Posted in Book Review

Behind A Closed Door – Adele O’Neill Blog Tour: 4* Review

Behind a Closed Door blog tour banner

What if everything in your life was a lie? An emotionally tense story of love, loyalty, betrayal and revenge. 

DUBLIN – For the past two years, Jill Ryan has tried to keep her darkest secrets deeply buried and remain relatively anonymous. Haunted by her tragic past and struggling to keep her life together, Jill soon realises that the last person she can trust is herself.

KILKENNY – Only Heather Martin knows the lengths her husband will go to teach her a lesson and Heather has had enough. Faced with the impossible choice of saving herself or staying to care for her ailing father, Heather has a choice to make. But does she have what it takes to survive?

When Detectives Louise Kennedy in Dublin and Tony Kelly in Kilkenny begin to investigate, their dark discoveries collide unravelling a complex web of secrets that stretch far and wide.

Behind A Closed Door cover

Links to buy

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ocWAgk

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2EMCq7n

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2HvfxD1

iBooks: https://apple.co/2EZ1Cqs

 

My Thoughts…

‘Behind A Closed Door’, is an emotionally harrowing story of domestic abuse, family loyalty and friendship. Two female characters are the focus of the story, one in Kilkenny two years previously and one in present-day Dublin. Both are loyal women, who have suffered domestic abuse. Timeslip between the two time periods and locations is seamless and moves the story along at a readable pace.
Character-driven this story centres on a small number of individuals, and their respective lives, cleverly linked. However, it is numerous plot twists later that the full picture is apparent. Sinister intent underscores this story; the antagonist is hateful and your empathy for the victim without question. While the suspense is well-written the major plot twist is not hard to solve, but this doesn’t detract from the story’s menace and the believable dilemmas and conflicts the protagonists face.

‘Behind A Closed Door’ highlights in a sensitive way the horror of domestic abuse using realistic characters and situations.

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

O'Neill_Adele

Having lived and worked in the UK and Dublin since college, Adele now lives in her hometown in Co. Wicklow with her husband and two teenage daughters. She writes overlooking the Irish Sea and is an active member of the Wexford Literary Festival committee.

Twitter: @Adelesbooks

Facebook: AdeleONeillBooks

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review

The Legacy of Lucy Harte – Emma Heatherington – 5* Review

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‘Sometimes time is all we have with the people we love the most. I ask you to slow down in life. To take your time, but don’t waste it….’

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

Reading this book is an emotional experience but so worth it. 

Maggie has a second chance at life when she receives a donor’s heart. She feels a unique connection with her donor and longs to connect with her family to thank them.  Seventeen years after her transplant Maggie’s emotional well-being is threatened she feels she is on borrowed time but seems set on hastening her demise.

Maggie is a strong character with a supportive network of family and friends, but she pushes them away, as she battles with the ever-present survivor guilt and her tumbling self – worth issues. I like the serendipity of the letter arriving just when Maggie is teetering on the edge of self-destruction. Lucy’s legacy forces Maggie to focus on the gift of life she has been given, and the story takes on a hopeful theme from this point. There are many slip-ups and misunderstandings, but  Maggie realises her life’s purpose.

A well-paced plot full of vivid characters and unexpected adventures is both poignant with many lighter humorous scenes. The importance of love and living life to the limit, whatever this may be for you, is reaffirmed.  Reading it is like riding an emotional roller-coaster, but the overall feeling that remains is of hope and love and the importance of giving the gift of life.

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

Posted in Book Review

The Girl I Used to Know – Faith Hogan- 4* Review

 

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Amanda King and Tess Cuffe are strangers who share the same Georgian house, but their lives couldn’t be more different.

Amanda seems to have it all, absolute perfection. She projects all the accoutrements of a lady who lunches. Sadly, the reality is a soulless home, an unfaithful husband and a very lonely heart.

By comparison, in the basement flat, unwanted tenant Tess has spent a lifetime hiding and shutting her heart to love.

It takes a bossy doctor, a handsome gardener, a pushy teenager and an abandoned cat to show these two women that sometimes letting go is the first step to moving forward and new friendships can come from the most unlikely situations.

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

Two women are uneasy neighbours. On the surface, they have very little in common except for the hostility between them. New Year’s Eve starts a chain of events that draws their paths together in ways they would never imagine.
This is classic Irish storytelling, which spans three time periods. Each foray into the past builds a picture of why Amanda and Tess are the people they are.
Neither character is immediately likeable but they are believable and as the story unfolds, so do their true personalities. The revelations make their past choices and present situations easier to understand and Amanda and Tessa easier to empathise.

Amanda’s life is cosmetically perfect but underneath the surface, there are too many cracks, and she realises she is existing not living.

Tess’ accidents make her take stock of her life and vow to make something of the time she has left. It is this realisation, coupled with a teenage girl who wants to help and a cat who wants a warm welcome that makes her start to trust again and value herself.

The story is well paced, and the ending ties up everything and gives hope for a happier future.

A poignant, sometimes comical, enjoyable story.

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

Posted in Book Review

5* Review: The Summer Flings Travel Club – Aimèe Duffy

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Winter Blurb

Armed with a degree that she doesn’t have a clue what to do with, Ciara Bree convinces her two best friends, Elle and Gem to spend their first summer of freedom backpacking across the globe. Now it’s time to shop, sunbathe, think about boys for a change, and party hard…

LA, Miami, Paris, Santorini, Ibiza, Florence and Dublin…these fabulous jet-setters are in for the summer of their lives.

From crashing celebrity parties in Tinseltown to grape-squishing in Florence, Ciara globetrots her way to happiness with her friends Elle and Gem by her side.

But Elle’s gorgeous cousin Zack keeps showing up, and while Ciara can think of a few ways to have fun with him, she starts to realise that her summer fling isn’t as uncomplicated as it should be…

Winter Buy Links

Amazon

Amazon UK

Winter My Review

The Summer Flings Travel Book

Originally published as serial parts, this is the full collection of Ciara, Elle and Gem’s summer adventures.
LA is the first delicious slice of fun and flirty mayhem for Ciara, Elle and Gem. The Oxford graduates leave their studies behind and set off on a backpacking tour of the world. LA is the first stop. Believe me if I could experience backpacking in the style these three do I would be first in line.
The setting is glitzy and glamorous, seen from Ciara’s point of view. Elle and Gem are trust fund babes but Ciara is different and looking at celebrity lifestyle through her eyes grounds this story in a pleasing way.
The three friends are likeable characters. Elle and Gem appear shallow but I suspect their individual stories will make the women beneath the public face, complex and interesting. Ciara is intelligent and attractive but a little scared of living. Elle and Gem care about her and want her to have fun and that’s what a trip of a lifetime should be right?
It couldn’t be a summer fling without a hot man and Zack certainly fulfils the role. Serious and sexy Ciara finds him hard to resist but is this just a fling or something more, guess we’ll have to see what happens in Miami.
LA is full of humorous, realistic, dialogue. I was ready to jump in their luggage after enjoying the pool and the party, eager to see what happens at the next destination of their adventure.
In Miami Ciara, Elle and Gem determined to enjoy the full beach and bar experience. Ciara has left a little of her heart back in LA but her friends won’t let her brood. Her ability to drink with the best of them wins her the undying gratitude of her friends and the chance of some extra holiday spending money.
Our Oxford graduates eager for new learning experiences enlist the help of three beach hotties to further their education. Zack in all his furious glory gatecrashes the girls’ impromptu pool party with their new friends. Zack addictive attraction for Ciara continues… The ice cream scene is definitely a must read.
There’s shopping, steamy sex and sun in this episode of ‘Summer Flings’ and an enticing taste of mystery…
Paris, the city of art, fashion and romance, is not what it first appears. Ciara is miserable without Zack and watching loving couples is the last thing she wants. Elle won’t let her brood and soon they are at an exclusive club, whilst the champagne flows, the mood darkens and soon the girls are in a living nightmare. This is definitely the cautionary part of the tale and an unexpected, if stormy encounter for Ciara leaves her wanting more.
In Santorini, the geeks go Greek and Ciara can’t wait to explore but Elle and Gem want to relax and enjoy the spa experience. Luckily for Ciara there is a surprise visitor. Full of humour and sizzling sensuality, the magic of the Greek Islands is much in evidence here.
Ibiza, the party island and the girls are determined to experience it all, more fun in the sun and maybe something more for Ciara.
Florence, the climax to their trip but there is more angst than fun here. Ciara’s emotional baggage makes her shy away from what she has with Zack with disastrous results for all of them.
Back home in Dublin, reality sets in and Ciara wonders what to do with the rest of her life. I love the email format of this section of the book, keeping it fast paced, yet showing what was happening in each of their lives. Gone are the fun and glamour of the previous chapters. Ciara finally confronts the reason behind her emotional detachment and there is a lovely romantic ending that shows that love is worth fighting for.
A book of contrasts, which work really well together, it’s easy reading with lots of humour, sizzle and emotion, the perfect summer book.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Summer Flings Travel Book by Aimee Duffy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Summer Flings Travel Book by Aimee Duffy

Aimee Duffy

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review : Every Time a Bell Rings – Carmel Harrington

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Blurb - Flower

Belle has taken all the Christmas decorations down. This year they won’t be celebrating.
As foster parents, Belle and Jim have given many children the chance of a happier start in life. They’ve loved them as if they were their own. They shouldn’t have favourites but little Lauren has touched their hearts. And now her mother is well enough to take her back and Belle can’t bear the loss.
Hence, Christmas is cancelled.
So when Jim crashes his car one icy December night, after an argument about Lauren, Belle can only blame herself. Everything she loves is lost. And Belle finds herself standing on The Ha’Penny Bridge wishing she had never been born.
But what happens to a Christmas wish when an angel is listening…
Will Belle realise, before it’s too late, that her life is the most wonderful life of all?

Buy Links 3
Amazon UK
Amazon

My Review

Every Time a Bell RingsI eagerly anticipated reading this book and it proved to be the perfect early Christmas present. Full of charming sentiment, realistic life stories and characters so authentic, you expect them to be sitting in the room with you.
Belle is an engaging and courageous child, who becomes an outwardly strong woman; hiding her guilt, lack of self esteem and vulnerability, even from those closest to her. When we first meet her she is on the cusp of a happy ever after and that worried me slightly. Surely nothing could top the hopeful beginning but I was wrong. There are plenty more romantic moments to come, interwoven with despair, goodness, humour and sadness, in this heartfelt, provoking tale, of an individual’s importance in the world.
Belle’s vulnerability is not unexpected, as a foster child she experiences loss and uncertainty. I won’t spoil the story for potential readers but be prepared to experience, the full spectrum of emotions when you read this. The writing is sensitive. Even in its darkest moments you can see glimmers of light and these keep you turning the pages.
This story draws you into its world; the ending is as enchanting, as its characters.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Every Time a Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Every Time a Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington

Carmel Harrington

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