The House of York by Terry Tyler

Publisher: Self Published

Publication Date: 19 October 2015

“Widowed single mum, Lisa Grey, and wealthy businessman, Elias York, are young and madly in love. A recipe for happiness? But Lisa is marrying into a complicated family. Her new sister-in-law doesn’t want to know her. Middle brother Gabriel’s marriage suffers under a cloud of infidelity and gambling debts, while the youngest, Richard, keeps his dark secrets well hidden—and his wife suffers in silence.

Lisa and her mother are bonded by their powerful intuition, but dare not voice their fears about York Towers—or certain members of the family…

Love and loss, abduction, incestuous desires and murderous intent form the basis of this compelling saga in which horrors float just beneath the surface, to bring forth a shocking outcome.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and share my thoughts. I have previously read and enjoyed some of Terry’s other books (reviews here) so I was looking forward to this one.

When I found out that this storyline was about a modern-day family but loosely based on events that took place during the War of the Roses, I was intrigued. I think it gave the book an extra twist of reality.

There were parts of Lisa’s life that I could really relate to and I feel this helped me connect to the storyline quicker than normal. In particular was her greatest ambition to be a wife and mother – it’s not often I hear others admit to that (although I’m happy to admit it to anyone who wants to know), even in books! This is something that stands out for me about Terry’s writing, it’s refreshingly honest and easy to read.

The complexities of York family life, and all their vices, were beautifully described and created vivid pictures in my mind. Each character brought something different to the storyline and held my interest completely.

There were some scenes of an uncomfortable nature but, in my opinion, the author handled them carefully and with skill.

A completely unexpected twist towards the end literally left me sat there with my mouth open and goosebumps on my skin.

This was a fascinating read with a fab set of characters who stayed on my mind even when I wasn’t reading! An easy 5 stars from me.

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The Last Thing I Remember by Deborah Bee

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Publisher: Twenty7

Publication Date: Ebook – 3 March 2016 | Paperback – 28 July 2016

“Sarah is in a coma.

Her memory is gone – she doesn’t know how she got there. And she doesn’t know how she might get out.

But then she discovers that her injury wasn’t an accident. And that the assailant hasn’t been caught.

Unable to speak, see or move, Sarah must use every clue that she overhears to piece together her own past.

And work out who it is that keeps coming into her room.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank Midas PR for sending me this uncorrected proof to read and share my honest opinion. The blurb really captured my attention and I wanted to know more.

The atmosphere was dark. Sarah’s confusion and frustration enveloped me as I was reading and my curiosity was piqued very quickly.

Straight-talking Kelly was a bit of a mystery to me, I assumed she was an important part of the storyline but, to begin with, I couldn’t quite figure out where or how.

However, as I progressed through the book I found my interest waning. There were times I found myself thinking about another part of the storyline whilst reading a different scene. My favourite perspective was always Sarah’s because her situation was just so fascinating.

For me it didn’t have the most satisfactory of endings either but I guess it did feel fitting for the storyline.

Although it didn’t manage to hold my interest throughout, I know people who would love this raw, dark read. So if thrillers are your thing then I’d definitely say give it a go!

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Deborah Bee studied fashion journalism at Central St Martins. She has worked at various magazines and newspapers including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, The Times and the Guardian as a writer, a fashion editor and later an editor. Currently, she is a Creative Director in luxury retail.

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The Drowning Lesson by Jane Shemilt

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Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 24 September 2015

The press conference, one year ago

Our home is a crime scene now.

I am in yesterday’s clothes. The clothes in which I kissed Sam goodbye. Then he’d belonged only to us. Now his image will be shared with the world.

We should be grateful.

‘Our son . . . Sam . . .’ My eyes fill with tears, the writing on the paper blurs. ‘Someone took him. Please help us . . .’

I back away from the microphone, the paper falls from my hands.

The anniversary

The Jordan family thought they would return from their gap year abroad enriched, better people, a closer family.
Not minus one child.

A year on, Emma remains haunted by the image of that empty cot, thousands of miles away, the chasm between her and the rest of the family growing with each day that Sam remains missing. Is her son still out there? Will the mystery about what happened that night ever be unravelled?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this book to read and share my honest thoughts. I have to admit, after reading the blurb I was concerned that the subject of the storyline would make it too difficult for me to read. On the other hand I was also intrigued: Why and how was Sam taken? Where were his parents at the time? Would there be a happy ending?

Before I even started reading my mind was conjuring up images of children from real newspaper stories, not all of which ended well – I desperately wanted this book to finish on a happy note.

The storyline began by switching between the past and the present, something that enabled me to build up a clear picture of events in my mind. An overwhelming sense of loss weaved its way through the author’s words and I was held tight by these and also the desire to find out what was going to happen next!

My feelings towards Emma were mixed. There were times when I just couldn’t understand her, I guess she wasn’t as motherly as I had expected and some of her thoughts were completely alien to me. Then there were times when she made complete sense and I could feel the pain in her heart.

There was such an honest vibe to the storyline, especially when the worst happened, the events unravelling on the page before me felt so believable and real. My suspicious mind worked overtime as I tried to figure out who was responsible and now I do know I think I’d like to re-read the book to see things through a more informed set of eyes.

I admit that I cuddled my little one a bit closer as I was reading certain parts of this book, I became so entrenched in the horror of the situation that I needed to remind myself it wasn’t happening to me!

This was a tense and thought-provoking read. It left me feeling kind of numb – I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, maybe it’s a bit of both!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

While working as a GP, Jane Shemilt completed a post-graduate diploma in Creative Writing at Bristol University and went on to study for the M.A in Creative Writing at Bath Spa, gaining both with distinction. Her first novel, Daughter, was selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club and became a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller. She and her husband, a professor of Neurosurgery, have five children and live in Bristol.

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Follow Me by Angela Clarke

Publisher: Avon Books

Publication Date: 3 December 2015

“LIKE. SHARE. FOLLOW . . . DIE

The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ posts chilling cryptic clues online, pointing to their next target. Taunting the police. Enthralling the press. Capturing the public’s imagination.

But this is no virtual threat.

As the number of his followers rises, so does the body count.

Eight years ago two young girls did something unforgivable. Now ambitious police officer Nasreen and investigative journalist Freddie are thrown together again in a desperate struggle to catch this cunning, fame-crazed killer. But can they stay one step ahead of him? And can they escape their own past?

Time’s running out. Everyone is following the #Murderer. But what if he is following you?

ONLINE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM …”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publishers for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. I first heard about it on Twitter and was instantly intrigued, I hadn’t read a book from this genre for a while so I thought it would make a refreshing change.

Straight away the drama of the situation reeled me in, I just didn’t want to stop reading. Many questions were raised: Who was the ‘Hashtag Murderer’? Why did he/she choose those particular victims? Who was next on the list? etc. These questions played on my mind even when I wasn’t reading.

I loved the way Freddie found herself embroiled in all the action. She was an impulsive and sometimes selfish character who I couldn’t help but like. Her mixed emotions were palpable as she set about investigating the murders, this made me feel like I was involved too.

The idea of a Twitter murderer made the storyline relatable (and more chilling) for me because I use Twitter every day – it really made me look at it in a different light!

The author successfully created a dark, chaotic atmosphere with her words. The chaos might not appeal to everyone but it certainly worked for me. The only negative in my opinion was that I sometimes found it difficult to work out which perspective I was reading from.

As I neared the end, and the conclusion, my heart was beating so fast. I even had to turn the light on! I was keen to find out who the culprit was and when it was finally revealed I have to admit that I was surprised – I hadn’t seen it coming.

Follow Me was a mysterious and gritty read that swept me along with its edge-of-your-seat action!

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Shannon’s Law by Emma Calin Including Giveaway!

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“Wild child inner city cop Shannon Aguerri walks a dangerous line between her methods and justice. When the bosses lose their nerve, after yet another maverick mission, she is transferred to green pastures to play out the role of a routine village cop. In Fleetworth-Green she encounters signs of people and drug trafficking and homes in on serious millionaire criminals. 

As a loner she has attracted men but nothing has stuck. When she meets Spencer, the hunky and widowed Earl of Bloxington, there is an immediate rapport between them. Their social differences mean nothing to their passion and need. Already in the mix is an upper class female rival – who has long plotted her way into the Earl’s bed. The jealousy is an evil shade of green and the anger is a violent scarlet. 

Often inhibited by a sense of duty and honour, Spencer is slow to reveal his feelings. When Shannon confronts him with the need to choose between her word and that of her rival, he does not immediately support her. 

All the same, when they are forced together to carry out a desperate rescue mission, their love is stronger than everything ranged against them.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and give an honest review. Having previously enjoyed the first book in the Passion Patrol series (review here) I was keen to get reading.  Although this is part of a series I would just like to say that it also works very well as a standalone read.

The storyline jumped straight into the action and I found myself quickly hooked on Shannon’s straight-talking attitude.  She yearned for something exciting to happen in the quiet village of Fleetwood-Green so she could put her police skills to good use. She came across a group of teenagers in the woods and this led her to Earl Spencer who had an instant affect on Shannon.

Shannon was a brilliant character, she was very strong and feisty, some of her comments literally had me laughing out loud!  I was curious as to why she was transferred to the village from Brixton but it soon became clear.  Spencer was a mixed character – he had a nervous, sweet side but I also got the feeling of strength and power from him.  The supporting characters were as interesting as the main characters, I particularly liked Mel who made up a great comedy duo with Shannon.

The criminal side of things was really interesting for me, a gruesome discovery got me thinking up all sorts of things – I felt like a detective as I tried to solve the case alongside Shannon.  There were some very tense moments as she performed her duty as a police officer, a heart-pounding rescue mission was one of my favourite parts of the book.

Once again there were times when I found the authors writing style to be almost poetic, especially the romantic/steamy/sexual scenes.  Shannon’s sexual encounters were described in detail so please bear this in mind when you choose to read this book – it may not suit everyone’s tastes.

This was another enjoyable read from Emma Calin, romantic and sexy with a twist of police action!

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About.me page: http://about.me/emmacalin

Emma Calin Blog: http://www.emmacalin.blogspot.com

Emma Calin Website: http://www.emmacalin.com

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Made In Nashville by Mandy Baggot

Made in nashville
Published by Harper Impulse in February 2014.

“An on-stage attack left Honor Blackwood with more scars than just the one on her face. It’s been ten years since she left her spot as Nashville’s brightest country music star. Is now the time to return? And is she brave enough to do it?

Country rebel and rock star, Jared ‘Jed’ Marshall is hot property on the Tennessee music scene in more ways than one. He’s wild, he’s sexy and everybody wants a piece of him. But when he sets his sights on Honor, is it pure attraction or just distraction on his mind?

Honor’s record label sign the ex-boyfriend that dumped her and suddenly going back to her old life is harder than she thought. And when a secret from the past becomes public knowledge it’s no longer just about the music… Are all the people in her life lying to her to get what they want?

Join the country scene to find out!”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and give an honest review.  I’m a big fan of Mandy’s writing (reviews here) and I always look forward to her new releases, this was no exception and I’m pleased to say that it did not disappoint!

I quickly found myself lost in the storyline, Mandy’s words pulled me in and wouldn’t let go.  The first couple of pages were so intriguing that I just needed to know exactly what had happened to Honor. The intrigue continued throughout as the many twists and turns kept me glued to the pages.

I wasn’t sure if I liked Jed to begin with but it didn’t take long to fall in love with him and his passion for music.  I really enjoyed reading from his point of view, when it became clear that he was keeping a big secret from his past I came up with all sorts of scenarios!

Honor seemed so sad and broken at the start and I was keen to see how, or if, she would be able to put herself back together. Everything seemed to happen very naturally, particularly Jed and Honor’s relationship which was intense but so beautifully written.  The sexual tension between the two of them was hot and felt incredibly real.

The musical side of the storyline was fantastic, especially the touching lyrics which I really enjoyed.  As I was reading I could almost hear the angelic voice of Honor and sexy voice of Jed in my mind – Mandy really brought these characters to life for me!

I was hit by surprise after surprise, particularly towards the end of the book and as always with Mandy’s books it was such a pleasure to read, before I knew it I was reading the epilogue (which I absolutely loved by the way).  

This was a romantic, musical treat with an edge of mystery – another Mandy Baggot masterpiece!

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Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest | Loveahappyending Bookshelf The Romance Reviews  | Romantic Novelists’ Association | Sapphire Star Publishing | Harper Impulse 

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The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The husbands secret
Published by Penguin in August 2013.

“Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia discovers an old envelope in the attic. Written in her husband’s hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death.

Curious, she opens it – and time stops.

John-Paul’s letter confesses to a terrible mistake which, if revealed, would wreck their family as well as the lives of others.

Cecilia – betrayed, angry and distraught – wants to do the right thing, but right for who? If she protects her family by staying silent, the truth will worm through her heart. But if she reveals her husband’s secret, she will hurt those she loves most . . .”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this book to read and give an honest review.

It jumped straight into the action with Cecilia trying to decide whether or not she should open the letter that was clearly written by her husband, this created a mysterious atmosphere and made me want to know more.  When Felicity, Tess and Will were introduced followed by Rachel, Lauren, Rob and Jacob I couldn’t quite figure out where all these characters fit into the storyline or how each group of people connected with each other.  Gradually, however, I began to see links forming and everything started to make sense. Glances back to 1984 gave me even more insight into the situation and the puzzle pieces continued to join together.

There was more than one mystery running through the storyline and this kept me on my toes trying to guess what the secrets were. I got to the point where I had a pretty good idea of what the mysterious letter contained so when the big reveal came I wasn’t too shocked.  The aftermath of that reveal was written in a way that felt so genuine, it was like I was there alongside the characters and feeling their emotions too.

I loved how the author raised the issue of social anxiety because this was something that I haven’t found in other books.  It is a subject very close to me and I felt that the author tackled it with perfect accuracy, feeling, and the kind of detail that makes you nod your head with understanding.

The tension built throughout and I got the feeling that it was all leading to a significant, possibly dramatic, moment.  Well goodness me was I correct!  What actually happened was not something I had foreseen but it was certainly dramatic and carried a clear significance to previous events.

The whole book was beautifully written but the epilogue in particular really stood out for me, it was so thought-provoking and left me contemplating life’s decisions.

This was a touching read that was thought-provoking and utterly addictive.

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