Deception – Lesley Pearse ~ Blog Tour.

Back of the book :

What happens when the person closest to you has led a life of deception?

After the funeral of her mother, Sally, Alice Kent is approached by a man named Angus Tweedy. He claims to be her father and tells her that he served time in prison for marrying Sally bigamously.

What does he hope to gain by telling her this now, thirty years on?
How can her adored dad Ralph not be her true father?
And why did her mother betray her so badly?

She had accepted Sally’s many faults, and her reluctance to ever speak of the past. But faced with this staggering deception, Alice knows she must uncover the whole truth about her mother.

What I think :

Whilst at the funeral of her mother Sally, Alice is approached by a man called Angus Tweedy. He claims to be her biological father. He also tells her that he hasn’t been in her life because he’s been in prison, the reason being that he married her mother when he was married to someone else, he was prosecuted and sent to prison. He’s a bigamist.

Its been thirty years so why now when her mother is no longer here to tell her if this is the truth ?Also what about her lovely ‘Dad’ Ralph ? Where does he fit into all of this, has he been lying to her all her life as well ?

Alice feels betrayed.

She decides she must learn the truth …

Told over dual timelines with Alice as she tries to unpick the lies and secrets to work out the truth and with her mum Sally’s ( N.B : Sally changes her names a couple of times over the course of the book) early life.

This is a story of hard times but also survival. As always Lesley’s books always depict some really hard subjects. This time its rape. With excellent characters and storylines that make Lesley’s books as brilliant as they are, this is a tale that keeps you reading well into the night.

I’m always very excited to be asked to review Lesley’s books and can’t believe that this is her thirtieth !!! I mean Wow !!

I love all the little twists and turns that make up these wonderful plot lines.

As always, I give this book a well deserved 10/10 (5 Stars)

Published by Penguin Michael Joseph on 07/07/22.

The biggest Thank you to Courtney Jefferies at Penguin for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Also for your reading pleasure is a extract of the book 🙂

Extract :

The service was sad, but at the same time uplifting. Some of Sally’s friends had decorated the church with an abundance of flowers, and it looked so pretty with sunlight streaming through the stained-glass windows. Each of the pew ends had a posy of spring flowers pinned to it, more like a wedding than a funeral.

The Reverend Henry Dawes had known Sally well and managed to bring a little humour into his eulogy by speaking of Sally’s enthusiasm for jumble sales. He reminded them of when she’d put on an old lady’s pink corset over her clothes, and a fancy but battered hat, then kept them on for the whole day.

Sally had chosen a poem to be read, and asked that Mike read it as she knew that neither Ralph, nor Alice nor Emily would get through it without crying.

It began.

Weep not for me though I have gone.

Grieve if you will, but not for long.

It was typical of their mother that she wanted them to celebrate her life rather than mourn. In fact in the past she’d often joked that she wanted Queen’s ‘Killer Queen’ played at her funeral. They’d laughed with her about it, but once they were planning the service it didn’t seem right.

Alice glanced sideways at her father several times, but though his lower lip quivered, he was holding it together, as was Emily. The interment would be the testing time. Alice didn’t like the idea of burials, but her mother had been saying for years that that was what she wanted, so it had to be done. Alice and Emily had dressed her themselves in the coral-coloured kaftan Sally had loved, and fixed two glittery hair slides in her platinum blonde wig. Both daughters had wanted to keep her wig, but they knew that Sally would have been furious if they didn’t put it on her, with full makeup and nail varnish that matched the kaftan. As she would have said, ‘One has to keep up standards.’

She had looked beautiful in her simple white coffin but, then, she’d been a beauty as a young woman. Even age and cancer couldn’t destroy that.

The interment was more painful than the service. Alice was all too aware of the horror on the grandchildren’s faces when they saw the deep hole in the ground and realized that was where their beloved granny was bound.

For Alice it was the finality that was shocking. She’d never hear her mum’s pealing laugh again, never feel the warmth of her hugs. They hadn’t seen eye to eye very often ‒ in fact they’d had some terrible rows ‒ but they had loved one another.

It was only once the roses had been dropped into the grave, the last prayer said and people had started to move away that Alice noticed the tall, thin man with a deep tan. She knew instinctively he was the driver of the Jaguar earlier, although she’d only seen him in her rear-view mirror

One Last Secret – Adele Parks ~ Blog Tour.

Back of the book :

One last client

A week at a beautiful chateau in the south of France – it should be a straightforward final job for Dora. She’s a smart, stunning and discreet escort and Daniel has paid for her services before. This time, all she has to do is convince the assembled guests that she is his girlfriend. Dora is used to playing roles and being whatever men want her to be. It’s all about putting on a front.

One last chance

It will be a last, luxurious look at how the other half lives, before Dora turns her back on the escort world and all its dangers. She has found someone she loves and trusts. With him, she can escape the life she’s trapped in. But when Dora arrives at the chateau, it quickly becomes obvious that nothing is what it seems…

One last secret

Dora finds herself face to face with a man she has never forgotten, the one man who really knows her. And as old secrets surface, it becomes terrifyingly apparent that one last secret could cost Dora her life…

What I think :

Teodora (Dora for short) is a Sex Worker or and Escort, top end of course. She’s been in the game for around ten years. One afternoon her agent Elsbeth asks her to do one extra job. Against her better judgement she agrees to it. When she arrives at the hotel she realises that something is wrong. Her client is wearing a mask. Dora can’t see the mans face. Its not long before it all goes wrong and the man badly beats her. She’s lucky to get out alive. This badly knocks her confidence.

Evan is Dora’s best friend. He’s very handsome and very wealthy and he’s been secretly in love with her ever since they met. He sees this as his chance to help her. He ask’s her to marry him on the condition she gives up escorting for good. After some consideration she agrees.

Then Evan has to go away on a business trip to Hong Kong. He wants Dora to come with him but she says no she’ll stay home and start to arrange their wedding. Just after he leaves Dora gets a phone call from a trusted client, Daniel, asking her to accompany him on a weekend to a chateau in France. All she needs to do is pretend to be his girlfriend in front of his group of friends. There would be no sex involved. Dora thinks what harm would it do ? One Last Job.

However, when they get to the chateau, right from the beginning things don’t seem quite right. Odd things start to happen.

Then she comes face to face with a man from her past, someone she’s never ever forgotten, someone that knows everything about her …

Dora is in danger, will she get out of this alive … ?

What a scorcher !!

Dark and twisty as always with loads brilliantly written characters and loads of edge of your seat moments.

Narrated by Dora herself, a character I must admit, I really liked. The book is split into two parts, now and eleven years ago. The book is a really easy read it just flows. I read it in just a over a day, I couldn’t put it down I just really need to know how it all was going to end !

And what and ending it was ! Twist after Twist ! I really didn’t see that coming !

I give this book 10/10 (5 stars )

Published on 07/07/22 by HQ

The biggest Thank you to Adele Parks and the lovely folk at HQ for sending me the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.

We all Have Our Secrets – Jane Corry ~ Blog Tour.

Back of the book :

You know she’s lying…
But so are you

Two women are staying in Willowmead House
One of them is running.
One of them is hiding.
Both of them are lying.

Emily made one bad decision, and now her career could be over. Her family home on the Cornish coast is the only place where she feels safe. But when she arrives, there’s a stranger living with her father. Emily doesn’t trust the beautiful young woman, convinced that she’s telling one lie after another. Soon, Emily becomes obsessed with finding out the truth…

But should some secrets stay buried forever?

What I think :

Midwife Emily Gentle has made a big mistake at work, so big that she decides to leave her job and home in London for a while. She decides to visit her father Harold, in Cornwall, Devon at the family home. Her family home is where she feel the safest so it makes sense for her to go there. Her father needs her as he’s suffering from dementia.

However, when she arrives home she is surprised to be met by a woman called Francoise. Apparently Francoise is her fathers new carer. Emily is more than taken aback with this turn of events.

Why has her father hired a carer ?

And who is Francoise really ?

Is she all that she seems ?

Emily must find out the truth at all costs …

I’m always very excited to be asked to review the next Jane Corry book. I absolutely adore her brilliant crime thrillers. I love all the twisty/turny clues that are hidden throughout the book. It keeps me on the edge of my seat, trying to work out Who-dun-it.

Whilst I really liked this latest novel, I felt it had a different theme from the usual. It doesn’t really feel like a crime thriller, more of a family drama with a bit of suspense thrown in.

Written from the Point-of-views of Emily and Francoise and some diary chapters from Harold from the war in France in the 1940’s, I did at some points find it a little hard to keep up with what was happening as it jumped about a bit. Having said that though, I did enjoy reading the book. There are a few twists to untangle.

As usual there are some very well written and complex characters, and it did keep me wanting to read more.

I give this book 4 stars

Published by Penguin Random House on 23/06/22

The biggest Thank you to Ellie Hudson at Penguin for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.

The Hiding Place -Simon Lelic ~ Blog Tour.

Back of the book :


‘It was only a game’… Until a boy went missing.

‘No one was meant to get hurt’… But a body has been found.

‘Just some innocent fun’… Except one of them is a killer.

Ready or not, here I come.

It’s time to play hide and seek again.

What I think :

Ben Draper doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere.

Then he goes missing …

When a teenage boys body is found twenty-two years later in the disused crypt of a boarding school it turns out that its Ben’s body.

Everybody thought that he had run away from the school after playing a game of hide and seek with the only three friends he had at the school at the time, Lance, Melissa and Callum. Surely though teenagers are a little old for a game of Hide and Seek ??

The headmaster who was at the school when this happened, only seems to care about the reputation of the school not the fact that a boy has been murdered there. Its down to DI Fleet and DS Collins to solve this cold case, and when there are more deaths twenty-two years later, are they connected ?

Told over two timelines, twenty-two years ago with Ben up until his death and with the investigation now, this well paced story hooks you in with its twists and turns. It keeps you guessing right up until the well sown up end.

I really enjoyed Simon’s other books so when I was asked to review this one I jumped at the chance. I really love a crime thriller and this one really fits the bill. I really liked the way the author formed the characters and the easy style that the book is written.

I give this book 5 Stars

Published on 06/05/22 by Penguin Books.

The Biggest Thank you to Ellie Hudson at Penguin books for the review copy of the book in return for a honest review.

Sundial – Catriona Ward.

Back of the book :

You can’t escape the desert. You can’t escape Sundial.

Rob fears for her daughters. For Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. For Annie, because she fears what Callie might do to her. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her of the family she left behind. She decides to take Callie back to her childhood home, to Sundial, deep in the Mojave Desert. And there she will have to make a terrible choice.

Callie is afraid of her mother. Rob has begun to look at her strangely. To tell her secrets about her past that both disturb and excite her. And Callie is beginning to wonder if only one of them will leave Sundial alive….

What I think :

I was a little unsure about this book when I heard about it. I had tried to read this authors first novel ‘The last House on Needless Street’ but failed at the last hurdle both times, I found the content (There is child cruelty involved) was somehow affecting my mental health and had to stop reading.

I must admit I struggled all the way through this book, (yes I did manage to finish this one !) I am a little unsure as to why. Maybe it’s because this time there are depictions of scientific practices of cruelty to animals (which never has and never will sit right with me) or maybe its the spousal abuse.

But anyway, on the whole I found this novel disturbing and intriguing all at the same time, it also left me not really knowing what to think. I wouldn’t say it was a horror story, not at anytime was I scared, but I was weirded out a couple of times. I found this book a little bit like a car crash on the motorway, you know what I mean, you’re on a journey and you see an accident at the side of the road, you know you shouldn’t look as you go past but you just can’t help yourself. That’s how I felt about this novel. I found myself really wanting to finish the book to find out what happens but at the same time finding it all quite odd and not wanting to know !!

All in all I think I this novel has been very well written and I give it 8/10 (5 stars)


However I do have a couple of questions about the ending so don’t read any further if you haven’t read the book.

  1. Who is Rob ? Is she really who she says she is ?
  2. Does she really wear contacts ? I think she might as she had different coloured eyes to Jack, her twin
  3. Was the neighbour from next door saved from Annie ?

I am hoping that maybe there will be a follow-on book if only to answer my questions !!

Published by Viper on 10/03/22

I purchased my copy from Waterstones for £12.99 (Signed with orange spredges)

Again, Rachel – Marian Keyes

Back of the book :

Back in the long ago nineties, Rachel Walsh was a mess.

But a spell in rehab transformed everything. Life became very good, very quickly. These days, Rachel has love, family, a great job as an addiction counsellor, she even gardens. Her only bad habit is a fondness for expensive trainers.

But with the sudden reappearance of a man she’d once loved, her life wobbles.

She’d thought she was settled. Fixed forever. Is she about to discover that no matter what our age, everything can change?

Is it time to think again, Rachel?

What I think :

Rachel Walsh has come a long way since she was in rehab. She’s been off the drugs and drink for a long time. Years, in fact, she now works at the rehab centre, Cloisters, where she was once a patient. She loves to garden and has dog and she also has a boyfriend Quin, who likes to introduce her as his life partner. Sadly her and Luke’s marriage didn’t last and they parted ways six years ago, she wished she knew why, but all in all she has a pretty good life. (Her only real vice is that she loves to buy expensive trainers!!)

But then one day she gets a text from one of Luke’s friends, telling her that Luke’s mum has died and she was invited to go to the funeral.

Will she go ? It would mean seeing Luke again after all these years, is she ready ?

Sometimes life has a habit of throwing you a curve ball ….

OMG ! So Rachel and all the Walshes are back again !!

When I heard the news that Marian was writing another book featuring Rachel I was absolutely overjoyed. I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Let me tell you it was definitely worth the wait. I loved it ! Marian’s wit shone through in every chapter.

It was fabulous being back with the Walsh sisters and of course Mammy Walsh, who I wish was my mother, I just love her. I always feel a bit sorry for Daddy Walsh who is surrounded by girls ! Is it any wonder that he latches on to any male company.

I raced through this brilliant novel, wanting to know what was going to happen next but yet never wanting it to end.

**Spoiler Alert ** Don’t read any further if you haven’t read the book !!!

I loved the whole of this book, however when I reached the end and the inevitable happened I was a bit disappointed, but after having time to think about it, I realised that Rachel and Luke belong together and always will. So really it was the best possible ending.

Anyway, this is quite possibly the best book you’ll read all year and you’d be a fool not to go out and buy it right now.

I give it 10/10 (5 Stars)

Published on 17/02/22 by Michael Joseph.

I purchased my signed copy on pre-order from Waterstones. £16.99

The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures – Holly Hepburn. ~Blog Tour.

Back of the book :

When Hope loses her husband, she fears her happiest days are behind her. With her only connection to London broken, she moves home to York to be near her family and to begin to build a new life.  
Taking a job at the antique shop she has always admired, she finds herself crossing paths with two very different men. Will, who has recently become the guardian to his niece after the tragic death of her parents. And Ciaran, who she enlists to help solve the mystery of an Egyptian antique. Two men who represent two different happy endings.
But can she trust herself to choose the right man? And will that bring her everything she really needs?

What I think :

I must admit when I was first asked to read and review this book by the lovely Sara-Jade from Simon and Schuster I wasn’t sure if id done the right thing by saying I would as my usual book of choice is a gritty crime thriller ! However I thought ‘A change is as good as a rest’ so I settled down on Christmas Eve to read it and I’m so glad I did.

I think that it’s a very lovely set of books. This book was originally published as four separate ebook novels. (Starting Over, Secret Loves, Broken Promises & Christmas Wishes)

The books are centred around Hope who has moved to York after the death of her husband. She tries to begin her life again by taking a job in an antique shop. It’s there that she meets (as they do in these kind of books !) two men !! Will & Ciaran.

Needless to say there are a few choices for Hope along the way !!!

But will she make the choices that are right for her though …??

This is a really lovely read, it has really short chapters which makes it an easy read. It’s a really feel good book that you can just relax with. With lovely characters that are really easy to identify with, I found this a really nice change from the books I normally read.

I give this brilliant book a well-earned 8/10.

Published on 06/01/22 by Simon and Schuster.

The biggest Thank you to the lovely ladies Sara-Jade Virtue and Harriet Collins from Simon and Schuster for the review copy of the book in return for a honest review.

The Woman in the Middle ~ Milly Johnson – Blog Tour.

Back of the book :

Shay Bastable is the woman in the middle. She is part of the sandwich generation – caring for her parents and her children, supporting her husband Bruce, holding them all together and caring for them as best she can.

Then the arrival of a large orange skip on her mother’s estate sets in motion a cataclysmic series of events which leads to the collapse of Shay’s world. She is forced to put herself first for a change.

But in order to move forward with her present, Shay needs to make sense of her past. And so she returns to the little village she grew up in, to uncover the truth about what happened to her when she was younger. And in doing so, she discovers that sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to find the only way is up.

What I think :

Wow !

Another fabulous heart-warming tale from the Queen of … Well, heart-warming tales !!

What I really enjoy and like about all of her stories ( I think I may have read them all, 18 at the last count, give or take a few) is that all her characters are very identifiable. I mean take Shay (the main character in this book) she is just bumbling along in life, looking after her elderly parents, her mother has early onset Alzheimers but is still at home so she visits everyday and her Dad has had a stroke and is in a care home. Her two grown up children have finally left home and have their own lives and that just leaves her husband of lots of years, Bruce.

But that is just life isn’t it ?

Then a series of things happen, triggered by an orange skip would you believe ? But that is enough to bring Shays life crashing down around her ears and she has to reassess her life. She returns to the village that she grew up in to see if she can make sense of who she is and why what happened to her when she was a girl, happened …

What is it they say ? When you reach the bottom, the only way is up …..

Lots of up and downs, its a funny and sometimes heartbreaking but also heartwarming tale of love and life.

I would highly recommend, go out and buy it now !! (well on Thursday 14 when it’s published !!)

I give it a very well earned 10/10 ( 5stars)

Published on 14/10/21 by Simon & Schuster

The biggest Thank you as always to the lovely Annabelle Wright at EdPr for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Louise Candlish – The Heights ~ Blog Tour.

Back of the book :

He thinks he’s safe up there. But he’ll never be safe from you. 

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among the warehouses of Tower Bridge, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognize anywhere. He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him. 

Which makes no sense at all since you know he has been dead for over two years.  You know this for a fact.  

Because you’re the one who killed him.  

It’s time to confess what we did up there.

What I Think :

Ellen Saint’s Son Lucas was only 17 when he was killed by Kieran Watts.

Ellen wants revenge …

Kieran Watts had been dead for over two years when I see him standing on the roof of a building in Shad Thames”

This is the opening line of a story entitled ‘Saint or Sinner’ that Ellen Saint has written for her writing class. Ellen is a member of the ‘Victims of violent crimes’ creative writing group. The only difference is that this that Ellen’s story is true. Its the true story of how her son was befriended, lead astray and then killed by Seventeen year old Kieran. It’s how it all began …

Ellen thought that Kieran was dead.

She was sure that she’d killed him over two years ago, so how can he be standing there, on the roof of one of the tallest buildings in London. Looking to all the world like he’s going to jump. He doesn’t of course, Ellen couldn’t be that lucky.

Ellen thought he was gone forever, so how can he be there …. ?

This story is told in parts. Part one is the story of how her son met Kieran and how things went terribly wrong. Part two is her ex-husband, Vic’s story and how he saw it all. It is slightly different in places from Ellen’s account of things, Part three is how it ended and the last part is what really happened on that terrible night of December 19, the night that Lucas died.

Along the way we also have extracts from a newspaper article entitled “Killing Time” that was written about Ellen and her story by a Sunday times reporter called Michaela Ross.

As with all this authors books, this is a brilliantly written psychological thriller that makes you sit back and think. Its very much a slow burner of a tale that builds up and builds up until it’s explosive ending. It covers a lot of current topics including, Drug taking and underage drinking. As a mother you always will want, no, need to protect your children at all costs, so my heart really went out to the main character Ellen quite a few times. However, I did think that a couple of times she could have handled things a little bit differently.

I really enjoyed this slightly different, tense and dark thriller and give it a really well-earned 9/10.

Published by Simon & Schuster on 05/08/21.

The biggest Thank you to Jess Barratt at Simon & Schuster for the fabulous review copy of the book in return for an honest review.

A Good Liar – Amanda Brooke ~ Blog Tour.

Back of the book :

When a fire destroys the Empress Theatre, a devastating tragedy unfolds.

Amelia’s mother lost her piece of mind forever when she left her daughter alone for a few life-changing moments.

The dance school lost their beloved teacher, Hilary, who died saving the lives of her young pupils.

Karin lost her memory, and the answers she desperately craves.

Claudia lost the one thing that would have made her perfect life complete.

As local reporter Leanne picks over the embers of that night, what seemed like a straightforward case of negligence becomes something else entirely: somebody is lying – each person has lost something, but one of them has sold their soul…

What I think :

After the local ‘Empress Theatre’ has been restored it sadly burns down on opening night, killing 12 people. Amongst those 12 that died is the dance teacher Hilary Clarke, who died trying to save a young child’s life, she was due to retire very soon and this was to be her last show.

The locals are suspicious, fingers are being pointed, what actually happened that night ?

Socialite Phillipa Montgomery lead the proposal to restore the ‘Empress’ so its the obvious choice that she and her electrician Declan Gallagher, who also died in the fire, are to blame. They obviously cut corners in some way.

However an inquest, just over a year later finds that it wasn’t Phillipa or Declan to blame, as health and safety measures were in place, but the electricity panel and the company that supplied it were found to be at fault.

Leanne a reporter at the local paper, who lost her best friend, Lois that night, is writing a story on the fire and needs to find out what happened, she wants answers.

But someone is lying.

What really happened that night … ?

Was it really just an awful accident or something more sinister .. ?

The story is told mainly from Leanne’s point of view as she tries to discover what really happened. However I’ve got to say that she really does get it very wrong at times !!

The story flips back and fourth from now and to the night of the fire and it tells us the stories of the people that were involved and the people that died.

I have always enjoyed this author’s books. My first book was her debut novel, “Yesterdays Sun” which I couldn’t stop thinking about for days after. I always really look forward to her novels being published.

I can honestly say that I really loved this book, I read it in a couple of sittings, its quite a slow burner but it does keep you on the edge of your seat right up until the end. It made a really lovely change from the ‘Classic’ crime thriller that I usually read.

I give this brilliant book a really well earned 8/10 ( 5 Stars )

Published by Harper Collins on 05/08/21

The biggest Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the review copy in return for an honest review.