Between the Lies by Michelle Adams

Author : Michelle Adams
Title : Between the Lies
Pages : 336
Publisher : St. Martin’s Press
Publication date : March 5, 2019 (US)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

What would you do if you woke up and didn’t know who you were?

Chloe Daniels regains consciousness in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. 
She doesn’t recognise the strangers who call themselves family. She can’t even remember her own name.

What if your past remained a mystery?

As she slowly recovers, her parents and sister begin to share details of her life. 
The successful career. The seaside home. The near-fatal car crash.
But Chloe senses they’re keeping dark secrets – and her determination to uncover the truth will have devastating consequences.

What if the people you should be able trust are lying to you?

| MY THOUGHTS |

When Chloë Daniels wakes up in hospital, she has no idea how she ended up there. She doesn’t recognise her parents, has no idea what her life was like and doesn’t even remember her own name. Confined to the parental home and under the care of her father, Chloë soon starts to realise her family are keeping secrets from her and she is determined to find out the truth.

I do so love it when a book starts with a bang! In this case, a car accident and someone who’s trapped. An event like this immediately grabs your attention and holds it because you just have to keep on reading to see what on earth happened and how we got there. Prologues like this one get me really excited!

But goodness gracious me, there is so much deceit and so many lies in this story, my head was spinning. I may never trust anyone ever again! It’s devastating to think that if you found yourself in Chloë’s situation, you wouldn’t even be able to depend on the people that are supposed to be the closest to you.

Obviously, Chloë is the character to sympathise with and root for. I was desperately willing her on to discover the truth about her life although I wasn’t quite prepared for the emotional effects that would have on both her and myself, as the reader. Which in turn makes you think, would it have been better if she hadn’t remembered at all?

This is a tough one to review as I’m worried I’ll give something away that I shouldn’t. Suffice to say nothing is what it seems and nobody can be trusted. Michelle Adams has come up with quite the devious and brilliantly executed plot that had me utterly gripped. There’s always something incredibly fascinating and compelling about dysfunctional families. Between The Lies is definitely an addictive psychological thriller and while this is the first book I’ve read by this author, I already know it won’t be my last.

My thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the review copy!

Between the Lies is available to buy!

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

Don’t Turn Around by Amanda Brooke | @AmandaBrookeAB @HarperCollinsUK | #DontTurnAround #NetGalley

Author : Amanda Brooke
Title : Don’t Turn Around
Pages : 416
Publisher : Harper Collins
Publication date : January 24, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Ten years ago, Jen’s cousin Meg killed herself after failing to escape an abusive relationship.

Now, Meg’s ex is back and Jen’s domestic abuse helpline has started getting frightening calls from a girl who knows things about Meg – details that only the dead girl or the man who hurt her could have known…

As Jen starts to uncover the past, someone is determined to stop her. Can she save this young woman from Meg’s fate? Or is history about to repeat itself?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Good grief! What an emotional rollercoaster ride this was. It took me several moments to recover from the devastating storyline Don’t Turn Around focused on.

Ten years ago, Meg killed herself. Her mother Ruth and cousin Jen have always believed Meg saw no other way to escape the abusive relationship she was in with her boyfriend Lewis. But lack of proof meant Lewis was never brought to justice. Now, Lewis is back in town and the helpline where Ruth and Jen work starts receiving frightening calls from a girl who knows things about Meg and is finding herself in the same situation. Can Ruth and Jen help this girl to safety before it’s too late?

This story is told through the perspectives of Ruth and Jen. Both of these characters struggle immensely with the guilt of not having seen what Meg was going through, of having been unable to see the signs and get her the help she needed. Throughout the story, you’re left to wonder if Ruth and Jen knew Meg at all as they delve into their memories of her short life. That in turn made me, as the reader, wonder about Meg as well. Was she someone who liked playing games, pulling people to her and then pushing them away again? Or was there something far more sinister going on that damaged her?

The search for the truth is not an easy one. Dealing with this new girl via the helpline has major consequences. Ruth and Jen have always vowed that the best way to deal with Meg’s loss is to make sure no other girl ever has to deal with what she dealt with. But does this determination blind them to the truth? And will they finally find out why Meg took her own life?

Amanda Brooke does an amazing job in delving into the aftermath of a loss like Meg’s for those around her. The immense struggle to pick up the pieces of their lives and move on without her is utterly realistic and believable. Time does not heal all wounds and that’s something that’s very noticeable here. This isn’t the most comfortable storyline to read as it deals with the rather dark and disturbing topics of abuse and suicide but I feel the author tackled it brilliantly.

Don’t Turn Around is a gripping, suspenseful and emotive psychological thriller with plenty of twists and red herrings. It made me angry, it made me sad and had me completely engrossed right up until the incredibly shocking ending.

My thanks to the publisher for the advanced copy!

Don’t Turn Around is available to buy!

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

The Woman Inside by E.G. Scott | @EGScottwrites @TrapezeBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n | #TheWomanInside #blogtour

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Woman Inside by E.G. Scott. My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the opportunity and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : E.G. Scott
Title : The Woman Inside
Pages : 310
Publisher : Trapeze
Publication date : January 22, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Rebecca didn’t know love was possible until she met Paul, a successful, charismatic, married man with a past as dark as her own. Their pain drew them together with an irresistible magnetism; they sensed that they were each other’s ideal (and perhaps only) match.

But twenty years later, Paul and Rebecca are drowning as the damage and secrets that ignited their love begin to consume their marriage. Paul is cheating on Rebecca, and his affair gets messy fast. His mistress is stalking them with growing audacity when Rebecca discovers Paul’s elaborate plan to build a new life without her. And though Rebecca is spiraling into an opiate addiction, it doesn’t stop her from coming up with a devious plot of her own, and this one could end absolutely everything.

| MY THOUGHTS |

If you suffer from major trust issues, step away now! Good grief! It is impossible to know who to believe or trust in this story, and quite frankly you may never believe or trust anyone ever again!

Things kick off with a most intriguing prologue. And then we have the pleasure, or displeasure, of meeting Rebecca and Paul. These two have been married for two decades but the cracks are starting to show. Paul is cheating and Rebecca has an addiction to pretty much anything that comes in pill-sized shapes. For years, they’ve been putting away money in order to build their dream home. But when Rebecca finds out all their savings have disappeared, well, let’s just say Paul had better watch out.

It took me a while to figure out what on earth was going on but the chapters were so intensely gripping that I just had to keep reading. Told mostly from the perspective of both Paul and Rebecca, the reader gets a really good insight into their marriage. These are not exactly your likeable characters. They are both incredibly flawed and there’s a lot going on with both of them. From infidelity, lies and deceit to addiction, it’s quite frankly a miracle this marriage made it to the twenty-year mark.

Because of Rebecca’s addiction to pills, it’s impossible to determine if she’s a reliable narrator. Is she suffering from hallucinations or paranoia? Or are the things she believes that are happening actually happening? This is where most of the tension comes from. Added to that is Paul’s latest mistress who can’t seem to take “no” for an answer and entertainment provided by two detectives investigating the disappearance of a woman. These two may just need a spin-off.

I was never quite sure how things would pan out but I thoroughly enjoyed the satisfying conclusion of Paul and Rebecca’s storyline. The Woman Inside takes dysfunctional to a whole other level and with plenty of twists and turns, this will leave you guessing until the end.

The Woman Inside is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

E. G. Scott is a pseudonym for two writers, who have been friends for over twenty-years, and have been writing plays, screenplays, and short stories separately since they were kids. They’ve collaborated on multiple projects from the beginning of their friendship, but “The Woman Inside” is their first published work together. This book came out of their shared love of thrillers and noir and wanting to collaborate on a novel for a long time. They are currently working on their next thriller. 

Blackberry and Wild Rose by Sonia Velton | @QuercusBooks | #Bwr #NetGalley

Author : Sonia Velton
Title : Blackberry & Wild Rose
Pages : 416
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : January 10, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When Esther Thorel, the wife of a Huguenot silk-weaver, rescues Sara Kemp from a brothel she thinks she is doing God’s will. Sara is not convinced being a maid is better than being a whore, but the chance to escape her grasping ‘madam’ is too good to refuse.

Inside the Thorels’ tall house in Spitalfields, where the strange cadence of the looms fills the attic, the two women forge an uneasy relationship. The physical intimacies of washing and dressing belie the reality: Sara despises her mistress’s blindness to the hypocrisy of her household, while Esther is too wrapped up in her own secrets to see Sara as anything more than another charitable cause.

It is silk that has Esther so distracted. For years she has painted her own designs, dreaming that one day her husband will weave them into reality. When he laughs at her ambition, she strikes up a relationship with one of the journeyman weavers in her attic who teaches her to weave and unwittingly sets in motion events that will change the fate of the whole Thorel household.

| MY THOUGHTS |

As someone who has recently rediscovered her love for historical fiction, I’ve truly been spoilt lately. Sure, a nice gruesome murder or a bunch psychological games is fun to read about but there is something about being transported to ages long ago that totally captures my imagination.

Upon arriving in Spitalfields, Sara Kemp immediately lands herself in a whole heap of trouble. She is rescued by Esther Thorel, the wife of a prominent silk weaver, who offers Sara the position of being her maid. Not quite Sara’s dream job but definitely a step up from where she found herself. This marks the start of a rather uneasy relationship that will affect their lives.

I must say this didn’t at all turn out the way I expected it to and I was pleasantly surprised. Some of the silk weaving technicalities went completely over my head but as that wasn’t the be all and end all of the story, that didn’t really bother me. Because what matters far most is the divide between the upper and the lower classes and the battle a woman faces when she wants to do something men don’t think she’s meant for.

There’s a whole cast of extremely unlikeable characters. So much so that I’m hard pressed to decide which one I actually disliked the most. Yet, that too didn’t bother me because all the lies, deceit and betrayal made for one immersive story. And let’s not forget to mention the rich and vivid descriptions of 1860’s London that create the most wonderful atmosphere.

There is much to enjoy about this historical fiction novel and I went through a whole range of emotions, from anger to frustration to a touch of sadness at how unfair life can be. I learned quite a bit along the way too, which is always a bonus. Make sure to read the author’s notes, by the way. Blackberry & Wild Rose is a remarkable debut by Sonia Velton and I will most definitely be keeping my eye on her in future.

With thanks to the publisher for my review copy!

Blackberry & Wild Rose is available to buy!

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For The Missing by Lina Bengtsdotter | @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n | #blogtour #ForTheMissing #NetGalley

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for For The Missing by Lina Bengtsdotter. My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the opportunity to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Lina Bengtsdotter
Title : For The Missing
Series : Charlie Lager #1
Pages : 368
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : December 13, 2018

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When a teenage girl goes missing from a small town, the local police start to buckle under the pressure.

Enter Charlie Lager, the brilliant but conflicted Detective Inspector sent from Stockholm to solve the mystery of Annabelle’s disappearance.

Her superiors don’t know that Charlie grew up in this very town – and she’s determined to keep it that way. But as she gets closer to the truth, cracks begin to form in her own lies.

Can Charlie find Annabelle before her darkest secrets are brought to light? FOR THE MISSING, time is running out…

| MY THOUGHTS |

When a young girl goes missing from a small town in Sweden, Charlie Lager and her colleague Anders are sent to help in the investigation. Unknown to everyone, Charlie grew up in this town. She’s determined to make sure nobody finds out but can she keep it up? And can detectives find young Annabelle before it’s too late?

For The Missing is the first instalment in the Charlie Lager series and promises great things for the future. Mostly set in the small town of Gullspång, the atmosphere is quite gloomy and the sense of claustrophobia and isolation is all-encompassing. This small town has very little to offer. To be honest, I can’t fathom at all why anyone would want to live there. There are no prospects, people have a hard time making ends meet and there is very little to do for entertainment. It’s no wonder Charlie made her escape from this place but why? And how will this forced return affect her?

I must admit that this didn’t quite turn out the way I expected it to. Yes, there’s an investigation into the disappearance of a teenaged girl but it goes deeper than that and the actual police work almost takes a backseat. This is very much a character-driven story and a truly fine example of Scandi-Noir, with its main focus on main protagonist, Charlie, and a rather intriguing backstory. In alternating chapters, the reader is introduced to two young girls. These chapters really grabbed my attention and I couldn’t at all figure out how they were connected to anything. And with every resident in Gullspång seemingly having something to hide, finding out who’s responsible for Annabelle’s disappearance is a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. In short, there’s plenty on offer here to hold your attention throughout.

This first instalment in the Charlie Lager series won the Crimetime Specsavers Best Debut Award and it’s easy to see why. Gripping and atmospheric, this slow-burner marks the perfect introduction to Charlie Lager. I have no doubt this complex characters hides many more secrets and it’ll be thrilling to find out what those are.

For The Missing is available to buy!

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| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Lina Bengtsdotter grew up in Gullspång, Sweden. She is a teacher in Swedish and Psychology and has published a number of short stories in various newspapers and magazines in Sweden and the Nordic countries. She has lived in the UK and in Italy and today resides outside of Stockholm with her three children.

FOR THE MISSING is her debut novel.

Agnes Broomé is a literary translator and Preceptor in Scandinavian at Harvard University. With a PhD in Translation Studies, her translations include August Prize-winner THE EXPEDITION by Bea Uusma. 

Halfway by B.E. Jones | @bevjoneswriting @LittleBrownUK| #blogtour #bookreview #Halfway #damppebblesblogtours

It’s a real pleasure to be one of two bloggers kicking off the blog tour for Halfway by B.E. Jones today! My thanks to Emma Welton for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy.

Author : B.E. Jones
Title : Halfway
Pages :
Publisher : Little Brown UK
Publication date : November 1, 2018

The Halfway Inn is closed to customers, side-lined by a bypass, deep in the inhospitable countryside. One winter’s night, deep in snow, Lee, a student hitching home for Christmas, and Becca, a local nurse, end up knocking on the door as the blizzard takes hold. 

But are they the first to arrive? Why is the landlord less than pleased to see them? And what is his elderly father, upstairs in bed immobilised by a stroke, trying so hard to tell them?

At the local police station PC Lissa Lloyd is holding the fort while the rest of her team share in the rare excitement of a brutal murder at an isolated farmhouse. A dangerous fugitive is on the run – but how can Lissa make a name for herself if she’s stuck at her desk? When a call comes in saying the nurse is missing she jumps at the chance to escape the boredom and heads out into the snow.

The strangers at Halfway wait out the storm but soon realise they might have been safer on the road, especially when Lee finds something interesting in the cellar – which is nowhere near as interesting as what’s under the old man’s bed. It seems not all the travellers will make it home for Christmas… and if everyone is lying, then who do you trust? 

Ever feel like a book description gives away way too much information? I’m honestly glad I didn’t read the blurb above before I started reading Halfway. I much prefer discovering things on my own and not quite knowing what the book was about allowed me that.

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Wales, in the midst of a blizzard, the reader meets a multitude of characters. It’s rather obvious from the start that their paths will cross at some point but how or why remains a mystery for quite a while. There’s the hitchhiker, whose either running away from or towards something. There’s an old man, who has suffered a stroke, stuck in his bed just wanting to be heard. And there’s a police officer, desperate to make a name for herself. 

Out on an isolated farm, there’s been a vicious murder. The police officer is sidelined, not involved in the investigation at all. How is she supposed to move up the ranks if she can’t even get away from her desk? Who’s responsible for the murder up at the farm and why? What’s going on with the sick man in his room? As you can tell, there are a lot of questions that need answers and I thoroughly enjoyed trying to unravel the various threads.

Halfway is one intricately plotted puzzle. For the longest time, I couldn’t at all get a handle on things and didn’t have a clue what was going on. However, I found the chapters and the characters so immensely intriguing that I couldn’t stop reading. This story is very much on the slow side but does a brilliant job of setting the scene and delving into the minds of the various characters. Even if the pace puts you off at the start, stick with it. It pays off in the end when things come together rather cleverly.

Halfway is available to buy!

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

Beverley Jones was born in the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales, and started her ‘life of crime’ as a reporter on The Western Mail before moving into TV news with BBC Wales Today. 

She covered all aspects of crime reporting before switching sides as a press officer for South Wales police, dealing with the media in criminal investigations, security operations and emergency planning.

Now a freelance writer she channels these experiences of ‘true crime,’ and the murkier side of human nature, into her dark, psychological thrillers set in and around South Wales. 

Halfway, her fifth crime novelfollows the release of Where She Went by Little Brown in 2017.

Bev’s previous releases, The Lies You Tell, Make Him Pay and Fear The Dark are also available from Little Brown as e books. 

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

Her Last Move by John Marrs | @johnmarrs1 @AmazonPub @EmmaFinnigan | #HerLastMove #damppebblesblogtours #guestpost

Delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Her Last Move by John Marrs. My thanks to Emma Welton for the invitation to join. John Marrs visits my blog today to talk about ten things you don’t know about himself and his books. But first, here is what Her Last Move is all about!

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Author : John Marrs
Title : Her Last Move
Pages : 352
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer
Publication date : November 8, 2018

aboutthebook

She’s chasing a killer. He’s watching her every move.

He hides in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment. Each kill is calculated, planned and executed like clockwork.

Struggling to balance her personal and professional life, young DS Becca Vincent has landed the biggest case of her career—and she knows that it will make or break her. But she can’t catch the culprit alone. Together with facial recognition expert Joe Russell, she strives to get a lead on the elusive murderer, who is always one step ahead of them.

Time is not on their side. The body count is rising, and the attacks are striking closer and closer to home. Can Becca and Joe uncover the connection between the murders before the killer strikes the last name from his list?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Wordery | Goodreads

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Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me and My Books

  1. I’ve written six books since 2012 and am currently on draft one of my seventh. One character appears in each of my novels – my dog Oscar. In real life he’s a nine-year-old border terrier who has been with me since he was ten weeks old. In my stories, I’ve twice killed him off, changed his breed, his age and even his sex! 
  1. None of my books are sequels, but there is a little character hopping that happens. For example, the rock star son of Catherine in When You Disappeared appears as a music judge in Welcome To Wherever You Are. The house in When You Disappeared crops up in The Good Samaritan. The psychopath in my latest novel, Her Last Move, was in foster care with Laura, my sociopath from The Good Samaritan. Match Your DNA, the common theme in The One, will make an occurrence in my sixth novel, as yet untitled, which comes out early next year.
  1. My first five books were written on trains. I live in Northamptonshire but until ten months ago, I worked in London so I commuted each day. With round trips and lunch breaks, I had a good four hours a day to write. I’d slip on my headphones, find a moody playlist of music and ignore the world to create my own. Book six is the first one I’ve written completely at home.
  1. The original ending of The Good Samaritan was completely different to the version that appeared in the book. In the first few drafts, it was Laura’s friend Mary who was blackmailing her. My editor wasn’t convinced that was the right way to finish the book, so after much sulking from me, eventually I agreed with her and the ending that’s in the book is so much better.
  1. The first person who reads each of my books is my partner, confusingly, also called John. I also sound out the plots of my stories with him when we take the dog for long walks around the park. For book seven, we plotted the entire thing out while hiking in America’s Yosemite national park. The next reader is my mum, then fellow author Louise Beech before it goes to my editor.
  1. I don’t read half as much as I would like to. I just don’t have the time. I download a lot of audiobooks now which I listen to when I’m at the gym or taking Oscar for a walk. I’ll listen to my own books too when they first arrive. It’s always interesting to hear an actor or actress interpret your words. Some of them I’ve loved, others, well… I’m not so convinced by!
  1. My first novel, The Wronged Sons, was turned down by eighty different publishers and agents in the UK. It became a self-published word of mouth hit before it was taken on by publisher Thomas & Mercer, rewritten, republished and renamed When You Disappeared. In just over a year, it has now sold 250,000 copies. To all you unpublished writers out there – NEVER. GIVE. UP.
  1. My second novel, Welcome To Wherever You Are, is set in a backpacking hostel in Los Angeles and is loosely based on the characters I met there when I was a 21-year-old travelling around America for a year. This summer, I went back to LA and visited it for the first time in 26 years. It was quite a special moment.
  1. The One contains five main characters and their stories when they discover they each have a soul mate somewhere out there in the world. However, there was originally a sixth character. I’d written about 20,000 words of her story when I decided the book was going to be too long so I had to cull someone. She was axed as her story became too violent and I felt with one psychopath in the book, there wasn’t any more room for bloodshed.
  1.  My latest book, Her Last Move, is my first foray into police procedural. I wanted to write a police thriller just to see if I could manage it. I don’t see the point in writing the same kind of book over and over again even if they are hits. I needed to set myself a challenge and push myself and boy, did this push me. Hats off to every writer out there who works in this genre on a regular basis. Thankfully I had some expert assistants to help with the accuracy. And judging by early reviews on Goodreads and NetGalley, people seem to be liking it so far. Phew!

[I hope to get around to reading Her Last Move myself some time soon! Thank you so much for stopping by, John!]

abouttheauthor

John Marrs is the author of The One, The Good Samaritan, When You Disappeared, and Welcome to Wherever You Are.

A freelance journalist based in London, England, he has spent the past twenty years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines.

He has written for publications including the Guardian’s Guide and Guardian Online, Total Film, Huffington Post, Empire, Q, GT, the Independent, S Magazine and Company.

Author links : Twitter | Website

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One Way Ticket to Paris by Emma Robinson @emmarobinsonuk @bookouture #NetGalley #bookreview #blogblitz

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to the first day of the blog blitz for One Way Ticket to Paris by Emma Robinson! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invite and for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Emma Robinson
Title : One Way Ticket to Paris
Pages : 279
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 31, 2018

aboutthebook

When I was a kid and I’d lost something, my dad always said ‘Go back to the place you last had it’. The problem is that what I’ve lost is… me.

Kate loves her family more than anything, but recently she has started to feel invisible. Lying awake at three a.m. as her husband snores, panicking about shopping lists, birthday parties, and the school bake sale…

She finds herself in the kitchen, gulping water, staring at a postcard of the Eiffel Tower from Shannon, her best friend.

Paris, with its red wine, slippery cobbles and curly lampposts. Where the scent of freshly-baked croissants hangs in the air, and Kate last remembers feeling like herself.

The postcard is a year old. It has just one line on it: When are you coming?

mythoughts

I’m sure many of us are familiar with sleepless nights, when the brain just won’t shut down long enough for you to relax, when you maybe start to feel a little punchy and even the most stupid idea suddenly seems like the best one ever.

It is during such a sleepless night that Kate realises she’s lost her way. Married to Luke and a stay-at-home mum to two children, she seems to have forgotten who she truly is. Her dad always told her that when you lost something, you needed to go back to the place where you last had it. So to find herself again, Kate books a one way ticket to Paris to see her best friend, Shannon.

Shannon is having problems of her own though and Kate couldn’t have picked a worse weekend to show up unannounced. Because Shannon suddenly finds herself in a position she’s desperately been trying to avoid. On the Eurostar to Paris, Kate meets Laura and thus, the scene is set for a memorable weekend.

These three women find themselves at a crossroads in their lives. Feelings need to be discussed, secrets need to come out in the open and decisions must be made. One Way Ticket to Paris is a wonderfully entertaining story about love, friendship and how sometimes in the midst of the chaos life throws at us, all you need is some time to just breathe and be yourself again.

This isn’t exactly the type of genre I normally go for but I do enjoy Emma Robinson’s writing. Her characters always come across realistic and believable and I have no doubt some of the things Kate, Shannon and Laura deal with are entirely relatable to some readers. From men with commitment phobias, to dealing with pushy mums at your children’s schools yapping on about bake sales and the like, to not having a minute to yourself, which means a clean and quiet bathroom in a hotel suddenly feels like paradise on earth.

With a few chuckles along the way, likeable characters to sympathise with and root for and a healthy dose of romance, this feel-good story is sure to warm your hearts.

One Way Ticket to Paris is out today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Emma Robinson thinks of herself as one of the ‘Bridget Jones generation’ – who are now grown up and having children – and writes novels for women who feel the same.

She also has a blog, Motherhood for Slackers, which takes a humorous look at parenthood, and includes poems such as ‘Dear Teacher’ about her son starting school which has been shared around the world. Emma is an English teacher and lives in Essex with a patient husband and two children who are an endless source of material.

Author links : Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Website

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The Little Orphan Girl by Sandy Taylor

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Author : Sandy Taylor
Title : The Little Orphan Girl
Pages : 358
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : September 24, 2018

aboutthebook

Ireland, 1901: For as long as six-year-old Cissy Ryan can remember, she has been a workhouse girl. Living amongst the other orphan boys and girls, dreaming of a family that might come and choose her for their own.

But the day her real mammy finally comes to claim her is not how Cissy imagined. An unfamiliar woman takes her to a tumbledown cottage in the rural Irish countryside to meet her gruff granddaddy. Settling into the isolated and poverty-stricken village is tough. But Cissy’s blossoming friendship with Colm Doyle and his horse Blue show Cissy the kindness and laughter is possible, even in the hardest of times.

As Cissy grows up, she finds that the world around her is ever changing. When she goes to work at prestigious Bretton Hall, she begins to realise that not everyone has an honest heart…

mythoughts

We first meet Cissy Ryan when, at the age of six, she leaves a workhouse holding the hand of a woman claiming to be her mammy. The workhouse for orphans is the only home Cissy has ever known and her mammy isn’t quite the kind of mother she expected. In fact Cissy was sure her name was Martha and she didn’t even have a mammy. Nevertheless, Cissy moves in with her mammy and her grandfather, a grumpy old man, in a tiny cottage. Life is suddenly very different but there is a silver lining and his name is Colm Doyle.

From these humble beginnings, we follow Cissy as she grows up and goes out into the world to work at prestigious Breton Hall. Here Cissy learns all about the divide between the poor and the rich and that some people aren’t honest or even nice. Their sense of entitlement is remarkable as they go through life without a care in the world for the people who work for them or their circumstances.

Cissy is an absolutely delightful character and I warmed to her immediately, even though she sometimes came across as a little too good to be true and quite naive. Growing up in early 1900’s Ireland was tough and I feel the author really brought that era to life. From poverty to prejudice to the stigma attached to unwed mothers, these weren’t exactly happy times.

The Little Orphan Girl is a beautifully written, though not entirely surprising, historical fiction story about family, love and friendship. Full of wonderful characters, it will have you rooting for them all the way and wishing for a happy ending. Despite the certain level of predictability and the fact that I quite prefer my historical fiction with a bit more depth to it, I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Cissy and following her on her journey.

The Little Orphan Girl is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Closer by K.L. Slater @KimLSlater @bookouture #bookreview #Closer #NetGalley

It’s always a pleasure to join a blog blitz for one of K.L. Slater’s books! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation and for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley. Here is what Closer is all about!

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Author : K.L. Slater
Title : Closer
Pages : 331
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 24, 2018

aboutthebook

I know my daughter better than I know myself and if there’s one thing I know for sure at this moment: it’s that Maisie is not ok.

My ex-husband Shaun and I are still friends.
We would do anything for our beautiful little girl, Maisie.
But now Shaun has moved in with Joanne and suddenly, Maisie has a brand new family.
And there’s something not quite right about it…I know Joanne isn’t everything she says she is. Yet no-one will listen.
I need to discover what she’s hiding.
Because if I don’t, my daughter will be in terrible danger.

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And the award for some of the most unlikeable and infuriating characters ever goes to …. well, pretty much everyone involved in this story except for ten year old Maisie. I dare you to read this and not feel incredibly sorry for her. I just wanted to wrap her up in great big bear hug and keep her safe from harm.

Emma and her husband are separated but still live in the same house for the benefit of their young daughter. Everything seems to be going well until Shaun falls in love with Emma’s boss, Joanne. Talk about making things complicated. But the person suffering the most in these new circumstances is ten year old Maisie. It becomes clear to Emma quite quickly that her daughter is not okay. But who’s responsible for the change in Maisie?

This is quite the slow burner. For the longest time, it felt as if little was actually happening when in fact, the scene is set perfectly for what is to come. With references to events from both Emma’s and Joanne’s past and flashback chapters by an unknown character, K.L. Slater kept me guessing until the end about how things were connected or how they would pan out. There are some incredibly dark secrets to unravel and the tension builds up slowly to quite the shocking conclusion.

Did I mention the unlikeable characters? Joanne irked me from the moment she was introduced to me. And let’s not even waste words on her dreadful daughter, Piper. However, the one I wanted to slap fiercely more than anything was Maisie’s father, Shaun. Either he’s ridiculously oblivious, blind or just stupid. I haven’t quite decided on that bit just yet. I do know he was utterly infuriating.

Full of suspense, this had me hooked from start to finish. Although I must admit it has left me with a few unanswered questions, making me think I missed something along the way. I’ve come to expect solid psychological thrillers from K.L. Slater and this one is no different. In a genre that’s often up and down, K.L. Slater manages to remain absolutely consistent!

So is Emma a reliable narrator or just paranoid? What’s lurking in Joanne’s past? Will Shaun open his eyes? But more than anything, will Maisie go back to the wonderful girl she used to be? If you want to know the answer to these questions, there’s only one thing to do.

Buy your copy of Closer right now as it’s published today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected an impressive stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating in 2012, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents and a book deal which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer, has one grown-up daughter, Francesca, and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

She also writes award-winning YA fiction for Macmillan Children’s Books, writing as Kim Slater.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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