Missing Presumed – D.S. Manon #1 – Susie Steiner – 4 *Review

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Mystery Thriller Blurb

Mid-December, and Cambridgeshire is blanketed with snow. Detective Sergeant Manon Bradshaw tries to sleep after yet another soul-destroying Internet date – the low murmuring of her police radio her only solace.

Over the airwaves come reports of a missing woman – door ajar, keys and phone left behind, a spatter of blood on the kitchen floor. Manon knows the first 72 hours are critical: you find her, or you look for a body. And as soon as she sees a picture of Edith Hind, a Cambridge post-graduate from a well-connected family, she knows this case will be big.

Is Edith alive or dead? Was her ‘complex love life’ at the heart of her disappearance, as a senior officer tells the increasingly hungry press? And when a body is found, is it the end or only the beginning?

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon UK

 Amazon

Mystery Thriller My Review

A good crime mystery is defined by its detective. Manon Bradshaw is a complex, compelling creature who ensures you keep turning the pages even when the plot is a little pedestrian in parts.

I liked the carefully layered plot, which gradually gives the reader more pieces in the jigsaw, only to add tragic events and new characters which complicate rather than inform. It would have been so easy to write a sensationalised ending but ‘Missing, Presumed’, stays true to its credible roots and is believable. The story’s women’s fiction element is strong and makes it worth reading.The suspense is well written but this is more about familial relationships and friendships than criminals.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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The Cosy Christmas Tea Shop – Caroline Roberts – 5* Review

 

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Amazon UK

 Amazon

my-review-winter

Festive angst and cheer at the castle tea shop. Easy to read with believable characters and events, definitely my favourite book in this series. Romance, friendship and sparkling humour. Lovely down to earth characters, a perfect slice of cafe life at the castle for Christmas. I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Girl Before – J.P. Delaney – 5* Review

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Mystery Thriller Blurb

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price?
Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Mystery Thriller My Review

The Girl Before

Two young women, one in the past and one in the present, whose lives intertwine, as the past threatens to overwhelm the present.
The suspense grips you from the first page, each woman has so many secrets and emotional damage and the clean, simple lines of 1 Folgate Street, offers a new start, the slate wiped clean and they are desperate to take the solace it offers, whatever the cost.

The girls’ past histories draw you in. The suspense intensifies as Jane discovers what happened to Emma, the woman who lived there before her and the secrets surrounding her.

The women’s characters are fascinating and tragic.

The enigmatic owner and architect of 1 Folgate Street is mysterious and menacing. Yet, sometimes it’s the familiar that presents the most danger.  

There are lots of grey areas in this story, open to the reader’s own interpretation, which keep you turning the pages and make you wonder if you really have understood, who did what. 

A story that will keep you enthralled to the end.
I received a copy of this story from Quercus Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

J.P. Delaney

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The Girl Before – J.P. Delaney – 5* Review- Sampler

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Mystery Thriller Blurb

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price?
Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Mystery Thriller My Review

The Girl Before

Review of Sampler:

Two young women, one in the past and one in the present, whose lives intertwine, as the past threatens to overwhelm the present.
The suspense grips you from the first page, each woman has so many secrets and emotional damage and the clean, simple lines of 1 Folgate Street, offers a new start, the slate wiped clean and they are desperate to take the solace it offers, whatever the cost.
The sampler reveals enough about the girls’ past to draw you in. The suspense intensifies as Jane discovers what happened to Emma, the woman who lived there before her and the secrets surrounding her.
The women’s characters are fascinating and tragic. The enigmatic owner and architect of 1 Folgate Street is mysterious and menacing. A story that will keep you enthralled to the end.
I received a sampler of this story from Quercus Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

J.P. Delaney

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And Then What? – Britannia Beach #3- D.R.Graham- 5* Review

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Blurb - Coastal

“A complication just showed up. Mmm, a beautiful complication.”

Juggling assignments and missing her old life inBritannia Beach, Derian Lafleur’s first year at university has beenoverwhelming to say the least. A sun-filled, all-expenses-paid, springbreak getaway with her best friend, Sophie Sakamoto, is exactly what she needs. Or so she thinks…

Until the last person in the world Derian expected to see shows up at the Acapulco resort, and her already stressful life suddenly becomes a million times more complicated. When the girls’spring break takes an unexpectedly dangerous turn, they find themselves lost and injured in the Mexican wilderness, and Deri is the only hope they have for getting out alive. If only she can figure out what to do next.

Buy Links - Coastal

Amazon UK

Amazon 

My Review - Coastal

And Then What? (Britannia Beach, Book 3)I read book 3 immediately after ‘What are the Chances’ because I wanted to see what happened to Derian and Trevor. You won’t be disappointed if you’re a romantic but this story has lots of surprises and adds suspense and drama to the romance and self-development of the previous books. The Britannia Beach series is worth reading and book 3 provides an exciting and satisfying conclusion.
Now at university, life is a little ordinary, Deri and Trevor are together but Deri is still unsure of her place in his life, although he is number one in hers. A surprise invitation leads to reunion, unexpected danger and a maelstrom of emotions for Deri. Friendship and love are centre stage in this story and it’s often poignant.
The ending is suspenseful and well written and a perfect ending to a lovely young adult series.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

And Then What? by D.R. Graham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


And Then What? (Britannia Beach, Book 3) by D.R. Graham

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What Are The Chances? – Britannia Beach #2 – D.R.Graham – 4*Review

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Blurb - Coastal

“Oh, there’s a point to a summer fling. Trust me.”
The Inn is sold and Derian Lafleur has been accepted to two universities–one close by and one across the country. Before leaving Britannia Beach for good Deri wants to enjoy one last summer of sun and fun. However her best friend, Sophie Sakamoto, is more interested in making sure Derian has one last summer romance. The question is, with whom? Deri has had a crush on childhood friend Trevor Maverty since forever. But he’s already taken. And Mason Cartwright is back in town after a year abroad. But will he remember her? Faced with tough choices, emotional revelations, and heart-breaking goodbyes, Derian knows that whatever happens it’s definitely going to be an eventful summer….

Buy Links  - Coastal

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review - Coastal

What Are The Chances? (Britannia Beach, Book 2)

 

Derian has come to terms with losing her childhood home, the Inn at Britannia Beach but she still craves something more than friendship with her childhood companion Trevor. He is at University, getting on with his life, so she should do the same, right? Sophie her best friend wants her to live a little in her last summer in Britannia Beach and have a summer romance and when Mason returns from a year abroad, the attraction between them is still simmering, so why not?
This is not a typical love triangle book, although there are elements of this in book 2 of The Britannia Beach series. Derian is at a crossroads, she has a new maturity, as she decides where to university and what she wants from her life. Acceptance of how things are is an important theme of this story, which is light and romantic but doesn’t shy away from the thorny issues that face young people in early adulthood.
Her relationship with Mason is interesting, he appears to be her back up plan, a way to get back at Trevor her lifelong friend, who she is desperate to have as a boyfriend. After a rocky start, she sees more to Mason than his polished appearance and personality usually reveals and she begins to like him. There are lots of emotional ups and downs in this story, not only for Derian but also for her close friends.
This story doesn’t have the impact of the first book’ Put It Out There’ but it is a good middle story. It explores ‘Deri and Mason’s relationship and sets the scene for the final book in the series ‘And Then What?’.
An easy to read, entertaining story with well-developed, interesting characters and a sensitive exploration of young love and problems facing young adults.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley.

What Are The Chances? by D.R. Graham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


What Are The Chances? (Britannia Beach, Book 2) by D.R. Graham

D.R. Graham

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Catch 26 – Carol Prisant – Review

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Paranormal Blurb

What if you could live your life all over again?

There’s just one catch…

Frannie Turner is a plain, middle-aged housewife married to Stanley, a self-absorbed retired dentist who hasn’t slept in her bed in years. No children to love and be loved by. No exciting career to look back on. Just loneliness and lost dreams. So when the mysterious new hairdresser in town offers her the chance to get everything she’s ever wanted, Frannie figures she has nothing to lose -except her soul. And surely, as a stunning twenty-six-year-old singleton in New York, finding true love within the stipulated year should be a piece of cake, not to mention a hell of a lot of fun!

But New York City is no place for the naïve, and Frannie will soon learn just how dangerous a deal with the devil can be…

Paranormal Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

 

Paranormal My Review

Catch 26: A Novel

I liked the idea of this story, but I  didn’t connect with the central character and  the story didn’t fulfil it’s potential. I didn’t finish this book, which is rare for me.
This story is too dark, the main character doesn’t seem to have any good memories in her life  and came across as someone who lets life pass her by. This passive personality trait makes it unlikely she would ‘make a deal with the devil’, as we are supposed to believe. If she couldn’t break away from a man who clearly thought of her as a possession rather than a person how could she make such a risky, out of character choice? It’s the lack of credibility of the main character that spoils the story.
There are many humorous moments and plenty of passion as she searches for her true love but these don’t compensate for the lack of authenticity for me.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Catch 26: A Novel by Carol Prisant
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Catch 26 A Novel by Carol Prisant

Carol Prisant

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The Empire State Cat’s Christmas Gift – Nic Tatano – 5*Review

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The night her house catches fire, kick-ass lawyer Tish McKenna’s neatly ordered life is thrown into chaos. At least she’s alive—thanks to her adorable cat, Socks!—and after her near-death experience Tish realises she wants more in her life than late nights and case files…

Professionally speaking, hot-shot attorney, Spencer Capshaw hadn’t realised how far off track he’d come. Sure, he had his reasons originally—saving his dad’s life required more money than the DA’s office paid him—yet helping corrupt corporate bigwigs was not why he became a lawyer…

With a little help from a furry friend, these two lost souls find each other in the heart of Manhattan. But when Tish and Spence are pitted against each other in a trial that pushes them both to their limits, can their budding relationship survive?

buy-links-winter

Amazon UK

Amazon

my-review-winter

The Empire State Cat's Christmas Gift

I enjoyed the first story in this series, ‘The Lost Cats and Lonely Hearts Club’, featuring career driven, intelligent best friends; Madison, Tish, Rory and A.J and their lovable kittens. This book, the second in the series is delightful with its festive twist. A good standalone read but I recommend reading book one first for maximum enjoyment.
There is a great love story, mixed with humour and suspense, which is an easy, enjoyable read. As you expect with Nic Tatano books, the characters are believable, complex and intriguing. The plot has plenty of twists and a lovely romantic ending.
The supporting cast of characters also make this book something special, especially, Socks the matchmaking kitten, whose antics will be familiar to every cat owner.
Tish is a lawyer and so is Spencer, so courtroom scenes are inevitable. These appear authentic and are full of crisp dialogue with moments of humour and poignancy. There is great pacing that moves the story along nicely and provides subtle clues to the plot twists and development of the romance.
A lovely festive read with an original storyline and memorable characters.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Empire State Cat’s Christmas Gift by Nic Tatano

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Empire State Cat's Christmas Gift by Nic Tatano

Nic Tatano

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The Christmas Promise – Sue Moorcroft – 5* Review

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blurb-winter

For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember …

On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.

Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.

So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…

buy-links-winter

Amazon UK

Amazon

my-review-winter

The Christmas Promise: The perfect cosy festive treat!This isn’t your usual festive tale, although Christmas cheer, or the lack of it is integral to the story. The concept is original. Ava is struggling to make her hat-making business pay, fending off unwanted attention from her ex and trying to rise above her ingrained dislike of Christmas. Enough conflict for a festive tale? Perhaps, but there’s even more in this complex story. Ava ‘s trust is abused, pushing her emotional limits to breaking point. The story focuses on important, relevant issues, which are the downside of our digital age.
Well developed, realistic characters define this story. Ava is easy to empathise with and the perfect women’s fiction heroine. Sam is attractive both in terms of his physical attributes and personality. He is the ‘good guy’ but not without his flaws, which threaten any chance he may have with Ava.
There are enticing twists in the plot that make this a page turner. The pacing is right for a women’s fiction book, steady rather than fast paced. There is a phenomenal amount of detail, ranging from how to make a couture hat, to how to run a viral social media campaign. Although this sometimes slows the pace, it is vital for the story’s authenticity.
Poignant moments are plentiful and there is a lovely romantic thread contrasting cleverly with the sometimes, sordid backlash of an intimate relationship. Despite the rollercoaster emotions and the seriousness of some of the plot themes, this story is an absorbing, easy read, set at lovely festive time of the year.
There is also an intriguing glimpse of the author’s next book, which I look forward to reading, next year.
I received a copy of this book from Avon UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Christmas Promise: The perfect cosy festive treat! by Sue Moorcroft

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Christmas Promise The perfect cosy festive treat! by Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft

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