Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Mystery

The Family Secret @TracyBuchanan 5* #Review @AvonBooksUK

How far would you go to find the truth?

Since Amber lost her child ten years ago, her sole focus has been keeping her small business afloat. Her life seems to be on hold until the morning she finds a girl on the beach outside her gift shop. A girl who has no shoes, no name, and no idea where she came from.

As a wildlife documentary maker, Gwyneth’s work has taken her all over the world. But when she has a terrible accident in the remote Scottish Highlands, she is saved by the McClusky family and taken into their home. However, there is more to this family than meets the eye, and a long-held secret is threatening to tear them apart…

Amazon UK

My Thoughts…

This story has an instant impact, something terrible has happened, but who is the victim and who is to blame?

Told in flashback chapters over a twenty year period the story follows Amber and Gwyneth’s lives. Amber is a woman in her thirties who suffered a terrible accident when she was four, and a life-changing loss as an adult. Gwyneth is a loner, sent away by her parents, she follows her dreams after a chance encounter, and years later meets a strange family with a deeply buried secret.

The depth and realism of the characters make this story a spellbinding read. You empathise and want to know what happens to them. The plot winds around the characters like ivy on a tree. Burying them in grief, strangling their finer feelings, and forcing them to fight for the happiness and life they deserve.

Romance, family secrets, the bond between mothers and their children are explored, against the vivid and sometimes brutal setting of the Scottish Highlands and Iceland in Winter and the spectacular wildlife who make their lives there.

Family drama full of mystery and secrets with a subtle twist makes this story a perfect Winter read.

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

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Posted in Book Review, Festive Read

5* #Review -Sarah Morgan- The Christmas Sisters #FestiveRead @HQStories @SarahMorgan_

It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree, but who’s around it that matters most.

All Suzanne McBride wants for Christmas is her three daughters happy and at home. But when sisters Posy, Hannah and Beth return to their family home in the Scottish Highlands, old tensions and buried secrets start bubbling to the surface.

Suzanne is determined to create the perfect family Christmas, but the McBrides must all face the past and address some home truths before they can celebrate together . . .

Amazon UK

Waterstones

My Thoughts…

Such an atmospheric, festive story about a family born out of a tragedy, which defines their relationships and still haunts them years later. The sisters have all followed different paths as adults. Each feels the other has a perfect life but the reality is more complex.

This is a story about mothers, daughters and sisters, and the characters are beautifully written with believable flaws making them easy to empathise. Told from multi-points of view the backstory is cleverly woven into the plot, so that you understand the family dynamics and why Christmas is a source of stress for the McBrides.

This a lovely story, perfect as a festive read. Angst, fear, misunderstanding and romance all wrapped up in a poignant family drama that captures what it’s like to have sisters and how a caring family loves you, no matter what.

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

Posted in Book Review

His Judas Bride-5*Review @ShehanneMoore

To love, honour, and betray…

To get back her son, she will stop at nothing…

Dire circumstances have forced Kara McGurkie to forget she’s a woman. Dire circumstances force her to swear to love and honour, to help destroy a clan, when it means getting back her son. But when dire circumstances force her to seduce her fiancé’s brother on the eve of the wedding, will the dark secrets she holds and her greatest desire be enough to save her from his powerful allure?

To save his people, neither will he…

Since his wife’s murder, Callm McDunnagh, the Black Wolf of Lochalpin, ruthlessly guards heart and glen from dangerous intruders. But from the moment he first sees Kara he knows he must possess her, even though surrendering to his passion may prove the most dangerous risk of all.

She has nothing left to fear except love itself…

Now only Kara can decide what passion can save or destroy, and who will finally learn the truth of the words… Till death do us part.

Amazon UK

My Thoughts…

Dark, deep and devastating aptly describes this historical romance, set in the beautiful but often brutal highlands of Scotland. 

Kara and Callm are both damaged by life and forced on a path of avenge and revenge, even though it is often at odds with the people they once were before tragedy struck.  Their meeting is unconventional and neither want to surrender to their passions, it’s too dangerous.

Kara needs to keep to her plan to save her son, Callm has already lost too much, his people are everything, and he can never put his personal pleasure above their safety. Love becomes a weapon rather than a balm and the resultant passion reflects this with vivid imagery.

If you want to relive history with all the rough edges and raw emotion, this story with its complex, challenged characters will consume you.

I received an ARC of the second edition from the author in return for an honest review. 

 

Posted in Book Review

The Hunting Party – 4* #Review – Lucy Foley @lucyfoleytweets @HarperCollinsUK

In a remote hunting lodge, deep in the Scottish wilderness, old friends gather for New Year.

The beautiful one
The golden couple
The volatile one
The new parents
The quiet one
The city boy
The outsider

The victim.

Not an accident – a murder among friends.

Amazon UK

My Thoughts…

Escaping to the wild and wonderful Scottish Highlands seems like the ideal venue for a New Year’s celebration, but what if everyone has a secret? Their university days are long gone, but the pecking order and rivalries are intensified. The cracks in the party atmosphere begin on the train journey north.

This story begins with the tragedy and uses a series of chronological multi-point of view chapters to illuminate the current situation. The characters are complex and realistic, and in most cases not likeable. Everyone has something to hide but how far will they go to keep it under wraps? The setting and inclement weather makes this an atmospheric read that compels you to turn the pages to see what happens next.

This is more of a murder mystery than a psychological thriller because the story is told through the eyes of several characters, both in the group of friends and the two people who work at the venue where they are staying, rather than an individual unreliable protagonist.

The plot is convoluted and sinister, there are multiple suspects and the identity of the victim remains hidden until the final chapters.

The remote party setting and the toxicity of the relationships has parallels with Sue Fortin’s The Birthday Girl, which I also enjoyed. Perfect holiday reading.

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