Wednesday 29 October 2014

Summer at Castle Stone by Lynn Marie Hulsman

Thanks to I received a copy of this to read in exchange for an honest review.

The story starts with two best friends Shayla and Maggie whom both work for a publishing company, Shayla's father is an author and she seems to be treated very differently when people discover this.  Shayla always dreams of writing her own book, rather than ghost writing books for other authors.  One day she stumbles upon the chance to co-write a cook book for an Irish chef, Tom O'Grady and automatically starts to pursue this idea, unfortunately the chef has no interest whatsoever in this book.  Maggie encourages Shayla to go to Ireland in search of this chef and try and convince him as to why this cookbook needs to be written, so Shayla packs her bags and travels to Ireland and becomes Shelia, where she will stay with an aunt of Maggie's, in the heart of the Irish countryside, she will work in Castle Stone as part of her work experience alongside the head chef Tom O'Grady with a few hilarious moments from the start and along the way.

I was very fortunate to meet Lynn Marie along with a few of my bookclub friends in the Summer.  We had such a great night of stories with a lot of banter and laughter which I will always remember.

I really loved this book, it made me laugh and I caught myself smiling as I was reading this.  This is the first book that I've read by Lynn Marie Hulsman and it definitely won't be my last.  As I am from Ireland, I could relate to alot of the "Irishisms" throughout the book, it was also quite witty and well written with the style of writing perfect to keep the pages turning at a good pace and the story flowed really well throughout. I also loved all the quotes at the start of every chapter.  If you're looking for a light-hearted read with a bit of romance thrown into the mix then kick your feet up with a large bar of chocolate, turn off your phone, and sink into Lynn Marie's new novel.

This book is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores.

Saturday 25 October 2014

The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly

This book starts off in the sweltering Summer of 1997, where straight-A student Karen whom is sheltered & shy is befriended by glamorous, passionate Biba. She and her shy, enigmatic brother Rex live in seclusion in Highgate, and welcome Karen into their home and their lives. The arrival of a stranger shatters this fragile situation with fatal consequences. A decade later, Rex is released from prison and he and Karen must try to rebuild their life with nine-year-old Alice. For Rex, the life sentence is over, but Karen has secrets of her own. For her, the nightmare is just beginning.

This book was chosen to read in our bookclub.  It took me a little while to get into the story and the characters but once I got into it, I enjoyed it. It was well written and was a page turner. There was everything from drama, suspense and crime, all of the things I love in a good book. It also shows how crucial it is to choose your friends wisely.  If you like dark books that do not have predictable endings then this books for you. It is not inspirational or heartwarming at all!  This would definitely make for a good book club read because it certainly has a lot of characters that would make for good discussion and I'm looking forward to meeting up to discuss this book with the group.  This is the first book that I've read by Erin Kelly & I will definitely read more of her work.

Erin Kelly the author of the critically acclaimed psychological thrillers The Poison Tree, The Sick Rose and The Burning Air. In 2013, The Poison Tree became a major ITV drama starring MyAnna Buring, Matthew Goode and Ophelia Lovibond. It was a Richard & Judy Summer Read in 2011. The novel has been translated into eleven languages. Her fourth novel, The Ties that Bind, is out now, followed in August by Broadchurch: The Novel, inspired by the first season of 2013's mega-hit ITV series.  Erin have been working as a journalist since 1998, writing for newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Express and The Mirror, and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire and Elle.

This book is available on Kindle & from all good bookstores.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Seaside Hearts by Melissa Foster

I received an ARC edition from the author in exchange for my honest review as part of Melissa Foster's Seaside Hearts Blog Tour which will I am taking part in on Thursday 23rd October 2014.

The story opens with Jenna Ward who is vivacious, spontaneous, and super confident along with her 3 friends Leanna, Amy and Bella where they all get together and spend their Summers in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.  They spend everyday chatting together either on the beach or at the poolside sipping drinks and topping up their tans but Jenna has to deal with her mother from time to time as Jenna's Dad has re-married and her mother hasn't taken it too well, you could suggest that she's gone all cougar like, dressing way too young for a 57 years old woman and wanting to go to bars and go dancing.  

Jenna also has to see Pete Lacroux who is handsome, quiet, and reliable and the man who stole her heart years earlier.  After years of trying to get him to notice her, she decides that this Summer she won't let him mess with her head again and starts to date other men.  She starts dating a contruction worker and this has fueled his passion for Jenna everytime he sees her with this new guy and one way or the other he's going to make sure that Jenna would forget he ever existed.

Peter is the eldest of five siblings, with an alcoholic father to care for, boat craftsman Pete Lacroux always does the right thing but has no time for a real relationship.
But Pete is not really the quiet guy he appears to be, and his life is anything but conducive to a relationship.  Can Jenna handle the real Pete Lacroux - the sexiest, most passionate alpha male she’s ever seen and the baggage that he has? Will she stand by him or simply walk away? Can Pete retrieve the life he once had without tearing his family apart?

This is the first book that I've read by Melissa Foster and I'm looking forward to the next installment already. I really enjoyed this book from the very first page, the style of writing was perfect as the story flowed really well throughout.  It reminded me alot of been in my mid to late 20's hanging out with friends, dating guys, flirting with guys and chatting with the girls, like when we didn't have a care in the world. When Jenna and her friends got together it made me laugh and giggle on numerous occasions with the things they came out with which is always a good thing to have in a book and it made me think back to my childhood friends too. I realised that this book was the second in the series but by not reading the first one I feel that I haven't really missed out on much, it was easy enough to follow and know which character was which. I would state that due to mature content, I would recommend this for readers aged 18+ but would recommend it if you're looking for a read about love, lust and friendship then grab this book, curl up on the couch with a glass of wine and a large bar of chocolate and sink into the story.

I was absolutely thrilled to be asked by a fellow blogger Margaret Madden if I'd be interested in taking part in a Book Blog Tour and was even more thrilled when I was accepted by JB from Brook Cottage Books to be a part of the tour so thank you to you both and I look forward to many more promotions, reviews and cover reveals in the near future.

About Melissa Foster
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the  World Literary CafĂ© and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine. 
Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.
Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.
Authors Links:
B & N 

Monday 20 October 2014

I'll Be Watching You by Beverley Barton

Thanks to Netgalley I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.

Ella, sweet Ella, you were meant to be mine. You can’t begin to imagine all the things I want to do to you. When the time is right, I will come for you . . .
Reed Conway is fresh out of a fifteen-year prison sentence for having murdered his abusive stepfather. Upon his release he's vowed to find the true killer and clear his name, but at one time, his main focus was revenge on the man who was responsible for putting him behind bars.  Ella is the daughter to a Senator and the highest ranking judge of her town, Ella has seen her share of heartbreak through her dysfunctional but loving family. When she starts to receive threats against herself and attacks against her family, some old and buried secrets are revealed that make her question her own sanity.  A series of hand-delivered letters & prank phone calls leaves Ella scared for her life. Someone is watching her. Wanting her. Someone promising revenge and everyone in the town automatically point the finger at Reed Conway but are they right!?  

I found this book very slow to get into at the start and I felt that it only started to pick up when I was a good chunk into the book but once it picked up I really enjoyed it and it kept me turning the pages. I thought I'd a fair idea of who the murderer was but didn't work out who it was until the very end and I had suspected just about every character in the book.  It is the first book I've read by the author Beverley Barton and I will probably read a few others, I did enjoy reading it but have to admit it's not the best crime thriller I've read but I'm sure other people will think different to me but if you're looking for a thriller that will keep you guessing until the end with some steamy scenes added in, then this book is for you.

This book is available on Kindle, Amazon and in all good bookstores.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

The Perfect Gift by Dani-Lyn Alexander

Thanks to I received a copy of this in exchange for a review.

It’s the season of second chances in this heartwarming, contemporary holiday romance where two single parents find each other—and another chance at love—in the most unexpected of places!

’Tis the night before Christmas…and businessman and single father Jason is scrambling to find the dollhouse of the season for his seven-year-old daughter Emily. But when he finally strikes gold at an obscure toy store, he’s met with resistance—literally, as a beautiful woman named Leah is grabbing onto the dollhouse box from the other side of the aisle, determined to get the same Christmas present for her own daughter.

Desperate not to let the other win, Jason and Leah forge a pact: stay together until they find the same dollhouse at a different toy store. It sounds simple, but ten stores and many hours later, they still come up empty. They might not be finding another dollhouse, but they sure are finding a lot to talk about and, as their mutual attraction grows, the unlikely pair finds the greatest holiday gift of all—love.

This was my first Christmas story of the year to read and review and although it was short, I enjoyed it.  It was a heartwarming read and got me thinking already about Christmas this year and as I was reading it I could picture rushing around the shops buying presents and last minute gifts for my family and friends and the general buzz about Christmas, after-all we've only about 10 weeks to go. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, heartwarming read then put your feet up with this book, a hot chocolate and a large bar of chocolate. It will definitely get you into the spirit of Christmas.

This book is available on Kindle from 17th November.

Saturday 4 October 2014

The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse

Thanks to Waterstones I received a proof copy of The Taxidermist's Daughter in exchange for an honest review...

It is 1912 in Fishbourne, a small Sussex village by the sea prone to flooding. Twenty-two year old Constantia or Connie Gifford lives with her father in lonely old Blackthorn House surrounded by the remnants of his once wildly successful London museum of taxidermy ‘Gifford’s World Famous House of Avian Curiosities'. Stuffed birds, once so beloved of the Victorians, are out of fashion and Connie’s father is a broken man, confused and often drunk by morning. Connie passes her time by trying to learn his trade – painstakingly removing the innards and stuffing birds she finds dead near the house. Ten years previously, she fell down the stairs in the museum and lost her memory. Flashes return to her, brief glimpses of an older girl, spirited and loving. Then she finds a young woman drowned in the stream at the bottom of the garden and finds herself caught up in a trail of mystery, blackmail and murder – and a terrible secret kept by her father.

This is the first time that I've read a novel by Kate Mosse & I will certainly read more of her work, I did enjoy it.  This novel is a gothic, haunting, psychological thriller which is beautifully written which will stay with me for a long time. 

Kate Mosse is an international bestselling author with sales of more than five million copies in 42 languages. Her fiction includes the novels Labyrinth (2005), Sepulchre (2007), The Winter Ghosts (2009), and Citadel (2012), as well as an acclaimed collection of short stories, The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales (2013).

The Taxidermist's Daughter is available on Kindle & from all good bookstores.