Her Name Was Rose – Claire Allen. ~ Blog Tour.

her name was rose

Back of the book : 

Her death has created a vacancy …

When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – Killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.

And she makes a decision she can never take back …

Because Rose had everything Emily ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother.

Why couldn’t Emily fill that space …. ?

What I think : 

When Emily witnesses an accident she feels really guilty because she thinks she should have been the victim, not poor Rose who died. Emily thinks this because she lets Rose out of the lift in front of her. If she had been first then it would have been her, Emily, that had been mowed down and died. After a couple of days hiding away Emily becomes quite obsessed with Rose and her family. She really feels the need to get to know Rose’s husband and child. In effect she wants Rose’s life ….

I really enjoyed this book and like so many other people I couldn’t put it down. Whilst I warmed to Emily as a character I did find her slightly … erm … crazy /obsessed. I won’t say too much about that as I don’t want to ruin the book for people.

The subject of spousal abuse is covered in this book (which I think needs to be talked about, there are far too many women and men these days keeping quiet about this kind of stuff – it needs to be addressed and those people helped ) Claire has done some very good research on that subject as it was very well-written and believable.

There are a few twists and turns and a bit of a twist lurking at the end !

All in all a very fab book. I give it 8/10

5 gold stars

Published on 28/06/18 by Avon Books.

A huge Thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for the review copy of the book.

Here for your reading pleasure is an extract from the book …..

Extract : 

There’s a freckle about two inches under my left breast that Cian loves. I’m not sure I even paid attention to it before he told me how cute he thought it was. Before he circled his finger around it as we lay in bed together before leaning across to kiss it, so tenderly that I could only hold my breath.

‘Even your imperfections make you more perfect,’ he had whispered, and my heart had soared. I was falling in love with him. Properly in love. Not just lust, or desire or those feelings that aren’t real that just rush in at the start of something to make people obsessed with each other. This was something more. Love that I’d read about, where you feel invincible; as if you have met the other half of yourself that you didn’t quite know was missing.

I knew that I ached when we weren’t together – although he sent me flowers to work, called me at lunchtime, sent romantic text messages telling me he couldn’t wait to be with me again. When I went home he would come and make me dinner – and he finally let me start reading what he had been working on.

It was so different to what I normally read – but it was good. He was good. He had talent to burn. I wanted to tell everyone about him – about his writing – but God, he was so shy about it. So secretive. It had to be just right he said. I felt so privileged that he let me read it.

her name was rose

The Dead Ex – Jane Corry ~ Blog Tour.

the dead ex

Back of the book : 

Vicki’s husband David once promised to love her in sickness and in health. But after a brutal attack left her suffering with epilepsy, he ran away with his mistress.

So when Vicki gets a call one day to say that he’s missing, her first thought is ‘good riddance’. But then the police find evidence suggesting that David is dead. And they think Vicki had something to do with it.

What I think : 

Vicki is an Aromatherapist, she lives alone by the sea and runs her business from home.

She was once married to David, it was a whirlwind romance and the love if her life,  but he had an affair with his secretary, Tanya, and they’re now married. Vicki and David divorced years ago.

One day, whilst she was with a client, the police came to visit Vicki. Her Ex-Husband had been reported missing by his current wife Tanya and they wondered if she knew where he was or if he’d been in touch. Vicki really doesn’t think much of it, I mean, she hasn’t seen him for years, they got divorced in 2003. How does she know what he’s up too ?

But then the police come back, they think at David is dead and they seem to think that Vicki had something to do with it.

But that can’t be true because she hasn’t seen him for years …

Or Has she … ?

Vicki has epilepsy and she’s been prescribed medication for it, due to her condition, and her tablets, Vicki has memory lapses.

There are a few things from her other life she’d rather forget ….

Can prove Vicki prove she didn’t do  … ?

Or did she ….?

This is Janes third book, and she just keeps on getting better and better.

I must admit to start with I was slightly confused as it jumps from one character to another and back again and I wasn’t quite sure how it all fitted together.

I really loved all its twists and turns, on the whole it does feel there is an element of dark and chilling running through it. It keeps you wondering right till the end. However, although I liked it quite a lot I did feel that it was very slow at the start and I was wondering when it was going to pick up the pace.

I give this chiller thriller 8/10.

5 gold stars

Published by Penguin Books on 28/06/18.

A big Thank you to Hannah Ludbrooke at Penguin Books for the review copy of the book in return for a honest review.

N.B

One thing that did confuse me a bit was the fact that on the back of the book the husband is referred to as Daniel but in the actual book the husbands name is David. My copy is a review one so I hope that its been corrected by the time the book is published. 🙂 🙂

The Death of Mrs Westaway – Ruth Ware ~ Blog Tour.

ruth ware

 

Back of the book :

When Harriet Westaway receives an unexpected letter telling her she’s inherited a substantial bequest from her Cornish grandmother, it seems like the answer to her prayers. She owes money to a loan shark, and the threats are getting increasingly aggressive: she needs to get her hands on some cash fast.

There’s just one problem – Hal’s real grandparents died more than 20 years ago. The letter has been sent to the wrong person. But Hal knows that the cold-reading techniques she’s honed as a seaside fortune-teller could help her con her way to getting the money. If anyone has the skills to turn up at a stranger’s funeral and claim a bequest they’re not entitled to, it’s her.

Hal makes a choice that will change her life forever. But once she embarks on her deception, there is no going back. She must keep going or risk losing everything, even her life….

 

What I think : 

Harriet or Hal as she is mostly known, lives alone in a tiny attic flat in Brighton. Her mother died a while back and she has desperate money troubles, so much so that she recently went to a lone shark and borrowed some money,  ( which she has paid back two or three times over) and they are now after her for ‘Interest’. She has had a few letters and is certain it won’t be long before they send someone in person. Hal works as a tarot reader or a cold reader on the pier, so as you can imagine she doesn’t earn much.

Then one day after a bad day, she goes home to a letter, this letter is from a solicitor in Cornwall, saying that her Grandmother has died and has left her a substantial part of the family estate. Which comprises of a huge house and land, worth a couple of million at least ! There is only one problem with this and that is that  her Grandmother – and her grandfather for that matter, died over twenty years ago. She is not the person that they are looking for.

Although they have her name and address Hal is certain that she can’t be the person that is due to inherit. Over the next couple of days this letter plays on her mind, and then she has a very scary visit from the loan sharks, Hal decides that she will claim the inheritance and get herself out of trouble.

After all, if any one can do it she can …

Will Hal be able to pull it off  ?

Or will the family realise she’s not who she’s supposed to be …

Wow ! Right from the moment that I started reading this book it had me hooked !

I really enjoyed Ruth other books especially “The Lying Game’ and ‘In a Dark Dark Wood’ so I couldn’t wait to get started on his one, and I’m really glad to say I wasn’t disappointed.

I thought the characters were really well formed and down to earth, Hal is just a normal everyday person trying to live a life. The descriptions of the Cornish landscape and surroundings were just brilliant, It really felt like I was standing there in that really cold graveyard !

I did think that this book had changed direction to Ruths other books though, it felt quite dark and slightly gothic right from the off. I also thought it was a bit of a slow burner to start with, but I guess it added to the tension that runs through the book. All the clues are there, I must admit that I did figure out the gist of out about half way through reading it though, however there are plenty twists and turns along the way to throw you off.

I give this brilliant thriller 9/10

5 gold stars

Published by Harville Secker (Penguin Randon House) on 28/06/18.

A huge Thank you to Bethan Jones at Penguin for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Here for your reading pleasure is a extract of the book ….

Extract : 

Chapter 4

It was almost midday as Hal hurried along the seafront, clutching her jacket against the biting wind. It cut like a knife, chapping at her face and fingers and nipping at the skin of her knees, where her jeans had ripped through.
As she pressed the button for the pedestrian crossing she felt that flutter again, in the pit of her stomach.

Excitement. Trepidation. Hope . . .

No. Not hope. There was no point in hoping. The papers in her mother’s box had put an end to that. There was no way this could possibly be true. For her to claim that money would be . . . well, there was no point in trying to evade the reality of what she was considering. It would be fraud. Plain and simple. A criminal offence.

If anyone can pull this off, it’s you.

The thought flitted treacherously through the back of her mind as she crossed to the opposite pavement, and she shook her head, trying to ignore it. But it was hard. Because if anyone had the skills to turn up to a strange house and claim a woman she’d never met as her grandmother, it was Hal.

Hal was a cold reader, one of the best. From her little booth on Brighton’s West Pier, she told fortunes, read tarot cards and made psychic predictions. It was the tarot she was best at though, and people came from as far away as Hastings and London to get her readings, many of them coming back again and again – returning home to tell their friends about the secrets Hal had divined, the unknowable facts she had produced, the predictions she had made.

She tried not to think of them as fools – but they were. Not the tourists so much, the hen parties who came in for a giggle and just wanted to ask questions about the size of the groom’s dick, and the prospects of him coming up to scratch for the wedding night. They shrieked and oohed when Hal trotted out her well-worn phrases – the fool for a new beginning, the empress for femininity and fertility, the devil for sexuality, the lovers for passion and commitment.

Occasionally she palmed the cards she needed for a satisfying message, pushing them forward to the querent to avoid an off-putting spread, full of minor cards, or trumps like death or the hierophant. But at the end of the day, it didn’t really matter what they turned up – Hal made the images fit with what the women wanted to hear, with just enough of a frown and a shake of her head to make them gasp impressively, and a reassuring pat to the hen’s hand when she reached her final conclusion (always that there would be love and happiness, though tough times might come – even with the most unpromising match).

Those, Hal didn’t mind fooling. It was the others. The regulars. The ones who believed, who scratched together fifteen, twenty pounds, and came again and again, wanting answers that Hal could not give, not because she could not see what they wanted – but because she couldn’t find it in herself to lie to them.

They were the easiest of all. The ones who made appoint- ments – giving their real name and phone number, so that she could Google and Facebook them. Even the customers who walked in off the street gave so much away – Hal could guess their age, their status; she noticed the smart but worn shoes that showed a downward change in fortune, or the recently bought designer handbag that indicated the reverse. In the dim light of her booth she could still see the white line of a recently removed wedding ring, or the shaky hands of someone missing their morning drink.

 

Sometimes Hal didn’t even know how she knew until after – and then it was almost as if the cards really were speaking to her. ‘I see you’ve had a disappointment,’ she would say. ‘Was there . . . a child involved?’ and the woman’s eyes would well, and she would nod, and before she could stop herself a story would spill out, of miscarriage, stillbirth, infertility. And only afterwards Hal would think, how did I know that? And then she would remember the way the woman had looked out of the window of the waiting room as Hal came to find her, at the woman walking with a baby in a sling and a toddler with candy floss stains around her mouth, and the stricken look on the woman’s face, and Hal would realise. Then she felt bad, and sometimes she would even give back the money, telling the customer that the cards had told her it would be unlucky to take payment, even though that only seemed to increase their fervour, and make them more certain to return, banknotes in hand.

Mostly, though, Hal liked her job. She liked the raucous, drunken hen parties. She even liked the stags who came in bellowing and sceptical and full of suggestive cracks about feeling their crystal balls. And she felt that in some small way she helped some of her more vulnerable clients – she wasn’t base enough to tell them only what they wanted to hear, she told them what they needed to know as well. That truth wasn’t found at the bottom of a bottle. That drugs weren’t the answer. That it was OK to leave the man who was responsible for the bruises that peeped from behind the neckline of that blouse.

She was cheaper than a therapist, and more ethical than many of the psychics who posted cards through people’s doors, claiming to heal incurable diseases with crystals, or offering contact with dead lovers and children – for a price of course . . .

Hal never made those promises. She shook her head when the clients asked her if she could contact David or Fabien or baby Cora. She was not in the business of seances, profiting off grief that was all too nakedly visible.

‘The cards don’t predict the future,’ she said again and again, insuring herself against the inevitability of things turning out differently, but also telling them what they needed to know – that there were no firm answers. ‘All they show is how things could come out, based on the energies you brought with you to the reading today. They’re a guide for you to shape your actions, not a prison cell.’

The truth was, however much she tried to tell them otherwise, people liked tarot because it gave them an illusion of control, of forces guiding their lives, a buffer against the senseless random- ness of fate. But they liked Hal because she was good at what she did. She was good at weaving a story out of the images the clients turned up in front of her, good at listening to their pain and their questions and their hopes and, most of all, she was good at reading others.

She had always been shy, tongue-tied in front of strangers, a fish out of water at her raucous secondary school, but what she hadn’t realised was that during all those years spent coolly standing back and watching others, she had been honing her detachment, and learning the skills that would some day become her trade. She had been watching the versions people gave of themselves, the tells that showed when they were nervous or hopeful or trying to evade the truth. She had discovered that the most important truths often lay in what people didn’t say, and learned to read the secrets that they hid in plain sight; in their manner, and their clothes and in the expressions that flit- ted across their faces when they thought no one was watching.

 

Unlike most of her clients, Hal did not believe the cards in her pocket held any mystical power, beyond her own ability to reveal what people had not admitted even to themselves.

But now, as she hurried past the Palace Pier, the smell of fish and chips blowing in the sea wind, making her empty stomach rumble, Hal found herself wondering.

If she believed … if she believed …

what would the cards say about Trepassen House …

About the woman who was not her grandmother …

About the choice that lay ahead of her?

She had no idea …

 

 

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The Beloveds – Maureen Lindley ~ Blog Tour.

The Beloveds

Back of the book : 

Betty Stash is not a Beloved one of those lucky people for whom nothing ever goes wrong. Everything falls into their laps without effort: happiness, beauty, good fortune, allure.
Her little sister, the delightful Gloria, is. She s the one with the golden curls and sunny disposition and captivating smile, the one whose best friend used to be Betty s, the one whose husband should have been Betty s. And then, to everyone s surprise, Gloria inherits the family manse a vast, gorgeous pile of ancient stone, imposing timbers, and lush gardens that was never meant to be hers.
Losing what Betty considers her rightful inheritance is the final indignity. As she single-mindedly pursues her plan to see the estate returned to her in all its glory, her determined and increasingly unhinged behaviour aided by poisonous mushrooms, talking walls, and a strange dog escalates to the point of no return.
An exploration of domestic derangement, as sinister as Daphne Du Maurier’s classic Rebecca, The Beloveds will have you wondering if there is any length to which an envious sister won’t go.

What I think : 

I really didn’t know what to think about this book when I was asked to read and review it, however I was so glad I agreed to. It had me gripped right from the first page.

It tells the story of “The Beloveds” as told by Elizabeth Stash or Betty as she prefers.

Betty is not the golden child, that is her sister Gloria, who is her mothers favourite. Even although Betty is now a grown up with a family of her own, she still feels the sting !

So Betty begins a sinister plot to take back all that their mother has left to the ‘golden’ sister, mainly the family home Pipits.

This is a really dark and disturbing read almost quite gothic, and I couldn’t put it down, Betty does become quite malicious in places, which did make me gasp put loud.

But however I did find the ending quite a let down I was expecting something more.

However, I give this book 8/10 for it’s ability to keep me riveted.

four-stars

Published by Titan Books on 19/06/18 on both Ebook and paperback.

A huge Thank you to Philippa Ward at Titan for the review copy of the book. (Also thank you Philippa for the bottle of gin that came with the book ! It went down a treat !)

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One Summer in Italy – Sue Moorcroft ~Blog Tour.

sue moorcroft

Back of the Book : 

When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…

What I think : 

When I was first asked to review this book I must admit I wasn’t sure as I’d never read any of Sue’s other books, but I’m really glad I did. I really loved the way the author described the surroundings so that I really felt as I was in Italy with the sun on my face and not in my living room with the rain splashing against the windows.

There are some really lovely well-written characters that keep you enthralled, some I must admit I took to more than others.

This book has it all, secrets, lies, brand new friendships and death-bed promises. Just what you need to escape the trials and tribulations of everyday life. A perfect read for the beach.

Yes, all in all I really liked this quite fluffy read (and I don’t mean that in a bad way – just that it was very easy read) I will certainly be reading more of Sue’s books.

I give this lovely beach read 9/10.

5 gold stars

Published by Avon Books on 17/05/18.

A  huge Thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for the review copy of the book 🙂

Here for your reading pleasure is a extract of the book.

Extract : 

Emptying the second pannier, he glanced at the dark waitress, her upswept hair glossy beneath the sun. She looked about thirty to his thirty-five. A crisp black dress emphasised her shape and a white apron hugged her hips.

As he watched, she paused to speak with Amy, tray of empties aloft. She seemed to have the younger girl’s back, judging by the way she’d launched into battle in – impressively – both Italian and English. After watching for another second, he locked his panniers, grabbed his paintbox from the bungees securing it and took himself indoors.

Now he had the opportunity to study Casa Felice as he returned to the cool of the reception area, he found it charming. Where the walls were plastered they were painted white, but large areas of craggy russet stone had been left exposed, a contrast to the dark grey marble of floor and front desk. A wooden banister curved up alongside the stairs.

Room 303 proved as pleasant a surprise as the foyer had been, though oddly shaped. It held a modern bed and an eclectic mix of graceful furniture, and the bathroom was up to date and clean. Levi had booked a ‘superior’ room, all that was available at short notice, so was glad to see something for his extra seventy euros a night, especially the balcony that gazed over tiers of tilted terracotta roofs and the road curving down the hill into a jumble of buildings.

Montelibertà was a select but significant tourist destination, much of it made from the same rock it perched upon, like a little brother of the city of Orvieto to the north. Casa Felice stood on the edge of the town, secluded in its own grounds yet only a ten-minute walk from the centre. According to the website it boasted fifty guest bedrooms over three floors. The road outside, Via Virgilio,

led out of town to an extensive country park. Il Giardino, he reflected, was neatly positioned to tempt those who’d worked up thirst and hunger with a country walk.

Blog Tour Banner Sue Moorcroft

Five Years from now – Paige Toon.

paige toon -five years from now

Back of the book : 

What happens if you meet the RIGHT person at the WRONG time?

Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart.

Five years later, they find each other. Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they have to separate.

For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?

‘One day, maybe five years from now, you’ll look back and understand why this happened…’

What I think : 

This is Nell and Vian/Van’s story. We see them at five year intervals, starting with when and how they met, when Nell was 5 and then at 10, 15 years etc.

I have always loved Paige’s books, I’ve read them all and look forward in anticipation to her next book. I really do think that this one is her best yet !

Such wonderful characters and wonderful places. Each chapter is Nell’s age instead of numbered chapters, which did cause some confusion to begin with.

This book is like a big warm hug that makes you feel loved and wanted. There are some sad bits too, but in the main it’s a really lovely story. I do usually read a lot of thrillers and crime books so this one was a very welcome relief for me. I really loved it and didn’t want it to end, I actually slowed my reading pace right down towards the end to make it last longer !!

However, it did remind me a bit of ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls in as much as we only see them at set out intervals as we do in ‘One Day’ (‘One Day’ being one certain day, yearly and this book being five yearly)

On a final note, it did make me sit back and think about all my ‘Five years from now …’

I won this book on Twitter in a goody bag from @Thebooksandcity ‘spring blogger meet up’ so I was lucky enough to read it before everyone else.

All I can really say is go out and buy it. you won’t regret it its fab !

It gets a definite 10/10 from me 🙂

5 gold stars

Published on 17/05/18 by Simon and Schuster.

A huge Thankyou to Sara-Jade Virtue at Simon and Schuster ( books and the city) for the chance to win the spring blogger goody bag 🙂

The Brighton Mermaid – Dorothy Koomson.

the brighton mermaid

Back of the book :

Teenagers Nell and Jude find the body of a young woman and when no one comes to claim her, she becomes known as the Brighton Mermaid. Nell is still struggling to move on when, three weeks later, Jude disappears.

Twenty-five years on, Nell is forced to quit her job to find out who the Brighton Mermaid really was – and what happened to her best friend that summer.

But as Nell edges closer to the truth, dangerous things start to happen. Someone seems to be watching her every move, and soon she starts to wonder who in her life she can actually trust…

What I think : 

Best friends Nell and Jude are passing the beach late one night, 3am to be precise, they’d snuck out to go to someones party. When they find someone laying in the sand at the waters edge. It turns out that the poor woman had been murdered. (The girls were only fourteen at the time, and all Nell can remember thinking at that moment is that she wanted her to be just sleeping and not, you know what … ) The woman was wearing lots of bracelets on one arm and had a tattoo of a mermaid on the other.

The identity of the woman is never found and she ends up being nicknamed ‘The Brighton Mermaid’

A few weeks after the girls find “The Brighton Mermaid’ Jude goes missing. She just disappears into the night, never to be heard from again …

Fast forward twenty five years and there is never a day that goes past that Nell doesn’t wonder what happened to her best friend or how ‘The Brighton Mermaid’ got murdered. She has given up her job so she can dedicate all her time to finding out what happened to the two of them.

Nell’s younger sister Macy has a secret to tell about what she saw on the night that Jude went missing and it’s ruining her whole life … But if she tells what will happen … ?

And just who keeps on texting Nell that ‘He needs to see you’ …. ?

Then bad things start to happen, Nell is convinced that she’s getting closer to finding out what happened ….

This book is split into two timelines, which I did find quite find quite confusing to begin with. 1993 – outlines how the girls found the body and what Macy ( Nell’s sister) saw that night and Now – which tells of the fall out still going on from it now.

This as you would expect, is a expertly written book from Dorothy. She has this brilliant knack of being able to write a story, that from the moment you pick the book up and start reading, it has you involved in the story which makes it quite unputdownable. Lots of secrets and lies coming tumbling out, which keeps you in suspense till the end.

And talking of the end I really couldn’t have guessed it and its brilliant twist ( and believe me I did try !)

I think that this has got to be her best book yet ! I give it a very well-earned 10/10.

5 gold stars

Published by Century Books on 17/05/18.

A big thank you to Netgalley for the digital copy of the book to review.