Posted in New Books, Book Review, Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Idol Louise O’Neill 4*#Review @oneilllo #LouiseONeill @TransworldBooks #idol #truth #socialmedia #bookreview #preorder

‘Follow your heart and speak your truth.’

For Samantha Miller’s young fans – her ‘girls’ – she’s everything they want to be. She’s an oracle, telling them how to live their lives, how to be happy, how to find and honour their ‘truth’.

And her career is booming: she’s just hit three million followers, her new book Chaste has gone straight to the top of the bestseller lists and she’s appearing at sell-out events.

Determined to speak her truth and bare all to her adoring fans, she’s written an essay about her sexual awakening as a teenager, with her female best friend, Lisa. She’s never told a soul but now she’s telling the world. The essay goes viral.

But then – years since they last spoke – Lisa gets in touch to say that she doesn’t remember it that way at all. Her memory of that night is far darker. It’s Sam’s word against Lisa’s – so who gets to tell the story? Whose ‘truth’ is really a lie?

‘You put yourself on that pedestal, Samantha. You only have yourself to blame.’

Amazon UK Waterstones

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Idol is a compelling and insightful contemporary story that explores current issues through the unreliable narrator Samantha, a phenomenally successful lifestyle and social media influencer. Her books are bestsellers, she has millions of social media followers, and her company is about to be made into a public corporation. Still, when a voice from the past challenges her latest expose, the foundation of her life and reality crumble devastatingly.

Dark and disturbing, many of Samantha’s experiences are challenging to read, but they show how she became the person she is. Perception, manipulation and reality are all effectively questioned in this addictive story. Relatable characters draw the reader into a world of judgement and lies. The brilliantly flawed individuals make it hard to like them in many cases.

I like the believability of the story and its contemporary relevance.

Published 12 May 2022 available for preorder

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

A Village Secret Julie Houston 5* #Review @JulieHouston2 @HoZ_Books @AriaFiction #Family #Friendship #Romance #relationships #Secrets #Village #Community #AVillageSecret

When Jennifer goes up to Cambridge University with her head full of the Romantic Poets, she never dreams that she will find her very own Byron. But then she meets gorgeous actor Laurie Lewis and finds herself living a real-life love poem.

Fifteen years and two children later, Jennifer and Laurie’s relationship is starting to feel more like an epic tragedy. After a series of revelations turn her world upside down, Jennifer will do anything to keep her family together – even if it means moving hundreds of miles away to Laurie’s childhood home in Westenbury, Yorkshire.

As she reluctantly enters into village life – complete with interfering in-laws, new friends and a surprise delivery of alpacas – Jennifer is amazed to find herself feeling happy for the first time in years. But the village holds one last, devastating secret and Jennifer must decide once and for all what she wants her future to hold.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from ‘Head of Zeus – Aria.

My Thoughts…

Jennifer met Laurie at Cambridge in her final year. An English Literature student, she is obsessed with the romantic poets, particularly Byron, and when she first sees Laurie, for her, he is Bryon personified. Laurie has northern roots, hence the connection with Westenbury, but his looks are his only saving grace. He values only himself. Jennifer is besotted, and her life becomes inevitably intertwined with Laurie’s. The connections with Westenbury are initially tenuous, but heading north is the only way to survive as a family when their life implodes.

I enjoyed reading about flawed characters, even Laurie, who is almost impossible to like. It is frustrating to see how Jennifer gives up her life to Laurie but rewarding when with the help of new friends and family, she realises what he truly is and realises her worth.

The village weaves its addictive mix of community, humour and romance into a story with surprising twists, keeping the reader engaged and satisfied.

Posted in Cover Reveal, Friendship, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

A Scottish Highland Surprise Julie Shackman #CoverReveal @G13Julie @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #AScottishHighlandSurprise

Discover the secrets and surprises that the scenic Scottish town of Briar Glen has to offer…

When wedding planner Sophie Harkness refuses to move a friend’s wedding to accommodate a spoilt bridezilla, she finds herself out of a job. That is until she discovers her late grandma has purchased a local shop for her in the pretty Scottish town of Briar Glen.

Surprised and delighted, Sophie opens her own porcelain shop in honour of her grandmother. But when an unusual tea set is left with Sophie, along with a mysterious letter, she can’t help but be intrigued by the story behind the antique.

And when the handsome but aloof art critic Xander North comes knocking on her door, Sophie is about to find out the true colourful past of her latest treasure.

The perfect feel-good romance.

Amazon UK Amazon

Publication Date: 22nd April 

Julie Shackman is a former journalist from Scotland, who has always wanted to write feel-good romance. As well as being an author, Julie also writes verses and captions for greetings card companies. Julie admits to having an obsession with stationery and handbags. She is married, has two sons and a Romanian rescue pup, who she named Cooper. A Scottish Highland Surprise is Julie’s sixth novel.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction, New Books, Thriller

White Dog Rupert Whewell 4* Review #WhiteDogBook @wearewhitefox @WhiteDogBook @midaspr #thriller #literaryfiction #publicationday

White Dog is a literary thriller set against the backdrop of the contemporary art world. It follows the fortunes of Ryder, a cynical art deal who aspires to the heights, yet despises the people who populate those realms.

On his way to the top, back down, and back up again, Ryder encounters a picaresque collection of characters and gets drawn into a web of intrigue that involves murder, money-laundering, and materialism. But can his newfound fame and fortune ever make up for the loss of the one thing he ever really valued in life?

White Dog will take you on a rollercoaster ride of sex, drugs, and art – of violence, blackmail, hedonism, and dark politics. Are you ready to face the wolves?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Midas PR in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Described as a literary thriller, I was intrigued to read this story completed and published posthumously by the author’s sister.

The author’s love of words is evident in his lyrical writing full of literary and sensory imagery. The writing style is in sharp contrast to the plot and setting that depicts a contemporary art world riven with materialistic people with little true feeling for the art they seek to possess.

Ryder, the main protagonist, is a young, ambitious art dealer who wants to be part of the art world’s elite even though he appears to despise them and what they represent. The story follows his career and life. Vividly depicted characters bring the story to life, but Ryder remains a mystery. He is self-absorbed, certainly, but his true self is hard to discern.

More literary fiction than thriller, but this will appeal to readers who enjoy this genre.

The only novel from budding author Rupert Whewell, who sadly lost his life in a tragic climbing accident in the Nanda Devi region of the Himalayas. At the time of his death, the manuscript of White Dog was left incomplete, with Rupert’s plans for the book’s ending remaining a mystery.

As a tribute to her brother and his love of words, Rupert’s sister Lisa Anson worked closely with renowned author John McDonald to complete White Dog, which allowed her to come to terms with his unexpected passing.

This book has been a long time in the making. Rupert always loved writing and talked often about his desire to write a book. Distracted by a full life and being present with his friends and family, it remained in the background, referenced, and variously started without real progress. In his late forties, he started to put pen to paper in earnest and White Dog was born. Rupert was a very special person; not just to me – as a lifelong presence – but to his many friends. His tragic death is something I will never get over and will never forget.

I have taken on the task of finishing and publishing his book, which he left 80 percent complete. It was important to me to see his story through and share his writing. It brought me closer to Rupert, and I hope it will keep his memory alive for those that knew him and will entertain others who did not.”

Lisa Anson, Rupert’s sister.
Posted in Cover Reveal, Cozy Mystery, New Books

A Spoonful of Murder #JMHall #CoverReveal @AvonBooksUK #preorder #17March2022 #ASpoonfulofMurder

Introducing the three unlikeliest sleuths you’ll ever meet…

Retirement can be murder…

Once a week, three retired school teachers have their ‘coffee o’clock’ sessions at the Thirsk Garden Centre café.

But one fateful Thursday morning, they bump into their ex-colleague, Topsy, during their weekly coffee and catch-up. By the next Thursday, Topsy’s dead.

The last thing Liz, Thelma and Pat imagined was that they would become embroiled in a murder.

But they know there’s more to Topsy’s death than meets the eye – and it’s down to them to prove it…

#preorder Waterstones Amazon UK

🥄#ASpoonfulOfMurder out 17th March 2022!

Posted in Cover Reveal, Historical Romance, New Books, Romance

A Desert Scorched Rose C.L. Tustin #CoverReveal #CLTustin @rararesources #Romance #historicalromance #Adventure #1964 #preorder #11November2021 @CLTustinAuthor

Conaria 1964…
Leaving London far behind academic Victoria Barrington embarks on the trip of a lifetime, relishing her chance to explore the previously closed desert kingdom of Conaria. But things are not the way she expected and a chance purchase triggers a chain of events that will change everything.

Tadejah, the spoilt son of the king, anything he has ever wanted has been his for the taking. Ruthless, arrogant and passionately patriotic, when he spots a stolen piece of Conarian history on Victoria’s wrist his rage engenders an outrageous plan for its return.

Stranded in the desert, far from civilisation, her guide vanishes leaving Victoria to battle her heart and face the machinations of a man who has never been denied… welcome to Conaria…


Amazon UK
 Amazon.

Publication Date -11th November

About the author…

.L
C.L.Tustin

C L Tustin was born and raised in the East Midlands but spent her teenage years in Sydney, Australia. Returning to the UK in 1989 via Singapore and the Middle East the travel bug has never left her and she has explored countries and cities across the world.

C L Tustin began writing at the age of 11 when she didn’t see why James Bond had to be a man and created her own female version. Her first published novel “Escaping from the Shadows” was a romance with an undertone of threat set in the social media-free world of 1990; she is currently working on both a prequel and a sequel to this book.

C L Tustin has worked for two major banks, a tool company, the MOD and the NHS. She volunteers for Butterfly Conservation and passionately supports rescue dogs. C L Tustin enjoys sci-fi, writing poetry, visiting cathedrals and has a diverse collection of books.

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Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Cover Reveal, Gothic Fiction, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

The Lighthouse Fran Dorricott  #CoverReveal @franwritesstuff  @AvonBooksUK #suspense #gothic #preorder #3February2022 #TheLighthouse

No one expected them to go there. The question is: will any of them leave?

Six friends travel to a remote island north of the Scottish Highlands for an old school reunion. They’ve rented The Lighthouse – a stunning, now abandoned building that was once notorious for deaths at sea.

On the first evening, someone goes missing. The group search all through the night to no avail. But when the five remaining friends return to the lighthouse early the next morning, they are shocked to find James inside. He’s looks terrified – but won’t say a word about where he’s been.

The party vow to put the strange night behind them and enjoy the rest of their stay, but when more unexplained things begin to occur, tensions escalate. It’s clear James knows something, but nothing will persuade him to give up the secrets of the island. Is he protecting his friends from a terrible truth, or leading them into more danger?

Amazon UK

#TheLighthouse

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Cover Reveal, Cover Reveal, Literary Fiction, New Books, Thriller

White Dog Rupert Whewell #CoverReveal #WhiteDogBook @wearewhitefox @midaspr #thriller #literaryfiction #preorder #18November2021

White Dog is a literary thriller set against the backdrop of the contemporary art world. It follows the fortunes of Ryder, a cynical art deal who aspires to the heights, yet despises the people who populate those realms.

On his way to the top, back down, and back up again, Ryder encounters a picaresque collection of characters and gets drawn into a web of intrigue that involves murder, money-laundering, and materialism. But can his new-found fame and fortune ever make up for the loss of the one thing he ever really valued in life?

White Dog will take you on a rollercoaster ride of sex, drugs, and art – of violence, blackmail, hedonism, and dark politics. Are you ready to face the wolves?

Publish date: Thursday 18 November 2021 – Whitefox- Paperback & eBook

#preorder Amazon UK

RUPERT WHEWELL was born in Buckinghamshire in 1969. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from Downing College, Cambridge, before working in advertising in Hong Kong and later as a recruitment consultant. He established his own firm, Bateman Gray – named after the respected protagonists of his two favourite novels – in London, specialising in placing bankers. A keen adventurer, Rupert loved hillwalking, climbing and skiing, counting skiing down Mont Blanc as one of his greatest triumphs.

With his fiftieth birthday looming, he joined a group setting out to climb peaks in the Nanda Devi area of India in May 2019. An avalanche brought about his early death in the Himalayas, together with the loss of his seven climbing companions. He is survived by his mother Elaine, brother Andrew and sister Lisa, having no children of his own.


White Dog is his first novel, published posthumously.

The only novel from budding author Rupert Whewell, who sadly lost his life in a tragic climbing accident in the Nanda Devi region of the Himalayas. At the time of his death, the manuscript of White Dog was left incomplete, with Rupert’s plans for the book’s ending remaining a mystery.

As a tribute to her brother and his love of words, Rupert’s sister Lisa Anson worked closely with renowned author John McDonald to complete White Dog, which allowed her to come to terms with his unexpected passing.

This book has been a long time in the making. Rupert always loved writing and talked often about his desire to write a book. Distracted by a full life and being present with his friends and family, it remained in the background, referenced, and variously started without real progress. In his late forties, he started to put pen to paper in earnest and White Dog was born. Rupert was a very special person; not just to me – as a lifelong presence – but to his many friends. His tragic death is something I will never get over and will never forget.

I have taken on the task of finishing and publishing his book, which he left 80 percent complete. It was important to me to see his story through and share his writing. It brought me closer to Rupert, and I hope it will keep his memory alive for those that knew him and will entertain others who did not.”

Lisa Anson, Rupert’s sister.
Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Man on Hackpen Hill J.S. Monroe 5* #Review @HoZ_Books @JSThrillers #PsychologicalThriller #CrimeFiction #Detective #Noir #Suspense #psychsuspense #BlogTour #BookReview #TheManonHackpenHill #preorder #2September

It isn’t unusual for crop circles to appear overnight on Hackpen Hill. In this part of Wiltshire, where golden wheat fields stretch for miles, the locals have got used to discovering strange mathematical patterns stamped into the earth.

But this time, it’s different. Not only because this particular design of dramatic spiralling hexagons has never been seen before. But because of the dead body positioned precisely in the centre of the circle. DI Silas Hart, of Swindon Police, is at a loss.

Only Jim, a scientist at secretive government laboratory Porton Down, knows the chilling truth about the man on Hackpen Hill. And he wants Bella, a trainee journalist on her first ever story, to tell the world. But Silas has other ideas – and a boss intent on a cover up.

As Bella and Jim race against time, dark forces conspire against them, leading them to confront the reality of their own past and a world in which nothing is as it seems.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story has an intrinsic sense of authenticity, which is in itself chilling given the disturbing elements it explores. It features the detective team of Silas and Strover, a familiar combination if you’ve read the authors other psychological thrillers. It begins with a disquieting prologue that sets the scene for what follows. Bella leaves Oxford for a fledgling career in journalism. Her complex past unfolds as the story progresses. Silas and Strover are investigating a death in a crop circle which leads them into the fields of secret laboratories and mental health issues. Jim meets Bella in a Wiltshire pub, accidentally he believes at first.

The story is told from these points of view. The police investigation is absorbing and allows the reader to make their deductions. Bella and Jim are both unreliable protagonists, but they are easy to empathise with. The plot is fast-paced with its short chapters. The use of sensory imagery makes the events easy to imagine. The plot twists are impactful. The story changes perspective dramatically but realistically and is addictive reading. The climactic ending is satisfying, delivering action, poignancy and positivity for the main protagonists.

rbt

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Read my review of Forget My Name

Read my review of The Other You

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, New Books, Romance

Beauty in the Billionaire’s Bed Louise Fuller 5*#Review @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks #MillsandBoonInsider #MillsandBoonModern #HarlequinPresents #Romance #Proximity #Northumberland #preorder #August19 #BeautyintheBillionairesBed

The temperature is rising for this adventurous billionaire when he encounters a gorgeous stranger in this sexy forced-proximity story by Louise Fuller!

An uninvited guest
An undeniable desire!

Billionaire explorer Arlo Milburn returns home to his secluded mansion to find an unexpected beauty sleeping in his bed! Learning that Frankie Fox is a social media influencer does nothing to inspire his trust. It’s been a while since Arlo welcomed anyone into his solitary life…

However, stranded with Frankie while a storm rages outside, Arlo discovers her glamorous persona shields a warm, wounded young woman who touches him in ways he hadn’t thought possible. Attraction may have brought them together, but can it break down his walls entirely?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A passionate encounter on a Northumberland island brings Frankie and Arlo together. This is an atmospheric and emotional romance with a contemporary edge. There are believable characters, sexy encounters and a growing emotional connection between the couple. The internal conflicts are relatable, and the romance is hot. This is the perfect romantic escape for those who like sensual romance.