Weekly Wrap-Up (July 14)

Hello, Sunday. Is it it me or are you coming around faster and faster?

Not much to report this week. The socialising last Sunday went a tad overboard and I felt it on Monday, so that was a waste of a day 😳. The rest of the week was full of wonderful tennis. Today is the men’s final. Guess what I’m doing? If your answer is : “watch it”, you’d be wrong because the in-laws invited themselves and scuppered my plans. FFS. 🙄

Have I managed to squeeze in any books? Why, yes, I have. But erm … well, let’s see.

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

My reading is obviously as hormonal as I am 🤣. Still, three is better than nothing and I’m still ahead of my blog tour schedule and have even managed to read 12 (that’s right, twelve!) books from my 20 Books of Summer list. Feels like I’m winning, doesn’t it? 😉

In case anyone wants to guess : there was only one of those three I really enjoyed. Dun, dun, duuuuuun.

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

This was a preorder that arrived on Friday. Of course, I’ve bought a few more in the meantime but since they’re not here yet, they don’t count. Do they?

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

With thanks to Transworld and Titan Books. One for a blog tour and one for review. Really looking forward to both!

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Kicked off the blog tour for The Sleepwalker by Joseph Knox

Tuesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Joined the blog tour for A Fatal Game by Nicholas Searle

Friday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for I Looked Away by Jane Corry

Saturday : Shared my review for Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Review | Stop At Nothing by Tammy Cohen

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | Child’s Play by Angela Marsons

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Guest Post | Author Andrew Joyce

Friday : Blog tour | Review | The Last Stage by Louise Voss

Saturday : Taking the day off because everyone and their dog will be at Harrogate 😂

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

That’s not too bad. This is the quiet before the storm. I may need an oxygen tank to survive the week that comes after this one.

Question of the week : Dust jackets! I saw this topic on twitter a while ago and had no idea it was so controversial. So I’m putting the question to you, dear blog readers. Do you remove the dust jacket from a hardback when you’re reading it? I do. Because I don’t want to ruin the jacket, as that is what you see when the book is on a shelf. As soon as I put the book down or finish it, obviously, the jacket goes back on. Over to you!

That’s it for this week. Hope you all have a great one! Until next time. Happy reading! xx

This Week in Books (July 10)

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

| LAST BOOK I FINISHED READING |

When Lydia and Josh Green walk into Karen’s office one rainy February morning, Karen sees a couple under stress, almost at breaking point. But working with struggling couples, finding out more about their problems, helping to save their marriages, is what Karen does. 

But as Karen spends more time with Lydia and Josh, her sense of unease grows… 

Lydia is something more than just a woman whose marriage is in trouble. She seems frightened for her safety. 

Josh is angry, grief-stricken and seems to be hiding a dark secret. 

And soon Karen herself is afraid – there is something about the behaviour of this couple that recalls traumatic incidents from her own past. There is something there that may be the key to saving them, if Karen can only unlock it in time…

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Every Monday, 49-year-old Ellie looks after her grandson Josh. She loves him more than anything else in the world. The only thing that can mar her happiness is her husband’s affair. But he swore it was over, and Ellie has decided to be thankful for what she’s got.

Then one day, while she’s looking after Josh, her husband gets a call from that woman. And for just a moment, Ellie takes her eyes off her grandson. The accident that happens will change her life forever.

Because Ellie is hiding something in her past.

And what looks like an accident could start to look like murder…

[I’ve been reading this one since Saturday. Socialising (subsequent hangover 😳) and Wimbledon are throwing a massive spanner in the works. It’s actually really good too!]

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

It’s just a normal morning for Anna McDonald. Gym kits, packed lunches, getting everyone up and ready. Until she opens the front door to her best friend, Estelle. Anna turns to see her own husband at the top of the stairs, suitcase in hand. They’re leaving together and they’re taking Anna’s two daughters with them.

Left alone in the big, dark house, Anna can’t think, she can’t take it in. With her safe, predictable world shattered, she distracts herself with a story: a true-crime podcast. There’s a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean, multiple murders and a hint of power and corruption. Then Anna realises she knew one of the victims in another life. She is convinced she knows what happened. Her past, so carefully hidden until now, will no longer stay silent.

This is a murder she can’t ignore, and she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, her past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.

[This will be my first ever Denise Mina book and I’m really looking forward to it!]

What does you reading week look like? Do let me know in the comments! Have a fabulous week and lots of happy reading! xx

My Top 20 Favourite Reads of 2018

What an absolutely amazing year for books it has been! 

Just like last year, I thought splitting things up between series and stand-alones would help narrow down the list but nope. A Top 10 was never going to happen here. Despite the fact that my reading mojo was up and down like a bloody yo-yo all year, I still managed to read 250 books. Sure, that’s 50 less than last year but do I care? Clue : no, I don’t 😉

Anyway, I present to you My Top 20 Favourite (stand-alone) Reads of 2018. With apologies to the authors/books I had to drop from the list.

In no particular order, except for the Top 5, here we go!

Phoebe Locke – The Tall Man [my review]
Louise Voss – The Old You [my review]
Linwood Barclay – A Noise Downstairs [my review]
Mark Edwards – The Retreat [my review]

Ane Riel – Resin [no review]
Joanna Cannon – Three Things About Elsie [no review]
Gillian McAllister – No Further Questions [my review]
Shari Lapena – An Unwanted Guest [my review]

Lesley Kara – The Rumour [review to follow]
Karin Slaughter – Pieces of Her [my review]
SJI Holliday – The Lingering [my review]
Elly Griffiths – The Stranger Diaries [review to follow]

Gill Paul – The Lost Daughter [my review]
Louise Beech – The Lion Tamer Who Lost [my review]
Rachel Rhys – Fatal Inheritance [my review]

Top 5

5. C.J. Tudor – The Chalk Man [my review]
4. Ruth Ware – The Death of Mrs Westaway [my review]
3. Liz Nugent – Skin Deep [my review]
2. Elizabeth Haynes – The Murder of Harriet Monckton [my review]

My favourite book of the year is …

I don’t think this comes as a huge surprise. When I read this back in February, I said it would take something insanely special to knock this off the top spot. Skin Deep and Harriet Monckton came awfully close but in the end, “Agatha Christie on crack” won out. [my review]

A massive thank you to all the authors, publishers and Netgalley for making 2018 so spectacular! And to you, my fellow bloggers and readers, huge thanks for the support, for visiting and for commenting! ❤️

The Winters by Lisa Gabriele | #TheWinters #NetGalley

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Author : Lisa Gabriele
Title : The Winters
Pages : 336
Publisher : Harvill Secker / Random House UK
Publication date : November 15, 2018

aboutthebook

After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded mansion of her new fiancé Max Winter – a wealthy senator and recent widower – and to a life of luxury she’s never known.

But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate. The house is steeped in the memory of Max’s beautiful first wife Rebekah, who haunts the young woman’s imagination and feeds her uncertainties, while his very alive teenage daughter Dani makes her life a living hell.

As the soon-to-be second Mrs. Winter grows more in love with Max, and more afraid of Dani, she is drawn deeper into the family’s dark secrets – the kind of secrets that could kill her, too.

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Last night Rebekah tried to murder me again.

If that opening sentence doesn’t draw you in, little else will. Heavily inspired by Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, The Winters does an excellent job of being an exciting psychological suspense novel all on its own. So if you never read the classic, don’t fret!

The Cayman Islands. A slice of paradise on earth. But for our nameless main character, for her name is never revealed, it is anything but. Struggling to make ends meet, she seems doomed to live in poverty. Until she meets Max Winter, a wealthy senator, who sweeps her off her feet. After a whirlwind romance, Max takes his new fiancé home to Asherley, to his secluded mansion and to a life his fiancé has never known.

There is a dark cloud hanging over this secluded spot though. It comes in the shape of Max’s first wife, Rebekah. Memories of Rebekah are seeped into the mansion’s walls and haunt our nameless character, feeding her insecurities and imagination. And Max’s teenage daughter, Dani, isn’t exactly welcoming her new stepmother with open arms either.

The new Mrs Winter will soon discover Asherley holds a multitude of secrets. Who can she trust? Is her life in danger? Is she merely imagining things or are there far more sinister things ahead?

As a reimagining of a classic, this works really well. But like I said at the start, if you’ve never read the original, that isn’t a problem. Plenty of things have been changed, like the setting and the characters but The Winters is just as tense and atmospheric. I found the build-up a bit on the slow side, although it did give me a fantastic insight into the kind of person the new Mrs Winter is. Her background story makes it easy to sympathise with some of her decisions.

As to what exactly is going on at Asherley, I didn’t have a clue. The minute I thought I had it figured out, something would happen that made me doubt my theory. As the suspense grew and the threatening vibe increased, I found myself utterly engrossed. With plenty of twists and turns, this is a thoroughly enjoyable psychological thriller that completely drew me in.

The Winter is available now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware #20BooksofSummer

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Author : Ruth Ware
Title : The Death of Mrs Westaway
Pages : 384
Publisher : Harvill Secker
Publication date : June 28, 2018

aboutthebook

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

mythoughts

Oh boy, I have absolutely no idea how to tackle this review and get across how much I loved The Death of Mrs Westaway. 

Hal receives a letter telling her she’s inherited something. She’s convinced names were mixed up and this inheritance isn’t meant for her. But debts and threats spur her on to rely on the cold-reading skills she’s picked up as a tarot card reader to convince everyone she is a rightful heir and maybe get herself out of trouble.

Despite the fact Hal is about to commit fraud, I couldn’t help but warm to her. She’s a very likeable and complicated character who has fallen on hard times and I was rooting for her all the way, wishing she could get some sort of happy ending.

The Death of Mrs Westaway is not packed full of action, nor would I call it a thriller. It has quite a slow pace but it’s nevertheless incredibly engrossing and as the tension gradually builds up throughout the story, I felt I just couldn’t put it down. It’s an intensely gripping mystery that held my attention, kept me guessing and I devoured it in one day. The Westaway family has secrets like no other and I enjoyed trying to unravel them.

I found this to be quite the dark and haunting story, set against the glorious and slightly creepy feeling of a neglected mansion. It oozes atmosphere and has that delightful gothic vibe to it. The immensely mysterious and character-driven plot full of intrigue had me completely enthralled from start to finish and Ruth Ware’s brilliant writing totally won me over.

This is the first book I’ve read by Ruth Ware and it left me feeling like I’d seriously been missing out. So much so that it prompted me to buy her other books and I can’t wait to find the time to get caught up. For now though, this one shoots right up my list of top books of the year and I highly recommend it!

The Death of Mrs Westaway is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

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Book 11 from my 20 Books of Summer list

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