This Week in Books (March 18)

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 |

Seven-year-old Jocelyn loves her nanny more than her own mother.
When her nanny disappears one night, Jo never gets over the loss.
How could she vanish without saying goodbye?

Thirty years on, Jo is forced to return to her family home and confront her troubled relationship with her mother. When human remains are discovered in the grounds of the house, Jo begins to question everything.

Then an unexpected visitor knocks at the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again as, one by one, she discovers her childhood memories aren’t what they seemed.

What secrets was her nanny hiding – and what was she running away from? And can Jo trust what her mother tells her?

Sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

A series of unsolved murders with one thing in common: each of the deaths bears an eerie resemblance to the crimes depicted in classic mystery novels.

The deaths lead FBI Agent Gwen Mulvey to mystery bookshop Old Devils. Owner Malcolm Kershaw had once posted online an article titled ‘My Eight Favourite Murders,’ and there seems to be a deadly link between the deaths and his list – which includes Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.

Can the killer be stopped before all eight of these perfect murders have been re-enacted?

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

A year ago today, we all gathered for Lucas’s wedding at his glorious Cornish home overlooking the sea.

But no one was married that day.

Now Lucas has invited us back to celebrate the anniversary. But the anniversary of what? The wedding that never happened, or the tragedy that occurred just hours before the ceremony was due to begin?

He’s told us that tonight he has planned a game. We have our costumes, we have our parts, and everyone must play. The game, he tells us, is about to begin.

What does Lucas want from us? What are we not being told? And what’s going to happen when this terrible game is over?

It’s a good thing we’ve been stocking up on books. We can sure use them now! Anything here you’ve read or would like to? What’s on your reading schedule this week? Do let me know. Happy reading! xx

**Cover Reveal** The Murder Game by Rachel Abbott | @RachelAbbott @headlinepg @JoLidds | #MurderGameBook

Just a little bit (read : a lot!!!) excited today as I have the fabulous opportunity to reveal the cover for The Murder Game by Rachel Abbott to you all!

The Murder Game is the second instalment in the Stephanie King series and it will be published on April 16th, 2020. Before I show you the cover, here is what The Murder Game is all about. (Do you think I’ve mentioned the title enough in this paragraph? 🤔)

Author : Rachel Abbott
Title : The Murder Game
Series : Stephanie King #2
Pages : 416
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : April 16, 2020

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

A year ago today, we all gathered for Lucas’s wedding at his glorious Cornish home overlooking the sea.

But no one was married that day.

Now Lucas has invited us back to celebrate the anniversary. But the anniversary of what? The wedding that never happened, or the tragedy that occurred just hours before the ceremony was due to begin?

He’s told us that tonight he has planned a game. We have our costumes, we have our parts, and everyone must play. The game, he tells us, is about to begin.

What does Lucas want from us? What are we not being told? And what’s going to happen when this terrible game is over?

😱😱

Doesn’t this sound absolutely awesome?! That book descriptions alone oozes the creepy like a creeptastic … erm, … creepy thing. I can’t wait!

Are you ready to see the cover now?

3

2

1

Here it comes!

I love this! Although, I don’t know about you but if I found this on my plate, I may just run a mile. (Also, what’s with the empty glasses? Not cool! 😂)

The Murder Game will be published on April 16th, 2020 but you can already preorder it right now! And you should because Rachel Abbott’s books are always delicious treats full of suspense!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Rachel Abbott’s debut thriller, Only the Innocent, was an international bestseller, reaching the number one position in the Amazon charts both in the UK and US. This was followed by the number one bestselling novels The Back Road, Sleep Tight, Stranger Child, Nowhere Child (a short novel based on the characters from Stranger Child), Kill Me Again, The Sixth Window, Come a Little Closer and And So It Begins. Her most recent novel, The Shape of Lies, was released in February 2019. 

Rachel’s novels have now been translated into over 20 languages and her books have sold over 3 million copies in the English language. 

In 2015 Amazon celebrated the first five years of the Kindle in the UK, and announced that Rachel was the #1 bestselling independent author over the five-year period. She was also placed #14 in the chart of all authors. Stranger Child was the most borrowed novel for the Kindle in the first half of 2015.

Rachel splits her time between Alderney – a beautiful island off the coast of France – and the Le Marche region of Italy, where she is able to devote all her time to writing fiction.

**Cover reveal** Heatstroke by Hazel Barkworth | @BarkworthHazel @headlinepg @JoLidds | #HeatstrokeBook

Welcome to this exciting cover reveal for Heatstroke by Hazel Barkworth. Heatstroke is an intoxicating story of obsession over one hot summer, which will be published on May 28th, 2020. Before I show you the cover, here is some more information about the book.

Author : Hazel Barkworth
Title : Heatstroke
Pages : 320
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : May 28, 2020

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

The summer burns with secrets…

It is too hot to sleep. To work. To be questioned time and again by the police. 

At the beginning of a stifling, sultry summer, everything shifts irrevocably when Lily doesn’t come home one afternoon.

Rachel is Lily’s teacher. Her daughter Mia is Lily’s best friend. The girls are fifteen – almost women, still children. 

As Rachel becomes increasingly fixated on Lily’s absence, she finds herself breaking fragile trusts and confronting impossible choices she never thought she’d face. 

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this.

Intrigued? I know I am!

Here’s what other people are saying about Heatstroke.

‘Pulls you into its sweaty interior and keeps you gripped’ 
RENEE KNIGHT

‘I couldn’t tear myself away’
ERIN KELLY

‘A scorching tale of obsession, betrayal and the wounds that mothers and daughters inflict on each other in the name of love’ 
TAMMY COHEN

Yep! That definitely sold it to me. Now, let’s take a look at that cover!

I don’t know about you but that definitely screams hot summers and sleepless nights to me.

Heatstroke will be published on May 28th, 2020 but you can already preorder it right now!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Hazel grew up in Stirlingshire and North Yorkshire before studying English at Oxford. She then moved to London where she spent her days working as a cultural consultant, and her nights dancing in a pop band at glam rock clubs. Hazel is a graduate of both the Oxford University MSt in Creative Writing and the Curtis Brown Creative Novel-Writing course. She now works in Oxford, where she lives with her partner. Heatstroke is her first novel.

This Week in Books (July 31)

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 |

Every year, on the same night in July, a woman is taken from the streets of London; snatched by a killer who moves through the city like a ghost.

Addie has a secret. On the morning of her tenth birthday, four bombs were detonated across the capital. That night her dad came home covered in blood. She thought he was hurt in the attacks – but then her sister Jessie found a missing woman’s purse hidden in his room.

Jessie says they mustn’t tell. She says there’s nothing to worry about. But when she takes a job looking after the woman’s baby daughter, Addie starts to realise that her big sister doesn’t always tell her the whole story. And that the secrets they’re keeping may start costing lives…

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Seven days. Three families. One killer.

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday – a group of families enjoying a week together in the sun. Four women who have been best friends for as long as they can remember making the most of a luxurious villa in the south of France.

But Kate has a secret: her husband is having an affair. And a week away might just be the perfect opportunity to get the proof she needs – to catch him in the act once and for all. Because she suspects the other woman is one of her two best friends.

One of them is working against her, willing to sacrifice years of friendship to destroy her family. But which one? As Kate closes in on the truth in the stifling Mediterranean heat, she realises too late that the stakes are far higher than she ever imagined . . . 

Because someone in the villa may be prepared to kill to keep their secret hidden. 

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

Everything changed the night Flora Powell disappeared. 

Heather and Jess were best friends – until the night Heather’s sister vanished.

Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.

But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.

And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she’s avoided for so long:

What really happened the night Flora disappeared? 

By currently reading, I mean I haven’t even started it yet. Because erm … other priorities 😏

What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

The July Girls by Phoebe Locke | @phoebe_locke @Wildfirebks @headlinepg @JenRHarlow | #RandomThingsTours

Thrilled to host a stop on the blog tour for The July Girls by Phoebe Locke today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the opportunity to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Phoebe Locke
Title : The July Girls
Pages : 340
Publisher : Wildfire Books / Headline
Publication date : July 25, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Every year, on the same night in July, a woman is taken from the streets of London; snatched by a killer who moves through the city like a ghost.

Addie has a secret. On the morning of her tenth birthday, four bombs were detonated across the capital. That night her dad came home covered in blood. She thought he was hurt in the attacks – but then her sister Jessie found a missing woman’s purse hidden in his room.

Jessie says they mustn’t tell. She says there’s nothing to worry about. But when she takes a job looking after the woman’s baby daughter, Addie starts to realise that her big sister doesn’t always tell her the whole story. And that the secrets they’re keeping may start costing lives…

| MY THOUGHTS |

When I read The Tall Man a while ago, I immediately somehow felt Phoebe Locke would be my kind of writer. So when I heard The July Girls was coming, I signed up for this blog tour without even knowing what the book was about, confident that I would like whatever Phoebe Locke came up with this time around. And I was right. (I usually am, OH hates it 😉)

Every year, on the same day, a woman disappears without a trace from the streets of London. That day, July 7th, is Addie’s birthday. Coincidence or not? On her tenth birthday, her father arrives home with his clothes covered in blood. It’s July 7th, 2005. Addie thinks maybe her dad was hurt in the bombings that rocked London that day. Until her sister, Jessie, finds a purse belonging to a missing woman hidden in their dad’s bedroom. Is Addie’s dad a killer?

This story is told through the eyes of Addie, whom the reader follows throughout her teenage years as she struggles to deal with all the secrets she carries and the burden on her shoulders seems to grow with each year. I really enjoyed watching Addie develop throughout the story, how her voice changed as she grew up, how the things she just accepted as a ten year old suddenly didn’t seem to fit as she got older and matured.

You may think having a story told through a ten year old would come across as childish but you’d be awfully wrong. It was actually quite refreshing to see the world through innocent eyes, that little dash of naivety Addie still has, amidst the darkness in the world and then to sadly see that innocence shattered as she gets older.

The July Girls is immensely absorbing and extremely suspenseful. It’s one of those books that draws you in from the very beginning and just won’t let go. Now, I am awfully suspicious by nature so apart from Addie, I found it hard to trust anyone in this story as the characters were highly intriguing and constantly seemed to have something to hide. And yes, there is a mystery or a few murders to solve, one I couldn’t figure out at all. But that’s not the be all and end all of The July Girls. This is a story about relationships, family dynamics and secrets with a sense of impending doom hanging above it. That feeling you get when you know something is coming but you can’t figure out what that is.

I fear my review isn’t doing this book any justice. Sometimes words are just so hard to find. It isn’t just the storyline that had me hooked throughout but Phoebe Locke’s writing is really something else. Incredibly immersive and beautiful, it adds an extra layer to this story and all I can really say is : I’m a fan and I look forward immensely to whatever Phoebe Locke comes up with next!

The July Girls is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

PHOEBE LOCKE is the pseudonym of full-time writer Nicci Cloke. She previously worked at the Faber Academy, and hosted London literary salon Speakeasy. Nicci has had two literary novels published by Fourth Estate and Cape, and also writes YA for Hot Key Books. She lives and writes in Cambridgeshire. THE JULY GIRLS follows Phoebe Locke’s debut thriller THE TALL MAN.

Found by Erin Kinsley | @KinsleyErin @headlinepg @JenRHarlow | #RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Found by Erin Kinsley! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the opportunity to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Erin Kinsley
Title : Found
Pages : 368
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : July 25, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When 11 year old Evan vanishes without trace, his parents are plunged into their worst nightmare. 
Especially as the police, under massive pressure, have no answers.

But months later Evan is unexpectedly found, frightened and refusing to speak. His loving family realise life will never be the same again.

DI Naylor knows that unless those who took Evan are caught, other children are in danger. And with Evan silent, she must race against time to find those responsible…

| MY THOUGHTS |

Claire and Matt are faced with every parent’s worst nightmare when their son, Evan, fails to return from school. Evan was taken from a bus stop in broad daylight. With no witnesses, zero leads and a reconstruction that doesn’t provide any answers, detectives fail to move forward in their investigation.

Months go by, until Evan is unexpectedly found and returned home to his parents. But the damage has been done. Evan won’t talk, will not venture outside and hides himself away in his bedroom. Detectives are desperate to hunt down Evan’s kidnappers for fear they might strike again and kidnap another child but without Evan’s help, they don’t even know where to start.

I must say, this didn’t at all turn out the way I expected it to. This is one of those books that doesn’t quite fit into just any category. There’s the police procedural angle as the reader follows detectives on their frustrating journey to answers. But there is also more of a family drama side to this story as Evan’s family first go through the horrible period of his disappearance and then later need to deal with his return and the changes he’s undergone.

These were the chapters that are still very much at the forefront of my mind. The relationship between Evan and his granddad, especially, really got to me. It was just so warm and genuine, full of love and patience and I adored every minute they spent together. I never really considered that Found would move me as much as it did.

As harrowing as Found’s topic may be, I feel the author really managed to get events across without bombarding the reader with disturbing scene upon disturbing scene. A lot is left up to the reader’s imagination, be that a good or a bad thing. The story is chilling enough on its own, it didn’t need any added shock value and I appreciate that Erin Kinsley shied away from that and dealt with things in an incredibly sensitive way.

Found is a compelling and often devastating read, beautifully written and extremely sympathetically done. A truly impressive debut by Erin Kinsley.

Found is published in paperback format tomorrow!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Erin Kinsley is a full-time writer. She grew up in Yorkshire and currently lives in East Anglia. Now writing under a pseudonym, her previous books were published by Bloomsbury. Longlisted for the Desmond Elliot prize amongst other awards, her writing has received glowing reviews across the national press.

Weekly Wrap-Up (July 21)

Slightly odd week. I was feeling rather overwhelmed with things again, having quite a few books to get through for the upcoming week. So naturally, the logical approach seemed to be …. the ostrich one. 🤔.

Instead of reading, I spent hours on YouTube watching old tennis matches. As you do. This means I of course fell behind even more and I still have two books to read for blog tours next week. Stupid girl.

And of course, I also had to keep up with social media and watch my blogger friends have an absolute blast at the Theakston Crime Festival in Harrogate this weekend. It’s not something I ever see myself attending (WAY too many people! 😂) but that doesn’t mean I don’t get a teenie-tiny jealous every single time.

Anyway, what did I manage to read this week then?

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Oh! I just surprised myself here! That’s not too bad at all! I have no idea how I did that. Maybe I’m sleep-reading 🤔🤣

If you feel like playing the guessing game today : one of those is in my top 5 of books of the year.

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

I already owned Tall Oaks on Kindle so that doesn’t count, does it?

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

Superduper grateful and lucky blogger this week! With thanks to Headline, Atlantic / Corvus and Orenda.

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Shared my review for Stop At Nothing by Tammy Cohen

Tuesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Child’s Play by Angela Marsons

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Author Andrew Joyce visited to talk about his new book Mahoney

Friday : Joined the blog tour for The Last Stage by Louise Voss

Saturday : Took the day off because everyone and their dog was at Harrogate 😂

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Review | What I Did by Claire McGowan
Monday : Blog tour | Review | The Girl at the Window by Rowan Coleman

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | The Hidden Wife by Amanda Reynolds

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | Found by Erin Kinsley

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | The Scribe by A.A. Chaudhuri

Friday : Review | Crime Short Stories by various authors

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Accidental double booking there. 🙄 Two still to read, like I mentioned at the start, and no time to read today. Argh! Things will settle down enormously after this week though. You’ll see! No, really. Stop laughing! 😜

And that’s a wrap! We have another heatwave coming our way this week. The current forecast is predicting temperatures of 39C, possibly even 40C, and boy, do I hope they’re wrong 😅. But if they’re not wrong, I predict a lot of reading and zero sleeping so there’s that.

Hope everyone has a fantastic week! See you next time! Happy reading! xx

Weekly Wrap-Up (June 23)

Boy, am I glad to see the back of this week. So much stress and anxiety, tis not good for the soul.

On Tuesday, the ball-and-chain and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Condolences welcome 😉. Now, you’d think that after 20 years, he would know that a) I don’t like surprises and b) I don’t like being the centre of attention. So naturally, he organised something behind my back that “involved other people”. I didn’t know where we were going, what I was supposed to wear, when I was supposed to be ready, nothing. And I hated every single minute of that day. Turns out we just went to a fancy restaurant with his stepbrother and stepbrother’s wife. And it was fantastic, had a really good time, sat outside until midnight, ate great food, drank fabulous wine and a cheeky limoncello or two.

But I could have done without the added stress as doggie wasn’t well again and I hated having to leave her behind with my mother-in-law, the babysitter. Yoshi was incredibly unsteady on her paws, almost toppled over a few times. She wouldn’t eat, she slept a lot. All in all, just not the kind of behaviour I’m used to from her. She’s also started walking into furniture as her sight is going. Anyway, stressful! For those wondering, she seems to be a bit better now but I’m obviously watching her like a hawk.

Obviously, all of this took a massive toll on my reading. I knew those 7 books last week would be a fluke but I wasn’t prepared for this week’s downward spiral. 😂

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Yep. Three. That’s it. Apart from a book where I got to 200 pages and then abandoned it. Two absolute corkers up there though! I’m sure you’ll be able to guess which ones 😉

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Of course I was going to get a hardback of The Whisper Man for my shelves! While browsing, I stumbled upon Allen Eskens and I really need to get caught up on his books so there is one. Charlie Donlea is someone I keep hearing lots about. I’ve only read two of his books so far, although I do have the others.

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

Black Summer was a book I chose in a giveaway I won. The other two are for blog tours, kindly forwarded on by Zoé 😘

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Death and Other Happy Endings by Melanie Cantor

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for Forget Me Not by Claire Allan

Wednesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for The Serpent’s Mark by S.W. Perry

Thursday : Reviewed Beneath the Surface by Jo Spain

Friday : Joined the blog tour for The Whisper Man by Alex North

Saturday : Took the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

I’m impressed with myself for getting this all out there on the right days and on time, considering the week I’ve had.

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Review | The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Tuesday : Review | After the End by Claire Mackintosh

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Blog tour | Don’t Ever Tell by Lucy Dawson

Friday : Review | The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Look at that! Just the one blog tour! Do you need a minute? Feel a tad faint? 😂

My next blog tour isn’t until July 3rd. But I’ve only read 5 books from my 20 Books of Summer list so far, so I really need to get a move on. This upcoming week promises to be HOT AS HELL with temperatures of 38°C coming our way. The perfect excuse for doing absolutely nothing but read. Hopefully by the weekend, I’ll have another 7 books under my belt because this silly 3 just will not do!

Right, I have one review to write. I know, you’re jealous. Then I might browse around, possibly buy some more books as I still have a tiny bit of room left on my shelves and it looks stupid 😉.

Hope everyone has a fabulous week! If you’re caught up in a heatwave as I am, stay cool and drink lots of water. If not, erm, sorry 😂. Until next time! Happy reading! xx

Someone is Lying by Jenny Blackhurst | @JennyBlackhurst @headlinepg @annecater | #blogtour #RandomThingsTours #bookreview

Delighted to join the blog tour for Someone is Lying by Jenny Blackhurst today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for the review copy!

Author : Jenny Blackhurst
Title : Someone is Lying
Pages : 318
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : May 31, 2019 (ebook)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

One year after Erica Spencer trips and falls down a flight of stairs at a lavish Halloween party, the residents of the exclusive gated community where she lived have comes to terms with her death and moved on with their lives.

Until one day, a post on the school’s website announces there will be a podcast to expose what really happened on the night of the accident. Six suspects are named, with the podcaster promising to reveal the murderer by the end of the series.

Everyone in this community has secrets to keep, and one of them is already a killer…

| MY THOUGHTS |

Jenny Blackhurst’s books are always such a treat and I was so excited when Someone Is Lying landed on my doorstep that I threw my entire schedule out of the window so I could start reading this one immediately. It’s a good thing I had no plans for my afternoon because from the very first page I was absolutely hooked and there was no way I was going to put this one down for something pesky like getting dinner on the table.

One year ago, Erica Spencer was found dead at the bottom of a treehouse during a Halloween party. The residents of the community where she lived have tried to put the whole thing behind them and have moved on with their lives. Until a podcast is announced, one that will dig deep into the lives of the community residents and reveal what really happened to Erica and who was responsible. There’s a killer hiding in the middle of this gated community but who is it and why did they feel Erica had to die?

For the most part, I felt Someone Is Lying had a bit of a Desperate Housewives meets Gossip Girl vibe to it, but way more tense and compelling, and I actually quite enjoyed that. This group of characters that seem to get along like a house on fire but when one of them isn’t around, the catty remarks pop up. And then there is someone who’s ready to blow the lid off the whole thing because this seemingly perfect community hides many lies and secrets and for one that is supposedly as close as it proclaims, there’s quite a lot the residents don’t know about each other. I also enjoy this type of setting, a closed neighbourhood, in this case a gated community. You’d think having a short list of suspects would make it easy to predict the outcome but it isn’t and I was quickly proven wrong.

With many different personalities and intriguing characters, I found it impossible to figure out what had truly happened to Erica or why someone was so desperate to have the truth be revealed. Knowing all these characters have something to hide made it rather hard for me to find any of them particularly likeable but that didn’t bother me one bit. It wasn’t necessary to like them and they represent many types I’m sure a lot of us are familiar with. From the pushy mum to the narcissistic mum, the gossips and the pretenders and the always seemingly absent fathers. Those who’ve had the “pleasure” of standing around at the school gates surely recognise the types.

With plenty of surprises, twists and turns, Someone Is Lying is extremely entertaining from the first page to the last. There isn’t only the mystery surrounding Erica’s death to solve. There is also the impact these podcasts have, not just on the adults but also on their children. You can always count on Jenny Blackhurst to deliver a well-paced and thrilling psychological thriller and Someone Is Lying is most definitely that. A delicious and additive page-turner, just like I’ve come to expect from this author.

Someone Is Lying is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Jenny lives in Shropshire where she grew up dreaming that one day she would get paid for making up stories. She is an avid reader and can mostly be found with her head in a book or hunting Pokemon with her son, otherwise you can get her on Twitter @JennyBlackhurst or Facebook. Her favourite film is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, but if her children ask it’s definitely Moana.

Anna of Kleve : Queen of Secrets by Alison Weir

Author : Alison Weir
Title : Anna of Kleve : Queen of Secrets
Series : Six Tudor Queens #4
Pages : 485
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : May 2, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Newly widowed and the father of an infant son, Henry VIII realizes he must marry again to insure the royal succession. Now forty-six, overweight and unwell, Henry is soundly rejected by some of Europe’s most eligible princesses, but Anna of Kleve—a small German duchy—is twenty-four and eager to wed.

Henry requests Anna’s portrait from his court painter, who enhances her looks, painting her straight-on in order not to emphasize her rather long nose. Henry is entranced by the lovely image, only to be bitterly surprised when Anna arrives in England and he sees her in the flesh. She is pleasant looking, just not the lady that Henry had expected.

What follows is a fascinating story of this awkward royal union that had to somehow be terminated tactfully. Alison Weir takes a fresh and surprising look at this remarkable royal marriage by describing it from the point of view of Queen Anna, a young woman with hopes and dreams of her own, alone in a royal court that rejected her from the day she arrived. 

| MY THOUGHTS |

The Six Tudor Queens series continues with the fourth of Henry VIII’s wives, Anna of Kleve. This is one I’d been looking forward to, happy to move even further away from the Great Matter, and also because I didn’t know much about Anna herself.

Anna hailed from Germany and to all intents and purposes seemed to have lived quite the sheltered life under the watchful eye of her mother. Until the day Henry VIII, King of England, decides he needs another wife and preferably another heir. With Spain and France joining forces against him, an alliance with the Duke of Kleve would be quite an advantage. Henry asks his court painter for a portrait of Anna. He likes what he sees. Until Anna finally arrives in England. Despite the marriage going ahead, it quickly becomes clear Henry isn’t happy and when Henry isn’t happy, heads roll. But will it be Anna’s?

There is quite the controversial storyline running through Anna of Kleve. As always, Alison Weir takes facts and builds her story around those. In this case, the reasons Henry listed for his marriage to Anna to remain unconsummated. By that time, he was nearing 50, massively overweight and unfit, and quite possibly impotent. But of course, that’s not something he would ever have admitted. In his attempts to have his marriage to Anna annulled, Henry shows a side of himself we’ve not really seen before. At times he managed to come across as likeable even.

Now imagine Anna. A young woman sent off to England to marry a King. She spoke no English, knew nothing of the culture or customs but did know the stories about what happened to Henry’s previous wives. How incredibly frightening is that? Unable to please Henry, through no fault of her own, her life at the court must have been spent in sheer fear and anxiety.

I mentioned the controversial path Alison Weir takes with this story. Up to a certain point, I was quite willing to follow it. It explained a lot, it made sense while keeping Henry’s words in the back of my mind. But as the years went on, I must admit that that particular fictional part of the story lost me a little bit. I’m being deliberately vague here because I want the readers to experience this for themselves. If you do read this novel, and you definitely should, I’d be incredibly interested in knowing your thoughts.

I absolutely adore the Six Tudor Queens series and boy, do those hardcovers look amazing on my bookshelf. As always, Alison Weir’s research is immaculate and her descriptions are fabulously vivid. From the various palaces and their furnishings to the food served to the gorgeous clothes, she brings this era to life like no other. While I enjoyed Anna of Kleve, it wasn’t my favourite of the series though. It’s a bit hard to explain but for the first time in this series, I really felt like I was reading fiction. Which it is for the most part, of course, but some of it just didn’t quite work for me. Nevertheless, putting those misgivings aside, Anna of Kleve is another fantastic addition to this series and I can’t wait for the next one.

Anna of Kleve : Queen of Secrets is available to buy in ebook and hardcover.

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