Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Fantasy, Folk Tales, Friendship, Horror Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Suspense, Young Adult

The Tear Collector Shawn Burgess 4* #Review @ShawnBinjax Narrator Lou Petrella #Audiobook #Review #BlogTour @rararesources #AudibleUK #Horror #Mystery #ComingofAge

The misdeeds of our ancestors are debts passed from generation to generation. They lurk, hidden in the shadows, waiting for the right time to be collected. For the residents of Harper Pass—their debt is due.

When a young autistic girl goes missing from a small Appalachian community, the residents of Harper Pass descend into chaos. Brooks Raker and his friends stumble across the police investigation, and as they dig deeper into the mysterious events, the boys realize the fate of their missing classmate pales in comparison with the evil lurking in the shadows of the quiet little town.

With four boys who believe something sinister is at work, and an ambitious reporter breathing down his neck, Detective Holt of the Harper Pass Police Department must confront his doubts and follow the evidence. A chain of disappearances and suspicious deaths, leads Holt to the doorstep of the mysterious and reclusive Professor Wadlow who may know exactly what has come to collect in Harper Pass.

Can the detective and the boys work together to unravel the dark secrets of Harper Pass before those secrets devour them all?

Audible UK Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story starts with a tragedy and then returns to the present day where it appears, history is repeating its self. A missing girl and horrific deaths mean the inhabitants of Harper Pass are in danger but by whom or what?

The author builds a believable world centred around a group of young adults. The friendship and bullying described are relatable, and the team dynamic realistic. There are elements of horror and mystery. The author explores the susceptibility of young minds to the paranormal believably. The bond between young adults grows into a powerful force for good.

Perfect for audiobook media, the excellent narrator creates easy to identify characters, and traits bringing the story to life for the listener.

The story is claustrophobic and intense. The author’s use of sensory imagery immerses the reader into the characters’ lives. The ending is exciting and satisfying with a twist that makes you want to find out what next?

Shawn Burgess

Shawn Burgess has a BA in English from the University of Florida, and he focused on literature for his postgraduate studies at the University of North Florida. His travels have taken him to most parts of the country, where he often drew inspiration for his stories through meeting interesting people and experiencing unique places. Beware! If you find yourself behaving curiously within the crosshairs of his vision you might end up on one of his pages. In his spare time, Shawn enjoys travelling, attending concerts, reading, and playing golf. He typically makes year-round preparations for Halloween by building props and elaborate sets. Shawn claims Jacksonville, Florida as his home, but he has lived all over the southeastern United States. Many of his stories are set in those towns he once called home, or in fictional places inspired by them. He says, “I enjoy building upon the natural mysteries surrounding those areas I’ve personally experienced.” The Tear Collector is Shawn’s debut novel, but he’s currently working on a YA Fantasy novel, as well as The Tear Collector’s sequel. He is active on social media, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Twitter Instagram Facebook BookBub

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Noir, Psychological Thriller, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Sleepless Louise Mumford 4*#Review @louise_mumford @HQStories @rararesources #BookReview #AudiobookReview #Sleepless #psychological #suspense #dystopian #thriller #Insomnia #BlogTour #PublicationDayPush

Don’t close your eyes. Don’t fall asleep. Don’t let them in.

Thea is an insomniac; she hasn’t slept more than three hours a night for years.

So when an ad for a sleep trial that promises to change her life pops up on her phone, Thea knows this is her last chance at finding any kind of normal life.

Soon Thea’s sleeping for longer than she has in a decade, and awakes feeling transformed. So much so that at first she’s willing to overlook the oddities of the trial – the lack of any phone signal; the way she can’t leave her bedroom without permission; the fact that all her personal possessions are locked away, even her shoes.

But it soon becomes clear that the trial doesn’t just want to help Thea sleep. It wants to control her sleep…An unputdownable, gripping psychological thriller

I received a copy of this book/audiobook from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story gets full marks for originality. The theme of insomnia is a relatable one and the author’s interpretation an interesting balance of imagination and reality. I also listened to the audiobook edition of this. The excellent narration makes the story come alive, creating a claustrophobic and immersive story.

It begins with Thea’s desperation to sleep, which makes her apply for a scientific trial that uses new techniques. She ends up on a creepy island with a medley of different characters. The first part of the story is atmospheric and disturbing, the people running the programme are they trustworthy? Thea’s sense of what is real is impaired, as is her judgement. The author creates a believably, frightening world.

There’s nail-biting drama and then the story twist into something else. After dramatic events, the story becomes more like a science-fiction, dystopian drama, but with the same characters.

The characters are vivid, and the events described using sensory imagery that draws the reader into the story. There’s something for everyone in this mix of genres. This is a unique and disturbing story, with an eerie ending.

Louise Mumford

Louise was born and lives in South Wales. From a young age she loved books and dancing, but hated having to go to sleep, convinced that she might miss out on something interesting happening in the world whilst she dozed – much to her mother’s frustration! Insomnia has been a part of her life ever since.

She studied English Literature at university and graduated with first class honours. As a teacher she tried to pass on her love of reading to her students (and discovered that the secret to successful teaching is… stickers! She is aware that that is, essentially, bribery.)

In the summer of 2019 Louise experienced a once-in-a-lifetime moment: she was discovered as a new writer by her publisher at the Primadonna Festival. Everything has been a bit of a whirlwind since then.

Louise lives in Cardiff with her husband and spends her time trying to get down on paper all the marvellous and frightening things that happen in her head.

Her debut thriller, SLEEPLESS, will be published by HQ on 11th Dec 2020.

Twitter Instagram Facebook                                                                                                            

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Family Drama, Friendship, Noir, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Housemate Nina Manning 4*#Review @ninamanning78 @BoldwoodBooks Narrator #HelenKeeley #PsychologicalThriller #Domestic #Suspense #Guilt #Obsession #boldwoodbloggers #Audiobook #Review #TheHousemate @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #FridayReads #FridayThoughts

The perfect life? …Or the perfect lie?

When Regi moves into her new house share, she’s ready for a clean slate. A new home. A new routine. A new identity…

Desperate to escape the shadow of her past that follows her everywhere she goes, Regi finds the ideal distraction in the perfect lives of others on social media.

But as innocent scrolling turns into an unhealthy obsession, Regi will soon learn that seeking perfection comes at a price…

A gripping psychological suspense from the international bestselling author of The Daughter In Law.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story demonstrates the claustrophobic and immersive qualities of psychological suspense so well. It begins with a traumatic incident in Regi’s life. The reader knows this is important but not why. Regi’s painful past and mental health issues define her and make everyday life difficult. Her housemates are younger but supportive. The story believably depicts Regis’ OCD, but its repetitive nature is emotionally draining on the reader and slows the pace.

The narrator produces an excellent interpretation of the story and its nuances.

Regi is a complex character, an unreliable protagonist with secrets. The suspense building is good, there are menacing undertones, and some clever changes in plot direction that keep the listener guessing. The focus on social media gives this story an immediacy and relevance.

Nina Manning

Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family). She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast. Her debut psychological thriller, The Daughter in Law, was a bestseller in the UK, US, Australia and Canada. She lives in Dorset.

Nina’s Author Profile Website Twitter

Instagram Facebook Newsletter Sign Up

YouTube Podcast Bookbub

Read my review of The Daughter in Law

Read my review of The Guilty Wife

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Family Drama, Festive Read, Romance

A Surprise Christmas Wedding Phillipa Ashley 5* #Review @PhillipaAshley @AvonBooksUK #HarperCollinsAudioUK #festive #Christmas #Cumbria #Events #Weddings #Winter #BookReview #Audiobook Narrator Laura Kirman @laurakirman #Review #ASupriseChristmasWedding

It’s been a year since Lottie’s fiancé walked out, leaving her heartbroken. But things start to look up when she lands her dream job at a beautiful Lake District estate, with a handsome groundskeeper for a neighbour.
 
So when Lottie is asked to organise a last minute Christmas wedding at Firholme, she can’t wait to get started. Until she meets the couple, and discovers that Connor, the man who broke her heart, is the groom-to-be.
 

As snow falls on the hills, can Lottie put aside her past to organise the perfect winter wedding? And will there be any festive magic left to bring Lottie the perfect Christmas she deserves?

Curl up with this gorgeous story about love and second chances.

Amazon UK Audiobook

I received a copy of this book and audiobook from Avon Books UK and Harper Collins Audio UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I’ve read lots of this author’s books, but this is the first I’ve listened to as an audiobook. Rather than Cornwall, the setting for this story is Cumbria one of my favourite places, so I couldn’t wait to start listening. This is a story of betrayal, forgiveness and second chances with a surprising festive wedding. Not wanting to give away the plot suffice it to say not all surprises are welcome.

Lottie is working as an event planner at a Cumbrian country house. Planning her first wedding causes conflict in her personal and professional lives, ultimately it makes her realise, some truths about herself and her previous relationship. Jay appears unsocial, but he has trust issues when it comes to relationships, something that stands between his and Lottie’s happiness.

The story has some lovely festive touches, and the romance is conflicted, but rewarding. There is also a poignantly relevant sub-plot about Lottie’s sister, which shows the importance of their sisterly bond and is a particularly heartwarming part of the story.

The characters are vibrant and wonderfully flawed, and they are brought to life, convincingly, by the excellent narrator. Not all the characters are easy to like, particularly Connor and his fiancee Keegan. The story has a good plot for an audiobook with lots of characters and dialects. The narrator is professional and copes well with the different accents and characters.

If you are looking for a festive read with family and forgiveness at its heart with ripples of romance, and humour this is a perfect read.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Blitz, Childrens Books, Fantasy, Magic

Wild Sky Lexi Rees 4*#Review @lexi_rees Narrator Chris Devon @MrChrisDevon #TheRelicHunters @rararesources #kidlit #childrensbooks #magic #adventure #fantasy #AudioBlitz #BookReview #Audiobook #Review #WildSky

After delivering the pearl, Finn and Aria thought life would return to normal.

But with the survival of the clans still in peril, they must continue their quest.

Can they find the next relic before the forces of evil?

Not everyone is who they appear to be

And time is running out …

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

The second book in the Relic Hunters series takes Finn and Aria, and some new friends, on a quest to find the air relic. Aria needs to hone her powers and rally her clan to achieve this aim. Careful world-building peppered with adrenaline-fueled action scenes take the children to the farthest reaches of the world. Their enemies are many, and a dangerous pact threatens to thwart their quest. Who can they trust? Will they succeed?

This story makes a wonderful audiobook. The narrator brings the characters and the adventures to life. Having read the book it is lovely to hear a professional narrator voice the characters making them distinctive and memorable. This is a perfect listen for older children who like adventure stories and the chance to let their imaginations wander.

The concepts of right and wrong, good versus evil and brave children will appeal to adults too, I enjoyed this part of the adventure and found the easy listening style immersive, and the characters relatable.

Although the adventure is complete, and this story can be listened to as a standalone, the overall quest is interesting, and I suggest you listen to Eternal Seas, the start of the series, first. The link to my review of this is below.

#LexiRees

Lexi Rees writes action-packed adventures for children. The first book in The Relic Hunters Series, Eternal Seas, was awarded a “loved by” badge from LoveReading4Kids and is currently longlisted for a Chanticleer award.

She’s passionate about developing a love of reading and writing in children, and as well as an active programme of school visits and other events, she has published a Creative Writing Skills workbook, is a Book PenPal for three primary schools and runs a free online #kidsclub and newsletter which includes book recommendations and creative writing activities. 

In her spare time, she’s a keen crafter and spends a considerable amount of time trying not to fall off horses or boats. https://twitter.com/lexi_rees In her spare time, she’s a keen crafter and spends a considerable amount of time trying not to fall off horses or boats.

Website Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube

Read my review of book 1 in The Relic Hunters

Win the children’s adventure series, the Relic Hunters, on Audible, including both Eternal Seas PLUS Wild Sky.

Total listening time of almost 8 hours.

Free UK or UK audible code.

Click on link to enter https://kingsumo.com/g/adafwc/join-the-relic-hunters

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance

Mine to Five Tara September 5*#Review @TaraSeptember #Narrator @verla_bond #Romance #Workplace #ContemporaryRomance #Audiobook #Review #BlogTour #Festive #FridayReads #MinetoFive

Working beyond nine to five and barely getting by, Melanie Thomas is eager to celebrate the impending holiday season and to toast the start of her dream marketing job over drinks with her boyfriend. Unfortunately, he has different planslike seeing other women. 

Indulging in a pity party with tequila, Melanie confides in a sexy stranger at the bar. It’s almost Christmas. One night of letting go won’t hurt anything, right? Turns out it just might—when the stranger is her new boss. Determined to succeed at her job, Melanie won’t be scared away. This is her chance, even if her hot boss has her feeling all merry and bright and wishing for a less-than-professional relationship.

Matthew Ryans is burned out and on thin ice at the company he helped build unless he gets his head back in the game. Yet his head, both upper and lower, are quickly becoming obsessed with his new assistant. Still, he can’t seem to fully begrudge Melanie’s distracting presence and the Christmas joy she brings with it. Especially considering that her enthusiasm has him reenergized. For once, he is longing for Mondays, but with his heart and job on the line, he can’t risk blurring the lines no matter how strong the lure of holiday mistletoe is.  

Will their holiday passion be able to fuel mutual career success, or will it only get in their way in the New Year?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

A well-paced sexy romance set in the workplace. With believable and relatable characters and a storyline perfect for an audiobook listen. This is the second of this author’s books I’ve listened to by this narrator, who makes it easy to engage with the characters and the story.

Melanie and Mathew’s meeting at a bar leads to complications in their work lives, even though neither can remember the details of the encounter. This is a sensual romance with passion and forbidden love which explores the dangers of workplace romance and the unfair consequences for women.

The story has a festive setting, which adds to the romance and whilst there are no real surprises, the ending is passionate and so romantic.

Tara September

Tara September is a multi-award-winning contemporary romance author living in Southwest Florida. Blogger and former PR executive for The Walt Disney Company, Tara holds a Master’s degree in journalism & communications from New York University. For over a decade, Tara has penned a popular lifestyle, travel and parenting blog at TaraMetBlog.com

An avid romance reader though, she has been daydreaming about being an author since she was a kid. Dozens of bad dates and adventures later, she still finds it impossible that she met her husband on a NYC subway. They now have identical twin boys and four cats underfoot/on her laptop/everywhere. Fueled by an IV of green tea and an outrageous stock of champagne, she’s finally writing the happily ever after tales she’s been dreaming about.

Twitter Instagram Facebook Website

If readers sign-up to Tara September’s newsletter they can automatically get her short story It Might Be You for free at Newsletter Sign Up 

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Romance

Meet Me in London Georgia Toffolo 4*#Review @ToffTalks @MillsandBoon #Romance #Festive #London #Audiobook #Review #BookReview #HarperCollinsAudioUK #MondayBlogs #MeetMeinLondon #MillsandBoonInsider

What do you do when your fake engagement starts to feel too real…

Aspiring clothes designer Victoria Scott spends her days working in a bar in Chelsea, and her evenings designing vintage clothes, dreaming of one day opening her own boutique. But these aspirations are under threat from the new department store opening at the end of her road. She needs a Christmas miracle, but one is not forthcoming.

Oliver Russell’s Christmas is not looking very festive right now. His family’s new London department store opening is behind schedule, and on top of that his interfering, if well meaning, mother is pressing him to introduce his girlfriend to her. A girlfriend who does not exist. He needs a diversion. Something to keep his mother from interfering while he focuses on the business.

When Oliver meets Victoria, he offers a proposition: pretend to be his girlfriend at the opening of his store and he will provide an opportunity for Victoria to showcase her designs. But what starts as a business arrangement soon becomes something more tempting, as the fake relationship starts to feel very real. But when secrets in Victoria’s past are exposed will Oliver walk away, or will they both follow their hearts and find what neither knew they were looking for…

#Preorder Audiobook Kindle out 15 October

I received a copy of this audiobook and Ebook from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

An audiobook read by the author is always good for the reader because the author’s interpretation of the characters has inherent authenticity. This engaging narration brings the characters to life, especially Victoria and immerses the reader in her life and romance.

This is a love story set in Chelsea, London. The book’s setting and characters are realistic and give the story a unique sense of place.

Victoria is recovering, from a relationship break up that damaged both career aspirations and her heart. Oliver is troubleshooting the opening of a flagship department store, for his family’s business but he’s doing it more out of loyalty than a vocation. Victoria is likeable and relatable. Oliver, although emotionally remote, has a kind heart. When they meet, in the bar the chemistry is quick to ignite although they keep their feelings hidden until fate brings them, together again.

This is a gentle romance catalysed by a fake engagement. It is passionate but conflicted as the couple keep secrets that threaten their future. The realisation that a fake engagement is not what the couple want, leads to internal conflict and sadness, but thankfully all the angst is rewarded with a happy ending.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Crime, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

House of Correction Nicci French 5*#Review @FrenchNicci #narrator @WhelanGemma @WFHowes #audiobook #Review #CrimeFiction #HouseofCorrection #MondayBlogs

She’s a murderer.Everyone knows she killed Stuart Rees – why else would his dead body be found in her shed?

So now Tabitha is in prison, awaiting trial.

Coming back to the remote coastal village where she grew up was a mistake. She didn’t fit in then, and she doesn’t fit in now.

That day is such a blur, she can’t remember clearly what happened. There is something she is missing, something important…

She only knows one thing. She is not capable of murder.

And the only one she can trust to help her out of this situation is herself.

So she must fight. Against the odds.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This isn’t a traditional prison drama. It conveys the claustrophobia and menace of life behind bars but doesn’t rely on overt abuse, or violence to make this point. It ensures you concentrate on Tabitha’s desperate situation.

Tabitha is an unreliable protagonist she has mental health issues which may impair her memory recall and perception of events on that day. The supporting characters seen through Tabitha’s eyes are relatable and demonstrate how villages are often prone to gossip and sidelining individuals who don’t fit in. Tabitha engenders empathy. She is alone and initially confused, not knowing who to trust in a dangerous environment.

The story explores Tabitha’s momentous journey towards her trial and its outcome, believably whilst parts may seem unlikely the reader wants her to find justice. The courtroom parts of the story are enthralling, and Tabitha’s character development is most apparent here.

The outcome is a satisfying end to a suspenseful, often poignant story.

Listening to this story as an audiobook makes it easy to absorb and get to know the characters. The narration is clear, engaging, and the portrayal of the numerous characters excellent. This is an enjoyable, listening experience.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Novella, Romance

Jesse’s Girl Tara September 4*#Review @TaraSeptember #Narrator @verla_bond #Audiobook #Review #Romance #Friendship @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #JessesGirl

🎶 “I wish that I had Jesse’s Girl”*

Successful Texas lawyer, Reade Walker, curses that damn song every time it plays, all too aware of the irony of its lyrics. After all, he has been secretly and painfully enamored with Jesse’s girl, Gwen, for nearly a decade. It was love at first sight for him, but sadly she’s not his girl. She belongs to the one man who betrayed him and knows Reade’s hidden family secret. Yet Reade can’t seem to love anyone except the one woman he can’t have. Or can he make her mine? When Gwen Clark’s senator husband runs off with his intern and all their money, the ensuing scandal turns her life upside down. Deserted, penniless and desperate to provide for her six-year-old daughter, Gwen has no one to turn to but Reade Walker. The one man her heart desperately wants, but her pride dreads having to ask for help. Despite welcoming them into his home, it seems like Reade can barely stand being in the same room with her anymore, let alone under the same roof—in the same bedroom. But Gwen is determined to get her life back on track. It is past time to rediscover her own dreams…if only she can keep her aching heart from breaking all over again.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this audiobook in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a friend to lover romantic novella with relatable characters and sensual romance. I listened to this story in audiobook form, and it was enjoyable. The narration is professional, and her interpretation of the characters and the plot immerses the reader in the story making it an authentic experience.

The plot is easy to follow with great sensual tension between Gwen and Reade. There is also a charming family element to this story, which makes the happy ever after more rewarding. This easy to listen to audiobook is perfect for lovers of sensual romance and happy endings.

Tara September

Blogger and former PR executive for The Walt Disney Company, Tara holds a Master’s degree in journalism & communications from New York University. She also spent a semester abroad during her undergrad at Queen Mary University in London. For over a decade before publishing, Tara has penned a popular lifestyle, travel and parenting blog at TaraMetBlog.com

Always an avid romance reader, she has been daydreaming about being an author since school. Dozens of bad dates, four cities and adventures later, she still finds it impossible that she met her husband on a New York City subway. They now live in sunny Florida with identical twin boys and four cats underfoot/on her laptop/everywhere. Fueled by an IV of green tea and sometimes Champagne, she’s finally writing the happily ever after tales she’s been dreaming about.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Psychological Thriller

One Perfect Morning Pamela Crane 4*#Review @MentalMommyPam @AvonBooksUK #BookReview #AudioBook #Friendship #Secrets #HarperCollinsAudio #domestic #noir #PsychologicalThriller #OnePerfectMorning

She’s made her bed, and now he’s lying dead in it…

Mackenzie, Robin and Lily have been inseparable since college. Twenty years on, they all live in the same neighbourhood with their perfect homes, perfect families, perfect lives.

But in their idyllic suburban town, no one truly knows what goes on behind closed doors. For each of these women is crumbling under the weight of a secret, a betrayal, a lie.

And when the worst happens, will the unbreakable bond of their friendship survive, though it’s started to fray at the edges?

One dead husband. Three women with motives. And they’re all best friends who have each other’s backs – or do they…?

A sharp, twisty and utterly addictive suspense novel.

Amazon UK Audible UK

I received a an audiobook from Avon Books UK – Harper Collins Audio UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I listened to an audiobook copy of this story, which is absorbing and enjoyable.

The narrator is professional and brings each of the characters to life through her different voices. It’s easy to feel part of the dialogue with her narration.

The story begins on the precipice of something awful and then goes back in time to discover what events lead to this moment. Predominately told from three points of view it explores the women’s longstanding friendship and the secrets they hide with each other and alone.

The characters are diverse and relatable you are invested in their lives. You empathise with them because of their flaws and mistakes. The logical plot has many twists and features domestic abuse, rape, and murder. The crimes are heinous, but not overly graphic, but the emotional and physical damage is believable.

The conclusion ties up any loose ends and gives hope, and possible future dilemmas for Lily, Mackenzie and Robin.