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

One Family Christmas Bella Osborne 5*#Review @osborne_bella @AvonBooksUK #Festive #Christmas #Family #drama #humour #Secrets @rararesources #OneFamilyChristmas

A big family. A whole lot of secrets. A Christmas to remember…

This year, Lottie is hosting one last big family Christmas at the home she grew up in – just like her Nana would have wanted.

But when her relatives descend on the old manor house, Lottie gets more than she bargained for. Every family has its secrets, but in this family, everybody has one!

So, between cooking a Christmas dinner, keeping tensions at bay and a stray dog out of mischief, she has plenty on her plate and not just misshapen sausage rolls and a frozen turkey. And then her first love shows up – nine years after he walked out of her life.

Can Lottie make their last family Christmas one to remember… for the right reasons?

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I received a copy of this book from Avon Book UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

It’s always fun when one of your favourite authors writes a festive book, and this one has laughter, love and life in abundance. Lottie wants to have a perfect family Christmas for her lovely Nana Rose, but the reality isn’t quite as rosy as the dream. Like many families, Lottie’s family has its eccentric members and secrets, but when they all in the same house, its a recipe for mayhem.

Lottie’s inability to cook is one obstacle and the emerging secrets from her family is another, but this makes for a fun read with touches of poignancy and romance that is likely to have you recalling past family Christmases. Every character adds to the story, especially the animals and you are left with a smile on your face when you reach the last page, lovely.

Bella Osborne

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. Since then she’s written six best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

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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.

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

My Darling Amanda Robson 4* #Review @AmandaRauthor #Audiobook #Narrators Laura Costello Matt Addis @themattaddis #Psychological #suspense #domestic #noir AudibleUK #BookReview #HarperCollinsAudio @AvonBooksUK #MyDarling

A new couple moves in next door.

And nothing will ever be the same again…

I watched you move in and thought we might be friends.

I saw you watching from the window – and knew I’d have to keep you away from my husband.

I started to trust you. Confide in you.

I started to mistrust you. Suspect you.

I was confused when I blacked out after an evening at your place. Was I really that drunk?

I came up with a plan. A plan to make you both pay . . .

Sexy and sinister – this book will keep you up all night . . .

Amazon UK Audible UK

I received an audiobook copy of this book from Harper Collins Audio – Avon in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is compelling domestic suspense that is well suited to the audiobook media. The narration is professional, and it’s easy to differentiate the characters. It’s helpful to have a male narrator for Alastair as he appears so frequently. Told from Jade, Emma and Alastair’s points of view this is a twisted story of abuse, betrayal, relationships, and revenge.

Although the adult characters are hard to empathise, they are believable and fascinating., Jade has mental health issues, and it’s her actions that precipitate the events that follow. Emma is also emotionally fragile. Alastair has severe anger issues which make him prone to violence. Thomas is the least well defined of the characters.

Detailed and intricate the plot’s many twists make it difficult to visualise the ending. The conclusion is probably as just as it can be, but the last one standing is not necessarily a good person.

This is an addictive book to listen to, even though the characters are few and the settings domestic, the sometimes shocking plot twists and suspenseful ethos make this a story that you have to finish.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Friendship, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Weekend Away Sarah Alderson 4*#Review @sarahalderson @AvonBooksUK #CrimeFiction #PsychologicalThriller #Lisbon #Friendship #BookReview #TheWeekendAway

Two friends go on holiday. Only one comes back.

Orla and Kate have been best friends forever. Together they’ve faced it all – be it Orla’s struggles as a new mother or Kate’s messy divorce. And whatever else happens in their lives, they can always look forward to their annual weekend away.

This year, they’re off to Lisbon: the perfect flat, the perfect view, the perfect itinerary. And what better way to kick things off in style than with the perfect night out?

But when Orla wakes up the next morning, Kate is gone. Brushed off by the police and with only a fuzzy memory of the night’s events, Orla is her friend’s only hope. As she frantically retraces their steps, Orla makes a series of shattering discoveries that threaten everything she holds dear. Because while Lisbon holds the secret of what happened that night, the truth may lie closer to home…

A twisty holiday read

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The predictability of this story’s foundation makes it relatable, and when it all goes wrong so much more chilling. Orla and Kate best friends embark on a long-awaited weekend away. Orla, a new mum, is torn between rekindling her friendship and lost identity and staying home with the child she idolises. She goes and quickly gets into the weekend away vibe. Unfortunately, the next morning Kate is missing, and so is Orla’s recollection of the night before.

The story follows Orla trying to find Kate and what she uncovers along the way. There are lots of twists, plenty of smokescreens and unreliable characters. Who can she trust? The suspenseful, pacy plot engenders a sense of danger.

I like the dynamic between Orla and her unlikely hero. The ending is true to the psychological thriller genre, unexpected, unexplained and unsettling.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Suspense

Watch Over You M.J.Ford 4*#Review @MJFordBooks@AvonBooksUK #CrimeFiction #Suspense #DSJosieMasters #BookReview #WatchOverYou

The hunt is on. And this time, it’s personal…

When DS Josie Masters is called out to a house in North Oxford to investigate a serious incident, things take a personal turn. The body is Harry’s – her friend and former colleague.

Josie thought Harry lived alone, but evidence suggests he’d had a lodger – a young woman who has fled the scene.

And as more killings stun Oxford, the police discover the picture is more complicated than it appeared.

The young woman is on the run, and someone is following her – leaving a stack of bodies in their wake…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A contemporary, gritty police procedural with a relatable female detective, and a complex investigation. DS Josie Masters is now a single mum returning to work for the first time since the birth of her son. She’s conflicted, but her driven personality and diligence to her role keeps her on active duty.

Her first murder is personal and violent, and old friend and everything is not as it first appears. The pacing is commensurate with the investigation, which is hampered by further seemingly unrelated deaths. I read this as a standalone enjoyably, but if you can read all of the books in the series to understand the character development and relationships at play.

This has a noir-crime ethos emphasised by the occasional chapters from a disturbed individual.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, New Books, Noir, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Heatwave Katerina Diamond 4*#Review @AvonBooksUK @TheVenomousPen #PsychologicalThriller #suspense #noir #CrimeFiction #SurviveTheHeatwave #BookReview #TheHeatwave

One summer. One stranger. One killer…

It can’t happen here…’

But what if it does – twice?

In their sleepy seaside town, Jasmine and Felicity have only ever felt safe.

Until Jasmine’s parents invite a stranger to stay, and they sense something about him isn’t right.

Tim is watching them both.

And then their community is rocked by a disappearance…

Years later, a second girl goes missing in her hometown, and Felicity is forced to return to face the truth.

A predator is stalking the streets. And only she holds the answers.

The unmissable new standalone thriller from the bestselling author of The Teacher and Woman in the Water

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Intense and immersive, this psychological thriller is suspenseful and twisted. Told from dual points of view Felicity in the present and Jasmine in the past it reveals a shocking story of betrayal and horrific crime.

Felicity has anxiety and keeps secrets about her past from her husband and children. An incident in her hometown draws her into the past. Felicity is an unreliable protagonist. Jasmine is a young girl confused by her feelings. The dual stories twist as they gravitate together.

The pacing increases with the impact of the reveals. The similarities between the past and present increase the suspense and make the story claustrophobic in its intensity.

The final twists in the past and present unify the viewpoints in a climactic way.

Psychological suspense tinged with noir.

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance, Romantic Comedy

The Love Square Laura Jane Williams 4*#Review @laurajaneauthor @AvonBooksUK #Dating #Romance #Humour #RomCom #TheLoveSquare #BookReview

She’s single. But that doesn’t mean it’s not complicated…

Penny Bridge has, historically, been very unlucky in love. She’s pledged to focus on other things – her friends, her career – making the most of what busy London life has to offer.

But when difficult circumstances mean that Penny’s uncle must hand over the kitchen of his beloved restaurant in Derbyshire, she finds herself stepping into a new life in a new town.

And as luck would have it, she’s suddenly confronted with one remarkable man who wants to date her, followed by another. And then another…

So begins a hilarious love-square with Penny firmly in the middle…

From the #1 ebook bestseller of Our Stop comes another funny and feel-good exploration of hope, romance and the trust it takes to finally fall in love.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a lighthearted romantic comedy where the female lead makes all the choices. It’s contemporary and diverse embracing love wherever it falls, which is refreshing. Penny is likeable, and the love square she finds herself in is amusing, frustrating and a little sad. I don’t necessarily understand what motivates some of her actions and choices, but they do make this a good read.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Sampler

#TheChristmasKiller Alex Pine @JPCarterAuthor @AvonBooksUK #Sampler #Review #ChristmasInJuly

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.

But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half-frozen in the snow.

As the blizzards descend, panic spreads through the remote Cumbrian village – there’s a killer amongst them, and with eleven more victims to go, anyone could be next….

Can James stop the killer before they strike again?

Pre-order your copy of The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine for only 99p! Out 29th Oct. ☃️ 

#Preorder Amazon UK

I received a sample of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts on #TheChristmasKiller #Sampler

This is a police procedural with a festive setting. James, a detective inspector in the Met moves to Cumbria when the threat of vengeance from a gangland boss looms. The village in Cumbria, the childhood home of his wife Annie has its share of deceit, hate and secrets but is someone willing to kill?

James is a likeable protagonist, straightforward and dedicated. Annie’s past in the village is chequered. Has her moving back started something dreadful?

In this initial sample of the story, there are no murders, only menace and threats. Suspense builds as the possible suspects emerge.

This is going to be a Christmas the villagers’ don’t forget. I look forward to reading what happens next.

Posted in Christmas Read, Cover Reveal, Festive Read

#TheChristmasKiller Alex Pine @AvonBooksUK #CoverReveal #ChristmasInJuly

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.

But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half-frozen in the snow.

As the blizzards descend, panic spreads through the remote Cumbrian village – there’s a killer amongst them, and with eleven more victims to go, anyone could be next….

Can James stop the killer before they strike again?

Pre-order your copy of The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine for only 99p! Out 29th Oct. ☃️ 

#Preorder Amazon UK

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Romance, Travel

Summer on a Sunny Island Sue Moorcroft 5*#Review @SueMoorcroft @AvonBooksUK #Summer #Romance #HolidayRomance #Malta #BookReview #WeekendReads

When Rosa Hammond splits up from her partner Marcus, her Mum Dora suggests a summer in Malta. Not one to sit back and watch her daughter be unhappy, Dora introduces Rosa to Zach, in the hope that romance will bloom under the summer sun. But Rosa’s determined not to be swayed by a handsome man – she’s in Malta to work, after all.

Zach, meanwhile, is a magnet for trouble and is dealing with a fair few problems of his own. Neither Rosa or Zach are ready for love – but does fate have other ideas? And after a summer in paradise, will Rosa ever want to leave?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

I love that this story introduces Rosa and Zach from the first page, and makes the reader realise neither are looking for a romantic relationship despite their chemistry. As the story unfolds passion ignites, as their emotional barriers crumble. This is a slow burn romance, full of internal and external conflict.

The island setting is vibrant and easy to imagine, the author’s first-hand knowledge evident. All the characters have a part to play in this complex story of family drama, youthful mistakes and second chances.

This is perfect Summer escapism with believable characters, contemporary issues and realistic romance.