Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Suspense

Falling in Louvre Fiona Leitch 5*#Review @fkleitch #romcom #mystery #domestic #supense #uplit #Paris #Louvre #FallinginLouvre #BookReview @rararesources #BlogTour

A heartfelt, funny and romantic caper – a mashup masterpiece!’

Sandy Barker, author of ‘That Night in Paris’.

Bertrand is King of the Pigeons…

Unofficially. From his perch atop a gargoyle on Notre Dame cathedral, he surveys his kingdom. He sees Sylvie Cloutier, art lover and ex-antiques dealer, making dinner for her bullying husband Henri, trapped in their loveless marriage like a bird in a gilded cage. He sees security guard, hopeless romantic and bookworm Philippe Moreau cycling through the streets of Paris in his crumpled uniform, late (again) for his night shift at the museum.

When Sylvie begs her husband to let her go to work, he gets her a job as an evening cleaner at the Louvre. He thinks such a menial position will dispel any ideas about independence she might have, but his plan backfires when she falls in love with kind, gentle Philippe. They decide to run away together, but there’s a major problem: neither of them has any money.

One stormy night in the Louvre, the answer to their prayers falls into their lap… But is it really the solution, or just another, even bigger problem?

What follows is a romantic, wistful but madcap adventure through (and under) the city of lights, involving a stolen painting, an art heist in reverse, and Eric Cantona. Will love find a way?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a charming romantic Parisian escapade. In 2016, Paris, the city of lovers was also, the city of flooding and football. The reader meets Sylvie, trapped in a controlling marriage, a shadow of her former vibrant self and Phillipe, a gentle individual through the eyes of Bertrand, a Parisian pigeon. Sylvie and Phillipe meet at the Louvre, not as romantic as it sounds, but they are drawn to each other and enjoy an epic, escapist adventure but will they find happiness?

Believable characters and the Parisian setting come to vibrant life through vivid imagery. Humour and poignancy ebb and flow into a plot full of adventure, mystery and romance with a magical twist.

Fiona Leitch

Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. After living in London and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters. Her debut novel and first in the Bella Tyson series, ‘Dead in Venice’, was published by Audible as one of their Crime Grant finalists, and her bestselling cosy mystery series, The Nosey Parker Mysteries, is published by One More Chapter/HarperCollins.

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Read my review of Murder Ahoy

Read my review of Murder on the Menu (Book1)

Read my review of A Brush with Death (Book2)

Read my Review of A Sprinkle of Sabotage(Book3)

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, International Thriller

Saint Justice Mike Girst @michaelgrist 4*#Review @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #International #Thriller #Action #BlogTour #BookReview #ChristopherWren #SaintJustice

Hundreds of human cages hidden in the desert. A small-town police department wiped out. One man with nothing to lose.

Rogue DELTA operator Christopher Wren pulls off I-70 after three weeks on the road and walks into a biker bar in Price, Utah. An arbitrary decision he’s about to regret.

Wren’s a stranger in a gang bar involved with human trafficking. The bikers attack Wren, leave him for dead and steal his truck.

Now he’s going to get it back.

From a secret warehouse in the desert. Ringed with fences. Filled with human cages.

As a dark national kidnapping conspiracy unfolds and the body count mounts, one thing is for certain.

Justice will be done.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is the first book in the Christopher Wren series, and my first book by this author. There’s violence, written using graphic imagery, that is a signature of this type of action international thriller.

The main protagonist is a contemporary anti-hero. He’s the weapon government agencies use to rid themselves of predatory forces and terrorists. His moral compass is finely balanced, and his emotional damage great, in some ways more of a creation than a human his effectiveness is legendary. He has a story, of course, which the reader learns as the story progresses.

Wren’s vigilantes have his back, but it’s a fine line between good and bad in this complex and fast-paced plot. The setting and scenarios are believable, and this authenticity gives the story its edge. Vividly described characters draw the reader into this dark world, which in many ways seems frighteningly real.

This story of relentless action and violence with an intricate plot is addictive if unsettling reading.

Mike Grist

Mike Grist is the British/American author of the Christopher Wren thriller series. For 11 years Mike lived in Tokyo, Japan, exploring and photographing the dark side of the city and the country: gangs, cults and abandoned places. Now he writes from London, UK, about rogue DELTA operator Christopher Wren – an anti-hero vigilante who brings brutal payback for dark crimes.

Discover Mike’s other books and his stunning ruins photography at his Website

Posted in Author Guest Post, Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Romance, Suspense, Travel

Cold Horizon Kristy McCaffrey 5* #Review #ThePathwaySeries @McCaffreyKristy #BookReview #Climbers #Adventure #mountaineering #Romance #Suspense #K2 #Blog Tour #ColdHorizon @LoveBooksGroup #Environment #GuestPost #Travel #LoveBooksTours #DeepBlue

Ambition and courage at the top of the world …

Lindsey Coulson likes to scale mountains. With her sister, Alison, she has made a name for herself climbing the tallest and most treacherous peaks in the world. But when Alison dies on a K2 expedition—the second-highest mountain on earth—Lindsey stops climbing. Unable to shed her grief, it becomes clear she must return to the wilderness and only one place will do—K2, the Savage Mountain.

Tyler Galloway has finally secured a permit from the Pakistani government to bring an American team to K2. When Lindsey Coulson inquires about joining the expedition, he gladly brings the famed mountaineer on board. Her strong climbing resume precedes her, and she’ll be a welcome addition to the small crew he has assembled. But K2 is a force unto itself, as is Lindsey. Both will test his limits. And both will test his heart.

Amazon UK

#LoveBooksTours

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

After reading ‘Deep Blue’ the first book in the Pathway series, I looked forward to reading book two, ‘Cold Horizon’, and it is just as adrenaline-fuelled, believable and emotional as the first book. The second book is a standalone read, although characters from the first book are mentioned, this is Lindsey and Tyler’s adventure.

Tyler is an adventure writer, surfer and mountain climber, and Lindsey, a dedicated climber too, has to be on his next expedition, to climb the savage mountain K2. Not because she wants to conquer it, but to try and assuage the crippling grief of her sister’s death. They always climbed together, this time they didn’t and Alison didn’t come back.

Beginning with a climbing incident, the book backtracks to the beginning of the climb. The details are well-researched, and make the story interesting. Add in the believable personalities of the various climbers, and it is impossible not to be drawn into their adventure. I’ve never understood why people endanger themselves to climb mountains, but now I do.

The dynamic between the climbers making up Lindsey and Tyler’s team is authentic, and the characters realistic. The camaraderie between the different climbing teams, wars with their rivalry, making this story, an insightful study of human nature, as they take on the elemental forces around them.

The developing romance between Lindsey and Tyler gives the story a romantic edge. The setting is dynamic and forbidding and full of vivid imagery. The writing style engages you from the first page, and takes you on a wild, emotional adventure, to the edge of the abyss and back. Lindsey’s emotional and physical journey is difficult, as she faces her guilt and finds inner peace with her sister’s fate.

Guest Post – Kristy McCaffreyThe Belay

K2, located in the Karakoram Mountain Range, is the second-highest mountain in the world at 28,251 feet, straddling the Pakistan/China border. Its icy sides are steep and exposed, and it’s prone to heavy storms and avalanches. K2 wasn’t surveyed until 1852, and the first known climbing attempt was in 1902, with one of the climbers’ none other than Aleister Crowley. They never made it higher than 20,000 feet.

In 1953, with the summit yet to be reached, an American expedition was launched, marking the fifth quest to conquer the mountain. The team was led by Charles Houston, who had attempted to climb K2 in 1938 but had retreated just shy of the summit due to diminishing supplies and imminent bad weather.

High-altitude mountaineering had, up to this point, been an enormous undertaking with the establishment of many camps along the route to the top, taking several weeks of ascents and descents to stock gear, food, and heavy oxygen canisters. Instead, Houston proposed a lightweight expedition, and this would later become known as the Alpine style of climbing.

There were eight men on the team: Charles Houston, a physician; Robert Bates, a climbing friend of Houston’s from their Harvard days, who had also gone to K2 in 1938; Robert Craig, a ski instructor from Seattle; Art Gilkey, a geologist from Iowa; Dee Molenaar, a geologist and artist from Seattle; Pete Schoening, also from Seattle and the youngest member at 25; George Bell, a nuclear scientist from Los Alamos; and Tony Streather, an English army officer.

As they approached the summit, Art Gilkey became ill, most likely with thrombophlebitis (a blood clot). The team decided to descend in order to save Gilkey’s life, despite that his condition was likely fatal. Since he was unable to walk, they carried him in a makeshift stretcher made from canvas, ropes and a sleeping bag.

Somewhere around 24,600 feet, Bell slipped and fell on a patch of ice, pulling off his rope-mate, Streather. As they fell, their rope became entangled with those connecting Houston, Bates, Gilkey and Molenaar, pulling them along as well. Pete Schoening, who had been belaying Gilkey and Molenaar, was now the only climber still standing and was connected to the force of six falling men. He quickly wrapped the rope around his shoulders and ice axe, and he miraculously held all six climbers from plummeting to their deaths. This act became known as “The Belay,” considered one of the most famous events in mountaineering history.

After the climbers had recovered and made their way to a tent at the next lower camp, they, unfortunately, lost Gilkey. He had been anchored to the ice slope as the exhausted climbers had prepared the tent. They could hear his muffled shouts, but when they returned to retrieve him, he was gone. The most likely culprit was an avalanche. Later, members of the team concluded that Gilkey had released the anchors to unburden himself from the team, but the true cause of his death remains unknown.

In more than 150 years of mountaineering, only about 300 climbers have reached the summit of K2, known as the Savage Mountain, while nearly 80 people have died trying.

#KristyMcCaffrey

Kristy McCaffrey has been writing since she was very young, but it wasn’t until she was a stay-at-home mom that she considered becoming published. A fascination with science led her to earn two mechanical engineering degrees—she did her undergraduate work at Arizona State University and her graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh—but storytelling has always been her passion. She writes both contemporary tales and award-winning historical western romances.

With the release of Deep Blue, Kristy is launching The Pathway Series, a project she’s been developing for years. Each book will combine her love of animal conservation and environmental awareness, while also shining a light on unique and diverse locations around the world. Come along for high adventure with honourable heroes, determined heroines, and Kristy’s trademark mysticism.

An Arizona native, Kristy and her husband reside in the desert where they frequently remove (rescue) rattlesnakes from their property, go for runs among the cactus, and plan trips to far-off places like the Orkney Islands or Machu Picchu. But mostly, she works 12-hour days and enjoys at-home date nights with her sweetheart, which usually include Will Ferrell movies and sci-fi flicks. Her four children have nearly all flown the nest, and the family recently lost their cherished chocolate Labrador, Ranger, so these days a great deal of attention is lavished on Ranger’s sister, Lily, and the newest addition to the household—Marley, an older yellow Labrador they rescued in early 2018. Both dogs are frequently featured on Kristy’sInstagram account, so pop over to meet her canine family.

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” – John Muir

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Posted in Book Review

Hellbent Gregg Hurwitz 5* Review

 

To some he was Orphan X. Others knew him as theNowhere Man. But to veteran spymaster Jack Johns he was a boy named Evan Smoak.

Taken from an orphanage, Evan was raised inside a top-secret programme designed to turn him into a deadly weapon. Jack became his instructor, mentor, teacher and guardian. Because for all the dangerous skills he instilled in his young charge, he also cared for Evan like a son. And now Jack needs Evan’s help.

The Orphan programme hid dark secrets. Now those with blood on their hands want every trace of it gone. And they will stop at nothing to make sure that Jack and Evan go with it.

With little time remaining, Jack gives Evan his last assignment: to find and protect the programme’s last recruit. And to stay alive long enough to uncover the shocking truth …

Amazon UK

Amazon

 My Thoughts… 

So, I haven’t read the first two books in the Orphan series, but it didn’t take long to work out what was happening, the scene setting and backstory, supplied at the beginning and throughout the book is excellent and makes this easy to read as a standalone.

Orphan X trained as a killer from a young, impressionable age. His mentor contacts him as the final seconds of his life tick away. His message sets the scene for Orphan X to carry out Jack Johns last wishes. X undertakes a journey of revenge but finds it is also a voyage of self-discovery as he reacquaints with his humanity.

The pace of this story is breathtaking. Plot twists confound you, and there is plenty of adrenaline-fueled combat and violence. Painstakingly detailed descriptions let you visualise the action, not always a good thing. However, each violent act moves the story along and provides a vital piece in the puzzle that Orphan X and his young companion Joey must solve. The ending is explosive and satisfying and surprisingly poignant.

An addictive, action-packed, character-driven read that drags you into a dynamic, horrific world that is frighteningly realistic.

I received a copy of this book from Michael Joseph, Penguin UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.