Archive | August 2015

The Sisters – Claire Douglas.

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Back of the book : 

When one sister dies, the other must go to desperate lengths to survive.

After a tragic accident, still haunted by her twin sisters death, Abi is making a fresh start in Bath. But when she meets siblings Bea and Ben, she is quickly drawn to their privileged and unsettling circle.

When one sister lies, she must protect her secret at all costs.

As Abi tries to keep up with the demands of her fickle friends, strange things start to happen – precious letters go missing, and threatening messages are left in the room. Is this the work of the beautiful capricious Bea ? Or is Abi willing to go to any lengths to get attention ?

When the truth outs, will either sister survive …. ?

What I think : 

Abi is mourning the loss of her twin sister Lucy. She died 18 months ago in a accident. (We don’t find out the details until at least the middle of the book) Abi, it seems blames herself for Lucy’s death. She recently has a nervous breakdown and tried to kill herself and has spent a few weeks in hospital.

She has moved to Bath for a new start and to try and get over the death of her twin sister, however she’s still seeing Lucy everywhere, so when she meets Bea, who bears a striking resemblance to Lucy, she’s drawn to her straight away. She’s even more captivated when she finds out that Bea has a twin, Ben. Bea is quite quirky and very overpowering and has Abi under her spell quite quickly. When the twins ask Abi to move into their huge townhouse, Abi jumps at the chance.

Abi’s new life is filled with parties and going out, however as time goes by strange things start to happen, odd and sinister things start appearing in Bea’s bedroom and precious things that belonged to Lucy start to go missing. How can Abi try and continue her new life with all these odd things happening ? Is she in danger and if not why and who is someone trying to scare her ?

I really love a thriller and this book certainly ticks all the boxes that make up a perfect one. It has plenty of secrets and lies and lots of intrigue. The characters are just the right side of weird and they all fit together so perfectly. You feel really sorry for Abi after everything that has happened to her. I felt quite protective towards her, especially when she first meets Bea because Bea is such a domineering person, I really felt that she was going to lead her astray.

Its not long before we find out that the twins aren’t what they seem, there is a connection between Bea an Abi’s past and also that Ben and Bea have plenty of secrets of their own. Put all this together and the huge twist at the end and it all adds up to a humdinger of a fabulous book  !

Yes, I really loved this book, I give it a really well earned 10/10.

Published by Harper Collins on 13/08/15.

I purchased my copy from Tesco £3:85.

*Liz Fenwick Blog Tour..*

Hello Lovely Readers …

Today is my stop on the Liz Fenwick Blog tour,

I had the great pleasure of reading Liz’s Latest book, ‘Under a Cornish Sky’ a couple of months ago. It’s a really fabulous feel good read. Just in case you missed it here is my review of that book ….

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Back of the book : 

Demi desperately needs her luck to change. She’s missed out on her dream job and has been betrayed by her boyfriend. Pitching up at her Grandfathers Cornish cottage is her only option.

Victoria thinks she’s finally got what she wanted : the gorgeous Cornish estate her family owned for generations is now hers following her husbands sudden death. After years of a loveless marriage and many secret affairs of her own, Victoria thinks widowhood will suit her very well indeed …

But both Demi and Victoria are in for a surprise. Can these two very different women find a way forward when luck changes their lives so drastically.

What I think : 

Victoria is married to Charles, but she also has a very much younger toyboy,  oh and she fancies the gardener as well. Her husband brought back her family home in Cornwall after her brother died and it was sold to someone else. ”Boscowen” is very special to Victoria, its been in her family since 1500’s, She grew up there and she doesn’t want anything to change. For the last couple of years, since Charles brought it back for her shes been trying to get the many acres of garden back to it former glory. Then suddenly, one night, her husband dies in a car accident. She thinks that finally the house and the estate will finally belong to her, However, Charles had other plans ….

Demi’s life is not going quite how she planned it. Her mum has died quite suddenly, She’s lost her dream job to someone she helped who then in return, stole her work from under her nose when she had time off grieving for her mum and was attending her funeral. She then discovers her boyfriend is not who she thought he was, he seems to have developed strange sexual ‘preferences’. There is only one thing left to do, she runs away to her Grandad’s house in Cornwall. She only has the clothes she stands up in, so she visits the charity shop and there she meets Peta, who turns out to be just the sort of friend she needs. Then quite out of the blue, whilst she is still staying at her Grandad’s she receives a letter from a solicitor that changes her life forever ….

This is the first of Liz’s books that I’ve actually read, and I’ve been missing a treat. I really enjoyed this book. Liz has a brilliant style of writing and I really loved the wonderful cast of characters. Take Victoria for instance, when we first meet her I thought she was a bit of a gold-digging bitch that only seemed to be concerned with how much money she could fleece out of her husband for her ‘garden’, but as the book goes on and things happen to her she becomes a lot more human and likeable. Demi however, when we meet her is very ‘mousey’ and ‘put upon’ but throughout the book she grows into a very strong independent person who really knows what she wants.

When I first started to read the book I did wonder how the main characters would actually link up, but without giving too much away, they do all do tie-up wonderfully.  I especially liked the wonderful Sam, he sounds like the sort of person everybody should have in their life, solid and trust-worthy.

This is a book that you can curl up in a chair and lose yourself in. It has plenty of twists and turns in that make you want to gasp out loud. But also some really lovely tender moments too.

All in all this is a fabulous book that I would really recommend to all my friends, I’m certainly going to invest in liz’s other books too.

I give this lovely tale 10/10.

A very BIG Thank you to the author Liz Fenwick for sending me the signed  copy of the book to read and review.

Published by Orion on 07/05/15…

Also for your reading pleasure, here is the first chapter of that wonderful book …

Happy Reading lovely people …

Chapter One

The scent of honeysuckle drifted through the open window and late afternoon sunshine fell on the tangled sheets. Victoria smiled. She could still smell Adam’s aftershave. She pulled the duvet over the bed and plumped the pillows. It was all well and good to have a lazy afternoon of sex with her toy boy, but it would be decidedly unpleasant if Charles walked in to see the evidence and she’d heard his car come up the drive a few minutes ago.

Removing the green silk shift from the hangar she pulled it over her head, enjoying the feel of the fabric as it slid across her nipples. She shivered. It was a shame they had this party. Charles might well have stayed in London for longer and she could have enjoyed Adam for the whole evening and not just the afternoon. He was training up rather well. Property, old houses and sex . . . total bliss.

Victoria ran her fingers through her hair. Despite the fact that it had turned grey a few years ago, it wasn’t any old shade of grey but gleamed like polished steel and the texture had held up well. She slipped earrings on then picked up her pearls. Charles had given her these for her fiftieth birthday. She, of course, had chosen them and they were exactly the right shade for her skin tone. Pearls reflected such a wonderful radiance on to the face. She touched her neck. Considering her sun exposure over the years her skin was good. No need to resort to a surgeon.

She straightened her back as she tried to fasten the clasp on her pearls, but couldn’t manage it by feel alone. ‘Where are my glasses?’ she said aloud as she scanned the surfaces in her bedroom.

‘On your head.’ Charles stood in the doorway. He wore a dark suit, which, despite the clever cut, didn’t disguise his paunch.

‘Thank you. Why the suit?’

‘Business.’ He shifted on his feet. This was not a good sign.

‘You haven’t un-retired have you?’ It would be excellent news if he had.

‘No.’ He walked up to her and took the pearls from her hands. She let him drape them around her neck but his fingers struggled with the clasp and his aftershave filled the air around her; she wished he’d put on a bit less. Her nose was far too sensitive to the fragrance after forty years. He rested his hands on her shoulders when the pearls were finally secured and rubbed gently. Victoria tried to enjoy the sensation, but it didn’t work, and as he kissed the side of her neck she watched the displeasure cross her face in the mirror. She changed her expression when Charles’s blue eyes looked up to meet hers.

‘As always, you look beautiful, Tori.’

‘Thank you.’ She turned around in his arms and adjusted his tie. He was a good soul – she must remember that.

‘Remind me what the Smiths are having this do for?’

‘An engagement party for their daughter.’ She swallowed. That was something they would never be able to celebrate.
‘Ah, yes.’ He turned from her.

‘I hate it when you sound that way.’ Victoria ground her teeth. Even the view of the garden out of the window couldn’t fill the emptiness inside her.

‘What are you talking about?’ He shook his head and then puffed before he said, ‘I have something I need to discuss with you. It’s important.’

She spun round. ‘You know exactly what I mean.’ Oh, she loathed him. The sadness she’d heard in his voice irritated her now and he looked like a hurt puppy. It was absolutely not the way a sixty-two-year-old man should look.

‘Tori, there really is something I need to discuss with you.’

She looked up at him and caught sight of the clock on her bedside table. ‘Will it be quick? We are supposed to be there already.

Are you going in your suit?’

‘No, it won’t be quick.’ He looked down at his trousers. ‘Do I need to change?’

Victoria sighed. ‘No. Let’s go.’ She walked out of the bedroom and only paused at the top of the stairs. From here, she could see the full sweep of the staircase down to the hall. She had Charles to thank for all of this. Without his money, she never could have bought back her family home, Boscawen. Hearing his heavy footsteps behind her, she turned and smiled and held out a hand for him.

Almost forty-one years to the day since they had walked together down these stairs on the night of their engagement party. Victoria shivered, remembering the expectant faces waiting for them at the bottom. Only one face hadn’t been smiling.

Tori, where are you?’ Charles gave her hand a squeeze.

‘Sorry, were you saying something?’

‘Yes, something rather important. Don’t tell me you didn’t hear a word?’ He frowned and his chins multiplied.

‘Sorry, I was just remembering our engagement party.’ That brought a smile to his face.

‘Forty wonderful years together.’ He kissed her. ‘Thank you, darling.’

‘A pleasure,’ she lied and collected the keys to his car. If they didn’t leave now, they would be seriously late, especially if they had the misfortune to get caught behind a tractor.

Demi wouldn’t let her mother down. She owed it to her memory. Morwenna had been so proud of her and the work she’d done here at Bottel and Lampard. Today of all days Demi could have used her mother’s belief in her abilities. Her mother’s death had been too sudden. How could her fit and able mother have just died? Swallowing back the tide of grief about to emerge, Demi stopped. This was not the best time to be thinking about it. Positive thoughts were required. She would get this job. She’d earned it by working hard and, of course, she’d loved it too.

Straightening her skirt and crossing her ankles, she heard her mother’s voice in her head, reminding her to sit with her shoulders back, not hunched, trying to hide what her mother had called her assets. How Demi hated them. Not only had they resulted in her being continually tormented by boys at school, she would never be able to look elegant. They attracted too much attention.

Josh, sitting opposite, looked relaxed. Unlike her, he wasn’t in the watery glare of the sunlight making its way through the dirty window. She frowned. The architect who had designed this building had thought only of the appearance and not of the practicalities of cleaning and fresh air.

It must have been a man just like Josh. Demi had been on a practical with him for a year and during that time she’d constantly had to fix his designs. He’d asked for help and she’d given it – although she wondered why she had, because at the end of the year only one of them would be taken on permanently. Josh was all about lines and appearance, not about the practicalities.

And that was why she should get this job, because she looked at both and so her designs functioned on every level. This is what she loved.

He kept looking at her and then away. Who knew what he’d done while she’d been away for weeks on compassionate leave? She hoped he’d been a disaster because this job would solve one key problem of the moment. Money. Although she had earned at bit during the practical, she had paid most of it to her mother for living expenses and the cost of the funeral had drained her mother’s account.

Morwenna’s life insurance would eventually cover those costs but it hadn’t paid out yet. Demi took a deep breath. It still didn’t seem real that her mother was gone and she didn’t want it to be, but it was. She couldn’t afford to take anything but a full-time, well-paid job now. She wouldn’t even have a roof over her head if not for her boyfriend, Matt. Demi bit her lip. Thinking about how dire things were wasn’t going to put her in the right frame of mind for the coming interview.

A drop of sweat ran down her neck and she saw Josh’s eyes follow it until it slid under the neckline of her blouse. It was too warm for the jacket she was wearing, but if she took it off she had no chance of anyone looking at anything but her cleavage, modest though her blouse was. They wouldn’t talk to her but to her chest. It was easy for men. The worst error for them was a bad tie – and Josh’s tie was a big mistake. It showed he had no taste. Surely they wouldn’t give the job to someone who would choose to wear a large, pink-spotted tie with a green striped shirt and a suit in a Glen plaid? It was wrong on so many levels.

Her own clothes were a bit old, but expressed an understated elegance – or as close as she could achieve with her curves, she thought wryly. If she were the one making the choice she would pick the employee who performed to a higher level and whose dress sense showed a basic understanding of colour, shape and design.

Thunder rumbled outside and the sun disappeared just as the door to the HR department swung open. She couldn’t help feeling that it was an ominous start. Her opponent smiled in her direction but avoided eye contact.

‘Demi and Josh, come through.’ Demi stood, and in her head she imagined that she was taller than five foot one. The sooner this interview was over and she had the job, the better.
‘Take a seat.’ The woman went to her desk and Demi sat far away from the window. She didn’t need to melt further.

‘First, I’d like to say thank you. You’ve both done a great job during your internships here at Bottel and Lampard.’ She smiled at them in turn. Demi laid her hands flat on her skirt. This was not going well. Josh hadn’t done a good job; passable, maybe, but only because she’d helped him.

‘It’s been an honour to be a part of the team.’ Josh spoke and Demi cursed him as a brown nose. He’d done nothing but complain and try and get her to shag him the whole time. He was an arse, but he was smooth. She’d allow him that, but only that.

‘As you know, we can only take on one of you at this time and it’s been a very hard decision.’ The woman lifted her mouth in a smile, but her eyes told a different story. Demi knew what she was going to say by the way her glance fell on Demi’s left hand. She’d let slip that things were getting serious with Matt and yes, they were, but she wasn’t planning to start a family just yet.

‘So, after consulting the whole team, the consensus was the job should be offered to Josh for the stellar work he did on the design of the bathrooms.’

‘But—’ Demi began but Josh stood.

‘Wow, thank you so much.’ He moved between Demi and the desk so that she couldn’t be seen.
Demi stood and moved from side to side, trying to get past him. That was her design, not his. She needed to set this straight. He was claiming her work as his. She couldn’t let this theft pass. ‘That design . . .’ She went to the side of the desk.

‘Ah, Demi, your work has been of an excellent standard but I’m afraid we only have the one position and Josh fits on every level. Of course, if you’d like to continue on as you have been we would be delighted.’ Again the woman’s mouth lifted but that was all. ‘And I will write you a glowing reference should you decide to look elsewhere.’

One of the firm’s partners walked in. ‘Congratulations, Josh. Excellent work.’ He turned to Demi. ‘So sorry to see you go.’ He looked away, totally dismissing her. Then she realised. ‘Josh fits on every level.’ How many times had Demi been asked to go to the pub after work and said no to get home to Matt. But Josh had gone every time. They knew him, or thought they did, and she was a world-class idiot who hadn’t played the game.

Demi couldn’t move. Josh was shaking the director’s hand and he wouldn’t look at Demi. He was a thief – but what could she do? If she protested she’d sound like a bad loser, and she would still be the loser . . .

A bottle of champagne popped open as the rest of the partners appeared. No one would make eye contact.

‘Thank you.’ She would do this as gracefully as she could. It was what her mother would want, for Demi to be graceful and generous. She slipped out the door while they were pouring the champagne.

Outside the HR office, she stopped and leaned against the wall. She’d let someone else take the job that should have been hers. Anger – with herself as much as with Josh filled her. This wasn’t trying out for the school play. This was life. This was survival. Should she go in there and confront Josh with his deception? No. It was too late now. If she had done it straight away it might have worked, might not have seemed like sour grapes. It was best to let go. It was easier.

The receptionist came down the corridor. ‘Demi, so sorry they didn’t offer you the job.’

Demi’s eyes widened. Everyone, not just the partners, knew already. Even if she went in and told them the truth they wouldn’t alter their decision. They’d look like fools and no one wanted to do that, including her.

She wasn’t right for the job, but a man who claimed other people’s work as his own was? She went to her desk, head down and pulled out her umbrella and her laptop. She was out of here without a job and she couldn’t help thinking it was her own fault. Her mother would be so disappointed. Maybe it was a good thing she wasn’t around to see this. No, that could never be a good thing. Demi bit her lip then fled before she had to see anyone else’s pity.

In the crush of people at Westminster tube station Demi fought with her umbrella but it wouldn’t open. After a few more attempts she cast it into the bin and walked out into the rain. The umbrella was useless. Just when she needed the damn thing it refused to work. Rain flung itself at her from every direction like a rebuke for her stupidity. It slapped her face and drenched her suit. By the time she reached the middle of the bridge her feet were squelching in her shoes.

Pulling out of the flow of people across the bridge she leaned on the wall. She needed to think, to make a plan. The raindrops hit the surface of the river and after the initial resistance they merged peacefully, doing what rivers do, flow. She hadn’t bounced; she’d just faded away and let that sod take credit for her work. Now he had a job and at best they would consider for another practical.

That bastard had claimed what was hers while she was burying her mother. And what had she said? What had she done about it? Nothing. She hadn’t even tried to bounce before becoming invisible.

Turning from the river she joined the rest of commuters. It would be a wet walk back to her boyfriend’s but at least there would be wine waiting.

‘Cheer up, love, it can’t be that bad,’ the newsvendor on the corner said as he handed her a paper, which she held over her head and smiled back at him. He was right. It wasn’t all bad. She had Matt.

As she walked she focused on things to look forward to, like moving in officially with Matt. She’d been living there unofficially since she’d handed her mother’s flat back to the landlord. She swallowed; she wouldn’t think about her mum, not now. Instead she would think of Matt’s delight when she told him yes and she would think about what she could do with the flat. It was all a bit dreary and grey at the moment, despite the designer paint – which was in a shade of lavender that appeared grey on the flat’s north-facing walls. The furniture was big, black and leather, all meant to complement the bloody huge television. It wasn’t simply masculine; it was without personality. Demi had always puzzled how a man who dressed so well and took so much care with his clothing choices could care so little for making his flat feel personal.

She smiled: this would all change now. With a coat of paint – which sadly she would have time to give it, and a few accessories – she could soften the flat and make it feel more ’them’. Matt probably wouldn’t even notice the changes. He would just smile that movie-star grin and she would melt.

Thinking back to the HR person’s glance at her left hand she wondered why she had let slip that they were getting serious? They were, of course, and Matt was certainly committed, but that didn’t mean she was about to get married immediately and start pushing out kids. Her career was important and she was only just twenty-five.

Drenched, and desperate for a glass of wine and a hug, she stopped outside his flat. The lights were on which was unusual, but maybe Matt had come home early. Probably planning a surprise celebration. God, had she really thought she’d get the job? She was such a fool.

Well, they would laugh at what an arse she’d been. Laughter was something she hadn’t done enough of recently, for obvious reasons. Seeing her friends at her mum’s funeral had shown her how much she missed them all and the fun they had had together. Matt didn’t like them, which was OK – well, sort of – but she must get out more. She loved him, but he could be overpowering. Standing at the door she frowned when she heard the music they had been listening to two nights ago. She hesitated. They had had too much to drink that night and didn’t want to think about what she’d done . . .

She turned the key in the lock and nearly fell over from the sound – boys and their toys or, in this case, surround sound. She put her bag down, hoping her computer had stayed dry, then tiptoed into the sitting room. The walls were empty of all ornament, just the big screen as centre stage. She closed her eyes, imagining it with just a few framed prints or a large oil painting. It would give the room the personality it deserved. Maybe when her mother’s life insurance paid out she could treat him to that painting they had seen together. It would good to say thank you for the huge support he’d been. He’d been such a rock as her world fell apart.

There were grunts coming from the speakers. She sighed and opened her eyes. Matt was watching porn again. She hated that. It had the opposite affect on her that he wanted it to have. Watching it made her go off sex. Her heart sank, but she came up behind him and put her hands on his shoulders, but just as she bent to kiss his head, she froze. There, on the 50-inch screen, was her naked body.

‘Demi, you’re back.’ He grabbed her hand and pulled her down towards him.

She tried to pull back, shivering as her moans bounced off the empty walls. What had he done?

‘Let go of me!’

He released her and stood up, blocking her view. She studied his handsome face. The smile that had always won her over now looked false.

‘Just . . . just what is that?’

‘Us, Demi. It’s so sexy.’

Demi closed her eyes. She felt faint. Grabbing the back of the sofa for support, she tried to speak but words wouldn’t come out.

How could he have done this? She’d said no when he’d asked. ‘How . . .?’

‘My new phone.’

She shook her head. ‘How could you?’ He’d done this even though she’d said no, that she hated the idea. Didn’t her feelings matter to him?

‘Don’t be a prude. It’s great – really turns me on’

She shook her head furiously. ‘No!’ Clutching her stomach, she ran to the bathroom and heaved.

‘Demi, don’t be like this! It’s so great. You don’t like me watching other women so I’m now just watching you.’ His voice sounded weird through the door.

She didn’t answer, bathing her face, still shaking. He’d asked. She’d said no. And he did it anyway. He was happy, turned on. She was disgusted, used.

‘Demi, come on. It’s just a bit of fun.’

The cold water soothed her flaming skin. She looked in the mirror and big sad eyes stared back at her. What was she going to do? How could she stay with someone she couldn’t trust? He’d said he was disappointed but he wouldn’t film them. Told her not to worry and she hadn’t.

Opening the door, she pushed past him and switched the television off. What else could she do? Glancing around the room she saw it for the soulless place it truly was. She turned to Matt. He was dressed in chinos and a designer shirt, smiling despite what he’d done. He had no idea, no remorse. There was only one thing she could do: leave. She picked up her bag and her shoes.

‘Demi, wait!’

She turned to look at him. ‘You just don’t get it.’

‘No, you don’t.’ The smile had left his face. ‘You need to grow up. It turns me on – really turns me on.’

‘I said no, Matt.’ She slipped her shoes on and her toes curled at the dampness.

‘You didn’t mean it.’

‘I did. I really did.’

He reached for her and caught her wrist.

‘No!’ She twisted free and left.

She could hear him calling her as she fled down the street, wondering what now? Around the corner, halfway to the tube station she dived into a coffee shop. A cup of strong espresso would help her think. So much for the hug she’d been expecting and drowning her sorrows in a glass of wine. What was she going to do?

Out now at all good book shops …

My Sisters Secret – Tracy Buchanan.

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Back of the book : 

Discovering the truth can destroy you …

Willow’s memories of her parents are sun-drenched and full of smiles, love and laughter. But a mysterious invitation exposes a family secret that’s been buried since a tragic accident years ago.

Willow must question everything she knew about her late mother and the aunt she lived with since she was a child.

How is an enigmatic photographer connected to Willow ?

Why will her aunt not break he silence ? Willow needs answers.

But who can she trust ?

Because no one has been telling her the truth for a long time …

What I think : 

There once was three sisters, Faith, Hope and Charity. They all grew up together by the sea. They had a wonderful childhood and they were all very close. They had a friend called Niall, who fell in love with Charity and she with him.

One awful day faith is run down by a ‘hit and run’ driver, she’s killed instantly. The two remaining sisters grow up and Charity goes to uni and trains to be a councilor and Hope stays at home and runs the family Cafe.

Charity eventually marries and has a child Willow. Her husband owns a cruise line. When the newest cruise ship they own goes down on its maiden voyage, with them both on it, they both drown and Willow goes to live with the last remaining sister, Hope. Willow is just seven. As Willow grows up she asks many times about her mum and dad, but aunt Hope doesn’t seem to what to tell her anything about them.

Years later Willow receives a invitation from the well known photographer, Niall Lane. She wonders why she has received it. She decides to embark on a journey to find out about what happened to her mum, dad and the aunt she didn’t even know that she had, and just how does Niall lane fit in to her mum’s life ?

With her friend Ajay, Willow travels all over the world in search of clues to solve the puzzle that was her mum and her aunt.

There are many secrets and lies in this fantastic book and it has such a huge twist at the end, it, it makes you sit back and think ‘did that just happen’ ? The characters merge together seamlessly, which makes it such an excellent read. I could really feel for Willow not knowing anything about herself or her parents, everybody needs to know where they come from don’t they ?

It has gorgeous descriptions of all the places that Willow and the sisters visit, it makes you want to put on a wet suit and snorkel and get into the water yourself.

I give this wonderfully written book 10/10

Published on 13/08/15 by Avon Books.

A huge Thank you to Avon Books for the copy of the book that I  won in a competition on Twitter.

No Place To Hide – Susan Lewis.

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Back of the book : 

Isn’t that the point ? To go to a place where no one knows me ? 

Justine Cantrell has abandoned the husband and family she loves, along with a successful business and all her friends, to start a new life, with a new name, in a place many thousands miles away.

She carries with her a terrible secret that must, at all costs, remain hidden.

But as Justine starts to settle into her new community, her world is suddenly shattered once more.

And she is forced to confront the truth : no matter how far you run or how deeply you hide, you can never truly leave your past behind. 

What I think : 

Justine has run away from everything, her husband, her family and her job. She has gone thousands of miles away and fled to her childhood home in Culver, Indiana, USA. She has brought her four-year-old daughter Tallulah with her. She is starting a new life, but why ?

Justine and her parents lived in America when her and her brother were young, they moved to the UK when her father got a new job here, Justine was around seven and her brother Rob was about five. She remembers that she had a grandma left in America and that is why she feels drawn to the place.

To start with everything seems to go well, but then odd things start to happen, like the locals seem to know more about her grandmother than they are letting on and why is Justine receiving threatening emails ? And why is it every time Justine asks her mother Camilla questions about her Grandmother she clams up and wont say anything ? What exactly is it that Justine will find as she delves deeper into her families past ?

The start of this book is slightly confusing as it jumps back quite a few years to London, in ‘before’ and back to Culver USA in ‘after’. It only gives you tiny snippets of the story, its more like a build up to the ‘awful’ thing that happened to Justine and her family to make her run thousands of miles away. You don’t find out exactly what the ‘awful’ thing is till almost the end. However its a biggie and well worth the wait.

Susan Lewis has always been one of my favourite authors and believe me, this book is a fabulous read. I really liked it, it has plenty of secrets and lies and lots of intrigue as you would expect from one of Susan’s books.

I give this excellent book 10/10.

A big Thank you to Netgalley and Century books for the Digital copy of the book to read and review.

With A Friend Like You – Fanny Blake. – Blog Tour …

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Back of the book : 

Beth is in supreme control of her life family, with a stellar career and her house an oasis of calm. Her closest friend, Megan, is very different ; yet somehow she swims through the chaos of her family with ease. While they could not be more different, Beth and Megan have a genuine friendship built on years of laughter, tears and a true understanding of each other.

But when Beth’s daughter reveals a surprising secret, recriminations and misunderstandings develop into a full-blown row and then a simmering feud. As the two women square up to do battle in the London suburbs, there’s everything to play for …

What I think : 

Beth is married to Jon, they have two daughters Ella and Amy. Beth is a very organised person, everything has a place and everything should be in it. She has a top job as a lawyer.

Megan is a lot more laid back and lapsidaisical, she’s a teacher at the local school.

Beth and Megan have been friends for years, they have been through everything together. They’re really close, more like family than anything else. When Beth’s daughter Ella tells her some unwanted news, she does the only thing she has always done, she turns to Megan for extra support. However when Megan reveals that she may already know about Ella as she told her about it a few weeks ago, and didn’t tell her, Beth takes it very hard and they fall out over it. Then things get even worse when it comes out that this ‘problem’ also concerns Megan, Beth can’t believe how things have gone so wrong, and can’t believe how Megan has let her down.

Will the two women ever be able to put their differences aside long enough to sort things out or will they never speak again … ?

This is a story about the stresses that modern women have to go through and how they cope with every day life, and how when the chips are down they battle through to the other side. I must admit this is the first Fanny Blake book that I’ve read. I found it very enjoyable. I could identify with the characters, however I didn’t like Beth’s character very much to start with. I felt she was only thinking of herself and what she wanted for her and not actually what her daughter wanted. Once she got over the shock though she did become a better person and came through for her daughter. Megan on the other hand, I did feel sorry for because she was stuck in the middle of Beth and her daughter and was trying to do the right thing by both of them.

This is a wonderfully written story with some really strong characters, that shows some of the twists and turns that make up family life.

I give this book a well earned 8/10.

Published by Orion on 13/08/15.

A very big Thank you to Lucy Richardson at Orion Publishing for the review copy of the book.

In a Dark, Dark Wood – Ruth Ware.

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Back of the book :

In a dark, dark wood …

Nora hasn’t seen Claire for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house …

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Claire’s hen do arrives. Is  this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her ?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room …

But something goes wrong. very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room …

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

What I think : 

Leonora, Nora to her friends hasn’t seen Claire for at least ten years, they used to be really good friends when they were at school but something really bad happened to Nora, and she never went back to school, not even to get her exam results.

When Nora suddenly receives a invitation to Claire’s hen party, she’s not quite sure what to do. Another friend, Nina who also knew both Claire and Nora at school is also invited so after speaking to her Nora decides to go. The hen weekend is at a really remote location. ‘The Glass house’ belongs to Flo, Claire’s new best friend and its in the middle of a forest. It’s made of glass and wood, surrounded by trees and not much else. There is no mobile phone signal and only one landline. They weekend starts well, however as it progresses little things start to happen, such as a snow storm that results in the landline phone going down and ends in things going terribly wrong.

The book has two time lines, ‘Before’ and ‘After’. We spend a lot of time in the ‘before’ part with Nora and The Hen party. The ‘after’ part is when we find out what has happened and why.

I quite liked this book, I really enjoy a thriller and this one ticked all the boxes. However I did guess ‘whodunnit’ quite early on, but I think its because I read so many other thrillers that my mind is always wondering ‘was it you’ or ‘Hmm you have a motive’.  I did think that Nora was slightly naive though, I mean who goes to a a hen party for someone they haven’t seen or had any contact with for ten years ? I would have to think twice and especially if I found out that it was taking place in a house in a forest in the middle of nowhere.

It has lots of twists and turns is quite claustrophobic in places. I know I certainly wouldn’t want to be in a glass house in the middle of nowhere.

This is a hugely enjoyable read and I give it 9/10.

Published on 30/07/15 by Harvill Secker.

I purchased my copy from Tesco £7.00

I Knew You Were Trouble – Paige Toon.

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Back of the book : 

Jessie Jefferson’s dad is a global superstar. But life as a secret daughter of a world famous rock god isn’t easy.

After a whirlwind summer in LA with celebrity parties and a certain hot  guitarist to keep her occupied, Jessie’s finding it hard to work out who she is. And who she wants ….

The world’s press is closing in, and LA is calling. How long can Jessie keep her secret life hidden ?

Summer may be over, but this story is just beginning …

What I think : 

Jessie Pickerill had a normal life until her 15th birthday, because that’s the day her mum was killed in a accident and her life changed forever. Fast forward almost a year and she’s discovered that her real dad is Johnny Jefferson, Rock God. Her mum Candy, had a quick fling with him years ago when he was going through is drink/drugs stage. She never told him that she was pregnant. Now Jessie has a superstar dad, She’s been to LA and visited him and his wife Meg and her two little half brothers, Barney and Phoenix, she got on really well, she made some friends including Agnes, who happens to have a very sexy brother Jack ! But now she’s back and life has gone back to normal, she’s even got a boyfriend, the very lovely Tom, however she’s beginning to feel really confused and doesn’t know where she fits in, here with her mates and step dad Stu ? or with Johnny and Meg in LA ? She doesn’t really know who she is or what she wants …

When the press find out about that Johnny Jefferson has a ‘secret daughter’ they go mad trying to find out who it is. When they press find out that it’s actually Jessie who is Johnny’s daughter, something bad happens and Johnny insists that Jessie goes back to LA so he can keep her safe. So Jessie boards the plane and goes off to America, what will happen when she see’s Jack again ? And will she discover if her future lies here in the UK or in LA  … ?

This is the second book in the ‘Jessie Jefferson’ Series, one that I have been waiting for with baited breath. Well, I absolutely loved it ! I read it in just under a day. Paige is such a excellent writer that it just feels like you are there in the thick of all the drama. I loved Jessie’s character and I really felt her teenage angst. Of course this is no normal teenage story, as not every teenager finds out that they have a rock star dad on their 15th birthday. However she does have all the normal problems to solve, like life, love and sadly bereavement. What I remember from my teenage years is that can be pretty confusing at the best of times without famous parents added to the mix.

I know this is a young adult novel, however I think that the story is so good that it can appeal to all ages not just teenagers. I especially loved the cliff hanger at the end and I can’t wait for the third ‘Jessie’ book to see what happens next.

I loved this book and I give it 10/10.

Published by Simon and Schuster on 30/07/15.

A very big Thankyou to @maximum Pop! for the review copy of the book to read and review.