Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (December 7)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

My current read is The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle a psychological thriller set in the US. When her husband Will dies in a plane crash that he wasn’t supposed to be on, his wife Iris questions everything that she thought she knew to be true from their seven years of marriage.


See the synopsis and a short extract in yesterday’s post

I have just finished The Stepmother by Claire Seeber. With its opening coming from Snow White we all know what this story holds, don’t we?

The Stepmother


The perfect wife. A fairytale family. Don’t believe your eyes…

Jeanie and Matthew are a happily married couple who both have teenage children from previous relationships.
No one said it would be easy to raise a blended family under one roof but Jeanie and Matthew are strong. They will make it work.
And whilst Jeanie’s step-daughter Scarlett rejects her, Jeanie will just have to try harder to win her over.
But Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret she thought she’d buried a long time ago. And now, it’s coming to the surface, threatening to destroy her new marriage.
Someone is playing a terrifying game on Jeanie and she must put a stop to it once and for all.
After all, a fairytale needs a happy ending … doesn’t it? NetGalley

Next I am going to finally read Standing in the Shadows by Jon Stasiak with a book set on the island of Jersey. Fortunately the author lives here so he shouldn’t make any errors with the setting in this novel with a murder at its heart.

Standing in the shadows


The discovery of a brutally murdered young woman has shocked a peaceful island community. Tom Nowak, photographer for the Jersey Evening Post, had been eagerly awaiting his best friend’s visit from the mainland, until accidentally capturing a series of ghostly silhouettes in his pictures. With few leads, and the impending trial of the island’s most notorious criminal, the local police force seems powerless to help. Are these ethereal shadows a way to identify and apprehend the murderer, or will Tom’s obsession in seeking justice cost him more than his career? Amazon

What are you reading this week? Do share your links and thoughts in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (June 26)

Weekly Wrap Up


I returned from my holiday in Crete, a lovely place that I’d love to return to late last Sunday night with a notebook full of scribbled notes from the books that I’d read and so this week has been spent trying to decipher them and put them into something resembling proper reviews!

Last Week on the Blog

Monday’s review was for Watching Edie by Camilla Wray which arrived shortly before I went on holiday from lovereading; great, but they wanted the review sent the day after my holiday started so the bones of that one was at least pre-typed. Fortunately the book was superb, dark and disturbing, just the way I like them and so this review was a joy to share.

On Tuesday my post contained an extract from another psychological thriller, Intrusion by Mary McCluskey. I’m taking the first stop on publication day, 1 July, on the blog tour for this one so my review will be with you later this week and the guest post by this author is superb.

Wednesday saw me sharing my reads with you, sadly this week has been busy and I haven’t even opened Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain yet and so I’m considering a book shuffle but we will see!

I had another review on Thursday, this time from one of my 20 Books of Summer 2016 challenge reads; Pictures of Perfection by Reginald Hill was actually a re-read but it was a superb choice, if I say so myself. I’d forgotten quite how brilliant this book was and it kept me thoroughly entertained at the pool-side, sipping cocktails!

Friday’s review was for one of my kindle reads. I have been a huge fan of the author Tamar Cohen since reading her first book, but for some reason I’d never got around to reading The War of the Wives; I have now! If you’re from the UK you may have missed it because there was some big political news that day!

Yesterday I posted a review for my fourth read from 20 Books of Summer 2016 (yes I know, I’m behind schedule but I’m not panicking, much!) This was another book from a crime series I love which I took away because I knew it would be a sure fire winner, and it was – The title? That will be Buried Angels by Camilla Läckberg 

Stacking the Shelves

Well of course I’ve been away with no access to NetGalley at all (I can only access it from my laptop as I have no idea what my password is and I’m too frightened to try and change it in case future access is denied!) but some old requests came through… and I came home! Here’s what I have:

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware whose debut novel In a Dark, Dark Wood was set around a hen party – I’m trying to forget how spooked I felt by this book as I’ll be attending my daughter’s next month!

The Woman in Cabin 10


This was meant to be the perfect trip.
The Northern Lights. A luxury press launch on a boutique cruise ship.
A chance for travel journalist Lo Blackwood to recover from a traumatic break-in that has left her on the verge of collapse, and to work out what she wants from her relationship.
Except things don’t go as planned.
Woken in the night by screams, Lo rushes to her window to see a body thrown overboard from the next door cabin. But the records show that no-one ever checked into that cabin, and no passengers are missing from the boat.
Exhausted, emotional and increasingly desperate, Lo has to face the fact that she may have made a terrible mistake. Or she is trapped on a boat with a murderer – and she is the sole witness… NetGalley

Yep, that sounds suitably unnerving! The Woman in Cabin 10 will be published on 30 June 2016.

I also was lucky enough to get a copy of The Museum of You by Carys Bray which was published on 16 June 2016. I’ve read lots of reviews about this one and I’m intrigued to read it for myself.

The Museum of You


Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she’s not sure. She’d like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories.
Darren has done his best. He’s studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want – everything he can think of, at least – to be happy.
What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother’s belongings. Volume isn’t important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be.
But what you find depends on what you’re searching for. NetGalley

I also requested a copy of Claire Seeber’s The Stepmother as I have really enjoyed some of this author’s previous books. With a publication date of 15 July 2016 this is squeezing the reading schedule more than is remotely sensible so I’m swearing back of NG again; for real this time!

The Stepmother


The perfect wife. A fairytale family. Don’t believe your eyes…
Jeanie and Matthew are a happily married couple who both have teenage children from previous relationships.
No one said it would be easy to raise a blended family under one roof but Jeanie and Matthew are strong. They will make it work.
And whilst Jeanie’s step-daughter Scarlett rejects her, Jeanie will just have to try harder to win her over.
But Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret she thought she’d buried a long time ago. And now, it’s coming to the surface, threatening to destroy her new marriage.
Someone is playing a terrifying game on Jeanie and she must put a stop to it once and for all.
After all, a fairytale needs a happy ending … doesn’t it? NetGalley

And finally I received a mystery book through the post which is strictly under embargo until 11 July 2016 – so I can’t tell you anything about it but I am incredibly pleased to have received a copy as I’ve never had a top secret book before!!

PicMonkey Collage TBR

We have progress!! Since my last post I have read 11 books, discarded 1 as DNF and only gained 4 so the total this week is now standing at 173 books!
89 physical books
66 e-books
18 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?

Posted in Uncategorized

Reading Bingo for 2015


I had such fun finding books for this challenge last year that I’ve decided to repeat it with books I’ve read in 2015, click on the book covers to read my reviews

A Book With More Than 500 Pages

The Night Watch

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters Despite clocking in at 509 pages, I was bereft when this book finished. A tale told in reverse following three women in three distinct years; 1941, 1944 and 1947. This was an evocative and emotional read as well as being rich in historical detail.


A Forgotten Classic

The Go-Betweeen

I came late to the classic The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley. Told mainly through the eyes of 12 year old Leo Coulston as we go back to the year 1900, the year he got entangled with adult passions. This book with pitch-perfect prose had me longing for the story to never end -but end it did in the most shocking fashion, it is very rare to find a book with both a powerful opening and ending rarer still for the pages in between to be so exquisite.

A Book That Became a Movie

Sadly I have nothing for this box either, a few of the books I’ve read this year are going to be made into films, but not yet.

A Book Published This Year

The Kind Worth Killing

It is no surprise that there were lots of contenders for this square so I have picked a five star read; The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. This psychological thriller owes a lot to Strangers on a Train, and has a truly cinematic feel to it. You will struggle to find a character to admire in the whole of the 325 pages, but if you are anything like me you will be interested in what makes them tick!

A Book With A Number In The Title

24 Hours by Claire Seeber is a completely compelling psychological thriller, one to be gobbled up with delight. Laurie is desperate to reach her young daughter Polly in this tale told over 24 hours. With the background being presented in the past tense the present tense ramped up the tension as the hour count increases!

A Book Written by Someone Under Thirty

I really don’t know how old the authors are so nothing for this one.

A Book With Non Human Characters

Nothing for this one either

A Funny Book

Although there are a few books I’ve read that could be described as farcical, I haven’t read any intentionally humorous reads this year.

A Book By A Female Author

The Sudden Departrure of the Frasers

The Sudden Departure of the Frasers by Louise Candlish
I had so many to choose from for this category but I settled on an author who was ‘new to me’ until I read this book, despite having a large back catalogue. This book details one young woman’s quest to find out what happened to the previous owners of her beautiful new house…

A Book With A Mystery

Smoke and Mirrors

I had quite a few options for this square too so plumped for the magnificent Smoke and Mirrors by Elly Griffiths whereby Inspector Stephens investigates the mystery of two missing children against the pantomime Aladdin being performed in the seaside town of Brighton in the 1950s.

A Book With A One Word Title


There was little doubt about the choice for this one although I had six (all very good reads) to choose from. Disclaimer by Renée Knight, is one of the best books I’ve read this year A fresh take on the psychological thriller where the truth unfolds slowly and what you thought you believed at first is turned on its head. Having widely recommended this book to others, it has been well-received by all who have read it.

 A Book of Short Stories

In a Word

My collection of short stories is In a Word: Murder edited by Margot Kinberg, this book was published in memory of Maxine Clarke, a well-respected book blogger. Included in the submissions many of the stories revolve around the world of publishing. There really is something for everyone in this collection with all well worth a read.

 Free Square

The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse

For my free square this year I have decided to go with the book with the longest title: The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse by Piu Marie Eatwell. This non-fiction book examines a court case that started in 1898 when a widow named Anna Maria Druce applied for the exhumation of the grave of her late father-in-law, Thomas Charles Druce. The tale behind this request and the case that rumbled on for a decade is completely fascinating.

A Book Set On A Different Continent

Death in the Rainy Season

Death in the Rainy Season by Anna Jaquiery is set in Cambodia.  I’ve read very little fiction set in Asia, and don’t recall another book set in this country so this seemed like a good choice for this box. Serge Morel is actually on holiday in Cambodia from his native Paris when Hugo Quercy, a French national, is murdered in a hotel room in Phnom Penh. Serge Morel is asked to stay and investigate which gives the reader an insight into how policing works in this country. A good mystery with a multi-layered storyline.

A Book of Non-Fiction

A Fifty Year Silence

My choice for this square is a memoir, and an unusual one at that; A Fifty Year Silence by Miranda Richmond Mouillot follows the author through her childhood memories of her grandparents, two people she didn’t realise had ever been married to each other, and her adult quest to uncover why these Anna and Armand who were Jewish and had been in France at the time of the Second World War, had separated.

The First Book By A Favourite Author

Silent Scream

This author has had her debut, second and third books all published this year, and all three books were awarded five stars by me. Silent Scream by Angela Marsons features DI Kim Stone, a fantastic protagonist, driven seemingly a hard-taskmaster, yet we are shown early on that her team are determined to go the extra mile for her which indicates there is far more to her character. Added to that there are multiple strands to engage the reader along with a satisfying conclusion. What more can a reader ask for?

A Book I Heard About Online

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Since blogging I find most of my new author finds on-line and this book is one of the many I had to have after reading a review and exchanging comments with a fellow blogger.The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald is a book about friendship, being away from home and to be honest a far sweeter book than my tastes normally run with the saving grace it’s laced with humour, and books, and those books are ones we’ve read, not just the ones we think we should have.

A Best Selling Book

The Girl On The Train

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins was the must-read book in 2015 for lovers of psychological thrillers, and surprise, surprise I read it and loved it. Rachel has become transfixed by the life of a couple she views through the train window on her way to work. When the woman disappears Rachel fears the worst but she is hampered in her investigations by her dependence on alcohol. A story where the reader is positively encouraged to trust no-one keeps the tension at fever-pitch!

A Book Based Upon A True Story

Dancing for the Hangman

Dancing for the Hangman is Martin Edwards‘ speculation on what really happened at 9 Hilltop Crescent in 1910. History tells us that Hawley Harvey Crippen murdered his wife, Cora and left part of her remains in the basement, a crime that condemned him to be hanged at Pentonville Prison. A fascinating and well-researched book which has made it impossible for me to separate fact from fiction.

A Book At the Bottom Of Your To Be Read Pile

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows had been on my radar ever since it was published in 2007. Shamefully, since it is written about our sister Channel Island, Guernsey, it has taken me all this time to read this epistolary novel about the German Occupation. I loved this book and from what I know of this period of history in Jersey, it was really well-researched, giving an authentic feel to the story inside its cover.

A Book Your Friend Loves

The Shadow Year

My friend loved The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell, and so did I with its dual time line, the past being the 1980s when five university friends decide to occupy a deserted cottage and live self-sufficiently. In the present we meet Lila who is struggling having recently had a still-birth when she is given an anonymous gift. Both time-lines had great stories with realistic characters.

A Book That Scares You

In a Dark Dark Wood

I rarely get scared by a book but In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware raised a few hairs on the back of my neck! Odd because despite the synopsis warning of a hen party, I didn’t expect quite such a nasty tale, it just goes to show that the fiction that closely imitates fact can be far more deadly than rampaging murderers! This is a book to read while safely curled up in the warm while being very grateful you are not holed up in the glass house in the forest with a group of hens!

A Book That Is More Than 10 Years Old

The Whicharts

I decided to pick the oldest book that I’ve read this year, The Whicharts by Noel Streatfeild, her book for adults that was then altered to create the children’s classic Ballet Shoes. I’ll be honest it was weird reading a book I had loved as a child, only to realise it had a far less positive beginning. A  lot of the pleasure of this book was nostalgic rather than based on this rather unpolished debut adult novel. I fear it has tarnished my memory of Ballet Shoes forever though!

The Second Book In A Series

No Other Darkness

No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary is the second in the Marnie Rome series, books which cover important issues in far more depth than is typical of the genre. Two boy’s bodies are found buried in a bunker but who put them there, and why? This author manages the mixture of investigative with the personal live’s of the protagonists just right – definitely a series that I will continue to await with anticipation.

A Book With A Blue Cover

The Hidden Legacy

The Hidden Legacy is the debut novel by G.J. Minett, a book that will challenge you to question important moral questions in an unobtrusive manner. The book starts with one of the most shocking openings I have read this year when an eleven year old boy sets fire to two girls in a school playground back in 1966 but this event will have repercussions through the decades.

How about you? How much of the card could you fill in? Please share!

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

24 Hours – Claire Seeber

Psychological Thriller 5*s
Psychological Thriller

I love beautiful language and a thoughtful complex plot as much as anyone but I had been thinking recently that it has been a long time since I have been quite so engrossed in a book, turning the pages (well clicking the clicker) to find out what on earth is going to happen next, and reading in the moment. While that thought breezed through my brain little did I know that I had just such a book, sitting on my kindle ready to read and review; that book was 24 Hours.

I discovered Claire Seeber many years ago when I read her debut novel Bad Friends, a title I will never forget because having enjoyed this so much I packed it up and posted it to my friend with nary more than a post it note saying ‘Enjoy, Cleo xx’. Once the postal service had shipped it across the water, I received a phone call from said friend asking if I was trying to tell her something? Anyway I digress, suffice to say when I saw that Claire Seeber had been signed up by Bookouture I was eager to read her latest offering.

24 Hours is as you might expect. set over just that time period, and we follow Laurie in the present time, and tense, who is racing against time to get to her daughter Polly. To complicate matters Laurie’s best friend Emily has just been killed in a fire, a fire which Laurie believes was meant to result in her own demise.

Each alternate chapter is set in the past, although the ‘then’ chapters aren’t in chronological order they give us an insight into what led to Laurie’s predicament. In a nutshell Laurie thinks that her ex-husband Sid, a feted artist, now ensconced with his model girlfriend wants her out of the way following her insistence that he shouldn’t see their daughter Polly for a while. Polly is returning from Disneyland Paris with Laurie’s mother while Laurie has been spending the days in Devon relaxing with her oldest and dearest friend Emily. Terrified by the events during the night and convinced that Sid wants her dead Laurie feels compelled to reach Polly as she arrives back from France before Sid does, even if that means hiding from the police who are investigating the fire at the hotel.

This book was structured really well, despite the change in time periods between the chapters it was easy to keep track, the headings clearly signpost both the time period and the number of hours into the chase counting upwards from hour dot to 24 hours. The change in tense between the chapters really helped keep track of the time period, I do enjoy book that look back as well as forward but it is incredibly easy to get confused if this isn’t handled carefully.

This is one of those books to be enjoyed, to go with the flow and get wrapped up in the tension because to be honest Laurie makes some pretty stupid decisions. This is an action led rather than a character led book, and because of that close examination may leave them a little lacking in substance, but I truly believe that in this type of book, as long as there are enough hooks for the reader to paint the picture, this isn’t really terribly important.

This psychological thriller, actually lives up to the thriller part of the moniker, something that many books in this genre lack, giving this reader enough heart-racing moments that were a measure of how involved I felt in this desperate race against time novel.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Bookouture for allowing me to read a copy of this book, ahead of the publication date of 9 October 2015 in return for this, my honest opinion.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week In Books (September 30)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

This week I am currently reading 24 Hours by Claire Seeber

24 Hours


Here today. Dead tomorrow?
My best friend, Emily, is dead – killed last night in a hotel fire.
But it was meant to be me.
Now I have 24 hours to find my daughter.
Before he finds out I’m still alive. NetGalley

I have recently finished Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes

Behind Closed Doors

Check out yesterday’s post for the synopsis and a taster from this book, my review will follow shortly.

Next I plan on reading The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan

The Good Neighbor


Things are a little rough for Izzy Lane. Still reeling from the break-up of her marriage, the newly single mom moves back to the Philadelphia home she grew up in, five-year-old Noah in tow. The transition is difficult, but with the help of her best friends—and her elderly neighbor, Mrs. Feldman—Izzy feels like she’s stepping closer to her new normal. Until her ex-husband shows up with his girlfriend. That’s when Izzy invents a boyfriend of her own. And that’s when life gets complicated.
Blogging about her “new guy” provides Izzy with something to do when Noah’s asleep. What’s the harm in a few made-up stories? Then, her blog soars in popularity and she’s given the opportunity to moonlight as an online dating expert. How can she turn it down? But when her friends want to meet the mysterious “Mac,” someone online suspects Izzy’s a fraud, and a guy in-real-life catches her eye, Izzy realizes just how high the stakes are. That’s when Mrs. Feldman steps in, determined to show her neighbor the havoc that lies can wreak. If Izzy’s honest, she could lose everything, and everyone. Is the truth worth any cost? NetGalley

What are you reading this week?

See what I’ve been reading in 2015 here

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves (September 26)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared.

First up this week I have a copy of 24 Hours by Claire Seeber which is due to be published on 9 October 2015.

24 Hours


My best friend, Emily, is dead – killed last night in a hotel fire.
But it was meant to be me.
Now I have 24 hours to find my daughter.
Before he finds out I’m still alive. NetGalley

I have a copy of The Shadow Life by Hannah Richell
borrowed from a friend after enjoying her debut novel Secrets of the Tides back in 2012.

The Shadow Year


1980. On a hot summer’s day five friends stumble upon an abandoned cottage hidden deep in the English countryside. Isolated and run-down, it offers a retreat, somewhere they can escape from the world. But as the seasons change, tensions begin to rise…
Three decades later, Lila arrives at the remote cottage. Bruised from a tragic accident and with her marriage in crisis, she finds renovating the tumbledown house gives her a renewed sense of purpose. But why did the cottage’s previous inhabitants leave their belongings behind? And why can’t she shake the feeling that someone is watching her? Amazon

Lastly after being engrossed by The Go-Between last Sunday evening on BBC One I have a copy of the book by L.P. Hartley

The Go-Betweeen


When one long, hot summer, young Leo is staying with a school-friend at Brandham Hall, he begins to act as a messenger between Ted, the farmer, and Marian, the beautiful young woman up at the hall. He becomes drawn deeper and deeper into their dangerous game of deceit and desire, until his role brings him to a shocking and premature revelation. Goodreads

So there are my finds – What have you found to read this week?