations and secrets being let out of the bag along the way, I can't wait!

A must read for all those who love and follow the novels in the Shadowhunter world.  If you are new to this world and are new to Cassandra Clare you can, of course, pick up this novel if you want to but you will get so much more out of the story if you follow the authors recommended reading time line here - Cassandra Claire Author Website - Exploring the Shadowhunter Chronicles.



Continue reading Book Review / The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Claire

29 Sep 2019

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Book Review / The Lost World and Forever Fallen by Cassandra Claire (Ghosts of the Shadow Market)



THE LOST WORLD
While at the Scholomance, Ty and Livvy test the limits of Livvy's ghostly powers, while Jem and Tessa prepare for the birth of their child.


FOREVER FALLEN
The Jace Herondale who crossed into our world from Thule is torn between his feeling of responsibility to Ash, who is ever-increasing in power, and his desire to take back the life he lost from the Jace of our world, by force if necessary. Meanwhile, in the peaceful countryside of England, Kit Herondale struggles to adjust to a new life and a new family, and to forget Ty.


Published:     4th June 2019
Publisher:  Piatkus Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Books 9 and 10, Ghosts of the Shadow Market
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

As I am sure I have mentioned before, I am not the type of reader who would pick up the 'mini side stories' that come with series.  I usually tend to only pick up those books that are the main ones in the series.  Most of the time, I find that the 'side stories' don't really add that much to a story but the mini stories that go alongside Cassandra Clare's series need to be read.  They just add so much more to the depth of the characters and just adds more and more to the overall world that she writes in.

In The Lost World, we follow Ty and Livvy as they figure out what they can do with Livvy's new found powers, testing distance etc.  We also follow Jem and Tessa (which I have to confess are two of my most favourite characters in the Shadow Hunter world).

In Forever Fallen, this is more about Jace (or a version of) as well as Kit seeing him settle in to his new life and trying to forget friends he left  behind.

If you are not normally one for picking up novellas that go alongside the main stories, I would definately urge you to go back and pick up the ones in the Cassandra Clare world.  There is so much more that you can learn about the characters and the world from those stories, which may be small things that mean you understand more why a character makes a certain decision or it may be larger issues that mix in with the main novels.  Definately worth picking up. 






Continue reading Book Review / The Lost World and Forever Fallen by Cassandra Claire (Ghosts of the Shadow Market)

19 Sep 2019

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Book Review / Revival by Stephen King

In a small New England town, in the early 60s, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs Jacobs; the women and girls – including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister – feel the same about Reverend Jacobs. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond, based on their fascination with simple experiments in electricity.

Then tragedy strikes the Jacobs family; the preacher curses God, mocking all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.

Jamie has demons of his own. In his mid-thirties, he is living a nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll. Addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate, he sees Jacobs again – a showman on stage, creating dazzling ‘portraits in lightning’ – and their meeting has profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings. Because for every cure there is a price…

This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written. It’s a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe.



Published:     11th November 2014
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton

Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone

Source: Owned

MY REVIEW

I have not read a great deal of novels written by Stephen King, which is something I am working on correcting but its going to be a challenge considering how many books he has written!  With what I have read so far, I was expecting a massive horror book with twists and turns along the way.  Boy was I wrong about that assumption in this book!  Yes, it does have elements of horror but the main focus of the story is the character Charles Jacobs and what he can do bonded together with his friendship with Jamie Morton.

We follow Charles and Jamie from when they first meet, when Charles comes in as thew new minister and Jamie is a kid of a family that always attends, to many many years later when Jamie catches up with Charles.   This story centres on the choices that each of these characters makes and the consequences they face for those choices.

For me, the best part of this story was the character development of both Charles and Jamie.  From their apparent innocence at the start of the story, through various 'traumas' that happen to them along the way and right to where they end up at the end of the novel.

I was on the edge of my seat reading this novel, not wanting to put it down.  In fact, I really didn't put it down that much having read it in two sittings over the space of one weekend!  If you are new to Stephen King's writing, this novel would be a great place to start. 




Continue reading Book Review / Revival by Stephen King

15 Sep 2019

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Book Review / The Testament by John Grisham


In a plush Virginia office, a rich, angry old man is furiously rewriting his will. With his death just hours away, Troy Phelan wants to send a message to his children, his ex-wives, and his minions, a message that will touch off a vicious legal battle and transform dozens of lives.

Because Troy Phelan's new will names a sole surprise heir to his eleven-billion-dollar fortune: a mysterious woman named Rachel Lane, a missionary living deep in the jungles of Brazil.

Enter the lawyers. Nate O'Riley is fresh out of rehab, a disgraced corporate attorney handpicked for his last job: to find Rachel Lane at any cost. As Phelan's family circles like vultures in D.C., Nate is crashing through the Brazilian jungle, entering a world where money means nothing, where death is just one misstep away, and where a woman - pursued by enemies and friends alike - holds a stunning surprise of her own.





Published:     28th December 1999
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

Now this was the book I just could not wait getting to read when I decided I wanted to read all of John Grisham's novels (from the very first book and in order).  I have read quite a few of his novels many many years ago, but not all of them and this one was the one that I remembered the most and since reading it the first time had kept it on my favourite books of all time list ever since.  On second reading, I enjoyed this even more than the first time I read it - if that is at all possible!

Although the overall story in this book is that Troy Phelan dies leaving billions to an unknown daughter and we follow what happens next, we do follow each of the other sons and daughters of Troy that when he was alive he viewed as disappointments.

My favourite part of this book was following Nate, who is a lawyer but has suffered from drug/alcohol problems and had, until recently, been in a rehab facility.  He is called upon by his firm to go and find this unknown daughter who just so happens to be in Brazil, in the middle of nowhere, living as a missionary.  Not only do we follow Nate's journey, we learn more about Rachel (the unknown daughter) right from her past, present and hoped future.  This part for me was both addicting and heartbreaking in places.

Even though I found this story to be slow paced, I just could not put it down and read it almost in one entire day!  If you have not yet picked up a John Grisham novel, this would be a good one to start at (and then follow it with A Time to Kill and go from there). 






Continue reading Book Review / The Testament by John Grisham
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Book Review / The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware






On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it.










Published:     29th May 2018
Publisher:  Scout Press
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone: Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

Ruth Ware's books just keep getting better and better.  Having read her previous books, I suspected what I was getting into with this book but was not fully prepared for the fact that this book was so addicting that I just could not put it down!!!

Hal is the main character in this story who receives a letter to state that she was about to inherit an apparent fortune, but this must be a mistake because she had no knowledge of who this person was that had left her this.  Due to circumstances, she decides to go ahead and find out what is going on if for nothing else than to get a bit of money out of the situation, as she was broke.  We follow Hal as she meets the family of the late Mrs Westaway and surely the family secrets come crawling out of the woodwork.  Is Hal safe anymore?

Despite the fact that I had pretty much figured out all of the twists and turns in this story, that did not spoil the fact that this was a truly addicting story and I just had to follow it right to the very last page just to see how each of the characters reacted to what was being thrown at them at any given time.

A truly addicting story that you wont' be able to put down!

Continue reading Book Review / The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

11 Sep 2019

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Book Review / HRH by Danielle Steel

 
The conflict between the old world and the new...between responsibility and freedom...between duty and love...

Princess Christianna, happier in jeans and a sweatshirt than in the formal life of European royalty, leaves university to travel to East Africa as a volunteer for the Red Cross. Determined to make a difference, she plunges into the dusty, bustling life of an international relief camp, and is anxious to keep her identity a secret from her fellow aid workers.

Dr. Parker Williams, who works alongside Christianna and shares her dedication to healing, has no idea who she is - but as violence approaches and invades the camp, and the pressures of her royal life beckon her home, her struggle for freedom takes an extraordinary turn.

By a simple twist of fate, in one shocking moment, Christianna's life is changed for ever - in ways she could never have foreseen.





Published:     31st October 2006
Publisher:  Delacorte Press
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

So, I have to be honest and say that I did enjoy this book but I had some problems with this one.

We follow the main character, Princess Christianna, who although she cannot inhert the throne of the country that she lives in, she has to abide by the rules of the country and of her father, who is the current 'owner of throne'.  Christianna is more happier being a 'normal person' rather than putting on a ball gown and dealing with her obligations as a Princess.  She has had her moments of freedom, including attending University abroad.  Despite reservations, her father agrees that she can have 6 months to 1 year assisting with the Red Cross at an international relief camp.    This is where she meets Dr Parker Williams and the story goes from there.

Although this was a fun read and I really enjoyed the romance part of the story I just felt that the main character, Christianna, was not at all as strong as she is portrayed to me.  Maybe that was the point but she was strong enough to insist in her freedom, many times, but not strong enough to make the right choice between the man that she loves and her obligations (even though her obligations do not include taking up the crown in her home country).


Continue reading Book Review / HRH by Danielle Steel

8 Sep 2019

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Book Review / The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern


A forgotten childhood. A discovered life.
What if you only had one day to find out who you really were?


When Sabrina Boggs stumbles upon a mysterious collection of her father’s possessions, she discovers a truth where she never knew there was a lie. The familiar man she grew up with is suddenly a stranger to her.

An unexpected break in her monotonous daily routine leaves her just one day to unlock the secrets of the man she thought she knew. A day that unearths memories, stories and people she never knew existed. A day that changes her and those around her forever.

The Marble Collector is a thought-provoking novel about how the most ordinary decisions we make can have the most extraordinary consequences for how we live our lives. And how sometimes it’s only by shining on a light on someone else, that you can truly understand yourself.





Published:     29th October 2015
Publisher:  HarperCollins UK
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

I don't know why but when I first bought this book and first picked this up to read it, I thought that this was a collection of short stories.  But this story is really split into two view points.  The first view point is Sabrina who visits her father regularly, who had suffered a stroke.  She discovers that her father has a mysterious marble collection that she had no knowledge of and it seems that no one she talks to knows about it either.  It appears that her father had a secret and Sabrina wants to find this out.  The second view point is from the viewpoint of her father.  It runs through his family life when he was a child, his relationships with his family and how his collection came to me.

What makes this story even more interesting is the fact that the whole novel takes place in one day, from the view point of Sabrina.  It spans days and weeks from the view point of the father's past.

Even though this was an interesting read, I just could not collect or feel for the characters in this story and I am  not even sure why.  I think this is more a case of it was me and not the book.  Honestly, I could have done with a few more twists and turns or even something explosive happening in the story. 
Continue reading Book Review / The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern

5 Sep 2019

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Book Review / A Place of Secrets by Rachel Hore

The night before it all begins, Jude has the dream again...

Can dreams be passed down through families? As a child Jude suffered a recurrent nightmare: running through a dark forest, crying for her mother. Now her six-year-old niece, Summer, is having the same dream, and Jude is frightened for her.

A successful auctioneer, Jude is struggling to come to terms with the death of her husband. When she's asked to value a collection of scientific instruments and manuscripts belonging to Anthony Wickham, a lonely 18th-century astronomer, she leaps at the chance to escape London for the untamed beauty of Norfolk, where she grew up.

As Jude untangles Wickham's tragic story, she discovers threatening links to the present. What have Summer's nightmares to do with Starbrough folly, the eerie crumbling tower in the woods from which Wickham and his adopted daughter Esther once viewed the night sky? With the help of Euan, a local naturalist, Jude searches for answers in the wild, haunting splendour of the Norfolk forests. Dare she leave behind the sadness in her own life and learn to love again?


Published:     2nd September 2010
Publisher:  Pocket Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

I have had this book on my 'to be read' pile for years.  In fact, it was probably since it was first published!  I always seem to gravitate towards the types of stories that hold secrets, especially family secrets from the past.  I don't know what it is, but that type of story always intrigues me.

In this story, we follow Jude who, as a child, suffered from 'nightmares' and it seems now that her sister's daughter is experiencing the same fate.  Jude returns to her home town to value books at the manor there but somehow there is more to the story of the manor and, indeed, her own history that she is about to find out.

This was such a good book.   The way that it has been written kept me on my toes wondering what on earth was going to happen next.  It certainly did surprise me in a few places, more nearer the end of the story, but I have to admit that I did guess most of the story but that didn't spoil the fact that this was an addicting read. 

I really can't wait to dig into more novels by Rachel Hore.  I really enjoyed the writing style and as this may have been one of her earlier novels I am looking forward to seeing how much she is progressed with her newer novels. 

Continue reading Book Review / A Place of Secrets by Rachel Hore

3 Sep 2019

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Book Review / Through the Wall by Caroline Corcoran





Lexie’s got the perfect life. And someone else wants it…
Lexie loves her home. She feels safe and secure in it – and loved, thanks to her boyfriend Tom.

But recently, something’s not been quite right. A book out of place. A wardrobe door left open. A set of keys going missing…

Tom thinks Lexie’s going mad – but then, he’s away more often than he’s at home nowadays, so he wouldn’t understand.

Because Lexie isn’t losing it. She knows there’s someone out there watching her. And, deep down, she knows there’s nothing she can do to make them stop…








Published:     19th September 2019
Publisher:  Avon
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher



MY REVIEW

Now this is what you call a thriller.  This kept me on the edge of my seat just needing to know what  was going to happen next!

We follow two characters in this story.  Firstly, we have Lexie.  Lexie works from home in her apartment while her boyfriend Tom goes out to work.  They are trying for a baby but have not been successful yet and it has been a long road they have taken so far to try and have a baby.  Time has taken their toll on Lexie.   On the other side of the apartment wall, there lives Harriet.  Harriet is broken hearted, trying to get on with her life as best she could and living in a country that she had followed her ex-fiance to before they broke up.  The story truly starts when Harriet decides that Tom, Lexie's boyfriend, is the spitting image of her ex-fiance and gets it into her head that Lexie has stolen the life she could have had from her.

This was truly addicting!  Harriet, by a long shot, was my favourite character in this story.  Watching her spiral out of control and convincing herself that Lexie was the bad guy.  I would highly recommend!!!!!



Continue reading Book Review / Through the Wall by Caroline Corcoran

1 Sep 2019

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Book Review / The Swallows by Lisa Lutz

A new teacher at a New England prep school ignites a gender war--with deadly consequences--in a provocative novel from the bestselling author of The Passenger and the Spellman Files series.

What do you love? What do you hate? What do you want?

It starts with this simple writing prompt from Alex Witt, Stonebridge Academy's new creative writing teacher. When the students' answers raise disturbing questions of their own, Ms. Witt knows there's more going on the school than the faculty wants to see. She soon learns about The Ten--the students at the top of the school's social hierarchy--as well as their connection to something called The Darkroom.

Ms. Witt can't remain a passive observer. She finds the few girls who've started to question the school's "boys will be boys" attitude and incites a resistance that quickly becomes a movement. But just as it gains momentum, she also attracts the attention of an unknown enemy who knows a little too much about her--including what brought her to Stonebridge in the first place.

Meanwhile, Gemma, a defiant senior, has been plotting her attack for years, waiting for the right moment. Shy loner Norman hates his role in the Darkroom, but can't find the courage to fight back until he makes an unlikely alliance. And then there's Finn Ford, an English teacher with a shady reputation who keeps one eye on his literary ambitions and one on Ms. Witt.

As the school's secrets begin to trickle out, a boys-versus-girls skirmish turns into an all-out war, with deeply personal--and potentially fatal--consequences for everyone involved. Lisa Lutz's blistering, timely tale shows us what can happen when silence wins out over decency for too long--and why the scariest threat of all might be the idea that sooner or later, girls will be girls.



Published:     10th September 2019
Publisher:  Titan Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher



MY REVIEW

Now this was an interesting read.  On the one hand, I enjoyed the story and on the other hand there were certain aspects that made me feel very uncomfortable.

We follow Alexandra Witt as she joins Stonebridge Academy as a teacher.  Like many of other people at the Academy, she has a past.  Although this past may come back to bite her at some point in this story it is not the main focus of the story.  The main focus of the story is the boys versus girls mentality with the students.  You have the boys who seem to rule and most of the girls trying to do everything they can to get in the good books of the boys.   Alex along with a few other students start to rebel and then that is when the true story starts.


What I liked about this story was the portrayal that everything is not always what it seemed and despite the fact that there is something truly wrong with the Academy all is not lost.  There is always something that could be done to put things right, despite doing the right thing means that you have to do a wrong thing first.

What made me uncomfortable about this books is the content.  The fact that the boys are basically viewing the girls as their 'play things' for sex and blow jobs and scoring them in a secret website.   This type of content always makes me unfortunately for obvious reasons.  How old are the students, for example.  Are they of consenting age? I was not completely sure in this story as it seems that most of them are only just of age.

That said, I really enjoyed the writing and the pacing of the story and will certainly look into picking up more from this author. 




Continue reading Book Review / The Swallows by Lisa Lutz

29 Aug 2019

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Book Review / The Last by Hannah Jameson

For fans of high-concept thrillers such as Annihilation and The Girl with All the Gifts, this breathtaking dystopian psychological thriller follows an American academic stranded at a Swiss hotel as the world descends into nuclear war—along with twenty other survivors—who becomes obsessed with identifying a murderer in their midst after the body of a young girl is discovered in one of the hotel’s water tanks.

Jon thought he had all the time in the world to respond to his wife’s text message: I miss you so much. I feel bad about how we left it. Love you. But as he’s waiting in the lobby of the L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland after an academic conference, still mulling over how to respond to his wife, he receives a string of horrifying push notifications. Washington, DC has been hit with a nuclear bomb, then New York, then London, and finally Berlin. That’s all he knows before news outlets and social media goes black—and before the clouds on the horizon turn orange.

Now, two months later, there are twenty survivors holed up at the hotel, a place already tainted by its strange history of suicides and murders. Those who can’t bear to stay commit suicide or wander off into the woods. Jon and the others try to maintain some semblance of civilization. But when the water pressure disappears, and Jon and a crew of survivors investigate the hotel’s water tanks, they are shocked to discover the body of a young girl.

As supplies dwindle and tensions rise, Jon becomes obsessed with investigating the death of the little girl as a way to cling to his own humanity. Yet the real question remains: can he afford to lose his mind in this hotel, or should he take his chances in the outside world?



Published:     31st January 2019
Publisher:  Viking
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone: Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher



MY REVIEW

What an interesting read.  I have to admit that this is not normally the type of story that I would pick up.  I don't tend to gravitate towards the end of the world type stories but there was something about this one that seemed different to me.   Maybe it was the fact that this was mostly based in one location and focused on the people in this circumstance rather than what was happening out in the world.

The main character in this story is Jon who has arrived at the hotel in Switzerland for a break, after having marital problems and leaving his wife and children back home across the sea.  Not soon after he arrives disasters all around the world pop up and soon he and the other people left behind at the hotel realise that there's nowhere else to go but to stay where they are and try and wait it out.  Along  with this problem, you also have the mystery of a body found in a water tank on the roof of the hotel.  This was a very small part of the story but an interesting one that I would have loved to have more focus on.  For me, this book was more about the character stuck in the hotel, how they react to each other and how they cope with their new circumstances.

This was a very slow read.  For me, I did not feel a sense of urgency throughout the book.  It was a case that this disaster has happened in the outside world, they were stuck in the hotel and let's see how we can stay it out.   It is more a story of survival than anything scary or murdery.







Continue reading Book Review / The Last by Hannah Jameson

28 Aug 2019

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Book Review / Happy Birthday by Danielle Steel

Time to blow out the candles, say goodbye to the past, and make a wish for the future...

For April Wyatt, turning thirty is not what she had expected. She's single, with no interest in changing that in the foreseeable future. Her popular, successful restaurant in downtown New York - where she is chef and owner - consumes every ounce of her passion, attention and energy. Ready or not, though, April's life is about to change, in a tumultuous discovery on the morning of her milestone birthday.

April's mother Valerie is a popular TV personality and the queen of gracious living. Since her divorce long-ago, she has worked tirelessly to reach the pinnacle of her career and to create a camera-ready life in her Fifth Avenue penthouse. But she's having trouble equating her age with how she feels, and all the hours with her personal trainer, the careful work of top hairdressers and her natural good looks can't hide the fact that she is turning sixty, and the whole world discovers it on her birthday.

It is also Jack Adams' birthday - the most charismatic sports personality on TV, a man who has his pick of desirable younger women. But he fears his age may finally be catching up with him when he wakes up on his fiftieth birthday needing an emergency visit to the chiropractor...

A terrifying act of violence, an out-of-the-blue blessing, and two very unlikely love affairs soon turn lives inside out and upside down. As these three very different people celebrate their birthdays, they discover that life itself is a celebration - and that its greatest gifts are always a surprise..


Published:     7th July 2011
Publisher:  Bantam Press
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned


MY REVIEW

What a joy this was!  As always with Danielle Steel I always know what I am expecting when I pick up one of her books and I certainly wasn't disappointed with this one! 

In this story, we follow April as she turns 30.  She is single and overworked with her popular and successful restaurant, where she also lives just above that premises.  We are also introduced to Jack Adams.  It is also his birthday, his fiftieth and his luck is not running very high.   After an event, April and Jack meet and the story goes from there.  It is not always an easy road but one that I thoroughly enjoyed following.

Yes, this story is very predictable and there's nothing really surprising about it but it was exactly what I was expecting and what I wanted when I picked up this book.  Sometimes, you don't need to be surprised by any part of the story, you just want to sit back, relax and enjoy the story. 





Continue reading Book Review / Happy Birthday by Danielle Steel

25 Aug 2019

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Book Review / Country by Danielle Steel

Life for Stephanie Adams is all about being a devoted mother. For years, she has kept her unhappy marriage a secret, intent on protecting her children from seeing their family break up. Then Stephanie’s husband dies suddenly, and she sees a chance for everything to be different.

Stephanie strives to balance her children’s grief with her desire to move on from the past – but after years of giving up her life for everyone else, what should she do next? A spur-of-the-moment road trip leads her to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and a chance meeting . . . and her whole life changes forever.

When Stephanie meets country music megastar Chase Taylor, he opens up his exciting world to her. In Nashville, the music is bittersweet and the lyrics true. Now, Stephanie is no longer the same woman. By seizing the day, she has found a way to be free and happy.

But can her family find it in their hearts to let her go?

Dancing between the past and present, Country is a moving story of one woman finding the power to seize the day, and finding herself along the way. Carpe diem.


Published:     16th July 2015
Publisher:  Bantam Press
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned



MY REVIEW

It must have been years since I last read a Danielle Steel novel and I can't for the life of me remember why I haven't!  I had almost forgotten how good they are and how relaxing they can be!  Danielle Steel is one of those authors who you know pretty much what you are getting into before you get into it.  An easy style romance with a few twists and turns and possibly a few laughs along the way also.  This was just what I was looking for that this moment.

The main character in this story is Stephanie who is not happy in her relationship.  She is married to Bill who had had an affair and they were dealing with the aftermath of that, having agreed to have Bill come back to live with them, their kids having grown and left the nest already.  Stephanie, Bill and a few of their close friends go away on their usual skiing trip  When there, Bill suffers a heart attack while skiing and dies.  From that, Stephanie accidentally takes a road trip that leads her to many places and into meeting a potential new love (which is not too far fetched when you discover more about the relationship between her and her late husband) in the form of a country music star, Chase Taylor.

This book was so relaxing and fun to read, perfect for an easy relaxing day. 


Continue reading Book Review / Country by Danielle Steel

23 Aug 2019

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Book Review / Vendetta in Death by JD Robb

The predator becomes the prey in the newest thriller in the #1 New York Times bestselling series featuring homicide detective Eve Dallas.

She calls herself Lady Justice. And once she has chosen a man as her target, she turns herself into a tall blonde or a curvaceous redhead, makes herself as alluring and seductive as possible to them. Once they are in her grasp, they are powerless.

The first victim is wealthy businessman Nigel McEnroy. His company’s human resources department has already paid out settlements to a couple of his young victims—but they don’t know that his crimes go far beyond workplace harassment. Lady Justice knows. And in one shocking night of brutality, she makes him pay a much steeper price.

Now Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke, are combing through the evidence of McEnroy’s secret life. His compulsive need to record his misdeeds provides them with a wide range of suspects, but the true identity of Lady Justice remains elusive. It’s a challenging case, made even more difficult by McEnroy’s widow, who reacts to the investigation with fury, denial, and threats. Meanwhile, Lady Justice’s criminal crusade is escalating rapidly, and if Eve can’t stop this vigilante, there’s no telling how much blood may be spilled…


Published:     3rd September 2019
Publisher:  Piatkus Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 49, In Death
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher



MY REVIEW

This is one of those series that I really need to start reading from book 1 but haven't yet (but I do plan to) but you can pick up any of these books and enjoy the story.  With this story, it certainly helps reading more than one of the books in this series so you get an idea of the bigger picture.  I have read quite a few of the newer releases but one of my plans for 2020 I think is going to be starting this series from the beginning because I am sure that there is a lot that I am still not getting the full benefit of by not having read the earlier books.

With this story, we are following Homicide Detective Eve Dallas catch a killer.  This killer goes by the name of Lady Justice and is seemingly choosing her pray based on the wrongs that they have taken part in or caused in the past.

So, there was nothing really surprising about this story but it was exactly what I wanted and needed to read picking up this book.  JD Robb (Nora Roberts) is another one of those authors who you know  what you are picking up when you choose to read one of their novels (that being said I have only read a few so far so I might yet be surprised in the future...). 


Continue reading Book Review / Vendetta in Death by JD Robb