Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit

FearFear by Dirk Kurbjuweit
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

You'd die for your family. But would you kill for them?

Family is everything. So what if yours was being terrorised by a neighbour - a man who doesn't listen to reason, whose actions become more erratic and sinister with each passing day? And those you thought would help - the police, your lawyer - can't help you.

You become afraid to leave your family at home alone. But there's nothing more you can do to protect them.

Is there?

I didn't really gel with this book, perhaps something was lost in translation (German writer); it was so laboured and slow I had trouble remaining connected and found when I put it down I had to re-read some pages to get back into it.

It was so miserable and gloomy and the characters were unexplored and flat that I really didn't care about them or what was happening to them. It appeared to be a good psychological thriller from the blurb but was for me very disappointing and I really felt it was not worth my ploughing through it to the end.

Randolph is a weak man, selfish, quite arrogant and rather dull. His childhood experiences the person he has become and his shortfalls determine who he ends up being. The characters have no real personalities, they are not well developed. The neighbour who is causing all the trouble is not fleshed out enough to make him believable, we know so little about why he does what he does. It just doesn't have any realism and because of this trying to illicit any emotions from the reader is nearly impossible. The writer tells the story through Randolph and it's all his POV so that the reader has no opportunity to 'see' what is happening and form an opinion.

I ended up skim reading and skipped to the end skipping all the self-absorbed (and now boring) rhetoric. Even the ending where the writer put in a small twist was too little too late to save this novel. A very disappointing 2 stars is all I can give this one. I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 29 October 2018

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

The French GirlThe French Girl by Lexie Elliott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

She appears, lithe and tanned, by the swimming pool one afternoon. Severine - the girl next door. It was supposed to be a final celebration for six British graduates, the perfect French getaway, until she arrived. Severine's beauty captivates each of them in turn. Under the heat of a summer sky, simmering tensions begin to boil over - years of jealousy and longing rising dangerously to the surface.
And then Severine disappears.
A decade later, Severine's body is found at the farmhouse. For Kate Channing, the discovery brings up more than just unwelcome memories. As police suspicion mounts against the friends, Kate becomes desperate to resolve her own shifting understanding of that time. But as the layers of deception reveal themselves, Kate must ask herself - does she really want to know what happened to the French girl?

A pleasant enough read, pace is somewhat slower than I like which does affect the outcome for me.

Six British graduates spend a holiday in France after they have graduated at a pretty farmhouse to relax and enjoy themselves before they embark on different careers and paths. The story hinges around the mademoiselle from next door Sevrine who appears to have 'adopted' the group and spends most of their holiday with them.

The disappearance of Sevrine at the and of the holiday seems odd but not particularly worrying until a decade later when her body is found in a well near the cottage. Obviously someone is hiding something and the French police are not going to be satisfied until they can find a motive and a murderer. One of the group Theo is already dead but the rest are subject to intense scrutiny and the pressure is uncovering secrets and lies about that last day in France. With each of the group looking more closely at each other friendships become strained. Kate is beginning to visualise Sevrine everywhere she goes, being haunted by the girl she didn't particularly like and also causing Kate to re-visit a painful romance with Seb that ended on the last day of the holiday.

It is a psychological thriller, not the best I've read but it does have enough (just) to keep the reader going. The ending was somewhat predictable but I felt it didn't address a few issues whether this was intentional or not it did leave it a bit flat at the end. Not the real tension building thriller that I like, it lacked suspense and for me made it all rather predictable, I was hoping for a real twist at the end but it didn't arrive so a bit disappointing. Characterisation was ok although we didn't really get 'into' the characters, I liked Laura probably the best of the group.

If you want a pleasant holiday read with no real brain gymnastics than this is one for you but because I like my thrillers with more pace and suspense I can only give this 3 stars. I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 26 October 2018

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleThe 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed ... Again

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden - one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party - can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath..

This was nothing like anything I have read before; a complete mind scrambler that was so clever, so ingenious that I can't contemplate what kind of mind created it. Was Stuart on some wacky baccy or mind trip? If he was I'm so glad he was able to write it all down for us to enjoy. My word, what a ride and a work out for the brain. I couldn't fathom who had 'done it' and I was so carried along in the excellent writing and craftsmanship of the book that I only cared about the journey to the finale. Completely original and a joy to read.

This is like a gothic horror, murder Agatha Christie type thriller with so many twists and turns it leaves you reeling. It is a weighty book and I didn't think it was my kind of genre but that was a great mistake. Set in the 1920s the whole thing takes place in Blackheath a large sprawling country mansion remotely tucked away from the nearest town. The novel opens up with the narrator running through a forest, he has no idea where he is or if he is being pursued, he is dressed in someone else's' clothes and he soon realises he appears to be in someone else's body.

We find out fairly soon that the narrator is called Aiden Bishop and he appears to start each new day in someone else's body but reliving the same day (a bit like Ground Hog day). Through a masked figure he is told that a murder will be committed and he has eight chances to solve it and eight hosts he must inhabit to find the clues to set him free. If he does not find the answer by the eight day then his memory is wiped and he will have to start all over again. We also learn that there are two other members of the party who are also trying to solve the mystery and they also inhabit hosts. Aiden does not know the identity of the other members. To cap it all he and the other members are also being pursued by a knife wielding maniac footman who is out to kill them before they succeed.

The chapters are short and quick paced dealing with a host at a time in most cases and as Aiden inhabits the bodies of his hosts he is also further hampered by their physical abilities and their characterisation which all sets to complicate matters further. It is such a clever ingenious story and it has to be read to appreciate the great artistry in the writers ability to connect with the reader and the characters to bring this story to a conclusion. Almost every page there is a twist or misleading information, I found myself almost screaming with frustration when Aiden was not agile enough when he was in one hosts' body to be able to conduct some of the tasks himself. It's beautifully written, full of tension and each of the hosts have a motive for murder making every sentence he writes of significance to the story. It is a book of many facets, its a crime thriller, a psychological thriller, a murder mystery, even a little magical and mysterious with a good dose of dark humour to help it along; a book that could appeal to many genres of readers.

And what a finale! So unexpected and clever disclosing that Blackheath is not what it appears to be, another mask that has been taken off right at the end. I loved it and I find it hard to say that about a lot of novels but this one is in a class of it's own. Brilliantly written, masterfully crafted and what a great idea, I would dearly like a dose of what Stuart Turton had the day he thought of this one - just unique. Of course it gets a well deserved 5 stars from me, I only hope it gets picked up for making into a film, if it does I will be there on opening night!

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Starlight on the Palace Pier by Tracy Corbett

Get swept away with Tracy Corbett and spend your holidays on the Brighton pier

After an injury derails her dream of becoming a professional dancer, Becca Roberts heads home to Brighton in search of a fresh start.

And, when a part-time dance teacher role becomes available at The Starlight Playhouse, it seems like her stars are finally aligning. The crumbling old playhouse might need a bit of tender loving care (and a lick of paint!), but Becca is more than up to the challenge.

That is until Becca’s first love (and first heartbreak), Tom, waltzes into the Starlight Playhouse, and she realises life by the sea might not be as simple as she thought…

Fall in love on Palace Pier in this feel-good romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Jill Mansell.


Becca had learnt early on in her career that being a dancer wasn’t a glamorous existence. From dusty, dirty rehearsal rooms, to dressing rooms that needed more than a lick of paint. Not to mention the touring, getting home late at night, the money that you weren’t paid and the endless physical hard work. You had to sacrifice a social life. You had to get used to being told no a lot, taking criticism, being told you weren’t good enough. The love you had for dancing had to be bigger than all the negatives. And she’d dealt with that. She’d been stoic, dedicated and resilient…but nothing could have prepared her for the horror of teaching a class of seven-year-olds.

The trial lesson last Saturday hadn’t started well. Mrs Morris had been so relieved a potential replacement had finally been found, that she’d packed up and gone home. Talk about landing her in it. But she hadn’t let this dent her confidence, and had set about trying to win over a group of tiny tots. Her plan was to begin with the basics, assess their abilities and then build on their technique, as her teachers had done with her. Which was fine in principle. It was just in practice that it failed.

Half the kids hadn’t turned up for the class. The ones who did were unruly, wouldn’t listen to instructions and spent the entire hour running around the studio making an absolute din. Far from reining in their unruly offspring, the parents had stood around the room glaring at Becca, clearly holding her responsible for their children’s lack of discipline. One boy nicked a girl’s hairnet and refused to give it back, making her cry. Two other girls started bickering and ended up crying, and one kid ran across the studio so fast he smacked into the mirrors, resulting in more crying.

Becca had been close to tears herself.

But this was nothing compared to the parents. One outraged mother removed her child mid-class, stating in a loud voice that Becca was an ‘utter disgrace’. Three parents announced at the end of the class they wouldn’t be returning, and one woman questioned whether Becca’s ‘unconventional’ appearance was entirely ‘appropriate’ for the role of a dance teacher.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Mine by J.L. Butler

MineMine by J.L. Butler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This debut novel will be your new obsession. Francine Day is a high flying lawyer about to apply for silk, ambitious and brilliant. She just needs one headline grabbing client to seal her place as queen's counsel … Martin Joy. The attraction is instant. Obsessive. They embark on a secret affair and Francine thinks she can hold it together. But then Martin's wife goes missing. And Martin is the prime suspect. Francine is now his lawyer, lover and the last person to see Donna Joy alive. As the case unravels so does Francine. My client. My lover. My husband. My obsession.

This book seemed intriguing to me and when I found that it was one of my favourite authors writing under a different name I knew I had to give this one ago.

This was more mystery to thriller I thought and I don't read many mystery books so was looking forward to this one. The plot and idea seemed a good one, one that would keep my interest throughout (this is quite a long book...) and it did on the whole, there were times that I thought it lacked a little pace.

Francine Day is a lawyer, she works hard and is trying to go for promotion soon, she is a divorce lawyer and when Martin Joy hires her initially it seems like any other case she takes on. This is quite a high profile case, there is a lot of money at stake and as she is one of the best lawyers around it seemed sensible he choose her for the job of defending him.

After initial meetings and a random bump into each other in a different context, Martin and Francine start to become close...Francine knows she shouldn't get involved in that way, she has worked so hard for everything she has achieved to risk throwing it all away over a guy, but things are different with Martin.

Overall it was a good story, which did keep me interested but I just didn't believe Francine in the way she behaved, she made some bad choices throughout the book, some which I cannot understand her reasoning.

I don't want to say anymore about the book as I don't want to give things away. It was not the best book I have read but it did entertain me and I would certainly give J.L. Butler another go with the next book to be published.

If you are looking for something a little different, give this a go.

Friday, 12 October 2018

My Husband's Wife by Jane Corry

My Husband's WifeMy Husband's Wife by Jane Corry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What if your life was built on a lie?

When lawyer Lily marries Ed, she's determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind.

But when she takes on her first criminal case, she starts to find herself strangely drawn to her client. A man who's accused of murder. A man she will soon be willing to risk everything for.

But is he really innocent?

And who is she to judge?

An intriguing interesting tale about love, deception, lies and revenge. It centres around Lily and Ed who marry within weeks of meeting each other. Lily is a newly qualified solicitor and Ed works for an advertising company. Lily is thrown into her first criminal case defending Joe Thomas a known offender and Ed whilst hating his day time job, spends all his time drawing and dreaming of becoming a great artist.

Lily learns that Ed married her on the rebound only weeks after their honeymoon and this along with the reason why ( sorry no spoiler) set the wheels in motion for the secrets and lies that are to follow. With her marriage teetering on the edge of disaster they encounter their neighbour and her daughter Carla who they agree to look after while her mother works on Sundays.

The book is written in two halves the first is about Ed and Lily's early life then we go to 15 years later and how Carla turns up again in their lives and what happens from there. It is very tightly interwoven and a lot of good surprises along the way. I did guess most of them but some were a surprise. I did think the book was very long but really it needed to be so keep going to the end. Good levels of pace when needed with characters that were flawed but realistic however really I didn't like any of them but needed to know how it all panned out.

This one gets a well deserved 4.5 stars from me it would have had 5 if I could have connected more to the characters but they came across as cold and calculating I had the detachment of a 'rubber necker' - no emotional connection but a burning desire to find out more. Rounded up to 5* for Amazon and Goodreads.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Saving Grace by Jane Green

Saving GraceSaving Grace by Jane Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A perfect stranger wants her perfect life.

Grace Chapman has the perfect life, living comfortably with her husband, bestselling author Ted, in a picture-perfect farmhouse on the Hudson River in New York State.

Then Ted advertises for a new assistant, and Beth walks into their lives. Organized, passionate and eager to learn, Beth quickly makes herself indispensable to Ted and his family. But Grace soon begins to feel side-lined in her home - and her marriage - by this ambitious younger woman.

Is Grace just paranoid, as her husband tells her, or is there more to Beth than first thought?

On the whole I enjoyed this book; it was well written and had reasonable pace to keep the reader involved although the first quarter of the book was a bit boring and slow it did pick up pace. The main character Grace was, in my opinion, a bit weak and lack lustre, she had been married to Ted for 20 years and spent most of that time tip toeing around his ego and not really having a life of her own. Plagued by thoughts of mental health issues around the corner for herself (her mother had mental health issues) she seemed to live a half life with the overpowering, egotistical Ted.

When Ted's assistant has to leave and look after her sick mother, Grace realises just how much of a buffer she had been and her absence means that Grace has to manage Ted's moods and demands herself. Grace it seems could only cope with Ted when she had his assistant taking the strain and its' not long before she is pulling her hair out with having to cope with him.

Just as she thinks she will go mad she is introduced to the marvellous Beth at one of Ted's book launches events and is introduced by Clemmie Graces' daughter to Beth. They get chatting and Beth is looking for an assistant position, Grace is so relieved to think that she might not have to cope with Ted on her own any more she practically offers Beth the job on the spot.

Beth turns out to be rather more than Grace expected and soon she is regretting her decision. I won't say more - read the book.

It was cleverly woven albeit that Grace was a bit weak and gullible which didn't come across as real for me. I did enjoy the journey and some of the characters were likeable. I didn't like the recipes at the end of each chapter - why were they there? A bit pointless and annoying really. There were also some inconsistencies in the book where Green inferred that Grace and Ted had more than one child so I'm guessing this was just a mistake as I searched in case I had missed it but couldn't find another child.

All in all an entertaining read but not a satisfactory ending in my view; I give this one 3.5 stars rounded up to 4* for Goodreads and Amazon.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

More Than A Feeling by Cate Woods

More Than a Feeling: A Hilarious Rom Com That Will Have You Hooked by [Woods, Cate]Life isn't turning out quite how Annie expected. In her twenties, she had a dream job, an amazing social life and bags of confidence. Now, she's living with her boyfriend Luke and is a stay-at-home mum to their baby daughter. The promising career has petered out, and along with it, her confidence and creativity.And then Luke does the unforgivable. Annie will need the help of her group of loyal friends more than ever. Is old Annie gone forever, or could this finally be the chance to find herself once more?



Five years ago

 “Girl, I am gagging over your look tonight. That headscarf – I die! Total glamazon realness. Vintage Pucci?” “Oxfam discount bin,” I grin, striking a pose. When a drag queen compliments your accessories you can be pretty sure you’re doing something right. “Well that was 20p fabulously spent, Miss Annie-licious. Pussy is on fire!” She bends down to give me a theatrical air-kiss on both cheeks: in wig and heels, self-styled ‘door bitch’ Madame Kiki Beaverhousen must be pushing seven foot. She lifts the rope and I slip under, sensing the mass scowl from the line of people waiting round the block who’ve just watched me queue-jump.

 “See you inside,” I say, waving to Madame Kiki, and disappear into the darkness beyond the doorway. All the signs are there: tonight is going to be fun. As I make my way down the velvet-lined corridor, my step unconsciously falling in time with the music, excitement bubbles inside me. I pass a large gilt mirror and pause to check my reflection: total glamazon realness pouts back. It took me two hours to get ready, which I guess is pretty standard for a Thursday night; after all, Thursday is the new Sunday, which was once the new Saturday, which used to be the new Friday… or something like that. As well as the headscarf, I’m wearing a full-length pink kaftan with jewelled neckline, armfuls of bangles and a pair of gold platform sandals (it’s quite a casual club night, so I didn’t want to overdo it) plus my signature make-up look: winged eye-liner, strong brows, pale matte lips. 

Okay, I suppose it’s not my signature make-up look – I stole it from Barbra: the divine Ms Streisand – my style icon, role model and all-year-round girl crush. My wardrobe of vintage and charity shop finds is entirely inspired by her own from the Sixties and Seventies. (Not so much Eighties-era Barbra, though, as even she struggled to make a crispy-gelled poodle perm look good.) The woman is a goddess. My Streisand obsession started over ten years ago when I was in my early teens.

 I have been blessed with a magnificent megalith of a nose, an impressive slab of nasal architecture that I’m now rightly proud of – although try telling a self-conscious 14-year-old who just wants to look like Britney Spears that big noses can be beautiful. I’d come home from school in tears one day after yet another nose-based bullying, when my wonderful father sat me down and put on the film The Way We Were. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There, on the screen, was MY nose, slap-bang in the middle of the face of the most beautiful woman I’d ever laid eyes on. My nose was getting to kiss Robert Redford! My nose was wearing the most fabulous pale-pink halter-neck jumpsuit! My nose – was a star! It was a life-changing moment, and it was then I decided that when I grew up I was going to be Barbra Streisand. And while I might not have her life – I’m yet to achieve the superstardom or multiple zeroes on my bank balance – I most certainly have her look. 

The corridor opens out into the bar and I spot a group of work friends. This club is currently a favourite with the fashion crowd: even if I turn up on my own, I know there’ll be plenty of familiar faces here. I start working my way through the throng towards them.“Annie! Hey, how are you gorgeous?” Tomo, a male model I’ve known for a few years – and who you probably know too from countless ad campaigns – looms out of the crowd and wraps me in a bear hug that goes on for longer than you’d expect in the circumstances. “I’m just going to say hi to Riva, Delphine and the others,” I say, gesturing to the group by the bar when he pulls away. “Okay, but first I’ve got a little proposition for you.” Tomo reaches for my hand. “Come with me…” Models, male and female, tend to fall into two camps: they are either fetishised for their weirdness (these are the ones who look more alien than human – fashion simply adores a freak) or worshipped for their flawless beauty. With his achingly handsome face and gym-worked body, Tomo sits firmly in the latter category. He’d be a nightmare to have as a boyfriend because he gets hit on constantly (by both men and women) but he’s a great mate, plus we often end up in bed together anyway – and tonight, as he steers me towards a quiet corner of the bar, I’m guessing he has mischief on his mind. “So I was thinking,” says Tomo, stroking a strand of hair off my face, “how about my favourite photographic assistant and I give this place a miss, and head straight back to mine? I look up at him, eyebrows raised; I guess when you’re this good-looking you can afford to be blatant. “But I haven’t even had a drink yet,” I say. “Well, I’ve got vodka in the freezer, champagne in the fridge and if madame would like anything else I will call my agent and get her to courier it over to the flat.” He reaches round my waist and pulls me closer. “How about it, Annie? I promise I’ll make it worth your while.” I chew my lip, thinking over this undeniably tempting offer. “I really shouldn’t T, I’ve got an early start in the morning – Jay’s shooting Nadia for Harpers. Besides,” I add, my armfuls of bracelets clanking in corroboration, “I think I’m a bit over-dressed for a private party at your place.” 

Tomo leans towards me, until his perfectly symmetrical face is so close to mine I can feel the warmth of his breath, and murmurs: “That’s exactly what I was thinking, too…” Looking into Tomo’s dark eyes and at his full-lipped mouth that I know from experience is highly proficient at kissing (and other orally-related pursuits) I’m this close to giving in – but it’s already gone midnight, and I’ve got to be in the studio tomorrow for an 8 o’clock start. “Next time,” I manage eventually with an apologetic smile. Tomo fixes me with his trademark sex-look for a second longer, then shrugs. “You’re no fun anymore, Taylor,” he grumbles – but there’s a smile in his voice, and as we weave our way back towards the bar he loops his arm through mine. “So how’s work?” “Brilliant and shit in equal measure.” “I don’t know how you hack working for Jay. I heard he was doing a shoot for Vogue the other day and he had a massive fit about the model being fat. She was, like, 16 or something, and he was screaming at the editor while this kid was sitting right in front of him!” “Yep, I was there.” I shake my head, thinking about my charmless boss. “And people let him get away with it because he’s an ‘artist’. He’s just brought in this new rule that his female assistants have to wear nail varnish, because someone told him that’s what Mario Testino does. I’m having to paint my nails every night because as soon as I start lugging the camera equipment and lighting around they get chipped.” “Well, look at it this way, once you’ve worked with Jay Patterson your photography career will be sorted for life. That’s got to be worth a nightly manicure, right?” 

Later that night I’m standing at the bar waiting to order a round of drinks. It’s been a brilliant night – my face is aching from laughing – but I can’t be late for work, this job is far too important, so I’ve told myself that I’m allowed one more vodka, a quick dance with Tomo (possibly also a kiss if I promise to behave) and then I really do have to go home. I’ve completely lost track of time, so I pull out my phone to check how late it is, and when I look at the screen my hand flies to my mouth in shock. Oh my god. It’s nearly 3am, which means I need to be up again in four hours – but the really disturbing thing is the 17 missed calls from my sister Tabitha. 

When I left our flat earlier this evening she was already on her way to bed. What the hell has happened? “Right, what can I get you?” asks the barman. But I’m already turning away, fighting through the crowd so I can get outside to phone her back, panic flooding through me as I elbow my way towards the door. I try to think of a reason my little sister might need to get hold of me so urgently, but none of the possibilities I can come up with are reassuring. After the heat of the club, the chill November air slams into me like a physical force. 

Gathering my kaftan tighter around me, I dial Tabitha’s number and she answers immediately. “Annie! Oh, thank god.” Her voice is squeaky and breathless, as if she’s on the edge of hysteria. “Tabby? What’s wrong? Where are you?” “I’m at home. Annie, the… the police are here. I…” She breaks off, collapsing into tears, sobbing uncontrollably. “Tabitha, talk to me! Please! Tabby?” But there’s no reply, just the heart-breaking sound of her crying, and after a few moments an unfamiliar male voice comes on the line. “Is this Ann Taylor?” “Yes – who is this?” My heart is racing now, and I reach for the wall to keep myself upright. “What’s happened to my sister, is she hurt? Please, what’s going on?” “This is Sergeant Clive Ellis.” His tone is grave. “And I’m afraid I’m going to need you to come home right away…

Monday, 8 October 2018

Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon

Strictly Between UsStrictly Between Us by Jane Fallon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tamsin and her best friend Michelle have been inseparable since they were teenagers. Even now they spend all their time together, along with Patrick, Michelle's handsome husband.

So when Tamsin hears a rumour that Patrick is having an affair, she is furious. Unwilling to ignore it, Tamsin plots a scheme to catch Patrick in the act, using her assistant Bea as live-bait. It should be fool proof.
After all, Tamsin can trust Bea with anything. From her daily coffee order to fetching her dry-cleaning, writing reports and doing all the filing - Bea does everything with a smile on her face.

Except Tamsin never considered Bea might have her own agenda.

And if she does, then Tamsin really needs to watch her back . . .

Really enjoyed this clever, funny, entertaining chick lit by Jane Fallon. The characters were beautifully drawn with all their faults and insecurities that allow the reader an insight into their relationships and friendships. Peppered with lies, cheating, dishonesty and a sprinkling of revenge and jealousy this was a great read.

Told initially in the POV of Tamsin we learn initially all about her and develop an understanding of why (in part) she feels compelled to involve herself in her best friends marriage and expose cheating, lying Patrick, and the hazards of doing so. Part two of the novel you hear other characters 'speak' which allows the 'penny to drop' but also gives the reader choices of who to side with. This change of 'voice' in part two then pivots the pace to race towards the (not entirely expected) ending.

Hugely entertaining, great believable relatable characters, revenge and jealousy with a little romance thrown in for good measure, what's not to like? Intriguing and well woven plots, plenty of little surprises it has to get 5 stars - Jane Fallon is up there with the best in Chick lit writers.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Mile High by Rebecca Chance

Mile HighMile High by Rebecca Chance
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First class can be murder . . .

Pure Air's new LuxeLiner is flying from London to LA – its inaugural journey – with a first-class cabin packed with A-list celebrities. As the feuding crew compete to impress their famous passengers, the handsome pilot tries to win the attention of a pretty young stewardess.

But one VIP singer is battling something seriously sinister: watching her every step is a very determined stalker, someone who will go to any lengths to get the star to satisfy their desires. At thirty thousand feet there is nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide . . .

If you like Jackie Collins or Jilly Cooper bonkbuster thrillers then you will probably like this one, it's unusual in that it's set mainly on Pure Air's maiden flight LuxeLiner travelling from the UK to LA overnight carrying 388 people and some selected VIP's on their way to the Oscars. There are several sub stories going on but the main one is that of a pop star who is being stalked. This aircraft is pure luxury with VIP's having their own 'pods' on board in which to relax on the long 10 hour journey that is timed to arrive exactly at midnight in LA.

The chapters were very long and wordy, so much information meant that there was not a lot of dialogue in this novel. It could have been easily cut by half in my opinion as the pace was slow and laborious, I found myself skim reading in order to wade through it. It provided good insight into the world of cabin crew and some humour kept it going, I liked Karl but that was about it. All the characters lacked depth for me, Catarina the pop star came across as naïve and whingey, totally pathetic and needy. The bodyguard was not given enough background to make him viable, the background on the stalker was non existent and almost all the other characters seemed to be bitchy and two faced so not easily likeable.

I didn't really enjoy this book, having to skim read made it a bit disjointed for me but to wade my way through endless narrative looking to spot the point of it all was very tiresome. Maybe it jut wasn't for me, I wouldn't say don't read it but if you do don't expect too much. Not really memorable or exciting enough for me to award it any more than 3 stars.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks

The Wife Between UsThe Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.

It’s about a jealous wife, obsessed with her replacement.

It’s about a younger woman set to marry the man she loves.

The first wife seems like a disaster; her replacement is the perfect woman.

You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.

You will be wrong.

It was a little slow to start with, lots of character building and although it was a bit tedious it was essential to the story. Having been unceremoniously dumped for a younger model, Vanessa Richards first wife is forced to live with her aunt and take a sales job in a department store to earn a living. Having had all the trappings of a wealthy lifestyle with Richard, Vanessa struggles to get her life back together.

Trying to cope with being passed over for a younger woman and desperately struggling with her new circumstances Vanessa tries to cope with her grief and turns to the bottle then becomes obsessed with Richards new love Nellie. She finds out Richard is about to marry Nellie and things spiral out of control, she is hell bent on stopping the wedding and confronting Nellie face on.

Nellie is not what she seems; young and fragile she also has a few secrets in her past that she wouldn't want anyone finding out about least of all Richard. Richard is obsessive and manipulative and frankly a little bit psychotic to my mind.

There are a few surprises and although not immediately obvious what was going on I did guess the outcome but not until over half way through the book. The ending was a good twist and not entirely expected.

It was a good entertaining thriller, not the best I've read but certainly not the worst and I give this one 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 stars for Amazon and Goodreads.

Monday, 1 October 2018

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

How to Stop TimeHow to Stop Time by Matt Haig
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old history teacher, but he's been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen it all. As long as he keeps changing his identity he can keep one step ahead of his past - and stay alive. The only thing he must not do is fall in love . .

Not really sure about this one - its my first book by this reader so maybe it was not his best. Its a really good idea on the face of it, I was intrigued to find out about Tom Hazard and his condition that makes him age slower than most people - he's over five hundred years old so that has to be worth a read right? Wrong - there was a lot going on but no real cohesion to the story, I found it slow in parts and dare I say it boring in others.

He spends most of this time bemoaning the fact that he has been alive so long and the conditions he must adhere to by the albatross society whose members are like him. I liked the flashbacks to the 1600's and life with Rose who he later marries, he has to leave her and his daughter Marion to protect them from those who notice he is not ageing. Rose dies very young when Tom has gone away and he loses touch with their daughter Marion. He spends most of the book trying to find Marion and brokering deals with Hendrich who is the leader of the Albatross society to try and find her. I didn't particularly like Marion and at the end wondered why Haig made her so abrasive and cold.

I liked parts of the book and you have to 'buy into' the idea to appreciate the story but I felt it jumped around a lot and stretched credibility with his meetings with Shakespeare and the likes of F Scott Fitzgerald in the leap to the 1920's. It was a little too much jumping and celebrity name dropping for me where I had to constantly remind myself which era I was in and try and piece them all together.

It was unusual and I stayed with it to the end but really could only give this one 3.5 stars for the concept they style and story execution didn't live up to my expectations. This has been rounded up to 4* for Amazon and Goodreads.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.